Chapter 11 – Scream
I kicked the door to Eterna’s Team Galactic hideout wide open, razor sharp shards of spiky tree flying in after me, Beat bringing up the rear.
The grunt nearest the door (he was snoozing at a table) barely batted an eye. “Yeah yeah, keep it down, we’re happy that you wanna voluntarily donate your pokemon, but no need to-”
The grunts scrambled, and two rushed at me, sending out a Zubat and a Wurmple.
“Oh yeah? Two on one, eh?” I grinned. “KAZZA! Time for you to shine!” <KEKEKEKEKEKEKE-> <DAMMIT KAZZA! STOP MESSING AROUND!> Then he stopped and looked at me. <Oh FINE. I’ll pester someone else for a change.> It looked at the enemy zubat, which immediately screamed <MAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOP!> into my Link and flew straight into a wall. Kazza let out a mental chuckle. <Oh that WAS more fun than pestering you!>
Ace barely got a hit in. Everything the grunts sent after us keeled over, drooling with just a mental nudge from Kazza.
The two grunts fell back, looking nervous.”You…You wanted to go up, well, why didn’t you! Go on! Have fun!”. The rest of the Grunts were now openly ignoring me, and I saw one starting to not too subtly pack his bag. Determined, I marched up the stairs to the next floor.
I came out onto some kind of research floor, filled with Grunts absorbed in their work. I looked over the shoulder of the first grunt I saw, trying to catch a glimpse of his work and he suddenly turned to grin at me, saying “I have no idea what I’m doing either, but I don’t care!”.
Before I could tell him how stupid this made him look, he spun around and something hard connected with my jaw. “You son of a-”
<*ROAR!*> Beat came out of his ball. The grunt fired out a Wurmple to defend himself. <I’m going to eat you alive!> Beat growled and pounced on the Wurmple. Suddenly, a thought arced through my head. “BEAT! DON’T KILL-”. Too late. The Wurmple was now a steady drip of goop dripping from Beat’s fangs. “Beat…You idiot. These aren’t even their own pokemon. They STOLE THEM”. Beat’s eyes went wide and he retched on the dead bug. The enemy Grunt laughed “Well, yeah. We’re only allowed to capture one pokemon per zone, right? There’s nothing in the law about us using pokemon that OTHER people captured from that zone, right?”. He threw out a zubat. Beat didn’t wait for an order. He pounced, swatting aside the zubat with ease and going right for the Grunt. The Grunt’s eyes went wide. “Wait, that’s not allo-”
The grunt hit the wall with a thud and he collapsed, groaning. Beat’s leafy mane rustled as he prepared a Razor Leaf storm. “Beat, STOP. You do that and I lose my trainer license, all of you guys, and our mission is shot. Not to mention that I’ll go to prison.” Beat hesitated and then backed down, giving the cursing Grunt a baleful stare before spitting out what was left of the enemy Wurmple. <Ark, we are going to stop them.> It wasn’t a suggestion. It was stated as a fact. I turned to the other Grunts. “Anyone else want to stop us?”. I got a roomful of shaking heads. Beat growled and refused to be called back.
I asked them what the hell they were planning, but no one seemed to know what they were working on. All I could get out of them was that they were looking to use pokemon as some kind of energy source.
The next floor was ill prepared for my wrath as well. No sooner had I stepped off the stairs when a very excited young Galactic member approached me.
“Donate THIS. LIlli, knock ‘em down!” And knock ‘em down she did. And then she took on a scientist that came skidding around the corner, wondering why the walls had gone all wet. With a Kadabra at his side. “Lilli, Water pulse him!” It connected. The Kadabra’s psi fields were distorted by the rings and drove it to confusion. Lilli took it down without much more trouble. I was getting proud of her. The incident with Breaker was growing further and further from my mind.
At last, I burst up the stairs to the top floor, to see a bald guy cowering as a sniffling Buneary wailed on him. A stern looking woman in a ridiculous purple haircut sneered at him. “I’m warning you. Give us all free bikes or your Buneary is going to beat them out of you! And then your Clefairy’s gonna be next!” she said, holding the terrified Clefairy upside down by the tail.
“OY! Cut that out!”. The woman turned, annoyed. “What do you want? Oh, silly me. You must be some loser here to free all the pokemon. Like that’ll happen. Hand yours over over now, or they’re going to die.”
Beat grumbled and pawed the ground. <Let me at ‘em. Let me at ‘em! I want a piece of these guys!>. “No, not against a Zubat. No risks. Kazza. Take it down>. Not two seconds later, the Zubat dropped. Kazza chuckled <Keep bringin’ on the poison types! Keep ‘em coming!>.
And then she sent out a Skuntank…”Another poison type. No, Beat. Not this time. I’m sorry.” I recalled him before he could do anything stupid. “Kazza. Take it down.”. <KEKEKEKEKEKE!> The skuntank blinked, unimpressed and clearly unaffected. Kazza cocked his head <Eh?>. I frowned. “Wha-Why didn’t it affect…” Then the Skuntank pounced, going right for the eyes.
The resulting scream drove all else from my mind.
I felt a sharp, agonizing pain shoot right through my eyes and into the back of my brain stem. I nearly blacked out, static filling all of my senses at once. And then, total silence. I opened my eyes and realized I was on the floor, flat on my face. Groaning, I sat back up. “Kazza?”.
I saw him totter over, and fall flat on his back. I gagged as I saw the wound on his face. It was nauseating to look at. There was no way Kazza could have survived that. Jupiter laughed “I told you, Hand ‘em over or they die.”.
Silent fury mixed with horror filled me. I moved on instinct. “ACE. GO. DO NOT LET THAT THING HIT YOU”. Ace came out. He took one look at Kazza’s fallen body, then to the Skuntank. Silence filled my link. Ace didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to. He just moved.
He began to fly rapidly around the small room, touching the walls and launching off them for more speed, rapidly reaching Double Team State. Jupiter laughed and with a gesture, the Skuntank filled the room with a poisonous gas. I covered my mouth. This wasn’t good for me either. The Skuntank let out loud screeches as well, shaking Ace’s defenses sharply. “NOW!” I yelled, trying not to breathe in any more of that gas. Ace plunged, and the Skuntank took it right in the face, a critical hit. The Skuntank fell back, munching on a berry to nurse its wounds, a large and nasty cut marring its face.
I gritted my teeth. “Ace! Enough! BACK!” <Not a chance! I’m gonna->. I recalled him before he could even finish his sentence. I wasn’t taking a chance. With all those screeches, if that Skuntank got even a single hit on Ace, I wasn’t sure he could take it. I wasn’t going to lose Ace too.
“BUDDY! STUN SPORE THAT PIECE OF TRASH!”
“LILLI, TAKE IT DOWN!”. The skuntank reeled growling in annoyance as it was unable to avoid shot after shot of water pulses, now getting confused as well as paralyzed. It was at my mercy.
“ACE! you’re on again!” Ace popped out and flew right at the Skuntank not even waiting for an order. The befuddled Skuntank didn’t even see it coming. Ace rushed out, talons extended. I knew what he planned to do. I opened my mouth…And then closed it.
I looked away, and tried to shut my mind. Although the scream was only on the outside of my head this time, it still made me shudder. Ace flapped back silently to my side, something red dripping from his claws. I looked back at the dead Skuntank and shuddered. Ace had given about as good as Kazza had gotten. I hoped that one wasn’t someone’s stolen pokemon…
Jupiter laughed. “There’s more where that came from! Clefairy, Buneary I order you to-”. She stopped when she realized that the two stolen pokemon had taken the opportunity to run back to their master’s side cowering behind him, safe.
“No. This is YOUR last warning” I growled. “If we ever cross paths again…”. Jupiter laughed “Oh we WILL meet again. Next time, we’re taking ALL your pokemon. Dead or alive. This loss today wasn’t even a setback! Our leader will uncover the secrets of the mythical pokemon, and he will rule Sinnoh. Stay out of our way if you value your life.” And then she was gone.
I approached Kazza’s body. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from what what left of his. It was a terrible way to go.
The bald guy approached me. “Thank you, Trainer. Thanks to you, my Clefairy and Buneary are safe!”. I nodded absently. I vaguely heard him mention that they wanted his Clefairy since they believed it came from space and that I should come to his bike shop. Then he was gone, leaving me with my thoughts, and two pokemon bodies.
I felt Beat break out of his ball and come next to me. <Why didn’t you let me fight?> “You would have died. It was a poison type. You had no moves that would work.”. <But I wanted to-> “NO, Beat. That doesn’t matter. What matters is keeping you alive.”. Beat snarled at me. <So you prefer to let others die instead? That’s really selfi-> That did it. I spun and violently grabbed the sides of his head and glared pure poison directly into his eyes. “Stop that. Not another word. If you die, we lose one of our best teammates. I need to keep you all alive or else we can never take on the league. This isn’t about just you. It’s about all of us. It’s about everything we’re on this damn mission for. You’ll fight when it’s time for you to fight. I’m not letting you fight a hopeless battle just because you want your own revenge! You’re the one being selfish, Beat. Now, can it.”
Beat was silent a moment, then looked at Kazza’s remains. <Promise me. That we’ll stop these guys. Promise me they’re going to pay.>. I looked at Kazza’s destroyed face, then at the Skuntank that Ace had killed, both seeping red onto the floor. The world was dangerous enough already. Too many pokemon were already dying pointlessly. Throwing this criminal danger into the mix was making everything a million times worse. I clenched my fists, Kazza’s dying scream still burrowing into my mind like a drill. “We’re going to stop them, Beat. One way or another. I won’t let them get away with any more of this.”
I stepped out of the building and blinked in the sunlight. Dawn had broken. Team Galactic was long gone, and the city was safe. I shouldered my pack and headed for the Center. I had someone to bury. I wasn’t even sure I was tired anymore.
Kazza the Kadabra has Died…
Yeah, that’s right. I had a freaking Kadabra on my team (one of my favourite psychic pokemon), and I LOST IT. I am very upset. >: (