The two hover skiffs gently landed inside the Megarig’s hangar and the heavy blast doors slowly slid shut. The two pilots unhooked themselves from the skiffs and quickly connected them to the charging and O2 supply lines.
Jessie, James, Meowth and Galahad stepped off the skiffs and casually leaned against the walls.
“Can we never do dat again?” Meowth asked.
“Where can we change out of these nasty clothes?” Jessie demanded. The dried blood on her prison outfit was starting to make her itch.
The two pilots said nothing but quickly ushered the four to their new room which happened to be an unused armory near the mess hall.
Jessie glared at the four olive green sleeping bags, which took up nearly the entire floor space of the armory. She found this insulting; why did she have to sleep in what was essentially a glorified closet? “This is our bedroom?! Pathetic,” she snapped.
The first pilot turned to her. “If you don’t like it, there’s always the utility closet near the fuel pumps,” he replied, exiting the room to change out of his flight suit. The fuel pumps in question were large and quite loud centrifugal pumps that pumped pressurized hydrogen into the Megarig’s 660 megawatt palladium-hydrogen fusion reactor.
“Erm, it’s a very cozy room,” Jessie replied with an obviously fake smile. Anything was better than sleeping next to some heavy machinery.
Galahad said nothing as he slid himself into the first sleeping bag.
Meowth was about to go to sleep when the second pilot spoke. “Meowth, we’ll need you to perform some basic maintenance on the hover skiffs,” he said.
Meowth groaned; he was very tired. “Can’t dat wait until tomorrow?” he asked with a yawn.
“You want to capture the Legends right?”
“No maintenance on the hover skiffs equals no Legends captured. Now get to work!”
Meowth sighed and headed over to the hangar with the second pilot in the lead.
Jessie looked around the armory/bedroom. She sighed; all the weapons had been removed from the armory. She was the only one there. Galahad was asleep; James was taking a shower and Meowth had been pressed into service as the mechanic for the Megarig’s fleet of hover skiffs
She stripped off her bloody clothing and tossed them in a corner and slid into her sleeping bag.
Meanwhile, Zero was inside the cramped pilot’s quarters and reading a magazine. A screen on the wall currently displayed a scene of Mt. Quena at dusk. The room itself was very bland, just metal walls painted a dull gold color with nothing else on them. A small metal chair, chained to a large metal desk sat opposite the bed, which was chained to the wall. A black blanket covered the bed. Topping off the room’s décor was a pale gold carpet.
“Zero, the fuel supplies are low,” Infi said. She appeared on the screen, causing the scene to blink out of existence.
Zero tossed the magazine aside. “Set course back to base,” he ordered.
“As you wish,” Infi replied, blinking out of existence as the mountain scene came back into view.
Zero then sat down on the metal chair and massaged his forehead when Cyrus appeared on the screen.
“Zero, Operation Tsunami is go, deploy your grunts,” he ordered.
“Sir, my airship is low on fuel,” Zero replied.
“Deploy your grunts and return to base. Cyrus out.” Cyrus’s face blinked out of existence as the mountain scene returned.
Zero looked at the chronometer on the wall: 0450 hours – 4:50 AM. “Arceus damn it,” he muttered.
He then opened the door and sat in the pilot’s chair. As he prepared to give his orders, he noticed a newspaper wedged under the console He picked the newspaper and grinned as he read the headline: Island of the Lost Pokémon Found?
Zero grinned. “Maybe the Legends are there or maybe it’s a myth but it’s worth a shot,” he muttered. He tucked the newspaper into his pocket.
“Orders, Captain Nuell?” Infi asked, her avatar emerging on the view screen to the right of the sweeping bulletproof windshield. A panoramic view of the black sea was offered. The faint lights of ships could be seen in the distance.
“Set course to the nearest refueling base and prepare the Origin Fighter for launch,” Zero ordered.
“As you wish,” Infi replied. She had previously been programmed with all the locations of friendly bases that they could land and refuel at.
Zero quickly got up and took the small ladder down to the launch bay of the Origin fighter.
As soon as the hatch at the bottom clicked shut, sirens blared around the ship along with Infi’s cool, electronic voice saying, “Alert! Prepare for action!”
Zero walked quickly through the stainless steel hallway that led to the docking bay where the Origin Fighter was located. He opened the last hatch and climbed down the ladder that led to the Origin Fighter’s cockpit.
He sealed the hatch and put on the helmet/oxygen mask and connected it to the port on the console. He felt the cool rush of oxygen flowing across his face as soon he plugged the suit in. The integrated heads-up-display flickered to life, showing the relative airspeed (about zero miles per hour – the Megarig was hovering over Altomare), altitude (10,000 feet) and the location of both hostile and friendly aircraft/pokémon.
Keeping in line with his Giratina-esque flight suit, the helmet was modeled after Giratina’s head, right down to the golden crest. The crest was no mere decoration; it was an antenna that allowed him to communicate with the AI units of the Megarig and the Origin Fighter.
As soon as he strapped himself into the pilot’s seat, a voice was heard in his radio headset.
“Captain Nuell, I have previously spoken to Infi. The fuel tanks are full and everything has been checked and double-checked,” the voice said. It was clearly not Infi’s voice for it was masculine and commanding. Not to mention it had an obvious London accent.
Suddenly, the screen next to Zero lit up with the AI’s avatar – a relatively young Chinese man with short cropped black hair and dressed in a black flight suit. A set of mirrored wraparound sunglasses covered his eyes.
“Temeraire, could you please leave me alone for a bit?” Zero asked, getting out his newspaper and examining the article.
“As you wish,” Temeraire – the Origin Fighter’s AI unit – replied, blinking out of existence.
Zero sighed as he read through the newspaper. As he did so, he thought about the AI units his ships had – Infi for the Megarig, Arkady then Temeraire for the Origin Fighter. Oddly enough, he found all of the avatars of the AI units to be undeniably attractive. Hell, he would have probably slept with Infi… if she were real and not the shipboard AI.
He had to admit, as much as Temeraire was intrusive, he was a decent navigator and an absolutely amazing gunner. Arkady – the previous AI – possessed extraordinary navigational and analytical abilities but he was designed for research vessels. Despite the fact that the Origin Fighter was clearly not intended for research, Zero purchased and installed Arkady simply because he was an older model AI and thus cheaper.
Unfortunately, Arkady also had some serious problems. For starters, he was completely incompatible with the Origin Fighter’s countermeasures, weapons and shielding system. The other flaw was that he was very independent and had problems following orders. Finally, his thick Turkish accent made it difficult for Zero to understand him.
Luckily, Zero could always override the commands of the AI unit so Arkady’s disobedience never caused serious problems. But it made using the autopilot – or for that matter, the entire ship – an absolute nightmare.
Suddenly, the screen blinked to life again and Temeraire’s avatar appeared. “Captain Nuell, do you wish to depart now?” he asked.
“Affirmative. Temeraire, initiate reactor start up sequence,” Zero said, putting the newspaper into the glove compartment. He heard the dull whine of the centrifugal pumps feeding hydrogen into the Origin Fighter’s palladium-hydrogen reactor. Granted, this one produced a mere five megawatts but it was enough to propel the fighter well past the sound barrier and still have enough to power the life support systems.
He then got up to head to the rear of the ship where the bathroom and a single bed were located while he waited for the reactor to warm up.
James had been taking a shower when the alarm went off. He wrapped a towel around his waist and dashed out of the bathroom.
Several grunts – clad in their trademark black flight suits and helmets – dashed to the hangar.
“What’s going on?” he asked. His head was spinning from the recent turn of events.
“General deployment, get your ass to the armory and then to hangar! And change into something decent!” a grunt replied. He tossed a spare flight suit to James, who quickly donned it – not caring that he had exposed himself to practically the entire crew.
Jessie had been awakened by the alarm and she had already changed into the flight suit. Granted, she spent at least a minute complaining about the alarm before she started changing.
Galahad, on the other hand was already en route to the hangar.
Soon, the grunts – twenty in total – were queued out outside the ship’s armory.
Jessie and James were the last to get weapons. Much to their dismay, the only two weapons left were two .38 caliber semiautomatic pistols.
James sighed as he cleared the pistol and started loading the two magazines that came with it. “Why do we get stuck with the shitty weapons?” he asked.
“Shut up and be happy we actually got some weapons!” Jessie snapped, clearing her pistol.
In about a minute, both of them had loaded their weapons and strapped them to the integrated hip holster on the flight suits. They also had their poké balls – Wobbuffet and Yanmega for Jessie, Carnivine and Mime Jr. for James.
Meanwhile, in the hangar, Meowth was busy changing the dead battery on a CS-135 “Dragonite” hover skiff. Unlike the smaller CS-624 “Pidgeot” skiffs – which were the entirety of the Megarig’s fleet, save for maybe two or three of the “Dragonite” skiffs – the CS-135 was intended for carrying cargo or passengers, thanks to its larger size and wider running board. Unfortunately this came at some costs: The “Pidgeot” skiffs were almost four times faster and could fly higher and for longer periods of time.
Meowth grunted as he hoisted the new battery into the skiff’s battery compartment. He was thankful that many of the skiffs had only need for minor maintenance like lubrication or cleaning the connection ports.
“Hey, can you hand me dat tube of dielectric grease?” Meowth asked.
The mechanic, who was checking the oxygen concentrator on a newer model “Pidgeot” hover skiff, tossed the tube of grease to him.
“I said hand it to me, not toss it to me!” Meowth then opened the tube and put some grease on the rubber gasket that protected the battery leads. He then connected the new battery and added a little more grease to ensure a watertight seal between the terminals and the leads. When he was done, he closed the running board of the skiff and locked it.
Suddenly, the rest of the grunts swarmed into the hangar and boarded the skiffs just as the mechanic finished lubricating the last one.
The mechanic slapped a button on the wall that opened up the blast doors, revealing a cloudy and starlit sky. The hangar was soon filled with the steady hum – soon an earsplitting shriek – of twenty hover skiffs starting up and pulling out of the hangar.
As soon as the last skiff exited the hangar, Meowth closed the blast doors.
The mechanic sat on a crate of spare hover skiff batteries. “You know, Meowth, I’m really surprised, your mechanical aptitude is amazing,” he said.
Meowth shrugged. “Well, when youse hang around Jessie and James so much, you pick up a few things. I mean, dey really love their giant mechs and those things ain’t easy to maintain,” he replied.
“In any case, out next agenda is to check the life support systems,” the mechanic replied, getting off the crate and exiting the hangar.
Meowth followed him. He desperately wanted to sleep but he doubted the crew was going to let him do so.
Just as the grunts headed off to Altomare, the silver refueling line retracted from the fuel port on top of the Origin Fighter, spraying a small jet of liquid hydrogen into the air. The heavy black power cable also retracted behind an armored shutter.
The low hum of the Origin Fighter’s quad antigravity engines starting up added to the cacophony surrounding the ship from the hover skiffs and the Megarig’s own antigravity pods.
With a dull clank, the magnetic seal connecting the Origin Fighter to the Megarig disengaged and the Origin Fighter sped off into the night sky, a sonic boom trailing in its wake.
The streets and canals of Altomare were totally deserted when the horde of Team Galactic grunts descended upon the city. They were backed up by some smaller and faster airships that had ferried them to the city. Unfortunately, the Megarig was not one of them; as soon as it disgorged its cargo of grunts, it turned around and headed back to a Team Rocket outpost in Hoenn to refuel.
Bianca and Lorenzo were asleep inside their modest but rather nice, house. A gossamer veil intended for Bianca’s upcoming wedding gently fluttered in the saline breeze that floated in from the sea behind them.
Suddenly, there was angry shouting and someone pounding at the door.
Bianca awoke with a start in her bedroom as the pounding continued. She reached for her phone and hastily dialed the police. Just as she finished calling them; she heard the front door break and faint voices. Her heart leapt into her throat, Lorenzo’s bedroom was downstairs.
Lorenzo had locked the door to his bedroom and hid in a small alcove next to the closet. He was glad that he sprung for the toughened lock and reinforced door. A mighty thud shook the door as someone kicked it.
“We know you’re in there! Come out and maybe we’ll let you go!” a voice shouted.
“Croagunk! Brick Break!” another voice shouted.
The door shuddered under the powerful blow. He looked at the door; the frame around the door was cracking.
“Again! Brick Break!”
Another powerful thud and the door peeked open a bit.
Lorenzo looked around his room for something that he could use as a weapon. The only thing he could find was a chisel left over from when he had worked on a sculpture a few days ago. He slid it into the sleeve of his pajamas.
Another powerful thud and the door tore itself from the frame. Two Galactic grunts – one with a pump-shotgun and a Croagunk and the other with a 9 mm pistol and a Golbat – entered.
The first grunt swept around the room with the tactical light on his shotgun while his Croagunk searched the closet. The Croakgunk spotted Lorenzo and dragged him out from his hiding place.
The second grunt aimed his pistol at Lorenzo. The bright light from the flashlight mounted on the pistol caused him to recoil a bit. “Well, well, if it isn’t the famous sculptor, Lorenzo Vongole,” he said coldly.
“What do you want?” Lorenzo replied bitterly.
“Where are the other Legends?”
“I don’t know!”
The grunt pistol-whipped Lorenzo, cutting his head and knocking him down. “Wrong answer,” he said.
Lorenzo held his hand to the deep gash on his head. “I don’t know!”
The grunt pistol-whipped him again, leaving another deep gash on his head. “One more chance,” he said coldly.
“I said I don’t know!” Lorenzo screamed as blood poured down his face from the two head wounds.
The grunt pulled out Bianca’s veil from his pocket. “Your daughter’s veil? Tell me where the Legends are and I’ll tell you where Bianca is,” he said with a chuckle.
“What have you done with her!?” Lorenzo shouted as anger, adrenaline and dread surged through his veins. He then charged the grunt with speed shocking for someone as old as he was.
The grunt panicked and fired his pistol and missed, shattering the lamp. Suddenly, he saw the flash of steel from Lorenzo’s sleeve. “Shoot him! He’s got a knife!” he shouted. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his chest. He gasped in horror as he looked down; Lorenzo had lodged the razor sharp chisel up to the handle in his chest. He coughed up some blood and collapsed to the floor. He soon became unconscious as pain and shock set in.
The second grunt was busy ransacking the closet for valuables to keep. By the time he had got out the closet, Lorenzo had already stabbed the grunt and was making a break for it.
“Croagunk! Kill him!” the grunt ordered.
Croagunk leapt up into the air and delivered a punishing blow to the back of Lorenzo’s head that killed him instantly.
Two more grunts broke into Bianca’s bedroom. They held her at gunpoint while their Croagunk ransacked her room.
“Tell us where the Legends are!” the first grunt demanded, jabbing the muzzle of her rifle into Bianca’s gut.
Bianca flinched but said nothing.
“Well then, we’ll try another method. And I could always use some enjoyment,” the second grunt said, holstering his pistol.
He tossed Bianca on her bed and straddled her.
Bianca gasped. Her worst nightmare was about to come true. “No! Someone! Help!” she screamed.
The grunt clamped a hand over her mouth. “No one’s coming. Scream all you-argh!”
He suddenly leapt off of the bed as he realized that he had been careless in gagging Bianca and that carelessness cost him his finger. And it was the finger he used most – the middle one.
Bianca took this opportunity to try and bolt from the room but the first grunt killed her with a perfect headshot, spattering the window next to her bed with her brains and blood.
It was the same story around Altomare. Private citizens were being accosted and usually killed or beaten for refusing to provide whereabouts of the locations of the Legendaries.
Luckily, the Altomare police department was able to respond to some cases rather quickly. On the downside, they were stretched well beyond the breaking point. In fact, the grunts even engaged in shootouts/pokémon battles with the police all across the city.
Jessie, James, a Galactic grunt and their pokémon were shooting it out with some Altomare police officers in the main square.
James deployed his Carnivine, which immediately proceeded to try and bite him – in spite of the gunshots echoing around. He and the grunts were taking cover behind the Lati statue.
“Carnivine! Bullet Seed!” James shouted. He massaged the sore spot on his arm from where he had been bitten a few weeks ago.
Carnivine fired a volley of brilliant yellow orbs at the attacking Officer Jennies. Fortunately, for them, Carnivine was a bit flustered by the gunshots so the orbs mostly struck the surrounding area, throwing bits of rock into the air. The officers in turn, retaliated with a burst of shotgun and 9 mm rounds. Carnivine suddenly panicked and reentered his poké ball.
One of the officers took a .38 round to the chest as she was reloading her shotgun, courtesy of Jessie but the combination of body armor and adrenaline let her continue reloading and fatally shoot the Galactic grunt’s Golbat, which had already killed one of her officers with an Air Cutter.
Yanmega – in contrast to Carnivine – seemed to be enjoying the battle. She flapped her wings, sending a blue wave of concussive force at the attacking officers. The shockwave cracked the stone façade of the fountain that the officers were using for cover but the officers were unharmed. A load of buckshot tore off one of her wings, forcing her to land; Jessie quickly recalled her moments just before a shotgun blast struck where Yanmega lay. In retaliation, James shot the offending officer square in the head, killing her instantly.
Suddenly, Galahad leapt from the rooftop behind the officers with his green psionic sword at the ready. He ran one officer through, the energized blade easily piercing her soft armor vest. Just as the other officer turned, he swung, only for the blade to catch on her shotgun. He just barely missed having his head taken off by a point blank shotgun blast. He fired off a Psycho Cut at the officer’s head, cutting it in half. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his legs. He looked down and noticed that a Growlithe had sunk its teeth into his legs. Another one was barking at him to surrender.
“So it’s a battle you want?” he sneered in Galladesian.
“Give up!” the Growlithe demanded in Growlithede. This one was apparently male
Galahad laughed. “You wish,” he said coldly. Suddenly, he felt like one of his legs had caught fire. He swore profusely – in Galladesian and English – as he looked down and noticed that the Growlithe had used Fire Fang.
“You Arceus-damned fuck!” he screamed, trying to stab the offending Growlithe, who easily dodged it and went in for another physical take down. This time, he was prepared; just as the Growlithe leapt at him; he swung his sword down, instantly bisecting the hapless Growlithe and letting the two halves fall to his sides.
The surviving Growlithe hit him with a Flamethrower, which he dodged by jumping onto a balcony. A single Psycho Cut missed the Growlithe’s head but a Flamethrower fired in retaliation grazed his head, lightly burning him. He then leapt down at the Growlithe, his elbow blades glowing. Growlithe easily dodged and sent a torrent of fire at him, which was easily dodged. Galahad then tossed a veritable storm of Psycho Cut attacks at Growlithe. The first green blade struck the Growlithe on the leg, rendering him immobile. The rest of the crescent energy blades reduced him to a bloody paste.
Just as Galahad killed the Growlithe, Jessie and James had killed the two remaining officers but not before the grunt took a shotgun blast to the head causing James to vomit when he realized that he had been splattered with fragments of brain and skull.
Meanwhile, Galactic grunts swarmed the hotel where James, Palkia and the others were staying.
The receptionist at the desk hit the panic button but one of the grunts shot him multiple times. Not surprisingly, the killer helped herself to the cash in the till. Her Toxicroak rolled its eyes.
Several of the grunts were charging up the stairs and into the elevators.
Cynthia and her Garchomp were finally asleep – in the same bed. Suddenly, there was the sound of someone hitting the door, which woke Garchomp up.
She gently prodded Cynthia. “Dear, someone’s trying to get in,” she said.
Cynthia yawned. “Fans?” she asked.
“Open the door or we’ll fucking kill you!” the voice demanded.
Garchomp shook her head. “No,” she replied.
Cynthia got out of bed and turned the lights on. She was about to put some clothes on when the door came down, revealing a grunt with a 9 mm submachine gun and a Toxicroak.
“Croagunk, deal with the Garchomp. I’ll deal with the hottie,” he said.
Cynthia smirked. She knew what was going to happen and how she was going to turn the tables on him. “Come get some,” she purred in a surprisingly sultry voice.
The grunt practically salivated as he advanced on her. He ignored the sound of breaking glass as Garchomp tossed Toxicroak into a full length mirror.
Cynthia winked at him. “Come on, you know you want it,” she said, climbing onto the bed.
The grunt carelessly placed his submachine gun on the nightstand and started stripping off his clothes. When he was fully naked, he straddled Cynthia.
“Kiss me,” Cynthia commanded. Her voice suddenly changed from alluring to demanding.
The grunt was shocked at the sudden change in demeanor, yet something forced him to bend closer to the Sinnoh champion.
He then placed his lips on Cynthia’s mouth and slid his tongue into her mouth.
Cynthia, taking advantage of the distraction, grabbed his genitals and pulled as hard as she could, at the same time, she clamped her jaws shut, biting off the man’s tongue.
The grunt practically shot into the ceiling from the sheer amount of pain he had experienced. He then fell over on the floor clutching his injured manhood and crying in agony as blood streamed from his mouth.
Cynthia chuckled and spat out the bitten-off tongue. “I never said I would be gentle,” she said coldly.
She then kicked the grunt in the throat as hard as possible. She listened to the gurgling sounds of the dying Galactic grunt.
The last grunt grabbed her from behind but she simply tossed him over her shoulder, slamming him into the ground. The grunt got back up and approached her again. Cynthia smirked and waited for him to make the first move. The grunt threw a clumsy right hook, which she easily countered by grabbing his arm and practically piledriving him. This time, he stayed down.
Garchomp flashed Cynthia a “thumbs-up” gesture. “Nice Vital Throw or was that a Seismic Toss?” she said, whipping the hapless Croagunk, who was now literally kissing her feet.
“So now what?” Cynthia asked.
Garchomp grabbed her brown fedora hanging from the closet doorknob and donned it. Despite not actually having fingers, she could manipulate things surprisingly well with just her two hand-claws. “Help the others,” she said.
Cynthia chuckled a bit. “You really like that hat, don’t you?” she said.
Garchomp nodded. “It goes well with my whip. Like that Montana Jack guy. Speaking of which, you’d look hot as a Garchomp,” she replied, flicking the whip at the Toxicroak one last time before she plunged a claw into its skull, killing it instantly.
“Indiana Jones. And look, I want to cosplay as a Garchomp as much as you do but those top-of-the-line costumes cost more than my house!”
The costumes that Cynthia was referring to were the 2021 series costumes made by Zekurom Industries. They were highly sophisticated pieces of equipment that essentially turned the wearer into a pokémon – they could eat, drink, walk, or even sleep in the costume. But the best feature was that they use and learn attacks as if they were actually that pokémon and that included full compatibility with technical machines – despite the fact that Silph Co. expressly warned about using their TMs in such a manner. Owning to the amount of technology (especially the miniaturized palladium-hydrogen fusion reactor – usually used aboard research vessels where high output was needed but space was at a premium) and labor required for each costume, they were exceedingly expensive. Consequently, most of them were owned by companies that would rent them out to paying customers. They were also popular in so-called “poké domes” where customers would pay good cash for the chance to enter a pokémon battle or a contest – as themselves. Some more hardcore (or rich) customers would spend a week or so as a pokémon, complete with a “trainer”. And of course, like any other technology, it has been put to…unclean uses, although Zekurom Industries officially denies such uses.
Not to mention, the attacks were actually as lethal as the real thing so licensing was an issue.
Garchomp sighed. “Let’s just go save the others,” she said, heading out of the room. Cynthia took a moment to put some clothes on before she followed.
Meanwhile, in Lugia and Palkia’s room, Palkia had been awakened by profanities and the occasional gunshots that echoed through the hotel. Lugia slept through it all, not surprisingly.
Suddenly, a heavy impact shook the door.
Palkia then squeezed himself into the wardrobe and telekinetically closed the door. Two heavy thuds echoed through the room – one from something striking the door and the other from the door falling off its hinges.
Lugia was dreaming about how much he wanted Dialga’s steely body when he heard the door fall off its hinges and shouting and occasional gunshots in the hallways.
He blinked his eyes as the lights in his room turned on. He suddenly noticed that he was staring down the barrel of a bazooka. Two more grunts were ransacking the room.
The shock of a large caliber weapon inches from his face caused Lugia to flood his already soaked diaper. To his horror, the diaper leaked, causing him to whimper and squirm in a manner most unbefitting of a Legendary. To further add to the humiliation, the bazooka-wielding grunt fired only moments later, catching him between two swirling energy rings tethered to the bazooka. The two grunts wrestled with the energy cage until they got it on the floor.
“What’s going on?” Lugia demanded. He would not let these thugs know that they made him lose control of his bladder. But the fact that he was trying to cover himself with the blanket said otherwise.
“Hey, get that blanket out!” the bazooka toting grunt demanded.
One of the grunts used an insulated metal hook to pull the blanket away. Lugia tried to pull the blanket back but the energy cage sapped his strength. The grunt tossed the blanket aside and turned back to Lugia. He suddenly burst out laughing.
“Arceus-damn it, what is so funny!?” the bazooka toting grunt demanded, placing the bazooka/power source on the ground and turning to face the captive Lugia. As soon as he saw it, he too burst out laughing.
Soon, all three grunts were laughing themselves silly at sight of Lugia in a drenched and very saggy diaper – complete with “cute” gracidea flower designs. They were laughing so hard that they could not even hold their weapons properly, let alone use them.
Unfortunately, Lugia was paralyzed by the embarrassment of being caught in a used diaper – and the energy cage. He tried to cover himself with his hands but his body refused to obey, so all he could do while he was exposed was blush furiously. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of pink and white burst from the wardrobe.
Suddenly, one grunt’s head rolled against the nightstand, seven feet away lay his decapitated body. The second grunt was bisected and the third grunt was still alive but his entrails were hanging out of a large gash on his stomach.
There was a crackling sound as Palkia hit the energy cage with his Spacial Rend sword. Two more blows and the energy rings snapped, allowing Lugia to tumble to the ground. Thankfully, his diaper did not burst from the fall; he shuddered at the last time that happened; who knew Jirachi could swear like Shaymin?
Palkia turned to Lugia. “We’d better see if James is okay,” he said. He then offhandedly “threw” his sword, cutting the eviscerated but still living grunt in two. The glowing pink blade lodged itself in the wall for a moment before it disappeared and reappeared in his hands.
“Can’t I clean up first?” Lugia whined as he got back to his feet. As much as he did not mind wearing diapers – hell, he actually started to enjoy wearing them – he hated using them.
“No time!” Palkia then tossed Lugia a towel hanging from the closet doorknob, which he wrapped around his waist. Palkia then fetched the messenger bags and tossed them over his shoulder.
Palkia must want me to suffer. Why else would he take my bag and its changing supplies? Lugia thought.
“Come on you leaky Legendary!” Palkia shouted.
“Don’t call me that!” Lugia shouted. Yeah. Palkia wants me to suffer, he thought. He then headed out of the room, his wet diaper clinging uncomfortably to his nether regions. He hoped he could change soon; he hated getting diaper rash.
Meanwhile, Reshiram and the drummer of Black Yin, White Yang were asleep in their rooms when three grunts and their pokémon broke in. Zekrom, who was sitting in the recliner with a beer in hand and with feet resting on a case of twenty four bottles, was surrounded by at least seven discarded beer bottles. Zekrom belched loudly as another bottle was drained.
Suddenly, the grunts burst in and started shouting. Zekrom threw the beer bottle in hand at the grunt, knocking him out. The other grunts turned to Zekrom and fired. The small caliber bullets merely pinged off Zekrom’s armored hands and a bright blue flash filled the room as one of the grunts was instantly killed by a Thunderbolt attack. A single gunshot was heard and the sole living grunt looked down at her chest to see a gaping exit wound. Two more gunshots and two more gaping holes appeared in her chest. She collapsed in a pool of her own blood, revealing the shooter: the drummer, who was sitting up in bed with a Veekun Arms Close Combat .45 semiautomatic pistol in hand.
“Everyone okay?” he asked, grabbing his backpack but keeping his pistol out. He was completely naked but Reshiram and Zekrom paid him no heed.
Reshiram and Zekrom nodded as they grabbed their luggage and headed out the door with the drummer behind them – after he had put on some clothes.
James, Quartzon, Wukong and Ferrum were inside their room. Their room was in horrible shape with puddles of water, spent cartridge casings and blood all over the floor. The bed and couch were reduced to soaking wet piles of burnt wood. The window next to the bed had been smashed – apparently by the nightstand. The TV, the full length mirror and a grunt each had one of James’s E-tools lodged in them. The bathroom door had been torn off its hinges, revealing the ravaged bathroom. The mirror was shattered, the sink’s smashed taps were dripping water on the floor and dead grunt lay headfirst in the smashed toilet.
The minifridge in the living area was on top of another dead grunt. The last grunt lay in two neat pieces by the closet door – also in two pieces – courtesy of Quartzon’s Aqua Laser attack (a very lethal and competition banned variant of Water Gun). Another decapitated grunt lay in a pool of blood near the recliner, which had three very deep gashes in the upholstery. Finally, bullet holes were scattered all over the room.
“I guess we survived,” Quartzon said. She was still shaking from the battle.
James said nothing as he tried to catch his breath and control his trembling hands. The E-tool he was holding in a death grip still had bits of Toxicroak brain on its head. A nearly headless Toxicroak carcass was at his feet.
Ferrum preened himself, trying to get as much blood and upholstery off his steely feathers as possible. He made a mental note to have James buff out the scuffs and dents from where the grunts’ bullets had struck him. “Where are Palkia and Lugia?” he asked.
Wukong retrieved James’s E-tools and handed them back to him. James wiped the E-tool that had been lodged in the grunt on a scrap of ruined blanket. He placed the other E-tools back into his messenger bag.
“We should look for the two,” James said, heart pounding and hand still wrapped around the E-tool with bits of Toxicroak on it.
“No need,” Palkia said, entering the room with his Spacial Rend sword at the ready. Lugia entered moments after him.
“Good, let’s get out of here.”
James returned Quartzon and Ferrum and followed Palkia down the halls.
When they got into the completely totaled lobby, they literally ran into Cynthia and Garchomp.
“Pardon me,” Cynthia said, picking herself up and dusting off her black jacket.
Garchomp eyed Lugia’s towel and wondered what he had to hide. She decided to keep it to herself and readjust her fedora.
“Is there a problem?” Lugia asked when he noticed Garchomp staring at his towel.
“Nothing,” Garchomp replied, averting her gaze and sitting on an overturned couch.
James said nothing but sat on a chair – or what was left of it. “So what’s our next move?” he asked.
“Get the fuck out of here?” Palkia suggested. He had “sheathed” his sword when he sat down on the dusty floor.
Zekrom, Reshiram and the drummer emerged from the nearby stairwell. Compared to the completely trashed lobby and the somewhat ragged appearances of Cynthia and everyone else in the room, they looked positively immaculate. Well, except for the fact that Zekrom smelled like stale beer.
“Hey, this all the survivors?” the drummer asked, keeping his pistol at the ready but lowered.
Palkia, not trusting this man, ”drew” his Spacial Rend sword, the pink energy blade flaring to life with the hiss and crackle of ionized air. “Who wants to know?” he asked.
“Arceus-damn it! I thought you’d all recognize me, Johnny Mac, the drummer of Black Yin, White Yang!” the man said, exasperation audible in his voice. He holstered his pistol and looked around. “Since it looks like we’re in this together, let’s introduce ourselves,” he said.
“Uh sorry, Johnny Mac, I didn’t recognize you with a shirt on. But I’m Palkia. The pokémon next to me is Lugia. The guy with the Infernape – named Wukong – is James Elison. And-”
“Hold off on intros for now,” Garchomp replied, cutting Palkia off. “We need to get out of here, now!”
Johnny Mac’s jaw dropped as he stared at her in shock. “Wait, what?” he asked. “A talking Garchomp? With a Spanish accent? Wearing a brown fedora and carrying a whip!? But my last gracidea joint was twelve hours ago!”
Garchomp rolled her eyes. “Yes, I talk, thanks to Cynthia’s lessons. But we need to get out!”
Johnny Mac facepalmed.
“Dude, cover up,” Lugia said. He was obviously referring to Reshiram.
Reshiram said something in Isshuese.
“Lugia!” Palkia shouted. He was mortified that Lugia would say something like that.
“What?” Lugia countered. “I don’t want to have to constantly see a feather-cock!”
Reshiram, evidently offended, went up to Lugia, grabbed his towel and swiftly pulled it off. Zekrom facepalmed at Reshiram’s inappropriate conduct.
Lugia turned bright red and tried to cover himself with a cushion he snatched from the ruined sofa but it was too late. Everyone had gotten an eyeful of “diaper Lugia”.
James facepalmed but at the same time he tried very hard not to burst out laughing. He reminded himself that what Lugia did was not his business. Cynthia, Garchomp, Reshiram, Zekrom and Johnny Mac were laughing hysterically. Palkia was trying to keep a neutral expression.
Lugia glowered at everyone. “Stop laughing!” he demanded. He then telekinetically snatched his bag from Palkia’s shoulder and went into the nearby bathroom to change.
“Uh, Palkia, why does Lugia wear diapers?” James asked when he heard the bathroom door click shut.
Palkia beckoned James to come closer, which he did. “I’m not supposed to tell you this,” he said, “but Lugia has a bit of a bedwetting problem.”
More snickers from the rest of the crowd. Even in shrunken form, Palkia’s voice was very loud.
James shrugged. “Okay,” he replied.
“I can’t believe this,” Cynthia said, wiping a tear away from her eye. “A diapered Legendary!”
When Lugia returned, the laughter had finally died down. Granted, Garchomp had to stifle a giggle when she realized that Lugia now smelt like baby powder.
He then sat on another ruined couch. “What is wrong with Reshiram? Did she really need to expose me to everyone?” Lugia asked.
Reshiram said something in Isshuese, which Johnny Mac swiftly translated. “Reshiram is male and does not like to be referred to as a female. Please do not do that again,” he said.
Lugia nodded. ”Well, at least Zekrom’s a pretty decent guy,” he said.
“I am not a he!” Zekrom shouted in Isshuese.
Johnny Mac turned to Lugia. “Zekrom’s not a male,” he said.
Suddenly a Galactic Grunt appeared from behind what was left of the breakfast bar. Just as quickly as he appeared, three Flamethrowers, an Aeroblast, a Thunderbolt, the Spacial Rend sword and a hail of .45 caliber bullets went towards him, reducing him to little more than a pile of ash.
Johnny Mac holstered his now empty pistol. “Well, let’s get-” a bullet whizzed by his head, cutting him off midsentence. Before anyone else could react, the grunt was thrown against the stone counter as a shimmering green orb exploded near him.
“Do any of you know Energy Ball?” James asked.
“That was me,” Johnny Mac replied, his hands were wreathed in a faint green light.
Everyone stared at him. The only sounds audible were the faint pops of distant gunfire.
“Yeah, I’m one of the rare psychic type humans,” he replied nonchalantly as everyone stared at him. “And about the Energy Ball… Let’s just say sticking my head into a TM player was a very bad idea.”
“Why the hell would you do that?” Wukong asked. Of course, Johnny Mac did not understand him.
“Palkia, translation field, please,” James said.
Palkia nodded and his eyes flashed blue for a moment. “Mac, can you understand Wukong?” he asked.
Johnny Mac nodded as Wukong asked him some questions. “Yeah,” he replied. “Damn it, Wukong! Stop asking me why I decided to stick my head into a TM player! I told you, I was stoned off my balls!”
Wukong, satisfied with the explanation nodded. “All right, we need to formulate a plan on how to get out of here,” he said.
Palkia looked outside the door and spotted an abandoned CS-624 “Pidgeot” hover skiff leaning against one of the columns, which was riddled with bullet holes. “Let’s ride,” he said.
“Ride what?” Cynthia asked.
Palkia pointed to the hover skiff.
The Hikokyu II was slowly cruising to Altomare. At its normal cruising altitude of 45,000 feet, there was nothing except a layer of gossamer clouds illuminated by the rising sun. The effect of this interplay of light and weather was that it looked like the airship was sailing through a sea of gold.
Lawrence III had fallen asleep in the flight deck; luckily, Bosch was doing all the piloting. He was jolted awake as one of the airship commanders spoke.
“Captain Lawrence, we have not found any of the Legends,” the commander said via radio.
Lawrence III yawned. “Initiate bombing,” he said. He then leaned back in the pilot’s chair and fell back asleep. As he did so, he noticed that the damaged antigravity pods were more than half repaired.
He was asleep when a low, growling beep sounded through the flight deck, indicating that the ship had managed to get a radar lock on the two Legendaries. Unfortunately, Bosch decided to use the ship’s AGM-82 “Onidrill” radar guided missiles instead of the energy ring capture system (which was currently powered down). And the radar picked up several interceptor aircraft – owned by the Hoenn Air Force at the edge of its range.
On the belly of the Hikokyu II, devoid of any furnishings, save the multiple point defense 20 mm gatling guns; two armored shutters slowly slid back as a mounting containing the two AGM-82 missiles lowered itself into the cold air.
The mounting was unremarkable; just two steel rails mounted to a steel pole and lowered by hydraulics. The mounting swiveled with the groan of gears and the powerful electric motor as Bosch aimed the missiles towards Altomare – nearly twenty five miles away. Luckily, the mounting was capable of swiveling a full 360 degrees.
As soon as the targets were locked on, the missiles flew towards their destination. A few seconds after they flew out of sight, a sonic boom ripped through the air.
The missiles each carried a 270 pound blast-fragmentation warhead, capable of leveling a large building or blasting an Aggron into a pile of bloody rubble.
Meanwhile, in the Hikokyu II’s hold, Charon entered with a tray of food and a pack of cigarettes. The hold was dimly lit by the low white lighting of LED arrays set high in the ceiling. Priceless treasures protected by advanced energy shields were organized around the hold. The low rumble of the pumps feeding the ship’s massive five gigawatt palladium-hydrogen reactor echoed through the area.
He then pulled up a chair next to the holding cells, located near the rear of the hold.
The Legendaries inside paid him no heed as they were asleep.
“Erm, if you want food or cigarettes, I have some,” he said.
Instantly Shaymin awoke. “Thank Arceus!” she exclaimed.
Arceus – now in her “adult” form – sighed. “Don’t thank me,” she said with a yawn. Her stomach growled. Technically, she – like the other Legendaries – did not require food but she hated being hungry.
Charon slid the pack of cigarettes and food through the bars. Shaymin greedily opened the pack and pulled out a cigarette and lit off Heatran’s body, much to his displeasure.
She took a deep draw and coughed. “Hey! This gracidea cigarette is shit!” she snapped.
“Sorry, it’s tobacco. Gracidea isn’t allowed aboard this ship.”
“Fuck that rule and fuck the captain!”
“Shaymin, please! We should be at least semi-polite to him!” Latios said, flitting around the cell. He was eating a piece of bread with salted Pidgey.
“Look, I’m not supposed to give you anything at all,” Charon said, his voice becoming stony and hard. “So if you want food, be nice.”
“SHAYMIN, I’M HUNGRY AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE! SO DO US ALL A FAVOR AND SHUT UP!” Dialga said. He was telekinetically levitating some hunks of salted fish into his mouth.
Shaymin spat the smoldering cigarette onto Dialga, who did not seem to notice.
Charon watched as the Legendaries ate their fill. He knew that he was violating a direct order but starving the prisoners seemed like a direct violation of their rights. And rights overrode orders.
Outside the Altomare Hotel, the group had managed to get to the hover skiff unseen. They could see swarms of the grunts flying into the sky and returning to their airships. The first rays of sunrise were visible over the horizon.
“Okay, so who knows how to pilot this thing?” Cynthia asked. Next to her were Reshiram, Zekrom, Garchomp and Johnny Mac. She glanced at him and just realized how tall Johnny Mac was; he was a full three inches taller than her Garchomp, who in turn was about three inches taller than she was. She suspected that Mac probably outweighed her Garchomp too. But Mac was not fat; on the contrary, he was quite muscular.
Palkia stepped forward. “I do,” he said.
Everyone stared at him.
“But how?” James asked.
“I used to race hover skiffs. I even won a few tournaments,” Palkia said. He pulled out a picture from his messenger bag that showed him standing in front of Olivine City’s lighthouse with a golden trophy, depicting Ho-Oh soaring into the sky, in hand. The hover skiff he rode in the race was next to him. Interestingly, Palkia was not naked as usual but wearing a one piece pink and white fire retardant racing suit emblazoned with advertisements, which were barely visible in the picture: a patch for the Kantoian pokémon technology (and private military) company Silph Corporation (depicting black two semicircles placed together to form an offset “S” and two black spheres in the hollows of the “S”) on his left shoulder; a patch for the Isshuian electronics conglomerate Zekurom Industries (a stylized silver image of Sazandora on a black background) on his right shoulder and a patch of the famed Kantoian small-arms manufacturer Veekun Arms (a stylized assault rifle with a bayonet crossed with the arm blade of a Scyther, forming an “x”) on his left breast.
“So why’d you stop?”
“Arceus thought it was unseemly. And yet she’s content to let Shaymin get drunk, repeatedly.”
“Need I remind you that we’re trying to escape a siege!” Garchomp snapped, tapping her whip impatiently against her thigh.
As if to punctuate her point, several thunderous explosions tore through the air as the airships began to pummel the city with a combination of conventional and incendiary bombs.
Palkia got on the skiff and quickly started its engine. He was satisfied to see that its battery was nearly full. He hoped the low roar of the antigravity engine would not attract unwanted attention.
Lugia’s psychic abilities suddenly detected something fast approaching them. He immediately used Safeguard, enveloping the group in a shimmering blue force field. Palkia used Protect just milliseconds later, adding a green force field under the green one. Just as soon as he deployed Protect, the AGM-82 “Onidrill” missile crashed right into it. The twin shields easily deflected the hail of shrapnel from the blast-fragmentation warhead but the explosion was another story. While the field kept everyone’s innards from being liquefied, the blast still painfully jolted their bones.
When the dust settled, the group found that Lugia’s Safeguard had been shattered by the missile. But they had no time to do anything else as the second AGM-82 “Onidrill” missile crashed into Palkia’s barrier. Again, the shrapnel was harmlessly deflected but the shockwave – though attenuated – rattled everyone’s bones, again. And Palkia’s barrier had been shattered by the blast.
“Get on!” Palkia ordered.
James recalled Wukong and climbed aboard the skiff. He grabbed hold of the control column and opened the throttle as the skiff rose slightly into the air.
“What about us!?” Johnny Mac demanded. Another explosion was heard in the distance.
“I’ll carry you and Cynthia,” Lugia offered, kneeling down and quickly growing to full size.
Johnny Mac was stunned. A Legendary was willing to allow himself to be treated as a mount? “Uh, I can’t,” he said with a blush.
“Shut up and ride!” Garchomp shouted, leaping into the air and straddling Lugia’s neck.
“Don’t even think of using that whip!” Lugia said.
Garchomp nodded and held the whip as she waited for the others to board.
Johnny Mac still stood by Zekrom and Reshiram. Suddenly, another AGM-82 “Onidrill” missile streaked overhead and detonated a few hundred meters away from them. Luckily, Palkia’s Protect managed to disperse the shockwave.
Johnny Mac immediately leapt aboard Lugia’s neck. “Take off now!” he shouted.
“Not until our last passenger gets aboard,” Lugia replied. He then turned to Cynthia. “Get on board! We only have a few seconds of safety!” he shouted.
Cynthia she clenched her lips and beads of sweat began to form on her forehead as she tried to move forward. Her heart pounded. “I…I can’t!” she said.
“Are you afraid of flying or something!?” Palkia shouted. He was starting to get nervous as more explosions were heard.
Cynthia may have been the Sinnoh champion but she had a crippling phobia of open-air flight, be it by pokémon, hang glider or hover skiff.
“Leave her!” Johnny Mac shouted.
Garchomp cracked her whip near Mac’s head. In reply, he prepared an Energy Ball.
“Mac! Garchomp! Stop!” Lugia shouted.
Johnny Mac and Garchomp began to argue over who started the fight.
“Cynthia! I have an idea but you’re not going to like it,” Palkia shouted from ten feet off the ground.
“What is it?” Cynthia asked. She was still trying to force herself to board Lugia but her phobia was making it very slow. Not to mention, she felt like her heart was going to explode since it was beating so fast.
“Get inside one of James’s poké balls!”
Cynthia’s face turned red with rage. “No! I am not getting in one of those things!” she shouted.
“It’s either that or get blown to pieces, buried under tons of rubble or burned alive when Altomare gets leveled!” Garchomp countered.
Cynthia sighed. She hated the idea but the steady cadence of nearby explosions reminded her that death was coming closer. In fact, a bomb detonated near her, destroying Palkia's Protect but otherwise leaving everyone else unharmed. “Fine,” she grumbled. She stood still, ready for the ball.
James had his multitool out and was frantically working on a spare luxury ball. He was trying to find the safety and disable it. After a minute of carefully digging around the ball’s innards, he found the safety and with two precise snips, cut it out and tossed the small circuit board onto the ground. Just as he put his multitool away, a gust of wind caused him to lose his grip on the ball.
Garchomp caught the ball. “This is so weird,” she muttered. “Poké ball go!” she exclaimed, tossing the ball at her trainer. She felt so corny saying that but it somehow seemed appropriate.
Cynthia then disappeared in a flash of red light as the luxury ball wiggled three times before it stopped.
Lugia telekinetically picked up the luxury ball and tossed it into his bag. “That has got to be so illegal,” he muttered.
“It is,” Johnny Mac replied. “You can go to jail for a long time and have your trainer’s license permanently revoked if you modify a poké ball that way.”
“Ready to go!” Garchomp shouted.
Palkia revved the hover skiff’s engine and opened its throttle as he rose higher and sped towards the Hoenn mainland, with James trying his hardest to hold onto the control column.
Lugia followed. Of course, Garchomp had to wave her fedora like a cowboy and whoop excitedly when he took off.
Reshiram and Zekrom were the last to take off. Their take-off had to be the more unusual ones. First, they crouched on all fours. Then their tails would charge up – Zekrom’s tail-mounted turbogenerator began to slowly rev up with a steadily increasing whine as Reshiram’s tail began to glow red, accompanied by a deep roaring noise. After a few seconds of charging up, they would launch themselves into the sky in a prone position, like a classic superhero.
And they did just that, the jet wash from Reshiram’s tail was so strong and hot that it actually leveled and melted the already severely battered front portion of the Altomare Hotel. Zekrom’s jet wash was no less gentle; it destroyed what Reshiram’s jet wash did not. And they both left long trails of scorched ground. Even though the hover skiff and Lugia had a head start, the duo could outrace most jets.
Soon, the group was over the open ocean en route to the Hoenn mainland. They were just seventy feet above the glassy sea. Some of the Hoenn Air Force’s interceptor aircraft had begun to engage the airships and they could see the battle if they looked back.
The formation the group took was rather simple diamond formation with Reshiram and Zekrom at the sides, Palkia at the front and Lugia at the back.
By now, the sun had risen but it was still not fully up yet.
Garchomp was whooping and waving her fedora in the air as she rode on Lugia’s back. Johnny Mac was talking to Reshiram and Zekrom.
“Mac, we have three bogies at 6 o’clock,” Zekrom said in Isshuese.
“Visual?” Johnny Mac replied. He seemed to find it kind of strange that Zekrom spoke like a stereotypical fighter pilot whenever she flew. Even more strangely, her voice suddenly sounded like she was speaking through a radio.
Johnny Mac turned around and saw three grunts on hover skiffs chasing them. What was worse was that all of them appeared to be armed. He reached inside his backpack and grabbed his favorite possession, a Veekun Arms 151 twelve gauge pump shotgun. He carefully grabbed some shotgun shells and carefully slid them into the magazine. As soon as he did so, a pistol bullet barely missed his head. He cocked his shotgun, drew a bead on the erratically moving skiff and fired. The mass of buckshot tore into the skiff’s unarmored control column. The grunt frantically tried to regain control but crashed into the ocean.
Garchomp flinched as the shotgun fired; she had never been around firearms before. After all, firearms were uncommon in Sinnoh – probably due to the extreme hassle of trying to apply for a license and a cultural bias that derided firearms as tools for the weak. She held onto her fedora with one claw as she gave the “middle finger” to the remaining grunts.
Johnny Mac pumped his shotgun, sending the smoking shell twirling over Lugia’s side. He fired again, merely grazing the second skiff’s platform. More bullets went his way. Lugia then used Safeguard to keep his passengers safe. Before Johnny Mac could fire again, a bolt of blue lightning and blast of white fire downed the two hover skiffs – courtesy of the Reshiram and his counterpart.
Johnny Mac quickly put his shotgun away. “So where to now?” he shouted over the roaring wind.
“Hoenn,” Palkia replied. He chuckled as he found out that someone installed a radio onto the skiff. He turned it on and was treated to the high energy guitars of Unchain the Rain by Altaria.
A spark of mystery
The dark discovery
In your loss my
Palkia sighed as the hover skiff sped over the slowly brightening water. The stakes had risen. He wondered if the ragtag group he had “recruited” could truly stop a madman with the resources and power of what amounted to a small nation.
Drown your sorrow to my endless sea
Together we'll unchain the rain
Escape the light into my sanctuary
The group sped over the ocean as the sun rose. Behind them lay the burning ruins of the city once known as Hoenn’s Sapphire. Up ahead lay Lilycove City’s steel and concrete edifices, gleaming gold in the rising sun.