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Pokémon: Rise Of The Rockets

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

"There are a lot of us, but there's also a lot of lab," Dahlia offered. "It might help to split up to search for clues, although we definitely want to use the buddy system."

 

"Collie's my buddy!" Zoe announced.

 

"The debris has been cleared, yes," Alex said with a frown. "But that doesn't necessarily mean the people who cleared it were Flare." He nodded at Belle. "We followed your tracks, thinking you were Flare. If our meeting has taught us anything, it's that we shouldn't jump to conclusions."

 

"Um, Emmy can be our buddy, too." Zoe smiled at the older girl.

 

"Alex does have a point," Dahlia said carefully. "But we still have to investigate under the assumption that someone was looking into this stuff for nefarious reasons." She pointed back to the cloning room. "From the sounds of it, this lab was still in use long after the Old Flare fell."

 

Zoe looked around. "Anyone else want to join?"


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:

 

"Alright, then let's head that way," Sonja said. "Come on."

 

She led the way out of the room and toward the elevator. Just at the door, however, Vertrag materialized in front of them, one hand up in front of it.

 

Please wait, the holographic Jirachi urged. I am detecting large quantities of an airborne substance just outside of this facility. There is a high likelihood that this substance is the same as I am currently scanning in the lab. Vertrag's eyes flashed. Four breathing apparatuses appeared out of thin air, one in front of each trainer. They instinctively lifted their hands to catch them. I would suggest wearing these until the air has had sufficient time to disperse the substance. The Jirachi flickered out. Good luck.

 

"Let's get these on now," Sonja suggested. "No offense, Kyle, but I don't want to end up in your shoes."

 

"I don't blame you," Kyle said. As he placed the mask over his mouth and nose, a thought occurred to him. "Vertrag, how is this gas affecting Pokémon? Any way that you can tell from here?"

 

Surface scans indicate that there are numerous Pokémon moving about within perimeter of the gas cloud, Vertrag responded. They appear unimpaired by it.

 

"Good," Kyle said. The mask muffled his voice, but his tone was clear enough. "My team's got a few words for Shift . . ."

 

Once everyone had secured their masks, they entered the elevator, going up . . .

 

 

IC - Signs Pravin/Avitus (Armaldo)/Ephraim (Rotom-H)/Sarah (Crustle)/Esther (Solrock) - Streets, Dendemille Town:

 

The Signs members all called off orders to their individual Pokémon. It was hard to tell who was saying what, but the Pokémon themselves seemed to function well enough.

 

The Armaldo charged forward to meet Byakuya head-on. As the Bisharp swung forward, Armaldo spun to the side, aiming to slam its tail into the small of the Sword Blade Pokémon's back. It did not have time to admire its handiwork, as Togie swooped down at that moment, forcing the Plate Pokémon to pull its arms up in a defensive position, pushing back against the Togekiss.

 

In response to Zangetsu's charge, the Crustle took a step back, pulling itself back into the slab of stone that composed its shell. The attack struck, once, twice, but it did not emerge again.

 

Pulling its arms back into the oven, the Rotom hovered a little higher, just barely avoiding Quil's Rollout. It opened the door to the oven it possessed, rapidly heating up and releasing a makeshift Heat Wave at the Fire-Type.

 

The Solrock, meanwhile, floated back toward its trainer. As she took up position behind it, using on of its side spikes as a makeshift balance to steady the weapon--and thus using its body for cover--the door to the truck opened and Pravin, the drive, stepped out. He unholstered a pistol from his side, standing behind the truck's driver-side door for cover, and took aim where Ryan and Ray remained in hiding.

 

"Let 'em loose!" he yelled.

 

The bullets began to fly again, concentrated on their opponent trainers while their Pokémon worked to subdue the enemy team.


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

 

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IC: Ryan Sanders - Streets, Dendemille Town

Ryan couldn't help but laugh at the blast of heat emitted from the Rotom's oven. "Quil, why don't you show them a real--"

 

A flurry of bullets cut off Ryan's quip, forcing him back behind cover. Pokémon powers might give them an advantage, but it didn't make them bulletproof. Quil evidently got the message, for even as Ryan hid he heard the telltale sound of a Flamethrower spewing forth from the Typhlosion's mouth. Like the old saying goes, fight fire with bigger fire.

 

Unfortunately the presence of firearms meant Ryan couldn't get a clear view of the battlefield. As he leaned against the now bullet-strewn car, he fingered through the Pokéballs on his belt. The only Pokémon he had that could withstand the force of a bullet was Jake's Aggron, but he had left the Steel-type back at the Alamo. Samurott's armor would provide a little protection, Ryan realized he had a better option.

 

Dark purple wisps of smoke surrounded the Mismagius' ethereal body as she materialized before Ryan, cackling at the goofy mask he wore. "Missy, I need you to take out the snipers," Ryan said. "I know you don't have your powers back, but bullets will still go right through you. Do you think you can do this?"

 

With a tip of her witch's hat, Missy floated out from behind the car. True to Ryan's word, the bullets flew straight through her ghostly body. Even as Quil tried to snatch the Oven-Rotom out of the air, the Misdreavus sped towards the Signs woman with the Solrock. Cackling madly, she reached out to try and snatch the gun away from her.

 

Once Missy left, Ryan chanced a peek through the car's cracked windows. His eyes widened as he saw the white smoke billowing towards the battlefield. Within moments they would all be engulfed in Shift's chemical. Anyone with a gas mask would be fine, but the Pokémon had no such protection. "Togie!" he cried desperately.

 

The Togekiss flew away from the Armaldo it had been scuffling with and flapped his wings at the encroaching smoke. He might as well have been trying to stop a storm with a leaf blower. Still, none of the Signs agents seemed to show any signs of concern for their Pokémon about to be hit with the drug. Sure, the wild Pokémon back at the warehouse had been severely abused, but this was an entirely new level of cruelty.

 

Ryan couldn't take it any longer. "Fall back!" he cried to his Pokémon.

 

The next instant, the billowing smoke consumed them all.

 

OOC:

 

Typhlosion: Flamethrower > Heat Rotom

Togekiss: Untyped Whirlwind > Shift's Smoke

Mismagius: Untyped Snatch > Esther's Weapon


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: James Arthur/Lancelot - Heahea City

 

There was a fog rolling into Heahea City when James departed from his hotel. Both James and Lancelot paused when they first saw it. It seemed to bother them, and not just because this was going to delay his flight. Gareth and Agravain were sitting upon each of James’s shoulders. Agravain seemed completely clueless as to what was bothering James. Gareth on the other hand was lost in thought. A fog such as this were uncommon on his part of Ula’ula island, but not unheard of. The fog was coming in so thick and close to the ground, that James sent Galahad out to guide them to the airport. When they made it inside of the airport building, they relaxed a little bit.

 

An agent of Team Liberty greeted James and his team. He confirmed James’s worry that his flight had been delayed. So James sat down on a bench while his flight was being prepared. Lancelot sat beside him, while Gareth and Agravain moved on to his lap, taking a nap. He was still trying to get work done, but there was little progress he could make at the moment. In addition to have to twist his body to even look at his computer, because of the bugs sleeping in his lap, he was unable to focus on anything truly productive. He resorted to messing with a few programs he had written to entertain himself to at least keep his programming skills sharp. The fog had broken when the agent returned.

 

“Executive Arthur, your flight is ready for you.”

 

He closed his laptop and placed it back in his briefcase. He woke up the bugs on his lap and returned them to their Ultra Balls. He stood up and turned to the agent.

 

“Very good. I would like to leave im-”

 

At that moment, a particular ring came from James’s phone. It was not his normal ringtone. It was a ringtone he had set up for when someone was trying to contact him on a secure chat app he had made with one particular individual. He immediately sat himself down on the bench.

 

“Guinevere,” James uttered as he pulled his laptop back out of the briefcase.

 

Lancelot immediately placed himself next to James. Both were absorbed in the activation of the program.

 

“Excuse me, we have to get to the plane, Execu-”

 

“The plane can wait,” James said.

 

With one final click, Guinevere appeared on the screen. She was scratching her cheek and had an awkward smile on her face. She seemed to be in a hotel room of some sort. Not the mansion that he had left her in. James was about to question the location, when he received a text notification from her.

 

 

[

Text chat?

]

 

 

“Alright,” James said as he sat his hands down to type. Lancelot was slowly pushing James away from the the center of the webcam. James, as he couldn’t exactly push the metal bug back effectively at all, pulled the laptop away.

 

Lancelot was about to respond by grabbing the laptop when James said, “If you crush the computer, we will not be able to talk to her at all,” which caused the Scizor to reluctantly relent.

 

 

[

Been a while.

Too long.

 

Where are you right now? You don’t look like you are at Ms. Trilan’s mansion.

Later. I need you to send a secure message for me.

Okay.

You are not going to ask me what it is?

If you are contacting me for it, it is important.

If you want me to know what it is you can tell me.

]

 

 

Guinevere was silent. She seemed conflicted for a moment about whether she would tell James what was going on. Her hands began to type even though indecision was written plainly on her face.

 

 

[

Stacy is dead.

]

 

 

“Dead?” James said, his brow furrowed.

 

 

[

What happened?

Someone killed her.

I am piecing together who.

Do you need my help?

No, I wouldn’t want to take you away from your busy schedule of TV show battling.

]

 

Both James and Lancelot visibly paled at the mention of the Battle Royal. Guinevere was smugly smiling at their combined discomfort. James slowly began to type a response.

 

 

[You saw that?

Yup.

I got a lot to complain about.

In my defense,

First of all the outfit

I got all my business done before that match.

Oh, they let me keep the outfit.

Good.

You are going to wear it, next time I see you.

]

 

 

James’s face visibly lit up at that sentiment. He ignored the fact that she was probably going to mock his appearance to focus on the suggestion that they would see each other again. Guinevere sighed and rolled her eyes. She realized what she said a moment after she typed it and found it amusing how well he took it.

 

 

[

Stop looking so happy.

Let me have this.

No.

=(

]

 

 

The emoticon was lying.

 

 

[

Second, your lines were cheesy. It hurt to listen.

If your ears hurt, imagine how mine felt, they were much closer.

]

 

Guinevere took a moment to suppress a laugh.

 

 

[

Third, Lance has power.

So does Percy.

Why

LITTLE PERCY HAS POWER?!

Yes, and a new evolution. Like what Lance had.

You

have

got

to

be

kidding

me.

What about Gawain?

No just those two so far.

He must have been jealous.

Burning.

I know I would be if I saw a Gardevoir evolve like that.

Apparently he evolved on One Island?

News spread quickly about that.

I will need to check into the leaks when I return to Four Island.

Tell me the full story about that sometime.

Gladly.

Fourth.

You told Lance to ‘remember Pierce.’

We beat him.

With the help of a couple of other trainers.

But the world flipped upside immediately after.

Ugh, tell them they should’ve waited.

I wanted to be there when we beat Pierce.

If M0 has a complaint department, I will be sure to forward your complaint.

Is that what it is called?

I can send you an overview later.

Alright.

On the plus side, the camera got a great view of both your hindquarters.

Ha.

]

 

 

The conversation took a pause after that comment. James was about to make a retort, when James remembered that Guinevere hadn’t been told about Roderick’s death. He was torn to make the mood take such a downturn. But she deserved to know the truth.

 

 

[

I need to tell you something.

You deserve to know.

I am sorry to say but

]

 

 

James paused. His fingers were over the keys, but he stopped typing. He looked into the webcam for this. He needed to say it with his own voice.

 

“Roderick is dead.”

 

Guinevere stared back. When the shock passed, she turned off the video feed for a moment. She needed a moment to compose herself. After a few moments, she turned it back on. She was not happy, but she could continue the conversation.

 

 

[

What happened? Are his Pokémon alright?

Yes, they are fine. Fortunately.

I am having someone look into it on my behalf.

But, it is pretty safe to call it it murder.

I see.

Are you alright?

I can allow myself to mourn when the world is no longer in danger.

Was there a funeral?

Not yet. His remains were recently recovered. I will spare you the details.

But they have yet to be sent home to Orre.

What is going to happen his Pokémon?

Some of them will be given to his father and his girlfriend.

I was tasked with distributing the rest.

Have you decided who?

Well I came up with an idea of how to pick.

I made a mystery short story contest.

]

 

Guinevere blinked. A perplexed look started to crawl onto her face.

 

[

Seriously?

I have my reasons.

Not knowing enough people?

At least not enough who have the time and ability

to look for Roderick’s murderer.

You are looking for volunteers,

via a short story contest.

That seems a roundabout way of doing it.

You are probably right.

]

 

James had considered other ways to find candidates for Roderick’s Pokemon. In better circumstances, he would’ve been able to focus more time on it. Part of the appeal had been that it was something he could have occur in his absence without being forced to delegate the task to someone he wasn’t sure he could trust. It was awkward to admit. And even if it worked as intended, he probably could have found them sooner by other methods. It was probably silly of him to do this, but he needed the emotional distance and control it gave him.

 

[

I am sorry I had to tell you about this.

I wish I could have told you happier news.

No.

I mean.

I am not exactly calling under happy circumstances.

You are safe, though?

Yeah, so far no problems.

Though, I may need you to do another favor for me.

What is it?

There is a witness I would like you to extend diplomatic protection to.

I do not know if he is truly in danger, but he thinks he is.

Are you sure you are safe?

As long as we keep our communications secure I should be.

You focus on M0, that is more important than me right now.

]

 

 

James sat silent for a few moments, his expression emotionless. He knew that she was correct. If M0 destroyed the world, and it certainly seemed capable of it, Guinevere would die. That didn’t mean he was comfortable with her decision though.

 

 

[

Just please return to me when you are done.

I would feel more at ease if you near me.

So you could protect me, or I could protect you?

Both.

That is what partners do.

]

 

 

Guin sat there stunned. She had typed what she had as a bit of a joke. Somehow, she hadn’t expected that response. It was the appropriate response, almost a cliched one. And yet seeing it from James caught her off guard. She began type and then erase a response several times before she finally responded.

 

 

[

Alright, fine. I will return after I finish my investigation.

Happy?

Yes.

Want me to send you the mystery stories?

So we can read them at the same time?

Okay.

I will send the message I need encrypted in a moment.

I will see you later.

 

By the way, did you read the letter I had Lucia give you?

...No I haven’t.

 

Don’t. Just, forget I ever sent it.

Very well.

Give my condolences to Harmonics for me.

I will.

Alright.

 

Bye Lance!

]

 

 

When Guinevere closed the chat, James released a breath he wasn’t aware he had been holding. Lancelot looked similarly relieved that James had managed not to screw this up. The agent who had seen to retrieve them had stood there during the entire phone call silent. If James had been paying even the slightest bit of attention to anyone who wasn’t Guinevere during that conversation, he would’ve been unnerved by the vapid look in his eye. He would also have noticed that there was a low fog crawling along the floor. And he most certainly would’ve noticed the fog coalesce into a form behind him.

 

“You inconsiderate boys didn’t even attempt to visit?” an old voice uttered.

 

Before Lance and James could process the predicament they were in, the figure tapped both of them and they were out. When they were asleep. She waved a hand over each of them. Images flowed from them to her.

 

“You two have been busy these past few years,” she said. Images of Greed and M0 began to flow into her, and her eyes began to widen. She continued her work in silence, she took the hand that was over Lancelot and waved it over each of the Ultra Balls. To make sure that none of them would interfere.

 

When she had nearly finished searching their memories, she said, “I think I will go with you two. Don’t fret, you won’t even notice I’m with you.”

 

The figure extended her hand over the last Ultra Ball. But then something happened that she did not expect. Celebi popped out of her Ultra Ball and looked straight at the figure in the mist. The legendary was a bit harder of a target to hypnotize. She had an intrigued smile on her face, but quickly shielded her eyes right before they started to glow. Celebi wasn’t going to fall for that one.

 

The figure seemed like it was about to leap forward and strike Celebi, but then it relented.

 

“Alright. Let’s talk.”

Edited by Metal Gear Minun

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

 

"Alex does have a point," Dahlia said carefully. "But we still have to investigate under the assumption that someone was looking into this stuff for nefarious reasons." She pointed back to the cloning room. "From the sounds of it, this lab was still in use long after the Old Flare fell."

IC: Alex/Amelia/Serena

 

“That’s… probably my fault,” Alex said. “The handwriting is awful, but I think our… creator… snuck in here for one last shot at completing his work. The result, of course, being… me.”

 

“Hmm.” Amelia seemed dissatisfied by the lack of answers. “Well, if we’re lookin’ fer info, it’d probably help if we could find their database. Didn’t that girl in red need help hackin’ a computer a second ago?

 

“Could you?” Serena asked. “It’s less hacking than it is keeping it powered long enough to actually get anywhere.”

 

 

“I could probably manage that,” Alex said. “Dad used to let me disassemble his old Holo Casters when I was bored in the hospital. I’m not the greatest, but we could probably get by.”

 

“Ah might have a trick or two as well, if it comes t’ it.”

 

Serena stepped back from the cobbled-together computer to allow others access. “By all means, be my guest.”



 

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: Tristan - Flare Lab

 

Tristan considered the issue. He had never actually hacked a computer himself. But James had tried showing him how to do it on a few occasions. He raised a giant foreleg cautiously but tromped over to lean over the computer himself. He knew a few tricks that James told him to look for when going about probing a system for flaws. They were rather basic tricks, but if he had a chance of being useful, it would be untoward of him to not offer his services. Still he left plenty of space for the others. Even if he did have the know how, without his powers, others would have to deal with the precision movements. And by that, I mean not crushing the poor computer.


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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town

Dahlia wasn't anywhere near tech-savvy enough to be of any help. Nevertheless she approached the computer alongside everyone else. Or more accurately, she approached Alex Zyther, who had approached the computer alongside Amelia and Tristan. She didn't want to distract the trainer from getting the computer running, but she felt this needed to be said.

 

"Hey," she tapped Alex on the shoulder before she could convince herself to back down. "About what you said just now . . . it's not your fault. You may have been the result of this lab's final experiment, but the blame lies solely on your creator. A sapling isn't responsible for where it gets planted. So don't blame yourself for all this."


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: Geosenge Lab Group

 

A few minutes later, everyone was gathered around the computer’s monitor as Serena tried to find anything interesting. It only took a minute before she found a text document and opened it.

 

"Means of Assistance":

*Xerosic

*Aliana

*Bryony

*Celosia

*Mable

*Adricson

*Masson

*Cruize

 

Jared frowned and crossed his arms.

 

The list of Flare members went on into the completely unfamiliar, but eventually transitioned to more recognizable names near the end.

 

*De Villepin

 

“That’s… the President of Kalos!” Serena exclaimed.

 

*Chalmers

 

“What?!” Alex Zyther shouted.

 

Serena made to comment, but was distracted by the names immediately after.

 

*Marcal

*Compere

*Toussaint

*Parfum

 

“President of the Senate, heads of the CRE, Banque de Kalos, AMF… just how far does this go?”

 

*Malva

*Wikstrom

*Drasna

*Siebold

 

“There’s no way.” Calem scowled at the list. “There’s no way the Elite Four would be in Lysandre’s pocket. Some of these have to be only potential recruits “

 

“Or targets,” Amelia said. “If he wanted Kalos t’go down in flames, he’d want ‘em outta the way one way or another, right? ‘Join or die’?”

 

*Matiere

 

“That’s the detective in Lumiose, right?” Lachina asked. Jared nodded.

 

“She’s a good kid,” Calem said with a smile.

 

“Flare targeted her before, though. We still don’t know everything Xerosic did to her back in the day.”

 

“If at first you don’t succeed…” Alma mused quietly.

 

*Sycamore

*Clemont

*Bonnie

*Olympia

*Korrina

 

“There’s names missing from this list,” Alex said, frowning. “Where’s Grant? Viola? Valerie?”

 

“Too tough and too moral to take on?” Belle suggested.

 

“This has to only be people they’re already in position to take in or take down.”

 

“They can’t take down Ramos?”

 

Calem laughed at Alex. “Don’t underestimate the old guy. He’s a lot tougher than you’d think.”

 

*Maitre

*De Saint-Pierre

 

“I recognize these names,” Emily said. “Elaine talks about them sometime when she’s remembering her fossil days.”

 

*Steel

 

“The chocolate shop owners?” Colleen asked.

 

“They’re nothing but trouble,” Serena said with a scowl. “If Clemont and Bonnie hadn’t convinced us to go easy on them…”

 

Calem shrugged. “The chocolate’s good, at least.”

 

*Serena

*Calem

 

“…”

 

“…”

 

 

IC: Isabella Fontaine/Cameron Morrill August 8th

 

The storm raged on, finding its way outside the cell of another prisoner of Team Liberty. The guards gave Isa a nod as she stepped up to the door of the cell. “Cameron, hey,” she said.

 

“I…sa…?”

 

Isa winced. “Geeze, Cam, what happened to you?” She looked to the guard. “What, can a prisoner not get a glass of water around here?”

 

“Punched… in… throat…”

 

“By Xander?” At Cameron’s nod, she slammed her fist against the wall. “He’s going to pay for this, Cameron, just wait. We’re gonna get you out of here.”

 

“Where… am… I… be-ing… ta-ken…?”

 

“What? No, Cam, I’m going to work to get you out. You won’t be wrongfully imprisoned anymore.”

 

Cameron gave Isa a stare of confusion. “Why… would… you… help… a… spy…?”

 

Isa sighed. “Don’t worry, Cameron, I know you’re not a spy.”

 

The spy’s stare only deepened, the edges of his sanity visibly beginning to fray as he -- quite possibly for the first time -- tried to understand Isa’s perspective. “Oct--Oc-ta-vi-an… told… me… I… would… die… if… I… lie.”

 

It took a second for everything to click. Isabella’s brow furrowed. “Wait. So you are the spy? Xander wasn’t lying?”

 

“I… am… the spy.”

 

“I see.” Isa nodded. “Alright then.” She turned to go, then paused. “There’s one more thing I need to know…”

 

---

 

August 13

 

After the call-in (unscheduled, meaning something big had come up, and, indeed, something big had come up) Isabella Fontaine made her way quietly down to the Alamo holding cells. She was wondering how to explain to Xander -- how to tell him gently -- what even emotion she should feel -- what emotion would he feel when he heard?"

 

So, confusedly, did Isabella Fontaine step into the visitation area -- not the room with the benches and the picnic tables, the guards had said that an almost-violent outburst forced them to keep his visitations separated -- and Isa sat down to observe... what? A Team Flare spy? It was possible, and Isa had said as much to Monsieur Winters when he had brought up the list, though, she had pointed out, Xander's father had been a Flare operative, but it was still worth mentioning to them, then, why Xander had been detained.

 

No. The person sat before her was not Flare. Isa knew that as surely as she knew the sky was blue and that water was wet. Xander Cruize could no more be a Team Flare operative than he could have stopped breathing and gone on living. The hatred he carried in his heart had oft darkened his visage, and had caused him to nearly kill one of his childhood companions in fury at the revelation that Cameron Morrill was, in fact, a Team Flare spy.

 

"Xander..." she began, though she did not know how she would finish. There was a lot to cover, and she wasn't even sure where to start. Finally, she pressed her hand to the glass, blinking against the tears suddenly in her eyes. "Xander, I am so, so sorry..."

 

---

 

It took almost an hour for her to explain everything, to tell him that he had a sister and more, that his family was so much bigger than he had thought, all those years growing up thinking he was alone in the world.

 

And so it was that Isa left Xander, having given him the necklace she wore, the necklace that she had been told needed to be earned in some way, and she felt that Xander Cruize had earned it through his loyalty and the hardship she had put him through, that necklace with the pinkish stone at the end.

 

And she made her way back up to the command center, though her shift was over and she shouldn't need to be there until it was time for the morning check-in from the team in Kalos. She knew that the night would hold more surprises, and she needed to be prepared to coordinate her squad.


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

An uncomfortable silence permeated through the group. Dahlia stepped back to give the others a chance to read the list. While Jared stepped aside to make a call, the gardener looked at the pair of Kalos Champions. "What does that list mean?" she asked softly. "And why are your names on it?"

 

Before either of them could answer, Zoe strode up to Calem and Serena with a scowl on her face. "Do you mean to tell us that the two of you have just been a couple of hot-headed Flare Fanatics this whole time?" she asked in a loud voice. "It all makes sense now! You appeared out of nowhere in that restaurant because you knew we were getting too close to Flare's secrets. Then you insisted on following us down here, knowing full well the cloning machine was still active. You're planning to replace us all with evil clones of ourselves, aren't you?! Well, you'll never take us alive!" Zoe grabbed a Pokéball from her bag and reared back as if to throw it straight at the Champions. She might have actually hit one of them in the face if Alex hadn't grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

 

"What do you think you're doing?" the Liberty agent cried in disbelief. "Didn't we just get over a big misunderstanding from assuming people were Flare agents?"

 

"Yeah, well that was before we found Flare's Membership List!" Zoe retorted as she struggled against Alex's grip. "Everyone on that list is a twisted Flare Freak trying to rise from the ashes and it's our duty to arrest them all in the name of the law!"

 

"Do you really believe all those people are working for Flare?" Alex asked as he managed to wrest the Pokéball out of Zoe's hand. "Calem and Serena helped stop Team Flare all those years ago! Besides, if they really were Flare, why would they be so eager to access such an incriminating file?"

 

"Will both of you just calm down?!" Dahlia's eyes flashed as she forced Alex and Zoe apart. "I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for all of this. Zoe, why don't we give Calem and Serena a chance to speak? And Alex, I know Zoe's jumping the gun, but you don't have to manhandle her." A wave of dizziness started to come over the Heroine of Reverse, but she pushed past it with a grimace and looked over at the two Champions. "The list was titled 'Means of Assistance.' What does that mean?"


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: Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood/Jared Winters/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Calem Geosenge Lab, April 13th

 

"Relax, everyone," Lachina said sternly, though without the same steel in her voice that Jared could produce with Mercury. "Calem and Serena clearly aren't with Flare. Think critically, Zoe. That list isn't titled 'Team Flare Members,' it's titled..."

 

"Means of Assistance," Emily finished, crossing her arms and sighing. "It's very clearly a list of what Lysandre believes to be possible assets to himself -- written, probably, before his first attempted grab at power, judging by the state the computer is in and some of the names on the list. He probably had his followers even before Flare, and those would be on the list, and then what he thought of as possible other allies he could coerce into helping. Sycamore definitely wouldn't help him now, after seeing what he'd done a decade ago, and--"

 

Jared closed his Holo Caster and frowned. "Enough," he said wearily. "I just got some important information from Agent Fontaine." He swallowed, weighing his words in front of people who weren't technically part of the mission. "Xander's detainment on the night of the eighth was due to a break-in he performed at headquarters. He was caught along with another agent after trying to free a confined dangerous Pokémon."

 

He sighed, rubbing at his eyes with one hand. "He was, at the time of his arrest, wearing a Team Flare uniform. That, along with the Cruize name being on the list, spells some bad things for him. Fontaine told me that she believed in his innocence, but we need to draw our own conclusions from what we know of him.

 

"For now, though, we have other things at hand. Let's finish searching the lab, then head back to the cottage to plan our next move. Whether or not that list is an old one, I think it's pretty clear that Team Flare is out there, somewhere, and it's our mission to find them."

 

"You've got our help," Belle said solemnly. "I dunno who any of those other people are, but... we've dealt with Flare, and none of us wanna see them running loose."

 

Alma nodded. "I quite agree."

 

Calem nodded. "Right. Serena, is there anything else on that computer?"


"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 - Signs Pravin/Avitus (Armaldo)/Ephraim (Rotom-H)/Sarah (Crustle)/Esther (Solrock) - Streets, Dendemille Town:

 

It took some time for the cloud to pass. When it did, one of the first things to become clear was the result of Quil's Flamethrower. Perhaps as a result of not battling for the previous weeks, the attack seemed to have done quite a number on the Rotom, knocking it back and dazing it. It seemed uncertain of how to respond, knowing that its opponent could actually use its moves again.

 

Across the way, Esther was caught completely off-guard by the Mismagius's attack. There wasn't much Solrock could do for her, either. With a great heave, the Ghost-Type pulled the weapon free from the Signs agent, giggling as she carried it away to parts unknown. Esther cursed, sliding off of Solrock's back and pointing at the Pokémon trainers in front of her. "Fine! Solrock, take 'em out for me!"

 

The Meteorite complied, shooting toward Ryan and Ray's position with a makeshift Rapid Spin attack.

 

IC - Kyle Eston/Sonja Baron/Emmerich Coleman - Streets, Dendemille Town:

 

The cloud had spread far; they could see it as soon as the elevator doors opened out into the alleyway. A small portion had settled into the elevator as the doors closed behind them, vanishing back into the bricks. With any luck, Vertrag could isolate and eradicate the substance without bringing it directly into the facility. But that was a concern for later. For now, they had the cloud outside to contend with, and the Signs forces that had come along with it. Sirens screeched throughout the town, bouncing off of the walls and hills, coalescing into a demonic chorus of disaster.

 

The sound hurt to listen to--not just physically, but emotionally. The people here had had no warning of what was coming. There was no chance they were prepared for an attack of this scale, let alone the effects of the cloud itself. As he peered through the fog, Kyle couldn't stop himself from shaking in a mixture of dread, fear, and fury. He could see several civilians scattered about, all collapsed to the ground or huddled in terror against the nearest wall. What horrors were they seeing?

 

He didn't realize he had started running toward the nearest victim--a boy, only a little younger than himself--until Sonja threw her arms around his chest and pulled him back. "Kyle!" she said, her voice muffled. "Don't just run off--you don't know who or what is out there!"

 

"We can't just leave them like that!" he responded. "Vertrag is right here, can we at least get some of these people out of the way!?"

 

"No, we can't," Sonja said. She managed to get him back into the alleyway. "I don't--calm down!" She caught him again and pushed back, forcing him to a standstill. "I don't like it either, but we have to be smart about this." Kyle didn't respond, but he did relent, stepping back and walking further back into the alley to sit down and catch his breath. "If we let all of these people in, then we're going to have to help them back out. What do we tell the authorities then? We can't swear them all to secrecy, and we already agreed that the more people that know about Vertrag, the less secure it is. And this might not be the same drug that he used on you--at the very least, there's no guarantee that everyone is going to be affected by it the same way. What happens if some of them turn violent? They could damage the base while we're out here, and I don't think we have the manpower to leave someone behind to watch them. Do you get that?"

 

"I get it," Kyle snapped. "I just wish you weren't right."

 

"Trust me, I wish so, too," she said. "The best thing we can do right now is stay calm and coordinate a defense." As she spoke, she picked out Ares's, Athena's and Neith's Poké Balls and tossed them into the air, releasing the Druddigon, Pidove and Noibat. "You two, I need you to get a feel for the situation--count as many attackers as you can. Chances are the ones responsible for this will be armed--look for those."

 

Kyle watched the two Flying-Types head out. He took a deep breath and sent out some of his own Pokémon--Jaeda, Ruj, and Kitheus. "You go, too," he ordered. "We need to know what's happening and we need to know fast." They nodded and took to the air. As they headed out, he sent out Daiga. The Sandslash stretched his arms, glancing around with a furtive demeanor. Sonja offered him a careful smile before releasing Atum at her side.

 

"I'd send out my own flyers, but, well . . . I don't have any," Emmerich said sheepishly. Nevertheless, he pulled his service pistol from its holster, and released his Machamp, Hitmonchan, and Hitmonlee. He peered out from the alley and into the street, moving as discreetly as possible. "Looks like there's a truck moving away from us." He squinted. "Two mooks on the driver side; I'd bet the same on the passenger side. Truck seems to be part of the cloud's source." He looked back at Chloe and the others. "I suggest we jump it while we have surprise on our side."

 


Follow me on YouTube!

 

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

 

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-==IC: Serena/Calem==-

 

The Champion shook her head. “Not much. There’s some technical data on the whole cloning thing, but most of the files here are corrupted. The only other thing I can think to check would be--”

 

She cut herself off suddenly, as she noticed an alert notification on the system’s messaging client. Moving on autopilot, she opened the program and was greeted by an audio message.

 

“Hello, my loyal friends,” a man’s deep voice said. “I know it has been a while, but it is time for our plans to come to fruition. At the next stroke of midnight, we must enact our plans. You all have your orders, but do not feel compelled to carry them out if doing so would endanger yourself or your brothers and sisters in Flare. For those of you who are able to act, you know where to strike, and whom to strike. Any of our targets who will not comply to us must be purged. By the time the sun rises over Kalos on the thirteenth, we will stand victorious. Go, friends, and help shape the future of the world.”

 

Serena could only stare at the screen in horror, Kalos’ most powerful Trainer reduced nearly to tears. She was only able to let out a single, horrified word: “No…”

 

Calem spat a word that probably shouldn’t have been said in front of Lachina, let alone Zoe and Alma. “Let’s go,” he said sternly, addressing the entire room. “We have time, we can stop him, let’s go.

 

IC: Isabella Fontaine - Alamo, Four Island, August

 

Isa made her way through the compound quickly, grumbling as she tried to sort out the notes and files she had. Between Xander being arrested, Cameron being a Flare spy, and Octavyn currently being a wreck, she was struggling to keep all of her files and such organized. Notes on the mission, notes on each person in the mission, notes on things happening here that could affect the mission… Not to mention her regular duties on top of that! It was enough to drive a girl crazy.

 

As she started to round a corner, part of her twinged, the intuition she had warning her only a second before she bumped into somebody and the folders she held scattered across the floor. She grumbled and groused as she tried to pick them up, more at herself than the other person -- as the saying went, it took two to tango, and she had been far more focused on her papers than on where she'd been going. As she reached, though, the folders and papers lifted into the air and stacked themselves before moving to deposit themselves in her hands. She blinked and looked up to see a one-armed figure smiling softly at her.

 

"Hello, Isa," Sylph said.

 

"Sylph," Isa replied, stunned. She hadn't seen the Gardevoir since the ill-fated trip to Keturi City. "Hello," she added lamely.

 

"Are you doing anything vital?" Sylph asked. The technician looked down at the papers and sighed as she shook her head.

 

"Not particularly. I was trying to get info for the situation over in Kalos, but there's not much I can tell them that they won't already know."

 

"Then would you like to go get some coffee and catch up?"

 

Isa paused, weighing the offer before nodding. "Yeah, I think that sounds like a good idea."

Edited by MELON LORD

"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/Lachina Adaon/Jared Winters/Lionel Zyther/Elaine Alderson/Emily Lockwood

 

Amelia walked through the door to the cottage, duffel slung haphazardly across her back. She froze in the doorway, reversed course for several steps, then walked back in, staring around in disbelief. “Oh y’all’ve got t’be kiddin’ me.”

 

“It’s a small multiverse,” Alex agreed, an incubator they hadn’t had in the lab clutched in one arm while the other leaned heavily on their crutch. They winced at the pressure the crutch put on their bandaged hand and quickly moved to find a chair, Bliss clucking in dismay and rushing to attend to them.

 

Lachina had changed from her civilian training outfit back into her ranger gear and was checking all of her equipment. Jared ran a hand through his hair as he hung up on Fontaine again.

 

“First and foremost,” he said. “Lionel and Elaine. Can they be trusted? Lionel bought up most of Flare’s assets almost as soon as they were available, and Elaine had her husband and… brother?” He glanced at Emily who nodded sullenly. “Her husband and brother worked for Team Flare, so I have to wonder how much of her family Flare got to.”

 

“She wouldn’t--” Emily said, then cut herself off with a resigned sigh.

 

“So,” Amelia said, “who wants to tell ‘em the good news when they get back?”

 

At that moment, the front door burst open, with an exuberant Lionel and Elaine making a triumphant entrance.

 

“Everyone!” Lionel exclaimed, “I’m sorry to wake you so early but Elaine and I have wonderful… news…” It took him a few moments to notice the somber mood of the room. “Is everything…?”

 

Beside him, Elaine suddenly sucked in a sharp breath and went stark white, eyes as wide as if she’d seen a ghost. “Al… Alain…?”

 

Emily chewed her lip. “Alex, actually. No, not my brother, but… It’s complicated?”

 

“Alex?” Lionel asked, head jerking in the direction of Elaine’s gaze. “Alex!”

 

“Dad!” Alex made to stand, but was held down by a stern Bliss. “Dad, I’m so glad to--”

 

“Hold on,” Elaine said, leaning heavily against the wall in her shock, “‘Dad?This is your son Alex?”

 

Lionel shot the Professor a suspicious look. “Yes? Is there a problem with that?”

 

Elaine struggled for words. “No… it’s… if he’s your son, why does he look like mine?” She searched the faces around the room, simultaneously frantic and trying to stave off tears.

 

Alex flinched. “Could we… not use that word, please?”

 

Amelia stood up from her spot leaning against the wall and stepped forward. “All right, y’all, let’s maybe take it from th’ top. Ah’m Amelia Zann, ah’ve been travelin’ with Alex fer th’ past bit. Guessin’ yer th’ kid’s dad, seein’ as they called ya ‘Dad’ there a second ago.” She pointed to Elaine. “Y’all ain’t the kid’s mom, though, so who in heck’re y’all s’posed t’ be?”

 

Startled by Amelia’s confrontation, Elaine managed to fight past her urge to hyperventilate and calm herself slightly, though she still had to take a few deep breaths before answering. “Right, yes, I should… I should introduce myself.” She seemed to register for the first time the half-dozen new additions. “I’m…”

 

OOC:

 

Username: Flipz

Name: Professor Elaine Alderson

Wiki Page:

Gender: Female

Faction: none

Hometown: Courmarine City, Kalos

Age: 58 (born 1959)

 

Appearance: Professor Alderson fits the stereotype of “wise old Professor”, her once-auburn hair and pale blue eyes dimmed significantly by age and stress. Though she is only 58, her harsh life has aged her prematurely, leaving her bent and crushed by the weight of the world. Like most Pokémon Professors, she is never seen without her lab coat.

 

Personality: Once effervescent and inquisitive, Elaine’s personality was slowly dimmed and crushed by a series of personal and professional tragedies. Though she is still respected amongst her peers for her work, she lacks hope in her own future, pinning all her optimism on her niece Emily Lockwood. Despite her depression, however, Elaine remains every bit the intelligent scientist she has always been, with a keen eye for Pokémon ecology and unusual changes and damage in local ecosystems.

 

Background: Elaine started her career as a Fossil researcher in Ambrette Town, Kalos, where she met and married her husband Ezekiel. The pair became estranged, however, after the untimely death of their son Alain in 1996 at the hands of his own rampaging Charizard, with both parents burying themselves in their work. After the fall of Team Flare in 2007, Elaine’s husband and younger brother were outed as members of the Team, casting suspicion on Elaine herself and forcing her resignation from the Fossil Lab. Left without a family or a job, Elaine turned her efforts to the use of Pokémon powers in medicine, eventually discovering a means to store the essence of certain Moves for later use. The stigma of her name, however, kept her independent operation consistently underfunded, eventually forcing her to move to the similarly-stigmatized Geosenge Town to continue her work. Despite her misfortune, Elaine always does her best to support those around her, particularly children, and she sometimes serves as a secondary source of Starter Pokémon for children in Coastal Kalos who can’t make it to Lumiose to visit her friend and colleague Professor Sycamore.

 

Equipment: Scientist-issue Pokédex (old model), Pokémon power storage unit (demonstration size only)

Pokémon: Metis (Aromatisse), Cassidee (Porygon-2), Fay (Comfey)

 

Species: Aromatisse

Gender: Female

Nickname: Metis

Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson

Appearance: Has a black mask and black ear feathers to match.

Personality: Quiet and demure, Metis often finds herself letting Fay and Cassidee boss her around despite being the eldest and most experienced member of Elaine’s team. She and Cassidee are the only remaining members of Elaine’s pre-war team.

Ability: Aroma Veil/Triage

Specialty: Has learned the Triage ability from Fay in addition to her normal Ability.

Known Moves: Draining Kiss, Heal Pulse, Wish (egg move), Aromatic Mist, Psychic, Misty Terrain

 

Species: Porygon-2

Gender: genderless

Nickname: Cassidee

Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson

Appearance: normal

Personality: Affectionately referred to as Elaine’s “brains”, Cassidee leans heavily into being its Trainer’s organizer and personal assistant.

Ability: Trace

Specialty: Cassidee can directly control what type it transforms into with Conversion, rather than it being determined by its known moves.

Known Moves: Recover, Recycle, Agility, Magic Coat, Conversion, Psychic (event move)

 

 

Species: Comfey

Gender: Female

Nickname: Fay

Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson

Appearance: Due to her extended time in Kalos instead of Alola, Fay’s flower chain is made of Fairy Flowers rather than Alolan hibiscus.

Personality: Fay is a force of nature, pushily insisting on helping even when she’s neither wanted nor needed. Elaine has learned from experience not to let Fay out of her sight, lest she cause unwanted mischief while trying to “help”.

Ability: Triage

Specialty: Fay can “overheal” her allies beyond their normal limits while using Floral Healing or when sharing the energy taken from a Draining Kiss; however, she can only perform this feat while both Grassy (or Misty) Terrain and Sunny Day are in effect.

Known Moves: Floral Healing, Draining Kiss, Synthesis, Leech Seed, Grassy Terrain, Aromatherapy

 

 

 

Username: Flipz

Name: Lionel Zyther

Wiki Page:

Gender: Male

Faction: none

Hometown: Camphrier Town, Kalos (dual Unovan citizenship through parents)

Age:

 

Appearance: Lionel has grayish-blue eyes and untidy dark brown hair. His ruthless and regal bearing are complemented by his usual choice of expensive suits and businesswear.

 

Personality: A ruthless businessman, Lionel believes in accomplishing his goals by any means necessary. However, he also bears an unbreakable loyalty to family, so many of his worse impulses are held in check by his desire to not disappoint his loved ones. Lionel is a firm believer in responsibility, and he dodges many of the pitfalls of more short-sighted figures of wealth; to his reasoning, there is no point to wealth if there is no world in which to use it. In his personal relationship, Lionel is harsh and unyielding, though with people he cares about he attempts to leverage these qualities to their benefit. He is deeply aware of and uncomfortable with his own shortcomings, often withdrawing when he senses them affecting his loved ones rather than trying to change or overcome them.

 

Background: Born to Unovan parents who had moved to Kalos for work, Lionel grew up under the influence of Camphrier Town’s two noble families, the Parfums and the Shabboneaus. Though he eventually ended his relationship with Lizbet Parfum (heir to the Parfum family), he eventually fell in love with the last remaining Shabboneau, Lila, and worked himself tirelessly to try and prove himself worthy of her. After the fall of Team Flare in 2007, Lionel acquired many of the companies created from the forced breakup of Lysandre Labs, becoming a powerful technology mogul seemingly overnight with his revival and revision of the popular Holo Caster. He married Lila in 2008, and with the passing of Lord Shabboneau in 2009 became the full heir of the Shabboneau fortune. His and Lila’s joy would be short-lived, however, as his bitter rivalry with Unovan businessman Obadiah Valdari turned tragic on Halloween of 2012, resulting in the death of both Lila and her unborn child. Valdari’s death that same night did little to assuage Lionel’s grief and rage, and he spent the next several months isolating himself and ruthlessly crushing his competition in equal measure. He found unexpected solace in May of 2013, however, in the form of Cassie Hikari (nee Mikazuki), who fled to him in hiding after her supposed death at the hands of her husband Gerald. With Cassie taking up the guise of her sister Christina (the woman Gerald had actually killed), the two ended up adopting an amnesiac teenager they found in Geosenge, who they named Alex; soon after, Cassie and Lionel married, with Lionel formally adopting Cassie’s daughter Lucia as well to better hide her from Gerald. With the stabilizing influence of a new family, Lionel returned to a more stable emotional state, and began focusing his attention on innovation and stabilizing his empire to ensure it could one day be passed successfully to Lucia and Alex.

 

Equipment: High-end Holo Caster (completely unlocked/unrestricted), billionaire-tier wealth

Pokémon: Hedgelord (Bisharp), Lillina (Lilligant), Gaston (Furfrou)

 

Species: Bisharp

Gender: Male

Nickname: Hedgelord

Trainer: Lionel Zyther

Appearance: Hedgelord’s body is pristinely polished, despite the heat-warped scar running from the upper-left of his cranial dome down and across his body to his right hip, interrupted briefly just across where the heart would be on a human. He also has two holes and a partial divot burned through the blade on his right hand, and said blade also bears the faintest hint of a heat scar matching the one across his body on the interior surface.

Personality: As Lionel’s starter, Hedgelord share many personality traits with his Trainer -- most notably, the same mix of pragmatism and ruthlessness that led to Lionel’s business success. Unlike Lionel, however, he substitutes stubbornness in place of ambition, which serves him well in his role as bodyguard. Hedgelord received his nickname as the result of a lost bet between Lionel and his late wife Lila; while not fond of it, he now refuses to abandon it for his Trainer’s sake.

Ability: Defiant

Specialty: This Bisharp can reflect some light-, lightning-, and energy-based attacks off of the metallic portions of his blades, but this comes at the cost of an increased vulnerability to his natural weaknesses.

Known Moves: Iron Head, Night Slash, Slash, Swords Dance, Stealth Rock (egg move), Psycho Cut (egg move)

 

Species: Lilligant

Gender: Female

Nickname: Lillina

Trainer: Lionel Zyther

Appearance: Lillina has blue eyes, and the leaf that looks like her "hair" is also blue.

Personality: Though saddened by her original Trainer's demise, Lillina still serves Lionel faithfully. The accident that claimed Lila’s life left her quite cautious and Timid, and despite her dedication to protecting Lionel she often finds herself leaning a touch too heavily upon her Trainer’s commands.

Ability: Own Tempo

Specialty: Due to her experience with the balance and weight distribution needed for her dancing moves, Lillina learned how to physically grab and throw opponents with surprising ease.

Known Moves: Quiver Dance, Petal Dance, Giga Drain, Leech Seed, Aromatherapy, Healing Wish (egg move)

 

Species: Furfrou

Gender: Male

Nickname: Gaston

Trainer: Lionel Zyther

Appearance: Gaston is kept in a Dandy trim, but in cornflower blue rather than lime green.

Personality: An arrogant braggart, Gaston’s insatiable ego is at least somewhat matched by his prowess in battle. Around those he actually likes, he tends to be more Impish than outright boastful; this is generally not much of an improvement.

Ability: Fur Coat

Specialty: Gaston’s bullheadedness makes him somewhat resistant to mind-affecting moves like Confide, Attract, Baby-Doll Eyes, etc., though he is more vulnerable to moves that inflame his ego like Flatter and Swagger. He is also especially good at expectorating.

Known Moves: Retaliate, Cotton Guard, Bite, Sucker Punch, Work Up (egg move), Sand Attack



 

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 - Cottage, Geosenge Town

"We know who you really are!" Zoe said, reaching for a Pokéball. "You're--!"

 

"Yes, we've been travelling with Dr. Alderson and Mr. Zyther for the past few days," Alex hastily interrupted. "We know who they are, but our new friends don't. Well . . . not all of them, anyway." He glanced at the other Alex, adopted son of Lionel Zyther, before continuing in a hushed whisper. "If you don't learn to keep your big mouth shut, kid, you're going to singlehandedly doom us all."

 

Zoe rolled her eyes. "Didn't we just get done saying we couldn't--?"

 

"Listen, Zoe." Dahlia pulled the two of them to the back of the group while the adults made their introductions. "I appreciate your enthusiasm here, but these are families we're talking about here. Emily's aunt, and Alex's -- Other Alex's -- father. We can't just make wild accusations until we're one-hundred percent certain. Otherwise, we'll just end up making things worse. How would you feel if someone suddenly accused your sister of being part of Flare?"

 

"Well I'd start by beating them up for saying something so ridiculous," Zoe retorted.

 

"Exactly my point," Dahlia said firmly. "We're still trying to figure out what exactly is going on here, so we can't play all our cards until we've seen the whole board."

 

"I think what Dahlia's trying to say," Alex offered. "Is that patience is a virtue, and it's not worth burning bridges over."


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: Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Calem - Geosenge Cottage, 1:14 AM August 12 2017

 

While Dahlia and Alex Lockwood talked Zoe down, Jared gave a quick recap of their investigation in the lab -- leaving out unnecessary details like the cloned eggs -- and Calem pulled up the list on his Holo Caster, having gotten pictures before leaving.

 

"In short, Flare's making their move in less than 24 hours, and there are too many people spread across too many locations for us to defend even with the addition of our new friends." He hooked a thumb at Alex and company. "A lot are in Lumiose, but a lot aren't and we need to figure out who's going where to minimize damages."

 

IC: Isabella Fontaine/Sylph

 

Isa hadn't even known that there was a cafe nestled in the bowels of the Alamo. The normal cafeteria had cheap coffee that was meant more to wake you up than to bring any joy to your taste buds, and the break room coffee in the working areas was much the same. But here was an actual cafe with a wide variety of options and flavors. As the two sat down with their drinks -- iced chai for Isa, a Tapu Cocoa for Sylph -- Isa smiled.

 

"So, what's up? I noticed you got your psychic mojo back back there--" She stopped, her eyes widening. "Wait, Sylph, did you--"

 

"Yes," Sylph said softly. Then, mentally, I... "Mega Evolved" the night Xander was arrested. Not a pleasant experience, but the return of my powers is a good thing. I'm actually staying with someone who also has achieved the phenomenon, one of the Power Suit pilots from One Island. She and I are looking into the ability together, trying to determine what the exact triggers are for it. Thus far, I haven't been able to Mega Evolve with her, and the working theory is that we are not close enough, emotionally. If that's the case, then she and I may never achieve it between ourselves. She is... distant, and her emotions are tightly contained when she does not have her Magnezone out to calm her.

 

"Okay," Isa said slowly. "That's an info dump I wasn't expecting, but I think I see where this is going."

 

Quite, Sylph replied. I know you and I are not the best of friends, but we have gotten along well in the past. If I need a trainer I am close to in order to perform the Mega Evolution for whatever reason, then I must ask for your assistance; everyone else I could ask is away on missions or vacation.

 

Isa rubbed at her temples, feeling a headache starting to build there. "Right. I mean, I have to be on call while it's day in Kalos, and I still have to tend to my normal duties--" As well as Octavyn's.

 

Sylph sighed, and Isa felt a twinge of sadness. "But, I think I can find time to help a friend," she finished, and Sylph's eyes darted up from her drink. A moment later, the Gardevoir was next to her, giving her a 1.5-armed hug. Isa chuckled, patting Sylph's arm. "C'mon, I'm not the type to say no when someone needs my help, you know that."

 

Sylph giggled. "Of course." She moved to sit again. "Why don't we catch up for a bit before I take you to meet Miss Zarth?"

 

Isa nodded, and the two began talking about what they had missed in the years since Kalos.


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

--Drivedie/Meadiant/Meadiant; Spyfly/Spyfly; Meadiant/Meadiant--

 

The towering forms of the green giants lumbered toward Lopunny. Ritter stood behind her, rifle half-raised. Beside him, Koziel rocked her Infernape's body in her arms, silent and grieving. Within several yards, the Instances began picking up speed, the ground shaking underneath them as they slowly built up momentum, mouths twisting into wide, toothy grins. Lopunny stood her ground, though Ritter was less certain of his ability to tank a hit from them.

 

"Koziel!" he barked, dropping his gun and moving to grab her. "Move!"

 

He pulled her out of the way just as several other events occurred.

 

First was Lopunny's movement. Without warning, she suddenly launched forward in a full-on sprint, kicking off and Bouncing over the head of the giant on the left. With expert precision, she whipped an ear down at it from above, slamming the Instance with the full force of her attack. Its clay-like head cracked and it slammed down into the ground, carving a large rip in the earth as it tumbled to a stop, right at the edge of the cliff.

 

Second was the flying thing that slammed into the second giant. It was a big, brown, winged bug that charged straight into its path with horns aglow, impaling the Instance on the spiky protrusions. The force of the two colliding creatures sent them into a tumble that Ritter could not quite follow. It was clear, though, that neither was dead--the bug, which Ritter recognized now as a very strange-looking Pinsir, pulled itself free and buzzed back into the air, while the Instance groaned--or something similar to a groan, except that it sounded like it was giggling--as it pushed itself back on its feet from the resulting crater, supporting its weight on the log it carried.

 

Third and last was the flurry of movement and noise as most of the squad regrouped--Hull, Perrault, and Kabutops arriving on foot, the Shellfish Pokémon taking up the rearguard. Then the hum of the jeep as Darrow arrived, pulling to a stop beside the group. He opened the passenger-side door. "Squad, status report."

 

"One casualty," Ritter answered, gesturing to Infernape. "We're fine other than that."

 

"As far as I can tell, these are the last few targets," Hull added. "Kabutops and Pinsir managed to take out the group of Maniakoll and Harpreak. Seems the others took care of the rest of the standard Instances."

 

Darrow nodded. "Andreev is working on the tank and two of these big ones. Speaking of . . ." He whistled. Behind him, his Sawk popped out of the back of the jeep and into the seat of the turret. The Fraygrins had damaged its rotation gear, but with a little bit of muscle, the Fighting-Type managed to force it into a good enough position to aim at the giant by the cliff.

 

And then, much to the surprise of everyone else, Sawk pulled the trigger, sending a stream of high-power bullets slamming into its midsection that stopped it dead where it stood, finally forcing it backwards and off of the cliff to slam into the many, many rocks and spikes below. It disappeared into the valley with a distant rumble as its massive body struck the ground somewhere far below.

 

"Everyone pulls their weight," Darrow said, dismissing the dumbfounded stares from the rest of his squad. "Anyway, let's finish this one off and then radio back to base. They need to know what's going on."

 

"That might be a problem," Ritter said. "I think those flying ones are disrupting the comm equipment. They're too fast to shoot."

 

"Can't be that fast," Hull said. "Kill the big one. Pinsir will get the flying ones. Perrault, Koziel, you two had better take cover inside."

 

"Simple enough." Ritter pulled the device from his bag, setting it inside the jeep as Perrault and Koziel climbed in. Hull hurried off with Pinsir. "You got this, Lopunny?" The Rabbit Pokémon nodded. "Then let's kill this thing."

 

It was a good call, because at that moment the Instance steadied itself and straightened up. The massive wound in its chest gushed a reddish liquid, spilling out on the ground in front of it. It lurched forward, raising a hand and launching several Seed Bombs in the direction of the jeep. Lopunny jumped up, whipping her ears back and forth and knocking the attack off-course, leaving the seeds to explode relatively harmlessly against random spots on the field. As she charged toward the Instance, it gripped the log with both hands, kicking it and heaving the heavy object over its head to bring crashing down toward the rabbit. Its speed was no match for hers, though, and she managed to effortlessly dodge the attack, running up the log and toward its chest wound. Pulling her arm back, she threw a fist forward, straight into its exposed innards. Immediately, the creature's body began to freeze from the inside out, ice spreading rapidly over its entire form until finally it stood completely solid, glistening slightly in the dimming sun. Pulling her hand free, Lopunny struck again but with Dizzy Punch, shattering the Instance into several large chunks.

 

She flipped backward and gave Ritter a thumbs-up, which he returned.

 

Several yards away, Hull and Pinsir directed their attention to the two flying Instances, which had remained in a perpetual hover on the outskirts of the field. They seemed to sense the threat against them, as they suddenly began to buzz in every direction once they noticed the approaching Rocket Agent. This did not deter the pair, as Pinsir kicked off from the ground and shot toward them. The pair of flies scattered; Pinsir picked the one going left and followed it. As she closed in on it, she began charging a Guillotine attack--there was no telling what type these Instaces were yet, but if they were not immune to Normal-Type attacks, then it wouldn't matter as long as she could land the hit.

 

The Instance was quickly losing ground. As Pinsir bore down on it, it suddenly loosed an incredibly loud Chatter from its microphone-like head. The metallic screeching--vaguely mimicking what could only be described as bits of sheet metal that had learned to speak English by scraping together--tore at Pinsir, diminishing her focus. Still, she swooped forward and managed to catch the bug-like Instance in her horns. It was surprisingly light for its size, and as she squeezed, its Light Metal body crumpled like an empty soda can. She flung the remains into the distance before turning and scanning for the other one.

 

She had half-expected it to come after her and hit her with a sneak attack. Otherwise, it would likely have gone back to the jeep to continue disrupting the radio. But it was nowhere to be seen. She even swooped down below the cliff, near the last remaining zombie, and still did not see it. This was concerning, but at least if it had fled, it could not cause any more trouble--at least for now.

 

Pinsir returned to Hull.

 

 

 

Against two 10-foot-tall golems and a similarly-sized tank centaur, Andreev would normally have been sweating beneath the collar of her jacket. But she had a 20-foot-tall Golurk standing beside her, one much more powerful than any she had seen before. The odds were, at the very least, even. And with her comrades out of the way, they could go full-force.

 

The machine Instance made the first move. Its treads tore through the ground as it strafed around the large Golurk, raising its cannon and taking aim not at the Automaton Pokémon, but at its trainer. The tip of the cannon lit up as it fired off a series of Magnet Bombs. Andreev did not even flinch, allowing Golurk to simply place a hand defensively in front of her to tank the resulting explosions. The Instance revved its engine, observing. It elicited a series of robotic noises that sounded like garbled speech--there was no telling what it was saying, nor who it was attempting to speak to, nor even if it was trying to "communicate" anything at all in the usual sense of the word.

 

Still, it moved to a different position, cannon lowered but eyes set on its opponent. As it adjusted, the two giants moved in. One heaved its stop sign at Golurk, which glowed with energy in the vague shape of a sword. The attack bounced harmlessly off of Golurk's leg; it occurred to Andreev that that must have been a Sacred Sword attack, and the lack of damage meant that Golurk must have retained its Ghost-Typing upon transforming. This was good news. The other giant managed to land a powerful Meteor Mash against Golurk's shin, striking with enough force to leave a dent in the Automaton Pokémon's armor. That was far from enough to subdue it, however. In response, Golurk drew its fist back, bringing it straight down on the offending Instance and smashing it into the ground. It kept pushing, allowing the Drain Punch to get the full effect from the hit, utterly draining the Instance of its power; the 'wound' buckled and healed with the absorbed energy.

 

As it lifted its arm back up, something hot struck it in the back, and Golurk loosed a groan of pain. Andreev covered her face, moving out of the way as the lava suddenly covering Golurk's back spilled onto the ground nearby. It burned and ate at Golurk's steel body, greatly damaging it, but the Automaton managed to recover and turn to face its attacker. The tank creature had moved again, just out of range. The other giant moved around Golurk, spotting an easier target in the form of Andreev. As it raised its massive fist to smash the Rocket Agent, Golurk reached down, grabbing it by its upper body and heaving the Instance toward its own ally. The tank dodged out of the way as the green giant slammed into the ground nearby. As it did so, Golurk raised its other hand and launched a Flash Cannon at its opponent. The beam of energy struck, knocking it off balance. Golurk charged, its large form allowing it to clear the distance in record time, and swiped the mechanical Instance aside. It fell, struggling to right its large and unwieldy form. As Golurk bore down on it, it twisted and aimed its cannon again, charging up a Blast Burn and firing it straight at Golurk's head.

 

The Automaton Pokémon twisted, avoiding the attack, and slowly turned to look back at its target.

 

From a distance, Andreev watched as Golurk stomped its massive foot on the Instance's upper body, pinning it in place as it pulled on the Instance's lower body. With an awful rip, Golurk pulled the two halves apart, sending a shower of oil and sparks spraying across the field. It stomped again on the upper half for good measure, and then slammed the bottom half against the remaining Instance a few feet away.

 

Golurk limped back toward her. Andreev gave him an appreciative smile. "Very well done," she said. "You okay?" The Pokémon paused. It rotated an arm, summoning an Ice Punch attack, and pressed down on its burning back. A cloud of steam swirled into the air. Golurk gave her a thumbs-up.

 

At that moment, the jeep pulled up with the others. With the exception of Pinsir, who flew above the vehicle, and Lopunny, who rode atop it, the Rocket Agents had returned all of their Pokémon. Andreev observed the transformed Pokémon with keen interest, but pulled her focus away as the doors opened and Ritter stepped out. "All clear?"

 

"All clear," he confirmed. "Still working on the radio, but we should leave now before more Instances show up."

 

"Agreed." Andreev looked at Golurk. "Can you give us some coverage while we move?" Golurk nodded. "Okay. Let's get out of here."


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

 

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

"Do we even know where we're supposed to be going?" Dahlia asked. "It sounds to me like these Flare agents could be literally anywhere in Kalos. We don't have nearly enough manpower to search the whole region, and even if we did, I don't think it's a wise idea to split up too much."

 

"We should check the local news," Alex suggested. "If there really is an uprising, it's bound to make headlines."

 

"By the time that happens, it'll be too late," Dahlia argued. "If we wait for a report and then have to run halfway across the region, Kalos will be up in flames before we get there."

 

"I have an idea!" Zoe declared. "All we have to do is go outside and call ask all Flare members to meet up in the city square for a super secret meeting. Then once they're there, we kill them!"

 

Dahlia wasn't sure how to respond to a twelve-year-old suggesting murder. It was a childish notion of black-and-white morality, but if Flare really was as cold and ruthless as everyone said they were . . . would slaughtering them be the right course of action here? They had been stopped once before, but evidently they'd continued to grow from the shadows. The idea didn't sit well with her, but it would probably be the only way to ensure Flare was completely eradicated.

 

The only question was, when it came down to it, would Dahlia be able to follow through on that resolve? She glanced at Klim for a moment before looking at Jared. "What do you think we should do?"


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: Serena/Lionel Zyther/Elaine Alderson/Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann/Calem

 

“If I may?” Serena interjected. “It sounds to me like we have four main cities to go for.” She pulled up a map of Kalos on her pocket computer to illustrate. “Professor Alderson’s colleagues are in Ambrette Town, Olympia and the Steels are in Anistar City, and then there’s Lumiose and the Pokémon League.”

 

“Speaking of the League, we may have an opportunity here.”

 

Serena gave Lionel an appraising glance. “What kind of opportunity, exactly?”

 

“It’s simple, really. We already know you and Calem are targets. With enough preparation, the hunters will become the prey.”

 

“A trap?” Elaine lowered her head in thought. “Yes… yes, that might work. They wouldn’t expect us to be aware of their plans. If I can get you to the League, we can turn their ambush back on itself.”

 

“What about everywhere else?” Alex asked.

 

“I’ll warn the President. I know the man, so it should be simple to convince him of this plot and get him to safety.”

 

“An’ ah’ll chat up Sycamore at ‘is lab. He owes me a favor or two.”

 

“What about Korrina?” Alex asked with concern.

 

“Not a problem,” Calem replied, “she’s out training at the moment, well outside Flare’s reach.”

 

“Ambrette isn’t too far from here. The ferry from Cyllage should get a group there with time to spare. As for Anistar…” Serena frowned a moment, trying to remember something, before brightening. “Oh! I know! When Calem and I were traveling with Clemont, there were some really strong Flying Trainers just north of here in Kalos Canyon! I bet we can call in some favors to have them ferry a couple of people to Anistar at top speed.”

 

“Good,” Lionel said. “Speaking of transport, I’ll rent us two cars to get us to Lumiose -- the toll roads will get us there with time to spare. I can take one, Elaine, can you handle the other?”

 

The Professor nodded. “That would be best. I’ll be taking the Champions to the League after I drop people off within Lumiose.”

 

“We can stop at the castle on the way,” Alex suggested. “We’ll have just enough time for a nap and to make last-minute preparations.”

 

“So the only question left is, who else is going where? Don’t forget, we have several targets within Lumiose as well. We’ll need to be careful not to spread ourselves too thin.”



 

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/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Calem Geosenge Cottage, Kalos, August 13, 1:29 AM

 

"That all sounds good," Jared agreed. "The question is who goes where?"

 

"I'll go to Ambrette," Lachina said. "There's only one place they're targeting there, and only a few names on the list. I should be able to hold off whatever Flare sends their way."

 

"Ah go where Amelia goes," Belle said. "And Alma comes with me, so we'll hit Lumiose."

 

"That's where the bulk of the group should go," he agreed. "More targets over a larger area."

 

Emily had a look of consternation on her face. "Colleen..." She swallowed. "Colleen, you're from Anistar, aren't you? There's only three people that are possible targets there. You and Zoe can go and it should be easy enough for an Aura Mistress to handle that."

 

"Which just leaves the group heading for the League once we get to Lumiose. Calem, Serena, they're going after the Elite Four?" At their nods, Jared continued. "You'll want to go with a few people, then. They'll be showing up in numbers to take on the strongest trainers in Kalos."

 

"I'll go with them," Emily volunteered. "I'm not a great combatant, but with power being mostly out, my team should be at a pretty even match."

 

"Alright. Who else is going where?"


"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: Dahlia Seaton/Zoe Llyan/Alex Lockwood - Cottage, Geosenge Town - August 13th, Ungodly Hour of the Night

"You mean Em's not going with us?" Zoe seemed visibly disappointed at this. Or perhaps her lack of sleep had finally caught up with her. For as energetic as the girl had been up until this point, it was now way past her bedtime and it was beginning to show. "That's okay . . . Collie and I can meet up with Lucina. She'll beat Flare for good. Just give me five more minutes . . ."

 

It was as if a switch had suddenly been flipped off. Zoe rested her head against Colleen's shoulder and was out like a light. Alex looked at the sisters in concern. "You sure you can handle it on your own?" he asked Colleen. The aura wielder glanced down at Zoe and nodded. Her stoic expression masked any worries she might have had, and her silence deterred any further questions.

 

"I should head to Lumiose," Dahlia said with a hint of nervousness. "With my powers, it's best to put me in the middle of the action. Klim, you'll probably want to come with me, right?"

 

"I'll go with ya too, sis." Olivia placed a hand on Dahlia's shoulder. "I still need to pick up Bree, anyway."

 

Alex looked over at Emily. "I'll go with you to the League, then. After all, family's got to stick together, right?"


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: Jamie Arthur - Geosenge Town

 

Jamie had been quiet since the group returned from the lab. Her emotions had quietly been stewing on the whole way back, but she had to put them aside right now. She at least had to say what little she had to about what she should be doing.

 

"Just send me to where the fighting is going to be thickest. As long as I have Pelleas and Tristan with me, I can handle any bad guys I have to fight." She thought for a moment about what Dahlia had just said. "I am going to guess Lumiose is the best place for me, but I can go wherever you need a fighter."

 

She wanted to reassert her right to her brother. But she knew this was not the time or the place. They needed to hammer out a plan to save the day as soon as possible. Still, her eyes kept shifting from Zoe to Emily. She really didn't want to admit this, but she couldn't tell which one was which. Her instincts labeled the one held by Zoe as the correct egg. But there was every possibility that she was just mad at Zoe, and wanted to take the egg from her, regardless of whether it was correct or not.


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IC: Jared Winters/Emily Lockwood/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Lachina Adaon Geosenge Cottage, August 13th

 

"Lumiose is where we should send most of our forces," Jared agreed. "Between Sycamore, the detective, and all the government officials there, we'll have our hands full."

 

Emily nodded softly. "Right..." She glanced at Jamie and then down to the egg with a frown. "Here," she said, holding the egg out carefully. "I'm not one-hundred percent sure, but, just going by the weight, I think this is the egg with Tristan's... offspring. I shouldn't hold onto it, I have no claim. It's yours, if you want it."

 

Belle crossed her arms. "So, all the Pokémon clones from that lab are shiny?" she asked. When Amelia nodded, Belle cursed under her breath. "Yeah, that's a good call, though. I have plenty of power on my team, I don't need another Beldum in the future. Jamie, right? I'll be keepin' in touch about that egg."

 

Alma squeezed the woman's hand lightly. "Once we get to Lumiose," she said quietly, "what other targets are there besides the lab?"

 

"Too many," Lachina said softly. "Way too many for the number of people we have. Would it be better for you all to spread yourselves across the city, or to focus all of your attention on one place?"

 

Jared sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "That's a tough one. Probably best to focus on the most prominent threats, and send one or two people to the less substantial ones. Sycamore is a soft target, not a lot of security in his lab. The President and the head of the bank and the like, they probably have security in place. We'll send people to double check, of course, but... Sycamore and Matiere should be our priorities, they're the ones at the most risk. Right?" He looked around the room for confirmation.


"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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EDIT: OOC: I will be temporarily taking over for Colleen, Olivia, and Lucia in order to ease the burden on Blade. A small Lucia bit has been added to this post.

 

IC: Dahlia Seaton/Zoe Llyan/Alex Lockwood/Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton/Lucia Zyther - Cottage, Geosenge Town

Zoe remained blissfully ignorant of Jamie's pointed glare, for she had dozed off on Colleen's shoulder, the unmarked egg nestled snugly in the backpack at her feet.

 

Dahlia nodded in affirmation to Jared's question. She wasn't sure she was the best person to vote on such a decision, given her limited knowledge of Lumiose's various targets, but Jared's reasoning seemed sound. "I'll cover Miss Matiere," she said. "Flare got to her once before, and she was clearly still shaken by the experience when we talked to her. I'll make sure they don't lay a finger on her this time."

 

"I'll go to Lumiose with you." Lucia placed a hand on Jamie's shoulder, although the Heroine of Time still seemed to be focused on her maybe-maybe-not-baby-brother. "If Dahlia's got Matiere, then perhaps we should check on Sycamore. What do you think, Jamie?"

Edited by Konuju

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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Scenario 1 - IC - Perimeter Unit Hollow Treasure (Agents Ritter/Lopunny, Koziel, Andreev/Golurk, Darrow/Durant, Hull/Pinsir, Perrault/Kabutops) - Chapel, Kanto - Previous:

 

The drive back to Chapel was uneventful, though that did not stop the members of Recon Unit Hollow Treasure from staying on high alert the entire way down Mt. Silver and back through Victory Road. Golurk aside, the others had all returned their Pokémon to their Poké Balls; the Automaton Pokémon in question flew some distance above and ahead of them, its massive form casting a dark shadow around them. It was for their benefit, of course, in case any other Instances elected to attack, but it did little to hide their location from any unwanted observers. Then again, it was likely that they wouldn't have been able to hide if they wanted to, anyway.

 

By the time they arrived back at Chapel, Golurk had transformed back into its normal form. The same had occurred with Lopunny and Pinsir in their Poké Balls. Andreev stared out and upward from the front seat, observing the colossus. The time it had taken each one to 'devolve,' so to speak, had not been consistent, so there didn't appear to be any particular time limit in place. Each one had, however, regained their powers, which was a definite plus--it would make the inevitable defensive measures somewhat easier to conduct. She made a mental note to reach out to R&D for further testing.

 

Ritter fiddled with the radio as the base's entrance came into view. "Chapel, this is Communications Officer Ritter of Perimeter Unit Hollow Treasure. We're arriving at the gates now. Please ensure medical assistance is ready. Over."

 

"Roger that, Hollow Treasure. Proceed to gate 3. Over."

 

So they did. The gate welcomed them into a hangar, where they quickly dispersed from their vehicle. While a group of engineers took the jeep in for repairs, and a team of medics pushed through for initial assessments and Pokémon healing, Andreev focused on the Executive coming forward to meet her. She saluted Ortrune. "Ma'am."

 

"At ease," Ortrune said. "Sounds like your mission didn't go so well."

 

"Better than Silent Horizon. Unfortunately, we confirmed the entire squad as KIA."

 

"I heard." Ortrune nodded at a technician as they handed her a data pad. "And you encountered Missing Zero's Instances, as well."

 

"Yes, ma'am."

 

"Any idea where they could have come from?" Andreev shook her head. "Okay. Shadow Admin Sleight has been informed of the current situation already and will be back before long. In the meantime, he has instructed us to instigate some initial countermeasures." She looked behind Andreev at the other members of Hollow Treasure. "I don't expect your squad to assist, considering the circumstances."

 

"I wouldn't count us out quite yet, ma'am," Andreev said. "A little rest would help for now, but the six of us are still ready to fight. Three of our Pokémon experienced the recent evolution phenomenon; my understanding is that at this time, Pokémon that have regained their powers are a rarity. I believe putting ours to use would prove greatly beneficial to containment efforts."

 

"Are you speaking for yourself or for your entire squad?"

 

"The squad. We discussed it on the way back here."

 

Ortrune nodded. "Very well. We'll be deploying teams to begin setting up a perimeter around Mt. Silver in approximately two hours. We'll send your unit to relieve Unit Black Water in the morning. You and your Pokémon should be healed up by then."

 

"Understood." As Ortrune turned to leave, Andreev glanced aside. "Ma'am?" The Executive turned back to her. "I have a suggestion."

 

Ortrune gave her a look of curiosity. "Let's hear it."

 

"The Instances we fought made no effort to retrieve their fallen allies," Andreev said. "I believe it may be beneficial to our efforts against Missing Zero if we use this opportunity to collect fallen Instances for study. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to dispatch technicians for studying the evolution phenomenon."

 

"Are you sure it's safe enough for non-combat personnel to accompany our recon units?"

 

"Between the six of us in my squad, we managed to eliminate over twenty Instances and escape the trap they had set. I believe the odds are worth the risk."

 

Ortrune considered this for a moment, and then nodded. "Very well. We'll mobilize some research teams, as well."

 

 

Morning came before long. When it did, Hollow Treasure was ready, as were other units--Vibrant Hazard, Clockwork Salvage, Forest Echo, and others. They departed from Chapel, research teams in tow, breaking off from one another as they headed toward their designated stations around the new Site Zero of Kanto--Mt. Silver.

 

 

Scenario 2 - ​IC - Plasma Sage Gorm/Bronius/Ryoku/Zinzolin/Giallo/Rood; Plasma Rook Kravits/Barton/Sartore/Summers/Frei/Schroder - Council Chamber, Plasma Castle:

 

10:43 PM

 

The Sages' debate chambers were never silent, at least not when the leaders in question were present. The tall, cathedral-like chamber, with its pleasant fires burning on torches and the simple furniture that furnished the room, had been meant to encourage polite debate and discussion amongst the Six Bishops. Of late, however, their discussions had grown less and less civil, evolving from 'talks' to 'debates' to what could only be described as 'arguments.' And with three against three on each side, the gridlock had grown more and more noticeable.

 

It was to the point that, were it not for their vows, their personal guards might have been tempted to express some of their own exasperation.

 

Currently, their 'debate' centered around the ongoing crisis in the region of the Sevii Islands.

 

"We already nearly lost one of our own helping them deal with One Island," Rood was saying. "Not to mention the damage they've done previously in our region. As far as I can tell, they brought this on themselves by not dealing with Ford sooner. We have no place in this conflict."

 

"Our best move would be a return to closed walls," Giallo said, nodding aggressively. "They handled the Ancient Darkrai, did they not? Surely this is no different?"

 

"The Darkrai were a formidable threat, but they are nothing like what we are seeing now," Ryoku said, slamming his hand down. "The Ancient Darkrai could not create mockeries of nature the way this 'Missing Zero' does. It would be an affront to our ideals to refuse assistance now."

 

"Ryoku is right," Gorm said. "This threat will spread. What happens if Rocket and Liberty cannot contain it? We will be by ourselves either way. There is no harm in putting our lot in with them while we can--"

 

A blinding light shone through the windows as something streaked across the sky, narrowly missing the tower.

 

 

10:45 PM

 

The crash was enough to shake the castle at its core, sending Sages and Rooks alike to the ground. When it had settled, the chamber was a mess of falling dust and upset furniture.

 

"W-What w-was th-that?" Giallo yelped. He looked frantically around the room, making eye contact with Barton and waving her over. The Yellow Rook hurried to his side, grabbing his hand and helping him up. "A-Are we under a-attack?"

 

Kravits hurried to Gorm's side to assist him, simultaneously raising a hand to his ear and activating his radio. "Command Center, report. What is happening?"

 

A strange sensation erupted across the entire city.

 

 

10:47 PM

 

As Rood, Giallo, and Gorm were pulled to their feet by their guards, something . . . else happened in rapid succession around the room. 

 

The Green Rook, Summers, buckled as Ryoku collapsed back to the ground. He reached around the Green Sage's back to support him. "Sage Ryoku! Are you--" His words caught in his throat as the Sage slowly raised his head to look at him. Summers paled. The Sage's face had turned a sickly, grayish hue, and his eyes had clouded over. A low moan escaped his throat; a moment later, he had lunged forward in Summers's grip, teeth closing on the flesh of the Rook's face.

 

Bronius yelped in surprise as the weight of Schroder fell on him. The Brown Rook had transformed in much the same way as Ryoku. As Bronius struggled to get out from under him, Schroder twisted and pinned the Brown Sage underneath him. It seemed to take a moment for Schroder(?) to fully comprehend what was happening, but when he did, he pushed down and bit--hard--into Bronius's throat. The Sage screamed in horror and pain.

 

The Purple Rook, Frei, was not quite at Zinzolin's side when the wave hit. She fell several feet away from him, stirring a moment later and snarling, glaring out at nothing with those same, glossy eyes. As Zinzolin watched, horrified, she crawled over to the nearest target--Bronius--and joined in tearing him apart.

 

It was a lot to take in in such a short amount of time. Kravitz jumped into action, pulling out his stun baton and charging toward Bronius's assailants. The pair had done a number on him already; blood surrounded him, and it was clear that he was no longer breathing, or at least could no longer scream. With a wide, heavy swing, the Blue Rook struck Schroder, sending him rolling to the side with a series of electricity-induced convulsions. Frei reared up to snarl at him and he struck again, knocking her aside, too.

 

While Barton deployed her shield and moved to guard the remaining Sages, Sartore moved to try and save Summers. She pulled her sword free of its sheath and swung with the blunt end at Ryoku--or what had been Ryoku--in order to knock him off of the Green Rook. She was too late, however; Summers raised shaking hands to the bleeding wound on his face and the torn flesh of his neck, gasping and falling still. Tearing her eyes away, she watched Ryoku carefully and moved toward Zinzolin, pulling him up and escorting him back toward the other Sages.

 

Kravitz brandished his baton at the monstrous Brown and Purple Rooks, not daring to take his eyes off of them. "Sage Gorm, requesting clearance to eliminate hostile agents."

 

Gorm shook where he stood, unable to comprehend what he was seeing. Finally, he nodded. "P-Permission granted."

 

"Permission acknowledged." Kravitz dropped his stun baton, grabbing his rifle and taking quick aim at his targets. One, two shots slammed into each of their heads, knocking them back and downing them. They did not move.

 

As Ryoku lunged at her, Sartore instinctively moved her blade to defend herself. The sword pierced Ryoku's chest, prompting an outraged scream from Zinzolin.

 

"You were not authorized to kill a Sage!" he yelled. "Rooks Kravitz and Barton, arrest Rook Sa-"

 

Rood placed a hand on Zinzolin's shoulder. "Silence!" he spat. "Ryoku attacked one of our own. He knew the consequences of such an attack, no matter what possessed him to--"

 

"Sages!" Sartore yelled. "This . . . This is not Sage Ryoku--not anymore!"

 

It couldn't have been, no. Ryoku would have been dead from such a wound. But this creature did not die; it pushed forward, driving the blade deeper into itself, groaning not in pain, but merely to groan as it reached toward Sartore. With a quick, clean motion, the Red Rook pulled her blade free and swung, slicing through Ryoku's neck. The creature fell to the ground, motionless and bleeding.

 

The chamber fell silent.

 

It was Gorm who spoke first. "What evil has fallen upon us . . .?"

 

"I don't know," Kravitz said. He stooped down by Summers's body, hefting the ceremonial mace that the Rook had once wielded. "But . . ." He glanced toward the window. Screams and shouts reached them now, from the city and from elsewhere in the castle. "This place is no longer safe for any of us. We need to go--now."


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

 

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IC: Jamie Arthur - Geosenge Town

 

Jamie took the egg with cautious enthusiasm. She disregarded her previous instinct on which egg was which to accept the egg. While she may have told herself that there was no way she would've let anyone else take the egg, the kindness of the gesture was not lost on Jamie. Especially Belle relinquishing her claim to the egg. It took all of Jamie's focus to not start shaking lest she disturb the egg. So she didn't notice that tears had begun to well up in her eyes again.

 

"Sycamore is good," Jamie said, her focus very much on her definitely-definitely-yes-baby-brother in her arms. "As soon as we get an incubator for the egg, I will be ready to go stop some bad guys."


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IC: Rachel Brown - Streets, Black City

 

11:18 PM

 

A young woman raced through the dark streets. The city had become enveloped in a rapidly spreading panic. Screams echoed across the towering rooftops and the alleys had become a dark maze of life and death. It was this panic that spurred Rachel Brown through a sketchy neighborhood she would have avoided under normal circumstances.

A small group stumbled out of some sort of bar or club up ahead, forcing Rachel to duck into the nearest alley. In the darkness she couldn't tell if these people were zombies or simply drunks, but she didn't want to take a chance either way.

She crouched behind a dumpster and listened for approaching footsteps. Her Minccino clung to her shoulder, regarding the grimy alley in disgust. Rachel held her breath, pulling her Plasma-issued hat over her eyes in a desperate attempt to blend in with her surroundings. The Plasma uniform was not designed for camouflage, but the relative darkness was enough to keep her hidden.

That is, until her Xtransceiver rang. Cursing herself for her negligence, Rachel quickly silenced the device. She looked up to see five zombies standing at the alley entrance, each gazing at her with soulless eyes. Then as one, the horde closed in on her.

She'd heard about them from other Plasma agents, but it was the first time Rachel had seen the creatures up close. Rotting skin, mouths slightly agape, it was like they had been pulled straight out of a horror movie. Rachel found herself unable to move, her eyes drawn to the zombies' slow, arrhythmic movements as her heart pounded faster and faster.

Realizing her trainer was too terrified to run, Minccino leapt off Rachel's shoulder and smacked the nearest zombie with her tail. The undead creature stopped in its tracks and blinked in surprise before taking a swipe at the Pokémon and slamming her against the wall.

This shocked Rachel out of her trance. Running out from behind the dumpster, she met the nearest zombie with her shoulder as she scooped up Minccino in her arms. The zombie took a moment to react to this turn of events before reaching out to ensnare the Plasma agent in a bear hug.

A swift kick between the legs knocked the zombie off balance enough for Rachel to escape deeper into the alley. She had only gone a few paces before a chain link fence came into view, spanning the width of the alley.

Rachel turned around to see the zombies ambling after her. Even at their slow pace, it wouldn't take long for them to catch up. Minccino scrambled up to the top of the fence and beckoned for Rachel to follow.

"Alright," the Plasma agent whispered to herself. "I can do this." Taking a deep breath, she planted one foot in the fence and hoisted herself up. Her foot slipped and she fell to the ground, much to Minccino's dismay.

The zombies were closing in now, five pairs of hands grasping at their soon-to-be victim.

"Sawsbuck, I need your help!" Rachel hurled a Pokéball at the horde. A large deer emerged, bucked, and back-kicked the two closest zombies with enough force to send the entire group to the ground.

Before they had a chance to get up, Rachel had swung onto her Sawsbuck's back. The Season Pokémon took a running start and vaulted over the fence. Minccino hopped down onto Rachel's shoulder, and the trio took off into the night.

 

No one dared to look back.

After making sure to silence her Xtransceiver, Rachel pulled up the devices GPS function to navigate her way through the unfamiliar streets from atop Sawsbuck's back. Everywhere she looked she found more of the zombie creatures gathering while the un-zombified populace ran off in terror. The situation was getting worse by the minute.

"We have to hurry," she urged her Pokémon. "I don't know how long--"

A large window exploded next to her, sending shards of glass flying everywhere. Amidst the fragments, a body slammed into her with enough force to send her tumbling to the ground.


IC: Miles Frost - Hotel, Black City
The pulses had woken him up, but it was the fire alarm that spurred him into action. Groggy and still half-asleep, Miles Frost stepped out of his hotel room to see what was going on. Up and down the hall, the hotel's other patrons responded in a similar confusion.

The hotel's courtyard style architecture allowed each patron a view of the lobby, decorated with a pristine marble fountain of Unova's twin legendary dragons. And so when the scream pierced the air, everyone was able to see a twisted figure fall from a floor up above and strike the fountain with a resounding crack. Whoever the unfortunate victim was, everyone assumed they were dead.

That was when the victim staggered to their feet and began to walk in a slow, erratic fashion. Miles was sure he was hallucinating -- a byproduct of the stress, no doubt. A single word echoed throughout the courtyard from one of the upper floors; a word that provided a succinct yet outrageous definition for the strange phenomenon: "Zombies!"

The dam had broken. As one the hotel's hundreds of patrons flew into a mass panic. Now that the adrenaline had woken him up, Miles retreated back into his room to grab what he could before making his escape. The sounds of shattering glass reached his ears, and he saw a number of people had escaped out their windows on flying Pokémon. Shaking his head, Miles quickly pulled on the button-down shirt and suit pants he had laying out, then grabbed his briefcase.

He barely made it out the door when someone slammed into him with enough force to push him back into the hotel room. The two of them fell back on the couch and Miles's vision became obscured by a headful of long, unkempt hair and a torn nightgown. "Are . . . are you alright, ma'am?" he asked as he tried to gently push the woman off of him.

The woman gave a feeble groan in response, and when she lifted her head, Miles saw something out of a nightmare. Her eyes had sunken into their sockets, her mouth hung askew, and her teeth had grown jagged like an animal's. A discolored hand reached out and closed around his neck.

Eyes bulging, Miles rolled himself and the zombie woman off the couch. The impact of hitting the floor loosened the woman's grip enough for Miles to pull back and stare in a mixture of shock and horror. "This can't be real," he muttered.

The zombie rose to her feet and lunged at him. Miles easily dodged and tried to grab a lamp to use as a weapon, but the furnishing had been fastened to the wall. When the woman lunged a second time, Miles swung his briefcase. His heart sank as the sound of ripping leather filled the room. The woman's nails -- more akin to claws -- had torn through the briefcase like a knife through butter. Papers flew everywhere as the ruined briefcase fell to the floor.

As the woman lunged yet again, Miles ducked into the bathroom, eyes scanning the room for any potential weapon. He settled on the towel rack, a long metal beam fastened to the wall by two ends. He grabbed the shaft and pulled as hard as he could. It didn't budge.

The zombie stumbled into the bathroom, and Miles had to hop onto the counter to avoid her attack. She struck the wall with enough force to loosen the towel rack. With one last burst of strength Miles managed to yank the beam free and swung it in a wide arc. The metal connected with the woman's head, splattering the walls with blood.

He reeled back, the weapon clattering to the floor as he caught his breath. The woman lay still, slumped against the shower door in a bloodied mess. Miles closed his eyes and fought back the sickly feeling rising in his stomach.

Muffled screams reached his ears, mixed with the continuous blaring of the fire alarm. With shaking legs, Miles slowly rose to his feet. Grabbing the towel rack, he staggered out into the hallway. People ran past him in both directions -- some headed for the fire exit to the left, others to the trio of glass elevators to the right. Some tried to drag heavy suitcases along with them, others had their hands full with children. Already, Miles could see the small stairwell to his left was over capacity. Trying to get through there would be like trying to squeeze through a can of sardines.

Brandishing his weapon, Miles headed toward the elevators. At the sight of the bloody metal bar, people gave Miles a wide berth. He was on the third floor, so the elevators were jam packed with people from all of the higher floors. After what felt like an eternity, Miles managed to squeeze onto one of the lifts.

When they reached the lobby, the elevator's occupants dispersed in a mad mob, racing for safety. Unfortunately it looked like more than a few people had gotten the idea to throw the zombies over the balcony into the courtyard -- the lobby was teeming with the undead creatures. About half of the people from the elevator found themselves mauled by the horde. Miles would have been one of those unfortunate victims were it not for his trusty towel rack. He swung wildly as he made his way toward the door, and for a fleeting moment it looked like freedom was within his grasp.

Then one of the zombies tackled him from behind, sending him crashing through the enormous stained glass window. His momentum sent him crashing into a Sawsbuck, dislodging its rider. Miles lay dazed on the pavement, his towel rack clattering several feet away. A foul, acidic saliva drooled from the zombie's mouth as it leaned over him. This zombie was much larger than the woman in his hotel room, and Miles didn't have the strength to push himself free. He shut his eyes and braced himself for the inevitable end.


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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Forest Echo

 

"Don't like it," Creighton said gruffly. His rifle was in the ready position as he forged a trail through the hazardous terrain. "One civilian, sure. Plenty of combatants. Two?" He cast a quick glance back at the rest of the unit. The other three soldiers were in positions to form a diamond, their techies safely between them. Except "safe" wasn't quite the right word. "Two makes it harder to defend. Four soldiers, loose formations."

 

"Ah, don't worry too much about it," Langley replied from the back of the group as he adjusted his grip on the case he carried, moving to sling it casually over his shoulder. Creighton bristled. The man's laid-back attitude grated, and the way he hefted that case around. One would think he didn't have a multi-million dollar piece of equipment inside. "Those mooks in HT took out twenty or so of the things, and you and I alone are worth all of them." The sniper gave a casual grin. "'sides, both these techies're ladies. No complaints here."

 

"We're here to protect them, not look at them," Creighton retorted. "Do your job."

 

"Hey, how'm I supposed to protect these lovely gals without lookin'?"

 

One of the "lovely gals" looked up from her device and gave him a severe look. "Don't make me report you to the higher-ups, Langley. I looked at your records before signing onto this squad. One more strike and you'll probably face a court-martial. At the very least, you will be bumped down a rank or two. Maybe dishonorably discharged."

 

Langley paused for a moment, then shrugged. "Don't threaten me with a good time. If you knew my record and still signed on, then you know I'm good."

 

"Yes, you're good, but you run your mouth too much. You're supposed to be watching our rear."

 

"Hey, I'm--"

 

"Don't finish that," the scientist cut in coolly.

 

Langley swallowed, and the group walked in silence for a minute. Finally, he drew his pistol with his free hand and glanced over his shoulder. "Right. Watchin' the rear, Miss Shouken."

 

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

 

"So that's that, then," Jared said. "Lachina, get some rest here, then get the ferry to Ambrette. Colleen, you and Zoe should probably get some sleep, too. It'll probably take time for Serena to get hold of her flying friends to get you two to Anistar." He glanced at the Champion, who was already on her Holo Caster.

 

"The rest of us will head towards Lumiose. It'll probably be quicker if we stop at Camphrier and pick up a couple of vehicles. Lionel?"

 

"Ah dunno 'bout y'all," Belle said, "but we haven't slept in a while. We'll need at least a power nap if we're gonna go in, and Lumiose ain't all that far."

 

"If we have time," Emily replied, "we can grab a bit of sleep at Shaboneau. The message said midnight tomorrow. With a smaller group and a rush, we should have plenty of time."

 

"Sounds great." Jared nodded. "Any questions, then?"

Edited by MELON LORD

"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 (Quil, Togie, Missy)/Ray Hakuda (Byakuya, Zangetsu)/Signs Pravin/Avitus (Armaldo)/Ephraim (Rotom-H)/Sarah (Crustle)/Esther (Solrock) - Streets, Dendemille Town - Previous:

 

The first thing Ryan noticed was that the Pokémon weren't reacting to the white smoke. Other than a temporary obstruction of vision, there seemed to be no ill effects on the part of the creature battling in the street. Screams reached his ears belonging to the two or three civilians who had been caught up in the noxious cloud.

 

Pokémon weren't affected. This changed things.

 

Before Ryan had time to assess this new information, a spinning Solrock slung toward him. There was no time to react. The Meteorite Pokémon hit him square in the chest, knocking him back several feet to where Ray crouched. His heart skipped a beat as his mask buckled under the impact. The fragile piece of headwear was the only thing keeping him safe from Shift's drug. As he struggled to catch his breath, Samurott burst out of her Pokéball and swung at the Solrock before it could pinball its way over to Ray. The force of the blow knocked it off-course and straight into a nearby wall, unable to control its trajectory as precisely as it normally could.

 

"Alright, new strategy," Ryan gasped as he painfully pushed himself up and looked over at Ray. "We need to get those people somewhere safe. A few of our Pokémon might be able to carry them out of this smoke. What do you say?"

 

"How would we get to them with these people shooting at us? We might need to take these people down first." Ray pointed out, as he bit his lip. "But even that'll be tough at this point…"

 

Ray had a good point. Even with their advantage of being able to use moves, the Signs still outnumbered them, and every second they delayed meant more time the citizens of Dendemille suffered. There was no way they could end this battle quickly. Unless . . .

 

Ryan felt a cold, calculating fury well up inside his chest. "We go for their masks," he said quietly. "We don't even have to knock them off; if we damage the filtration mechanism they'll be as helpless as their own victims."

 

"It's not the best idea, but… it's honestly the only thing I can think of." Ray replied with a small frown. He raised Orihime’s Poké Ball, releasing the Togekiss into the air. “Wait for my signal, then go for the first person you see.” The Togekiss nodded and darted upward, into the sky.

 

As if on cue, Missy appeared next to Ryan, a devilish grin on her face. Ryan gave a short nod. "Do it." Without another moment's hesitation, the ghost-type shot over to the Solrock's trainer, using her tendrils to pull the gas mask off her face.

 

The effect was near-instantaneous, amplified by the sudden realization of what had happened. By the time Esther had processed that her gas mask was gone and that she was breathing in the same toxin they had unleashed on the Dendemille populace, she was already squirming on the ground, throat and eyes burning. The remaining Signs Agents called out in horror, two moving in to extract her and the other providing covering fire on Ryan and Ray again.

 

As Missy began to disappear from the scene of her attack, she made one last move: Grabbing the empty Poké Ball from Esther’s belt and directing it toward the recovering Solrock several yards away. She replaced it as she dipped down into the shadows.

 

Byakuya immediately leapt in front of Ryan and Ray to provide cover from the bullets peppering them. With the Solrock gone, Samurott grabbed one of her Seamitars and bolted toward the Crustle. Propelling herself into the air, the samurai sea lion brought her sword down on the bug's rock and cleaved it in two. Deprived of its home and shelter, the Crustle scurried into the shadows.

 

The Rotom was still struggling to comprehend its opponent being able to use moves again, and so it had no chance to dodge Quil's subsequent Rollout. The Typhlosion grabbed the oven out of the air and slammed it into the ground. Rotom tried to retaliate with heat from its own oven again, but Quil's Flamethrower outmatched it. Keeping up the heat, Quil slowly advanced. Little by little, the mechanical components of the oven started to fail. Before long, the Rotom gave a shrill screech and ejected itself from its superheated oven, its circuits fried.

 

As this was going on, the Zangoose and Armaldo continued their fight to the side of the battlefield. Zangetsu slashed out with his claws at the Armaldo, but most of the blows were parried away. With a frown, Zangetsu feinted an attack, then slashed upwards with the power of a Close Combat. Caught off guard by the sudden powered strike, the Armaldo was sent flying backwards into the truck, which knocked the wind right out of it. This allowed Zangetsu to close the distance quickly and finish the fight, knocking the bug-type out with a Metal Claw.

 

The sudden impact of Armaldo against the truck did not go unnoticed by Pravin, who instinctively ducked behind the driver door as Zangetsu came charging by. As the Zangoose slammed into the Armaldo with his attack, Pravin raised his weapon, hands shaking, at the Normal-Type. Noticing the movement, Zangetsu turned, darting out of the way and knocking Pravin to the ground with a swipe of his claw, tearing his mask off in the process.

 

Mismagius popped up from the shadows behind Avitus, who was too distracted by the prompt defeat of Armaldo to react in time. In mere seconds, the Ghost-Type had used one hand to shove his gun downward, and the other to rip the gas mask from his face. As he fell to the ground, she grabbed the Armaldo’s Poké Ball and returned the unconscious Fossil Pokémon to its container.

 

With two of the Signs taken out in such quick succession, Ray saw the opportunity before him. He whistled, signaling Orihime’s attack. The Togekiss shot out of the sky toward Sarah, one of the two remaining Signs Agents, slamming into her from above and staggering her. The Jubilee Pokémon circled back as she began to regain her balance. Sarah managed to get two shots off from her rifle before it and her gas mask were sent skidding across the pavement.

 

Echoing Orihime's attack, Togie divebombed Ephraim with a screeching war-cry. The Signs agent raised his weapon, but the Togekiss knocked the gun away before clawing at the mask with his talons. Ephraim screamed at the sight of a massive bird landing on his face. Deprived of his weapon, he resorted to using his fists. Togie flapped away, but the damage had already been done. The man gasped as white toxin seeped into the mask. The next instant he was on the ground, convulsing.

 

At the sight of its trainer's defeat, the Rotom charged towards Togie. Even without powers, the plasma ball Pokémon possessed enough latent electricity to shock the Togie. The bird squawked in surprise and flew several feet back to assess his enemy.

 

Thankfully, Quil wasn't done yet. The Typhlosion shot another burst of flame at the plasma ball. With no kitchenware armor to protect it, the Rotom gave a jolting cry before falling to the ground in defeat.

 

With the last opponent down, Missy floated up to the writhing trainers and recalled their Pokémon for them. "Serves them right," Ryan said with a cold look at the defeated Signs agents. Ignoring their terrified screams, he walked up to the back of the truck and opened it up.

 

The entire interior was taken up by a large, complex-looking machine. Knobs and dials dotted one side of the machine, while what looked like an air duct extended out to a hatch in the roof of the truck, from which the white smoke continued to spew.

 

"Samurott, we might need your expertise," Ryan said. As the sea lion walked over to them, Ray gave his friend a curious look.

 

"Is your Samurott an expert in chemical warfare machines or something?" he asked.

 

Samurott responded by drawing out her Seamitar and stabbing the machine in a random spot. Sparks flew everywhere as the display screen pulled up a warning about a critical failure. Its internal mechanisms destroyed, the machine stopped dispensing the toxin. Ryan grinned at Ray. "She's an expert in hitting stuff."

 

"Right." Ray looked back at the Signs agents. "Now what about these guys? We should probably tie them up or--"

 

He was cut off by a massive explosion on the hill to the north. The two trainers gave each other a look that told them they were thinking the same thing: the explosion was dangerously close to Vertrag's location.

 

"Those guys aren't going to be hurting anyone anytime soon," Ryan said. "Quil, melt their guns, and melt the truck tires. Then we need to check on the others."


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

 

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IC: Dahlia Seaton/Zoe Llyan/Alex Lockwood/Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton/Lucia Zyther/Klim Prizak - Cottage, Geosenge Town

"Sounds good to me." Alex stifled a yawn. "If we're not well rested we won't fight at our best."

 

"I agree," Colleen said quietly as she looked down at her sleeping sister. The aura wielder remained deep in thought.

 

"I'm sure we can find an incubator at the castle," Lucia said, smiling at Jamie's enthusiasm.

 

Dahlia nodded silently, inwardly wondering if she was really up for this. As Olivia tried to reassure her, Klim walked up to the sisters. "I can give you another quick training session in the morning if you're up for it," the former Hero of Reverse said. "We'll make sure not to overwork your powers too much. You did great tonight, by the way. Our work earlier really paid off."

 

"Thanks." The gardener forced a smile.

 

IC: Rachel Brown/Miles Frost - Streets, Black City
Rachel groaned as she picked herself up off the ground. She had rolled several feet away from Sawsbuck, who was stomping his hooves in exasperation. The deer Pokémon had backed away from the point of impact, where amidst shattered glass a zombie sat atop its flailing victim. Time seemed to slow as the man realized he couldn't escape from under the zombie and stopped struggling. For a fleeting moment Rachel considered making a run for it while the zombie was still distracted. Then before she could change her mind, she whistled sharply.

With a disgruntled snort, Sawsbuck pranced back toward the creature and jabbed it with his hooves. A sharp crack pierced the air as the zombie skidded across the pavement. It slowly rose to its feet and bared its sharp teeth at the Pokémon that had dared to interrupt it.

Rachel was ready for it. She leveled her pistol at the zombie's head and fired. Blood and brains splattered everywhere as the now headless corpse crumpled to the ground. The Plasma agent waited a few seconds before allowing herself a sigh of relief.

A scream of rage made her jump as the man she had just saved bolted to his feet, grabbed a metal bar, and began wailing on the zombie's lifeless body. "Come at me, you monster! I'll beat every last one of you freaks into a pulp!"

This went on for several seconds before Rachel cleared her throat. "I think it's dead."

The man paused long enough to observe the bloody mess of the zombie's remains. "Yep, that's two down." He looked up at his rescuer, recognizing her Plasma uniform. "Listen, ma'am, there's something really weird going on in that hotel. Like some sort of zombie convention where the cosplayers try to kill you. You might need to call for backup."

"Not just this hotel," Rachel said as she holstered her pistol and carefully approached her bucking Sawsbuck. "We've got reports of zombies popping up all over the city. Shhh, it's alright. Thank you for helping us out back there." She continued to speak in a soothing voice as she stroked the Sawsbuck's nose. The grass-type briefly pawed at the ground before nuzzling against her.

"The whole city?!" The man cried. "Great, getting out of the hotel was hard enough. Any idea what caused this?"

The sound of crunching glass drew Rachel's attention to the hotel. Several zombies had started to crawl out of the broken window. A few of them eyed the people fleeing out the revolving door, but most of the creatures were focused on Rachel and the young man. "We need to get out of here." Rachel called Sawsbuck back into his Pokéball and motioned for Minccino to hop back on her shoulder. When the man hesitated, she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him toward the nearest alley.

The first few zombies had made it out the window and started to pursue them. These creatures seemed to run faster than the ones Rachel had previously encountered, but the maze-like structure of the alleyways provided plenty of opportunities for them to lose the horde. Even so, both of them were out of breath by the time Rachel allowed them to rest.

For the first time, Rachel got a good look at the man she'd rescued. He looked to be in his mid- to late-twenties, no more than a year or two older than her. His business casual shirt remained unbuttoned over a plain undershirt, and even in the low light she could see his slacks had become stained with blood, mud, or some combination of the two. His brown eyes darted left and right, and he held his makeshift weapon, a metal pole, close to his slender frame.

"So," Rachel said as she took a seat behind a dumpster. "You got a name?"

The man slowly slid down the wall opposite her, still clutching his weapon. "Miles," he said in a quiet voice. "Miles Frost." Although he tried to hide it, Rachel could tell he was scared. And if she was being honest with herself, she was too.

"Rachel Brown," the woman answered as she stroked her Minccino's fur. "Listen, Miles. If you want to stay here, that's fine. It'll take the zombies some time to find you back here. But I've got someplace I need to be. If you want to come with me, you can't slow me down. Understand?"

Miles hugged his weapon and nodded. "I've taken out two zombies already with this towel rack. I think I can keep up."

"I hope you're not counting the one Sawsbuck helped you with," Rachel said wryly. "What Pokémon do you have? We'll need all the help we can get against those creatures."

"I don't have any."

"Excuse me?" For a second, Rachel thought she misheard. Miles gave a tired smile, as if he was used to such a reaction.

"I never needed one," he said in an almost bored tone. Rachel figured he had given this explanation countless times before. "My old man always said I should be strong enough to defend myself without help from others. That includes Pokémon."

Rachel wasn't one to judge someone else's life choices, but her expression betrayed her admonishment. Even Minccino stared at the man in disbelief.

"Yep, you Plasma chauvinists always seem to take it the hardest." Miles gave an apathetic sigh. "You act like it's some cardinal sin to not associate with Pokémon. Well, I'm perfectly happy by myself. I save a lot of money not having to buy Pokéballs, extra food, and all that other stuff. Plus my world didn't come to an end after that flash of light a few weeks ago."

His quick retribution stung her. "I didn't mean to offend you, I've just never met anyone like that before," Rachel said softly. "If you'd rather go on your own, we can part ways here."

Miles shook his head. "Like you said, we need all the help we can get. This is my first time in Black City, so I'd just get myself lost on my own."

The Plasma agent merely nodded as she pulled up the GPS on her Xtransceiver. She continued to stare at the device long after she had plotted her route. It was the best distraction from the uncomfortable silence that had formed between them.



IC - Kyle Eston (Jaeda, Ruj, Kitheus, Daiga, Lyxek)/Sonja Baron (Ares, Athena, Neith, Atum, Neptune)/Chloe Hikari (Ally)/Emmerich Coleman (Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Machamp)/Signs Helge (Furfrou, Carracosta)/Shota (Kecleon, Mienshao)/Ayoub (Quagsire, Greninja)/Maryana (Cradily, Octillery)/Jouko (Simipour, Torterra) - Streets, Dendemille Town:

“I suggest we jump it while we have surprise on our side.”

Sonja nodded. “Only question is, how do we do that?” She looked to Chloe. “Any chance you could . . . I don’t know . . . force it to stop?”

Chloe thought for a moment, but nodded after a moment and focused on the truck from the shadows. She focused on making the truck stop in any way she could - specifically by focusing on flattening the tires. With four simultaneous and loud pops, the tires were made as flat as a pancake.

With a frown, Chloe inched forward with her hand in her purse, toward the driver's side door. She held her other hand in front of her with a frown, ready for anything as Ally stalked close to her side.

The others were moving up at the same time, flanked by their various Pokémon. Simultaneously, the four Signs agents moving ahead of the truck turned at the sound of the tires popping. From her position, Chloe could see what the other three couldn’t, which was the guns rising to face them. Thinking quickly, she and Ally threw a hand forward. All four of the Signs’ rifles telekinetically snapped in half, rendering them useless.

With her focus off of the cabin, the driver within took the opportunity to flee, throwing the door open and knocking Chloe back. Helge ducked under the high-risen door, hurrying forward. “Engage!”

As the Signs scattered to several different points of cover around the street, they each tossed out several Poké Balls into the air, unleashing a series of white flashes that took form. A Kecleon, Mienshao, Carracosta, Furfrou, Greninja, Quagsire, Cradily, and Octillery materialized, ready and raring to fight.

Sonja skidded to a halt at the back of the truck, watching all of this unfold. She flashed a thumbs-up to Chloe. “Nice work,” she said. “Glad they can’t shoot at us or anything. Those are a lot more Pokémon than I was expecting, though.”

“Probably more where they came from,” Kyle said. He moved up to an alleyway near the truck, peering out, then glanced up at the sky. “If we can keep them occupied until Jaeda and the others get back, we might be able to take them out in one swing.”

“What do you mean?”

“Weaken them as much as we can, and then Jaeda and Kitheus can hit them with Electric and Flying attacks,” he said. “Most of their Pokémon are Water-Type. And their powers are still gone.”

"Sounds good to me." Chloe nodded, as she thought about something for a moment. "Ally, let's focus especially on that Quagsire then."

"That is fine by me." The Gallade said telepathically as she summoned two swords into her hands and walked forward toward the opposing Pokémon.

Sonja considered the idea. “Alright.” She nodded to Atum, and then sent out Neptune. “I’ll direct you as best as I can.” The Rhyhorn and Croconaw nodded and hurried to the front end of the truck.

“I’ll keep an eye on the passenger side,” Emmerich called, ducking behind the other end of the truck and sending his Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan out into the field. “Machamp, watch our six.”

Kyle looked back to the field, considering his options. Finally, he pulled out Lyxek’s Poké Ball, sending out the Fraxure. The Axe Jaw Pokémon looked around, somewhat confused by the situation, before setting his eyes on the enemy group. Huffing, he ran after Daiga into the fray.

The Mienshao immediately flipped over Ally, lashing out with her arm-whips to try and knock the Gallade off balance. Atum and Neptune were met by a grinning Quagsire. As the bulky water type attempted to Suplex the Rhyhorn, the Kecleon stuck its long tongue out at Neptune.

Ally tracked the Mienshao. The impact of her whips did send the Gallade stumbling a step or two, but she quickly regained her footing and swung back with a sword. The Mienshao wrapped an arm-whip around the hilt of one of the swords and yanked it from Ally's grasp before whirling around to deliver a swift kick. The Gallade reeled, then activated her newly regained psychic abilities. The blade on her free arm glowed green as she lashed out with a Psycho Cut.

The Mienshao tried to counter, but the unexpected psychic attack hit hard. Ally struck again, this time bringing her blade down on the Mienshao's head. The fighting-type was down for the count.

The Croconaw leaped forward. The Normal-Type’s tongue lashed him in the eye, causing him to grimace. He reacted quickly, however, and responded in kind with a bite . . . right on the Kecleon’s tongue.

The chameleon's eyes grew wide as it screamed in pain. Fueled with a sudden rage, it ran toward Neptune and began swiping at it with surprisingly sharp claws. Neptune garbled incoherently back at the Kecleon and responded in kind, their battle quickly devolving into a senseless cat fight of reptilian claws.

Atum, meanwhile, felt some sort of strange deja vu at his current predicament, though he could not place when this specific scenario of being flipped had occurred. Nonetheless, there was little he could do to stop himself from being rolled overtop of the Quagsire and straight into the ground. The impact left a sizeable crater in the concrete; he stumbled to his feet, doing his best to shake off the hit, and then lunged back at the Quagsire.

The Water Fish Pokémon simply grinned and met Atum head on -- literally. The headbutt was surprisingly strong, and for a moment it looked like the two Pokémon were at a stalemate. In the end the Rhyhorn's will won out, and the Quagsire stumbled back several paces. It took a moment to regain its footing, then charged back at the Rhyhorn from the side, aiming to throw its trajectory off balance.

Seeing the renewed attack from Quagsire, Atum planted himself firmly into the ground and roared. As he did so, his body glowed with a white light, and he began to transform. His morphology shifted such that he now stood on his hindlegs, and when the light faded, he towered over his opponent. The newly-evolved Rhydon spun around, slamming his heavy tail into the Water Fish Pokémon.

He would have heard Sonja’s excited shout from the sidelines if not for the battle escalating around him.

******

Emmerich's Pokémon were met with the Cradily, Octillery, and Greninja. While the Cradily tried to trip up the Hitmonlee, Octillery's eight tentacles met Machamp's four arms. That left Hitmonchan to deal with the Greninja, who leaped down from the top of the truck and struck a ninja-like pose.

Out of all of their opponents, Hitmonchan fully felt that Greninja was the easiest to respond to. Its gratuitous stance left it open to a quick crack from his left fist, striking the Ninja Pokémon with what would have been a Thunder Punch under normal circumstances, but at the moment, was just a very heavy punch to the face.

Hitmonlee kicked off of the ground as the Cradily lunged, snakelike, at his leg. With surprising precision, it managed to correct course, tracking and biting into his shin as he flipped forward. It was painful, but Hitmonlee had suffered worse injuries. He twisted and brought his other knee down into a hard strike against the back of the Barnacle Pokémon’s head.

This put the Cradily in a bit of a bind, its head now pinned by the fighting-type. Summoning its strength, the Barnacle Pokémon swung its head like a pendulum, carrying its opponent with it and slamming Hitmonlee into the ground.

Hitmonlee growled in frustration. He twisted his body, yanking his legs free, and rolled backward. After taking a moment to breathe, he dived forward and launched a kick into Cradily’s neck.

Amidst the whirlwind of tentacles grabbing and grappling his fists and arms, Machamp struggled to maintain his footing. Finally, however, he slammed his foot into the concrete, forcibly creating a foothold for himself. He pulled back against the Jet Pokémon, twisting its tentacles like rope and gripping them tightly before spinning on the spot and slamming the Water-Type first into the ground, and then, like a flail, toward Greninja.

The Greninja reeled back from Hitmonchan's punch. Narrowing its eyes, it prepared to counter with one of its many secret ninja arts. Then a flailing octopus slammed into the back of its head. Tongue met suction cup and for a brief moment the two allied Pokémon rolled on the ground struggling against each other. "Hey!" one of the Signs agents called out. "You're supposed to be on the same team!"

Octillery and Greninja pulled away from each other and traded opponents. The ninja frog leapt toward Machamp, hurling a shuriken at it with lightning speed, while the Octillery sprayed a blast of ink at the Hitmonchan.

Machamp raised an arm, aiming to block it, though ended up with a shuriken buried in his forearm. With a roar of anger, Machamp rushed forward to meet Greninja’s leap, using two of his arms to try and catch the Ninja Pokémon and a third to throw a heavy punch at it. Hitmonchan, meanwhile, raised his arms to cover his face, protecting his eyes. Octillery would be better at tanking hits than Greninja, given its body type, but nonetheless, he aimed an low-flying uppercut straight at it.

*****

Daiga found himself facing a barking Furfrou. As the vicious poodle leapt toward the Sandslash, Lyxek tried to assist but was blocked by the Carracosta. The giant turtle roared a bellowing challenge to the comparatively small dragon.

Dealing with the Furfrou was relatively simple: Daiga curled up. He couldn’t do much to actively attack, but his spiny shell would at least ensure that the Furfrou could do little to actually harm him. It would be a stalemate until it went after a different target or changed its approach.

Lyxek could not deal with the Carracosta so easily. Undeterred by its roar, the Fraxure roared in kind, matching the volume of the Prototurtle Pokémon. Then he charged, pushing with all of his might into a tackle against the larger, more heavily-armored Water-Type.

Lyxek might as well have been running into a brick wall. The Carracosta stood its ground and laughed before swatting the Fraxure away with a large flipper. The Dragon-Type rolled to a stop, righted himself and charged again, meeting the same result.

By the third time, he was grimacing from the impact of slamming into a brick wall. Kyle ducked out from his place, seeing the situation. As he started forward, however, Lyxek’s form turned white, and he began to transform, much like Atum had mere seconds ago. The Fraxure’s body elongated into a more slender form, and the blades at his mouth shifted into large axe blades. His scales grew into thick armor, which turned black as the light faded around him.

Lyxek the Haxorus pushed himself to his feet, roaring with renewed strength and leaning into a charge at the Carracosta. The momentum proved enough for his blades to sink into the armor on Carracosta’s underbelly, leaving bleeding wounds when he pulled back. The Carracosta swung at him; Lyxek ducked, then tackled the Prototurtle Pokémon to the ground. All the while, Kyle stared, stunned.

The Furfrou, meanwhile, found out the hard way that spiky balls hurt. Backing away with a growl, it considered its options.

"Hold tight, Furfrou," Helge said, producing a card from her pocket. "Shift gave us the perfect weapon for this exact situation." In one swift action the Signs agent threw down the card and stomped her foot on it.

What happened next took everyone by surprise. Helge might as well have stepped on a giant water balloon. A tidal wave of water splashed out in all directions, catching the Signs and Vorhut alike in its wake.

"What the heck was that?!" Shota sputtered, rubbing the spot where his head hit the side of the truck. "Some shoddy card that was."

“I’ll say,” said a voice from above. When he looked up, Emmerich’s foot came down on his face, knocking him to the ground, where the gas mask cracked against the pavement. It didn’t seem to matter though, as the hit had knocked Shota unconscious already. Emmerich stooped down, cuffing his hands and pulling him into an alley out of the way.

“Good, that’s one down,” Sonja said. She looked up as several shadows passed over their position. As expected, their Flying-Types were returning. She couldn’t help but smile, glancing between Kitheus and the water around the field. “Let’s take care of the rest! Everyone, return your Pokémon!”

She didn’t have to give the order twice. Acting quickly, Emmerich, Sonja, Chloe, and Kyle pulled their drenched Pokémon back, leaving several very confused opponents on the field. Kyle whistled, and in a flurry, Jaeda, Ruj, and Kitheus descended along with Ares, Neith, and Athena. The flying Pokémon struck with several pointed attacks to ground the enemy team, before Kitheus, on Kyle’s order, unleashed a Zap Cannon. The water from Helge’s card helped the attack spread, jumping from target to target and leaving an entire squad of unconscious Signs agents and their Pokémon lying in the street.

The only remaining opponent was Quagsire, but it, too, fell with a final psychic hit from Chloe that sent it crashing face-first into the nearest wall.

And just like that, the street fell silent again.

“Good work,” Emmerich said. “That could have gone a lot worse.”

“Yeah,” Kyle agreed. “I didn’t realize they would have something like that . . .”

“The water thing?” Sonja asked. Kyle nodded. “Well, let’s just keep that in mind from now on.” She looked back at the truck, which had continued to spew out the toxic cloud through the entire engagement. “Now, how do we shut this thing off?”

The group moved to the back door, which Emmerich lifted open. The machinery inside was complex; none of them could quite pick a place where they could start to dismantle it. Finally, though, Chloe raised a hand, focusing. “I think I’ve got this.” With some careful application of her telekinesis, she picked several spots on the machine. They buckled, grinding into metallic scraps.

The machine began to whine.

“We should probably get away,” Kyle said, already moving backward.

“Yep!”

They turned and ran back down the street, taking cover just as the entire truck erupted into flames with a loud, explosive bang.

Edited by Konuju

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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