How to Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps
Prologue: Chrono Island
September 7th 2008
It had been a peaceful day on Five Island, until the explosion occurred.
In the middle of a calm and beautiful day, a day where the sun, sea and wind had been perfect and the islands inhabitants had been enjoying everything their lifestyle had to offer, a huge explosion tore apart the south east corner of Five Island. An orange and yellow fist rose out from a seemingly abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the town, big, bright and loud enough that everyone in the Chrono Island region saw it, and so imposing that had ships stopped at sea, wondering if the island was under attack. Within minutes, a forest fire had erupted, causing Pokemon to flee into the skies and threatening to consume every tree on the island. However, just as the town rallied and prepared to battle it, they arrived to find it had stopped; witnesses later told the police they had seen five figures leave the building, two sending out a Blastoise and a Lapras to quench the blaze. All five had disappeared though, the witnesses saying that two had jumped into the ocean while the others waited till the fire was out before flying away on their Pokemon.
Several hours later, the police were no closer to discovering who those figures were. Those in the area, made up of a few bewildered trainers and several local fishermen, had been more concerned for the safety of the wild Pokemon, and the haze coming from the flames had been difficult to get more than a vague look at the mysterious figures. The police searched through charred fields of blackened grass and scorched sticks for any clues, but eventually admitted the perpetrators would not be found anytime soon, and their attention turned towards the explosion itself.
A few months ago, the warehouse had been a massive, imposing structure, barely hidden by the surrounding forest. Everyone had known the outside well: blue-grey paint, two storeys high, red tiled roof, courtyard out front, all enclosed within a razor wire fence, yet few people had any idea what happened inside. Only a few locals worked there as cleaners and gardeners, and they told everyone about the strange, secretive and oddly dressed people who employed them, but even they knew nothing about what purpose the warehouse served. It was said it produced supplies for the Celadon Game Corner, but police had grown suspicious. Before they could investigate though, the warehouse had suddenly and without notice shut down. Locals had been stunned by the abruptness, and they spent some days speculating why it had closed, but no one ever learnt the real reason. Many kids tried investigating, but the razor wire fence made it impossible to get in, and after a while most people simply forgot about it and found something else to gossip about.
Now even those that had worked there found the warehouse unrecognizable. The front walls had collapsed, the roof had caved in, and a large crater covered most of the floor. Any sign of what had been done there had burnt up, and anything that remained intact was blackened and burnt, giving the warehouse the look of having been abandoned decades ago. Locals gathered outside and stared at the fallen building, a place that had once been the source of much curiosity and intrigue now looked sad and useless.
Detective Inspector Arthur Reynolds stood in the middle of the remains, casting his eyes across the charred rubble. He was one of the top police officers in the Sevii Islands, having worked the area for decades. His speciality was in arson cases and he had headed many investigations into suspicious fires over the years, and had been the first one called to investigate. But, as the aged detective gazed at the cracked floor, the melted roof and the fallen walls, he knew that this case would be different from all the rest.
"John!" Arthur yelled at an officer a few metres away. A young, blonde haired man rushed over quickly and eagerly, like a Growlithe returning to its trainer.
"Yes sir?" He asked chirpily. Arthur gazed down at the junior office and internally sighed: he was reminded of himself at a young age: bright eyed, cheery, ready to crack the next case. But now Arthur was nearing his fifties, with greying hair and wrinkling skin, and his joy for the job had wavered. He had seen too many horrors, especially over the past few months, and was already wondering if this case would be his last.
"I think we should wrap things up for the night. We are losing light, and we are never going to find anything turning over ash in the dark," Arthur explained.
"Shall we keep people on site to guard?" John asked.
"Err… you and Wilson can, and I'll see whose on duty to take over later," Arthur said, and John nodded and rushed off. The detective sighed and watched him go, and then gave the ruins one last look before walking stiffly back to his car.
As the inspector strolled away from this latest disaster, the ground where he had just been standing moved. Slowly, one of the floor tiles rose upwards, pushing aside ash and smaller bits of rubble. The tile fell backwards soundlessly, leaving a large square hole. Two hands followed it, gripping the sides, and slowly a figure emerged.
The man was a scientist, and his profession had seeped into his appearance: a white lab coat over a plain shirt, dark glasses, pale complexion, slicked back hair. Oddly though, the man had a fresh wound over his left eyebrow, and his coat had been burnt. The scientist hovered beside the hole for a moment, making sure the coast was clear, and then scuttled towards what had once been his private office. Only his desk remained standing, the four walls having tumbled down, while his filing cabinet appeared half melted. Dismayed, he pushed rubble off the burnt desk and retrieved his laptop from beneath. For a second, he was optimistic it could still work, but close examination showed the hard drive had melted from the heat.
"No, no, NO!" The man hissed, and he threw the useless device aside. He had not had time to back up his work before the attack had commenced, and his foes had made sure to target all of the computers in the main part of the building. Quickly gazing over the charred destruction, the scientist knew every digital copy of his work was gone, and he had to suppress the urge to scream.
Angry and helpless, the scientist ran towards the melted cabinet. Half the papers inside were burnt, but several folders appeared undamaged and a spare mobile phone had too escaped the flames. He turned it on, the ruins of his office briefly illuminated by blue light before 'GIDEON'S PHONE' appeared on the otherwise empty screen. He pocketed it, grabbed the folders, and ran back to the hole as stealthily as possible.
Once he was back through and had closed the tile, it was safe for Gideon to turn the lights on. The dim bulbs illuminated the metal bomb shelter that was now home, something he had built ages ago for situations like this, but one he had hoped he would never need to use. There was a table, with scientific equipment behind cabinet doors, an overflowing bookcase, two beds, a fridge, microwave and oven, and an outdated computer and small TV. It would be enough, for the time being, but Gideon would have been much more satisfied if he could retrieve his up to date workload.
"So, what have those cretins left me with…," he mumbled,, and flicked through the folders. He was furious that his lab, his last refuge in the entire world, had been destroyed: it was not perfect, but would have been a fine resource to start rebuilding his operation. Now it lay in ruins, just like everything else he had cherished, and he had been left with nothing of use. Gideon's scowl deepened and his fury doubled as he flicked through the folders, finding only instructions for machines that were long destroyed and plans for defunct and impossible projects, nothing that was of any help.
"USELESS!" Gideon roared, and threw the folders across the tiny room with a furious scream. Papers soared from their folders and scattered in the air, landing in a mess on the floor. Gideon didn't care, as his situation far worse than a cluttered floor, but something much louder than a piece of paper landed with an echoing plastic thud.
Surprised, Gideon turned and spotted the culprit immediately: it looked like a computer disc, held in a see through case, but the disc appeared to be glowing black and purple, the colours swirling in a way no normal disc . Gideon reached down and held it up, emptying his mind, suppressing his rage, and thinking back over the last, chaotic months… and then things fell into place.
"Operation Lavender…" He whispered. With an air of excitement, Gideon flipped through the papers, remembering now how he had scattered the project, hidden the information to prevent normal eyes uncovering it. All the instructions, all the lists of resources, all the places to go and people to find, everything was here. These were all Gideon needed to complete Giovanni's Master Plan, the real reason behind everything they had done...
It looked like things could still go to plan after all…