PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
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Azalea Town, chapter 8
Psyduck was in a state between its usual confusion and paralyzing terror beside the Croconaw. Apparently it had only seen Aberdeen as a pair of legs also and not as a trainer to save him from this, because he didn't struggle to get more protection or sympathy from him.
"Fascinating," Deen said, studying Derpy for a moment. "And actually, I do have two Psyduck, so a trade could... Hang on." He stood up straight and gave the other boy a look. "Who exactly are you then? Another Pine trainer?"
He sent a glance in the direction of the girls; maybe they had seen him before. After all, he had met a couple of Pine trainers before Violet City that Tina didn't recognize when he mentioned them. Maybe they were also here now, or maybe they had given up on the journey prematurely...
PokéCommunity Supporter Crystal Tier
Also Known As Kirk, Kirkland, Keith, KFK
Chapter 08: Slowpoke Well; Part 1
Of course, there was also the matter of the TMs that Kurt had given them. It took awhile, but Riley was finally able to figure out what it was and how to use it correctly. Within a matter of minutes, Feathers the Pidgey had learned the move Acrobatics. If anything, it would come in handy when they fought Bugsy.
Time passed and Riley finally decided to head out. Leaving the Pokemon Center, he made his way around the building with Feathers atop his head and his bag on his back. There was already several people there, much to his astonishment. Part of him thought it would only be him, Melody, and Kurt. "Sorry I'm late to the party," the young man said once they caught sight of him, Feathers shaking his wings in greeting.
Melody Hughes - Azalea Town - The Reunion - Part 4
Melody seemed to calm down a bit once Christina difused the fight that was about to explode between the brown-haired girl and Morgan. The taller, red-haired girl, despite taking Melody's side, seemed to be much more... relaxed about the way that Morgan had berated the two of them, as well as anyone else who had had their Pokémon stolen by Team Rocket.
Still, Melody felt that for Christina's sake that she would place any choice words that she had for Morgan aside... for the side being. Besides, there were more important factors to take into consideration for the moment... such things like greeting Blaine and Riley. Melody smiled brightly, happy that she had to see that Riley had in fact kept his end of the promise with Kurt. It was also quite a delight to see Blaine again after so long. As she thought about it, Melody realized that she had not seen Blaine since Violet City.
"Blaine, Riley!" Melody exclaimed, waving down the two boys. "It's great to see ya both! I know why you're here, but are you planning to help out with this whole mess too, Blaine?"
Chapter 08: Rendevouz P6
Relieved that Melody calmed down, Christina sent the girl a smile, quickly turning around as Blaine of all people showed up. A surprise smile lit up on Christina’s face as she gave the boy a quick wave.
“Hey Blaine! Long time no see!”
She glanced down as Derpy was apparently harassing one of Aberdeen’s Psyducks. She never did like that weird look in Derpy’s eyes. Snapping out of her thoughts, she noticed Aberdeen glancing at her and Melody.
“Blaine’s one of Pine’s trainers too. Melody and I met up together even before the two of us met, actually. Back on route 30.”
She paused as a blue-haired boy showed up with a Pidgey perched neatly on top of his head. The show of him casually walking in with a bird on top of his head made Christina smile. She’d never seen this guy before, but he seemed really interesting, and moreover, Melody seemed to know him.
“Wow, we’re getting quite the crowd. This must really be serious.” She commented, glancing over at Kurt as if for confirmation, all the while wondering when exactly Vincent was gonna show up, if he even was. After all, he did seem the type to change his mind and then not tell anyone about it.
A mad mind... hehe
At Melody's greeting and Christina's quick explanation about having met Blaine before, long time ago even, Aberdeen relaxed and shot his new acquaintance a smile.
"Cool. I'm Aberdeen, nice to meet you!" he said. "You and your Croconaw... I guess," he added, giving the water pokémon a raised eyebrow.
Derpy continued to tug at the Psyduck's wing, jabbering rather loudly and in a conversational manner to the duck. He let his other arm flail about to probably emphasis whatever points he was giving. Of course, Blaine nodded at Aberdeen, "Nice to meet you too. I guess this is a reunion of sorts, huh?" He looked down at Derpy and sighed as he saw the Croc was now trying to pull at the duck with both hands. "... And that is Derpy." He explained. "You'll understand the reason for the name soon."
"Is he the pokémon you got from Pine? He certainly seems... Determined. Maybe he's never seen a real Psyduck before," Aberdeen said, hands in pockets. "I caught it and its friend in Union Cave but we haven't really bonded yet."
"PSY!' The duck cried as he finally toppled back into Derpy as the Croconaw gave him a tight hug and held him up as he began to march back over to Blaine. "... And yeah, seems like he took a hostage."
"Croc!" Derpy said as he placed the trembling Psyduck before Blaine and patted his yellow head. The water type jabbered on as Blaine sighed, "Uh... sorry about this."
Aberdeen scratched his head. "Well, there's no harm in them being, uh, friends, I suppose. Right? Have you caught a lot of pokémon so far, Blaine?"
"Yeah." Blaine pointed to the balls on his waist, "I also have a lot more in the PC. I mean, it's what trainers do, right? Fill up the dex?"
"Wow, yeah I guess. That's one thing trainers can do. I only have one pokémon in the PC I think." He shuddered as he recalled which one it was. "You can also work hard with the few you've got, I'd say. But hey, you know what? Since I have two Psyduck and you want to fill up your pokédex... How about we make a trade? I've heard trainers do that too. Derpy doesn't seem like he'd object, at least."
In truth, Aberdeen had never traded pokémon before and was simply curious as to what it would be like to have a pokémon with him that was not from the wild. Chocolate didn't quite count, as Pine had not been a trainer. He was quite attached to all the pokémon on his team already, except possibly the Psyducks since they were still so new. Not to mention odd.
Derpy let out a loud gurgle and hugged the Psyduck tightly as he gurgled happily. Blaine looked down and knew that if he tried to take that Psyduck away the Croconaw would just bite his hand off instead. "Sure. Let's see... Oh!" Blaine grabbed one ball and let out the Dratini from her small sphere, "I have this water type. Dratini. Caught it in the cave back there."
"Haha, a Dratini!" Aberdeen laughed and bent down to give it a closer look. "Morgan's got one of these!" He glanced over in the girl's direction and saw that she was too busy paying attention to the girls and some other new boy who arrived, to notice Blaine's and Aberdeen's exchange. "I would love to see what face she'd make if she realized I'd got one too. Hello!" he said and carefully extended an open hand towards the dragon.
The pokémon slowly leaned its head to the side before it bent its long neck slightly to just barely touch his fingers with its nose. Or whatever the big round thing in its face was. In any case, Deen was content.
"Alright then. How, uh, does a trade actually work? Do we just exchange their pokéballs or do we have to sign a contract or...?"
"Kids nowadays," a voice suddenly interrupted them. It was Kurt, walking up behind Deen with his hands linked behind his back. "Of course you can simply exchange pokéballs. These new, fancy machines for trading they have at pokémon centers are just for registration purposes. When you capture a new pokémon it won't show up in databases associated with your name until you put it inside the PC or leave it for healing anyways. If you really want it to officially show that you did not capture this pokémon alone, you can just ask a nurse at the pokémon center to edit the info manually. But why bother, really?" he finished with another sigh.
"Hehe, alright then," Aberdeen repeated and took up the pokéball belonging to "Too" the Psyduck in his hand with a smile towards Blaine.
Blaine likewise held out the Dratini's ball to Aberdeen. "I'll take care of him." Blaine said with a nod, "At least whatever is happening tonight can be a training exercise of sorts. Shouldn't be that hard, right?"
They exchanged the pokéball in a moment of silence, during which the Dratini and Psyduck looked on wide eyed. Well, the Psyduck as well as he could in Derpy's clutches.
Deen held up the new pokéball and looked from it to the dragon. "That's it then?"
"That's it!" Kurt agreed.
"Welcome to the team, Dratini!"
A red beam shot out from the ball, enveloping the dragon before sucking it inside. The sphere merely rocked once in Aberdeen's hand, as if the pokémon could feel that something had shifted. But it stayed still and silent after that. The trade was complete.
Likewise as the balls were traded Derpy leaned down to whisper something in the Psyduck's ear. The duck's eyes shot wide open in fear, but before he could say anything Blaine recalled him and tossed the ball up and down in his hand. "Alright. Well, thanks for this. And it's another mon to put in my dex."
"Yeah, thanks Blaine. I'll raise her well, of course. Now... Do you know who that is?" Deen asked, pointing towards a new arrival who had just approached the others. But only a second after saying that, Deen recognized him. "Oh. Him."
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
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Psyduck grew to lv 17!
Terribolt (Flaaffy) grew to lv 16 and learned Charge!
Hero (Honedge) grew to lv 15!
Legious (Nincada) grew to lv 15!
Dratini grew to lv 16 and learned Dragon Rage!
Derpy (Croconaw) grew to lv 27! omfg 3 more levels until evolution >.<
Aberdeen and Blaine traded Psyduck for Dratini!
Chapter 08: The Midnight Meeting
The night sky was a work of art waiting to be captured. The cool air sent a slight chill through Vincent’s spine but the glint of the stars kept him entranced. In fact, all he could really think about was trying to hammer out the details and do the beautiful night sky justice in his pad. Holding a flashlight in his mouth, his hands worked meticulously with one holding the drawing pad and the other his pen as he sketched everything out. It was a rough drawing, hardly his best, but the moment of Zen was needed. Ever since he left Violet City, Vincent was occupied one way or another. If he wasn’t traveling with Melody and hearing her stories and attempts to make small talk, he was saving her from hordes of Pokemon. If he wasn’t having Pokemon stolen, he was searching for stolen Pokemon. If he wasn’t clearing the air with Christina, he was in intense Gym battles.
Everywhere he turned, there were people and things he didn’t expect to deal with on this Pokemon journey. Vincent, when he left home, thought everything would be cut and dry. Go to city, battle Gym Leader, go to city, battle Gym Leader, repeat. Oh, and maybe catch a couple Pokemon and beat a hapless kid here and there. Nothing as stressful as the crap he had to put up with.
Putting the pad down for a moment and the flashlight beside him, Vincent reached over a sandwich he picked up early. He sat back and took grandeur at the measly meal he purchased. Considering he was half asleep and half poor, it was amazing he got two slices of bread with some deli meat in the middle. He choose turkey with some Unovian cheese and slapped a little bit of mustard on it and called it a day. He would kill for some hot sauce, preferring spicy food but at this point he couldn’t be picky.
“Hey Hanzo, come here for a second,” Vincent called casually. Springing from the darkness, jumping down in such a manner that he probably perched himself in a tree, a strange habit he seemed to pick up from Brian, though considering he has progressively become more mysterious since his evolution it could easily be a new trait altogether, Hanzo stood beside Vincent as the trainer reclined on the park bench. “What do you think of this drawing so far?” Vincent asked, showing the pad to this first Pokemon as he took a big bite of his sandwich. Hanzo merely nodded, seemingly pleased but hardly ecstatic. “Meh, you are just being all gentlemanly again. It’s not the good, huh?” Hanzo took a step back, gesturing with his arms that he didn’t mean it like that. “Yeah, yeah. Sure. Sometimes I wish you didn’t take after me at all. We can’t have too much attitude on this team. We got enough with Brian and his laziness already.”
Vincent took another bite and looked up, picking up the pad as he shaded in the sky, feeling the sketch only really need some finishing touches. The moonlight shone on Vincent, providing enough light for the work that needed to be done. A big swallow of his meal and a moment or two of diligence and Vincent called it a night, dropping the pad on his lap and tucking the pen behind his ear. “You know something, Hanzo? This whole thing isn’t like I pictured it at all,” Vincent said as he stared up at the stars, watching one fall before his eyes. “I ran away from home expecting to clean up some kids here and there, collect a bunch of badges, march my way to the Pokemon League and leave a champion. And here I am,” Vincent sat up, looking at his curious Pokemon. “I got a bunch of people calling me their…friend. I didn’t come here to make friends! I…I have a job to do…and I’m wasting time, I feel…you know?” Hanzo, cocked his head back, completely dumbfounded at what Vincent was saying. Maybe it was because what his trainer was saying didn’t make sense, at least not to the frog Pokemon. “I just wonder how they would see me right now. I’m doing this for them and I feel like I’m failing them since I haven’t won yet. I mean, I’m cleaning up messes left by this Team Rock- Oh crap. Hanzo, what time is it?!” Hanzo just pointed up at the moon, seeing how the moon was a natural clock and the Pokemon had little concept of technology. Vincent looked up, the pen falling to the ground. “Aw man, that thing is awfully high in the sky. I’m probably late as hell.”
Vincent, in a panic, precariously stuff his pad in the bag, grabbed his pen and stowed in his pocket. Leaping onto his skateboard, Vincent bolted towards towards the Pokemon Center with Hanzo following behind, jumping from tree to tree silently but keeping a keen eye on his trainer and his directions. In due time, Vincent had reached the Pokemon Center. Hopping off his skateboard, he picked it up and flung it over his shoulder, holding it with his left hand. With a whistle, he ordered Hanzo to follow closely behind him.
Shuffling quietly, Vincent came to the small clearing behind the Pokemon Center. Gathered in a group, he noticed a handful of trainers he recognized: Melody, Christina and Aberdeen (who Vincent was entirely curious how the runt got an invite). There was another handful of trainers whom Vincent did not recognize. Regardless, they knew about the meeting somehow, so Vincent assumed they were not completely helpless.
“Well, looks like we got a small army going. Let’s get going then. I got places to be in the morning and I’d rather this not take all night.”
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
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Bugsy & Kurt
Azalea Town, chapter 8
Before anybody could react properly to Vincent's arrival, a door opened in the wall behind them. Bugsy's soft face peeked out, an almost mischievous grin plastered on it.
"Is it everybody?" he asked Kurt.
"Seems so," Kurt nodded. "Come on, everybody. Follow Bugsy. Hurry!"
The old man shuffled the teenagers in through the door, where they discovered some sort of large storage room, only dimly lit from lamps in the ceiling. Apart from countless cardboard boxes and items belonging to the pokémon center, there was also a bench where two piles of black clothing lay. Bugsy walked up to the bench and held up a shirt from one of the piles.
"See this?" he asked them and pointed towards the chest of the shirt. A big, red R was printed there. "This is their formal attire, it's what they wear inside the base or when they actually want people to notice them. And by 'they', I mean... Team Rocket, of course. The criminal organization that ravaged Kanto some years ago."
"There's no time to tell them the whole story now," Kurt scoffed impatiently from his place near the door.
"I'm not sending kids into the middle of their base without telling them the truth," Bugsy said sternly.
"Truth, eh? There's time for truths later." He turned to the 'kids'. "What you need to know now is that we have reason to believe that your stolen pokémon, and others, are being held in Team Rocket's base below what we call Slowpoke Well. It's an old cave system to the northeast of Azalea. But this is not their main base, and their security is anything but water tight. We are pretty sure that they don't even know about our organization investigating them - well, they are naturally suspicious of the good natured gym leader of course-"
"Organization?" Aberdeen suddenly interrupted. "What organization?"
"Not now," Kurt pressed on. "Later.
"Sorry for this rush, but we don't know how long this will take and they are - surprisingly enough - less active in the night. So we want to get going as soon as possible," Bugsy said, pointing at the clothes on the bench again. "These should fit all of you well enough. Boys' clothing here and women's clothing there. We will enter the base as a returning scouting group and then split up into pairs to perform some crucial missions. If you pair up with someone you trust and hop into the disguise, and then come talk to me..."
The group started scuffling around to find trousers or skirts that fit them, and decide whom to enter the criminal gang's base together with. After some appropriate bickering, the group, now stealthed in black clothing, moved as swiftly as they could out from Azalea Town. All pokémon had been returned to their pokéballs, as Bugsy said it was important that they didn't show their true teams until it was absolutely necessary. As in, if their cover was blown.
The plans had been gone through. They would enter the base through the front door, using a codeword professor Pine had picked up while monitoring TR's transmissions: VIRIDIAN. They would claim to be a group returning from a snatching mission on Route 32, but well inside the base, they would split up. Only Christina and Melody would make their way to where the pokémon were being held, claiming to have a batch of new stolen 'mons to deliver.
Blaine and Riley would have to be the quickest ones, making their way to the security control room and somehow gain control. Or, worst case, disable the system entirely - without setting off an alarm!
After that, the others could move around freely. Aberdeen and Morgan would find the vault that was believed to exist in this base, and do their best to retrieve something that was stolen from Pine earlier.
And Vincent got the mission to go with Bugsy - who was "disguised" as a woman in a skirt - to find and incapacitate the TR admin in charge of the base.
They could only hope that the criminals were of as low intelligence as they seemed, and that everything would go smoothly. As Kurt hid near the ancient well that was the namesake of the caverns and entrance, the group made their way down on the sturdy ladder. After only a few meter into the darkness, they were apprehended by Rocket grunts. The codeword and explanation worked wonders though - apparently they were much in need of this new batch of stolen pokémon. They were led to a set of doors that looked oddly modern in the ancient cave wall, and let inside without much further ado. Even Bugsy was a bit amazed, and he hoped that they had not been tricked already...
It was time to split up. "Remember, try not to get discovered. And if your mission is compromised, call Kurt on your pokégear. Good luck!" Bugsy told them in hushed tones before he took off with Vincent.
You are allowed to portray the underground base in whatever words or images you like.
Rocket grunts are kind of dumb people.
Please JP :)
Christina & Melody
Chapter 08: The Dynamic Duo!
Following the meeting and planning with Kurt and Bugsy, Melody and Christina found themselves making their way into the Team Rocket hideout. Hopefully, the grunts of the organization would be easily fooled by the uniforms that the two girls had changed into prior to heading for the Rocket base. That said, the uniforms were a bit... different compared to the type of clothing that Melody had usually decided to wear. The girl was never really a big fan of skirts. Ever since she was a little girl, Melody had often insisted on wearing jeans or shorts.
"I think I could over look them for this whole little thing if it wasn't for one thing," Melody sighed, once more fidgeting with the hem of her skirt. The shorter of the two girls grabbed hold of the end and tugged it down again, frowning as it did little to bring the comfort to the whole situation. "Why are they so short? Are these just smaller uniforms, or do the girls in this organization actually wear them like this?"
"I dunno, Melody..." Christina mused, looking down herself while they were walking, stretching her arms a little back and forth and giving her own skirt a little tug. "I kind of think I look really good like this." She looked up, sending her friend a little grin. "Maybe I should consider actually joining Team Rocket, if it meant getting to wear an outfit like this."
Behind the two girls, Shade the Haunter was floating along, right besides Franky, the Sandile. The ghost glanced from the two girls, down at the croc, sending him a sly grin, complimented by a snicker.
Melody shot a look of disbelief in Christina's direction. "Well, it works for you! Your legs fill it out better!" She crossed her arms and huffed. "Besides that... Wouldn't that make you a criminal or something? I really don't wanna think of you getting arrested or something."
Franky gurgled back towards the Haunter in response. His little eyelids wriggled in response, quickening in his pace to try and get a better view. Somehow or another, the Sandile managed to get up and behind Christina just enough for a proper peek up her skirt. Franky released a quiet, yet pleased gurgle at the sight. He was clearly enjoying this mission so far.
Shade let out a silent laugh while holding his non-existant belly at Franky's antics, the ghost shaking his head and deciding to float down besides his new friend with a hand put around the Sandile's 'shoulder'.
Rolling her eyes, Christina sent Melody a little smile. "Come on, I was just joking. About joining, at least. I still say the outfit looks good. Minus the hat, though." She frowned, lifting a hand to push the brim of the hat a little further back, as it kept slipping down in front of her eyes. "Anyway... I think they said it was down this corridor and then... to the right. Then straight on, and we should be there."
She paused, glancing to the shorter girl with a somewhat worried look. "Are you sure you're up for this, Mel'? It's probably going to be really dangerous, even-" She paused as a male and female pair of Rockets passed them, giving a brief nod, Christina and Melody nodding quickly back. Chris' cleared her throat and continued, quieter. "- Even with the security system knocked out."
Melody nodded. "Well... Yeah, I mean, this whole thing is nerve-wracking. But... I have to do it. I can't leave Napoleon here or let someone else rescue him. He's my responsibility. If I didn't go to get him back myself, then that... Morgan would never let me live it down." She managed to flash Christina a small grin of her own. "Besides, I wouldn't be a good friend if I let you go down here all by yourself."
The two girls and their Pokémon continued to make their way down the dimly lit corridor. When taking into account the more rustic look of Azalea Town or even the dark, dank cave inside of the Slowpoke Well, it was hard for Melody to believe that they were technically still in the same place. The whole place looked like some place out of a science fiction movie. The sound of their boots clanking against the metal flooring could be heard echoing through the long and wandering hall. The air inside was a bit on the chilly side, sending a shiver running down Melody's back as she quickened her pace slightly.
Noticing her friend's sudden silence, Christina was about to say something, as they rounded the corner she mentioned earlier. However, she was forced to quiet down, as just a little bit further down the hall, were two male grunts, one leaning against the right wall, with long, black hair and a version of the Rocket shirt with a high collar, covering up his mouth, and another guy seemingly fiddling with a vending machine, who looked younger and had red bangs poking out under the hat.
"Ugh, come on... come on! It swallowed my coin again!" the one at the machine complained, frowning as he kicked the machine, instantly hopping back with a yelp of pain, limping for a moment before resting his foot gently onto the floor.
The other one rolled his eyes and simply shook his head before catching sight of the two girls having slowed their pace down the corridor. "... Oi. Jeffrey."
Jeffrey as he was apparently called, looked up and raised his brows, quickly looking back at the slightly older guy at the wall as if silently asking him a question. The leaning grunt nodded his head and gave Jeffrey a thumbs up before crossing his arms over his chest again.
Jeffrey turned back to the girls, looking worried for a moment before taking a deep breath, putting on a smile and taking a step forwards, standing in the middle of the already small corridor. "Hello there, ladies! What are you up to this lovely, starry night?"
The two girls came to a stop, Christina's expression turning from worry, to a sort of confused bafflement. "... Uh. What? We're... inside. You can't even see the sky."
The young grunt looked as if he'd just been punched in the gut, his mouth falling open before shutting again, looking over his shoulder desperately at the other man, who was promptly ignoring him. Clearing his throat, he turned back, focusing his attention on Melody instead. "I, well, uh, just came from outside half an hour ago! And... it was nice out there! Hi, I'm Jeffrey."
Melody would have been lying if she would have said she did not feel a slight bit of discomfort from how Jeffrey was looking at her. A small blush quickly tinged up at her cheeks as she looked down towards the ground for a moment. The girl realized that she had two choices at this point. She could have either blown the man and his friend off, but chances are that would have made Christina and herself look more... awkward and suspicious. So, she did the only other thing she could think of.
"My name is Melody," the shorter girl said, glancing back up at the man with a weak smile. "It's nice to meet you, Jeffrey."
Jeffrey definitely brightened up as Melody introduced herself while Christina gave Melody a 'Really?' look, but stayed quiet.
"Hah, you too, Melody! That's a very nice name, by the way. So, how did you join? I kinda joined with my friend, because I wanted to go see the world and make a bit of money on the side at the same time, but at first I was like 'But Team Rocket is evil, isn't it', which is what I honestly thought, but then there was this thing, where a gym leader just didn't care for what happened in his city, and I-"
At this point, Christina stepped in, lifting a hand to stop Jeffrey, who instantly shut up as she moved forwards. "Okay, right, listen Jeffrey, me and my -colleague- here are needed down in the holding cells, so if you don't mind, we're kind of busy."
Jeffrey fiddled with his gloves, once more looking back at his friend, who'd been following the conversation with a half-interested look past the brim of his hat. He gave a shake of his head, giving Jeffrey a thumb's down.
Turning back to the girls, the younger boy, who was probably around 15, but an entire head shorter than Christina, puffed his chest out somewhat. "A-actually... I do mind! I'm not... going to move."
Christina blinked, looking surprised before folding her arms across her chest. "... Oh yeah? And why's that?"
Swallowing down at the sight of the rather intimidating girl, Jeffrey stood his ground. "Because I challenge you to a Pokémon fight! If you win, I'll let you pass." He paused, planting a hand at his hip and pointing his other hand's finger at Melody. "But if -I- win, you have to go on a date with me!"
Melody stood with wide eyes, trying to figure out how in the world she had suddenly found herself in this sort of position. She looked between Jeffrey and Christina, trying to desperately find some sort of escape from this situation. A much more nervous smile quickly over took Melody's original smile as she motioned towards Christina.
"Are you serious? I mean, Tina here is much more prettier than I am, you know?" she suggested. "I mean, compared to her, I'm just some sort of plain-Jane, yeah?"
Jeffrey didn't seem deterred at all, sending Melody something that might possibly be interpreted as a confident smile, if you could discount his nervous sweating.
The red-haired girl stared in disbelief at the smaller boy for a few seconds, before simply grabbing his collar, pulling his closer with an almost inaudible 'Augh!' from him, his arms flailing through the air as he was grabbed. "Okay, listen here pipsqueak. We're -busy-, and you're -not- going to challenge anyone to a duel, or go on any dates with my friends. Understood? Now, either you move, or I'm going to move you -for- you."
"W-Wait a minute..." Melody suddenly said, taking hold of Christina's sleeve and then motioning for the red-haired girl to come off to the side with her. "Come here for a minute, Chrissie..."
Furrowing her brows, Chris' glanced at Melody, then back at the boy who was basically shielding his face with his arms. She let go of him and gave him a look, before moving over to the side with Melody, looking rather annoyed. "What is it Mel'...?"
"Maybe... Maybe I should battle him real quick..." Melody whispered. She paused glancing over at Jeffrey for a moment, offering him yet another weak smile before continuing. "I kinda... feel sorry for him, I think."
"Wh- are you serious?" Christina's eyes widened, looking back at Jeffrey, who was looking kind of awkward at the moment before looking back to Melody, looking confused. "... You really wanna fight him because you feel sorry for him?"
"Well... I mean..." Melody hesitated, rubbing the back of her head nervously. "A bit. I dunno, there's just something about his friend, you know? I get the feeling this guy is sort of a jerk to him..." Melody paused, glancing at the red-haired, older man in the duo. She leaned close and whispered. "Besides, it'd help us keep our cover a bit better, yeah?"
Christina opened her mouth to say something, but shut it again. She folded her arms across her chest and took a deep breath through her nose, slowly nodding her head. "... Yeah, I guess you're right. Okay... fine. Go ahead and fight him. But you better win! We can't afford to get sidetracked like this again."
Melody nodded and returned her attention towards Jeffrey. She gave the boy a much warmer smile than previously and nodded. "Alright, after some deliberation, I've decided to accept your terms. But I gotta warn you, I'm super tough. So if you wanna back out, this is your last chance to do it!"
Jeffrey raised a hand, clenching it to a fist while smiling brightly. "Hah, alright, you're on! But I'll have you know that I'm the up-and-coming star of the Rocket grunts!"
Rolling her eyes, Christina stepped over to the wall, leaning against it with a still semi-annoyed look on her face. She sent the other guy who was slightly to the right of her a look, catching him glancing at her over the high neck of his shirt, quickly looking back down at the ground, as if hoping she hadn't seen him.
Melody paused, thinking for a moment which of her team would be the best to handle this battle. At first, she had planned on using Blossom. However with the Bayleef being shiny like Sindy, the brown-haired girl began to wonder if maybe that would raise suspicions against who the two girls actually were. She glanced down, taking notice of Franky.
"Alright, I'll go with you!" Melody decided. "Franky, you're up!"
The little Sandile let out a gurgle and nodded before waddling his way forward in front of Melody. A somewhat excited look had taken over the Ground-type's features. Clearly, he was looking forward to this little skirmish.
"Not bad! And I'll pick Alice!" He unclipped a pokéball from his belt, opening it and letting out a Poochenya, who let out an excited bark, looking eager to get into a scrap as well. "Alright Alice, let's start this off with a Howl!"
The Poochenya lifted its head and let out a loud howl, which caused Franky to look quite a bit startled from the loud echo the sound produced. The little Sandile took a step back, wincing as he tried to shake off the ringing it was hearing from such a loud attack.
"Come on, Franky! Don't let it get to you, already!" Melody encouraged. "Shake it off and give it a Bite!"
The Sandile gurgled with glee and leapt forward towards the Poocheyna. Franky opened his large mouth wide, baring his rather sharp and shiny teeth at Alice in the process.
"Alice, dodge it!" Jeffrey called out, sounding almost scared for his Pokémon. The Poochenya managed to move somewhat, but its leg was still caught in Franky's jaws, causing her to yelp in pain.
"O-okay! You can do better than that! Use Bite as well!"
With a low growl, the small dog bared her own teeth before biting down on Franky's neck, leaving the two locked in a battle of teeth and jaws. Franky let out a pain filled growl of his own, the little Sandile shuddering as Melody's eyes widened at the sight playing out in front of her. She needed to pry the Poochenya off of Franky, and quick.
"Franky, shake her loose with Rage!" Melody called out.
The Sandile began to do just that. In a rather unique manner, he began to thrash and stomp his feet. It almost it looked as if Franky was thowing some sort of temper tantrum from the looks of it. Franky even went as far as to try and spin around and slam Alice against the floor.
The Poochenya whimpered from the damage that kept piling onto it, but kept a firm grip of the Sandile with its jaws. Jeffrey was flustering, opening and closing his mouth before seemingly snapping out of his panic-attack. "Alice! I, uh... Sand Attack! Distract him!"
The dog managed to kick the legs that weren't currently being chomped on, somehow managing to produce a handful of sand, which was kicked straight into Franky's face, in the hopes of disorienting him and possibly even letting go.
All the while the battle was going on, Christina was still leaned against the wall, watching it with interest. Despite being pressed for time and being extremely worried about whether or not Sindy was actually here, she couldn't help but admire both of the trainers' ways of battling.
She glanced a little to the right, having noticed the other, older guy shuffling closer. He looked like he was trying a little hard to come off as mysterious, with his hat pulled down low and the version of the Rocket shirt with the high collar, only barely showing his face, all the while leaning against the wall with one foot pushed back against it.
Seemingly noticing Christina's glance, he gave her a solemn nod and a quiet mutter. "Alex. Hey there."
"Christina. Also not interested." She commented before looking back to the battle. Alex doubled a little forward from the instant rejection and promptly shuffled back over to the right, not breaking his 'cool pose'.
Back in the heat of the battle, the Sandile closed his eyes tightly as a quick kick of sand managed get into his eyes. He slammed his back against the wall one final time, which managed to somehow knock the Poocheyna off of his back. Franky wasted no time in scurrying away from Alice at this point, trying to put some distance between himself and the small dog, leaving her wobbling unsteadily, panting for air.
"Well, this was fun... But we really need to get back to work here..." Melody thought. She gave a worried look towards her Sandile, realizing that it would probably not be for the best to wear the little guy out, just in case he would be needed further into the mission. "Franky, we need to keep her back so we can finish her off! Use Sand Tomb, now!"
The Sandile squinted his eyes, trying to see as best he could given his current situation. Franky took a deep breath, before beginning to blow out a sandy stream of air towards the Poochenya. Already weakened by the Sandile's attacks from before, Alice shook her head, stumbling backwards as the stream of windy sand hit her square in the face with force.
Jeffrey grit his teeth before shaking his head softly in defeat. "Alice, you did great. Come on back." He raised his pokéball and recalled her in a flash of red light, sighing quietly as he looked up at Melody again. "... Man. You're one tough girl."
"Well... Of course!" Melody replied, giving a small smirk towards Jeffrey. "We wouldn't be able to be the great and powerful Team Rocket if we weren't, right?"
"Heh... yeah, I guess not." He gave a faint smile, lifting a hand to rub the back of his head before taking a step to the side, gesturing down the corridor. "Anyway, I guess you earned your pass. But... don't think this is the last you've seen of me, Melody! I'm going to train even harder, and then I'll defeat you and you'll -have- to go on a date with me!" He finished, smiling confidently.
Melody's faltered back a bit, clearly not sure of how to respond to the fact that she had more or less just gained a fan... or stalker, depending on how one would look at it. She quickly shot a glance over towards Christina, asking her friend for help with a pleading look in her eyes.
The red-haired girl just smiled and rolled her eyes, pushing herself off the wall, stepping over to the two as she grabbed her friend's hand. "Alright, well, it was nice meeting you two, but we -really- have to get going now. Come on Mel'!"
As Melody was being dragged off by Christina, Jeffrey stepped over to where Alex was leaning on the wall, the younger boy waving at the girls and Franky waddling off down the corridor. "Wow... she was really cool." He muttered.
Alex tilted his head a little back, giving Jeffrey a small glance under the brim of his hat. "You did well. Nice." He paused, recieving a bright smile from Jeffrey, before shifting to leaning the other foot against the wall. "... Got her name. Christina."
Jeffrey's jaw dropped, staring at his friend in amazement. "You did? But she was just about to beat me up! She was ice-cold, and you got her name? You're so cool, Alex! Thank you so much for helping me with this."
"H-heh. I know. It's no problem." The older boy replied, trying not to sound like he'd just been through the scariest moments of his life.
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
press start to play
Vincent & Bugsy
Slowpoke Well Base
"Why do you have to be here to babysit me?" Vincent questioned quietly as Bugsy and he traveled through the Team Rocket Base.
Since splitting from the others, Vincent was admittedly at a loss of what exactly to do as "stealth" was not exactly in his skill set. Even when he was roaming the backstreets of Goldenrod City, he was something of a hit and run kind of person. It was never about ensuring no one saw him commit the crime or prank, it was simply about getting away with the act. It was far simpler to do it his way than his calculated approach that Bugsy and Kurt had planned out. All he had to do was take out the Admin and the operation would come tumbling down. So, why bother with this gentle approach. Run in with Pokemon blazing and the problem would be solved.
"Because if I sent you in alone with the Admin as your target, you'd run in pokémon blazing. Isn't that right?" Bugsy said calmly, not even turning to look at Vincent under his cap. "I battled you. You are far from a complete mystery to me, Vincent."
Vincent stopped walking and looked at Bugsy with a deadpan stare: "Did...did you just read my mind?"
Bugsy simply smiled at the younger man.
"Let's see. We need to find the resident admin and isolate him somehow. Don't want too many grunts around to make things difficult when we approach him. Because we are not charging in, but we are going directly for him."
Vincent rolled his eyes and looked at Bugsy. All the sneaking around was making the brash trainer impatient as he took a deep breath. If plans had to be made, Vincent rather keep it simple than overcomplicate everything some elaborate plan that would likely fail because something, somewhere would go run. A betting man would put some money on Aberdeen likely screwing up considering how much of a coward the boy was back in Alph, but Vincent was clinging to what little hope he had in the trainer that the other person he was with would carry through his bumbling mistakes. "How about we just...go to the Admin's office then? You bothered to get disguises for a reason didn't you?"
"I feel the need to repeat the part about not wanting too many grunts around when we approach him," Bugsy said gently as they turned around a corner and spotted a roomier hallway and a pair of elaborate doors some twenty meters ahead.
At least five Rocket grunts hung around the hallway, and even if they didn't exactly look alert, it could be assumed that they were positioned there for a reason.
"We know that this isn't where they are holding the pokémon, and it certainly isn't the security office," Bugsy said in low voice that almost made his girly outfit seem wrong for real. "It's either the vault Aberdeen and Morgan are looking for, or the very place you and I have been meaning to find: the admin office. What do you think?"
Vincent stared intently down the hallway, looking around the area for any clues. Far from the smartest person in the room, Vincent often relied on his gut feeling, his intuition to guide his actions. In this moment, he found himself calling upon his gut once again. "I don't know," he admitted. "But something tells me, we are where we need to be."
Again, Bugsy just looked at him calmly. He nodded. "We'll trust your gut feeling, then. It's bad if we snoop around too much, but we'll give it one shot."
He then walked down the corridor, back straight and face casual, until the grunts all stood up and looked at the 'woman' and her companion approaching.
"We need to speak to the admin."
"Too bad. He's busy. And you should know that," a female grunt that was at least a whole head taller than Bugsy said, moving up to stand less than a meter in front of the gym leader in disguise.
"Too bad," the Rocket member repeated, eyes narrow.
A few seconds passed by, during which Bugsy's pale eyes and the grunt's fiery ones met in silence. Vincent watched the staring contest, but realizing that little was going to be accomplished with grace and tact, the taller man grabbed the Rocket Grunt by the shoulder and shoved her into the nearby wall with a quick burst of strength. "How about you see if our boss is really that busy before you jump to conclusions?"
The male grunts around them let out gasps of surprise at the sudden action, and so did Bugsy. But the grunt herself only gaped for a second before she grinned, eyes even more fiery than before.
"This isn't the dirty outdoors, boy," she hissed. "This is the one corridor in Azalea where we behave. Clearly, you missed that memo."
"Vincent..." Bugsy mumbled warningy behind the trainer, eyes wary on the grunts.
"But if you are so keen on showing off, why don't you do me a favor and give me some amusement in my boring guard shift," the Rocket member said, still not much more than a hiss. "Or are you too busy for a little battle?"
Vincent smirked, releasing his weak grip on the female grunt. "How about we raise the stakes while we are at it then?" He suggested. Taking a step back, Vincent looked around the hallway. "If we win, you get us a meeting with the boss. And if you win...well, what would you want if you somehow beat us?"
The grunts began to chuckle, Bugsy nervously imitating them, but the woman just sighed. "I told you, he is busy. But on your head be it, if you want to storm in and disturb him. If I win, however..." She eyed him up and down. "I get one of your pokémon."
"Alright. But I pick which one you get. Since you can't guarantee me a meeting with the boss, I won't guarantee you a good Pokemon," Vincent countered. "Deal?"
"Vincent, no!" Bugsy said, not even whispering at this point. "This is not what we came here for."
"Oh shut it, girlygirl," the woman said, rolling her eyes at the gym leader before turning back to Vincent. "Deal. I'm sure any of yours are strong, am I right? I haven't seen you before, but my name is Jayle. Now, show me what you got, manboy."
Without further ado, she sent out a pokémon right next to her, forcing one of the other grunts to jump aside. It was a Houndoom, and it wasn't exactly a small one either. The hallway, albeit roomy, wasn't the best place for any battle involving it.
Vincent turned to Bugsy, as Jayle prepared her Houndoom for battle: "No, this is exactly what we came here to do! But if you can't grow a pair to talk to the Boss, then I will have to do this for us!" He countered, maintaing the facade that Bugsy was close to breaking. After feeling what was a schooling towards Bugsy, Vincent forced himself back as the Houndoom snapped at Vincent and Bugsy. Hardly willing to risk losing by any stretch, Vincent clicked a Pokeball off his belt and tossed it into the field of battle. With a leap out of the ball, Hanzo, his Frogadier, took center stage and locked eyes with the Houndoom.
Bugsy facepalmed but tried to keep a straight face on otherwise. He couldn't just stop Vincent now without things looking weird. He just hoped that this would be a good idea.
The stare down between the Houndoom and Hanzo did not last long as Vincent, desperate to make the first move, called for an attack: “Use Quick Attack!”
Narrowing his eyes, Hanzo sprinted forth and drove an elbow forward, spiking the Houndoom back into the fall for an extra shred of damage. The narrow hallway, as far as Vincent saw it at the moment, was a tactical resource. If Hanzo could keep the Houndoom cornered and its back to a wall, it would demand desperate action. Clever jukes and dodges would leave Vincent with opportunities that Hanzo could seize advantages from. The only way they could lose this if somehow they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The confidence painted a bright picture on Vincent’s face as his once vile smirk twisted into a haughty grin.
“Strength!” Jayle ordered.
With a quick recovery, Houndoom bashed Hanzo with a swing of its horned head, bashing Hanzo back into the opposite wall with a loud crash, as the thick wall cracked from the impact. Hanzo fell back like ragdoll, sinking into a feeble position. Vincent’s grin dropped into an expression more akin to doubt than anything else. Yet as concerned as Vincent was for a moment, Hanzo did not lose his composure as picked himself up into a kneeling position.
“Now finish this with a Thunder Fang!” Jayle yelled with a gesture of her fist.
The Grunt knew her types, which didn’t make Vincent any happier, as the Houndoom bared its fangs and charged towards Hanzo with reckless abandon having already smelled blood in the water.
Hanzo did not react, waiting for the perfect opening. The Houndoom’s charge turned into a pounce as electricity gathered in its mouth. The arc of the jump was heading downwards. Their minds in sync, Vincent signaled: “Now!” Gathering a small burst of energy in its own mouth, Hanzo fired a Water Pulse, with a blast of energy fired through a ring of water. The Water Pulse collided with Houndoom’s Thunder Fang with the opposing types struggling in a flash of power. However, Hanzo’s affinity for water and superior positioning caused the Houndoom to be launched back, bashing the ceiling before crumbling the ground.
“What the—grrr, stop messin’ around!” Jayle spurned on to the Houndoom. “Smack him with Ember!” The Houndoom, while prone on the ground fired a quick blast of flame, which the wounded Hanzo couldn't avoid as the fickle of fire grazed his skin. “Now, use Bite!”
Hanzo shrugged off the fire as quick as he could, as the Houndoom followed through with a Bite attack. Hanzo braced for impact, attempting to catch the attack with its hands, closing its eyes to envision the attack and sense its presence like a meditative spirit. Vincent never really bought into such things, but Hanzo, ever since his evolution became all the more engrained in such techniques and thoughts. But the Houndoom was stronger than he, and the reckless abandon of Jayle’s Pokemon barged through the nimble defenses of Hanzo. The Bite dug into Hanzo’s shoulder.
“Hanzo! Use Bubble!” With the Houndoom locking its jaws, Hanzo cocked his head to the side and fired off a point blank Bubble attack, the water attack swarming Houndoom’s face. The pain unbearable, the Houndoom was forced to relinquish its grip. On instinct, Hanzo pushed himself away, and perched himself back near the middle of the makeshift battlefield. “Alright, use Smokescreen!” Hanzo stretched back and spat forth a thick black cloud of smoke, covering most of the hallway in the mist. As this point, Vincent could read most of Jayle’s tactics, and it seemed, like Vincent, she enjoyed a direct confrontation (though Vincent ironically enough was almost always conceiving out of the box defensive techniques).
“Aw, what the hell?” Jayle coughed, as Hanzo’s Smokescreen spread out. “Houndoom,” she continued to cough. “Use Inferno!”
Between coughs, Jayle ordered for a move that Vincent near heard of, however soon enough he gathered something of a clue. Even through the thick smoke, Vincent could see the red energy of Houndoom gather, with an aura of flame consuming the fire type and glowing brightly.
"No! Get away, Vincent!" Bugsy suddenly called out from behind them, where he had stood mostly silent together with the laughing Rocket grunts for most part of the battle.
Before Vincent could order Hanzo to dodge, brace himself or prepare in any sort of way for the attack, it happened. A loud, piercing ring echoed throughout the hallway, festering in Vincent’s ears as it continued to beep constantly. And rain…? No, sprinklers spread water throughout the hallway, drenching Vincent in seconds with soggy clothes. The Smokescreen thinned out and Vincent could see Jayle shocked as she looked over to her Houndoom, whose aura of fire was smoked out by the sprinkler system. The gathering of fire for the Inferno, combined with the Ember and the Smokescreen in the battle must have been enough for the automated fire alarm system to set off, literally snuffing out the fire from the battle.
Jayle was about to speak, when the big doors behind her opened up. The resident Team Rocket admin finally emerged, and apparently the sprinklers had gone off inside of his office too, because he was just as soaked as them. Instead of roaring at his subordinates for ruining his day though, he merely raised an eyebrow and looked sharply at the now suddenly nervous Jayle.
Bugsy took a step back to not stand out when the admin's eyes fell on the group of grunts, and tugged Vincent's arm to make him follow suit. But Vincent didn't budge an inch, only staring at the Admin as he silently addressed his true subordinates. There was a moment in which Vincent believed, or wanted to at least, for the droplets of water peppering everyone in the hallway to be playing tricks on him. But the image didn't leave his mind and even as Hanzo took a position on the other side of Vincent, tugging his other arm with more force that Bugsy was. Vincent, for the first time, was speechless as he only utter: "You..."
The Admin sighed at last. "I don't even want to know. Jayle, take the grunts with you and fetch something to clean this mess up with. If I see as much as a single drop of liquid in this corridor when I return, you are fired. All of you."
"Of course, sir!" Jayle said as he walked straight past her and continued towards Bugsy and Vincent in the corridor. "But where are you going? I thought you were-"
"One more question and you are more than fired," the Admin continued, without turning around.
He stepped past the petrified Vincent and into the corridor from which the infiltrators had come earlier.
"Now's our chance!" Bugsy hissed and tugged Vincent's sleeve harder, apparently without noticing what state the younger man was in. "We follow him and corner him!"
Vincent barely snapped out of his trance: "Oh, right!" With Hanzo sighing with a combination of concern and relief, Vincent shifted his stance and began to lead the way. The look of shock had left him almost completely, and now became something far more akin to determination, frustration and vehemence. "It's time to end this," he found himself saying.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Jayle's voice cut through the noise from the sprinklers when she noticed that Bugsy and Vincent took a different route than the rest of her grunts from the Admin corridor.
"Like I said before, we really need to speak with the Admin," Bugsy piped up and shot her a glare, deciding that it was his turn to be sharp now. "You better hurry up with your own orders if you want to keep your job!"
With that, the two infiltrators left the scene, ignoring the swearwords being thrown at them.
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Shawn
Discord Nickname Super High School Level Dragon
lover of milotics
Aberdeen & Morgan
Slowpoke Well Base
The whole place was gray. Naturally, they were beneath the ground, in a base built into caves, but still. They could have painted the walls in colors to brighten the place up a bit, Aberdeen thought as he and Morgan split off from the others and went to carry out their specific orders from Bugsy. Strangely enough, the gym leader had taken the two aside before they left the pokémon center and talked to them in hushed tones, as if the others were not supposed to hear their details.
"What you need to find and retrieve, and it is very important that you do, this mission is just as crucial as finding any stolen pokémon, if not more - it is a golden feather. You'll know it when you see it. You must take it out of Team Rocket's hands."
"Why would a feather be important? What kind of bird could drop important feathers?" Aberdeen mumbled as he followed Morgan through a corridor, past some kind of recreation room where they glimpsed Christina and Melody in a chat with some real Rocket grunts.
"I have no idea, but whatever the reason, it's indeed important enough for a ragtag group such as this bunch to want to get their hands on it, and have the time and energy to extract it," Morgan replied, trying to get used to her head ware. She's not used on having her pigtails straightened out, and the unsettled uniform just made things much more uncomfortable for her.
"Yeah, but... Team Rocket aren't the smartest of villains, are they? I mean, they let us in here just because we wore their clothes, pretty much. Didn't even recognize Bugsy," Aberdeen pondered as they moved forward in their current corridor as fast as they dared without looking suspicious. "Maybe they don't even know what the feather is and Bugsy really wants to get it back before they figure it out!"
"If that's the case," Morgan replied, finally fed up with fiddling her hair. "Then there's even more to this mystery than Bugsy is letting on. However, for now, I suppose that we'll have to play along. Ugh, how do these guys wear such tight and dark outfits... who made the dress quota here -- they should be fired!"
"I think these clothes are kinda comfy. And you look nice in them!" Deen said with a smile, which then turned a bit confused. "Uh, I mean, they don't look bad on you. I mean, hmm. Yes, that was what I meant. I think?"
Morgan blushed, oddly as her face turned into disgust. "W-Whatever," Morgan said, flustered. "I guess they don't look terrible on you either. After all, something that the Meowth coughed up is a lot better than something a Houndoom passed. But the less time in this outfit, the better, I'll say."
Deen shook his head, but let out a laughter, just as they turned around the corner and found themselves staring up into the wide chest of a very, overall, wide Team Rocket grunt. He looked down at them with a face that was so scrunched up that it looked like it had been folded in the middle, and let out a 'huff' that clearly meant to ask them what they were up to, wandering around.
"Uh. Hello!" Deen said sheepishly, probably sounding nothing like even a Rocket rookie usually did.
Morgan gave the member a sharp look. "Well? What is it?" She asked impatiently. "Did you lose your ability to speak as well as your manners? Out of our way before you get transferred to the sticks!"
Aberdeen only barely managed to keep himself from gasping at his companion's words, and his eyes flashed from her to the grunt, who had now focused his narrow stare at the girl's gutsy figure.
Just when Deen thought that they would be literally carried out in his enormous hands, the grunt 'huffed' again with a shrug, and simply walked past them. The boy let out a huge breath he didn't realize that he had been holding for several seconds.
"Right..." he said, clearing his throat. "Gotta get down with the jargon. Good thinking."
"Hmph, I was serious," Morgan replied, crossing her arms. "If they're going to be members of a secret organization, they should do it properly."
"What would you know about secret organizations?" Deen asked teasingly.
"FYI, I happen to be the co-president of a club that resides in Lilycove City and a place called Goldenrod!" Morgan explained with a surprising sense of accomplishment. "I think I would know a thing or two!"
Deen blinked. "You are the leader of a secret club? What kind of club? And how did you get to become that?"
"If I tell you it wouldn't be a 'secret', wouldn't it?" Morgan said while chuckling to herself. "Do you doubt my supreme leadership ability?"
"Okay then, supreme leader. How are we going to find the vault or secret treasure spot of this secret organization?"
"It won't be easy," she explained. "It's ought to be a section where the security is tight. I'm not even sure that even normal grunts are allowed to go in, unless... they change shifts? I dunno, I said good at leading, but I'm not good with MAGIC? Unless you have any bright ideas?"
"Hmm, that sounds about right," Aberdeen pondered. "If it's very secret and they stole it, maybe they don't want every grunt to know about it, even. Maybe it's not even easy to find by just walking around this place. But we should probably start with that anyways. Just walking around, looking. Right? At least if Riley and Blaine have security under control - otherwise they might think it suspicious if they saw us moving around on their cameras."
"Tell me something," Morgan wondered as she suddenly stopped. "Do you really have so much faith in everyone?"
Aberdeen stopped too and raised his eyebrows, thinking about her question. "I don't... I'm not sure I know what you mean. Do you think Riley or Blaine would betray us?"
"I don't," she said, crossing her arms. "But what if they screw up and everything goes under? It's a lot of blind faith that we're putting up here. I just.. don't know your friends at all. Especially that guy.. what was his name? Vincent? How can we trust them?"
"Hm..." Deen's face darkened a bit and he looked down as they were still standing still inside the Rocket base. He didn't trust Vincent. Well, he didn't want to. But Christina did. And Melody clearly believed that he was a good person. And if those two, pure hearted girls, could think such a thing, then why shouldn't Aberdeen trust him too? Just because he was a jerk and an asshole didn't mean that he... He had to stop his own thoughts right there.
"You're right..." he said slowly. "They might screw up. And so might we. But if we all ran around here thinking that we'd fail or that someone would turn against us, we'd have zero chance of succeeding, right? Only way we can manage is to trust in each other."
He was sort of proud of his own words and even smiled at the end, but the smile didn't reach his eyes as he looked up and met Morgan's.
"What I mean is... We have to trust them now. Don't you trust me, Morgan?"
He even held out his open hand towards her, just like he had done with Christina once upon a time. It felt like ages ago now, but it was only a few days.
Morgan gave Aberdeen a calm and serious look as he gazed upon his extended hand. She then took a brief look at her own palm, before she glanced back at his, and finally gave it a light grip. She then chuckled.
"Alright fine, someone has to watch over this rag tag group of misfits anyway," she said with a sarcastic smile. "But, I don't really deal well with the mushy stuff. That's your job. Oh and by the way..." she then and turned away, with a more embarrassed expression.
"Don't let that guy get to you. If it was up to me, well... I'd rather hang out with a dork than a boring prodigy of sorts. W-whatever, you're more easy to make fun of anyway. Now come on, don't lag behind."
Aberdeen smiled warmly but then frowned as he hurried after her. "Dork? And he is not a prodigy!"
They spent what felt like hours walking through the underground corridors, but it was probably mere minutes. They tried to come across as as casual as possible and let Morgan and her sharp face get up front whenever they met inquisitive other grunts. But at last, Deen felt close to giving up.
He slumped against a random wall. "Were they even sure that there was a vault in here?" he asked. "Did we miss an elevator or something?"
Before Morgan could answer, they heard a loud ringing from somewhere ahead.
"Is that a fire alarm?" Aberdeen asked tentatively.
"What, is there a fire in here?" Morgan wondered.
"Let's check it out!"
They started running towards the noise, and just as they turned around a corner, they saw a glimpse of unmistakable purple hair and another muscular figure running away from them, along with a bunch of real Rocket grunts. And right in front of them, it was raining.
"Sprinklers!" Aberdeen commented, pointing at the ceiling. "At least they installed a proper emergency system in their evil secret base!"
"The emergency system activated must mean that they're quite scattered right now..." Morgan pondered. "Come on, this might be our only chance to weave through their security!"
They wasted no time dashing through the sprinklered area, through the big, open doors that looked a bit too fancy for this base, and found themselves in what was definitely not a vault.
"This looks like someone's workplace," Deen said, moving up to the big desk and glancing at some papers with too many numbers on them to really catch his interest. The sprinkles were at work in here too, so the papers were all damp now anyways, as were Deen's and Morgan's clothes. "Should we get out?"
"I would like to before the sprinkler gets me a prized cold," she replied. "Especially before a certain someone makes a crack joke about wet t-shirts."
At that, Aberdeen couldn't help looking down from Morgan's face, but quickly blushed. "I haven't said anything!"
"You better not," Morgan warned. "Now come on, we'll search somewhere else."
Aberdeen gulped and started to follow her out again, when he suddenly was struck by a thought as he glanced at some cabinets in a corner.
"Hang on. We've gone around and around in the corridors out there. Why not just look a bit closer in here now that we have the chance? It looks kind of like an important place. Maybe an important person was tasked to guard an important stolen thing?"
"Huh, when did you start eating smart pills with your breakfast?" Morgan asked followed up with alight chuckle. "Alright, I guess I'll check the papers over here..."
Aberdeen let out a little laugh himself, before he went over to the cabinets and started going through them. There wasn't any sign of feathers, or even gold or some more common sort of treasure there.
Morgan meanwhile shuffled and ruffled through a variety of papers from what it seemed to be some sort of numerical code to stock market numbers. She didn't know, it all looked jibberish to her. She threw the soggy papers away in frustration as she was getting tired of all of the variety of things that did not make a lick of sense.
Deen went over to some bookshelves but only found a few trophys and books and nothing of particular interest. Although, there was a frame with an old photo in it, depicting a man and a little boy. Squinting, Deen leaned in closer to get a better look...
"Find anything?" Morgan asked and interrupted him as she then stood up to lean against the nearby desk. "Because I found absolutely nothi--- " it was then that Morgan's elbow triggered what it seemed to be a switch disguised as a holder for a fountain pen. It made a small *beep* sound, grabbing Morgan's attention, when the nearby wall's bookcase seemed to.. move slightly to the left. A secret passage?
"...Nothing that we shouldn't ignore!" Morgan finished.
"Wow!" Aberdeen said and ran up to her. "You totally found it!"
Morgan nodded. "Of course! Come on, there might be something ahead." she proclaimed. She peeked inside the small open space that the bookcase covered. It seemed like a narrow fit, and the end was in plain sight. Nonetheless, she pressed on, to find a small latch upon the wall. It seemed to have small numerical lock that opened up a small metal door. Just as she though - it was a vault. "This must be it."
Deen scratched his head behind her. "There's a combination? Just our luck. How could we figure that out?"
"Obviously... we'll use the direct option!" explained Morgan, as she got out a pokeball. "Combusken! Double Kick attack!" she then ordered, prior to releasing her prized partnered Combusken, as the beast released it's trademark kicking attack upon the metal safe, with the first kick hitting the mere base of it, with the second kick struck true, causing the metal bar to break, thus the safe opened up ever slightly.
Aberdeen raised his eyebrows. "That wasn't very secure. Maybe Team Rocket's admins aren't much smarter than their grunts."
Just then, they heard footsteps coming closer. The sprinklers had stopped spouting water down in the office and the corridor outside.
"We gotta bail!" Aberdeen said, patting Morgan on the shoulder. "Get whatever's in there and come on!"
Morgan nodded and opened the metal safe door wider, to reach inside. She didn't see much, except for a small, wooden black colored box that she didn't think twice about grabbing. She got out the box and slowly opened it. It was just as Bugsy had said - a golden feather was now in their sights.
"It's stunning..." Morgan complemented, observing the feather. Seeing the feather up close was indeed no substitute for it being described.
Deen peeked over her shoulder and couldn't help but smile at the sight. This was what you live for, a voice within him suddenly said. Beauty and discovery and adventure.
"I wasn't expecting that..." Morgan said as she closed the box and put it in her purse, strapped to her waist. "Ready? Let's go."
They made their way out to the office again and headed for the exit, but stopped dead in their tracks, Deen with a gasp.
In the doorway stood a Team Rocket grunt, or possibly of a higher rank, her long hair drenched just like her clothes, and she was staring darkly at them. Not the faintest hint of even a crude smile played on her lips, as her eyes darted from the faces of the trainers to the exposed passage behind them.
"Well, well," she said, almost growling. "There are quite a lot of naughty grunts here today. I'm beginning to suspect you're doing something you shouldn't. Am I wrong?"
Damn, is she on to us? Morgan pondered, as sweat slowly dripped from her face.
"We're just checking in to see that nothing got destroyed in the fire!" Deen said as casually as he could muster.
"There was no fire," the tall, dark woman said.
"The water, then!"
"Two child grunts would never be allowed inside the admin's office," the woman said, and then actually growled for real. "You know what? I'm tired of this. I've had a bad day, and you two shouldn't be here."
Gee, might I suggest some tea and cheese with your vintage whine... Morgan stood in thought. "Y-Yes ma'am, sorry ma'am! We'll be on our way..."
Deen raised his eyebrow at Morgan's sudden uncharacteristic line, but then again, she might just be playing a part, he thought as he stepped forward, only to be instantly stopped by the executive's outstretched hand.
"You're going nowhere but in a cell," the woman said sharply.
"What if we don't want to?" Deen asked, a bit too dumb sounding.Morgan slapped her forehead with her right hand.
But the woman didn't even reply. "Quagsire!" she said, holding up a pokéball which immediately opened up to let a blue, slippery pokémon materialize in a puddle between the humans. "Use Slam!"
To Be Continued...
A mad mind... hehe
Blaine couldn't help but feel a bit anxious as he walked through the cave. Maybe if this wasn't so serious he could relax a little more, but being amid a bunch of Rockets? And not just lazy ones, but ones that would most likely kill them if they discovered who they really were? Either that, or just beat them senseless and dump them somewhere in the wilderness. He had to wonder why Riley wasn't feeling as anxious... or maybe he was just masking it well? In any case, they had a mission to do. He really hoped that Riley knew what to do with security systems cause Blaine had not one freaking clue how they worked.
Riley had been looking to do something fun. Sure, his adventure was to help him prepare for his future, but having fun was apart of that. This, however, was something different. This was dangerous. At any moment, Blaine and him could be attacked by some villainous goons whom have been tasked with keeping out all outsiders. Part of him was definitely worried, but for the most part, he was excited.
Blaine looked around really quickly and did his best to subtle point out another door, "I'm thinking the security station has to be behind one of these doors." He whispered to Kirk, "Do you want to try some of them?" Eventually the two made their way to each and every door, doing their best to look inconspicuous as they would slowly open each door to peer inside. For the most part, a lot of the rooms weren't what they were looking for. Some were obviously resting room for the grunts, others had chairs and vending machines, and some led to larger rooms that looked like a place where presentations would be made.
A few other other doors led to more hallways, and that was the real challenge. Which way did they have to take to find the security system? If they took the wrong door and ended up in a restricted area, would their cover be blown? Well, if they didn't take any risks now, they wouldn't be any closer to finding the station, now would they?
Blaine and Riley were soon heading down one hall as they looked around. Maybe if they found a map of some sort... even a small clue like labels on the doors might help. As they walked further down the hall eventually Blaine did catch sight of a map that was set on the wall. A quick look gave him the ideal room where the security system would be. The only problem was that it was pretty far away, and they would probably need some sort of security clearance while there.
And it seemed that was the case once the two got there. The very room they had to get into were guarded by two grunts. Blaine took in a deep breath and stepped forward, smiling at the two, "Uh, hey guys." He said, "My partner and I are here to relieve you of your positions."
"Relieve?" One of the grunts asked. "I thought the next shift happened in a few hours?"
Blaine quickly worked out a thought in his head, "Well... that would normally be the case... but... er, there was a psychotic Slowpoke seen outside the base!" He said. "Yeah, a really crazy one. You two have to head out there and get rid of it."
"Why us?" The grunt asked. "We're protecting this spot right here."
"Because... your names were drawn." Blaine said, "We have a sort of lottery and your names were drawn."
"We didn't hear about any lottery." The other grunt said.
"It was... a secret lottery!" Blaine said, "A secret one that was only told to a few grunts."
"A secret lottery?"
"Yeah, so you two better head over there. I mean, you can stay here sure, but I think the higher ups want you over there." The two grunts were silent, that was, until Blaine took out his phone, "Well, I guess if you really don't want to, that's fine. I'll just contact the higher ups and let them know the-"
"We didn't say we wouldn't do it!" One of the grunts said with a faint chuckle, "We'll do it! We just have to tell you the ground rules here. Just stay by the door. No peeking inside, and no knocking either! No need to get the admins on our butts!"
As the two ran off Blaine and Riley took their positions by the door and Blaine looked around, smirking as he saw no one close by. It was the perfect time to start this. He pulled off one ball from his belt and tossed it down. Derpy appeared in a flash as Blaine gently knocked on the door. "The admins are here for a surprise inspection!" He shouted out.
"Surprise inspection!?" Blaine could hear the sound of things being moved inside as the door quickly opened, "Hello sir-AH!" Derpy jumped right at the man, knocking him down as the Croconaw stood on his chest, opening his jaws wide as he glared down at the grunt.
"You move and I can't promise that he won't bite." Blaine said as he ran past the fallen grunt and into the room. His eyes widened as he saw a whole load of panels, screens, and blinking lights. "Uh... Riley?" He called out, "You don't know how to operate this stuff, do you?" He asked. Blaine looked back at the panels with a frown as he hesitantly let one hand reach out, only to pull it away. If he pressed the wrong button, the whole base might explode with sirens! He didn't want to trip any alarms too soon, but he also had to quickly figure out how to turn all of this out. He peered underneath the desk the panels were seated on, hoping to find that it all was powered by one plug in a socket. Instead he found a mess of cables.
"Maybe they have som-"
Before he could finish his sentence Derpy came running over and leaped up onto the desk, gazing down at the panels with awe in his eyes before opening his jaws and sinking his teeth into the delicate machinery. He began to shake his jaws back and forth as he ripped out multiple wires. As electrical sparks shot out the Croconaw opened his jaws and began to spit out water. The panels began to spark and crackle with electricty before suddenly a huge surge of power shot out. Blaine was luckily far enough way to not be hit by the sparks.
Derpy was not so lucky.
The Croconaw let out a cry as he flew back from the force of the energy, hitting right into Blaine's chest and causing the boy to hit against the wall behind him. Blaine grit his teeth and looked down to see swirls in Derpy's eyes. "Next time don't mix water with electricity." He muttered as he called the dazed water type back into his poke ball. "Let's move!" Blaine shouted out to Riley. "The security station is down! We just have to not be caught by any grunts now!"
Melody Hughes & Christina Langley - Slowpoke Well - Operation Rescue!
After Melody's battle with Jeffrey, the two girls made their way down the corridor, headed towards the holding cells for all the captive Pokémon held by the Rockets. Christina had let go of Melody after dragging her away from the somewhat sticky situation, but she still seemed to be in a hurry and very tense as the proceeded down the hallway, Shade floating along lazily on his 'back', besides Franky behind the two. "Has to be somewhere..." she muttered, occasionally glancing down to the left or right at a door or down a different corridor.
"Um... Chrissie?" Melody called out, practically having start jogging a bit to keep up with the red-haired girl. "I understand that you're a bit stressed out over Sindy, but... Don't you think we should slow down a bit? People are gonna think we're a bit out of place if we're sprinting down and around this place, yeah?"
"Huh?" Christina replied, glancing over her shoulder, and only then slowing down a little. She offered Melody an apologetic, sheepish little smile. "... Sorry Mel'. I just... I know she's here somewhere. She didn't just run off. I can -feel- she's here. And we have to be quick about this, otherwise they'll find us loitering about here and start asking questions, you know?"
The red-haired girl came to a stop and let out a little sigh, lifting her hands to take off the cap and running a hand through her hair, which she'd let loose for the dress-up occasion. "Just running around like this is not helping either... where do you think we should go, Mel'?" She turned to her friend, sending her a light smile, though she was still clearly anxious.
Melody glanced around, honestly not too sure on how to answer that question. She really had no idea where Napoleon and Sindy could be at. In fact, she had only attributed their current progress to Christina's lead. The shorter girl began to run fiddle with one of her pigtails, glancing over her shoulder at Franky.
"...Do you have anything of Sindy's on ya, Chrissie?" Melody questioned. She knew it was a pretty random question, so the girl explained herself. "Sometimes trainers like to accessorize their team with little bandanas and stuff like that. Did you happen to do that with Sindy?"
Christina paused for a few moments, looking back at Melody. She then reached inside of the black shirt with the red R on it, keeping her cap off as she pulled a small necklace off of her neck. It was a simple leather cord with a small tooth or fang around the middle, a rather beautiful, creamy white.
"This is... Sindy's. I got it for her in Violet when we were training with some monks. I took it off her the night we went to sleep and she... disappeared." Chris' paused, looking at the necklace for another moment before holding it out to Melody. "You think Franky can sniff her out, yeah?"
"That's the plan," Melody replied as she carefully took the necklace from Christina. "I know he's probably not the best at this sort of thing, but... Without a snout on someone like Napoleon or Sindy herself, he's about the best we got." which prompted Shade to pout and fold his arms in front of him. Melody was not oblivious to this and gave the Haunter a small giggle. "Come on, you know I didn't mean it like that."
She knelt down by the Sandile and gave him a small smile. "Alright, Franky. You've been doing a lot of work so far here, but I need you to help us out again. This necklace belongs to Sindy, Chrissie's Quilava. I know you haven't met her yet, but... I need you to try and pick up her scent, yeah? Otherwise we're gonna be wandering around here forever."
Franky tilted his head to the side as he listened to Melody's request. At first glance, the brown-haired girl was not really sure if he grasped the whole plan or not. Gradually, he did seem to come around as he brought his snout to Melody's hand and began to sniff at the necklace.This was followed by the Sandile sniffing at he floor, before suddenly waddling past Christina to take a left turn down a rather badly lit hallway.
Raising her brows and watching the little Pokémon waddle off, Christina glanced at Melody with a hopeful look in her eyes before quickly turning and hurrying off to catch up with him, without saying another word.
Melody glanced over at Shade and rubbed the back of her head slowly. "I'm worried about Napoleon too, but I'm starting to think you and me are just along for this ride."
Shade gave a helpless little shrug, grinning in reply. He then gave Melody's back a little pat before offering her to go ahead of him with a small bow of his head, not at all hiding the sly grin still on his face.
With Christina's Haunter in tow, Melody ran to catch up with Christina and Franky. The two trainers and their Pokémon found themselves going deeper into the Rocket base, eventually coming to the end of a hallway with a single, metal door. The door had a green light hanging over top of it, and even had dimly lit windows. Melody narrowed her eyes at the sight of the windows, gasping as she noticed what appeared to be several cages waiting inside. She was about to make her way around the corner and towards the door, when she noticed two Rocket grunts standing guard outside of it.
"Crap... Of course it's guarded like that," Melody pouted. "How are we supposed to get by 'em?"
Christina's lips pressed firmly together, deep in thought as she clearly weighed their options. She gave Melody a look after a few moments of silence before simply walking around the corner, stepping up to the two guards, hands by her sides, clenched to fists.
"You two! Out of the way. My friend and I have business in the holding cells."
Melody was a bit surprised at how foward Christina was being in the whole matter. The shorter girl quickly motioned for Franky and Shade to follow her, before making her way to Christina's side. The two Rocket grunts glanced between the two trainers. One of them a woman with blonde hair that she kept pulled back into one long ponytail raised a skeptical eyebrow at the duo.
"I don't remember hearing anything about being relieved... Or even about someone coming down here today," she said, placing a hand on her hip. She glanced over at her fellow grunt, a man that for some reason Melody felt looked quite familiar. He was a bit taller than the blonde grunt, with some facial scuff and a small scar under his left eye. "Murphy, did you hear anything about this?"
"Not a word, Anne..." Murphy replied, crossing his arms over his chest.
"I don't care what you have or haven't heard, we-"
Christina was cut off as the lights above them suddenly fizzed and shorted out, leaving the group in complete darkness for a few seconds. After a couple of moments, the lights slowly came back online. Christina glanced up at the lights, then back down at the grunts. ... Blaine and Riley must've shut off the alarm system. It's now or never.
"... We're going in there, with or without your consent."
Murphy glanced back and forth between Christina and Melody. As he did this, his eyes suddenly widened as if he had just remembered something incredible.
"Wait a second!" the male Grunt shouted. He pointed at Melody, his eyes narrowing. "This is the kid! The one from that farm I told you about!"
Anne raised an eyebrow as she glanced from Melody and then back at Murphy. "...Really? You mean you lost to some little runt? That's how you got stuck down here?"
This seemed to catch Christina off-guard, causing her to look back at Melody with raised brows. "... Mel'? You know these jerks?"
Melody looked between the two, coming to point at the male grunt. "Him, yeah... He was actually one of my first trainer-battles..." She paused, a small smile coming to her face in the process. "I guess in a sense, you could say I've been fighting Team Rocket for a long time now!"
Giving a little nod, Christina snapped back to the two in front of her, a small smile playing on her lips. "I guess there's no need to hide anymore, then. Shade!"
The Haunter zoomed up to the front of the group, smiling wickedly as he slowly glanced between the two grunts. Christina tightened her gloves and gave the female grunt a cold stare. "You're in my way."
The woman scoffed, quickly unclipping a Pokéball from her belt. "As if I care. There's a reason the admin chose me for guard duty! Nidorino!"
After a bright flash of light, a four-legged, horned Pokémon stood in front of her, growling at Shade, who was feigning to be scared of the new arrival, holding his hands in front of his mouth. The woman smirked and flicked her hair. "Let's see you get past me no-"
"I don't have time for this! Shade, Mean Look!" Christina called out.
The Haunter dropped the scaredy-act, his eyes locking with the Nidorino's, flashing briefly red, which caused a shudder to go through the poison-type.
"Pfft, that didn't even do anything to him! Nidorino, Fury Attack! Show these punks who they're dealing with."
The Nidorino leapt up in order to ram his horn into Shade, but as it would have connected, it just simply... fell through the Haunter, as if he was made of air. Christina's brows furrowed, picking out her Pokédex she'd brought with her, flicking it open and aiming it at the Nidorino, who kept flailing at Shade without hitting him, while Shade simply yawned.
... A normal-type attack. So they don't affect ghost types, huh...? Christina's lips twisted into a smirk, packing away the Pokédex before pointing at the Nidorino. "Shade, use Curse!"
Glancing back at Christina briefly, Shade narrowed his eyes down at the Nidorino, who was panting for air at this point. He proceeded to lift his hand, a shadowy stake-like item appearing in his hand, which he proceeded to drive into his neck/chest-area, wincing in what seemed like pain for a moment, before the shadowy stake disappeared, leaving Shade to shake off the pain.
"Hahah, now your Pokémon's just hurting itself! Nidori-" The blonde woman paused, watching her Nidorino as it stumbled a little in sudden pain, growling out. "What're you doing? It didn't even touch you! Come on, give it a Poison Sting!"
The Nidorino snorted, the horn on his forehead glowing a slight purple as he leapt up once more, the horn slicing across Shade's cheek. This time, the attack connected, causing Shade to reel back in pain.
"You're okay, Shade! Keep going with a Lick!"
Shade huffed and proceeded to sink into the floor. The Nidorino spun around itself trying to spot the ghost, without any luck. A moment later, Shade seemingly appeared out of nowhere, his tounge slapping the Nidorino across the face before he backed away, giggling.
"Rrrgh! Nidorino, you're better than this! It's taken alot of damage, so finish it off with a Horn Attack!" The woman called, stomping a foot down.
The Nidorino had taken considerable damage by now, growling and sneering at the Haunter, who was currently busy juggling with his own, dismembered hands. It charged forwards, lowering his head as his horn began glowing white, growing a little in size. However, as before, the horn simply phased through Shade, causing the Nidorino to stumble and fall onto its side.
Christina thrust her arm to the side, a steeled expression on her face. "Alright, let's do this! Sindy's waiting on the other side of that door! Night Shade!"
The Haunter grinned wickedly down at the fallen Nidorino, which was struggling to get up. The entire corridor seemed to grow a little darker, second by second, until the Nidorino simply froze, a pained, shocked expression on his face, before tumbling to the floor, unconcious.
Meanwhile, Melody had made herself busy by dealing with Murphy. Now that the Team Rocket grunt had managed to remember just who she was, he seemed to be quite excited about the prospect of battling her again. In fact, he seemed to be much more lively than he was when the two girls had arrived just a few moments ago. He took hold of one the Pokéballs from his belt, clutching it tightly in his hand. A confident looking smirk gracing his lips.
"You have no idea how long I've been waiting to run into you again kid," Murphy said, lifting the brim of his hat with his free hand. "Thanks to that lucky win you pulled off back at that farm, I became the laughing stock of the team! Well, all that's about to change..."
Melody raised an eyebrow at Murphy's comment. She glanced over at Christina and Anne, the two of them already locked in battle. "Um... Don't you think you're taking this a bit... too seriously? I mean, that was a while ago... and in all fairness, you were the one stealing a Pokémon..."
"Shut up!" Murphy snapped, stomping his foot in the process. "I don't care what I was doing and I don't need some little runt preaching like she's better than me!"
"But... I wasn't..." she tried to reason.
"Just get a Pokémon out and let's get your ass-kicking over with!" Murphy tossed the ball in his hand forward, allowing it to bounce against the floor and reveal a rather familiar looking Meowth. The cat Pokémon stretched, before quickly taking note of Melody and deciding to show off his rather sharp claws. "I hope you're ready to cry, kid. We're not as weak as we were back then!"
"I hope not..." Melody thought as she took a ball off of her own belt and tossed it forward as well. "Alright, Hawk! You're on!"
The said Taillow stretched his wings as he was freed from the capsule before taking a look at the Meowth before him. Murphy's smirk grew in response to seeing the small bird. "That's your choice? That little runt? This is gonna be a piece of cake... Meowth, Fury Swipes!"
The Meowth let out a loud hiss as he took off running towards Hawk. His sharp claws gleamed in what little light was present in the hallway. Melody was not about to let her Taillow get clawed to pieces, however.
"Hawk, counter with Quick Attack!" Melody ordered.
The Taillow wasted no time in flapping his wings and took off flying towards the charging Meowth. The cat Pokémon swiped his claws at Hawk, just narrowly missing as the bird flapped off to his side before diving his beak straight into the side of the Meowth! The cat let out a loud, pain-filled hiss, yet Murphy did not let this stop him.
"Bite him, Meowth!"
The Meowth turned and snapped his sharp, pointy fangs right into the Taillow's wing. Taillow let out a quick squawk in response, causing Melody to clench her fist at the sight.
"Steel Wing, Hawk!"
The Taillow did as he was told, countering Meowth's attack without delay. Its wing quickly took on a steel-like shine, before he slammed it right into the top of the Meowth's head. Meowth quickly released the bird's wing, before jumping back and sending a rather nasty glare.
"You've gotten pretty good, kid..." Murphy mused. Melody turned her attention to the Rocket grunt, noticing that he was trying to sound calm... though his shaky hand was starting to tell her otherwise. "Almost makes me hate to finish this off now. Let's go, Meowth! Bite that bird one more time!"
Meowth pounced at the Taillow, his mouth wide open for the ordered attack. Melody followed up by ordering Hawk to attack with a Wing Attack. The small bird held his ground, waiting for the Meowth to close the gap between the two of them. Once the time was right, he launched his counter against the Meowth. Hawk's wings "slashed" towards the Meowth, both of them slamming up against the Meowth's cheeks and forcing his mouth to shut... and his cheeks to puff out in an almost comical manner. The Meowth staggered back, a weak moan slipping from his mouth before he fell face first to the floor. With an annoyed sigh, the grunt quickly called back the fainted Meowth.
"L-Luck, just like last time..." Murphy muttered. He quickly grabbed the second ball from his belt and tossed it forward, sending out his trusty Sandshrew into the battle. "Quick, use Rollout!"
Melody's eyes widened as the Sandshrew quickly curled up into a ball and rolled straight at Hawk. The bird was knocked back, not quick enough to get out of the way. He managed to stay perched on his little feet. Melody had to admit that she was not expecting the grunt to attack right off the bat. Then again, she really was not too surprised that he attacked with a dirty tactic like that.
"Hawk, attack it with Steel Wing!" Melody commanded.
The bird squaked and flapped his wings before taking off towards the Sandshrew as ordered. However no sooner had the bird started flapping towards the Sandshrew, the little Pokémon took off rolling towards the Taillow again. Hawk's wing began to shimmer once more, only for the Sandshrew to slam right into the bird before he could manage an attack. Hawk flew back towards Melody, landing rather roughly on his back.
"H-Hawk... Are you alright?!" Melody called out. The Taillow managed to weakly squawk, trying its best to roll over and climb back to his feet. Not able to see the Taillow in such pain, Melody quickly pulled out Hawk's Pokéball and called him back into the capsule. "Rest up, buddy... You did great out there."
"Y-Yeah... That's what I thought..." Murphy said, his smirk starting to return to its proper place. "This little guy ain't no push-over. Let's see what you got now!"
Melody seemed a bit hesitant on who to send out next. She glanced down at Franky first, but the little Sandile had already been through quite a bit since she and Christina began their end of this mission. That left only one, obvious choice for this situation.
"Alright Blossom, you're up!" Melody called, sending the said Bayleef out into battle. The Bayleef smiled happily as she emerged from her ball. The Bayleef looked around, quickly taking sight of the Sandshrew and smiling down at the little Pokémon. "Blossom, Tackle!"
The Bayleef wasted no time in running towards the Sandshrew, preparing to tackle into the Ground-type as ordered. Murphy was not about to let the exchange go uncountered, however. The Rocket grunt quickly ordered the Sandshrew to use his Rollout attack once more. Sandshrew curled up into a ball and took off rolling towards Blossom, the two Pokémon colliding into each other with enough force to knock each other back.
"That thing has definitely gotten strong, that's for sure... We need to approach this from a different angle..." Melody whispered.
"Rollout again, Sandshrew! We can do this!" Murphy called out.
Once more the Sandshrew took off rolling towards Blossom. Melody kept her eyes focused on the battle, biting her lip as the little Pokémon got closer.
"Blossom, Razor Leaf!"
Blossom quickly launched a blast of aharp, blade like leaves in the direction of the rolling Sandshrew. Each leaf managed to cut into the Sandshrew, clearly hurting him. However, the attack did little to stop the Sandshrew's attack. Blossom let out a pain-filled chirp as the Sandshrew collided into her, causing the Bayleef to stagger backwards. She managed to regain her composure though, much to Murphy's dismay.
"We gotta finish this, now! Sandshrew, Rollout!" he shouted
Sandshrew slowly, but surely, curled up into a ball and managed to start rolling towards Blossom again. Melody bit her lip in apprehension. She knew that if Blossom took another hit from that attack, that chances were the Bayleef would be finished. The girl kept her sights focused on the battle, clenching her fist as the Sandshrew got closer...
"Blossom, now! Dodge to the side!" the girl ordered.
Blossom did exactly as she was told, jumping off to the left. This caused Sandshrew to keep on rolling past her, which offered Melody the chance she needed to finish this battle. She quickly ordered her Bayleef to use her Razor Leaf once more. The leafs shot out, chasing after Murphy's Sandshrew. A pain-filled screech filled the hallway as each leaf cut into the Sandshrew, causing him to stagger forward and fall flat on his little belly. The battle was finally over.
"How is this possible..." Murphy muttered, calling the Sandshrew back to its ball. "We're Team Rocket, we're the best there is!"
"... Wh- how'd you- you brat! You'll pay for that!" The woman growled. Christina took a single step towards her, Shade having flown back in front of her, his fingers wriggling in the air in front of him, tounge hanging out of his mouth. The woman took a step back, bringing an arm up in front of her as if to defend herself.
"I told you, you're in my way. Now -move-, or you're next."
"Anne, we need to get out of here. We can't stand up to these two... but SHE might be able to!" Murphy shouted.
Anne's eyes widened as she quickly climbed to her feet. "That's right..." A confident smirk returned to her lips as she glared at Christina. "Don't think you've won yet, kiddies... You're in for a world of hurt!"
Melody watched as the two Rocket grunts quickly took off running down the hall. She was quiet for a moment, before making her way over to rub Blossom's head. "Those two... were kinda weird. But regardless, that took way too long. Do you think we should be worried about that threat, Chrissie?"
Christina watched the two grunts scramble down the hallway and turn a corner. She then shook her head, looking back at Melody. "I don't think so. Bugsy said there was only one admin, and he made it sound like it was a man. So whatever person they're going to fetch probably isn't that good anyway."
With that said, she locked her eyes onto the heavy, bolted-shut door in front of them. Taking a deep breath, Christina stepped up to it and began unbolting the door until she finally pulled it open.
The room which the two entered was very dismal. There was a single, bright white neon-light in the ceiling illuminating most of the center, but kept the eges somewhat in the dark. Along the back wall were rows upon rows of cages, most of which was currently keeping all kinds of different Pokémon. Aside from that, the room had a rack along the wall besides the door, upon which hung a set of keys along with several... instruments, including a whip and what looked like some sort of stun-baton.
As soon as the two had stepped inside, Christina's eyes widened, looking at all of the captive Pokémon, most of which looked like they hadn't eaten for a long time, and some which seemed to be physically injured.
"What the... who could do something so -horrible- like this?" The red-head questioned to no one in particular. She seemed to be frozen in place for several moments, until something caught her eye. Suddenly, she grabbed the bundle of keys off the wall and ran over to the cages at the back without as much as another word.
Melody stared silently at all the cages, not sure exactly what to say at the sight of it all. She felt sick and for the first time in a long time, the girl could not find the words to express her feelings on any of it. It was as if Melody had somehow stepped into another world. It was only when Blossom walked up to her, nuzzling against the back of her hand, did Melody manage to snap back to reality.
"Did... Did Team Rocket really take all these Pokémon from their trainers? Why? What were they doing down here?" Melody questioned.
Before she waited for an answer, the trainer quickly caught sight of a familiar Buizel. Her eyes widened. Her mouth fell wide open as she and Blossom quickly made their way towards the cage. Franky followed closely behind the duo, not too sure about what was so fascinating to the two.
"Napoleon...?" she called out weakly, kneeling to the floor to get a better look at the Buizel. "Napoleon, who... who did this to you...?"
As she called her Buizel's name, the little otter slowly looked over in her direction. With the proper lighting on his face, Melody was able to see the scar running down the left side of his eye, keeping it shut and more or less useless.
Meanwhile, Christina had located what had caught her eye before; a reddish tint from within one of the cages. After looking through the bars, she saw the familiar form of Sindy, the Quilava.
"Sindy...? Sindy! It's me!" She fiddled with the large bundle of keys as the Pokémon seemed to be waking up from her slumber, the patches on her head and along her back slowly igniting, illuminating the cage. The Pokémon's eyes slowly widened as she realized what was going on, and as Christina finally found the right key and managed to unlock the cage, she dropped the keys and extended her arms with a bright smile on her lips, a few tears stuck in the corner of her eyes, the Quilava happily leaping into her embrace.
"Sindy! I found you!"
The red-head smiled happily, everything in the world around her disappearing momentarily as she simply hugged Sindy close to her, the tears trickling somewhat down her cheeks. Slowly, however, she opened her eyes again, a confused expression growing on her face as she pulled Sindy slightly away again, the Quilava looking just as happy as she had been a moment ago.
"... Sindy? Did you just..."
There was a long moment of silence, where Sindy began looking just as confused as Christina. Suddenly, however, she blinked several times, as if snapping out of a dream. "... Oh! Uhm, yes, I can... speak human now. Heh. Surprise!"
Another few moments passed as Christina simply stared at the Pokémon in her arms, her mouth slowly opening as if to respond to what she'd just heard, but without saying anything, she simply shut her mouth again. Looking down at Melody, Christina looked completely bewildered.
"Mel', did you... did- uhm, did you just... hear that? It's... not just me, right?"
Melody had been staring at the duo ever since Christina had managed to open up Sindy's cage. Her eyes wide, mouth wide open... she was even still holding onto the bars of Napoleon's cage. It seemed like an eternity before Melody seemed to snap back to attention.
"How... how did this happen?" Melody questioned. "Pokémon... They just don't learn how to speak human."
"I'll... be completely honest. I don't... know, exactly what happened. These people in black, they..." She paused, looking rather uncomfortable, squirming a little in Christina's grasp. The red-head quickly lowered down to squat, placing the Quilava on the floor. She smiled thankfully before continuing. "They did things to us. Tests... I don't know how it happened, but suddenly, I just sort of... knew how to respond. I didn't let them on that I could, though. And I don't think anyone else here can speak human."
Christina was still completely dumbfounded that her friend and travelling companion, was now able to speak. Glancing over at the bundle of keys she'd dropped, she reached over and picked them up, looking from them, to Sindy and Melody.
"Whatever Team Rocket had planned, we're putting a stop to it right now." She proceeded to fiddle with the bundle of keys, all the while Shade floated down with a bright smile, performing an over-exaggerated bow for Sindy as if welcoming back their queen. Sindy let out a string of chitters to him, all the while seemingly smirking.
Christina had managed to undo half of the keys from the bundle, handing the remains of the bundle to Melody, while she kept a hold of the other half of the loose keys. "Let's get them out of this place, Mel'. The sooner the better."
Melody nodded and wasted no time in taking the keys from her friend. Without delay, the shorter girl reached down and unlocked the cage door that held Napoleon prisoner. She gently reached out, motioning with her fingers for the Buizel to come out towards her. However, Napoleon seemed reluctant to come out towards the girl. In fact, the Buizel moved further into the cage, much to Meldoy's dismay.
"Come on, Napoleon... We need to get moving..." Melody said softly, trying to get the Buizel to come towards her. "We don't have a lot of time!"
"You can say that again, little girl..."
Melody froze at the sound of the voice, one she recognized not to be from Christina or the newly vocalized Sindy. Slowly, the trainer looked over to see a tall and slender woman standing in the doorway. She was wearing a dark purple dress, with a long white labcoat over it. A black choker was wrapped around her neck and a pair of heeled, knee-high boots adorned her feet. The woman sported long, black hair with her emerald-green eyes behind a pair of thick-framed, black glasses.
"I received word from two co-workers that a pair of imposters were snooping around where they did not belong..." the woman said, stepping further inside the room. "I think it's time to a little bit of pest extermination."
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
press start to play
Aberdeen & Morgan
at the end of all things good
The fairly-sized water and ground typed pokémon Quagsire lunged itself forward to lunge it's tail towards the unsuspecting trainers. Morgan gave a disgruntled look.
"Combusken!" Morgan shouted, giving Combusken a signal to intercept the blow. It leaped itself in front of Aberdeen, and managed to block the tail slam with it's strong two arms. The Slam attack was still powerful enough to knock Combusken back a few inches, but it hung in there. She then turned to Aberdeen. "Are you okay?"
Deen blinked, but then nodded at Morgan. He had been surprised, but wasn't scared. Jayle growled from the other side of the room, her Quagsire backing off momentarily.
"Thanks Combusken!" Aberdeen said, giving the fire type a pat on its back. "Let me give you a hand. Chocolate!"
He sent out his trusted starter, who materialized beside the chicken pokémon with a challenging smile on his face. He seemed to shine up with joy when he noticed the wet floor - the environment worked to his advantage at this point.
Unfortunately, it also worked to the advantage of their opponent.
"Don't let them escape," Jayle said. "Mud Sport!"
The water type spouted out mud from its mouth into the air, covering itself with it and splattering the dirt on the floor around them. Some of it splashed up onto Chocolate, who shuddered, and Aberdeen, who actually didn't move a muscle. There was even a faint smile playing on his lips.
"You think a bit of mud scares us?" he tossed at Team Rocket. "What do you say, Morgan, feeling scared by a little dirt?"
"I stopped playing in mud when I was three years old," Morgan explained. "But let's see how much she likes getting scorched!" Her Combusken's fur lit up, released small particles of ember compounds. While it made an impressive small light show, it was ready for battle.
Jayle grinned dangerously and stepped back to stand right in the entrance to the office, as if to mark that they weren't getting anywhere anytime soon.
"Maybe you should have kept playing a bit longer," she said. "You'd have learned that mud thrives much better in wet terrain... Than fire does. Mud Shot!"
Quagsire was again unexpectedly quick to act, firing off the blobs from its mouth straight at them - completely ignoring the fact that it was just as likely to hit the humans as the pokémon. This was not a fair, clean fight. This was a criminal against a pair of young trainers.
While the Quilladin took one of the hits head on, Deen realized in the nick of time that he wouldn't be able to do that and walk away unscathed. Instinctively, he pushed Morgan aside and dove for the puddles on the floor, just before hearing a loud smack against the wall behind where they had just been standing.
"E-Egh..." Morgan grunted from the shove. She staggered a little, but, managed to brush herself off. She then turned to her... hero. "I suppose that makes us even then." She then turned to her pokemon. "Now! Let's show them what a Fire type can do! Ember attack!"
Her Combusken leaped, showering the field with his trademark Fire swarm attack, eventually reaching the Quagsire, while making contact, it managed to shrug off the blows, due to it's counter typing. "Damn, no effect..." Morgan debriefed.
"Cute, you think I'm playing around and lying to you," Jayle chuckled. "Well, this is no game. Quag-"
Jayle was so surprised at being interrupted, that she didn't compose herself in order to call out a proper counter attack before Chocolate had whipped Quagsire's body hard with his extended vines.
"Ever tripped on a root in your playtime?" Aberdeen called out to her, moving to flank the Rocket executive and divide the attention between her two opponents. "Morgan, you know what I realized? There's no need for rules here. Didn't you have an electric pokémon as well?"
"You know that I do!" Morgan replied. "But don't you also remember that Quagsire is also a ground pokemon? And that electric types are useless against it?"
"I thought you were playing in the mud as a kid, not memorizing text books!" Deen said with a smirk as he climbed up on the wooden desk, eyes still fixed on the angry Jayle who seemed to think hard to figure out if he had a plan going on or was just a weirdo.
"How about... Flying pokémon!"
Quickly, he let out his Honedge and Pidgey, who both materialized and stayed in the air close to his head.
"Flying pokémon? W-Wait, that's not such a good i--"
"You are stupid," said Jayle, rolling her eyes. "Flying pokémon have next to zero maneuverability in this cramped room. You can't use them to escape!"
"I guess," Aberdeen said with a shrug and gave Pangea's head an affectionate stroke. "But they make for great [i]distractions[i]!"
Morgan gave Aberdeen a disgruntled look. "Way to go genius, you should have a PhD in this affair," Morgan said in her usual sarcastic tone. But, he did have a point. While there's no rules, it calls for another strategy.She got out another pokéball. "Let's throw in Dratini! Let's go!"
She threw it, as it landed on the ground, with the energy released materializing her small snake like Dragon pokemon, a newly caught Dratini, with it's adorable expression. It seemed to enjoy the mud everywhere, as it thought it was playtime.
Morgan turned to her partner. "We'll have a better chance combining our attacks!"
"You are absolutely right," Aberdeen said. "Hero, Pangea, attack!" But he wasn't pointing at Quagsire. He was pointing straight at Jayle, who raised an eyebrow.
Hero didn't hesitate. She would gladly torment a pesky human. Pangea gave Deen a look though, before she flapped her wings and dove down towards the woman. A look that told him that she didn't approve. Aberdeen's heart sank a little, but he'd live. Because the Rocket woman would live. Even if Hero might be scary and had tried to pierce even him once, he was sure that the Pidgey knew that he only meant for them to distract their opponent, and she would even stop the Honedge from going to far if she had to. That was a nice feeling, at least - he trusted his pokémon.
"Quagsire! Uaah!" Jayle shouted when the Honedge spun around and around her in a spooky Swords Dance, while the bird started pecking at her from above.
"Now!" Deen shouted urgently to Morgan and her pokémon.
Morgan and her pokemon nodded from the signal. "Dratini, Dragon Rage! Combusken, Ember attack!" she quickly ordered, having her two pokemon attempt their signature moves, right towards the enemy Quagsire.
While alone, the two attacks were weak, together they created a powerful burst of swirling flames, powerful enough to strike the Quagsire, causing it to wither in pain, as it couldn't take much more, and finally causing it to drop where it stood.
"How's that!" Morgan cheered in a smug tone.
"Brilliant!" Aberdeen praised with a laugh and jumped down from the table. "We should try to get out of here now."
But a sudden flash of light came, and there were two new pokémon in the room. One short but with a determined face and battle ready limbs - Hitmontop. The other one was a dark hound who already looked a bit tired, but nonetheless pumped up. Houndoom.
The two only glared at Morgan and Aberdeen for a second before they turned back towards their trainer and her misery. Quick as lightning, the Hitmontop had jumped up and kicked Hero into the wall. Houndoom blew out a flame that burned Pangea's wings and made her flutter to the ground to cool them in a puddle.
"No rules, you say?" Jayle said darkly and looked up at the trainers. Her dark hair was a mess after Pangea's business, but she couldn't care less. "I'll show you no rules."
Aberdeen looked from the angry Honedge who rose up slowly again behind the Hitmontop, to the flustered Pidgey on the floor before the Houndoom, and back to Quilladin, Combusken and Dratini, before his eyes landed on Morgan. Who knew how many more strong pokémon this Rocket member had, or how many grunts were waiting behind her out there. What should they do?
"I should have known you've had something up your sleeve!" Morgan cried. "I suppose you're not quite as stupid as you look, grandma!"
"Thank you, kiddo," Jayle said with a fake smile before she pointed straight at Morgan. "Thunder Fang!" And quickly thereafter at Aberdeen. "Rolling kick!"
Hitmontop jumped up into what little air were above them in the room and started spinning with its powerful legs stretched out, heading straight for the boy.
"Rollout!" Aberdeen shouted, and Chocolate had just enough time to jump up into a curl and start spinning in the air himself. The two bodies made impact and bounced off each other without doing too much damage.
"Combusken, Scratch attack!" Morgan shouted, as her Combusken leaped towards the attacking Houndoom, attempting to intercept it's mighty fang attack. Houndoom managed to bypass Combusken's claws, and bit down hard on it's right arm, sending out electric shocks towards Combusken. Combusken staggered from the attack, and found itself paralyzed from the blow. Morgan looked in in distress,as she got out another pokeball.
"C'mon, Mareep!" she called out, sending her third pokemon, a battle ready Mareep who sent out it's electric shock currents, preparing itself for a battle. "Thundershock attack!" Morgan commanded, having her Mareep release it's powerful electric move, but Houndoom was quick enough to leap forward, evading the blow, delivering a sharp tackle towards Mareep. Mareep was sent back a few feet, but managed to stay on it's feet.
"Now, now six against two, really?" Jayle said with a shake of her head.
"Well, no rules!" Aberdeen glared, hands on his hips.
"Oh who cares about rules. I was just thinking you must be really scared of me, or really weak, if you need six pokémon to beat two of mine."
Deen shared a glance with Chocolate and Pangea, who had pulled herself up and was now in the air again next to a whirring Hero.
"Yeah, you see... Maybe we're weak, but we're not actually stupid," he said.
"Did you REALLY needed to tell her the former...?" Morgan said with a sigh.
"Honesty gets you far," Aberdeen smiled at her, but then got a thoughtful look. "Actually, lies can get you further sometimes."
"Alright then, I've got one more truth for you."
"Will it hurt?"
"You're an idiot."
"Ouch, I need a band-aid now."
"ENOUGH!" Jayle roared, fists clenched. "I haven't got all day. You and your pokémon can just stay in here, while I fetch someone to take real good care of you."
She and her pokémon started to back out towards the corridor.
"Does that mean that you are scared of us now?" Deen called out to her, but felt nervousness rising. How would they get out and back to Kurt and the others if she locked the only door?
Before any sharp retort could come though, everything went black. They couldn't see two feet in front of them.
"What's going on?" Aberdeen asked, feeling Chocolate stir beside him. He could hear the shuffling of someone moving ahead, probably Jayle and her minions hurrying out into the corridor.
"Ergh, I don't like this..." Morgan stated, trying to survey their surroundings, with no such luck. But then, all of a sudden, a flash of light developed, resonating from a single point. Morgan had to quickly cover her eyes from the sudden burst of light as she can then soon see what was going on. Her Mareep had taken a materialized form, as it soon seemed to be getting larger and larger.
"M-Mareep...?" she pondered, witnessing this transformation. Soon the light became dimmer and dimmer, as the electric pokemon materialized into something different. Something more powerful. "You're not Mareep!" she observed, taking a look at the new pokemon. It stood on it's hind legs, with a light source coming from the orb on it's tail. It didn't have as much wool as Mareep, but it's gorgeous pink body made all the difference. There was only one pokemon that fitted this description. "Mareep... you've evolved to a Flaaffy!"
"Brilliant!" Aberdeen said again, now full on grinning, thinking about his own Flaaffy who was still safe and sound inside of her pokéball. No need to crowd this room even more. In the faint light from the new Flaaffy's orb, he could see Jayle's surprised face in the doorway. Her pokémon weren't in between them anymore.
"We're getting out of here!" Morgan declared. "Flaaffy, go!" Her flaaffy charged right in, and reared it's head for an encounter.
It hit Jayle in the belly, pushing her backwards to land flat on her back in the dim corridor, pressing the air out of her lungs in the process. The trainers and their pokémon escaped the room shortly behind the electric sheep, but Houndoom and Hitmontop now quickly flocked to their trainer with menacing stares in their direction.
"Ergh!" Morgan grunted upon seeing the two opposing pokemon, but then noticed a droplet from above, all the way to the ground. The ground was soaking wet, which gave Morgan a little grin. "Flaaffy! Thundershock attack! Aim it on the ground near them!" she then ordered, as her newly evolved electric pokemon sent out an electric shock attack that was much more powerful than it's previous form as a Mareep.
The pulse struck the ground as planned, in which the damp environment caused the move to spread, shocking the enemy Houndoom and Hitmontop and their trainer as well, for serious damage. The two pokemon seemed promptly defeated from this plan, causing the two of them to faint. "Yes! Come on, let's go!"
"Your new pokémon can sure pack a punch!" Aberdeen commended as they made their way past the agonized Rocket member. "I'm glad for you!"
Could it have been from the battle from Bugsy? Morgan thought upon seeing her newly evolved Flaaffy. I'm definitely glad. She headed down past the fallen member, giving her a look -- she stuck out her tongue and gave her the stink eye. "A luxurious member of Team Rocket, eh? Here's another title for you that starts with L! LO-SER!" she chuckled as she was on her way.
They started to walk quickly down the corridor. Aberdeen felt free and relieved. They had outsmarted Team Rocket. Chocolate was bounding up and down by his side, giving the annoyed Hero's hilt a playful pat. Next to him, Combusken marched, and the happier Flaaffy and Dratini were right on Morgan's tail. Morgan, who looked so proud and strong. And they had the feather in safe custody - piece of cake really!
Until a shriek reached their ears and made them stop in their tracks and look back.
Pangea the Pidgey was on the floor at the end of the corridor, Hitmontop squeezing her burned wings down so that she couldn't flee. The Rocket woman stood up, hair in a mess and bruises on her arms. But her eyes were as good as glowing.
"I'm not a loser," she said, not loudly, but they heard her over Pangea's cries even though she was almost a whole corridor away. "I always win in the end."
With a nod from the woman, Hitmontop stepped back. Pangea fluttered painfully up into the air. Her eyes were locked with Aberdeen's as she started flying towards him, and he took a few steps forward.
But then came the fire. Aberdeen saw it as in slow motion, the red flames licking the sides of the corridor, framing the bird's silhouette as she frantically flapped her wings. Suddenly, she was engulfed and the trainers and their pokémon had to turn away and cover to not get burned themselves. The massive Inferno attack dried up the wet floor.
When the flames began to dissipate, Deen growled. "What did you do that for? It's over!" he shouted back at the Rocket member.
A horrific smile met him, and he noticed that some flames were still raging in the corridor in between them. A whirl of light, around something, someone... Houndoom had used Fire Spin as well.
"Let her go!" Aberdeen roared and darted forward, but was held back by none other than his Quilladin. "This isn't fair!"
"You coward!" Morgan shouted afterwards.
"No rules," Jayle hissed.
The fire spin finally ended, revealing a pile of burnt feathers on the floor. Time stopped for Deen. He couldn't see her breathing...
In the corner of his eye, he saw Houndoom breathing fire again, but he didn't move. He felt Chocolate tug his arm hard, but he couldn't move. Pangea.
Morgan grabbed Aberdeen's other free arm. "Aberdeen, we have to go!" she warned. "We can't stay here; reinforcements might arrive!"
She and Chocolate somehow managed to get the boy to run, and they all turned around the corner before the next batch of hellish fire hit the wall behind them. They kept running, Aberdeen following behind the pokémon and Morgan, following her pink hair like a beacon in the dark base, because that was the only thing around him he could focus on right now.
"It looks like they're not too interested in us," Morgan explained as she witnessed the other grunts in utter chaos, all running around various directions. "Hold on, we should be out soon!"
"Mhm," Aberdeen muttered, finding himself holding her hand now as she dragged him past people in dark clothes like their own. "No. No, we have to back," he suddenly said. "We have to go back. Pangea is back there."
"W-We can't! It's too dangerous!" Morgan argued with a shaky voice, as she gripped Aberdeen's hand firmer. She then gave him a saddened look and looked down away from him. "Besides... You saw what happened!"
"NO!" he shouted and struggled to make her let go of him.
"Stupid kid... THAT'S ENOUGH!" Morgan shouted via the struggle afterwards. "It's--"
But something touched his other hand again. Hero's eye looked up at him, solemnly. And that was when he knew, that it was too late. Hero was a ghost type, maybe that was why his brain decided to accept her knowing stare, even if his soul didn't want to. He swallowed, and clutched his hand around Hero's hilt.
Combusken, Quilladin, Dratini, and Flaaffy shared a saddened and remorseful look. Morgan clutched her left arm with her right arm, trying to figure the right words to say. "Aberdeen, I..."
"Out of here. We gotta get out of here," Deen said, like a mantra, and nodded towards Morgan.
"Y-Yes," she agreed, turning around. "And I'm... sorry."
But Aberdeen didn't look sorry anymore. His face was grim when he once again took Morgan's hand in his, firmly this time, and they resumed their running.
Chapter 08: We Must All Face Our Pasts Sometime
It was quite astonishing how many metal clad corridors Team Rocket had managed to build into Slowpoke Well's depths without the town above noticing. Bugsy found himself wondering exactly for how long they had been at it, as he and Vincent were hurrying down another streak of gleaming metal floor. The admin was ahead of them, marching steadfastly, but they couldn't run up to him now and risk real TR grunts coming to his rescue before they could secure their target. Even though he suspected - no, he knew - that Vincent wanted nothing less. The younger man was practically a dreadnaught beside him now, his gaze piercing the back of the man before them. Bugsy wondered why - the sight of the man they were following had clearly perplexed the boy, but he had yet to give any explanation for it and followed Bugsy's direction so far.
Suddenly, the admin went in through a door at the end of a corridor. A door with the sign WC on it.
"Oh..." Bugsy said with a sly smile. "That was his destination. This works perfectly actually. Come on!"
They sneaked inside as quietly as they could, and found themselves in front of your average toilet stands with a couple of mirrors and sinks on the opposite wall. A grunt just emerged and was given a dark enough look from Vincent to hurriedly scurry away without washing his hands. Now, only one stand was locked. The undercover duo silently took their stand on either side of the door and waited.
Thankfully, without no less pleasant noises, the admin rather quickly emerged again and went straight to wash his hands, even whistling a little tune and not noticing the 'grunts' behind him. Bugsy swallowed and was about to finally speak up.
But Vincent outstretched his arm in front of Bugsy, halting the Gym Leader's ability to step forward. More clearly, Vincent was signaling to Bugsy his intention to handle the Admin. Unintentionally, Vincent glared with the same menace and fervor that had consumed the young man since defeating Jayle and calling forward the Admin with his actions. In reality, he simply meant that he wanted to deal with the situation once more. Either way, he was sure that Bugsy could understand him. The tension in the room was thick. Vincent's countenance was as intense as ever, but reflective of something deeper and troublesome. "You..." Vincent struggled to say. "I finally found you."
The Admin turned around, curious who was speaking behind, drying his hands with a paper towel. The older man looked at Vincent with dark yet warm eyes, short well kept dark brown hair and a full dark beard covering some of his features. His skin tone matched that of Vincent's with a deep tan. Tossing the soaked paper towel into a nearby trash can with a light overhand throw, the Admin gestured in confusion: "Did you really need to follow me into the bathroom, son?"
"You have no right to call me that!" Vincent roared, tearing off his disguise in disgust. He threw the hat to the ground and began to undo the shirt in a messy, frustrated flurry of movement. Vincent's breathing was quickened and his expression a hot mess of emotion. Bugsy could only gasp, probably making the Admin believe that he was an actual grunt girl with no idea of that Vincent shouldn't belong here.
Equally emotional, the Admin's face widened, almost in a bright blend of confusion. "V-Vincent? Is that you? W-What are you do-"
"Can it, old man!" Vincent said, cutting off the Admin. "I can't believe you think you can act like a father now; all concerned for my safety or whatever after you abandoned Rick, Stella and myself! Oh, I guess Mom too, but that doesn't really matter now does it?!"
Slowly, Bugsy put two and two together as his gaze darted between the emotional men before him. "How?" he whispered, mostly to himself.
The Admin, caught off guard for a moment, retained his composure: "Vincent, listen. I had my reasons. You wouldn't understand."
"Oh, really? I wouldn't get it, huh? Well, get this, Dad, you left us! There ain't much else to it you worthless piece of-ugh!" Vincent threw his arms up in the air, unable to formulate any coherent thought. "Do you know what you put us through after you bolted the second you paid bail for that stunt you pulled? I was, what, like ten when you left? Rick and Stella were barely out of diapers by then! And I've been stuck raising the rest of the family for you since! So it was up to me to do almost everything for them! Get them to school! Make sure they do their homework! Cook their meals! I was ten years old and was expected to know how to be an adult. I barely had anyone to teach me how to do these things or anything like that. Sure Mom tried, but she couldn't handle it in the end. She basically left us after a year or two too...and then we were really on our own. No money. No parents. Just us."
A dreadfully silent second passed, but it felt like an eternity.
"But you know the worst part was? The hardest part to say or do with a straight face? It was lying to Rick and Stella about where you ran off too. You know honestly, I kind of hoped that my lies were true too...something like that you ran off to some country so you can bring some money back since Arceus knows we needed it. And telling them that their father will be back any day now. And because of that, they almost idolize you. I did that for six years, Dad. Six long years. And here you are, part of some criminal organization like I always felt you were," Vincent spat, his grimace intact.
"I am doing this for you! And one day, you will learn to appreciate it when Team Rocket finally succeeds!"
"Do you think I care about that? Do you think that any of us care at this point? No! Rick and Stella need a Dad, not some punk big brother with an attitude problem who can barely tell them what is right and wrong because he didn't have someone to tell him what's what!" Vincent fired back. "But now that I finally see what you've become, I think they are better off without you."
The Admin chuckled at his son, seeing shades of the man that Vincent was growing to become.
"Ha! Is that so? You do realize that I said things very similar to that when I was your age to your grandparents. Every teenager thinks they know how the world works better than their parents. This isn't exactly original or brave behavior on your part, son. So let me give you a little lesson: The world is a lot more complicated than you think it is."
The father took one step forward towards the teenager, and Bugsy twitched, as if he was ready to jump forward at any time.
"It's not all sunshine and rainbows. And happiness and Pokemon. And pretty pictures that you drew all the time when you were younger. In between all the fun and games, there is hardship lurking in the dark corners of the world. In time, you will realize that; just like every adult does. And it is then and only then that you will be ready to understand why I am doing what I am doing. And despite all your protests saying otherwise, I am truly doing this for you. And Rick. And Stella. And your mother. I am helping you whether you want to admit it or not. It may not be the right way to go about it. I'll be the first to admit it, but it is the only way I know how to provide for my family. So you can go whine and complain and be ungrateful. Heh, I probably deserve it. But when you are my age and maybe have kids of your own...then maybe you'll finally get it."
"Vincent!" Bugsy finally said, grabbing the teenager's arm. There was no need to ask the obvious; Bugsy wasn't a stupid gym leader. "Remember why we are here. Calm down."
He turned to the Admin... To Vincent's father, who seemed to look at the 'Rocket girl' in a new light after hearing her true voice.
"Please come with us back to the surface, or we will have to use force," Bugsy said tentatively.
"Ah, shut up, Bugsy!" Vincent shouted at the Gym Leader, now having resolved to toss the plan out the window. "This guy deserves everything I am about to chuck at him!"
The Admin, not intimidated at the slightest, only raised an eyebrow. "I had a feeling you were lurking around, Bugsy. You don't carry yourself like a grunt, after all. But you hardly frighten me anymore than my son over here does. So what makes you think I will give this up?"
"We have infiltrated your base," Bugsy said, trying to seem determined and calm despite Vincent's outburst. "We have control of your security systems and we are setting the pokémon that you stole, free. It's already over."
"It's over when I say it's over, Gym Leader," he replied calmly, unclipping a Pokeball from his belt. "But I am not in the mood to come quietly." With a light toss, a large Rhyhorn popped out of the ball and stared down the two trainers.
Whereas the rock Pokemon did unnerve Vincent for a moment, a sharp smirk cut across the young trainer's face. Vincent turned to Bugsy and spoke: "Let me handle this, alright?" Vincent shifted his attention to his father. "I have some issues with this guy, in case you haven't noticed. So just let me take care of it."
Bugsy clenched his fists and actually for a moment looked a lot like an angered teenage girl. But he let out a breath and stepped back. "Make him accept defeat," he murmured and released Heracross but made the pokémon wait beside its trainer. "But don't go too far. I'll be right behind you, in case he tries to escape. And Vincent..."
The gym leader's eyes turned more concerned for a moment. "Don't let your feelings blind you."
"No promises," Vincent said. If anything, they will fire me up. There is no way I'm losing this thing to someone like him,he thought to himself, trying his best to pump himself up more. The air between the two men grew thick with tension. Vincent's father stood stoic, unmoved by his son's confidence and boasting. In turn, Vincent leaned forward, grabbing a Pokeball with quiet rage. "Well, I think I'll just end this with my strongest Pokemon. I wonder if the cops will recognize you when I hand you over!" Vincent made the motion to launch Hanzo's Pokeball right into the fray, but another burst of light flung itself from his belt. Leaping out as best as he could was Vincent's Magikarp.
"Bane! What the hell you damned fish!?" Vincent called out nervously.
"That's your best Pokemon?" His father questioned, visibly disappointed. "Well, if that's the case, perhaps you should allow Bugsy to battle me instead," the Admin said with a laugh, before pointing a finger at the flopping Magikarp. "Rhyhorn, use Horn Attack!" Hearing the order, the Rhyhorn bolted forward, brandishing his horn in all its sharpened glory.
Vincent leapt back out of the way of the attack, sensing the Rhyhorn had little intention to halting after stabbing the Magikarp. "Bane! Do something!" Vincent ordered, having lacked any experience in battling alongside Bane. Doing its best to Splash around on the dry land, the Magikarp managed to shake the right way, narrowly clearing the straight line that the Rhyhorn charged through. The bathroom wall shattered into rubble, as the battering ram that was Rhyhorn launched himself into the wider hallway. The wave from the impact flung Bane into the hallway alongside Rhyhorn. The Admin had casually followed his Pokemon, using the door to leave the room nonchalantly. Meanwhile Vincent climbed through the newly burrowed hole with Bugsy tagging along with his Heracross, seeming to allow the battle to continue, understanding Vincent's desire on doing this alone.
With Bane splashing about near the Rhyhorn, the Admin looked on with continued disappointment: "Rhyhorn, crush it with Stomp." The Rhyhorn lifted a large hoof and sought to bring it down with all his weight. With instincts overcoming him, Bane again Splashed out of the way, doing little more than irritating the Rhyhorn. As the ferocious Pokemon attempted to load up another Stomp, the original hoof was firmly planted in the cracked ground. Seeing the opportunity, Vincent instantly recalled Magikarp back to his Pokeball, and summoned the Pokemon he had meant to send the entire time.
"Go! Hanzo!" The water type emerged from his Pokeball with his arms crossed and a narrow stare not unlike Vincent's. Yet, his glare was one of intensity mixed with a calm, whereas Vincent's blistering frustration. Hanzo far more resembled a tempered blade, as the Pokemon took a fighting stance, awaiting the Rhyhorn's escape. The large Pokemon freed his hoof and turned briefly to his master.
The Rhyhorn drove his horn into the ground, kicking up a chunk of rock to fling at Vincent's starting Pokemon. However, as the Rhyhorn prepared and fired his spree of stone, Hanzo created a smokescreen, obscuring himself from view. The platoon of rocks could be heard breaking against the far wall, indicting to the Team Rocket Admin the attacks had clearly missed. "Use Bulldoze to attack the area!" He ordered, and Rhyhorn pounded the ground as if clearing for a new construction project. The pounding hooves had caused Hanzo's nimbleness to fail him, losing his balance and falling down as the ground cracked around him, sputtering up some debris. "Now, follow up with a horn attack!" A deadly combo was hatched as the Rhyhorn charged forward, horn first with a desire to impale Hanzo. Not losing any focus, the Hanzo leapt to his feet, and when the Rhyhorn was inches away, he parried the attack, boosting himself over the Rhyhorn with grace.
In midair, Vincent yelled: "Water Pulse!" Hanzo charged energy and with extension of his hands and an explosion from its mouth, Hanzo fired a burst of aquatic energy. The sphere exploded upon impact, overcoming the Rhyhorn. With a strong elemental advantage, the Rhyhorn struggled to get up, and its strength failed. Buckling under its own weight, the Rhyhorn fainted forcing the Admin to recall his Pokemon with grief.
"Most impressive, Vincent. I didn't expect you to be that strong. But then again, I will chalk that one to luck. You won't be so lucky this time," the Admin boasted, tossing out another Pokeball. This time, the light revealed a Golbat, flying wildly in air. "Golbat, begin with Air Cutter!"
"Hanzo, knock him down with Aerial Ace!"
Keeping a good deal of spacing between himself and Hanzo, the Golbat flapped its swings furiously, launching what looked like blades of wind at Hanzo as the Pokemon hopped from wall to wall in order to close some distance. The Air Cutter proved too much as Hanzo fell to the ground, covered in small cuts and wounds. "Tch! The Golbat is damn quick. Wait a minute! Hanzo, use Quick Attack!"
The Golbat looked to gear up for another batch of Air Cutters, but Hanzo read the moment perfectly and vanished from sight. Using the burst of speed and element of surprise, Hanzo suddenly appeared before the Golbat, knocking it out of the air and down to his level. "Argh! Use Wing Attack to bash him away!" Golbat, still reeling from being hit, appeared to be dizzy and missed the frist swing of its large swings. But before Hanzo could charge up a Bubble attack, Golbat spun around smacking Hanzo with his other wing. The opportunity allowed Golbat to take flight, once again creating some space as Hanzo reeled from the impact.
At this point it was obvious to Vincent that the fatigue from the past few battles had caught up to Hanzo. Swallowing his pride, Vincent recalled his Pokemon. The smirk on the Admin's face was enough to communicate the hubris oozing through the older man. Without as much as a word, Vincent sent out Brian, who has not battled since the bout with Bugsy. Fresh, Brian flew a quick circle around Vincent before landing gently. Turning to Vincent, Brian's eyes flushed with nervousness, unsure if he could handle the feral Golbat with beaming eyes of anticipation. "Just do it, alright? You handled yourself fine against Bugsy. And this guy deserves a whole lot worse. So win, okay?" Those words were the most encouragement Vincent could offer and Brian only peeped as if saying "I'll try." That was enough for the young trainer.
"Enough cute words, Vincent! Golbat, use Air Cutter again!" The sharp winds again blasted towards Brian and Vincent. Without needing a command, Brian battered back with Gust. The clashing torrents of air collided with a small tornado left in the wake. Flying forwards, Brian smacked the Golbat with a Quick Attack. The Golbat flapped its wings to maintain its altitude and responded with a Bite attack, snatching the Pidgetto's neck in its jaws. Panicking, Brian used an improvised Tackle to charge into a nearby wall. The blunt pain forced the Golbat to relinquish its grip as it slid down to the ground. The flying battle looked like a mess from the perspective of the trainers, barking orders left and right as the two Pokemon swatted at each other until that quiet moment when the Golbat sunk down to the ground.
With some energy left, the Admin smirked: "Golbat, recharge with Leech Life!" The Golbat shot through the air and once again snatched the Brian with its large jaws. Vincent could see the Golbat draining the lively energy of his Pokemon, but noticed that Brian's wings were free as the Golbat only had a solid grip on Brian's lower part of his body.
"Kick up a Gust!" Vincent yelled with as much force as he could. Brian chirped, both in pain and confidence, as he furiously batted his wings, stirring the still air into a powerful tornado. The sudden force of the wind launched the Golbat into another wall. "Now finish him with a Tackle!" The Pidgetto flew in a straight line into the recovering Golbat. The force of the tackle pinning the Golbat into the wall forced the light out of its eyes as it crumbled to the ground with a booming thud. Brian weakly flew back, perching himself on Vincent's shoulder taking deep breaths to regain what little energy he could.
Vincent's father recalled his defeated Pokemon, nodding as he did, silently commending Vincent's capability for battle. "Up until a few weeks ago, that would of done me in. But I have a small surprise in store. A fairly rare Pokemon I caught recently evolved a few days ago, and it has made me quick the force to be reckoned with," he said. Taking a Great Ball from his belt, the Admin threw out his last Pokemon. Floating above the ground, a Pokemon with two large arms, red eyes and crystal armor emerged. At first Vincent couldn't recognize it, but then it became apparent.
"That looks like Tank...he must evolve into that..." Vincent quietly muttered. As excited as he was to see that Tank would evolve into something that strong looking, he was growing nervous. Hanzo and Brian were both tired, Bane was just about useless and Tank likely couldn't handle something clearly stronger than him without some luck. But he wasn't about to let that discourage him to the point of petrification. "Well, Brian. Let's give it a shot! Use sand attack!" Recalling Tank's stinging eye, Vincent figured that the Metang's eyes could be exploited much in the same manner. A wave of dirt, dust, and sand swarmed down the hall, buffeting the Metang. The steel type endured and moved towards the Brian with a vicious shining Metal Claw. The sand obscured it from view and Brian nimbly shifted out of the way. "Now, use Gust!" Maintaining what distance Brian could, he blasted the Metang with a Gust attack, shifting the particles in the air even more to keep Brian hiding in the mess of everything. The Metang, however, was unfazed by the flying type attack and retaliated. The Sand Attack hid everything even from Vincent, but suddenly Brian came crashing down before him.
"What the-" Vincent said.
"Confusion," his father said coldly. "A small wave of psychic energy smacked him. It's rather hard to miss it even with your little trick." With the battlefield clearing, Metang hovered to his master's side. "So who are you going to use now? Your useless Magikarp? How about that injured Pokemon that Rhyhorn and Golbat nearly beat? Or are you going to let Bugsy in on this little bout? Not that his Bug types are going to be all that useful against Metang," the Team Rocket member chuckled, enjoying every moment of Vincent grinding his teeth.
"No," Vincent said when he calmed down. "I got one more Pokemon that enjoys nothing more than surprising me so far. Go! Tank!" Hoping for the best, Vincent summoned his last ditch effort. Beldum floated out of his Pokeball, and locked its sole eye against its larger, older counterpart. While the two steel types did not recognize each other, a silent disdain for the other formed.
"You really think that small thing can beat Metang? You must of gotten that blind faith from your mother."
"Watch me," Vincent said confidently. "Tank! Iron Defense!"
"Metang! Metal Claw!" The sharp claws of Metang scraped the surface of Beldum's armor, barely chipping the hardened surface. The Beldum almost seemed to chirp in glee as the quick defensive move shifted the momentum, if even a little bit.
"Alright! Take Down!" Tank, cocking back a bit, flung itself forward battering down the Metang into the ground with reckless abandon. Despite the Beldum clearly taking some damage from bouncing off the Metang more than driving it down, the Metang seemed to have been caught off guard. Vincent figured he must landed something like a critical hit, doing better than expected. "Nice! Tank, do it again!"
"Metang! Take Down!" In a spilt second, a large "CLANK" of steel armor chipping against steel armor rung through the hallway. Sparks shot in every direction as the two steel types collided into each other and in a ball of steel collapsed to the ground. The Metang rose first, shaking off the pain faster than Tank could. Even so, Tank endured and floated up, matching the red glance of Metang in a stare down of youthful energy against aged experience. "Finish it with Meta-"
Then the lights went out. The hallway grew dark and a deafening silence consumed everything for a few seconds.
"Vincent!" called Bugsy, and all of a sudden the Heracross stood right next to the boy, a big clawy hand on his shoulder as if to make sure that he was still there and was alright. "Don't let him get away!"
Vincent shrugged off the Heracross and bolted forward, recalling Beldum on the way, as he was witnessing his father trying to slip through his son's fingers. Vincent's father was a decent sprinter with a solid lead, having immediately started his escape when the lights went out. Doing his best to try to keep up, Vincent slipped and fell on a sharp turn, bashing his shoulder against a wall. Cursing under his breath, Vincent punched the ground and dashed once again. The Admin twisted around another corner, and Vincent soon edged it as well only to witness a maddening sea of grunts panic in a whirlwind of chaos. Vincent tried to peer into it, hoping to find some marker of his father, but in his clouded state of anger and frustration saw nothing but his own failure.
This time, it was Bugsy's hand on his shoulder.
"We need to leave," the gym leader told him seriously. "There are grunts here everywhere, if the admin... If your father comes at us with their help, we stand no chance. Let's hope the other missions went better than ours."
Still dressed as a Rocket grunt girl, Bugsy ran a few steps before he turned and saw that Vincent hadn't followed him. He gave Heracross a look, and the pokémon gently shoved Vincent's back to make him move.
"Let's escape!" Bugsy hissed, eyes more serious than ever.
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
press start to play
You are Kurt.
The night is starting to get chilly as you watch your friend disappear with his recruits down into Slowpoke Well. They only vaguely know what will face them down there. You wrap your coat closer around you, devoid of any Rocket getup yourself, and sit down on a log just inside the rim of the forest.
Time passes by, and you feel your limbs go stiff. What if everything went wrong down there? You are a generally cheerful old man, but this is serious business. Bugsy seems wise and clever, but he is too quick to trust sometimes. Team Rocket ran their operations from here for a long time without Bugsy noticing. Or wanting to notice. You, on the other hand, always knew it. When you came to him with your suspicions, he was just as easily convinced to trust you. Turns out he had been working with Pine the the others against the Rockets all this time. Now, you finally got included as well. About time.
You hear voices from the well. Something is happening, at last. Good or bad? Just how did they expect to get all these pokémon out silently anyways? Positive. You were always positive. Bugsy was the skeptic. Maybe tonight you two had switched around.
Resolute, you get up from your rock, creak your fingers and step out from the forest. That's when the first Rocket grunt emerges from the well, and you can see on his face that maybe you are not the one who should worry after all. But you can't know for sure why he's running away. Not yet.
Melody Hughes & Christina Langley - Slowpoke Well - Operation Rescue 2!
Melody stared at the newly arrived woman, not really sure what to make of the new situation. She had put a bit of faith into Christina's hope that the two of them did not have anymore problems to worry about for the rest of their visit in the Rocket Base and that Murphy and Anne would not be back for the remainder of the rescue operation. She frowned, clenching her fist as she stared at the woman.
"I guess that was a bit too much wishful thinking there," Melody sighed. "What are we supposed to do now?"
Melody glanced at the two Rocket grunts before looking back at the woman in the lab coat. Something about the woman just did not sit right with the shorter of the two trainers. A bit of that reasoning may have very well done with the fact that both of the defeated grunts were cowering behind her, both whispering and pointing in Melody's and Christina's direction. There was also the way she was looking down at her... something about the icy stare in the woman's eyes just sent a shiver down Melody's spine.
"I had been hearing whispers that we had been infiltrated by some meddlers... I was honestly hoping all that was a lie. The last thing we needed was that gym leader or any other fools from the league interfering in our business. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was just a couple of children?" the woman paused, glancing back at Murphy and Anne. "It disgusts me that you two could not even handle a simple child."
Both Murphy and Anne slipped back out of the room and into the hallway, both clearly intimidated by the woman. Melody's concern was growing all the while. She knew just walking out of this room was going to be impossible now, but at the same time the girl knew that both Christina and herself battling against them was not going to be a good idea. Melody glanced over her shoulder at Christina, her mind made up on what to do next.
"Chrissie, catch!" Melody shouted, tossing keys to all the cages back at the red-haired girl.
She blinked her eyes in surprise as the keys flew towards her, raising her hands to catch them, glancing at Melody. "Mel'? Are you sure you want to take her on your own?"
Besides Christina, Sindy let out a little whine. Looking down to her companion, Sindy nodded her head towards the woman before looking up at Christina with a look of worry and fear. She understood. This must've been the woman performing most of the tests on the Pokémon. Frowning, the red-headed looked back to her friend and nodded. "... Alright Mel'. Kick her ass while I free the Pokémon."
"You should listen to your friend, girlie..." the scientist said with a smirk, pressing her glasses up on her face in the process. "You're in over your head if you think I'm anything like those two grunts."
"Yeah, yeah... We'll see..." Melody said, trying her best to play it off cool. Truth be told however, she was a bit worried in this circumstance. She knew that her team was not exactly at 100% at the moment. She glanced over at Blossom, giving the Bayleef a small nod. "Alright, Blossom! You're up first!"
Bayleef chirped in response and bounded forward, giving the imposing scientist a determined glare. The woman seemed hardly phased by the grass-type's approach, however. Rather, she took hold of a single Pokéball and tossed it out onto the floor. Melody watched as the ball opened and in a beam of light emerged a large, intimidating, skunk-like creature. Curiously, Melody grabbed hold of her Pokédex and gave the creature a quick scan.
"Skuntank, the Skunk Pokémon and the evolved form of Stunky. It sprays a horrible smelling liquid from the tip of its tail."
Melody frowned as she glanced a bit more at the information presented in the dex. "Says that thing's part Poison-type too... We'll have to be a bit more careful here, Blossom..." Blossom glanced over her shoulder at her trainer, giving the girl a quick nod. "Start off with a Razor Leaf attack!"
Blossom chirped in response and sent forth a flurry of leaves in the Skuntank's direction. Both the skunk Pokémon and the scientist seemed to be hardly worried about the attack, however. The woman simply sighed, once more pressing her glasses up on the bridge of her nose as the leaves sailed through the air.
"Skuntank, attack with Flame Thrower," she commaned.
The Skuntank lunged forward, a blast of hot flames emitting from its mouth. Blossom and Melody both stared with wide eyes at the sight. Thankfully, Blossom managed to dodge off to the side at just the right moment, the flames just barely grazing her side as opposed to engulfing her completely. Unfortunately, the leaves from the Bayleef's attack were completely burned to ash.
"Skuntank, Sludge Bomb!"
Before Blossom could even start picking herself off the ground from the previous attack A barrage of toxic liquid was sent shooting right of the Skuntank's long and wide tail, crashing right down into the Bayleef. Blossom let out a loud wail of pain, the poisonous attack clearly having a very effective result. Melody clenched her fist as Blossom slowly tried to pick herself off the ground.
"Is this the best you can do, little girl? If so, I think you better just run... or better yet... Let me send you packing myself," the scientist threatened with a smirk."Forget about the Bayleef, Skuntank! Attack the brat with Night Slash!"
Melody watched in horror as the Skuntank turned away from the weakened Blossom. He let out a deep, feral growl. His claws began to shine despite the weak lighting of the lab. With one loud hiss, the large skunk lunged forward and charged at an incredible speed in Melody's direction. The trainer crouched down, her hands covering her head as she closed her eyes and braced for a painful attack... but that attack never came. Slowly, Melody opened her eyes and glanced forward.
"B...Blossom!" Melody screamed. The Bayleef in question had somehow managed to pick herself up and acted as a barrier between Melody and the attacking Skuntank. The brown-haired trainer could see the pain written all over Blossom's face as she fell to the ground, a weak moan escaping her mouth. "Blossom! Blossom, are you okay?"
Blossom did her best to try and offer Melody a reassuring smile. However, the Bayleef was simply too tired and battered to keep her head up. With one final, weak chirp the grass-type fainted on the floor.
Christina looked back, a key held in one of the cages' locks, biting her lower lip worriedly. Melody was a good trainer, but Blossom had not nearly lasted as long as she'd expected. And her friend right now looked like she'd been struck with a mallet, unable to move.
"Melody!" She called, glancing briefly over at the Skuntank, who had its eyes locked onto the girl. Widening her eyes, Christina looked to the Haunter hovering by her side, looking rather worried himself "Shade! Protect Mel'!"
As the Skuntank dashed forwards, ready with another claw-strike aimed at Melody herself, Shade swooped in and managed to deflect the hit, partially with his claw-like hands and partially with his own body, floating back warily, staring down the skunk.
"Mel', you can't hold back! You need to keep going, or she's going to try to attack -you- instead!"
Melody slowly nodded, climbing back up properly to her feet. "I know.... I know..." she said quietly. She took Blossom's ball and recalled the Bayleef back. "I'm sorry, Blossom. We'll get her back for you, I swear."
Taking another Pokéball off her belt, Melody prepared herself for the next round of the battle. None of her Pokémon were in good shape... But she knew she had to try and hold out in the battle for as long as she could.
"Hawk! You're up!" Melody called out, sending her Taillow into the battle.
As Taillow emerged from his ball, it was quite easy to tell he was still a bit tired and achy from his previous battle against Murphy's Sandshrew and Meowth. Still, he looked just as determined as ever to try and do his best for both his trainer's and the imprisoned Pokémon's sake. He shakily stretched his wings, before starting to flap and lifting himself properly into the air.
"Is this really your next move? That little squab looks even worse than that pathetic excuse for a Bayleef did," the scientist sighed with a shrug of her shoulders. "But, I suppose that's what should be expected from a pathetic trainer like yourself. Skuntank! Sludge Bomb the bird!"
Melody glared hard at the woman and her Skuntank. It was one thing to insult her, but she had no business insulting her Bayleef... And the trainer had no intention of letting the older woman get away with that.
"Hawk! Use Quick Attack!" Melody shouted.
Hawk let out a loud squawk as the enemy Skuntank shot another barrage of poison in his direction. The Taillow's increased diving speed from the attack allowed him to easily dodge the Skuntank's Sludge Bomb, much to the scientist's dismay. With one, sharp strike, Hawk managed to dive his beak straight into the Skuntank's temple, causing the Poison-type to stagger back a bit.
"Wide open..." the scientist grinned. "Night Slash!"
Hawk let out a loud squawk as the Skuntank effortlessly brought his claws right into the bird's side. Hawk fell down to the floor, landing flat on his belly with a weak chirp. No words were apparently needed as the Skuntank prepared to slash at the Taillow again. Thankfully, Hawk managed to regain his composure just in time. The bird used his wings to push himself back before taking back to the air once more.
"Good job, Hawk... Keep it up..." Melody cheered inwardly. Her eyes narrowed back down to the scientist and her Skuntank, before glancing back at her Taillow. Melody knew that the bird did not have a lot of juice left in him, and quickly realized that it was time for the Taillow to bring out the big gun to hopefully try and take the over-sized skunk down. "Hawk, Steel Wing now!"
"Skuntank, Night Slash!" the scientist ordered.
Both Hawk and his opponent took off towards each other. The Taillow's wing took on a familiar, steel-like shine as he neared the Skuntank, suddenly diving down towards it without a moment's delay. The Skuntank's claws began to take on a rather foreboding shine at that point too. It launched itself up into the air, letting out a rather feral-sounding hiss as its claws clashed with Hawk's wing. Time seemed to stop as both of the Pokémon fought for dominance over which attack would be the one to land successfully. In the end, the Skuntank proved to be just a bit too much for Hawk to fight off in his current condition, however. With one final push, the Skuntank's claws managed to slash into the bird, cancelling out his attack and sending falling to the ground with one painful-sounding squawk. Thankfully, Melody was there to recall the bird into his ball before he landed.
Meanwhile, Chris' had managed to open up all of the cages for the trapped Pokémon, but none of them seemed inclined to exit their holding cells. Frowning, Chris' bent down and peered into where an Oddish was sitting, smiling and holding out a hand.
"Hey, buddy. It's okay, we're here to save you! Don't you wanna come out?" She asked, holding out a hand towards it, but the Oddish let out a little squeak of fear, pushing itself firmly up into the corner, shaking its head. Christina frowned softly, glancing down at Sindy, worriedly glancing back at Melody and her Pokémon occasionally.
"Sindy, what's the matter? They have to know we're here to save them, right?" She asked. Sindy looked into the cages at the terrified Pokémon, shifting a little closer. "We've all been treated really badly by the humans here... I don't think there's many Pokémon here who'd trust anyone but their owners..." The Quilava paused before glancing up at the red-head with a glimmer in her eye. "I have an idea. Come here." She said as she began scooting down the wall of cages, towards a specific one.
"I'm sorry Hawk... I know you did your best..." Melody whispered, placing his Pokéball back onto her belt. She looked back over her shoulder, noticing that Napoleon was peaking out from the cage he had been kept in. Her eyes more focused on the scar which now kept his eye forced shut... and renewed her resolve for this battle. She glanced down at her Sandile, who had an eager grin on his face, despite the fact that he was looking a bit tired at this point too. "Alright, Franky! Let's go!"
The Sandile gurgled with a nod, waddling out onto the battle field to stare down the Skuntank which... towered a bit above him. The scientist sighed at the sight, pushing her glasses up onto the bridge of her nose once more.
"You really don't learn, do you kid?" she muttered. "Whatever... Skuntank, finish it off quick with a Sludge Bomb!"
The Skuntank raised its tail to fire a bomb of poisonous ooze in Melody and Franky's direction, but the duo seemed to be more prepared for it. With a smirk of her own, the shorter trainer quickly commanded her Sandile. "Franky, Sand Attack!"
The Sandile swung his small town on the ground, managing to collect a small pile of dust which he then launched at the Skuntank. The skunk let out an annoyed hiss as the sand was thrown into its eyes, imparring its vision for the time being. This caused the Sludge Bomb to miss its intended targets entirely, splattering up against the wall with a rather foul odor starting to fill the room as a result.
Not wasting a single moment, Melody quickly followed through. "Franky! Bite onto it!"
Franky launched himself at the Skuntank. Said Pokémon was busy trying to paw the sand out of its eyes, much to its trainer's dismay who was screaming for the skunk to pay attention. The Skuntank finally listened much too late however, as Franky's sharp teeth clapped down onto the Skuntank's tail, which caused another loud hiss to echo out into the room.
"Skuntank! I don't care how, but get that damn Sandile off now!" the scientist screamed.
The Skuntank began to rampage around the room, slamming and swinging its tail all around the room. Franky seemed to be doing his best to try and hold onto the skunk's tail as tightly as possible. Worry began to take over Melody's as she watched her Sandile being thrown around like he was nothing more than some sort of ragdoll. With one final slam, the Skuntank managed get Franky off of its tail, the Sandile letting out a painful growl as it rolled across the ground towards Melody.
"Franky!" Melody cried out, quickly running towards her fallen Pokémon.
She began to scoop down and pick up the hurt Sandile, when she suddenly felt a rather heavy wait pounce into her, knocking the trainer onto her back and effectively pinning her onto the floor. Wincing, Melody slowly opened her eyes to find herself staring up at a rather angry and fierce looking Skuntank.
"Looks like you're all out of Pokémon and I'm all out of paitence. I'm sure you and your friend have had a whole lot of fun up until this point, but I assure you both that it all ends here," the scientist sighed. She glanced up at Christina, taking sight at just how much progress the red-haired girl had made up to this point in freeing the captive Pokémon. "Here's how this is going to work, Red... You're going to return all of those Pokémon to their cages... Including that Quilava. Because if you don't, let's just say my Skuntank is going to make sure that your friend's pretty little face won't be so pretty anymore."
As if on cue, the Skuntank raised one of its paws. The claws on said paw began to take on a strikingly familiar glow, one that caused Melody's eyes to widen even further if that was possible.
Turning around, Christina widened her eyes at the sight of her friend on the ground and the doctor making demands of them. She grit her teeth and clenched her fists, Sindy growling quietly. "Like hell I will!! Shade!" The Haunter, who was currently staring at the woman across the room seemed to snap out of whatever daydream he was in, narrowing his eyes as he zoomed forwards in order to parry the Skuntank's attack.
"Do it," the scientist ordered.
Her eyes darkened as the Skuntank began to swing downwards towards Melody. The teenager closed her eyes, bracing herself for the pain that was about to come her way... when suddenly a loud hiss echoed out into the room. Melody's eyes snapped open, her mouth falling open in shock at the sight before her. It was not Shade who managed to get to the Skuntank to save her from being sliced up worse than a pizza. Rather, it was Napoleon who was slamming into the Skuntank's side, causing the Poison-type to lose its balance and fall off of the trainer, Shade having stopped midway towards Melody after noticing Napleon leaping to the rescue, with a rather impressed look on his face.
Melody quickly scrambled to her feet, scooping up the downed Franky in the process. "N-Napoleon...?"
The Buizel glanced over his shoulder at his trainer, a small smile crawling up to his mouth before turning his attention back towards the Skuntank. A small growl escaped his mouth as he took on a much more determined look. This caused Melody to take on a similar look.
Christina let out a relieved sigh, smiling as Napoleon had come to Melody's rescue. She gave Shade a quick nod before turning back to the cages with Sindy.
"Skuntank, what are you doing?!" the scientist shouted, glaring daggers at Melody and Napoleon. "That thing can barely stand on his own two legs right now. Take it out and then take her out!"
The Skuntank charged forward, ready to swipe at Napoleon with a Nightslash, but Melody and her Buizel were not to be outdone this time. "Napoleon, dodge it with a Quick Attack!"
As the Skuntank took a swing at the Buizel, Napoleon quickly rolled off to the side before slamming into the Skunk's side with a Quick Attack. Not missing a beat, Melody quickly followed up the attack by ordering Napoleon to unleash a Sonic Boom. He slapped his paws together quickly, sending forth a quick wave of energy which slammed right into the Skuntank again, sending it spiraling back towards its trainer.
"H-Hey... M-Maybe we should get outta here..." Murphy whispered towards the scientist.
"Shut up! I'm not going to lose this now!" the woman shouted, quickly starting to lose her cool. "Skuntank! Get off your sorry butt and finish that thing now!"
The Skuntank slowly staggered back up to its feet, sending a rather annoyed glare at the scientist. The skunk hissed, slowly turning around to face the woman properly. Its tail raised over its head, its claws shining as the woman and Murphy both stared in shock. It only took the Rocket grunt a moment to quickly run out of the room, while the scientist merely backed away slowly.
"W-What are you doing, Skuntank? Not me, you idiot! The Buizel and the brat!" she screamed.
With a loud hiss, the Skuntank quickly jumped at the woman, taking a swing with its sharp claws. The scientist barely managed to jump out of the way in time, a look of absolute horror on her face as the Skuntank suddenly began to run after her, hissing and growling the whole time. With a curse under her breath, the woman took off running after Murphy... The Skuntank was hot on her trail, until the gradual sound of her running footsteps disappeared... only leaving a faint scream of panic echoing behind.
Once Sindy had led Christina to the right cage, the redhead lowered herself down and peered inside. Her eyes widened as she saw that it was Winter, Aberdeen's Whismur, shaking in the corner. She smiled softly and tapped her finger against the floor. "Hey, Winter. It's me, Christina. You remember me, right?"
The Whismur continued shuddering, looking up at her, with the ears perking a little bit. Christina smiled, undeterred. "I'm here to save you. Deen sent me to pick you up. He's waiting for you." She stretched out her hands without moving them forwards, watching and waiting.
Winter slowly looked from Christina, to her hands and back again. Slowly getting to his feet, he began waddling forwards, until Christina picked him up and hugged him to her chest, stroking his back gently. "It's okay. You'll be back soon."
She stood up again and took a step back, looking at the various Pokémon still sitting in their cages. "That goes for the rest of you, too! We're here to take you back to your trainers and your friends! So if you're tired of this place, let's get out of here!"
It took several minutes for the Pokémon to all shuffle out of the cages, there being about 20 of them in total, but eventually, they were all standing around near Christina and Melody, chittering amongst themselves, Sindy murmuring quietly to them to try and calm them down. The redheaded trainer turned to Melody, still holding onto Winter as she gave her a bright, albeit rather exhausted smile.
"We did it, Mel'. You about ready to get the hell out of this place?"
"Yeah... We should get going," Melody sighed, smiling weakly back at Christina. She knelt down to Napoleon, patting the Buizel on his head. "Thanks, Napoleon... You really saved the day this time." The Buizel crossed his arms over his small chest, giving Melody a small smile of his own. Melody held out her arm, allowing Napoleon to scurry up onto her shoulder. She then turned to red-haired friend and nodded. "Let's move."
PokéCommunity Supporter Crystal Tier
Also Known As Kirk, Kirkland, Keith, KFK
Riley Lewis feat. Blaine
Chapter 08: Slowpoke Well; Part 2
Blaine just stood by against the wall as he saw grunts running past their room and heading elsewhere. The funny thing was that none of them really so much as glanced over at their general direction. The grunts didn't even probably know where their own security station was, and that just made him outright confused. Shouldn't they KNOW where to go to get such systems up and running again? His initial combat stance, ready to take on any grunts who tried to force their way in, lapsed into just idly watching forms running back and forth across the hallway.
"So... I say ten more pass." He said off handed. "Just saying."
"That sounds like the best way to go about this," Riley replied to his current partner. Getting in had been a much easier affair than this. Of course, they didn't have tons of Team Rocket goons running throughout the corridors when they first started. Any attempt to escape would more than likely result in at least a battle or two. Silently, he counted as ten pairs of footsteps passed the door in a hurry.
"If we're going to get out of here, we're bound to have to fight at least some of them."
"Yeah..." Blaine frowned, "And Derpy is still out from that electrocution. If you want to head out I'll go with you. We'll have to be quick so that we can avoid as much fights as we can. Just get to the exit, more or less."
"Good point," replied Riley before releasing Abbadon from his Pokeball. "Alright, buddy. Lead the..." Riley stared at his Pokemon for a moment before facepalming. "I can't believe I forgot that you had teleport."
"Well, the others are still here." Blaine pointed out, "We could try finding them and porting out with them. It just depends on if you want to take that risk."
"There will be a risk for someone whether we leave without them or not. I say we at least try. They're apart of the team after all.
He frowned, "We can try... but look at the amount of rockets out there! We'll have to fight through so many guys just to head down to where they are."
Riley hesitated at leaving his fellow comrades to fight the good fight. If they helped, everyone could end up safe, but it was definitely possible that even more damage could occur... "Alright," he said before looking at his starter Pokemon. "Just teleport the two of us out of here, you got that?"
The Pokemon nodded as he put his hands on the pair of trainers. In a flash of black, the three disappeared.
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
press start to play
You are Bugsy.
The night has been long. First from the waiting, then from the sneaking and lastly from the battling.
The rest of Pine's trainers were already waiting for you when you emerged from the Slowpoke Well. They had been hiding from fleeing Rocket grunts by the forest, on Kurt's orders. As they expected, as most of the grunts were bought or tossed into the criminal life by necessity rather than by free will and desire, most were rather quick on giving up when muk hit the fan. Riley and Blaine had obviously taken care of the security system quickly enough. Melody and Christina had successfully freed the kidnapped pokémon. Aberdeen was silently hugging one of them, while Morgan handed you the box that contained what they had came for. Success. Your own part of the mission was a failure, but you don't blame Vincent. You couldn't, even if some dark part of you wants to. Once you found out what not even he had known, going in, you couldn't blame him.
Kurt had gotten through to Goldenrod's and Violet's police forces and convinced them to send airborne teams southwards as soon as possible to capture the stragglers. But you have no hope that they will find the Admin. He will be too smart to get caught by police, whether in the city or in the wild. The worst part of that is that he now knows that Vincent is working with you, against him. Against Team Rocket. He might figure out how Vincent became a trainer, and go after the other Pine trainers as well. Unless they already were, of course, as Pine has been suspecting from the start.
You sigh and lean back against the tree next to the Azalea Gym arena where you've been seated for the last hour. Soon, the sun will be up. You still haven't slept. You keep thinking of the Admin, of the golden feather, of the freed pokémon. The stars twinkle down at you from the skylight high above.
Kurt offered the Pine trainers to stay in his secure facilities for the night. Of course, you also offered them a place in the gym, where enough trainers would always be around to make sure that no Rockets got in. But when some of them wanted to sleep in the Pokémon Center still, you didn't object. They had all proven themselves capable this night. They could make their own decisions.
You didn't demand anything more tonight. But you would urge them to go on. Keep journeying. Get stronger. Train their shiny pokémon. And one day, you will make Pine tell them the whole story. Arceus knows, they already deserve to know. You close your eyes and try to let the noise from the bugs in the indoor forest, lull you to sleep. If only for a little while.
Shade (Haunter) grew to lv 18!
Sindy (Quilava) was returned to Christina and has grown to lv 22!
Franky (Sandile) grew to lv 17 and is able to learn Assurance! Forget an old move?
Hawk (Taillow) grew to lv 21 and is able to learn Double Team! Forget an old move?
Blossom (Bayleef) grew to lv 22 and is able to learn Magical Leaf! Forget old move?
Napoleon (Buizel) was returned to Melody and has grown to lv 21! It learned Pursuit! It is able to learn Swift! Forget old move?
Hanzo (Frogadier) grew to lv 24 and is able to learn Round! Forget an old move?
Bane (Magikarp) grew to lv 13 and learned Tackle!
Brian (Pidgeotto) grew to lv 22 and learned Twister!
Tank (Beldum) grew to lv 16 and learned Iron Head!
Excalibur (Honedge) was returned to Vincent and has grown to lv 23! It has learned Autotomize! It is able to learn Shadow Sneak and Aerial Ace! Forget old moves?
Combusken grew to lv 24!
Dratini grew to lv 16!
Flaaffy grew to lv 19!
Derpy (Croconaw) grew to lv 28!
Unown ? was returned to Blaine and has grown to lv 27!
Chocolate (Quilladin) grew to lv 22!
Pangea (Pidgey) grew to lv 17 and learned Whirlwind! Pangea was lost!
Hero (Honedge) grew to lv 16!
Winter (Whismur) was returned to Aberdeen and has grown to lv 21! It learned Supersonic and Bite! It is ready to evolve into Loudred!
Kadabra grew to lv 20!
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
press start to play
Vincent Baker feat. Melody Hughes
The night had been exhausting. Trials and tribulations weighed heavily on them all, but in the end, there was some satisfaction to be had. Some light was found at the end of the tunnel, even if it wasn’t much light to be had. The collection of Pokemon under the ownership of Vincent Baker cheered, for what's it worth and while they could, to celebrate the return of Excalibur, the long lost Honedge that they had been valiantly searching for some time. The longer tenured members of the team in Hanzo and Brian had already introduced Tank and Bane (who settled into a decent sized bin of water that Vincent made for him so he could be out of the Pokeball for a little while) to the returning member of the team. They all settled in nicely in the suite Vincent rented out in the Pokemon Center, with most of the Pokemon hovering around the bed and window of the room. Food was enjoyed, put out in plates by Vincent and “drinks” were scattered about to wash everything down.
Compared to before, Excalibur seemed a bit more eccentric, stir crazy even, having lost some sense of self control, shamelessly pulling pranks on the other members of the team right before their eyes. The pranks were generally innocent, though a couple were of poor taste and even more poorly executed. It was as if developing a sense of humor, however cruel, was the only way to cope with the haunting captivity that he had to endure. Hanzo put the younger Pokemon in line soon enough, and Excalibur knew to stay clear of the stoic and meditative Frogadier. Brian had decided to spend most of his time on a nearby tree branch the nestled near the room. Despite his desire to relax from a long day of battling, Brian had become the primary victim of Excalibur’s tricks, lacking the resolve and capabilities to ward off the ghost sword. The eager to please Beldum hovered around Hanzo, as if trying to earn the starter’s favor and become the unofficial protégé to the team leader. While Hanzo was hospitable, the water type wanted some time to reflect, instead convincing Tank to join in on the mediation. The lack of patience on Tank’s part made such a task difficult despite the steel Pokemon’s best efforts. Finally, Bane was enjoying the time of the ball, even if a bin full of water was a bit confining. Splashing around near the others put enough of a smile on the hapless Pokemon’s face.
For Vincent, however, there were no smiles. There was no glee. There was only disdain. The moments within the Slowpoke Well played in his head like a broken tape, repeating the same images time and time agin. Everything that had occurred flashed before Vincent’s eyes with every blink. He had locked himself in the bathroom, his hands firmly gripped on the sink with his glance locked down staring at the running faucet. As the pool of water flushed down the drain in a vicious spin, Vincent felt his vision blur as he returned to the moment in time in which the visage of his father had burned into the mind of the young man. How his pride blinded him. How his rage deafened him. How his suffering muted him. Vincent knew he was stuck in the past, constantly striving to redeem the mistakes of his father and be the man his family needed. But now, he was questioning everything he was doing. The words his father stated carried such weight that he could feel his body buckling under the pressure. Was he unwillingly following in the same path as the man he loathed above all else? Wasn’t Vincent running away from his problems too just like his old man?
No matter how hard he tried, Vincent was in a hole that seemed impossible to climb out of. Digging his hands into the water that pooled in the sink, Vincent basked his face in the cold hoping to refresh his perspective on everything. But deep down, it was pointless. Vincent could not see past his own failures. He could not hear any truth. He could not speak from the heart. As much as Vincent tried to find victory in what he said, he felt he failed to make his point to his father. He felt he could not appropriately express the truth of the pain he and his family suffered because of the sins of his father committed. And now, because of that, Vincent feared that he…that he was no better than the spite was driving him forward.
Opening his eyes, Vincent looked at his reflection. His face was drenched in water, and the cooling effect of the whole thing was beginning to calm the young man down. Satisfied, he looked back down and turned the faucet off. The bathroom fell to silence for the first time in minutes and even to Vincent, it was a bit unnerving after the chaos that filled his eyes for the entire. Returning his gaze to the mirror once more, Vincent’s reflection twisted to one of his father, deviously grinning back at his son. Vincent’s teeth grinded against each other as he cocked his hand back and shot it forward. The mirror shattered from the impact and Vincent buried his hand into the glass. The remains of the reflection returned to that of Vincent. His mind was clouded, even if his vision regained its clarity. All the doubt. All the apprehension. All the anxiety. All the pain. Everything that had Vincent bottled up left his mind for a moment. There was relief. But soon, it revived, gathering in the bleeding right hand.
Vincent took a breath, holding in a desire to scream in agony as drops of blood and glass sprinkled down into the sink. Realizing that a lot more damage had been done that he expected, Vincent grabbed a shower towel and coiled it around his hand to stop the bleeding. He only briefly glanced at his hand to realize bits of glass had burrowed into his knuckles, but that was problem for later. Vincent popped out of his bathroom to see all his Pokemon staring at him, hearing the ruckus he stirred in the shower. “I’ll be fine,” he said. “Just hang tight in here. I need to take care of something.” Vincent raised his hand as a gesture and left the room, heading down to the front desk. Sure, Pokemon Centers were marketed towards the healing and recovery of Pokemon, but Vincent was fairly confident they had some means to tend to his wounds.
Approaching the front desk, Vincent propped his right elbow onto the desk with a thud. Wincing a bit at the pain that pulsated from his hand, Vincent stared down at the nurse. “Do you have first aid pack or something? I, uh, hurt my hand.”
The Nurse looked at the now red towel that Vincent wrapped poorly around his hand, soaking up blood as they spoke. “I think you need more that, sir. Please come with m-“
“Look, I didn’t ask for a ER. I asked for something for my hand. Just cough it up and you can go back to pushing buttons to heal Pokemon!”
"...Vinny...?" a familiar voice called out, one belonging to none other than Melody.
The girl in question was make her way down the stairs as she spotted her friend. She was dressed far differently than she had been. Gone was the Rocket Uniform that she had received from Bugsy, being replaced by a simple, vastly over-sized t-shirt that descended all the way down past her knees. The neck-hole was far over stretched, as her right shoulder happened to be protruding out from it... and the blue color of the shirt was vastly faded with age. Her messy pigtails had been removed from her hair, allowing it to hang freely down her back... and she seemed to be lacking any footwear at all, making it obvious that the girl had been in the process of either sleeping or preparing to sleep. None of her Pokémon were currently accompanying her either.
As she reached the main floor of the center, her eyes widened as she took note of Vincent's hand. "Vinny! What happened to your hand?!" the short girl questioned, quickly making her way towards his side.
"I punched a mirror," Vincent said flatly to Melody, before turning back to the Nurse. "Now, give me a first aid pack!" He yelled, extending his good hand forward.
Melody raised a curious eyebrow to that. "You... punched a mirror? ...Why?"
The Nurse yielded, handing a first aid pack with a silent understand shared between patient and caretaker that Vincent would return it. Flinging it over his shoulder, Vincent began to head back to his room. "You don't need to know," Vincent said to Melody as he passed, wincing in pain due to his bloody hand.
The girl did not seem to be dissuaded in the slightest bit, however. Melody quickly made her way towards the boy's side, glancing at his hand once more. She bit her bottom lip as she took in its sight. It made her wince just looking at it. "Come on, Vinny. Most people don't go punching a mirror and then try to hide it like that. What happened?"
"Like I said, I punched a mirror. Do you really need a story?" Vincent shouted back at her as he made his way the stairs, his room clearly within sight.
"Well... I just... wanted to make sure you were alright, that's all..." Melody answered, flinching a bit with how he snapped at her. "You kinda took off so fast after we got done back at the well... I thought you would've hung around with the rest of us, at least for another minute or so."
Vincent looked back at Melody, as he approached his door, visibly struggling to open the door with his good hand due to the pain. "What good would have that done?" He asked as his room opened to the hallway and Tank flying out with a small chirp.
"I dunno...Maybe get a pat on the back or "a nice job" from someone?" Melody questioned. "I mean... We did just sort of topple a criminal organization's hold over a town. It's not exactly a small-potatoes, no-big-deal sort of thing."
"There was nothing good about my job, Melody. I failed. My fa- I mean, the Rocket Admin got away," Vincent said, swallowing his words a little. "Team Rocket is just going to build up another operation in some other town and what then? You know, you are right, it's not exactly a small deal because we are in way over our heads." Vincent shook his head. "If I stopped the guy in charge, then maybe it would be 'a nice job.' But I didn't. And I have to live with that."
"Look, Vinny... I mean, you gotta take a small victory somewhere... I'm sure he got away, but... people know what he looks like. Bugsy was with you too, right? I'm sure he'll get a report out there to the other gym leaders and stuff to keep an eye out for the guy," Melody reasoned. "I mean, things didn't go perfect for everyone. If everything went right, then Napoleon would still have two eyes..." She paused for a moment, looking down at the ground before speaking up again. "But... I'm not gonna avoid everyone because I wasn't able to get there fast enough to stop that from happening. I'm gonna be glad that I was able to save him from something worse happening..."
"I know what he looks like better than most," Vincent quietly said. "But you don't get it. And I don't think you ever will, Melody. Just," Vincent squeezed his hands, feeling blood rush out of his right hand and gritted his teeth in pain. "Damn it! Ow!"
"Then explain to me why I won't, Vinny!" Melody exclaimed, not satisfied with the half-hearted answers she was getting from the boy. Her eyes moved down to his hand again and the girl sighed. Not even waiting for permission, Melody made her way closer to Vincent and took the first aid kit from his hand, before dragging him into the room with her other one. "And you can tell me about it while I fix that mess you got there..."
As the two entered Vincent's room, all the Pokemon almost yelped in surprise. Only Hanzo remained unmoved, still content in his corner. Brian flew around, before perching back outside and Excalibur, recognizing Melody hovered around her with Tank. Vincent sat down on his bed with a grunt, removing the bloody towel and threw it on the ground. His hand was pretty much coated in red, with bits of glass engraved in his knuckles. He didn't say a word yet, just staring at his wounded hand.
Melody smiled weakly at the hovering Steel-types, before joining Vincent on the edge of the bed. She placed the first aid kit on the mattress beside them, opening it up and rummaging through its contents until she found a small pair of tweezers. Truth be told, she had never actually done this sort of thing before. The only kind of first aid training she remembered came in the form of those few days when her mother used to bring her and Emily to the Pokémon Center back in Cherrygrove for those "Take Your Daughter To Work" days. Still, she hoped that most of that knowledge she learned would be retained and work on humans...
"So..." Melody began, taking the tweezers in hand and slowly pulling out the first shard of glass from around his pinky. "Explain to me what's going on, Vinny. Did you know the Rocket Admin that got away or something?"
"Ow," Vincent said as she began to pull out the shard. "I...ow, that really hurt. I did."
"Best not to actually watch," Melody replied. "Mom said that the pain is always more noticeable when you watch." She motioned up towards Tank, who was now circling around the two trainers, hoping that he would manage to get hold of Vincent's attention better. After that, she resumed her job of removing the shards from Vincent's hand. She pulled out another shard close to his pinky and then pulled one that was actually sticking out of where his middle finger would bend. "So... Who was he?"
Vincent flinched at the question and then tried to focus on Tank who hovered around in something of a dance with his newfound friend in Excalibur. Taking Melody's advice, he continued to look at them, hoping to alleviate some of the pain. "He...he...he wa-, I guess technically he is my father."
Melody stopped her work on Vincent's hand. Slowly, she gazed up at the boy, her eyes wide as that was definitely not the answer she was expecting. "Your father...? Your dad's part of Team Rocket?!"
"Yeah. He is the Admin that Bugsy wanted to capture. My father left home a long time ago. Called it a business trip or something. I...was young when it happened. I never expected him to be a Team Rocket member, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw him," Vincent said, trying not to move so Melody would hopefully return to work as his hand was feeling worse than before. "And before you ask, no. I never liked him much."
"That's understandable..." Melody whispered, pulling yet another shard from his knuckle. She knew the pain all too well of one's father pulling a disappearing act. Still, she did not much care to dwell on herself for the time being, and returned her focus back to Vincent. "What about your mom?"
Vincent avoided eye contact and simply stared at the ground. "I rather not get into it," he said after a long pause. "Can we leave it at that?"
Melody nodded. "Yeah, that's fine." She really did not want to push it any further than that. She had never really heard Vincent talk so much about himself before and she really was not oblivious to the fact that he probably was not comfortable with doing so in the first place. Putting the tweezers aside, she looked up at the boy and smiled. "We need to get some disinfectant on that hand, but you need to probably clean it up with some soap and water first. At least, I'm... pretty sure that's how my mom did it."
"Sounds about right," Vincent said, getting up from the seat, hearing the spring sigh in relief. Lumbering over to the bathroom, he saw the bits and pieces of the broken mirror remain scattered about. Crunching some glass with the shoes, he gingerly maneuvered around the remains to clean out his cuts with the occasional wince of pain. Never did imagine he would let someone else help him out like this, but now was hardly the time to kick her out after everything. It already began to feel better after drowning everything in soap and water. Vincent sighed to himself weakly before heading back into the room. "Alright, now what?"
"Now comes the not so fun part," Melody said, the look on her face a bit more nervous. She took the bottle of disinfectant, pouring some out onto a small cloth that was packed inside the first aid kit as well. She looked up at Vincent, biting her bottom lip gently. "This is... gonna sting a bit. Um... You're not one of those kind that gets all jumpy and stuff over this sort of feeling, right?"
Vincent raised an eyebrow, almost questioning Melody's sanity for a moment. "Do I look like it would bother me?"
"Oh, right... I guess that does make sense for someone who just went one on one against a mirror..." Melody replied. She took Vincent's hand and began to gently dab the boy's knuckle with the cloth. Realizing that this was probably another moment she should try and distract Vincent, she began to try and make small-talk again. "So... What's your plan after this? Have you already been by Bugsy's gym?"
Vincent flinched mentally at the disinfectant, biting gently on his lips as Melody ate away at his skin. At least it felt that way. He imagined it would only be marginally better if he did it, but that was another train of thought he would only entertain a bit. After all, it wasn't like it was ever going to be a possibility now. "Yeah," he finally answered. "Tank, Brian and Hanzo made...quick work of his team. He isn't that tough really. You should be fine if you battle against him," Vincent found himself saying. "Anyway, I'm going to probably head into the forest first thing in the morning. I...I would like to get to Goldenrod pretty soon if I can. I have things I need to take care of there. And, you know, there is another gym too."
Melody nodded, giving his knuckle one final dab before placing the cloth to the side. She then took hold of the bandages and began to gently, yet firmly, wrap it around Vincent's damaged knuckle... slipping into a rambling as she did. "I've always wanted to go to Goldenrod. It's supposed to be super big with all sorts of different things to see... like the radio tower and that big train. I hear it goes back and forth between here and Kanto. Come to think of it, I've never been to Kanto either. Maybe I should catch a ride on it when I get there and see what it's like."
"The train's almost always down for maintenance, at least last time I checked," Vincent said dismissively, watching Melody wrap up his hand. "Really, Goldenrod City isn't that great if you ask me. Buildings are stacked up against each other. Tourists swarm the shopping centers. The Radio Tower isn't that impressive and can't put together a halfway decent program if they tried. And there are slums too. They never tell you about that little fact since everyone is too distracted by all the charm of the nice parts of the city," Vincent continued, sounding like a bitter old man. "I like my places quiet really. Not too quiet like this backwater town. I hear Olivine is a nice blend of both. I've been there before. I had a cousin who used to live there from my...father's side. But, I doubt she would be there anymore. She always liked the sound of Sinnoh and how cold it was," he said with a chuckle.
Melody maintained a smile, albeit a bit weaker than before. "Well... I guess every town and city has its ups and downs... But after pretty much only going as far as Violet City before I became a trainer... Well, I guess the whole prospect of seeing everything the region has to offer while I roam about makes it so exciting to me!"
Feeling his eyes roll instinctively, Vincent almost pouted due to Melody's painful naivety. "Yeah, well. I'm just preparing for you disappointment. Because if its going to happen anywhere, it's going to be Goldenrod."
Melody decided not to push the subject any further. Glancing over at the nearby clock, the shorter trainer quickly realized it was growing quite late and decided it was probably for the best if she wrapped up this little visit. She gave Vincent's hand a quick, once over before smiling at her work. She packed up the medical supplies scattered on the bed, before hopping off the mattress and giving him a small nod.
"Again, I'm not really all that good medical-wise, but that should take care of it," Melody explained. "If you have time later on, you might wanna have an actual doctor check it out, just to be safe."
"I doubt that will be necessary," Vincent said confidently. His right hand was almost completely wrapped up but it did not nearly hurt as much as it did earlier so the young man was certain that everything was probably fine. "But um...thanks...for everything. You didn't really need to, ya know, do this," he said, gesturing to his hand.
Melody's cheeks darkened a bit as she quickly looked away from Vincent. "It's just... It's what friends do, you know? They help each other out and stuff like that."
Vincent just smirked a bit before scratching his head. "Well, I owe you then," he said before throwing himself onto his bed. "I'll figure something out."
"Yeah... Um, I think I better get going back to my room. I got a long day ahead of me and all that sort so um... I'll catch ya around, I guess! Good luck in the forest, Vinny," Melody quickly rambled off before waving goodbye to Vincent and quickly slipping out his door.
PokéCommunity Supporter Crystal Tier
Also Known As Kirk, Kirkland, Keith, KFK
Chapter 09: Gym Battle Number Two!
Riley was out and about before many of Azalea Town’s inhabitants. The events of the night he had before caused him to stay awake for most of it. His mind simply lingered too long on Team Rocket and what they were doing inside the Well. They had kidnapped many people’s Pokemon on the way to Azalea. He shuddered. Throughout the night, his mind had kept drifting to what possible experimentation the evil team could have been performing. Was it any wonder that he couldn’t sleep?
Fortunately, today was a new day. They had saved the Pokemon and made it out alive. They effectively put an end to the criminal activities residing in the well. He would be able to push aside the thoughts about the Slowpoke Well incident until the time comes for it. The important business at hand was to battle Bugsy, the gym leader whom he had met the day before, and win his badge. He’d need that to move farther in his journey across the region. The gym itself was only a few blocks down from the Pokemon Center, so it didn’t take long for Riley to actually get there.
Well,Riley thought as he stared at the building. Here is the next step in my journey. He sighed, somewhat nervously, before opening the door to find the amazing interior that one could only attribute to someone who adores bug or grass Pokemon. It was definitely an interesting environment and it would definitely add to the battle that was just moments away. “Hello,” the teen called. “Bugsy, are you here?”
Riley was answered from above with a loud, "How ya doing?"
Riley turned his head upwards to find the small, purple haired gym leader sidled on top of a tree branch, tending to several Pokemon that lived in a small hollow. He raised his hand slightly in greeting before watching Bugsy make his way down from the branch, an expression of satisfaction on his face.
"You're one of Pine's kids, aren't you?" He asked with a grin. "I remember you from last night. I believe... I sent you and the kid with the Croconaw to take out the security systems, correct?"
"You did," Riley replied. He had actually been hoping that they didn't talk about such topics. "Anyways, I'm here to take the League Challenge," he told the man. "I was hoping I'd come early enough to get in front of everyone else."
"I figured as much," the bug-user told him. "Being as this is a gym, the majority of people don't come in here just to chat. Anyways, don't expect things to be easy here. You may have helped me out at the Well, but in here, we're not comrades against Team Rocket.”
"I wouldn't want it any other way.” At least they would now be off the topic of that villainous team. “So, how do we go about battles here? I was told by teachers at the Trainer School that the majority of Gym Leaders don't always follow the same exact rules."
"Good question..." Bugsy said before grabbing three Pokeballs and holding them between his fingers. "How about we do three Pokemon a piece, no time limit, and no items?"
"I think that's fair," Riley told the Gym Leader. He looked at his belt and considered his options for a moment before pulling out three Pokeballs of his own. “Would you like to start then?”
“Courtesy will get you nowhere!” Bugsy teased before turning around and heading to the gym floor. Unlike the rest of the gym, this part was free of any foliage and, once his helpers inside took notice of Bugsy, free of any stray Pokemon. He stood on the opposite side of the large, rectangular arena. Bugsy had a pleasant smile on his face, one that looked more like he was getting ready to do some gardening with Riley, rather than the determined face of a gym leader ready to battle, much like that of Falkner. Some of the members of Bugsy’s help would look on at the two trainers, but for the most part continued tending to the life in the greenhouse or training their Pokemon. Bugsy closed his palm and in a moment a Pokeball enlarged in his fist. With an expert flick of his wrist, he threw the Pokeball out onto the field which opened up to revealed in a flash of bright light his first Pokemon: A Butterfree. “Ready when you are!”
“Alright then,” replied Riley with a smile, before picking out one of the three Pokeballs that he had already chosen before the battle. The Pokeball enlarged in his hand and as it did, he threw it on to the field. In a flash of light, Roxxy, his Onix, was released from the ball. “Alright Roxxy! Are you ready?” The large Pokemon nodded before looking at his foe. “Use bind, Roxxy!”
Roxxy’s tail shot out towards Bugsy’s Butterfree, but the graceful Pokemon dodged out of the way effortlessly. “Butterfree! Use Confusion!” Bugsy yelled to his Pokemon. The Butterfree’s eyes glowed a bright light blue before a ball of energy was formed in front of the Pokemon. It shot the blue energy at Roxxy, the ball making a rift through the air as it moved.
It would be an understatement to say that Riley was surprised by the butterfly Pokemon’s power. It was almost as if he was in utter awe as Roxxy was pushed through the air. Fortunately, the Pokemon managed to pull itself back up without any troubles.
“People don’t think very highly of bug Pokemon, but here you’ll see that’s a mistake!”
“I’ll make sure not to doubt them,” Riley called out to his opponent. Bug Pokemon definitely seemed as if they would be weak, but it was obviously wrong. “Roxxy, use Rock Throw!” Immediately Roxxy’s tail launched towards the Butterfree, knocking the Pokemon out of the sky. It barely managed to stop itself from hitting the ground before rising in the air once more. Riley could see that the Pokemon had been affected by the hit, but they had a long way to go.
“Nice move!” Bugsy commemorated Riley, “Maybe I ought to slow her down! Butterfree! You know what to do!” The Pokemon raised itself into the air with ease, releasing several golden spores as it did so. As soon as it reached its highest point, the Pokemon began flapping its wings, forming a gust that pushed the spores onto the giant rock Pokemon.
The Pokemon looked at its trainer uncomfortably as the golden spores landed on its body. “That must have been Stun Spore,” Riley said. He should have known that the bug-user would inflict status effects. It was only one of the most basic lessons learned at Trainer School. Roxxy was paralyzed now, but luckily, it would be able to move at least somewhat. No wonder the Gym Leader had said that no items would be allowed. Riley thought about his options for a moment. If anything, the bug Pokemon’s power wouldn’t be enough to faint Roxxy so soon. She’d hopefully be able to land a few more hits before then. “Use Rock Tomb!”
The Pokemon nodded slowly before raising its head in a focused manner. Roxxy began to glow with a white light as loose rocks and pebbles from around the arena moved towards the Onix and compacted into a large boulder above its head. As soon as the Pokemon decided it was a satisfactory size, it threw it at the Butterfree.
From across the gym Riley could see a smirk form on Bugsy’s face. What was the Gym Leader planning now? “Butterfree! Confusion!” Without missing a beat, the butterfly Pokemon shot out another ball of energy. Surprisingly the energy blast shot through Roxxy’s Rock Tomb creating a hole large enough for the butterfree to pass through after tucking in its wings. The Confusion blast still made its way towards the Roxxy, though she was lucky that it wasn’t at its full power after it collided with the Rock Tomb.
It definitely didn’t help that the paralysis made Roxxy slower than she already was. What exactly could he do? Then the thought hit him. “Roxxy, use Rage!” If things went as planned, Roxxy would continue to take hits until she could release enough power through Rage. As Roxxy built up her energy, the Butterfree continued to send blow after blow of its powerful Confusion, taking full advantage of the stunned Pokemon.
The large mass of rock continued to let itself be pushed back by the Confusion as her Rage continued to rise. It really was all she could do with the status affliction she had to deal with. Of course, the Rage managed to build up with time. As soon as the energy gathered, Riley looked at the Onix and nodded. “Roxxy! Let that Rage of yours out with a Rock Throw!” The Pokemon nodded at its trainer before setting its sights on the Butterfree. In a matter of seconds, it propelled its tail at the opponent with as much strength as it could.
The Butterfree was immediately knocked against a tree, shaking it from its roots, before falling to the ground. Riley stared at the Pokemon for a moment, hoping that it was unable to battle further. Unfortunately, the Pokemon began to rise once more, struggling this time. It was close to defeat, but so was Roxxy.
“Alright Butterfree, use U-turn!” Bugsy called. The Butterfree immediately zoomed past the paralyzed Onix before going around and hitting it with a powerful tackle before returning to its trainer’s Pokeball. Roxxy wouldn’t be able to take much more of what Bugsy had to offer. Immediately, the Gym Leader pulled out a second Pokeball and threw it at the center of the stadium. “Heracross, use Arm Thrust!” The trainer told the new Pokemon.
Almost immediately, the blue beetle began pelting the Onix with its open claws, knocking the Pokemon back.
“Roxxy!” Riley called, worried about the injured Pokemon. The Onix merely groaned as it tried to get up once more. It fell straight back down, and Riley knew it was out. “You did good Roxxy.” He told the beast before returning it to its Pokeball. “That was a nice strategy there Bugsy.”
“I may look young,” the Leader began, “but that doesn’t mean I’m not smart.”
“Fair enough,” Riley told him before pulling out his second Pokemon. “Alright Feathers, let’s do this!” A small Pidgey materialized from the ball, chirping a small tune. “Feathers, start this battle off with a Sand Attack!” Even if Feather had the type advantage, it was still smart to do find a way to stop the Heracross from hitting Riley’s Pokemon. One could never be too careful, particularly in a Gym Battle. “Just keep using Sand Attack!”
The Pokemon did as it was told and landed, kicking up dirt at the Heracross as it did so. Within a short time, the Heracross was blind to what was around it.
“Don’t worry about it Heracross,” called the bug MASTER. The Pokemon attempted to nod at its trainer, though it continued to rub its eyes in an attempt to remove the dirt and sand. “Listen to the Pidgey’s movements and use Bullet Seed!”
Riley was surprised by the opponent’s choice in tactics, but he was even more surprised by the fact that the Heracross actually managed to do as it was ordered, hitting Feathers dead center.
“Just because bugs don’t have ears, doesn’t mean they can’t hear.” Bugsy told Riley. “Depending on the Pokemon, there are several ways for them to detect sounds! How do you think some of the smaller ones manage to evade predators?”
It was definitely interesting, but Riley didn’t want to have any part of that. “Thanks for the tip, but hopefully, we won’t have to deal with that for long. Use Gust!” The Pidgey immediately began to position itself before the Heracross, flapping its wings to create a small tornado that began to move towards the beetle Pokemon. The gust of wind picked the Pokemon up with ease, sending the Pokemon flying into the air. The biggest disadvantage of the bug Pokemon’s dual typing is that it left it quite a bit weaker to flying type moves.
The Pokemon definitely took some damage, but it managed to position itself in the air through the use of its own wings. Unfortunately, Feathers’ Gust had managed to remove most of the debris that had blinded the Heracross. “Aerial Ace, Heracross,” called Bugsy. The Pokemon almost instantly set forth towards the Pidgey, its horn pointed towards the target. White streaks began to develop in the air as the beetle gained speed, only disappearing in a blast as the Pokemon collided with the other. Feathers body flew towards the ground, impacting with a cloud of dust and sand flying to the air.
The debris soon faded, revealing the small bird Pokemon to be injured, but holding its ground. Even with Heracross’ disadvantage, it was still a tough enemy, and they needed to get rid of it. Luckily, Riley had given Feathers the TM to do that only yesterday, thanks to Kurt. “Feathers, use your new move and show them what you’re made of!”
The Pokemon nodded excitedly before flying higher into the air, encircling the stadium in an attempt to pick up as much speed as it could. It was quite similar to the Heracross’ Aerial Ace, but it was soon apparent that the moves were very different for one simple reason. Seemingly without the Pidgey moving, the Heracross was hit directly, sending it spiraling through the air.
“What the-” Bugsy exclaimed, staring at the bird Pokemon, whose image instantly disappeared. In a matter of seconds, it looks as if several of the Pidgey had appeared around the beetle. Before Bugsy could order his Pokemon do anything, the Heracross was hit several more times by the fast moving Pidgey.
“You can tell that there is definitely a difference when a true Flying type does it,” said Riley, a smile on his face. The Heracross impacted against the ground as Riley finished his explanation. If that move didn’t leave it out for the count, then the only thing that seemed fitting would be another round of it. Luckily for the gym challenger, this wasn’t the case.
“You did well Heracross,” said the Gym Leader, returning the Pokemon to its Pokeball before picking up another. “Flying types do get on my nerves, though I guess that’s only bound to be the case. How about a second chance Butterfree,” he asked, letting the Pokemon out once again. It was injured, but it definitely had some fight left in it. “Butterfree, let’s get this over with! Use Poison Powder!”
The Pokemon responded as expected and did something similar to what it had done with the Stun Spore. It lifted itself into the air, gradually allowing itself to release the poisonous powder before reaching a point where it could use Gust to send the substance forward.
Riley clenched his fist as he tried to quickly think of a way to solve the problem at hand. “Feathers! Use Gust yourself and try and send it back!” The Pokemon began flapping its wings at the other flying Pokemon as fast as it could in order to stir up more wind. A mini twister formed as the Gusts merged with one another, the Poison Powder mixed in the center. Every so often, the powder would escape the twister in all directions. Despite the Poison Powder ending up on both Pokemon, neither halted their attacks until the poison finally set in. The Butterfree was the first to stop its attack, being pushed by the Pidgey’s Gust into a tree.
Of course, Feathers fell soon afterward, the affliction of poison having set in.
“Clever guy,” Bugsy muttered under his breath before opening up his next pokeball. “Moment of truth!” He said out loud this time. “Who’s better, bug or beast!?” With a joking grin on his face, Bugsy threw out his pokeball to reveal his final Pokemon. A Scyther, an all too eager looking one.
Riley smiled as he grabbed his final Pokeball. “I suppose it is,” he said, throwing his Pokeball forward. “Abaddon, let’s show him that beast will win this time around.” Riley’s shiny Kadabra materialized from the ball, a determined look on its face. Well… Determined before it looked at the Scyther. Riley sighed as the Pokemon made its way behind its trainer, obviously afraid of the Bug Pokemon. Too obvious.
Bugsy laughed at the Kadabra’s reaction. Not meanly, but you have to admit that it was funny. “Scyther doesn’t bite, I promise!” Bugsy said to the Kadabra in a way to make the ‘mon feel better. It didn’t help that the Scyther smiled too. Scythers weren’t exactly naturally nice looking pokemon.
“Abaddon, don’t worry,” Riley told the Pokemon. “It may be a bug Pokemon, but you can handle this.” The Pokemon stared at its trainer, looked at the Scyther, and back again. Riley had known it was afraid of bugs, but he had hoped it would pull through in order to win this gym battle. The Pokemon hesitated for another moment before timidly stepping forward and onto the battlefield.
“Scyther!” The Pokemon screamed on the battle field. It sharpened its scythes against each other and went into a battle stance.
“Are ya sure ya don’t need another moment?” Bugsy asked.
“I think we are,” Riley answered, looking at his Pokemon. “Do you want to start Abaddon?” The Pokemon nodded, holding its spoon towards the Scyther in its own sort of battle stance. “Alright, Abaddon. Start this off with Psychic!”
The Pokemon lifted its spoon in the air with its psychic powers, before pushing it forward slightly. In a similar fashion to the Butterfree’s confusion, a barrier of sorts developed from the spoon and pushed itself towards the Scyther with tremendous force. The force of the Psychic attack pushed the Scyther backwards as it braced its scythes in front of itself. It seemed to be mostly unfazed by the attack and screamed once more as the attack dispersed.
“You’re gonna have to do a lot better than that if you’re gonna beat us,” Bugsy called. “Scyther, time to use Pursuit!” The Scyther sprinted forward as its scythes began to shine in a dark color. The Kadabra’s eyes opened wide as the Pokemon came towards it. In a flash, it teleported across the room in an attempt to get away from its attacker. Unfortunately, that only seemed to speed up the Scyther once more.
“You should know that Pursuit’s attack power increases when the defending Pokemon tries to escape. There’s a reason its called Pursuit.” Bugsy said with a grin as the attack hit. “Scyther! Again!” Bugsy couldn’t even get the words out before the eager Pokemon dashed towards the timid Psychic.
Riley stared onwards at the scene that was unfolding before him. Abaddon had been lucky that Pursuit hadn’t knocked it out, but if it were to Teleport once more, there would be no chance for the Pokemon. “Abaddon…” Riley began, still attempting to work out some sort of plan for the Pokemon to do. “Abaddon, use Disable!” The Pokemon barely used the move in time as it raised its spoon in a defensive manner. A blast emanated from the spoon, barely knocking the Scyther back. Fortunately, the Pursuit was no longer happening and wouldn’t for the rest of the battle. The Scyther looked stunned in the moment, but Bugsy just had a smile on his face.
“Disable…” He said. “Not bad, but Pursuit wasn’t the only thing we have up our sleeve! Scyther!” The Pokemon snapped out of its momentary confusion. “Focus Energy! And then Agility” Mind back in the battle, the Scyther cried out again as it built its energy. Its hand scythes seemed to glow and sharpen. Before there was even enough time to blink the Scyther disappeared. Copies of it soon began to form in a circle around Abaddon, but this was no Double Team. The Scyther was moving that fast. Dang. Its glowing scythes turned into streaks of light as it moved faster and faster. “Quick Attack!” Bugsy commanded. Suddenly the streaks were interrupted and Scyther, barely visible, was speeding towards Abaddon.
The Pokemon was hit directly, flying through the air due to the Scyther’s speed. It landed onto its back with a loud sound. Riley clenched his fists. Things were not looking good for the two of them. “Teleport over here,” he called to his Pokemon. Abaddon teleported without getting up from its spot and ended up near its trainer, a look of discomfort on his face. It was obvious that it didn’t like the current situation. “Abaddon,” Riley began, looking at his Pokemon. “Don’t worry about him, alright? Focus on keeping yourself safe. If he attacks, Teleport away. If he gets too close, Disable his moves.” The Pokemon looked back at the Scyther, who stared back in its own menacing way. Abaddon huffed as it stepped once more onto the battlefield, spoon in hand. “Use Teleport, Abbs. Then use Psychic.”
The Pokemon did as it was told and teleported directly behind the Scyther. It shivered with fear, but it knew that the battle needed to be won. With a swift hand movement, its spoon was once more raised and another blast of energy propelled the Scyther across the room. By spreading its wings the Scyther was able to slow its momentum and stop a devastating impact. The attack had done some damage, but with the type disadvantage it wouldn’t be enough. Not yet anyways. When it stopped, the Scyther brought its arms in the air and began spinning. As it moved, the air around it began to turn into what could be describe as a miniature tornado. Within the cyclone, the Scyther’s claws glowed brighter and it spun faster. One could feel the the air currents moving towards the ‘mon. Without warning the Scyther stopped moving, its body and arms pointed towards Abaddon, and the cyclone went off of its body and towards the Kadabra. The rapidly spinning tornado sped towards Abaddon and with the Scyther not too far behind it.
The Kadabra responded quickly, knowing it had free reign to do what it needed to do. It stared at the cyclone with determination before it set forth another blast of energy, dispersing the Vacuum Wave with ease. Several more blasts of energy followed through the wave, making their way towards the flying bug. Luckily for the Scyther, it managed to evade the majority of the blasts thanks to its increased agility. However, the last successive blast hit Scyther dead on, pushing it farther back in the air. Riley could only compare it to a critical hit of sorts. At this rate, Abaddon and him had more than a mere chance to win the battle.
Without the use of Pursuit, Bugsy had no choice but to continue using the rest of Scyther’s attacks. His strategy was formidable. To avoid Abaddon’s use of disability, he had used tricks to throw off the Kadabra’s attacks. A Vacuum Wave to mask a Quick Attack or a Quick Attack to cancel before Disable could be used and then an attack with a False Swipe. Bugsy was tricky for sure, but Riley and his Pokemon’s synergy allowed them to survive the cunning attacks and as the battle went on, their Disable strategy worked in the end, though. Soon the Scyther was left with nothing more than its Agility. One more blast from Abaddon’s Psychic attack, and Scyther was down for the count.
“Abaddon!” Riley called, running over to his Pokemon with a smile on his face. They had actually won. For awhile, he had almost lost hope, but here they were. He grabbed his Pokemon in a fierce hug. “I can’t believe we won. You did it Abaddon, you stood up to your fear.”
Bugsy walked over to the pair, a smile of his own on his face. “Good job, Scyther,” the Gym Leader said, returning the Pokemon to its Pokeball. “And good job to you two. You really pulled through in the end there. I commend you on your victory.” He smiled once again, handing Riley the badge that he gave to every person who beat his gym. “You’re definitely one of Pine’s kids. Several of the others have already beaten me as well. You kids will definitely become strong one day. There is no doubt in my mind about that.”
Riley nodded at the Gym Leader. Several of the others had already beaten him? We’ll definitely need to catch up. “Thanks for the battle, Bugsy!” Riley said with a smile, his new Gym Badge in hand.
As The Sun Rose
Aberdeen held Winter tightly in his arms all the way back to the pokémon center. Bugsy assured them that police would finally be in Azalea soon, but that they were welcome to stay what was rest of the night at his gym if they felt safer there. A lot of Rocket grunts got away, after all. But Deen followed the bulk of the Pine trainers gang back to the pokémon center. He didn't really think, he just kept Christina's red hair in the corner of his eye and followed it. Suddenly they were there, in the pokémon center's lobby, and people were saying goodnight. The sun would be up soon, but since they would most likely travel on in the morning, people probably wanted to get as much sleep as they could.
He didn't say much to the others, he only shared a glance with Morgan at some point. It was still a blur. Not even the presence of a darker and less friendly Vincent than usual could make him show much emotion.
Suddenly, he found himself next to the sliding doors again. Winter looked up at him from his arms. The tiny pokémon was so happy to be back with his trainer again that he hadn't as much as twitched to try and get a more comfortable position in all the time Deen had held him. But he had not needed to worry; Deen wouldn't let go of him for anything now.
He should sleep. Tomorrow was a new day. Tomorrow, he could maybe start over. But as soon as that thought had touched his mind, it was pushed out by a much more likely one. He wouldn't be able to close his eyes if he laid down. All he would be able to see would be a helpless bird trying to escape deathly flames. And then a bright light and a loud noise, the loudest noise he had ever heard...
A shudder went through him, making Winter let out a tiny squeaking inquiry. Next thing Deen knew, he had slipped out the doors, back outside on the street. Without as much as a look back at whoever could have still been in the lobby then.
Christina had just handed over her Pokémon to the nurse behind the counter. They were all battered and tired from everything that had happened, Christina included. She was so incredibly happy and relieved that not only did everyone get their Pokémon back, but Sindy was back as well. Seeing her friend had felt better than anything else she'd ever done, and now they were on their way to recovering.
Turning around to lean back against the counter, the red-haired girl stretched her arms out over her head with a soft sigh, but as she lowered her arms, she noticed Aberdeen shuffling out of the center with Winter in his arms.
Furrowing her brows, she looked back at the nurse. "Please take care of them until I'm back. I won't be long, I just have to go do something."
The nurse looked surprised as Christina offered her a thankful smile before half-running out of the center, glancing around before noticing the slightly younger boy heading down the nearby street. "Hey, Deen! Wait up! Where are you going?"
He froze when he heard her voice, and found his mind completely blank. He had no idea what to say to Christina now. He had still been up in shock with Morgan back in the Rocket hideout, but now his thoughts were starting to try to settle, and he didn't want to say the wrong thing. Not to Christina. Still, he swallowed, held Winter more tightly and turned around.
"Hey," he said plainly, eyes on the ground in front of the girl. "I was just... Just out. I was just going out for a bit."
She raised a brow slightly, coming to a stop in front of him, placing a hand on her hip as she gave a small smile. "Just wanted to get a bit of fresh air after everything that happened, huh? Yeah, I know what you mean. It was pretty crazy."
Aberdeen looked up at her. Crazy was not how he would describe the night. So, she probably didn't know. Morgan hadn't said anything. Silently, he was thankful for the other girl's loyalty.
Noticing Winter staring up at her, Christina smiled a little softer and gave the Whismur a light wave before looking back up at Aberdeen. "My team's just getting healed up. Would you mind if I join you? I think I know a pretty good place to hang out for a bit."
"Sure," Deen said before he could stop himself. All he really wanted was to get away, from Azalea and from everything. But it would be silly to run away in the middle of the night. He followed Christina.
Smiling, Christina turned and headed down a different street. After a short walk, they ended up around the back of the small store located in the town. On the back of the building, there was a ladder leading up to the roof. Christina sent Aberdeen a sly little grin as she grabbed onto it and began climbing. "I found this earlier when I had a run-in with someone I didn't really want to talk to. Haven't been up here yet, but there's bound to be a good view, right?"
Aberdeen, still without returning her smile, let Whismur hop onto his head and cling to his hair while the boy climbed up after the girl. The night was cold upon the roof, and at the horizon over the forest and mountains, a slight streak of brighter sky could be seen. It would be morning soon.
The two trainers sat down with their backs against a chimney and just watched the sky grow brighter for a moment. Just when Christina was about to speak, words finally came out from Deen's mouth instead.
"It wasn't crazy," he said quietly. "It was horrible."
Closing her mouth again, Christina's brow furrowed, looking at Aberdeen for a long, quiet while. After a minute or so of silence, other than the sound of Winter shuffling around on top of the boy, the red-headed trainer spoke up. "... What happened, Deen? Ever since we got back, you've been sort of... out of it."
"Morgan and I found what we came for, and then someone battled us and..." His stare became oddly plain. "Pangea is gone. My Pidgey. The first thing I realized when I got out from the well was that I had a Revive in my backpack at the pokémon center. If I had only brought that item with me on the mission, I could have gone back and..." The words were flowing out of his mouth until he abruptly stopped and looked up at Christina. "She's gone now. And I don't know what to do," he finished, almost whispering.
Winter slid down from his trainer's head and digged its head into Aberdeen's side quietly.
Christina's eyes widened a little, staring at Aberdeen without really knowing what to say. The wind softly blowing past them, rustling up the nearby trees seemed like it was a million miles away, like everything else. She couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose one of your Pokémon.
The silence between the two trainers was deafning, and it seemed like it lasted forever. Without almost realizing, Christina leaned in and silently wrapped her arms around Aberdeen in a gentle hug.
He froze. For some reason, the image of him pulling off her shorts inside a cramped tent flashed in his mind, but he quickly buried that thought and awkwardly reached a hand up to Christina's shoulder. His throat felt thick and dry when he spoke, but for some reason, it didn't feel like it was from the sadness.
"W-what are you doing?" he asked and immediately realized that it had probably come out too quickly and loudly.
"I just..." Christina began, the frown from hearing of what had happened to Aberdeen in the base, was frozen on her lips. She let go and began pulling back, away from him. "I just felt like you... needed... something like that. Sorry."
Without another word, Aberdeen suddenly reached up around her neck and shoulders and pulled her back. Behind her ear, he smiled, because even if he wasn't quite happy, he was deeply touched by the realization that Christina knew who he was. Because if she did, then maybe he wouldn't lost himself to the grief.
Blinking in surprise, Christina was stumped for a few seconds, before moving her arms around the boy once again, leaning in to rest the side of her head against his, her right hand softly caressing along his back, a light smile on her lips.
The Whismur soon realized that the two trainers weren't going to move for a while, and settled himself with a sigh next to Aberdeen's feet. The sky started to become blue near the horizon. Winter sighed again, happier this time. He hadn't seen the bright sky in days, after all.
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When the sky was almost blue again, Aberdeen and Christina finally left their spot on the roof and walked hand in hand back to the pokémon center, mostly in silence. Their thoughts were on the happy faces of Chocolate and Sindy when the two had finally been reunited for a while.
When the trainers parted at the entrance to go to their respective rooms, Aberdeen felt strange inside. He didn't feel like himself. Rather, it was as if he was someone else, watching Aberdeen Montany walk up the stairs, open a door with a key and sitting down on the bed.
Was he happier now? Christina had given him comfort. Morgan had given him understanding. Winter had given him hope. But hope for what exactly? He leaned his face down into his palms, earning a curious look from Winter who had hopped up onto the bed beside him.
Suddenly, the boy stood up straight and took out all of his occupied pokéballs. In a flash of light, they were all standing there before him. Whismur, Honedge, Flaaffy, Psyduck, Dratini. And Quilladin. Hero and Terribolt both seemed to take offense at the dragon suddenly being among them. Psyduck didn't seem to mind, nor give off any particular expression really. Chocolate moved up to put a gentle paw in Aberdeen's hand, accompanied by a chocolate brown gaze. Deen felt a sudden wave of affection washing over him, and before he knew it, he was on his knees on the floor, hugging his first pokémon hard while loud sobs rocked him.
That quickly stole the attention of the bickering girls. Terribolt hurried to hug her trainer as well, as did the Dratini. Despite not really knowing her trainer yet, Dratini was a kind soul after all. Her eyes met Terri's over Aberdeen's shoulder, and the electric type allowed herself a thankful smile towards her new partner. They both cared about their trainer, no matter how strange the circumstances around his acquiring them might have been.
Winter jumped up to hug Aberdeen's head, and Psyduck apparently felt the pressure too because he waddled up to the pile of hugging creatures and squeezed in beside a disgruntled Terribolt to press his beak into Deen's back. The only one who didn't try to come close was Hero, who settled with hovering with annoyed buzzings above them all. Perhaps that was her way of showing that she cared though. Who really knew?
Feeling the support of his pokémon only made Deen sob harder.
"I'm not a good trainer," he managed to squeeze out. "My pokémon died... My sister died."
"What am I even doing away from Cherrygrove? I shouldn't have gone!"
"Ab, this isn't you!"
"It's stupid to want to go on an adventure just for the sake of the adventure!" Deen said, now loud enough to shake off the pokémon hugging him. But then he froze and looked straight ahead with gaping jaw. "What?"
"What... Did you just..."
Chocolate blinked back at him, and Terri, Winter and Dratini pretty much dropped their jaws too. Aberdeen backed away a bit and pointed his finger at his starter's face. "You said something!"
"I talk all the time. Wait, you can hear me?" Chocolate said, quizzically.
"Yes! Have I gone crazy? Did I die too?"
"No!" Choco assured him quickly and pounded his own chest to show how real he was. "I'm here and I'm talking! I really don't know why you can understand me though. I mean, okay, usually you understand what I mean, right? But not word for word."
Aberdeen shook his head and fell back to sit on his bottoms. The Quilladin's voice was like a teenager's, not too different from his own really. Perhaps a tiny bit more mature, even, but not necessarily darker.
Choco twisted awkwardly in front of him, feeling the alienating stare of four pokémon (Psyduck was staring into a wall instead). "I, uh, hey Ab, let's look at it as just another adventure, okay? We can head out into the world again and try to figure out why I can talk with you now!"
Deen's face fell back into hopelessness, but Chocolate began to speak again before the boy could spout more depressed words. "What I wanted to tell you is that this isn't you. You told me that you used to be a sad little kid who cried over nothing and looked up at your sister as a brave heroine. No, listen," he added when Deen looked offended. "But that's not you anymore. You're brave now. You never back down if you have reason to continue, and the only reason you need to continue is the fact that the world is out there."
"I'm... Not sure that is enough anymore. Someone got hurt because of me," Deen mumbled, deciding to accept the speaking pokémon for now.
"She didn't die because of you. I was there, I saw it," Choco said, his tone heating up. "It was someone else."
Deen's eyes darkened when he remembered the face of the Team Rocket executive. "Yes... It was someone else. It was Team Rocket."
Hero buzzed angrily above them. Team Rocket had disturbed her old home in the ruins more than once. She certainly didn't like them. Her trainer stood up. He tried to think of Christina's reassuring touch, of Morgan's loyal camaraderie. But all he saw was the face of the woman behind the flames. He hadn't needed a reason before, he had just foolishly jumped out into the world to try and experience it. Experience it all. Adventure. Challenge. Danger.
But now he had a reason to continue and get stronger. Even stronger than before.
Team Rocket better watch out, because Aberdeen Montany was coming for them.
PokéCommunity Supporter Platinum Tier
Also Known As Rika
Discord Nickname adventure
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but they knew that their business with Team Rocket
was likely to be far from over.
- END ACT I -
- START ACT II -
In a lush, vivid forest where the air itself seems viridian, curious eyes are glimmering. Sensing, foreseeing. Wishing...