Hiding, for a lot of creatures of Earth, was a rather difficult task. There was all that business of squeezing in tight spaces, or climbing to high vantage points to peer down on below (and maybe get in some target practice), and the terrible bother of actually keeping yourself there. Of course, some of the residents could bypass this issue; some had camouflage, or others were just too fast to be caught. And some had both, such as the little ball of fuzz now flicking between the trees, looking around constantly…
…she wasn’t labeled as the Mirage Pokémon for nothing.
Yes. Amarachi was still hanging around this place, even though she was well aware that people were looking for her and that it was dangerous to stay here. Even though she was being constantly harped by the other Mewkizuu she knew so well. Even though making a concrete home for herself somewhere was just asking for trouble of the most uncomfortable kind. But Holon was her home, and no… person
was going to take that from her with their cold and merciless grip.
They had already taken enough without.
The small pink creature slipped up a tree, looking around for any potential danger which might have arisen. Eventually, her ears picked up a faint buzzing noise, coming from the human settlement – ‘City’, was it called? – near her hiding spot. It was most definitely an irritating buzzing noise, it was coming from the city – specifically at the oversized tower where Those People tended to hang around, and it would… not… stop.
Amarachi was a member of the Mewkizuu, a fancy word for the multiple Earth-dwelling ‘Mews’ spawned from a rather uncomfortable incident involving the only original Mew (fondly referred to by the Mewkizuu as ‘Mother’ or respectfully as ‘Origin of Species’ or just ‘Mew’) and some electromagnetic torment on the part of humanity. Mew had accepted the almost-clones as another species in her great line of descendants, and proclaimed them the ‘Mewkizuu’ from an old Pokémian word of the Mew Dialect which meant ‘in spirit’.
And, truth be told, Amarachi couldn’t help but think that maybe there was something distinctly unpleasant about that tower over there.
“There they go,” mumbled one voice.
“Moving a little fast, are we?” noted another.
The third just giggled.
The closet which Casey, Sheridan, and Caro had just passed was not empty as they had assumed (and was, indeed, actually there
) in the rush of quietly scrambling across the floor as fast as possible. Of course, it was pitch-dark in there, so the ignorance was somewhat justified.
Despite the fact that three distinct voices could be heard, only two of them were human.
Kidd Summers readjusted herself uncomfortably; she was in a rather strange-looking position (considering her partners Billy and Aerith – yes, really, Aerith – had occupied most of the floor space in the already-cramped room) of a sort of suspended pirouette with one foot against the back wall and both hands trying to balance herself. This left nothing free to move from her face the strands of brown hair that had evidently come loose from her far-too-perilous haircut. Trying to remove the strand by blowing on it, Kidd’s attempt failed and the innocent lock of brown hair fell in front of her face again.
Kidd glared daggers and laser beams at it.
“Yeah, I see you,” mumbled the woman under her breath. “Off of my face, please? It’s important.” She tried to push the hair away by waving her head, but all that did was make the two other oversized buns on both sides of her head wave uselessly.
Pouting, Kidd turned back to Aerith as she spoke.
“Would you stop fidgeting? We need to get them! Find your costumes!”
Everyone straightened up immediately, and Kidd began shuffling around in the junk for the ‘costume’ that was required sporting for the big guys higher up in the Team. It was as if this strange Chinese shirt-thing and black leotard wasn’t enough to satisfy their strange outfit fetish! But, then again, Kidd did wear a pretty funky outfit on recon missions, so not all the blame went to them. Fastening the midnight-blue cape around her shoulders with a brooch shaped like a round blue gem, Kidd waited in the semi-corner for Billy to compose himself.
Well, of course, he was already wearing his outfit.
Fitted over the man’s bulky frame was one of the Grunts’ robes, except his was unbuttoned and looked more like a longcoat than anything else. The hood wasn’t up either (Arceus forbid anything restrict the enormous mess of green palm-tree tangles that was his hair). Under the blue ‘coat’ was a white shirt and dark pants. He was wearing old, beaten-down sneakers.
And Aerith was a Delcatty, so she never really needed to worry about that sort of thing. Because, you see, Pokémon aren’t really required to wear outfits because they really don’t look as good in them as people d—
Oh, yes, about the whole talking Delcatty thing.
Well, Aerith was rather unique as far as Delcatties went. After some… er… ‘experimentation’ with magnetic energy, it left the Pokémon (then a Skitty) to speak English… but not Pokémian. Any attempts at speaking her native tongue would inevitably fail. It wasn’t pleasant and at all useful to lose one language and gain another, but it was
an English-speaking Pokémon the scientists had on their hands… so why not fork it up to one of their best agents? Why, yes, that was a wonderful idea. And besides, Kidd was saddled with Billy already, so it couldn’t get much worse.
Well, Kidd was hardly ecstatic to learn that she had gotten yet another tagalong dumped on her, but regardless of this feelings of kinship grew among the three and upon evolution the Skitty earned a name.
And so was born the trio of Billy, Kidd, and Aerith, super-stealthy-slippery-seekers and current ninja guards. They watched on (mostly) silently as the trio of intruders waltzed by completely unaware of their presence. After sharing a few glances and mumbled words, the BDV operatives opened the door while praying it wouldn’t squeak, and slipped out after them before skipping back into another door. This remarkable stealthiness only worked for about a minute before they decided it was too dangerous and should take it the Old-Fashioned Way, but it was relatively nice while it lasted.
One of the intruders (the one with the red hair) wandered over to the side for a few seconds, examined the blue wall in front of him curiously, and then called the other two over. They came, curious as to what he was harping about, and the redhead reached into a rather dark hole that protruded from the wall. He groped around for a few seconds in the hole, and finally pulled out a small dark stone, ovular and about the size of a peppermint candy.
The Raichu-hoodie intruder whistled, impressed at his find.
The blondie intruder gave a little gasp and practically pranced over to him, examining the object with great delight and proclaiming that Casey now had in his possession a Dusk Stone. Which he could use to…
“Oh dear,” said Kidd.
Redhead had a Murkrow, apparently, and Dusk Stones were a wonderful way to evolve one’s Murkrow. He asked something about how evolution works (‘What is this kid,’ thought Aerith, ‘Caldan?’), looking at the stone in Blondie’s hands. She and Raichu Boy begin to explain just what it is, and after a few notes that there was
a possibility the Pokémon’s personality could change (Redhead looked pleased with this) he whipped out a Pokéball.
Within a few seconds a Murkrow was on the floor, taking a karate stance.
Redhead sighed exasperatedly and told him that he was going to evolve soon if he wanted to. The boy put emphasis on the ‘if he wanted to’ part (‘Yes,’ thought Aerith, ‘either Caldan or just a rookie. No experienced Trainer would ASK their Pokémon to evolve, for Deoxys’ sake!’), and after the Murkrow nodded its head and pumped a few wings in the air, Redhead took the stone and…
…didn’t do anything.
He was just looking at the stone and the Murkrow, wondering what to do with it. After touching the small, dark thing to various places on the Murkrow’s body (crest, chest, tail, beak, etc.) the Dark-type seemed to grow tired of its Trainer’s stupidity and displayed how to properly
use an Evolution Stone.
He popped it in his mouth and ate it.
Redhead’s jaw fell open as the Murkrow let it sit in his mouth for a moment before swallowing. A few seconds passed, a swirl of light filled the room, and where the foot-tall Murkrow had been sitting was perched such a threatening and sleazy bird that it looked like the appropriate housepet of a Mafia boss.
Its chest seemed to puff out naturally, and the bulky appearance was only made more obvious by the obnoxiously large tuft of white feathers that set out against the red and midnight-blue draping the rest of its body. Small, beady eyes peered out from a crest which was now more of a fedora than a mutated witch hat, and its wings had blood-red feathers on the inside. The tail had morphed to the same color.
The Honchkrow gave a grating caw. Blondie and Raichu Boy admired it for a few seconds – Redhead didn’t look so pleased at his Pokémon’s new look. The newly-evolved Honchkrow flew around the room once, cawing like a maniac.
Aerith got the distinct impression it was some sort of demented victory lap.
The three BDV ops shared a worried look – more evolved Pokémon meant more powerful Pokémon, and more powerful Pokémon meant harder-to-dispel Trainers – but then all decided at the same time that it wasn’t really too much of a problem. After all, their Heads – the two BDV Admins who lurked in this building – would wipe them out easily. (Or at least Mr. Hikaru would.)
And then, out of a side door, slipped Grunt CD0000. He looked surprised at the Honchkrow.
Billy, from his much more comfortable position in the new closet, elbowed Kidd softly. She put a finger to her mouth in response and kept looking on. CD0000 moved closer to the intruders, and Aerith smiled a little; maybe he was going to turn them in, or even better: whack them around the head a few times with that wad of metal he carried around like a child’s blanket before turning them in! The Delcatty gave a toothy grin at the thought, but she was soon set straight.
No, he wasn’t turning them in, or whacking them around the head. No. He was… talking to them. Politely. In sane conversation.
Aerith’s eyes slid over to meet Kidd’s (which looked worried) and Billy’s (which were unreadably goofy as always). “This means trouble,” mumbled the Normal-type to her ‘coworkers’. She sounded excited.
“Follow ‘em,” said Billy. He was a man of few words, but a few of these words held infinite knowledge disguised in slang terms. This phrase was not one of them. However, it was decent advice and (as Kidd could tell Aerith was going to point out) just barging out and yelling at him was really no fun and they would all be caught in due time anyway (the trespassers for trespassing and the turnrobe for double-crossing) and so the three decided to watch and follow. They nearly missed CD0000 walking away again.
They followed him leaving through the same door he had came with a renewed eagerness to catch someone in the act. And when they looked back at the three trespassers they were gone.
Indeed, the trio had left Billy, Kidd, and Aerith’s field of vision. Instead they were walking up a spiral staircase which wound around another one, and directly into a lot of trouble. For at that moment, a man was walking up the other staircase, seeing as Hikaru had gone to all the trouble to call him up. And since Hikaru had done that, well, Hikaru was sort of the superior officer between the two Admins, and Juan didn’t enjoy disobeying superior officers.
They tended to get mad when you did that. And even though Hikaru is very difficult to irritate, when you do it’s… not pretty.
Juan wasn’t turning his head to the three, and considering his eyes were veiled by a very strange deep hoodie with goggle lenses cut into it where his eyes were, it wasn’t hard to understand why. He wasn’t looking at them (even though the man often came across as scatterbrained, her certainly wasn’t stupid), since looking at them would mean that they might have a subconscious urge to look at him
, which would certainly not turn out well.
And so it came as no surprise to him when he slipped off into a side passage that wasn’t there and they didn’t notice.
Well, alright, it was there. But it was hidden so well behind one of the multiple dangling strips of colorful cloth that hung two apiece on one of the ridiculous amount of landings and a few on the walls. And so Juan slipped behind a blue-and-orange cloth and nobody noticed the man in the Swampert suit.
‘Yes,’ thought the man as he found himself in pitch darkness and began navigating the room as if it were in broad daylight, ‘I think that Hikaru won’t be happy about this.’
“But should I tell him?” wondered the man out loud. “I don’t think so. I can always deny I knew anything.
He scampered up another abandoned elevator shaft (it had taken a lot of insisting to the Boss that he would feel a lot better climbing up and down himself, and Juan liked to respect the rare scrap of kindness given by the Boss) which wound up and around the walls of the building. Indeed, this place was a lot stranger and larger on the inside than on the out, but that’s what happens when two of the owners know nothing about architecture and the third was insane.
Juan gave off a little mrrring sound as he climbed, dangling from metal frame to metal frame, never really losing his balance despite the strange and very dangly outfit he was wearing.
It looked for all the world like an inappropriately-sized hoodie, with the drawn-up hood dangling well over the eyes (that’s where the goggle lenses came in) and two blue fin-like structures spurting up from them and around the back of the hood. Two spiky strands of orange hair hung down from under the hood, framing his face which was now twisted into a wicked, deranged smile. The opening in his hood hung on him as well, giving a view of the black shirt underneath down to around the top of the chest. Down the middle of the aqua-blue hoodie was a wide, light-blue strip, and on the outside of either arm orange spots. They appeared again on the knees of his navy-blue pants.
Overall, a very dangly, strange-looking outfit for someone in such a lofty position to wield. But Juan liked it that way, and he wasn’t about to change this either.
…It reminded him of things long-gone, after all.
He continued to scamper up the pseudo-ladder as Caro, Casey, and Sheridan continued to stomp up the staircase. (Billy, Aerith, and Kidd had given up on ever finding them and keeping their heads totally intact after the twin staircases were brought into the equation.)
Juan climbed up and into a short tunnel which eventually led to Hikaru’s office with a soft ‘mrr’. A few seconds after he slipped in, the trio of intruders reached the top landing. Before Casey could do anything, Sheridan wormed to the front of the procession and walked up to the door. She took hold of the handle and signaled for the boys to keep quiet.
And then she turned.
And the door slammed open. She stepped into the room, sending death glares in many different directions. “So what are you suckers doing?” she asked in a very different and more intimidating voice than the two other travelers were accustomed to.
But – just in this one instance – it actually sounded an awful lot better than her normal one.
“Juan,” responded Hikaru, nodding to the man in question as he did so.
“Hi-ka-ruuuuuuuuuu,” taunted Juan, elbowing him slightly. “Come on, just this once, mrrr. I haven’t seen you battle in awhile. Wouldn’t want you to get rusty, now would we, eh?”
Hikaru pouted and turned to the three intruders. “Well. Fine.” He took a few steps closer and tried to contort his feminine face into something relatively scary. Whipping a Luxury Ball out of his pocket, the BDV Admin took a few breaths and tossed out his Pokémon. The Togekiss flapped his wings happily, and gave a singsong chime as a few feathers dropped to the ground. Everyone except for Hikaru (including Juan) looked on in disbelief for a few seconds, until Sheridan took a step back.
And then another.
And then another. And then she retreated into the doorway and pushed Casey and Rotom in as she did so.
“Go on,” the twenty-something assured her. “Just use Rotom. It’ll be a breeze, and I don’t think you’ve even used him that much yet.”
Sighing in defeat at the hands of Sheridan (and with Caro not looking like he was going to object) Casey walked forward and, with a wave of his hand, sent Rotom out onto the battlefield. “Okay, use—”
“Ah-ah!” called Hikaru, shaking his head. “I’m not going to let a battle take place in here
, foolish boy. Far too many delicate and personal objects, you’ll understand, yes? I assure you, there is a perfectly good formal battlefield we can use instead. Come along.” Hikaru walked right past Rotom, Casey, Sheridan, and Caro, Togekiss and Juan following right behind. The latter looked quite unimpressed with his superior’s decision to prolong a decent fight even longer, but Togekiss was just as beaming and radiant as when he had just come out.
“Might as well,” observed Casey.
Caro shook his head and mumbled something about ‘this is not how raids are supposed to go’, but followed anyway.
“It shall be a three-on-three battle,” said Hikaru with an inappropriate amount of pleasure in his voice. “I’m afraid there’s a pressing matter I need to attend to and don’t have time for much more. Is that alright with you?” He didn’t seem to notice the slightly-confused expression currently ‘gracing’ Casey’s features and the bemused glares of the young Trainer’s comrades (and Juan).
Casey blinked. “Er, I’ve only got two Pokémon.”
“Three-on-two, then!” Hikaru smiled as if this were the most normal thing in the world.
“Is that even fair?” asked Casey in disbelief as he walked onto a bright red, railing-rimmed platform that looked like it should probably be where he stood (considering Hikaru had a blue one on his side of the field).
“Oh, yes, it is quite fair. Since you only have two Pokémon, I’m sure they both must be trained up to wondrous levels, yes?”
“Um.” Casey shifted his weight uneasily. ‘How am I supposed to survive THIS?’ he thought while batting down an increasingly powerful wave of panic.
Much to his surprise, the aforementioned platform began to rise into the air, slowly at first but picking up speed later on. Casey realized with a jolt precisely what the railings were for as he clung onto them in surprise (after jumping about three inches off the ground).
Hikaru did the same thing without all of the startled reactions, and waved his hand to signal that Togekiss go onto the battlefield. The white feathered Pokémon did so happily. Rotom, sensing Casey’s gaze on him, had Beast nod vigorously and zipped down to the appropriate position. He chirped happily, eager to do something cool, and practically bounced around on the small area where he was to wait.
“Not one for taking things by the book?” asked Caro to no one in particular, sliding into one of the five spectators’ seats that mysteriously found their way into Hikaru’s stadium. “Of battles with evil teams, I mean?”
“Not ‘evil’!” corrected Juan and Sheridan at the same time, Sheridan mockingly and Juan insulted somewhere behind the stupid outfit. “…Just unorthodox in a potentially nasty way,” added Sheridan with a grin. Juan nodded with a soft ‘mrrr’ and slid into the seat on the end of the row of stadium seats, while Sheridan took the one in the middle.
“No, I mean…” Caro drifted off for a few seconds, trying to gather his thoughts. “It’s just not what you’d expect a battle with a guy like… um…”
“Hikaru-mrrr,” added Juan.
“Yes, thank you, Hikaru. It’s not what you’d expect someone like Hikaru, who’s in Team BDV – er, well, duh. But. People in Teams like this aren’t often big fans of interrupting important fights to find a proper place to stage them. I mean, a lot of them happen in random caves! You know what I mean?”
Sheridan and Juan’s reply was unanimous: “No.”
Everyone previously mentioned had thought that, except for the others that they could see, they were alone in the room. Of course, they were wrong; what sort of stalkers (and one concerned not-stalker) would allow their targets to get away so easily? Not Casey, Sheridan, and Caro’s stalkers, that’s for sure.
In the cockpit a little under the left side of the battlefield, two people and a Delcatty stood watching intently. Both humans wore a cape – the Delcatty wore an expression that reflected quite clearly that it sought to watch some Pokémon get their tails handed to them.
On the right side’s cockpit there was a man wielding a rather intimidating metal pipe. He didn’t look happy. character profiles 4, 5 [hikaru & juan]