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Pokémon: Rise Of The Rockets

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IC - Kyle Eston/Sonja Baron - Common Room, Vertrag:

 

For some time, neither Kyle nor Sonja answered. "Well, Feral came from Evan, right?" Sonja said at last. "So it stands to reason that 'Kane' came from Seth. Wouldn't surprise me if Klim had a doppelganger out there somewhere, as well, if that's the case. As for Seth or Van or whoever he is now--the simplest answer would be that he didn't die after all."

 

"Palkia brought Evan back," Kyle said, nodding. "Dialga could've done the same to Seth." He rubbed his chin, thinking back to the battle at Sinjoh Ruins. Given the situation, everything from that point was more or less a blur--a byproduct of the stress at the time, and the fact that it wasn't a memory Kyle had revisited particularly often. But there were a couple of facts that they had pieced together, and things that were well-known among the group of trainers that had gone to combat the Ancient Darkrai. "Now that I think about it, everyone--and I mean everyone, including Evan and Klim--got knocked out before Seth took out Sombra. Unless I'm remembering wrong, no one could really have confirmed that he died--he, Sombra, and the other Ancients Sombra had fused with were just gone. So . . ."

 

"He might be alive," Sonja said. "Amnesiac, maybe, if he hasn't made any effort to contact Team Liberty or Evan or anyone, but alive."

 

Neither really knew what to make of that.

 

"We should tell Evan next time we see him," Kyle said. "He might have a better idea of what to do with that information than we do. Might even know a way to track 'Van' down, if he is Seth."

 

Sonja nodded, then directed her attention to Chloe. "You said you found some things, too, right? Anything to top that?"


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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-==IC: Chloe Hikari - Vertrag==-

 

"Well..." Chloe was at a loss for words for what was said. So, instead, she took that opportunity to change the subject. "Well," She started again. "I found a few things of note, actually. One isn't too important, but some stuff I need to return to Ellen eventually." She explained briefly about the picture and some of the other things she'd found, but left out about the journal.

 

"Another thing I'll explain to you later, Sonja, I checked Hayes' room, and, well, I think that's something best left to just you." Chloe wasn't quite certain about the relationship between Hayes and Sonja, but had gathered a few things just from what everyone had told her - so she figured that it was probably best to not mention that outright in front of everyone.

 

"Then... well, I checked one of the other Fifth Child rooms." Chloe went quiet as she chewed on her lip. "See, that room belonged to a Thomas Warren - though his real name is apparently Raymond Roth..." She paused for a moment. "Otherwise known as Raimundo Rojo." She went over a brief explanation of the run-in that she had had with the man who went by that name, and what had happened during it.

 

"Well... that's not... all I found out though." Chloe took a deep breath. "Turns out, that guy had a gun." She explained about her findings in the room, though seemed almost hesitant to reveal all the details.

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IC: Jamie Arthur - Flare Lab

 

["Thank you, good fellow. Your catch was admirable as well,"] Tristan said leaning forward into the arm that he was caught by the Metang.

 

Pelleas saw the Dragonair approach. Given that he was confident that Tristan could defeat his opposite number, The Heracross decided to abandon his plan to attack the Metang from from above to intercept the Dragonair. Pelleas jumped from Tristan simultaneously as the Metagross punched at the Metang with his free forelimb. He bounced off the Metang and leaped at the Dragonair, intending to stab the Dragonair with his horn.

Edited by Metal Gear Minun

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IC: Klim Prizak

He had been silent for most of the trip, but as soon as he had heard "Sic 'em." Klim sent Moriarty out from his Dusk Ball. "Get that Ralts!" The Gripper Pokémon looked at the small Pokémon and determined he'd rather not fight it, but rushed towards them, aiming to grab them and gently toss them out of the fray. He couldn't bring himself to attack at full power with such an opponent.

Edited by Dr. Hidaka

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OOC: autohit for grab granted by Minun

 

IC: Amelia Zann's team/Alex Zyther's team

 

Sina was, indeed, well faster than the Timid Ice-type. She scanned the battlefield, finding herself a far more suitable target, and smirked at the perfection of her plan.

 

The Sneasel zipped underneath the Vanilluxe, grabbing the cone's lowermost tip and swinging in a circle before flinging it away from her. Sina snorted smugly as the Vanilluxe went flying towards the Dragonair that had planted itself in front of the cluster of humans; she may not have had access to her own Icicle Crash, but so long as the other Ice-type remained on the field, she had the next best thing.

 

Harvey was proving to be a particularly annoying opponent. Paradoxically, despite moving with a slowness befitting his Rock typing, the Larvitar was somehow vanishing from his position as soon as a blow was about to land, a style that would ordinarily be more befitting the Psychic-type teleporter facing him. However, an evasive defense was worthless without offense, so when he spotted an opportunity to bite the back of the Elgyem's oversized head, he took it, despite the lost potential of evasion in that moment.

 

Raleigh saw the Ghost-type reaching out towards him and groaned. Physical combat was not his forte, and Ghost-types were, if anything, worse. Fortunately, he had a savior.

 

["Raleigh!"] a voice called, ["Switch!"]

 

As they had in their previous battle, Raleigh pivoted places with Coralie, the Rock-type still nowhere near an ideal matchup but at least not quite at such a glaring, crippling disadvantage. Raleigh winced as the Gripper Pokémon latched on to the fledgling Diancie, but found himself distracted as two new combatants emerged to face Didi… and the latter stopped cold. The Antenna Pokémon came to a screeching halt before letting out a high-pitched squeal of… delight?

 

What exactly was going on here?

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood (Ronin [100%])

 

The Metang winced a bit as he was pushed back by the force of Tristan's punch. Not having legs to dig into the ground made it hard to resist. With a shrug, the younger evolution threw a punch of his own. As he did, a white light started to shine from him.

 

Pelleas' horn connected with the Dragonair, who immediately began wrapping herself around the bug type. The same white light suffused the area around them as she began to constrict.

 

Jared scrambled to his feet as Alex's Absol drew the attention of the giant Growlithe who had knocked him to the ground. The oversized creature lunged at the Absol with fangs bared in retaliation.

 

The Gengar was cackling as it pinned Lachina to the ground. Its fun was interrupted by Ronin, however, who slashed through the gaseous form with his wicked blades. Lachina rose to her feet, scowling. There wasn't enough room in here for her to release Aolani, she now realized. With a resigned sigh, she pressed on towards Jared, who was trying to figure out how to get past the fighting Pokémon near the back wall.

 

"You thinking what I'm thinking?" she asked.

 

He nodded. "Those two look pretty familiar. If we can get past them..."

 

"Maybe you need to let Mercury out?"

 

"Maybe." Jared scowled at the thought.

 

IC: Alma Mason/Belle LaDonna

 

As Lucia burst into the back room, a small pale figure lunged at her, a blade flashing in hand, and drove her to the ground. Alma pressed a knife to the healer's throat, scowling.

 

"Give me one reason not to kill you now."

 

Belle shook her head. "Ease up, kiddo. She seems pretty harmless, honestly."

 

"So do I."

 

"Fair point."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Alex Zyther

 

Alex had no idea how to respond to everything that had started happening. The black-haired Trainer had sent out their Pokémon at Amelia's command by pure reflex, but the sudden influx of intruders had completely overwhelmed them. A familiar voice calling out from the crowd started to break through their stupor, however.

 

"Alex? Is that you?"

 

Alex's eyes widened. "Big sis?" they murmured.

 

Before they could respond, Alma had jumped Lucia. "No!" they shouted, leaping to their feet only to collapse back to the ground with a wince as their hands made contact with the mirror shard-covered floor. "Don't hurt her!" They saw the two Pokémon Lucia had sent out, saw Raleigh stepping between them and Didi in an aggressive stance. "Stop!" they ordered, the Ralts turning around in total confusion.

 

Blissie and Sylph initially made to bound back to their Trainer, but suddenly stopped as Alex's sister came under threat. Blissie froze, torn between her duty to her Trainer and her duty to halt harm, while Sylph whimpered in dismay, hopping from paw to paw. Unable to scamper across the shattered glass, the Eevee yipped in determination and went to find Pelleas, hoping the Heracross could help Lucia just as they had together in Celadon.



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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OOC:
Happy Ninth Anniversary, Rise of the Rockets!
 
Another year come and gone. This one saw long-awaited adventures in Kalos, the investigation of Ford's base, an entire Alola Arc, and even the return of a few familiar faces. As Kalos builds up to its eventual finale, I can't help but look back at how far we've come. Ellen may be laying low for now, but Zoe's finally gotten her time to shine. Shannon's shown a bit more independence, while both Dack and Dahlia are facing very different forms of personal demons. But perhaps my favorite moment of this past year was the chance to finally bring Ryan's personal struggles to a resolution. I've written many, many posts over the past nine years but the Mega Typhlosion reveal was by far the most cathartic for me personally.
 
I want to thank all of you for reading, writing, and overall enjoying this collaborative story over the past nine years. None of this would have been possible without each of us playing our part. So here's to the start of another fantastic year of storymaking! ^_^
 
IC: Ryan Sanders - Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town
Ryan nodded in agreement. "It's like the answers are just beyond our grasp. Kind of reminds me of trying to get information out of you and the rest of Ford's Children. We had just enough to go on while still being kept in the dark." He glanced over at the Separatist. "I'm sorry about that, by the way. It must've been hard, not being able to tell us what you were really doing."
 
IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town
Alex heard his name called out and someone else answered for him. While he couldn't see through the darkness, he recognized Lucia's voice as the one who had called his name. For a second he was confused, but then he recalled the rather embarrassing misunderstanding at Lionel's castle. And if Lucia was the one calling, that meant the Alex in question would have to be . . .
 
Absol's fight with the orange canine -- he couldn't tell if it was a small Arcanine or a large Growlithe -- interrupted Alex's thoughts. Whoever their opponents were, it was clear they weren't pulling any punches. There wasn't any time for hesitation. "Absol!" he called out. "It's bigger than you, so use that to your advantage! Lure it into a corner where it can't maneuver as well!"
 
The dark-type allowed his opponent to hit him, yelping dramatically. He responded with a halfhearted swipe of his claws before backing up into an unoccupied corner. It was a risky gambit that relied on him being able to get out from under the fire-type's next attack. Otherwise Absol himself would be pinned and at the mercy of the giant dog.
 
While Dahlia was too exhausted to follow much of the chaotic battle, one word caught her ear: Mercury. She looked over at Lachina in surprise; letting an uncontrollable killer lose seemed like the last thing the Ranger should be suggesting. Her mind thought back to the battle in the Berry Fields. She didn't want to hurt anyone . . . but if these Team Flare people were really as bad as everyone said they were, then they needed to be stopped at all costs. Dahlia understood perhaps better than anyone now that Jared's dark side wasn't inherently evil. Mercury wanted to bring Team Flare to justice just as much as anyone else did; he just had a different definition of the word. Who was she to say that his definition wasn't the right answer for a group so cruel and inhumane?
 
Dahlia looked over at Zoe, whose eyes were filled with tears. The Heroine of Reverse clenched a fist. Jared had told her to stay out of the fight, but if things got bad, she couldn't just stand by and do nothing. She kept a close eye on the aura wielder, steeling herself in case she was needed.

IC: Dack Majors/Jayron Aaron – Streets, Shamouti Island
"So. You want to tell me what's going on?" The executive's question broke the uncomfortable silence as the two walked down the streets of the island's main town, accompanied by Jayron's Lucario. The tropical air should have felt refreshing after being cooped up in the boat, but present and not-present company made it hard to relax.

"You're an aura wielder." Dack scowled. "Can't you just read my mind or something?"

Lucario looked like he wanted to punch Dack in the face, but resisted when Jayron let out a belabored sigh. "I read emotions, not thoughts. And I've been getting an immense anger from you ever since we left Four Island. I know you and Agent Shaw have a history, but I want to hear it in your own words."

"I don't know what else there is to say," Dack muttered with a shrug. "I hate him, and he hates me. I joined Team Rocket so I could beat him, and now I'm forced to work with him. It's just all sorts of wrong."

That made both Jayron and Lucario pause. "You joined so you could settle your vendetta? Not out of loyalty to your country or anything?"

That earned a sharp laugh from Dack. "Loyalty? I'm loyal to my friends, nothing more."

"Well it would seem you're loyal to your enemies, too." The aura wielder gave him a pointed look. "You certainly seem to have no qualms about helping Agent Sanders after you arrested his parents."

Dack turned away to look down the street. "I repay my debts," he said simply. "Aren't we supposed to be looking for clues or something?"

IC: Madison Morrow/Luke/Adam Shaw – Shrine, Shamouti Island
"Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, or lightning . . ." Luke peered at the inscription, then gave Madison a sidelong glance. "Little late for that, wouldn't you say?"

"What are you muttering about?" Adam scowled as he kicked a stone off the cliff and watched it fall into the ocean below. "It's just a stupid legend. Unless it says something about a giant three-headed dragon flying over the island we're wasting our time here."

The shrine they had stumbled across was pretty far removed from the town, erected at the edge of a bluff overlooking the vast sea. One of the townsfolk had mentioned seeing a large Pokémon resembling a Hydreigon flying around this part of the island several months ago. While the shrine showed no signs of a dragon's nest, three small islands were just barely visible on the horizon past the shrine. While Madison and Luke studied the weathered words engraved on the stone obelisk, Adam had grown increasingly impatient.

"It's a prophecy," Luke corrected. "Don't you see? Dack's the barely-contained fire, you're the unforgiving ice, and Jayron's the lightning that's about to smite both of you if you don't cooperate."

"Does it say anything about the ice smiting the two annoying interlopers?" Adam shot Luke a glare that made even the blackbelt flinch. "'Cause that's what's about to happen."

"Will both of you just stop?" Madison rolled her eyes at the two men. "Honestly, Luke, you're being just as bad as Dack."

Luke narrowed his eyes at Adam. "If I was as bad as Dack, I'd have pushed him off that cliff as soon as he stepped up to it."

"See, this is exactly what I'm talking about!" Madison cried. "All of you are living in the past. We were kids, and kids can be jerks. Haven't we all matured past the point of petty grudges?"

"Maddy." Luke gave her a serious look. "This is Adam Freaking Shaw we're talking about. The guy whose Snover tried to freeze the bindings on your skis. The guy who ruined Dack's tenth birthday. The guy who—" he faltered for a moment before continuing in a deathly whisper. ". . . the guy who beat up and put down Matthew every chance he got."

Madison met his gaze with a steeled look. "I know what he's done," she said softly. "And I also know that people can change. Dack did."

"Yeah, and it took him being abducted by some crazy dude calling himself Pride." Luke shook his head. "As much as I'd love to see Adam face judgement for his Sins, I don't think that's happening anytime soon. Plus, the way Dack's been acting lately, can you really say he's changed for good?"

Madison stared at him for a moment before dropping her eyes to the ground. "That's what worries me," she admitted. "It's like he's gone back to six years ago. He may have defeated his pride back in Celadon, but it's rearing its ugly head again in the face of Adam. I just wish they could settle their differences and move on."

Luke looked out at the trio of islands on the horizon. "Some scars run deep," he said gravely. "Adam's ripped open a fresh wound, and Dack's reacting with gut instinct. It's fight or flight, it's not something he can just get over in a couple of weeks."

"Are you two done muttering about me behind my back?" Adam had walked up to the shrine and ran a finger across the ancient carvings. "The Hydreigon's obviously not here, but it could have flown to one of those smaller islands."

"He has a point," Madison said. "But it could just as easily have flown off in another direction. I think we need to get more information from the townspeople. We don't want to return to Jayron with only half an answer."


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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OOC: Happy anniversary!

 

-==IC: Ryan Hikari/Shannon Willows/Aori Yamamoto/Corey Bouchard/Evan Tierra/Jenny Hakuda/Marianna Homura/Darien Grant -- Ecruteak City, Johto==-


The gunshot shocked her out of her stupor. For a moment, Shannon was back on that street in Celadon. The roar of the Tyranitar, the eyes full of hatred, and the terrible screams as an innocent victim fell to the pavement. Only this time something was off. She felt no pain of impact, and her eyes were focused on the ground instead of the sky.


And the screams. They were her own.


"No! No, no, no!" She was kneeling over Ryan, her tears mixing with the blood that had started to stain the man's shirt. "What were you thinking?!"


Aori had dropped the Pokégear at the sound of the gunshot, and was now on her knees with her hands pressed tightly to her ears. The screen displayed an ongoing call, and a tinny voice could be faintly heard on the other end.


The police would arrive “soon,” but quite possibly too late to save Ryan or catch his attacker.


"Saving you…" Ryan said with a gasp of pain as he planted a foot on the ground to try to begin to push himself back to his feet. His gaze turned back to the arrogant criminal in front of him. For a second he glanced to his right and saw that Corey had been frozen by what happened. He waved his hand in the air as he slowly began to stand up.


"Wasn't a bad wound." The man said, though he placed his hand over it for the moment anyway. Ryan shook his head to clear it for a moment. "Dunno what it hit, but it wasn't important." The tone of his voice sounded a little shaky, but he seemed more focused on what was ahead. He pointed his hand forward "Tyranitar, rock wall, now!" As the man raised his weapon again, the Tyranitar created a wall of rock with Stone Edge, much to the man's surprise.


***


"So, it was you…" Darien said with a growl. Holding his gun to the side, he instead sent out his Dragonite for the moment. He wasn't sure if this was a ploy for his prey to get away, or if this was a distraction from some kind of attack that was about to happen. No matter, he stayed alert.


***


Jenny and the others came running up not long after the rock wall went with a shocked look on her face. "We suddenly realized you weren't behind us, then the gunshot went off, then we ran back as fast as we could…"


"That guy who attacked Goldenrod… he came back and wanted revenge on me for nearly exposing his crimes when he gloated to me." Ryan grit his teeth. "So he shot me, but I'm sorta fine." He glanced over to Corey. "Corey, take Shannon and Aori and get away from here. I don't think it's safe here." He left it unsaid that he doubted either of the two would be pleased with him trying to fight the attacker, but glanced to the two of them to see their reactions.


Evan grit his teeth as he sent out Monstro. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m gonna have to help you, Ryan.” The Hero said. “It’s part of my duty as a Hero to punish those who would cause others pain.”


Ryan looked back in surprise as Shannon grabbed his arm. "We can't just leave you!" she said desperately. "We all need to get out of here, you included." She cast a glance down where her Pokégear had hit the ground. "We're not too far from the restaurant. If we can make it there, we'll be safe until the authorities arrive . . ."


"I'll head there soon." Ryan said with a small nod to Evan. "I'll give you a head start and hold him off here. Tyranitar has one of the best chances alongside Monstro to do that, especially with the advantage of having powers." As he spoke, he slowly and subtly slid his other hand from his pocket where his Poké Gear was and slipped the device into Shannon's bag for safe keeping, in case it got damaged in the ensuing fight.


The Rocket agent's words stung with sound reason, but it wasn't until Corey pulled her away that Shannon resigned herself to the plan. Keeping a wary eye on the rock wall where the gunman was surely behind, she reached over to take Aori's hand and scooped up her Pokégear.


Her eyes lingered for a moment on Ryan, who was still gripping the wound on his side. "Be safe," she murmured. Then she turned on her heel and ran. She didn't dare look back.

 

-==IC: Colleen Llyan/Lucia Zyther -- Geosenge Town, Kalos==-

 

"Elly, take the blow then use the wall to land a hit!" Colleen called out, as she held her hand forward. The Elgyem was caught off guard by the order to get hit, but let the action take place. The Larvitar's bite stung more than she would have liked, but even so, the psychic-type began to spin around. Once she built up enough momentum, Elly swung around to either have the Larvitar let go and fly off to put distance between them, or be slammed into the nearby wall and take a hit for the first time that fight.

 

Lucia, to her credit, defiantly didn't flinch at the knife pointed at her throat. She was scared, yes, but she wasn't about to let the girl get the better of her. Even so, she was glad when Alex stepped in. That's when she decided to give her reason. "Because I'm Alex's sister. So if you're with Alex, then you should realize that'd be a very bad idea." She thought for a second. "Plus, my girlfriend has time powers, so you'd probably not get away with it at all." The redhead wasn't entirely sure if that was a bluff or the truth, but she figured that the chance might help dissuade the threat on its own.

 

-==IC: Ryan Hikari/Evan Tierra/Darien Grant/Jenny Hakuda/Marie Homura -- Ecruteak City, Johto==-

 

Ryan watched as Corey ran off with Shannon and Aori. He clutched at the place where he had been shot, but kept waiting, the rock barrier still up. "How's it looking?" The trainer asked the others who had stayed behind to help as he unclipped his Poké Ball belt and passed it to Marie as a 'just-in-case' precaution. "Do you see that ########?"


Evan silently commanded Monstro to set up a Wide Guard, and looked up from the stone barrier. He saw the Rocket Agent, gun in hand, with his Dragonite out looking around. The man ducked down again, and faced Ryan. “Yeah, I see him.”


"Good, distract him with a move."


“Got it. Monstro, ICY WIND!” Evan commanded loudly. Monstro complied, leaping out of his cover blasting out a chilling gust of air at the Rocket Agent and his Dragonite.

"What?! Another?!" Darien exclaimed in surprise as the Swampert suddenly appeared with the use of the ice-type move. His Dragonite was buffeted close to where he was, unable to keep in the air with the ice that was beginning to cover his wings. "How, how is this possible? That Tyranitar was supposed to be the only one at all!"


The rogue Rocket's surprise didn't end there, as the rock wall that had acted as a barrier so far began to shake. With widened eyes, Darien could only watch as the wall shattered into pieces that flew toward him quickly. "Wait, no--" The man couldn't finish his sentence as the chunks of rock struck his Dragonite and crashed to the ground. It only took a few moments for the man and his Pokémon to be buried in the rubble, Darien pinned to the ground under it all.


Ryan gave a sigh of relief as he turned back toward the group with a pained thumbs up. He took a step forward and groaned at the pain, as Jenny ran over to make sure that he could stay standing.


***


This wasn't… supposed to be how it goes. This wasn't… this can't be how it ends. Move… move!!! We can't lose here. Not now!


"We should get you to a doctor quickly." Jenny said with a worried frown on her face as she looked at Ryan.


"I'm telling you, it's not that bad, we can wait until we find Corey and the others." Ryan replied, waving his right hand dismissively.


It was Marie that noticed it first. "Hey, you two, do you see like, a light show in the distance, or is it just me?" The blonde-haired woman asked with a small frown, as she pointed off toward where they had just finished fighting.


Jenny turned her head back in confusion, not sure what Marie meant. By the time she turned her head back, the source of the light was very much revealed. A blur of motion headed toward the group before they had any chance to react. Jenny blinked in confusion, as it felt like her arm was suddenly on fire. She tried to bring her hand up to see what was wrong, but couldn't.


"Evan!!" Marie screamed out as she ran forward; the Air Cutter had missed the two of them who had been further back, but Ryan and Jenny… had not been so lucky. "Space whatever thingy, now!!"


There was no time to think. Too much had happened. Jenny and Ryan were in even more danger. Rearing back his right arm, the man reached out for the two, and dragged his arm back, causing the two of them to be dragged back towards Marie and himself. He looked them over, and was distraught at what he had seen.

Ryan managed to turn himself around despite everything, hand clutching where his arm had been moments before. He glared at the transformed Dragonite in front of him, and the man that was digging himself out of the rubble. "You…" Ryan managed to gasp out, as his Tyranitar roared and leaped toward the Dragonite, a rainbow shell of his own surrounding him as the Tyranitar transformed into his own mysterious evolved form. Ryan took a step forward toward Darien Grant despite everything, a pained-yet-angry look on his face.


Marie, meanwhile, had caught Jenny as soon as Evan had brought the two of them closer. "Evan, can you get us to where we were in Olivine? There was a hospital. Maybe, maybe that can…" She took a deep breath to try and stay calm, even as she watched Ryan try to move closer to the fight.


Evan looked at Marie, then at Jenny, a million thoughts running wild in his head. He took a deep breath, and snapped his fingers, creating a portal that lead to Olivine City. “Get her out of here…….please. I need to settle things here.” He then faced Jenny. “Marie’s gonna make sure you get taken care of, all right? Don’t worry about me, all right, Jen-Jen?”

Jenny nodded, as Marie helped her through the portal. Ryan inched further and further away from the portal, a hate of unprecedented levels in his eyes.


"You… just… won't… stop. Why can't… you just… leave us alone…?" Ryan managed to say as he held up his right hand. "Stone… Edge." The Tyranitar roared out as fragments of stone were thrown toward the intimidating Dragonite. The trainer glanced around for any means they could use to stop their opponent, but didn't have any luck there.


Evan then snapped his fingers again, closing the portal as he faced Darian Grant. “You’ve just made the biggest mistake of your life, #######.” Evan said with a calmness that belied his rage. “I have many ways to break you……” He then reached his arm back, prepared to drag it back at the right opportunity. Monstro had assumed his muscular form again, growling at the one who had caused so much damage.

As Ryan continued to look around, his eyes locked with a familiar smug-looking auburn-haired man. Wait, wasn't there supposed to be no-one around…? Did someone come to investigate? The trainer thought for a few moments as he tried to figure out what was going on. For a brief moment, he wondered if the man was Aori's father.


Then the realization hit him like a truck. But when he tried to look again, the man was gone.


"EVAN, GET OUT OF HERE!!!" Ryan yelled with a sudden intensity, as he took another step forward. "IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!!"


Darien smiled with a shake of his head. "What a change of tone. No longer so confident?" The Rocket taunted, as his Dragonite spiraled around to get away from the Tyranitar's attacks. However, he needed to take a step back as the Swampert launched off a Hydro Pump at him instead of the Dragonite.


"Ugh, not what I expected…" The Rocket mumbled, as his Dragonite dive-bombed toward Monstro. "This one's unpredictable…" With a quick glance around, the Rocket ran off toward a nearby unoccupied alleyway.
 

Evan ran after the Rocket, Monstro following him into the alleyway. Fury burned in the Plasma Agent’s mind as he thought about how Jenny and Marie were doing. He’d make sure this monster paid for what he had done.


Darien turned in surprise, then quickly tried to run for the other side of the alleyway before Evan could catch up. He didn't make it far, however.

He then reached out for Darien, dragged his arm back, just like he had done with Jenny and Ryan. The Rocket was dragged back towards the furious Hero of Space. “..........And all of them -hurt-.” With a swift motion, Evan reached out for Darian’s right arm, with his own, pink claws extending from his fingers, and swiped from above the elbow down to his hand, erasing the affected area from existence. “Jenny wouldn’t want me to kill you. Howerver...” The vengeful Hero of Space said as he kicked Darian away from him. “You took her hand, I take yours, monster.”

As Darien screamed out in pain, the Dragonite quickly flew into the alleyway and took up a defensive position between his trainer and the enemies who threatened him, letting out a warning hiss as the corrupt Rocket did his best to pad onto the Dragonite's back.

Evan looked on as the Rocket got on his Dragonite, Monstro making a move to attack the Dragon-type. “Monstro, let this sniveling coward go.” The man said, glowering at Darian. “He has to live with the shame of being less of a man, thanks to me. Wide Guard in case he tries anything funny.” A wall of water stood between the two humans and their Pokémon as Evan walked away, Monstro following backwards as he kept an eye on their enemies.

When Evan reached the exit to the alleyway, Ryan's Tyranitar stood nearby - in his original form - with an anxious look on his face. The rock-type tried to do some motions to explain what was going on, but the best example was the red sphere in his hand.


“Did…...he release you?” Evan asked the beast. “Is he OK? I know it’s hard, but any information could help us find him, so he doesn’t die…”

Tyranitar shook his head to the first question, but then began to lead the way back to where they had been fighting before that. When they reached the spot, however… there was no sign of Ryan.


----


Ryan reached out his remaining hand toward where Evan had gone to. Then, he brought his hand up to his head. "I feel dizzy…" He mumbled to his Tyranitar, then placed the Pokémon's Pokéball into the rock-type's hand despite protests. "Go find Evan… just in case… I want you to have that…"


The Tyranitar seemed uneasy for a long moment, but then ran off in the direction that Evan had gone in. Ryan watched his first Pokémon go, then collapsed to his knees, everything finally starting to catch up to him. "I… I should've gone with Jenny…" He managed to say, feeling his energy quickly starting to drain. ". . ."


*Thud*

 

 

OOC: Happy Anniversary =)

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IC: Jamie Arthur - Flare Lab

 

Tristan smiled greatly at the development before his eyes. This evolution would make his opponent an even greater opponent. However, that did not mean he was going to let the opportunity go to waste. He took the blow to the face, or rather, he smashed his head into the fist. And he pivoted off the momentum impulse to shoot both of his fore limbs forward beyond the range of the extended limb. Only if he could master his new growing limbs would his opponent be able to dodge this strike.

 

"Improvise a Gyro Ball, Lucan!" Jamie yelled to the Vanilluxe, who she was focusing on for the moment. "Spin out of Dracos's way!"

 

Lucan did indeed begin to spin. He wasn't quite sure how gyro ball was supposed to work. And while having two perspectives gave him twice the field of view, it also gave him twice the dizziness. So it was almost luck as much skill that kept him from crashing into Dracos and spinning back and a collision course with his thrower.

 

Pelleas pushed against the tightening coil of the Dragonair. He knew he had the strength to do without any handicaps, but when the body of his opponent started to change, he took the opportunity to slip out of the dragon's grasp. He was about to grab the dragon, when the Eevee ran up to him. He turned to see what the problem was and froze. He could just make out the knife to Lucia's throat. Generally, he would confer with his trainer what to do here. But this was delicate. Jamie couldn't see this at this angle. At this point, his best bet was to keep his current occupied. He kept one eye out on the knife wielder. If she let her guard down, he might be able to find a way to disarm her.


25fbd79538e4c3de878b599045e3f03a.jpg

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IC: Geosenge Lab Group

 

The transformation completed. As Tristan's fist slammed into the smaller number, blue metal cracked and splintered, falling away to reveal a blue crystalline body. The newly-evolved Metagross slid back from the force of the impact, his new legs scrabbling against the floor.

 

Dragonair to Dragonite was a surprising disadvantage. Her sinuous body had become more bulky, and she could no longer wrap herself fully around her opponent. Hemlock growled as her opponent slipped free of her grasp.

 

"Sister?" Alma asked. She nodded a bit and slowly got to her feet, offering a hand to Lucia. "My sincerest apologies."

 

Belle glanced away from the two now that things had been defused, and gasped as she saw the evolutions of her two oldest teammates. She whooped and bolted over to the entrance. "Good job, you two! Keep it up!"

 

"Nightshade?" Lachina asked. Belle's head whipped around and she grinned a bit.

 

"Hey, it's you guys! Listen, I think there's been a big misunderstandin', what with you two and Alex's sister 'n all."

 

Jared frowned, nodding. "Just go back, recall your teams. I'll calm everyone down out here." He turned away and Belle nodded.

 

"Cyanide, Hemlock, relax! Shadow, tell Alma to call off Cu, too!"

 

Jared turned towards the other members of the mission team. "Guys, stop! It's just a misunderstanding, stand down!"


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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OOC: Bunnying Lucia with Blade's permission.

 

IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

"What he said! Stand down!" Alex ordered. Raleigh, already disengaged, began picking his way back through the glass toward his Trainer, while Didi scampered joyfully to atop Blissie's head. The motion reminded Alex of the rest of their team. "Oh, right, you too Blissie, Syl-- erm. Sylvia." A rather relieved Blissie made her own way to Alex, picking her Trainer up from the floor and clucking concernedly as Alex winced at the shards of mirror-glass that fell from them. The Eevee in question seemed confused by the sudden change in nickname, but seemed to recognize Alex was addressing it. It wagged its heart-patterned tail at Alex, though remained at Pelleas' side and away from the shard-coated floor.

 

Amelia glared at the newcomers with distrust, but decided to give Alex and Belle the benefit of the doubt. "Sina, Harvey, back."

 

Harvey hit the wall, hard. Unsurprisingly, the "move slow to move fast" strategy worked poorly when the other party controlled the momentum. He let himself slump to the ground as the silver-haired human ordered the intruders to stand down, relieved when his Trainer ordered said compliance a moment later. He grumbled slightly to himself, not happy at how quickly the fight had turned against him and considering what he'd need to improve his durability in the future.

 

Sina tracked the spinning Ice-type as it shot back towards her. She leaped into the air, claws extended as she began her own spin, intending to let gravity aid her in a guillotine-like descent. Unfortunately, Amelia's command came first, and the annoyed Dark-type was forced to sheath her claws -- though she could not resist coming to rest directly atop the Vanilluxe's body and casually cleaning herself as if it had been her attention all along.

 

Lucia looked at the hand her would-be murderer offered her and hesitantly accepted it. "So what are you doing here, anyways?"

 

Alex winced, and not from the glass shards. "That's… a bit of a long story…"

 

 

 

IC: Alex Zyther/Alma Mason (Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 11th, 2017, 11:07 P.M.)

 

Alex sighed heavily, shaking their head in a mixture of annoyance and amusement. They were happy for the two -- really, they were -- but did they have to be so loud?

 

Alma rubbed at one eye, fighting a yawn as she glared at Alex. “Will you explain now why you woke me up and rushed me out of the hotel?”

 

“Er… that is to say…”

 

“Di! Di di!”

 

Alex had never felt as much gratitude toward Didi as they had in that moment. “What is it? What did you--?” They stopped cold, recognizing the path Didi had lead them towards.

 

Annoyance was replaced with concern as Alma saw the look on Alex’s face. “What is wrong?” she asked. She pulled a knife from her apron, looking around warily.

 

“It’s…” Alex shook their head. “This is… this is where Mom and Dad found me. The first place I remember, ever.” They glanced back at the rest of the group. Alma tilted her head in thought, while Didi and Coralie displayed a mixture of curiosity and concern for their Trainer. Raleigh, though, was petrified. “Raleigh?”

 

The shiny Ralts stepped forward, walking toward a large ivy-covered boulder as if in a trance, murmuring to himself in a clearly horrified tone.

 

“Raleigh, what’s wrong? Why--?” As Alex brushed aside the curtain of plant matter, their hand brushed across a door behind it.

 

A very familiar door.

 

Alex turned to look at Alma. “We need to get the others.”

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Amelia Zann/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther (Collapsed Team Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 11, 2017, 11:52 P.M.)

 

The sound of footsteps echoed through the empty halls as the group of Trainers and their Pokémon shuffled through the abandoned space. As soon as they’d heard what Alex and Alma had found, Belle and Amelia had raced to the hidden door, their companions in tow, heedless of anything else. Amelia felt a nameless dread curdling within her stomach, the whole place having “bad time” written all over it.

 

The place was an utter wreck. A lot of rooms were full of rubble, but Belle didn’t need to see the full layout to recognize prison cells. Flare, she thought bitterly. Just like in that mirror world where the evil organization had won, this place had once been their hideout.

 

Ahead of them, Amelia froze. A missing door revealed a room full of white tile. Inside were tables with buckles and straps attached, as well as a rack full of sharp, wicked instruments. Belle gently took Amelia’s hand and squeezed. “They ain’t here, Pond,” she said quietly. “Lex and his cronies are long gone.”

 

Turning their head to avoid seeing any more sites of torture, Alex spotted several splashes of dried blood near the caved-in end of a collapsed corridor. Several of the boulders seemed to have been shifted from where they’d fallen, leaving a small passage just large enough for a small Pokémon or a sufficiently determined (and incautious) human to pass through. “Hey,” they called, “I think I found a way through.”

 

“Hm?” The sudden stop highlighted a series of echoing sounds, lasting far longer than they should have.

 

“It would appear we have company,” Alma said quietly. “Given where we are, we may wish to find a hiding place.”

 

“Ooh! Pick me!” a woman’s voice called from down the hall at the top of her lungs.

 

“Jamie, wait!” called a man’s voice.

 

“Through there!” Amelia ordered. Alex scuffled through first, with Alma and Amelia quickly following.

 

Belle followed quietly, wincing at the tight space. Once she was through, she summoned Cyanide. “Close these rocks up, a bit,” she ordered the Metang. It quickly did so, moving the boulders with a grating and crashing sound.

 

A man’s voice cursed.

 

"Now what?" a woman asked. "Is this where you guys were stopped?"

 

“Hurry!” Amelia insisted.

 

Belle returned her Pokémon and turned to follow Amelia.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Amelia Zann/Alex Zyther/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

“This way,” Amelia ordered quietly, a strangely confident order considering this was at least the fifth turn they’d made in as many minutes.

 

Alex exchanged a look with the others. “How do you know?”

 

Amelia flinched at the question. “I… honestly have no idea. I just do.”

 

“Awright, miss fancy pants, no need to be all ‘high society’ like the kid here,” Belle said with a teasing smile.

 

Amelia startled at the realization. “Am I?”

 

Alma nodded. “Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time with them.”

 

“It’s… rather creepy, actually.”

 

Amelia was troubled. “This is…” She bit her lip nervously. “I keep getting… flashes,” she admitted. “Like I did in the Flare universe, but… worse.”

 

“You never mentioned this before,” Belle said quietly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

“I just… didn’t want to worry you, okay? You were… the other you had just… and I didn’t want you to have to deal with me on top of all that.”

 

The purple-haired woman grabbed her companion’s hand again and squeezed. “It’s fine, just tell me things in the future, okay, hon?”

 

It was Alex who next broke the moment. “Hey,” they said, “that’s… you should see this.”

 

Before them stood a pair of great sliding doors, heavy riveted metal several inches thick… twisted and torn like so much tinfoil. Beyond, in the darkness, lay a pedestal most familiar to Alex, blackened and warped nearly beyond recognition. “That’s where they kept Xerneas,” they said worriedly. “It’s… already loose.”

 

“Then that means Xerneas is probably long gone,” Belle commented. “Good thing, too, given what you said happened when it saw you last time.”

 

Alex nodded, but the dread churning in their gut refused to settle. “You know, we… never found out why they had her in the first place.”

 

“Life,” Amelia said. “Xerneas is a Legendary Pokémon connected to life. They needed her power for… something.”

 

“Immortality?” Alex supplied. “Legends say that when its horns shine in all the colors of the rainbow, it is sharing everlasting life.”

 

“It was a tree. A tree of life. White bark with black markings, like the tree of Gondor in Minas Tirith.”

 

Belle frowned. “You haven’t read Lord of the Rings, Pond. I tried to get ya to, and you said it was boring. What gives?”

 

Amelia didn’t have an answer for that.

 

“Come on,” Alex said. “Let’s take a closer look.”



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Amelia Zann/Alma Mason/Belle LaDonna/Alex Zyther (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

The most notable difference between Xerneas’ containment room and its counterpart in the Flare-controlled universe was the twin squares of light streaming in on opposite sides of the room. The hole in the right wall was too small to pass through, so the quartet investigated the left side first. The room they found was littered with shards of shattered glass that crunched softly underfoot, the remnants of what was once a tall glass room isolated in the center of the space, as well as some sort of emitter above that was now so blackened it had warped outward and then started curling backward upon itself. Most of the computer banks along the wall were similarly scorched, but a few in the corners seemed partially intact -- perhaps a single usable unit amongst all of them combined.

 

Amelia made to move forward, but Belle held out an arm to stop her. “Look,” she said, pointing to the floor.

 

Trailing through the shattered shards on the floor, a path of suspiciously shoe-shaped disturbances crossed several times between the consoles and the ex-chamber from which the shards had started, the glass in those patches crushed even smaller than the rest of the chamber’s debris.

 

“Someone has clearly been here before us,” Alma said quietly as she drew a knife from her apron. “We should be cautious. Perhaps the people following us are Team Flare.”

 

Something ticked loudly in Amelia’s mind, but the pieces wouldn’t quite fit together. Shaking her head, she led the group onward toward the collapsed right-hand wall, quietly picking their way past the glass as they stayed to the edges of the room.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Belle LaDonna/Amelia Zann/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

Belle shuddered a bit as they entered the next room. More glass was shattered across the floor, sticky with some sort of fluid. Against one wall were several machines -- tubes or vats of some sort, the source of both the glass and the fluid. Only a handful were still intact. A conveyor belt led from the vats off into a darkened alcove. Belle didn’t want to think about where that led.

 

As the purple haired woman moved into the room, she was flanked by her two oldest companions. Cyanide shielded her on the left, and Hemlock was on her right. Moving through the doorway caused the lights to flicker on, and the machines around them hummed as they came to life. “Wha--” Before anything else could be said, two robotic arms appeared from one of the machines, wielding strange devices.

 

Belle lunged at the one that attacked Hemlock. She batted it away, cursing as she saw it scrape a few scales off her Dragonair. Quickly, she spun. Cyanide had grabbed the arm attacking him and broken it, though the collector noticed a gouge of shiny metal on his arm that hadn’t been there before.

 

A monitor flashed red nearby. ‘Incomplete samples! Try again!’ Belle frowned.

 

“Samples fer what?”

 

“Something… something…” Amelia scowled, threading fingers through her hair and pulling tightly. “I remember… I remember something about…”

 

Eggs. Needles. Blood. A tree that bleeds? Shouting. ‘Disposal.’ Have to save… have to save… Something metal. Long. A figure. In her way. Thrown. Sparks. Dropped, rumbling, falling…

 

Amelia zeroed in on a machine attached to the right-hand wall, the same one through which they’d entered. Some vague memory told her it connected to Xerneas’ room, though a melted spanner had fused into and ruined the works. “I did that,” she realized, pointing to the sabotage. “I… I remember doing that. To save… to save someone…”

 

“Xerneas?” Alex guessed.

 

She shook her head. “No. Well, yes, but also I… I needed her help…” She stared back at the mangled machinery, and suddenly frowned. “Hey,” she said, “look at this.” Above the ruined portion of the machine sat an empty canister, practically pristine compared to the state of most of the equipment, perched haphazardly upon the casing. A number of wires had been jury-rigged from the interior of the machine to a pair of terminals atop the canister, and a heavy cable had been hooked up to the output and run through the broken wall to the next room. “…This I don’t remember. This… wasn’t like this the last time I was here.”

 

“I remember it like this.” Alex suddenly clapped their hands to their mouth, horrified at their own realization.

 

“You were here, too?” Belle asked, putting a hand on Alex’s back.

 

The group stood in uncomfortable silence. “Come,” Amelia said. “Let us keep going.”



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Amelia Zann/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

The next room the group entered was very different from the previous two. It was a bedroom, walls painted a pale orange and the floor replaced with cheap gray carpet tile more suited to an office than a home. The windowpane-arrangement of four computer screens sat dark upon the wall, the only homey touch to an otherwise-antiseptic space. Two barren metal bed frames bore two firm mattresses topped with thin, rough sheets and nothing more, the closest hint towards personal belongings the tiny shelves topped with a broken lamp and burned-out alarm clock each. The beds sat parallel in opposite corners of the room, a symmetry linked by a small half-rotted bookcase and mirrored across the rusted frame of a now-empty folding paper room divider.

 

Of course, despite the intention for symmetry, the reality did not match the plan. One bed was messy and rumpled, its occupant having thrown off the covers and not bothered to re-make the bed before whatever disaster had befallen the facility. The bookcase on that side also held a few volumes besides the two identical to each side, a few notable children’s literary classics covering up the covers of the two books emblazoned with an emblem of flame. Amelia moved automatically to this bed, reaching for the lamp pull by reflex and knocking the item onto the bed in the process of stopping herself.

 

A glimmer of gold caught Belle’s eye. “What’s that?” she asked.

 

While Alex and Alma rummaged curiously through the drawers (the women’s Flare outfits on Amelia’s side running a size shorter than their counterparts on the other), Amelia picked up the small, square-shaped trinket and examined it with Belle. Upon turning it over, the two gasped.

 

It was a picture frame, a tiny thing perhaps three centimeters square -- based on its hiding place, most likely contraband. The contraband in question, however, was the truly shocking thing: a teenage boy with black hair and blue eyes wrapping an arm around a black-haired blue-eyed sister just a couple years younger. There was just one problem: the boy was unmistakably a young Alex… or it would have been, if he hadn’t been blatantly older than the palette-swapped young Amelia next to him.

 

“What the hay, Pond?”

 

“I… honestly don’t know.” Amelia’s brow furrowed in concentration. “I’ve… never seen this photo in my life. The resemblance is disturbing, though.” Her tone summoned the other two for a closer look.

 

Alma hummed. “Perhaps it’s labeled on the back?” She passed her knife over and Belle started prying at the frame.

 

Once finally prized from its frame, however, the picture only revealed an extremely short message:

 

Allana,

 

Remember me.

 

--Big Bro

Thoroughly unnerved, Alex backed away toward what they had thought was a matte-black wall but was in fact the frame of some sort of shattered floor-to-ceiling glass pane. They stumbled backwards, mirrored fragments crunching softly underfoot, until they came to rest against something made of glass and metal that came just up to their mid-back. They turned around and gasped.

 

“Uh… guys?” they whispered. “I think you should see this.”


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Alma Mason/Amelia Zann/Alex Zyther/Belle LaDonna (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017)

 

Alma walked over, frowning a bit as she looked around. “A secret room?”

 

Amelia looked down at the glassy fragments underfoot. “This was a mirror,” she noted, her whispered voice oddly distant.

 

“An observation room.” Alex scowled at the thought of the arrangement. “I always hated these.”

 

“Me too,” Amelia added before she realized what she’d said. She swore violently.

 

“It reminds me of home,” Alma said, running a hand down the frame of the wall.

 

Belle made a face. “Y’all’ve had real pleasant lives, y’know that?” She shook her head and made to lean against a console on the wall.

 

“Don’t touch that!” Amelia and Alex yelled in unison. They both blinked back surprise, as Belle spotted the half-filled syringe she’d almost stuck herself with.

 

“Gah! Friggin’ freaks!” Belle stepped back. “Can we find what we’re lookin’ for and get the h### outta here?”

 

Amelia had gone pale. “I… think that is what we’re looking for.”

 

Belle raised an eyebrow and carefully picked up the syringe. She held it up to the light and frowned. “What is it?”

 

“That stuff’s called Retcon, I think. They always yelled at me if I tried to touch it. I never knew what it did, before, but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea now.”

 

Alex stared at Amelia. “You think… but I thought stuff like this only existed in movies?”

 

Alma shook her head. “Modern medicine can produce all sorts of mind altering substances. Amnesia, psychosis, phobias, mind control…”

 

“Some jerk stabbed me with half a dose when I went to up that machine in the other room, but I threw him off when the thing exploded.”

 

“It sounds like a half-dose was all they needed, then.” Alma hummed. “But what does this gain us?”

 

“Ah don’t quite know. Everythin’ that’s comin’ back is only half-there. I’m still missin’ a piece to the puzzle.

 

“I think this is it.” In the time Amelia had known Alex, however admittedly short, she’d never heard them sound quite this hollow. “These papers… they explain everything.”

 

Alex was leaning bonelessly against the thing they’d bumped into earlier, a heavy metal stretcher bolted to the floor and enclosed in a half-cylinder of some sort of treated glass. The interior was covered in some sort of strange glossy memory foam, the indentation molded in the general shape of a detailed human body, down to notches for each vertebra and rib. One end of the device was enclosed in metal, the wires they’d seen in the other room attached to a pair of similar-looking terminals on this device; a glance to the far end of the room showed a number of weird plastic-looking structures sealed in sterile chambers, looking like some sort of mold for bones and organs.

 

Alex slumped to the floor, letting the papers in their hand flutter down next to them. “I always wondered,” they said, “who I was, before Mom and Dad found me. Now I know.”

 

Amelia shuffled over, eyes drawn to the hand-scrawled “Experiment failure, project terminated” note writ large across the final page. She gathered the sheets together, read back… and froze, tears falling softly down her face.

 

“Oh, sweet Arceus… Pond…” Belle grabbed Amelia’s hand.

 

Amelia began sobbing softly. She let Alma take the papers from her, offering neither resistance nor even an apparent awareness of their presence. It was several minutes before she spoke again. “Tools,” she murmured. “Experiments at best.”

 

“We were born to fight and die,” Alex added, “Sacrificed for one huge lie.”

 

Amelia chuckled bitterly. “Well. I guess that means it’s ‘time to say goodbye’ to this place.”

 

Belle raised a finger, silencing the nerds. “Someone’s here,” she said as the sound of shifting glass came from the other room.

 

Amelia snarled, a low, animalistic sound, as she thumbed the button on her Pokéballs. Wordlessly, Alex automatically did the same.

 

“Sic ‘em.”

 

 

 

IC: Alex Zyther (current)

 

"…so yeah. That's… that's been our night. You?"



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Jared Winters/Emily Lcokwood/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/LachinaAdaon

 

Jared frowned. "I see... I'm sorry to hear all that. Would you mind all stepping out here? It's a bit crowded, but I like to see who I'm talking to."

 

The other group trickled out into the crowded living area. Belle and Alma came first. Amelia followed, and Emily blinked as they locked eyes and the older girl flinched. What was that about?"

 

Finally, Alex stepped into the room, and silence pervaded. Lachina swallowed. "Um... Am I crazy or does he look exactly like Xander?" she asked.

 

Emily took a hesitant step forward. "Yeah. Yeah, he does."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC - Kyle Eston/Sonja Baron - Common Room, Vertrag:

 

"I remember Ryan giving us a rundown of some of this before," Sonja said. "At least as far as Warren's identity and what he was doing for Ford."

 

"Then I guess that confirms everything we've pieced together about Ford unknowingly having Wrath under his nose," Kyle said. Absentmindedly, he sorted through the objects that Chloe had produced from her investigation. "Can't say I'm really surprised about him having a sniper rifle if he was one of Ford's specialized assassins or whatever . . ." He picked up a picture frame that Chloe had set upside down, turning it over. "But I can see why finding that would be surpris--"

 

Kyle's voice caught in his throat.

 

Nothing could have blindsided him more than suddenly coming face to face with the man in the photograph. At that very moment, Shift himself could have walked through the elevator doors into Vertrag and he would have found only a pale, speechless statue in Kyle's place, not quite able to process the sheer amount of shock currently paralyzing him.

 

Because, suddenly, it was like he was back on the beach, those many months ago. Assailed by Team Rocket. Uncaring of the skirmish tearing apart the island around him. Focused solely on finding his father, marked as a target by Ford, time ticking away until--there.

 

Pushing him out of the way.

 

Taking the bullet.

 

Flesh rending in a torrent of blood that, by pure luck, he had barely managed to survive.

 

"Kyle?"

 

Shaking, he set the photograph down, pulling his hand back and taking a deep breath to steady his nerves.

 

"Kyle?" Sonja repeated. "Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost or something."

 

"I'm fine," he said. "It just . . . really hit me all of a sudden . . ."

 

His mouth was dry; it was hard to speak.

 

Hard to lie. 

 

The strangest thing was, between McKinley and the other in the frame, he had only ever met McKinley. The latter, he had never seen in person--only a hallucination brought on during his last trip here, to Kalos. He did not know then, nor did he know now, how that image, that face, had ever entered his realm of knowledge. And yet, almost by some animalistic instinct, he recognized him.

 

Recognized him, and feared him.

 

Shift had hurt him--irreparably scarred him. But he wasn't the first to have done so.

 

That 'honor' went to Warren.

 

Wrath.

 

He couldn't prove it; it had all been so sudden, and he doubted anyone had seen the face of Ford's assassin that day amidst all the chaos. But deep down, he knew who had been responsible. It was the kind of gut feeling that needed no further proof. As if to confirm it, he saw--or rather, felt--the dark doppelganger buried inside of him smile with recognition.

 

Recognition of the man who had shot him. Whose bullet had crippled him and split his self into two parts.

 

Deep breaths . . . Deep breaths . . .

 

Kyle pulled out the newspaper clippings he had found in McKinley's room. "Ever just . . . have those moments where everything just snaps into perspective?" he said, forcing his voice to remain even. The papers slid out in a loose pile as he set them on the table. "McKinley's family was putting out ads to try to find him after he disappeared to join Ford. Just . . . I don't know." He rested his head in his hand. "Sometimes I forget just how messed up all of this Hojohsin-children stuff is . . ."

 

It wasn't what was actually bothering him, but it was a good enough truth for now.

 

 

IC - Blackskull - Morgue, The Alamo:

 

"Everyone out, please."

 

"Sir--"

 

"Out. Please."

 

Half a dozen pairs of feet shuffled out of the chamber. With a hiss of compressed air, the door closed behind them, leaving Blackskull and Goldhawk alone once again. It was different now, though, Blackskull could not help but muse. Just as it had been different--a change--when Bluefalcon had died. Back then, he and Goldhawk had mourned her together. Standing beside the calm, restful figure whom they had traveled and fought alongside for years, unable to fully process her passing, they had reminisced on their lives together for a full night, until finally the chains of responsibility had pulled them away.

 

Now Goldhawk was gone, and Blackskull was left to mourn his last remaining friend alone. The three of them had started this journey together, all those years ago. Three friends--siblings, basically--wanting to change the world. Team Rocket had torn her away from them. Then, when Ford attacked, forcing a choice between himself and Goldhawk, he had willingly let himself go to what he had thought would be his death. He had always been prepared to meet it, especially if it meant protecting his friends, his allies, his family.

 

But to find himself the last one left alive . . .

 

He had never given much thought to the possibility. Goldhawk, now he could certainly trust Goldhawk to handle the reins and continue pushing Team Liberty forward. Bluefalcon, though she had plateaued toward the end there, she had been strong, and if push came to shove, she would have handled it with grace. But then, in the face of challenges greater than their comprehension, both had gone and put themselves into hopeless scenarios, and paid the price. Intentionally suicidal? Overestimating their chances? Doing what they thought needed to be done?

 

Blackskull did not know what to think, what they had thought or assumed or planned in the time leading to their final stands. But he was not so sure about his own prospects, not anymore. Not certain of anything, really--his leadership, Team Liberty's chances, the current global situation . . . It was all so beyond him.

 

And he was alone.

 

He approached Goldhawk's body. It was not easy to look at him. Samurloch--Wrath--had done terrible damage to him. Despite their best efforts, the burns had proven too much for him. Even now, his entire body remained covered in terrible blisters that had never quite healed before his passing. It was not a pleasant sight. Ironic, Blackskull bitterly realized, that the Electric-Type Suit had provided enough protection to limit the aesthetic damage from being any worse, considering it was the Suit's power failure that had left him so vulnerable in the first place.

 

"I'm sorry, Marcus," he said, his voice barely remaining steady as he felt the first full wave of realization sweep over him--that this was really Goldhawk, and Goldhawk was well and truly gone. "I should have been there with you . . ."

 

The door opened behind him. Blackskull closed his eyes, letting out an annoyed breath.

 

"I asked you all to leave," he said. "Twice."

 

The footsteps stopped several feet behind him. "I apologize, Kane--I just arrived. I'll go if you want some time alone with him."

 

Blackskull turned to look at her, flashing her an expression of pure fatigue. "No, Selene, that's alright." He looked back at Goldhawk. "You haven't had a chance to see him yet, have you?"

 

"Unfortunately not," Silvermind said. She stepped forward, coming to a stop beside the senior leader. "It's horrible, what happened to him. I'm sorry there wasn't more we could do." Blackskull said nothing. She looked away from him and back to Goldhawk. "I've been informed that his last moments were peaceful. Painless. I suppose there's not much more we can ask for."

 

Blackskull nodded. "I am thankful for that." They stood in silence for several moments. "The three of us grew up together, you know. Marcus, Shannon, and I." Silvermind glanced at him. "Never thought we'd end up leading one half of a war . . . Of course, once Team Rocket took over . . . I had the resources, they had the vision and the drive. Crazy, how drastically things can change. I guess it's selfish to say so, but . . . I wish things had been different."

 

"Both gave their lives fighting an enemy they thought was worth fighting," Silvermind said. "I would say they served honorably."

 

"Some would say it was a waste," Blackskull said. "If this war had not happened, they might still be alive. Them, and a whole lot of other people." He shook his head. "But that can't change now, so I suppose there's no point in regretting our decisions."

 

"Indeed . . ." Silvermind stared straight ahead. "We play the cards we are given."

 

Silence fell again.

 

"Without intruding too much on the peace . . ." Silvermind said, slowly and carefully. "We've retrieved diagnostics on the Electric-Type Suit for use in planning future operations."

 

"I don't think we can risk the Suits again, Silvermind," Blackskull said. "Not after such a catastrophic accident."

 

Silvermind shifted. "That's just it, though, sir . . ." she said. "It was not an accident." He gave her a look, raising an eyebrow. She took a deep breath. "The Electric-Type Suit was sabotaged. We could not confirm it at first, but after running diagnostics on all of the Suits . . . We've been able to gather a clearer picture of what occurred. Not just of what happened to Goldhawk, either." She pulled something out of her coat and held it out to Blackskull. It was a manila folder, carefully prepared and sealed.

 

"Due to the nature of the suspected culprit's primary skill set, we've had to be careful about how we share and compile our information. We have even placed the remaining Power Suits under total lock down to ensure our evidence remains untouched. But if you have a moment, I believe you would be very interested in what we've discovered."

 

Blackskull shifted his gaze between the folder and Silvermind's face. "You think this person is responsible for Marcus's death?"

 

She nodded. "That, and more, sir."

 

He fixed her with a steely glare.

 

"Show me."

Edited by Parugi

Follow me on YouTube!

 

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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-==IC: Lucia Zyther/Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton -- Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos==-

 

Lucia and the others listened intently to the story. While most of the group didn't seem to know what to say at first, Lucia already had an idea. She followed the four out as Jared mentioned about wanting to actually be able to see them, though stayed quiet for the moment since she had never met Xander before.

 

"Yeah, can--" Colleen began to say as she stared at Alex Zyther's face in surprise. However, she cut herself off at Emily's comment, and looked over quizzically. "Wait, how do you know what Xander looks like? Have you two met before?"

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IC: Emily Lockwood//Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Alma Mason/Belle LaDonna

 

Emily paused, eyes wide as she looked over at Colleen. "Oh, um... That is to say..." She sighed, crossing her arms. "He's my half-brother. I've met him once before, but I know his face mostly from pictures and the like."

 

Jared frowned. A lot was happening, and he was trying to figure out what to focus on: the clones, with their auras that shifted through the color spectrum; Emily and her confession at knowing Xander -- a confession that could have come much sooner; or the white-haired girl with the ghostly white aura that had purple veins shooting through it. He took a deep breath, and Lachina placed a hand on his arm.

 

"I think we all need to take a minute to wrap our heads around everything," she said quietly, and he nodded his agreement.

 

Alma hummed. "So, if Lucia is Alex's sister, and Alex and Amelia are both clones of the same person... Would that make Lucia and Amelia sisters as well?"

 

"Not sure that's how that works, kid."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann

 

“Why not?” Alex asked innocently. “Lucia’s my big sis. Amelia’s… well, I guess she’s my big sis, too. How can they both be my sister and not be each other’s sisters?” Alex paused. “Wait. Would that make Amelia the big sister or Lucia the big sister?”

 

“Ah am not the little sister,” Amelia complained.

 

Alex grinned mischievously. “You didn’t say you weren’t her sister at all…”

 

“Ah-- but-- that’s not--” Amelia gave up with a sigh. “Fahn. If y’all insist…”

 

 

-==IC: Serena==-

 

Serena, for her part, was largely ignoring the family drama occurring around them. Her focus had been drawn to the single working computer in the room, a console that seemed to have been cobbled together from pieces of the others. She walked over and began fiddling with the device. It didn’t seem to require a password, thankfully, but to her frustration the power kept cutting out before she could seriously investigate. “Hey,” she called back to the others, “anyone have experience fixing computers?”



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town

Alex looked over at his cousin in a mixture of confusion and surprise. "You have a half-brother? How come I never knew about that?"

 

Dahlia meanwhile, relieved the fighting had stopped, was busy trying to wrap her head around everything the other group had told them. "So let me get this straight," the gardener said, taking a hesitant step forward and leaning on her Dragonair for support. "The two of you are clones that were born in this facility." She pointed at Amelia. "You managed to escape but lost your memories in the process." Her finger moved to Alex Zyther. "You were rescued from this place by Mr. Zyther, who adopted you, before he married into Lucia's family, making the two of you step-brother and step-sister." She then looked over at Emily. "And on top of all that, Xander Cruize -- the same Xander who sent us on this mission in the first place -- has been your half-brother this whole time . . . and Alex Zyther looks just like him. Does that mean you're a clone of Xander?"

 

"That could explain why he wanted us to investigate this Flare stuff," Alex Lockwood said slowly. "He probably wanted to make sure they weren't trying to clone anybody else."

 

"Yes, but why not tell us that from the start?" Dahlia asked, bringing a hand to her head. "And why Xander, of all people?" The pieces were all lined up, and yet something was missing.

 

"Wait," Zoe said in a small voice. Although she remained in her corner, the girl's eyes were locked on Emily. "Does that mean those eggs are clones, too?"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann

 

Raleigh and Sina shared a glance, then made noises of agreement as they slowly nodded at Zoe. They gestured towards the eggs, then themselves, then at Harvey as well, though the latter only shrugged.

 

Alex slumped against Blissie at Dahlia's question. "I was dumped, actually. Discarded at the side of the road like trash. That's where Mom and Dad found me." Blissie crooned softly, unhappy at her Trainer's dismay.

 

"If'n it helps," Amelia added, pulling the picture out from where she'd stashed it, "ah think these're th' other two 'subjects' they mentioned in th' reports." She held out the photo for inspection, but seemed strangely reluctant to relinquish it entirely. "Judgin' by th' dates, ah think this musta been, what, '04 or so? The only time they had two at once. Assumin' Alex was last, anyway." She chose not to draw attention to the fact that Alex's report had been almost entirely hand-written, nor to the unflattering notes given in it. Alex was dealing with enough at the moment without acknowledging their creator's attitude towards them aloud. "Ah don't know any 'Zander' person, is he the guy in the pic? Any idea who the girl'd be?"

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Jared Winters/Belle LaDonna/Emily Lockwood/Lachina Adaon/Calem - Team Flare Lab, Geosenge, August 12, 12:07 AM

 

"'04?" Jared asked. "Xander's pretty young, sixteen or seventeen. I doubt you're cloned from him."

 

Belle looked over at Zoe. "Eggs? Wait-- Did you guys finish the samples that got taken from my Pokémon?"

 

Emily shrugged. "I guess so? They were taken from Tristan and Dracos here."

 

The purple-haired collector rushed forward. "C'n I see? Which one's which?"

 

Lachina raised an eyebrow at the older woman's excitement. "Anyways, I doubt that Xander knew about the cloning, or he would have told us about it."

 

As everyone was talking, Calem entered the room, his face pale. "Serena?" he said. "Can I talk to you in private?"


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Jamie Arthur - Flare Lab

 

When Jamie began to hear to the tale the four told, she became engrossed. She was rather interested in why they were there. It was a little funny, to hear her own words in someone else's voice. And it was mind-blowing to learn that the egg that came out of the cloning device would be both her Tristan's and Belle's Cyanide's child. She was planning on speaking up about it, but she decided to wait until the story was finished.

 

But then they began to speak about the report.

 

Jamie froze. Her hearts thumping was audible to her. She was going to immediately shout to Alex and Amelia that they weren't alone, but Alex kept talking. Alex began to speak of how they were born as an experiment. As a tool. Being born to fight and die. The utter despair in those words rang in Jamie's ears. She backed down for a moment.

 

Pelleas looked over to Jamie. Tristan's eyes followed Pelleas's to Jamie. She gnashed her teeth silently before biting her lip. Her eyes met theirs, and she merely shook her head. The two guardians looked silently between each other. Lucan hobbled over, having shaken Sina loose. He looked between his seniors, trying to figure out what was going on.

 

At some point the files had been passed around. When they finally came to Jamie, her eyes were transfixed on the documents to the point that she didn't even register who passed them to her. She didn't notice if they were human. She held onto them and briefly scanned the room. Jamie stood behind Lucia, and for a moment when no eyes were on either of them, she slipped the documents into her bag and closed them.

 

After she was sure that no one saw her place the files in the bag. Jamie threw her arms around Lucia. She was the only one who knew. And if Jamie had her way, it would stay that way. She held on tightly. Her eyes met hers for the briefest of moments, and Jamie shook her head in that instant. As the similarities in their appearances to Xander sank in, her hug tightened. 

 

 

["Samples?"] Pelleas repeated to himself, as he put the dots together. The egg was a mix of Tristan and his opponent's DNA. Which meant...  ["You cheated on me?"] the Heracross shouted, loudly feigning hurt.

 

Tristan ignored the pretend hurt on the Heracross. He still had to process the fact that he was, in effect, having a child with his recent opponent. If he had his power right about now, he would've told Belle that he was Tristan. But as he didn't, he had to wait for someone else to tell her that he was Tristan.

 

"He is Tristan," Jamie said pointing to the Metagross.

 

Jamie did not want to speak at the moment. But she had to. If only she was telepathic. Then she wouldn't have to talk where everyone could hear her. She kept her focus solely on Belle. Because the egg was 50% Cyanide's kid and 50% Tristan's, they were would normally have an equal claim. But she couldn't give it up.

 

"I am not going to give up my dad's kid. That's my brother."


25fbd79538e4c3de878b599045e3f03a.jpg

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IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town

"Which one's which . . .?" Zoe looked over at Emily for clarification. "Um . . . which one is which?"

 

"Wait a second." Dahlia regarded Jamie in confusion. "Brother? Does that mean your father is . . . a Metagross?" She didn't mean to come off as rude, although being raised by a Pokémon would explain some of Jamie's more . . . eccentric quirks.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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-==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==-

 

Chloe might not have known everything that was going through Kyle's head right now - and she didn't want to break his trust by probing for that information with her powers - but... she could take a guess. She'd seen the notebook and was able to put enough of the pieces together on her own. So even though he tried to bring up McKinley instead, she knew it had to have been something else that really rattled him that badly. With a bite of her lip, she got up and walked over to Kyle and wrapped her arms around him comfortingly.

 

"I think you need this." She said quietly, having a bit of an idea just what he was going through at the moment.

 

-==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town, Kalos==-

 

Ray sighed. "It was tough, yeah. I definitely get where everyone was coming from, and I wanted so much to explain." He frowned with a conflicted look on his face. "And, I don't know. On one hand, I wish I could have somehow thrown a wrench into McKinley's plans by defying the invitation the very first time or something, but... it turned out to kinda really help us now, so I really don't know how to feel about it."

 

-==IC: Olivia Seaton/Colleen Llyan/Lucia Zyther -- Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos==-

 

"Hm, that's a good question ya have there, Zoe." Olivia said as she thought back to what the eggs had looked like when Emily snatched them up earlier, but shook her head. "All of 'em looked the same to me. Couldn't tell ya which is which."

 

Colleen frowned at the markings subject, and tried to scan their auras in an attempt to make out which was which herself - however, all she could tell was that both has a similarly rainbow-coloured aura, and nothing else. "Sorry, can't help either." The girl said with an apologetic shrug.

 

***

 

There were so many things that caught Lucia's attention, but they all passed super quickly. First the sister thing, which Lucia had no objection to, especially with that logic. Then the way that Jamie reacted, which prompted her to hug the brown-haired girl back. Then came Dahlia's comment, which Lucia actually focused in on, opting to answer instead of Jamie.

 

"She lost her parents when she was young, so Pelleas and Tristan ended up basically raising her and such." Lucia said as she felt Jamie shrink to hiding behind her a bit more. "They're her adoptive parents, basically. They've done a pretty good job, in my opinion."

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IC: Belle LaDonna/Emily Lockwood/Lachina Adaon/Jared Winters/Alma Mason - Geosenge Lab

 

"Makes sense to me," Belle said with a shrug. "Hemlock was more like a sister t' me, but I get it. Hopefully you picked up better habits'n me."

 

"I think this one's the Beldum," Emily said as she hefted the egg. "It feels a bit heavier than the other one did."

 

Lachina looked over at the Performer and frowned. Everything was going so quickly, and attention was spread thin. "Right. Don't think we've forgotten about what you just said, either."

 

Jared nodded. "We'll have questions for you when this is all over, Emily. For now, you've proven yourself trustworthy with all the help you've given us, and Xander is a good person even if he did somehow get arrested."

 

Alma tapped her chin in thought. "So... If not this Xander person, then who would Amelia and Alex be cloned from?"

 

"The only other person I could think of would be our cousin," Emily quietly replied. "He died when he was only eight, though, I'm not sure how Flare would have gotten DNA from him--" She stopped short, and her eyes widened. "Ezekiel," she spat. At the confused looks, she elaborated. "Elaine's ex-husband, Alain's father--"

 

"Wait, wait," Lachina interjected. "Your aunt Elaine named her son Alain?"

 

"Kinda not the point right now," Belle said.

 

"Ezekiel was a Team Flare member," Emily continued. "I never met him, but from what I've heard, he'd be just the kind of guy to clone his dead son as a science experiment."

 

Alma nodded thoughtfully. "In that case, it would not be a stretch to say that Alex and Amelia are also your cousins, would it?"

 

"What's your obsession with them having family, kid?" Belle asked.

 

"Alex was adopted, but Amelia hasn't had a family until now."

 

Emily shrugged. "I don't mind either way, really."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Ryan Sanders - Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town

"Hey, the past is in the past," Ryan said in a serious tone. "Worrying about what you could have done different won't get you anywhere. That's a lesson I've learned all too well." His mouth tightened for a moment, his lips forming a thin line. "If you'd turned McKinley down, he would've just found someone else, like what happened with the Fifth Child. Besides, you were trying to do the right thing. No one blames you for taking that clown's offer. You did it for Sonja . . . and if we're being honest, I probably would have done the same in your shoes."


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC:

 

A light arced across the sky . . .

 

 

IC - Kyle Eston/Sonja Baron - Common Room, Vertrag:

 

Admittedly, Kyle wasn't sure what to do with the sudden hug. Uncertain of how to respond, he merely looked away and mumbled something that sounded like "thanks, Chloe." It was hard to tell, though.

 

"Well . . ." Sonja patted the Grimoire, trying her best to hide the small smile on her lips. "Guess we should give this a try now, huh?"

 

 

IC - Perimeter Unit Hollow Treasure (Agents Ritter/Lopunny, Koziel/Infernape, Andreev/Golurk, Darrow/Durant, Hull/Pinsir, Perrault/Kabutops) - Mt. Silver Path, Johto:

--Sinystal x1; Venophage x1; Phantashade x1; Drivedie x1; Spyfly x2; Fraygrins x4; Maniakoll x4; Meadiant x4--

 

Vines everywhere. They erupted in every direction. They wrapped around everything. Arms, legs, torsos, heads, guns, everything. Four Fraygrins all attacking at once, fanning out their near-infinite vine-like appendages. Andreev couldn't breathe, they squeezed so hard. And the giggling, that god ###### giggling. They found it funny, what they were doing. Murder. Torture. How could they find this funny!? They squeezed on Andreev. They squeezed Durant. They squeezed Darrow. Their vines slinked through the opening into the jeep and soon they had wrapped it in vines, too, squeezing. She could feel her bones starting to strain. She could feel her muscles starting to pop. She could hear Darrow's yells of pain. Durant screeching. The jeep grinding as its frame began to crush under the force. Windows cracking and exploding into shards of glass across the ground.

 

It was futile.

 

There was no escape.

 

"Gol . . . urk . . . He . . . lp . . ." She forced herself to look at Golurk. The Automaton Pokémon struggled against the vines ensnaring it. It groaned a mechanical groan as it fell to a kneeling position, pulled down by its own weight and the pressure from its enemies. It struggled.

 

They all struggled.

 

"Gol . . . urk . . ."

 

As they managed to make eye contact under the pressure of the Fraygrins, something amazing happened.

 

Golurk's body glowed.

 

 

Infernape danced around the Phantashade, doing what she could to draw its attention. But there was only so much she could do, considering she couldn't touch it. It seemed to enjoy teasing her, intentionally aiming its own attacks so that they just barely missed--or else did scratch damage. Ritter and Koziel were at a loss at the display. They couldn't fire on the Ghost-Type--what good would that do? They couldn't charge it themselves. It was a war of attrition and they were losing. They dared not take their eyes off of it, though. Phantashade were known--in both recorded encounters--to attempt something when they made it into close range on a target. While neither attempt had been successful, no one wanted to be the first to find out what that 'something' was.

 

But that was not all. Lopunny was tiring out, too. It hopped away from another monstrous swing from the large green creature, which elicited a harsh chuckle as it registered the helplessness in her gaze. More than that, another was approaching, this one wielding a signpost that it seemed to have ripped straight from the ground. It spun the metal object deftly in its hand, looking between the two Pokémon attempting to fight its fellow Instances.

 

It gripped the sign, raising it in the preparatory stance for a throw.

 

"Inferno!" Koziel shouted. "Watch o--!"

 

The Phantashade suddenly lunged sideways in a puff of shadowy mist. It reappeared in front of Ritter and Koziel, materializing and gripping both of them by the throat, shoving Ritter to the ground whilst simultaneously hoisting Koziel up. If she was afraid of her predicament, however, she did not show it, instead watching in horror as Infernape turned around, beginning to glow with a rainbow light--

 

And loosed a short yelp of surprise and pain as the pole-end of a stop sign pierced her chest, embedding itself in the ground out the other end. She immediately fell limp, eyes going dark and the flame atop her head petering out in seconds.

 

"INFERNO!" Koziel screamed and kicked at the Phantashade. "NO! NO! HOW COULD YOU!?"

 

Ritter stared in disbelief at Inferno's body, too stunned and overwhelmed to be of any help to Koziel above him. Everything felt as if it was moving a million times slower. As the Ghost-Type Instance began to pull Koziel toward its hooded face, Ritter turned his head to look at Lopunny. The Normal-Type stared in shock at Inferno for several moments. Steeling herself, she loosed a furious screech, leaping toward the giant responsible. It threw a hand forward, catching her in its grip. It brought her up to face its wide, grinning mouth, squeezing the Rabbit Pokémon in its massive fist.

 

A sharp gasp escaped Ritter's throat. "LOPUNNY!"

 

Without warning, a rainbow engulfed her.

 

 

"PERRAULT!"

 

Hull moved fast, managing to leap at him from where they stood. The Venophage's stinger glanced off of their shoulder armor, spewing droplets of corrosive poison onto the ground that ate through dirt and grass in mere seconds. While Perrault recovered from the sudden impact with the floor, Hull rolled immediately off of him and onto their back, taking aim and firing. The Venophage announced its death with a shrill screech as bullets tore through the spherical main body, rending it apart in seconds. With heavy breaths, Hull rolled forward onto their feet, offering a hand to Perrault and quickly pulling him up.

 

"T-Thanks . . ." Perrault barely managed to sputter.

 

"Thank me when we're done!" Hull snapped, training their rifle on the Maniakoll before them. Perrault took a deep breath and did the same. "Targets incoming!"

 

Clearly unamused by the turn of events, the Maniakoll drifted through the air for a moment before the three white ones lunged forward, twisting and distorting in random directions. As Kabutops and Pinsir ran forward to meet them, the Normal-Type Instances launched into a flurry of attacks. One hovered in midair, raising its whip-like arms and sending forth a rain of star-shaped energy blades. Kabutops moved in front of Pinsir, parrying the Swift attack with carefully-placed swings of his arm blades. As he approached to retaliate, the black Maniakoll appeared from the side, grabbing his attention with what must have been Follow Me. A third Maniakoll appeared from beneath him, Wrapping around him and forcing him to the ground, effectively neutralizing the Shellfish Pokémon. All three turned, leering at Pinsir and the two Rocket Agents.

 

That was when the fourth reappeared. It leaped from the grass off to the side of the distracted Bug-Type, Slamming into her and knocking her aside. Pinsir pushed herself up, glancing between each of the four Instances as they regrouped around the downed Kabutops. Their movements continued in that same, rhythmic way that they always did, as if to taunt the Bug-Type on her powerlessness.

 

Perrault gulped. "This isn't good."

 

"It's not over." It felt like the fifth time Hull had said it in the last few minutes. But it was true. "Got any other Pokémon?"

 

"N-No," Perrault admitted. "Kabutops is all I h-have right now . . ."

 

Hull placed a hand on his shoulder. "Then let's get him back."

 

Perrault hesitated, but nodded. Hull took a step forward, moving beside Pinsir. Vaguely, Hull was aware of what was occurring with Koziel and Ritter, as well as Andreev and Darrow. It wasn't a good situation. And that pain spreading so far across the battlefield . . . That filled Hull with fury.

 

"Pinsir." The Bug-Type looked at her trainer. "Make 'em pay."

 

Horns clanking angrily together, Pinsir charged.

 

A rainbow light glowed around her.

 

 

IC - Dendemille Town:

 

Rising smoke was the first sign.

 

It was summertime, though, so most wrote it off as a small forest fire off in Route 15--nothing terribly unusual. Though Pokémon powers remained unusable, there were a few that had managed to regain access. Some of the townspeople assumed this to be another such case--perhaps a battle breaking out in the woods between re-energized individuals. The prospect was too tempting to ignore; a group of children ran off to see what they could find.

 

The electricity going out was the second sign. 

 

This was less innocent. Not suspicious, so to speak, but noteworthy nonetheless. The power systems in this area were well-constructed; for power to skip across all of Dendemille meant a serious issue had occurred with the power lines. Backup generators activated near-automatically, ensuring that the essential buildings equipped with them--the hospital, federal offices, the Pokémon Center--lost none of their precious work time. In a matter of minutes, teams had been contacted to begin assessing the problem, to find the weak point and repair it. Nothing to get frightened over.

 

The white cloud was the third sign.

 

Those facing Route 15 were the first to see it. It was not normal. When the people walking that way stopped to stare in bewilderment, soon those headed in the opposite direction took notice, turning to observe the strange covering that had manifested in the forest. It was no small thing--people across the entire town could see it. Office workers halted their meetings, moving to the windows to better observe. Several people pulled up their Holocasters--some to record the strange phenomenon, others to contact the town's emergency services. It was not normal. By now, the same sense of unease had befallen almost the entire town, though no one was quite sure what to do, what to make of this development.

 

The trucks, and the men marching beside them, were the fourth sign.

 

A dozen freight trucks pushed their way slowly along the forest road. White smoke spilled out from grates in the top and sides of their cargo holds, creating the massive cloud that spewed and scattered all around them. At a simple count, sixty men and women accompanied the convoy. Their physiques, their clothing, their demeanors--these were all inconsistent with each other; no two people looked at all identical. There were no uniforms. If they had not all been moving steadily, deliberately beside these trucks, it would not have been obvious that they were all a part of the same group. But they were, and there were exactly two key points to clue one into this fact.

 

First was the fact that every single person within this group was armed. Some held blunt objects, others had blades. Many of them carried these in addition to various firearms.

 

Second was the single piece of uniformity among them: Their gas masks.

 

It did not take long for the people of Dendemille to realize what was happening. Was it the Signs, risen up again to their previous, terrifying power? Team Flare again, given new life by some means after all this time? Some other group bent on wanton destruction? It did not matter. They were there to harm the populace, and that was what the populace responded to.

 

In record time, they fled, and screams engulfed the streets.

 

The trucks pulled to a stop just inside the boundaries of the town. The passenger-side door of the truck at the very front opened. A man in a white coat stepped out. He peered out from beneath his black bowler hat, examining the fleeing citizens of Dendemille with a morbid air of curious predation. Pitch-black goggles over his eyes combined with the mouth-and-nose gas mask covering the lower half of his face to create a monstrous, emotionless visage that still could not hide the smirk plastered across his face. He slammed the door shut behind him, banging his cane against it twice. The vehicles began moving again, continuing their slow advance through town.

 

"Alright, boys and girls!" Shift yelled, addressing the massive crowd that had gathered around him. "One town down, a dozen more to go!" He raised his hands high above his head. "Have at it!"

Edited by Parugi

Follow me on YouTube!

 

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town

"So . . ." Alex's head spun. "Those two are clones of your other cousin, who in turn looks like your half-brother Xander?"

 

"And I thought Chloe's family was complicated," Dahlia muttered to her sister.

 

"Excuse me!" Zoe, who had kept mostly quiet throughout the battle and explanation, suddenly glared at Jared. "Did you just imply Emmy's untrustworthy? She doesn't have to prove anything to anyone! She's a part of this team just as much as you or me!"

 

IC: Ryan Sanders - Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town

"Mr. Sanders, your Pokémon are ready for you." Ryan was used to just picking up his Pokémon and leaving, but the nurse insisted on going over the Litleo and Amarua's conditions. She explained how they would both need time to adjust to life with a trainer and how the Litleo especially should be kept on a specific diet until he was back to a normal weight.

 

And so Ryan was still at the counter when the power went out.

 

It kicked back on seconds later thanks to the backup generator. Amidst the mechanical whir of the PCs rebooting and the murmurs of surprise by the Pokémon Center's patrons, the nurse calmly insisted there was nothing to worry about. By the time Ryan had finished retrieving the Litleo and Amaura, everyone seemed to have calmed down.

 

When Ryan and Ray turned to leave, a man came rushing through the sliding doors. "H-help!" he cried desperately as he ran up to the front desk. "My friends . . . th-they're . . . they just . . . y-you have to help them!"

 

While the nurse tried to calm the man down enough to speak in intelligible sentences, a woman came rushing in with a similar story. "M-my son . . . he was caught in the cloud . . . my husband tried to help him, and . . ."

 

Ryan and Ray exchanged a look before they both raced outside. If the people in the Pokémon Center were starting to worry, the people on the streets were in full panic. A massive cloud of white smoke had started to flood the town like a fog bank rolling in. Terrified screams echoed as people ran in the opposite direction like a mob; more than one person found themselves trampled under someone else's frantic attempts to escape. The cloud hadn't reached this street yet, but it was traveling towards them at an alarming rate.

 

Twenty-four hours ago this might have looked like a very unusual weather pattern, but Ryan had a sinking feeling he knew exactly what was going on. He immediately threw a Pokéball into the air. "Togie, I need you to keep that smoke at bay as best you can! Don't let it touch you!" The Togekiss balked slightly when he saw his opponent was literally a shapeless cloud. With his best attempt at a shrug, he took off into the air and began flapping his wings at the smoke. There was no way he'd be able to stop something so enormous, but maybe he could buy them just a few seconds.

 

Ryan had already run back into the Pokémon Center. "The city's under attack with chemical warfare! We need to evacuate everyone immediately." He looked over at the nurse. "Do you have any gas masks?" She nodded meekly. "Distribute them to as many people as you can. If that smoke is what I think it is, the last thing you want to do is breathe it in."

 

As the nurse ran back to retrieve the masks, Ryan pulled out his Pokégear. He scrolled through his contacts to Kyle Eston and hesitated, his thumb hovering over the call button. The closer they'd gotten to Shift, the worse Kyle seemed to feel. The last thing he needed right now was to hear that an entire town was being hit with Shift's hallucinogen. Maybe it was best if he sat this one out.

 

He scrolled down to Chloe Hikari.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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-==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==-


"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea--" Chloe began to say, but was cut off by the ringing of her Poké Gear. With a puzzled look on her face, Chloe took a step back and answered it after she saw it was from Ryan.


"We've got a situation here in the city - you might want to tell Vertrag to hurry up on that antidote." Ryan said over the phone. Despite Ryan not being able to see her, Chloe tilted her head slightly.


"Um, okay." The woman replied, though everything else that Ryan had to say didn't answer any of the questions she had. Chloe had a couple guesses to why Ryan wouldn't say anything, but without any evidence… "See you soon."


As she hung up, she looked up at the other two. "Looks like something's happening in the city - though Ryan wouldn't give me any more details than that." She glanced over to the place that Emmerich had gone to. "Emmerich! How's it going?"


-==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town==-


"So, do you think trouble follows us, or do you think it's just a coincidence sometimes?" Ray asked once Ryan was off the phone and could focus on things again. "Like, I know we go looking for trouble sometimes, but… what are the chances that we just so happen to run into something like this?"


-==IC: Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton -- Geosenge Town==-


"I don't think that's what Jared meant." Colleen said with a surprised look on her face as Zoe spoke up. "I think he just meant about how all of the stuff about Xander is a bit shocking, so we'll have to talk about it later."


----


While the others kept talking, Olivia approached the two champions with a curious look on her face. "What's up? Did ya find a lead?" The redhead asked, a small frown showing up as she noticed how pale Calem seemed.

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IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town

Zoe found herself thoroughly defeated by her sister's logic. ". . . I knew that," she muttered as she turned her eyes to the ground. "I was just testing you."

 

IC: Ryan Sanders - Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town

"I'm beginning to think the two of us are bad luck," Ryan muttered. "At least we don't have to worry about finding Shift anymore."

 

A few moments later the nurse came back with an armful of gas masks. By now even more people had taken refuge inside the Pokémon Center. A quick glance out the window showed the smoke had started to drift over the Center due to the wind, despite Togie's best efforts. The streets were clear for now, but there was no way everyone in the Pokémon Center would make it out in time.

 

"Alright, new plan," Ryan said as he and Ray each took a gas mask. "Everyone will need to hide out here. Don't open any doors or windows, this place needs to go on complete lockdown."

 

"This place isn't completely airtight," the nurse said. "Depending on the nature of the smoke it could still seep in."

 

"That's a chance you're going to have to take," Ryan said. "At the rate this smoke is spreading there's no way to outrun it. Use the gas masks if it starts seeping in. Ray and I will try and clear it from the outside." He took two additional masks to help any stragglers before affixing his own mask and heading outside.

 

That was when they saw it.

 

A freight truck stood at the end of the road, slowly rolling toward them, flanked on either side by a small army. Each person wore a gas mask and was armed with some sort of weapon. Thick smoke spewed forth from the truck, covering their surroundings in a thick cloud. Ryan saw a young girl try and outrun the smoke, only to trip and disappear into its white depths. Her screams mingled with that of an old man who had similarly been caught in the cloud.

 

The sound of the victims' screams made Ryan's blood boil. Shift was exactly what he had always imagined The Shadowed Man to be: a cruel, loathsome terrorist who took sick pleasure in others' suffering. It was unforgivable. In that moment, all the hatred he'd had for Ford up until the revelation of the Missing Zero became redirected toward Shift. "Quil!" he shouted, hurling a Pokéball toward the convoy. "It's time to transform!"

 

The Typhlosion burst out of his Pokéball and glanced back at Ryan, tilting his head at the unfamiliar command.

 

"Um . . . I mean that thing you did against Gluttony." Ryan scratched his head. "You know, big shiny lights? Sleek new form? Our bonds give us strength?" Quil tensed up as he tried to activate the transformation. Flames erupted on his back, but there was no hint of the rainbow glow. After a few moments the Typhlosion gave up with a sheepish shrug. Behind his gas mask, Ryan frowned. "Alright, guess we're doing it old school style. Quil, use Flamethrower!"

 

It felt surreal to call out an actual attack name. After not having powers for so long, it was even cooler to see the Typhlosion hunch down on all fours and expel a steady stream of fire at the truck's wheels. With any luck, the attack would melt the rubber and halt the Signs' progress.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC - Kyle Eston/Sonja Baron/Emmerich Coleman/Vertrag - Common Room, Vertrag:

 

"Why wouldn't he tell you what's going on?" Kyle asked. Before Chloe could answer, Vertrag materialized above the table, followed by Emmerich's emergence through the command center door.

 

The sample is currently being analyzed, the AI reported. It will take some time to create an antidote. Initial scans appear promising.

 

"What's happening?" Emmerich asked.

 

"'Something.' Ryan didn't say." Kyle shouldered his bag. "If he's concerned about Shift's drug, though, then I think it's pretty obvious who's responsible."

 

"Whatever it is, we should go help." Sonja replaced the Grimoire in her bag, pushing herself up from her seat. She looked at Chloe. "Are they still at the Pokémon Center?"

 

 

IC - Signs x5 - Streets, Dendemille Town:

 

The four Signs marching beside the truck scattered at the fight of the Flamethrower, exclaiming in surprise at the attack. The driver instinctively covered their face as the flames washed over the truck, scorching the metal plating and windshield. As the Signs regrouped, two of them opened fire on Ryan and Typhlosion's position to deter the attack, successfully forcing Typhlosion back to avoid getting hit.

 

The truck driver took this opportunity to call out on the radio. "Boss, we've got a live one--a Typhlosion, targeting the truck."

 

"And?" Shift's voice crackled back in response, his annoyance palpable. "There are five of you over there, aren't there? Put it out."

 

"It's a live one, boss," the driver repeated. "It's got its attacks back. Probably can transform, too. Still want us to engage?"

 

There was a small pause. "That does change things, doesn't it?" Shift said after a moment. "Alright. Kill the trainer, take the Pokémon. Might be useful. If you can't take it alive, then take it dead."

 

"Yes, sir."

 

The driver replaced the receiver and then blared the truck's horn twice. In response, the four Signs outside pulled back, each one pulling out a Poké Ball and tossing it into the air towards Ryan and Typhlosion . . .

 

 

IC - Perimeter Unit Hollow Treasure (Agents Ritter/Lopunny, Koziel/Infernape, Andreev/Golurk, Darrow/Durant, Hull/Pinsir, Perrault/Kabutops) - Mt. Silver Path, Johto:

--Sinystal x1; Phantashade x1; Drivedie x1; Spyfly x2; Fraygrins x4; Maniakoll x4; Meadiant x4--

 

An explosion of color and light surrounded Golurk. There seemed to be others across the field, but given the situation, Andreev and Darrow were focused more on the Automaton Pokémon than anything else. The Fraygrins paused in their efforts to crush the truck and its occupants, turning their attention to the phenomenon nearby; whether they were surprised or simply reassessing their targets, Andreev could not tell. Given that she could finally breathe, however, she was not inclined to question them any further.

 

The light faded to reveal something larger and more massive than what had previously been Andreev's run-of-the-mill Golurk. The kneeling figure had doubled in size, stretching and tearing the vines that had previously held it down. Its body had become segmented into large, floating chunks--its limbs had detached, floating and connected now by some strange energy instead of the joints that had previously locked them in place. The body glowed with a massive, bright eye-like fixture that glared out at the creatures before it. A flame-like plume flowed out from its head. All over, the clay that had composed its body had transformed into a shiny, steel-like substance that reflected brilliantly in the dying light of the valley.

 

Golurk turned its head to face the jeep and the Fraygrins holding the Rocket forces hostage. With an effortless heave, it rose to its feet, dragging along the two Fraygrins struggling to contain it. No longer encumbered by a weakness to their very form, it reached for the vines that had held it down and tore them off, casting them aside. It raised a fist, which glowed inside a chilly whirlwind that gathered around its wrist.

 

It roared, slamming a massive Ice Punch into the ground beside the jeep--between the four Fraygrins. Andreev squeezed her eyes close, turning her head away to protect her face from the ensuing shock wave. Through the darkness, she felt the vines around her shrivel and harden, slowly freezing from the attack. When she opened her eyes, she saw that two of the Fraygrins--the two that had captured herself and Darrow--had been frozen solid. Another struggled to move its half-frozen form. The fourth was nowhere to be seen; after a moment, Andreev realized that it had been crushed under Golurk's attack.

 

Without waiting for the Fraygrins to recoup from the attack, Golurk reached forward with its other hand. Its massive fist closed around the half-frozen Fraygrins, gripping it tightly and tearing it from the ground like a massive, monstrous weed. Airborne and useless, it could barely defend itself as Golurk tore it in half, unfazed by the pitiful Razor Leaf that it managed to conjure up. Golurk twisted on the spot, taking aim and hurling the pieces of the Fraygrins at the Sinystal hiding within the forest--which it followed with a pointed Flash Cannon attack that obliterated the Rock-Type where it stood. A moment later, the Automaton Pokémon had taken hold of the other two Grass-Type Instances, crushing their frozen forms in one hand each.

 

Andreev breathed a sigh of relief as the vines disintegrated around them. She nodded appreciatively at Golurk, and then turned to Darrow.

 

"Take the jeep and regroup the others," she ordered. "Get Ritter on the radio. We need to leave."

 

"You don't want the turret . . .?"

 

"No, we'll be fine," she responded. "Go. Now."

 

"Y-Yes, ma'am."

 

As Darrow moved to assess the jeep, Andreev turned her and Golurk's attention back to the treeline. In front of them, the largest of the Instances emerged--two of the green giants, as well as the monstrous, robotic creature. Golurk stepped forward, focusing its massive eye on the lead Instance . . .

 

 

Across the way, the light surrounding Lopunny faded. From a distance, Ritter wasn't sure at first what all had changed--all he could see for certain was that her ears had elongated, becoming sort of segmented. He saw the other changes a moment later. With renewed strength, the Rabbit Pokémon managed to force the giant's hand open around her, slipping out and flipping back. The fur around her legs had changed, turning black--they reminded Ritter of torn leggings. Tufts of fur had grown around her ankles.

 

They were subtle and few changes. But what they indicated was all the same.

 

As if reading his mind, Lopunny turned back to Ritter and Koziel, choosing to ignore her previous assailants for now. With impressive speed, she charged back toward her trainer--far faster than she had ever moved in the past, managing to close the distance in a matter of seconds. This was good for Koziel. Unlike the Fraygrins, the Phantashade had not been distracted by Lopunny's transformation. Thus, it was mere millimeters away from doing... whatever it was going to do to Koziel, when Lopunny arrived. The Rabbit Pokémon leaped forward, spinning in the air and lashing out with . . .

 

High Jump Kick!?

 

"Lopunny! What are you doing!?" Ritter managed to yell. "Shadow Ball!"

 

His command fell at the exact moment that Lopunny struck.

 

The Phantashade was so distracted, so focused, that it never saw the attack coming. Probably, too, it was relying on its impervious nature to certain attacks--Fighting and Normal. But Lopunny's evolution had brought a new ability, a change in her capabilities that she felt instinctively. And so she landed the attack. Her foot struck the Ghost-Type Instance in the side of the head with so much force that the creature's skull detached, tearing it and its hood off of its neck and sending it careening off of the nearby cliff like some sort of morbid soccer ball. Immediately, the Instance's body crumpled to the ground, dropping Koziel and Ritter with it. The pair coughed, winded from the impact, as Lopunny assumed a defensive pose between them and the approaching giants.

 

 

The light faded around Pinsir.

 

If Hull was surprised by Pinsir's transformation, they did not show it. As with everything else so far, they took the changes in stride. Whether Pinsir was charging the Maniakoll on foot--as she had been before--or rocketing towards them through the air via newly-deployed wings, as she currently was, it didn't matter. The end result would be the same.

 

It was not clear which one she was initially aiming for. At the last possible moment, however, she shifted course, aiming for the Maniakoll currently forcing Kabutops to the floor. Its body was raised partially above the prone form of the Shellfish Pokémon, leaving it vulnerable. With impressive speed, she hit, ripping into the Normal-Type Instance her horns and sending all three into a roll across the grass; the other Instances scattered, avoiding the tumbling mess. As Kabutops rolled to a halt, shaking his head and pushing himself back to his feet, Pinsir tangled with the Maniakoll. The initial hit had nearly sliced it in half; though it struggled in her grip, whipping around and trying to gain an advantage on the Bug-Type Pokémon, it had no chance. She pressed her horns inward, slicing through its rubbery body and sending the two halves tumbling to the ground.

 

The other Maniakoll hissed, lunging forward. One of the white ones spun around, aiming a Mega Kick at Pinsir. She rolled out of the way, pulling her arms back and slicing into its back in an X-Scissor attack with her newly-grown arm blades. The attack cut it deep, down to the other side of its body, and as it writhed on the ground, she pulled it up into her horns and crushed its head.

 

The black Maniakoll and the last white one went for Kabutops. Still staggered from the earlier attack, Kabutops fell victim to a bright flash of light, leaving him blinded. The white Maniakoll followed it up with a Take Down attack that knocked him back to the ground. In desperation, Kabutops sliced upward, managing to cut into its face with one of his scythes. It reeled back, just in time for Pinsir to slam into it with Brick Break, finishing the job for Kabutops. The black Maniakoll danced uncertainly in place, before charging forward.

 

Hull and Pinsir could not tell what it was doing, but it clearly was not good. Planting herself firmly in place, Pinsir waited. At the last moment, she grabbed the Maniakoll and spun, Vital Throwing it into the air. Too far into its attack to stop, the Normal-Type Instance flew, and then promptly Exploded in a shower of energy that rocked the ground beneath it.

 

Hull lowered their arm, admittedly surprised by the attempted suicide bombing. Shaking it off, they offered a thumbs-up to Pinsir, and then turned to Perrault. "Come on--only a few left."

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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-==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==-


"Sounded like it, yeah." Chloe said with a nod. She quickly tied her hair up into a ponytail absentmindedly, as she checked her purse strap to make sure everything was in order - and to not worry about what might have happened at the Pokémon Center to get Ryan so frazzled. She took a moment to cast a glance at Kyle, but went back to preparing her supplies.


-==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town, Kalos==-


Ray ducked behind some cover as the agents began to open fire. He scrambled to strap the mask on and wondered how they were going to deal with the guns, when suddenly it just stopped. He peeked around the corner as he saw four capsules open.


They're… playing to our rules? Using Pokémon? What's the catch here? Ray wondered with a skeptical look on his face behind the mask. Returning from behind the cover, Ray tossed Zangetsu's Poké Ball forward and sent the Zangoose out to greet the four Pokémon alongside Quil.


Armaldo, Solrock, a Heat Rotom, and a Crustle… With a small frown, Ray considered his Pokémon. Even though there were only two Pokémon with powers among his and Ryan's combined teams, it still would help against hopefully similarly unpowered opponents. With a small nod to Ryan, he sent out a second Pokémon in the form of his Bisharp. Zangetsu headed toward the Crustle while sharpening his claws and preparing an X-Scissor attack and Byakuya headed toward the Armaldo, arms to the side as he prepared to attack the Armaldo once in range.


OOC:

Zangoose: X-Scissor > Crustle
Bisharp: Untyped Punch > Armaldo


-==IC: Marie Homura -- Olivine City, Johto==-


Marie stumbled through the portal as she half-carried Jenny in through the doors of the hospital while trying to do her best to at least slow the bleeding on what short notice she had.

"HELP!!!" Marie cried out as the two made it into the lobby. Immediately, the attention of most of the staff present was grabbed, as everyone rushed to Jenny's aid. "Anemia, she has anemia, card should be in her purse…" The young woman quickly passed the purse in question to the nearest medical person, who quickly dug through it and found the card.


Marie had never expected to have to deal with something like this, but remembered her old friend's condition from her old world - it was both a blessing and a curse that it seemed to be the same here, as at least she knew what to say to get her treatment fast. Marie could barely pay attention as the redhead was wheeled off to the emergency room. She couldn't keep her eyes focused, however, as she had to look away out of worry. She was inundated with different questions about what had happened. She tried to answer them as best as she could, but she was both on auto-pilot and beginning to feel overwhelmed.


Finally, after what felt like endless questions, Marie was left alone to just sit and wait. She felt like her legs were made of jelly, but she managed to make her way over to take a seat while she waited for news - any kind of news.

Why… why did this have to happen…? Why do people have to be hurt around me? Her blonde hair fell over her arms as she put her head down and sobbed as quietly as she could.

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IC: Ryan Sanders - Outside Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town

As the agents opened fire, Quil spat out a Smokescreen and pulled back. "Well, we got their attention," Ryan muttered as he took cover behind a car. The gunshots stopped as the dark smoke quickly dissipated. When Ryan poked his head out to assess the situation, the Signs agents hurled four Pokéballs in his direction.

 

Four flashes of light erupted in the street, and four Pokémon stood to oppose the fiery Typhlosion: A Solrock, pivoting around on its jagged rays; a Crustle, peering out from beneath its stone fortress; a Rotom, floating in the form of the toaster oven it had possessed; towering above the other three stood an Armaldo, brandishing its forelegs like swords. Whether or not they had powers, Ryan couldn't tell. But he knew that they didn't need powers to resist Quil's fire attacks.

 

Ryan was still assessing the situation when Ray approached with his Zangoose and Bisharp. The two rushed towards the Crustle and Armaldo, respectively. Ryan met Ray's eye. "They know Quil has powers," he murmured. "They don't know which of our other Pokémon do. We might be able to use that to our advantage somehow." He gave a sharp whistle -- as sharp as he could while wearing a gas mask -- and Togie dove down from above, careening toward the Armaldo. "Alright, Quil." Ryan glanced between their two remaining opponents. "Time to Rollout."

 

The Typhlosion curled up into a ball and sped toward the Heat Rotom. He couldn't remember if Rotom took on the type of whatever appliance it possessed, but he did know that a kitchen appliance would be a lot less durable than a bundle of rock.

 

OOC:

 

Typhlosion: Rollout > Heat Rotom

Togekiss: Untyped Dive Bomb > Armaldo


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Calem

 

The ex-Champion swallowed and shook his head. "The opposite, actually. I went down to where we battled Lysandre, where he was when the lab collapsed. A lot of rubble that had obviously been moved, a lot of blood, but..."

 

"No body," Serena supplied grimly, and Calem nodded.

 

"What all have you guys found here?"

 

"Where to even begin?"

 

IC: Emily Lockwood/Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason - Geosenge Lab

 

Emily smiled softly and reached out a hand for Zoe. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, kiddo," she said.

 

"So, now what?" Lachina asked the room in general. They had found a secret cloning facility and the results thereof, and had determined that everyone currently in said facility was against Flare.

 

"We start looking for clues as to what Flare might be up to," Jared said. "I think we can say for certain that they're not only alive but active, given the clearing of debris and the like."

 

Emily sighed and shook her head skeptically.

 

Belle crossed her arms. "Kinda a lot of people to all be scouring this place, ain't it... Mercury, was it?"

 

Jared flinched a bit. "It's Jared, actually. But you're right, there are a lot of us here."

 

"Serena did mention a computer. Anybody here tech-savvy enough to get into it?" Emily said.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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