“Don't take too long.” Krystal was unhappy. She knew where he was going, and it didn't impress her one bit. Roy and her, were off to ensure that boat was there at the dock. There was always boats at these docs providing fare for passengers and cargo. Krystal did not like the reason.
But she knew it had to be done. She knew he couldn't let it pass.
“The boat will be leaving soon.” Krystal was doing her best to pout. The StopAll! totally made it not work.
The boats always leave soon here. Sitting around in dock is bad for business. Especially here. The boats did not stay here long--in and out.
“I'll only be a moment.” Sepia said, lighting a cigarette.
Calar was turning him into a chain smoker.
He waited for Krystal to float away with Roy and Kane walking beside him, closing the door behind her. Building exit one. That left exit two, the special exit, the important one. The one that lead to the river, where it curved around a bit, behind Calar, into a cavern that carved a mountain apart without anyone noticed.
He took a drag and kicked the door in, the hinges buckling from years of rust and neglect, slamming the cheap wood down with a thud that echoed throughout the cavern.
“So you've come.” The smug face of the Gym Leader, Pearl, looked back at him.
She was just a kid. Just a kid, about Krystal's age. Maybe a little younger. He pressed his hand to his face, curving his fingers around, exasperated.
“We should settle this the old fashioned way.”
“Cargo of one... Why did you do it?” Sepia was controlled. His tone was even handed, careful, nothing to incite anger or violence.
“I'm Pearl, master of the Talon Gym of Calar Town.”
“WHY DID YOU DO IT?!” He screamed, the echo reverberating around the cavern louder and louder, a deafening chorus to his rage.
“I choose you, Soareon!”
The gym leader threw out her pokeball. It was a new Eevee evolution, this one flying type. A six winged, almost angel-like creature. It floated in the air, its wings beating steadily, but only for a moment.
Only a moment did it have before Sepia leapt upon it, tearing it from the sky and hurling it into the wall. It lay bloodied and crippled as he turned back to Pearl. She released everything she could. Pidgeot and Altaria and Fearow all fell to Sepia as he beat them aside.
She had nothing left. She stood before Sepia empty.
He was so close to her. His breath was on her, his anger and rage was on her, his hatred for everything he stood for was on her. He looked past her for a second – at the wall. Across the river. He knew the face that stared at him. He saw its disgust.
“You sell your own people – your friends, your family... you sell them into slavery just because you can. You sell them to those people who want something better than their friends. They don't want a pokemon, they want a person. And you helped them.” He placed his hands to her throat, pushing her forward slightly. Her feet barely clung onto the ground has he began to push her over the edge, over the divide, into the river. “Because I know what happened. One month ago, a surge of psychic energy hit this place. After all, Mt Rabata is a font of Psychic power, and this backs onto the east side of it. I don't know what you were doing, but it amplified. Struck you like a hammer. Then, suddenly, you're walking around and everyone does what you say. Everyone does whatever you want. And you start simple. You walk the people that come to stare into the river. They drown, and you laugh. You laugh and you laugh, because you're a god now. You can do whatever you like.”
Sepia's hands gripped tighter.
“And then someone offers you, as a trusted member of the town, an opportunity. And you take it. You take it without hesitation because these people are beneath you. You've always thought that, you precocious little prodigy. You've always thought that ever since you murdered your own mother in cold blood. Yes, I know what you've done. It's pretty goddamn obvious but people want to see the best in you. They really do.”
“I lost someone recently. He was a good man, and now because he died where some goddamn tree used to be, he's haunting me. And I can't tell anyone because there has to be a reason and if I say anything it might never come to be. I can never tell anyone that I stood here holding the worst person I've ever met over a cliff edge in a dank, dark cavern because he's so disgusted by it. This is the point of return for me, Pearl. It really is.”
Sepia's eyes were glaring at her with an intensity she had never seen before.
It was all she could think about. Those eyes...
“Finally!” Roy patted Sepia on the back as he got on the boat. His hand splashed a little, as a torrent of rain struck them. Sepia's suit was like a sponge. “Slavers, huh? Didn't think that happened anymore... Did you get them? Please tell me you beat the bad guys...”
“Too late.” Sepia sat down on a box. He was gripping tightly a small, round item that glinted in the artificial lighting of the S.S. Mariner.
“That's a shame. Hey, what's that?” He pointed at Sepia's hand. The hero opened it to examine it properly. It was a perfect circle with a pair of large wings in the middle.
“Gym badge. Made a stop.”
“What? You went to the gym?” Roy was surprised. He whispered a few words to someone manning the boat who had just removed the gangway.
“So why...?” Roy returned his focus. Sepia held the badge up in front of him, pausing briefly
“Because I defeated the gym leader.”
He stood up and entered the cabin.
Roy simply stood there, the rain splashing off him, colliding with other drops in mid air as they riccocheted.
Brief lives of falling droplets.
He wasn't sure there was anything that could be said.
His gaze moved to a fire in the distance. It was in the cliffside.
It looked to be about where Krystal had said the gym leader lived.