Sorry I have not updated in so long. But we're moved and finally completely settled, so from now on you'll be able to read the story at my usual pace of about one chapter every week and a half. As always, reviews are welcome for those of you who have time to do it, and thanks to all of you for reading!
Dorian was wondering what it would be like to pull his brain out through his forehead.
What brought the thought to the surface of his mind was his attempt to quell the vicious headache he had by pushing his fingers as hard as he could against his forehead. As the pressure against his skull increased, the queer thought of pulling his brain out occurred to him. If he could somehow phase his fingers through his skull and pull it out, what would his brain look like? Moist? Dry? Would each section be labeled? Would he see Ethan, Shelton, Ronnie? If he was able to examine his brain would he be able to figure out what he was supposed to do?
“What are you doing?” Shelton’s voice rang.
His concentration broken, he uttered, “Just thinking.”
“Okay, well, just don’t push too hard unless you want to lobotomize yourself.”
“Thanks for the tip,” Dorian said, looking her up and down.
Shelton had her traveling pack slung over one shoulder, her blond hair pulled in a loose braid over the other. A form fitting, knee length blue sundress clung to her body as she floated down the stairs. Golduck lazily clambered down behind her, the shade of his plumage matching her clothing almost exactly.
“Really?” Dorian asked.
“That’s what you’re wearing?”
“What’s wrong with it?” Shelton questioned.
“Nothing really, it’s just that we’re traveling to Orre on an international manhunt to find and citizenly arrest the man who killed our uncle, and you look like you’re on your way to a party.”
“Citizenly?” Shelton laughed.
“It’s a word!”
“Oh Christ I know it’s a word, but Dorian it’s not like we’re going to run into him at the airport. Hell, he may not even be on the same continent. I look nice and I feel comfortable, so get over it.”
“All I’m saying is that it might compromise your attack readiness.”
As quick as he could, Dorian snagged a magazine from the cocktail table and hurled it at her. The magazine blossomed open like a flower as it sailed through the air, obscuring him from her vision. Dorian sprang forward and closed the distance between them with speed that surprised him, his fist drawn back and clenched. Unfortunately, he wasn’t nearly fast enough. Before he realized what had happened he was on the floor with both knees and each shoulder throbbing painfully.
Shelton had barely moved from her original position, but was now holding two asps in front of her face in the shape of a cross. Almost three feet long when extended and made from segmented steel, her two weapons were formidable enough in unskilled hands, but much more so considering that she held two degrees in combat with them. With a snort Shelton pressed two small buttons on each of the batons, collapsing them back into themselves. She lifted the bottom of her dress and returned them to each of the thigh holsters she was wearing. She cocked her head sideways, a small grin etched on her face.
“I tripped,” Dorian explained.
“I saw that.”
“Anyway, have you figured out what you’re going to do with that Spoink you caught?”
“I was going to ask what you thought,” Dorian said as he picked himself up off the floor.
“Well, you need to figure it out before we leave. Obviously most Pokemon are going to be unruly after they’ve been caught, but that Spoink pretty much tried to kill you. You’re either taking it with you or releasing it. You need to decide.”
“I know. On one hand I’m not really in the mood to try and train it, but at the same time it’s pretty strong. It lifted me up and tossed me like it was nothing. I wouldn’t mind having something like that on my team, but I’m not sure that it won’t try and maim me once I let it out again.”
“How about this,” Shelton started. “We’ll release everyone then call the Spoink out and figure out whether it wants to be trained or not.”
“That’s inspired,” Dorian responded. “We could surround it and make sure it doesn’t try and throw me to Hoenn.”
“We have about six hours before we need to check in at Cerulean International, so how about we just do it now?”
“Alright, you get the rest of the gang and I’ll meet you outside.”
Dorian pulled himself up from the sofa with a groan, not looking forward to the thought of being tossed around like a ragdoll again. Bright sunlight blinded him as he opened the door. With a yelp and a flash he pulled on his sunglasses. Bright, so bright. The sun had no mercy at all. Did the celestial ball of molten plasma not realize he was still nursing a hangover? The grass on the front yard was baked yellow and brown, a cruel reminder that summer was still hanging on even though it was halfway through October. The porch behind him lit up brightly as he and Shelton’s Pokemon we’re released, adding to the awfulness of the brightness situation. Shuppet floated, Growlithe sprinted, and Machoke carefully walked down the stairs alongside Nuzleaf and Vibrava. After they were assembled in the front yard, Dorian called for attention.
“As all of you know we’re leaving for Orre today and I’m trying to decide on whether to take the Spoink I caught with me. You guys are going to surround it and I’m going to release it. You have my permission to beat the shit out of it if it attempts to attack any of us,” Dorian explained.
They nodded the best they could in agreement. Taking a breath and uttering a silent prayer, Dorian withdrew the Spoink’s pokeball and released the psychic Pokemon into the newly formed circle of guards. The Pokemon materialized in a flash of white light, particles of energy dancing off the bodies of the Pokemon circling it. Immediately after forming the Spoink started bobbing rapidly up and down, only to stop once it saw the threatening looks all around it.
“Spoink, oink oink!” the Pokemon shouted angrily.
“Did you catch that?” Shelton called from the porch.
“Nope, I’ve actually never heard Spoink before so I’m not sure.
“Spoink, spo, oink oink, Spo!” the small creature bellowed louder.
“Can one of you guys translate?” Dorian called.
At the sound of his voice the Spoink turned his attention to Dorian and glared. He didn’t believe in transference of emotion on the physical plane, but he could swear that the psychic Pokemon was trying to saw him in half with its eyes. It started to glow when it saw the pokeball clutched in Dorian’s hand but the aura quickly evaporated when it saw the glares of the assembled Pokemon around it.
“Spo-oink, Spoink, Spoink!”
“Nuzleaf?” Dorian asked.
“Nunuz, Nuzleaf nuz, Nuzleaf leaf Nuz,” Nuzleaf explained.
“I wasn’t fair, I cheated?” Dorian repeated.
”Spoink Oink!” the Spoink affirmed.
“Nuzleaf, leaf!” Nuzleaf said, throwing up his hands.
“I caught it unfairly?” Dorian questioned.
“He also said that it was asleep in the bushes. Did you catch that?” Shelton asked.
“Yeah,” Dorian said.
He approached the circled group of Pokemon and bent down low to look the Spoink in the eye.
“Will you let me be your trainer?”
“Nuzleaf?” Dorian asked.
“Nuzleaf, nuz,” Nuzleaf repeated.
“Okay then, what can I do to make you want to come with us?”
“Spoink, oink oink, spo, Spoink!!” the psychic Pokemon exclaimed.
“Nuzleaf, nunuz, Nuzleaf Nuz,” Nuzleaf translated.
“So apparently you have to catch it honorably?” Shelton asked.
Dorian breathed in. No real harm could come to him with all of the Pokemon around. He had heard stories of prideful Pokemon like this before, one’s that refused to listen unless they were caught after being bested in battle. The Spoink was obviously powerful, and though Dorian had never owned a psychic type, he knew that it would be good against Ethan once they finally confronted him. Dorian was caught between not wanting to bother with it and also wanting to have an extra member on his team. He decided quickly, not wanting the Spoink to think of him as weak for taking his time.
“Will you listen to me if I beat you fairly?” Dorian asked.
“Spoink!” the Pokemon exclaimed, bouncing up and down vigorously.
Dorian needed no translation. Nuzleaf was the obvious choice with his dark type movepool, but Vibrava had the advantage of being able to fly. Growlithe was still too new for Dorian to be able to trust, and even though any of Shelton’s Pokemon would fight for him if he asked, he was more comfortable using his own.
“All of you back away,” Dorian commanded. “Nuzleaf, you’re up.”
“Nunuz!” his Pokemon cried excitedly.
Dorian pressed the button on his Pokeflect and his body glowed blue as the energy from the device expanded. His Pokemon and Shelton’s retreated to the porch to make room as Nuzleaf took up position in front of Dorian. The Spoink started hopping angrily up and down, psyching itself up for what was about to come. Mother Nature decided at that point to blow a quick breeze across the city, amplifying the showdown feel of the moment. Nuzleaf was twitching with anticipation, his hands opening and closing in eagerness. Choosing to take the first move, Dorian shouted, “Bullet seed!”
Before the words left his lips, Nuzleaf was already sprinting forward, a pale yellow glow emanating from his mouth. He closed the distance between them quickly and released a barrage of glowing pellets from his mouth that flew straight towards the psychic type. The Spoink responded to the attack by bouncing straight up into the air, passing high above Nuzleaf and the attack. Nuzleaf slid to a stop as the Spoink came back down, and cried out as the Pokemon telekinetically grabbed Nuzleaf’s attack out of the air and hurled it back at him. The pellets struck Nuzleaf full in the chest and flipped him backwards towards Dorian. Just as Nuzleaf regained his footing he was sprinting forward again.
“Faint attack!” Dorian roared.
Nuzleaf took a high jump forward and landed on his hands only to shove himself to the Spoink’s right just as a hearty purple glow started taking shape around the psychic Pokemon. Nuzleaf vanished in a flash of black light, causing the Spoink’s glow to flicker and its eyes to widen. Nuzleaf reappeared behind the Spoink and ran forward. Whether the psychic type felt his presence come back into the world or just heard Nuzleaf’s feet pounding the ground, Dorian didn’t know, but the Spoink bounced up high again and spun, shooting three globules of purple energy directly at Nuzleaf. Just as the balls of energy closed to within a few feet of Nuzleaf, his body glowed black again and he vanished, immediately appearing in the air beside the Spoink and tackling it to the ground.
The Pokemon landed heavily on the gravel below sending up small sprays of rock in every direction. With its stubby arms and lack of legs the Spoink was quickly overpowered by Nuzleaf and pinned to the ground.
“Pound!” Dorian called.
Nuzleaf’s right fist flashed white and he drove his clenched hand repeatedly into the belly of the Spoink. The psychic Pokemon tried to roll left and then right to escape, but Nuzleaf had the advantage of weight and kept the Pokemon firmly planted beneath him. The Spoink started moaning in pain and frustration as Nuzleaf started slamming his fist into its stomach harder and harder. Suddenly, a sharp purple glow took the shape of a shield between the two Pokemon. Nuzleaf’s punches stopped connecting and he was forced back up into a standing position. The Spoink sprang back upright and started spastically bobbing up and down again. The glowing shield of energy widened itself and flipped Nuzleaf over, and before Dorian could call out, the shield started bouncing him up and down against the gravel.
“Spoink, Oink!” the psychic Pokemon cackled.
“You look like a bobble head!” Dorian screamed at the Pokemon, hoping to distract the psychic type and buy Nuzleaf some time.
The ploy worked as Dorian hoped, and as the Spoink turned towards Dorian to glare, Nuzleaf was able to get his feet underneath him and jump upwards while swinging a heavy wooden fist above his head. The shield that was bouncing him up and down shattered explosively upward, sending glowing shards in all directions; they hit the ground with sharp clinks and evaporated as they rolled.
“Nuzleaf!” Nuzleaf screamed.
He took a jump forward and released another bullet seed attack, this one glowing brighter than the last. Despite his best efforts though, the result was the same. The Spoink used the power of its mind to stop the glowing pellets in the air and send them back toward Nuzleaf. Fortunately though Nuzleaf ran forward to meet the attack and dove underneath it, the pellets passing inches above his body.
“Nuzleaf, line up in front of me!” Dorian called, wanting to test a theory. As Nuzleaf leapt backwards and positioned himself properly, Dorian yelled again. “Do another bullet seed and get ready to dodge it!”
Nuzleaf followed his orders exactly and began charging the required energy in his mouth. The Spoink stayed rooted to the spot in anticipation. With amber energy trickling from the corners of his mouth, Nuzleaf threw his head back and darted forward. The glittering attack split through the air like a knife and arced straight towards the Spoink. Just like before however, the psychic Pokemon caught the attack and held it above its head. With a bob and a small bounce, the Spoink wrapped the bullet seed in a purple ball of energy and sent it back at Nuzleaf.
“Dodge it and faint attack!” Dorian yelled.
Just as the double ball of energy would have reached Nuzleaf, he did a split and missed being struck. Nuzleaf vanished on the spot and reappeared about ten yards to the Spoink’s right. The Pokemon growled at each other and Nuzleaf sprinted forward with his fists clenched. The ball of energy and bullet seed kept traveling after Nuzleaf dodged it, and came straight for Dorian, just like he intended. Taking a step back then forward, Dorian spiked the glowing orb like volleyball, his Pokeflect protecting his body and sending it in the opposite direction with even more velocity. The Spoink cried out in pain as the attack connected and it was sent flipping down the road, smoke trailing from its body.
Nuzleaf followed the injured Pokemon and drew back a fist as he got close. The psychic type growled softly as he approached, but offered no further resistance when Nuzleaf planted one foot on its chest and called out to Dorian.
Dorian deactivated his Pokeflect and strode forward. He pulled out the Spoink’s Pokeball as he walked, impressed by his own cleverness. The Spoink squirmed out from beneath Nuzleaf’s foot and stared at Dorian as he approached. The familiar hate was still there but it seemed to Dorian that it lessened slightly. Well maybe not, but at least the Spoink didn’t look like it wanted him drawn and quartered. It would probably be okay with having the skin on one of his fingers flayed off, but Dorian thought he was relatively safe now.
“So, are you going to let me train you?” Dorian asked.
“Spo. Spoink,” the Pokemon said, hanging its head low.
“Nicely done,” Dorian complimented, returning his now battle decided capture.
“Nunuz, Nuzleaf, nuz,” Nuzleaf complained. Dorian’s grass Pokemon bent over and retched onto the ground. After dry heaving for a few moments his Pokemon stood up erect and wiped a bit of sap away that was oozing from his mouth.
“You okay?” Dorian asked.
“Nunuz,” Nuzleaf nodded.
“You want to go inside your ball for awhile? I’m planning on taking you both by the Pokemon Center before we leave.”
“Nuzleaf, leaf nunuz.”
“Alright man, well how about you go to my room and take it easy for a bit.”
“Nuzleaf,” the grass type agreed, turning back towards the house.
“Hey,” Dorian called.
“That was pretty damn impressive, buddy. Thanks.”
Nuzleaf smiled in return and climbed up the steps to go back inside. He paused long enough to get a couple congratulatory claps on the back from Shelton and their Pokemon, and then swung the door shut behind him as he went inside.
The wind died down as Dorian gripped Spoink’s pokeball tight. A cloud passed in front of the sun and the ground around him darkened, relieving his body from the burning rays. He had done it on the Spoink’s terms and he had won. Well, Nuzleaf had been the one fighting but that was beside the point. Nuzleaf had looked good while doing it though and he had taken a hell of a beating doing so.
“Nicely done, buddy,” Dorian whispered to himself with a smile.
“Believe me,” Shelton started. “I’m not trying to further inflate your already monstrous ego, but that was pretty impressive.”
“Hah, thanks. I thought that the Spoink would stick to its pattern and it did, it was its own fault.”
“Regardless, it was pretty smart. You figure out whether it’s a male or female?”
“No, but I’m hoping that the Pokemon Center will be able to tell me. I’m not exactly an expert on Spoink physiology.”
“Well anyway, we have to be checked into Cerulean two hours before our flight leaves, which leaves about three hours and some change until we need to be there.”
“Yeah, we’re pretty much packed and we have all of the Pokemon’s documentation, right?”
“Everyone’s except for Spoink’s, but they can check the date on the ball you caught it in and know it was a recent capture. Registration is only required after about thirty days anyway.”
“So we’re pretty much good?” Dorian asked.
“Pretty much,” Shelton affirmed. “Here, give me Spoink’s pokeball. I’ll take it by the center, I have to run by the mart before we leave anyway.”
“Alright,” Dorian said, handing the shiny orb over.
“Anybody want to come with me to the store?” Shelton called.
Machoke, Shuppet, Vibrava and Growlithe all came forward and followed Shelton as she turned and started off towards town. Dorian climbed the steps to his house, putting extra weight on the creaky step as he ascended. It squealed loudly as he trod on it, reminding him of where he was. Dorian passed the living room and went straight to the kitchen. He opened a beer from the inside and quaffed deeply. The realization of what he was doing shocked him and a squirt of beer came out of his mouth as he swallowed wrong. This was Ronnie’s beer.
Ronnie had bought this before he died and he was drinking it. Dorian could almost imagine Ronnie at the local mart buying chips and fruit then stopping at the liquor aisle and picking up this six-pack. Looking down, Dorian saw a half eaten pie and a clear takeout box full of steamed vegetables. His sadness suddenly came back in a wave that swallowed him whole. He swayed to the left and grabbed the refrigerator door for balance. His breathing was quick and deep as he struggled to unwind the knot in his gut.
After a moment it passed and he slammed the door as hard as he could. His right hand tightened so hard around the beer bottle he was surprised it didn’t shatter. The clang as the door hit reverberated through the house like a shout in a cave. Quick footsteps followed the sound as it echoed through the home. The source of the steps became softer as Kecleon rounded the corner, his skin a slightly healthier shade of green than the last time Dorian had seen him.
“Kecleon? Kec, leon leon?” he asked.
“Yes, I remember whose house this is,” Dorian retorted.
“Kecleon Kec!” the Pokemon said, pointing a finger at Dorian.
“I’m sorry; it has just been getting to me a little more than usual.”
“Kec, leon Kecleon.”
“Yeah I’m ready too. Shelton’s finishing up a few things and we’re going to leave in a few hours.”
Kecleon walked over to Dorian and wrapped both arms around his right thigh, which was as far as he could reach without jumping. The warmth that the Pokemon transferred to him comforted him and relieved him of the burden of his sadness. Reaching down, Dorian broke the embraced and gave one of Kecleon’s scaly hands a squeeze.
“We’re going to get him, you know that, right?” Dorian asked.
“Kecleon kec!” he responded, squeezing his hand.
“Let’s go outside and wait for the princess.”
Hand in hand they crossed the living room and went back outside. The swing at the far end of the porch called to them and they quickly acquiesced. No words were exchanged as they sat, none were required. They both looked up the road towards the town and passed the time by organizing their thoughts and waiting for Shelton. More than half an hour passed before a spray of golden hair appeared at the far end of the road. Other figures flanked her as she came forward, two flying, and two more walking.
“Your Spoink is all patched up,” Shelton informed him, tossing the small orb.
“Thanks,” Dorian said, pocketing the pokeball.
“I would have been back sooner but the technician there went on and on about how long it’s been since he treated a Spoink. In the end I snatched her pokeball off the counter and just walked away. Oh yeah, the tech said she was a female.”
“Good to know.”
“Anyway, I changed some cash for some Orre currency and picked up a few traveler’s checks. The market was out of full restores so I got a few full heals and a refill on our potion containers. We have enough food for them and us to make it to Phenac, but beyond that I can just stop by the bazaar when we need more. You ready?”
“But we still have a few hours before our flight. It’ll only take us thirty minutes to get us to Cerulean with that new bypass they put in.”
“Oh come on Dorian, you know I hate waiting around for something to happen. We have our passports, everyone is fed, the bags are packed, and we’re ready. Let’s just get on with it,” Shelton said.
“I know, I just, well,” Dorian started.
“Look I know and I don’t want to leave the house either. But the more we stay here the sadder I get. I can’t be around his stuff right now Dorian. It’s too hard.”
“I know what you mean,” Dorian affirmed.
“So I’ll call the cab?”
“I thought about that actually. I’ll drive us. The airport has long term storage and it’s not like we have anywhere to put the bike when were gone.”
“Alright,” Shelton nodded. “I’ll get the bags, you corral everyone.”
“Sounds good,” Dorian said, catching her arm as she passed him. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to find him, and he’ll answer for what’s he’s done.”
Shelton inched closer and wrapped both arms around his neck. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against his. When he looked into her eyes he saw a bright sheen of tears starting to cover them. Dorian pulled her closer and embraced her tightly. He held her there for a moment then cupped her face in his hands.
“We’re going to be fine,” he assured her.
“I know,” she replied. “I just miss him.”
“I do too, and that’s why we’re going. That piece of shit is going to rot in jail for the rest of his life for what we did. And we are the ones who are going to make that happen. All of us.”
“Sounds good, dummy,” she said with a smile.
Shelton walked inside and Dorian turned quickly to make sure she didn’t see him breaking down. He believed every word he said, but this task was so far beyond anything he had ever attempted that he felt the creeping shadow of doubt. Dorian shrugged it away as quickly as the thought came to him. He could do this and he would, and regardless of what Shelton wanted, he was going to make sure that that bastard never saw the inside of a courtroom. Dorian knew as soon as this plan was set that he was going to kill Ethan Bernard. He didn’t know when and he didn’t know how he would do it, but he would. Shelton would forgive him eventually, and if they were in a foreign country his odds of evading prosecution were stacked in his favor. Dorian contemplated what it would feel like for several minutes until Shelton came back outside with Nuzleaf, Golduck, and Kecleon in tow.
They returned the assembled Pokemon to their balls and stowed them in the holsters attached to their waists. After Shelton locked the door behind them they descended the steps and stopped when they got to Ronnie’s motorcycle. Shelton clamped each of the packs to opposite sides of the back of the bike and opened her mouth to say something but instead stopped and stared. Dorian followed her gaze to see the blue sky morphing into an ugly shade of purple and black to the west. Late summer storms were not uncommon in this part of Kanto, and his thought was confirmed when he heard a barely audible rumble of thunder far in the distance.
“Think you can outrun it?” Shelton asked.
“Absolutely,” Dorian said with a grin.
As the words left his lips Dorian swung a leg over the motorcycle and swung the kickstand up. The weight of the bike beneath him felt good. Shelton got on behind him and wrapped both hands around his waist as the engine roared to life. With the sun in their face and the wind behind them, Dorian pulled back on the throttle.
Marco watched the wind transform the rain into sheets of grey behind the glass doors of the Pewter City Pokemon Center. Night had fallen and the storm was moaning its pleasure as a violent wind tore across the city. Behind him, various trainers and Pokemon sat with eyes glued to the television as a special weather statement was issued. The Kanto National Weather Service warned the storm passing over Pewter City could contain winds in excess of forty miles per hour and one inch hail.
“Mother Nature has no hold over me,” Marco thought with a smile.
He knew that the storm posed no danger to him; it was barely worth a moment of his time. His targets were less than a mile away. Probably sleeping at this hour, or else winding down for the night. As soon as the rain let up he would stalk his prey, and as always, he would emerge victorious. Turning on his heel, Marco walked past the anxious teenage trainers to the restrooms on the far side of the establishment. He caught a glimpse of himself as he walked past but paid it no attention. Marco knew what he was. He was a Gengar, a Dusclops. He was shadow and rumor, he was a light breeze that strengthened and faded. His average height and build along with his facial features made him one of the most ordinary people anyone would ever see.
Marco quietly entered a stall and locked it behind him. He reached down and extracted both pistols that were strapped to the holsters beneath his arms. He depressed the release button for each clip and made sure they were loaded. The projectiles the gun released were made of thin glass, hard enough to withstand the force of the hammer, but fragile enough to burst on contact with a target. The liquid inside shone dark amber as he shook the clips and replaced them back inside the guns. The substance was a refined version of stun spore he had bought from a Unovan merchant which had been derived from a captured Vileplume. When absorbed by the skin it produced a numbing sensation similar to a foot falling asleep, but when inhaled it resulted in a full body paralysis that lasted several hours in humans.
Satisfied that his equipment was in order, Marco returned the guns to their holsters and zipped his jacket back up. He left the bathroom and the building without a sound. The rain had lessened somewhat, and though lighting still flashed in jagged lines across the sky he knew that the worst had past. His boots squealed softly on the wet grass as he made his way to the house. The targets address had been listed in the local phone directory so finding them had been no ordeal. As the lightning flashed around him he glimpsed the house a few hundred yards away. No lights were on, and the curtains were drawn.
Marco quickly sprinted forward and flattened himself against the side of the house. He crept slowly to the rear of the home, body bent as low as possible. Marco gracefully lifted himself over the railing of the back porch and crouched down beneath the back door. With his left hand he drew one gun and chambered a round, with his right hand he removed a thin pocketknife from his pocket. He chambered a round and pressed his ear against the door. Though it was hard to discern whether there was any sound inside because of the storm, he correctly assumed that no one was awake. He pressed the knife against the rubber leaf near the handle and pushed inward. The lock clicked quietly and the door swung open a few inches.
Marco slinked inside and closed the door silently behind him. He could make out the general layout of the place. Living room, open floor plan to the kitchen, stairs to the right, front door to the far left. He eased out of his boots to make sure that their wetness would not make a sound against the wood floor. He crept silently through the living room taking note of a sofa and loveseat. One door was ajar in front of him, and he slid through the darkness of the home into the room. As he crept, his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he quickly found that the room was unoccupied. Shifting his gun to a tighter grip, Marco reversed his course and slowly walked up the stairs. He saw that the second story had five doors. He checked all three bedrooms as well as the two bathrooms but found no one.
It was possible that the two targets were out or had perhaps gone back to their home in Johto, but one had been left with the bed unmade, and judging from the cleanliness of the rest of the house, it seemed likely that they had been here very recently. Marco knew who the house belonged to. He had known since he had gotten to within a hundred miles of Pewter City. Ronnie Dvakna was the former owner of this home and it had recently been passed to Dorian and Shelton Dvakna. As he thought about the two people he was hunting he shuffled back to the moment when he realized who his employer was. The man who had hired him was obviously Ethan Bernard.
As he pictured the man in his mind he shifted his weight and felt the uncomfortable bulge of the pokeball in his pocket. Bernard had insisted that his Scyther accompany him, but after passing through Vermillion Marco knew that it would be the height of folly to release a Scyther anywhere near Pewter City. Marco didn’t know why his employer had killed and butchered Ronnie Dvakna, and in all honesty he didn’t care in the slightest. Nor did he care why he wanted the heads of his niece and nephew. A job was a job, and Bernard was obviously well off if he could afford him. Marco holstered his weapon and ascended the stairs again. He slid into the room at the end of the hall that was decorated with martial arts belts and plaques. He booted up the computer on the left side of the room and found to his surprise that it wasn’t password protected.
He quickly shuffled through the recent internet history and found a link to Cerulean Airport. Intrigued, Marco clicked it and found the flight confirmation for Dorian and Shelton Dvakna. The destination was Phenac City and the plane had apparently left Cerulean International about five hours ago. Bernard had not told him that they would be leaving the country so it was entirely possible that he didn’t know. Though it would be harder to get back into Kanto with the cargo that was expected of him, he knew that it wasn’t beyond his abilities.
“Orre it is then,” Marco said softly.