Expect chapters to be longer after this. I just wanted to establish a little more of the story, hopefully get people interested. Hope somebody actually reads, and enjoys!
Chapter 01 – Up For Review
1. the process of going over a subject again in study or recitation in order to fix it in the memory or summarize the facts.
2. a viewing of the past; contemplation or consideration of past events, circumstances, or facts.
Doctor Baltar sat at his desk, toying with the remnants of his lunch as he stared at a list sitting on the desk’s smooth oaken surface. His gaze was far away, though, not really seeing the names and statistics printed on it, but focused on something only he could see. Things were not going the way they were supposed to. The girl should have broken by now, and by all appearances she had; except she had told them nothing new in weeks, no more details of the fateful day when nearly the whole world fell apart, and he knew there was more to tell. Baltar avoided looking out his window at this thought, not wanting to see the skeleton of a city – the city, Saffron City – that surrounded his building.
Burned and gutted out buildings spanned for miles, streets blocked with piles of rubble, cars, bicycles, everything laying abandoned. Here and there stood tall a building that, through some miracle, survived the ordeal intact, and these buildings alone showed lights in the windows – islands of sanctuary in a landscape of chaos. That girl, 042 Fern, knew something about what had caused this whole wretched mess, and she would tell them all of it. Finally, Baltar really looked at the list on his desk, poring over the names:
Special Cases up for Review
Hughes, Katherine [‘Kate’] – Subject 008, aged 21, taken 2030, solitary
Valeri, Holly – Subject 015, aged 17, taken 2032, twin
Valeri, Riana – Subject 016, aged 17, taken 2032, twin
Billing, Juliet – Subject 023, aged 24, taken 2030, solitary
Dahrk, Fern – Subject 042, aged 17, taken 2030, complete solitary
Attached to this list was a hastily scrawled note. Baltar tore it off, recognizing Dr. Hutchens’ hand, and read it: “Be sure to review case 008, something there.” Baltar crumpled the note and threw it into the garbage.
“I know already, you damned fool!” he muttered around the cigarette held lightly between his lips.
The tip blazed bright orange for a moment as he took a drag, exhaling slowly, the smoke veiling the screen of his computer momentarily before clearing, like a morning fog giving way to the sun’s heat. He stared at the picture on the screen; a poor quality image, hardly enough to make out what it was, but Baltar knew. It was a photo taken on the day, that day, The Reckoning as some would have it called. Taken from an angle near the ground, it showed a tall, shining form standing atop a pile of rubble in one of the city’s streets. A fine sheen of dust could not disguise its pure white form, strong arms ending in large crab-like pincers, a pair of wings sprouting from the back, a pair of dead black eyes, like pure onyx, and a mouth open in a scream.
Baltar believed that finding that Pokémon was the key to this whole mystery, but despite the uniqueness of such a thing, nobody had seen it in the four years they’d been conducting their inquiry. Even knowing that it had belonged to 008 Katherine – Kate, as she insisted even now that they call her – helped them little.
The last rays of the setting sun illuminated the wisps of smoke rising from the doctor’s cigarette as he stared at the image, creeping lower and lower down the wall until finally, like a curtain setting on a show, they disappeared behind the city’s jagged skyline. Baltar closed his eyes, rubbing his palms vigorously against them and then back through his shoulder-length chestnut hair
A man sat in a dark room watching a TV screen. A title card reading “008 Katherine Hughes”, and then a cut to a room, simply furnished. A girl in her early twenties sat cross-legged on a steel bench, hands palm down on the blue pants of her scrubs. Her shoulders roses and fell evenly as she breathed, staring intently at her interviewer – a severe-looking middle-aged woman in a pristine suit.
“Tell us where you were on July 20th, 2030,” the woman said in a clipped, precise accent.
“I was in Saffron City,” the younger woman answered.
“What were you doing there?” the older demanded.
“ I was with my friend Juliet. Juliet Billing. We had just come from Cerulean City, because we’d taken the ship from the Indigo Plateau. She’d just made her first go at the Elite Three, and lost. We didn’t care, she’d made it that far, and we figured we’d go out and celebrate.”
“It was just the two of you?”
“No,” Kate said slowly, a pained expression coming over her face. “There was Vincent, too. And our Pokémon of course.”
“And who was Vincent?”
“He was the one who first taught me how to be with a Pokémon. He was a very skilled trainer. He’d already been to the Indigo Plateau and won.”
“Would you mind telling us what Pokémon were in your possession at that time?” the woman queried, voice turning suspiciously sweet for a moment
“I suppose. I just had a Scizor and a Misdreavus.”
“A ghost-type Pokémon, then?”
“Clearly,” Kate said with a roll of her eyes.
“And a Scizor,” the woman said with a tone of finality. “Very interesting. Thank you, Miss Hughes, that will be all.”
“023 Juliet Billing”
“Thank you for speaking with us today, Miss Billing,” spoke the same severe woman as before.
“Of course,” replied a young woman, in her mid-twenties or so. She leaned back in her folding metal chair, adjusting the sleeves of her oversized black leather jacket.
“So, tell us, Miss Billing, what you remember of the events that took place on July 20th, 2030,”
The sun was shining brightly, a pleasant breeze blew through the busy streets of Saffron, and Juliet’s spirits were soaring as she strolled down the sidewalk with her two friends. Vincent, a strapping young man with close-cropped red hair, walked to Juliet’s left, a nine-tailed yellow-white fox loping along at his side. A moment of regret tinged her thoughts as she remembered the old days when her Magmar, then a Magby, would be able to ride on her shoulder – she’s much too big for that now, she mused.
To Juliet’s left walked another girl, a few years younger with short black hair, and a pace behind her was the fierce metallic form of a Scizor. Many a passerby shied away from his intent gaze as they passed, but Juliet had grown used to it by now.
“Oh, stop looking so serious, Scizor,” Kate admonished, clearly not as at peace with it as Juliet.
“…,” Scizor responded.
“Don’t you know by now that that’s just how he is, Kate?” Vincent laughed, reaching around Juliet to nudge Kate’s shoulder, making a blush rise in her cheeks.
The sun was now just a nimbus of light surrounding the tallest buildings, a reflection of orange and red brilliance on the high windows, when they finally found a suitable restaurant, a small bistro. The three sat down around one of the outside tables, perusing their menus as the streetlights went on and the last vestiges of daylight finally crept over the horizon towards next morning.
A few minutes later, a waiter approached them, holding his hands together in delight as he spoke.
“Well, ladies and gentleman, what shall it be this evening?”
“I believe I’ll have…” Juliet trailed off, mouth open as she stared past the waiter, out towards the city.
The waiter and the other two at the table turned to follow her gaze, and their mouths followed hers in dropping open at the sight of a large, flaming object falling from the sky – it appeared to be on a collision course for the direct center of the city. Just then, one of Juliet’s Pokéballs sprung open, letting out a purple feline with a forked tail and a red gem on its forehead.
“Eeessss!” it screamed, clearly in a state of panic.
“What is that?!” Kate finally screamed, breaking the silence at the table.
“I don’t know,” Vincent replied. “But I think we should get out of here!”
All in agreement, they grabbed their bags from next to their chairs, Juliet gather up her Pokémon, and they ran with the waiter down the street – away from the city center. Just then, a Claydol that had been floating alongside its owner, an aged businessman, suddenly started spinning erratically, flashing azure beams of psionic energy in every direction. One blasted a pillar directly next to the running group, and they all leapt out of the way of falling chunks of rock. Chips of stone left shallow cuts on Juliet’s arms and cheek, runnels of blood leaving grooves in the dust now covering her.
She and her two companions kept running for a few seconds before they noticed that the waiter was no longer with them. Grinding to a halt, they turned in horror to see him pinned underneath a huge chunk of the pillar, blood dripping from his mouth and several other places to form a fast-widening pool on the sidewalk around him. Kate made to move forward and help him, but at that moment, the flaming object made contact with the ground in the city center.
The ground shook violently, sending the three and everybody else on the street to the ground; a solid wall of dust and debris was heading down the street towards them, a goliath threatening to swallow them up. Juliet’s Espeon struggled to escape her grasp, yelling wildly and sending out psychic waves that left all three of the youths clutching painfully at their heads as it leapt out of Juliet’s arms and bounded off down the street, lost quickly in the thick, dusty air that now permeated the area.
“What in the hell is going on?!” Vincent shouted once he managed to clear his head.
Before anybody could speak, a window halfway up one of the taller buildings on the street exploded outward, the cause obvious – a man flew out of it, as if thrown, and plummeted screaming to the streets below. In the jagged opening of the window stood a yellow humanoid shape with a ruff of white fur around its neck. It spun something wildly around in its hand and sent blasts of psychic energy into the buildings adjacent. Even down at street level, the three could hear its wordless screams in their heads.
“Something is making the psychic Pokémon in the city go absolutely insane,” Juliet reasoned. “We’ve got to get out of here. It isn’t safe!”
“Where’s Scizor?!” Kate interjected suddenly. The three looked around quickly but could see no trace of him.
“Wasn’t he with us?” Vincent queried. “I know I saw him keeping up with us when we left the restaurant. Hell, he could probably run all of us into the ground.”
“That’s all I really remember,” Juliet finished, scratching a thin hand through her shoulder-length auburn hair. “We managed to get out of the city, but Kate could never find her Scizor after that. I lost my Espeon, and we heard about psychic Pokémon going crazy everywhere we went. Nobody knew why, but it was clear that it had something to do with that object that fell into the city.”
“That was very illuminating, Miss Billing. Thank you for your time,” the severe woman stated.
“Glad to be of service, Doctor Hutchens. May I go now?”
“About that…” Hutchens said seriously, motioning to somebody unseen by Juliet as she opened the door. A man in body armor with a reflective helmet stepped in, pulled out a pistol, and shot a dart into Juliet’s neck.
“Wha–Why…?” she said drowsily before slumping in her chair, chin resting on her chest, arms dangling at her side like vines on a willow.
Scizor walked calmly down the center of a street, metal feet clacking loudly against the pavement as he went. The dust got thicker and thicker and the flames and cries more numerous as he approached the city center. A raging Exeggutor charged at him from a nearby flower shop, shooting Egg Bombs and vivid blue Psybeams in all directions, but the metallic red warrior merely smacked it aside with a solid pincer and continued on, his gaze locked on the end of the street. He could see it! A smoking crater, its edges rounded and bubbling, the heat of the object so intense that it had melted the ground around it.
As he slowly approached the crater, something moved within it with a metallic scraping noise. Suddenly visible amid the smoking remains was a pair of flailing tentacles grasping blindly at the edge of the hollow. Sensing danger, Scizor suddenly closed his eyes. A flash of light lit the area, and he charged towards the crater, pincered arms raised high.