Just finished it!
Chapter 2 – Foul play
The Kalian headquarters was and had always been the most technologically advanced institution in Lucidia, typically remaining at least five hundred years ahead of present-day science. Despite the building being the only feature of Chronos Island, it was only 14m x 8.5m in area and no more than four storeys tall. Considering the fact that it housed seven people, forty-two Pokémon and countless pieces of technology, it was remarkable that they fit everything in. In retrospect, Roan felt they should have designed it to be bigger, but it had seemed like all they needed at the time and the technology would be too difficult to relocate now.
He materialised in the operations centre, a room of his own design where the main decision-making took place. He had taken his inspiration from the bridge of the Enterprise-D, and it showed clearly. The predominant colour was a pale peach with computer consoles and chairs filling most of the floor space. At the back of the room was a conference table with its own viewscreen, though the main viewer was at the front of the room and dominated most of the south wall. Ops was considerably more cramped than Roan’s inspiration, but it served them well enough. Only three of the team were present at their stations- obviously the briefing was over. Closest to him was Pavel, a Russian albino wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. His title was Darkus, putting him in charge of research on the Cyran Sun- or the rift, as the Kalians called it. He was stood working at his console; a computer embedded into a wooden crescent around the three command chairs. Sitting in the central one was Milleva, slouching in her captain’s seat. Roan nicknamed her Captain Janeway, something that had inspired her to have her brown hair at shoulder length. She wore dark green jeans and a yellow blouse, with futuristic-looking shoulder ridges. On her right at one of the side science consoles was Marion, their Pokémon researcher. She wore a white polar neck jumper and black jeans with dark hair tied into a ponytail at the back. Roan cherished a soft spot for her, but she was never very receptive. He had long since abandoned any stereotypes of French romance. He made his way past her and took his seat at Milleva’s left. He was second officer, which meant he took charge if Industrius and Technola were simultaneously on mission, which sadly didn’t happen very often. He enjoyed his occasional shots at the big chair. But command was at the moment the last thing on his mind.
“Enjoy Héva?” asked Milleva in her charming Irish accent. “I take you’ve sorted out the trouble.”
“I always do,” smiled Roan. “The impact was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, but I’ve pretty much eliminated any lasting consequences. The only trouble is the premature emigration from Héva (which would’ve happened sooner or later anyway) and one girl who should’ve died but didn’t.” He paused. “It was old Mr. Hood again.”
Milleva looked up, concerned. “It was him? I thought you said this was a high-impact thing.”
“It was,” admitted Roan. “Which is why I think we need to get everyone back together again.”
Half an hour later, only Industrius had returned of the three absent members. Marion was drumming her fingers on the conference table, and Roan was playing Super Mario Bros. on his Chronometer.
“I thought you sent out a Priority-1,” said Industrius. Jack Carter was a Texan, with black crew-cut hair, a leather jacket and black jeans.
“I thought I did,” replied Technola. “Can anyone explain our missing comrades?”
Roan lost the game, and turned off his Chronometer in frustration. “I might know where Roma is. She got in my way back in Héva. Probably sulking in Mount Moon again.”
Milleva sighed. “Now why on earth didn’t you tell me this before?”
He shrugged. “I figured until Dominik got here it wouldn’t matter.”
“Ve may as vell start.” Said Pavel. “You mentioned zee hooded man?”
Roan sat up. “The anachronism I just checked out was his fault. It was the biggest-scale thing he’s ever done.”
Milleva broke in. “Roan tells me that it extended over five years.”
“In that time,” said Roan, “He persuaded good-hearted businessman Jacob Hartley to start a covert mining operation with the intent of manufacturing Pokéballs capable of stealing other trainers’ Pokémon.”
“Ah, I myself ‘av been looking into ‘zis technology.” said Marion, “if ‘ve ever needed to do ‘zis for some reason, ‘ve would need to be able to. I ‘av not been able to think ‘zis properly yet. How did ‘e do it, may I ask?”
“He was developing a regular cohesium-based Pokéball with tangeum components.”
Marion slapped herself in the face. “Of course, it ‘ees obvious to me now.”
Milleva coughed. “Regardless of the ways and means, he did something seriously dangerous here. With a bit of luck, Reniss has just thwarted a major plan of his.”
“Or he could’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Industrius. “For all we know, HM could’ve been involved in Pagas’ disappearance.”
At this, Roan looked extremely disturbed. “He wouldn’t kidnap a Kalian, would he?”
Milleva sighed. “At this point I’m not sure what he would do.”
She was interrupted by an alarm on Roan’s Chronometer. He activated the holographic display, and read a few paragraphs. “We’ve got a problem in 1994. It looks to me like there’s a Ramuparudo loose on the Wilda Barrens. I expect that an anachronistic trainer that was saved by Lizzie revived a fossil they found and wasn’t happy with the result.”
“Ah, but ‘zis is not possible,” said Marion. “’Zey could not clone Pokémon at ‘zis time.”
“It’s probably worth looking into,” said Milleva. “Medieva and Reniss, you head off there and sort out the dinosaur. Darkus, I want you to put everything you have into keeping that rift secure. Who knows what HM could do with a power source like that? Industrius, I’m taking you off future for now. I want you find me HM, do whatever’s necessary short of disrupting the timeline. I’ll keep trying to reach Roma, and when I find her I’ll set her looking for Pagas. Dismissed.”
Roan crossed around the table to meet Marion. “Are you ready to go?”
“Non,” she replied, “my Pokémon, ‘zey are in ‘ze Holosuite.”
“Fair enough. You know, I don’t give my team nearly enough Holosuite time.”
The two of them entered a door on their left, the main lift. “Level 2,” said Roan. The lift rose one level, before admitting them onto a corridor. They crossed it and entered the door on their far left.
The Kalian Holosuites used the same basic projection technology as the Chronometers, though on a much larger scale. This room was configured to create an ideal living environment for the Kalian Pokémon. While they were here, it was almost like their Pokémon were in the wild. Roan thought of it as fitting repayment for the great services they do. By a lucky coincidence all the Kalian Pokémon were reasonably comfortable in a temperate climate, so when they came into the Holosuite Roan and Marion found themselves in a representation of the Gap of Cielo. Many considered the valley the most picturesque view in all of Lucidia. Roan and Marion had stepped out onto a grassy plain extending right across the valley. There were innumerable Pokémon playing in the environment, though only the Kalians’ parties were not artificially generated. To their left was the crystal-clear Lake of Cielo, with water Pokémon playing near the shore. On their other side was an enormous pine forest, which Roan knew in reality extended all the way to the coast at Fir Town. They strolled together for a few minutes, force field “treadmills” adapting the environment so that they couldn’t perceive the walls.
“I really enjoy just being able to just do nothing like this,” said Roan. “Maybe when we get back, we could spend some time together in the Holosuite. I know a great café in 19th Century Fir Town.”
“Maybe,” said Marion, not even looking at him.
Roan decided it would be best to steer the conversation away from his persisting attempts at romance. “So, where are we going to find your Pokémon?”
Marion simply said, “computer, halt program.” Their environment disappeared and was replaced by the grey emitter-lined walls. Only eighteen Pokémon were now visible. Marion recalled hers, and left the room.
“Computer, resume program but display the exit,” said Roan, slightly irritated that Marion hadn’t done this. “And remove the doors when I leave the room.” He jogged out to follow her.
In the Héva Hall grounds, Amy was building a bonfire. Her family was very distantly of British origin, though that was hundreds of years ago and they did not normally celebrate November 5th. This November 5th though, was the day after Roan Clockrow had come and changed her life. It was no ordinary Bonfire Night. Nor was this any ordinary bonfire. On top of the mound of wood she had scavenged from the grounds was every single dress, corset and skirt she had ever owned. Instead, she had refilled her wardrobes with t-shirts and jeans. The outfit she had on now was a particularly slack pair of denims with an Iron Maiden top. She had pulled her hair out of the bun she had been told to wear by her parents and allowed her hair to fall onto her back. She lit the fire and collapsed onto the ground, happy with her handiwork.
She remained by the fireside for some time, enjoying the sensations. She had no regrets about what she was doing, but she was dreading what her parents would say. They would almost certainly disown her, but she was prepared for that. She had stolen some money from her father’s room, enough to buy a flight off Héva and keep her fed and watered for a substantial time. She was planning to follow the age-old tradition of leaving home to be a Pokémon trainer. She had a better baseline than most amateurs, with a team of four Pokémon already, but she knew that she would have a hard time. Anything was better than being stuck in Héva Hall.
With that thought in mind, she decided to join her parents for dinner.
She peered through a small crack in the dining room doors. Her father was in his suit as always, and perhaps even sterner-looking than usual. The maid was serving her parents soup, and was filling a bowl for Amy too. No doubt someone had been sent to look for her, probably nanny Sarah. Amy’s stomach turned at the thought of her; she was the only thing at Héva Hall that Amy was truly reluctant to leave behind. But there was no going back now. She burst through the double doors.
Her father stood in outrage at the mere fact that the doors had been thrown open in this way, and his anger turned to shock as he saw Amy. Quickly recovering his posture, he glared at her and shouted.
“What in God’s name are you wearing?” was all he could manage.
“I’m wearing what I want to wear,” replied Amy. “I’ve had it with you forcing me to live my life the way you mean me to.”
“You had better go back to your room, and change back into what you usually wear,” he bellowed. “You had a lovely dress on for dinner yesterday, I would like to see you in it again.”
“I don’t have any dresses left to wear!” Amy raised her voice too. “If you can’t accept me the way I want to be then I’ll leave. I’ve realised that I don’t belong here.”
“If this is more about that Roan boy…” warned her father.
“And what if it is! What he told me was true; I have every reason to believe it. In six months Héva Island will have collapsed into the ocean. He showed me things I’ve never seen before, and opened my eyes to how I could be living my life.”
“Amy dear,” said her mother. “Are you really sure this is what you want? Stop and think for a moment about the life you are denying yourself.”
“The only thing I’m denying myself is a life of miserable upper-class nonsense. I don’t wish to be a part of this family any longer.”
“Fine then!” shouted her father. “See how long you last before you realise what an appalling decision you are making. I don’t want to see you in this house again, unless you are wearing a dress!”
“Then goodbye father, mother.” she walked calmly back out of the door, but paused before closing them. “Live long and prosper,” she said.
And her parents never saw her again.
Roan and Marion materialised in a small alley off a bustling paved street. The stone houses were ridiculously close together, and with the market stalls lining each side of the road it was a miracle anyone managed to walk in a fashion anything other than single-file, let alone in the bedlam which the two Kalians found themselves in. The street extended a long way in both directions, with impressive monuments being the only sight at either end, a disheartening contrast to the poverty in which they currently stood. Marion recalled her Celebi, and Roan attempted to load his Chronometer.
“I think it’s crashed,” he said weakly. “Typical. Remind me to give everyone’s Chronometers a maintenance check.”
“We have no time for ‘zis now- ‘ow are we going to find ‘ze Ramuparudo without ‘ze anachronism detectors?”
“I think,” he said, “we’ll have to speak to the locals. I learnt Cumreean back in school.”
“‘Zat was one thousand years ago!”
“I still remember the basics,” he said, and strode onto the street and picked out a local man. “Erm, chizan’ti kilmar… mi’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetii?” The man simply gave him an odd look and continued walking.
“Perhaps your Cumreean ‘ees not as good as you thought,” said Marion with a smile.
“I know I’ve got this right.” He picked out a woman trying to sell some carpets on a market stall. “Chizan’ti kolmoro, mo’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetti?” The woman simply indicated her carpets and said something.
“What ‘ees she trying to tell us?” asked Marion.
“I think,” said Roan, “that she wants us to buy a carpet. Nip, chizan’mo. Shi’mo!” He moved onto another man. “Chizan’ti kilmar… mi’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetii?” he asked.
The man laughed. “Why you want know if I smell Ramuparudo’s ocean?”
Roan clicked his fingers against his side. “Sorry about that, my Cumreean is a little rusty.”
Marion shook her head, “My friend, ‘ee wants to know if you have seen a monster in ‘ze desert.”
The man lost his smile almost immediately. “I no see this. But I hear things. Boy was killed in shrine two week ago. People see monster then. People say monster boy’s spirit. Want revenge.”
Roan was intrigued by this news. “Do you know who the boy was, or the murderer?”
He shrugged and laughed. “I say all I hear. You want more, you ask shrine elders.”
The dragon Pokémon shrine was extremely easy to find. Their informant had pointed it out atop a hill, and the large statue of a Rayquaza on the roof of the building was more than enough to help them locate it once they had said shi’mi to him. Roan ran into the building.
“I can at least remember ‘Do you speak English’,” he said, before approaching one of the monks. “Chizan’ti kilmar, mi’pestra Tohjopest?”
The monk his head pathetically. “Nip, chizan’mi. Nip drakilmar’pestra Tohjopest.”
“Great,” said Roan sarcastically. “Chizan’ti. Shi’mo! I think he said that none of the monks here speak English.”
“You think?” replied Marion, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, I assume the dra prefix on kilmar means holy or something.”
“Do you know enough Cumreean to ask ‘zem about ‘ze murder?”
“Not likely. My best guess would be mi’denk nipkilkilmar’lop drafortu, but I have an awful feeling that means ‘do you think death man’s holy castle’ or something.”
“Couldn’t we use ‘ze Chronometer’s universal translator?”
“My Chronometer’s broken, and yours isn’t equipped with one. It’s hardly a priority on a Pokémon research system.” He paused. “Didn’t I give yours DNA tracking capabilities?”
“Oui, why is ‘zis important?”
“Couldn’t we use them to locate the Ramuparudo?”
She thought for a moment. “I think ‘zat we could. I cannot use ‘ze Chronometer with all of ‘zese people nearby, we should find somewhere quiet.”
Roan nodded. “I saw an alleyway to the left of here just as we came in.”
Two weeks ago Jara had been orphaned. His father had been a missionary from the United States, who had married a local woman ten years ago. Two years later, Jara had been born. A half-cast outcast among the children of Wilda, always left out because of his strange accent and looks. He had found comfort only in the welcoming arms of his parents, but now they were gone. His sadness had quickly turned to anger. Anger at the monster that had killed them.
He was hiding in an alleyway near the shrine. His father had always taught him that worshipping Pokémon was against God’s will, but he felt safe when he was near the statues of the dragons. That was why he had come here when he lost his parents. His life over the past two weeks had been extremely strange. As two teenagers walked into his hiding place, it became a lot stranger. The girl began pressing buttons on a silver egg she wore on her arm, and suddenly a large arrow appeared floating in mid-air between the two of them, with some words beneath it. The girl spoke in his father’s language, English.
“’Ze Ramuparudo is in zat direction, about five kilometres out into ‘ze desert.” She paused. “’Zis is interesting. Its DNA has evidence of genetic modification.”
“Genetic modification?” Said the boy. “The plot thickens.”
Jara had never heard most of these words before, or seen anything like what he’d just seen. They had said they were looking for something in the desert. They must mean the monster. He decided to step out and speak to them.
“Excuse me,” He said in his best polite voice, “Are you looking for the monster? It killed my parents, and I would like revenge on it.”
The boy and girl looked extremely surprised to see him. The girl spoke first. “Who ‘ees looking after you?”
“I haven’t got anyone left to look after me,” said Jara sadly. “I’ve been asking the monks for food.”
The girl looked pitifully at him, but the boy turned away and rolled his eyes.
The girl spoke. “We are going to look for the monster. Did ‘eet really kill your parents?”
Jara looked at the ground. “I wouldn’t tell a lie about that.”
The girl looked extremely disturbed, and said something to the boy. “’Zis ‘ees very unusual. Pokémon never harm human beings, not even a Ramuparudo.”
The boy turned to look at her. “Maybe it was genetically modified to do that. You know about Shadow Pokémon, maybe this is a genetically created one.”
“Maybe,” she said.
“We should go with Celebi and get it as soon as possible, especially now we know it’s dangerous.”
“Non, if we go with Celebi, we will have to leave ‘zis boy here. What ‘ees your name?”
“Jara,” he replied.
“Bonjour Jara. My name ‘ees Marion, ‘zis ‘ees Roan.”
“You can’t seriously think we should take him with us,” said Roan.”
“We cannot leave an orphan on ‘ees own!” Marion looked irritated. “Anyway, ’ee might be able to help.”
“Fine, if you’re that worried about him,” said Roan.
Amy was emptying her wardrobe for the second time that day, this time into a suitcase. She was sure that leaving home was the best thing for her to do, and yet now that she had made the decision she was having regrets. She did love her parents, as any child does, and she knew that she would miss them. But at the same time she knew she couldn’t be truly happy until she left home.
There was a knock at the bedroom door. “Miss Amy, are you in there?” It was nanny Sarah.
“Come in,” she called, though she wasn’t sure whether she was happy to see her or not. She didn’t want to have to say goodbye to Sarah.
“Your parents ‘av been tellin’ me what you said to them at dinner,” she said in her strong cockney accent, though with a touch of sympathy and regret.
“They haven’t told you to convince me to stay, have they?”
“As a matter of fact, they ‘av.” She sat on Amy’s bed and beckoned her to do the same. She put her arm round Amy. “’am not gonna’ tell you to stay ‘ere, ‘cos a knew this day would come.” Sarah spoke slowly and caringly, the only person who ever did this for Amy, who was already in tears.
“You never ‘av been one for all this posh business. I remember the time I used to ‘av getting you to wear your Sunday dresses!”
Amy managed a smile.
“Look, I know what you’re going through. Your heart’s tellin’ you to stay, but you’re ‘ead’s telling you to go. And I know you well enough to know which you’ll listen to. But I think you should know Amy, that your parents do love you, and they will be heartbroken if you go. I know it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, but they really do care about you.”
Amy wiped the tears from her eyes. “I’m sorry Sarah, I really am. But I know what I have to do.”
Sarah patted her on the back and smiled. “Well I’m not gonna’ stand in your way. Goodbye Amy.”
Amy just couldn’t bring herself to say goodbye, but Sarah understood.
Roan, Marion and Jara soon found themselves trekking through the Wilda Barrens on two “borrowed” Camerupt. Roan had insisted that their tag-along rode with Marion. The two of them were conversing cheerfully. It was a lot hotter than Roan was accustomed to; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and there was no shade for cover. He discreetly wiped the sweat from his brow, not wanting to show any signs of weakness in front of Marion.
“’Ze Ramuparudo should be within 100 metres,” she said to Roan.
“Well that’s stupid,” he said. “This is a desert. Open plains for kilometres. If there was a dinosaur out here, we’d certainly be able to see it by now.”
At that moment, a deafening roar thundered directly behind them. They turned to see the enormous blue-and-grey dinosaur Pokémon charging at them.
The trio leapt off their Camerupt. Marion told Jara to hide behind the volcano-camels, and Roan pulled a Pokéball.
“Excuse moi,” said Marion, “Who ‘ees ‘ze Pokémon specialist here?”
Roan hastily put the Pokéball away. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”
She smiled. “Aller, PorygonZ!” The virtual Pokémon materialised in a flash of red light.
“As PorygonZ ‘ees a virtual Pokémon, it can use ‘ze effective attacks without being weakened by ‘ze strong sunlight like a water Pokémon would be,” she explained to Roan.
“I know that, I’m not completely Pokémon-stupid you know,” he said. “In fact I used a similar technique just last mission. Solarbeam?” He asked her.
Marion’s smile widened. “Swagger!” The PorygonZ split into its component parts and began whizzing around the Ramuparudo’s head. The dinosaur tried to swat the pieces, with very little success.
“Are you insane?” said Roan. “Ramuparudo is strong enough as it is, without you making it angrier than a drunk after a Monopoly pub crawl!”
“An angry Pokémon thinks less about battling intelligently, so ‘eet will probably hurt ‘eetself and forget to defend ‘eetself.”
“I still think it’s suicide,” said Roan.
The virtual Pokémon reformed itself. The dinosaur Pokémon looked wrathfully at it, and aimed a kick with tremendous force, which PorygonZ had to expertly dodge at the last minute.
“I hate to say I told you…” began Roan, before watching the Ramuparudo fall to the floor after losing its balance. “Well, so what?” he said, changing tact. “You only just avoided serious damage.”
“Ah, ‘eet ‘ees not over yet. Psych Up!” The PorygonZ copied Ramuparudo’s kick, aiming it at mid air. A glint appeared in its eye.
“Touché,” said Roan.
“Finish ‘eet off! Iron Tail!” The PorygonZ changed colour to a metallic white, and slammed its tail into Ramuparudo, which was still lying dazed on the floor. The immense force was enough to knock it unconscious.
Marion recalled PorygonZ, and pulled an empty Pokéball. She threw it at the Ramuparudo, but it simply bounced off.
“That’s odd,” said Roan. “It must already be cohesidised, which means it must belong to someone.
“I think,” said Marion, “’zat I will take ‘zis back to ‘ze base, and I will study ‘eet in quarantine.”
“You’ll need to use Celebi,” said Roan, “where should I take your little friend?”
“You can take ‘eem to ‘ze shrine. ‘Ee speaks English and Cumreean, ‘ee can translate ‘ze monks for you.”
“Fair enough,” agreed Roan. He looked across at Jara, sizing him up. “I’m tired of riding Camerupt, I reckon both of us can fit on my Charizard.”
Marion sighed, and looked at the camels. “Find your way home,” she said to them. They plodded off.
Roan released his Charizard. “A dragon! A real dragon!” said Jara. He ran up to the orange fire Pokémon and hugged it.
“Well, strictly speaking…” began Roan, before noticing Marion’s cold look. “Yep, a real dragon. And you’re going to ride it with me.”
At these words Jara ran to Roan and hugged him too. “Thank you!” he said. “I’ve always wanted to ride a dragon!”
“I’d… noticed,” said Roan awkwardly. He broke off the hug as soon as courtesy allowed, and mounted himself and the boy on Charizard’s back.
“Wheeeee!” shouted Jara as they took off. Marion put her head in her hands and laughed to herself, before releasing Celebi and disappearing in a green glow.
“Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!!!” said Jara as Roan recalled Charizard. “Can we ride him again?”
“Maybe some other time,” lied Roan. “But now we have an important job to do. I need to speak to the monks but they don’t understand English. Can you tell me what they say, and tell them what I say?”
The boy nodded, and they walked into the shrine. Roan stopped one of the monks. “Chizan’ti drakilmar. Ask him if he knows anything about the murder.”
The monk looked between Roan and Jara. “Yeep, pindrakilmar’denk nipkil.”
“He says, ‘yes, all the monks know about the murder’.”
“Tell him that the victim was my friend and I want to see him,” lied Roan.
“Nipkilkilmar’wop Roan.” Jara gestured toward Roan. “Mi’spolki mil.”
The monk looked extremely disturbed at this. “Ti’spolki Roan’lop niptirola.”
“He says he doesn’t want to see your monster. Do you have a monster?” asked Jara.
“I don’t have any monsters like that one. Ask him where the monsters came from.”
“Mi’denk tirola orgin?”
“Upokilmar’lop tirola stir nipkilkilmar’lop tirola. Mil’heril mil stir upokilmar’lop yeepheril Upokilmar’lop tirola’nipkil nipkilkilmar. Nipkilkilmar’lop tirola’retip fordo.”
“He says a man in a hood and the victim had a Pokémon battle with those monsters. The man in the hood won, and his monster killed the victim. The victim’s monster ran outside.”
“The hooded man, I should’ve known. Why didn’t I see this before? The Ramuparudo would surely be distressed enough at the loss of his master to kill your parents.” He paused. “This is the first time HM has ever killed anyone. I wonder who the victim was.”
He thought for a moment, but then froze. “My God. Dominik has a Ramuparudo.
“Jara, quickly! Ask him to take us to the victim!”
The monk beckoned them into a side room. All the lights were out in here save one spotlight onto a stone table. A table with the ravaged body of Roan’s best friend.
“Dominik!” shouted Roan, rushing to him. His face was pale and blooded, but he was still easily recognisable as the bright-eyed, enthusiastic German boy Roan had known all of his life. Roan picked up his hand, and sank to kneeling. He broke down resting his head on the table and cried tears of extreme shock and fear. He just couldn’t believe that he was gone. Dominik couldn’t be gone. In an act of desperation, he felt for his pulse. Of course there was none. But there was still hope! Roan felt for a Pokéball, and tossed it up in the air. His Ampharos appeared next to him.
“Ampharos, use a Thunderbolt on Dominik!” He looked up through his tears, as blue light from the electric Pokémon hit his friend. Nothing happened.
“Again.” He remained there, still and lifeless.
“AGAIN!” No change.
The monk rushed up to him. “Mil’lop nipkil!”
“THUNDER! VOLT TACKLE! ANY DAMNED THING YOU CAN DO, JUST DO IT!” He shouted these words with every gram of life in him. Somehow he could come back. He just couldn’t be dead.
“MIL’LOP NIPKIL!” shouted the monk. He’s dead. He’s dead Roan, and you know it. You can’t change it.
He broke down the floor again. He felt the warm arms of his Ampharos cuddling him, comforting him. What was the point? Why should he need comfort? Dominik was the one who needed pity, not him. Dominik was the one who had been murdered.
Murdered. Murdered. Murdered. The word echoed around his head. Somewhere among all his grief, a spark of anger ignited, sending his whole body up in a flame of rage.
Roan didn’t know how he ever got himself back to HQ. It could have been an eternity he was there by Dominik’s body. He came back, and painfully told Milleva the news. Somewhere between then and now the Kalians and their Celebi had gathered in the laboratory around Dominik’s body. They were all dressed in black, and Milleva had prepared a eulogy.
“We are gathered here today, trainers and Pokémon alike, to honour the memory of our friend and comrade, Pagas Dominik Hundert. For one thousand years he has been the life and soul of the Kalians. His wit, humour and intellect will live on long after we have said goodbye. His loss will be hard felt by all of us, and by all of time. Everyone who’s heart he has ever warmed should be here with us today to see him move on, but we don’t have a big enough island.” Everyone smiled weakly through their tears. “Our thoughts and feelings go out to wherever you are now. Know, Pagas, that you will be truly missed.” She stepped back. All seven of the Celebi began glowing green, and Dominik’s body lifted gently from the table and disappeared.
“Well, this has been a hard week for all of us,” said Milleva, at the head of the conference table. “But we do have a pressing issue at hand. We need to name a successor to the title of Pagas. Normally Roan, this would be your job, but I can understand if you don’t want to.”
“No, it’s okay,” he said. “I know just the person to do it.”
Amy was at the gates of Héva Hall, suitcase in hand. She stared up the drive at her family home. It felt oddly difficult to let go.
“Going somewhere?” said a voice behind her. She jumped, and wheeled around.
“Roan!” she exclaimed. Dropping her bags, she ran up to him and hugged him.
“I haven’t been away that long, or is Celebi’s aim off?”
“I thought I’d never see you again!”
“So did I,” he said honestly. “Listen, there’s become a… an opening on our staff. How would you like to be a Kalian?”