Chapter 1: Jupiter
Wednesday, 7:50 PM. Team Galactic HQ, Veilstone City
The little cab stopped at the far end of Veilstone City, where a tall building loomed. Grabbing his little suitcase, Ghetsis passed a wad of cash silently up to the driver as he looked at the Team Galactic building, and stepped out.
At the edge of the curb the staircase trailed far up to the gated entrance. The sound of the cab revving up and zooming away snapped Ghetsis out of his stupor, and he began the slow climb up. A long shadow covered the entire width of the street. Ghetsis squinted up at the spikes jetting from the sidewalls.
"Ah, Ghetsis!" said Saturn, standing at the top of the staircase. "Good to see you've arrived safely. Nice flight?"
Ghetsis grunted on the last step. "Yes, very much so."
Smiling awkwardly, he took the case from Ghetsis. "I apologize, Master Cyrus– I mean, our… Boss Cyrus… He liked the, 'formidable look' the stairs provided," he said. For a brief moment, he frowned.
"I don't mind, just as long as you don't mind a sick client," said Ghetsis, smiling and waving Saturn away from his case. Saturn turned to lead him in; he caught the odd look Ghetsis gave the guards at the gate. Deploying the handle, the little case rolled behind him as he followed Saturn's lead into the compound.
"My apologies, we've had some special guests," said Saturn. "They're tricky business. Believe me, it was my last intent to invite them. Just be careful."
At the foot of the building, a steel gate door sat shut, surrounded by guards who immediately cleared when the two approached. The blue-haired grunt at door briefly snapped a salute, before he keyed in the passcode to the panel. "Nobody does," said Ghetsis. He stepped alongside Saturn down the bright white corridor. "Unfortunately, you had a… Unique situation…"
Saturn chuckled. "I have yet to hear a term that accurately defines it."
He led the both of them to the end of a hall where two heavily reinforced doors sat shut. With a single hand motion, Saturn directed two grunts to a console, where they both gave clearance.
The doors pulled apart with a loud whine. Inside, the hall opened up into a massive warehouse, filled with rows and rows of perfect conical steel devices Ghetsis stared oddly at. One at the far end had several grunts in HAZMAT suits inspecting an open panel on the cone.
"I'm unfamiliar with these devices. What are they?" asked Ghetsis.
"The complete collection of live Galactic Bombs, assembled and armed."
Ghetsis gave Saturn a complicated look, rubbing his forehead. "This wasn't the energy proposal I was invited to hear. I don't associate 'bomb' with electrical power."
"It is, actually. The program you would be backing would be putting these into a renewable energy source. Haven't you seen what they've done with nuclear reactors in recent years?" Saturn asked.
"Yes… But I cannot afford to have a nuclear weapon in my inventory… Have you even detonated one of these?'
"The correct terms weren't appropriate for a phone conversation. I apologize, it's perfectly acceptable to leave," said Saturn. He pulled a clipboard from a wall-mounted rack. "It would not be the first time. Here are the specifications on energy output."
Squinting down, Ghetsis tried his hardest to read the numbers even in his own hands. "You didn't answer my question, Mr. Saturn," Ghetsis said. When he turned to see Saturn, he had disappeared to a long wall console. He clenched his chest, realizing his own heavy breathing had distracted him.
At the console, a pot-bellied man with old tufts of lavender hair sat on a wilting stool. The back squeaked as it fought to keep him upright. His sleepy eyes poked out from his fat rolled eyelids to stare at Ghetsis.
"Who is this?" asked Charon. His laser-like gaze never left Ghetsis, looking dissatisfied with him.
Saturn smiled. "This is our guest, Ghetsis."
Ghetsis smiled quickly, surprised to wipe the sweat from his palms before reaching out to shake his hand. "Pleasure to meet you."
"My name is Commander Charon," he said. "I am the final Team Galactic Commander, and the only one who isn't in there twenties."
This gave Ghetsis a chance to laugh. Saturn didn't, nor did Charon.
"I am the developer of the Galactic Bomb, and the one who can answer your questions. It's a rather genius design, if I do say so myself."
"You'll hear him say that more than a few times," said Saturn.
Charon continued to stare at Ghetsis. "Commander Saturn here is the only member to have detonated a Galactic Bomb. I wouldn't necessarily have agreed with the timing or need for it, but I certainly wouldn't have made that call anytime. It's an awe-inspiring weapon of the destructive nature."
"Then you also have the specifications for an energy conversion? I know I don't, nor do I know how," Ghetsis said. He handed Charon the clipboard, who quickly reviewed it before setting it beside his tea.
"I will review these later. You have made an excellent choice, Mr. Ghetsis, seeing as the last Galactic Bomb was of such a destructive nature. An accident would not be welcome at your place of business."
Rubbing his eyes, Ghetsis looked over to one of the warheads. "I still don't see the why in all of this. If they're so destructive, then what purpose do they serve? You haven't even let me in on how powerful they are."
Saturn grabbed a town map off the desk, opening the plastic lid and pulling out the thin glossy illustration of Sinnoh. He pointed to Lake Valor and traced a circle with his fingertip. "This whole area was destroyed in the blast. All the water was knocked out. No dead or injured, just enough force to knock Mesprit out of it's cave. Clean and simple bulldozing."
"Let's not forget the Magikarp," Charon smirked.
Stumbling back, Ghetsis caught himself on a rear panel. He store down to the floor, his face had gone pale. "What…? Wh– I.."
Saturn frowned, setting the map down and putting an arm on Ghetsis's shoulder. "Is everything alright?" he asked. Ghetsis legs slid out underneath him briefly and Saturn caught him.
"Mm, I'd recognize hemophobia even without such a clear image," said Charon. "Our friend has an active imagination."
"Hemophobia is a fear of blood, not armed weapons," Saturn grunted, helping Ghetsis to his feet.
"But… Do you really think it's safe to have all of them in one room?" Ghetsis said, leaning up against a computer console.
"I'd offer you my medication, but it's a little too strong I'm afraid," said Charon. His sleepy eyes flicked to the cabinet below the console lip, sealed with a lock.
"Not helping," said Saturn.
"We are professionals, Mr. Ghetsis. The possibility is very low, I wouldn't doubt the reinforcements either," said Charon. "How's that for uplifting?"
Ghetsis sank to the floor. "You'll have to forgive me, Commander," he said, panting heavily. "I have a, well, a very weak stomach. Is there some place we could…" he paled. "Get fresh air?"
Wednesday, 8:30 PM
From the manifolds of the Galactic warehouse was a steel door, where the hallway ended. Saturn paused at a control panel and gave the both of them time to pause. Ghetsis heard the laughing and chatter of people from just beyond the door.
"As you can imagine, we've been walled in for the last two days. The terms of surrender haven't been kind on our people, especially when some of us refuse," said Saturn.
"Refuse?" Ghetsis asked. "That's suicide."
Saturn chuckled. "This whole event has been suicide. It's too bad you weren't around for the days we were proud of, it was a scientific wonder," he said. With one last wretch, the lit control release gave and the doors squealed open. Ghetsis was immediately blinded by the direct sunburst ahead of him where the sun was setting. As soon as he pulled his eyes open, a wall of sound assaulted him.
Commander Jupiter was drenched in sweat, entrenched in a shouting match with a grunt who was struggling to find his next Pokeball. A crowd of identical blue-haired grunts jeered and shouted at the two combatants' final round. In the center of the ring was Jupiter's Stunky, roaring with adrenaline while scraping at the pressed concrete floor.
Ghetsis smiled, stifling a cough. "Far from bored however. They won't have time to reflect on their mistakes."
Saturn looked to him, frowning. "I had no role in this."
The grunt swung his arm over his head and launched his Pokeball, deploying an Onix who shook the compound. Jupiter laughed at it's rearing head, it's bellowing battle cry, and the victorious smile the grunt wore.
"So you think you've found the flaw in my Flamethrower, hm?" Jupiter shouted over the roar of the grunts. "STUNKY! Fury Swipes!"
"ROCK TOMB!" the grunt said, voice cracking and teeth gnashing.
Onix's fully extended body crashed to the ground and rolled along the surface at lightning speed to Stunky, kicking up rocks and a thick dust cloud. Leaping high, Stunky pounced on it's flailing tail and sent a fury of claw strikes shimmered in the sun. Jupiter's Stunky was flung from the tail as soon as it had landed. By the time Onix had swung it's full weight around, Stunky had made it back atop her feet and bearing teeth.
"Grrraaaah! Stand down Commander, I have the advantage!" said the grunt, arms held high, ready to react to Jupiter's next command.
Jupiter lifted a fist. "Bite Stunky, BITE!"
The staring match between the two Pokemon ended. Stunky lifted onto her hind paws and kicked up to Onix's flailing head. It's rocky jaw snapped up at Stunky as she flew, and found itself wailing when the smaller Stunky chomped down on it's horn. The momentum took Onix to the ground hard.
Onix stopped moving. "I'm disappointed, no commands! That was when you give a command!" Jupiter shouted.
Stunky's stretch was interrupted by Onix's high-speed tail. A hard swing on it's head sent Stunky flying into the crowd, far out of sight. Onix bellowed a deep-throated cry, regaining it's full height on it's tail.
Jupiter briefly made eye-contact with the laughing grunt, and held her rage silently. "Look who gets to use the shower tonight! Me!" said the grunt, putting a thumb to his chest and laughing loudly.
"They turned off the water to get some momentum on the terms. It's in limited supply, possibly the only reason Jupiter would be interested in fighting," said Saturn. Ghetsis hadn't realized how confused he himself had looked, until he saw Saturn's look of concern.
Suddenly there was a crack of lightning to Onix's horn. "HA! " laughed the grunt. "Electric type doesn't work on Onix's Rock type!"
Stunky barreled through the crowd, tossing grunts aside as it bolted to the center of the ring. Onix was still staring up at it's horn, when Stunky flipped onto her front paws and slammed her back into Onix's chest.
"Rollout Stunky, very good," Jupiter said. The grunt with the Onix paled.
Onix had gotten up to it's full height and rolled onto it's back slightly. It's tail was given wide berth to swing and bash at Stunky, who lept over the rolling rock body of Onix to pounce up to his neck and deliver a tough blow and return. Groaning, Onix's movements became less and less coordinated, it's eyes twisting into pained shapes. Stunky's steeled determination plowed it through thick clouds of ground concrete and physically chipped away at Onix.
The grinding sound of rock faded, as Onix gave one last roar before collapsing into a motionless trail of boulders. His eyes hung open exhausted, his jaw refusing to close.
"I'll be taking that shower now," Jupiter smiled eloquently. "It was my pleasure, however. You are quite the trainer. Perhaps one day you'll be an excellent trainer," she said. Her smile widened. "First, you should probably go through puberty."
From the thick dust cloud that had encircled the battle, Jupiter emerged. The flashes of light no longer glowed, nor the battle cries, only the cheering of grunts. Jupiter walked up to where Ghetsis and Saturn stood devoid of conversation.
Ghetsis turned his sick green eyes to her, and before he could begin Jupiter took a deep snort. "It seems we have business with this foreigner?" she asked, giving Saturn aside a disturbed look. This was the only time she looked away from studying Ghetsis. "Don't act so surprised, I know a man from the outer regions when I see one. You didn't even bother to shower that thick city smog off you."
Jupiter looked to Saturn again, who had put a heavy hand on her. "Jupiter, time to stop. You're a little excited from the battle," said Saturn.
"Oh no, I'm not stating anything new," sneered Jupiter, approaching Saturn's mortified face. "He knew this, it's his Unovan arrogance. They're so casual over there. I'm amazed you put on a shirt," she said. Her voice raised sharply as she turned her full intensity to Ghetsis. "How dare you come to us on the eve of our deaths so lightly?" she took the time to study Ghetsis's face, and smirked. "Oh look at you, sick as a Houndoom in winter. Saturn? Do we have any extra sympathy lying around? No?" her smile widened. "No, no we don't. Do you know why?"
Ghetsis's head returned to spinning, involuntarily clutching his stomach, leaning away from Jupiter's grim stare. Every step he took back, Jupiter took another forward, feeling her hot breath on him. "I wish I could agree with you, but I'm afraid this conversation is equal parts unprofessional."
"Unprofessional? How unprofessional do you need to be to someone as thick as you!"
At this, Ghetsis sank to his knees. "How dare you bow to me so mockingly," Jupiter hissed. "How DARE you! I know what your kind is like, you inherit the family business."
Ghetsis made a hard choking sound. Saturn paled.
"And then you think it'll make up for being a cripple. It's all the same isn't it? I bet you don't even like business, because you're a 'free spirit'? Has this gone on long enough?"
"Too long," Ghetsis wheezed.
Jupiter squatted down, fighting Saturn's grip on her shoulders. "And you know something?" she whispered, closed in on him. "You're still listening."
Saturn blinked, and then grunted once again, rocking Jupiter onto her heels and receiving a nasty glare. "Stop, now. This is our guest," he said.
"No no, this is not our guest. He would have left ages ago if he were our guest," she said, slapping his arm away. "You need this deal, don't you?"
"You don't even know his name, do you?"
"Of course I know who Ghetsis is," Jupiter smiled. "I picked him. He's my first choice, and do you know why? He's our most viable option. I only pick winners Saturn, something Master Cyrus learned too late."
Ghetsis looked up pleadingly to Saturn and Jupiter's conversation, fumbling for support on his weak knees. "Saturn... What's going on...?"
Jupiter reared up and kicked him in the stomach. Saturn yelped louder than Ghetsis did, receiving laughter from Jupiter, who reared back into a skip. "You don't get it at all? Any of you?"
"Jupiter he's got a weak stomach," Saturn pleaded. "Do you have any respect for what we're trying to do?"
"Oh but the utmost," she cackled. Ghetsis's pale throbbing face swung sleepily, fighting for control of his own body. Looking wide-eyed to the floor, he was looking into the polished reflection on Jupiter's boot. "Don't vomit if you know what's good for you."
"He'll throw up if he wants too, because he's a human being."
"If he does he will send his potential client into a very expensive fury. Saturn, he's no idiot, he's a human being."
Ghetsis rolled to the side, fighting to get his jacket off. Jupiter continued to watch waiting for his fighting to cease. As soon as the jacket was off he covered his face with it. An ungodly noise came from beneath the wool coat, where a large dark spot was forming. Saturn covered his face.
Jupiter's laughing fit didn't die down. Wrapping his arm around Ghetsis's back, Saturn lead him into one of the main facilities on the compound, where Ghetsis blindly stumbled into a stall.
"I'm so, so... Sorry..." Saturn sighed. "I hope that jacket wasn't too pricey, but if not, I can assure you it'll come out of Commander Jupiter's pay... Well... I suppose Veilstone sells some excellent jackets... I'm really sorry about this. If you'll excuse me, I have a Commander to reprimand. If you want to watch... Well... Forget about it. Take it easy."