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Thread: Into the Shadows: A Pokemon fanfic (R)

  1. #1

    Default Into the Shadows: A Pokemon fanfic (R)

    Hey, people. This is rated R for dark themes, moderate use of language, death, and the like. It has been approved by bobandbill.
    Also: Mind Screws abound.

    PM List:
    Kutie Pie



    The prologue is extremely short, so I put it and Chapter 1 together.

    A/N: This takes place four years after XD.

    Into the Shadows
    Prologue


    "Terra, wake up. We're almost there." Ashely shook Terra awake. Terra groggily opened her eyes as Ashely's bubbly, smiling face came into focus. She jumped. She was used to seeing that face for almost three years, but it still freaked her out. "AH!" Terra screamed. "You know I hate it when you wake me up like that, Ashie." Terra slowly got off the bed, shuffling over to a table with a few papers neatly stacked on top of it. How she hated this boat. Sure, being with Team Magma certainly didn't help with anything. But this mission was too important to be worried about water.

    "I'm ready for my pre-mission breifing now, mistress," Ashely said, standing up straight. Terra snapped out of her thought.

    "Ashie, acting official does not suit you," Terra giggled. "But as your new Admin, I guess I have to give you this breifing." Terra sighed as she gathered the papers from the table. It felt weird to be giving the orders this time around as opposed to recieving them. Terra shuffled through the papers, quickly reveiwing the information.

    "Okay," Terra began, putting on her most official tone of voice. "Our first order of buisiness is to find a man in Gateon Port, where we will make land."

    Land. Terra thought, Finally.

    "What is this man's name, if I may ask?" Ashely interjected.

    "Um...." Terra skimmed over the papers. "His name is Ardos. It says here that he is a rather tall man with blue hair. He will be wearing a blue and black robe when we meet. He will direct us to Cipher's Headquarters, located in the central region of Orre. From there we will be given information pertaining to these 'Shadow Pokemon', whatever they are. Then, we get to go back to Hoenn. Simple reconnaisance mission. Don't screw it up." Terra finished scanning the papers and carefully placed them on the table. The intercom rang.

    "We wil be arriving in Gateon Port shortly. Please report to the main lobby as soon as you can. Thank you, and have a fun vacation here in Orre!" The woman on the intercom sounded overly cheery. Terra and Ashely did not pack much, just enough for the 3-day boat ride over and back. They quickly packed and headed towards the lobby of the ship, a simply decorated room that left much to be desired.

    "Hey, Ashie?" Terra half whispered.

    "Yeah?"

    "Don't you think it's kinda, y'know, sketchy that Cipher is taking us to their headquarters?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "I'm thinking they might have other plans for us. Sure, they seem trustworthy and if they do anything to us Team Magma will be all over their ass, but I can't help wondering, just, what if?"

    "I'm thinking that you are overthinking this."

    Chapter 1: Traitor


    Terra and Ashley stepped out of the ship into the hot Orre sun. Terra felt a tinge of relief knowing that she was at least on something solid, but that relief was short-lived, as Ashley quickly wandered away, distracted. Terra sighed.
    "Ashie! Wait!" Terra called after her, carrying two small luggage bags. Putting the bags down, Terra began to look around for her friend, wiping off the beads of sweat beginning to form. If there was one thing Ashley did have, it was energy, even in this heat. As she looked around for her friend, Terra's eyes settled on a man whose decription exactly matched the one she had been given: tall, slender, bue hair, and wearing a blue and black robe. Terra slowly walked over to him.

    "Hello, you must be Miss Terra Rohare," he said warmly, extending his hand towards Terra.

    Terra shook his hand. "I am. You must be Ardos?"

    "Indeed I am. Ardos Verich, Head of Cipher's Intelligence Department," Ardos said proudly. "Let me take your bags-"

    "Oh, no, I need to find someone else first," Terra interjected.

    "Miss Rohare, I'm afraid this is no time for socializing with old friends. Do that on your own time, please," Ardos said, trying to sound as polite as possible.

    "No, no, she's my Head Grunt. She's coming, too."

    "Head Grunt?" Ardos inquired.

    "She's a step below me," Terra answered.

    "Ah. Very well. Just don't take too long. We do have things to do," Ardos was getting slightly annoyed.

    Terra nodded and turned around. "ASHIE!" She yelled, startling Ardos. Almost immediately Ashley came rushing towards Terra and Ardos.

    "Hey, did I miss anything?" Ashley asked casually.

    "Well, not really," Ardos paused. "I'm sorry, what was your name? Ashie?"

    "No, that's just a nickname Mistress Terra has for me. My name is Ashley Clorus."

    "Ah. I'm Ardos Verich, Head of Cipher's Intelligence Department," Ardos said flatly, getting more annoyed by the second. "Hand me your bags and follow me." Terra handed Ardos the two bags, and the three walked to the entrance of the city.

    "Well, here we are," Ardos said, opening the trunk of a long white car. He tossed the bags inside. Politely, Ardos opened the back door of the car, allowing Terra and Ashley to enter before climbing in the back of the car himself. Closing the door, he pushed a button on the door's handle. "To the lab, please," Ardos said calmly. As he released the button, the car started moving. It was fancy inside, with overstuffed leather upholstery and a partition to separate the passengers from the driver.

    "Lab?" Terra asked, "I thought you were taking us to your headquarters."

    "Well," Ardos replied, matter-of-factly. "The lab is our headquarters. The two terms are interchangeable among Cipher members."

    "Oh. Okay," Terra sulked slightly. Terra looked out the window at the desert as a long silence settled over the passengers.

    "So," Ardos broke the silence. "Did either of you bring any Pokemon with you? Orre has a terrific battling community. Very lively."

    "Oh, no. We figured it was best simply to leave them in Hoenn, since we are leaving today once we get the information," Terra indicated.

    "I brought a portable PC, Terra. We can access our boxes from anywhere," Ashley giggled.

    "Oh, Well, I can possibly get you a Shadow Pokemon if you like, maybe as a momento. Cipher has plenty of them. It will also be a great addition to your team," Ardos smirked.

    "That sounds good," Terra replied.

    "Terrific. I'll get you one," Ardos gave Terra a fake smile and turned to face
    Ashley. "Do you want one, too?"

    Ashley smiled. "Sure, but what exactly is a Shadow Pokemon?"

    Ardos turned to face forward. "You'll find out in due time. Once you battle with one, you'll get it. The information I'm giving you will explain it as well."

    "Yessir," Ashley replied. "Now, I have to ask, what is with that robe? Is that Cipher's uniform?"

    "No," Ardos replied "I used to work with my brother, Eldes, before he became a traitor. We both were my father's bodyguards. We-"

    "Wait, traitor?" Terra interrupted.

    "Yes, traitor," Ardos replied. "He said he felt that Cipher had no chance of surviving long after Michael, a mere boy defeated him, and me."

    "So this great organization was taken down by a boy?" Terra asked, trying to hide any facts that would lose Team Magma's credibility with Cipher.

    "Yes," Ardos said flatly, his face locked in a hateful expression. "I still remember the battle that brought down Cipher. Eldes convinced my father that Cipher should disband. After that, I went into hiding with the other Admins, Eldes included, and we joined tournaments at Orre Collosseum to entertain ourselves. Little did we know that little idiot Michael would show up to those. He had the pleasure of defeating us all again. However, all of the Admins stuck together. I managed to gain the respect of all of them, except Eldes. We managed to restart Cipher quickly and quietly, while Eldes went into hiding, but he was quickly captured by the new Cipher. He remains a prisoner to this day, nearly four years. We got the attention of the old Admins of Cipher, who all joined with us as well. One in particular, Nascour, insisted that he lead this new organization, and I let him. No use causing tension between us. He quickly handed his position to Andrea, his daughter. I must say, it was the most brilliant move that he ever made as Cipher's head. Now, Cipher has complete conrol over Orre. Even Cipher's old enemies have joined up with us. Wes is now head of aquiring Pokemon, Rui distributes Shadow Pokemon, Professor Krane and Lily help Ein and Lovrina in making and improving Shadow Pokemon, and even Michael helps prevent purification of Shadow Pokemon. They all do their jobs wonderfully," Ardos smiled fondly.

    "Wait, who are those people? And how did you get them to join?" Terra asked, surprised.

    "Well," Ardos began, "Wes was Cipher's first real threat. He was the one that stole every Shadow Pokemon and purified it. He brought down Cipher for the first time, but my father was also working for Cipher. Those who worked in my father's branch of Cipher revived the organization, only to be defeated again by Michael. Rui helped Wes identify Shadow Pokemon. She has the special ability to see the aura that Sadow Pokemin emit. Lily is Michael's mother. She also has a daughter, Jovi, that is still at large. Professor Krane is Lily's friend and worked with Lily at the HQ Lab, a lab dedicated to the purification of Shadow Pokemon. Krane was the man in charge." Ardos paused. "However, how Andrea got them working for Cipher is a matter that I am kept uninformed about."

    "Wow," was all Terra could say before another silence began. After a while, the car came to a stop.

    "Here we are," Ardos announced. As Terra and Ashley got out of the car, he muttered something incomprehensible.

    "I'm sorry?" Terra asked.

    "Oh, just talking to myself. Trying to remember where I put the Shadow Pokemon information file," Ardos replied. "Follow me," He said as he turned around and entered the lab. The entrance to the lab was a sterile gray all over. The three moved back to a cylindrical elevator that opened as they drew near it. Ardos let Terra and Ashley in before himself. The elevator closed and moved down. After it reached its destination, the three were greeted with even more gray, which seemed to be kept meticulously cleaned. Despite the bright fluorescent lights, the lab had an indistinguishable sinister quality to it. Ardos exited the tube, followed by Terra and Ashley. After walking a short distance, they reached a nondescript door. The door opened automatically. Terra and Ashley were shocked to find a hallway lined with empty glass chambers, each with a door at the back. Ardos stopped at one in the very back. A slender, red-haired man wearing a tattered red and black robe sat in the back corner. Where he sat, a small pool of blood had formed. "That is Eldes," Ardos announced scornfully, a look of pure disdain in his eyes. The man inside the chamber faced Ardos from his sitting position.

    "I do have... a gender, you know," The man retorted, his weak, hoarse voice muffled by the glass.

    "After your last encounter with Gorigan and Dakim, I'm surprised you can even talk, Eldes," Ardos taunted, observing the slowly growing puddle of blood beneath the man, "Perhaps I should have them increase the severity of punishment?"

    "I don't fucking care... what you do, Ardos," Eldes spat with great effort, "Although hitting your... younger brother isn't... polite. What do you think... Father would say... about that?" Eldes glared defiantly at Ardos.

    Terra stepped forward angrily. "I think you should shut the hell up! Traitor!" she snapped, her voice resonating throughout the gray room.

    "Terra!" Ashley cried back in astonishment. Ardos simply smirked at Terra approvingly, stepping forward to press a few buttons on a conrol panel and the nearly indistinguishable door slid open.

    "Here, why don't you two take a while to get aquainted with our little rat here while I go find those papers?" Ardos suggested, smiling a not-so-innocent smile.

    "Oh, yes, we will," Terra pushed Ashley inside the cell, stepping in shortly after Ashley moved out of Terra's way. Ardos smiled as he pushed a button to close and lock the door. Ardos exited the room through the same door that he came in.

    "Hello, Eldes," Terra sneered.

    "Hey. I'm very sorry-" Ashley began.

    In a hoarse, voice, Eldes rasped, "You do realize... what's happened, right?" Eldes began coughing, spattering blood on the hand he had raised weakly to his mouth.

    "Um, we've been locked in a room with a filthy traitor?" Terra retorted.

    "Terra, let him speak." Ashley said evenly. Comfortingly, she continued, "What has happened, Eldes?"

    "You both have... been taken hostage," Eldes said dryly.

    "Tch, like I'd believe a traitor," Terra spat.

    "TERRA! SHUT UP!" Ashley snapped, the cell reverberating for a moment from her loud words. Terra backed away, never seeing that side of her dearest friend. Ashley sat down, eye to eye with Eldes. "Now, tell me, did we really get kidnapped?" Ashley's blue eyes drifted to the puddle of blood collecting at Eldes' side.

    "Yes..." Eldes said weakly. "You..." He turned to Ashley. "I'll be fine. Don't worry... about me," Eldes heaved, struggling to get air. "Either Venus or Lovrina will come soon... and have their Blissey... use Recover on me. Just so Dakim and Gorigan... can beat me again."

    "Why doesn't Cipher kill you?" Ashley asked.

    "I... don't know. I guess Ardos... thinks that since he can only... kill me once, he might just make... me wish they would kill me until... I finally die."

    "So, have we been kidnapped or not?" Terra impatiently asked. Ashley glared at Terra wth a look of raw anger.

    "It's okay... I'm used to it... Cipher's done much... worse things to me. And to... answer your question... most likely," Eldes heaved heavily. "I would not... put it past Ardos to... do something like that." Just then, Ardos walked through the door and headed straight for Eldes' cell. Ardos unlocked the door, his eyes focused on Terra.

    "Miss Terra... Follow me," Ardos said warmly. Terra exited the cell as Ardos locked it, leaving Eldes and Ashley inside. "So, did you have fun?" Ardos inquired.

    "Well, Ashley was kind of preventing me from doing so, so no. No fun," Terra sulked slightly.

    "Well, we certainly can't have our guest go without entertaining herself, can we?" Ardos smirked. "You will have a chance to talk with Eldes without Ashley in the way. Promise."

    "Thank you very much," Terra replied, grinning. She continued to follow Ardos in silence before breaking it. "Ardos, Eldes said some things..." Terra tentatively said.

    "Lies. All lies." Ardos immediately affirmed.

    "Well, I don't know, it seemed plausible."

    "What was he saying? How could any thing that traitor says seem plausible?"

    "He said that you took us as hostages."

    "What? No! What motives could I possibly have to take you hostage?" Ardos was shocked. Eldes-- he couldn't possibly know. He must be delusional. Ardos thought, before dismissing the thought.

    "I don't know."

    "See? Don't trust traitors. I thought Team Magma would have taught you that."

    "They did, but I was thinking that you would be doing the same thing."

    "Ah. Well, we'll have to set that bastard straight."

    "With pleasure." Terra smirked.

    ***

    "Eldes, why don't you take a rest?" Ashley said, trying to comfort the exhausted man.

    "Yeah, that would be nice... If I could sleep in a... comfortable position, that... would be lovely," Eldes heaved.

    "Okay, if you're not going to sleep, let's at least make it productive. Let's figure out a way to get out," Suddenly, the door to the cell room opened, a rather tall woman with extremely long pink pigtails walked in, a fat pink and white blob of a Pokemon accompanying her.

    "Eldes! Oh, Eldes! Guess who!" The woman cheerfully said.

    "Who is that?" Ashley whispered.

    "Lovrina. And she's brought her Blissey," Eldes replied dryly.
    Lovrina sauntered over to the cell Eldes and Ashley were in. "Ooh, looks like we've got a new one! So exiting!" The door to the cell opened. "What's your name, sweetie?" She giggled.

    "Ashley Clorus," Ashley responded.

    "I'm Lovrina. I make sure that Eldes here is so ready for his next encounter with Gorigan and Dakim. We so can't have Eldes going to Gorigan and Dakim looking like he does now. They would so go easy on him! That's where Blissey comes in. She uses Recover on Eldes here and he gets all better. Watch," The Blissey's paws began to glow a light blue color as she touched Eldes. The man began to glow the same color as the Blissey's paws for a few seconds. The Blissey removed her paws and Eldes stopped glowing. "There you go, Eldes!" Lovrina giggled.

    "Why do you do this?" Ashely asked.

    "I so already told you this! So Gorigan and Dakim have a clean slate to work with when they punish Eldes again!" Lovrina smiled and turned around, her Blissey following her, and they exited the room together.

    "Eldes? You feeling better?" Ashely asked,

    "Yes," Eldes replied, his voice less hoarse than before. "To be expected," He found no joy in his healed state, seeing as how in a few hours Dakim and Gorigan would come back and beat him again.

    "Let's figure out a way to get you out of this place," Ashley smiled.

    "We can't," Eldes said. "There's an alarm that goes off if a cell is opened by an aunauthoized person. A group of guards can be here within thirty seconds."

    "Who is authorized?"

    "Ardos, Venus, Lovrina, Dakim, and Gorigan."

    "Lovrina seems nice. Perhaps she can let you out?"

    Eldes scoffed. "Yeah, that makes a hell of a lot of sense. Lovrina lets out one of Cipher's biggest enemies. You're funny."

    "I was making a suggestion. But, I have an idea..."

    "What is it?"

    "Do they let you out to use the bathroom?"

    "There is a bathroom through the door behind me. They don't need to. I am allowed one hundred twenty seconds to use it, if that helps at all."

    "How do they know you're in there?"

    "Cameras. If I'm in there for more than the allotted time, an alarm goes off, and three guards come in here and open the door, making sure I'm not escaping. Believe me, I've tried. Each time ended badly."

    "Wait... I'm getting a Shadow Pokemon later. If I get the right one, maybe I can 'use the bathroom' and maybe burrow out of here. Then you use that to escape."

    "Good luck. The only thing Shadow Pokemon know is battling, and, good luck burrowing through the steel floor."

    "Wait, I think I have something here that can help." Ashley put her hand into her pocket, pulling out a small red device. She pressed a button on the side and the screen lit up.

    "Don't do that here. It's dangerous," Eldes cautioned.

    "Oh, don't worry about it. If anyone asks, I was tending to some Team Magma- related buisiness."

    "Team Magma?" Eldes questioned.

    "Oh, they kind of sent us here. On a reconnaissance mission," Ashely began poking at the device, manipulating a rudimentary PC display.

    "Reconnaissance? Of what kind?"

    "Terra, that lady that kept yelling at you, is probably doing that right now. We are obtaining some information on Shadow Pokemon."

    "Ah, so some sort of partnership."

    "Um, I'm not sure. I wasn't told about anything partnership wise," Ashley kept poking at her device until she found exactly what she needed. “Okay, I think I found something that can get us out of here. Stand back,” She pointed the front of the device to the floor. A white beam emanated from the device, which eventually formed a red and white sphere. Eldes grinned. It had been a while since he had seen one of those.

    “Ready to run?” Ashley smirked.

    “I've been ready for this moment for years!” Eldes could barely contain his exitement. He turned to face the bathroom door. “But first, what is in that Poke Ball?”

    Ashley smiled as she picked up the Ball. “My Claydol. It knows Teleport, so it can get us out of this place.”

    “Okay, but can it get us far away from here?”

    “It can get us anywhere either of us has been. It just would take a lot of energy to go really far away. I don't know if little Claydol could handle a trip to Hoenn, so everywhere I know is out of the question. Maybe you know of a place?”

    “I don't really know if it would be okay, but it could work,” Eldes replied.

    “Okay, we'll try. As a last resort, we have Hoenn,” Ashley indicated. “Claydol!” Ashley called out. A black, ball- like Pokemon with a set of eyes circling its wide head materialized from the Poke Ball. “Claydol, this is Eldes. Use Teleport when he tells you,” Ashley said evenly. She turned to Eldes. “Okay, grab onto Claydol's arm,” Eldes took hold of the Pokemon's arm. “Now think of the place you want to go,” Ashley waited for a few seconds. “Got it in your head?”

    “Yes.”

    “Good,” Ashley grabbed hold of Eldes' free hand. When you're ready, tell Claydol to use Teleport.”

    “Okay,” Eldes was nearly shaking with exitement. “Claydol! Teleport!” he commanded. Ashley, Eldes, and Claydol disappeared together in a flash of white.

    Just then, Ardos and Terra entered the cell room. “So, Eldes should be happy to see you,” Ardos said.

    “I'll bet. That Shadow Darmanitan Rui gave me should also come in handy,” Terra smirked as she came up to Eldes' cell, empty exept for a puddle of dried blood on the ground where Eldes was sitting . “Um, A-Ardos?” Terra stammered.

    “What seems-” Ardos gasped softly when he came to the empty cell. After a second, his features relaxed. “Oh, he's probably using the bathroom. We provided one for him in the back of the cell,” Ardos said calmly.

    “But where's Ashley? In the bathroom with Eldes?” Terra paused, cringing slightly at the awkward mental images that statement conjured.

    “Either that, or Ashley took Eldes somewhere.”

    “How can we find out?” Terra inquired, worried.

    “There's a security camera focused on this cell. We can check the footage and see.”

    ***

    Ashley, Eldes and Claydol materialized in a desolate canyon with a destroyed building nestled in a corner. “This... brings back memories...” Eldes sighed. “This was one of my hideouts before I was captured. This is where we will stay for the night. But if we are to avoid capture, we cannot stay in one place for long. Two nights at the most.”

    “Eldes, where are we, if I may ask?”

    “Eclo Canyon,” Eldes indicated, smiling. Claydol began to curiously explore the
    area.

    “Um, can we go get some shade?” Ashley asked, beads of sweat beginning to form on her brow.

    “No, not yet. Water is our top priorty right now. Then food.”

    “What about shade?” Ashley pleaded.

    “I wouldn't doubt that by the time we even find water, there will be any heat left. It gets cold at night,” Eldes began to walk away from the dilapidated building.

    “Fine...” Ashley moaned, wiping the sweat off of her brow. “Wait, Eldes!” Ashley called after the man.

    Eldes turned around, and began walking towards Ashley. “What is it? Is it more important than water right now?”

    Ashley reached into one of her pockets and pulled out a red leather wallet. “If I have enough money, we can buy some food and water. I can Teleport to Gateon Port and buy some while you hide out here.”

    “Before we waste our time with that, how much money do you have?”

    Ashley opened the wallet and counted each bill. “Um, two hundred thousand. I also have my credit card.”

    “Good,” Eldes sighed a genuine sigh of relief. “However, if you see Cipher, you come right back here. Keep your Claydol out.”

    “Got it,” Ashley affirmed. She then reached for her belt, taking the pocket PC out. “Here. Use this to get some Pokemon. My ID is already logged on, but you can use your ID, if you remember it. Just make sure that you have Orre selected as the region, if you use your ID,” After hading the device to Eldes, Ashely looked around for her Claydol. “Hey! Claydol! Come here!” Ashley called. The Pokemon quickly floated up from behind a pile of rubble near the building. “Okay, Claydol,” Ashley said, grabbing one of the Pokemon's stubby arms cnd closing her eyes. After a short pause, Ashley opened her eyes. “Teleport!” she commanded, and Ashley and Claydol were gone in a flash of white light, leaving Eldes alone.


    ...There it is.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th November 2011 at 3:26 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Here's Chapter 2.

    Chapter 2: Rediscovery



    Terra and Ardos sat in office chairs as they both watched a surveillance video in silence. “Ardos?” Terra inquired, slightly scared by the situation in general.

    “Yes?” Ardos replied, a tinge of anger in his voice.

    “Say word of this gets to your leader...”

    “Andrea?”

    “Yes, Andrea. Say word of this gets to her. What will happen to you, being kind of responsible for
    Eldes staying where he is, er, was?”

    “Well, either she kills me or imprisons me. Most likely the former. Depends on who tells her.” Ardos paused, watching the video intently. “It looks like Ashley started it. See, here, she's giving Eldes instructions.”

    “How could Ashie... help someone so... terrible?” Terra began to whimper.

    “Terra. Please, this is no time for crying. Just deal with it. She committed treason against two organizations simultaneously. Cipher, by taking Eldes out of here, and Team Magma, by ignoring your cries of disapproval. If Andrea got her hands on such a heinous criminal, why, they would not even get a chance to defend themselves. Just die. A slow, painful death that not even Eldes is deserving of. Andrea does not take kindly to treason, and at Andrea's hands, Ashley would take four, maybe five, hours to die. Eldes, well, his fate is up to me, but we need to catch them first.”

    Terra continued to watch the video, the screen reflected in her watery eyes. “Wait, rewind the tape. I think I missed something.” Terra said, holding back tears. Ardos held down a button on a console.

    “Tell me when to stop.” Ardos said. Terra watched the screen and waited a few seconds.

    “Okay, now,” She indicated. Ardos let go of the button. Terra observed the video. “...Claydol...” she observed. “I know where they are.” Terra declared boldly, her eyes drying up. “Gateon Port. Claydol only responds to Ashley's commands. Here, they Teleported.”

    “How do you know they haven't gone elsewhere?” Ardos inquired.

    “Hoenn is too far away, and the only place Ashley's been to in Orre is Gateon Port. The only problem now is making sure they both stay there long enough for us to get them.”

    “And what if they've left Gateon? They probably are going to keep moving no matter what.”

    Terra chuckled nervously. “I hadn't thought of that...”

    “Number one rule to not get caught: keep moving.” Ardos recited.

    “Should we get some help?” Terra questioned.

    “From who?” Ardos questioned back.

    “Nascour or Andrea?”

    “Are you insane? They'll kill us!” Ardos scoffed.

    “Who else would we get it from? Besides, they should know better than both of us how to find these two. We can try Nascour first.”

    “Fine. We'll try.” Ardos replied, deeply worried.

    ***

    Eldes sighed, turning towards the dilapidated building. His first few hours of freedom had felt good-- at least better than being Cipher's prisoner. The red-haired man looked at the device Ashley gave him and smiled. The joy of seeing the machine was short-lived, however, and replaced by a sense of urgency. Cipher was still out there, and any minute they could come crashing into this building. He was an easy target, especially with no Pokemon. Immediately, Eldes turned on the pocket PC and sat down on the hot ground, angry at himself that he did not think of doing this earlier. He still remembered his ID number, even after not using it for four years. After all, every good trainer had their ID number memorized.

    Eldes' boxes showed up, nearly full of Pokemon he didn't even know he had before. Cipher must have been using his boxes to store extra Shadow Pokemon. Each Pokemon's icon throbbed a deep purple in unison, confirming Eldes' suspicions. After much deliberation, Eldes settled on a team consisting of Bisharp, Togekiss, Lapras, Chandelure, Marowak, and Solrock. He decided on a team for Ashley as well: Manectric, Swellow, Hippowdon, Aggron, Scrafty, and the Claydol Ashley had with her. Eldes began organizing the Poke Balls when Ashley and Claydol teleported to the building, in front of Eldes. Ashley was shouldering a large brown backpack.

    “So, what did you buy?” Eldes asked.

    “Well, I got this backpack.”

    “Okay, that is going to slow you down if we have to run. But, I guess that's your problem.”

    “Well, so is that robe.” Ashley took off the backpack, digging through it until she produced a pair of khaki shorts and a red t-shirt. “Not to mention, that robe is too recognizable to blend in. Put these on.” Ashley handed Eldes the clothing. Eldes moved behind a pile of rubble to protect his modesty, and he quickly changed outfits. Eldes picked up his old, tattered, bloody garment and brought it to Ashley.

    “Put it in the backpack, please.”

    “Huh? I'm confused. Why do you want me to keep that?”

    “Just so that if Cipher comes here, they won't find my robe. If they did find it, they might decide to wait until we come back.”

    Reluctantly, Ashley put the robe in a side compartment of the backpack. Looking at the ground, Ashley saw two distinct piles of Poke Balls. Claydol examined them, as if it saw something odd. “So, I see you were busy with that PC,” she giggled.

    “Yes. I got us both a team ready,” Eldes declared proudly. “Be careful, though: those Pokemon are Shadow Pokemon.”

    “How did you get those?”

    “Cipher has been using my PC boxes to store Shadow Pokemon.” Eldes declared, slightly angry.

    “And you want me to use them?”

    “Yes, but you can keep your Claydol. Take the pile with five Balls.” Eldes said, indicating one of the piles of Poke Balls.

    “Why? Aren't these Cipher's? If Cipher finds out, won't they try even harder to find us?”

    “They probably are looking hard enough as it is. Any harder and they might compromise security. Just take the Poke Balls.” Eldes was getting slightly annoyed.

    “But why?”

    Eldes smirked. “Purification.”

    “Huh?”

    “Opening a Pokemon's heart.”

    “Oh. How is that going to help us?”

    “Cipher is powerless without their Shadow Pokemon.” Eldes chuckled.

    ***

    Terra and Ardos nervously approached a large, ornate door. It seemed very out-of-place among the rest of the gray doors Terra had become accustomed to seeing. Terra's hand instinctively moved towards the ornate knob and turned it. Through the door, there was a large office. A young woman with deep red eyes was sitting on one side of a desk, lecturing a man not much older than herself, who was sitting on the other side nervously.

    “So, Wes, you have no explanation regarding those eleven missing Pokemon?” The woman said imposingly.

    “No, Mistress...” Wes weakly said. The woman's eyes glowed an even deeper red as she raised her arm towards the man. Wes groaned in pain as he was lifted off of the chair he was sitting in.

    “You have twenty- four hours to figure out what happened, or you die.” The woman said coldly as she roughly dropped Wes onto the floor. “Is that clear?” The woman asked, Wes lying on the floor.

    “Y-yes, Mistress.” Wes replied nervously, getting up from the floor.

    “Good. Now, get to work.” Wes turned around, and nearly ran out of the office. The woman turned to face the door, noticing Terra standing in the doorway. “Who are you? The door was closed for a reason. What is so important that you needed to barge in here?” The woman asked angrily.

    “She is with me, Mistress.” Ardos announced, stepping nervously into the doorway.

    The woman's face relaxed slightly. “Come. Sit down.” she beckoned. Terra and Ardos sat down in front of the woman. The woman turned to Terra, her gaze slightly suspicious. “Identify yourself,” The woman commanded.

    “T-Terra Rohare, Team Magma Admin of Intelligence.” Terra stuttered slightly.

    “Andrea Sarlous, Head of Cipher.” The woman replied.

    ***

    “Eldes, do you think we can get some sort of shade?” Ashley panted. “You've been sitting there for about an hour.”

    Eldes laughed. “Oh, sorry. I guess I just don't know what to do with myself now that I'm not a prisoner anymore.” He rose from his sitting position, heading towards the building. Ashley began to follow him.

    “Claydol, are you coming?” Ashley said, jarring Claydol awake. It nodded and floated towards the two escapees as they entered the destroyed building.

    “Okay, I know where we can stay for the night. The old main office.” Eldes announced.

    “I have no idea where that is.”

    “Just follow me.” Eldes carefully walked among the rubble.

    “Just what is this place?” Ashley asked, nearly tripping over a fallen iron beam.

    “It was Team Snagem's Headquarters. They once were partners of Cipher before Cipher was defeated the first time. They since have disbanded, I believe. When I hid here before I was captured, no one was here, so I'm pretty sure they are gone. Plus, nine years ago, Cipher's first major rival, Wes, blew up this place. If they didn't disband, then they obviously have no intention of coming back.” The pair came to a large hole in a wall, leading to a sparsely decorated room. “This is where we will sleep.” Eldes announced. He thought that he had heard the faint roar of motorcycle engines in the distance, but quickly dismissed the sound as a trick of the mind as it faded away.

    ***

    “Ardos, I sincerely hope you realize how much trouble you are in. You, too, Terra.” Andrea spat.

    “I'm sorry I have to break this to you, Andrea, but you are not Maxie. You have no control over me.” Terra scoffed.

    “Oh, but I do. I run Team Magma now. Remember that mission that brought you here? Just a ploy to get you to come here. Maxie already has the information you came here for.” Andrea stated matter- of- factly.

    Terra's eyes began to water. “Why? Why did Maxie send me?” she whimpered.

    Andrea smirked. “Because the information is too important to give away for free. The price was the head of Team Magma's Intelligence Department, and a partnership between Team Magma and Cipher.” Andrea paused, glaring into Terra's watering eyes briefly before continuing, “Bringing your friend into this only made things worse for both of you. Once we catch her, she's dead. If you would have left her in Hoenn, everything would be fine. You and I wouldn't be having this talk, your friend wouldn't be running around Orre with Cipher looking for her, and Eldes would be in his cell where he belongs.”

    Terra sat in silence, thinking about Andrea's words. After a few moments, she began crying softly.

    “Terra, I'm telling you the truth. It hurts, I know.” Andrea sneered.

    “On topic,” Ardos began, “We should probably begin searching for Eldes and Ashley.”

    “We already have. Four search parties have been sent out.” Andrea bragged slightly. Upon hearing this, Terra's crying grew slightly louder.

    “What? You already knew about this?” Ardos continued, ignoring Terra's crying.

    “Yes,” Andrea announced. “Gorigan sent a search party to Mt. Battle, Dakim's party went to Elco Canyon, Venus' party went to Phenac, and Lovrina's party went to Gateon.” Terra's crying grew to a sob upon hearing those words. “Terra, if you need to go cry, please do so elsewhere. Preferably outside of my office.” Andrea said coldly. Terra nodded and rushed out of the ornate office, sobbing.

    “How did they find out before me?” Ardos asked, shocked and worried.

    “Well, Dakim and Gorigan went to administer their punishment and saw that Eldes' cell was empty, so they told me. Both of them told Lovrina and Venus, too.”

    “And why the hell wasn't I involved in this!?” Ardos snapped.

    “Ardos, you need to stay on top of these things. It's not anyone's job to tell you if Eldes has escaped. If he has, then you get right down to how he escaped. However, Eldes... he's become kind of a drain on Cipher's resources, mainly Gorigan and Dakim. Taking a break three or four times a day to go beat up a traitor is hardly practical, especially if those breaks are sometimes more than two hours in length. Either you shorten the beatings or Eldes dies. That's it.” Andrea paused, a grin forming on her face. “If you choose to kill him, you can do the honors. I could make it a public execution, even. I could kill Terra's friend beforehand. Think about it. Two public executions on the same day! A truly grand ceremony- A celebration of Cipher's triumph over the resistance!”

    Ardos smiled. “That sounds wonderful. When can we do this?”

    “We need to catch Eldes and Terra's friend first. Then you continue to do what you did to Eldes before all of this happened while I work on crushing Terra's spirits. Once Terra is sufficiently broken, that’s when we hold the ceremony. We'll give Terra front row seats to watch her friend die. Then she should be malleable enough to bend her to my will. That girl will forget that Team Magma even exists by the time I'm done with her.” Andrea smirked.

    “What will Terra be doing for Cipher, exactly?” Ardos inquired.

    “She will be assisting you.”

    “Then why do you need to break her? She'll pretty much be doing a scaled down version of her work for Team Magma.”

    “Terra won't work for Cipher. So, I break her to get her to agree with Cipher's ideals. Plus, it's entertaining. For me, anyways.” Andrea laughed, making Ardos slightly nervous.

    “Mistress? I think I should take my leave. It's getting late. Do you want me to do anything with Terra?”

    “Yes. Send her in. I'll tell her what we decided. She'll sleep in my chambers tonight.”

    “Yes, Mistress.” Ardos stood up and bowed respectfully.

    ***

    “Okay, if they are not here, we leave.” A male voice said with authority, waking Ashley. Immediately, she turned to Eldes. Then, Ashley heard the sound of footsteps coming in the general direction of the room that she and Eldes were in. Then, a beam of light shone through the hole that Eldes led her through to get here, landing straight on Ashley.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th October 2011 at 3:38 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Chapter 3.

    Chapter 3: Broken

    Three of Cipher's grunts drove through the desert, all three completely satisfied with the job they had done. Ashley and Eldes slept peacefully in the back of the car. “Heh, never thought it would be that easy.” one of the grunts remarked.

    “Yeah. Master Dakim'll be happy, too.” another grunt affirmed.

    Eldes slowly woke up, stirred by the voices. “Morning, Ashley...” he said groggily. One of the grunts turned around, noticing Eldes awake.

    “Hey, one of 'em's awake.”

    “Okay, do I care?”

    The two grunts continued conversing, stirring thoughts in Eldes' mind. After a few seconds, it had become apparent what had happened: they had been captured. Ashley was still soundly sleeping, even after being jostled by several bumps on the road. Eldes attempted to shake Ashley to rouse her, but quickly noticed that his arms had been bound behind his back. Eldes closed his eyes, preparing for the punishments to come.

    ***

    Terra sat uncomfortably at a desk reading over papers. After giving Terra a large stack of papers, Andrea had told her to read each one and sign it, so that Team Magma members at least feel like they have a say in what was going on. Most of the papers were simply just notices that someone had joined or someone had received a Shadow Pokemon. Terra had nearly finished the stack: only one more paper to go. Terra picked up the sheet and she read it in silence:

    NOTICE OF ARRESTS
    Name: Eldes Verich, Ashley Clorus

    Reason for Arrest: Treason/ Previously Imprisoned Escapee

    Sentence: Indefinite/ Death

    Caretakers: Ardos Verich, Gorigan Taremenga, Dakim Lako, Venus Muliercula, Lovrina Armastus

    Execution Date: To be determined at a later time.

    Place of Arrest: Elco Canyon (Team Snagem's old Headquarters)

    Executioners: Ardos Verich (Eldes), Andrea Sarlous (Ashley)

    Special Instructions: At their leisure, Gorigan and Dakim will beat Eldes and Ashley as punishment. Either Lovrina or Venus will heal Eldes and Ashley as needed.

    Terra began to cry as she put down the sheet, hesitantly signing it. Just then, Andrea entered the room, and stared at the large stack of papers next to Terra.

    “So, are you finished?” Andrea asked.

    “Y-yes, I j-just finished signing the l-last one...” Terra sobbed.

    Andrea smiled triumphantly. “Perfect! I'll get these to Ardos.” Andrea picked up the papers and exited the room, leaving Terra alone to weep.

    ***

    Ashley and Eldes were sitting in the same cell they had escaped from just yesterday; a dried puddle of Eldes' blood was still on the floor. Both were silently contemplating escape when two rather muscular men walked into the room.

    “Um, Eldes? Who are those two?” Ashley broke the silence.

    Eldes had no time to answer before one of the men opened the door to the cell.

    “Which one do you think we should take first?” one of the men asked.

    “Let's take the lady first. She looks like she might even fight back.” the other man answered smugly. The men roughly grabbed Ashley by the arms, digging in to her skin slightly.

    “Ow! Hey! What are you doing?” Ashley protested, trying vainly to get back to the safety of her cell. Eventually, Ashley was dragged out of the room by the two men.

    “No use fighting, lady. You might want to save your energy for when we are done with you.” one of the men remarked.

    “Just... who are you, exactly?” Ashley asked, trying to remain calm.

    “Dakim.”

    “Gorigan.”

    Ashley tensed up slightly. “You two... are the ones who beat Eldes, aren't you?”

    Dakim grinned. “Yes we are. And we've been told to start doing it to you.” The two men and their prisoner stopped in a hallway.

    “You ready for this, lady?” Gorigan smirked as he drew back his clenched fist and punched Ashley in the stomach. Ashley groaned in pain as she fell to the steel floor beneath her, curled into a ball. Dakim then kicked Ashley in square in her head. The men continued landing blow after blow on Ashley's body for at least three hours, even though Ashley had fallen unconscious within one hour. After Gorigan and Dakim were satisfied with their work, Dakim hefted Ashley's limp, bleeding body onto his shoulder.
    “Are we doing Eldes next, or are we going to take a break?” Gorigan asked.

    “Let's just get Eldes over with.”

    “Okay. Sounds good.”

    Ashley regained consciousness just as Dakim tossed her on the floor, barely able to manage a groan. Eldes simply looked at Ashley for a moment before being carried off by Dakim, leaving Ashley alone.

    ***

    Five Months Later

    Andrea and Ardos were sitting at Andrea's desk. “So, the plans with Terra are falling into place.” Andrea smirked.

    “Yes, I gathered. She's a complete mess.” Ardos replied, a tinge of hate in his voice.

    “Yes, I do believe that today is the last day Ashley and Eldes will be living.” Andrea said triumphantly.

    “Really? Don't you think that everyone needs more than one day's notice?” Ardos said, slightly shocked.

    “No, For such a grand ceremony, I don't want people looking forward to it for too long. They'll get restless. Plus, I don't want Eldes and Ashley knowing about their deaths for too long beforehand. Tonight, after they have received their punishments and have been healed, you tell them that they are dying tomorrow. Don't tell Terra. I'll get to her myself.”

    “Okay, now, do the other Admins know about this?”

    “Yes, they do. Gorigan and Dakim have been told to administer more severe punishment, while Lovrina and Venus have been told to simply stop the bleeding that will result from the punishment. Sound good to you?”

    “Yes, Mistress. I take my leave now.” Ardos stood up and turned around.

    ***

    Over the past five months, nearly every day had been the same: two or three times a day, Gorigan and Dakim came to beat Eldes and Ashley within inches of their lives. Then Lovrina or Venus would come with a Blissey and completely heal their wounds. The cell floor that was once a pristine gray had turned almost completely red from all of the blood- even the walls had some streaks of dried blood from when Gorigan and Dakim decided to beat Eldes and Ashley at the same time in their cell. The two prisoners had given up any hope of escaping; they had attempted to escape a total of seven times over the past months, each time earning them a beating from Dakim and Gorigan in addition to the two they could already expect, with a longer time to lie in the cell in pain before Lovrina or Venus would come with their Blissey to heal them.

    Now, the pair just sat in separate corners in silence, just recovering from their most recent beatings. Gorigan and Dakim had been particularly rough, and although a few broken ribs had become the norm, Eldes also had had a dislocated shoulder and both of his arms had been broken. Ashley had broken her right leg, and her left arm had been broken in two places in addition to the few broken ribs she had grown accustomed to. Both Lovrina and Venus came to heal the two prisoners, although instead of the total relief that Eldes and Ashley had come to expect from the two women, it was replaced with gauze to stop the bleeding.

    Then, Ardos walked into the cell room, a look of triumph on his face. He strode to the cell, unlocking it. “I see both of you have received your final punishments for the day?”

    “Yes...” Ashley rasped, blood spattering painfully from her mouth as she coughed, “Dakim... and Gorigan were... rough with... us...”

    “Lovrina and... Venus just put... gauze on us... to stop... us from... bleeding.” Eldes heaved.

    “Oh, poor babies...” Ardos taunted. He took a short breath and began in a cold, official tone, “As you both know, you both have committed heinous crimes against Cipher. Due to these crimes, we have decided to put you both to death.” Ardos paused, relishing the words he had just uttered. “Both of you will be executed tomorrow morning. Ashley, Andrea will be your executioner. Eldes, I will be yours. Ashley, you will be killed first, and Eldes, you will be killed second.” Ardos smirked before adding, “That is all. Good night. Get some rest if you can.” With that, he locked the door and left.

    “So... it's finally... happening... They're finally... killing us...” Eldes wheezed. There was the slightest hint of happiness in his voice. He heaved a few short, ragged breaths before closing his eyes, attempting to fall asleep. A few minutes later, Ashley had fallen into a fitful sleep, only to be woken up by a loud voice over the intercom.

    “Attention all Cipher members. This is Andrea, your leader. I am very pleased to announce that we will be having a special ceremony tomorrow. All Cipher- related business is therefore to be put on suspension until midnight tomorrow. All members must report to the Main Arena tomorrow in full uniform by eight A.M., and no earlier than seven thirty A.M.. Admins and their direct subordinates must report to the Main Arena by six A.M.. That is all. Have a good night.” The intercom transmission ended, leaving Ashley slightly nervous. However, she forced herself to go to sleep for the night. She wanted to feel the bliss of sleep for one last time.

    ***

    “Eldes, Ashley, wake up. It's time.” Ardos coldly said, jarring Ashley and Eldes awake. The two were strapped onto stretchers, both of them in room with all of Cipher's Admins. The two prisoners were still in intense pain from their most recent beatings.

    “Good morning, Eldes. Never thought I'd see you like this.” One Admin said coldly, chuckling slightly.

    “Shut up, Snattle... I don't... need your fucking... commentary...” Eldes heaved.

    “Eldes... don't get... us into even... more trouble, please... I don't want... this to... be anymore... painful than... it will... already be...” Ashley rasped in response.

    Snattle smiled at Ashley. “Thank you, young lady. You know, I'm thinking I might want you to enroll in my ranks... If it should be approved by Mistress Andrea...”

    Ardos scoffed. “Snattle, you've only heard the girl say a few words during the last few hours of her life. Please, do not jump to such bold conclusions.”

    “Yes, Ardos...” Snattle sulked.

    “Ardos, I so think they should be in better shape when they go see Mistress Andrea!” Lovrina chimed in.

    “Yes, they should. After all, the pain from the execution process might be drowned out by their broken bones.” Ardos mused.

    “When should we heal them?” An Admin asked.

    “You can heal them now, Venus. But I would wait. Just let the pain sit for a while. Maybe you should heal them before they go out to the arena.”

    “Got it, Ardos!” Venus smiled. The door to the room opened, revealing Andrea and a man clad in an extremely tight purple gown.

    “Ardos,” the man began, “We would like to see you immediately.”

    “Yes, Master Nascour.” Ardos responded as he followed the two people out of the room. “What is wrong?”

    “Nothing. Everything is proceeding as planned.” Nascour indicated.

    “Besides you,” Andrea began, “Do you have any plan on how to kill Eldes?”

    “No, Mistress.” Ardos responded.

    “We thought that. That’s why we made you this.” Nascour said, handing Ardos a purple bracelet.

    “What is it?”

    “I've infused it with some of my psychic abilities.” Nascour indicated. “Now all you need to do is put it on and learn how to use the power within.”

    “Which is why we need to see you. We are going to teach you how to use the abilities in that bracelet.” Andrea smiled.

    ***

    Andrea stepped out into the cheering crowd, with Ashley and Eldes following her closely behind, escorted by Gorigan and Dakim. The two prisoners had recently been healed by Venus' Blissey. Andrea stepped onto a stage with a large podium on it. She stepped up to the podium, closely followed by the two prisoners and their escorts. The crowed almost immediately quieted down. Hello, Cipher members!” Andrea began triumphantly. As Andrea continued with her introductory speech, Ashley looked into the audience, noticing Terra sitting in between Ardos and Nascour in the front row.

    “...Now,” Andrea continued, “Without further ado, I shall begin this ceremony!” Andrea walked over to the traitors, lifting Ashley with her telekinesis, moving her to the center of the arena. Gorigan roughly grabbed Eldes, pushing him to a door behind the podium.

    “Go up to the balcony. We'll get you when it's time.” Gorigan said, opening the door. Eldes walked through it, regaining his vast memories of this place. Michael never had come through this part of the Lab-- it had no use to him, plus it was well hidden. It was here that Eldes had received his status as an Admin, and it was here that his life would end. However, he remembered that there was a door to the outside of the arena in this hallway-- something Gorigan and Andrea obviously did not know about. It had only been known among Eldes, Ardos, and their father. It was a secret entrance and exit in case they ever needed to make a hasty escape from the authorities. The door's location was marked by a picture of Greevil and his two sons. As Eldes found the picture, he hastily opened the door, revealing the abandoned ghost town of the Under.

    ***

    Ashley had endured almost five hours of intense, torturous pain. Andrea had began to soften her blows, trying to prolong Ashley's suffering. “Well, Ashley, it appears your time has come.” Andrea smiled, her eyes radiating a blood red aura. Then she raised her hand, clenching it into a fist. Ashley began glowing the same color as Andrea's eyes, and an even more intense pain took over. Ashley fell to the floor, limp, as Andrea walked over to her, before sending a final jolt of psychic energy towards Ashley, killing her. Andrea stepped up to the podium triumphantly. “Ashley Clorus is dead.” she declared. The crowd began cheering wildly. “I would now like Ardos Verich to come up to the podium, to receive his victim. Gorigan, if you would, please go get the victim.”

    “Yes, Mistress.” Gorigan said in official tone, beginning up the hallway Eldes had been sent up many hours ago. Andrea made her way to where Ardos was as he got out of his seat next to Terra, who was sobbing uncontrollably.

    “Terra? Why are you crying? This is a joyous occasion!” Andrea asked with fake concern.

    “You... j-just k-killed... Ashie...” Terra sobbed.

    “Yes. It's a cause for celebration! We've won, Terra! Cipher now has no enemies!” Andrea exclaimed, her red eyes glowing as she st down next to Terra.

    ***

    Eldes had managed to find his way to the elevator that led to Pyrite Town after about an hour of walking amongst the rubble of the Under. The elevator descended to the bottom of the shaft after about five minutes, creaking as the gates opened. Eldes carefully stepped onto the elevator platform, the gates closing as he did. The elevator shook as it began its slow ascent to the surface.

    ***

    “Mistress, I have some bad news...” Gorigan said nervously.

    “Really? What bad news can you possibly have to give?” Andrea smiled.

    “Um, Eldes... is nowhere to be found. I looked throughout the hallway I sent him up. I saw him go up the stairway and I closed and locked the door behind him. Unless he somehow managed to jump off of the balcony without us noticing, unfortunately, he has escaped.” Gorigan winced, preparing for a blast of psychic energy from Andrea, but nothing came.

    “Damn it,” Andrea cursed. “That fucker thinks he can just kill himself for us?”

    “Sorry to interject, Andrea, but if Eldes did jump from the balcony, where hid his body go? I do not see it anywhere.” Nascour said.

    “Are you saying Eldes simply waltzed out of here!? That can't be true. Gorigan locked the door behind Eldes. Unless he unlocked the door and walked out...” Andrea paused. “Wait, is there a lock on the inside of the door? If there is, then he escaped using that.”

    “Just leave him be.” Terra said dryly, her tears just beginning to dry up.

    Andrea stared at Terra in confusion. “Are you out of your mind? We cannot have Eldes running around Orre. We find him now, and we kill him where he stands.”

    “No, he knows what will happen if he so much as walks onto Cipher territory. We simply guard the entrances to any of Cipher's territory. If he walks onto Cipher territory, we apprehend him. Just think. Who would willingly walk to their own death?” Terra said, growing more confident.

    “I like how you think, Terra.” Nascour observed.

    Terra smiled. “Thank you, Master Nascour.”

    Ardos began to walk towards the group. “What's wrong?” He asked, concerned.

    “Eldes escaped.” Terra said matter- of- factly.

    “That bastard...” Ardos cursed softly.

    “Terra has come up with a plan.” Nascour said fondly.

    “Terra?” Ardos turned to Terra in confusion.

    “Yep. I did it. Master Nascour likes it, too.” Terra smiled proudly.

    “Okay, what is it?” Ardos asked skeptically.

    “We don't do anything. Eldes is free to wander around until he runs into any of Cipher's guards. When he does, we apprehend him and kill him. Simple.”

    “Okay, sounds easy enough.” Ardos affirmed. “But the true decision lies with Mistress Andrea.”

    Andrea thought for a moment before speaking. “Well, it is simple.” Andrea paused for a moment. “Okay, we try it for three months. If there are no results, we begin actively searching for Eldes.”

    “Then what do we do about the rest of the ceremony?” Ardos asked.

    “Right. That. Um, I'll handle that. You go get Wes and Rui for me. I need to talk to them. Terra, when I get done with Rui, you go get some Shadow Pokemon from her. It's time to induct you into Cipher.” Andrea responded, getting out of her seat.

    “Yes, Mistress.” Ardos and Terra responded in unison.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th October 2011 at 3:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    Oh hey another Orre/Post-XD fic.

    It's an interesting way you went about it, what with the actual new leader and her...powers. It seems pretty well thought out in that regard, and it's interesting to see how successful Cipher have suddenly become, as well as the appearances of the old admins here and there, as well as some other characters (although I'd have liked to have seen more of say Wes/Rui/Michael - only really seen Wes for a short scene thus far). I also am a bit curious about the whole magma thing - there hasn't been much shown beyond the reveal that she now 'owns Magma' as well... and I do also wonder why Magma had been interested in Cipher in the first place given their conflicting interests (Magma canonically wanting to extend the landmass, albeit stupidly, to help Pokemon have more places to live, and Cipher wanting world domination...so I wonder if there's more to it in that case). But hurrah for successfully creating a creepy villain in Andrea! I do wonder how come she's psychic though... would that be covered later?

    Although the beatings are an interesting dynamic and I quite like the characterisation of Ardos and his relationship with his brother, I found the beatings to be focused on a bit too often in the last chapter, although that may be different for someone else.

    Another issue I had is that I felt Ashley had accepted Eldes claim far too easily there - I didn't see much reason for her to believe such a thing and given Terra hadn't either it made it stick out all the more. Maybe a bit of reworking of that scene would be in order.

    Otherwise I quite like the characters and description thus far, and the pacing of the story is steady as well - overall pretty solid.
    "Terra, wake up. We're almost there." Ashely shook Terra awake. Terra groggily opened her eyes as Ashely's bubbly, smiling face came into focus. She jumped. She was used to seeing that face for almost three years, but it still freaked her out. "AH!" Terra screamed.
    You did it correctly elsewhere but just note to start a new paragraph when someone else speaks, like here.
    Land. Terra thought.
    I feel there should be a comma after land rather than a full stop there ('Terra thought.' doesn't work as its own sentence in this instance).
    "Hello, you must be Miss Terra Rohare." He said warmly, extending his hand towards Terra.
    I admit I was surprised to see this consistently done when you didn't do so in the prologue, but anyways... you tend to overuse full stops in dialogue when you shouldn't. Basically, only use those when the sentence ends at the dialogue. As what follows it (He said warmly...) doesn't work as its own sentence and is talking about the dialogue (who said it/how it was said), treat the two parts as one who sentence and essentially ignore the quotation marks. Hence use a comma after Rohare, and he rather than He.

    So for instance, the following:
    "Miss Rohare, I'm afraid this is no time for socializing with old friends. Do that on your own time, please." Ardos said, trying to sound as polite as possible.
    should have a comma after 'please'.
    "Ah. I'm Ardos Verich, Head of Cipher's Intelligence Department." Ardos said flatly, getting more annoyed by the second.
    And here as well. There's a fair few instances of this so I'll leave it for you to attend to each one. Note this only applies to full stops - other punctuation marks (like exclamation marks, question marks, etc) can be used even if the sentence doesn't end with the dialogue. Because yay English!
    "Terrific. I'll get you one." Ardos gave Terra a fake smile and turned to face
    Ashley. "Do you want one, too?"
    Note that there's a number of occasions where the sentence is split in half on two lines like so, which is just a presentation error really but still distracts from the story.
    "So this great organization was taken down by a boy?" Terra asked, trying to hide any facts that would lose Team Magma's credibility with Cipher.
    Hah, I guess this is the case for most Pokemon criminal gangs. Except with Cipher the first time around in which Wes wasn't quite just a boy...
    Now, Cipher has complete conrol over Orre. Even Cipher's old enemies have joined up with us. Wes is now head of aquiring Pokemon, Rui distributes Shadow Pokemon, Professor Krane and Lily help Ein and Lovrina in making and improving Shadow Pokemon, and even Michael helps prevent purification of Shadow Pokemon.
    I'll admit at the time I had a 'lolwhat why are they...' moment when I read that, and thought you'd need a darn good reason for that like say brainwashing. My guess was not too far off I suppose! XD Note it's control and acquiring btw. (Wouldn't the term Snagger fit better for Wes though?)
    "I so already told you this! So Gorigan and Dakim have a clean slate to work
    with when they punish Eldes again!" Lovrina smiled and turned around, her Blissey following her, and they exited the room together.
    Lovrina still as evil as ever, I see... (I liked Snattle's cameo btw XD). Note the odd structure of the sentence issue again though.
    "Yes." Eldes replied, his voice less hoarse than before. "To be expected." He
    found no joy in his healed state, seeing as how in a few hours Dakim and Gorigan would come back and beat him again
    Missing a full stop at the end there, and I'll also note another issue I noticed; you sometimes tend to repeat statements a bit too often imo, such as here with Eldes thinking again that 'he going to ge beaten up' which had been mentioned many times beforehand. Seems to drive that fact home a bit too much to me - I suggest toning down the repetition a bit.
    "We can't," Eldes said. "There's an alarm that goes off if a cell is opened by an aunauthoized person.
    unauthorized.
    There's a security camera focused on this cell. We can check the footage
    and see.”
    Same thing as before with presentation.
    “Elco Canyon.” Eldes indicated, smiling. Claydol began to curiously explore the
    area.
    Note it's actually Eclo Canyon. Yay Colosseum/XD names. -_-
    “Um, can we go get some shade?” Ashley asked. The desert heat began to get to her.
    The second sentence sounds a bit off imo - bit too much in the way of telling rather than showing imo.
    Five Months Later
    I suggest not doing this as it tends to break the story's pacing - rather try to weave such time skips into the narration/the story itself.
    “Yes. It's a cause for celebration! We've won, Terra! Cipher now has no enemies!” Andrea exclaimed, her red eyes glowing as she st down next to Terra.
    sat. And yay brainwashing. -_-
    “Sorry to interject, Andrea, but if Eldes did jump from the balcony, where hid his body go?
    did.

    Neat beginning despite those things I mentioned - good luck with the rest of your fic!

    A parody of the Pokemon Colosseum game, full of pastries and Miror B.
    Completed. Four times winner of Best Comedy/Funniest Fic.

    The BBS Forums! Join in!

    Tied to this Pokemon Magazine! Looking for contributors - check it out!
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  5. #5

    Default

    Chapter 4: Experiment

    Andrea, Terra, and all of Cipher's Admins were conversing around an extravagant table, with an empty table setting in front of each of them. Andrea stood up, striking a wine glass with a knife several times, silencing the Admins.

    “As you all know,” Andrea began, “There was a slight change of plans today. But do not worry. We have devised a plan to capture Eldes. Some of you will have special duties relating to this. Wes, Rui, you two have already been informed of your duties. Venus, Miror B., and Dakim, you three need to see me after dinner in regards to your duties.” Andrea paused, sitting down in her seat. “Shall we begin?”

    Almost immediately, a group of people in full Cipher uniform walked out each carrying bottles of red wine. Each person had their wine glass filled nearly to the brim. A second group of people clad in Cipher's uniform poured each person a glass of cool water. One of the Cipher members stood at the head of the table, next to Andrea. “Tonight, the main course is Magikarp marsala with asparagus.” He announced before exiting, his steps dignified and extensively rehearsed. After a few moments, the group around the table began conversing again.

    ***

    Eldes had finally found his way to civilization. Or so he thought. Pyrite Town was about the least civilized place in Orre, but he could probably start thinking about what to do here at least.

    “Hey, you. In the red.” Eldes heard a voice say. He turned around, ready to run, but was relieved to find that the voice came from a rather lanky young man.

    “Yes?” Eldes responded, still slightly suspicious. You really could never be too suspicious in Pyrite, and with all of Cipher on his trail, he had to be suspicious of everyone and everything.

    “You're not from here, are you?” The young man asked, already knowing the answer.

    “N-no...” Eldes stuttered.

    “Tourist?” the young man inquired.

    “Yes...” Eldes lied.

    “Well,” the youth chuckled, “You're in the wrong place. Pyrite is full of crime. It's pretty much guaranteed that you will get mugged here if you don't know what you're doing. Here, follow me. I'll get get you out of here...” the youth began to walk away from Eldes, who didn't budge. The young man stopped. “Hey, Red, you coming?” the youth inquired.

    “Eldes. My name is Eldes.” the former prisoner corrected.

    The youth flinched. “Eldes? I've heard that name somewhere...” After a short pause, the youth's eyes widened. “I know who you are. You're one of Cipher's Admins, aren't you?”

    “I used to be.” Eldes began. “Up until about four years ago. After that, Ardos labeled me as a traitor for convincing my father to disband Cipher. Then, a few months later, I went into hiding to keep Cipher off of my ass. Eventually, they caught me and imprisoned me. I remained a prisoner until about two hours ago, when I escaped from my execution.”

    “So you're a fugitive.”

    “I guess, in a way.”

    “Well, then. You, sir, are very lucky today. Lucky I hate Cipher as much as you do. I'd usually turn a fugitive in, but not a fugitive that possibly restore some order to this goddamn place. You still have Pokemon?”

    “No, Cipher's taken them all.” Eldes indicated solemnly.

    “Well, that's a problem. But I have some Pokemon you can have that I don't really use anymore. Here, I'll take you to my house. It's just over in Agate.”

    “Thank you so much... um...”

    “Alex.” The youth added.

    ***

    Rui walked into Wes' office calmly, something she did on a regular basis. Even if she just stayed there for a few seconds, seeing him comforted her immensely. However, she was there with a purpose. She wanted to know if Wes was safe after their most recent session with Andrea. She had injected the two with a deep black liquid that she called a “vaccine”. Although Rui hadn't noticed many side effects of it, she was still worried about Wes.

    “Rui? Why are you here?” Wes asked harshly.

    “Wes, you know why I'm here...” Rui trailed off, noticing a thin black aura surrounding Wes. “You feeling weird at all after we saw Andrea last?”

    “No. Now leave. I have work to do.” Wes waved Rui out of his office, but Rui stayed put, observing the aura surrounding Wes. “I said leave!” Wes snapped, the aura around him intensifying.

    Rui didn't move.

    “Leave, goddamn it!” Wes snapped as his aura grew even more intense. He shot up out of his office chair and lunged at Rui, landing a punch on her head. After a few more intense blows, Rui fell unconscious. Wes smirked. That would teach the bitch.

    Andrea walked into the office. “Wes? I heard some noise coming from here... You okay?” She asked, ignoring Rui's limp body on the floor.

    “Yes, Mistress Andrea. Rui came in here and disturbed me. That's all.” Wes responded, his voice much calmer.

    “Okay.” Andrea began walk out of the office, stopping when she nearly tripped over Rui's body. “Um... what did she disturb you about?” Andrea chuckled nervously.

    “Oh, I was working--”

    “So you knocked her unconscious?”

    “Um... Yeah, I guess. I don't really know. I guess I let my emotions get the best of me.”

    Andrea shook her head, amused. “You can't let your emotions effect you this much...” She paused, examining the unconscious body on the floor. “I'll take Rui to Ein to make sure there is no lasting damage.” Andrea knelt down to Rui's body and touched it. The two then disappeared in a flash of white light.

    Wes sat back in his office chair, furious as had become the norm since yesterday. Ever since Andrea injected him and Rui with that fucking “vaccine” yesterday, he'd always had been at least slightly angry. However, Rui seemed unscathed. The girl always had been happy, so maybe that was it.

    Andrea appeared back in the office in a flash of white light. “Okay, Ein says she shouldn’t suffer more than a bloody nose. He still wants to observe her for a little while, though.” She said calmly.

    “Oh, okay.” Wes replied dryly.

    “How are you feeling?” Andrea asked.

    “A little more angry than usual.”

    Andrea smirked. “Terrific.” She muttered under her breath.

    ***

    “So, you can use some of my Pokemon. Just let me know which ones you are using.” Alex said as he walked into the Pokemon Center of Agate.

    “Actually, I want to check my boxes first. Cipher could have some Shadow Pokemon in there...” Eldes mused hopefully as he walked up to the PC in the corner, entering his information. Immediately, several boxes full of Shadow Pokemon appeared on the screen. Eldes glanced at each Pokemon's stats and, after much deliberation, chose a team consisting of Manectric, Electivire, Donphan, Lapras, Scolipede, and Houndoom. After affixing the Poke Balls to his belt, Eldes logged out of the PC and turned to face Alex. “Shall we go now?”

    “Yes,” Alex replied, and the pair walked out of the Pokemon Center.

    ***

    “Wes... They've done it...” Rui whimpered from her makeshift hospital bed in Ein's office.

    “They've done what?” Wes asked in confusion. Rui noticed that his aura was nearly unnoticeable.

    “Closed the door to your heart.” Rui sat up on the makeshift bed.

    “How the hell would you know?” Wes inquired harshly, his aura becoming thicker and darker.

    “I can see a black aura coming from you.”

    “What? How? They only...” Wes trailed off.

    “...Yeah, I think it was the 'vaccine' that Andrea gave us.” Rui added.

    “Which means your heart's door is closed, too.”

    “Not necessarily.”

    “What the hell, Rui. Andrea gave you the goddamn 'vaccine', too. Of course the door to your heart is closed.” Wes said angrily. Neither of them seemed to notice as Andrea walked into the room.

    “No, it's not. It's taking longer to affect me for some reason. It could be that I wasn't as angry as you were before Andrea injected you.” Rui said.

    “Before I injected you with what?” Andrea asked, startling Wes and Rui.

    “Oh, Andrea!” Rui flinched at the sight of the woman.

    “What the fuck did you do to us!?” Wes snapped, his aura growing even more intense.

    “What do you mean?” Andrea asked, feigning innocence.

    “You know, Andrea...” Wes snarled.

    “No, I honestly don't.” Andrea stated, still maintaining her innocent tone.

    “Shut up!” Rui snapped. “You know damn well what you did to us! You closed the doors to both of our hearts!” Immediately, a silence set over the three Cipher members. Rui was startled herself. Had the 'vaccine' finally taken effect? She brought a hand into her view, gasping as she saw the slightest black aura surrounding it.

    “What's wrong, Rui?” Andrea asked, still with the same innocent tone she had before.

    “Like you don't know...” Rui snarled. “You've closed the doors to our hearts!”

    “Oh? This is news to me.”

    “Shut up, Andrea...” Wes growled, before lunging at the woman without warning. He threw a punch at her head, causing Andrea to topple onto the ground.

    “You want to fight dirty, do you?” Andrea sneered before picking up Wes with her telekinesis, throwing him against the floor with full force. Rui closed her eyes, not wanting to see the damage Wes would sustain. She focused on her previous feelings of joy and happiness to take her mind off of her anger. Wes continued to take a beating from Andrea's psychic abilities. He threw the occasional weak punch that was dodged by Andrea, leaving her completely unscathed. Wes had suffered several broken bones as a result of Andrea's telekinesis. Eventually, Rui opened her eyes, causing a surge of energy to course through her veins. She slowly raised her open hand to Andrea, who was too focused on mauling Wes to notice a thing. Rui clenched her hand into a fist, creating a blast of energy focused on Andrea. The energy blast knocked Andrea unconscious, causing Wes to fall to the floor, also unconscious. Rui ran over to her unconscious friend.

    “Wes!” Rui cried.

    Wes slowly opened his eyes, greeted by Rui's concerned face. “What... did you... do?” Wes heaved.

    “I shot a blast of aura at Andrea.”

    “Oh... Thanks, Rui...” Wes heaved, before beginning a coughing fit, blood spattering from his mouth. “I almost... got myself... killed there.”

    “Yes.” Rui declared. “Try not to be so rash. Who knows, next time, I might not be there.”

    A silence punctuated by heaves and bloody coughs from Wes settled over the two Cipher members.

    “Rui... How did... you do that?” Wes rasped, a small pool of his blood forming underneath him.

    “I can do more than just see auras. I can control them sometimes.” Rui indicated.

    Andrea began to stir. “What... the... fuck...was... that!?” She said, gradually getting louder and more agitated.

    “Um... sorry?” Rui said tentatively, not sure of the exact words to say.

    “Sorry isn't going to cut it!” Andrea spat. “Do you realize what you've done, you little bitch!?” Andrea paused, stepping closer to Rui. “Treason. I do hope you know what the punishment for that is?” Andrea clenched one of her hands into a fist as it began glowing a deep crimson.

    “Um, don't I get some sort of punishment period first?” Rui asked. “Like Eldes did?”

    “That was Ardos' decision. Not mine. I would have been much less lenient. You're dying right now.” Andrea said angrily as she raised her fist towards Rui, picking her up with telekinesis.

    Just then, Ein walked through the door to his lab. Immediately, he noticed Rui in the air, suspended by Andrea's telekinesis.

    “Um, Mistress, what are you doing?” Ein said tentatively.

    “Oh, just killing this traitor.” Andrea replied casually.

    “Why?” Ein questioned, chuckling nervously.

    “That is the standard protocol for traitors, is it not?”

    “Y-yes, but... I kind of need her to be alive.”

    “Why? Why do you want her alive?”

    “We have a normally aggressive person and a less aggressive person. It provides for more areas of study.”

    Andrea dropped Rui on the ground and turned to Ein. “Fine. You win. However, if she decides to betray Cipher again, it's your fault.”

    “Yes, Mistress.” Ein said respectfully as Andrea left the room. After she left, Ein walked over to Rui, trembling on the floor.

    “Th-thank you...” Rui said.

    “Can you stand?” Ein asked, ignoring Rui's thanks.

    “I think so...”

    “Good. Get back onto your bed.”

    Rui did as she was told as Ein walked over to his computer on the other side of the room.

    “What about Wes? He's probably in more danger than I am...”

    “Really? Where is he?”

    “Over there...”

    Ein walked over to the bleeding man. “Ugh... Tampering with my experiments... Sometimes, I could just kill that girl...” He groaned, examining Wes' numerous wounds. After a few moments, Ein shook his head and calmly walked out of the lab.

    ***

    Eldes sat at a table in Alex's house, eating one of many sandwiches and drinking a cold glass of water, savoring every bite.

    “How long has it been since you ate?” Alex asked, sitting across the table from Eldes.

    “Too long.” Eldes replied happily, his voice muffled by the sandwich in his mouth.

    “So, we need a plan if we are to succeed. You got anything?” Alex began with an official tone of voice.

    “Well, not really. I know nothing about Cipher's territory now.”

    “Okay, then. I guess we have no choice but to look back to the past. Where was Cipher's stronghold before you were captured?”

    “The Shadow Pokemon Lab. That's where their headquarters are currently. I just had escaped from there before you found me.”

    “So, how'd you escape?

    “I used a secret exit.” Eldes smirked.

    “Secret exit?”

    “Yes, there is an extremely well- hidden secret exit in the hallway I was sent down to wait for Ashley to die.”

    “Ashley?” Alex tilted his head in confusion.

    “She was another person labeled a traitor a few months before I was supposed to die. She helped me escape the first time.”

    “Wait, you escaped more than once?”

    “Yes. The first time I escaped with Ashley was extremely short-lived. We remained safe for about a day.” Eldes said, his voice filled with hate.

    “Okay, back on topic, that secret exit, can it be used as an entrance as well?”

    “Um, yes, of course.”

    “Perhaps we can infiltrate their headquarters through it?”

    “Probably not now. It would be best to not attack their headquarters until they are weakest.”

    “And when will we know that?”

    “When we take out all of their forces outside of their headquarters.”

    “But, how will we know they don't have forces outside of Orre?”

    “Well, they do. They have some power over Hoenn. This other syndicate named Team Magma recently partnered up with Cipher.”

    “How do you know this?”

    “Ashley was part of Team Magma. That is why Cipher labeled her as a traitor when she helped me escape. If Team Magma isn't part of Cipher, Cipher has no business labeling one of Team Magma's members as a traitor, let alone killing them. If Team Magma isn't part of Cipher, then we have allies with us. Granted, they won't want to bring Cipher down for the same reasons as us, but they would be allies none the less.” Eldes smiled.

    “I wouldn't get our hopes up for any allies. I doubt Cipher is stupid enough to do anything that would bring about their own demise.” Alex indicated.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th October 2011 at 3:54 PM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Into the Shadows
    Chapter 5: Copy

    Nascour and Andrea sat at a desk, viewing surveillance footage of Ashley's execution on a large screen. However, they were not watching the main action, but the balcony Eldes was supposed to be on during Ashley's death.

    “I don't even think Eldes was ever on the balcony...” Andrea observed with a sigh.

    “What makes you say that?” Nascour inquired.

    “It's been almost an hour, and I still haven't seen Eldes on there. Can we switch to the hallway surveillance?” Andrea asked.

    “Okay.” Nascour said, pressing a few buttons on a remote. After a few seconds, the screen's image switched to the hallway linking the main arena and the balcony. The footage showed the hallway, completely empty.

    “Okay, rewind it to when the execution began.”

    Nascour pressed a few buttons, and Eldes was seen on the screen walking along the hallway hesitantly.

    “Okay, there's Eldes...” Andrea sighed.

    Both Andrea and Nascour had their eyes locked on Eldes as he confidently opened what appeared to be a portion of solid wall.

    Shit.” Andrea cursed.

    “What? Did you know about that exit?”

    “No.” Andrea indicated defensively.

    “Okay then. Well, let's go that place and find out what it leads to.” Nascour got out of his chair and began to walk to the door. As he approached it, the door swung open, revealing Ardos.

    “What do you need, Ardos?” Andrea asked calmly.

    “I have located Eldes.” Ardos stated, a smug grin on his face.

    “Really?” Nascour flinched. “Where is he?”

    “Agate Village. I just looked at his PC records and the boxes were last accessed in Agate about half an hour ago. He can't be too far away from Agate by now.”

    “Okay,” Andrea said, opening a drawer. She produced a gun and a holster. Andrea calmly walked over to Ardos and handed the items to the man. “Go there. Now. Kill him where he stands.” She commanded.

    “Really? You don't want him to suffer first?” Ardos asked, hesitantly accepting the weapon, holstering it and clipping the weapon to his belt.

    “I don't care. Just kill him.” Andrea commanded again. After a short pause she added, “You've got eight bullets, so make them count.”

    “Yes, Mistress...” Ardos said nervously. He turned around and began to walk out of the office.

    “Oh, Ardos?” Andrea called after the man.

    “Yes?” Ardos turned around hesitantly.

    “Why don't you take Terra with you? It'll give her a nice chance to see Cipher's power over Orre.”

    “Yes, a nice chance to see me kill someone.” Ardos muttered. After a moment, he continued, this time audibly, “I don't think it would be the best idea to do that...”

    “Why not?” Andrea asked.

    “I just don't think we should expose Terra to another death so soon after Ashley.”

    “Oh, don't worry about Terra. She'll be able to see Cipher's great power over Orre. You're just demonstrating that power.”

    “Yes, but, I'm just not comfortable bringing her to Agate with me.”

    “Fine.” Andrea sighed. “Just go alone.”

    ***

    Wes and Rui were in Ein's lab, laying on stretchers, with Wes wrapped in a cast on each limb due to his broken bones. “Wes? You still feeling alright?” Rui asked from her stretcher. She had been feeling perfectly fine since her last encounter with Andrea, even if Wes had knocked her out. It was a complete mystery to her why Ein even kept her in this place.

    There was no response from Wes.

    “Wes?” Rui sat up, and walked over to Wes' bed. His black aura was now a nearly indistinguishable outline surrounding the man. Rui was relieved to find Wes sleeping peacefully on his back.

    Rui smiled. It was the most peaceful she had seen Wes in a long while.

    Ein walked into the lab, noticing Rui bent over Wes' bed. “Rui? Why are you out of your bed? It's not safe.”

    “Why? I feel fine. I can't get out of my bed to walk ten feet?”

    “Well, there might be lasting damage that isn't apparent right now, especially since you fired that aura. However, since you say you're feeling fine, I would like to test your mental faculties.” Ein said flatly. He held up a sealed flask filled to the brim with a deep purple liquid.

    “What is that?” Rui asked.

    “Blood.” Ein smiled.

    “Whose blood is that? Are they sick or something?” Rui asked, concerned.

    “Well, this blood is from Ashley Clorus. She obviously doesn’t need it anymore. So I'm making myself a clone of her. I could always use more test subjects.”

    “You're making a clone of someone just so that you can perform tests on them?” Rui asked, her voice becoming slightly harsh.

    “Exactly. I need you to help me with it. It will help me in evaluating your mental state.” Ein handed Rui the vial of blood.

    “Wait, one question.”

    “Certainly.”

    Rui put the flask on her bed carefully. “So, you had the ability to clone people from their blood since before you began your little experiment with Wes and I?” She asked professionally.

    “Yes.”

    “So, why didn't you clone us for your experiment?”

    “The amount of blood I would need to extract from you two would be lethal. I need at least one and a half liters, which would without a doubt kill you both. It's also costly and takes a while to complete the aging process.”

    “Aging process?”

    “Yes, the aging process. I need to age the clone to a certain age, ideally the age of the person that I extracted the blood from. Anyway, I cannot be wasting time with idle chat. Let us begin the cloning process.”

    “Yes, let's.”

    ***

    Eldes was walking with Alex to the Pokemon Mart in Agate to get prepared for their upcoming assault on Cipher. “So, what do you think Cipher will do if they see you?” Alex asked casually.

    “Most likely, I'm dead if they see me. I might get brought to their headquarters for Andrea to kill me, or they might shoot me once they see me. Either way, I really can't risk being seen in public.”

    “Yes, but I need you to help me with selecting the items for everything.”

    “Certainly. I can do that.” Eldes smiled as the pair walked into the Agate Pokemon Mart. As soon as they walked into the building, Eldes noticed Ardos standing on one side of the room. Immediately, Eldes turned to face the door, cursing under his breath.

    “Eldes? Is that you?” Ardos smirked, drawing his gun. He pointed the weapon at Eldes and walked over to the man.

    “Hello, Ardos...” Eldes spat without turning around. Alex shrank away from the two men.

    Ardos pointed the gun at Alex's head, who flinched at the sight. “Is this man your friend?” Ardos asked harshly, already knowing the answer.

    “N-No...” Alex stammered. Ardos barely gave Alex enough time to finish talking before pulling the trigger. Immediately, Alex collapsed on to the floor, dead.

    “Ardos, what if he was innocent?” Eldes retorted defiantly.

    “Shut up, Eldes. You and I both know he wasn't.” Ardos spat, pressing the barrel of the gun against the back of Eldes' head. Eldes hesitantly took a step out of the building, leaving Alex's body inside.

    “So you can kill him in a public place but not me?” Eldes questioned, resisting his brother's prodding. Ardos' only response was a jab of the gun on his brother's head. Eventually Ardos led Eldes to the bridge that led into Agate. Grabbing Eldes' hand, Ardos lowered the gun.

    ***

    Eldes was strapped to a table in Ardos' office. Ardos had, at Ein's request, begun to draw blood from Eldes, with the blood flowing into a large bag. “What the fuck are you doing, Ardos?” Eldes spat.

    “Simple. Killing you.” Ardos said, a hint of regret in his voice. Killing that boy was one thing, but killing his own brother, whom he had known for over forty years, was different. While the prospect sounded good at first, Ardos simply could not bring himself to do anything that would kill the man.

    “What, you're removing so much blood from me that I die?” Eldes retorted, chuckling.

    “Yes.”

    “Wow. What, has Cipher gone soft or something? Hardly the death I imagined.” Eldes chuckled. His laughter was cut short by a sudden dizziness.

    “What, you want a more violent death?” Ardos asked sarcastically, looking his brother straight in the eyes.

    “Well, no, but...” Eldes trailed off.

    “Eldes, just lie back and accept it.” Ardos shook his head, staring at the bag of his brother's blood, a little more than half full. He stared at the bag for a few seconds before removing the needle from Eldes' arm. Blood continued to exit from where the needle had been inserted.

    “I thought that was supposed to kill me.” Eldes sighed.

    “It was...” Ardos muttered, holding the bag of Eldes' blood. “I'll go take this to Ein.” He turned away from his brother, who was now shivering on the table. He then exited the room, carrying the blood bag as if it was a precious treasure.

    ***

    “Ein. I have finished with the blood extraction.” Ardos said flatly.

    “Yes, give me the bag.” Ein replied. Ardos carefully placed the bag onto Ein's desk. After examining it, Ein set it down. “Not as much as I was hoping for, but it'll work.” he declared, connecting a nearby plastic tube to the bag. Blood began flowing through the tube to a nearby machine.

    “What is that thing?” Ardos asked.

    “A cloning machine. In a few weeks, we'll have ourselves a new Eldes and Ashley to work with.”

    Ardos flinched slightly. “And what do you plan to do with these clones?” he said imposingly.

    “Just some experimentation. Mainly dealing with that serum I've been developing.”

    “Has it been approved by Andrea at all? I do not recall you seeing me regarding this.”

    “Yes. Everything has been approved by Andrea...” Ein groaned. He watched the blood bag as the last drops of Eldes' blood flowed into the machine. Ein stood up, looking Ardos in the eyes defiantly. “What is it with you? So what if I don't follow protocols exactly? I do have more important things to do than go to you every time I want to do so much as heat some water.”

    “This is more than heating water, Ein!” Ardos snapped.

    “Yes, I realize that. I had it approved by Andrea herself. You should have no objections to this.” Ein replied calmly.

    “You're creating two clones of traitors! Of course I have objections!”

    “Yes, but, I can influence their memories to make them less hostile to us.”

    “You better do a damn good job of it, then...” Ardos growled.

    “Don't worry, Ardos. Just leave me to my devices, and everything will work out.”

    “Fine. But if anything goes wrong, you abort the experiment.”

    “Okay. You've got yourself a deal.”

    ***

    Eldes was lying on the table, still restrained. The blood loss had left him extremely dizzy and tired. He had fallen asleep several times within the past few hours, but he still felt exhausted. The door to the office opened. Terra strode into the office, her eyes widening as she saw Eldes. “So... They found you so quickly?” Terra smirked.

    Eldes did not answer Terra.

    “So, when are you going to die?” Terra asked casually.

    “Just shut the fuck up, you bitch.” Eldes spat.

    “Huh?” Terra smiled innocently, pretending not to hear Eldes. “Did you say something?”

    “You know damn well what I said.”

    “Oh, so they haven't removed your vocal cords.” Terra said sarcastically. After glancing at Ardos' desk, she noticed a small vial of clear liquid sitting next to a syringe. Terra smirked as she walked to the desk, grabbing the syringe and vial. She plunged the needle into the rubber cap of the vial, removing a small dose of the liquid. As Terra positioned the needle over Eldes' arm, the door swung open, revealing Ardos. Terra froze, the needle nearly touching Eldes' skin.

    “Terra? What the hell are you doing!?” Ardos asked, his jaw dropped. “Who gave you permission to kill him?”

    “Oh,” Terra giggled nervously. “I thought I was doing you a favor...”

    “No, you're not.” Ardos spat. “Give me the syringe.”

    “Certainly.” Terra hurriedly gave the syringe to her superior.

    Hesitating slightly, Ardos injected Eldes' arm with the with the liquid. He kept the syringe in his brother's arm, his hand shaking.

    “Ardos? You alright?” Terra asked.

    “I-I've... done it...” Ardos muttered. After a pause, he turned to Terra. “P-Please... leave...” Terra backed away from Ardos before hurrying out of the office. Ardos turned to his brother, who was wincing on the table in pain. Tears began to well up in Ardos' eyes. “I'm... s-sorry...” he whimpered.

    “It's okay.” Eldes responded comfortingly.

    Ardos broke into an uncontrollable sobbing.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th October 2011 at 4:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    You, my friend, deserve more attention than you're getting. Good plot, barely any grammatical errors... and above all, as a reader, I'm interested. I'll await the next chapter.

    Also, feel free to critique my fic if you have the time. I would greatly appreciate it.
    [IMG]http://www.gamese****ch.com/090703-hiimdaisy.jpg[/IMG]

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHill005 View Post
    You, my friend, deserve more attention than you're getting. Good plot, barely any grammatical errors... and above all, as a reader, I'm interested. I'll await the next chapter.

    Also, feel free to critique my fic if you have the time. I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you very much for the review!

  9. #9
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    In response to the review game:

    First things first: the rating is now wrong. Due to there being eight of the “f” words, the rating should be bumped up to R. I suggest PM’ing a mod to let them know so they can change the rating in your title. However, this may also mean you are going to have to get permission for the R-rated fic unless they tell you otherwise.

    All right, then, to the review.

    For one thing, I have never played any of the Orre games at all, so needless to say I’m confused about the names, since I don’t know how many are original characters, or actual characters from the games. So please forgive me for being as confused as I am. However, having read the entire story so far, I’m pretty sure I have a good understanding of who they all are.

    Ashley looked to be a rather interesting main character, until you suddenly executed her when I expected her to be saved at the last second, or find a way to escape like Eldes did. Thus, the cloning part of the story caught me way off-guard. I’m interested to see where you’re going with this, but I’m also scared, since there was unfortunately not a lot of character development with her, so I was unable to actually decide whether to like her or not. I find Terra to be a weak person because of how prone she is to crying. Just how in the world did she become a Team Magma member if she’s easily a weak-minded person?

    Then again, Andrea used it to her advantage because of how easy she is. And speaking of Andrea, from the very start, I came to see her as a bitch, which works well with her cruel leadership status. And thus, I easily am rooting against her, I want her dead for sure.

    Eldes I’m sure is the main protagonist of this story, but judging by the ending of chapter seven… man, you sure enjoy killing off people like this. You get us to learn to attach to a character, and all of a sudden you kill them off. You are staying true to the dark themes, kudos to you. I’m secretly hoping Ardos is an anti-hero even if he has despised his brother for so many years.

    So, about the plot of the story.

    …I don’t know if I know what it is. All I know is up until this point, it’s to show the escapade of Eldes as he tries to run from Cipher, and possibly even try to disband it. He’s expressed the desire to purify Pokémon to use against them, which suggests the want to defeat them, but you seem to be more than happy to make the characters suffer, and your audience to just squirm in their seat, unsure what to do. You should have warned us about the mind screws, there’s quite an abundance.

    The pacing, I must say, is rather quick in getting to the escapes, and then just as quickly for the re-capturing. It doesn’t hop around a lot as the feel of it suggests, but it doesn’t sit still with a scene long enough for everything to sink in. In fact, some of the scenes seem rather rushed. The scene between Andrea, Wes, and Rui was rather quick and a bit jumbled, I have no idea what really happened. All I know is they’re upset she corrupted them, and she knocked them about without a care and tried to kill Rui. It was the same with the execution scene: it was too quick. Then again, that might work to show how much Andrea just doesn’t care about the people she works with: she knows she’s the boss. If she wants to kill them, then by God she will without a second thought, and everyone knows it—or do they?

    So regardless of my lack of knowledge for the region of Orre and the characters involved (I’m just going to pretend they’re all original characters to make it easier for myself), it was a bit slow in the beginning, but I’m finding myself interested in how this all turns out. I don’t know what you’re thinking here, but I trust you have a good understanding about it all. Which is what you’re going to need, my mind’s been screwed with to actually make heads or tails of this story. Thus, I trust that when you end it, everything will have cleared up so this mental vertigo will be soothed.

    In other words, I’m having fun with the mind screwing. Throw me on the PM list, if you have one.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  10. #10
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    First things first: the rating is now wrong. Due to there being eight of the “f” words, the rating should be bumped up to R. I suggest PM’ing a mod to let them know so they can change the rating in your title. However, this may also mean you are going to have to get permission for the R-rated fic unless they tell you otherwise
    I personally disagree tbh - the ratings listed for PG-13/14/15 on the rules state as follows:
    PG-13/14/15: Likely to contain frequent or semi-frequent profanity and scenes of violence and sexuality that are probably inappropriate for audiences not in their teens. Likely to contain frequent or semi-frequent profanity and scenes of violence and sexuality that are probably inappropriate for audiences not in their teens. Nudity and violence are usually brief and not too detailed, and sex scenes are still usually absent. There won’t be extreme or common swearing. Really intense topics won’t be present, but general controversies and more mature themes will be here.
    And R:
    R: Will include scenes of more graphic violence, Lime sex, relatively frequent use of profanity, themes intended for adults, drug/alcohol use and so on. While PG-13 would have moderate/frequent use of profanity, R generally has more and harsher language. R ratings may not apply to language, as a fic can be devoid of swearing and still achieve an R.
    'Extreme or common swearing' is debatable in general, certainly (because what someone calls common will differ to someone else's definition), but given I c+p'd this into a document quickly, what is there comes to 28 pages, and so the f-word (which I wouldn't call a light swear but certainly not extreme, is used on average once every 3 and so pages. I wouldn't really call that common swearing... semi-frequent seems to fit that better and there's no many other swears besides three uses of bitch; at any rate I wouldn't call the language overly harsh or appearing more than frequently. (And I realise that the rules for PG-13/24/25 saying 'likely to contain frequent...profanity' and then saying 'no common swearing' is rather iffy, so maybe we'll look at rewording that).

    But as a warning about language was given at the start of the story, and the other themes wouldn't push it into R imo (from what I've read thus far anyway), I feel PG-15 is fine. If the author wishes to bump it up to R though, they can do so and consider this approval for that rating.
    Last edited by bobandbill; 24th October 2011 at 8:19 AM.

    A parody of the Pokemon Colosseum game, full of pastries and Miror B.
    Completed. Four times winner of Best Comedy/Funniest Fic.

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  11. #11

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    Chapter 6.


    Into the Shadows
    Chapter 6- Reunion

    Ardos was knelt down by his brother, weeping. “I'm s-sorry...” He sobbed.

    “Ardos, it's fine...” Eldes replied. After a pause, he continued, “I've been waiting for this to happen.”

    “But why? Why did I have to do it?” Ardos wailed, his tears beginning to form a puddle beneath him.

    “You did it because you had to.” Eldes replied. He winced as his arm went numb.

    Someone knocked at the door. “Hello? Ardos? Everything okay in there?” Ardos recognized the voice as Terra's.

    “Yes... Everything is fine... But please, don't come in...” Ardos whimpered. Turning to Eldes, he placed his hand on his brother. “You'll be... dead in a few minutes...”

    “Okay.” Eldes said calmly. Ardos glanced at his brother's face.

    For the first time in a long time, Eldes looked peaceful.

    Ardos wept at the sight. “Goodbye, Eldes... I'll miss you so much...” He sobbed, his tears drenching Eldes.

    “Goodbye, Ardos.” Eldes said.

    The red- haired man closed his eyes slowly, a single tear forming and rolling down his face.

    “Goodbye... friend...” Eldes said, wincing as his body went numb. He heaved a few short breaths before slipping away into the afterlife.

    “Goodbye...” Ardos burst into an uncontrollable sobbing. After several minutes, Ardos had resolved to get revenge on the organization that had forced him to kill his brother.

    ***

    Three weeks had passed since Eldes' death. Andrea had held a very large ceremony commemorating the event, complete with a lavish dinner afterward. Ardos refused to leave his office, with Terra bringing her superior his assigned work, which he did diligently as usual. However, Ardos had spent most of his free time formulating a plan to get revenge on Cipher.

    Ein walked into Ardos' office, smiling triumphantly.

    “What do you need?” Ardos groaned.

    “The experiment has succeeded,” Ein said, grinning widely. He turned to face the hallway. “You two! Get in here!” Ein called. Two people, wearing the typical uniform of Cipher Peons, walked in. They removed their helmets, revealing Ashley and Eldes' faces. Ein grinned. Ardos flinched at the sight of the two clones.

    “So... You've gone and done it...” Ardos said flatly.

    “I am Eldes. It is a pleasure to meet you, Master Ardos.” The Eldes clone said, bowing respectfully.

    “I'm Ashley. Likewise, I am pleased to meet you.” Ashley's clone said.

    “These two are Cipher's newest members. They have already registered and now need to finish the induction process.” Ein grinned.

    “...And why can't you induct them?” Ardos asked flatly.

    “You're in charge of inductions, are you not?”

    “Yes.”

    “It's standard protocol for you to carry out the inductions. Mistress Andrea certainly wouldn't like to hear about you not performing your duties.” Ein smirked.

    “Fine.” Ardos replied.

    Ein smiled and left the office. Ardos reluctantly produced two sheets of paper and a pen.

    “Okay, we'll start with Miss Ashley.” Ardos stated, scrawling the name on the paper.

    “Yessir.” Ashley stepped forward.

    ***

    After the induction process, Ashley and Eldes stood at Ardos' desk. “Please, sit.” Ardos said politely, indicating two cushioned chairs. The two clones did as they were told. After a short silence, Ardos stood in front of the pair. “Now, before you are fully inducted into Cipher, you two must know something.”

    “What's that?” Ashley inquired.

    “You two are not going to lead normal lives once you are inducted.”

    “Yes, we know.” Eldes said, somewhat impatiently.

    “No, your lives will be different than any other Cipher member of your rank. Frankly, I don't know why Ein is going through all of this trouble.”

    “What do you mean?” Ashley asked, slightly anxious.

    Ardos calmly walked over to a large filing cabinet and opened one of the many drawers. He thumbed through multiple files before removing two thin stacks of paper. After placing the papers on his desk, he walked over to the two clones. “What I am about to say may shock you. All I ask is that you save any questions until I'm done explaining. Is that clear?”

    Ashley and Eldes nodded.

    “Good.” Ardos began flatly, “You two are not necessarily what people would call 'normal'. You two are part of an experiment being conducted by Ein. Specifically, you two are clones that were created to allow the experiment to be run on more people. After the experiment, however, your fate is rather uncertain. You may be disposed of, or Ein may keep you around for more study. Regardless, your time as Cipher members will probably be the most painful years of your lives.”

    “What reason do we have to believe you?” Eldes demanded.

    Ardos retrieved the two stacks of paper from his desk. He handed one stack to Eldes, and the other to Ashley. “That is the paperwork that was filed for the experiments to be performed on you both.”

    Ashley skimmed through the papers. “What about us being clones?” She inquired.

    Ardos shook his head. “I'm afraid I have no paperwork establishing that fact.”

    “So, do you have any information regarding the people we were cloned from?” Eldes asked skeptically.

    “Certainly.” Ardos gave Ashley a fake smile. “You were both cloned from the blood of traitors, both who were summarily executed for their crimes against Cipher. Ashley, your blood came from one Ashley Clorus, a member of Team Magma. Team Magma is a partner of Cipher based in Hoenn. She was executed for aiding in the escape of Eldes Verich. Eldes, he was the source of your blood, in case that wasn't obvious. He was one of the top Admins of Cipher before he betrayed us. Eldes was also my brother. Cipher had a bit of a hard time executing him, but, we eventually... succeeded.”

    “And do you at least have proof of their existence?” Ashley asked.

    “I do. Allow me to retrieve the file.” Ardos turned to the filing cabinet and opened a drawer. After a few moments, he produced a single sheet of paper. “I'm afraid this is all I have to offer. I do admit that it isn't much, but it should suffice.” Ardos handed the paper to Ashley, who anxiously read it.

    “Would you like to read it, Eldes?” Ashley said, offering the sheet to the red-haired man.

    “No. I've heard all I've needed to hear.” Eldes said dryly.

    “Okay. You will be escorted to your room.” Ardos stated as he walked to the door of his office. Just before he opened the door, he turned to face the two clones. “Please put your helmets on. Standard protocol.”

    The two new members did so as Ardos opened the door. Terra was sitting at a desk just outside, looking over some paperwork.

    “Terra.” Ardos said. Terra looked up from the paper she was examining. “Room OB- 413.” Ardos stated flatly, before walking back into his office.

    Terra reluctantly stood up. “Okay, follow me.” She began walking down the hall as Ashley and Eldes followed her. “So, what are your names?” Terra asked, not showing any real interest.

    “I'm Ashley.”

    “Eldes.”

    Terra stopped walking. “Is this some kind of joke?” She imposed.

    “What do you mean?” Ashley asked.

    “Well, Ashley and Eldes happen to be very famous names around Cipher.”

    “How so?” Eldes inquired.

    “They were the names of two traitors.”

    “I see.” Eldes said, dismissing Terra's statement.

    “Well, just so you know, I'm Terra. I'm kind of Ardos' secretary.” Terra sighed and turned around.

    The three Cipher members began walking in silence down several hallways before stopping at a door. Terra turned the knob and opened it, revealing a small, sparsely decorated room with nothing in it but two desks and two beds. A thin book was placed onto each desk. “This is your room.” Terra sighed. The two clones walked inside the room. “Oh, Ashley?” Terra asked gently.

    “What is it?”

    “Can I... talk to you in private for a few minutes?”

    “Sure.” Ashley smiled. She followed Terra outside the room and through another maze of hallways. This time Terra and Ashley arrived at a brightly lit room with a small desk. Terra shut the door behind them and motioned for Ashley to sit down in one of the cushioned seats. Ashley politely did so as Terra sat on the opposite side of the desk.

    “What do you need?” Ashley asked, smiling.

    “Well, can you start by taking off your helmet?” Terra asked.

    “Of course.”

    Terra flinched as Ashley's familiar face was revealed. After a moment, Terra could not help herself. She squealed with glee.

    “Oh my God! Is it really you, Ashie?” Terra could hardly contain herself.

    “Um... Terra? Everything okay with you?” Ashley asked in confusion.

    “Don't play dumb, Ashie! You know what happened.” Terra grinned widely. “So, how'd you come back? Didn't Andrea kill you?”

    “Um... I'm sorry, but, I have no idea what you're talking about.”

    “Ashie, stop it. I just want answers. What happens in this room stays in this room.” Terra giggled.

    “And I'm telling you I don't know what you are talking about. And would you stop calling me 'Ashie'? My name is Ashley, and I would prefer to be addressed as such in business situations such as this. Besides, I hardly know you.” Ashley coldly stated.

    Terra's smile gradually relaxed into a neutral expression. “I see...” Terra stood up, and Ashley soon followed. “I'm sorry for wasting your time.” Terra apologized. The two walked in silence to the room that Terra had escorted Ashley and Eldes to earlier. Terra opened the door, revealing Eldes sitting on one of the beds, flipping through a thick book. After noticing Ashley, he closed the book. “Please wait here for further instructions.” Terra stated, before walking out of the room. She closed the door behind her.

    “So what did you talk about?” Eldes asked, setting aside the book.

    “I- I don't know. She was talking to me like we'd known each other for years... I don't even remember her...” Ashley paused. “Come to think of it, I don't remember much before waking up on that table earlier today...”

    “Yes, neither do I...”

    Ashley's eyes widened. “Could that mean?” She trailed off.

    “Could that mean what?” Eldes inquired.

    “What Ardos said... Was it true?”

    “No. That book I was reading earlier, 'The History of Cipher', it told me differently. No mention of anyone named Eldes or Ashley before us.”

    “So you're saying we were lied to?”

    “In a way, yes.” Eldes paused, waiting for a response from Ashley. When no response came, he continued, “We do have to remember that Cipher is a criminal organization. Although their actions are no longer illegal in Orre, with them controlling the government, they're still the same Cipher whose actions were declared illegal by the government about nine years ago.”

    “What makes that book more credible than Ardos and Terra?”

    “It was written by Andrea Sarlous, the head of Cipher. No mention of anyone named Ashley or Eldes.”

    “Maybe they weren't important members, like us. Obviously, we're disposable. Why else would they be performing experiments on us?”

    “No, remember how Ardos said Eldes was one of the top ranking Admins? There's no mention of him anywhere. The book has a section listing all of the Admins, and what they did. No mention of anyone named Eldes.” Eldes opened the book to a page with a chart listing every Admin of Cipher and their role in the organization. He handed the book to Ashley.

    “I see...” Ashley said, taking the book and skimming through the chart. “But still, this book is obviously propaganda for Cipher to elevate themselves. They might have erased the names of traitors to make Cipher look more powerful.”

    “That is certainly a possibility.” Eldes said, beginning to pace around the room.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    But as a warning about language was given at the start of the story, and the other themes wouldn't push it into R imo (from what I've read thus far anyway), I feel PG-15 is fine. If the author wishes to bump it up to R though, they can do so and consider this approval for that rating.
    Well, you're the mod. But the language warning (before it was edited) was rather vague, to be honest. Still, there is a good possibility the rating may go up. It's all on diagram's decision on how he'll go through with the story.

    Now to the review.

    Quote Originally Posted by donotlookatdiagram View Post
    Ardos was knelt down by his brother, weeping. “I'm s-sorry...” He sobbed.

    “Ardos, it's fine...” Eldes replied. After a pause, he continued, “I've been waiting for this to happen.”

    “But why? Why did I have to do it?” Ardos wailed, his tears beginning to form a puddle beneath him.

    “You did it because you had to.” Eldes replied. He winced as his arm went numb.

    Someone knocked at the door. “Hello? Ardos? Everything okay in there?” Ardos recognized the voice as Terra's.

    “Yes... Everything is fine... But please, don't come in...” Ardos whimpered. Turning to Eldes, he placed his hand on his brother. “You'll be... dead in a few minutes...”

    “Okay.” Eldes said calmly. Ardos glanced at his brother's face.

    For the first time in a long time, Eldes looked peaceful.

    Ardos wept at the sight. “Goodbye, Eldes... I'll miss you so much...” He sobbed, his tears drenching Eldes.

    “Goodbye, Ardos.” Eldes said.

    The red- haired man closed his eyes slowly, a single tear forming and rolling down his face.

    “Goodbye... friend...” Eldes said, wincing as his body went numb. He heaved a few short breaths before slipping away into the afterlife.

    “Goodbye...” Ardos burst into an uncontrollable sobbing. After several minutes, Ardos had resolved to get revenge on the organization that had forced him to kill his brother.
    O_o… Holy crap… and to think I was listening to the last bit of Evanescence’s End of the Dream while reading that part… *needs a moment*

    Well, I can now honestly say Andrea's a manipulative bitch, and Ein is just as worse. He doesn't care about what goes on, it's his job after all, and that's how he sees the project and the clones. Even after Ardos gave them the inside story, it may still be a heart-wrenching experience for them when they discover the entire truth.

    While I honestly wish Ardos would have had more of a moment of emotion when he was explaining things to the clones, the mood you have built up to this point is still there, and it may get worse from here. I desperately want to see justice being served to Ashley and Eldes, and some closure for Ardos, but this is a dark story. Chances are it may not happen.

    See how fun it is to mess with the reader's thought process and emotions? Don't let it get to you, though, just let the story flow like how you want it, and there'll be success. I expect great things from you, and you're well on your way.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  13. #13

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    Into the Shadows

    Chapter 7- Plans

    Ashley was calmly sitting on a table in Ein's laboratory. Ein was standing next to her, wiping her arm with an alcohol swab. Ashley flinched slightly as she felt a small prick in her arm, with the pain passing a few short seconds later as Ein removed the needle.

    "Okay. I'm just going to place you under observation for a few hours. Please, follow me." Ein said flatly, motioning for Ashley to follow him. Ashley followed Ein hesitantly. Ein led Ashley to a room with several beds in it, two of them were occupied already. Ein pointed out one of the beds and motioned for Ashley to lay down in it. She did so, and Ein walked out of the room, closing the door behind him. One of the people on the beds stirred.

    "Hello?" Ashley tentatively said.

    The person on the bed stood up. "Hey." She said, with slight resentment in her voice. After observing Ashley for a few moments, she continued, "So, you're one of the clones, aren't you?"

    "Um... That's what I have been told. I'm not entirely sure what to believe, though..." Ashley said nervously.

    "Oh. I see. Ashley, right?" The woman said, not waiting for an answer. She continued, "I'm Rui. We'll be seeing each other a lot, Ashley." Rui paused, observing Ashley for a moment, while Ashley was too shocked to say anything. Rui noticed a black aura surrounding Ashley. "Wow. Ein improved the serum, didn't he? It's already taken effect. Even faster than Wes..." Rui mused out loud.

    Ashley was at a loss for words.

    "Don't worry. You'll get used to the effects. Just learn to control your emotions. We don't want you going on a rampage and damaging things!" Rui smiled. Ashley still remained silent. In attempt to break the silence, Rui began again, "That man over there is Wes." Rui said, pointing out the bandaged man on one of the beds. "He's gone through the same stuff that you and I have." More silence. "I suppose Eldes is going to come here?" There was a silence again. "Hey! Ashley!" Rui called, getting Ashley's attention. "I asked you a question!" She said, growing slightly angry.

    "Oh... um... yes..." Ashley said quietly.

    "So, Eldes will be here?" Rui asked., calming down.

    "Yes..." Ashley said timidly.

    Wes began do stir. "What's going on?" He groaned.

    "We have a new Shadow with us. Soon to be two." Rui said cheerfully.

    "I see..." Wes said dryly.

    Then, Eldes walked into the room, escorted by Ein. "I'll come back for you in a few hours." Ein said dryly. Eldes nodded and walked over to Ashley.

    "So... I take it Ein injected you, too?" Eldes asked. Rui noticed a small black aura surrounding the man, similar to the one surrounding Ashley.

    Ashley nodded.

    "Are you Eldes?" Rui asked cheerfully.

    "Uh, yes... How would you know?"

    "You and Ashley are clones that Ein created. I just helped a little." Rui said, maintaining her cheerful tone.

    "So, Ardos let you in on that, too..." Eldes muttered to himself.

    "What reasons do I have to lie to you, Eldes?"

    "I'm a low- ranking member. Obviously there are some secrets that Cipher does not want me to know. Like how the hell they got me to join." Eldes said, slightly angry.

    "And I'm not lying to you. I can take you to the surveillance archives if you don't believe me."

    "What will old videos do to help?"

    "Well, it happens that we have footage of the original Ashley and Eldes." Rui said calmly.

    "And how are you going to prove that they're not us?"

    "We have footage of their deaths." Rui stated, maintaining her calm state.

    "I see." Eldes flatly said.

    "Shall we?" Rui motioned for the two clones to follow her.

    ***

    Rui, Eldes and Ashley stood facing a wall of monitors, which were displaying the footage of the original Ashley's death. Ashley winced at the sight of herself being tossed around carelessly by Andrea's psychic abilities.

    "Is that..." Ashley began to say.

    "Andrea." Rui finished Ashley's sentence.

    Ashley nodded, her eyes focused on the gruesome scene before her. After several minutes of the painful footage, Ashley turned to Rui. "H-how long does this go on?" She asked, her eyes beginning to water.

    "Around five hours." Rui replied.

    "Why?"

    "She helped Eldes escape." Rui said calmly, turning to Eldes.

    "Escape? From what?" Eldes asked.

    "Here, actually." Rui stated, matter-of-factly, before turning back to the screen, smirking slightly as Andrea delivered a particularly harsh blow to Ashley.

    "...I've seen enough..." Ashley timidly said.

    "So, do you believe me now?" Rui asked.

    "I don't see any reason why she wouldn't." Andrea said, walking into the room.

    "Andrea!" Rui exclaimed, surprised.

    "What are you doing?" Andrea imposed.

    "Um..." Rui chuckled nervously. "I... accidentally... let the clone thing... slip?"

    "How do you 'accidentally' let that slip?"

    "It just... came out?"

    "I see... Who told you to tell them?"

    "N-no one... It j-just slipped out."

    "I find that hard to believe." Andrea said. After a short pause, she continued, "However, it doesn't matter right now. Ein's still using you. But, I'm afraid this is is your last chance. You fuck up one more time, Ein's just going to have to find someone else to experiment on. He's got two perfectly serviceable options right here, too. And don't think Ein can't just make another one of you once you're dead."

    "My apologies, Mistress." Rui said, her voice devoid of any sincerity.

    "What exactly were you doing here, anyway?" Andrea asked.

    "I could ask the same of you." Rui responded resentfully.

    Andrea gasped in shock. "You do not question the actions of your superiors!" She exclaimed, punctuating her statement with a burst of psychic energy. The burst pushed Rui back slightly, but caused the girl rather intense pain for such a small blow. "You're lucky I don't kill you. I'll give you two days to redeem yourself as a Cipher member."

    Rui glared at Andrea, not saying a word.

    "You should be grateful, you bitch." Andrea spat, delivering another blow, this time stronger.

    "What are you doing to Rui?" Ashley screamed, tears flowing from her eyes.

    "What, you want a taste, too?" Andrea sneered. "I'd be more than happy to oblige."

    "Fine. I don't care." Ashley cried. "Give me all you got!"

    "You're quite the brave one." Andrea smiled, before giving Ashley a rather intense blow with her abilities.

    Ashley fell to the floor, unconscious.

    "Oh, that's no fun. I didn't even get to hurt you..." Andrea sulked.

    Rui rushed over to Ashley's collapsed body. "What the fuck did you do to her?" She screamed.

    "Don't worry. She's fine. She'll wake up in a few minutes."

    "What do you mean, 'she's fine'?"

    "She's not dead."

    "And that qualifies as 'fine'?"

    "Her heart is still beating, is it not?"

    "She could have serious damage! She-" Rui was cut off by Andrea, knocking her out with a particularly strong psychic blow.

    "Eldes, you take the bitch to Ein. Tell him what happened. I'll take Ashley to her room." Andrea commanded.

    More out of fear for his life than anything else, Eldes picked up Rui's limp body and hurried out of the room.

    Terra sat on Ashley's bed, next to the sleeping girl. A tray was placed on Terra's lap, two mugs of tea placed on it. "Ashley?" she said gently, waking the girl. "I made you some tea. It was my Ashie's favorite."

    "Oh, thank you." Ashley said quietly, politely taking one of the cups.

    "What happened to you?" Terra asked, concerned.

    "I... I don't know. Andrea j-just knocked me out..." Ashley stammered.

    "Did you make Andrea angry or something?"

    "Possibly..."

    Terra smiled. "Okay. Just try to stay on her good side if you can."

    "And how do I do that?"

    "You can try to avoid her. If you absolutely must be in contact with her, just do what she says. Even then, I can't guarantee anything."

    Andrea was sitting at her desk, across from a rather pale middle- aged man. "Maxie." she began warmly, "Pleasure to finally see you in person."

    "Likewise." the man replied calmly, "Orre certainly is a truly beautiful region."

    "I'm glad you are enjoying your stay." Andrea smiled falsely. "I would like to inform you about Ashley Clorus and Terra Rohare."

    "I see. I trust they are doing well?"

    "Not exactly."

    "What happened?"

    "Ashley Clorus was executed for her crimes." Andrea said flatly.

    Maxie was shocked. "And... what might those crimes be?" He said, trying to maintain his composure.

    "Treason against Cipher and Team Magma."

    Maxie flinched. "I'm sorry, but, the punishment for treason amongst Team Magma members is simply imprisonment. I do apologize for any miscommunication that may have occurred among us in regards to this subject."

    "Yes, but the punishment for the same crime amongst Cipher members is death. In this case, the more severe sentence takes precedence."

    "I see..." Maxie paused. "How is Terra faring?"

    "Much better." Andrea said fondly. "She is working in our Intelligence Department as an assistant to Ardos."

    "Okay. Is she enjoying the work?"

    "I do not know."

    "I see..." Maxie said.

    "How are our Shadow Pokemon plans coming along?"

    "Quite nicely. We plan to eliminate Team Aqua within a few months."

    "Perfect." Andrea smirked. "And when should we have control over Hoenn?"

    "After Team Aqua is out of the way, probably a few months after that."

    Andrea grinned widely.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 6th November 2011 at 6:38 PM.

  14. #14

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    Know this is old new but just because a character curses so many times doesn't mean the rating changes, I mean kids curse nowadays and they say worse words than the F word.

    Moving on, I skimmed through the story and I couldn't find anything to nitpick about. The spelling/grammar were good and quoting was right on. I can also feel the characters emotions throughout the fic (and you need alot of that for dark fics).

    EDIT: here's something I caught.

    “Goodbye, Ardos.” Eldes said.
    Instead of that, do this:

    “Goodbye, Ardos,” Eldes said.
    Unless at the end was a question or an examination mark, always put a comma so that the "Eldes said" doesn't look like it's own fragment.

    It's a good story and you're pretty much better at this than I am. So good luck on this.
    岩根雅明=♡

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Silver- View Post
    [I]Know this is old new but just because a character curses so many times doesn't mean the rating changes, I mean kids curse nowadays and they say worse words than the F word.
    Doesn't make it any less adult.

    Anyway, finally got around to reading the chapter. Before I add my thoughts, I need to point out some mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by donotlookatdiagram View Post
    Ashley was calmly sitting on a table in Ein's laboratory. Ein was standing next to her, wiping her arm with an alcohol swab. Ashley flinched slightly as she felt a small prick in her arm, with the pain passing a few short seconds later as Ein removed the needle.
    For one thing, this paragraph is repeating the names one-too-many times. While technically correct, it gets repetitive and dull after a while. Don't be afraid to use pronouns or other words to describe the person, like "the man" or "scientist" for Ein.

    Another thing is the abundant use of "said". Again, not incorrect, especially when you have a little adverb to show how they're speaking, but there are synonyms that better explain how they say their sentences, like "explain", "exclaim", "remark", those kind of things.

    You **** up one more time, Ein's just going to have to find someone else to experiment on.
    "You should be grateful, you *****." Andrea spat, delivering another blow, this time stronger.
    Rui rushed over to Ashley's collapsed body. "What the **** did you do to her?" She screamed.
    I think you forgot to italicize a letter or something.

    "You can try to avoid her. If you absolutely must be in contact with her, just do what she says. Even then, I can't guarantee anything."

    Andrea was sitting at her desk, across from a rather pale middle- aged man. "Maxie." she began warmly, "Pleasure to finally see you in person."
    "I'm glad you are enjoying your stay." Andrea smiled falsely. "I would like to inform you about Ashley Clorus and Terra Rohare."
    I love that, it stays so true to her character. Maxie is in for a rude wake-up call.

    So, we're on our way to Hoenn's invasion. I'm hoping you do well in executing how it works, but I doubt you'll mess it up since you've been keeping the suspension this high. I see no light of hope at all for any of the characters, and I don't think we'll be seeing it for a long time. You sure enjoy tormenting them, don't you ;P?

    Well, looking forward to the next chapter. I hope Andrea gets her just desserts in the end.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    I love that, it stays so true to her character. Maxie is in for a rude wake-up call.
    Yes, Maxie isn't going to necessarily enjoy what he gets in return for helping Cipher out so much. </semi-obvious spoilers>

  17. #17

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    Wow, That was fast. I blame myself.

    Also, I promise that the next chapter will be longer. This chapter was mainly tying up loose ends and everything, also using up most of my writer's block ideas that I planned to use in the first few chapters.

    If the next chapter is not longer, I will rework it until it is. Hold me to that.

    Into the Shadows

    Chapter 8- Beginning

    Andrea was sitting across her desk, alone after a rather long meeting with Maxie. After a few slow minutes, Nascour entered Andrea's office, sitting across from the young woman.

    "So, you're sure that Maxie knows nothing?" Nascour inquired.

    "Yes. We're actually almost done with him." Andrea replied.

    "And what happens when you are done?"

    "I kill him." Andrea smiled.

    "What? Do you plan on losing loyalty among Team Magma?" Nascour asked, his jaw slightly dropped.

    "They are part of Cipher. If they disobey me, they die as well." Andrea retorted.

    "How are you going to justify Maxie's death?"

    "I can pass it off as assassination."

    "I fail to understand how this will work." Nascour scoffed.

    "I will call him to a meeting once he has served his purpose. Then I kill him. I can say that he was assassinated by someone." Andrea replied, dismissively.

    "And who might that someone be?" Nascour asked, chuckling.

    "One of their Admins, maybe."

    "Why?"

    Andrea giggled. "It makes sense. Someone so close to becoming the leader would kill Maxie. I'm pretty sure some of you would kill me if you had the chance."

    "I wouldn't be surprised."

    "And that's why I control all of Cipher's weaponry." Andrea giggled.

    "One more question."

    "Certainly."

    "Why do you need to kill Maxie?"

    "Mostly so that Team Magma will listen to me. Also, it's fun. Maxie might not have fun, but I most certainly will." Andrea grinned.

    ***

    After his most recent encounter with Andrea, Eldes had come to a rather astonishing conclusion: He was a clone of one Eldes Verich, supposedly Ardos' younger brother. Rui had managed to sneak into the surveillance archives with Eldes once she had regained consciousness. While in the room with Rui, Eldes had witnessed the death if his original. After witnessing Eldes' death, he felt as if he was nothing more than Cipher's plaything. Ardos had called him into his office, and, after regaining composure, Eldes went into the dreaded office, where his brother resided. Ardos greeted him with a mischievous smile and began the discussion he had planned to have with Eldes: how he was going to take down Cipher.

    "Okay, first things first. We need Andrea dead." Ardos declared.

    "No shit." Eldes scoffed.

    "Yes, I was stating what our ultimate goal is. Once Andrea is dead, Cipher will fall quite easily."

    "Wait, what?" Eldes gaped in disbelief. "You are saying that we have the resources needed to kill Andrea right here and now?"

    "No. We kill her after we defeat the rest of Cipher. If Cipher knows we can defeat them easily, they won't try to regroup, or if they do, they'll be terribly inefficient. We can defeat them easily once Andrea's dead, even if they regroup."

    ***

    "So, you know the plan now?" Ardos asked.

    "I guess. What exactly are you doing?" Eldes replied, still slightly confused.

    "I'm going to be doing my job as an an Admin to keep Andrea off my trail."

    "And how is that going to help us?" Eldes asked, slightly indignant.

    "She's already suspicious of me, what with me having to kill my brother. She thinks I'm planning to betray Cipher, which, while true, is not the type of image I need to have right now. I would at least like to live to see what Orre's like without Cipher."

    " I understand." Eldes lied.

    "Thank you." Ardos began, taking Eldes' statement as genuine. "I can also send you any important information I get in regards to Cipher's plans. Kind of like a double agent."

    "That can prove helpful." Eldes said, this time genuinely.

    "Yes. But just one thing. Are you sure you're okay with everything? We don't have to go through with this."

    "Yes. I'm perfectly fine with this. I'm of no value to them, anyway. What better person to take them down than one of their least valuable members?" Eldes smirked.

    "Would you know if Ashley would be on board?"

    "I don't know. She's not taking this clone thing very well."

    "I see."

    "So, barring Ashley, will I have any partners?"

    "Yes. Wes and Rui will be there with you. They've done this before."

    "I thought Wes was under Ein's care."

    "He is, but I can get him out of it early. I used this technique with the original Eldes when he was imprisoned here. Venus and Lovrina both have a Blissey. They can heal Wes. Ein just doesn't want to use that method. He says it's 'not natural'. He prefers to use the more traditional methods of medicine."

    "Well, then, we might want to get these plans moving, just so Cipher doesn't get any stronger." Eldes indicated.

    "They're already getting stronger. Andrea is currently in talks with Giovanni, to control Team Rocket."

    "Why? And who the hell is Giovanni?"

    "She's carrying out Cipher's original plans: to control the world. She's already got Hoenn and Orre under her control. Giovanni, the head of Team Rocket will help her get control over Johto and Kanto. Then she'll get to work with Cyrus, the head of Team Galactic, and then finally, Ghetsis, for Team Plasma. If all of this goes as smoothly as it did with Team Magma, it won't take long before Cipher's plans are finally realized."

    "And what would that mean?"

    "Cipher will have overthrown all government outside of itself."

    "What?" Eldes asked, startled.

    "Yes, you heard me correctly. What little government Orre does have is run by Cipher, specifically, Andrea."

    "And you are still going to help the very person you are trying to defeat?" Eldes demanded.

    "I'm not going to help Cipher succeed at all." Ardos declared.

    "How?"

    "Well, I can start by doing my job poorly." Ardos said, slightly unsure of himself.

    "And won't she see your performance has gone down?"

    "I never said this was an airtight plan."

    "Well, I certainly do not want to die because your plan failed." Eldes sneered.

    "Neither do I, and I'm sorry, but, this is the best I could come up with to hinder Cipher's plans, while helping your cause, also while keeping Andrea happy." Ardos replied calmly.

    "And how hindering will it be?"

    "Depends. I might 'misplace' an important file somewhere, maybe a file that is required to properly carry out a plan."

    "What would that be?"

    "Like an intelligence exchange mission. If Andrea decides to do the same thing with Team Rocket that she did with Team Magma, I can 'misplace' the file that she wants to give Giovanni."

    "Okay, sounds logical. But how do you know that this won't get you killed?"

    "I don't." Ardos said.

    ***

    An unconscious middle- aged man lay strapped to a table in an office. The office was pitch- black until the door opened, revealing Maxie, who was smiling widely, holding a dagger at his side. "So, Archie, here we are..." There was no response from the man. After a few moments, Maxie jabbed the man lightly with the dagger, careful not to draw any blood from the man. The man stirred, eventually waking up with a painful groan.

    "They... won..." The man rasped quietly. Maxie wasted no time in jabbing the dagger into the man's left arm, eliciting a pained groan from him. Blood began to exit from the wound as Maxie removed the dagger.

    Maxie stabbed the knife into Archie's other arm, causing another grunt and more blood to spill out. "I know, Archie. Now we take over Hoenn. Then we wake up Groudon and expand the landmass. We just had... an advantage, that's all." Maxie said calmly, before stabbing Archie's arms a few more times. After Maxie was satisfied with his handiwork, he moved onto Archie's legs. Archie refused to give his enemy the satisfaction of his pained groans. After what seemed like hours, Archie was rewarded with a stab in his chest, piercing his heart.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 7th November 2011 at 6:02 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by donotlookatdiagram View Post
    Andrea giggled. "It makes sense. Someone so close to becoming the leader would kill Maxie. I'm pretty sure some of you would kill me if you had the chance."

    "I wouldn't be surprised."
    Oooooh, foreshadowing.

    While in the room with Rui, Eldes had witnessed the death if his original.
    "Of", not "if".

    "No. We kill her after we defeat the rest of Cipher. If Cipher knows we can defeat them easily, they won't try to regroup, or if they do, they'll be terribly inefficient. We can defeat them easily once Andrea's dead, even if they regroup."

    ***

    "So, you know the plan now?" Ardos asked.

    "I guess. What exactly are you doing?" Eldes replied, still slightly confused.
    This part bothered me. I'm sure you did it intentionally to keep the details of plan secret... or something, but honestly, you could have added more to it so there wouldn't have to be some transition in the middle of the scene like that, cutting to however-many-minutes later it was.

    An unconscious middle- aged man lay strapped to a table in an office. The office was pitch- black until the door opened, revealing Maxie, who was smiling widely, holding a dagger at his side. "So, Archie, here we are..." There was no response from the man. After a few moments, Maxie jabbed the man lightly with the dagger, careful not to draw any blood from the man. The man stirred, eventually waking up with a painful groan.

    "They... won..." The man rasped quietly. Maxie wasted no time in jabbing the dagger into the man's left arm, eliciting a pained groan from him. Blood began to exit from the wound as Maxie removed the dagger.

    Maxie stabbed the knife into Archie's other arm, causing another grunt and more blood to spill out. "I know, Archie. Now we take over Hoenn. Then we wake up Groudon and expand the landmass. We just had... an advantage, that's all." Maxie said calmly, before stabbing Archie's arms a few more times. After Maxie was satisfied with his handiwork, he moved onto Archie's legs. Archie refused to give his enemy the satisfaction of his pained groans. After what seemed like hours, Archie was rewarded with a stab in his chest, piercing his heart.
    This should have been longer, or carried on to the next chapter. Archie's death was just too quick here.

    I also noticed you're lacking a bit of description for scenes. It gets tiresome to see an endless paragraph or simple sentence of just dialogue with nothing to describe what's going on in the room, what the characters are doing while chatting, all that jazz. They're not the only two people in the world of nothing, there has to be something going on in between. You have to set up the proper atmosphere. Just because the story has the atmosphere there doesn't mean you can't build on it.

    You're promising a longer chapter. Thus, I hope you add detail to it, I want to read it like I'm watching a movie. Not that I want complete detail on everything, but I need to feel like I'm there, and that the characters and scenery is believable. I'm starting to lose touch with it, and I don't think you're half-way done just yet.

    Good luck with chapter nine, do take your time with it. You are showing signs of improvement, don't delay that a chapter further.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  19. #19

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    My laptop has been stolen.
    Until I either get it back or get a new one, this fic will be put on temporary hiatus until further notice.

  20. #20
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    Wow, that really sucks, sorry to hear that. Hope you don't forget what you had written down by the time you get back into it, if you haven't been writing it down in a notebook.

    Thank you for the warning, and Godspeed. I look forward to your return to the story.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  21. #21

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    Ok, I bought a new laptop, and it should come in the mail by the 20th. Then I start writing Chapter 9. It'll be up soon after that, I have a very loose summary of the chapter nearly complete.

    EDIT: Lappy came in the mail today. Turns out I got express shipping and didn't realize it.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 16th November 2011 at 3:28 AM.

  22. #22

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    WARNING! This chapter contains gratuitous use of a certain four- letter word that rhymes with "duck". YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Now you can't sue me!


    Into the Shadows
    Chapter 9- Resistance

    Andrea sat at her desk, sitting in front of a screen which was currently showing Maxie's face as he was conversing with the woman. His expression was slightly tense.

    “So, the plans have succeeded this far?” Andrea asked expectantly.

    Maxie nodded, his face still tense. “Yes.”

    “And Archie's dead?” Andrea leaned slightly forward in her seat.

    “Y-yes. I just killed him.” Maxie stuttered slightly, glancing down to the dried blood on his hands. He didn't know what came over him when he killed the man. He simply took a dagger and stabbed Archie several times. Why is this bothering me so much? He was my enemy. I should be celebrating. I have led Team Magma to victory. This is cause for celebration!

    “Maxie?” Andrea asked, snapping Maxie out of his thought.

    “Oh, sorry. I just... can't help but feel a little guilty.” Maxie said regretfully.

    “This is your first time killing, I take it.” Andrea replied casually, chuckling to herself. “It gets easier.”

    “How?”

    “If you do it enough, it just doesn't faze you anymore.” Andrea smiled. “I've killed at least fifty people, I think. After about ten, it just became as natural as breathing, I guess. Tell you what. The next nine people to be executed are yours to kill. I'll watch. Maybe give you some tips on how to make it truly painful.”

    “I'm sorry, but I cannot agree to do that. I couldn't live with myself, even if killing more people would make me feel less guilty.” Maxie shook his head, his eyes drifting down to the blood on his hands for a brief moment.

    “Oh, no, I'm making you do it. After a while, it just becomes fun.” Andrea giggled.

    “Fun!?” Maxie scoffed. “How, pray tell, is killing fun?”

    “Their screams of pain, the blood spilling out on you, the sound of their bones breaking... All of it.” Andrea began giggling once more.

    “That hardly sounds fun.”

    “You've got to do it much more before it becomes fun.” Andrea smiled. “I can get you a few victims right away. Since you can't kill with your mind, I'll get you a few weapons. Or would you like to sample what it's like to kill with your mind? You know what? You'll try both.” Andrea began to shift in her seat impatiently. “Get on the next flight to Gateon from Mauville. I'll buy you the ticket. Terra will be waiting for you to bring you to Headquarters. Come prepared to stay for a few days. Got it?”

    “Yes...” Maxie groaned.

    “Great! See you in a few hours!” With that, Andrea cut the communications.

    ***

    “Wesley!” A voice all too familiar called to the man lying on the table.

    “Venus...” Wes groaned.

    “Ardos told me that you needed some healing. I brought Blissey with me!” Venus said, her high pitched voice already beginning to grate on Wes' nerves. She indicated the Pokemon standing next to her, its face locked in a perpetual smile.

    “Really? Ardos has no business with me. Besides, I'm not in too much pain.”

    “Well, he told me to come heal you!” Venus said in a singsong voice.

    “Whatever.” Wes said flatly.

    “...You're such a downer, Wesley.” Venus giggled.

    “Just heal me, Venus.” Wes groaned, anger beginning to surface in his voice.

    “Why? You in a hurry to get somewhere? In your state? I doubt it!” Venus laughed. “Well, I guess you might want to go thank Ardos soon...” She added after a moment of thought.

    “Do it, Venus...” Wes gritted his teeth.

    “Okay, okay. Don't get your panties in a bunch.” Venus turned to the Blissey next to her and nodded. The Pokemon's paws glowed white as touched Wes. After a few moments, the Blissey removed her paws, with Wes healed completely. Venus wasted no time in removing the bandages around Wes' limbs. “There. You happy now?” Venus asked, frustrated.

    Wes stood up for the first time in months. “Yes. Thanks. I'll go to Ardos now.” Wes began walking rather clumsily out of the office. He eventually regained his balance, making his way to Ardos' office. He knocked on the door.

    “Come in.” Came Ardos' voice through the door. Wes entered the room, closing the door behind him.

    “Oh, Wes. What do you need?” Ardos asked knowingly.

    “I want to thank you.” Wes sat down in a chair across the table from Ardos.

    “For what?” Ardos smiled.

    “Having Venus heal me.” Wes said, smiling faintly.

    “Oh.” Ardos smirked. “Well, actually, I was planning on using you for something.”

    “What?”

    “Remember what happened nine years ago?” Ardos asked.

    “Why wouldn't I?” Wes said wryly.

    “I want you to do that again.” Ardos stated boldly.

    “You are fucking kidding me.” Wes spat. “Andrea's already all over my ass. I can't. It's too risky.”

    “Yes. I know. This will probably be one of the most dangerous things you will ever do.” Ardos stated, retaining a calm expression.

    “Then why don't you fucking do it?” Wes said scornfully. “You're a fucking coward, you know that, Ardos? Nothing but a fucking coward.”

    “Wes, Eldes and Rui have already agreed.” Ardos was struggling to retain his composure.

    Wes scoffed. “Oh, that makes it so much better, Ardos. Fucking terrific. So, basically, if I agree to do this, it's three against, what, two thousand? No, probably more than that. You're a fucking genius, Ardos.”

    “Wes-”

    “And also, Eldes has been alive for what, two weeks? Yes, he'll be a great fucking help. I suppose next, you're going to say that Ashley just hasn't agreed to help us yet.” Wes spat, his eyes full of rage.

    “Wes, please, calm down. You took on Cipher nine years ago. What makes this time any different?” Ardos asked, still maintaining his calm mood.

    “Cipher was just starting out then. Now it's huge. Hell, it's Orre's government. Not only that, Rui, Eldes and I are technically Cipher's property. Cipher will stop at nothing to get us back once we're gone, and once they have us back, I wouldn't be surprised if Andrea killed us on the spot.”

    “I won't allow it.” Ardos replied, still calm.

    Wes laughed. “What, now you have power over Andrea?” His gaze narrowed. “Funny.”

    “No, I do not, but I will do everything in my power to prevent your deaths should you be caught.” Ardos said, trying to sound reassuring.

    “And what will that be? Aren't you leaving Cipher?” Wes asked, suspicious.

    “No. I'm staying.”

    “Isn't that going against every single fucking thing you're trying to do here?” Wes asked angrily.

    “I won't be helping-”

    “I don't care if you're doing Andrea's fucking laundry, Ardos.” Wes interjected. “You're still helping Cipher's cause.”

    “Wes, please. I need you to do this for me. Please.” Ardos pleaded.

    “Why, you afraid that Andrea's going to kill you?” Wes sneered.

    “Well, yes, but-”

    “What the fuck, Ardos. You expect me to risk my life for you?” Wes spat. “You should be doing this. You're the one who wants to do it in the first place.”

    “Yes, but I really have no means of going about it. If I decide to defect from Cipher, Andrea kills me on the spot. I know too many secrets. I cannot leave here.”

    “You could sneak out.”

    “How? Andrea comes here nearly every day. If I sneak out, it'll be at most a few hours before she realizes I'm gone. Then she'll find me, and kill me. Besides, you do have something to gain from this.”

    “What would that be?” Wes asked, suspicious.

    “You could purify yourself.” Ardos stated boldly.

    “I see.” Wes said, feigning interest. At this point, he was willing to do anything just to get Ardos to shut up.

    ***

    Maxie walked aimlessly through the airport, carrying his hastily packed luggage in a small bag. The walls and ceiling of Gateon International Airport was mostly made of glass, allowing the travelers to see the sunny sky over the nearby ocean. Maxie mostly ignored the view, not wanting to be reminded of the man he had recently killed.

    “Maxie?” A familiar voice called. Almost immediately, Maxie recognized the voice as Terra's.

    Maxie turned to face Terra, a slight smile on his face. “Terra. Hello.”

    “Andrea told me to meet you?” Terra asked, smiling.

    “Yes.” Maxie's face relaxed.

    “Okay. Shall we?” Terra gestured for Maxie to follow her as she made her way through the large airport.

    “Certainly.” Maxie replied with a slight reluctance.

    Eventually, the pair made their way out of the airport, to be greeted by the hot Orre sun. They continued walking towards the entrance to the city. “So, Terra, what exactly is your job for Cipher?” Maxie asked.

    “I'm part of the Intelligence Department. I'm Ardos' secretary.” Terra explained.

    “Do you enjoy the work?” Maxie asked hopefully.

    Terra sighed. “It's okay. I liked Magma more.” She paused. “Less death.” Terra chuckled to herself.

    “Well, I can't guarantee that it'll stay that way.” Maxie added casually.

    Terra laughed. “You wouldn't hurt anyone even if they were begging you to. Tell Andrea she's got the wrong man if she expects you to kill.”

    “Andrea brought me here to desensitize me towards death, I believe.” Maxie retorted.

    “Huh?” Terra tilted her head.

    “You see, we've defeated Team Aqua.” Maxie said, his voice slightly regretful.

    “We have?” Terra asked excitedly.

    “Yes. However, Andrea forced me to kill Archie.” Maxie looked down at the sidewalk.

    “What?” Terra asked, trying to laugh off the statement.

    “Yes. Archie is dead.” Maxie confirmed, sulking.

    “And you killed him?” Terra asked in disbelief.

    “Y-yes.” Maxie muttered.

    “What?” Terra gasped.

    “And I believe that that is why Andrea is bringing me here. To desensitize my mind to the concept of killing.”

    “Hm. Sounds like Andrea.” Terra sighed dismissively as the pair arrived at a white car. Terra politely opened the car's door, motioning for Maxie to get inside. After Maxie was in, Terra followed.

    ***

    Wes sat casually in his chair across from Ardos, who had just finished explaining his plan to take down Cipher. Wes had been uninterested at first, but as Ardos explained the plan, Wes had decided one thing:

    He would do this. He would take down Cipher again.

    “...So, are you on board?” Ardos asked, expectantly, snapping Wes out of his thoughts.

    “Yes.” Wes boldly replied.

    Ardos smiled. “Good. Go get Rui and Eldes. We will start preparations now.”

    ***

    Maxie arrived, luggage in hand, in Andrea's office. Andrea was calmly sitting at her desk, levitating two small spheres, her back to Maxie.

    “A-Andrea?” Maxie called tentatively.

    “Maxie.” Andrea responded, her back still turned to Maxie. “Glad you could make it. Let me show you to where you'll sleep before we get down to business.” Andrea turned around in her seat, dropping the two spheres in the process. Cipher's leader walked calmly over to Maxie, taking told of his hand. Maxie and Andrea were enveloped in a bright white light, which eventually faded to reveal a rather lavishly decorated room with a large bed. “Just put your luggage on the bed. We've got some work to do.” Andrea giggled. Maxie silently did as he was told, then nervously grabbed hold of Andrea's hand. Another bright light enveloped the pair and soon they were in a room lined with several glass chambers, each with at least one person inside. “This is where you'll choose your first victim. I'll be waiting outside if you have any questions.” Andrea smiled and turned around, leaving Maxie in the room.
    Last edited by donotlookatdiagram; 17th November 2011 at 5:53 PM.

  23. #23
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    Responding to this as part of the Review Game. I apologize if this is more robotic than my usual reviewing style, but I have a lot to do so it's more convenient to just work with a topic-by-topic approach.

    I will be honest, I really did not like this story. I'm sorry, but I have to be honest.

    One big problem I need to point out right away is that I find the characters to be largely out-of-character. The swearing I can overlook (though I'll get to that on another note in a minute), but things like Ardos breaking down crying over his brother I just can't swallow. This is Ardos, the man who was perfectly willing to force said brother to blow up Citadark Isle and kill countless scores of henchmen in order to eliminate Michael and save Cipher, but here he's breaking down crying over Eldes's death and suddenly deciding to defeat Cipher? I just couldn't buy that. The former heroes joining Cipher is also something I find very hard to believe, but you at least introduced the serum subplot that at least explains some of it.

    Speaking of the serum, I'm finding it the high point of the plot, and I do think the story would be quite a bit more compelling if that plotline was focused upon more. It is actually a good idea, a Shadow Pokemon-esque serum that can induce a transformation of a human subject, and the scenes involving it are, to me, the most stand-out parts. On the whole, however, I think you're having some troubles with the plots you are focusing on. One thing I noticed very early on is that you focused quite a lot of attention to "punishments," first with Eldes, then Ashley and others. You're also having characters die a little too abruptly; I was starting to like Ashley and the plot you were developing with her and Eldes, but then you threw that away. Honestly, that could have been a good thing, to subvert the expectation of what the story would be about to set up the second story with Eldes and Alex, but then they ended up dead too. I suppose that if you're setting up the real plot this time, it could be interesting, but at this point it's hard to tell. I do think the whole clone thing was delivered a bit clumsily though.

    The description, on the other hand, is one of your stronger suits. While there are a bit of weaknesses (one of them being Archie's death, which came way too fast) the only complaint I could have on description overall is that individual people sometimes don't have enough description to picture them. Also, Andrea's psychic powers could stand to do with a bit more description, if just a glow enveloping the victim or something instead of simple telekinesis with no visual cues.

    Finally, I just want to point out that it would be a good idea to run your chapters through spell check or get a beta reader before you post them. I noticed several easily-corrected errors - for example, in the entire first section, Ashley's name was misspelled, as were several other ordinary words throughout the story. "Eclo Canyon" was also misspelled several times in Chapter 2. It's important to use a reference source to make sure canon names are spelled properly.

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  24. #24

    Default

    Into the Shadows

    Chapter 10- Test

    Maxie walked deeper into the cell room, observing the various prisoners locked in the small glass cells, each of them eying the man with a mix of suspicion and fear. Startled, he heard the door slam behind him, leaving him alone with the group of disheveled prisoners. Looking around the room, he couldn't help but feel sympathy for them.

    "W-W-What the hell do you want?" one of the prisoners stammered.

    Maxie paused, "...I-I'm here under direct orders. I've been ordered to..." He trailed off, his lips forming the word 'kill', but no sound came out.

    He could tell they understood him perfectly by the looks amongst all of their faces.

    "We know," another prisoner began defiantly, "Andrea brought you in here."

    "Please, you have to understand..." Maxie pleaded, "I never wanted to do this."

    ...It was all because of that foolish mistake. I should have seen it coming, the way she talked, the way she stared into my eyes, it was as if she was... manipulating me.

    "Yeah, well, that's a lot coming from one of her loyal employees."a nearby prisoner sneered.

    "I never agreed to this!" Maxie shot back. Quietly, he added, "She told me... she would help Team Magma achieve their goals..."

    "Team Magma, you say?" responded an older prisoner. The prisoner squinted and took a long look at Maxie before exclaiming, "M-Maxie!"

    "Y-Yes..." Maxie nearly ran over to the prisoner's cell. "How do you know me?"

    "I was-"

    He was cut off by the door opening with none other than Andrea standing in the doorway. As they noticed the woman, all of the prisoners shrank to the back of their cells, trying to get as far away from the imposing woman as possible. Casually, she walked towards Maxie. "So, you found someone?" Andrea didn't wait for an answer. "Great! Let's get started." Cipher's leader stepped up to the cell, inserting a key into the door, which promptly slid open. Andrea quickly grabbed the prisoner's arm, dragging him out of the cell. After the prisoner was out of the cell, Andrea picked the man up with telekinesis, occasionally sending waves of pain racing over the man's body as she walked out of the cell room, with Maxie still inside. "Maxie? You coming?" Andrea giggled.

    "Oh." Maxie groaned to himself as he left the room.

    "Okay." Andrea sighed as she began walking, "The room I'm taking you to is the armory. It contains all of the weapons that Cipher owns, ranging from melee weaponry to biological weapons."

    Maxie smirked. "So, you have things like poisons?"

    "Yes."

    "Perfect." Maxie chuckled to himself.

    Andrea laughed. "Oh, so you think you're going to use some on me? Ha. Funny. If you even try, I can deflect the syringe back to you. Inject you with it. Don't think I won't."

    "What if I wasn't going to poison you?"

    Andrea laughed again. "I know how you think, Maxie. If you know what's good for you, you'll just stick to your business here."

    "Fine, then." Maxie groaned. "Now, tell me, who is this man?"

    "Oh, his name is Eric Huluda, I believe."

    "And what was he imprisoned for?"

    "I don't really remember." Andrea dropped the man she had been lifting with her telekinesis. "Hey, Eric, what were you in for?" She demanded.

    "Apparently, I was conspiring to overthrow Cipher." Eric groaned.

    Maxie bounded over to the man on the floor. "How do you know who I am?"

    "Do not connect emotionally with anyone you want to kill." Andrea interjected. "It makes it easier when you first start out."

    "I don't want to kill this man, Andrea. You're forcing me to." Maxie indicated.

    "I don't care. Do not connect emotionally with him." A faint glow enveloped the man as he was lifted off the ground once more. "Now, you said that this man knew you?" Andrea asked, continuing to walk down the hallway.

    "He knows my name, at least."

    Andrea turned to the prisoner. "How do you know about this man?"

    "I-I was a member of Team Magma."

    "What? When did you come to Orre?" Maxie asked in shock.

    "When Terra and Ashley didn't come back from their mission here. About two months ago."

    "How did you know they were missing?"

    "I was under Terra's command. I believed it to be my obligation."

    "And you did this without authorization?"

    Eric cringed. "Y-Yes..."

    "What makes you think you could do something so rash?" Maxie asked, calmly.

    "I-I... don't know. I guess I thought it was my job."

    "If a member disappears, it is my job to send out a search party to find them."

    "Yessir." Eric said inwardly.

    "What got you in trouble with Cipher?" Maxie asked.

    "I-I snuck into the room where the prisoners are held."

    Maxie turned to Andrea. "This is punishable by death?" He asked in disbelief.

    "Yes. We can't simply imprison someone who has a way out." Andrea indicated. "Killing them is simpler."

    "You successfully kept him prisoner here for two months. You don't need to kill him."

    "True. I don't need to kill him. You do." Andrea chuckled. "Besides, he lands under your jurisdiction, with him being a member of Team Magma."

    "Can I exercise my power over him, then, to allow him to live?"

    "Yes, but I'd still have you kill him. I have the power to override any decisions you make." Andrea smiled as she arrived at a door. She retrieved a key from her pocket and unlocked the door to a rather large room, filled wall- to- wall with various weapons. Each of them looked as if it was well- used, with the large selection of guns showing wear on their triggers, and the various blades bearing dried blood along their lengths. "Here we are. Cipher's armory." She sighed proudly. "Let's get to business."

    ***

    Wes, Rui and Eldes walked into a long hallway. There was little light in the area, forcing the three to grope their way through the darkness. The only thing Ardos had told them about this place was that the old Snag Machine was kept here. After finding the machine, Wes, Rui, and Eldes could finally leave this place to defeat Cipher. After feeling his way around for a few minutes, Eldes found a bump on the otherwise smooth wall.

    "Hey, I found something. I think it's a doorknob." Eldes called to the others.

    Wes and Rui walked over to the man's voice as he turned the knob, revealing another room, still dimly lit, but noticeably brighter than the hallway. The room was empty besides a small pedestal with a small, sleeve- like device placed on a stand.

    Wes smirked. "This is it. The Snag Machine." He took the device and placed it carefully where it had resided nine years before.

    "So, are we done here?" Eldes began to walk out of the room.

    "It appears so." Rui responded, following the man.

    "Wait. They might have alarms connected to this thing." Wes cautioned.

    "If they did, then wouldn't they go off immediately?" Rui retorted.

    "I guess." Wes dismissed, before walking out with the others.

    ***

    Ashley sat quietly on the table she had become so familiar with over the past months. Ein had used it time and time again to allow himself to examine the girl's mental state. However, this time, Ein had walked into the room with a syringe in addition to his usual clipboard. Ashley had been injected with the liquid just a few minutes before, and Ein had connected Ashley to various machines to monitor her vital functions. "Um... E-Ein?" Ashley tentatively asked.

    "What?" Ein responded, not bothering to look away from the display he was observing.

    "W-What was that stuff?"

    "Oh, that. It is a medicine that evens out the mind. Shadow humans are much less stable emotionally than Pokemon. I'm just seeing what will happen to your mood." Ein replied, writing something down on the clipboard. "Why? Are you feeling ill?"

    "Oh, no. I just wanted to know what was in my veins, that's all." Ashley replied, a slight hint of anger in her voice.

    "Ah. Why? Do you not trust me?"

    "I don't believe trust should play any part in this. Cipher gave me my life. It's my obligation to them to let them do whatever they want with me. I can disagree all I want, but I owe too much to Cipher to betray them."

    "You're taking the fact you are a clone remarkably well." Ein muttered to himself.

    "I guess I just got over the initial shock. I was angry at first, but now... I guess I don't care. I'm still human, no matter how I came into this world." Ashley responded with confidence.

    "It doesn't faze you at all?" Ein asked, scrawling on the clipboard.

    "Not really."

    "Okay. Well, I have a few more tests to run before I can send you back to your room." Ein put the clipboard down onto the floor as he left the room. After a few seconds, the man returned, carrying several syringes, each filled with a small dose of a liquid. He hurriedly cleaned Ashley's arm with an alcohol swab, before administering a total of six injections into his subject's arm. "Okay, in about half an hour, you are going to experience a burning sensation at each of the injection sites. Swelling may also be present. During this waiting period, I will keep you under observation. Afterwards, we will begin testing." Ein turned away from Ashley, observing one of the various monitors his subject had been hooked up to.

    ***

    Wes, Rui, and Eldes were greeted outside by the hot Orre sun. "So... Here we go..." Wes muttered, the slightest hint of a smile on his face.

    "Wes, we should probably find someplace to stay." Rui said.

    "Don't worry about that. We'll stay in the Relic Forest." Wes responded after a brief moment of thought.

    "What? The most heavily guarded place in Orre?" Rui asked in disbelief. "Cipher will kill us!"

    "They only have one entrance guarded. There's a different way in. We just go in the other way."

    "But why? Cipher can just waltz in there anytime they want!" Rui exclaimed.

    "Not where we're staying. The Relic Forest is larger than you think, Rui. I lived there for a few months after we beat Cipher. We can find food easily there, as well as water. Not to mention, there's shade there as well."

    "True, but, that was after Cipher was gone. You don't know if they've found out anything about that part of the Relic Forest."

    "Well, Rui, we'll have to find out for ourselves, won't we?" Wes sneered.

    "I'd rather not die."

    "The part of the forest I was in was far away from the Relic Stone. The only reason I even knew it was the Relic Forest was because I found the Relic Stone while I was walking around one day. Besides, Cipher has no reason to guard the whole damn forest." Wes started to walk away from Rui and Eldes.

    "Rui... It's best not to cause problems. Let's just follow him. If we get killed, it's his fault." Eldes quietly urged, beginning to follow Wes.

    Rui silently agreed.

    ***

    Ashley entered her room, exhausted. She took the small trashcan next to the desk and placed it next to her bed, concerned that she was going to vomit.

    After a few minutes of laying down, the door opened, revealing Terra.

    "Hey." Terra casually sighed.

    "...What do you want?" Ashley responded, her voice weak yet harsh.

    "I just wanted to talk. You feeling alright?"

    "No... Ein gave me seven injections today. I just feel like something's off..."

    "Oh, don't worry. Ein cares too much about your welfare to kill you, at least on purpose."

    "Certainly doesn't seem like it when he's given you seven... injections..." Ashley tried to position her face over the trashcan as she vomited, missing the basket slightly.

    "Oh, so you really are sick..." Terra remarked. "Uh... I'll get Ein." The young woman rushed out of the room, neglecting to close the door behind her.

    ***

    Maxie and Andrea stepped into the armory, with Eric being dragged along by Andrea's telekinesis. Maxie scowled at the display of countless weapons, while Andrea looked at them with pride.

    Andrea donned a bulletproof vest she had placed at the entrance. After she was sure it was securely placed on her torso, she put on a pair of thick gauntlets and a pair of leggings. After those were secure, she placed a thick, tight- fitting metal necklace around her neck. After she was satisfied with her armor, she rushed over to a pair of dimly lit tables in the center of the room, allowing full view of each weapon. The tables were obviously meant to hold a human to it, if the well- worn leather straps attached to them were to be believed. Each table had its fair share of blood spattered on it. She dropped a trembling Eric onto one of them, adjusting the straps in order to hold the man securely to the table.

    "So, I have the perfect thing for this guy." Andrea remarked after she was finished strapping Eric to the table.

    "Oh, please, do tell." Maxie's voice was brimming with sarcasm.

    Andrea giggled happily as she ran over to the rack of swords on the other side of the room. After examining the swords on the rack, she picked out a rather large one, the worn handle plated with gold and silver. The large blade was dyed a deep brownish color from the sheer amount of blood it had drawn out of its victims. She rushed the blade over to Maxie. "Here you go." She said excitedly, handing the blade off to Maxie. "I used this to make my first kill. My father started me out with swords. He says they are the hardest weapons to master. I'm starting you off easy. Just stab him. Straight through the heart. Shouldn't be too difficult, especially given how heavy the blade is." Andrea smiled as she gestured for Maxie to follow her. Maxie reluctantly began to walk over to the table.

    "Maxie!" Andrea called, her voice suddenly frantic. "Get over here! Eric has escaped!"

    "What!" Maxie gasped, a slight smile on his face. He bounded over to the table, careful not to stab himself with the sword. Sure enough, both tables were empty.

  25. #25

    Default

    Into the Shadows

    Chapter 11- Kidnapped

    Wes walked through the sweltering desert, with Rui and Eldes following close behind. They had been walking for about half an hour and the Shadow Pokemon Lab was just barely visible over the horizon.

    "I still don't know how this isn't going to get us killed." Rui remarked to herself.

    Wes stopped in his tracks. "Rui... We went on something like this before. The only difference now is that Cipher's more dangerous then they were nine years ago. Sure, we might die. But it's not a fact. Yet. We just have to be a little bit more careful than we were nine years ago. Besides, you seemed pretty trusting of me in Phenac back then."

    "My life wasn't at stake then!" Rui shot back.

    "It was. Cipher could have killed us just as easily. They just weren't as open with it as Andrea is. It was really only known to Cipher members at the time, but Nascour was like Andrea, if not even more sadistic. Not as trigger happy, though." Wes paused. "Gonzap and Dakim took care of that..." He cringed slightly.

    "Who's Gonzap?" Eldes interjected.

    "Wes' old boss." Rui replied flatly.

    "It's more complicated than that." Wes sighed. "He was more like... a..." Wes trailed off, recounting the painful memories of his childhood with the man. "...A father... of sorts."

    "What do you mean, 'of sorts'?" Eldes asked, confused.

    "He wasn't the... best... father." Wes began walking, feebly hoping that this would shut Eldes up.

    "What did he do?" Eldes quickly caught up to Wes. Rui quickly stepped in when she noticed Wes' aura flare up at the question.

    "...Perhaps this is not the best time to ask that..." She chuckled nervously, turning to Wes. "So, when are we going to stop to rest? The Relic Forest should be pretty far away from here..."

    "We stop when we get to the oasis surrounding Agate. Shouldn't be more than a few hours longer."

    "Wait, don't we have Pokemon that can fly us there?" Eldes asked.

    "Yes, but they won't obey us outside of battle. Or unless we tell them to attack." Wes said dryly.

    "What about Espeon? Can't he teleport us to the Relic Forest?" Rui chimed in.

    "No, Ein got a hold of him while I couldn't move for those few months. Umbreon as well." Wes groaned.

    "I guess that means the only pure Pokemon we have, then, is my Plusle." Rui stated. "Which is of no use right now."

    "Well, then, we'll just have to walk. We can be there before sundown if we move fast." Wes stated as he continued walking.

    Eldes looked off into the distance, back towards the place they came from, smiling as it disappeared over the horizon. However, his relief was short- lived as he saw a blurry figure appear over the horizon, advancing towards the three.

    "W- Wes? Rui?" He called, his voice wavering.

    "What is it?" Rui sighed as she turned around, also noticing the advancing figure.

    "I- I think there's someone coming for us."

    "Oh, don't worry. We have our Pokemon." Wes smirked.

    "What if they have a gun?" Rui asked.

    "They won't use it."

    "Why?"

    "I don't think Ein was done with us yet."

    "And? What does that change?"

    "Ein still wants us alive. Andrea probably wants to keep Ein happy, so she'll bring us back alive for him. That's why you're still alive, Rui." Wes began to get agitated.

    "Ein can still clone us."

    "Yes, but he needs our blood. Not going to do him much good if our bodies are out here. Especially if our blood is leaking out from bullet wounds. Look, if we get captured, we use our Pokemon to escape. Shouldn't be too hard seeing as it's three against one."

    "What should we do?" Eldes interjected.

    "Wait until they get here. Then we see what they want."

    "What if they kill us on sight?" Rui demanded.

    Wes chuckled. "Wouldn't they do it right now? We're practically inviting them to kill us. Besides, I think they've seen us, so killing us on sight is out of the question."

    Rui sighed. "Fine. If they kill me, it's your fault."

    The figure was finally close enough to allow Eldes to distinguish its features: It was masculine, with rather lean facial features. The man looked tired, but determined. Eldes began walking towards the man.

    "Eldes? What the hell are you doing?" Rui asked in disbelief.

    "I'm going to see what he's doing out here. If he kills me, so be it."

    "What? Are you out of your ****ing mind?" Rui snapped.

    "No." Eldes said, before walking over to the man, now only a few feet away from the three.

    "Who are you people?" The man asked, out of breath.

    Rui laughed. "Like you don't know. Surely you've seen us around Cipher's headquarters."

    "I'm sorry, but, no... I've never seen you." The man heaved.

    "Funny." Rui's eyes narrowed, suspicious of the man.

    "I've never seen any of you three. I've only recently... encountered... Cipher." The man said.

    "What's your name?" Rui imposed.

    "Eric Huluda." The man stated.

    ***

    Ein sat next to Ashley's bed, examining the injections on Ashley's arm while she lied awake, occasionally vomiting into the trashcan beside her bed, which was nearly a third of the way full of the bile that had accumulated of the past hour. Terra stood at the other side of the room, a concerned look on her face.

    "Is Ashie going to be alright?" Terra asked, her eyes watering slightly.

    "It's too early to see. It really could go either way at this point." Ein stated.

    Terra ran over to Ein. "How likely is it that she dies?"

    "I would say that it is about fifty- fifty at this point. I just need to figure out what is causing this." Ein turned to Ashley. "What other symptoms do you have?"

    "Nothing really... I've just been throwing up..." Ashley's voice was weak.

    "Okay." Ein turned to Terra. "Terra, I need you to observe Ashley for a little while while I go get something."

    "...Okay." Terra said, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

    ***

    Eldes, Rui, and Wes stood facing Eric, with Wes being sure to keep one hand on a Poke Ball at all times. Eric had been explaining what transpired between himself, Maxie, and Andrea.

    Rui eyed Eric suspiciously. "So, you're saying that Andrea didn't tie the straps tight enough? I find that hard to believe."

    "She didn't. I was able to get out of the straps rather quickly. Didn't help her that they were worn down either. I just needed to get one hand free, and I got out of the ropes easily."

    "Okay, Eric." Rui sneered. "If you're here to take us back to Headquarters, just do it now."

    "I'm not!" Eric snapped. "I was just trying to find my way back to Hoenn. It was pure chance I even encountered you three. Now, if you would kindly step aside, I'll be on my way."

    "No." Wes stated boldly. "You're coming with us."

    "What the hell!" Rui and Eric said, almost in unison.

    "He can help us. We need all the help we can get." Wes retorted.

    "And what if he is really part of Cipher?" Rui asked harshly.

    "Simple. He tries anything funny, he dies."

    "Why the hell don't I have a say in this?" Eric asked, a worried look on his face.

    "Because, if you go back to Hoenn, you go back to Team Magma, who will ask you about us. Word gets back to Cipher, we're dead. And, if you're a Cipher member, you go back to Andrea, and she kills us. Also, if you're telling the truth at all, once you go back to Team Magma, they'll extract every bit of information that they can from you. Then they kill you. Then word about us gets back to Cipher, and we're dead." Not giving him any time to react, Wes walked up to Eric, tightly grabbing one of his arms as they began walking into the desert again. Eric resisted, out of a desire to see his home once more, as well as a fear for his life. However, Wes' grip was proving to be tighter than the ropes he had been bound in earlier. "Hey, anyone have some rope?" Wes asked casually, already beginning to grow tired of Eric's squirming.

    "No, sorry." Eldes responded, just as casual.

    "Isn't this, you know, illegal?" Eric asked, trying to wrench his arm free.

    "Orre has very little laws." Rui indicated. "Besides, according to you, you were an enemy of Cipher. Since they're the government around here, I don't think they care about you so much, aside from wanting you dead."

    "Okay, we can save all of this talk for when we get to Agate." Wes said, still maintaining his grip on Eric's arm. "Hey, Eldes? Could you grab onto his other arm? We've got a while to go, and I don't want to risk him escaping because I let my grip slip."

    "Yeah, sure." Eldes did as Wes told him.

    "Why the hell are you so damn adamant on making me come with you?" Eric spat, giving up on trying to escape.

    "Because you can't be trusted." Wes replied flatly.

    ***

    "How could he have escaped? I did the damn straps tight enough..." Andrea groaned, examining the worn leather straps attached to the table.

    "Perhaps they are too worn down?" Maxie replied, testing the straps, finding them to be slightly elastic.

    "How extensively do you train your grunts in escaping?" Andrea asked, dismissing Maxie's statement.

    "Usually not too much. Team Aqua never really captured anyone unless they needed to find out something."

    "Okay, so, what would one of them do in a situation like this?"

    "It depends on how easy the situation is to get out of. Usually if the situation is hopeless, we tell them to give up. Obviously, Eric had some confidence in his escaping abilities."

    "Okay." Andrea thought for a moment. "Now, this man was under Terra?"

    "I believe so."

    "Okay, you wait here. I'm going to get Terra." Andrea said as a pink glow enveloped her. After she disappeared, Maxie glared at the display of weapons before him in disgust.

    ***

    Terra sat on the floor next to Ashley's bed. "You'll be fine, Ashie. I know it." She said, though she did not believe it fully.

    Ashley acknowledged the statement with a weak nod.

    The door swung open as Ein hastily entered, carrying two vials of liquid as well as two syringes. He walked over to Ashley and hastily drew liquid from one of the vials, quickly injecting it into Ashley's arm. Immediately an intense wave of pain shot over Ashley's body, causing her to let out a small whimper, all her body could manage in its current state. Noticing this, Terra shot up off of the floor.

    "Ashie? You okay?" She asked, a concerned look on her face.

    "She's fine." Ein replied. "Just in pain. I just injected her with a chemical to neutralize the compound that is causing this. The only downside is that it causes extreme pain once it enters the body."

    "Don't you have a less painful alternative?" Terra retorted.

    "This is the only thing I had on hand. I developed this a few years back with Andrea. She used it for interrogations. It causes pain, but there is no lasting damage. It just happens to effectively neutralize the compound causing Ashley so much distress."

    Ashley whimpered again as more pain wracked her body.

    "Are you sure she'll be okay?" Terra asked gently.

    "Yes. She will." Ein reassured. Then, a flash of pink light appeared in the room as Andrea materialized in front of Terra. She wordlessly grabbed onto Terra's arm as the two were enveloped in a pink light, materializing in Andrea's office.

    "What the hell?" Terra questioned harshly.

    "Terra, I'm sorry for taking you here on such short notice." Andrea said, insincere. "But I need to talk to you about something. Does the name Eric Huluda seem at all familiar to you?"

    "Yes... He was one of my grunts." Terra said bitterly. "Why do you ask?"

    "What was he like? Did he ever cause trouble?"

    "He was a little... overenthusiastic sometimes. But other than that, he was okay."

    "Okay. Would it surprise you if I said that he came looking for you?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "Well, a few months ago, a few Cipher grunts intercepted a man named Eric Huluda. I was intending to have him killed today-"

    "What!" Terra interrupted. "What the **** did he do?"

    "He was attempting to overthrow Cipher." Andrea replied flatly.

    "How do you know he was going to do that?" Terra spat.

    "The grunts said that they intercepted him in the records room, reading something."

    "And? Did they ever find out what he was reading?" Terra demanded.

    "No. Grunts are told to assume the worst when they see suspicious activity."

    "So you kill someone because there was a small chance that they could be conspiring against Cipher?"

    "It's better to err on the safe side." Andrea paused. "However, that's not why I brought you here. Eric has escaped."

    Terra chuckled. "He escaped? From what?"

    "I strapped him to a table. Maxie said that I didn't tie him tight enough."

    "Now what do you want me to do about it?"

    "You're the reason Eric came here in the first place. After you didn't come back from your mission with us, he became worried and came here. Then the grunts intercepted him in the records room. I need you to bring him back, so that we can... clear things up between us."

    "How? I don't know where he is."

    "You lure him back. He obviously wants to know if you're safe, so, we'll put you in a staged dangerous situation, and Eric will come running back to save you. Then we proceed as planned with him."

    "Fine." Terra said after a long moment's thought.

    "Great. Come with me." Andrea smiled as she got out of her chair, exiting her office. Terra followed closely behind.

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