Eternal Berg, BSTF, June 2nd, 2009
“Sir, we've tracked them. They're heading in your direction.” A small radio crackled at the hip of Rocket Executive Simon Hastings. The man was in his late forties - ageing, but still more than capable of doing his job. He despised machines – there was no need for them. Society used pokemon – they were far more efficient and dependable than pieces of metal. He was proud of the downgrading of modern technology – Machoke in elevators, Pikachu in power plants... The world was increasingly eco-friendly, something he relished. It had not been too long since Pokemon were domesticated – by the benevolent Capsule Solutions corporation – and it was the best thing, in his opinion, to ever happen.
“I've got the defenses established. We're ready for them.”
Hastings was grinning like a madman. This was going to be fun.
“Silly little stringy man,” Daemon said scornfully, “We were having a nice conversation about trunks.” She was the first of the gang to reach Vermil, entering the Museum with a disappointed face and an almost swagger-like float. Roy, Fujitsu, Hari, Max and Polaris all follwed suit, mostly showing more enthusiasm than Daemon. Max, however, seemed somewhat disenchanted by the whole thing.
“Let's get this over with.” To Vermil, Max seemed more on-edge than usual. He was always angsty, but he seemed more so than usual.
Together, the group headed for a door that Vermil had found. It lead to stairs, descending, a spiralling staircase the reached into the depths.
“You first,” Vermil said, grinning, motioning for the joyful Max to lead the group.
“How are you doing?” A female voice called out. A worried looking man, in a brown suit, replied with simply a grunt. The building around them was worn, a brick construction that was chipping and decaying with time. It was of incredible age, the woman had thought, impossible to have truly existed.
“This is the Broken City of Miasma,” The man said, tapping at the floor as he spoke. “I know that. I know that it was founded 2000 Before Arceus. I know that it was primarily home to Pokemon, before the rise of humans. But...” His tapping became harder and harder, as if to express his inability to think properly. The woman knelt down and clasped his hand, tightly.
“I'm sorry this happened to you. I really am.” She stood up again and moved to a small bench, on which sat various items of necessity – several jugs of water, some bread, and a small bowl of cherries. “Dammit, we can't stay here much longer. Even the cherries hate this place.”
The woman turned to the man and raised an eyebrow. “What year is it?”
“1985. I know that.” He began tapping again. “But I don't know what's so important about this year...”
She sighed and began heading for the door. Her wrist began to beep, and as she raised it, she noticed it was her PokeGear.
“Aren't these things wonderful? Prototypes. Could be a decade before they're actually used, maybe more.”
“It's 16 years. It'll be sixteen years before it's commonly used.” The man once again sped up his tapping as the woman answered her phone.
“Maria, Assistant to the Defacto President Weiss Speaking.” She began nodding and speaking short, affirmative words into her wrist-phone. After a short while, she hung up and turned back to the man. “That was work. The butcher won't be back for at least a week, so we've got time. I'm going for a walk.” She turned back to the door and walked outside, as the tapping echoed behind her.
Outside, Maria's pokemon were roaming the long grass with the man's. She'd never seen them before – Amoreaf, Meoburn and Splashow – Yet they seemed to get along fine with her Abra and Growlithe.
“This is it. This is the place that the PDA says contains something unique.” Vermil was staring at the PDA intently. Right in front of the gang should be the Amulet of Agrython, but it wasn't. It couldn't be found anywhere.
“You can't find what you're looking for, child,” An older voice shouted, “Because it's not there.” The voice began to laugh, echoing through the room as Executive Hastings came into view. He stood by a control panel attached to the wall in front of the gang.
“This isn't a wall, you know.” He laughed and pressed a button. The wall began to part, like a door, revealing two shapes from inside. “We know all about Krystal Spectrum's Technological Prowess. It's something despicable, to be frank, but we also know how to counter it. You were lead here by a false signal... And now, we'll finally deal with you.” Hastings began walking out of the room, leaving the shapes to come into view. “These are Latios and Latias. We found them not so long ago, simply flying around. It's time you met them too.” Hastings left the room, allowing the two Pokemon free roam. Enraged from their captivity, the pair of Psychic Avion flew into the small room, circling around, narrowly missing the gang with every swoop. One of them perched themselves quite closely at the door, preventing their escape.
“Quickly! Into their holding cell! It's bigger, we've got an even chance there!” Max shouted, motioning for the rest of the gang to move. Only Hari refused, instead curling up in a ball, stammering to himself that it was all a dream.
“There's something in here!” Cried Roy, and the gang found that the holding cell split into a number of others, the Pokemon contained therein visible. Daemon, particularly, found herself staring at a green pokemon, floating much like herself, seemingly in a form of stasis. Even as the rest of the group called their pokemon to aid them, Daemon's gaze fixed squarely on the Pokemon. A hand suddenly pulled her aside. It was a man she had not met before, who began to point at the rest of the group. They were pitted in a terrible battle – Vermil had already been defeated, both himself and Magby were lying on the floor unconscious. Max's Eevee was unleashing a number of quick attacks, while it's owner was attempting to swat down any bird that came near it.
“Who are you?” Daemon asked, turning her head to it's side.
“I'm Cinnabar... “ Cinnabar struck a heroic pose. “... And I know exactly what to do to save you all.” Cinnabar quickly left Daemon's side and ran over to Hari, who was cowering in a corner. “I hope this works...” He muttered to himself, picking up Hari by the hand. Hari was quickly pulled to his feet, stammering out words of dissatisfaction and anger, wishing instead to simply remain where he had been.
“Hari, isn't it? No time to explain now, but I know you were at Yurgelln. I know all about you. And that's why, you have to trust me. Do you trust me?”
“N-n-n-no!” Screamed Hari, at the top of his lungs. The two psychic creatures turned and faced the noise, aiming themselves in a death-lunge towards Hari. “G-g-go away!” Hari exclaimed loudly, throwing a psychic barrier in front of him. The two birds collided with the barrier, sending them both flying to the floor.
“Now!” Shouted Roy, who motioned for everyone to leave the way they came. Max grabbed Vermil and dragged him out. Hari was the last one out, using his Telekenesis to slam the door behind them.
In the museum, the group caught their breath.
“Styx, use water gun! Wake Vermil up!” Daemon ordered her Staryu, causing it to wet Vermil so thoroughly that he had to wake up out of life-preserving necessity.
“What was that for?!” Vermil said, choking back water, as he stood up, shortly before realising what had happened. “Wait, Cin? What are you doing here?”
“I'm simply helping,” He said, once again adopting a pose. “To tell the truth... I've been working for Silph. They've funded my tours, on the proviso that I do a little investigation for them wherever I go. I was planned to do a concert here in Regens, and thus I had to check Rocket Logistics' operation here.”
Fujitsu turned to Cin and gave him a strange look. “You mean the PInHaDiZ is operated by Rocket Logistics?”
“You got it in one,” Cinnabar said, sighing, “It's not very good. Ninety percent of the pokemon in the park were locked up where you saw at some point. It's terrible. Worst of all, however, is that Rocket Logistics is just a child company.”
“What?” Vermil said, as he wrung water out of his clothes.
“Yep. Many people believe Rocket Logistics was bought from Capsule Solutions years ago... but it wasn't. The Company that bought it – Galactic International – was simply a dummy, itself owned by Capsule Solutions. That way, Capsule cleared it's name while Rocket went bad.”
“So, you're saying that the people that brought the world the domesticated pokemon is the bad guy?” Roy asked, somewhat shocked.
“Yep. People had been domesticating pokemon for years, remember? It was Capsule Solutions that simply made it easy – and acted as though they'd invented it.”
“I invented it,” Daemon said dreamily, “One millenium ago, when I was an acorn.”
“Ignore her,” Fujitsu said, producing a Pokeball from his pocket. “I hate to ask this, but... What's causing the problem, then? I mean, you work for Silph, right? You're Capsule's biggest rival. You surely must know what's wrong.”
“It's Capsule. They're reminding everyone just how important they are... And it's working. Problem is, it's working too well. People keep buying Capsule's stuff, hoarding in the hopes that their masters work out the problem. Our sales, however, have dwindled. Unless we fix the problem, we'll go under... and Capsule Solutions will have the monopoly.”
“Then we should do something!” Roy piped up.
“Exactly.” Cin smiled and turned to Vermil. “So, buddy? You up for it?”
“I think so,” Vermil said happily. “Come on gang, lets-”
“No.” Came a voice. It was Polaris, who had remained fairly quiet through the whole thing. “While you were busy finding this place, Max and Hari and Myself were talking. We were talking about how the trouble with the cult and with Rocket Logistics was stuff none of us particularly wanted anything to do with. To be honest, this is the final straw. We just want quiet lives... Right?”
Both Hari and Max nodded their heads, approvingly.
“When we get back to Terrut, we're leaving. None of us really want to deal with anyone that's willing to kill someone over a piece of jewelery. Hari suggested the three of us set something up – a studio or something. Nice, quiet, easy. This... it just isn't us. Max, sure, but even he's sick of being cautious of every shadow.”
“I'm sorry to hear that,” Said Cin, forlornly, “That's something it seems no one was expecting.”
“Then let's go. Back to Terrut,” Vermil said, sadly, “We'll part ways there... Daemon, could you keep searching for the Amulet in the mean time?”
“That's irrelevant now,” Said Cin, “We need to find some way of finding proof that Capsule Solutions is behind the defective Pokeballs.”
“Alright then. To Terrut City, where the five of us where plan our next move... and the rest will leave.”
“Please... stop it...” Said Saffy, crying. Her faceless doppleganger was now in full control, moving her around like a doll. She'd lost all free will, a prisoner within her own mind.
“Why should I?! I'm having too much fun!” Said, her copy-cat, laughing.
“I'm not having fun at all!” She said, screaming at her clone.
“Oh dear,” It said wistfully, “And I thought this was something you'd thought of so many times... all of you. So many times...”