The Good Left Undone (PG-13)
This fic was originally named "Before I Forget". This particular chapter is rated PG-13 as I prefer to rate each chapter individually rather than the whole story. It's still a bit rough around the edges, but I'm proud of what I've done with this.
Chapter I: Burn My Dread
Chapter I: Burn My Dread
Rio dashed through the back alley, beads of sweat rolling off his brow. ‘I could've sworn...’
A wheeze came from behind the corner. The laden clops of the grunt's steps resounded from behind the wall. As the Team Galaxy grunt scurried up the story tall fence, Rio hastened his steps and swerved around the corner. The gap between them was too wide. The goon was getting away.
Rio took out one of his Poke-Balls, a finger automatically activating and enlarging the module. He threw the capsule at the grunt's head. The blow knocked the man over the fence before he was able to hop down.
A Skarmory burst out of the capsule with a splitting screech. He hovered over the concrete, his piercing yellow eyes glittering beneath a great beetling brow.
The grunt wiped the blood from his brow as he glanced at the iron-clad bird. He vaulted from the ground, running frantically for the throng of civilians that were around the next corner.
‘He really thinks he'll be safe,’ Rio thought. "Panzer, Drill Peck through the fence. Don't let him go."
The iron-clad bird rocketed off the ground. His rapidly gyrating body ripped through the wire fence. He swept the grunt from the ground, the sharp teeth of his beak biting through the man's leg.
Rio made his way through the fence towards the screaming grunt. He watched in amusement as the grunt wiggled around like a worm, kicking and screaming in a fruitless effort to break free. "Hit him again and see what happens," Rio said. The grunt looked up at Rio with flinty eyes, his nails biting into his palms. "Please, you know better than to piss off Panzer. All I have to do is give the order and he'll snap your leg like a twig." Rio leaned over, grabbed the man by his hair, and slammed his face into the pavement.
"Now, tell me where is Cyrus and the other Commanders are and what they plan to do to Dawn?"
"Is this how you repay us, Maddox?" the grunt snapped. "You pick that man over your family? After everything we did for you?"
Beads of sweat coursed down Rio's palms. He lifted his chin. "Family? Sorry, but I never was part of your little cult. Now, are you gonna answer me or do I have to force my way inside your head?"
The grunt broke into a fit of hysterics, laughing with an edge in his voice. "A cult? Oh, come now! Call is what you want, traitor. Team Galaxy will never die! Do you not see the future that awaits humanity? Were we not the ones who fed you? Were we not the ones who healed those burn marks in your ears? Did you not forget the tears that fell from your face? Oh, how grand was it to see! Oh, how you wept and cried like a baby as he read you like a book! We could've destroyed that man! The leader of AEGIS is an abusive ****! Wouldn't that have made wonderful headlines? We could've raked the corruption out of the corporate world! We could've put that man behind bars and watched him rot for the rest of his life! He gave you hope. He gave us all hope! Were those tears lies? Huh? Were those burns lies as well? Huh? Were they?"
Rio tightened his fists, his nails biting into his palms. The boy with the glowing hand stood unnaturally still, replaying those words over and over in his mind, standing there with a harried expression. The man lay there with a smile which didn't quite reach the eyes. "Did that get you thinking?" the grunt hollered. A smirk arched across his pursed lips. "You aligned yourself with the man who blighted you? After everything we've been through? The man who stole your childhood? We could've-"
Rio took out another Poke-Ball and dropped it to the ground. A Heracross with a heart-shaped tip on its horn burst out of the capsule and materialized next to the grunt. "Noleen, pin his arms behind his back. Don't release him 'til I say otherwise." The Heracross complied and bent his arms back far with a hold on his wrists tighter than any handcuff.
The man shot Rio with a fevering stare. "Always jumpin' the gun, I see. What makes you think I know anything, huh?" he said in a scathing tone.
Rio grabbed the back of the man's head and yanked it upwards, pulling his thick hair by the roots.
"Listen to me, Regis," Rio snapped, his eyes glaring into the fearful grunt's, burning like a cigarette's lit end right onto his soul. "Ever since you ****s chose to mess with those Pokemon I realized your 'messiah' was full of ****. Didn't you realize your new world was nothing but a damned lie? Didn't you realize he planned to destroy us all and make himself into a deity and rule over your new world?"
The man's mouth fell open. He let out several hitched breaths. The sweat on his brow seemed to wash the color from his face.
"Now, tell me where they are."
"I...I don't know."
“You won't tell? Well, there's another way to find out,” Rio retorted with a troubling scowl. He slipped off his mesh glove, revealing his marked hand. The black “markings” emitted an ominous green glow from the edges, pulsating with it's own heartbeat.
The stricken grunt looked up to see Rio had placed his index and middle fingers in between his drawn-up eyebrows. The grunt’s mouth fell open, his eyes beginning to water. The man looked upat Rio, giving Rio an incredulous stare. “No, no, no, no,” he muttered over and over with trembling lips, his breathing becoming shallower with every puff.
As Rio placed his two fingers on his own forehead to complete the link, the grunt began shaking his head vigorously as he tried to squirm his way out of his “bonds”, twisting his wrists together to no avail. “Don’t! Don’t do it! No! Stay out of my head!” the man cried in a shrill voice, squeezing his watered eyes shut as the sweat on his brow coursed down his lip. The link between their minds was disrupted. “No...no...please don’t...”
‘If you got nothing to hide, why won’t you let me read your mind? Is it that hard? Why not just say where they are?” said Rio in a carefully controlled tone. ”Now, tell me. Where are Cyrus and the others are and what they plan to do to Dawn?”
As the man’s eyes left his, Rio jolted his head upwards. “Tell me where they are and what they plan to do to Dawn.”
“Is it that hard?” said Rio in a carefully controlled tone. ”Now, I'll as one more time. Tell me where Cyrus and the others are and what they plan to do to Dawn?”
“Tell me right now, or I swear to God I'll blow your brain out of your ****ing skull!"
“I do not know where Cyrus and the others are! I do not know what they plan to do to Dawn!” the thug cried in desperation. “I do not know!”
Rio let go of the back of the man’s head and pressed his chin against the concrete. “Panzer! Over here!” he shouted, gesturing a “come hither” motion with his fingers. The Skarmory coughed out the man’s leg and walked over towards his master with blood coursing down his beak. “Put your foot here,” he ordered, pointing at the neck. The Armor Bird Pokemon complied and pressed down on the grunt’s neck with his foot. Without warning, he pressed his two fingers on his forehead, opening the gate to the thug's mind.
The grunt's incessant screaming and protests fading into the background as his memories surged into his mind, pounding his head like the whitewater rapids dashing a loaded canoe against the rocks. The days the man used to play with that little Skitty plush his parent’s bought him years ago and carry it around with him in his backpack everyday to school. The man's days of drug use and alcohol abuse. The day the thug realized he was attracted to other men. ‘His memories with...me? Those were important to him?’ Rio shrugged and dived deeper into his mind.
Nothing. No orders, no clues, no nothing, Rio thought. Cyrus had not contacted any of the grunts since before the Mount Coronet Incident. Not even the Commanders made any contact with the grunts.
Rio felt a sudden coldness strike him at the core. Another memory bore its way into the forefront of his mind. He remembered...walking to the gay bar that was in the news reports just several blocks away from the Poke-Mart. Rio could feel those mens’ frightened stares burn into his heart. Those...those were the faces of the men who were killed...killed in this very bar!
“Oh, God no. No, no, no, no. No. No!” Rio skrieked. The boy pulled his hands away in disgust, severing the link to the grunt’s mind, and dug the tips of his fingers into the ridge of his skull. He had enough. There was no way he could bear reliving his murders.
It was too late.
He felt the man’s poisonous words that cemeted these men’s fates leapt off the tip of his tongue. He remembered feeding those Pokemon...remembered training with them. Flashes of the Pokemon rending their flesh and spilling their blood...the sight of blood trickling down their blades...those cries for help...those blood-curling shrieks...the tears that coursed down their features as their dearests where ripped apart before their eyes. It was almost...almost if he himself condemned these men to die! It felt like he was right there! So close...he felt so close yet couldn’t do anything!
Breathing noisily and harshly, he swallowed an uncomfortable swallow with thoughts of wringing this man’s neck pounding in tandem to his racing heartbeat. The thug brought himself up on his hands in knees. Noleen and Panzer scurried away in fright as Rio set his eyes on the man below him.
“Get up.” Rio spat at the bawling grunt.
“Get up!” Rio roared as he grabbed the man by the collar, forced him up on his feet, and rammed him against a brick wall. As the thug tried to recoup, Rio pounded the back of the man’s head against the wall and bore his fingers into the grunt’s forehead, his “markings” pulsating tempestuously.
“No, don’t! Let me go! I’m sorry! I’m-”
Before the man could wrest himself out of his hold, Rio pried into his mind, short-circuiting the thug’s cranial nerve reflexes. The man let out a blood-curling scream as Rio quickly dismantled his consciousness. His arms and legs flailed sickeningly, cracking and bending beyond the joints against his will.
Rio released his hand. Gravity took hold of the grunt’s numbed body and pulled it asunder, leaving the man brain dead with his upper body lurching to the side. Rio felt no satisfaction or accomplishment. He looked over his shoulder to see Noleen rubbing her forearm, looking away from Rio with forlorn eyes. Panzer just stood there lamenting over the scratches on his armor, spitting out the blood in his beak.
The fifteen-year-old let out a sigh. ‘It had to be done,’ he thought. No point in calling the "clean-up crew" and have him live on life support indefinitely. The thug most certainly did not deserve the sweet release of death in his eyes. Not immediate death, anyways. He walked away from the body and towards the fire escape, unable to quell the aching in his chest.
Rio recalled Noleen and Panzer back into their Poke-Balls and clipped the minimized capsules to his belt. He walked up the staircase, leaving his ex-comrade’s vegetative body behind to rot and decay.
Rio stood over the ledge of the building, eyeing the ghetto of Sunny shore City for the first time. The boy drew out his PC Portable and cycled through his data files. He opened the folder of the person who was his only link to Cyrus and the remnants of Team Galactic. This girl defeated the Team Galactic leader and his Commanders on top of Mount Coronet; she, somehow, surived the onslaught of Giratina as nearly half of AEGIS and their Pokemon laid dead on top of Mount Coronet; she, undoubtebly, knew how Cyrus escaped from them as they flanked every tunnel and passageway in the moutain.
Her name’s Dawn Berlitz, and she’s only eleven years old.
She knows what happened, Rio thought. ‘I’m sure of it, but I can’t go up to her. I can’t jeopardize the mission or he’ll never-’
A loud crash echoed in the distance, and Rio turned his head to see a Jolteon leap onto the garbage lid and vault off in one fell swoop, bounce off the frayed mattress in the narrow alley. The Jolteon ran across the crumbling brick wall, hurdling towards the edge of the rooftop where Rio stood. Her chest collided into a protuberance, quickly slipping over the edge. As the Lightning Pokémon scraped and flailed her hind legs against the brick architecture for support, Rio picked up his lemon yellow-furred friend and wrapped his arms underneath her, holding the Jolteon against his warm body as he gave her a congratulatory scratch behind the ears. The spiky yellow fur unravelled as she retracted the negative ions from her mane, leaving her fur silky-smooth for her master’s touch.
Rio chuckled. ‘She’s going to kill her poor self being so reckless,’ he thought.
“How’s my favorite girl in the whole wide world?” Rio said, beaming from having his best friend come back from a job well done. “Were you able to find her?”
The Jolteon nodded.
He set the Jolteon down and began to massage her with slow, soothing strokes from head to back, repeating “good girl” tenderly into her ears. Eager for her master’s care, she rolled over on her back. Rio then began to rub the eager Pokemon’s tummy. He beamed as Elyse squirmed about in delight like an infant being adored by her doting parents. He wished Elyse would be this affectionate around others. Maybe then they wouldn’t see her as such a pain in the *** to deal with.
Rio pulled his hand away. “I’m sorry Elyse, but could you let me see where she went?” Elyse nodded. Rio placed his index and middle fingers between his own eyes.
The Jolteon knew what was coming and rolled over on her stomach and lifted her muzzle. Rio placed the fingers on his other hand between her luminous scarlet eyes as the modus operandi decreed.
The slender youth delved deep within the confines of his best friend’s mind, flying straight through the chaotic light show of the neural oscillations and plunged his apparition into Elyse’s memory banks. He didn’t need to perform a transfer. He just needed to search for the most recent of memories.
Four years of memories, good and bad, rushed by like hordes of cyclists zipping past him with blinding speed, riding on without giving him as much as a passing glance. The day she hatched, the struggles she and her clique endured in the wild. The day he came to her and saved her from certain death: the fate that had already befallen her kith and kin- these memories were already burned deep within his subconscious, experiencing and bearing the pain she suffered. The first day he used the technique and viewed her memories, when he was still just a boy on the cusp of adolescence, he burst into tears. He hugged the little Eevee against his body, swearing to one day to alleviate the pain, to give her the love she so desperately sought.
His father had merely observed from the distance with bemused eyes. He looked up fleetingly from his newspaper, preoccupied with the daily events of this callous existence. Never did his father praise him for getting A’s on his reports or scold him for misbehaving like other parents did. Every attempt to reach out to his father was ignored as though he were living in his own world. Rio had no mother to nourish him, so his father would have him feed himself. All he ever received from him was either a slap across the face or worse.
Everyone knew that man was horrrible, no matter how many scars lay bare in his skin. Rio had to block out thoughts of him just to retain his sanity. Thoughts of his father crawled through his mind like cockroaches, leaving babies in his bedspread. No matter what ideals for justice his father claimed to embody, he was no better than Cyrus in his eyes. Allies, human and Pokemon alike, were mere paraphernalia to his father. “Extensions of his own power,” he always said. He demanded absolute obedience, like Cyrus. He manipulated the living like puppets, like Cyrus. He spouted nonsensical claims about building a new world for all and had all the desperate little sheep flock around him interpreting his beatitudes like gospels. ‘Same ****, different *******,’ he thought.
About eight years ago when the resort administrative assistant at a local sales company came up to Rio as he tried to fix himself a bowl of cereal, his trembling hands dropped the bowl in fright. His were eyes sunken. His arms bone thin. She took one good look at his father, the man civilians deemed their savior. The lady grabbed another bowl from the counter, handed it to him, and wished him good fortune. Those frightened eyes and the sycophantic smile plastered across her face was forever burned into his memory like a red hot-iron.
She just walked away. No calls made. No charges pressed.
It wasn’t a good time for a pity party. Rio needed to know where Dawn had gone. The mission objective’s life was in jeopardy and he planned to strike first. He couldn’t meet his contact without knowing someone was keeping an eye on her.
Rio retracted his hand. “Sorry for the soap opera. I’m going to do it again, this time no messing around. You ready?”
Rio started up the ritual again, this time he travelled immediately to Elyse’s memory banks.
He could see everything that happened from Elyse’s eyes. She didn’t stop by for window shopping despite the amount of stores on the block, which seemed unusual for a little girl. The midnight blue-haired girl strolled forlornly through the corporate streets, dragging her feet across the pavement and unwarily weaving through the hectic throng. Numerous screened advertisements blared in the streets, playing simultaneously, with the faces of white-plastic saints and so-called “experts” selling useless ********. These mere details weren’t giving him the information he needed, though. He saw Dawn parting from the consumerist frenzy and waltz inside the Pokemon Center. Rio sighed in relief. ‘As long as she remains there, she’ll be safe from any attackers,’ Rio thought.
Using generations of profits engendered from brilliant marketing techniques, seasonal tournaments, and kids shows among other things to represent a Trainer’s life as full of fame and new experiences, they built up the Pokemon Centers to accommodate more doctors, Blissey, hospital beds and even established inns, with decent beds and all of the necessities at an economical price which all certified trainers could easily afford to rent.
‘All the shows were full of ****,’ he thought. Being forced to sleep out in the woods infested with wild Pokemon living on the bare minimum allotted by the League and being forced to battle or participate in Contests regularly to meet the expense of food, potions, Poke-chow, Poke-balls and all those little necessities? It wasn’t, by any means, fancy living. Not in the slightest.
Rio, however, had a consistent winning streak. Seventy-eight percent of all Trainers in the world were just hobbyists, which made it easier to keep a steady income from the Pokemon League for his battles. Everyone possessed Trainer’s IDs to carry Pokemon- for self-protection or to own as pets, but to earn a Pokedex and be admitted into the League you must have at least a “C plus” average and two to four years at an Academy or to have gained certification through passing a Trainer’s test that was near impossible by most standards. The test was always changing both the topics and the format. It could not be predicted.
Rio, after spending nearly six hours a day studying and through rigorous self-discipline, had barely passed the test. Yet, he had did it all without his father’s capital, tutelage, or authority. At the age of eleven, he began his journey.
Rio was utterly shocked, embarrassed even, to find out that this Dawn Berlitz had gotten a perfect score. He wanted to know more about this prodigy, but discretion was top priority. He couldn’t put her life in peril. He couldn’t let his father know that he was defying him again, attempting to accomplish something that purist despot had botched. He couldn’t let Cyrus harm Dawn in anyway. To sink his switchblade into the *******’s throat and garrote him as he watched him suffocate on his own blood a thousand times over would not be enough to satisfy Rio.
The automatic doors closed as Dawn entered the building. She was safe for now, but Rio needed to know if she were to leave the Pokemon Center during his meeting. He broke his cerebral communion with Elyse, imbuing his own mind back into his body, and took a Poke-ball from his belt. Enlarging it with the push of a button, he lobbed it over a short distance. As the capsule cracked open, a glorious burst of warm light shot up into the overcast skies. The unconfined accumulation of energy took shape and, with a burst of light, materialized into a Chatot.
Rio extended his arm. The Music Note Pokemon gently hovered downwards, resting himself on Rio’s wrist. Rio felt a twinge as Amadeus sank his miniature talons into his bare skin.
‘Amadeus should be able to fly through the city without drawing too much attention. ‘They’re fairly common here,’ Rio thought. It was best to be as discrete as possible, for both of our sakes.’
He wasn’t built for actual combat like virtually all Chatot, but in reconnaissance Amadeus’s results were immaculate.
Using his index finger, Rio began to massage below the little bird’s beak, rubbing below his beak tenderly. Amadeus cooed joyfully to his gentle touch.
“Listen, I have a very important mission for you,” Rio said.
The little bird lifted his beak and looked into Rio’s stern eyes. Rio took the Hand-held PC from his pocket and, using his thumb as a stylus, opened the folder containing all of the information and pictures AEGIS, his father’s paramilitary anti-terrorist and law-enforcement agency, had gathered on Dawn Berlitz. He popped up one of her photos and placed the screen directly in front of Amadeus’ eyes.
“See this girl? She went inside the Poke-Center on the other side of the city. I want to you wait outside the center and watch where she goes if she leaves. Take this,” said Rio as he wrapped a tracking band around Amadeus’ foot. “With this, I can track you with my PokeNav. Watch her when she leaves. Press this with your beak if she gets in trouble. Understand?”
“If she goes to any other building, come back to me immediately. I’ll be over there by that warehouse,” said Rio as he pointed in the southeast direction, where there were two dilapidated shops, one which appeared to have closed off permanently and the other which was going bankrupt. Although Rio acknowledged that he knew nothing of mercantile, being forced to offer free coffee and twenty to fifty-percent off merchandise did not appear a good sign.
“I have a meeting to attend over there that is of dire importance, but I will not be able to track Dawn. We cannot let her out of our sights. Do you understand?”
Rio jolted his arm up, giving the Music Note Pokemon plenty of thrust, and off Amadeus went, tearing through the blue skies with a dancer’s elegance, letting the music of the wind chart his itinerary as he soared with ease. Rio envied Amadeus’ free-spirited nature. He too wished to just fly above this failing world, to let them all reap what they had sown.
“Want to race, Elyse?” Rio murmured to Elyse. The Jolteon hopped up and down in joy like a child who had just received the best Christmas gift that anyone could ever get. The hyped up Elyse transmitted electric discharge throughout her body, both spiking up her fur and strengthening the muscles in her legs as she shook with anticipation. It wouldn’t be an actual “race” race, but apparently the word “race” had more of a psychological kick for competitive types like Elyse.
He took the headphones around his neck off and donned them on his ears.
‘All I need is me and my Pokemon,’ Rio thought.
The world seemed to come to a standstill, then, and Rio pressed the Play button on his PokeNav, letting the flow of the music wash away the dust in the soul of everyday life and brought soothing relief to the burns inside his ears left behind by his father. The thoughts of his father were pushed back. Rio lost himself in the sounds of the harmonious synthesis of operatic and classical symphonies and pulse-quickening guitars backed by heart-stomping drums. Like the painters who carefully painted their pictures on canvas, the musicians painted their pictures on silence.
Rio stepped over towards the edge where the Lightning Pokemon was. I’ve got my values. Let them keep theirs. It won’t be my fault if society implodes on itself. The youth took a few steps back, assumed a three-point stance, and began to count.
‘I just don’t get people.’
‘Never have, never will.’
‘Soon, I’ll have my life back and everything…’
Last edited by SaigoKarasu; 15th July 2008 at 4:40 AM.
FC: 3651 7018 3913
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