IC - Executive Scott Stone - Streets, Lavender Town:
As much as Scott wanted to keep going, he did not have much choice but to agree with Lafoyae. It had been late enough when they had departed from the Alamo, and the night had only progressed from there, to the point that the sky was already beginning to show the first signs of the morning sun. With a sigh, Scott relented.
"I guess we'd better," he said. "We're going to need as much energy as possible if we want to keep investigating, let alone confront our killer." Kai's killer, he mentally corrected himself. Shoving his hands into his pockets, Scott followed Lafoyae toward the hotel.
IC - Nobuddy - Hatchery, Vermilion Rocket Base:
The Payback impacted the Instance's stomach, knocking 'Miyu' back several feet. The Nobuddy slammed its hand into the ground, tearing through tile as it skidded to a stop. It staggered and stood upright, just in time to throw its hands in front of itself and catch the Tyranitar's jaws mere inches away from its face. Though the Nobuddy's arms shook from the effort, its Strength allowed it to push back against the Armor Pokémon, putting both into a deadlock. It shifted its weight to free its left leg, and with a massive heave managed to Mega Kick directly into the Tyranitar's chest.
IC - Kyle Eston/Emmerich Coleman - First Room, Vertrag Living Quarters:
The first thing Chloe noticed was that every single picture in the room contained the same subject: Two boys, identical to one another, each with dark brown hair and maroon eyes. Going through, there were pictures of a small family of four, two young boys, both the same age, and their parents. In one, they were posed in front of a large, extravagant house, each well-dressed and well-groomed--too perfect, it seemed. In another, equally posed, they were seated around a fireplace. An older woman holding a cane stood with them in the middle of the family.
Their ages differed from picture to picture, but each time, the story presented was the same, progressively more clear the older they got--a smiling, confident boy standing tall and proud next to a sullen and frowning brother.
The most recent picture--at least, the one with the oldest set of twins--depicted the two boys in front of the gates to a university. They were older--around fifteen--but still clearly the same people as the other photos. Their expressions--so similar in the other pictures--had taken on a stark contrast in this one. The twin on the left, though clearly pleased with his prestigious accomplishment, bore a look of slight distraction, as if he had been deep in thought just before the picture had been taken. The one on the right, meanwhile, echoed the annoyed look that he had worn throughout all the other photos.
This photo, in particular, had been smashed on the messy desk.
"Isn't that Pierce?" Kyle asked, peering at the pictures from behind Chloe. "That must be him and his brother. I can't tell which one is which, though." He tilted his head, reading the sign stationed above the gate that they were in front of. "'Heaven's Cloud University.' They look way too young to have been in college."
"I'd say crazier things have happened . . ." Emmerich muttered. He had spent his time looking over the various textbooks in the room. "Religion, philosophy, political science, engineering . . . Interesting array of studies . . ." He brushed his fingers through the dust that had accumulated on the desk, grimacing in disgust. The Rocket General reached into his coat, producing a bottle of hand sanitizer. He applied a drop to his palm, rubbing his hands together, and then picked up one of the letters off of the messy desk, falling silent as he read it. He put it down, then moved to the next one. "Our brothers here did not appear to have the best relationship . . ."
"Not very surprising," Kyle responded. "What were they saying to each other?"
"A lot of outgoing messages from 'Paris', to Piers," Emmerich said. "'Dear Brother, we have been hard at work in our operations . . . It's been hard being away from you, but I trust you to understand my decision . . .' Hm . . . Excuse my paraphrasing--'Dear Brother, our search continues, and today bore a mark of success: We recruited an up-and-coming Champion, our Second. Words cannot describe how I am feeling. I hope your studies are going well.' A lot of vague updates on how Ford's operations were going, a lot of checking in . . ." Emmerich frowned. "'Piers, at this point I can't honestly say how long it has been, but I feel . . .
I feel I must apologize. I have had a long time to think about this and I know that I must have hurt you by leaving. Recent events have only solidified this sentiment, not the least of which was our . . . disagreement in court only a few days ago. I must say, seeing you there after such a long time with no returned contact . . . Is it any wonder that I lost my composure? Even on opposite sides of the case, knowing the intent behind your presence and where that intent came from . . . I was happy to see you. And perhaps the shock of seeing you was what I needed. It certainly seems that way now.
You must be tired of the vague details by now. As a matter of fact, I know you are--you've probably been sick of it since before my first letter. I wish I could help it. When I left to join him all those years ago, I made an agreement. I think I've told you about that? In exchange for my silence, I could help to save the world. I didn't fully realize it at the time, but that deal was much more complicated than it sounds. To save the world, I would have to make sacrifices. And in making those sacrifices, I would become someone beyond redemption, beyond love or comfort. I would have to give my very life, everything I had ever worked towards, to secure a future for everyone. For you. And in the process, I'd have to hurt people--you and countless others.
I wish I could put into clearer words, but I need you to know that that was never my intent. I never wanted to hurt you. I never intended to make you feel lesser. And I don't mean just in this pursuit. In all of our lives, from birth to death, I sought to protect you, and to give you the space and opportunity that you were never allowed. Our circumstances tied us too tightly together. If the only means of separation meant betraying one another . . . I had to take it. And I am sorry for not explaining that sooner. I wanted what was best for you, and in my desperation I hoped you would come to understand. I don't know if you ever did; if mother and father remained as they always have, I imagine not. I cannot begin to pretend that I know what they put you through when I left. A more naive me assumed they might allow more room for you in their heart, but when I saw the anger and hatred in your eyes the other day, I knew that was not the case.
I am sorry for that. I am sorry I did not do more to help you. I am sorry they cast your accomplishments in my shadow. And I am sorry I was not there when you most needed me to be. I want you to know that even if they are unwilling to show it or say it or feel it, I am proud of you for everything you have accomplished and everything you have made for yourself. I never saw you as lesser than me, but as equal, if not greater--two brothers on top of the world, standing together atop the pedestal.
It is July 29th. Time is almost out, and this is almost done. When it is, maybe we can reconcile. I suppose that's a wishful fantasy--I don't expect to walk among free men for very long. You know some of my crimes, so this should come as no surprise. As to the others . . . You can only imagine, Piers. The contract is binding. The contract is binding. The contract is binding. The contrac...
IC - Sonja Baron - Command Center, Vertrag:
It took a moment to tear her eyes away from the screens. Sonja had to agree with Ray: However this place worked, it would be an incredibly valuable asset if they managed to bring it around to their side. She made a mental note to secure another visit with Ford later to ask about that. With his cooperation . . .
Sonja shook her head. One thing at a time. She gripped the cane tightly in her hands and nodded at Ryan. "Yeah, go ahead and open it."
With the press of a button, the door opened. Behind it lay another hallway. On the left-hand wall, at the very end of the hall, stood a door; to the left of that doorway was a large window, looking into what could only be described as an interrogation chamber. A single table with two chairs stood inside. There was nothing else visible in there. On the right-hand wall, meanwhile, stood another door, much closer to the door that they had entered from.
They could not see into the room, so Sonja approached--slowly--and opened the door. She was disappointed to find what amounted to a conference room, occupied by a long black table surrounded by ten chairs. A television screen stood at the far end of the table.
"Door number one is . . . anticlimactic," Sonja said. Disappointment hung heavily in her voice. "Guess it's onto the next one?"