OOC: Been busy. Sorry, guys.
Also, in my defense, I have no idea off the top of my head which route is which and couldn't be bothered to check with what's been going on lately, so... yeah... :P
IC - Kyle Eston - Iccirus City: "Yeah..." Kyle said, turning away from the airfield. "There never really is. Too superfluous. I'd much rather fly around on the back of a flaming dragon, you know?" He took a few steps away from the fence, looking around the area with a slightly bored expression on his face. "So... What is there to do around here, aside from battling?"
IC - Sonja Baron - Route 11: Sonja was absentmindedly staring off into the distance, and as such did not appear to hear Ryan's question. At a nudge from Richie, she jumped slightly in surprise, looking at the rest of the group and uttering a quick, confused, "What?"
"I asked what Opelucid is like," Ryan repeated.
"Oh. Sorry," Sonja said. "It's kind of a mix of old-timey and more modern, almost futuristic beliefs. Pretty neat, really. Supposed to represent the yin-yang thing that the Tao Trio has going on..." Trailing off, she placed her hands in her pockets, becoming distracted again by the raging river nearby.
"Is something wrong?" Richie asked quietly, fatherly concern evident in his voice as he dropped back to walk next to Sonja, out of earshot of the rest of the group.
The Liberty Agent was silent for a moment. "No... Maybe... I don't know," she said at length. Sonja looked behind the group, back at the rapidly-disappearing village in the distance. "It's just... Do you ever get the feeling that something bad is going to happen soon?" She went quiet again. "I'm getting that feeling now... I don't know why, though."
Richie didn't look at her, keeping his tired, older eyes set before him as he thought this over. "You aren't the only one," he answered. "I wouldn't worry about it, though--whatever it is will blow over regardless of what happens. But no matter what comes our way, I won't let anything happen to the rest of you. I promise." He looked at Sonja, smiling. "Relax a bit--it's Christmas, and you guys have all earned a break after everything that has happened. So leave the worrying to me and Gold this time, okay?"
Sonja stared in surprise at the Liberty Executive, before nodding, smiling weakly as she did so. "Thanks..."
IC - Abyss Comms Unit - Abyss: The Rocket mainbase called Abyss was controlled by Joker for a very fitting reason: It was easily the most sophisticated and advanced hub of psychic-related technology in the Kanto regions, fitted with numerous amplifiers and receivers that allowed psychic activity to be monitored in hundreds of places across Johto. As such, Lafoyae's message reached home, picked up by one of the psychic technicians inhabiting the comm room.
Request received and processed, Agent Belrose, the calm voice of a young man answered. Sending transportation now...
As he said this, an Alakazam appeared before the assassin, wearing a Team Rocket badge on its chest. The Psychic-Type bowed to her. How may I be of assistance?
IC - Gavin Braner - Violet City: Gavin sat quietly, listening to the buzzing noises around him, eyes closed as he focused on his own thoughts, the swirling mass of mind and meaning within his head. It had been... what, a day, perhaps, since he had escaped the confines of the other dimension, seen the monstrous things that Pryce and his pet had done. The thoughts still sickened him, bringing to mind the events in Lavender Town... the Rage... the Hypno... He grimaced at the thought, recalling that utter look of crazed hunger in the Psychic-Types' eyes, the blood on their manes as they had begun to feast...
More disgust. More anger... That boy... How is he doing now, after all that?
"Not to your liking?" He opened his eyes, looking in the mirror. The female hairdresser stood behind him as he observed his new haircut, frowning slightly in worry. He glanced up at her reflection, smiling slightly to reassure her. This seemed to relax the woman.
"No; something else. Unrelated," he said simply. "It's fine."
He walked down the streets of the city, hands in his pockets as he continued to think. He shifted the new red jacket he wore, ran a hand through his newly cut hair, and stopped for a moment to examine his appearance in a nearby window.
I'm certainly less recognizable, he thought. But not entirely... Need to find something to take myself off the most oft-traveled road... He turned to a nearby road, one that he knew led toward the Ruins of Alph. Gavin glanced around, checking the surrounding area before making his way towards it, stopping for a moment before heading down the road. Before that, though, I need to expand my team. No telling what else lies ahead...
IC - Shadow Admin Sleight/Gym Leader Strike Team - Chapel: "So, we've lost another one, then..."
"I'm afraid so, sir. I feel like it's only going to get worse from here."
"Hm..." The shadows hid Sleight's expression as he listened to Sabrina's report; as such she couldn't tell whether he was annoyed, angered, or something else. In theory, she would be able to tell through her telepathy, but she had heard stories of those kinds of attempts in the past. As such, she was not willing to try it. Instead, she simply stood where she was, slightly in front of Koga and Surge, who remained to either side of her. Her own expression was one of calm, though she gave off a very definite air of being uncomfortable.
The Shadow Admin of Kanto did not seem to notice--or, at the least, did not draw attention to this. Instead, he tapped his fingers against the knuckles of his other hand, contemplating the situation. Before him, a three-dimensional display rotated slowly on his computer, highlighting the areas that Soil Colossus, Inc. had attacked recently. Sleight had to hand it to them, they had certainly picked their targets well, bringing down three of Team Rocket's secondary bases within a matter of months, on top of half a dozen smaller ones. While the destruction of the bases themselves had not severely crippled the government, the loss of more and more agents at the hands of the "drilling" company--whether by killing them, an admittedly rare occurrence, or by permanently crippling them, their preferred method--was beginning to grow tiring.
"You say you've discovered where their main headquarters are," the Shadow Admin said after a moment. "Would you be so kind as to elaborate?"
Sabrina nodded. "It's an underground facility, stationed under their main headquarters in Rustboro," the psychic trainer said. "It appears that Carl Sandrock has spent a rather large amount of money in an attempt to create an utterly impenetrable lair--the base is secure enough to withstand the force of a nuclear bomb at its strongest point, his main center of operation. However, additions to the main building would be seen as rather suspicious, throwing into question the company's public image; as such, the above-ground building itself is a massive weak point, one that could be exploited in an attack... assuming you could get through the amount of security there."
"Then I believe it's time to act," Sleight said, looking up from the screen. The light illuminated his icy gray eyes, their cold depths seeming to pierce Sabrina's very soul. "Sandrock may not believe it, but I have connections within his organization--connections that, with this latest attack, have gathered enough evidence to warrant and justify a public dismantling. There is no better time for their comeuppance." He began typing on his computer. "I will send word to a select few elites You three will assist in the assault."
"Assist?" Surge said in surprise. "You don't want us to lead this mission, sir?"
"Perhaps Buzz or Joker will be accompanying us, then?" Koga asked.
"No," Sleight said. "Joker is preoccupied with her own devices. And while I believe this is the perfect opportunity for him to make up for his recent mistakes involving the Paradise invasions, Buzz will not be leading this operation--though he will be a part of it. No..." Sleight stood up, stepping aside and pushing his chair gently into his desk. "Sandrock has grown complacent, arrogant, believing himself and his organization to be beyond the capabilities of Team Rocket. It is time he--and others like him--realized the folly in their way of thinking. As such, I am assuming direct command of this mission."
12/22/12 Update: Saffron City changed to Rustboro City to keep consistency with earlier posts regarding the location of SCI's base.