Chapter 16: The Bulba Run
We saw it, all of us, live on TV.
A rally, a protest. Some people were upset at the results of the elections, and demanded a recount. "We want Archaic back!" they chanted, waving their signs around and marching in a circle in front of town hall. Nothing unusual; these kinds of displays happened every election. Some people are just sore losers.
This time, though, things were different. The police were soon on scene, putting down the rally with extreme prejudice. This wasn't legal. The protest was peaceful; there was no justification for the police's
suppression of the protester's right to assembly.
The Pokemon Prince, our new mayor, strode out of town hall, flanked by a green-robed, black-haired woman with gray eyes and a man dressed in a similar robe, who looked like Bruno from that band - um, what was it?
Right. Unova. Thanks, Sato.
[Don't mention it.]
Anyway, the Prince cleared his throat and announced:
"Citizens, under my leadership, Bulbagarden will be the center of power and prosperity in the world once more! However, this can only happen if everyone cooperates and works with me! Dissent and slander shall not be tolerated! It is with a heavy heart, then, that I must hereby suspend the right to unsupervised public assembly! No more rallies! No more protests! As this near-riot has proved, the seeds of treason do not lie in wait. They must be crushed before they present a threat!
"As of this moment, no one is to leave Bulbagarden without the explicit permission of myself or one of my Admins, including the two standing beside me: Kayi Rowling and Matkin Breaker. A curfew will be enforced, and police are already being deployed to insure that no one breaks it. Due to the abrupt disappearance of our former police chief Gio Sanford, the Admin Koo Kee will serve as head of the force. I hope that I will not have to withhold any more 'rights' from you, citizens, but I can only bestow them upon you if you obey each town law to the letter. That will be all. Have a very pleasant day - which shouldn't be too hard in a town such as this!"
He gave an obviously fake smile. I turned off the TV and looked around the room at my friends. This was the day our search was to begin.
"We have to move fast," said Keldora. "The new curfew takes effect in two hours."
"We'll have to sneak out of town," Jay noted. "They'll never give authorization for us to search for Alison, especially since the case was closed once the Prince came into power."
Saturn nodded. "We're all prepared," he said. "Let's stop talking and hit the road already, before-"
Then the side of his house blew in.
A SWAT team armed with Gabite stood in the new entrance, ready to fight.
"We know what you're planning," one of them snarled. "Come with us and nobody has to get hurt."
"Like hell!" Feli shouted, releasing her Pokemon. "All of you, attack!" she ordered, and her Pokemon did so. The troopers were startled, but fought back with zeal before too long.
"Go!" Feli shouted. "I'll hold them off! Get out of town!"
"B-but Feli-" Aaron started to say, reaching in her direction.
"Just go, Aaron!" Feli ordered him. She forced a smile. "I'll be okay, I promise."
"But-" said Aaron, but he didn't get the chance to say any more. Dan grabbed his things, then him by his shirt collar, and dragged Aaron with us through Saturn's back door.
"How do we escape?" Kitty asked, glancing around the fenced-in backyard.
As if on cue, a large red van crashed through the fence and shrieked to a halt in front of us.
The window rolled down, exposing the bespectacled face of former Admin Satoshi Kun, with one eye covered by his hair, as it always was.
"Someone told me you'd need me here," said Sato. "I don't know why I believed them, but here I am. Hop in if you wanna get out of this place!"
We weren't exactly going to look a gift Ponyta in the mouth, so we got in, and Sato drove off.
"I haven't seen you since the Prince got elected," Uncle Saturn said. "Where have you been, Sato?"
"In hiding," the ex-Admin explained. "The Prince's goons came for the old guard the second he got made mayor. Arrested us all for 'treason' - but I got away. I managed to take Mozz's van on the way outta town hall, and outran the cops. Officially, the Archaic cabinet are all on nice, well-deserved vacations. I'm sure they're having fun in the tropical paradise of Bulbagarden Jail.
"So, why are you all leaving town?" Sato asked.
"Jabber's girlfriend Alison went missing on Christmas," Aaron said weakly. He was still shaken by the loss of Feli. "We're searching for her."
"Well, now you've got a ride to cover more ground in," said Sato.
"We'll hide in Viridian Forest tonight," said Uncle Saturn. "We'll alert the UN at the Plateau of the situation in Bulbagarden tomorrow."
"Their deliberating over what exactly to do about all this will take months," Sato pointed out.
"Then we'll use that time to look for Alison," Saturn countered.
Sato shrugged. "Whatever you want to do is fine by me. You have my - well, Mozz's - wheels."
I looked back at Bulbagarden one last time. Was looking for my girlfriend really more important than saving my hometown? I was confused. Conflicted. It would be a complicated few months, to be sure.
Feliciano Gwynn ducked behind a house as the SWAT team ran down the street behind her, chasing her.
She held her breath and remained quiet as the troopers hurried past the house. When they'd gone, she breathed a sigh of relief. She'd managed to shake them.
The door of the house creaked open and a grumpy-looking man with long brown hair poked his head out, looking at Feli, who had emerged from the shadows.
"Those jerk-offs been chasing you?" he asked her. Feli nodded her head.
"Come in, then," the man said. "I can hide you from 'em if they come back."
"Thank you," she said, entering the house.
"Name's Nelson, by the way," the man said. "Nelson Nicotra."
"This was not supposed to happen!" the Prince growled, slamming his fist on the table. "They were not meant to escape!"
"You know where they're hiding, boss?" asked Platty, one of his Admins.
"No," said the Prince, shaking his head. "It's... gotten foggy in my head about that."
"We'll find 'em sooner or later," said another Admin, Watto, while sipping a can of beer.
"Perhaps," said the Prince. "We shall see what comes to pass. I pity Jabber Wocki, though. Little does he know that every step he takes away from Bulbagarden brings him ever farther from his beloved. Isn't that right, Miss Sanford?"
The girl tied to one of the Admin chairs in some sort of twisted joke was so heavily drugged that she could only groan.
Next Time:As Jabber and company address the UN, Feli and Nelson begin a grassroots rebellion! See what happens in chapter 17: "King of All I Look Upon!"
Until next time, see ya!