Pokemon: QATM Chapter 17

Story by Volcan MacAingeal on SoFurry

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Note from author Hey everyone! Here's the next chapter. Quick note; you might've noticed I've started inserting soundtrack prompts into the story; I can't add links directly, nor should I, so instead I just insert the titles as I find them; you can find the songs on Youtube.com and play them from there during the reading. Bear in mind the themes I choose may be borrowed from other characters -normally I strive for originality but for a Pokémon story only Pokémon OST's should be used, wouldn't you say?

Pokémon: Quest of a True Master Chapter 17 -Johto and Sinnoh Arc-             The last of the supplies were loaded onto the back of the cart as Reggie brought them out from the store, letting out a sigh as she placed the last two bags into the back. "Man, it's hot out here," she muttered as she took off her hat and fanned herself with it for a moment, while wiping sweat from her forehead. She ran her eyes over the groceries and tools she had picked up from the trading post; a fortunate relief that this place was so much closer than New Bark Town, or this trip would have taken her twice as long.             "Surprises me how much a whole camp of diggers and archaeologists can eat," she said sarcastically to her Zebstrika, Bolt, who was hooked up to the cart. A larger-than-average Zebstrika, Bolt was nearly twice as large as any other Zebstrika, standing taller than his trainer and with a thick, muscly form, a saddle on his back where Reggie climbed on to, settling into the saddle before noticing him looking back at her; she reached over and pet his muzzle, gingerly giggling. "Don't worry boy, I didn't forget," she said, before reaching into her pocket, producing a handkerchief and unwrapped it to reveal several slices of apple in her hand, which the Zebstrika happily ate from her palm as she offered them to him. "There you go." Bolt nickered happily as he finished eating his little treat, and with a click of his trainer's tongue, they were off, following a dirt road back to the dig site at the foot of Mt. Silver. With naught but the sound of the wagon's wheels bumping over the rocks on the road to fill her ears, Reggie let herself drift off into thought, wondering what other discoveries they might discover here, at Mt. Silver. There were so many mysteries to unravel about the ancient Pokémon of the past -so many species that might yet remain undiscovered all across the world, and Reggie strove to be the Trainer and Archaeologist that would discover and train them all... She was so deep in her thoughts that she nearly launched herself off of Bolt's back when a deafening explosion made her jump. Snapped out of her trance by the blast she had the sense to grab onto Bolt's neck to secure herself as he reared up and bayed in fright, preventing him from throwing her off of his back for a painful drop. Urgently she tried to sooth her Pokémon's terror, getting off of his back and pulling at his reins while speaking softly to him to try and calm him. "Easy, easy! Steady boy!" She said, keeping her voice level despite her own thundering heart; the explosion had shook her up just as much as her Zebstrika, admittedly, and that likely didn't help with her job of calming Bolt, considering that he could probably sense her fear. But, he slowly calmed down; he stopped pulling at his reins and became silent, dropping back onto his fore-hooves and shaking his head, before looking at Reggie almost apologetically. She smiled at him and stroked his muzzle again, assuring him it was fine, before she turned and looked for the source of the explosion. It didn't take long to find it; a huge pillar of dust, rising up from behind Mt. Silver, climbing high into the sky until it was dangerously close to merging with the clouds themselves. 'That's no simple 'drilling and blasting' going on over there; that's more like a war zone,' Reggie thought with certainty before she jumped back onto Bolt. "Let's go check it out, boy!" She urged, and with a tap to his flank with her heel, she sent the Zebstrika into a run, pulling the cart behind them and nearly tossing out some of the groceries and tools in her haste, but her attention was solely on the road ahead, fearing the worst of what was happening around the mountain... ~~~~~ It seemed to take forever for the dust to settle around them. When finally it was clear enough to see Gigalith, it was standing in a deep crater in the ground, completely frozen and its eyes dark. The strain of using such a powerful Explosion attack had taken the last of its strength, and as Baxter stuck his head up over the side of the crater, he saw the Rock-type Pokémon fall to its side, unconscious. He chuckled as he produced Gigalith's Poké Ball and recalled it. "Nice kaboom big fella," he said as it was drawn back into its ball, which he pocketed. His comment was promptly followed by a punch across the face; it hadn't hurt so much as just caught him by surprise, and he turned to face his assailant, expecting a brawl, but he paused as he saw the enraged face of Marvin Gold staring back at him. "You. IMPOSSIBLY IDIOTIC MADMAN!!" He screamed so violently, his vocal chords hurt from the force of his yell. "You could have killed us all!" "Don't be such a wuss," Baxter returned dismissively. "I got the job done; there's no way those two or their Pokémon survived that blast." "Think again, bomber man!" A voice spoke from Baxter's right. He turned with a start, only to successfully allow the foot of the flying figure to strike him square in the mouth, sending white-hot pain across his face, and, unknown to him at first, sending a tooth flying out of his half-open mouth. Baxter hit the ground like a fallen tree, and when the pain fully set in, he grabbed his face and screamed, muffled through the cupped hands over his mouth. Marvin turned to face the assailant, seeing a very displeased Mark Taylor glaring back at him. He backed away, but didn't get two steps before he bumped into someone else, peering over his shoulder to spot Randy Calvin, standing with arms crossed, between him and his escape. "Not so fast, senor," Randy stated. "Please," Marvin began. "I-I-I had nothing to do with what just happened; Baxter was assigned to work with me! But I didn't know how obsessed with explosions he was; I had nothing to do with what..." He paused. "Wait a minute... how are you two even still conscious, let alone alive, after that?!" As if his question were a cue, a familiar looking Steelix emerged behind Mark, towering over the trainer and growling with displeasure as it eyed Marvin and the downed Baxter. On top of the Steelix's head sat a Zangoose, who mockingly waved his paw at the two below, chittering rapidly in a giggle. Only the Steelix appeared to have a single mark on him, and even then, what scratches could be seen in his metal body were vague, more like the kind a man would have after trekking through a dense underbrush in the woods or the jungle, but hardly the level of damage the land around Gigalith had suffered... "How is this possible?" Marvin asked. "Explosion is the most powerful attack in the known roster of Pokémon moves," Mark admitted. "But even then, it's not an unstoppable force," he continued as he gestured back to his Steelix. "And you need unstoppable to beat unmovable, which Tanker is; nothing is tougher than a Steelix, especially not my Steelix; he has the ultimate defense. Explosion still deals kinetic damage, and there isn't a Physical attack in the world that can stop him, of that I have the utmost confidence." Mark punched his right fist into his left hand. "But, back to the matter at hand," he said. "This is the second time you've gotten in our way when we're simply just trying to get somewhere; first the S.S Julia where you caused a whole shipload of trouble -literally, for us and Captain Raven. Now here, on the Goldrenrod Railway we once again find you causing trouble for us and others; for all the annoyances you've caused me on what was supposed to be a meaningful trip, I'm going to kick your ass." He emphasized the last three words by deepening his voice... Randy let out a devious chuckle; Marvin looked over his shoulder to the sound of knuckles cracking, seeing Randy grinning back at him as he meshed his fingers together before pushing them forward. "In short, you and your buddy there are going to get punched a lot." "Uh oh..." Marvin whimpered as the two closed in on him from both sides; their faces alone told him they were not bluffing... they were actually going to do it.             But just as they got close, a new voice called out. "That'll be quite enough of that, Mr. Taylor and Calvin."             The three of them froze, turning to face the source of the voice; they saw, standing at the top of the hill, a tan-skinned man with jaw-length black hair and dark brown eyes, wearing green hat, a black shirt and white pants over a pair of red hi-top shoes. Hanging from his shoulder was a bag, slung across his chest and resting on the opposite hip. His face was young, barely even matured -this person could not have even been in his twenties yet, or if he was, he was aging quite slowly.             Down the hill, the newcomer stepped, slowly and casually, all the while Mark and Randy just stared, not sure who it was they were looking at. While they were distracted, Marvin stepped cautiously over to the dazed Baxter, helping him to his feet before the both of them turned and ran over to the newcomer, standing behind him.             "Mr. Zane... what're you doing here?" Marvin asked the young trainer.             "I came to make sure you didn't botch up this operation, like you did the last one," replied the boy.             "That was not my fault!" Marvin screamed in protest, pointing at Mark and Randy. "They are the ones who interfered! They ruined the heist of the S.S Julia and now they seek to ruin this operation as well!"             "Then why didn't you stop them?" the stranger asked, plainly.             "Well... I..." Marvin began. "We tried... but they're both strong." He looked at Baxter. "And this idiot can't resist making a mess of things."             "Oy! Don't blame me for your lack of any skill, bucko!" Baxter retorted.             "Marvin's quite right, Baxter," stated Kevin. "Your little 'blast' a moment ago sent up a beacon so big, I wager the police in Lumiose City saw it!" His voice escalated. "I brought you on this operation for your demolition skills, and I expected a little more finesse but no; you had to try and bring Mt. Silver down."             "But... but I..." Baxter stated.             "Were your disciplinary actions up to me, you would not only be demoted, but I would have thoroughly flogged for your idiocy," the boy went on. "Fortunately for you, your fate does not rest with me." He looked back at Marvin. "I sent you along to keep him under control, and you could not even do that right. Fortunately, I had the sense for foresee that, and so I came personally."             "Wait..." Marvin began, looking at the stranger intensively. "You... you knew!" He exclaimed. "You knew these two were on this train, didn't you?!"             "Yes, I did," replied the boy. "I thought your desire to get even with them would drive you to battle at your best, overcome them, and still carry out the operation, but it appears I overestimated you." He turned away from Marvin. "So, I'll be taking it from here; the both of you, get over to the train and..."             Tanker's sudden roar interjected on the heated conversation, silencing the stranger referred to only as 'Mr. Zane' so far, despite being clearly out-aged by everyone else present at this gathering. He turned to face the Steelix, seeing him towering behind Mark and Randy, with Velox standing at the front of the group, lowered onto all fours and ready to pounce as he glared at Kevin.             "We're still here, buddy," Randy called.             "Who are you?" Mark demanded. "Are you part of the Syndicate too?"             The boy chuckled. "Well, obviously I am," he replied, tipping his hat slightly. "My name is Kevin Zane; I am a lieutenant with the IPCS."             Both Mark and Randy felt a rush of wonder surge through them, exchanging a brief glance. "This kid is a lieutenant?" Randy asked, quizzically.             "Guess the Syndicate doesn't mistake age for leadership skill," Mark added, before turning back to Kevin. "So you're one of the Syndicate's higher-ups, eh?" He asked. "And why are you so forthcoming with that information?"             "Simply because..." Kevin began, raising his arms and holding them outward as if on display for a photo op. "I'm untouchable."             Randy laughed at that. "Oh really? So if I run at you and kick you right in the solar plexus, that won't count as 'touching'?"             "Careful Randy; this guy may be tougher than he looks," Mark warned.             But the threat had been made. Kevin narrowed his eyes, but never lost that confident smirk, so smug it made Mark want to hit him, but his instincts told him to hold back. He couldn't place it, but something about this guy just felt... off. He remembered that feeling he'd had when he met Lance, like he was staring at Feraligatr, filled with anticipation as it was heading into battle. He was getting a similar feeling from looking at Kevin, but with him it felt as if he were looking at Cofagrigus -a Pokémon that on the outside, looked like a harmless object, but on the inside, there was something sinister and dangerous waiting to strike. Kevin gave him that same sensation...             "Well... it seems I would assume too much if I simply asked you two to step aside and get out of our way?" Kevin asked.             "Uh, yeah?" Randy asked. "We're not just going to let you walk away with people's Pokémon and money."             "I'm afraid you're almost too late to stop me; by now our enforcers will have already confiscated anything of value on the train," returned Kevin. "You've been here fighting all this time but our men already had their orders and carried them out, and while you were fighting Marvin and Baxter, I oversaw them to make sure they succeeded. By now, they'll be packing up and getting ready to leave, and there is nothing you can do to stop them now."             "You want to make a bet on that?" Mark asked, jerking his thumb over his shoulder at Tanker. "This guy just took the biggest blast since Cinnabar Volcano and barely flinched, and he's just one of my team; you think your lackeys stand a chance against us?"             "We got plenty more where that came from," Randy added. "We can take on every Enforcer you have with one hand behind our backs."             Kevin eyed them curiously, that smirk of his fading somewhat, until he spoke, plainly and honestly. "I believe you." He shut his eyes. "Well, it appears that you're just not going to back off... and I wager offering you a sum of money wouldn't help either?"             "Barking up the wrong tree if you think you can bribe us," Mark retorted.             "Then it seems I have no choice," returned Kevin, opening his bag and reaching inside. "I'm not about to let you get in the way on another of our heists, so I'm just going to have to deal with you myself."             "Kevin?" Marvin asked. "You're going to battle them?"             "I am," replied the young man, producing one Poké Ball from his satchel. "I'll deal with both of them; you two go join the others and finish the mission. I shall be there soon."             "Yes sir," returned Marvin, before he and Baxter turned and started to leave.           (Pokémon X/Y - Vs Team Flare Boss Music for this scene)             Randy and Mark watched with keen interest as Kevin held the Poké Ball in his hand, looking at it for a moment before his gaze shifted to Mark and Randy. Immediately after, he cast the ball forth -just the one, despite being outnumbered, facing two Pokémon trainers alone, and with only one Pokémon chosen. It did not make sense to Mark and Randy; they could only watch as the creature contained within the ball was released from its confines and revealed itself to them.             The Pokémon that emerged was primarily black, floating in the air with no feet; only a little, jagged appendage that hung down over the ground waving about as if a flag in the wind. It had an oddly cylindrical head, with a yellow, disk-shaped antennae growing from the top. But what at first appeared to be a mouth suddenly glowed with the presence of a single, red eyeball. It's head was surrounded by six flat projections resembling an upturned collar, and on its belly were yellow markings resembling a jagged-mouthed face, and from its shoulders extended two thick, powerful-looking arms. It released a low hum as it elevated its hands, staring ominously at the trainers with that one red eye.             "Whoa... that's a Dusknoir," Mark stated.             "Damn scary lookin' thing, isn't it?" Randy asked.             "Sure is... but why didn't he pick a second Pokémon?" Mark asked. "Is this guy so cocky he actually thinks he can take both of us with only one Pokémon?"             Randy grimaced. "Well, Dusknoir is pretty powerful... if he's going with just one, this thing's got to be tough."             "Then we take no chances," said Mark, picking Tanker's Poké Ball from his hand. "Tanker's my only other Mega Evolution Pokémon without Vitesse; I need to save him for later." He aimed the ball at the Steelix. "Tanker, come back!" He called, firing the red beam from the ball that engulfed Tanker in light, transforming him into energy and drawing him into the ball, looking at it with a smile. "Great work, big fella."             "Velox isn't going to do much good against that thing," Randy muttered, before pulling out the Zangoose's Poké Ball; he hated calling back his Pokémon, preferring to see fights through, but even he recognized the need for a tactical retreat, and recalled Velox. "So, got a plan?"             "Dusknoir's a pure Ghost-type; he'll be weak against Dark-types and other Ghosts," he said. "So let's jump on that."             "Got just the one," said Randy, producing a second Poké Ball.             "So do I," added Mark, doing the same.             The two of them wound up, and threw the Poké Balls forward simultaneously, calling out the ones confined within. From Mark's Poké Ball, Fang emerged; the Mightyena growled eagerly as it erupted from the ball and landed on all fours, baring his teeth at the Dusknoir. The second Pokémon, emerging from Randy's, was Gemstar, his Starmie. To Mark, that seemed a terrible choice, and he turned to look at Randy, about to question his chosen Pokémon, but then he saw that look on his face; the first time he'd seen that was before Mark had lost his title of Champion to Randy, when he had that devious but focused expression; a big grin and eyes fixed on his opponent.             He knew what Randy was up to, and turned to face Kevin again, but his confidence suddenly drained when he noticed Kevin looking at Gemstar with disinterest. "Must you try to insult my intelligence, Randy Calvin?" He asked.             Randy turned his head slightly. "What do you mean?"             "I'm well aware of your tactics," Kevin returned. "If you think your little illusion trick is going to -if you'll pardon my pun, outfox me, you're sorely mistaken." He crossed his arms. "So are you going to drop the illusion, or shall I have Terror do it for you?"              Mark frowned. "He knows..." He said.             "Crap..." grumbled Randy. "That trick usually works." He let out a sigh, before calling out to Gemstar. "Okay boy; may as well drop it."             At that, Gemstar seemed to melt away into nothingness, and was replaced instead by a Zoroark. Shadow stood up on his hind legs, looking as displeased as his trainer that his usual, favorite trick had not served them this time. Kevin eyed the Zoroark and the Mightyena, irking an eyebrow. "Two Dark-types against one Ghost-type; a sound idea," he said, before grinning. "But it's not going to be as simple as that."             "We'll see," Mark retorted. "Fang, Crunch!"             "Shadow, Night Daze!" Randy added.             Fang charged forward as a crimson aura began to form around Shadow, the vulpine Pokémon growling as it powered up its attack, while Fang went in for the direct approach, keeping low as his paws carried him in for the attack. "Terror; use Fire Punch," Kevin stated. Dusknoir hummed loudly as it advanced towards the Mightyena, drawing back its fist as it became ablaze with flames, swinging its mighty arm towards Fang, but the swifter Mightyena banked out of the way of the punch, lunging for Terror's arm with his jaws wide open, baring all of his powerful fangs as he tried to clamp down on its arm.             "Bind," Kevin commanded, his voice calm.             Reacting faster than expected, the Dusknoir reared back, opening its arms wide and narrowly evading Fang's Crunch attack, but as he outstretched his arms, his hands suddenly became larger, and he clapped them over Fang, pressing him in between its super-sized hands and clenching its fingers over his back. Fang yelped as suddenly the air was forced from his lungs, and he struggled to get free, but he was completely encompassed by Terror's hands as they began to squeeze, making it hard for him to breathe.             But not without help. Shadow suddenly appeared at Terror's blindspot, still enveloped by the crimson aura, which erupted from him as he threw out his arms; the pulsing blast of energy that erupted from him struck Terror in the back and launched him forward, releasing his grip on Fang and letting the Mightyena fall from his grasp, hitting the dirt with a plume of dust to mark his impact. Fang coughed before taking in a deep breath, shaking his head. Shadow stood at his side, watching him as he stood up.             But despite taking a hit from Zoroark's strongest attack, Terror was still up, turning around to face the two again as his hands shrank back down to their normal size, once again that eerie hum sounding from the Ghost-type Pokémon. "Good teamwork," Kevin admitted. "But not good enough."             "Attack together!" Mark called. "Fang, Crunch again!"             "Shadow; Night Slash!"             At the commands, both Pokémon charged forward, lunging for the Dusknoir; big and strong as it was, it was not fast, and did not have a hope of escaping the two of them. He put up his arms defensively, taking both attacks, the hum becoming higher pitch as Fang's jaws clamped onto his right wrist, and Shadow raked his powerful claws across his left forearm with long nails that trailed dark mist is they swept. Terror tumbled back, shaking Fang off of his arm and narrowly avoiding another attack from Shadow             "Gravity," Kevin called.             The Dusknoir put up his hands as the two charged at him again, and they stopped dead in their tracks. Or, more precisely, they stumbled, falling flat onto their bellies as suddenly the very gravity around them seemed to intensify, almost suffocating them with its pressure. Fang defiantly tried to move, but he couldn't lift his body, and Shadow fared no better, using his arms to try and lift himself back up but to no avail. Terror kept his hands raised, a blue glow emitting from both of them as he maintained the pressure, preventing either Pokémon from fighting back.             "Good, now keep them there," said Kevin.             "How the hell is Gravity working on two Dark-type Pokémon? It's a Psychic-type attack!" Mark protested.             "The same reason Glare or Growl work on Ghost-type Pokémon," replied Kevin. "The immunity only extends to damaging or status-inducing effects, but Terror is manipulating the gravity around them, not the two Pokémon themselves. Simple physics."  He explained while reaching into his satchel and producing another Poké Ball.             "Hey wait a minute, bringing out another one in the middle of a battle?" Randy barked. "That's cheating!"             "It's a two-on-one battle; I think I have the right to call out a second Pokémon," returned Kevin, before he nonchalantly tossed the ball forward, and out of its confines emerged a rather large, burly creature. The newly called out Pokémon was big and panda-like in appearance, with a body covered in mostly black fur that grew in such a manner the Pokémon appeared to be wearing a long-coat, growing in extensions behind its legs. It had a round belly, covered in white fur, which also coated its head except for its black-furred ears. It stared out with two jet black eyes, completely void of pupils or colours, and it's disproportionately long arms showed huge muscles as it flexed both arms and roared to the air above, eager for battle. "A Pangoro?!" Mark demanded, suddenly realizing what Kevin was about to do. "Shit! Randy, call Shadow back, hurry!"             Clearly Randy was onto the tactic as well; he had already pulled out Shadow's Poké Ball, taking aim with it and using the recall function, to which Mark followed suite. The red beams shot out of the balls, making beelines right for their intended targets, but mere inches from touching, the beams suddenly scattered in all directions, not reaching either the Mightyena or the Zoroark. They tried repeatedly, but the beams never touched them, as if blocked by some other worldly force.             "What the hell?!" Mark demanded.             "It's that Dusknoir!" Randy stated, pointing at Terror, noticing that its single eye was glowing brighter than before. "It must be using Mean Look; he won't let us recall our Pokémon!"             "Correct," Kevin said coldly. "And now you both will be given a message, with your Pokémon as the delivery system." He looked at his Pangoro. "Capone, use Hammer Arm; start with the Zoroark."             "Hey, no way! You leave Shadow alone!" Randy demanded.             "Make me," retorted Kevin, grinning wickedly as the Pangoro named Capone stepped over to Shadow, raising its arm high over its head. Once again, Randy tried to recall Shadow but Mean Look was still in affect, once more blocking the recall function of the beam.             "Shadow!" Randy cried out desperately, taking a step forward.             And that was when the arm came down on the pinned Zoroark, slamming hard into his back. Shadow screamed in horrid pain as he was stricken by the heavy-handed bear, feeling himself compressed into the ground and his ribs groaning in protest from the blow. Even from the distance he stood, Randy swore he could hear those bones creaking dangerously, threatening to collapse if they took another hit. And another hit did indeed come, followed by a third, and shortly after, a fourth; by some miracle, the ribs held, but they would not endure a fifth, and each hit brought another agonized cry from Shadow.             Driven by desperate need, Randy charge; no new Pokémon or a command to Shadow, he ran forward, crossing the battle zone to Kevin's Pokémon, bellowing in fury before he sprang, launching himself at the Pangoro before Mark could stop him. He grappled the Pangoro around the neck. "Leave him alone!!" He roared in Capone's ear, rearing back an arm and repeatedly slamming his fist against the Pangoro's head.             Barely fazed, either by the surprise attack or Randy's assault, Capone reached behind him with one arm, grasped Randy around the head, and then threw him off, sending him flying back towards Mark, who was already approaching to try and help; Mark hollered in surprise as Randy was suddenly sent whirling through the air and crashed into him, sending both of them to the ground in a tangle of limbs and knocking the wind out of Mark's lungs in the process as they landed.             "Have patience, sirs," called Kevin, mockingly. "And let this be a lesson to you; when you cross the International Pokémon Crime Syndicate," he raised his voice as he carried on. "You get hurt! And so do the Pokémon that help you!" He pointed at Capone. "Hammer arm, one more time!"             Capone raised his arm high, no emotion in his eyes as Shadow looked desperately up at him, clear terror in the eyes of the Zoroark. Fang resumed his struggle, barking defiantly as he tried to break the gravity bind around him, and he was quite impressive in the feat, managing to actually move a few inches, raising his head and baring his fangs as he growled ferally. Mark saw Fang, seeing his eyes on Terror, clearly his intended target. Mark pushed Randy off of him, rather roughly -he'd apologize later, and called out to the Mightyena. "SNARL!"             The scream was so loud, it made his throat hurt. Capone flattened his ears, and Terror falted; Fang's mouth opened, and he released the fiercest Snarl he had ever unleashed, directing it at the Dusknoir. The attack threw off his concentration, stumbling him and breaking the gravity spell. As soon as he was free, both Fang and Shadow made their move; Fang growled with a feral voice, the pupils of his eyes shrinking to the size of a bead as he leered at Terror. Even the Ghost-type Pokémon was intimidated by that look, visibly flinching, before Fang lunged at biting down his shoulder with yet another Crunch attack.             Capone attempted to finish his attack on Shadow, but the Zoroark, no longer bound, darted away, despite the pain wracking his entire body; he evaded the downward fist, and at Randy's command, turned to Capone, pupils narrowing to slits before unleashing a near point-blank Flamethrower at the Pangoro; the fires spread across his body, engulfing him and making the Fighting/Dark-type roar in pain, trying to escape the flames.             Both Terror and Capone tried to ward off their attackers; Fang bit hard onto the Dusknoir's collar, and Shadow kept up the flamethrower until he ran out of breath. By then, Capone was severely burned, but still on his feet. Even with his void-like eyes, the rage was still apparent, and was promptly retaliated. He lunged forward, delivering a powerful punch to Shadow's chest; the Zoroark's eyes went wide, wheezing out the air in his lungs before he was sent flying back, hitting the ground hard. Fang was finally thrown off of Terror's arm, hurled up into the air, before he was struck by a Thunderpunch as he came back down, yelping before he fell on top of Shadow.             "No..." Mark rasped.             "They lost..." Randy whispered.             Without another thought, the two trainers called back their Pokémon into their Poké Balls, looking at them briefly before facing Kevin again, who stood with a pleased expression as he regarded the two of them. "A good try, but I'm afraid it wasn't enough," he stated. "You will have to do much better than that if you hope to beat me."             "You want better?" Mark asked, his face brimming with rage. "I'll show you better; after what you just did to Shadow, once I'm done knocking out every one of your Pokémon, I'm going to put you right into the E.R!" He produced his next Poké Ball. "Anyone who can willingly do that to a Pokémon, even one that isn't their own, digusts me!"             "Damn straight!" Randy added. "Shadow's one of my best friends, and you tried to break him right in half! I'll never forgive you for that!"             Kevin barked out a laugh. "If I wanted forgiveness, you really think this is the path I'd have chosen?" He asked. "I do what I want, when I want; I am one of the higher-ups of the greatest criminal organization ever formed; one that makes every one of the previous crime factions of the world look like a joke."  He glared at the two, but his grin never left. "And unlike the ones before, it won't be some prodigal child from some small town in one of the six regions that will bring us down; victory is all that matters, and how it's achieved is just a method to do so, whatever that may be. Which was the right or wrong method?" He chuckled. "Well, that just depends on who is the last man standing. If I can remove you as a threat to my organization by breaking your Pokémon right in front of you?" His eyes narrowed. "So be it."             Mark's body felt hot, every muscle tense with his anger. He could almost see a red veil forming over his eyes; never had he despised anyone more in his life than the cruel, heartless boy standing across from him. How he wanted to run at him right now and strike him with every amount of force he could muster into his arm... sheer restraint was all that kept him from doing so, to dare the wrath of the powerful Pangoro and Dusknoir standing between him and the cause of his anger.             He couldn't see it, but Randy was sharing his thoughts, equally filled with fury by Kevin's actions. This was only his second encounter with the Syndicate, and already he loathed them. If they were led by people as evil as this Kevin Zane person standing before him, then the entire organization was long overdue for some justice. Maybe he couldn't be the one to deliver that justice to the entire group... but at the very least, he and Mark could bring down this one...             "Alright, enough of this!" Mark growled. "Time to take this to the highest level!" He threw the Poké Ball clenched in his hand, releasing the Pokémon within; it was Tanker, once again emerging for battle. "I'm going to show you just how powerful my teammates really are!" Mark declared as he held up his keystone bracelet.             "Count me in," added Randy, tossing forward his next Poké Ball as well, releasing none other than Thorn, his powerful Sceptile... which was about to become even more powerful as he reached into his shirt and produced the necklace that carried his keystone.             Kevin's eyes widened slightly, filled with intrigue. "So... you do have Mega Evolution available to you," he said, still smiling.             Mark tapped the stone on his wrist, Randy clenched the stone of his necklace tightly in his hand, both of them beginning to glow brightly, shining between the seams of their fingers, with identical lights shining from the Mega Stone imbedded in the harness on Thorn's chest, and from the choker hidden on Tanker's neck, engulfing both of them in a violet light as they ascended to their most powerful forms. Out of the light, the Mega Sceptile and Mega Steelix emerged, roaring triumphantly as they unveiled their ultimate forms, facing Kevin's two Pokémon with eyes that blazed with fury.             "Seed Bomb!" Randy called out to Thorn.             The Sceptile gowled as he hunched over, angling his back forward as much as possible, before the seeds growing all along his back launched from his body, shooting up into the air above and returning to terra firma seconds later, bombarding the Dusknoir and Pangoro with explosive force for every one that hit, showering them with dirt and debris. Capone put up his arms, trying to shield his face from the assault, while Terror tried to float out of the way to escape the blasts.             Neither one of them noticed Tanker had disappeared until after the barrage ended, and the ground behind Capone exploded; the Pangoro spun around in time to see the Mega Steelix rising up behind him but didn't get the chance to react before he was stricken with a powerful Iron Tail that launched him cartwheeling over the ground, thudding against the hillside. At Kevin's command, Terror charged in to continue the attack with a Fire Punch, but its fist struck the nigh indestructible Mega Steelix with minimal effect, and Tanker simply retaliated with another Iron Tail that sent the Dusknoir smashing into the same hill where Capone landed. With that, another Seed Bomb barrage, compliments of Thorn, fell upon them, bombarding them and ensuring they were finished...             When the dust settled, the two Pokémon had been rendered unconscious by the onslaught, laying prone and motionless on the ground. With a gruff snort, Kevin recalled the two into their Poké Balls, pocketing them before turning to Mark and Randy. "Impressive; I knew at least one of your Pokémon had the means to Mega Evolve, but I was under the impression it was only the Sceptile and your Blaziken that could," he stated. "Seems our intelligence on you two is incomplete."             "We're full of surprises," Mark retorted, cracking his knuckles. "Now comes the part where I put you into the hospital."             "Not so fast," returned Kevin, revealing two new Poké Ball's that had been hidden in his hand, one of which was actually an Ultra Ball, the other a Dusk Ball -identified by its green casing. He threw the two balls forward, both of which popped open to reveal yet two more Pokémon to join in the battle.             The first Pokémon, small in stature with a roundish body, with two bright red eyes glaring out from its face, over a large, toothy grin that stretched across its features as it . It had short legs and arms, each ending with three digits, and spikes covering its back all the way down to its short, stubby tail, along with two pointed ears rising up from the upper left and right corners of its body. It was a Gengar, Mark recognized; a Ghost/Poison type Pokémon, and part of the evolution line from which the first ever Ghost Pokémon was discovered. One thing that stood out about this Gengar though, Mark noticed, was that it's body was supposed to be purple; this one was oddly blue in colour; much lighter than a normal Gengar was.             The second Pokémon was more than quadruple the size of the Gengar, however. A huge, dinosaurian creature, with countless spikes protruding from its body from the back of its head, neck and shoulders, and had a mouth full of thick, razor-sharp fangs. Black, triangular holes could be seen on both sides of its chest and on its outer thighs, resembling vents into its body, and its belly was protected by gray, overlapping scales, and it had a short, spiky tail as thick around as Mark's torso.             "A Tyranitar," said Randy. "Those things are extremely tough."             "They're Rock-types, right?" Mark asked. "Tanker or Thorn can handle it."             "I've fought a few Tyranitars, man; they can take a beating and dish out just as much," replied Randy. "But, Thorn's taken down every one I've fought; he can match it type advantage for type advantage, but no Tyranitar can match his speed, and Gengar's pretty much useless against a Steelix, so I'll take the big guy, while you..."             Kevin was laughing, and it wasn't until that moment his chortling grew high enough that the two trainers turned to face him, wondering what he as so jolly about. They watched as he shook his head in dismay, before grinning deviously at the two trainers. "If you know so much about Gengar and Tyranitar, you should know that they both are among the current Pokémon that are known to possess Mega Evolved forms."             "Uh, yeah?" Randy asked. "But you can't Mega Evolve them both at the same time; a keystone can only be used once, and then it loses power for a while."             Kevin continued to chuckle, before he uncrossed his arms. "Then I just need to accessorize a bit more, don't I?" He asked as he held up both of his hands, turning them about so they could see the tops of the bracelets worn around his wrists...             Both bracelets worn by Kevin Zane were imbedded with Keystones.             "No... freaking... way..." Mark whispered.             "He. Has. TWO?!" Randy cried. "Why the hell does he have TWO?!"             Keystones were the rarest items in the known world; a person could find ten mega stones before ever finding even one single keystone, which without both, mega evolution was not possible. But there, standing before them, was a renegade Pokémon Trainer in possession of two keystones, and with two Pokémon capable of mega evolution; the Gengar had their own mega stone on a band wrapped around their left arm, while Tyranitar had theirs on choker worn around their neck.             He was going to do the unthinkable, and mega evolve two Pokémon at the same time...             "Now I'll show both of you what happens when you mess with a Syndicate Lieutenant!" Kevin declared, and the stones began to glow...             The sound of a phone ringing broke the tense silence that had fallen over them as the stones had begun. The glow, out of nowhere, faded from both stones as Kevin turned to look at his pocket, reaching in and lifting out a phone. "This had better be good," he began. A brief pause later, Kevin scowled into the phone. "Well why bother telling me? Get going then!" Another pause, and then Kevin's eyes widened. "He what... He wants me to go right now?" He nodded. "Alright; I'll start there immediately; tell Marvin I need pickup." He pulled the phone away from his ear, looking at Mark and Randy as they stood staring. "Looks like it's your lucky day," he said, drawing the two Poké Balls of his current Pokémon and recalling them. "Work's calling me." "Wait, what?" Mark asked. "You're backing out?" Randy inquired. Kevin glared. "Don't get the wrong idea," he stated, coldly. "My work takes precedence over my recreation. You defeated my Dusknoir and Pangoro, but I had more Pokémon ready to tear you asunder." He turned away. "But there a man even I answer to, and he's demanded I take up a new mission. So, fortunately for you two, we'll have to postpone this for another time." Mark took a step forward. "Now you hold it right there, shorty," he said in warning. "After what you've pulled here today I am not just letting you walk away." Kevin peered over his shoulder at Mark, returning the cold, hard glare he was giving him. They said nothing for a moment, only staring into the eyes of one another, until finally Kevin broke the uneasy silence. "You are out on a new quest," he began. "One to challenge the greatest trainers in the world, correct?"             Mark arched an eyebrow. "How do you know that?"             "Given your activities in Kanto, a pattern started to form," replied Kevin. "Blue Oak, Dragon Master Lance, Pokémon Master Red, but nobody else from the whole region. And now you're on your way to Johto, where the only trainer in this continent said to be stronger than even Red dwells." He turned his gaze away. "If you intend to battle all of the greats, then it is simply a matter of time before we meet again." He turned once more, this time his stare hard. "But I warn you... if our next meeting should be brought by you interfering with the Syndicate again... then I will hold nothing back. I have the most terrifying creature in the world at my command, and I will use it to destroy you if you cross us again."             He began to step away again as the sound of a car engine was heard over the hill; Mark took a step again, but then a jeep sped onto the scene, driven by Marvin, who pulled up alongside Kevin. The younger trainer jumped aboard the Jeep before promptly departing, throwing dirt and grass upon Mark and Randy as it sped off and left the scene.             "Damn..." growled Mark.             "What the hell was that all about?" Randy asked.             "I don't know..." replied Mark. "Come on; let's get back to the magnet train and see if anyone needs help, then see if we can find some way to call for some ourselves." He turned to Tanker, who powered down and reverted back to a normal Steelix, followed shortly by Thorn returning to his regular Sceptile form. The two of them recalled their Pokémon to their balls, and broke into a sprint as they headed back to the disabled Magnet Train... ~~~~~ Kevin, Marvin and Baxter reached the rendezvous point where the rest of their operatives and enforcers had been told to meet, where they would be debriefed on the mission, and the spoils would be counted. Fifty men and women in uniforms of various shades, a few of them carrying thick sacks and a large box to a gathering area, setting them down in an organized fashion before they gathered into rows and stood at attention as the jeep rolled to a stop nearby. Kevin climbed out of the vehicle, taking off his hat briefly to adjust his hair before putting it back on, and making his way over to the pile of loot, unaware of the death stare Marvin was giving him as he walked ahead. When Baxter walked past him as well, Marvin shook himself out of his angered trance, and followed them to the stash as Kevin opened the first burlap sack and examined the contents inside, reaching in and lifting out a handful of paper bills. "Most excellent," he said, before turning and calling out to the troops gathered nearby. "A fine job by all you; good work. Keep this up, and I will personally see to it that you all get a raise," he called out. The Enforcers and Operatives remained composed, but he saw the approval on their faces, and nodded to them to express his own at how they remained disciplined and focused. "Ya! A raise!" Baxter bellowed. Kevin turned to look at him and Marvin. "Except you two," he said. "What?" They demanded. "You need to keep a lid on your obsessions," stated Kevin, pointing at Baxter, and then at Marvin. "And you; your combat skills are severely lacking. You need to work on that; your lack of ability is an embarrassment to our organization." "Embarrassment?!" Marvin echoed. "I'll have you know I was an Executive with Team Rocket before the Syndicate ever formed!"             "And Team Rocket was defeated, twice, by pre-teen boys fresh out of their mother's arms," Kevin pointed out. "I find your argument rather underwhelming." "And what group were you part of?" Marvin demanded. "What great claim to fame does the First Lieutenant, Kevin Zane, have that brought him to the Syndicate? I was picked for my credentials; what about you?" Kevin reached out, grasping Marvin by the collar of his vest and yanking him down to eye level with himself. "That is quite simple; I'm the strongest trainer in this entire organization -the strongest in my entire region. You know what I was doing while your old gang was blundering into the radio tower to make a call to your old boss -the same man who disbanded you in the first place? I was capturing a Pokémon that those imbeciles in Team Flare could not even subdue, let alone control. "I have never been beaten; while your organization, and those of the other regions came crashing down, I was defeating every trainer in my homeland and capturing the strongest Pokémon I found. I never lost -never, not even to the so-called Champion. Our boss came to me, and I battled him -to this day he's the only other who ever defeated me, but instead of gloating he offered me a job. I spread the influence of the Syndicate across the Kalos region, where he appointed me his first lieutenant. And then I spread our influence to Sinnoh, where he appointed a second Lieutenant, and named me his successor. "I was entrusted to establish our new divisions here in Johto and Kanto, but then you screwed up the heist of the Julia, failing to procure us some rare Pokémon to give to our investors, causing them to withdraw our funding! Because of that, we lost our division in Kanto; the first botched operation in our history, and it was an operation led by you, Marvin!" He brought the man almost nose-to-nose with him. "So never compare yourself to me. You are a Litwick and I am Moltres; that is the difference between us. Understand?" Marvin nodded, weakly. "Good," returned Kevin, releasing Marvin and letting him stand back upright, as well as straighten out his vest and shirt. "Now, we're finished with this op." He turned to face the enforcers and operatives once more, pointing to the west in the direction of their base. "Pack it up and return to base! See to it that the stolen Pokémon are taken to be conditioned for deployment and begin distributing them to our divisions to supply the next training graduates; it's time to increase our numbers." He gestured to the bags of money and jewellry. "And take these to the vaults until they can be transferred to the accounts. And don't go getting any ideas, now." He stepped aside to allow them to carry out their orders, before he turned to Marvin and Baxter again. "Now, we've got a rather tall order to fill, directly from the boss himself." "From the big man, is it?" Baxter asked, raising his eyebrows "What does he ask from us, sir?" Marvin asked. "It seems we won't be working together anymore, at least for now," replied Kevin. "Baxter; the boss wants you to take a small detachment to raid a dig site not far from here," he explained. "A dig? For what?" Baxter asked. "Fossils," replied Kevin. "One of our top financiers is a collector of Pokémon fossils; he has learned of this dig, but it was not him who funded it, and he does not like missing out on possible rare finds, so he has put in a request; he will boost the Johto base's funding ten percent if we can provide him some rare fossils. The boss wants you to go there, take over the dig site, and bring them back; you are free to do some demolition to speed up the process but he urges discretion; damaged fossils are worthless." Baxter nodded. "A'ight, I'll get on it." "And me?" Marvin asked. "You are heading for Sinnoh," replied Kevin. "An operation is being put in place to attempt to capture one of the Legendary Pokémon there; they need an organiser, so the boss asked for you." "For me, specifically?" Kevin nodded. "You may lack skill as a trainer, but you can turn even the most chaotic and messy office into a well-organized workspace; that's what the operation needs at the moment, as we could only give them some rather unruly teams." Marvin nodded. "Then I will head to Sinnoh as soon as possible," he said, thought subtly thought to himself. Finally, I can get away from this little brat... "And what about yerself; where's the boss sending you?" Kevin smiled. "Back to Kanto," he replied. "Did he get our supporters back?" Marvin asked. "Sadly not," replied Kevin. "This is something personal to him; a Pokémon that was recently seen there. He wants it." Baxter rubbed that back of his head in confusion. "Isn't that a little below your pay grade, lieutenant?" He asked. "Why not one of us?" "Because the Pokémon in question is not only powerful, it's commanded by the region's top trainer," replied Kevin. "The boss feels certain I'm the only one who can get it."             Baxter shrugged. "Right then... so am I going alone to this dig; just me and a few enforcers?"             "No; the boss is sending one of our newest Special Operatives with you; think of him as a fill-in for Marvin," replied Kevin.             "Who's goin' with me then?"             "Me." The three turned, and saw that someone had been eavesdropping on their conversation accompanied by ten Syndicate Enforcers. The man at the lead, a young adult roughly the same age as Kevin, with very unique dark red hair, dressed in a blue, long-sleeve jacket with red undertones, and slightly lighter-coloured pair of pants, with shoes matching his coat. "We're your team."             "Well, you sure got here quickly," said Kevin. "The boss didn't tell me he was sending you for this op."              "I often appear where I'm not expected," replied Silver.


Voyages of the Mara Arc 2: Edge of the Law Chapter 5: Deception Lazar Warden. One of the most infamous and feared crime lords on the Dirt Palace; a master criminal in his own right, dealing in many Black Market supplements, not the least of which...

, , , , , , , , , ,

Confederacy of the Red Nebula

The Confederacy of the Red Nebula A detailed guide **Ideological Standpoint** : Democratic Alliance of Nations **Current number of factions** : Four -Rock Belt Sector -Red Tail Sector -White Star Sector -Blue Star Sector **Population**...

, , ,


Voyages of the Mara Arc 2: Edge of the Law Chapter 4: Progression The dirt palace was its usual self that night. The filthy halls of the derelict space station, filled to the brim with the scum of the galaxy, ranging from common thugs robbing from...

, , , , , , , , , , , ,