The Dalima Complex: Chapter 1
Pokémon being captured: Gligar
The wind whipped across my face on top of the tower as I looked into the night. The dark streets shone with the glimmering light coming from cars and buildings. The scene was perfect for my task. It was perfect for a murder.
“Morph, Bisharp,” I muttered seemingly into thin air. My body started to tingle as the transformation took place. My hands turned to sharp blades, my torso thinned and turned into a solid iron structure. My face sharpened and a blade protruded from it. If I were a Pokémon, I’d definitely be a Bisharp. I was now perfect, set up for the Justice that I would undertake this night. I jumped down from the building, flying through the sky with my streamlined body, and elegantly fell towards the ground. The French used the verb atterrir to talk about landing, and it seemed better placed than the English word, far less crude. My legs were stronger than they would have been in human form and I crouched down, my metal legs absorbing the shock. I had been briefed on where my target was, he was having dinner in a restaurant with someone from his company while at the same time receiving a message from ‘jhim Quaeed, a terrorist cell with known contact in the area. It was my job to eliminate the target and whoever was bringing the message.
The restaurant was a street away, and, as a Pokémon, I would have to navigate the back streets, as only humans could venture alone on the High Street, for “safety purposes”. It made my job more irritating, but it was still perfectly possible. I treaded carefully through the streets, ignored by all the people tending to their daily business, in total acceptance of the strange creature beside them. It was strange, for a person that took on the forms of Pokémon, I despised them. They were so selfish, refusing to share their power of their own free will; any human would willingly give that power. But not Pokémon it seemed, they kept their power to themselves.
I approached the restaurant, it was quite an upmarket place and I would need a good guise to get in. But a guise was the least of my worries. All I needed to do now was intercept the message. So I ambled over to some of the bins and waited, sulking in the shadows. The place was very nouveau riche, almost the whole building was made of glass, even the tables and the plates were glass-ware. I saw a man walking towards the back door, where orders came in. He was dressed in a dark suit and a black tie, carrying a briefcase. He looked stereotypically like an agent. Why were these people always so obvious? I prepared to step out from the shadows and strike my blow. I felt my right hand claw glow and elongate as I prepared the attack that would kill him. He still didn’t notice me, not until I stepped out in front of him. My claw flashed and blood spurted from his throat. He crumpled to the ground, dead. His case dropped on the ground and I picked it up, discarding it in the bin. My target wouldn’t need that.
“Morph, Human,” I commanded. My iron skin bubbled as I transformed back into myself, the ordinary looking human dressed in a suit. I had already prepared a note that could be passed on to her. I walked in through the back door and an intense light struck my eyes. I carried on regardless and paced through the bustling kitchen, filled with steam and aromas. The staff were mostly too busy to notice a pretty inconspicuous man walking in their midst. I continued to the door where orders were taken out and passed my note onto a waiter.
“Please can you give this to Mr Nickerson, he’s on table 21,” I asked the waiter. He took the note and passed through the doors, out into the restaurant. I walked outside again and waited, passing the time by morphing back into Bisharp. I watched as the waiter went to the Target’s table, and politely placed the note onto the table. He had been waiting for it, it seemed. The Target stood up, excusing himself from his present company, and followed the waiter’s route into the kitchen. I imagined him tracing my route until he walked out of the door. He was dressed quite extravagantly, his tweed jacket added to by a yellow cravat. Of course he had the compulsory rust-coloured trousers of all gentlemen. He had hardly stepped outside when my Guillotine attack slashed his throat. He fell to the ground as my glowing claw retracted and subsided. I disposed of his body quickly and efficiently, folding it up and throwing it into the bin. My work here was done. I took the briefcase out from the bin and walked off, into the night.
I don’t know what my real name was, all I know is my code name, Lupin. I am part of Direct Intervention, a Special Branch of a Special Agency of the Special Forces, of which I know nothing. The only time that I’ve had direct contact with them was when I was embedded with the SoulChanger, the device that allows me to change forms, provided that I have that Pokémon in my possession. I stayed in my safe house until given orders, which I occasionally was. In the meantime I just lived and trained with my Pokémon. I was a formidable fighter by myself, but I was deadly in the right form. I was in the safe house now, waiting for my next mission. I lay on my bed, throwing a ball up in the air, stretching my average length legs on the bed. It was strange, living in a body that wasn’t yours. My consciousness had been taken from my previous body and placed in the SoulChanger. Then they had formed a body that was meant to look completely average. I was just less than six foot tall, I had short brown hair and a forgettable face. I slipped through crowds like a shadow and no-one remembered my face. A man-shaped figure walked into my room, his blue arms by his sides. His long face looked concentrated, ready to fight.
“Yes, Sawk, you’re right, let’s train a bit,” I said to my assistant. I leapt of the bed and charged at the Fighting-type Pokémon. Sawk ran forward, garbed in his typical martial arts garb. As I leapt up in the air he slid under me, flicking his feet up at the last moment. At the light impact I was put off balance and rolled over on the floor. I crouched, preparing for his next attack, as he slowly circled around me. He jumped in the air, preparing to strike down in a simple chop. All I had to do was do a forward roll to avoid the attack, and I was already behind him when he landed.
He swept his foot round, preparing to send me sprawling across the floor, but I jumped over it. We faced each other again. I took a step forward and just before he burst into action I heard a noise. Sawk stopped his blow a millimetre from my arms and for a second we both listened to the phone ringing. After a brief pause I walked over to my mobile and picked it up, accepting the call.
“New mission, ‘jhim Quaeed are planning an attack in The Stadium this afternoon, intercept them before they can cause any damage,” the voice on the other end of the line said. I had heard that voice many times before. I supposed that it was my handler. I had never met her before even though she probably knew everything about me.
“Information?” I requested.
“We’re sending you copies of what we know. All information will be deleted within the hour,” she told me.
“As will the targets,” I replied. I walked over to my wardrobe to select a suitable outfit. It was the middle of tourist season, so I picked a typical shirt for a visitor to the city to wear. It was a red gimmicky T-shirt with the words: I ♥ Nimbasa written on it. I picked out some shorts and I was ready.
The Stadium was one of the top tourist destinations in Nimbasa besides the iconic Ferris wheel. Today there was a match between the Nimbasa Zebstrikas and their rivals, the Driftveil Drilburs. I stood in the crowd, scanning the seats for the bomber. His face popped up in my right contact lens as the left did a face-recognition scan. I found him, sat in the middle of the Zebstrika supporters, dressed in their black and yellow scarf and wearing face paint. I would have to strike quickly if I was to kill him. He looked like he was from the Desert Resort, his tanned face hidden behind his face-paint. He was short and looked very agile. The easiest way to kill him of course would be to morph into Alakazam and make him have an epileptic fit. But I was sitting in the human section, even if I didn’t have to morph I would be escorted out within seconds. I would have to leave the seating and morph. I stood up and awkwardly shuffled my way along the row, trying to disturb as few baseball fans as I could. I made it out of the seating and hurried up the steps to the exit, and into the main lobby.
The lobby was completely empty now; the attendants were in the café waiting for the first half to finish. The glass ticket booths were empty and the concrete pillars stood in the middle of the hall, like a modernisation of the Greek masterpieces. I made my way to the toilets, where I could safely morph into Alakazam.
“Stop, we know who you are and what your plans are,” I stopped in my tracks and turned in the direction of the voice. There were two men, both dressed in the same dark suits that all men who wanted to look conspicuous wore, and wearing sunglasses. My lenses came up with pictures for them both. They were UIA agents, given first level security. They were small fry, clearly mistaken about me.
“We know what your plan is. But they will not succeed today, ‘jhim Quaeed will fail once again,” the second man said. His voice was lower, he was clearly trying to exert authority over me.
“Firstly, let’s get away from all of this cliché nonsense. Secondly, I’m not the man you’re looking for, I’ve come to eliminate him,” I replied.
“Why should we believe you? We know that you’re a terrorist,” the first man replied, his expensive watch glinting in the sunlight.
“How can you know that I’m a terrorist when I work for Special Branch?” I asked, mildly amused.
“We had a sighting of you last night in a restaurant, the next day two known terrorists were found dead outside of it. They were clearly your rivals,” the man replied.
“Look at me, I don’t even have any bombs,” I said, opening up my leather jacket to show them. But before I’d even revealed the insides shots were scattering around me. They had snipers on scene, it seemed, and I was a dead Ducklett. I turned and ran, ignoring the exploding glass and the bullets ricocheting off the pillars.
“Morph Bisharp,” I murmured. My skin bubbled and darkened and I stumbled as my body accustomed itself. Morphing while running was difficult and I could rarely keep my balance. Just as I finished the transformation a bullet pinged off my iron torso. I was almost invulnerable now, all I needed to do was eliminate the target.
I broke down the exit closest to the bomber and, having walked down a few steps before breaking into stride, running along his row. He looked at me, eyes open in terror, as I sped past him, my hardened claws ripping into his stomach. He had been eliminated now, everything was safe. I slowed to a walk as the security forces rushed around me, and I turned back at the bomber. He was retching on the floor and reached for something inside his coat. He was going to detonate the bomb. He pulled something and exploded, sending a fireball spreading throughout the stadium.
I broke free of the multitude of men dressed in florescent jackets around me, running down the steps to escape the blast. I jumped into the air as the shock wave hit me, throwing me across the seats and onto the pitch where the players were watching, astounded. I had to get out of here, or I would be caught and inevitably blamed for the disaster.
“Morph Honchcrow,” I croaked. My legs drew up to my body and became hooked, clawed feet. My heavy iron torso softened and covered itself with black feathers. My mouth turned into a yellow bill and a strange hat appeared on my head. Even as my arms started to morph and bubble into black wings I was running and flapping them, preparing for flight. I took off into the air, flying high above the stadium. I reviewed he damage as I soared above the city. A hole about ten metres wide had been blasted into the stadium by the bomb, and a further twenty metres to either side was burning. This would not look good for my reputation.
I crashed into the house through the bedroom window, landing in front of Sawk, who was training as usual in his martial arts gear. I lay on my bed, exhausted and bruised, as I morphed back into human form, still in my shirt and shorts. The phone rang in my pocket. I picked up the cell and answered the call.
“What happened there? You were supposed to stop the bomber, not start the explosion,” my handler said from the other end. She seemed slightly angry at me, but mostly stressed.
“Two UIA guys saw me last night at the Nickerson job, they seemed to think that I was part of the terrorist cell and blew my cover. I tried to finish the job but I couldn’t patch it up entirely,” I replied.
“Well never mind, what’s done is done. Anyway, the UIA are holding us responsible for the explosion. One of their men heard you saying something about Special Branch and now that they don’t want public alarm they’re blaming it on you,” she explained.“As a result, we’re temporarily severing contact with you; in effect you were never in Direct Intervention until further notice. Just lie low and don’t do anything that could put you in the public eye.” she ordered. The phone went dead. I lay on the bed for a few more moments, running it all through my mind. I had an idea.
“Sawk, as she’s not my superior anymore, that last order has no authority. We’re moving out, let’s go,” I told my companion. I dabbed antiseptic onto my cuts as Sawk rushed around the safe house, preparing to leave. Sawk had been the first Pokémon stored in my SoulChanger, and had turned into my housekeeper over the years. I had had to leave here many times before with him and trusted him to get all the basics ready. In the meanwhile, having cleaned and bandaged the wounds, I turned to my wardrobe, pressing a switch on the back of it. The bottom slid open, revealing a safe that I quickly opened. Inside were my vital possessions: money, passports, credit cards, a gun and seven Poké Balls.
Over three years of service I had caught Pokémon on my missions and added them to my collection in the SoulChanger. As I stuffed them all into a bag a figure flew in through the window that I had broken on my escape back here. I ducked as the flying Pokémon, who had been headed straight for my neck, whizzed past me and crashed into a chair. The Pokémon was small, with a purple stinger at his tail and large purple ears. His wings didn’t look like regular bird’s wings, stretched like a skin between his arms and legs. It was a Gligar.
I got up and hopped into a defensive position as he recovered himself and shot into the air. His claws on the end of his arms glowed white, he flew towards me. He was an assassin, sent by the UIA, I guessed. The Guillotine attack was easy to dodge but this time Gligar was prepared and swooped around, the attack having missed, and rammed himself straight into me. I stumble back at the force of the Quick Attack and barely ducked under him as he coated his blue wing with steel and swiped it at me. However, at this last dodge I fell onto the floor. Now was his chance to strike me, and rid the Agency of me. His claw once again glowed white, this time with a menace that would have frozen an ordinary man in his tracks.
But before he could do anything a shape ran in through the doorway, kicking the airborne threat once, and then slammed his other foot into him. The purple Pokémon landed on the bed at Sawk’s attack and lay there, getting his breath back. I leapt to my feet and went over towards the bed, slamming my fist into the creature’s stomach. I stepped back as the Gligar lashed out with a steel-tipped wing.
“Sawk, take it from here. Once he gets up use Karate Chop and then Close Combat!” I commanded the Martial Arts Pokémon. Before Gligar could react Sawk had already chopped his hand at the FlyScorpion Pokémon, sending him spinning into the wall. Sawk finished off by repetitively slamming his fists into his opponent, badly hurting Gligar. I saw a Poké Ball discarded on the floor. I could use it now to rid myself of this threat and gain easy passage. I picked it up and pressed a button, activating the capture mechanism.
I threw the capsule into the air and it spun, almost in slow motion. The Poké Ball swallowed Gligar up and rolled on the wooden floor for a moment.
Bleep…Bleep…Bleep…Ping! Gligar was caught! I swept up the sphere in my hands and put it straight into the bag.
“Come on Sawk, let’s go. Morph Gligar,” I said. I shrunk to an incredible height, the skin on my underarms stretching to reach down to my now short, segmented legs. “Our cover story for you is that you are a recruit for the UIA that I’m showing on the ropes,” I said to Sawk.
“OK, Lupin, I’ve got it,” he replied. One of the benefits of the SoulChanger was that, while morphed as a Pokémon, I could understand their speech. I flew over, perching on Sawk’s shoulder as he walked out, both his and my rucksacks on his back.
“Where are we going to go?” he asked.
“We have to find out what ‘jhim Quaeed are doing first to explain their attack on the Stadium. But first I think that the best place to go is the UIA headquarters in Castelia City,” I replied. I wanted to find out what the UIA had about me, and destroy all of the evidence before they caught up with me again.
Re: The Dalima Complex: Chapter 1
I'll claim this next as a thank you for grading so freaking much. Heh.
Re: The Dalima Complex: Chapter 1
Let's see, where to begin. Let me start out by saying that this story was really freaking awesome. I'm not a huge fan of Pokemorph fics because a lot of times they tend to be angsty and poorly written with the Pokemorphs existence barely explained. This, however, felt very different from what I've read in the past. It's an entirely different beast that makes me think more of a smart, fast-paced action movie than something aimed at mopey teenagers. It's like Animorphs meet the Bourne Trilogy. A really, really cool premise that's well executed.
I didn't get a huge sense of your character's personality other than some vague impressions and the knowledge that this is one guy I don't want to mess with. That's okay, though, because this is a first chapter and I totally get that he's a secret agent with amnesia and obviously isn't going to be an open book. Along these same lines, there's not a whole lot explained about his ability to morph yet, other than how he's able to do it. I'm hoping you go into this more in later chapters, but right now I understand why you left it vague. It builds intrigue and makes the reader want to come back, which is important. Also, I just wanted to say I liked all the little French things. It gave some character to the whole thing.
I'm sure you've gathered my opinion of the plot (REALLY FREAKIN COOL) and the characters (DITTO). Basically, when you've got a story like this that's going to be multiple chapters, make sure you pace yourself well. Don't feel obligated to give out information too quickly, but at the same time don't leave too many questions unanswered as some readers will get annoyed and wander off. You have to hit the middle, which I think you can do. On the topic of keeping the reader's attention, I'd like to commend you on your intro. Sure it sounds a little bit like the beginning to Murder She Wrote or something, but at least it's different and let's the reader know from the beginning that this is something new, different, and interesting.
Your grammar is impeccable and I only noticed a few mistakes, which I've listed below.
I'd probably split this into two sentences where that comma is, or at least made the comma a semi colon.
I approached the restaurant, it was quite an upmarket place and I would need a good guise to get in.
It's sort of awkward to use two variations of the word 'garb' right next to each other.
Sawk ran forward, garbed in his typical martial arts garb.
Details: Once again I'm going to be somewhat useless and just tell you that I think you did a great job. You described the characters and Pokemon as well as you could without it getting purple-y and the battle scenes were just fantastic. Normally I skim those but yours were interesting, fast paced, and managed to catch my attention. One thing I was slightly confused about was the age of your character. If this was intentional, so be it, but if not, knowing if he's a fairly young guy or an old man is important to understand his character. I'd also like to know more about the other Pokemon he caught, but that's just me.
Length: You're over the target length, so you're fine.
Outcome: Gligar... captured.
You've got some talent, bro. Make sure to keep writing and building on it. Work to make everything you write the best thing it can be and you'll improve way past what you thought was possible. It's a great experience to feel yourself becoming really good at something. Anyways, yeah, can't wait for the next installment.