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lovetheangelshadow
25th January 2012, 4:20 PM
Chapter 1: The Assistant


His lungs were filled with smoke and ash burned his eyes. The steel beam that kept him pinned to the shard covered floor was slowly crushing his chest. It didn’t help his back had already been impaled in several places by the shards of glass when he had been thrown through that window. The fire was nearly at his fingertips. Above him a broken pipe had its sheared end pointed right at his throat. At any second now either that pipe was going to slice his neck in two or the fire was going to burn him alive. At least that is what would have happened five seconds ago.

Now everything was still. The air didn’t move from his lungs, preventing him from breathing in any more smoke but he couldn’t exhale it either. His chest writhed with pain but what his body couldn’t move. Even his own heart seemed to cease beating as if it was stuck in mid beat. The hot air around him was stagnant and sweltering. It was like being stuck between life and death. Four pairs of red glowing eyes all stared at him from the black patches of eternal darkness that seemed to creep ever closer like the own blackness of his soul. He knew their faces all too well.

“Think carefully now. Should you accept this contract you will be bound to honor it”, spoke a voice that echoed like the voice of the past was slowly catching up to the voice of the present. Another voice, one like a whisper in the deepest darkest shadows continued, “Should you breach this contract you understand what is forfeit.” The human chuckled at the irony. “You can have it for all I care. Still if your offer is good, I’ll take it.” Another voice, stronger than the others and sounding like all three put together, “Then the deal is done.” The faces faded and a gust of wind drew the fire ever closer. The pipe above snapped and ended his life.


Five Years later…



He paused reading over the several pages of loose-leaf paper muttering something incoherent to the applicant’s ears. Then at last he placed the papers on the table and handed half of them back to the one seated opposite him. Professor Icarus Stoak ran his portly fingers along a neatly trimmed handlebar mustache with one hand and patted his belly with the other. “Well your answers to my exam questions are quite a refresher to the standard below par assistants I have had in the past few years Mr. Mich Lisp.”

“It is pronounced Michaelis (me-kayel-is), sir if you please. Sora Michaelis.” Stoak raised an eyebrow at this newest job applicant. No he was not like anyone he had ever interviewed before.

The man seated across looked to be no older than his late twenties with Honchcrow black hair tied back in a short Ponyta tail though some hair had been left alone to frame a sharp edged pallid face. His eyes were perhaps the most disturbing to the Professor. They were a queer reddish color framed by ebony rimmed glasses. The applicant pushed his glasses up his long pointed nose and turned down his thin lips. “Please sir, I am broad on many tolerances but I do prefer my name to be pronounced correctly.” Stoak fingered the papers uncertainly. This man was certainly not like any other applicant he had filtered through. This could threaten his own career. That last thing he need was some upstart assistant occupying his spotlight. Still there was so much to catalog and so few answering his advertisement. Sora seemed to sense the Professor’s hesitance. Still he sat perfectly still in his chair and waited. He had researched quite a bit into this position before even knocking on the front door. He knew full well the kind of position he was getting into, however it suited his purposes just fine. That and he had orders. This professor was not going to turn down an applicant at this stage. Not if Sora’s information was right on the Nosepass.

“Very well Soren Mich-Lisp. You seem qualified enough. You have a half hour to set up your room and then I expect you in the library on the dot.” Sora suppressed a groan. He had a sneaking suspicion that for someone who was quite anal on names; his newest employer was mispronouncing Sora’s name on purpose. Still he had to endure it. He was under orders and considering the alternative to disobeying those said directives, Sora preferred this route. Stoak tossed Sora a ring of keys and then pointed to the stairway behind him.

The room was not something to write home to mother about. It was a square beige colored room that reminded Sora of a few police holding cells he had been though. There was nothing much save for a large bay window, a bed, a dresser, and a less than stellar closet. Sora held only one single suitcase in his white gloved hand and this he placed gingerly on the bed. The bed squeaked under the meager weight of the case. Well at least he didn’t require much sleep these days, one of the very few advantages of his current situation. He clicked the flaps of the case and sorted out what little possessions he had. Sora hung his seven swallowtail suits and then laid out five Poke’ balls.

He remembered the day he sent his team away; making it clear he never wanted to see them again. He remembered how bitterly his team fought that order and it was only through the unwarranted use of sedatives that he hidden them in a crate and shipped them out of the region. Sora never understood why they had refused to leave his side after everything he had done…a buzzer by his bed interrupted his thoughts. The half hour had gone further than he had thought.

The library was an impressive one and Sora was hardly a man to be impressed. Icarus Stoak was a leading man regarding Earth-based Pokemon and his collection of books proved it quite substantially. One collection intrigued his attention among everything else. One collection was behind an ornate glass case. Every book was much older looking and possessing more ornamental covers than the other titles. One book he found particularly interesting. He recognized the slightly singed metal spine cover. So that is what became of that tome. Sora reached for his keys until Stoak bellowed, “Mich-Lisp your assignment is over here. You are not permitted to touch those volumes.”

Again Sora suppressed a groan. Still he couldn’t help but be curious about those volumes, especially if one of those could possibly belong to him. A stack of magazines greeted him with an unwelcome blank glare. The professor seemed impatient and tapped the large gold coated pocket watch in his hand. “You are five minutes late, Mich-Lisp; not a good beginning.” Sora’s eye twitched; this name thing was starting to get really old really quick. Stoak hardly seemed to notice his employee’s irritation because he continued, “I want these cataloged in chronological order and subject matter. And have tea, Earl Grey, ready by six sharp. Can you handle that Soren Mich-Lisp?” Sora just smiled back and bowed. “Yes my lord.”

He waited until Stoak had shut the door before opening his mouth. “Pompous insect, if my boss…well let’s see what sort of magazines we’ve got here. Ah and while I’m here…I truly must stop talking to myself.” He slipped out a pokeball from his inner coat pocket and casually dropped it upon the floor. The red ball sprung open and a purple colored witch hat with a smiling face and flowing pink tined robes swirled about from the ebbing light. Mismagnius hovered about with a quavering chip. She wobbled a little but regained her levitation soon. “Sorry for the rough train ride here, Aurelie. Now be a dear and examine that book behind the glass case-the one with the metal backing. Let me know if it’s the one I want. If it is, you’ll need to pick the lock later.” Aurelie nodded and proceeded to follow her master’s orders. Sora dropped another ball and a purple and black bat blinked her large yellow eyes and snapped its pincers. Sora lifted up a cuff sleeve revealing three skull shaped cuff buttons which he plucked two of them off the circular disks they had been mounted on. The Gliscor obediently held out her pincers and took one button in each mandible. “Be though on all the hallways and rooms you find. Don’t get spotted this time. I’m running fairly dry until the next moon and I need what residual power I have. We understand Doc?” Doc nodded and slipped though the window.

It was three hours later before Sora was pouring hot water through the strainer packed just precisely with the tea leaves requested. During his exhaustive cataloging, he was reminded he was to also put together dinner because he was to receive a guest. Placing the tea and cups on the tray waiting for the tea to finish seeping, Sora rummaged through what he could find within the extensive kitchen. It was tough but he managed to put together a suitable feast for two. He had noticed that the Professor kept checking on him at regular intervals with his tea cup in hand though he seemed pleased with each sip. The kitchen was soon rich with the smell of the vibrant medley of spices and the curing of meat. Sora did his best to hide a confidant smile. It was imperative that he secure this position under his true masters’ orders. Sora procured a clean linen tablecloth and covered the dining table outside. He polished the outdoor lanterns and swept the patio clean. It was a warm autumn evening even if the moon was only a grinning smile in the night sky. The professor watched that the inhuman speed that his new employee seemed to work. This strange Honchcrow cloaked man was going to be difficult spirit to break.

It was seven when the guest arrived. A hansom cab pulled by a pair of Rapidash pulled up the long gravel driveway before the front of the house. Sora opened the door to the cab and allowed the guest to step down. He was a suave looking gentleman about Stoak’s age though nothing much else seemed to impress Sora. There was something however; perhaps it was his smile or the way his eyes seemed to shift about, that Sora didn’t like. Even the coachman seemed to be shifting about. Still it was none of Sora’s concern…for now.

The guest was introduced was Simon Grant, a mutual coinsurer of the anthropology of Earth based Pokemon. Sora served dinner and wine without question. He happened to stay outside the door listening to their conversations. “So Icarus I see you have a new assistant.”
“Oh Mr. Mich-Lisp. We’ll see how long he lasts. I give him a month at best.”
“So old friend, when will you allow me the pleasure of seeing your special books collection? I am quite interested in Dialga’s…”
“We have gone over this Simon. Those texts are very fragile and Dialga’s Tome was a very expensive investment.”
“An investment that you out bided me for, do not forget that. Further I heard it once belonged to a dead criminal.” Sora rolled his eyes and stifled an amused chuckle. He spirited himself into the kitchen and poured himself a short glass of the wine. The liquid tasted like air in his mouth and his thirst was hardly quenched. He couldn’t even satisfy himself with an alcohol induced buzz in the brain. That was one of the disadvantages of his condition and even after five years he still was not used to it. “Mich-Lisp bring over the dessert”, bellowed his employer. “It’s Michaelis, Michaelis, Michaelis”, Sora snarled inside his brain over and over again.

Sora was just wheeling the tray into the dining room when their guest Simon Grant pushed by him and walked down the hall. Sora kept one eye on the open door as he sliced the sponge cake and poured strawberry puree on top before serving it to his employer. “Will Simon Grant be joining you for dessert?” Stoak stuffed a piece of cake in his mouth and mumbling between mouthfuls, “He just went out to make a phone call. Mmmph prepare me another slice.” Stoak hiccupped and chuckled with rosy red cheeks.

Simon Grant had lit himself a cigarette as he walked down the maze-like halls of the mansion. At least he found the door leading into the library. Pushing open the door ever so slightly, he slipped inside and shut the door behind him. From his inner coat pocket he pulled out a pen light and began to swing it about until he found the object of his search. From the same pocket he pulled out a key and inserted it into the lock of the glass case. He grinned as he paused his gloved hand to carefully open the case. It had been far too easy to get the fool drunk and then slip the only key out of the man’s shirt pocket. Now at last he grasped his hands on the tome. The book felt like holding a slab of iron in his hands. He gently placed the book on the end table and punched a number on speed dial on his phone. “I got the book. I’m sending it out by Pidgeot right now. Don’t worry; he’s so sure of the security of his things he won’t bother to check for weeks. By that time I’ll be out of the region with a book rightfully mine…” He paused when he thought he sensed someone else was in the room. He turned to the window to open it and jumped back at seeing a pallid face grinning back at him in the glass’ reflection. Simon rubbed his eyes only to find his own reflection looking back at him. He opened the window and dropped the book out the window. Simon shut the window and the case before exiting the room.

He walked down the hall with a satisfied grin on his face. The cake and wine were a nice touch to his self appointed victory. Still he could not help but notice that Stoak’s new assistant seemed to always keep an eye on him. He bid good night and then hoisted himself into the carriage. As Sora closed the door he said, “You do need to treat a dead man’s effects much more gingerly. Just a thought for the future.” Simon was already not amused by this smiling assistant, and he hastily ordered his cabman to ride away.

The air was warm and gentle that night. The moon though slim seemed to cast a gentle glow upon the park road. He was a mile away from the mansion now. Beside him was the tome his cabman retrieved from the bottom of the window. This book was rumored to be the very words of the Lord of Time himself and the old fool hadn’t even begun to attempt to unravel the mysteries contained in this volume. To Stoak it was just a novelty book; to Grant it was an opportunity. He paused as he opened the front cover. Written on the inside in indelible pencil was the name “Dr. Sebastian Giratin”. “Whoever this doctor is, he has ruined the integrity of this precious volume. We’ll have to find a way to remove that.”
“You do need to treat a dead man’s effects more gingerly.” Simon jumped because he could have sworn someone had been sitting next to him saying those words in the same voice as the assistant. He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped away the sweat from his brow. “That is just preposterous.” Suddenly he jerked forward as the carriage came to a screeching sharp turn and then a halt. Simon stuck his head out and shouted, “What the hell are you doing?”

“Sir there was something in the middle of the road. Look over there”, answered the cab man. Simon walked out and shinned his pen light on the road. The light reflected off the wings of a metal coated bird. The Skarmory was casually pecking at the ground and blinked curiously at the human pair. Simon shook his head. He was being frightened for nothing. As he walked back towards the cab he noticed the air seemed colder. No it was just his imagination surely. He seated himself back in and held the tome in his hands. He was letting himself get too unnerved by this. It wasn’t like some demon was going to jump out.

The carriage moved on until they reached a fork in the road. When the carriage turned left instead of right Simon pounded on the window demanding an explanation. The driver turned to face him but it was not the same man he had hired; it was the smug face of Stoak’s assistant. Simon screamed and in a brief second closed it his eyes. When he opened them there was no driver. Before Simon could react, he felt something catch the tire below him. In a swift thrust the carriage toppled over and Simon was thrown across the path. He tried to move until he felt something crack in his leg. He turned and touched the ever increasing blood pool seeping from his pants. He tried to call for help but he saw the ever dimming lights from the flames of his frightened Rapidash leading far away towards town. His cell phone…yes he could call for help. No it wasn’t in his pocket…where had it fallen? He saw the glimmer of the metal case as he shined his penlight around. It was resting on top of his book. Simon slowly dragged himself towards the items, trying to ignore the ever increasing cold. His hand was almost on the phone now until he saw something pick it up from his reach. It was a hand-a white gloved hand. Simon turned his gaze up but he couldn’t disconcert the figure above him. It appeared to be human but the face was like staring right at a specter. The specter seemed to grin at the wounded leg of Simon. “You really need to watch where you are driving. You may never know when you might hit a large rock. Tsk tsk tsk such carelessness.”

Simon sensed something move behind him; something massive and earthy. The specter plucked the book from the ground and dusted it off casually with a sleeve. “As a keep telling you, my lord Grant, you truly to need to treat a dead man’s things with more respect.” Simon lunged for the book, and managed to get his fingertips grafted to the cover. The ghost tried to pull it away and in the struggle something fell from the sleeve of Grant. The ghost let go of the book and plucked a little medallion from the ground. It held it up to the light and grinned amused. “Well well well this is certainly an opportunistic coincidence.” The ghost leaned forward closer towards Simon. There were no distinct features of the specter’s face save for a devilish grin and cold red eyes. “Now Mr. Grant, let us have a little talk.”

Stoak was running through the house. As if under some instinct he had reached for the key to the glass case and noticing it was gone. And now his servant was nowhere to be found. He did not like the day this day was going. Tired he moved inside the library to mope only to find Sora placing the book back inside and twisting the lock shut. Stoak pointed a stubby finger accusingly at his employee. “You? You stole by book?” Sora just smiled back. “Forgive me, my lord, I was merely returning it from Mr. Grant’s acquisition.” In a casual flick he tossed the cigar into the wastebasket. Stoak rubbed the ashes between his fingers. He was quite certain that his assistant had stolen the tome and yet Simon Grant had also desired his book. His assistant was just standing there is an assuring smile. Surely no one of such a grin could be a thief. Stoak patted the shoulder of his assistant. “Good show Mich-Lisp. I do believe I hired the right man. Now hurry and wash those dishes and have my notes ready for the morning. Hurry it up.”

It was late in the evening, even though Sora felt no need for sleep. He pulled out two pokeballs and placed them casually back on the mantle. He held the ball holding his Tyranitar and snickered, “You know, breaking his leg was a nice touch though a little overdone, Shad. Still this evening was not entirely unfruitful.” Just as he placed the ball on the mantle he felt the back of his hand suddenly burn like something was etching in his flesh. He removed his left glove with his teeth to reveal a metallic hand. Etched on the steel was two half circles with lines radiating from the center. It was the symbol of Arceus. Sora moved toward the mirror and lightly touched the glass. The glass wavered like ripples in a still pond until a familiar face appeared. It as one of his masters, though not the one he expected. “You know you do need to find a less painful away to contact me, master.” The echo voice responded, “Have you accomplished your mission?”
“Aside from certain tolerances, I managed to expedite your orders. And I got something else too.” He held up the little coin towards the mirror. Engraved was a shield with a P and a lightning bolt. It also smelled of a certain chemical compound Sora was all too familiar with. “I believe we have finally got down to the heart of the matter.

lovetheangelshadow
14th February 2012, 9:46 PM
Okay this is just plain silly. Every time I start this fic I think of a better plot line and end up deleting the whole bloody thing. I mean Sora never changes...just the situation I throw him in is....argh!