Footsteps into the room. First on metal, then on grass. Soft thudding. A simple room – a lake ringed by grass and the steel walls of the League. A soft lapping of water at the feet of Oak, waves caused by machinery.
“Well. This is a surprise.” Sepia folded his arms. “Rowan's Trees were something Old. Elm's computer was something new. Birch's Relics were something Borrowed...”
“I think my lake is pretty blue.” Oak's face held a greasy smile, tainted by the unavoidable signs of arrogance that he and everyone around him seemed to hold.
“I guess it's time to settle the score.” Sepia stepped forward, cracking his knuckles as he moved forward. “Are you ready?”
“You're not.” Came a voice. Celadon's cherubic, eight-year-old face had taken on a slightly darker tone. The light in the room seemed to warp around her, casting shadows on her face in ominous patterns.
“You okay, kid?” Wehc said, placing a hand on her shoulder. He recoiled in pain, electrocuted by some unknown force.
“Do I know you?” Oak tilted his head to one side, unsure of what was going on. “I feel like I should.”
“My name is Celadon Arkton. I am a Richtog Vale Psychic, implanted with part of a Mew in order to boost my psychic potential.”
“Arkton?” Sepia put his hand to his mouth, contemplating. “I've heard that name before.”
“My brother underwent the same procedure.”
“Oh no.” Sepia suddenly understood where he had heard the name before.
“I suffered a severe reaction, and was permanently housed in the Lystra Centre, under lock and key, constantly monitored.”
She looked away from Oak.
“My family was told I had died.”
Oak stepped forward, kneeling at the edge of the lake.
“I remember this. Three years ago...” Oak sighed, looking at his reflection, sneering at it, letting it mock him in return. “I was contracting out, running Rocket's operations within Richtog Vale as head of the Lystra Centre's security force. I oversaw the clean up.”
“You signed the order that made me die.”
Celadon stepped forward once more. Her eyes began to shine violently as her rage began to build.
“I have a score to settle.”
Oak jumped backward, tossing out his pokeballs in response. Sepia ushered for Wehc and Lavender to head to the gallery. They hurried up the stairs, Wehc turning as he did.
“You got any pokemon?” A blunt question.
“Don't need them.” Celadon replied as she began to lift herself off the ground. Her clothes fluttered as the air passed through them, around them, twisting and distorting with her movements.
“What's going on? Who is she?” Wehc asked Sepia, not quite understanding.
“She's Hari's sister.”
“This is a Three on One Battle! Oak against Celadon! Ready? Begin!” Lavender shouted, ushering Celadon to leap forward. She hurtled towards Oak's first pokemon, Venasaur, attaching herself firmly to it's flowered back. A Charizard reacted with a flamethrower, a move dodged by Celadon. She spun the Venasaur around, placing it upside down directly in the path of the attack. The creature ignited, burning the air around Celadon wildly. She waved her hand and threw it into the lake, causing it to crash loudly.
“Blastoise, retrieve it!” Oak called out, causing his large turtle pokemon to hurtle into the water. It retrieved the wounded creature easily, but upon exiting, it found itself unable to move. Celadon stepped forward, each step moving the Blastoise and Venasaur further back across the lake. She snapped her fingers, causing the pair to be caught in an aquatic cyclone, trapped by the viciously torrential water.
“Do something!” Oak shouted at the Charizard, causing it to unleash another flamethrower at the torrent. Unbroken, it instead began to burn. Sepia's eyes widened as the torrential whirlwind turned into a spinning pillar of flame, shrinking slowly. The twisted spectacle came to an end as the flames extinguished, causing the Venasaur and Blastoise to be thrown directly into a wall. It buckled, causing the pair to fall to the ground having left a large indentation in the wall.
“Venasaur and Blastoise are defeated!”
Celadon turned her attention to Charizard, the orange dragon flying around the room. Her eyes narrowed as it stopped, frozen. She began to float, moving towards the creature, slowly coming into contact with it, smiling ominously.
“Do you like this creature, Oak?”
Oak grimaced, unsure.
“I asked you a question.”
“Was it your first pokemon? Did you take care of it? Raise it right?”
“Wrong answer.” Celadon said, grinning madly.
“Well, did you succeed?”
A young girl and boy in a room with scientists.
“I can't do it.”
“I can't betray them.”
A fist, lashing out.
“It was a SIMPLE REQUEST!”
A young boy, running on energy, eyes glowing.
A young girl, the voice of reason.
“You... you're a disgrace.”
A young girl, understanding.
“How long have you been exiled from Silph?”
A scientist, unsteady.
“What-what do you...”
“How did you know?”
A young girl, throwing the door open.
“I just did.”
A room full of scientists and psychics.
“I'm not going to report you to Silph for what you've tried to do.”
A young boy and girl at the centre.
“I'm going to let my army decide your fate.”
A young boy and girl, leaving.
Celadon lay on the grass, panting, clutching her head in pain. The Charizard, battered and bruised, lay next to Oak, who was tending to it. Sepia knelt down next to Celadon.
“Can you stand?”
Wehc stood next to him.
Lavender with her arms crossed.
“What were you about to do?”
Celadon's panting began to subside.
“My... my brother... I think... Something was wrong.” She slowly stood up. “It's OK now. I think.”
“I'm guessing that connection only goes one way.” Lavender said, running a hand through her hair.
“Look, we can talk about this later. Lets press on. One last challenge.” Sepia turned to face Oak, who had already disappeared.
“Typical.” Wehc muttered, before walking to the door. He threw it open, revealing a long, winding set of stairs.
“That isn't foreboding at all. Come on.” Sepia picked Celadon up, cradling her in his arms. “You can rest now.”
Step after step.
“So, what happens now?”
“We win, we get their tech, we get back my Dialga.”
“You don't talk much about it.”
“No need to.”
Wehc and Lavender, either side, hands pushing it open.
“Here we are.”
Into the light. A figure at the centre of an arena, smiling incessantly.
“Hello again! It's time we fought, isn't it? To preserve the future of trees, and puppies, and tiny, tiny babies? Isn't it? I'm not really sure. What are you fighting for again?”
Sepia's face, blank.
“Well, I should have seen this coming, really.”