Intended Capture: Unown ?, Machop, Poliwhirl
Required Characters: 30-50k
Actual Characters: 32,484
Author’s Note: I am aware that right in the starting section and later in the story there appear to be some incredibly basic mistakes in Pokémon-related terminology, Typing and spelling. Rest assured that these are intentional and will make sense in context.
As always spellings are in UK-English
The door to the Indigo Plateau’s Record Chamber burst open as Red thrust his way into the final bastion of Trainerdom. He slammed the door shut behind him, cursing the way that the noise reverberated down the outer corridor, sounding a death knell that would draw the enemy closer. Red carefully surveyed the few Trainers who stood ready to defend the room with him, all far too young to bear such an onerous life or death struggle and with far too little experience of this sort of combat; he was hardly a grizzled veteran himself, but he had probably seen more action in this war than the rest of them put together.
A girl poked her head out from behind a computer server, just one of many that filled the frigid chamber, and correctly deduced the question that was on the tip of Red’s tongue. “No good news I’m afraid. I’ve only just hacked myself an administrative access key; I haven’t even taken a crack at unravelling the code yet and who knows how many layers of ciphers Bill blanketed them in.” The girl stopped briefly at the mention of her late mentor, a single tear leaking from the corner of her eye before she pulled her emotions into check; it would do them no good now to dwell on the many casualties of this war. “It’ll probably take another couple of hours before I can even approach the point of being able to irretrievably shred the database. Do you think the remaining Gym Leaders can give us that much time?”
Red felt like screaming in frustration at this setback, but kept up his stoic façade for the sake of the others. The ceiling shook as violent fighting continued elsewhere in the Unified Pokémon League Headquarters, dislodging brick dust that joined the patina of grime covering Red’s shirt and hat. ‘Old habits died hard,’ Red reflected as he caught himself wondering how he was going to get his trademark clothing clean in time for the next League Championship, before ruefully realising that he would be lucky to see another day, let alone strut about for the cameras as the Champion.
“It sounds like they’re getting closer,” a young boy said, shivering in his impractically short shorts; the slight tremor in his voice not entirely attributable to his physical state.
Red considered delivering some sort of rousing speech to his gathered ‘army,’ something that wouldn’t be out of place in an epic war movie. Even if he could find the words, and stumble through without his voice cracking due to fatigue and his emotionally drained state, he knew that it would be nothing more than a hollow epitaph. Red simply lifted his head and looked into the eyes of each of them, allowing them to see the steely determination in his own, the resolve not to let the Record Centre fall. They all knew that the computers here contained detailed records on every Trainer in the Four Regions, more than sufficient to hunt them down and finally finish the task of wiping the Trainers out permanently.
A pounding on the door behind him drew Red’s attention, followed by muffled shouts on the other side calling for breaching charges. He reasoned that there was no point in allowing them to keep the initiative and reached for one of the seven red and white spheres attached to his belt. Red threw the PokéOrb forwards, releasing the fiery form of Charizord, his oldest and loyalist companion.
The tall, orange Dragon-type Pokémon turned to look at his Trainer and nodded knowingly, stoically acknowledging that this would likely be his final hour, a single tear forming in his eye before he turned back to regard the doorway. Charizord flexed his wings and stretched out his arms, preparing his scaly body for the onslaught of weapon’s fire that was about to come his way.
“Shut that crap off, Carrere, I’ve told you before how I feel about it.”
“C’mon, Professor, this is the finest radio drama in years,” Carrere called back from the cockpit of the Tiltrotor transport, “besides I’d have thought that as an expert on the Trainer Wars you’d appreciate it.”
The aging scientist in the rear of the craft shook his head at his apprentice’s suggestion, “That series show entirely too much sympathy to the Trainers, people who we know to have been nothing but a bunch of scoundrels and criminals, at best. Now turn it off!” he finished, wrapping his white lab coat tighter about his wizened frame.
“You’ve made me miss the end anyway,” the younger scientist relented, reaching forward to deactivate the radio.
“…cludes episode seven of Red: A Trainer’s Story, tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the end of the Trainer Wars. Following the conclusion we will also have a panel discussion with three leading experts on the formation of the Knights of the Crimson Brotherhood as we know them tod…”
Professor Rider snorted as Carrere cut the presenter off mid-sentence, “And now they’re giving air time to discussing those terrorists. They lost the war so long ago and yet still insist on living according to outmoded and outlawed philosophies and will stop at nothing to destroy the rest of us in the process.”
It was an argument they’d had a hundred times before, about whether the Knights were as bad as everyone said, or responsible for half of what people attributed to them, or why such drastic measures had been required to bring the Trainers under control at the time of the war. The arguments never reached a conclusion, there were too few records remaining from the time to make any judgements and the Professor Rider always shut down conversation about sympathy with the Knights, refusing to even debate the issue. Carrere suspected that Rider had been hurt by them in the past, but the truth was much simpler than that.
Carrere reminded Rider of himself when he’d been starting out, right down to the same frail physique, neatly slicked back brown hair and under-washed, creased cargo shorts and shirt. Similarly, he carried the same innocent naivety, idealism and passion for study, and Rider felt immensely protective of the boy; Carrere was like the son he’d never had. Any hint of affiliation with the Knights of the Crimson Brotherhood, including mere sympathy with their ways, would result in severe punishment and make him a social & academical pariah; there was even the risk of him ‘disappearing’ into the hands of the Pokémon Security Agency, never to be seen again.
“Just keep your mind on the scanners, we should be approaching the site soon and I don’t want to miss it,” Rider called forwards. Despite the ridicule of his contemporaries, Rider had never stopped believing that this site still existed; he had spent most of his career searching for it, but could only continue dodging retirement for so long; he was running out of time to find it. As their small aeroplane cut through the sky, Rider couldn’t help but feel a mounting sense of excitement at the prospect of their target; with any luck this time wouldn’t be another wild goose chase.
They were deep in the Dead Zone when the ground penetrating radar picked up a void matching the description they’d been given. Despite the passage of time since Pallet Town, home of Red and the initial headquarters of the Trainers during the War, had been bombarded with enhanced nuclear warheads, the landscape had never recovered from the attack. As Rider looked out through the Tiltrotor’s window, along the wing and past the upturned propeller on the end of it, the view of this ruined land mesmerised him.
From this vantage point, the Dead Zone stretched from horizon to horizon, little more than acres of barren soil and sand with only the occasional half-demolished ruin or stunted tree to spice up the landscape. Occasionally he could see the bright flashes of anti-radiation force fields belonging to other intrepid explorers, some of them accompanied by hardy Machine-type Pokémon to carry their loads as they searched for historical artefacts or lost technology. Sometimes they dared to venture nearer to the centre of the blast, where there were occasional glass formations, sculpted by the wind and heat that the bombs had generated, that could fetch a decent price on the arts market; but decades of scavenging and decay had just about cleared the Dead Zone of anything what little there had been that was worth recovering. The Tiltrotor hovered above the blasted wasteland, anti-rad shield pinging heavily, whilst Professor Rider took a closer look at the instruments to confirm the readings.
“No disrespect, Professor, but would you mind hurrying up,” the pilot pleaded. “We’re much too close to the epicentre for my bird’s shields to hold up and my wife wants another kid so I can’t risk too much rad poisoning.”
Professor Rider sympathised with the pilot’s position, he missed the days when his own late wife made such requests of him, but his exploration of ancient sites had left him too damaged by irradiation to be able to comply. “Send down the probe, Carrere, I’d rather have some inkling of what’s in there before risking our lives with just our personal shields.
“OK, Professor, but I still don’t think it’s entirely safe for him eith…”
“I’ve told you about that before boy, firstly its biology makes it immune to radiation and secondly stop treating them like that. Pokémon are nothing but tools to be used, that’s why why the 85% of Pokémon species not useful for industrial purposes were wiped out following the end of the War, now send it out.”
Carrere sighed as the Professor clamped down on yet another old discussion, but the old man was set in his ways. He walked into the back of the aircraft and opened the pod that contained their probe. What looked like a one foot tall black question mark, dotted with a lazily open eye, and marked with a small metal stub inserted into the back of the dot, floated out of the pod, showing some sign of recognition as it spotted Carrere.
“Hey, Query, we need you to drop into a cavern below us and see what it’s like. We just need a basic read on whether it’s natural or man-made and then you can come back up, OK.” The Pokémon swung forward slightly, approximating a nod, before floating downwards and phasing through the base of the Tiltrotor in a flash of light.
“I’ve told you about that as well, Carrere,” Rider scolded as he walked up behind Carrere, leaning heavily on his walking stick. “Don’t name the damn thing, and give it orders, not requests. If it disobeys then give it a neural shock through the implant until it does. And don’t give me that look either, it isn’t any crueller than kicking a machine that isn’t working; they’re just unthinking animals.”
Resolving to make at least some defence for his attitude, Carrere responded, “What else am I supposed to call him; even the histories record that his species name is unknown.”
“Then refer to it as a probe, or by the serial number assigned by the control device,” Professor Rider retorted, emphasising the more socially appropriate impersonal address for Pokémon.
An aggrieved expression briefly flashed across Carrere’s face as he considered pursing the argument further; the lack of respect shown to Pokémon as useful as Query was always a bone of contention between the two of them. He had been on eighteen different digs using Query as a probe, and the small Pokémon’s short-ranged ability to minorly manipulate reality had been an invaluable asset. He’d prevented them from wasting time digging into chambers that were merely empty air pockets, reconstructed missing sections of hieroglyphics and even managed to disarm several traps that would have killed both of them.
Carrere was about to say something, but the prompt return of Query through the floor of the Tiltrotor stifled his desire. The Pokémon begun to answer in a helium-pitched sing-song voice, intoning the word “unknown,” as the control computer on Carrere’s wrist begun to translate the gist of the statement.
“H…It says that there’s a building under the ground, relatively modern. It can lead us to the entrance area so we can tunnel in.”
“Excellent. Pilot, drop us and the excavator off and then head back to base; I’ll signal you when we require extraction.”
For the first time in centuries, the still air of the building was shattered as a cream coloured lithic fist was driven through the ceiling. Amidst the cascade of rubble that followed the initial appearance of the fist, it struck through again and again until the opening was sufficiently large for the fist’s owner to drop through, shattering the tiled floor beneath. As the dust cleared, the Regirock moved itself slowly to one side to clear the way for the two humans who accompanied it.
Both archaeologists jumped down onto the golem-like Pokémon’s shoulder and then climbed down to the floor of the room, first Carrere and then Rider, followed by their floating probe. Though neither man was now surrounded by the flickering blue corona of their personal anti-rad shields, neither felt sufficiently shielded by the surrounding ground to risk deactivating them.
“Excavator 2Δ, remain on standby,” Rider ordered the Regirock, observing it as it responded. After a few deep rumblings, the round protrusions which formed a letter ‘H’ on its face flashed in a seemingly random sequence and then darkened again as the Pokémon appeared to relax somewhat.
Only once he was certain it was inactive did Professor Rider take the opportunity to survey the building he stood in, playing the beam from his torch around the room that they found themselves in. The room was full to bursting with computers and other high-tech-looking machinery and every free surface bore traces of the decayed remains of papers and books. They were evidently in some sort of laboratory, but Rider refused to allow himself to hope that he’d finally found his prize; he had been disappointed too many times before to take the optimistic approach.
Rider walked across to one of the computers, flipping the activation switch out of habit, and almost jumped out of his skin when it begun to boot up; evidently there was still some sort of active generator within the building. As much as that had shocked him, however, he almost had a heart attack when the computer made a crackling, but still clearly audible announcement, “Welcome back, Professor Oak, please enter your password.”
He had finally done it, he had discovered the home and laboratory of the most important man in history. Professor Oak had been instrumental for cracking the security on the Global Pokédex Network, allowing the last few Trainers to be tracked down using the GPS transponders that the devices were fitted with, not to mention his work adapting the harmless Pokérus into an anti-Pokémon bioweapon. Without the contributions of Professor Oak it was very likely that the Knights of the Crimson Brotherhood would be a much more powerful institution today, and may have even been able to undo all the good work of the Trainer Wars; this laboratory was practically a sacred site in Professor Rider’s eyes.
“Professor, you’ve got to come look,” Carrere called as he walked back in through a doorway, “I found a room with a collapsed ceiling full of shelving, these were all I could access but there could be more…is something the matter, Professor?” Carrere could only see Rider’s back, but from his posture and lack of response it was clear that he wasn’t his normal self.
“This is the laboratory of Oak the Great. I’ve spent my entire career searching for it; I’d never have thought to look so close to where Red came from, to think that such a great man and the quintessence of evil must have lived within a stone’s throw of each other.” Rider visibly shook himself out of his stupor and turned to acknowledge Carrere’s presence, “Get over here, I need you to crack your way into this computer to confirm that this is Oak’s Lab before I contact the Archaeological Society.”
Relishing the opportunity to help Rider fulfil his dream, Carrere surged forwards, depositing a pair of red and white balls on the desk as he took the seat.
“What the hell are those doing here!?!” Rider yelled as he spotted the PokéOrbs, still very recognisably as the accoutrements of Trainers.
“They were in the room I was telling you about,” Carrere casually offered as he begun trying to break his way past the computer’s password protection. “I’d guess he must have kept some for study; there seemed to be tags attached to the shelves that have rotted away over time, presumably they would have told us what these are. Looks like I’m through, the security’s nothing compared to what we’ve got these days…according to the computer it was just in idle mode, there’s a video loaded up that Oak must have been watching last time he used it.”
Despite his disgust at the presence of the PokéOrbs, Rider leaned in close to get a closer look at the screen; anything that Oak considered important must matter greatly.
“Welcome back to KN151 News, I’m Katrina Opal,” said an immaculately suited woman sitting behind a low desk as a cheerful animation featuring the Channel’s Logo (an open PokéOrb with an unknown green reptilian Pokémon with a large plant bulb on its back sat inside) faded away. Contrary to the light-hearted tone of the logo and the bright shades of the television studio, the presenter wore a distinctly sombre expression, “We have a breaking exclusive on the continuing story of the kidnapping of local business giant, and Leader of the Viridian City Gym, Giovanni. I must warn viewers that the following clip contains material of a graphic nature that viewers of a sensitive disposition that they may find disturbing and we would advise any children are sent out of the room.”
The earlier logo appeared in the centre of the screen and then advanced forwards until it covered the entire picture before fading once again. The image now focussed on a clearly dishevelled man, wearing a torn orange suit and seated on a chair in a darkened room. Next to the man stood an incredibly thin, white and green humanoid Pokémon with vicious blades for arms, one of which was held, warningly, across the man’s chest. The image zoomed out until an orange, bipedal, reptilian Pokémon standing before the man was clearly visible; it looked down at a piece of paper it was holding and then back towards the camera.
“I am Aegon, leader of the Free Pokémon Alliance,” the Pokémon declared in perfect English. “We demand that all Pokémon should have equal standing in society with humans, and an immediate cessation to all Pokémon enslavement. These demands are non-negotiable, and we will respond with deadly force to the continued maltreatment of our brethren, and to show that we mean business…Gallade, kill him.”
The humanoid Pokémon to a step to one side, lifting its arm in preparation to strike. To his credit, Giovanni maintained his composure even as Gallade scythed his arm through the businessman’s neck, severing his head in a spray of blood that the Pokémon appeared to relish.
“You have two days to comply before we begin more killings,” Aegon stated bluntly before signalling for the camera to be shut off.
“Well, Professor, it looks like we’ve discovered the long-forgotten cause of the Trainer Wars,” Carrere stated in a subdued voice, “and everyone had always assumed that the Trainers did something to spark the conflict.”
Professor Rider was stunned by this revelation and the challenge it made to the paradigm by which the entire country now lived. A gnawing sensation begun in the pit of his stomach as he thought up further implications that this could have on other ‘certain knowledge’ of the past. “This isn’t necessarily related, or a causal event,” he lamely declared.
“There are a few other news articles saved in this folder,” Carrere continued, oblivious to the internal crisis that his mentor was facing. He skimmed through a few of them that had been left open, “It looks like this Aegon took a shopping centre hostage and killed fifty people before escaping. There was a huge hunt for him, but meanwhile groups begun putting pressure on the country’s governments, back when the four Regions were governed separately, to place some sort of restrictions on Pokémon whilst relaxing the laws on Pokémon treatment. It looks like they were backed by businesses that had long been trying to change the laws for a while, so they could exploit Pokémon for power generation, water and food production, all industries that have bloomed under current-day Pokémon use.”
Carrere turned to face the distraught Professor Rider, “The war grew out of an underhanded business venture that went too far.”
“There has to be some other explanation,” Rider said, practically on the verge of hyperventilating as he faced the possibility that society had been manipulated into a near-genocidal war for the wrong reasons. “I mean Oak the Great wouldn’t have worked with shady businessmen, and besides that we know that the Trainers were evil,” Rider tried, desperately grasping for some solution.
Sensing that Rider was steadfastly refusing to believe the evidence before him, Carrere pulled up a second video that had been hovering in the background. This video would give him no option but to accept the truth.
The KN151 News logo filled the screen again, fading to once more reveal the form of Katrina Opal; though the studio and even her outfit remained the same, her face bore a haggard look that added years to her appearance. “Our top story today is the continuing civil unrest prompted by the Aegon Incident in the Celadon Department Store three weeks ago.
“Since the terrorist attack, perpetuated by a group of Pokémon, violent debate has raged about the rights of both wild and tame Pokémon as people ask, ‘just how much freedom is too much?’ Groups from both sides of the discussion have been incredibly vocal, with active demonstrations in all major cities of the Kanto, Sinnoh and Johto Regions, as well as much of Hoenn, that have often come perilously close to devolving into mass brawls.
“Amongst this crisis, the Gym Leaders, Elite Four Members and League Champions have been at the forefront of the debate, working to promote peaceful dialogue between the two sides; none more so than our own Champion, the enigmatic Red, who’s skilful oration has defused many an ugly situation. We now go live to Dale Hutchings who is at a rally in Pewter City. Dale what is the mood amongst the crowd at the moment?”
The image shifted sideways to the on-site footage to fill the screen; a seemingly endless sea of angry people assembled before an imposing stone-faced building that the caption identified as the Pewter Gym. A quick pan of the camera to the right revealed the reporter, a sharply suited, middle-aged man, standing amongst the protesters.
“Good morning, Katrina, the crowd here is pretty riled up and quite firmly in the anti-Pokémon camp. Backed by a series of notable corporate sponsors they’ve maintained a vigil here for the last two days to prevent any challengers from entering the Gym. About an hour ago there was a moving address to the crowd from a woman whose daughter was killed in the Aegon Incident. Soon afterwards it became known that Red – the face of the pro-Pokémon campaign – was present in the Gym, and the suggestion of more direct action swept through the crowd like a wildfire. I believe that the Trainer is coming out to make one of his now famous speeches in the hopes of diffusing the situation…this looks like him now.”
With practiced ease the cameraman zoomed in on a small podium at the entrance to the Gym as a pair of figures exited the imposing edifice. Both people were instantly recognisable; Red, the crimson garbed Champion who was far younger than expected – probably five or six years younger than Carrere – along with the tall, white-coated, elderly figure of Professor Oak.
The Professor took his place behind the podium whilst Red flanked him, and the first few lines of his speech were lost as the sound technician tried to filter out the noise of the crowd. “…ssure you that Red and I have been working tirelessly to develop a non-lethal system to disable Pokémon in the event that something like thi…”
“That’s not good enough!” someone near the front yelled, “We need to make sure they never get the chance!” A chorus of approval followed the declaration, drowning out Oak’s rebuttal and rippling further outwards through the crowd, escalating as it travelled until it had driven them into a state of near-frenzy.
Red motioned for Oak to step aside and appeared to prepare to deliver one of his trademark, crisis-diffusing addresses. Within seconds of him opening his mouth, a brick came sailing out of the centre of the gathered masses and struck Red squarely in the jaw. The Champion staggered backwards in shock as the crowd begun to surge forwards, spurred on by the initial attack, and there was suddenly a bright flash of blue light. A Pokémon, recognisable as the Charizord described in the radio drama, formed in the midst of the light and let out a gout of flame across the top of the crowd.
The picture was suddenly distorted as the surging crowd knocked the camera over amidst garbled protests from the reporter before the image faded and a ‘Technical Difficulties’ slide filled the screen.
“He wasn’t on their side sir, he was a renowned Pokémon Professor who invented the Pokédex system. It looks like his work was manipulated after he died in the Pallet Town bombing and his popularity with the public was used to legitimise the Anti-Trainer side.” Carrere was hesitant to destroy his mentor’s hero with such finality, but the truth had to be told.
“It can’t be,” Rider breathed, stepping away from the computer as his entire world came crashing down around him. “There’s…I…” he barely found himself able finish a thought, let alone a sentence.
“We have to get this information to the Archaeological Society, people need to know…”
“Yes, I guess there’s no choice,” Rider interrupted, lost on his own train of thought. 2Δ destroy the lab, start with the computer.”
The Regirock stirred almost immediately in response to the instruction, raising its left arm to point at the computer. Electrical sparks formed at Regirock’s shoulder and danced down his arm before coalescing at his hand and blasting a yellow beam of electricity towards the machine.
Carrere dived aside as the beam lanced into the monitor, causing the machine to explode in a shower of plastic and glass. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he cried.
“Do you have any idea what would happen if this information got out, the damage this would do to society. We have to destroy it all now.” Rider was practically raving by this point, he seemed willing to go to almost any lengths to preserve the current version of history.
“I can’t let you do this, we can’t suppress the truth just because it disagrees with your opinions. Query stop Regirock with Hidden Power.”
The practically forgotten probe floated into position before Regirock and generated a small cloud of silver orbs which instantly launched themselves at it. Query looked like it was gearing up for another attack when it was suddenly engulfed in a heavy electrical discharge.
“I always thought you were too sympathetic towards the Crimson Brotherhood,” Rider bitterly declaimed as he used his control computer to incapacitate Query, “only they would order an attack like that. I’m afraid that I can’t let you escape with the information you’ve found,” he said, tears beginning to form as he realised what he would have to do.
Carrere quickly analysed his options; there was no way Rider would let him go, so he’d have to take down Regirock and then he could try to reason with the obviously distraught man. Unfortunately even if Query wasn’t incapacitated by the control implant he was far too weak to take on a Pokémon of that calibre, which left only one option. Diving quickly to the side to escape another electrical beam from Regirock, Carrere grabbed the two PokéOrbs from the floor where they’d landed after the computer exploded and released their occupants.
The space in the lab was instantly lit up by materialisation of two Pokémon; both of them were about half of Carrere’s height and had vaguely humanoid appearances, one was round and blue with gloved hands on its stubby arms and a black spiral on its white chest whilst the other was slightly shorter, grey-skinned and far more human looking. Although both species of Pokémon were now extinct, Carrere had once seen them in a battered old copy of the sacred Pokédex that his brother, a true member of the Crimson Brotherhood, had once shown him and recognised the pair of them instantly; Polywhorl and Machop. The pair of Pokémon appeared to be shocked at the state of affairs they’d found themselves in, looking around in confusion and conversing with each other in their own language.
Carrere was so used to looking at control computer displays to understand what Pokémon were saying that he was momentarily thrown by his inability to comprehend them. He was similarly surprised to discover that upon finally giving his attention to their speech, instead of the control computer, that it consisted merely of repeated snippets of their species’ name. His idle contemplation was shattered as a barrage of small sharp stones ploughed into the newly summoned Pokémon.
“Finish them off quickly 2Δ, today has been traumatic enough without having to continue engaging with Pokémon in this manner.”
Regirock stepped forward and generated another ring of stones, long dormant battling skills slowly reasserting themselves.
Carrere sensed that Regirock was still merely feeling his way with his attacks and it was likely that he would become increasingly powerful; there was very little time left to turn things around. Regretting that he’d not paid more attention to his brother, Carrere tried in vain to remember any attacks that either of these two Pokémon would know. “Both of you hit it with Rock Break,” he tried desperately.
The two Pokémon looked towards each other in confusion and conferred briefly as Regirock advanced and fired the stones towards them. Machop leapt to the side, out of the path of Regirock’s attack, but Polywhorl wasn’t so lucky. Struck once again by such a powerful attack from a Pokémon of Regirock’s calibre, Polywhorl dropped to the ground unconscious under the hail of stones. Machop looked towards Regirock and then back at Carrere before seeming to reason that he stood a better chance of managing this battle on his own.
Machop launched himself towards Regirock with his fist extended and cloaked in a bright white light. As he approached the extent of Regirock’s reach, Machop ducked under the Pokémon’s approaching arm and then rose up quickly to sock Regirock just below the H pattern on its face.
Regirock swung its right arm up high and then brought it down in a tight arc, leaving a pale yellow glow in its wake. Despite the close proximity of Machop Regirock somehow seemed to miss completely, instead striking its own leg with the sledgehammer-like force of the attack. The Pokémon stumbled to the side, seemingly stunned by its confused mis-strike, and crashed into a table, collapsing it in a shower of splinters.
“I don’t know how you managed that Machop, but keep up the good work,” Carrere cheered from behind. Machop turned to look in his direction just in time for Regirock to recover and slam its fist directly into his spine. The Pokémon was thrown across the room into the ruins of the computer system where it lay face down, unmoving.
“I really am sorry about this, Carrere; you were like a son to me.” Rider turned away from Carrere and begun making the short trek back to the hole they had entered through, each step harder than the last. “2Δ hit him with a laser blast and then help me out of here,” he ordered, his voice barely above a strangled whisper.
Resigned to his fate, Carrere stood still as the orange beam of energy struck him in the chest, blasting him back into the darkness at the further end of the lab. He lay there, stunned and burned by the fierce attack, for a short while before trying his best to rise. Forcing himself into a seated position, wincing at the pain that shot through his body, Carrere coughed up blood as tremors begun to shake the laboratory. The last thoughts to cross his mind before the roof caved in entirely was for the three Pokémon that lay unconscious elsewhere in the room – Polywhorl, Machop and Query – and how tragic it was that they had all had to suffer the same fate as him over an ancient lie that had torn the world asunder.
Dear Mr and Mrs Carrere,
By now you will have been informed of the tragic passing of your son, but I felt that as his teacher you deserved to hear from me personally, though I am certain no mere words will help to fill the void that his absence has created. As you know from the media reports, your son and I were ambushed by the Knights of the Crimson Brotherhood whilst following a lead on an important archaeological site, and your son was a paragon of heroism. He fought them back bravely and sacrificed himself to save my life when they fled and collapsed the cave, like the rats they are. Nigel was the brightest, kindest soul that I have ever had the pleasure to meet, and if I could have died in his place the world would be a finer place.
In order that his heroism is not forgotten, with your permission of course, I would like to fund the Nigel Carrere Scholarship to help other students from underprivileged backgrounds like him to have the opportunity to live the life that was stolen from him. I will be sure to seek you out at his funeral to discuss this further, as well as to return to you some personal effects from his desk.
With sincerest condolences,
Professor H. Henry Rider
As always comments and feedback are appreciated are appreciated, either here or in the Chat thread - particularly looking for some feedback on the name, as I've had real trouble coming up with one this time.