The Vaults of Reflection. To be honest, Jacob was impressed by the obviously tight security of the place, and that didn’t count any security that he couldn’t see. Yes, he knew he didn’t know everything about anything, but security was one of his interests.
The dark-blue Meowstic made a slight adjustment to the dark-green satchel slung over one shoulder. “So what are we doing here, Jake?” the Jigglypuff beside him asked, eyes wide as she looked down at all the glass floors. She could see for miles down there…or she pretended she could see all the way down.
“Jacob,” Jacob corrected, glancing at a passing Beheeyem. “Gonna do some…research, Valeria…” His hand fidgeted for a moment before he calmed it again.
“So, like, why isn’t Sophia here? I thought this was more her kinda thing.”
Jacob didn’t answer immediately. What he had in mind was, well, forbidden, but he was only in his second year at ECUL. What were they gonna do, make him spend more than the mandatory three years there? The Meowstic and Jigglypuff continued on through the halls, with Valeria trying to get Jacob to say something more. She gave up after several tries and huffed. Jacob didn’t like her calling him Jake, and now he was in one of his “moods,” the ones where he was secretive until whoever he was with only “needed” to know what was going on.
It wasn’t until they had walked into an elevator that Jacob spoke up. “As far as our instructors know, this is for whatsisname’s assignment.”
Valeria rolled her eyes. “Pfft. You know his name is Mr. Santiago.” As the door slid closed, her face suddenly looked worried once she noticed the otherwise-empty elevator. “Wait, you’re not thinking of—“
“Of course not.” Jacob shook his head, looking around at the interior of the elevator. It would be just like Valeria to think that. He closed his eyes and mentally felt for the elevator’s mechanism. This particular mechanism, at least, was fueled by psychic power. Jacob concentrated, bringing up his memories of how it worked; moments later, something flicked over, and the elevator began descending down through the Vaults’ floors.
Jacob opened his eyes and found Valeria looking at him expectantly. “We’re goin’ to the basement floor.”
“Oh.” The Jigglypuff was relieved. Then she frowned. “Wait, that’s even worse than—“
“What, you never wanted to know what they might be hiding down there?” Jacob asked, his eyes lighting up with excitement. “The bottom floor is forbidden, and from what I’ve found out, there’s a cave below that one. There has to be a good reason for it.”
Valeria bounced slightly on her feet, watching as the floors went by. “Um, but, this elevator only shows fifty floors or so…”
“And,” Jacob added, “a section closed to all but those with the proper access.” He pointed to the panel of buttons that noted the floors. Below that was a small, locked access door. “See? A keyhole and whatever other security they might’ve added to lock up the buttons to the restricted floors. I simply went straight to the mechanism itself. We’re going down as far as we can.”
Although…oh, great. Jacob gave his forehead a light slap. They’d know it when the elevator hit the bottom floor, if security didn’t already know what was happening. “So, um, we have only a little time to see the cave, before security catches up…”
“Oh, great.” Valeria waved her arms dramatically. “As if I wasn’t already suspected of helping you and your pranks!”
“We’re not gonna get expelled,” Jacob retorted quietly, rubbing his satchel. “Though…come to think of it, depending on what’s down here, maybe we will be…I wouldn’t put it past them, actually.” He hurriedly put a hand over Valeria’s mouth before she could protest further. They were about to reach the bottom floor.
To Jacob’s surprise, after another minute, the elevator went below what he thought should have been the bottom floor, the area above the cave. A few more seconds later, the door slid open, revealing a dim-lighted room. Jacob cautiously took a step out of the elevator, seeing that the walls and floor were, for once, made of solid rock. “Figures,” he muttered, as the elevator closed behind him and Valeria. “It figures that I’d pick the one elevator that went straight to the cave itself.”
“Well, that doesn’t make sense,” Valeria said, now very nervous. “Isn’t that, like, a breach in security, if this place is forbidden? …What’s this place, again?”
Jacob walked down the short hallway, which broadened out into a large cave. “Um…so far, it looks like a buncha scraps…” As far as he could see, a multitude of various objects were either organized in neat stacks or, in a few places, thrown onto a miscellaneous pile. Jacob suspected that there was a certain categorization to the place, but he couldn’t see it. Intrigued, the Meowstic moved further into the room, eyes roaming.
Valeria hesitated for several seconds. They weren’t supposed to be here, this was way worse than the pranks that Jacob pulled back at the college, oh no what were they going to do once they caught her?! “H-hey, wait up!” The Jigglypuff hurried after Jacob. Why did she ever tag along with him in the first place? Why help him with a few pranks, for that matter? Okay, yes, Valeria had a very un-Gold-like grudge against the one Pokemon that they’d targeted that one time, but it wasn’t like she was attracted to the Meowstic. That was just plain crazy to think about.
As it turned out, there were signs here and there, either stating what that section was or pointing toward another, just like a library. “Vague titles, though,” Jacob muttered, walking along. He guessed there was enough different stuff here that not all of it could be given a clear category. Another surprise: there was no visible security that Jacob could see. At all. It’s like, once they’d gotten in here, nobody cared what they found. Which defied logic, in Jacob’s mind. Maybe it took a few minutes to kick in…
Such thoughts were shoved to the back of his mind when he spied a signpost that caught his interest. “Cummon,” Jacob said, turning back to see Valeria just catching up. Knowing that she was with him, for now at least, the Meowstic’s pace turned into a light run. It took a couple more minutes for him to find the section he was looking for. A set of shelves, with most spaces occupied by either discs or small boxes. Jacob looked at the label for one: Hidden Power. Another read, Volt Switch. However, everything here looked outdated, and some were worn-down, even.
Valeria slowed to a halt, breathing heavily. “What…are…these…”
“I think the term is TM, or technique disc, or whatever,” Jacob answered, picking one disc up. Flash. “Now this is what doesn’t make sense. Even if these are the older, consumable editions, why keep them here where they can’t be used?”
Valeria shrugged, straightening up. “Maybe they’re so old they can’t be used at all. That’s probably what all this is, stuff that can’t be used at all.”
“Mm...maybe…” Jacob put the disc back. “Maybe some of it is just being saved for a later time. Hang on...okay, some of these labels mention techniques that normally can’t be learned this way.”
“Just the top line up there…” Jacob backed up and looked around. A minute’s searching netted him a ladder, which he and Valeria moved around and propped against the shelves. The Meowstic climbed up so he could reach the top shelves. There were only three that held anything; the rest of the top line was empty. “Looks like some of these have been taken away, or used.”
“Oh, here’s a thought. Maybe some of these have already been used, and like, they’re kept around for sentimental...reasons…” Valeria trailed off as she voiced her thought. “That actually doesn’t sound sensible to me, now that I said it.”
“It kinda does, to me,” Jacob said, bending his head closer to one label. As he reached for the disc above it, footsteps echoed down the corridors of scrap. So security wasn’t as bad as he’d thought. “Swallow this!” Jacob whispered hurriedly, tossing the disc down to Valeria.
“What?! Why would--”
“Just do it!”
“But I’ll get in--”
They bickered for a couple more seconds before Valeria abruptly shoved it into her mouth and swallowed, making a face. “Ugh, you so owe me for this!”
Jacob hurried down the ladder just as a Graveler came around the corner. “Here’s our trespassers!” he rumbled, glaring at the two Pokemon. Valeria turned to run the other way, but an Inkay floated there, blocking escape in that direction. Jacob sighed, deflating slightly. With an Inkay here, their will to escape would be drained if they even tried.
“You shouldn’t be down here,” the Inkay stated, floating closer to Jacob and Valeria. The Jigglypuff let out a high-pitched eep.
The Graveler walked up and grabbed them with his arms, turning to leave. “Time to go. The two of ya are in trouble now.”
No doubt about that. Jacob would have been surprised if they’d been able to get clean away without anyone knowing. This was his first time down here, and most likely his last. Security would probably destroy the elevator’s direct access to this cave, or something of the sort. Who knows? But Jacob knew now that there was indeed a cave here, one full of scraps from times past. Plus, once Valeria coughed up the disc later on, Jacob would have something he could use. He didn’t give a thought to the consequences on Valeria’s regard.
What Valeria had swallowed was a pink disc, indicative of a Psychic move. What had interested Jacob was that he’d never heard of this particular move before. The label had been faded, but he’d been able to make out the name: Heart Swap.
Thanks to Ray Maverick for creating the Crimson Dawn RP, and for giving me some information necessary for writing this.
And thanks to you, for taking the time to read this.
Alright, reviewing is kind of not a thing that happens here, sadly, so I thought I would take some time to look at your work. Full disclosure: I have no idea about the story this apparently ties into. So I'm going to be doing some summary at the start to give you an idea how the story read to outsiders.
Basically, as far as I can tell, the story takes place in what is an extremely strict school. "Three year minimum" invokes something of a prison, suggesting that membership is probably neither voluntary nor desirable. The world appears PMD-esque given the total lack of humans, and TM discs are common enough that a student would know an unusual one. And that's literally all I can figure out except they have psychically-controlled elevators. Also this was probably a setup for why some character knows Heart Swap, which seems like something that would be very significant. Before I say more, onto grammatical nitpicks!
Jacob didn’t like her calling him Jake, and now he was in one of his “moods,” the ones where he was secretive until whoever he was with only “needed” to know what was going on.
I really don't follow this sentence.
They weren’t supposed to be here, this was way worse than the pranks that Jacob pulled back at the college, oh no what were they going to do once they caught her?!
Semicolons, periods or even dashes would probably be more appropriate than commas here, grammatically and stylistically.
It’s like, once they’d gotten in here, nobody cared what they found.
"It's" is present tense and the story is in past tense. "It was" would be more appropriate.
And time to move away from grammatical nitpicks!
If the story was meant to be a mystery/suspense tale, it mostly fulfilled its purpose. I didn't understand some things, like just how high the stakes were for getting caught or why Jake was so certain security was coming, but at least you established that there were stakes and a time-crunch with a real threat. It kind of failed as suspense, though, in that being caught was more or less certain, Jacob didn't care at all, and that there was really no clear point to what they were doing. Which means that I'm not entirely sure why I should care when they fail, or if they fail, so some of the thriller-intrigue aspects kind of didn't work well.
I'm not saying the story was bad- the world building, at least, was interesting- but just that I really didn't understand why I should care about anything happening to anyone in it. But that probably comes from not having known about whatever RP this is based on.
Regardless, I will hopefully see you around in the future.