Spoiler:- Author's Notes:

Chronicles of Unova

Chapter 11: Romulus and Remus

It was a beautiful autumn day in Nimbasa City. The sun was shining and was warm without being hot, the handful of trees that lined the sidewalks were slowly changing into their fall colors, and young love seemed to drift through the crisp air as children returned to their schools and passed notes to their crushes in class. All things considered, it was a pretty fine day to be out for a stroll in the bustling town. But to the pair of hooded men who trudged through the streets, hands in their pockets and hearts in their shoes, it might as well have been pouring a typhoon. Lennon sighed.

“You know, McCartney…” he started to say. “Sometimes I… ehh, never mind…” he trailed off.

“I know the feeling…” McCartney replied.

The pair bummed through the city aimlessly, plodding along like lost waifs. Their heads were hung, staring down in sadness at their feet. Their hands were stuffed lazily in their pockets, the seams straining against their slack arms. Their uniforms were recently cleaned, but still shabby and faded from extensive use. They walked along the lonely alley, stewing in their own self-pity and morbid reflection. They rounded the corner and came to a busier street.

“Hi there, mister! Do you want to buy some lemonade from me?” a little girl asked. She was seated in front of a card table with a tablecloth hung delicately over it. A homemade sign hung from the front, advertising “Susie’s Lemonade – 25˘” She had little blonde pigtails and her front teeth were missing. She beamed up at the pair, bursting with excitement at the prospect of her first customers. Lennon scowled at her, trying to ignore the question.

“Hey, wait! Mister, do you want some?” she asked as they tried to walk away. The cute little girl would have charmed the hearts of anyone who passed by, but the pair’s mood was more sour than even her drink. McCartney tried to keep walking but Lennon stopped.

“No, we don’t. Leave us alone.” he said sternly without turning to face her.

“But I made it myself, and it’s only 25˘! I’m trying to save up enough money to buy a Pokéball so I can catch my very own Pokémon!” she protested. This peaked his interest.

“You want to catch a Pokémon?” Lennon asked in surprise. “Little girl, don’t you know how wrong that is? Imagine you were a wild Pokémon; would you want to be kidnapped from your families and forced into a whole new culture?”

“I… but… n-n-n-no!” she started to protest.

“Pokémon trainers aren’t people you should look up to, little girl. Imagine if someone tried to kidnap you from your parents and friends and force you to battle with other kidnapped children. You would be terrified, wouldn’t you?” Lennon continued. He was trying to demonstrate the logic of Team Plasma which he believed in so strongly, but without scaring her too much. His foul mood was making that second prospect exceedingly difficult however.

“Oh… but I…! I don’t want to get kidnapped! I love my mommy and daddy!” she started to scream. Tiny tears were welling up in her eyes.

“Oh, no no, don’t cry! Don’t worry about it, there’s nothing to fear. Team Plasma is out to try and stop all those horrible Pokémon trainers and set all the kidnapped Pokémon free!” Lennon said enthusiastically, backpedaling, but it was too late.

“I didn’t know, mister! I just wanted a Minccino! I didn’t kno-o-o-ow!!!” she screamed. She was crying her little eyes out now and starting to make a scene. Lennon and McCartney looked around nervously as people began to cast worried and confused stares.

“Hey, hey, don’t cry! It’s okay! Team Plasma’s here to help! Come on, buck up; how about I buy some lemonade from you? Will that make you feel better?” Lennon stammered nervously.

The little girl sniffled and rubbed her nose. “Te-team Plasma?” she repeated.

“That’s right, Team Plasma! The noble operatives of Ghetsis and Lor-” Lennon started to say proudly, but she cut him off.

“Mommy told me about them. They’re a bunch of doody-heads, she says.” the little girl interrupted, wiping her eyes. Lennon stood stock still, a blank expression on his face.

Lennon lowered his arms and head slowly, trying to calm himself. He wore a blank frown on his face, wrestling with his building anger. McCartney stifled a laugh, but stepped back as Lennon began to shake. In a flash, Lennon drew his sword and brought the blunt end down upon her stand with a “smash!” The legs of the table buckled and fell. The little girl shrieked and moved back in her seat, watching the strange man destroy her hard work. Lennon seethed with rage.

“Screw you, you little brat! Go be a rotten Pokémon trainer, see if I care!” he shouted. The little girl leapt from her chair and went running down the road, screaming.

“Yeah, that’s right! Run from Team Plasma! Run away like all the rest! You know why?” Lennon shouted after her. He reached down and picked up the first thing he could grab from her destroyed stand, inspecting the little yellow ball he had grabbed carefully. “Because I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m going to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN! We’ll see who’s the ‘doody-head’ then!” he continued. He half-heartedly threw the lemon after her and turned away in disgust, continuing angrily down the road. McCartney hung his head and sighed, following after him.

“You sure showed her, Lennon. That little pigtailed 6-year-old girl won’t be flipping you any shit any time soon.” McCartney said sarcastically. Lennon paid him no attention. The pair kept walking in silence as Lennon cooled off. He eventually slowed to a halt and began to speak in a pained voice.

“I’m just sick of it, McCartney, I really am.” he said, disgust straining his already tired voice. “Team Plasma is doing good work. We are liberating living beings that have been kidnapped! Does anyone flip the police shit when they arrest murders and child molesters? No! But a couple of Team Plasma operatives, doing the same thing but for Pokémon, can’t walk down the street without getting back-sassed by a little girl. I know we’re doing this for the Pokémon, but I want at least a little goddamn respect and acknowledgement for what we do! I’m tired of the Plasma bureaucrats who have their heads so far up their asses that we can’t get any work done; they’re the ones giving the rest of us a bad rap. What we’re doing is honest and good, but ‘Team Plasma’ has become such a toxic moniker in the public eye that we’ll never be able to make any lasting change. I’m just tired of it all, McCartney; I want out…”

McCartney looked down. He had nothing to say in response; he knew Lennon was right and just didn’t want to admit it. The two hung their arms and contemplated their state of affairs in silence, standing in the dark alleyway in miserable defeat. After several moments of silence, McCartney finally spoke up.

“Remember the good old days, Lennon? Back when we were new to the organization and every job seemed to go right? What happened to that time?” he asked.

“I can tell you what happened, McCartney, that bitch with the shiny Zubat happened. Ever since we tried to liberate those Pokémon from the day care on Route 3, every job has been a bust. That’s where it all started.” Lennon replied.

“That place is cursed. I’d sure love to go back there and raise some hell…” McCartney spat in disgust.

“Listen to us, McCartney; tearing down lemonade stands and ‘raising hell’ at preschools? Is this what we’ve become?” Lennon asked. “This is just sa-” he started to say, but McCartney cut him off.

“Hey, hey, look over there! See that?” he asked, pointing across the street. “Maybe raiding a preschool is a little extreme, but how about the next best thing? What do you say, Lennon my boy? You feel like some revenge?”

McCartney was pointing at an old man ambling down the street. He was elderly and frail, relying heavily on a walking cane to make it down the path. He was smiling though, enjoying the autumn air and colorful trees. He was unaware of the pair’s presence.

“…no way…” Lennon said in disbelief. “There’s no way that’s him…”

“I never forget a face.” McCartney said menacingly. “Come on, it’s payback time.”

* * *

“And then the next thing I know, we’re here with you guys. I guess that’s the whole story then; now you know everything.” Cheren said. The group sat comfortably in the lobby of the Pokémon Center, listening to Cheren recount his tale. David and Bianca were completely enthralled, listening with amazement at his story. As he finished, they sat back with shock and wonder on their faces. Bianca was the first to speak up.

“…wow.” she murmured softly. “I’ll be…”

“To think that your Yamask was the prince of an ancient civilization… And everything with Giratina and Arceus? Man, Cheren, when our journey is over, you’ve got to write a book or something. The world needs to know this stuff.” David continued.

“Yeah, pretty amazing, right? I figured Gus would have some secrets, but I had no idea it would be anything on that large of a scale. It was a pretty epic story.” Cheren replied. “But as crazy as that is, I’m more surprised by you two getting together. I was gone for what, two days? And when I come back, you’re already slobbering all over each other. Was I repressing your disgusting little love that much?” he continued mockingly.

“Shut up, Cheren! Don’t judge!” Bianca protested, but David laughed.

“Yeah, Cheren, don’t get butthurt just because I got a super cute girlfriend before you. I’m sure there’s a girl out there for you too… even if she is a Mamoswine.” David quipped back, smirking. Cheren started to protest, but Bianca’s laughter cut him off. David continued. “Sure, she may not be as beautiful or as blonde as Bianca, but I’m sure she’ll be really nice.” He lay back in the chair, cupping his head in his hands. “I like to call it the three Bs.” he continued.

Cheren’s face flushed red at the joke. Bianca roared with laughter, falling back in her chair as well. A content smile spread across David’s face as he watched her laugh.

“Forget you guys, I’m going for my Gym battle.” Cheren responded angrily. “Aerodactyl should make things pretty easy; anything that can defy Giratina should be able to beat a Gym leader.” he continued. He stood to rise, but David called after him as he walked to the door.

“Optimal word being ‘defy,’ Cheren, not ‘beat.’ Sure, he may have been in a battle with Giratina, but the way you described it, they got their butts kicked. I wouldn’t be so confident if I were you.” he quipped. Cheren flipped him the bird as he strode out, shutting the door silently behind him. David turned to Bianca and grinned.

“Hey there, pretty lady.” he said quietly. They were both stretched out languorously on the reclining chairs, facing each other. David lay on his back, just turning his head, but Bianca was fully on her side, propping her head up with her left arm. She smiled a calm smile and batted her eyelashes at him.

“Hey, you.” she responded back. “Want to go watch Cheren’s new Pokémon in action?” she continued.

“That depends.” David started to respond. “Are you going to be there?”

Bianca giggled and rose from the chair. David followed suit and the pair joined hands and walked out towards the Gym. Cheren was already out of sight, but they headed east towards the amusement park hoping to catch up to him before the battle began. The happy couple hadn’t a care in the world.

* * *

Lennon and McCartney stepped ominously from their dark alleyway towards the man. He turned to face them as they drew near. The pair towered over the senior, folding their arms and looking down at him with a superior smirk. A look of concern spread across his face as they came into his view.

“Remember us, you old fart?” McCartney said mockingly. “Remember how your institution ruined us?” The old man tried to stammer out a response, but couldn’t form the words before Lennon cut him off.

“No, I’m sure you don’t, huh? Haven’t taken your Alzheimer's medication yet today, have you? Or did you just not care? I mean, why bother remembering a couple of ne’er-do-‘ell crooks like us? What importance did we ever have on your life?” he spat cruelly. A mocking tone dripped from his voice, drenching every word in condescension. A look of terror spread across the old man’s face.

“I… wha-what do you want from me?” he stammered. “Please, I don’t have any money on me. Honest.” he continued. He looked around anxiously to see if there was a policeman around who could help, but there was no one. Lennon snapped his fingers in front of his face to get his attention.

“Hey! Pops! Pay attention! Don’t go senile on us just yet. I’m going to make this real clear for you; do you remember last summer when we came to your day care and tried to steal those two Pokémon from some of your students?” Lennon continued. The mocking tone in his voice was replaced now by venom; the situation was escalating.

“Tha-that was you two?” the old man stammered in fear. “I thought those kids who were passing by ran you off!”

Don’t. Remind. Us.” McCartney said sternly through gritted teeth. The pair drew their Pokéballs in anticipation. The old man tried to run, but they cut him off.

“You aren’t going anywhere, you old geezer! It’s time for a little payback!” Lennon shouted. They released their Boldore and Trubbish, standing menacingly before the man. He looked around in terror for anyone who could help him, desperately trying to acknowledge the “flight” sensation that was overwhelming him. He spied two people walking down the road and ran towards them. He managed to slip past the Plasma grunts and make his escape.

“Hey!” Lennon shouted. “Come back here!”

“Please! Please! Help me! You’ve got to help me!” the man shouted as he drew near to the young couple. “These men are trying to kill me!” David and Bianca looked at each other in shock as they heard the words.

Lennon and McCartney ran after him, standing defiantly before the group. They grew a little less confident when they realized who it was though.

“You!” David shouted as he recognized them. “You’re the bastards who tried to steal Bianca’s Zubat!” he continued.

“And the men who tried to rob the day-care!” Bianca exclaimed.

“Yeah, and you’re that bitch who’s been getting in our way!” Lennon replied. David wasn’t about to stand for that though. Without thinking, he leapt towards Lennon, grabbing him by the collar.

WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL HER?!” he shouted. He clenched his fist to strike, but a rock clipped him in the side of the head and he fell to the ground, releasing Lennon. Lennon’s Boldore strode across the street, ominously taking slow, crushing steps to defend his trainer. David stood up and drew a Pokéball along with Bianca to battle.

“Golbat, go!” Bianca shouted, releasing her shiny bat. David silently drew Paula’s Pokéball and released her from it as well. “Let’s see what you learned with Cheren.” he thought quietly to himself. The day care man hid behind Bianca for fear of getting hit with any shrapnel from the coming fight. The young couple stood defiantly behind their Pokémon, facing down Lennon and McCartney’s Boldore and Trubbish respectively. The two sides sized each other up and began to issue their commands.

“Golbat, Confuse Ray!” Bianca shouted. Golbat opened its gaping mouth and launched the disorienting light at McCartney’s Trubbish. The blast hit it directly, incapacitating it. It fell to the ground in confusion, trying to straighten itself out enough to attack.

“Paula, Magical Leaf!” David commanded. The trees around them shook and dropped their leaves as Paula loosed the shot at Boldore. The storm of foliage struck the Rock type Pokémon powerfully, but it held on with its Sturdy body. It shook off the damage and glared angrily.

“Boldore, Smack Down!” Lennon ordered. It took nearly all of the strength left in his tired body, but Boldore shot the pinpoint stone into the air towards Golbat. The stone hit it powerfully and clipped its wing, causing it to drop to the ground. Golbat struggled to regain altitude, but it couldn’t steady itself on just one wing. It fell to the ground in a heap, dazed but not out.

“Finish this, Golbat; Leech Life!” Bianca shouted. Golbat shook off the disorientation from his fall and glided just off the surface of the ground at his attacker, biting down harshly. Boldore’s stone body resisted the weak bite, but he was so worn out from Paula’s Magical Leaf that he couldn’t withstand it. The nutrients from his broken body restored Golbat’s condition and sent the Ore Pokémon tumbling to the ground in defeat. Lennon reared back in shock as the responsibility now solely fell to McCartney’s confused Trubbish to win the fight. Trubbish shook off the disorientation just in time, but the odds were stacked harshly against him.

“Trubbish, Sludge Bomb!” McCartney commanded. Trubbish opened his mouth wide and launched the dirty ball of grime at Paula, but she was too quick. She Teleported away and warped behind him, startling the Trash Bag Pokémon as she reappeared within striking distance. Instinctively, she launched a Confusion attack at him, sending him flying through the air. The Poison type Pokémon took the Psychic type attack harshly and fell to the ground in a slump, joining his fallen teammate in defeat. Paula and Golbat struck up fighting positions as Lennon and McCartney grit their teeth in anger and shock; David and Bianca were victorious.

“Give it up, Plasma!” David shouted, grasping Bianca’s hand and raising their combined fist into the air. Bianca smiled proudly and shot him a look out of the corner of her bright blue eyes. Lennon and McCartney drew back instinctively.

“Time for plan B, Lennon. Let’s bolt.” McCartney said under his breath.

“We’ll lose ‘em in the amusement park. On my go, six o’clock, three taps.” Lennon whispered back. “Alright kids, you’ve got us. We’ll come quietly.” Lennon shouted across at them.

Lennon had put his arm behind McCartney’s back and tapped slowly three times. On the third tap, the pair turned and bolted down the street. David shouted and started to run after them, but he was still holding Bianca’s hand and she held him back.

“Come on, Bianca, we’ve got to go!” David shouted. He returned Paula to her Pokéball and motioned towards the escaping criminals expectantly.

“You go on ahead, David. I’ll stay here and protect the old man. I can’t really run anyway, I’m too fat. I’ll just slow you down.” she replied, pinching the side of her stomach.

David relaxed his stance and looked at her sarcastically. He quickly lurched forward and gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

“You aren’t fat, sweetie. You’re perfect.” he whispered. He flashed a quick two-fingered salute and ran off after the criminals, shouting “I’ll be back soon!” as he ran out of sight. Bianca blushed and put a hand to her warm cheek. She returned Golbat to his Pokéball and smiled. She turned to face the old man and put her hands on her hips. He was still shaking from the ordeal, but she seemed to have a calming effect on him.

“Come on, mister; let’s get you to the hospital.” she said quietly. She grasped his forearm gently and started leading him away. The street again returned to its pleasant, crisp, autumn day, and was again quiet and calm.

* * *

Lennon and McCartney ran as fast as they could. They were getting pretty good at it actually, thanks to how much they had been forced to resort to it as of late. They bolted into the amusement park just as noon struck. The crowd was thick with people trying to get lunch and they were hopeful that the mass of people would cover their escape as it had in Castelia. They ran in deeper, nearing the Ferris wheel in the back corner. A man stood in front of it, quietly looking up at the massive spinning contraption as it turned through its arc. His arms were folded and he stood stock still as the crowds swarmed around him, grinning contently to himself. The sight of him made Lennon and McCartney do a double-take.

“Hey!” McCartney managed to rasp through his heavy breathing. “Is that-” he started to ask, but Lennon cut him off.

“Holy crap, yeah, it is! What is he doing out in public like this?” Lennon asked in shock. The pair slowed their pace as they ran up to the man.

“My Lord, what are you doing here?” Lennon asked as he caught his breath. The mysterious man turned to look at him in mild surprise as the pair jogged up. His smile grew as he noticed their uniforms.

“Ahh, two of my valiant servants. Always nice to see those dedicated to the cause.” he started to say. “I was just watching the Ferris wheel spin; I find them interesting…” he mused, turning back to look at the spinning wheel as he trailed off.

“My Lord, pardon my boldness, but it is not safe for you here.” Lennon continued. “We are being pursued by an evil Pokémon trainer who just bested us in battle.”

A serious look spread across the man’s face. He shut his eyes and lowered his head.

“What does your pursuer look like?” he asked calmly.

“Male, late teens, shaggy brown hair, and he was using a poor young Kirlia to do his bidding.” Lennon replied. A surprised smile spread across the mystery man’s face.

“Really?” he asked curiously. “Was there a young blonde girl with him? And a serious looking boy with black hair?” he continued.

“The girl was, but not the other boy. Why do you ask, my Lord?” Lennon answered. The mystery man chuckled a small laugh and turned away from them.

“What are your names, my loyal servants?” he asked. Lennon and McCartney shot each other a confused look, but Lennon replied a moment later.

“Lennon and McCartney, my Lord.” he stammered. “Have we done something to offen-” he started to ask, but the man cut him off.

“Lennon and McCartney, loyal agents of Team Plasma, know that your king shies away from no challenge if it is to protect his servants. Find somewhere to hunker down and wait for my signal; I will handle your pursuer.” he said ominously. Lennon and McCartney’s confusion intensified and Lennon started to protest, but the man raised his hand dismissively, motioning for them to follow his order.

“As you wish, Lord N. May the grace of Arceus guide you.” Lennon stammered. McCartney mimicked the sentiment and they ran off deeper into the park. N smiled to himself and prepared for his impending battle.

“David, my old friend, you never give up, do you?” he murmured quietly. “I think it is time for me to tip my hand to you…” he continued. The wind blew his long, green hair back as he stood in solemn reflection. After a moment, he turned towards the entrance to the park and began walking towards it.

* * *

David ran into the park, stopping for a moment to look around for the fleeing criminals. He hopped up on his heels to try and see over the crowd, but didn’t see them anywhere. He grit his teeth and sighed.

“You two and your damn crowds.” he muttered under his breath. He started running off farther into the park in search of them, but was quickly stopped.

“David? Is that you?” he heard a voice say from somewhere further in the crowd. The voice was familiar, although not particularly welcomed. He stopped to try and see where the sound had come from and sighed again when he found its source. The crowd in front of him thinned and he saw the striking figure of N standing before him. N smiled as he saw him and ran up to greet him.

“Hey, it is you! How’re you and Paula doing?” N asked cheerily. David drooped his shoulders and sighed as the older boy walked up, trying to get through the unfortunate meeting as quickly as possible.

“Hi N… we’re fine…” he said slowly and deliberately. He relaxed his stance as he said the words, trying to indicate he wasn’t interested in chatting.

“Wonderful! Have you caught any new Pokémon since we last met in Nacrene? You only had Paula back then.” N continued. He was either unaware or uncaring of David’s distain and continued to talk cheerily.

“Oh, uh, yeah, I caught a Munchlax in Pinwheel Forest. Sorry if that, uh… bothers you…” David responded, holding his elbow and looking down.

“Haha, no, it doesn’t bother me.” N replied. “Pokémon trainers catch Pokémon, don’t they? If I got upset over every single one, I’d die an untimely death as an unhappy man. I enjoy seeing Pokémon happy, but if trainers can provide that happiness, like in the case of you and Paula, then that’s fine too. I feel like I’ve turned over a new leaf in that regard since we first met in Accumula actually; I’m not so rigid about it anymore. But anyway, what are you up to?” he continued excitedly.

“Well, actually, much as I’d love to stay and chat, I’m kind of in the middle of something right now. Bianca and I just kept a couple of Plasma grunts from attacking an old man and they bolted before we could restrain them. I chased them into the park here, so if you’ll just let me-” David started to say, but N cut him off.

“Ooh, that rotten Plasma bunch? Boy do they ruffle my feathers. Ever since your friend Cheren told me about what they’d been doing, I’ve been staying clear away from those crooks.” N replied. “Two heads are better than one; may I help you look for them?” he continued.

David was taken aback by the request. He had no real reason to say “no,” but he didn’t exactly want to keep hanging around N. After a short pause, he managed to stammer “Uhh… s-sure, I guess…” A smile spread across N’s face as he heard the news.

“Excellent! Come on, let’s get going. We should ride the Ferris wheel so we can get a bird’s eye view of the park to try and see them. I love Ferris wheels… The circular motion… The mechanics… They're like collections of elegant formulas…” N said in a mystified voice. Before David could protest, N grabbed his wrist and dragged him off towards the wheel. The pair headed off into the park in search of the criminals.

* * *

“Two please.” N said to the clerk as they approached the Ferris wheel. The man handed him the tickets and they proceeded to get on. A car swung around to the bottom of the circle and stopped for them. N ran on quickly, but David plodded in behind him. The Plasma grunts had surely gotten away by now, but he didn’t want to hurt the strange little man’s feelings. David entered the car behind him and stood in front of the window, feigning an attempt to look for them in the sprawling park. The car slowly began to rise and David remembered he and Bianca’s moment on the wheel from the previous night. David smiled to himself at the thought.

“David, would you like to meet another one of my Pokémon friends?” N asked, turning to look at him. David would normally have been surprised by the question, but he had come to expect random comments and questions from N by this point. He shrugged his shoulders and N drew a Pokéball. N released the Pokémon inside and the Tympole he had used to battle with in Nacrene City popped out. The little Pokémon floundered on the floor of the car, smiling and humming to itself as it flopped around.

“Um… I’ve already seen your Tympole before, N. That’s not a new Pokémon.” David commented. He had a tone of both confusion and indifference in his voice, and couldn’t decide which to use more strongly. He didn’t particularly care what N was doing, but at the same time, this was strange, even by N’s standards.

“You only think this is my Tympole, but looks can be deceiving. Zorua, would you like to introduce yourself properly to my friend?” N replied. As he said this, the Tympole grinned a large grin and vanished in a small puff of smoke. Taking its place was a tiny black Zorua, grinning mischievously to itself. It hopped up on N’s shoulder and barked.

“David, this is my Zorua. Zorua are masters of illusion and can shape-shift to look like anything they want. Their ability, Illusion, is a unique trait of the species that allows such a feat.” N explained, patting the little fox on the head. Zorua yipped again proudly as David looked on with the same look of confusion and indifference.

“That’s nice, N. I’ve seen a Zorua before though; I know about Illusion…” David replied, turning back towards the window. He didn’t see Lennon or McCartney anywhere… not that he expected to be able to. They had a bird’s eye view of the park, but all the people looked the same, with facial features completely indistinguishable at that height. David sighed.

“Do you now, David? You’ve seen things that are not as they appear? Can you spot the trickery before it reveals itself to you, or do you recognize it only after it has shown its true form?” N asked mysteriously. David knew he was just being weird though and paid him no attention. He slouched over and leaned his arms on the guard rail as he looked out at the city; he liked being in the tiny cart with a hot blonde girl a lot more than with N…

“Oh, David, hold still for a minute. You’ve got some lint on the back of your jacket.” N said. He leaned forward to pinch it and David felt him pat his back. He felt a sharp prick though and jumped at the unexpected pain.

Ow!” David yelped. “What was that?” he asked.

“Oh, sorry, did I shock you? Must be these metal floors. I guess I built up a little electrical charge. Sorry about that.” N replied. He picked up Zorua off his shoulder and sat down on one of the seats, placing his Pokémon on his lap. He closed his eyes and sighed.

“David, there is something I feel I should tell you. I fear you will not like it though.” N began to say calmly.

“Whatever it is, N, I’m sure I can take it…” David muttered disinterestedly. “Whatever it is, I’m sure I don’t give a crap…” he thought to himself.

N sighed again and hung his head, frowning a small frown. “David, I take no pleasure in the pain this will cause you, but it is only fair I tell you now. I am the King of Team Plasma.” he said matter-of-factly. He remained silent and waited for David’s response.

David didn’t hear what he had said at first, letting the sound wash over him. Slowly, just what he had heard dawned on him and he turned to face the strange man seated behind him. He stood up straighter with a serious look on his face and asked him “What did you just say?”

“I said… I am the King of Team Plasma.” N said again clearly. “All of the members of Team Plasma ultimately serve and report to me.” he continued. He continued to sit very straight and politely, his head still bowed and his eyes still closed. A tiny frown still lined his face, but he didn’t seem worried about David’s response.

David stared at him in disbelief. After a moment of silence, he finally spoke up.

“Yeah right…” David muttered, turning back towards the window. “That Ghetsis guy is the leader of Team Plasma.” he continued.

Ghetsis is my father. He is the most high ranking of the Seven Sages, and is my trusted advisor, but he is second in command only to me. He runs the day-to-day affairs of the organization and puts policy into motion, but I have the supreme power at the end of the day. He too reports to me.” N replied.

David sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Okay N, fine, you’re the ‘King of Team Plasma,’ whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’ll believe you simply on face. Why would you lock me in a sealed compartment, bring me up this high and block any form of escape you might have just to tell me that? If you’re really the leader of Team Plasma, what’s stopping me from apprehending you right here and now and bringing you to the police? You’d have nowhere to run, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re stronger than me.” he asked.

David was still facing towards the window and leaning on the guard rail, but his head was turned to look at N. N still held his head low and had his eyes closed, speaking calmly. “Why don’t you come over here and try it, then?” he taunted.

David stood up menacingly and turned to face N. He took a step forward, but the sudden movement left him feeling lightheaded. He put a hand to his head to try and shake off the disorientation, but it only grew stronger. The car started to shake and his vision began to split. His legs buckled under him and he fell to the ground in a slump. “Wha… what did you do to me?” he asked. N smiled.

“I am sorry for having you trick you, my friend, but circumstances required me to take action to maintain my safety. You really did have a piece of lint on your back though, if that’s any consolation.” he said smugly. David struggled to raise his head enough to look up at him, but his strength had completely left him.

“You… you poisoned me?” he asked in disbelief.

“A necessary precaution, I assure you.” N explained. “It will wear off in short time and there will be no lasting damage, but the small dose I administered will give me enough time to say my peace and cover my escape. Those men you were chasing after will be able to get away too.” he continued, his smile growing bigger.

“You sick weirdo. Why would you do this?” David struggled to say. He was completely paralyzed, able only to move his eyes and speak in a strained voice. He lay on the floor of the car, completely incapacitated.

“Because I come with a message which I must impart unto you. I knew you would not hear anything else after I told you I was the King of Team Plasma, and this insured you would be a captive audience… literally, I suppose.” N replied. “Now let me say my peace and I will be on my way.” he continued. David remained silent.

“Long ago in the distant past, two brothers lived in the Unova region. This land was filled with strife back then and the territory was divided into two warring factions. The brothers used the might of a single powerful dragon to end the bloodshed and unite the people, establishing the Unova region we know today. They ruled over the land for many years in an era of peace known to historians as the Prima Pax Unova, or ‘First Unovan Peace.’ The boys eventually grew into adulthood though and began to see the end of their peaceful co-reign.” N began to say. There was a soothing, albeit ominous tone to his voice. He continued with his story.

“The elder brother sought to discover the truth about his life and his existence, foregoing everything else in his pursuit of knowledge. The younger brother sought to bring his ideals into the world and abandoned all sense of morality and reason to create the world he desired. The brothers became starkly opposed to each other and began to war amongst themselves. The stress and pressure of their debate eventually split the dragon they had used to halt the wars into two separate beasts, each one siding with one of the brothers. The elder brother gained the allegiance of the Vast White Dragon, Reshiram, and the younger brother gained the support of the Deep Black Dragon, Zekrom. The two dragons waged an epic battle that raged all across the land, destroying everything in their path. The struggle took a terrible toll on the land and eventually the brothers called off their part in the fight. Since they were born from the same dragon, neither Reshiram nor Zekrom could overcome one another. Knowing the battle would be fruitless, the brothers decided to end their quarrel to save their kingdom, but the dragons still harbored an inbred hostility towards each other that would never die. They accepted the truce, but begrudgingly. This marked the start of the Secunda Pax Unova, or ‘Second Unovan Peace.’ The brothers continued to rule the land in a joint effort until the day they died, bringing with them a second time of peace and prosperity; but the Dragons still had a hatred for each other burned deep into their souls, and would not stand for the peace for too long.” N continued.

“The sons of the brothers eventually took up the torch of war and used the mighty dragons to continue the struggle. Reshiram and Zekrom were only too happy to oblige, fighting valiantly to put an end to one another. The elder brothers put a stop to the fighting in short order however and built Relic Castle in the Desert Resort to contain the terrible beasts. They each brought their dragons there and sealed them away in the dark catacombs of the castle for all eternity so that no one could use their legendary power to destroy the region ever again. But legends tell of two Heroes who will awaken the dragons again and reignite the age old struggle for control of the land. I hope to be one of those Heroes.” he concluded.

The wheel was almost at the bottom of its arc now and it slowed to let them off. The doors opened and N picked David up by the shoulders. He dragged him out of the car and propped him up against the wall of the ticket booth. He knelt down and continued to speak.

“I have ideals, David. I seek to create a world in which Pokémon may be free from the pain humans bring to them. Special cases such as you and Paula may still exist, but Pokémon should have the freedom to choose what they want for themselves. I need the power of Zekrom, the ideals dragon, to make that happen. I shall become one of the two modern day Heroes and shall do battle with the other Hero to make my dream a reality. I will reawaken Zekrom and battle in the Pokémon League to prove my superiority over all the trainers in this region. Soon, everyone in this land will look up to me and act upon my will; they ask “What shall we do, King N?” and I shall reply “Release your Pokémon, my people. Think not of yourselves, but of them!” The people of this land will release their Pokémon, and I shall begin the time of the Third Unovan Peace! The Tertia Pax Unova! But more than that, David, I believe that you will be the other Hero who stands to oppose me. You will be the trainer who wields Reshiram and battles for truth in our grand fight. Your search for truth and your mastery of Pokémon will lead you to this position. I know in my heart this is true; you and I will be Heroes… and friends.” N said magnificently. He stood up and looked down at David, still paralyzed and slumped against the building, smiling to himself ecstatically. He heard a noise from behind him and turned to look.

“N! My Lord N! There you are; are you safe?” Lennon shouted as he ran up. He spied David slumped against the wall and smiled mockingly.

“Well well, Pokémon Trainer… not such hot stuff now, are you? That’s what you get for messing with the mighty N!” McCartney shouted, taunting him. N shot him a stern look as he said this though and he backed down.

“Come. I have said all I need to say to him. We will take our leave now…” N said authoritatively. The three of them started to walk away, leaving David incapacitated along the side of the wall.

“Hey!” David shouted. They turned back to look at him, surprised he had managed to find the strength to speak.

“Yes, David? You had something to say?” N asked curiously. A smile spread across his face as he realized what he was doing.

David slowly began to move his arms, the poison beginning to wear off. A pained look spread across his face, but he slowly began to feel his legs function again too. He had to lift himself up by his pants legs, but he slowly rose, bracing himself against the side of the building for support. He was wobbly and shaky at first, but he managed to rise and draw a Pokéball from his belt. The pained look did not abate from his face, but a grin slowly joined it in front of his firmly grit teeth. He managed to stand up all the way, striking a fighting pose before the group. “Where…” he started to say. “Where… do you think… you’re going?” he stammered sarcastically. N smiled.

He turned around to face David and began to clap slowly. “Bravo David, Bravo. There is no doubt in my mind anymore, you will be the other Hero. Lennon, McCartney, go quickly; let my battle cover your escape. Head for Driftveil City and don’t look back. Go.” he ordered. The pair of grunts looked at each other with confused looks on their faces but did not disobey. They ran back through the park, leaving the two would-be Heroes to their duel. N silently drew a Pokéball and prepared for battle.

“Zorua, help me, my friend.” N said calmly as he threw its Pokéball. The little black fox sprang onto the field, growling confidently and smirking. David threw the Pokéball he had drawn earlier and Munchlax joined his opponent in the clearing. The two struck up fighting positions and prepared to fight.

“Munchlax, use Fire Punch!” David shouted. Munchlax’s fists burst into flame and he prepared to strike, but N was too quick.

“Zorua, Snarl.” he ordered calmly. The little Zorua began to growl and bark menacingly, breaking Munchlax’s concentration and doing a small amount of damage. The flames on Munchlax’s fists dwindled and slowly went out; Munchlax would have to find another means of attacking.

“Now use Fury Swipes.” N continued to say calmly. Zorua leapt to attack, swiping at Munchlax with his tiny but razor sharp claws. Munchlax managed to step out of the way of most of the blows, but the final one caught him hard, raking his thick hide. He grimaced in pain, but didn’t lose his focus. Munchlax managed to grab Zorua’s tail as it regained its balance, preventing him from running away. Zorua yelped in pain and surprise as Munchlax yanked on his fluffy appendage, but couldn’t escape. A devilish grin spread across Munchlax’s face.

“Munchlax, Body Slam!” David shouted. Munchlax held Zorua in place in front of him, falling flat on his belly and crushing the little fox. Zorua screeched in surprise and pain as Munchlax’s towering form fell on him. He squished his opponent beneath his prodigious girth, grinning devilishly to himself as he did so. He rose a moment later and found that Zorua lay in defeat before him; Munchlax and David were victorious.

“Ahh… so it is.” N remarked calmly. He returned Zorua to its Pokéball and continued to speak. “Well done, David, you prove yet again that you are a more superior trainer than I. Perhaps I can’t beat you yet, but with the power of Zekrom, I know anything will be possible. Consider what I have told you today, my friend, for the truth Reshiram seeks is plain to see. We will meet again on the battlefield someday soon, and when we do, all of Unova will watch in awe; until we meet again, David…” he continued. He slowly turned and began to walk away, escaping into the crowd. David was still stiff from the poison and was unable to follow after him. He returned Munchlax to his Pokéball and sat down again, trying to overcome the paralysis.

“David! Hey! There you are!” Cheren shouted. “Guess what? I won! Aerodactyl did it, so in your face!” he continued. David turned and saw his friends running up, concern spreading in their eyes as they saw his pained look. They ran up and helped him stand, holding him up by a shoulder each. Bianca began to speak.

“Did you catch those Plasma goons, David? Are you okay?” she asked. David shook his head as a somber frown spread across his face. She drew silent and looked down, mimicking his expression.

“I know where they’re going though. They headed off for Driftveil City. We’ll leave first thing in the morning. For right now though, I need to get back to the Pokémon Center to rest. I’ve got a lot to tell you guys; I’ll fill you in on the way.” David replied. Bianca and Cheren nodded and helped him walk slowly through the park back to the Pokémon Center; it had been an eventful day, and the poison was still working its way through his system. He didn’t know if they would actually catch up to the Plasma goons in Driftveil City or not, but that was the least of his concerns at the moment. They slowly made their way back through the city and ended their long day.

* * *

Lennon and McCartney were running with all their might… again… That cycle never seemed to escape them, and the constant exercise was beginning to wear them down. They were making good time though and had already reached the Driftveil Drawbridge. Luckily for them it was down and they started heading across it. The pair slowed to a walk and continued across the bridge comfortably. They caught their breath and began to talk amongst themselves casually.

“Say what you want about Plasma bureaucrats, Lennon, but that N is one pip of a guy.” McCartney commented. “He should be the real face of the organization. There’s a guy who is sticking to the group’s principles instead of getting sucked up in the politics.” he continued.

“You said it.” Lennon replied. “He’s a great guy. Risking his own skin to help out a couple of common grunts like us? What other leader in any organization would do that?” he continued.

McCartney started to speak up in response, but he lost his footing and tripped. He regained his balance, but seemed to be having trouble walking.

“You okay there, McCartney? Something wrong?” Lennon asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine, it’s just… the ground seems to be all screwy in here, almost like it isn’t level.” McCartney replied. He had a perplexed look on his face and stared down at the bridge beneath his feet. Lennon looked down too, trying to figure out what might be the problem, but it quickly dawned on him. Blank, terrified looks slowly spread across their faces as they realized what was happening. They shot each other a horrified look and started to run. The ground beneath them slowly began to rise, forming a steep ramp on which they were running down.

“They’re raising the bridge, Lennon, they’re raising the bridge!” McCartney shouted in panic.

“I know, I know, just shut up and run!” Lennon shouted back. They had passed the halfway point of the bridge before it had started to go up, so they were running straight down at an increasingly steeper and steeper angle. The bridge was rising up into the sky at an ominously slow rate, making it harder and harder for them to keep their footing. The bridge eventually passed 45° and they built up too much momentum to maintain their traction. They felt the ground leave their feet and began to fall down the rest of the way. They bounced and skidded against the almost vertical ground and finally fell in a slump on the solid dirt on the other side. They landed harshly and skidded to a halt along the dirty ground. Their faces were scratched and their uniforms were covered in dirt and grass stains. They struggled to rise as they fought through the pain.

“Well well, lookie what we have here…” a voice said from in front of them. The pair looked up slowly and saw an imposing shadow standing over them. The voice continued to speak in a slow, deliberate southern drawl. “Couple o’ no good Plasma varmints? Well this just must be m’ah lucky day…” the voice continued.

Lennon and McCartney felt strong, massive hands grasp the collars of their clothes. They began to rise off the ground against their own will and slowly looked up at the man who had discovered them. Their terrified looks continued to line their faces as the imposing man before them began to grin.

“Now tell me there, boys… what are you two Yankees doin’ runnin’ at a speed like that?” the man asked. “Why, if I didn’t know bett’ah, I’d say you two boys looked like you was tryin’ to get away from somebody. You fellers want to explain to me just what you was doin’?” he continued to ask.

Lennon and McCartney shot each other another terrified look. Lennon started to stammer out a response, but the man just laughed over him and cut him off.

“Oh don’cha go worryin’ ‘bout it there, son. You and me are gonna have some real good ol’e Texas fun. Yippie-ki-yay, you Yankee scum…” he said ominously. The man began to laugh loudly to himself in his southern drawl as he dragged the pair away by their collars into town. Lennon gulped as he was led away, unsure of what punishment the strange man had in store for them. The only thing he did know was that his troubles were not yet over.

“Lord N?” he whispered to McCartney meekly. “Can we get a mulligan?” he continued. The man continued to laugh to himself as he dragged them away, smiling sadistically at the “fun” he had in store. The sun slowly began to set in the sky behind them, marking the end of their hectic day.