Uriel steps into the boss’s office on Level 2. All four sides were lined with bookshelves, half filled with decorative books. A single green lamp lit the whole room from the back. Stacks of boxes and files were spread on one side, while black trash bags were piled on the other. In the middle is an office desk and chair, and behind that a paper shredder and trash can. The boss, Corban Booker, stands next to the shredder, tying up another trash bag. His usually light red hair is messy and dark. His usual calm complexion is nerved, almost stressed. His eyes were dark and blinked repeatedly, as if he hadn’t had any sleep. The untucked and uneven shirt gave signs of agitation. For the first time in three years, Uriel had never seen him like this.
Booker tosses the bag on the other bags. “So... Uriel, I see you made it.”
He responds, kindly, also apologizing. As he sits down, he notices the files scattered on the desk. One of which had his name on it: Dawson, Uriel. These are the files which link him to the Tan Gang, the one that would put him in jail. It is these files he is looking for so he could destroy the evidence of ever having worked with them.
“I’m very disappointed in you, Uriel. I gave you a job no one else would, and this is how you repay me... with excuses?” With the shredder ready to go, he grabs the next file off the desk. “I looked the other way when two people were caught by your accident *SHRED*
but 15 people, including Paul... unforgivable. *SHRED*
But what’s done is done, and at least a few *SHRED*
people made it out.”
The siren wails, with Code 14 being announced over the speakers.
“Ugh, what now! *SHRED*
Go help them out *SHRED*
get out of my sight.”
The final piece to Uriel’s manilla folder falls into the bag. Booker grabs the next file. He knew the gang was leaving and would only take the best and most important people of the team with them. Seeing his own file shredded showed how little the boss really cared for him as a part of the team. But he is relieved.
“Sir,” he starts, “I have done the best I could, with regards to your business, but it has always been in remorse. I only came to announce my resignation now.”
Somewhat shocked, but unmoved, Booker shouts, “So, what? You’ve turned into a rat?” He whips out a gun from the middle desk drawer. “You were always a good henchman, following any order I gave. But you never would be accepted by us.”
The room shifts back and forth, like an earthquake. Books fall, files spill, and the trash bags topple over. Booker loses stability, giving Uriel the chance to disarm. The gun is quickly removed and disassembled, firing the single bullet in the chamber through the floor. Booker steps back, unarmed hands up. The bouncer fastens his brass knuckles and launches a punch across his face. He falls head first into the desk and slams backward out cold.
He can never see fit to cause harm to his employers or fellow employees. He can never do anything that would jeopardize his job. And he can never have the courage to be looked at as a quitter, even when it hurts him to stay. But today, Uriel Dawson becomes his own man.
A low level lackey enters the room, hearing the gun shot. Seeing the boss knocked out, he quickly charges the bigger bouncer. The lackey punches his chest, only to be send back reeling in pain. Uriel is prepared to fight hard today, and wore his chest protector. Nothing like punching metal and breaking bones to weaken your opponent. The lackey winces, tending to his hand, as Uriel shoves him across the room with ease.
Unsure what to do, he grabs his duffle bag and runs.
About the same time.
X-K2, the Kangaskhan, has reached the entrance of the building. She stands, bawling, as if calling for something. There is never any immediate response. *PING*
A grate falls, letting a familiar sneaking Pokemon out into the fresh air once again. The large reptile like Pokemon sniffs the air, trying to look with her unclear eyes.
Lavish speaks quickly, and calmly. People were approaching from the sides to trap her in. Kangaskhan turns around, growling, preparing to fight. Lavish jumps in front of her, pointing at the building, telling her something she’s waiting all year to hear. Kecleon smiles and jumps into the bulky Pokemon’s pouch, which is more uncomfortable than it looked. She faces the building again, and blindly rushes in.
Jack looks around the room, to find a better exit from the lab. But instead, he finds something far more interesting. He steps from the left side to the right side of the lab, where the stacked cages were located. Each cage is labeled with two or three letters and a number. Only one is of any interest. X-K1. Out of all the cages, this is the only cage to still hold a Pokemon. It looked like a gray Sandshrew, except without any plates, and a little smaller. A baby Khangaskhan. Everything became clear that instant. The Kangaskhan they had run into before, is the mother of this little Pokemon. She only wants her child back. The outrage at their treatment of Pokemon continues to pound at Jack’s heart. How can anyone be so insensitive?
Ariados rips off the small caged door. Jack sticks Paul’s mallet down the back of his pants, leaving only the mallet head exposed, curls his arms, and picks up the little Pokemon. It weakly kicks and gasps, but he keeps it under control to carry. He recalls Ariados and the two Dratini.
“Dragonair, let’s get out of here.”
But Dragonair had other plans. Her mouth opens, forming a circular white light, increasing in power. She blasts the beam around the room, exploding anything it touched. The room sparks electricity and small bursts of fire from the machines. She turns to the door, slicing a gap through the metal with her tail.
“Come on!” Jack calls, carefully walking through the melted metal gap in the door.
Another Hyper Beam streams at the ceiling, opening a hole, and forcing debris to fall through. Dragonair looks back at the Trainer, nods as if to say ‘thank you’, and flies upward through the hole.
Cough. Cough. Destiny cowers in the corner, injured from the chaos around. She didn’t want to get up, to look at the mess around her would be unbearable. She can only cry, hugging the broken pieces of the control device.
Meanwhile, Jack makes his way down the hallway. The lights flicker on and off for a second, and another loud boom, followed by shaking is heard. The radio is constantly with chatter, but too much that it’s hard to make any sense. Annoyed, he dumps the radio.
Another announcement sounds over the speaker: “Code 24 is in effect. Executive Order B is in effect. To repeat...”
Code 24 is to alert all personal of an intruder in the building. Anyone without proper id is to be obtained. Executive Order A is all about evacuating everyone and everything related to the Tan Gang. Order B is only known by the main high ranking members of the gang. It basically means drop everything, grab what they can, and get out.
The elevator is too risky to take right now. And if he remembers correctly, according to the blue prints, there are some stairs further down the hall, which would lead close to Room 217. Another crash. This one sounded closer, almost directly above him. What is going on up there?
He swipes the key card, enters the twisting staircase, until reaching Level 1. The lights flashed again. Soon after, the blaring siren ceased, but that didn’t stop the slight ringing lingering in his head. Room 211. Room 212. At least he knew he is going the right way. Running is causing baby Kangaskhan to fidget, so he resorts to a faster paced walk. A crash of shattered plaster is heard from behind. Whatever it is, it’s not too far from him.
Room 217 is on the corner of a 4 way hallway intersection. Jack enters the room, luckily unlocked. It’s a bedroom, very similar to a dorm but a little larger in area. A bed is neatly made at both corners. Like most rooms he’s seen so far, it’s rather empty except for the unwanted furniture. Pokemon rock band posters littered the walls. The entire building has tiled flooring, except this room. The carpeting is a unique dirty red color with black splotches and feels soft to step on. After entering, to the left of the door on the wall, is a overused dart board. Hanging from the center is the pin that Gorgi had made specifically for him. Setting baby Kangaskhan down, he grabs the light blue pin depicting a calm Dratini in the center. Bull’s-eye.
A luggage bag drops next to another bag. “What are you doing in....eh?” A guy dressed up like Rambo steps out from the closet Jack hadn’t noticed. It’s none other than Claude. “Ho ho, look who it is... JACK!”
“Claude! I didn’t come to play games.” He whips out the mallet from the back of his pants and lands a hit on Claude’s side. “Paul wishes he could be here.”
Satisfied to see him writhing in pain, Jack drops the mallet, grabs baby kangy and steps out. He has accomplished all of his goals, and now it’s time to leave. And the only exit he can remember is where he entered from, at the loading dock. But he only moved down the hall a little bit before a strange aura surrounds him, immediately forcing him to stop. Unable to control his nerves, his body forcibly turns around.
Claude’s powerful Alakazam stood at the door, pointing its bent spoons at Jack. And Claude steps out, holding the side of his stomach. “So it was you all along, the lone kid at the bowling alley. I guess I won’t need to use that bouncer to find you after all.”
Uriel must have been through here.
“Oh, and what are you holding, huh? Saving a Pokemon... aww, boo hoo! You can’t win, Jack. Every time we’ve met, you’ve always ran away. And you want to know why? Because you know that I am better than you. But this time, there’s no escape. And I’m tired of you always appearing.” He grabs a hunting knife from the side of his leg, holding it in a slashing position.
The walls of Room 217 shatter to pieces, sending flying plaster and wood splintering across the hallway. The force knocks Alakazam into the opposite wall, losing psychic control. When the debris clears, a large tan creature emerges from the destroyed room. It’s mother Kangaskhan! She scans the hallway, sniffing with her nose, catching the scent of her young one. She stares blindly down the hall, where Claude and Jack are recovering, yelling a fierce bellow out.
With his own nerves back in control, Jack slams his shoulder into Claude’s back, pushing him down, and continues to run away.
Claude stares up, seeing the large Pokemon take one lumbering step after another toward him. “Ala, Alakazam. Stop that thing!” The genius psychic Pokemon stood up, waving its spoons around until finally stopping the scarred beast. “We don’t have time for you, X-K2. Put it out of her misery.”
Alakazam met with Kangaskhan face to face, using its power of hypnosis to put her to sleep. But, it didn’t work. Her one good eye and half eye remained as they were, unaffected. The rage continues to build within her, feeling so close to her baby. She howls, flexing her arms out, breaking the psychic control. Alakazam flinches as she grabs its throat, choking it. Without air, the brain can’t function properly, and psychic powers are based on brain power rather than strength. Without this power, Alakazam is as useless as a Magikarp, wildly flopping around hoping to do any damage at all.
She thrusts her fist down, slamming Alakazam into the floor, sending cracks all down the hallway. She stamps her foot into the skinny Pokemon’s stomach, forcing it through the floor and crashing into the basement below. Kangaskhan looks through the hole, bellowing once more but not sensing any further danger. She sniffs the air again, catching the scent, and rages down the hall.
Claude can only cower in the corner as she stampedes by.
Holy crap! Holy crap! Holy crap! Angry mother on the loose. Gotta keep moving. Gotta keep going. Shoot! Dead end. Arggg. Left, I need to go left. Come on. Uh-oh, people...
As Jack wildly runs down various halls, two people are walking along further down. A lackey and a guy with messy red hair, whom didn’t look too well. The lackey steps forward, at first questioning Jack. But Booker questions louder, “You, drop that Pokemon and get over here and help us carry something.”
“Uh... oh. I can’t. I have to... the boss is waiting for me outside... so you see...”
Booker curiously tilts his head. “You’re the intruder...”
He must have said something wrong that time. Jack quickly runs around the corner to the next hall. Why did all the hallways have to look exactly the same? It’s like running around in a maze, looking for that slice of cheese, and getting shocked every time the mouse made a wrong turn. But like any maze, keep making left turns and eventually the exit will be there. By shear luck, Jack finds himself at another dead end, but with an Emergency exit door. The door opens, forcing the sunlight in his eyes, and his freedom within grasp.
Kangaskhan makes her appearance again, further backward down the hall, sliding into the wall. A bolt of ice hits her back, but shatters easily with a twist of her body. A Pokemon wearing a purple flowing robe and long blond hair, seemingly hovers as she walks. Palms out, she is ready.
Kangaskhan punches the wall, charging the Pokemon that dares try to stop her. Jynx sends a punch into the air, pushing her psychic will into an effective physical attack. Kangaskhan is sent back, smashing the wall again. She lay on her back, gasping, feeling her legs tire from constant running. But her will and determination is what keeps her going. As she tries wrestling back up, she feels the cold touch of ice, sending chills throughout her heavy plated skin. Slowly, Jynx is turning Kangaskhan to ice.
“Not so tough now, eh X-K2.” Claude is back, with the second Pokemon in his team of three. “Of all the years you’ve caused trouble, not once did I get the chance to battle you. And now, here it is. My moment to put you in your place. You are JUST a POKEMON, nothing more.” And on his final word, she is frozen in a block of solid ice.
“She’s not some experiment. Her Pokemon name is Kangaskhan!” Jack says walking back inside, releasing Muk from her Pokeball. It’s time to stop running. “Use Fire Punch on that ice.”
Not fully understanding the situation, but having faith in her Trainer, Muk propels forward using the forward momentum of being released, and tumbles next to the action. Muk twitches, touching the frozen ice. She concentrates heat into her flabby fist, forcing a fiery punch into the solid rocky water. Steam quickly surrounds the ice block, cricking and cracking, like a window breaking after being hit with a baseball. Kangaskhan emerges once again, roaring with ferocity, shedding a light mist.
Claude steps next to Jack, faking friendliness. “Listen, we have work together to stop her.”
“Like hell we do. Explosion, Muk!”
With only a couple seconds notice, the entire hallways shatters in a massive shockwave, like a ripple in water. Only after recovering, can Jack see the monstrosity of destruction that had occurred. Jynx is out. Muk is out. Kangaskhan is out. Claude is down and faintly moving. But Jack is ok; standing even. He smiles thankfully, but still curious as to why.
Once again, being the hero of the day, Lavish shows up at the right time. A light field of protective energy dissipates in front of him. But where did he come from? Remember, he hitched a ride within Kangaskhan’s unsettling pouch. As soon as he was unfrozen from inside, Lavish hopped out and snuck through the hall to Jack. Had there not been so much action in the hall, they might have noticed the hovering fanny-backpack. Crafty chameleon.
“Good to see you Lavish. Have you seen Uriel?” The Pokemon shrugs, but in reality, he had. “Oh, well... let’s just get out of here for now. I’m sure we’ll see him soon... uuff.”
He slams into someone behind him, throwing baby Kangaskhan down. The baby wails as it lands on its head. A tanned hand reaches down for Jack to grab. A friendly hand. A Uriel hand. They exchange short smiles and worried statements.
“I heard there was an intruder, and I knew it was you. And Lavish! Oh, it’s good to see you’re both okay. There’s a truck just outside we can use to escape. Follow me now.” Out the Emergency Exit, Uriel had another of the u-haul type truck parked in the back lot.
Muk is recalled, acknowledging her wonderful sacrifice. The wailing baby Kangaskhan is picked up, and continues to be restless. Jack takes one last look down the hall. Poor Kangaskhan. He didn’t want to leave her like that, and he cann’t just leave the baby here. Out of nowhere, the mother flips over with a burst of energy, bellowing again, kicking debris across the hall. Her ears perk up, hearing her baby’s cry. Especially keen to her other 4 senses, this high pitched squeal only infuriates mother Kangaskhan even more.
Time to go. Jack steps out the door, running as fast as he can to the passenger side of the truck. They are on the opposite parking lot from where they came in, close to Station 2's entrance. The engine putters, and the wheels move. The truck accelerates.
“Wait, wait a minute.”
“What!! Wait!! Now?”
If they leave now, they would easily escape. But the new problem is Kangaskhan. Both mother and baby have to make it safely out of the area back to the surrounding forests. The idea is to bait Mother Kangaskhan to follow them away to freedom.
The tan tank plows through the final wall, stretching her limbs with the feeling of escaping the complex once again. She can smell her child through the exhaust fumes, and even hear the cries over the engine.
The truck swerves around the parking lot, making it’s way to the exit. Giving chase, Mother Kangaskhan simply bulldozes her way through the new cars, tossing them aside like toys. Her speed, even after all the fighting inside, is remarkable. She is catching up.
“Faster. If she catches us...” Jack says looking at the side mirror.
“Should have picked a truck with less cargo now...” Uriel mumbles, fumbling the gear shifts.
“Keeecc...” Lavish screams.
“Kkaaaaa...” baby Kangaskhan squeals.
The tires tear into the asphalt on the final turn through the check point of Station 2. The guard can only run away as Kangaskhan angrily slices through. Clear ahead is a simple road which cautiously curved right and eventually back into the main part of town.
“Now that we’re all safe, I can set this guy loose and give him back to his mother. Slow down.”
“You’re kidding. She’s gaining on us enough. Just throw it out the window now.”
“Slow down, we’ll be ok.”
Having trouble shifting gears again, the engine locks up and stalls. Uriel hits the breaks, hoping to fix it, but only slowing to a sudden stop. He turns the key, and again... but it doesn’t start. Everyone buckles in.
Here’s a riddle for you. How do you stop a charging tank?