Eternal Berg, BSTF, July 18th, 2009
ONE DAY LATER.
"Hello again, I'm Gabby Newssom reporting for Cyren News One. A disturbance at the opening of the George Grau Memorial Power Plant was derailed today by a terrorist attack. Armed with weaponry rather than Pokemon, the Power Plant was rocked by a series of small explosions, rendering it's services useless for another three months. President Weiss, who had only just announced the tragic passing of Former President Grau, is quoted as saying that the attack was "Monstrous, an attack on Civic pride". No antagonistic group within the Spectrum region, or indeed outside of it, has yet claimed responsibility. The Government has, however, released a series of images. The group, consisting of six males and one female, reportedly used technology developed from Pokeballs to create the explosions. Despite early reports claiming the devices inscribed with the name 'Daemon', very little has been-"
Hari turned the Television off without the remote, leaving Max smiling.
"You should have told us about those psychic powers earlier," Max said, for-once half-laughing. Polaris found it strange - things were more serious than ever, and as a result he seemed over the moon. Max, it seems, defied convention.
"Honey, I'm home!" Vermil said, bursting into the room. It was a small, cramped hotel room. The walls reeked of sterilising chemicals - he picked it as the brand of Slugma Oil-based stuff his father used. Max, Hari and Polaris all sat on the bed in the centre, having chosen to keep watch over the group's possessions. They were wanted criminals, they needed to stay as low key as possible - that meant small groups, and constant vigil. "People are still freaking over the Richtog Psychic thing. We're not top story... We're middle-of-the-Shellder. No one's really noticed."
"Richtog..." Hari said, suddenly. Max turned to him, raising an eyebrow.
"Let me guess. You're a Richtog Psychic."
"Cor-r-rect." Hari stuttered out. His impediment had gotten worse since the news broke. "B-b-but, I wasn't-t-t affec-c-c-fected."
"Every psychic ever to have visited Richtog Vale says 'He Is Returning', except you..." Vermil closed the door behind him and rested on it, placing bags of shopping on the floor. One fell and it's contents rolled out, a black roll of thread, several rolls of fabric and a small bag of strange buttons. Polaris glanced at it, this time being the one to raise an eyebrow.
"I don't think we're such vigilante's that we have to make our own clothes."
Vermil began gathering the things back up, depositing them gently into the bag. "I like to think I'm a bit of a master tailor... I'm not really, but I thought I'd make something - for Daemon, that is. For when it's all over."
Max leaned back, falling into a laid-down position on the bed. He smiled at the roof. "Good thinking. A nice pretty dress will probably be all we need to take her mind off everything."
FIVE HOURS EARLIER.
"Thank you, Lavender. I'm glad you were still here to take that call. I'm sure your replacement wouldn't have been so nice." Stoenn Spectrum was worried, his face wrinkling with stress. "It was from some friends of Krystal. It seems they're in trouble... and so is she. They're in Attara City... I'd ask you to go to them, but you're needed in Richtog Vale. I'm wiring them some money... it's about all we can do."
Lavender turned to the TV in Stoenn's Office. It was on mute, but was showing pictures of the 'Franc Fiends', as one paper had called them. "It's them, isn't it?" She asked, sullenly.
"Something is wrong, Lavender." Stoenn said, tapping a few keys on his P.C. Lavender knew he was transferring the money while they spoke. "But, more than anything, I know Krystal. She's insane, undoubtedly, but she's a genius. There's two things wrong with Franc from a genius perspective."
"And they are?"
"She left evidence... and the whole town didn't go sky-arcedamn-high." Stoenn was smiling a wicked smile. His sister was in danger, and he had a feeling that when she saved herself from it, something magical would happen.
ONE DAY EARLIER.
"I've absolutely arce-DAMN HAD IT WITH THESE ASPECTS!" A voice yelled, it's gradual incline in anger echoing through the room in the Franc Power Plant. Vermil recognised it as the Rocket, P, who had been antagonising them for so long. "This time, we're doing it RIGHT!" He said, before raising a gun and firing on the gang.
"... What?!" Polaris was the first to exclaim, noticing that - rather than being dead - he was stuck to the floor. No, not stuck, Vermil's eyes seemed to say, the two locking gazes as the entire group fell to the floor. He screamed something primal at P, who laughed it off.
"StopAll - mild strength. It'll keep your legs paralysed until we're done here. It'll only be a few minutes. Maybe 15. I don't really care." P grabbed Roymin by the flower-covered hood and Daemon by her hair, pulling them towards the exit of the room. Arcanine immediately leaped to stop him, but was rapidly stopped by another hound - a blue/purple one, with what seemed like a diamond-shaped mane-like crest on it's head, as if two horns of hair had bonded and formed it. "Meet Suicune. He'll be stopping you today. Have fun, kiddies." P walked out of sight as Suicune toppled both Arcanine and Pichu with a single paw. Vermil felt helpless staring at the scene, unable to move. He wanted to cry. He wanted to shout. He wanted to scream.
"STOP IT!" He yelled, his scream seemingly the cue for Magmar to emerge from it's Pokeball. It immediately struck Suicune in the face with a Fire Punch, sending it hurtling into the wall. It lay still, unconscious. A one-hit K.O. that no one saw coming.
"That's good," said a voice. Vermil turned his head, the only part of his body he could move, to see it's owner. It was Oak. "Let out that anger. We were worried all you had was fear... maybe our first little experiment wasn't a total waste after all." Vermil made no reply, nor did any other member of the group. The gang simply lay there, slowly regaining motion. Oak watched it all with a sadistic glee.
"You'll be a bit wobbly on your feet, but you'll make it." Oak said, pointing to the door. "I hope you like the surprise we've left out here."
The rest of the events processed like a blur to Vermil. The walls seemed to bleed into each other as he and his compatriots slowly managed to crawl their way down the hall, back to the entrance. Clear as day, Max screamed at the gang.
"It's explosives! They've rigged the building with stolen Daemon Balls!" Arcanine, rushing behind, shunted the group forward, headbutting first Max and Hari, then Polaris and Roy, and finally Vermil and Fujitsu, through the doorway, before leaping out. As they fell onto the sandy ground of Franc City, the plant exploded. Vermil, even from his prone position, could tell it was not a major explosion. But it was enough. He sluggishly turned to face the blaze. Franc's Power Plant was out of commision, and a black Rocket Helicopter was flying away at full speed. He couldn't tell what was going to happen... just that it was all staged.
There was no hope left in Franc for them. Somehow, they had to get to Attara City.
It would be the only way to correct everything.
"Stoneon! Rock Slide!" Yelled Larry, the leader of Attara Gym. It wasn't enough, however, as the pounding rocks abated when Magmar struck Larry's Rock-Eevee in it's underbelly. It wasn't a weak spot, it was simply a lucky hit. Stoneon fell and Larry sighed. "I guess that's that. You've won yourself a Fissure Badge."
Vermil took it, greedily, and relished in it. The Stoneon lay on the ground, exhausted. It's body, shaped in stony segments, seemed to heave with it's own exasperated sigh. He felt it's pain, a pain that seemed more to do with inevitability than anguish.
He thought back just one hour.
"Alright, people. We've been blacklisted, but not seriously enough to stop us moving. In three hours, we've all got to meet at the Attara TV station." Max had taken charge at the hotel. It seemed to suit him, Vermil had thought, hanging on his every word. He'd seemed cold and aloof at first, but it seemed as though it was in his nature to be so. Polaris had mentioned that he and Max were both running from different things... Max's Hero-side was giving Vermil what he thought was a clear picture as to why. "We'll set the record straight... no matter what."
Fujitsu and Roy were the first out the door. They, just like everyone else, had three hours to do whatever they wanted... because it would more-than-likely be their last chance.
Vermil sighed too, leaving the Gym feeling somewhat downbeat.