“And just how long has THAT been like that?” Emotions were twisted. Frustration I was given a sudden change in course, anger that no one had told me, and concern all filled my head.
“Only a minute or two Dad. I was going to tell you, but then I heard the door shut from the office and saved getting back off this thing.” I felt relieved, which only begged for one more question.
Why in Arceus’ name had the Pokémon of Citadark gone and pulled a Shadow
Storm? He hadn’t done that in seven years.
First things first, Glover
. “You’re still not going with me.”
“But you might need back up! Who knows what that place is full of!”
“NO! N! O! And I’m calling your mother.”
You’re absolutely right dear, she can’t. I’ll go in her place.
I couldn’t belive it.
“No! And no offense dear, you have some of the most powerful baby Pokémon in the region, if not the world outright, but what part of “I’M. NOT. DRAGGING MY FAMILY INTO PLACES THAT ARE POTENTIALLY INFESTED WITH A MILLION GRUNTS isn’t being communicated?”
the part where you go in alone, dear.
“Alone? I have my Pokemon. I’m far from alone. I’ve got my usual 6+1 team”
”Right, because carrying around a locked Pokeball does you a lot of good when you still have your six.”
“Look, here’s how it’ll work. If we take off, who’s making sure that Janie stays at home? Someone needs to be holding her back in this case. When she’s gone, then we can play Lois and Clark, or whomever, busting crime in our backyard. Look, I’m almost home, take her or leave her.” Like I was going to let her be doing that again, but maybe she'd buy it for the time being…
She really wanted to argue the point. I could hear it, I could almost hear my daughter praying to let things play out that she can be the hero she thinks her Dad tries to be, but she couldn’t, and it wasn’t going to. I was in the driveway for all of ten seconds before I was racing for the Port, not letting anyone have a chance to jump back on the rear seat..
Already, Sailors were noticing the rough seas around Citadark. No one passing by felt safe on deck, and several deckhand Pokemon had been hit by the strange weather like it was a Hail attack. I managed to find the keys to the Kyogre
that had been kept closed up in a drydock for emergencies. Before long, I had made it to the island.
Citadark is, and was, a volcano. As such, several volcanic Pokemon had appeared, mostly of the Magmar evolutions. Moltres had tried to nest there, until it was discovered a Heatran had arrived via one of the cooled lava tubes, and that Heatran had a taste for Moltres eggs. The other birds had moved on to other nearby islands, unimpressed by the heat of the volcano.
Except for Lugia, who never left the old dome.
It was a bizarre scene, Magmar and Magby huddled under the mountain, afraid of what was happening above, terrified of the storms, but yet not trusting the warmth of the volcano. Magmortar were trying to fend off the acidic purple rain outside. The sea was in rare-form. Beyond the Robo that brought me to the island, a real Kyogre had come, trying vainly to calm the sudden and uncalled for tempest.
For all the trouble it was causing though, the volcano was empty. Not a grunt to be seen. Which begged the question still, what had Lugia so spooked he went to an instinctual shadow attack?
Duking, Sherles, and a few handy trainers headed down into the Under. This particular area had been left as an access, after some adventurer cleared it out to a point where it crossed a Steelix trail. Since Steelix were not known for traversing their own tunnels a second time, it was largely safe, though the presense of Diglett and Dugtrio could make things interesting. A few Pokémon from the Geodude evolution line were also making use of the rabbit holes, and being more mountain dwelling Pokémon, one wondered where they had entered the tunnels at.
A few of the trainers the rescue team had pulled from the Under couldn’t exactly believe what they were seeing. Namely, wild Pokémon in the Orre region. If they weren’t more afraid of getting lost in this labrynth, seeing as how they’d now passed a few places where tunnels had crossed over, and had anything on them to catch with, they’d be taking the opportunity. As it was though, the didn’t, and didn’t want to push the “no catching” policy with Duking fifteen feet in front of them.
The miner checked his depth gauge again, and conferred with his Zubat on their destination. The last time they asked him if they were lost, someone nearly lost their head, but it was clearly on everyone’s mind, as they attempted to read the computer map over his shoulder. Fortunately for them though, the trip down was an uneventful one.
For Michael, their trip down felt more like a meander through a forest than a rescue party; one that was taking their dear sweet time to get to him. He didn’t wish to know how badly he was now outnumbered. For whatever strange reason, they had not yet ripped the house he was hiding in to pieces, but he could tell they had pretty well curtained off this area. From the Pokémon cries, it sounded like quite the welcoming party outside.
And for another man, having them over there was quite fine with him. He’d already seen his prize, and had been waiting patiently for an opportunity like this. Over near the center of town, was an Onix nest. In it, were three slate grey eggs.
And one off-gold one. Which only means, an off-gold Onix that the Pokémon world would pay good money for.
Now was as good a time as any for him, he released Alakazam and the two made a dash over to the nest, plucked the egg, and were halfway back to his base camp before the owner of that nest had spotted him.
“Pooh.” He said to himself, it would mean leaving behind his trinkets, a few gold necklaces and the like, but he had his prize. He nodded to Alakazam, and the two made a teleportation-dash to the tunnels.
Now, thanks to the minerals in the soil, teleporting around the Under is tricky. It’s a simple task to go short distances, but there’s too many natural magnetic lines, and too much lead in the soil to go all the way to the surface. It got him just far enough though, he was clear.
Sherles and Duking both spun first. A bright light appeared behind them just after they reached the end of the tunnel. There, a thick man dressed in torn, black clothes began making faces at the mother Onix. It didn’t take long for either member of Pyrite security though, to recognize a stolen egg.
Or a ticked off Onix. In fact, Onix that have in general had it up to there in humans are easy to spot. They tend to start Hyper Beaming everything in sight, especially if it’s on legs.
“Augh!” one of the would-be rescuers moaned as he hit the deck. “I don’t recall Wes’s shadow Makuhita being this violent to humans!”
“It wasn’t, just punch-happy.” Another replied. “As long as you were out of its arm length, you were fine. This-” Another duck and roll to avoid being hit; “THIS SUCKS!”
Sherles motioned to retreat back to the tunnels. Duking and his Vibrava, an evolved Trapinch Michael had given him from a Pokéspot before, began blasting their way through Pokémon to get to the former Kid’s Grid house.
“You sir, are in a heap of trouble if we get out of this alive.” Duking said flatly as he hauled Michael out of a cellar window. Mike had no interest in arguing the point right now.
Throughout the cavern, eerie howls echoed forth. Cries of [i]One of the Humans tried to disturb my nest.[/], another stole one of my precious eggs! Stupid Humans should stay out of our nests!
and There’s Humans! GET ‘EM!
echoed far and wide.
Several Pokémon moved to defensive positions at their nests, making sure theirs and their neighbors weren’t next, while a few began charging for war, for blood, to the surface and at the rescue party. They began to be joined by other Pokémon, living near and around the Under. Several Metagross camped on the side of the Deep Colosseum shaft crawled up. A swarm of Magnemite poured out of the Under Colosseum with all the ferocity of a Beedrill hive, having apparently been living and loving the leftover electronics from the news desk.
“Yes Mike, you’re screwed.”
Very quickly, the enraged Pokémon were taking the battle to the surface.
Orre was going to get its first taste in wild Pokémon in almost thirty years.
And it was going to be sour.
Trainers, police, and town mayors ran for the tunnels. There was a battle to get to the surface, and those Diglett and Dugtrio they passed on the way down were now well aware of what was going on. Everywhere they turned, like a Whack-A-Mole competition, there was another one, or three, or a dozen. Squirming, blinking, and hissing as it attacked them. Tunnels caved in from the Earthquakes and Magnitude attacks.
Now topside thanks to a series of telportation jumps, the Poacher that caused this mess, or had at least been the straw that broke the Camerupt’s back, was now whisking away on a hoverbike. Though a day behind him by the time he got on his boat, that mother Onix followed him all the way to the abandoned Fortrite mining port to the south of Orre. I never heard how far it went after him from there, if it tried to tunnel under the sea or returned t its nest.
[i]-”Johnson, this is Chief Sherles. I have a matter of utmost importance. Don’t let anyone in the public overhear. There’s a mad horde of Pokémon coming up from the Under, and they’re bound for Pyrite.”
“What’s that chief? An angry horde of Pokémon coming right for us?”
Everyone in the Battle Square turned, shortly before a peeved Steelix burst through the center of it.
What was eating Lugia was large, white dragon that had carried in three humans. Signs of a recent struggle had scorched the walls, but fortunately, the two were mostly doing macho posturing for territory when I arrived.
“LUGIA! You know better than to assault guests.” The large purple seabird shot me a combined look of Hello to you too Glover, thanks I needed that call,
and ]Don’t. You. Dare. Tell me how to run my nest.
I turned from the Pokémon to face the intruders. “And YOU! WHAT IN THE NAME OF ARCEUS DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING UP HERE!”
“I merely wanted to see if the horror stories were true. I couldn’t believe humanity could do something this cruel. It seems my faith is misplaced.”
“look you.” No, wrong tactic. “Lugia, Please don’t blast them to Kingdom Come.” ”right”
I told my self, “like he was going to do that after being barged upon.
“trainer, please recall your Pokémon.”
“No? Let’s try this again. Recall your Pokémon, and Lugia won’t reduce you to a pulp.”
“Can’t. I’m not going to subject Veritas to a Pokéball, so he doesn’t have one.”
Great, a logistics loving hippy
“Fine, then send him to go outside and play in the- oh. Lugia, the rain, if you wouldn’t mind?”
”what about it?”
it asked me inquisitively, in his twisted telepathic voice. “I find the rain to be quite lovely to play in. For all I care, he can go DROWN in it.”
“Lugia.” I tried to be comforting. “It’s, well, not rain.”
The seabird was kind of baffled. ”It’s not? But I was sure I used Rain Dance and Thunder.”
Definate time for concern. “No. It’s not. It’s kind of purple. And acidic. And it burns every creature in it. Not to mention, it’s boiling the volcano.”
”Oh. Um. Oops? That explains his Pokémon’s sudden look of fear when I attacked.”
After a few flutters, the shadow storm subsided. To his credit, the trainer pointed his white dragon out to the clear night’s sky.
“Alright, look. If you want to see a purple Lugia, you call the Orre Region Tourism Board a million times and hound them. Then you show up, charter a boat, find the doors to Citadark Isle unable to be opened by much of anything, and go bird-watch off the lighthouse pier in Gateon like the entire rest of the world. Trainers with Pokémon who can get up this high ought to know better than to go barging in on Lugia like that.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize there was a policy, or that Pokémon were locked away in cages on volcanoes. I just wanted to see if the scientists I had grown up with were right about an artificially evil Pokémon.”
I hate it when other people know more than I.
“Yeah. The man who raised me always said that if you wanted to be wealthy, get to know a former Cipher scientist and make connections for him. Or her. If you want the baddest toys, or are willing to broker them, they’re the ones to know. Course, when I heard this, I thought he meant Monopoly or a transforming robot toy or something.”
I really hate being the dunce in the room.
“Good advice, I guess. Let me answer a question, then I really must be going, must save a friend. Lugia chose to live up here. We were going to tear it down, let it fall into the volcano. It just couldn’t fess up to the Pokémon in the sea, or felt too different, I don’t know. It just flew back here and wouldn't let workers near it.”
“So it is still a shadow Pokémon then?”
“Yes; no. There’s a whole scientific wing on that. I can’t say much, seeing as I don’t know if your with Cipher or not, but suffice to say there’s a grey area between a normal Pokémon genetics and what Cipher did to XD001. XD001 is gone, but what was left couldn’t overcome all the genetic programming, and there’s, ah, relapses. You’ve seen that much, so that’s what I can tell you.”
It’s a shame, probably half of Orre saw that too. Probably, the wrong half of Orre.
"Besides, do you really think we’re going to stand in front of a microphone and say 'Congratulations Cipher, you actually did it, you made a nearly unpurifiable Pokémon.'? Look, I’m sorry, but I really need to be out of here, so if you could move along.”
“Sure, I’ve seen what I needed.” The green-haired man called back his dragon to the cave, and he and his two lady friends boarded to leave. My P*DA rang. It was Sherles.
The trainer turned back around. “Something wrong?”
“Yeah. I’ve got a town about to go World War Three on me.”
“Dunno, something about one of my guys went looking for a guy in a cavern of nesting Pokémon, someone else stole a Pokémon egg, and now humans in general are on the menu.”
“May I be of service?”
“Only if you think you can calm 30,000 Magnemite.”
“I think we can do that. Let me get my companions safe.”
The two girls nodded, having not said anything the entire time and not looking to change that any time soon.
“Okay. Pyrite’s that away, here’s my GPS. There’ll probably be a mushroom cloud, from the way it sounds, so if all else, follow that.”
With that, his dragon’s tail lit up and fired a cone of orange flame like an afterburner. Shame, I try so hard to know my Pokémon, being a league champion and regional representative and all, but I didn’t know this one. And that was a shame, cause I really want a dragon with a built-in rocket now.
In getting down to the water’s edge, I spied a speedboat. One I knew was owned by one of my wife’s friends, and that that one should be docked in Gateon Port.
“HEY YOU TWO RUBBERNECKERS! IF YOU’RE GOING TO TRY TO HELP YOU’RE DAD AND DOTING HUSBAND, WE’RE DONE HERE. PYRITE’S ABOUT TO GO POST-APOCOLYPTIC THOUGH.”
That, ought to get them back down here. With those two squared away, I sped across the bay, grabbed my bike, and raced for Pyrite.
Pyrite, *dramatic pause* was a mess. There were Pokémon and trainers everywhere. In open air, the battles were more successful in containing the Pokémon, and some of the areas getting leveled needed a bulldozer anyway, so we were making progress. One lady was out swatting Magnemite shouting obscenities and that she didn’t need to buy any electricity. A Feraligatr, the one snagged by Wes in fact, and the Crocronaw it was leading as the fire brigade had done a fair job at slowing the onslaught coming up from the caves at least.
Quickly, I had Magnezone out and corralling the wayward electric types. Empoleon jumped in a few places. We were holding the Pokémon pretty well, but there wasn’t a 'driving them back'. Surprisingly, trainers were either not thinking of catching them, or maybe less surprising, didn’t have Pokéballs to do it with.
Then the mystery trainer showed up, and did the darndest thing. He walked right up into the horde, and began talking with them in as sweet as cherry pie voice. He told them that we weren’t the ones to blame, that we’d take care of the problem, that we were sorry for invading but that they shouldn’t be behaving the same way.
Then one of them snarled, spit towards the humans, and called back its friends. Most fo the swarm of Magnemite ducked back in as well.
I was impressed. So were the others. “Thank you”
“Of course, but I must point out they were right to behave like that.”
One of the locals turned. He was a grizzled man, with a dusty leather jacket and a rough face in dire need of a razor. “Right to behave like what? Trash my home? Where was it right for them to do that?”
“Where was it right for you to be down there?”
“WE WEREN’T. Some moron kid was”
“Right, but they responded in force just as you did. I merely helped two communities to see their errors. Hopefully, this one learns as well as the Pokémon did.”
The local scoffed. “Pokémon community.” He muttered under his breath. “They’re just animals.”
The rest of the Magnemite I found, approximately thirty, were stuck to Magnezone. He gave me this hand in the cookie jar grin, followed up by the typical seven year old ‘they followed me home. Can I keep them? I really like them, I promise to walk and feed them. Please Please Please Pretty Please?’
“No, let them go.”
They gave me all the same bow, not unlike a fighter pilot acknowledging a ground soldier. Something to the effect of Bless you
Outside another opening from the Under, a man in a purple cloak enjoyed a cup of coffee. Three masked men appeared from nowhere, and bowed.
“We came as you asked, Lord.”
“And I thank you. It seems our friends here forgot about an internet server down there. It would seem that the man I need to speak to is named Ardos, and that two former colleges are in the Kanto and Hoenn regions.”
“You should be asleep, Glover, after all that.”
“Yes Lily, I know. Something N had said had me worried. Ah, here’s the number.”
I dialed the number in the phone book. It rang thrice, before someone answered.
-Azeala Police Department. This is Officer Jenny.
“Hello. This is Glover, from Orre. Do you have a report on the Iron Masked Maurader incident handy? The one from a few years back?”
-“I’ll need to run credentials to give it to you, but yeah. Why?”
“A few coincidences, I hope. I want to make sure there’s not a connection there with something here.”
On to Chapter 6