Raphael Kane was standing alone in the middle of Rustboro City Park, watching the sun set. The trees were all deprived of their leaves, which now covered the ground, but the region's climate prevented any snowfall. It was still cold enough for the breeze to sting Raphael's pale face a bit, but nothing spectacular. His short black hair and coat, just as black, were more than enough to keep him warm. A set of Pokéballs hung at his side.
It had been a couple months since the garden had been destroyed by the fire. All of the Pokémon in the garden had escaped, much to the chagrin of the Raphael's father. Even so, Raphael had found a Combee and a Ralts, which he decided were worthy opponents Mr. Kane's business partners had jokingly called the incident the Great Fire of Raphael, which he found completely and utterly uninspired. Incidentally, he would be working with those very business partners this very night. Raphael had spent the last few months being trained in trade secrets. It was only tonight, his first heist, that he would be putting these skills to the test.
His cell phone beeped. He checked it to find a new text message: "Blustery Day". Raphael smirked. This was the signal he was looking for. He put the cell phone back and began to walk towards the rest of the city.
The others were waiting outside a diner that spilled red and green light onto the sidewalk. They were all dressed in dark coats and hats, and a couple of them also wore bushy, grizzled mustaches. They were all older the Raphael, who was approaching from the other side of the street. He did not care much about the age gap, though. All he cared about was the success of their operation.
One of them turned around as the boy arrived. He was in his late forties, with black hair and a mustaches. He had a strong facial structure, but it was not too different from the lad's.
"Raphael!" called out Mr. Kane. "We've been worried sick about you!"
"Sorry, just a little trouble on the way," replied Raphael. He glanced around at the others, before adding "So, are we ready to get to business?"
"We've still got a lot to talk about, boy!" said the father. "We can all talk about this inside." He opened the door, and motioned for the others, all discussing their own lives, to follow.
There were eight total seated at the table, all digging into their dinner. Raphael was the exception, who was fine with a glass of water.
"So, about that heist," started Raphael.
Mr. Kane looked up from his ham. "Oh, right." He turned to the white-haired fellow to his left and asked, "Martin, would you like to do the honors."
Martin nodded, then turned to Raphael. "As you know, tonight we'll be hitting Devon Corporation. Mr. Stone has a gift that's spending the night there."
"The Teddiursa?" asked Raphael.
"The Teddiursa he plans on sending to his niece, yes. It was supposed to be there yesterday, for Christmas, but he's had trouble getting it there. He's finally getting it sent on its way tomorrow at dawn."
"And we need this Pokémon why?"
"You know as well as everyone else here that a Teddiursa can get some big bucks on the market. And they're not easy to come by, either."
"So, care to go over the plan?"
"Certainly. You, Jeremy, and I," he motioned towards a man in his mid-twenties, enjoying his second steak dinner, "will be breaking into the Devon Corporation building. We'll have to break in, take out the guards, nab the bear, and escape to Mauville before four."
"Four, huh?" Raphael smirked. "I can do that."
Jeremy was the last of the three to arrive at the Devon Corporation building. His brown hair was slightly longer than Raphael and Martin, and his skin was darker. The glint in his eye indicated he was one to enjoy his remaining youth.
The other two had been waiting outside the large, stone building since midnight, with only the streetlights to comfort themselves. It was two now, and the three of them exchanged looks to tell each other that they had little time.
"Are you kids ready to do this?" asked Martin, approaching the door.
"Of course," said Raphael, smirking.
"More than anything," said Jeremy, with a huge grin on his face.
"Then let's do this." Martin pulled a key. After a minute of fuddling around with lock, he managed to open the door.
It was dark inside, illuminated by the moonlight and a pair of flashlights being waved around.
"Who goes there?" cried a voice that tried to be stern, but came off as slightly insecure.
"Who is it?" asked another.
"Nobody, nobody," said Martin, improvising. He entered through the door, and Raphael and Jeremy followed. "Just a few guards who've been asked to take your place." The three of them all pulled out their Pokéballs.
"Our shift doesn't end for three hours," said the first guard, pulling his own Pokéball. "I'm afraid I'll have to ask him to leave."
"I'm sorry, but we have to get upstairs."
"You are not a member of this company. You will have to-"
"Captain, Thunder Wave!" Raphael cried as his Pokéball burst open. The round, blue Chinchou that appeared sent a blue bolt of electricity at the guards as it landed on its feet-like back fins. They clutched their heads, and gritted their teeth, unable to move otherwise.
Martin threw out his own Pokéball. "Roserade, Sleep Powder." The green, leafy Pokémon that appeared spun around, spraying sparkling powder at the immobilized guards. They fell to their feet, entirely knocked out.
"Steal their clothes," instructed Martin. "You two will need a disguise." Raphael returned Captain to his Poké, and the two of them immediately got to work.
"Are you gonna keep watch?" asked Jeremy, changing into the guard's uniform.
Martin smiled, and turned to his Roserade. "Of course." The Pokémon grinned wildy.
"Alright, have fun, you," replied Raphael, now dressed for the job. He motioned for Jeremy to follow him to the elevator.
The elevator doors opened, and the two of them came up. They looked around, until finding another pair of guards just around the corner. They were standing in front of a door, a door that looked to be to Mr. Stone's office.
"Not many guards here for such a powerful organization," Raphael deduced. He turned to Jeremy. "Alright, just stay cool."
"No, I got a better idea," Jeremy replied. He marched out and waved at the guards.
"Hey, I need something behind that door. Mind if I pass?" Before the guards could reply, he continued. "Oh, of course you do. In that case, can we negotiate." He tossed a Pokéball to ground, which spawned a large, muscular, bluish-grey Pokémon.
"Machamp, you know what to do," said Jeremy. The burly Pokémon walked up to guards an grabbed them each using a pair of its arms.
"Raphael, the rest is all you," shouted Jeremy, while his Machamp did tricks with the guards. Raphael nodded and advanced into the office.
Raphael looked around the room. The middle of the room contained several couches and a coffee table. The left side was covered in bookcases, and ended with a decorated Christmas in the far corner. The right side was covered in closets and paintings. In the back of the room was a desk, Mr. Stone's, and a window outside.
Raphael's first action to look out the window. He saw the family's car approaching the building while the rest of Rustboro slept.
He turned around. On the couch opposite of him napped a small, light-brown mammal. It had a crescent on its head, and a bright red bow around its neck.
Raphael smiled and pulled out a spare Pokéball. He was prepared to throw it, to complete the heist. This was just too easy.
"Hey, what are you doing here?!" Raphael looked towards the corner. A new had appeared from one of the closets. He had a walkie-talkie in his left hand, and a Pokéball in his right. "Guys, we got a situation in Mr. Stone's office, could I get some help?"
The Teddiursa woke up. It looked around, still in a daze, then got up and yawned. The guard glanced at it, then glared at Raphael.
"So, you're after June Stone's Christmas present, eh? Well, I'm gonna make sure it's safe." The guard tossed his Pokéball onto the ground, revealing a grey and brown bird-like Pokémon.
"A Starly, huh?" asked Raphael. "I can beat that." He released both of his Pokéballs. Out came Captain and a red and black canine. It was Vice, Raphael's beloved Houndour.
"Captain, Discharge. Vice, Crunch on the Teddiursa." Captain sent countless bolts of electricity from its antennae around the room, striking the Starly, the Teddiursa, and Vice. Vice was not harmed much, though, leapt at the Teddiursa, and bit down hard on its ear.
The Teddiursa fainted onto the ground, and Vice let go, confused. The Teddiursa then sprung up and slashed Vice's abdomen.
"Nice job, Teddiursa," complimented the guard. "Starly, Wing Attack on the Houndour."
The Starly flew at the Houndour and struck it hard with its wing. Vice wobbled a bit, but was still up for battle.
"Vice, Flamethower at the Starly. Captain, paralyze that Teddiursa."
A solid stream blew from Vice's mouth and burned the Starly, which dropped to the floor and flew back up. Captain threw a blue electric bolt at the Teddiursa. The Teddiursa now struggled to move.
"Starly, Gust!" commanded the guard. The Starly flapped its wings as hard as it could, and blew Vice and Captain across the room. They both crashed into the wall. The Teddiursa ran up to one of the bookcases and started pulling out books and throwing them at Raphael's Pokémon.
Vice and Captain both got up, but neither of them had much fight left in them. There was only one thing left to do.
"Vice, Captain, return!" He returned them to their Pokéballs with another red flash, and put them away.
"So, you're giving up," taunted the guard, with his Starly and the Teddiursa standing by him. "Figures. You lowlife criminals always back out when things are getting just a little too rough for you. You do realize that the cops are on their way and are going to arrest you and the rest of your gang, right."
"Yeah," smiled Raphael, "but I've got something you don't."
"What's that?" inquired the guard, curious.
"A spare Pokéball and a weakened Teddiursa." Raphael threw the ball, which hit the Teddiursa squarely on the head. It disappeared in a flash of red light into the ball.
Before it could drop to the ground, though, the guard's Starly snatched up the Pokéball and flew straight out the window.
Both Raphael and the guard cried out in disbelief at what had just happened. Then the guard recovered his senses.
"You might want to go after that," he advised, smiling. "You've earned it."
Raphael smiled back. "Good game." He ran towards the window and leapt out of it, landing in a dumpster beneath it. When he came out of the rummage, he found the Starly, grinning with the Pokéball in its claws.
"Why you-" cried Raphael, climbing out the dumpster and bolting after the Starly. The Pokémon flew off into a nearby alley.
As stumbled across trashcans and cardboard boxes, Raphael noticed that the Starly had already made it to the other side. It was about to fly up to the waking city's skyline. Raphael knew this, and that there were not many ways to stop it. He felt around his person, found Captain's Pokéball, threw it, and called out, "Discharge, now!"
Captain sent a series of blue bolts of electricity from its antennae, which broke the windows of the surrouding buildings and blew cardboard boxes into smithereens. One of these bolts hit the Starly with fantastic precision. Both Starly and the Pokéball dropped to the ground, and the Starly was unconcious. Raphael felt glad that it ended like this. He thought that the alternative, to catch the guard's Starly, would rather rude, especially after letting him go like that. At the time being, however he was more focused on the Teddiursa's ball. He thought for a bit on it.
The Starly had more than enough time to have Teddiursa escape, then close the ball and lure its hunter away. The Starly seemed to be smart enough to do it. Or maybe the Starly just wanted a little fun. It was hard to tell.
Raphael looked back at the Devon Corporation building. It was surrounded by cars. The guard was right; The Kane family's criminal empire was now history. He was all that was left. He was not entirely sure if he was ready to go on his own, but there was no choice now. He was looking at a brand new life with the new year.
He pondered the Teddiursa's ball. He still did not know whether the Pokémon was caught or not. There was only one way to find out. Raphael pressed the small, round on the front and opened the Pokéball...