One week later, Jeff left Jibacoil’s empty Pokeball on Elder Saitou’s desk and strode out the door into Eben Village. It was a chilly day, and as he bound up his coat close against his slight frame, he gave silent thanks that Stephen was on track to have the power plant up and running by the end of the month. Jeff had placed a call to Morty in Ecruteak City, and a dozen technicians had been sent to help. Eben Village was no longer alone.
Jibacoil had been captured and left to defend the power plant from further intrusions. It was probably buzzing about even now, harassing electrical workers and periodically draining the plant’s makeshift batteries. It had proven surprisingly receptive to his commands, which reinforced his suspicion that it had belonged to a powerful trainer before going AWOL, and hadn’t seemed to mind its new task. Its presence meant that Eben would never again have to worry about power outages and Mightyena packs, and for that Jeff was grateful.
James was recovering in Dr. Murakami’s house with his Pokemon, all of whom had suffered severe electrical shocks from Jibacoil’s vicious attacks. Underneath James’s bandages, pinpoint burns that looked Braille dotted his skin where the electricity had arced in and out of his body.
He was awake and talking to Kim when Jeff walked in, and he waved weakly, “Hey Jeff, come to see my suffering?”
“I’m here with flowers from your biggest fan,” Jeff held up several buttercups for James, who raised an eyebrow. “The last of the year, fresh from the fields.”
“Tell Kara thanks for me,” James said dryly as he stuffed the buttercups into an empty vase and Kim stifled a laugh.
Jeff took a seat next to James’s bed, where he was momentarily blinded by the sunlight pouring into the room. He reflected that it would be winter pretty soon, and that meant that it wouldn’t be long before Salamence went to ground. He would have to finish the hunt for his old friend soon, or face going into battle with the Pokemon he had.
Jeff glanced at James’s Pokemon sleeping in the corner, and asked, “So how are your Pokemon doing?”
“They’re all doing great. Even Pidgeot will be up and about in about a week.”
“That’s great,” Jeff smiled. “Take good care of those Pokemon, James. Once upon a time, I lost a Pokemon I felt very close to. Same goes for you Kim. How’s your training with Ursaring going?”
Kim rolled her eyes, “He loves me as long as I have snacks to spare for him. You just have to watch out when he gets hungry.”
“Are we leaving soon, boss?” James piped up. “It’ll be getting pretty cold out there before too long.”
Jeff paused a moment to think about it. Raikou, Suicune and Entei were still out there, and he had a feeling that the three of them were meant to try and capture them with Morty and Claire’s help. Where the three legends could be hiding was anybody’s guess, but it didn’t seem as if they were ever too far away.
He glanced up to speak, and caught a peculiar look in James’s eye. For a moment, it seemed as if there had been something that he had wanted to say, and Jeff mentioned it.
James shrugged, “Well, I know you’re ready to go looking for Suicune and Raikou, but I’ve got my own business to take care of.”
“Is it more important than capturing Suicune, Raikou and Entei?” Kim asked pointedly.
“Well, actually, yeah,” James said quietly. “It’ll be a lot harder than you think, for one thing. It’s pretty complicated.”
Jeff looked at James carefully, his eyes narrowed. Secrecy were James’s M.O., and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Heaven knew that he had a few secrets himself. But James had managed to take secrets above and beyond the next level. He hesitated a moment, then said, “James, if this has to do with Suicune, Raikou and Entei, then I think that it’s about time you tell us everything you know.”
James frowned, “I’ll think about it, but there’s a lot you won’t like hearing.”
Kim put a hand on James’s shoulder, and he jerked a bit, “James, if we’re going to do this, we can’t keep anymore secrets. We won’t judge you.”
There was a long moment of silence, then James finally said, “I didn’t think that I could ever trust anybody again after what happened in Loam. I’ve only ever told one person the whole story, and he’s long since dead.”
“Then I think it’s time for a little catharsis,” Jeff said, and Kim nodded.
James looked from Jeff to Kim, one a tall and awkward-looking former Pokemon champion and the other a short, former Exterminator who had started training again just two weeks ago. They made an odd group, but for the first time in a long time, James felt like he had a family again. Pretty soon, they would leave Eben Village to begin the hunt for Raikou, Suicune and Entei. And somewhere along the line, Masamune Takeshi Miyai and the rest of his old family would have to die.
It all started now.
James began to tell his story.
Three weeks earlier
Two men stood in the ruins of Kanya Miyai’s house, both clad in heavy black jackets and armed with an array of pistols and Pokemon. One was an athletic-looking man with a clear face and sharp features, the other an older man with neatly trimmed, shoulder-length grey hair. The latter was holding a katana blade in one hand and a violet Pokeball in the other, a Master Ball.
Takeshi Miyai looked down at his dead son and felt sorrow. The child he had once taken into his clan and raised as his own, favored son was now trying to destroy his own family. Kanya’s throat had taken a knife in the throat, and his dead Staraptor lay in a pile of feathers nearby.
“Did he say why he was doing this?” Takeshi asked gravely. “Did he leave any kind of note?”
Kuro shook his head, “I talked to Kanya just before he died. He said that he had spoken with Akira just before their first battle. He said that we would all soon be dead.”
“Then he’ll be coming for us next on his misbegotten little quest for vengeance,” Takeshi said evenly, desperate to hold back the tears and avoid showing weakness. “You’ve told Yumi to be careful?”
“Yumi will be fine, Dad. She’s got Cipher and Team Snatch at her back. I’m worried about you. He might be coming for you next.”
“If he comes for me, he knows what will be waiting for him,” Takeshi said, glancing back into the shadows as he did. There was something stirring in the darkness there, something big. “Come on, we have work to do. I want you to start tracking Akira. Kill him if you can, but be careful. I don’t want to lose any more children than I have to.”
”And what about you?”
“I’m going back to Ecruteak City. It’s almost time to try one more time.”
The pair turned and left, their boots crunching through shattered glass and fallen beams. A moment later Entei of the Volcano emerged from the shadows to follow them, its great shaggy head lowered in submission as it padded after its master. They walked together into a land where the flames of hope guttered, but had not yet been extinguished. They walked into the ashes of Johto.
Thank you for reading the first installment of the Sacred Fire trilogy! I would appreciate any reviews you can give of the entire story! I've been working hard on this for about four months now, and I sincerely appreciate your support!
James, Kim and Jeff will return in...
Sacred Fire: Storm, Wind and Fire
There are secrets in the desert as the hunt resumes. Can James defeat his sister and take the weapon he needs to capture Entei? Will Jeff and Kim succeed in finally defeating his 'old friend?' It's all in the next installment!
Special thanks to ludicolo_kid, Evan Turner, Iota, Burninator and Megamiz for their continued support of this fic! There will be more Sacred Fire soon!