The Trouble with Witnesses Pt.1
"What's the matter? Who was it, what's wrong?"
"We need to get off at the next stop.”
“Glover, we don't change trains ‘til Anville. What’s wrong?"
"Janie. She's hurt. Someone's Golurk took her to the Daycare. We need to change trains; catch the next eastbound and get to Mistralton."
"Is she okay?"
"No, yes, I don't know! Broken leg, arm, bruising, fractures. Doc says she’s dehydrated. Thinks something chased her through the woods, but he doesn’t know what could’ve done that. She’s in shock right now."
"Glover. Is. She. Okay?"
"Doctor says she'll survive, but-"
"Then I'll go."
"She's injured. I can't leave her; she's family."
"She'll survive. The people in Gateon; their family too, and may be in more serious danger. Go, Glover. I'll protect her."
“She’ll be fine. Get your stuff together and let the Conductor know. I’ll see you in Goldenrod when you’re done.”
"Swim little Fishie," The Haunter lorded, "swim in fear." Below him, he watched. Beneath him, beneath the sea, beneath life, The Man Who Interfered swam for his life. He was trapped in the sea: to turn or turn back would be to be devoured.
It made the Haunter smile. Little did the little morsel below quite realize where he was heading...
For too long, he, the souls he looked after hid in the shadows of Ilex Forest. Banished by Time and Magic, they were shunned into the Darkness by the Light, forced under the watchful eye of the Guardian.
For a time, they were content. Content, with the occasional weary soul lost in the forest. Until She came. She had spunk, whet their appetite. She was a challenge, and she proved them weak.
She had the Light about her.
And because of her, many of his own had died.
The big stone goliath set down outside Ilex forest. Signs of a battle still lingered, but he saw no sign of his master, or the enemy. Dawn was breaking now, and the sun was alight on a figure in a huddled mass. Terminator bent down and studied the remains: Human, but not his human. Terminator recognized the stained brass badge that he thought meant this man was one of those helper humans, probably came running without knowing what the situation was.
"Golurk. Gol. Golurk Go Golurk." He said to the remains, wishing them Godspeed and a pleasant rest, before taking his huge hands and carving a shallow grave. It didn't have to be big, there wasn't much left of the man.
As the big Golurk fished a large enough boulder out for a grave marker, he spotted an oil slick on the water. It was caughing and moaning; smoking and steaming. Whatever it was, it seemed to have been on fire when it hit the water and was still causing vapors off the cold inlet.
Golurk slammed the boulder into the ground at the head of the officer's grave and scooped the coughing water up with his massive carved hands.
"Ga...Gast...Gastly...Gas..." It wheezed its last words before Golurk saw its last essence fade out to rejoin the cloth of the universe. All that remained in his hands was a pile of sludge. Black, sticky, corrosive; but it gave him a clue. He couldn't get in the water, he was far too heavy, but he could fly over it. And maybe, just maybe, his Master was under there.
"And you can sit there like a good little Pokémon until we're finished." A guard huffed, throwing his latest guest to the ground. "And no funny stuff."
He made a loud and somewhat grandiose exit and slammed the door behind him, Failing to see the Raspberry blown his way.
"Grim! What on Earth are you doing here?"
"Guin, my Sister! You're okay!"
"I... Uh, I came to... uh... rescue you!"
"That was sweet. How'd you do?" she said with all the love and sarcasm she could muster. The others in the room rolled their eyes.
"Oh, it was valiant. I hacked and I slashed my way through, bang! Bam! Pow! I leapt over mangled piles of their bodies. Charged the stairs, threw myself over the railings to the floor below. Took them twenty men to stop me, and her I am now."
Guinevere stroked her brother's cheek. "That's sweet, Brother. You didn't make it off the first floor, did you?"
"Have you ever actually used those things?" She chided her sibling, poking him in the arm.
"Of course! You remember, we trained in Veilstone. And Glover, he had Fiskars show me a few moves from when he was a Scyther, and... No. No I haven't. I'm sorry, Sis, I really tried. They just grabbed me. Something dark, something evil came out of the floor and hauled me through by my ankles. But don't you worry, Sis. Glover's coming. I was just the warm-up. Help is on the way."
"M'lord! You'll never guess what we found wandering the hallways!"
"A Deoxys?" Ghetsis replied, still eyeing the steel walls of the Purify Chamber.
"A what? No, a Gallade, sir."
"I don't follow sir."
"Never mind. Where did you put this Gallade?"
"In with the other prisoners, sir."
"You Fool!" Ghetsis turned on his heels and snarled at the grunt. "You don't give them hope! That Gallade was here to save them! If they know someone's coming for them, they'll resist. Every. Time. We're supposed to be their only hope.”
"Its opening!" A technician called.
"The Chamber, its opening! I don't know how or why, but its opening!" As if to confirm, a single eight foot wide slab of the wall was swinging out, driven by three locomotive sized pistons. Its lifeless bulk was sweeping tools, bodies, and the unsuspecting out of the way with surprising speed for its tonnage.
Ghetsis made it in with one other person before he realized that was probably not a good idea. His first, and hopefully only, mistake. The pistons bled the pressure within them, and revealed that the heavy door was off-balance enough that gravity could pull it shut behind them. Sixty tons of sandwiched material swung shut with eerie silence until it met the door frame. The collision echoed through the walls of the entire Lab. Those who'd been there for its construction knew that sound: Someone was in. And probably wouldn't be coming out for a while. Everyone else just stopped what they were doing and turned to face where they felt the sound came from, with surprise, confusion, or horror.
Ghetsis' Cofagrigus appeared and placed its heavy coffin in front of Ghetsis as the room filled with lead. The Technician with Ghetsis wasn't so lucky, shielded only by his own computer.
And then the hail of bullets died down as swiftly as it came up. Ghetsis wasn't going to risk stepping into a line of fire though, he didn't have time to make two mistakes, so from his safe vantage point, he instead asked "Am I to take it this is my audience with Quorra?"
"I'm sorry." Ace bowed to the human that lay slumped on the floor. He'd been trying to knock them out-- leave them alive as Glover would've preferred-- but it wasn't until after the fight that he sensed the cell count of his victim had been up. A previous head trauma, and Ace had lashed at it with every ounce he had. Broke the skull; killed the brain, limp human. So he bowed to the poor man, and not knowing what else to do, he opened the Pokéball on the man's belt, apologized to the emerging Swoobat, and broke the sphere.
Then he left the body. He had two more floors to clear to get to the Purfying Chamber, Ghetsis, and the source of the problem.
He saw it before he could do anything about it: The shadow in front of the fire escape was peculiar and right in the middle of the door frame. Seeing limited options, Ace made the voluntary decision to dissolve his lower legs as the cold hands grabbed him. His body was already in overdrive and he relished the chance to use his reproductive systems again, so when he stopped his somersault down the first flight of stairs, his legs were whole again.
Momentary horror did fill Ace as he watched the shadow race from the landing to the wall and pour its way down the well-lit stairwell. It moved with amazing speed, Ace could dodge its last move, but had no time to fire his own.
He through the length of his tentacles up to a railing three stories up, grabbing hold of a railing on the floor above him to dodge a blast of Dark energy. As the shadow poured up the wall, Ace through off another discard of his body, several small spiky scales on the landing before jumping across to another flight of stairs
"EERRAGH!" The shadow screamed as it raked itself on the spikes. Ace flipped over his railing and turned to pour his soul into a tight beam of energy out of his forehead; the organ he uses to communicate and signal his own kind. The shadow screamed for a moment as the buzz and chatter filled its mind, but it didn't take it long to build a resistance to that attack.
It left its two dimensional forme, and the Darkrai raced across open air towards Ace. Ace Lashed at his face with a tentacle arm, and plunged over the railing through the stunned Darkrai's body. The Darkrai turned to give chase, but his own non-corporeal body couldn't float as fast as a Deoxys could fall. The doorway to the main floor was half closed when the Darkrai plunged through it. Erebus plunged into a shadow on a wall under a painting but missed that the Deoxys was waiting for him. No sooner did Erebus join the surface of the wall than did he feel a source of sorcery surround him and hold him to the wall. He cursed the magic called "gravity", and fought Ace's will in the cosmic tug-of-war.
It would be three grunts that would break the struggle. They heard the door shut and Erebus scream as he was pinned to the wall; and seeing the rust-colored back of some foreign monster, they filled it with bullet holes without thinking.
The scream of a Deoxys is, aside from the more obvious colored change in atmospherics, more of a low-inaudible worble that blows out lights and electrical fuses and shorts out the night-vison goggles on a soldier-for-hire. Which was just fine for Erebus, he used the darkness to leap fist first into Ace's head. The Deoxys riocheted off a hallway wall. The Half-regenerated monster was on his feet again as Erebus struck him a second and third time. Three grunts decided they were well over their heads as the holey and unholy creatures knocked each other senseless, the former showing no signs of slowing down despite missing a good third of his torso and the latter having previously announced himself a demigod from ancient times sealed away. Erebus through himself and Ace through a hypnotic abyss via a portal created on an office door, but to the Darkrai's amazement his passenger was still quite conscious when they emerged in the Cafeteria.
"You...you do not sleep!?" The demigod stammered.
"Viruses do not need to sleep." Ace said flatly. He buried a fist into Erebus's torso and twisted, sucking the life out of his body. The Darkrai momentarily doubled over the Deoxys' hand as they both collided with a lunch table.
Erebus separated from his sparring partner, mocking wiping blood from his face. "Impressive stamina then, Virus. You're full of surprises. But I tire of these party tricks. If you won't sleep, perhaps you'll die."
The Darkrai flooded the room with an ominous sense of dread. Though emotionally ineffective on Ace, the physical effects of the Ghost attack burned at his flesh. He picked himself slowly out of the twisted metal legs of the table only to be struck by Erebus' Dark Pulse. Ace smashed into the Menu board on the far wall and slid down it to the floor.
Beside him, Ace spotted an overturned container of silverware. Grabbing the napkin-wrapped projectiles, Ace flung them through the air at his opponent as he picked himself up again.
He was powerless against the three figures that emerged behind him though. They looked human, but they felt anything but to the cellular Pokémon. One of them struck him over the head with a a stout pipe humming with some kind of radiation.
"Ghetsis warned us about you." One of them said.
"Said there was a Cancer that would need treating." Said another as it stabbed a syringe into Ace's body near his crystalline organ.
"Chemo and radiation, the best ways to treat Cancer." The third said.
Ace felt his body start to burn from the inside out until they pulled out large focusing mirrors and began irradiating the outside of his body as well. For the first time, Ace's genetically modified reproductive systems couldn't keep up with the assault. His body began to wither and crumble away, retreating back to the organ in his chest against his will.
He wouldn't go without a fight though, Ace stood up on wobbly legs. Whatever they were, they had flesh and he could hurt them. Ace summoned the entirety of his soul into his Crystal and shot one of the three inhuman men through the radiation lens he was holding. He turned on the crumbling tip of his foot and lashed at another of them with what remained of his arm before he fell to the floor, shaking violently.
Janie sat in the blank expanse. It was white to the point of blinding. she had her knees pulled up to her forehead, and was slowly rocking herself. She never heard the man who walked up behind her, simply felt his presence as he sat down beside her.
Out of her peripheral, he didn't look like much. The big coat he was wearing had several chevrons on one of its sleeves; some crest for something and a musical note over a letter on breast of it. She suspected the letter jacket poofed quite a bit more than the person inside of it.
"Are you alright, Miss?" He asked as he straightend his apron over his lap.
"...Yeah, I think so. Just waiting, I think. Its... I am kinda chilly."
"Here then, take my coat."
"Oh, I couldn't. Won't you be cold?"
"I'll be fine. Here." He unsnapped the buttons, pulling a Styrofoam cup out of the right pocket. Janie was right, too. The figure inside was rather unshaped. Not quite a stick of a man, but not in or out of shape. The spaghetti-sauce stain on the cuff of a white shirt and the apron gave him away; the man must be a waiter somewhere.
"Thirsty?" He offered the cup. "Its just coke, and kinda watered down at that."
"Yes, actually, I'm very dehydrated I think, but you don't mind?"
"Not at all. Who are you waiting on?"
"Dad, I think. Something happened, and... I'm not sure what. I think he's coming to get me. Is someone coming for you, as well?" Janie felt kinda daft asking that question as she took a long drag on the stranger's drink. He was probably close to his 20s, although she'd say she looked closer to it than he did.
"No, Dad isn't coming for me, anymore. Or perhaps its better to say he won't be coming for me for a very long time."
"Ah. I'm sorry to hear that." Janie studied the name written on the cup. Carved, more like, by a half-dry pen. Strange, she knew the language very well, but she couldn't read the name. "Dads are special, aren't they?" she posed.
"Yes, yes they are." The stranger pulled out an odd black leather-bound computer. Janie wasn't sure where he'd kept it, it was a fairly large device. A touch screen, it seemed, although a keyboard that doubled as the other half of the hard case was present. He slid it off a stand, propping the touch screen up in front of him and turned on the keyboard, which sat in his lap.
Janie set the cup between them. "What'cha doin?"
"Oh, thought I'd put some thoughts to paper while I waited with you."
"You don't have to do that. I'll be alright, I think."
"I know you will, but no one deserves to wait alone."
Janie looked around the white expanse. No depth, no horizon, just white. White, and the stranger with the keyboard, and herself. "Well, thank you."