View Full Version : Alternate
Time flows like an endless river, twisting and curving around the seams of time and space, never changing. For us and those that live around us, time chisels itself, everday, into the stone of the past, never to be erased ever again. Until now. What if one man could go back in time to erase a mistake he once made? What if he had the ability to change history? What if he was evil? In truth, only time will tell.
Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
ElimN8's palms wreathed with anger as he pulsed down the corridor. His uniform lay across him in a tangled mess. Gaps between his formerly prestigious red uniform revealed bare skin and wounds. The blood had already dried, yet he still felt pain. But not as much pain as he felt when he was defeated.
Ah yes, defeat. It tore at his single being, pushing and pulling at his soul. How could he let it happen? He had it all, the power, the weapons, and yet, he lost. How? It was impossible.
Immediately ElimN8 turned the corner, walking quickly past the terrified scientists. Heh. At least they still had some respect for their leader. At least they don't have the nerve to stand up like they did....
Two names burned into his mind: Syrus Saith and Harry Kim. He had taken the time to learn these names, for they were the ones that destroyed him. Syrus and his malevolent hunger for power and Kim with his self-righteous purity. Their names were so foul in his mouth that he could spit.
And why did he lose? Because he hadn't been prepared, that's why. Syrus obviously had thought well in advanced, his armada of high-tech weaponry, his own legions of soldiers, everything. His own scientists were smart, but Syrus's were smarter.
And Kim, a goody two-shoe. Orbs! The orbs he found possessed him, drove him to succeed. Some kind of inner force bestowed upon him to win and save the world. If only he could have harnessed their powers, he could be both of Syrus and Kim!
ElimN8's shoulders sagged for a second. A flicker of regret punctured his face and his eyes softened, but only for second. Quickly, a new, strange vigor came to him, powering his evil thoughts. Because he knew, it wasn't over. In fact, it hadn't even begun.
ElimN8 pushed open the doors, surprising the multiple scientists around him in the tiny circular room. All around the walls appeared consoles, beeping with every noise, flashing with every light. However, what captured his attention, was the metal-framed doorway at the center of the room.
The stainless steel bars stretched around the rectangle shape, mostly for function then looks. To the side, a long bundle of multicolored cords ran down to the floor and connected into the wall, probably connecting to the consoles. Finally, to the other side, lay a single metal console. Unlike the other ones, this one had a single control. What time you wished to travel to and where.
ElimN8 murmured to the newcomer.
The scientist stammered, quickly cleared his throat, and shyly looked up. "Uh, yes sir. Project Genesis is complete"
"Excellent. Start it up."
"Sir, we haven't fully tested it. It might be-"
"Start the machine!"
The startled scientists jumped. "Yes sir!" he yelped and ran back to his console.
Immediately, sounds of generators could be heard as the electricity flowed into the room. Multiple screens flicked on, displaying loads of information only the most brilliant of minds could
Simply staring at the awesome machine, ElimN8 noticed in the corner of his eye, a single scientist approach him from his right. Normally, he might congratulate him, however, this wasn't a time for celebration.
"Is it ready?" ever process. Everywhere, a feeling of tension rose in the room. The scientists knew what the machine did, and they trembled in fear and awe.
ElimN8 didn't care. Their lives didn't matter to him, only their work, only this machine. He glanced up from the others, to watch as several lights around the doorway lit up with a red glow. The center console, responding to the excitement, slowly lit up and activated.
The scientist who spoke to him earlier looked up. On his face resided a look of fear. He knew what would happen. He knew and he feared.
"Sir, it's ready." he whispered, barely audible to ElimN8, yet he heard it.
Slowly, the formerly powerful man stepped in front of the doorway. Just standing near it, he could feel the immense power pulsing through its veins. A perfect beginning for the new era.
Turning towards the small console, he quickly tapped in the coordinates and time. He needed to go back two years to prepare. And what better a place to begin his rebirth then Pallet Town.
Grinning evilly to himself, he stepped back to the door. The computer quickly read the data and confirmed the coordinates. ElimN8 stared as beams of white light shot from the left of the frame to the right until the entire doorframe surrounded the white aura, the connection to the past. Above it, the red lights now flashed green. The time machine was ready.
Taking a deep breath, never thinking a second thought, EllimN8 took a step inside. The feeling was warm and fuzzy as the white light pulsed around him. However, just before he took the next step, he heard a crash.
Turning around while still in the doorway, he glanced at his worst fear. In front of room door, stood Harry Kim. He was panting heavily, and beads of sweat soaked his hair and shirt. Like ElimN8 himself, his clothes were also torn, but that didn't stop either of them.
Harry looked up and stared into his eyes, a look of anger filling his own. "You won't win ElimN8!" Harry gasped.
"Ah, but I already have. See you in time, Harry Kim."
In an instant Harry lunged from the door, his full body spread out like a lion, tackling its prey, but it was too late. ElimN8 simply smiled and disappeared into the white void.
In an instant, Harry and everything else disappeared. The lab, the scientists, the world. For they had never existed, at least, not as time dictated.
Now, the world was a much darker place.
Chapter 2: Accuracy
Dunes. Red dunes of sand extending as far as the eye can see. Empty as if God had simply wiped out everything in one terrible fit of wrath, leaving nothing. The air, too felt barren, dry. Silent, without a hint of life to perturb the eeiry mood. Even the steaming sun, just rising up for the dawn, didn't create a sound. The land was dead. Hard to believe this used to be Pallet Town.
Heh, Pallet Town. Harry grinned sardonically at the irony. The town of beginnings, it had been called. Now, it had met its own end. Destroyed by the clutches of TMA like so many othere: Slateport, Goldenrod, Saffron...
Harry shook himself from the memory. Bad enough that he was on duty, but worse that he kept falling prey to remorse. There was no remorse, only revenge. Revenge on them for his grief. Why should he care about some other puny destruction of a town? He had his own problems to deal with.
Grabbing his haggard binoculars hanging around his tan neck, he scanned the desert, before looking. In the distant, he could see the group of metal buildings, the only sign of life out here in the desert. They were military buildings of course, the TMA wouldn't need anything else. Everything they had achieved was by brutality. Harry had experienced that, first hand.
He look furthur, checking for any stray guards, human or pokemon. Ignoring his hateful thoughts, he concentrated on his task. This mission was so important that the General herself had seen to it. Daniella would be upset if he failed to keep watch.
Checking and double checking for any guards, he then brought his attention back to the fortress. Double walled with thick steel plates and barriers of all sorts. What else for TMA HQ. Luckily, their group was far enough away to avoid detection, and therefore destruction. The TMA's weaponry was several times more powerful then anything their group had. A direct assault on the fortress would be suicidal. Luckily, General Daniella had a bit more intelligence than that and had devised a better plan that would allow them to hopefully weaken TMA and keep their forces intact.
He moved his hand to the binoculars, focusing them onto the Main tower in the center of the Fortress. It too was the pride of TMA. Standing 150 stories high, and built with the sturdiest materials available. Painted with the traditional colors: red and black, it imposed itself upon the fortress and could be seen for miles around the barren desert wasteland. The TMA was powerful and they knew it.
However, what made his blood boil, was the waving flag above the tower. Harry didn't know how large it was, but apparently it was large enough for him to see without the binoculars. Standing proudly, the flag portrayed the combined designs of its two teams. A dark circle was placed in the center of a grey backround, with three red slash marks going diagonally from the top right to the bottom left. It stood despicably for the destruction of murder of all who opposed it.
Innocent children, like his sister. She wasn't on a team, didn't even battle with pokemon. All she was trying to do was protect their home and look what they did. They killed her, left her to bleed to death, to suffer for her courage. It pained him to watch her die, to lose her for she was part of him. And when she left, a part of him left with her. Remorse, it didn't matter. All he felt was pain and anger.
Soon afterwards he joined The Magnificent Rebellion. He knew others had joined it for the glory of everything good, but he didn't care. Just as long as he could kill and have his revenge upon the murderers. Revenge was all, it mattered not how he got it, just that he did. The Trainer-Magma Alliance would pay for what they did to his sister and he'll make sure of it.
And soon, he would have his revenge. Catching a glint of movement in the corner of his binoculars, he carefully shifted them over to the front of the large tower. Already, there were several armoured vehicles parked around, ready to move at the moment's notice. Several of them were heavily armed, equipped with the best of weaponry, protection was everything of course.
And the cargo. More precious to the Alliance than gold. Empress Catriona. Legend has it that she was raised in the wilderness and all her anger and sorrow had hardened her heart. Known for her excess cruelty and cunning, to be captured by her was worse than death. She had a way of hurting others in a way no one else, not even Emperor ElimN8, could do. Because of that, she was feared and hated.
Harry lowered the binoculars. The transportation had arrived and was time to begin phase 2 of the plan. Looking down to his radio, he remembered General Daniella didn't want to use them for fear of anyone scanning the frequencies. It was too risky, especially for this mission. He would have to deliver his message by mouth.
Carefully, picking himself up from the dusty desert sand, he glanced at the sun, remembering the direction he came from. Dashing from his position, he focused his energy to running, willing his legs to move as quick as possible. General Daniella needed to know that the transport vehicles were ready. Then, they could set up the snipers, and hopefully, remove one key component from the Alliance, the Empress.
Keeping focus on his path, Harry kept the sweet thought of revenge in the back of his mind. The hot sun, burned his skin each step he took, yet he knew that it was worth it, if they could kill one of those responsible for it all. Responsible for her death.
Luckily, his squad set up camp close to his location and he arrived within minutes of starting. Already, there was a bustle of commotion as each person set up his or her military gear. General Daniella brought along only the best of the best for this special mission and each one actively played their role in preparation.
Not even taking a moment to catch his breath, Harry immediately began scanning for the General. His eyes, alert with the news, darted back and forth between the tents and people.
However, soon, he managed to find her. The dark brown hair fell smoothly and freely down her back, and no one could miss the tall commanding presence. Her worn battle gear did add to the aura, but most of her posture had been from experience. She was strong, yes, she had to be. Everyone knew she was deeply concerned about Syrus. His capture shocked the Rebellion, he had been one of the most prominent generals.
Harry, still panting, strode over to her position. From the looks of the camp, she had been busy ordering the squad into position, preparing ahead of time for the hopeful assisination. She glanced over, realizing he had some news, and quickly finished up her conversation with the confused troops.
Turning from them, her face portrayed an inquisitive serious look and she spoke a single word.
Harry quickly took a moment to breath before answering, "General, I have scouted the fortress. The Empress's escort has arrived. They should be leaving shortly."
Daniella smiled. Her plan had gone just as she hoped. "Perfect." she answered, "Now to simply complete the plan. Thankyou Commander."
Harry nodded and turned away to his division on the south side of camp. He knew that Daniella would command the western snipers and be the first to spot the vehicles. If her snipers missed, it was up to Harry's team to finish the job.
After weaving in and out of the tents, he found his team all ready and in position. Lt. Vex had taken position behind a large sand dune, his rifle lay calmly in his hands. Ensign Jamie on the other hand, nervously twiddled her hands together, a look of fear and worry crossed her face. Seeing Commander Harry join them, she looked up. Harry gave her a warm smile of support and she returned it. He couldn't afford to have anyone mess up and hoped Jamie was ready.
Lastly, Lt. Commander Matthew positioned himself to the far right. His strong arms placed themselves around his weapon, and his eyes poised themselves for battle. He was a battler, experienced from war, hardened from it. A serene calm occupied his face and a distant look filled his eyes. The poor guy had experienced too many battles. His soul had be drained away.
In the distance, voices could be heard and everyone fell silent. General Daniella, positioned at the center of camp, began to yell orders.
"Everyone into position! The armed escort is approaching!" she yelled.
Immediately, Harry's three soldiers fell into position, trained by experience. Each of them raised the rifle to their dominant eye, focusing on the road below them. Soon, the vehicles would come and then it would be over.
Almost instantly, 17 pokemon of varying species sprang out of their pokeballs. They too knew the situation and were ready to take off at a moment's notice.
Harry himself, quickly released his Charizard. The pokemon landed heavily on the sand, his face troubled with worry. But there was no time for words. In a quick second afterwards, Harry leaped Harry glanced at his watch. Based on their calculations, the escort would be passing in around three minutes. Three long and anxious minutes.
Already, a bead of sweat had formed upon his forehead. Perhaps from the heat or his jog, but he believed it to be his own nervousness. His tongue lay parched in his dry mouth and he flickered his eyes between each of his three troops, wondering and waiting for the action.
He glanced to Matthew. Like always, the teenager remained calm, his eyes never flinching from the road. Harry knew that although Matthew's family was still alive, he had seen countless friends suffer under the curse of the Alliance. Unfortunately, it drained his soul of all emotion, destroying the child he was. A cruel fate for anyone. Now, all he lived for, was fighting the enemy. Sadly, a feeling felt by many others in the Rebellion.
He turned his eyes to Jamie. Like a nervous Kecleon, her glances darted around the desert. Although new to the Rebellion, her skills with pokemon gained her respect and she soon advanced up the ladder of success. Even in her eyes, Harry could see the twinkle of innocence. She had never killed a man. But she would, and by then, her youth would leave her like Matthew.
And finally, Vex. Like Harry, he too suffered from grief. His family, had been slaughtered, mutilated at the hands of the Empress herself. They had been leaders of the Rebellion, but now... Vex understood what it felt to loose everything important. Everything you cherished. He joined the Rebellion to kill Catriona, and now, perhaps he would have the chance.
He glanced down, a minute left.
In a moment, the act shall be completed. The wicked Empress will be either dead or alive and their mission would be decided all on that. The time of judgement was at hand..
But not today.
In a instant flash of time, a giant explosion befell them, striking near the center of their hold. The sound of it was loud enough to pierce Harry's ears, and they rang with shock and pain. A mass of dust and sand flew up, choking everyone positioned. Already, Harry could see panic in the eyes of Vex and Jamie, and could imagine a similar look in his own eyes. Because, what shocked him was that they had been discovered.
However, in this confusion, lay a sea of calm. Daniella, probably the person closet to the attack, had managed to keep her cool. Seconds after the incident, her voice managed to choke out over the radio, "Retreat... Everyone, to the air!"
In an instant, upon hearing the order, several sets of hands reached down and grasped the pokeballs. The team had trained for this outcome and new precisely what to do.
from the ground and landed upon the giant pokemon's back.
"Let's go!" he commanded and the large creature acknowledge by taking off.
Making sure he was secure upon Charizard, Harry glanced around him to spot the other team members. Unfortunately, the sand thrown up by the cursed attack still zipped around him and he was unable to see a thing.
For seconds, he lived in anxiety, fearing for his friends and comrades. Fearing that they had been captured. Everyone knew that Cat would punish rebels severely, especiall rebels targeting her life.
Slowly, the pokemon and the Commander cleared the dust bowl, climbing high into clear air. Scanning the skies, he noticed several others, bursting forth from the cloud like himself. As if automatic, they slowly grouped back together, tailing General Daniella on her Dragonite. Although he couldn't see her face, Harry knew she pulsed with anger, her very movement and words expressed it.
"Waste!" she fumed indignantly,"All of it for nothing! How? How did they find out? We prepared, spent hours on the plan, and yet they found out!"
Suddenly, realizing that the entire team was listening to her, she changed her attitude and regained her posture.
"Commander Kim, report!" she sternly asked.
"Ma'am. All present and accounted for."
"Thankyou Mr. Kim. Now let's go home and figure out what we did wrong."
A chorus of "aye's" went around the group and then Daniella sped forward into the air with the rest following.
During the entire trip, no one spoke a word.
Chapter 3: A Simple Saith
Major D silently strided down the hall, wondering what everyone was wondering: "How did we fail?" A question that had plagued her since General Daniella's return. Hopefully, with the Senior Staff Meeting, some light shall be shed on the situation.
She sighed inwardly. If she had been there, the mission wouldn't have failed and they would have never retreated. She would have kept the team positioned and fought the Alliance with all her might and skill. Not retreat like General Daniella did....
Of course, that's why she was left in charge of Inner Heaven, so her "ruthlessness" won't undermine the mission. General Daniella said it required a certain degree of secrecy and logic. D just didn't fit the bill.
Worse yet, even though she resented the fact of being left behind, she knew that Daniella was right. She was ruthless and unpredictable. Quick to change and violent. That's what made her a great soldier, but also a horrible spy. Her best and worst trait.
D quickly turned right into an adjacent corridor, one rarely used by anyone except the Senior Staff. It lead to only one place, the Observation Lounge. The center of the rebellion itself, the Observation Lounge had housed many plans and ideas for the war. This, was where they decided what to do and how to do it.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps echoing against the solid halls. She quickly turned around to see Dr. Mario arrive, panting heavily. He bent over, grasping his knees to catch a breath of air.
"Am I... too... late?" he panted.
D smiled, she admired the doctor, even though he was sometimes a bit erratic. Rumor has it that he had been tortured by Cat and had never been the same. Although seemingly far off, it did explain the doctor's constant tardiness and behavior.
"No Doctor. You're just on time for the meeting."
She continued to grin at the befuddled doctor, as he slowly rose up, his dirty hair now drenched with sweat. Then, he simply placed his hand on his hair, mumbled something about it being better for circulation, and walked through the metal door, hands on head and all.
D, simply laughed inwardly again and followed him inside.
As, D stepped past the open door, glancing past the Doctor, she noticed that the rest of the senior staff had already arrived.
Security Chief Kaiba sat sternly, near the door on the left side. His arms crossed over his chest, viewing everything from his cold, emotionless eyes. Although his name was Seto Kaiba, people called him Sk, that's what he wanted them to call him, and so they did. Most were afraid to do otherwise. Even though he only had 17 years, his arms bulged outward, showing his muscles through the Rebellion uniform. Tough from the war, his use of force spoke for itself.
Next to Sk, sat Operation Officer James. His ability to strategize and plan surpassed most others in Inner Heaven. Few challenged his intelligence. In chess, he dominated and only lost once to Dr. Mario on account of "randomness". Great at logic, but poor at chaos, he was a known neat freak. Either way though, the Rebellion valued his logic and he valued the Rebellion. If only his sister would leave the Alliance, then his life would finally be complete. Unfortunately, the terrible war had pitted the two siblings against eachother.
Sitting across from James, sat Intelligence Officer Sidney. His eyes sparkled with a mystical power and knowledge, as if he knew something everyone else failed to realize. Wearing a simple black cloak over his uniform, it wasn't hard for others to realize his secrecy. Unfortunately, only General Daniella knew where he origionated from since she appointed him. Since then, he had never discussed his backround and at many times was far away in a dangerous mission. Machiavelli in nature, D wasn't sure if she liked him or not.
To his right, sat the vengeful Commander Kim, Chief Engineer of Inner Heaven. As opposed to Sidney, D knew Harry's backround. Guided only by hate and revenge, his pain drove him to fight and win, though more logically then D when in battle. More importantly, he disliked to lose anyone, still pained from his own loss and played a cautious game, a trait opposite of her own. As for his mechanical and programming skills, he had been the best, no doubt and helped keep Inner Heaven running, after countless attacks. Without him, they probably all be dead.
Finally, General Daniella. She sat imperially at the head of the table, eyes set, face neutral. Although she didn't show it, D knew she was concerned about the last mission and possibly the next. Serious and emotional, her melange of these two traits bestowed upon her the strength to fight and lead. Everyone in Inner Heaven admired her courage and would follow her to their deaths. Unfortunately, many have done so. Amazingly, Daniella managed to remain strong, even after the capture of her husband, General Syrus. Raising a single daughter had been difficult for her, yet she continued to fight for the Rebellion. Nothing stopped her, and nothing ever did.
D quickly walked over to her seat across from Commander Kim. He simply nodded his head in her direction, weary from the long trip from Pallet Town to Goldenrod. As she took her place, she turned and watched as Dr. Mario clumsily stumbled into his own chair, not really paying attention to it. Staring up, he looked as if he wasn't fit to practice medicine. However, he prooved himself countless times and even cured a biological virus created by the Alliance. He may look insane, and act insane, but he still was a genius.
Quietly, everyone around the table turned their attention to Daniella, who by now had positioned herself to begin the meeting. With a quick clearing of the throat, she began.
"As you may already know, the last mission to assassinate Empress Catriona failed." she announced while several members nodded their heads. "From what I gather..." she continued,"this wasn't a simple mistake of being spotted. Someone told the Alliance we were coming."
A chorus of mumbles broke out, but quickly died down as Daniella spoke on.
She frowned. "From what Sidney tells me, we were betrayed by one of our own." She glanced over to the Intelligence Officer.
"Yes, that is precisely what happened." he acknowledged,"Several sources, unfortunately none that I can name, tell me that Empress Catriona and Emperor Nate recieved a message from a rebel, warning them about our plot to kill the Empress. Luckily for us, instead of preparing a defense force, they simply hoped to take the entire team out with a well aimed cannon blast, one that almost killed the entire group if Daniella hadn't proceeded with the plan ahead of schedule."
He sighed, then continued. "Unfortunately again, my sources don't know who leaked the plan or how it exactly reached the Alliance. All we know was that the plan had been passed along a chain. The informant contacted another person, who in turn passed it along to another informant. We don't know how many people the message passes through."
"Give us an estimate Sidney." responded Daniella.
He looked to her, never changing his neutral expression. "In my opinion, a chain of 4 to 5 people would be the most efficient. Too many to track easily and too few to garble the message. However, this chain could be made up of Alliance and Rebellion members, or even by those in neutral territories. Whatever the case, my agents are on it and we'll figure this problem out. Heh, we'll even take care of it for you."
Sk laughed, glancing menacingly at Sidney. "You would. Always assassinating those who oppose us, under our noses. And never telling us anything. How do we know that you're not the informant? Hmmm? Every so often, my troops disappear, and it would be foolish of me to not consider if you're taking them out1"
Sidney, merely stared, and leaned back in his chair. "Upset Seto? Don't worry, I'm not killing your men. If their like their leader, than they're not even worthy to be killed by my agents."
Sk jumped to his feet. "Why you!!!"
Sidney smiled and rose to his feet in response. "What are you going to do? Kill me?"
Daniella, stood up, her hands placed sternly on her hips, face cold as ice. "Sk, Sidney, please. This is not a playground and we're too old to bicer like toddlers. If you haven't noticed, we have a war to win and I'm not going to have two officers fight eachother over a simple squabble. Now sit down!"
Sk scowled at her, quickly deciding wether it was worth to continue the arguement, decided it wasn't, and grudgingly sat down. Sidney, simply shrugged, and glided back into his chair, the sickening grin still poised on his face. Daniella, simply sat down, taking the time to calm herself and focus back on the meeting.
For a moment, no one spoke, waiting to see who would break the tension first. D simply stared at everyone, hoping that she wouldn't have to be the one to do it.
She was lucky. Dr. Mario, unfazed by the arguement, spoke up. He looked directly at Daniella and said,"I know where Syrus is." Then he turned his head back up to look at the ceiling. Not caring if his words mattered or not.
At the mention of Syrus, all eyes fell upon the baffled-minded doctor. For more than a year, Syrus had remained captured, stowed away from view. Not even Sidney's secret cover opperatives were able to locate the lost leader. How Mario ever came upon this information, was a miracle in itself.
But more so to Daniella than anyone else. It was not only her life that depended on him, but the life of their child. When Syrus had been captured, Daniella was half a month pregnant, her husband never knowing the existance of their child. Daniella was left alone to raise a fatherless daughter.
But now.... Now there was a possibility of his return. A hope, a dream that many would try and die for. Like Daniella, General Syrus was respected by all, even though his methods were a bit more harsh than Daniella's own. Yet, he had been the only one to ever confront Emperor ElimN8 face to face, the only one to even match his own wit and intelligence. Unfortunately, because of this, Syrus had been a prime target.
There were rumors, that about twp years ago, several attempts were made on Syrus's life, but back then he lead the powerful forces and technology of Saith Industries, the main constructor of Outer Heaven, The Towers of Sunset, and Inner Heaven. Unfortunately, only one of their three immense projects survived into the present. The forces of the Trainer-Magma Alliance under the Emperor cast a large dent into the world, seemingly targeting the riches of Syrus for some unknown, vengeful reason.
Luckily, Syrus managed to escape each situation, facing death and destruction along the way. His high degree of suspicion upon the Emperor created The Magnificent Rebellion, one of the main forces to oppose the Alliance. Just in time, for the power of the Alliance had quickly swooped down upon the lands of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Orange, killing, and persecuting all that opposed them and stood for freedom.
For months, battles raged on. After several failed plots to defeat the Alliance using the Towers of Sunset and Outer Heaven, Syrus finally was captured in the Battle of Mauville. Commander James, who had been there, tried to follow the Alliance forces, but they had been violently beaten and unable to pursue them. In the end, Syrus was gone, and no one knew anything as to his location.
Since then, the war has gone downhill. The Rebellion had been pushed away from Hoenn, having to retreat to the Orange Islands. In Johto and Kanto, it had been a standstill with Syrus, but now, the Alliance forces had pushed past the border and now threatened the western Johto. If it weren't for the help of Team Aqua under Regent Andi, also known as Shroomish, Johto would have been devastated and the Rebellion would be elimnated.
Yes, they were desperate, willing to devise plans that might slow the Alliance, make them pause for a second so the Rebellion could breath. But so far, only minor missions had been successful and Empress Catriona's strategy over seas had stretched their resources along the Orange Islands. Defeat seemed eminent if nothing drastic was done, and unfortunately, all their drastic measures were defeated.
If Syrus was alive, then they had a chance. The Rebellion needed him desperately.
D turned to watch, as Daniella quickly caught her breath and began to speak. Her eyes filled with a mixture of excitement, fear, and hope. Yet, behind them lay the same determination and power that kept them fighting and the same bond that paired her to Syrus. She wanted him back, she wanted him now.
"Doctor. Where is Syrus?" she questioned seriously, her hands clenched in anticipation.
The Doctor simply looked at Daniella and smiled. His eyes holding a distant glance. Then, as if nothing mattered, he looked up again, seemingly searching for something that only existed in his mind.
General Daniella, however, wasn't ammused. Her eyes pulsed with anger and sadness, and her face contorted in a rage of curiosity and stress. D had never seen her like this before, not when they lost, not when they failed. It was like she had travelled to another plane of anger and distress, one that tugged at the very soul and heart. Everyone knew she deeply cared for Syrus as much as she cared for herself and her daughter, perhaps more. All the months of anguish, waiting, worrying had finally caught up with the general and in that moment, she finally released the pain that held her down.
In a moment, she stood up, her entire being looming over the table, a giant among dwarves. In the same moment, her voiced boomed throughout the room, paralyzing everyone except the unphased doctor. Only this time, the doctor noticed her. The doctor, after meetings of constant bewilderness, had finally snapped to attention and listened to Daniella as she shouted,"Doctor! Tell me where Syrus is or I'll rip your heart out!"
The Doctor looked into Daniella's eyes. His cold expression and calm attitude greatly contrasted Daniella's enraged expression. But for now, what passed between the two in that moment, but the message was recieved and the Doctor finally answered with a serious tone.
"He's in the Alliance Fort on the edge of the Ruins of Fortree. Go there, and you will find him."
"Thankyou Doctor." she whispered, exasperated.
And for the second time, there was silence. Daniella quickly regrained her posture. All eyes fixed on their troubled leader. Slowly, the same person who had managed the Rebellion reformed at the head of the table, yet still, D could see the emotions flowing inside her, hinting in her face and movement.
"Okay then." Daniella spoke crisply. "Our next objective is to rescue Syrus from the Alliance. Sidney, what is the current status of the fort?"
Sidney frowned, obviously not used to being a simple data informant.
"General, I think that the Doctor must be misinformed. My agents haven't located Syrus in all their work. How could the simple-minded surgeon even know of such things? Not to mention that the Fortree Fort is a minor threat, minimal security. If they're keeping anyone here, it would be someone of little importance."
Daniella frowned, placing her sturdy arms on her hips.
"Sidney, the reason it's not a prime target might be the reason they're keeping Syrus there. Not even your agents were.... adept enough to check the fort for him."
"Yes..." Sidney replied. "But should we even be taking the chance? It might be a trap."
"If there is a chance, even a minor one of Syrus being alive, I'm willing to take it! He's an important asset to the Rebellion and we need him."
Sk scoffed then looked at Daniella, still sitting in his chair. "Are you sure it's not just you who needs him?! We all know how you two desperately care for eachother. And maybe, you're just wasting valuable Rebellion resources to fulfill a personal cry for help."
Daniella, reared up, glaring angrily at Sk. He had hit on the mark. "Commander Kaiba, I expect a more professional comment next time. James! What is the best tactic to infiltrate the fort?!"
James meekly looked up, shocked and scared by the outrage present at the table. "Well... uh... I would suggest a small team to secretly enter through the sewer system that all Alliance forts have. With little security, it shouldn't be a problem... However, I agree with Sidney and Sk. Strategically, this could be a trap and I think that we shouldn't go flying after.... ghosts."
Daniella slammed her fist down on the table. Her emotions taking control, pushing itself to the forefront of her mind.
"Listen!" she commanded. "I'm going to rescue Syrus, no matter what! Do you understand me?"
Sk grunted. "I understand that your emotional and not thinking straight like a real leader should."
Daniella stood straight up, her fists, clenched as well as her mouth. She simply stared menacingly at Sk, hatred running through her wet eyes.
And then, a simple phrase broke the tension.
"Just let her go." Harry softly spoke. "Just let her go rescue Syrus."
Again, the Rebellion leaders remained silent. Solemn and shocked attitudes passed through each face.
James merely stared into the ground, too shy to say anything that might provoke Sk. Sidney frowned, his serious face replacing the anger that used to lay there. Sk grunted again, disaproval of Harry's stand darkened his eyes and he sullenly glared at the Commander. D, remained silent as well, still shocked by the outbursts.
At Harry's remark, Daniella's eyes glanced away from Sk and focused squarely on his persona. D felt the tension built up inside of her begin to slide away as she finally had one ally in her personaly quest.
But Sk, wasn't done. "Why?" he sneered at Harry. "Why should we let her save her precious Syrus?"
Harry straightened up, more out of discomfort than bravery. He stared directly into X's eyes, as if searching for his soul, his heart.
"Because" he replied. "The war is going poorly. Already we have lost several battles. Our plans failing at every corner, every step. Our main projects are doomed before we even begin. We make a move, and the Alliance not only counters it, but strikes back."
He sighed. His face contained his heavily guarded emotions. Hidden, trapped behind a cold, steel expression.
"We can't win like this." he continued. "When Syrus was leading us, at least we remained tied with the Alliance. No one gained ground, and no one lost ground. But when they captured him.... that's when we began going downhill. First the Battle for Pewter City, then the destruction of Outer Heaven, and now this, our failure to even assissinate the Empress."
He turned to Daniella, perhaps to encourage her, perhaps to address her, perhaps even to simply turn the meeting back to her.
"We need to find and rescue Syrus. His genius in planning and strategy is too valuable to lose. He's our last chance to save the Rebellion. Otherwise, we're doomed."
D turned to Daniella, to see her nod to Kim. Her eyes were now dry and her mouth straightened back out into the regular expression she wore every meeting. Daniella was back to being the leader, the leader that everyone new, the leader that they needed.
"Okay then." she motioned. "Sidney, choose the best agents at this base. Around 5 members. Prepare them for the mission. As for the plan, we'll fly to the fortress and infiltrate the building using the sewer system. Once inside, we need to locate Syrus, free him, and escape through the same way we came in, or if need be, any way possible."
Daniella folded her hands on the table. The signal that said she was done. The first to respond was Sk.
"I don't know...." he antagonized. "When it comes to Syrus, you tend to become emotional and that will jeopardize the mission."
She quickly replied indignantly. "Sk, I'm perfectly capable of handling myself."
He scoffed, but finally nodded. "Fine. But I want James and D to go with you. James will keep a cool head and will make sure the mission will proceed smoothly. As for D, if you get into a tight situation, she'll get you out ot it. She's one of the best battlers and will be more than a match for anyone."
Then, out of the blue, Daniella grinned. "Okay." she agreed. "James, D, you two will accompany me. I want you to be prepared at 22 hundred hours for departure. We're attacking at night."
She then stood up, standing upright.
"Are there any more comments?" she insinuated.
Sidney, looked up and replied. "General, my agents will be ready with the proper equipment tonight."
"Good, good." she said. "Then, if there's nothing else. Meeting adjourned."
And with that solemn and serious ending, the members of the ill-fated Rebellion wearily stood up. Sk, grunted again, and simply stormed out of the room, obviously angery. D simply ignored him and went about gathering up her information papers that were passed out in the beginning.
She barely noticed Sidney secretly exit the room, quiet as a churchmouse.
As for James, he simply gathered his materials and simply walked out. He believed in efficiency and puntuality. However, with the unnatural scene of emotion and anger, he felt the need to escape the tension in the room. D noticed a tiny bead of sweat, placating his forehead. He was obviously distressed about the arguments. Perhaps, because it struck so close to home.
And, of course, finally Harry. D, once again looking upon the young teenager's face, simply gazed at a sad, serious attitude, one that had existed for awhile now, one that had rarely changed at all. He was a war vetran, a person who had faced the worst times of the war and the most gruesome battles.
Yet, his support for Daniella was random, diferrent. Breaking the unwritten code of silence he had made long ago, he spoke up when she was down. Why?
Generall Daniella, too, wished to know the answer.
"Commander.... Harry." she began. "I just want to thank you for your support. It means a lot to me."
Harry merely looked up at her and shrugged, maintaining his solemn expression.
He replied,"It's simple. We need Syrus's strategic thinking. That's all."
Daniella paused, and D knew from experience that Daniella knew more than she was letting on.
"Yes...." she motioned. "Harry... I know about your sister."
A sudden chill enthralled the room, and D felt a shiver run down her spine. Harry had a sister? Origionally, D had thought he fought to avenge the death of his comrades, but never before had she realized that the blood ran deeper, in the heart, in the soul. Family. Harry Kim fought to gain revenge for his sister's death.
Harry's tired eyes suddenly narrowed, a pained expression passing quickly over his face as if reminded by some horrible event, one of death, one of failure. His mouth dropped open and slowly closed in response. However, as quick as he fell into shock, he just as quickly regained his composure. Perhaps slightly more disconcertly, he stared back at Daniella.
"I know that Syrus means a lot to you. You love him as much as I love... I loved my sister. To separate you would only scratch the wound that consumes you. I cannot leave you to a fate of depression. No... that is my path, my trail, that I alone have to face."
"Harry..." Daniella softly spoke. "I'm sorry...."
"Don't." he interupted. "I don't want your pity. It hurts too much. Just let me be.'
And with that, Harry quickly turned and quickly paced out the door and into the bleak, grey hallway. If D had chased after him or even carefully examined his face, she would have noticed a slight tear below his left eye, one that had been formed months ago, one that had never truly left his face.
Night, a time of darkness, a time of despair. What the eyes cannot see, what the ears cannot hear, is the unknown. And in the dark lies the unknown.
D quickly tightened her coat around her as a chilly wind blew past. A slight shiver ran through her legs. As she drew closer to the rest of the group, attempting to keep warm, she noticed her breath form small white whisps of air, that danced in front of her face, before finally dissolving away into a bleak darkness of dispair. Even the moon desserted the small, meak group, hiding itself behind the vast grey stretch of clouds.
Not even pokemon bothered to slither into the dreary night. Noctowl huddled in their nests, protecting their young with their large, brown wings. The Diglet, normally friendly and active, hid inside their deep network of holes. Even the water pokemon, of every type and species, remained below the surface, afraid to disturb the calm surface, to cause a ripple in the serenity as if a heavy curse lay upon the land and sea.
The pokemon felt it, and so did the humans. Each member, of the 8-man team, felt the unease of the weather. Their wide pupils stared out wondrously into the fog, as if trying to will it away by thought. Even their courageous leader Daniella, felt the oppresive cold and darkness. But even now, she put on a steadfast and strong gaze. D you knew that she had to be strong so that her team would be strong.
"Let's move." she stated loudly, piecing the taboo. "Everyone, mount your flying pokemon."
A multitude of sounds of pokeballs snapping off belts and flying filled the air in response. Soon after, energy filled the now flowing air as the flying pokemon sparkled together from their metal homes.
D too, called out her pokemon: Dragonair. Her first pokemon, the one that gave her its namesake. More precious that gold or jewels, Dragonair represented her own fiery spirit and heart of purity. They were a team.
As the rest of the pokemon came out, James with his Dragonite and Daniella with her Scizor. Each person, quickly mounted or climbed onto their pokemon, preparing for the long flight that awaited them.
Daniella began, speaking with an air of command, she said,"We head for the Ruins of Fortree. You all know the plan and are prepared for assaulting the fortress. As for our flight, we must all stick together. If anyone falls behind, we leave them there. There is no time to go back and we cannot take the chance."
She pointed her right finger directly into the air.
"There is our goal, there is our destiny. Now, let's fly!"
And with that, Daniella and her Scizor took off into the foggy night. A second later, her team of 7 had followed her up, up into the clouds and wind. They flew as one. They flew as a team.
The intrepid group flew on for hours, pushing against time and force. The blustery, sharp wind nipped at their skin and tore at their faces. Most barely could feel their toes or hands, yet they pressed forward, determined to complete their desperate mission. They swore to complete it, one way or another.
D grasped tightly onto Dragonair, using its body heat to stay warm. She already had lost feeling in her bare hands, wishing that she had brought along the gloves that lay in her closet. Wanting to rub them warm, but afraid to let go of her precious pokemon, she simply leaned in one position, frozen in place.
Looking down, onto the vast stretches of land and sea, she could see small cities and villages. Some whole and thriving, but also, some completely destroyed by the battles fought between them and the Alliance. It deeply saddened her to see the horrible destruction. Her own memories combined with images of the towns, and she quickly looked away to avoid the onslaught of emotion that would follow. The war may hav slash Harry severly, but it also left bruises on everyone else.
Finally, after several more minutes, Daniella's team landed. They quickly found a patch of forest, untouched by the fires that burned most of Fortree. Each pokemon landed softly, so as to not alert anyone else of their arrival. With the same discreet movements, the members carefully unmounted their weary pokemon, and recalled them to their respective pokeballs.
D patted Dragonair for the safe journey, a way of thanking it for its hard work. Dragonair nodded to her graciously before finally transforming into a brilliant beam of red light and entering its pokeball. D smiled, before tucking it safely away in her jacket pocket. Then, turning to her left, she noticed Daniella had already taken position at the head of the group. She stood up, facing the general, listening to her words.
"Okay." Daniella whispered imperialesly. "From my position, I could see the Alliance fortress north of here."
She pointed her finger to indicate the direction.
"We'll hike to the edge of this forest and scan the fortress for the sewer system. James has informed me of its design and it should be easy to spot."
She turned back to the group, placing her hands crossly on her hips.
"Lt. Commander James, Lt. Henry. You two will stand guard at the edge of the forest. Any sign of trouble, you two will advance upon the fortress and create a distraction. I want it loud and clear. That should hopefully attract the attention of the guards. However, if worse comes to worse, retreat back to Inner Heaven. Understood?"
The two men nodded, both nervous, but willing to serve.
"As for the rest of you, you'll come with me. We'll dash from the forest to the nearby river and run up it until we find the sewer pipe. From there, we'll slosh through the muck until we reach the service ladder that leads to the basement. We'll secure the room, then dash through the corridors I mentioned in the briefing. If anyone is in our way, we'll neutralize them with Lt. Gerson's Butterfree. We enter the Brig, rescue Syrus and escape the same way we came. Once done, we'll meet up with the rest of the group and fly off. That's the plan, and that's how we're going to save Syrus. Any questions?"
With the end of the speech, the group remained silent. They were ready to fight, ready to rescue, ready to die. Daniella made sure they knew the plan before they left, and now she was making sure they knew the plan before they begin.
"Okay then." she responded to the predictable silence. "Let's go."
General Daniella quickly turned around and marched forward into the forest with the rest of her team following closely behind her. D quickly fell into line right behind James and they moved forward, pushing and shoving their way though branches and bushes. Around them, the forest lay silent except for the sound of sticks cracking as several feet plodded along. The eerie silence was quite unsettling and D felt unprotected and slightly afraid. Only the fact that she was together in a group, helped her remain calm in the dark night lit only by the nearly full moon.
For minutes, the group simply walked, thinking of the mission, of home, and of simple wishes. Daniella, simply led on, determined to retrieve her lost love. While the 5 agents simply thought of this as bravado, James and D knew that Daniella's emotions ran deep and she was driven by her intense feelings. What's more, D knew that Sk was justified in asking her to bring James along. His cool attitude would surely keep Daniella on track, however her decision to leave him behind in the forest... didn't bode well in her mind. If things became tricky, D would have to be the one to use logic, something that she lacked in.
D, so wrapped up in this new revelation, almost didn't notice the line stop and barely missed running James into the ground. She looked up, trying to grasp the situation. As her eyes stared farther, past the group, she saw why they had stopped. There, past the edge of the forest where they were, stood the Alliance fortress, looming over the land. The stark red and black building looked slightly run-down, yet still held the propaganda and "brilliance" of the Alliance. Red and black banners still ran down the sides of the cracked walls. Above, a flagpole flew high, raising the Alliance banner, shouting to all that came within sight. Yes, they had found the fortress.
Daniella spun around to face the team, instantly gathering the attention of everyone. Deciding not to talk, for fear of being discovered, used hand signals and pointed at James and Lt. Henry, indicating by pointing down for them to remain. They both nodded in replied. Then, turning to everyone else, she pointed to her left, checking to see that everyone understood her. Then, just as quietly, she slid into the bushes in the direction she pointed to and headed for the river, leading the remaining 4.
The small group soon found their way to the small riverbank. The old banks of the slouchy stream clearly protruded form the dry forest. Although a mystery to most of the group, D knew from the Senior Staff briefing that the stream had been channeled into a nearby hydroelectric dam in order to provide power. In turn, the old course of the river had been destroyed, leaving only a minuscule reminder of the once turbulent entity.
Daniella, being the first to reach the stream, quickly halted near the edge, analyzed the safest way to enter the mud and trickling water, then plunged into the mess. Obediently, the rest of her troop followed in behind her, all determined to succeed in the risky mission.
D splashed in right behind Daniella and could see the trail they were taking. Mud splashed all over her rough pants of her uniform, but she continued on, used to dirt by now. She knew that war tended to be messy, something she learned from experiences like this mission.
She pushed forward through the mud, listening carefully to the sounds around her, in case the Alliance had discovered their plans. However, the forest was silent, except for the natural sounds of nature. The insects buzzed steadily in their usual fashion, except for when the group walked nearby in which the bugs dashed in for a piece of fresh meat. D quickly swatted away some, but the second she put her hand down, more came to torture her.
In the distance a Noctowl hooted, perhaps to yell out its success in a hunt, but more likely to warn others of danger. In the cold, clammy night, D tended to agree with the latter. With the dense trees surrounding the river, blocking out even the moon, only their tiny flashlights provided a source of light, and even then it wasn't much. D usually wasn't afraid of the dark, but then again, these weren't usual conditions.
Slowly, the fog crept in from the south, seemingly following them as they traveled. D, sunk her head away from the wilderness, afraid of the dangers it had to offer. Instead, she focused on Daniella's back, hoping that this normal vision would help clear her mind of the dangers of darkness. What the mind didn't think, couldn't hurt it. At least, it will prevent her from losing herself in the mist.
But even so, she could still feel the darkness. It surrounded them like the fog, pulsing in and out of the trees. She could barely see in front of Daniella and had to stay close as not to lose her. Together, they had a chance, but alone.... No, better not to think about it. Fear had a way of paralyzing the soul if one focused on it.
So D, moved away from the thoughts of dangerous wild pokemon, and instead focused on her happy memories. Memories of her family, the one she had left behind to fight the Alliance. They would be so proud of her now, to see her risking her life for a friend, Syrus.
Oh yes, Syrus had been a good friend too, like a brother. Sure, he kidded her every now and then, and teased her, but inside his heart, he held a piece of kindness for D, teaching her how to survive, how to fight, how to think, and especially how to understand. She was young, innocent, but Syrus knew she had to learn the ways of the world, before they came and destroyed her. And so he taught, sometimes with care, sometimes with force, but each time, pointing out a valuable lesson. Her final lesson, she remembered was one of immense pain, yet she knew that it was one of the most realistic and informative lessons and it taught her something she would never forget.
Finally, the weary and half-frightened group arrived at the sewer entrance.
It was concealed and D would have passed right by if Daniella hadn't have pointed it out to everyone else. It was a large pipe, about 2 meters in diameter. Just a meter into the pipe, a series of five rusted bars crossed vertically inside the pipe, a defensive measure. At the bottom of the pipe leaked out muck and filth from the fortress. D held up her nose in response to the pungent smell, but quickly put it back down. She needed to adjust herself to the smell if they were to succeed in rescuing Syrus.
Just as they planned, one of the three agents pulled out one of his small pokeballs. Without making more than a sound of movement, he carefully released the pokemon inside, an Arbok. The large snake pokemon quickly slithered forward, it too knowing the task it had to perform. Facing the metal bars, it quickly reared its giant head back and spit a large glob of acid forward, hitting the bars directly.
Normally, it would have taken several attacks to dissolve metal, perhaps more than one pokemon if the bars were steel, luckily, however, the bars had been rusting for years leaving them weak and brittle. The acid ate through it like a knife cut butter and soon there was enough space for the team to enter. The agent, who had sent the Arbok, quickly recalled it. The first stage of the mission was complete.
Daniella was the first to head in, bending low to avoid the remaining sharp edges of the bars. D automatically followed her, close behind, followed by the three agents. Stepping carefully, they finally moved past the obstacle and stood up in the huge pipe.
Daniella glanced around as she walked, swinging her flashlight around the sewer. D knew she was recalling the entire diagram that James had provided them and hoped that she knew it well enough to lead them to the ladder that lead up to the fortress basement. From there, they would disable any guards they found and move through 3 halls before reaching the brig. With a little luck, Syrus would be there. Then, they would quickly free him, retrace their steps, and escape into the night air before anyone, even Colonel Nick, the commander of the fortress, could find them.
Walking a few meters, they quickly turned left into a linking pipe and then right again. Sloshing through the muck was incredibly difficult, not only because of the thickness of the goo, but also the pungent smell that permeated the air. D could even feel the gas on her skin, something quite unpleasant, to anyone. It was no wonder they hadn't discovered any Grimers, this place would be breeding heaven.
The group traveled down a bit farther, leaving Daniella to lead them in the right direction. Ever now and then they would turn into another pipe, each one the same as the last, large, murky, and gaseous. Even D, who had also seen the diagram, began to think that they were going in circles. She figured the fortress was large, but this was ridiculous. Whoever built the system should have been dragged into the street and shot.
Finally, she couldn't take it anymore; she lunged her head to the right, and vomited into the sludge. Sick to her stomach with muck and goo, she was lucky that she hadn't eaten in hours. Unfortunately, the entire group noticed and Daniella momentarily stopped to help D.
"Major Dratini." she asked. "Are you all right?"
D placed her hands on her knees, taking a breather. She looked up at the General, gracious for the break, but also determined to continue on with the mission.
"Yes General." she replied. "Let's continue on."
Daniella nodded, knowing that when D wanted to continue, she meant it. Strong headed as always.
"Okay then." she responded. "Let's go."
So the small group restarted on. D carefully looked away from the goo and like the trip through the river, tried to focus on Daniella's back. The method seemed to work and soon her stomach began to recover from the violent expulsion.
Eventually though, the finally discovered the rusted ladder hidden behind green moss that grew along the sides of the pipes. Like always, Daniella was first to climb up, tightly grasping on to the slippery bars. D had to hold tightly on, every so often losing footing on the bars. Luckily, she had managed to keep her balance otherwise half the team would have died.
The climb was only 4 meters up, however due to the poor condition of the metal, it seemed like an entire mountain. Slow step by slow step, they pushed on, determined to reach the metal cover above. For a few seconds, D thought they wouldn't make it, yet Daniella continued on up, slipping and sliding like everyone else, yet she finally reached it.
Carefully, she removed her right hand from the bars, clenching the left hand tightly. Keeping balance, she slowly pushed the metal cover off the hole and slid it to the side of the floor. Then, returning her hand to the bar, she pushed herself up slightly higher and peered through the entrance for guards. Turning her head back and forth, she looked down towards the group.
"All clear." she stated. "Let's go."
Hearing their orders, the team quickly scrambled up the stairs. D watched as Daniella pushed herself into the basement and gratefully accepted her help when it was her turn to enter. Have pushing and half relying on Daniella's strength, D struggled up the opening and slid on the floor, pushing herself up the rest of the way. Immediately after, she crawled out of the way to make room for the other three.
Within a minute, the entire team had managed to climb into the basement. As soon as the last guy arrived, Daniella picked up the metal cover and placed it snugly over the entrance. Quickly checking everyone, she assessed the situation and turned to give orders.
"Okay." Daniella began, "Ensign Thatcher and Lt. Gerson, you two will lead. Gerson, I'll need your Butterfree and Thatcher, send out your Bayleef. We'll need to them to knock out the guards. Major D, Lt. Harrison, you two will watch the rear. At any sign of trouble, alert the front so we can neutralize the enemy. Remember, walk quickly and silently. We've gone over the layout of the fortress several times so keep cool and remain calm. Okay, let's move out. Masks on."
Within seconds of receiving directions, the group flew into flurry. Two pokeballs hit the ground in an instant, releasing Butterfree and Bayleef out. At the same time, everyone pulled out blue surgery masks out of their packs. Placing them on quickly. Although uncomfortable, D knew that they would be extremely valuable once sleep powder is used.
Then, quickly standing up, D moved into her planned position, the back left of the entire group. As the rest of the team followed, forming an X like shape with Daniella in the middle, Daniella quickly scanned around for signs of detection before ordering the team to move. Finally, satisfied with their safety, she directed the command and they were off, marching quickly and silently towards the basement door, into the hallways and hopefully to Syrus, the hope of the entire rebellion.
The team covertly slunk down the bleak white hall. D could see that although it was clean and orderly, the plastered walls had begun to split and crack. The white paint had begun to fade awhile back and even the ceiling lights flickered every now and then. D glanced down, and sure enough the linoleum floor was in the same condition, slightly cracked. Obviously the fortress had not been repaired for awhile. It was clean, yes, but not even the best soap could erase the marks of time.
And D wasn't sure what that meant. Yes, on one hand, they might be facing opponents out of practice, out of sync. Being the lesser skilled than the elite of the Alliance. And if the conditions of the fort were the same conditions of the troops, then the mission would be easy to accomplish.
On the other hand, however, what if this entire mission was a trap? A lure to trap Daniella as well as several Rebellion members? The last time they planned an attack, they were immediately discovered. If it wasn't for Daniella's quick thinking and preparation, the Alliance might have 20 more prisoners to torture. So far, that was all that happened to anyone captured by the Alliance, except for those who.... converted to their side and became a turncoat. Bleh. D despised anyone who simply gave in to the Alliance. They were the enemy. Hurting innocent beings, suppressing freedom, she couldn't understand how anyone would tolerate such a thing. It was below low, it was inhuman.
And now they were preparing to change all that, no, working to change everything. By freeing Syrus, they could save the world, defeat the Alliance and bring peace finally. D knew that, the senior staff knew it, Daniella knew it.... and perhaps more.
Daniella and Syrus, D never knew a pair more romantic, more together. The couple of the century. It seemed as if no one could separate them. But the Alliance did. By capturing Syrus, they broke apart the two in an act of nothing more than strategy. Something beautiful destroyed by the war.
D recalled the first time Daniella heard the news. She was utterly and completely devastated. For days she remained in her room, crying, weeping for her lost love. D thought that perhaps Daniella would rush out and save Syrus, but Daniella knew that to do that would be suicidal leaving Syrus in the evil clutches of the Alliance. However, in all that, it was Sk that prevented her from leaving, from traveling on some half-cocked mission. He knew that she would try and he prevented her from leaving. A battle of wills ensued until Daniella was left exhausted from trying to rescue Syrus and weeping for him at the same time.
Daniella eventually recovered from the shock. Dr. Mario carefully tended to her while she regained her strength, yet there were always at least two guards posted outside sickbay and another assigned directly to her. She wouldn't be escaping, but by the time she finally returned to her duties, she didn't want to. Oh yes, she yearned for Syrus severely, but something else came into the calculation, a new life. It was then, about a month after Syrus had been taken that Daniella gave birth to their daughter, Clair. That tiny child, the life that grew from both her and Syrus saved her from her reckless mission, at least from the suicidal one. The little girl, brown hair and hazel eyes, was the gift bestowed upon the remains of the couple. Love saved Daniella and Clair saved love. A reminder of Syrus and a reminder of Daniella.
Dratini fought to protect her family, Harry Kim fought to avenge his sister, and Mario didn't know why he was fighting; yet Daniella fought for one and only one reason, Syrus Saith. She followed him into war when the Alliance targeted Saith Industries and she followed him into war when he himself had nearly been killed. And even now, she followed him, or more accurately, lead to him, to recover what was lost.
It strengthened her, it blinded her. Sk knew it, James knew it, and D knew it. D had to keep her cool because soon, at anytime, Daniella might lose control of her emotions and that would be disastrous to the entire mission. It was her job and her responsibility to act logical in time of need. Something she lacked in herself, but even so, she understood her duty, her mission and set herself to complete it with flying success... or die trying.
The group quickly slid down the corridor and turned right into an adjacent hall. D quickly snapped back into the moment, settled from her violent expulsion in the sewer as well as reintegrating her mission back in her mind. In times of great peril like this, she knew from experience that she shouldn't have her mind wandering about, but then again, she never usually had to act as Daniella's conscience. Balancing both sides of the scale isn't as easy as people think.
Walking down a few more meters, Daniella soon turned left. The rest of the group silently followed. So far, they were lucky to not encounter anyone, but no one wished to say it so as not to break the taboo. D merely remained silent as well; her feet carefully tiptoeing down the halls. In the air, she could hear their breaths, inhaling and exhaling as if their life depended on it. So deep, so loud, in constant rhythm.... in.... out... in... out.
And then their hearts fell into the same pattern. She could feel it through her skin and slowly placed her hand over it. Her breathing kept repeating in the same pattern, and her heart did as well. Every lub and dub in a pattern like her breathing, soft at first, but soon grew louder and louder.
The rhythm quickened, beating harder and faster, D quickly too her hand off her chest yet she could still feel the pulsing blood. It grew stronger with each step, each breath, each beat. Soon, she could hear her heart in her ears, beating, thumping. Her pulse quickened and her skin began to crawl. She looked ahead, but everything appeared blurry. With nothing else to do, she replaced her hand on her chest, but the beating didn't stop, didn't slow. Racing against time, she felt confined and watched as the walls began to close in on her. She looked back, but the way was blocked, closed up by the jumble of bodies behind her. Looking forward, she saw the same thing, no way to run, no way to escape. Panic gripped her and threw her in a rage of fear and anxiety. Two options remained, to fight or run.
And when she could take no more, emotions and chemicals flying inside of her, when the walls seemed to close in for the kill to destroy her, it all stopped, disappeared. The walls flew back into place and her heart dulled to a silent beat. For now, D had something to focus on, some target to think about.
There at the end of the hall stood two Alliance guards. And based on their facial expressions, they were just as surprised as she was.
Yet Daniella, though surprised as well, had long ago known to act, and in an instant she quickly whispered out orders in a commanding tone.
"Butterfree, use Sleep Powder! Bayleef, grab the two guards with Vine Whip!" she yelled.
The two pokemon nodded, trained to listen both to their trainers as well as Daniella. In an instant they shot out their attacks. The group, also trained for this tactic, immediately grabbed gas masks from their gear bags and placed them on their heads, sealing them tightly.
In less than a second, a pair of green vines zoomed away from Bayleef, targeting both Alliance guards. In top condition, they might have been able to call out their pokemon in time, but as D predicted, they were out of practice and soon the two vines tightened violently around their bodies, binding their arms into a paralyzed position. The two guards instantly lost their balance and crashed onto the floor, one on top of the other.
Yet the attack wasn't over. Once secure, Bayleef reeled them in like a caught Magikarp, dragging them quickly across the floor. D could see it was straining, using all its might, but it was worth it. In the second phase of the attack, Butterfree dashed towards the guards and in less than a moment, sprayed Sleep Powder into their faces as well as the halls. As the rest of the dust dispersed, D watched as the two guards, unable to resist the dense cloud, collapsed into a deep slumber, fortunately, before they had a chance to alert the rest of the fortress. The plan worked, for now.
D continued to stare as the rest of the dust dispersed into the halls. For safety precautions, the entire team kept their masks in place so they wouldn't also fall victim to the powder. Taking their cues from Bayleef as it released the guards from its grip, the team quickly retook their positions, keeping Butterfree and Bayleef in front in case of anymore encounters. Daniella quickly checked to make sure the guards were asleep, by kicking them, before taking her position in the middle.
Their mission still undercover, they quickly set off for the last corridor and then Syrus Saith.
They twisted into the final hallway, sneaking away from their latest deed. It was behind them now. The mission was the future and the present. At the moment, that was all that mattered, saving Syrus and surviving.
Finally, several seconds later, they arrived at the brig. However, a large, metal door stood between them and Syrus. It's lock, surprisingly high-tech compared to the rest of the building, used a card key system, similar to those used by Team Rocket in the past, a weak team by current standards.
"OK." D remarked. "I think we should just blast it open or perhaps melt it. It shouldn't take too long."
Daniella nodded her head in disagreement and pointed to the lock.
"I don't think that's wise D." she responded. "If Syrus is in here, then most likely they have linked an alarm to the door. Any forced entry would alert the guards and I don't want to risk an open encounter. We have some hacking machinery to open the lock"
D shrugged, but soon realized another fact.
"On the other hand, we might have already alerted the guards by knocking out the two we defeated." she replied. "They might have noticed their absence by now. It would be much quicker to blast the door open then take time to carefully open the lock."
"I realize this, Major." Daniella said. "However, in my opinion, I believe that hacking in is the best way. This is my command decision."
D opened her mouth, ready to respond and argue, but the look on Daniella's face prevented her from speaking and she closed it. D knew that, although emotional at times, Daniella's strong would assert itself at times. Any further arguing would be futile. It was strength. It was weakness.
At the end of the conversation, Agent Harrison quickly swung his pack off his pack and unzipped it. Removing a hand held computer; he simultaneously pulled of the cover of the key lock, revealing several circuits and microchips. D tried to make sense of it all, but came up blank. Harrison was the expert.
Harrison quickly went on, attaching two small wires to the lock circuitry. Then, switching the small computer on, his hand insanely flew over the controls. D could only stare, amazed, as Harrison managed to keep an eye on the data that scrolled down the screen while his hands gracefully danced on the keys. D could understand why Sidney had sent Agent Harrison with them.
D continued to monitor Harrison. She herself felt the tension rise in the halls, half-expecting to be shot by Alliance guards at any moment. She grew amazed at Harrison's ability to keep cool, though most likely it was because he had a task at hand. D usually could keep focus in a battle and supposed that to Harrison, this was battling, something to focus on.
Finally, Harrison completed his task. Instantly, the lock registered his command codes and beeped in acknowledgment. The bolts holding the door, slowly retracted into their slots and the metal door swung open. Harrison immediately removed his gear, yet he wasn't fast enough to beat Daniella. Before anyone else, not even checking for alarms or weapon defense systems, she dashed into the door.... and gasped.
D quickly followed her in, concerned for her safety, desperately hoping she wasn't hurt. Though when she entered, she was just as surprised as Daniella.
There, behind thick metal bars in one of the two jail cells, sat Syrus. However, this Syrus, unlike the one in their memories, was bent up, worn, tired. It seemed as if he had aged 20 years instead of 1. Worse yet, the look, the heart-breaking look in his eyes was one she had never seen before. It was the look of defeat.
D could only stare; a deep throbbing pain clenched her heart. Her eyes began to slightly water, but she was too paralyzed to wipe them. Here was Syrus, Syrus her mentor, her friend, her leader. He used to be powerful, strong, but now.... he was an old man.
D slowly looked over to Daniella, seeing only deep pain in her eyes.
"Syrus... Syrus..." she mumbled to herself, half-aware of everything around her. Tears ran down her face and down her uniform, slowly forming into a river of agony. Her hands shook out of shock, yet she couldn't turn away from the man she loved, no, loves.
Daniella stepped forward, deeply wishing to hold Syrus, to be held. All these months, all these terrible months, she slept alone, without him. Waking up, only to find an empty space beside her. Her love, her soul mate.
"Syrus... Syrus...." she continued to softly cry, each time louder and louder. She took another step, and then another, pulled towards her mate.
Yet, Syrus continued to stare at the ground, as if he was alone, deaf. He didn't see Daniella and that tore Daniella's heart out.
"Syrus.... Syrus..." she began to cry loudly, her voice now marred by her tears. She began weeping, yet continued to speak the name of her love.
She reached the steel bars, reached out to Syrus with her hand.
"Syrus... Syrus!" she cried! "Syrus, it's me, Daniella." Tears now streamed down her face in waves. Her body trembled severely and shook her from head to toe; yet she continued to reach out.
"Syrus!" she yelled finally and in that last burst, Syrus, slowly looked up. His face worn, tired, desolate of emotion.
For a moment, it was silent, except for Daniella's weeping and the drop of tears on the floor. Syrus stared into Daniella's eyes, looking for familiarity, for what used to be.
"Dani... Daniella." he could only murmur, half to himself. Yet his mind and heart failed him. He could no longer find his soul, his dreams and he could no longer find his love for her. "Daniella.... I'm sorry."
Daniella looked into Syrus's eyes, and understood. Her heart ripped open and threw itself against her chest. No longer able to keep up, to keep standing, she crumpled to the floor, her hands against her face, and wept. She had lost something she had vowed to save. She had lost her most precious gift. She had lost Syrus, the man she loved.
By now, the rest of the team had already entered the room, but remained silent as they watched the depressing scene unfold before them. All of them had been Rebellion members when Syrus ran the team and all remembered his commanding authority and strength, yet to see him like this, frail, weak, it was disheartening.
D remained paralyzed in place, like Daniella; tears fell from her eyes, but not as severely. She was somehow able to hold on to her emotions.
Lt. Harrison, remembering the mission, quietly walked over to the keys hanging on a single metal hook against the wall. Not wishing to disturb Daniella himself, he simply took D's hand and placed them in her palm before stepping back and taking his place among his fellow agents.
D dumbly stared at the keys, taking a long second to remember what they were or why. They had come to rescue Syrus, but they failed and now will bring back only a shell of the former master. She ran the thought over and over in her mind, each time crying to herself.
D felt her legs and arms return to motion and solemnly walked over to the old, metal lock on the cell. The smell of dankness permeated the air. All around her, Daniella's wails sounded and echoed off of the walls and D truly felt sadness. Her heart ached with the pain of their loss, of her loss, of Daniella's loss. Never again will Syrus lead the team or plan the war. No, never again.
D slowly placed the key into the lock and carefully turned it, unlocking the gate. She quickly pulled it out and walked over to Daniella, tapping her lightly. Daniella looked up, still weeping.
"I unlocked the door, Daniella." D said.
Daniella, merely nodded, gulping air, trying to stop crying, yet she too failed. Her tears streamed out along her face and she flung open the door, causing it to loudly crash against the wall.
Quickly running, she grabbed Syrus and pulled him tightly in a deep embrace. Yet, he wasn't the same. Syrus's arms lay at his sides, not moving to hug Daniella, to stroke her long, brown hair and comfort her when she needed him the most. No, he was gone, dead in spirit, dead in heart, dead in soul. This was not Syrus and Daniella shuddered and pulled slightly away. She held on to what was left of him, but only because she refused to let go.
"Syrus... It's me, Daniella." she whispered fiercely. "Remember, please remember!"
Daniella pleaded Syrus, searching in his eyes for a hint of his former self. But he was gone, and she pressed in further only to find nothing.
"Syrus..." she continued to cry, hugging him tightly, never letting go.
D, finally realizing the situation and snapping back into reality, slowly turned away, leaving Syrus and Daniella alone to their privacy. Her cheeks glowed slightly red from this untimely scene and she motioned for the rest of the team to do the same. Obediently they complied, and faced away from their emotion racked leaders.
However, suddenly, she spotted a slight movement in the corner of the eye and curiously looked over into the other cell. There, standing still, with an obvious annoyed look on his face, appeared another prisoner. He appeared to be an elder teen and by his clothes, he looked as if he had been imprisoned a long time, perhaps a few months. Yet, by his haughty attitude, he had definitely not been tortured by Empress Catriona.
"Finally you notice me!" he shouted with a smirk on his face. "I've been waiting months for rescue and just when you arrive, all you care about is Mr. Lamo over there!"
D numbly stared at this rude man, no boy. How dare he insult Syrus, their noble leader! He has no right! And now he expects them to rescue him??! She needed to set him right.
"First off, his name is Syrus, Syrus Saith." she began, her anger beginning to show along her face. "Second, I don't care who you are, but we will not rescue you if you continue to insult him like you do!"
The man merely looked bored, but responded with false sincerity.
"Fine, fine. I won't insult your "Syras" or whatever. Just let me out babe."
"Dratini, not babe...." She lashed out at the man. "Don't push it or you shall experience pain like nothing you've experienced before!"
Yet, again, the man remained untouchable. He shrugged as if he didn't care. "Fine, Dratini." he rolled off his tongue. "I'll cooperate with you, if only to escape. Now let me out.... please, my lady." he sneered.
D clenched her fist, but quickly held her anger inside. Now wasn't the time to fight this man and she forced herself to remain calm. Walking slowly, she placed the key inside the lock and opened his cell. The door bars slowly slid open and he walked out with his nonchalant grin smudged on his face.
"Thank you, Dratini. My name is, well, you can call me X. I'm a doctor, scientist really." He eyed her up and down. "And if you ever need an experiment..." he smiled. "You can call me."
D sighed and coughed at the same time. His run at her was unexpected and definitely poor. He was obviously driven by his hormones and she almost laughed at his pitiful attempt.
"The day I date you" she fiercely whispered. "Is when Hell freezes over!"
Dr. X smiled. "That can be arranged my dear." he murmured and slowly walked away, turning his head several times, obvious about their intents.
D glanced away, embarrassed by Dr. X's moves, especially with the 3 other agents staring at them. It was enough to rack even the strongest of people.
However, now was not the time to ponder. They were still on a mission and they needed to escape.
D slowly walked over to the kneeling couple. Daniella still embraced Syrus, crying softly to herself. Syrus remained emotionless and worn.
"Dani, we need to go. We'll be discovered if we don't leave now."
"I'm afraid you have already been, my dear."
D quickly turned around and pulled out her revolver, pointing it at the direction of the voice, but in that instant, a bolt of electricity flew from the source and zapped D's hand. She whelped in pain and pulled her hand back, dropping the gun to the floor.
"No, no, no. I'm afraid we can't have that, Dratini." the voice continued. "Life is very precious here, especially in my own base."
D, looked up, finally knowing whom the stranger was. His dark red and black uniform instantly indicated that he was a part of the Alliance. But even more revealing was the three command stripes along the left side of his uniform indicating his rank.
"Colonel Nick... I was wondering when you would appear." she carefully directed. D slowly stood up, holding her wounded hand. The pain was excruciating yet she bit her lip to stay focused. Daniella was in no condition to lead so that leaves her to save the team from destruction.
Nick smiled, laughing at D's small, secret joke. "Yes, yes, perhaps I'm slightly late. But then again, you led me here in the first place. I don't send out patrols for any reason. When two of my men disappear, I wonder where they have gone. It wasn't too hard to figure it out."
D coolly smiled, carefully scanning the situation. Her own agents had drawn out their pistols, but Nick's men had already entered the room and outnumbered them two to one, each one of them holding a weapon. Daniella was too busy with Syrus to help out. As for Nick, he too was holding a weapon, but not a gun. It was shaped like a rifle, though a lot thicker. It's metal plating seemed to indicate a sort of technology she hadn't seen before. Unfortunately, Nick seemed to follow her stare.
"Ah, I see you have noticed my invention. Sadly, being posted to an isolated fortress has its downsides, but then again, we do have a lot of free time. I call it a Bolterizer. It uses a principle of electricity that allows me to shoot at you without the risk of death. I can paralyze you and you would never be able to stop me. That first shot was on the lowest setting. Just think what the highest feels like." He smiled, himself imagining about his own glory. "This weapon will revolutionize the war and force your rebellion to surrender. Long live the Alliance!"
D merely watched Nick as he basked himself in his pride. Several ideas dashed through her mind, each plan failing to help them escape Nick's grasp. Outgunned, and trapped, Dratini could see that Nick might not be celebrating prematurely. The situation was grim.
Trying to bide for more time, she slowly engaged Nick in conversation.
"Colonel, it appears we're at a standoff though. My men are ready to fire at any time as are yours. You value your men and yourself. Surely you don't want to die." she pleasantly remarked.
Nick frowned, obviously troubled about the situation as much as D.
"Well, Major, you seem to forget that my men have the upper hand. We nearly have twice the firepower you do. In a fight, the Alliance would surely win. Surrender Dratini, if you value life, you know this will be the best way."
D smile, gritting her teeth. Nick was done exchanging pleasantries and was trying to force her hand.
"Nick, you know I can't do that. Though perhaps we can arrang-"
"Oh jeeze!" Dr. X interrupted abruptly. "Do I have to do everything?!"
He immediately turned to Nick and lifted his arms open.
"Nick, I'm madly in love with you and I want to know if we can get together some time."
Nick stared at X, shocked. His jaw dropped open. Even his men were temporarily focused on Dr. X due to his interesting statement.
D, though, understood his intent. He had created a distraction. Immediately she followed through.
"Bayleef, use vinewhip!" she yelled.
Immediately, the trained grass pokemon acknowledged and swung a powerful pair of vines at Nick and his guards. Surprised and too slow to respond, they were thrown back against the wall, their weapons falling to the floor.
"Surround them!" D yelled to the agents. Taking a moment to understand, they finally nodded and pointed their guns at the battered guards. Powerless to respond, the Nick and the guards merely lifted their hands in surrender.
D smiled triumphantly. "It looks like I have the upper hand now, Colonel."
The Rebellion Agents immediately surrounded the trapped guards, kicking away their weapons from their hands. Bayleef, knowing the situation fully, kept its two vines against the guards, holding them to the wall. The grip wasn't tight, but the pressure alone trapped them to their idle state.
Looking down, D noticed that Colonel Nick's special invention, the Bolterizer, seemed to have fallen out of his outstretched hand. Picking it up, she carefully examined it, being extra sure not to activate it.
"Quite the invention, Colonel." she murmured. "Your genius should have been used to fight the Alliance." D looked up at him only to see a look of disgust and spite. Nick spat, showing his distaste.
"Ha, the Rebellion is a joke." he muttered. "Soon it shall be overrun by the imperial forces of the Alliance! Hoenn and Kanto are already in our possession. The Orange Islands are only a mere step away from total conquest. Our forces are positioned in Cherrygrove City, ready to strike at notice! The Alliance will dominate all that stand in its path and there is nothing you can do to stop us!"
Colonel, Nick, in his fiery passion, had lifted his head as high into the air as he could. D could see fire burn in his brown eyes and knew that he spoke the truth. The Alliance grasped most of world leaving only a few places untouched. The Rebellion had managed to save most of Johto and parts of the Orange Islands, but how long would that last? The Alliance had more weapons, supplies, and troops than the Rebellion. Things didn't look up, and if events continued along the current course.... the Rebellion would be overrun in a few months. All remains of freedom and justice would be erased by furious passion of domination.
However, D realized, there was hope. Not only Syrus, who hopefully would recover from the shock, but the mere chance of stumbling onto something quite valuable. A slow smile spread across her young face. Nick, seconds ago assure of his situation, suddenly frowned in contrast, unsure of what to make about D's new expression.
D looked back down at the not-so-imperious colonel and grinned menacingly.
"Colonel Nick, you forget that although you currently have the upper advantage, I have one that is sure to benefit the Rebellion." She motioned to the bolterizer that lay idle in her hand. "Your invention will save hundreds of lives, especially with this paralyze setting you told me so much about." Then, sarcastically adding. "Thank you so much Colonel."
By now, the frown on Nick's face had transformed into the horror of realization. He had just given the enemy his prize, his technology, his greatest work! Curse D, and curse himself! He failed to prevent them from escaping and now he failed to protect his device. Like Dominoes. Everything crashed down and it was his entire fault.
D, breathing in the moment of triumph, a feeling that had long been away for the last few weeks. The tastes of the fresh air felt clean and sweet like a bar of chocolate. She carefully savored the moment, before finally exhaling the rest of the smell.
Looking back down at the "new" prisoners, she quickly pondered what to do with them. The Rebellion could use a few more prisoners, leeway on a bargaining table, yet she only had a few agents, not enough to escort the guards. On the other side of the spectrum, she could simply kill them. Less force available for the Alliance. Yet, somehow, it seemed wrong to kill them in cold blood. The Alliance was known for such cruel acts. Should they sink to their level? No. D still had her conscience and quickly discarded that option from the rest. After thinking a little more, she finally decided on a course of action. She would take the middle road.
In an instant, she lifted the bolterizer, quickly glancing at the setting. Luckily for her, Colonel Nick had already set it on the stun setting, easily shown by the word "stun" displayed on the digital screen. Not too hard to figure out. Then, looking back up, she aimed at the surprised faces of Colonel Nick and the guards before aiming at one and firing.
Like the first shot, the bolterizer launched a highly charged electric bolt at the guard, quickly paralyzing him. He crumbled against the wall like a sack of potatoes.
D, now done with one, quickly moved on to taking out the rest, carefully targeting so that the Colonel would be the last one.
A few seconds later, he was. Dratini slowly lowered the bolterizer and stepped forward. Kneeling down, she looked straight into Nick's deep blue eyes and in the most serious tone she could muster, she quietly informed, "Game over."
She lifted the bolterizer up again and shot Colonel Nick in the chest, paralyzing him like the rest.
Major Dratini, now finished with one problem, turned to her team to solve the next. All her agents were ready, positioning their hands on their pokeballs or guns. Daniella, however, and her beloved Syrus were still stuck in their emotional embrace. Syrus, eyes and mind blank with numb insanity, and Daniella, destroyed by her deep loss. The General would not be able to command the mission, just as Seto Kaiba had predicted. Now it was up to D to finish it up.
D quickly walked over to Daniella and kneeled down next to her. Tapping lightly on her shoulder, D said, "Daniella, we need to go now."
However, Daniella, emotionally drained and distressed ignored D and continued to embrace Syrus. D knew that any more attempts to encourage her would be futile. Standing back up, she walked over to the three agents, luckily all ready for action.
"Lt. Harrison," she commanded. "Help General Daniella and General Syrus to their feet. It's your duty to see that they follow the rest of us."
"Aye ma'am." he nodded, then walked over to Daniella and Syrus. D watched out of the corner of her eye as Lt. Harrison attempted to move the two lovers.
"Lt. Gerson," she continued, "You will take the back. If anyone attempts to stop us from behind, use your pokemon or your gun. Ensign Thatcher, same for you except you will be leading the team with me. Understood?"
The two agents echoed, "Yes ma'am." and took their positions in an incomplete group. Lt. Harrison, finally able to move Syrus and Daniella, though she still held his hand, moved them between the two agents.
"Okay, good." Dratini told them, "Now, Colonel Nick knows we're here, so he must have his guards on alert, especially the way we came. That route is no longer an option. So, instead, we're going to head towards the main entrance where they least expect us, blast through to the courtyard, and fly off. Any suggestions?"
The agents all shook their heads no. Daniella looked like she might say something, but a moment later looked back at Syrus.
"Okay then," D said, "Let's go home."
The intrepid group burst out of the cell, leaving their unconscious enemies within. Glancing from right to left, she pointed her arm to the hall to her left, indicating their direction. No one dared speak a word, otherwise the sacred taboo of secrecy would be broken.
Slithering down the hall, tiptoeing along its bleak, long corridors, the team managed to remain hidden. Dratini, able to sense the general movement of the Alliance troops from the echo of their boots hitting the linoleum floor, quickly pushed the group into a random room, just barely escaping the looming detection. Hearts pounded, pulsing with each step of each guard in the base. They rolled the dice of life, and each time they won, for now.
As the rest of the sound filed away into suspicious silence, D slowly opened the door and peaked around, her eyes glancing at every corner, every wall. Like a true leader, she stepped out, verifying the cleared hallways. It was safe.
D raised her hand straight into the air and pushed it forward. Her team nodded and quickly followed her down the empty corridor.
Throughout all this, D silently dashed down the halls in her mind. Each corner, each step burned in her memory and she hoped that it wouldn't fail her. Corridor after corridor, hall after hall, room after room. The Alliance bases were efficient, but repetitive. One wrong turn and the game.... no... their lives would be over.
Suddenly, her head snapped to a sound. More footsteps! Guards! She glanced around her, but lady luck failed them this time, the hall was plain, devoid of doors. They were trapped. It was time to fight.
"Prepare to fire on the enemy." she hissed, her own bolterizer raised. Acknowledging her command, the two available agents fell into line with her, rifles raised.
"Fire when you see them turn the corner. We have one chance."
D carefully took aim with her bolterizer; her hand nudged the trigger, prepared to unleash its intense power at any second.
The footsteps grew louder; D carefully tracked them and was relieved to find that there was only one person. It would be simple to disarm the guard.
D, counted, months of training placed together in the single moment. 3 steps until firing... 2 steps.... 1 step...
Perhaps it was luck, perhaps it was the will of God, perhaps Major Dratini just couldn’t shoot for beans. Whatever the case, the lightning bolt missed the target, hitting the wall, only centimeters off of the top of his head. As for the bullets, they were never launched…. to do so would have killed James.
There, Lt. James stood, half-paralyzed with fear, half-ready to shoot D with his own rifle. Not knowing why she fired on him, not to mention what she shot at him, for the longest time, he stayed with his rifle steadily pointing halfway between her and the ground. D, realizing her foolish accident, had lowered the bolterizer, leaving it hanging by her side.
Finally, after seconds of utter paralyzation on both sides, James stiffly began snap out of the shock. His face twisted to that of anger, surprise, and fear.
"Hey! What that for!" he yelled.
D, mumbled in embaressment. Then, realizing this, spoke up, her tone jumping up in down. "Oh... Sorry James. I thought you were an Alliance Guard."
"Well, as you can see, I'm not." James stated, his mind speaking for itself.
"Yeah, plus she's too good looking to be good at anything that requires a brain." Dr. X added. A broad smiled placated his face, and grew when D coldly shot him a look of death.
"James. How di you enter the base unnoticed?" she asked, regrasping the situation.
"Easily." he replied. "I went through the large hole in the wall that my Dragonite blasted. As for the unnoticed part..."
D waited patiently for the rest of the sentence, but when she saw there was none forthcoming, she said, "James, how did you-"
"Oh Geez." X exclaimed.
Everyone turned to look at X and then to the window he was looking through. There, outside, rose a wild tower of smoke and flames. The red and orange energy burned up from the forest which she had left merely minutes ago. From the looks of things, the entire forest was on fire, the trees, the plants, the life, everything. And all D could do was watch, crying inwardly.
James went on, not seeing Dratini's inward pain.
"Well, Lt. Henry and I stood there, waiting for you. Minutes passed and the meetup time came and went. We feared you had been captured or worse.... So I came up with the most tactical plausible solution. A rescue plan and a diversion. Lt. Henry used his Charizard to light the forest fire. Based on the effects of the fire that burned down Fortree a year ago, plus the fact that this base was undermanned and unprepared, I discovered that a fire of such magnitude could destroy 3 other key bases in the area as well as this one. The Alliance would have no choice, but to try and contain the flames, leaving the base undefended. The rest... is history."
D merely glanced over, keeping the look of horror she felt within her, beneath her facial exterior. She stared into James' simple, calculating eyes. His mind constantly ticking, marking every tactic into a neat organized chart within his brain. Syrus would like him because James could calculate the odds of winning and do anything to achieve their goals. But D was not Syrus, she still cared about the world and the life within it. She fought for noble goals, at least those that still existed in the dark world.
"Where is Lt. Henry?" she asked, maintaining a cool complexion.
"He's still lighting the forest on fire." James replied, none the wiser. "I ordered him to continue so that you have enough time to escape."
Yet Dratini merely nodded, her mind numb from the realization and true impacts of James' actions.
"James.... " she began, almost ready to lecture him on life, when she stopped. Not only was this not the time, not the place, but also perhaps James was right. He did what he was assigned to do, to rescue Syrus. And here she was, on the edge of death, trying to complete some half-cocked mission created by a love-sick woman. James shouldn't be scolded, he should be praised. And yet, a small part of her heart still ached.
"...James, good job. Let's get out of here." she finally answered.
So, once again, the group started up on its long and winding path of escape. James, upon D's orders, lead the group, retracing his footsteps that lead him to them.
Their pace quickened, eased by the knowledge of James' distraction. Even D admitted, though only to herself, that with the guards busily distracted, their escape had become several times easier. Every corridor, every hall, every room remained vacant as their occupants battled the raging flames outside.
The group's pace continued to quicken, soon becoming a mad dash to escape. When James turned, the group turned. When he zoomed straight ahead, so did the group. A game of chase, except this time, it was one of life or death. One wrong turn, and poof, they'll be dead.
Yet, James' mind contained thousands of facts and blueprints. D knew his photographic memory allowed him to call up the diagram of the base as well as his own route inside. Charting the most efficient course outside, he would not only going in the right direction, but would also strategize an escape plan once they reached outside.
Suddenly, James shouted to the team behind him.
"Okay!" he yelled. "Soon, we'll be entering the main entrance. There is a large, chared, and shattered hole in the right window. The only way to exit will be on a flying pokemon as the hole is several meters above the ground. When we enter the room, immediately release your flying pokemon and jump on them quickly. Then fly through the crack after I do."
A series of "ayes" followed from the rest of the group. D merely remained silent, knowing that James' plan layed flawless like always. She looked around noticing that both Daniella and Syrus remained silent. X merely rolled his eyes, though, suddenly, a flicker of a thought flashed through his mind and he looked eagerly at D. With such a wishing grin, D immediately knew what thought entered his mind and she sighed. X didn't have a flying pokemon and needed to ride with someone. He wished to fly with D.
In an instant, the group stumbled into the room, rifles raised. However, with the outdoor emergency, the weapons remained unneeded. The entire room was vacant. Following up on their entrance, the agents spread themselves out to be sure that it was clear, before quickly taking shifts to release their pokemon.
D and James followed the agents in, James helping Daniella carry Syrus. D however, slowed down, taking charge of their new charge, X. Yet, she didn't need to as much budge before realizing that X had been behind her the entire time. Looking at him, she caught his eyes tracing her figure, before they sprang up to meet her. Instead of blushing, X smiled in his cool style, and turned away whistling.
Shaking her head, a single thought raced through her mind: How to avoid X. Yet, D knew that either way, she would be the one carrying him. The other members on her team had weaker flying pokemon. The only one stronger was James's Dragonite and he was planning on carrying Syrus since Scythor could only hold Daniella. The pokemon of the agents carried only one person each so only D's Dragonair was left to carry X. Every mental sign in her brain pointed to this one conclusion and she despised the logic.
X, on the other hand, needed less time to figure it all out and had happily trotted back over to D. His hands relaxed lazily in his pockets, and his eyes seemed to glow with anticipation. He was ready for D, even if D wasn't ready for him.
"So... Dratini was it?" he asked, but before she had a chance to respond, he went on. "Well, shall I sit in front of you or... maybe behind." D couldn't help, but notice the wink that seemed to accompany the words and she felt slightly sick inside.
Yet, determined to not show her feelings, she politely smiled and replied, "On Dragonair, you'll be sitting in front of me so I can keep an eye on you." Yet, even with this blunt opposition, X still smiled. D stared into his eyes and saw several ideas fly through his mind. Even though she denied his request, he still seemed to have something up his sleeve. Even her worst guess about his thoughts sent shudders through her spine.
Turning around so as to not see X, she quickly pulled off a pokeball from her belt and dropped it to the ground. In a second, a beautiful and elogant Dragonair emerged in front of the two, stretching out her long body. Then, knowing her duty, Dragonair looked at D and then flew to her, slowly stopping in front of D and X.
"Ladies first." X smugly stated, his usual, suspicious grin placed on his face."
D almost protested, but, realizing that it wouldn't do a thing, she carefully sat on top of her precious Dragonair. X, watching her carefully, perhaps too carefully, followed suit and roughly sat down on Dragonair in front of D.
Dratini sighed, relieved it went so well, but she spoke too soon. In an instant, X had scooted back, pressing up tightly against D's body. D gasped, shocked by his direct approach and pushed herself away. Her hands pushed strongly against his back, trying to keep him as far away from her as possible.
"X!" she yelled, perhaps too loudly. Everyone looked over to the source of the noise. D blushed slightly and waved them off. Puzzled, the members returned to their tasks.
"X." she quietly began again. "I would like it if you sit far ahead of me. Really far."
Although she couldn't sense his emotions, D knew that he knew he had gotten into her skin.
"Whatever you say... baby." he merely replied in his cool manner. D sighed, but decided to not dignify that with a response. Yet, she knew that the return trip would be... agonizing.
Soon, within minutes of entering the room, the team formed into an organized group in the center of the large hall. D glanced around, checking each and every person and their pokemon. Except for Lt. Henry which James left outside to continue the fiery distraction, everyone was accounted for. Their training and experience paid off. Now for the final phase of the mission: Going home.
For a moment, D felt the need to encourage her team, tell them why they were here, risking their life for a just cause, one that would save the world. Yet, D was never one to talk ornately, to inspire others in the face of danger. She used action, not words. Only Syrus, their former, sturdy leader, had any experience in speeches. Everyone else of the senior staff either didn’t feel it necessary or were not inspired to say anything. After two years of terrible warfare, words didn’t matter anymore.
So, seizing the moment in a single sentence, she commanded the team to go. “Let’s move.” She said, voice unwavering. On command, the flying pokemon took off letting Dragonair, still carrying D and X, took the lead behind James and Syrus. Daniella followed close behind, just in front of the other 3 agents.
James, directing Dragonite through his commands, flew towards the large, shattered glass hole in the window. He quickly issued another order to his pokemon as it approached, though D couldn’t hear him with the alarms blaring around her. Yet, as inaudible as James seemed to the group, Dragonite heard him perfectly. A large, glowing energy ball began to form inside its wide, open mouth. For a second, it held the sphere there, building the strength and power of the attack. Finally, Dragonite released the ball in the form of a golden beam of light. Hyper Beam. The beam shot directly at the spot slight left and above the old hole that James created when he entered. Dragonite, quickly changing the direction of the beam so that it targeted the area around the hole, managed to expand the original aperture, expanding it large enough for the varying pokemon and passengers of his team.
Eventually, the energy ball finished its discharged and vanished within Dragonite’s large, gaping mouth. James, seeing this, encouraged Dragonite to increase its speed and they shot through the now gaping hole in the window. Following his lead, D and her team followed suit, each careful enough to avoid any jagged, glass edges left over from the attack.
And then, they were outside.
D realized two things when they emerged into the cold night air. One, the team didn’t have to fight any airborne guards due to the raging fire outside the fortress. Two, as old as the base was, it still had been equipped with automatic weaponry against foreign intruders. In lame mans’ terms, not good.
Only 3 seconds after the team left the main hall, half a dozen machine guns placed on a rotating ball bearing, activated, their internal heating sensors tracking the team members. One second after the main computer analyzed the sensory data, determined the trajectory of the targets, and adjusted the position of the guns, the weapons opened fire.
“Evasive maneuvers!” D yelled. She looked around wildly, but she knew she didn’t have to tell them twice. The bullets were an unfriendly reminder. In an instant, the group divided, shooting off into every imaginable direction. D dived down low, hoping the targeting range of the guns didn’t have the ability to shoot ground level. Unfortunately, this time, she was wrong. Bullets showered around her, forcing her to direct Dragonair to swerve side and side. Pokemon trainer and her flying steed dodged the trees and ground equipment of the courtyard in front of the fortress. D desperately hoped that Dragonair’s speed would be able to keep ahead of the flying projectiles. All her forceful determination seemed to be directed at her Dragonair, invisibly pushing it forward. In what seemed like hours, though really several seconds, Dragonair approached the metal wall that surrounded the courtyard. In a second, if she didn’t do anything, D, Dr. x, and Dragonair would be flat splatters on the cold, steel wall.
“Dragonair, pull up!” she half yelled, half commanded. Instantly obeying her command, Dragonair reared upward, pulling its two passengers into the sky above. Dr. X, not prepared for the sudden climb, slid backwards into D. D immediately clutched Dragonair with her right arm and X with her left, holding him tightly to her so he wouldn’t fall off. It only took a moment, for her to realize what she just did, and what X would think about it. Before he could turn around and… before he could turn around, D pushed him forward slightly.
“Hold on tighter next time.” she told him. Whether he heard her or not, he didn’t respond, but grabbed Dragonair’s thin body. By now, they had flown out of range of the weapons. Around her, team members formed back into a group. Now to see who had made it and who didn’t.
Dragnonair soared through the sky, carrying its two passengers, D and X. As it flew, the recovering members of D’s team returned to their noble leader, slightly haggled. First came Lt. Harrison, then James still carrying Syrus. Daniella followed close behind, and D wondered if she followed the evasive plan or followed Syrus. Luckily, neither seemed injured, though their love might cause problems in the future. Ensign Thatcher made it back, a minute later, though his own flying pokemon, a Crobat, was nowhere in sight. Instead, he appeared to be riding a Charizard. Sitting in front of Ensign Thatcher sat Lt. Henry, the owner of the fire pokemon.
Seeing D’s questioning look, Lt. Henry merely replied, “I noticed you taking off from the building and tried to follow you. Ensign Thatcher’s Crobat had been shot through the left wing and fell. I managed to grab both him and the pokemon in mid-air.” Ensign Thatcher then entered the conversation to fill in the rest. “Crobat is in here.” Thatcher stated. “I managed to call him inside my pokeball.”
“Good.” D stated. She looked around, counting the bodies. While she enjoyed stories, now was not the time nor the place. Besides, there was something dreadfully wrong with the scene before her. Lt. Gerson was missing.
“Has anyone seen Lt. Gerson.” D asked, a hint of concern floated along her voice.
“I did.” X replied, now turning his head to face D. “Several bullets hit him and his Pigeot right before they reached the metal wall. They fell several feet to the ground. Most likely the two are dead, but if not, in agonizing pain.” The way X calmly stated this brutal fact, seemed unnatural to D and it took a good deal of self control to not shiver by Gerson’s fate and X’s nonchalant statement.
James however, as much as he relied on facts and strategy, new his duty to his team members. Guiding his Dragonite up to D’s Dragonair, he leaned slightly over and whispered, “Major, shall we return to the fortress to retrieve Gerson’s remains?”
D shook her head. She too knew her duty to the team. “No James. I cannot risk the lives of my team to retrieve a dead body. We need to continue with this mission. That is our duty.” James simply nodded in agreement and let Dragonite return to its position in the formation.
Yet, as much as James seemed content with her answer, D knew that she wasn’t. She didn’t know Lt. Gerson, never knew him until the mission. Yet, every time someone died under her command, she felt as if a piece of her heart had be cut away. Before the war, she used to think that it was always her fault, that somehow there was a mistake she made that caused those under her to sacrifice their lives. Every time, she would wonder what would happen if she did something else, always looking to find out where she went wrong. It took several deadly battle, several long and arduous teachings of leadership and command before she realized what veterans knew the entire time: Sometimes you can do your best, and people still die. One cannot always save everyone, always win, always protect their team. Eventually, people die. A brutal fact of war. Yet through all the battles, all the deaths, D never became used to death. She knew that was the way things were to be. Once you become used to death, you lose everything that makes you human.
Even more ironic was her statement to James. No James. I cannot risk the lives of my team to retrieve a dead body. In a way, this was her entire mission. D turned to look back at James and, more importantly, his passenger, Syrus. On his face stood a blank stare, one of shock. Syrus would never be the same again, at least, not like the tall, commanding presence she remembered. Even worse, Daniella who flew behind James, seemed to be on the verge of tears and control. Her emotions seemed to tumble out, change, and then recede once again. Inside Daniella, D could see a wild storm, one that would last as long as Syrus’s shock. The mission killed her, D realized, not physically, but mentally and emotionally. Daniella is just as dead as Syrus. She defied her own statement, she risked the lives of her team to retrieve a dead body, Syrus.
And D flew into the dark, cold night against the brisk winds. During the entire trip, her mind replayed the mission, and the repercussions of the loss of their two greatest leaders.
Chapter 4: Double Team
The light sun slowly appeared over the mountainous horizon, revealing the glowing peaks to the base below. Throughout the green and lush forest, past the barren wasteland, wild pokemon awoke to the bright beams that cast over them. A slight breeze blew bye, causing some Pidgeys to flutter slightly in balance, but other than that, the morning grew calm, peaceful.
Even in the city, Alliance soldiers traversed the narrow streets to their standard posts, ready to face another day. Their grim statures and common uniform covered their grim natures and common goal. Yet, even then, there was at least one smile upon one face.
Above their tiny heads, loomed over the enormous Alliance Headquarters, home of Emperor Hugh (Otherwise known as ElimN8 to his team) and his Empress Catriona. Leaders of the most powerful force in the world. There victories, it was said, were due to a special cooperation, something that surpassed mere aquaintance and friendship, but companionship, love. Hugh and Catriona were more than mere allies, they had in fact become lovers.
Empress Catriona looked out through the large glass window in the tower, her body draped over a soft, pluff couch covered in silk. Her light, white nightgown seemed to flow along her body, at rest with the world. Her brown hair also seemed to dance along her head, straight and sleek. Light skin, with eyes pure as gold, she had a mysterious, dark beauty that captured the eyes of many, and loved the eyes of few.
She sighed, remembering the pleasant night she spent with her love, Hugh. His strong voice commanded her attention and she could do barely resist his advances upon her. It was love, deep and passionate love.
Though, this morning, he would be upset.
Empress Catriona woke earlier than her strong counterpart, checking the latest news of the Alliance. Knowing Hugh well, he had already discovered the loss.
She continued to stare as the sun rose above the hill and then the trees, rolling an idea around her head. The details of a new plan slowly fell into place and her devious scheme fixed itself in her mind. She was ready, like always.
Seconds later, Hugh burst though the door into the lounge. His pulse and eyes racing over the red rays of the sun and he surged over to the window, glaring at the scenery below him. Catriona merely glanced at her lover's anger, sharing his feelings, yet ready to alleviate his emotional state.
She glided off the couch, her feet softly padding across the rug floor. In a moment, she stood beside him, leaning lightly on his tense shoulder. At her touch, she felt Hugh’s body relax, yet anger still slid through his veins. She knew Hugh placed a tough exterior, never showing weakness, but inside… there were ways to calm him down and show his true self. For awhile, they stood together, Cat leaning lightly against him. After minutes, he began to speak, sternly and angrily.
“They recaptured Syrus.” He began, his voice masking his true feelings. “My single enemy, the one I vowed to defeat, the one I did defeat, now freed.”
Cat gazed up into his elegant eyes, a sympathetic look on her face. “Hugh, it doesn’t matter that he escaped. You can defeat him again, just as you always have. Come, let us sit down in order to….relax.”
Cat lightly tugged at his arm, drawing him to comfortable couch. Her pleading eyes and beauty was all that was needed to make him forget Syrus.
He pushed Cat down lightly onto the couch and pressed his lips to hers. Cat’s beating heart fluttered as their lips met together in a heated passion. She could feel his warmth flow into her and sighed happily, engaging in another kissing frenzy. Her heart beat loudly and a strange feeling seemed to form throughout her body and she drew closer to Hugh. In response, he dropped down on top of Cat, using his strong arms to keep her from being crushed by his weight. A second later, the two found themselves fumbling with each other’s clothes. Hugh began to untie the lace of Cat’s nightgown, while Cat roughly drew down the zipper on Hugh’s uniform jacket.
“Can this wait?” another voice suddenly stated, interrupting the giddy dream state of the two lovers. Both slightly red-faced, suddenly pulled away, Hugh quickly zipping up his jacket. Cat instantly sat up, holding her nightgown in place with her hands, the laces now hanging loosely behind her.
The two had been so busy in their passion, that neither one noticed the figure enter the room. Like Hugh, he too wore a Trainer-Magma Alliance Uniform. Yet, the two compared in more ways than one. In fact, they would seem to be twins if one didn’t examine close enough.
The second Hugh stood straight up like Cat’s Hugh, but a slight stiffness in his right shoulder separated the two. His eyes also seemed grayer, less active. Bits of white hair scattered across the normal brown. Even the way he held himself was one that indicated weariness, wisdom, and experience.
The older Hugh regarded his younger self with a stern eye. In fact, he was exactly two years younger.
“Here I thought you would be upset over Syrus, but I see now that you have her to distract you from the issue at hand.” He seriously stated. “Love will bring your downfall Hugh. It brought Daniella down, it will take you too.”
The younger Hugh, not willing to let his older self win the argument, sternly responded, just as stubborn. “At least I have someone to love, old man.” He replied coldly. “You should try it sometime. That is… if you haven’t already lost the ability.” A mischievous grin spread across the young Hugh’s face. The older Hugh merely scowled in response.
“No thank you.” Older Hugh said. “I have a world to conquer. Unlike you, I had to learn things the hard way. Though…. My one advantage over you was I didn’t have this… dog to distract me.”
By now, Cat had retied her nightgown. Normally, at such an insult she would lash out at the perpetrator, but she knew that her Hugh would save her the trouble.
“Why you….” Young Hugh began, unable to contain his rage. “If you didn’t hold half the secrets needed to conquer my world, I would murder you right here! Say on more word about Catriona and I might keep this promise.”
The older Hugh merely smiled at the red-faced, fuming younger version. “Relax.” He coolly responded. “I won’t insult your… Empress. Besides, we have much more pressing matters on our hands.”
The older Hugh, calmed by the orderly base scenery below like his younger self, stared a few seconds out of the window before beginning.
“Although The Magnificent Rebellion recovered what they believe to be a noble, and life-saving leader, what they really retrieved is a bumbling, war torn, weary fool.” He stated, a knowing tone in his voice. “If Catriona tortured him correctly…”
“She did.” Interjected the still angry younger Hugh.
Ignoring his counterpart’s comment, the older Hugh continued, “Then Syrus’s distraught attitude will spread among the members of the Rebellion. At best, hundreds of loyal and close friends of the former members will lose hope in the war. At worst, Daniella, his…. Love….would enclose herself with Syrus, desperately trying to revive him. She will fail of course, but not before losing her own spirit in the process. The chain of command of the Rebellion will collapse, leaving only the remains. Within a month of two, we’ll conquer their holdings in the Orange Islands and Johto. Eventually, the other far reaches of the world will collapse to the Trainer-Magma Alliance.”
The older Hugh paused, letting his words sink in. Then, he turned around, looking directly at his young counterpart.
“You’ll soon have your empire. The world will be at your disposable, but before I let you conquer all. I think it’s time that we set up my empire. I would say it’s only fair, but you know nothing of being fair.”
The older Hugh grinned, then continued.
“I think it’s time to conquer Mossdeep City. Our scientists and Alternate Force units are ready to begin the invasion. It has been more than two years since I arrive here and the best temporal theorists have told me I won’t be creating other timelines. Harry Kim, from my universe, will not be ready for such a force, his own Team Trainer decimated by his battles with my other arch-nemesis Syrus. Syrus himself might be prepared for such an invasion, he always stood three steps in front of everyone, but his holdings were also destroyed. If Harry hadn’t already captured him, then he would remain in hiding, plotting. I’m not going to give him any time to build up a defense. We strike now.”
For a moment, the room stood silent. Finally, not the young Hugh, but Catriona spoke. She had learned a long time ago to not involve herself in the minor duels between the Hughs, but in matters regarding the teams, she always spoke her mind. Just not as direct as her lover.
“And what about the orbs?” she pointed out, her arm resting on the top of the couch as she sat comfortably. “From what you tell me, these orbs destroyed Syrus’ grand plans and gave victory to Team Trainer.”
Catriona paused for a moment, recalling the reports she received about the orbs that the Trainer-Magma Alliance had managed to capture. Due to the resistance of the Rebellion forces, they managed to retrieve only 7 of the supposed 13. Intelligence reports she read told her that the Rebellion itself discovered 3 orbs leaving 3 missing or within the hands of neither the Alliance nor the Rebellion.
“If Team Trainer of your universe manages to use them against our forces, we may find a battle on two fronts. One against the Rebellion, and another against Team Trainer. We cannot allow such a fool-hardy attempt. Especially one stated by a fool”
The older Hugh managed to remain calm, though Catriona knew he raged inside. After two years of company, she knew him as well as anyone. She continued to stare at the older Hugh, and yawned softly as if the entire situation was of no consequence. This action in turn frustrated the old Hugh slightly more, but his self control managed to hold.
“One, our forces easily out match those of the Rebellion.” He replied, his voice sounding slightly strained. “Two, we ourselves have orbs of our own. Harry may have all of the ones in his universe, but we can match him force for force. In addition, we have the power of some of the legendary pokemon due to our dark ball technology. Harry is too weak and "pure" to do something similar. Even if he manages to ally himself with Lugia like he did before, he would have a hard time facing our powers. Empress, the time to strike is now while my universe is weak and yours is strong."
Empress Catriona sighed. She knew the older Hugh was right. Hugh was always right, at least, to her anyway. Two years and diferent pasts didn't change the way they thought, acted, and lived. The older Hugh knew strategy just like his younger counterpart.
"Once the invasion begins and I set up my forces in my universe, I'll transfer my command codes to your control. By then, you can attack without my consent without the worry of any sabatoge." Hugh grinned.
Cat, however, did not share his enthusiasm. Hugh did control a third of the Trainer-Magma Alliance forces. Any plots that she and the younger Hugh formed against him would all be moot. If he died, several forces in his control and technological locks would activate. Commanders loyal to the older Hugh would attack the forces loyal to the younger Hugh and Catriona. This in itself would destroy the Alliance. The technological side of his dagger was even worse. Machinery that they needed for defense would shut down, even self-destruct. The older Hugh made sure the he would once again rule, and he didn't trust anyone, not even himself.
It was the younger Hugh that responded first.
"Fine. Send out your invasion fleet to Mossdeep City. Once we recieve the news of your victory, I'll send the invasion forces as well as the scientists to prepare.'
The older Hugh nodded slightly. Then, as quiet as he entered, the older Hugh exited the room, leaving Catriona with her lover. Yet, somehow, the mood of romance was destroyed.
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