Author's Note: Spoiler:- Notes: Prologue:
As one is want to do, a telephone rang in a family room. It was a simple phone, sitting in its cordless receiver on the wall. The house wasn’t that elegant either, and showed signs of a family living in it in the form of papers here and there, a few sweatshirts draped where it was handier than getting the heat turned up or down, and a general lived-in dishevelment. The trainer occupying this house had just gotten home from caring for the ranch Pokémon on a late shift, his wife was in the kitchen, preparing something in the way of a dessert and a surprise. Across his lap purred away an Espeon, while an Umbreon enjoyed an ear-scratching from the arm-rest of the sofa.
At the first ring of the phone, the Espeon’s ears twitched, and feeling her trainer shift, she slid sleepily off his lap and onto the cushion.
“Sorry, Sunbeam, I should get this.”
The Umbreon, being much more awake at this time of the night, decided to get up at the second ring, and do whatever it is that cat-like species of Pokémon do unseen.
Third ring, and I made it over to the table the phone set upon.
<"Glover."> The voice on the other end spoke. A darker voice, still somewhat maturing, was on the other end. A voice I hadn't heard for some time. <"my apologies for bothering you Glover, but I need some outside assistance.">
"Wes! You’re never a bother. It’s good to hear you. How are things?"
<"No time. I'm on an old phone line, in an abandoned Port. When they see this line active, they'll cut it too. Hoenn's locked down, Glover. Maxie and Archie are free, wor-"> CLICK! The line died, and was replaced by a buzz of the dial tone.
Wes always kept to himself. He and Rui were quite content on the edge of the main island of Hoenn, or wherever out of civilization put them. Or rather, he was happy being away from people, and she followed him blindly and lovingly.
That lone sentence he got out though had made me quite worried. So I made a long-distance call to Indigo, Kanto.
"Hello, Lance. Have you got a minute?”
<"Sure Glover, what can I do you for?">
"I just got a call from Wes in Hoenn. You remember him. Blonde, sharp blue jacket a bunch of us copied, blew up a base in the Orre Desert."
Over the handset of the analog phone, Lance made a sound a bit like a motorboat spurting half in the water, possibly spitting out his drink. <"Where?”> He asked incredulously. <”How?">
"Why?" I puzzled.
<"they don't tell you a whole lot out in the desert do they? Hoenn's been out of contact for some time. Stuff goes in, comes out empty, or is turned away. No one's talked for weeks, and there's a weather pattern to beat the end of the world.">
"Which makes sense. He said something about Maxie and Archie being free."
Lance made that sputtering sound again.
"You said something about a weather pattern. Where are the Rayquaza?"
<Not sure. I know from my Dragonmaster contacts that we're missing at least one. There've been reports from the International Space Station though, that the others are giving Hoenn an extremely wide berth.">
"That's odd. Are you heading over there?"
<"I'm working on it. But we've never seen this before. If Archie's out, then this could very well mean that Kyogre is active, and that's an even bigger concern. Kanto doesn't want to get involved in anything, and anyway it’s just too far for them to justify. I'm trying to get out of here, but with my reputation, and I don't have any Hoenn Native Pokémon…"> He might have well said what was on his mind: "I could really use you, an outsider."
"I tell you what. I got a call in, maybe I can get a spy out."
<"What do you have in mind?">
"Not what, who. You forget; I have a Rotom."
Grabbing a white and red-stripe trimmed ball from the recharge rack, I popped him out, and told the little orange light bulb looking Pokémon my plan; namely, going through a phone line. Moto jumped into my computer and typed out a reply.
I'll need a booster shot.
"We can arrange that."
A small flash, and Moto was back out of my computer, waiting impatiently until I lead an Electivire back into the house. Zaprong had been a powerhouse of mine since the second Cipher incident, until I formally retired my competitive team. He gave Rotom his booster shot directly, then grabbed a phone cord, plugging it into his tail to charge the line and try to make the trip into the phone network easier for Moto.
It didn't take Moto long to return. He popped back into my computer, and since I had to hang up from Lance to allow him passage, I opened up a caht program on the computer, which he used to to relay info both of us.
I couldn't get a lot. They had three Porygon in the digital system, I couldn't step out of the old system. The populace are in camps, one in Mauville, another in Fortree. Probably more. Checkpoints on major roads, don't know where. It's a lockdown.
Porygon; this meant someone behind these two teams had some brain. The software Pokémon are by their nature unable to leave the digital realm for a mechanical one. As long as it utilizes digital commands, Porygon and their evolutions can manipulate it. By contrast, Rotom are mechanical creatures. They can live in cyberspace, even stop and send impulses, but they are not by their nature able to manipulate coding. In a lot of cases, the two are isolated by this feature, much like two sides of a coin that touch but do not interact unless Rotom choose to cross into the digitized plane. At key points though, such as this one where VOIP meets old school telephone cables, can be a crucial ambush point.
Thanks Glover. Lance e-mailed back.
About that time, I turned around and found my wife wondering why an Electivire had hold of our phone cord. I gave her the short version. A look of worry spread across.
"It's that bad?"
"Sounds like it." I wasn't going to tell her though, that we had no idea how bad. I also left out the part about the storm deities, though Cayna was a smart girl and probably could make the jump from “escaped criminals” to “region-wide lockdown” fairly quickly. "You're worried about your family in Verdenturf, aren't you? I’m sure they're fine."
"I know that line, I used it when we were saving the kids from the wreckage of the Under’s collapse, if you'll recall. And yes, I am." I gave her a re-assuring hug, which she returned, but with a message.
"I think you should go check this out." She whispered in my ear.
"I can't up and leave my family. The world has its saviors."
"Yes, and you're one of them, at least you were for a time. If this blows up, you'll wish you had been there. I know you wanted to get in on Omega; that you've missed the traveling about."
"Well, yes, but we had our own world to protect, and she's still my priority, as are you. I’ve got my time coming, this one is for being settled down."
"Glover, Let me put it to you this way. If ANYTHING happens to my sister and her family..."
She had regretted moving out to here, she’d grown up in Sinnoh, her folks both no longer with us, but those of her relatives still around were on the other side of the globe from her. "Ultimatum received. I'll get Janie tucked in, explain it, and start packing."
"Janie understands it perfectly." My afore-mentioned world said in the same vocal patterns as a childhood friend of hers. "Daddy's gonna go be a Superhero again." Behind the little girl, a Lillipup bounced happily on its paws
Children, how do you deny them such innocent wisdom?
"Yes, I suppose so. And you'll be a brave little girl for me, look out for Mom, and I'll be back with new stories for bedtime, okay? And don't forget Tally if you get scared."
‘Arf arf’ from the little dog, reassuringly.
"I'll be," She caught herself out of her character, "er, Janie will be fine, Dad. She'll protect Mom."
It truly was re-assuring that the family was behind me on this. I just hoped that hiding under the third person wasn’t too much of a front for her.
"Well good then. Come on, Hoenn's got enough time for a little girl's bedtime story." Her pokéball patterned pajamas marched up to bed to be ready for me.
I spent the evening throwing stuff together. I’d never torn my old Trainer Bag down, though some things had been taken out that I needed, put someplace that I’d remember needing to back into my bag, and then promptly lost. Cay helped rip up the study to find things at ten PM, but by midnight, she had to go to bed so she’d be good for school teaching tomorrow. By three AM, the Garage yielded the last of my lost things, the old red tent I’d won. I also discovered the solution to one of life’s great mysteries: Where do cat Pokémon go when we don’t see them? Moonlight the Umbreon was behind a workbench munching on, well, I’m not sure what it was he’d caught, and I certainly wasn’t interested in finding out. Suffice to say he was getting much more enjoyment out of his kill than I certainly was, and that he was saving Cay and I on pest control. I fell into bed exhausted after that, stared at the back of my eyelids, and slapped the alarm clock three hours later.
“You’ve got everything?” She asked me as I stumbled into the kitchen doorframe.
She straightened the lapels on my jacket. “You know what you’re doing, right?”
“Not a clue.”That got a dark looking stare of death. “Outside of going in, running intel, and leaving, taking and saving as many people as I can and leaving a large hole for others to go through.”
“That’s the right answer. You just be good and hurry home, okay dear?”
“Of course. I kissed her cheek, and started to leave before the pitter patter of little feet on the carpeted stairs told me to wait for Janie.