A/N: Hello, all! The following fic, Hoenn Wars (guess what happens) takes place in Instrutilius's Travelsverse. However, other than some actions from A.D. and some backstory, I doubt that fact will have any major effect on the story.
Now, the idea for Hoenn Wars predates my knowledge of the Travelsverse; it originated as an RP... that failed miserably. Twice. However, it wasn't a total loss; from that RP I have drawn three characters, Ricky Fowler, who was played by Hide In Plain Sight, and Antoinette (now with the surname LaRosa) played by Feliciano, as well my own character that has since become a Travelsverse character in full. On the note of my own character, he is referred to as Silver, and, unless otherwise noted, characters are NOT talking about GSC Silver.
The events that take place in the following fic also happen long after the events of RSE (the exact time I'd have to look up, but it's not important)
One last thing is that this may or may not be updated sporadically.
Without further ado...
Chapter One: Unrest
Ricky sat in the extravagant lounge room in his best attire; a golden Rolex watch, a custom-tailored Armani suit- with a good discount, too, because of his connections- and with an electronic cigarette between his lips. He has started smoking recently, especially when he was stressed during a mission, but had stopped. Belonging to Team Magma didn’t mean he felt a need to set fire to everything, unlike some people he knew.
He ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair, and wondered if he should have brought his sunglasses as well. He had decided against it when he was informed that the meeting would be underground.
He coughed, looking around like he had been for the past half an hour. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been nervous at all, but he felt uneasy here. He had been instructed to leave his Pokémon for the meeting- no big problem, as Ricky, while not a cruel trainer, did not cultivate especially loving relationships with his team. They trusted each other to get each other through, but Ricky was generally more focused on relationships with the women around him if he had the luxury of time. The lack of the familiar weights might have made him feel more isolated, but not alone; he was used to being alone, even in a crowd. Only recently had he found a real group of people he could trust, and even then, he could count them on one hand.
What was unnerving him the most was that he had been unprepared for the guard at the doorway to the tunnels that took his weapons. Three knives, a small handgun, garrote wire, a Tazer, and a small charge for breaking locks- he didn’t even realize he had brought them all as the guard pulled them off his person expertly. It made him realize that being a part of Team Magma for a few years began to give one feelings of paranoia. Feelings that have saved his life more than once, but still… negative, and weighing heavily on his mind when he thought about it.
For example, he knew he had checked the room eighteen times by eyesight alone. Twice, when he went to the coffee machine, he had checked every surface he could as stealthily as possible for bumps that might give away bugs, and he carefully tested the coffee before actually drinking it with a packed of “sweetener” the guard had allowed him to keep- it changed the color of a great many poisons and narcotics to a sickly green on contact. The coffee stayed black; he was still drinking it slowly.
He knew that, behind a tapestry of Mount Chimney, there was no wall, but an air vent instead. He knew that the tapestry was also a recreation, because he had owned the original, and it had been destroyed. He knew that there were three Diglett between ten and fifteen feet below ground in the general area because of the time between slight vibrations that he knew from his own Diglett, and verified with his coffee cup, watching the ripples in it. He also knew exactly why those Diglett were there; to cause havoc at a word from the man Ricky was waiting for.
A door on the far end of the room slid open. Ricky tensed, gripping the coffee cup and bringing it halfway to his mouth, ready to throw its burning contents at anyone who rushed him while he dashed for an exit, or, failing that, begin to fight off any assailants.
Maximus Millions- better known as Maxie, one of Hoenn’s most infamous men and leader of Team Magma, walked into the room alone. Ricky did not relax, though he set down his coffee. This is who he wanted to see.
“It is an honor to meet you,” Ricky said, bowing.
Maxie smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes; in fact, it gave the impression that it didn’t even reach his mouth, or that he was even attempting to give of a façade of smiling. “Ricky Fowler, is it?” he asked in a voice that could have carved the tunnel system though the mountains. “I have heard good things about you. Let’s discuss your opportunities for advancement in Team Magma.”
Antoinette lay on the beach of the small, deserted island in a bikini, sunbathing. Beside her was the diving gear that she had used to get here, along with her waterproofed Pokénav and four creatures that varied from cute to sinister to ancient to rare. Between her and the sand was a large, blue blanket with a stylized “A” that resembled a skull-and-crossbones.
Antoinette was relaxed, something that didn’t happen often. Few people knew about this island, and those that did didn’t have a reason to come. She had a day off, and was determined to have fun. She had been sunbathing for only a short time, and she was only doing it because it could be combined with resting. Shortly before, she had been swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters in the island’s lagoon, and was a bit tired from it. Soon she would have to begin heading back to Lilycove, but her fun in the water was only the beginning; Lilycove’s nightlife was plenty exiting to ensure she had an enjoyable evening.
Then a loud and rather unpleasant sound broke Antoinette’s lazy line of thinking. She quickly rolled back onto her hands and pushed off, flipping backwards and landing on her feet, scanning the surrounding area. Her Marril, Marie, perched herself on Antoinette’s shoulder, ready to protect its owner. The other three Pokémon- a Drapion, Weavile, and Kabutops- spread out as their eyes darted everywhere, searching for the source of the sound.
Then a massive, oblong object erupted from the sea, sending salty spray everywhere. It rose and rose, then fell back onto the waves. The resulting noise caused Antoinette to cover her ears. Only one man in the world made his entrance in this disruptive way.
She sighed. Archie was here, and she couldn’t do a damn thing about it. There legendary tales about the man’s incredible annoyingness, his over-acting, and the fact that he never made an entrance without his submarine, usually saying, “Hurr hurr, I have something that’s long, hard, and full of seamen.”
Archie appeared on top of the sub, a small speck to Antoinette’s vision. A red light shone next to him, though, and he was quickly being propelled across the water on the back of a shark-like creature.
“I AM THE AQUA HEAD!” he yelled. “BEWARE!”
Antoinette resisted the urge to slap him very, very hard. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kabutops and Weavile escape into the undergrowth. Traitors.
“Captain,” she said, trying to cover Archie’s title in whatever respect she could muster, “what is it?”
“Hello, Ms. LaRosa,” he said much more loudly than was needed. Antoinette, however, had long discovered it was his minimum volume. “I apologize for interrupting you on… is it your day off I’m interrupting? I can’t remember… Anyway, if it’s your day off, I’m suppose to say sorry. Anyhow, I have great news for you. Recently, one of our Sergeants was killed on a mission during an ambush that ended with only DNA in his teeth left to verify the remains.”
Antoinette glanced around as if she was looking for the hidden camera. “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t follow. When is one of our Sergeants’ deaths a good thing?...”
“Well, we decided to give you his open position, you see.” Archie thought for a moment, then decided a smile might work. Antoinette was amazed that anything could make Archie look stupider in her head, but the smile did it.
“So…” Antoinette let the syllable hang in the air.
“So… well, I don’t really know what Sergeants do,” Archie said. “Never had to work my way up, you see? I just do large-scale stuff and watch it unfold. So when you report back, ask what you’re supposed to do.”
Antoinette mentally shook her head. “Just one question, Captain. Did you come just to tell me that? Couldn’t you have just delegated it to someone to have me told when I returned?”
“Yes. Except one thing. Something that can’t be trusted through the ranks.” The change in Archie’s voice was subtle but definitely there. A cold certainty, no-nonsense, calculating, and dangerous. “We have a Magma spy. A small, small slip up let us know. I’ve been going around to the most likely suspects, and observing them. Now, I’d like you to get your Weavile and Kabutops here right now, because I need to confirm that they aren’t carrying any kind of documents, and if they get too far, they'll be intercepted and I won't be able to vouch for their safety. Later, a team is going to sweep the island for anything suspicious. You’re the only one that comes here, dearie, and you have some skeletons in your closet.”
Antoinette almost shivered at the coldness his voice radiated. “Louis… Dauphine… hurry back… Hurry back!” she yelled, frozen in place. She had a cold feeling in her gut that, whoever the spy was, Archie would personally escort them to the ninth circle of hell, the frozen hell reserved for traitors.
She also knew that she was very, very glad she had nothing to hide.
Amber inspected the fruit from the stand carefully, making sure she was spending her hard-earned money on something that was worth it. She decided that they passed muster, and handed the bills over to the stall owner as she started home, her pet Electrike at her heel.
Though she smiled to everyone, she was beginning to worry. Food was beginning to rise; rumor had it the crop wasn’t good, and with the Route 111 Desert getting noticeably bigger than it had in the past…
Deep in thought, she bumped into someone and spilled the bananas she had.
“I’m sorry!” the two said in unison. Amber looked up to see a man in his mid-thirties, a red coat, and a cane. “I’m sorry,” he apologized again, helping her up and gathering the bananas. “I’ll buy you some strawberries to make up for it, okay? Actually, here.” He took out a billfold and gave her a few bills in it. “Buy yourself something sweet, if you want, little girl.”
Amber turned bright red. ‘Little girl’? She was sixteen! So what if she was vertically challenged! She snatched the money, kicked the man in the shin, and took off. That’d teach him. Little girl. She was old enough to drive!
“Sorry about that,” Wattson said as he helped the man up. “It wasn’t your bad leg, I hope? She’s… touchy about her height. A bit infamous around here, Terror of the Shins is. She’s actually my grandniece, and much older than she looks.”
The man in the coat rubbed his leg, and grunted. “Got it,” he said. “As long as she doesn’t have a growth spurt and start hitting about a foot higher, I’ll be okay. Where were we?”
“The food crisis.”
“Oh, yes. We know that Magma and Aqua have apparently gone legit- now they’re just kind of religions slash nonprofit organizations. And we know that the desertification isn’t either of their faults.”
“Yes,” Wattson replied. “Magma has been all about beautifying the land, watching for tectonic activity, that sort of thing. Ever since Maxie served out his time they haven’t caused much trouble. Aqua, on the other hand… they’ve been a bit more zealous. Because the purification problems the water is getting, they’ve been resorting to more extreme things. Archie’s back on the wanted list, and in hiding. There have also been some questionable deaths in Magma leadership… usually followed by questionable disappearances in Aqua.”
“So what do we do?”
“We hope the crop failures are just rumors and that more aid arrives sooner.”