Posted by Eternal Berg, BSTF on April 10th, 2009
Three Weeks Earlier:
"Good Graveler, we can't let this become public." Vice-President Weiss was wiping his brow with a cloth he had picked up. It was a hot day, and the stench of death was filling the room more than he could handle.
"You don't need to worry. Our unit is top-notch. We'll cover this up before any Officers arrive. I promise." His companion was a tallish man, his face obscured by a black mask. Weiss couldn't tell from the way he composed himself just how old the man was, but it was clear that he knew what he was doing.
"Perfection is an elite unit. We've never failed once." The man laughed and picked up a small statuette on the mantlepiece he was standing next to. The fire had long since died. "You see this statue? Of a little Elekid? This is the very thing we specialise in."
"What?" Weiss asked dumbstruck, before snatching it from his hands. "You shouldn't tamper with anything non-essential."
"And where did you put that Statuette just now?" The masked man asked smugly.
"Why, it's right here..." Weiss said, opening his hand. The statue was gone.
"Discrete, so you won't even notice. That is Perfection." The masked man lifted his mask slightly and scratched his chin. Weiss could see no sign of hair - was he young, or did he shave? Was it even a he? The voice seemed crackled, almost as if the mask hid a voice modulator of some form.
"So, what do I call you then?" Weiss asked, cautiously.
"Call me... Perfection." The masked man laughed. "P for short, if you like. Still perfect either way."
"Well then, get to work. No one must know what happened here." Weiss moved over to the dead body, squatting beside it. "If the people of Cyren were to know that a Pokemon killed President George Grau, then chaos would ensue. We'd have nowhere to turn. It would be anarchy. The public would either forsake pokemon or rally to their support. That sort of political division is the last thing we need now."
"Then go. We can clean up here... and remember: You know nothing. To you, the concept that Grau could have even gone missing is something terrible. Don't let your guard down for a second, not even with your secretary." P was already beginning to shift the body.
"What's that? My secretary? Do you know something I don't about Maria?" Weiss was anxious. The concept, even if he himself had unconsciously considered it, that someone in his office could be working against him was a terrible idea.
"Just rumors. Be careful."
"Careful? What do I need to be careful about?" Weiss laughed and headed for the door.
"You're not perfect like me, you know." Both men laughed as Weiss left the room, leaving P to his grim task.
Saffy was floating. She wasn't sure how, or even if it was real, but she was floating. She wasn't sure if she was moving or simply floating in one spot - there was nothing but blackness around her. She could see her hands when she moved them in front of her, so there had to have been light. But from where? There was definitely a chill in the air - she could feel it.
She kicked her foot down, attempting to find something to stand on. To her surprise, she was successful in doing so. As her foot shot downwards, it touched a surface that seemed to shine as she stood on it. A single, bright spot where her foot was.
Almost as though a result of finding the ground, she lost her ability to fly. Perhaps it's how that Daemon girl does it, she thought as she hit the strange surface with a loud bang.
"Well, this is new..." She muttered to herself.
"Not really," A familiar voice said with an air of smugness, "In fact, I'd say it's quite familiar to you."
Saffy turned around, using her hands largely to move her since she was now lying strangely on the ground.
"What...? How can you...?" Saffy stood up the best she could, still a little shaken both by the fall and what she saw.
"Hello there, Saffron Willow. I'm you. And I'd like to have a little chat."
"It's like a mirror..." Saffy was examining the person infront of her, who seemed to be her doppleganger. "But... where's your face?"
"Oh, we'll get to that soon."
"How is she?" Willow and Nurse Joy had entered the room. Roy was staring out of the window, looking at the mist that was settling over Terrut City.
"She hasn't moved at all. Not a single twitch. It's not like any injury I've ever seen." He took a sip of his tea, wishing it was spiked.
"Something like a coma?" Willow said worried, taking the opportunity to examine Saffy's pulse.
"Not quite. She's talking." Roy threw away the empty bottle and headed for the door. "I'm going to find a vending machine. Just wait and listen. You'll see."
"I'm sure she'll be fine." Nurse Joy said, smiling.
"Yeah, me too... I just hope she-"
"Origin... Origin... Take it back... Take it all back..." Saffy began to say, murmuring.
"See?" Roy was standing in the doorway with a fresh bottle of Iced Tea. "Real helpful, isn't she?" He sat down by the window again and began to stare out of it.
"What does she-"
"She always says the same thing, Prof. Something about Origin, something about Taking it back. Whatever's going on in that mind of hers is playing havoc..." Roy took a sip and sighed, "I'm sort of an expert in that field."
"I don't think Candy Mountain is such a good idea." Vermil said, somewhat worried.
"H-h... how did we even survive?" Hari was a little concerned at the collective safety of the group. "That building was seven stories. We should be dead."
"You think something wanted us alive?" Max was rubbing his shoulder, clearly having not survived without a bump. "They didn't make it too easy, did they?"
"He doesn't get it," Said a voice, and Vermil turned to see a pokemon floating in front of him. It was purple, with a head that seemed like the strange hat of a wizard. "I'm here to help. I promise. It was me that saved you." The new arrival had a devilish grin.
"What's the matter, Vermil? You see something?" Polaris cocked his head to one side, trying to see whatever it was that had Vermil transfixed.
"It's... uh..." Vermil scratched his head in bewilderment.
"They can't see me. Only you can. That's the sad part... Am I real? I dunno. Ask yourself. The point is... you need that amulet. Why don't you ask your floating friend if she can trace a pokemon's signal on that thing she has... the rest is up to you." Almost as suddenly, the floating pokemon disappeared, leaving Vermil in a strange position.
"Uh... well... Daemon?" He turned to Daemon, who was still standing right beside him. "Can that... PDA of yours trace a signal? Like, the one a specific pokemon might give off?"
"Where are you going with this?" Daemon said, floating around him in circles. "Feeling anxious? Need a Chansey? Looking for a Jynx to stalk? I won't tell, promise." She put on a silly grin and floated over to Max, who promptly stole a few more Daemon balls from her.
"Hey, you never know," He said, wrestling them off her.
"Look, I think I know how to find the amulet." Vermil was a little hesitant to say it, but he pressed forward anyway. "You said that amulet was in the pokemon box, right? That must mean it's a pokemon. So, tell me... are there any pokemon that you've never heard of before in the immediate area?"
"Oh... smart." She pressed a few buttons on the PDA that she carried in a pocket that most were afraid to ask where it was. "Ooooh. Nope, nothing in the immediate area."
"Oh... I guess it was a waste..." Vermil hung his head, a little defeated.
"W-wait, what about in a w-wider radius?" Hari piped up.
"Okay... let me see... Okay! Found one! Yep, there's something not-quite-right in Regens Town. And alot in the Pokemon League buildings, apparently, but they're probably collecting since Samuel works there. Or, they could be mutating. Evolving! Maybe they've evolved!" Daemon's goofy grin had returned.
"Regens town, then?" Max adjusted his coat and moved onwards. "Everybody, follow me. I know the way."
"Wait, hold on..." Polaris was holding Vermil by now, who was more than a little light headed. "Houndoom knows how he's made it this long. That fight must have thrown him into something. He's bleeding profusely from both arms."
"Proffesorly?" Daemon said, half-mocking, half-serious.
"Let's g-get him to the pokemon centre. It g-gives us an excuse to check up on t-the girl, Saffy while we're t-there."
"That wasn't particularly helpful, Selma." Samuel was unimpressed. The meddlers had escaped by the stupidity of Selma Ivy.
"It's not my fault, Mister Redwood. These things happen." Ivy had managed to recover the stolen pokeballs, which had been dropped after the Eevee was startled by Ho-Oh's appearance. She replaced her sash as Samuel grabbed her arm.
"Two things. One, my name is Oak. Samuel Oak, you ungrateful Slugma. I got you those pokemon, and I'll be a Trapinch if I see them go to waste. I will have you fired the next time something like this happens. Secondly, you're being reassigned. You're being transferred to our patrols at Bee-Oh-Tee-Bee. This, unfortunately, was not my call. It's certainly not where I would have sent you... but whatever the reason, you're now there."
"Fine, whatever." Ivy, still a young girl of only 16 or 17, began playing with her hair. "I'm thinking of dying it purple. What do you think?"
"It's no matter. By the way, I've also been told that you're to change your name back." Samuel was grinning by this point.
"What? You make me go for three years as 'Selma Ivy', only to make me go by my original name?"
"What's the big deal?" Samuel was relishing in her discomfort. "It's only... Felina." He laughed and headed for the stairs.
"It makes me sound like a cat, for Skitty's sake!" She said, seething. Reassigned and forced to change her name - again. She wasn't impressed. Then again, her job paid well, and for her age that was more than enough.
One Day Later:
"There... I can see it." Max was pointing. Across the river from Terrut was a small gate to the resort town of Regens. "It's a pokemon park, sort of like the Safari Zones they have across the world. I did some part time work there once."
"It's beautiful." Daemon said, floating towards it. "Like a happy fun land without the apocalypse."
"What she means to say is, we should enjoy ourselves a little." Roy seemed to enjoying being once again part of the group. Willow hadn't left Saffy's bedside since she had heard her speak, giving Roy little reason to remain. "There's no gym here, if I recall correctly, but there is the pokemon park - PInHaDiZ or something like that. I'm heading there. I've always wanted to see it."
"I t-think I shall examine the Museum. I've heard g-good things." Hari said, somewhat driftily.
"Then, I'm going to look for the amulet. Can I have the PDA, Daemon?" Vermil said, holding out his hand.
"Sure. I can always magick up a new one." She handed it to Vermil and giggled, leaving Vermil unsure if she was joking.
"I'm going to go draw the PInHaDiZ Pokemon," Said Polaris, who then motioned for Max to follow him, as though the need for a bodyguard was still ever-present.
"Alright, let's split up guys. And enjoy yourselves." Vermil seemed happy, despite both his elbows being heavily bandaged. He continued onwards, falling behind slightly to examine his collected badges in the sunlight. Something felt like his luck was changing.
"Look. This could be interesting." P was scraping some fragments of blood from the roof.
"Is that... blood?" A strange, somewhat nerdy young man stood over him, adjusting his glasses as he spoke.
"There was a tussle. Think there's enough here to do it?" P handed his collected flakes, in a test tube, to the other man.
"We'll have to see. It's still incredibly experimental. Look at what happened to the last guy."
"Was it ever proved?" P asked, standing up from his crouched position.
"More or less. You did a pretty thorough job though." The man smiled.
"I do my best, Mister Elm."
Elm smiled and placed a cork in the test tube. "Please, call me Frank."