Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of me,Felix9. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Chapter Notes:
After their night together and adding a member to their team, Felix and Luca set off to find their friends and escape Darkrai's island. But when one of the group is taken captive at the facility, is it worth risking everyone's freedom to save just one? Once more, what else could be hidden in the depths of Darkrai's facility?
Chapter 6 - Taking Down Darkrai
I was still carrying the sleeping Eevee when we came to a small cliff. I knew I’d need my hands and also that Lady wouldn’t be able to get up the face. Lady gave me a scowl, knowing what I was thinking. I apologized and promised to let her out at the top as I withdrew her. I was about to put our little Eevee in his ball too when Luca came up and put out her paws, offering to carry him. She smiled sweetly up at me but didn't say a word. I smiled back and gingerly shifted to hand the Eevee to her. He stirred softly but didn't wake just yet. I hoped he would be ok. He seemed quite tired and I couldn't help wondering what ordeals his old pack had put him through to leave him this exhausted.
Facing the cliff Luca nimbly leapt to a small ledge just big enough for her foot paw, then to another and another. In no time at all she was at the top, scaling the thirty foot face in just a few jumps. I on the other hand... had to free climb. I always loved to climb but this was very unnerving. With no safety equipment I could easily fall to my death if so much as a hand hold came loose at the wrong time. I tried to seem confident for Luca as I started, making it fifteen feet without a problem. It wasn't long after that though that Luca poked her head over the side, and with a giggle barked for me to hurry up. I sneered back at her as I paused making it seem like she was the reason I stopped. In reality I needed to calm my nerves... With a deep breath I continued despite the protests of my muscles. Maybe I really should start lifting weights when we got off this island.
Though my focus was elsewhere Luca continued to check on me as I spent the better part of the next five minutes getting another ten feet. Five more to go and I found myself wishing Luca was double her height... Then her arms would definitely reach to pull me up. I got the last boost I needed though when I looked up with that wishful thought. Both Luca and our little Eevee friend poked their heads over the edge to see how I was doing. Fear flashed in the Eevee's eyes as he saw how high it was, but he didn't seem afraid of falling. He kept looking from me to the ground far below with soft whimpers. Luca brought a paw to pet him and he flinched in surprise, still not used to the touch of another it seemed. When he withdrew from the edge I looked up at Luca. "Little help...?" I pleaded with strain evident in my voice.
My new mate's face quickly flashed to concern as she lay in the dirt and stretched out her paw. "Are you ok?" She asked, noticing my fingers shake as I reached just below for another hand hold. Now that I had her attention I felt a little safer, but I felt bad when I saw her ears twitch at the sound of rock trickling down from my shifting feet.
"I think but... It's a lot easier at the gyms where you have a harness." I answered and tried to laugh, but it came out forced. She didn't answer, just kept her paw where it was as I shifted my feet to push up and grab it. Of course it was then that I found another loose rock... I had only put a little bit of weight on it so I didn't slip at all. It was enough to make Luca whine though, and she stretched her paw another quarter inch towards me.
I jammed my toes into the hole the loose rock left and hauled myself up that last bit. I felt fur and pads wrap around my hand and nearly half my weight taken from my legs as she pulled as hard as she dared. After all she didn't want to pull my arm out of socket or make me lose my footing. Thanks to her though that last few feet was a breeze compared to the last ten minutes. Even when I was firmly on my feet and recovering my breath Luca still looked at me with a worried expression. "I'm fine! Thank you though." I said cheerfully, smiling wide for her despite my heart still pounding. Looking down I saw our Eevee friend at my feet. He looked away as our eyes met but he leaned forward and rubbed a cheek against my foot. It was still a very timid gesture but I knew it took a lot for him to touch me of his own accord. I smiled and knelt to pet him between his long ears as I thanked him for his encouragement.
After releasing Lady the four of us were on our way again. From there it was all down hill to the lake. From what we could see and what we had walked already, I guessed the island was nearly 2 miles in diameter. But it was the shape of a crescent moon with a sheltered bay of sea water. It was a nice place but the problem I couldn't solve was how we were going to get off this island without a boat. We could try and steal one but I'm sure they knew we were still here. They'd have guards and they'd be after us with faster boats before we could reach land. Between that and worrying whether my friends from the cruise had already gotten caught, I nearly walked into the lake as we came to the shore. Confused, I looked back at the mountains, wondering when the trees had taken over and how long it had been. Even Luca hadn't snapped me out of my daze, though to her and Lady's credit they were trying to get the Eevee pup to follow with them rather than several paces behind.
It was nearly noon when we reached the lake and as I watched Luca come up with the others I got an idea. "Luca? Do you think you could look for Tionis and Kat?" I asked. Luca looked up from Lady and the Eevee with a puzzled and worried look at first. "Your aura sight?" I continued, reminding her of her new ability. Her eyes widened and she smiled happily.
"Sure!" She yipped and shut her eyes quickly. It didn’t take her very long to enter a trance this time and her head turned this way and that before her eyes opened with a disappointed look. "I'm sorry... I don't know where to look and I can't remember how they feel." She whined softly, afraid I'd be disappointed.
"It's ok. We'll find them." I said kindly, but as I did her ears flicked up with a flash of inspiration.
"Wait! I know!" She blurted and turned away once more as her teardrops started to buzz. I wondered what she'd thought of but as I watched my attention drifted to the strange ability of hers. I wondered what it was like to experience that trance, that feeling. Her ears twitched and swiveled as her brow furrowed in effort until she yelped happily. "I found Tionis! He's just up that stream over there." She said quickly, dropping her trance and pointing to where a stream emptied into the lake.
"Great! How'd you find him so quick?" I asked cheerfully. Her expression faded to a light embarrassment though as she looked at my feet for a second.
"Well... That stupid Psyduck... I remember how he felt." She said softly, ashamed she'd used a mortal enemy to aid her. I couldn't help laughing though and roughly rubbed between her ears.
"See? He was good for something." I grinned, earning a giggling smile in return. I loved the way she looked when she was happy... Those ears, her tail wagging, those bright eyes. My heart fluttered as I took her in for a moment with our shared laughter. "Alright... Should we get going?" I asked as I turned to find Lady placing a few berries in front of our Eevee friend. He had sat patiently while Lady left his side and Luca and I talked. But when the Ninetales returned with an offering for him he only stared at her feet with his ears back and his tail curled submissively around his side. Lady sat in front of him and scolded him gently with a bark I guessed was meant to get him to eat, but he gave a timid "Veee..." as a response and shook his head. A growl from the fox made the little one quiver in fear enough that he slowly reached out and took a bite of Oran berry. He looked up at Lady to see if she was still mad only to find she had leant in close to him. She gave him a soft lick on the forehead, making him yelp and scurry backwards, once more ashamed of the affection she showed him. I smiled but it hurt seeing him so terrified to be shown any kind of love. As I looked him over though a thought came to mind and I knelt to offer my hand.
"Hey, come here little guy." I said gently, getting him to look over and with his ears back and tail down he came just outside of my arms reach. I gave him a soft smile and leaned forward, gingerly slipping a hand between his front legs and lifting him. He went limp in my hands, letting me do as I pleased. I cradled and pet him softly as I went to the water's edge. "Let's get that fur of yours cleaned up. You'll feel better I'm sure." I said soothingly. His fur was gray and matted, especially his mane. He didn't protest but he looked up at me with an unsure gaze, obviously debating whether he should let me or not.
Taking off my shoes I set my pack down with them and sat with my feet in the cool fresh water of the lake. The girls came up beside me, both having nothing else to do but watch and help if they could. Luca quickly rifled through my bag to find the new bottle of shampoo I had bought after the contest. She giggled, no doubt picturing the Eevee looking like a pretty female since I told Luca I was only buying the shampoo for my sweet girls. Her giggle made the Eevee drop his gaze to the water shyly.
I picked the Eevee up from my lap and set him in the water to wash him. He gave a soft whine as I started and seemed to resist my touch, trying to escape and save me the trouble. I wouldn't have it though and continued to run my fingers through his coat, loosing quite a bit of dirt and shed fur. He had a lot of mats too so I fished in my pack for a pair of scissors. Curious, the Eevee watched and whimpered when he saw the scissors. I wondered if he'd been abused with some instrument as well but he needed this. Little did I know he just didn't want me "wasting" my time with him. He gave an uncertain look to Luca and Lady as I started to clip the clumps from his pretty mane. I felt him relax a little when he saw the girls weren't upset with him. It must have been a comfort to him seeing they didn't mind him getting attention.
“So we still don’t know your name. Can you tell Luca?” I asked as I continued, snipping a mat and trying to be gentle when I didn’t get the whole thing on the first clip. My distraction worked well. The pup relaxed a little bit in my hands as he looked over at Luca to answer. His voice was still soft and timid, as if he shouldn’t be using it.
“Awww. We won’t call you that.” I heard Luca whine in response to him. “He says he doesn’t have a name, that we should call him Runt or Wimp.” She said to me, making me frown sadly.
“Well we won’t call you those things so you need a name.” I said firmly, though my tone just made him wince and whimper. “What do you think Luca? Any ideas?” I asked my Lucario as she sat next to me, soaking her feet as well while Lady sat to my left.
“How about Kyo?” I remember my dad saying it was a Lucario warrior name.” She suggested, once more impressing me wither memory. We hadn’t seen her father in nearly a year.
“Nine nine.” Lady offered, smiling down at the pup as he shyly craned his head to see her.
“Lady says she likes Ky.” Luca translated as I finished with the last of his mats.
“Well. Ky it is then, if you like it little guy.” I agreed. I liked either but Lady was a peculiar creature. If we went with Kyo she’d just call him Ky anyway. Luca knew it too, but she was just happy to have contributed. She didn’t need to win a naming contest.
The little Eevee lowered his gaze to the water as we all looked at him expectantly. He jumped a little when I continued to trim and shape his fur so it didn't look like he lost a fight with a Scyther... “Vee…” He said softly, and I saw Luca’s ears dip.
“Tails ninine?” Lady chimed in as she laid down, putting her head on her paws and meeting his eyes as he tried to look at her feet. He blinked and squeaked softly, seeming a little scared at what she said. However, his little outburst made Luca giggle. “Good! Ky it is then.” She said happily as Lady gave a smile to the pup. I just shook my head. At least I had a brother in arms now against the two manipulative females of our group…
With his name settled I grabbed the shampoo and started to lather little Ky’s fur. Once more he more or less went limp and whined at all the attention. I smiled though because his tail was swishing in the water as I worked his fur. He wouldn't admit it but I'm sure it felt good to know others cared. He did squeak rather dramatically though when I lathered and rinsed his belly. I had just rinsed his sheath and he wasn't expecting the touch. He was definitely a boy... After that he seemed a little embarrassed and wouldn't look at the girls. I saw another smirk on Lady's muzzle and hoped she wouldn't take advantage of the poor creature.
When I finally finished Ky was a very handsome Eevee. I dried him off with a towel before I moved on to tend to Lady. I undid her bandages and gave her a little rinse to smooth out her fur. I was confident she had healed enough to walk around without the unsightly things for a while and she liked that her fur wasn't constricted. Ky didn't move from where I'd dried him and remained shivering a little even as Luca tried to help him warm up. He just stared at the ground refusing her but got another shock as he felt a warm air surround him. He looked up quickly to find Lady's tails laid around him and her looking down at him as she radiated a drying heat for the two of them. With a whine he looked around to try and escape her kindness but it was too late. Her tails had encompassed him and she finished just then, leaving the pup feeling like clothes right out of the dryer. With an unbearable itch he shook, fluffing his smooth, clean fur out and making him blink. Obviously he had never been so clean and cute. Timidly he looked up at Lady, Luca and I as we chuckled at his amazement. With a soft pet from me though, we started off towards Tionis' hiding spot with Luca leading the way.
With Luca and I occupied by our search, Lady was left to keep little Ky with us. Now and again I looked back to see a warm smile on Lady's muzzle. It was strange actually. It wasn't the sly or teasing grin she usually wore around me and often times Luca. This was a genuinely loving expression as she bumped him forward with a tail when he fell back, and herded him closer when he tried to get out of her reach. He never looked up at her and he kept his ears back except when he got nudged, then they would perk halfway as he quickly tried to avoid the regal fox and continue. A couple times Lady couldn't resist trying to get him to play with her and put a tail right in his path. She giggled as he ran straight into it, yipped and scurried into the rest of her waiting appendages. When he finally realized he couldn't escape he'd look up at her pleadingly. Since this was what she was trying to break his habit of avoiding, she would nuzzle him and give him a soft lick on the nose before she untangled him. Each time his eyes went wide and he shivered timidly. After about the fourth time though he realized her point and made an effort to look up at us and where he was going. So he would avoid the blocking pillar of tail, but not the affectionate lick for doing something right. I couldn't help smiling at the clever fox's double negative reinforcement...
Traveling upstream from the lake Luca led us towards Tionis' hiding spot. Occasionally she would check her direction using aura sight but she didn't stray once from the path. As we started to get closer I noticed Luca's ears swiveling a little more than usual. "What is it?" I asked softly as we continued.
"There's lots of wild pokemon around. They're following us for now." She said softly in response. Of course, right as she said that we found ourselves in the middle of an ambush...
"Can you tell what they arrrrahhh! Luca, help!" I yelled, finding myself tightly wrapped in an insect's silk. Stunned, Luca turned to see me flop to the ground. With a growl she flicked two aura spheres into her paws and looked around. Meanwhile, not three steps behind us Ky yelped at the sudden motion and cowered on the ground, shivering in fear of being eaten. Lady stepped over top of him though, sheltering him from harm as her muzzle started to smoke. The pup looked up as he saw he was in shadow and his shivers faded. In awe and shock he watched as the nine tailed fox defended him.
A rustling bush earned the combined attention of my girls. It was soon lit on fire and promptly blown up, revealing a now unconscious Ariados half charred by Lady's attack. Seeing their opponents were weak wild pokemon Luca's other aura sphere dimmed and disappeared. "Wait!" My Lucario barked, holding her paws out as several other bushes started to rustle. "We're friends of the trainer up there. We just want to see him. We're stuck here too." She explained, thoroughly confusing me...
"Uhhh Luca? I'm pretty sure they're wild. You want to help me b-before... Luca...?" I protested but fell silent with my stutter as a large Ariodos walked out of the bushes towards my face. All I could see were the bug's dripping fangs as it came closer to me, it's cocooned prey... I could feel my entire body go tight and shiver, but much to my surprise it looked up at Luca and seemed to ask her a question. She nodded in response and knelt beside me, waiting for the alpha bug's verdict I guessed.
Needless to say I was relieved when after taking us in for a momoent it agreed to Luca's plea. My mate carefully slid her spike along the silk to score it, letting me escape my prison, though the stuff liked to cling to everything and I doubted I would be truly rid of it for at least a week… The Ariados wasted no time in escorting us to Tionis' protected grotto. It left us at the edge though, telling Luca it shouldn't be seen here. She asked me why, which is when I remembered. Tionis had a pretty big fear of spiders. I chuckled, wondering how he'd even gotten them to protect him.
As we walked into camp we were greeted by a Vaporeon growling at us. It didn't last long though as he saw Luca. The Eeveelution happily came up to her and rubbed her leg. His nose twitched softly as Luca smiled and knelt to give him a pet. Ky however, was trying desperately to hide behind Lady, terrified of the Vaporeon. Lady didn't seem to mind though and took the pup elsewhere in the clearing to play while Luca and I found Tionis. It was a relief to see he was unharmed and he was glad to see us as well, though the first topic of conversation was how we had found him.
After explaining how Luca had found him, though we left out who exactly she had tracked, we started discussing what to do. We knew we'd have to steal a boat but that was about it. Plus, since Kat wasn't with us we had to find her as well, but Luca took that upon herself as Tionis and I continued to brainstorm. It wasn't long before Luca had found Kat. The problem was she had made it to the beach on the far side of the mountains. She was safe but we had no way to contact her.
"Well none of us have any flying pokemon. Does the lake connect to the ocean?" I suggested.
"That's how I got here. Vappy swam me right up the creek." Tionis answered and seemed to catch the thought I had. "Message in a bottle?" He asked and I nodded.
"If one of your pokemon could swim it to Kat, yeah. Luca says she's right on the beach." I answered. Luca's tail waved softly behind her, glad to have helped with our plan.
With nothing else to do we prepared a note explaining where we were and asking if Kat could join us. After putting the note in a used water bottle Tionis gave it to his Vaporeon and told him to find Kat on the outer coast but avoid being seen by anyone else at all costs. The Vaporeon happily accepted the task and swam off down the stream. Seeing Vaporeon leave Tionis' Psyduck hurried over to him. The two started arguing as to why Vaporeon got to be the one to go on a mission. Luca and I just looked at each other, confused by the outburst until Tionis managed to convince Psyduck that protecting the grotto was his mission and it was much more important. With that Psyduck walked proudly away, turning his nose up at Luca as he nudged by her, acting as though it was her fault they touched.
"Ahh.... Don't." I said as I caught Luca's shoulder softly. She let out a quiet growl and stayed with me rather than retaliating. "Good girl." I said with a grin, earning an embarrassed glare at the compliment.
As we waited for Kat, Tionis and I caught up on how things had been here on the island. Of course I left out the part about me having a new mate... but I couldn't avoid explaining how I had found a silver Eevee. While Tionis hadn't caught any new pokemon he had sure made a lot of friends. He and his Audino had healed the Ariados that attacked me before. I teasingly mentioned how hard it must have been for him and was promptly told, "You have no idea... Audino did most of the work." Even as he spoke I watched a shiver go down his spine. I laughed but I was impressed that he managed to enlist the wild pokemon here as his personal guard. The realization also helped me relax. This was probably the safest place from Team Darkrai right now.
As time rolled on and the sun finally dipped beneath the horizon we started to wonder if Vaporeon had gotten caught. Luckily, our fears were soon put to rest as Kat flew in on her Flygon where Tionis' Vaporeon happily jumped down and sat proudly as Tionis praised his effort. Now that everyone was here we could figure out what to do. Tionis' Litwick provided enough light to see by since none of us wanted to light a fire. We spent another few hours talking and decided the best thing to do would be to sneak around the facility at night to figure out what our options were. Since none of us seemed tired we figured now was as good a time as any.
I knew Luca's abilities would be a big help with espionage so she came with me as we left the camp. The other pokemon stayed except for Kat's Furret and Tionis' Litwick. Again Tionis had to convince his Psyduck that protecting the others was a more important job than what Luca and Litwick were doing. Once that was accomplished we set off through the brush, guided by another wild friend of Tionis'. I couldn't help noticing the good mood Luca was in as we left. Her proud smirk as Tionis talked to his bossy Psyduck was unmistakable. "You didn't have to enjoy that so much..." I teased in a low voice, but she just gave me a toothy grin in return, letting me know without a word she wasn't sorry. I just shook my head with a smile as Tionis sighed in defeat, having overheard.
It seemed as though Team Darkrai had forgotten about us as we came up to the facility. The area was lit and there were a couple guards patrolling the building but it was hardly the impenetrable fortress we expected. We quickly got to work as Luca used her aura sight to check for guards, letting us figure out a way in. Tionis' Litwick could reshape itself quite impressively and it kept its flame low to avoid being seen. With Luca's help Litwick was able to slip in an emergency exit. But it would have set off an alarm if the pokemon had opened it. Luca kept us appraised on how the candle ghost was doing as he managed to sneak into a nearby room and open a window to a store room. Unfortunately, there was no way we humans could easily get in the window, but it let Furret in to explore as well. With the two of them sneaking carefully around, looking for something of importance, Luca kept an eye on them as she started to explore as well.
My Lucario's ears and head twitched and turned softly as she roamed the halls. An expression of concentration creased her features more and more the longer she was in her trance. "F-felix... There's a room with pokeballs. Lots of them, and they all have pokemon in them." Luca whispered with some effort, but still kept her trance. Concern crossed my mind as I relayed the information to the others. We knew those pokemon had to have been stolen from trainers or taken from the wild. "There's more... They're in cages!" Luca continued as she followed Furret into another room. The shock of seeing it broke her trance, leaving her panting in mental exertion. "Felix they're hurt. We can't..." She pleaded but I put a finger to my lips. She went quiet but I pet her softly.
"I know hun. Don't worry." I said softly, making her smile and take a deep breath. She went back to looking around the facility, checking in on Litwick and Furret occasionally, though from her reports they were doing quite well at avoiding detection on their own. The three of us humans quietly discussed to ourselves what we should do. Finding those store rooms was an unexpected hiccup. We had hoped to just find some supply rooms where we could have Furret or Litwick steal a set of boat keys. Now… we knew we couldn't leave without trying to save those pokemon.
“Litwick found something.” Luca whispered softly. “He’s coming back with a piece of paper.” She continued and flicked her ear. She’d found something of interest herself as she watched him scurry down a hall. The next thing I knew though... she let out a yelping gasp and fell to the ground...
“Luca!” I blurted softly, only half remembering that we were hiding. I knelt at her side but Tionis and Kat whispered quickly.
“We have to move! Guards are coming!” They urged. Tionis went to Luca’s feet to help me lift her, since we knew a pokeball’s flash would give us away. We hurried back into the woods away from the building far enough that the guards wouldn’t find us after a short empty handed search. While I was worried about Luca I knew the others would be concerned about their pokemon as well. Thankfully, the guards were tired and lazy. Figuring it was just a wild pokemon getting itself into trouble they went back to their rounds just as Furret squirmed though the cracked window.
At first the ferret pokemon was confused as to where we went, but with a quick sniff it found our scents and then found us. Kat hugged her pokemon tightly, obviously glad it had escaped. Litwick was next to emerge five minutes later at about midnight. Tionis saw its flame flicker in the window as it looked for the guards then slipped a long roll of paper out. The candle was quickly out with its prize and found us like Furret before. Our mission complete I quickly scooped Luca in my arms as we made our retreat. She was a little heavier than I expected with her skinny form but I could still carry her alone so long as we didn’t have to run.
After a while I had to shift Luca onto my back. I could have used her ball but… It just didn’t feel right. Plus, I really didn’t mind carrying her. Tionis, being stronger than me, offered but I declined several times and we eventually made it back to camp.
The other pokemon were asleep when we got back, including the great guarding Psyduck... Who had found a stick to rule with and a large leaf as a hat. He was passed out in the middle of the clearing, indignantly sprawled on the grass with his beak wide open as he snored. Again I gave Tionis a smirk and again he shrugged helplessly. I got the impression Litwick was more embarrassed by his teammate since the little candle was resting his face in a hand and shaking his head.
Lady woke and raised her head as I found her and Ky curled up together. Just from the way her tails were curled around the pup I could guess it had taken some encouragement to get him where he was, but seeing him sleeping so soundly I was glad Lady hadn’t given up on him. I gave her a soft pet, burying her worried look at Luca as I laid her down on the cool grass. Still knocked out by whatever it was she’d done back there she at least seemed to be sleeping peacefully now. I figured if she hadn’t woken with me carrying her there was little I could do to wake her now. If she didn’t get up in the morning though I didn’t know what I would do...
Once Luca was safe I went back to see what the paper was that Litwick had stolen. With the candle on his head once more the three of us unrolled the paper to find several floor plans of the building. There were two floors above the ground and two below. And while the plans didn’t reveal what was in the rooms it at least gave us an idea of what each could possibly hold. Litwick and Furret each pointed out where they’d found pokeballs and pokemon, so we marked the rooms and continued to study for a few more minutes. Since our spies hadn’t gone downstairs, Tionis and Kat discarded the lower levels. I however… wondered what could possibly be in the massive, two story chamber at the far side of the building. I also noticed there were designated areas to have cooling fixtures fitted through the walls and out into the lake. I studied the schematics, making sure I knew how to get down there in case we had the chance. There might be something worth investigating as well and it was better to be prepared.
After studying the layout for nearly an hour sleep finally overtook our adrenaline rush from the heist. The three of us and Litwick finally retired for the night where I curled up next to Luca and tightly held her paw as I drifted off. Tionis and Kat didn't spare me a second glance either. I got the feeling they saw their pokemon as equals as well, which let me relax as I showed my concern for Luca. The next morning though my Lucario woke with a start. With wide eyes she looked around franticly as she gasped for breath.
Sleeping right next to her I was yanked from my sleep with her and bolted upright just as she had, though I had no doubt my flailing was more comical. As movement registered in the corner of my vision I saw Luca was awake and immediately threw my arms around her. Shocked and still confused it took her longer than normal to nuzzle into the embrace. Once she did though I could tell she knew everything was alright. She didn't hold the hug very long though before she pushed me away. "Felix there's something in the basement. Something really strong. I tried to look and it... well, blinded me." She explained quickly, unable to hold her discovery in any longer. That's what I was afraid of. There really was something in that big room, but what could have done that to Luca? And furthermore... how were we going to save it without getting trapped? Luca's outburst woke up Tionis and Kat. Both were glad to see Luca was alright but with her news we had to change our rescue plans.
After getting some breakfast for everyone in camp we spent the day just lounging and picking appart our options. Luca stayed with me, becoming quite the strategist as she listened carefully to everything we said and tried to suggest things when she could. I knew she was trying to impress both our friends and me but she did raise several good points over the hours we spent mulling everything over.
As we talked though the other pokemon relaxed and played with each other. Kat's Eevee family remembered Lady and eagerly went over to see the new silver Eevee pup. The lighter colored Glaceon seemed to understand Ky's plight but despite her best attempts he wouldn't look at her, let alone touch her. Even the Glaceon's pup couldn't get the timid Eevee to open up, despite MANY cheerful attempts to play. Lady enjoyed the company but she was sad to see Ky so scared of his own kind. In an effort to get him to calm down and have a moment to talk Lady took him out to play and gather some berries for everyone.
Seeing Lady leaving I went over to pet the two of them. Ky didn't retreat from the touch but he didn't look up at me for more than an instant as my hand left his head. "You two stay close ok?" I said with some concern, but with Lady I knew Ky was safe. Even if she was still healing Joy had said most of her time off was just to make sure it was healed. My Ninetales gave me a soft nudge telling me not to worry before they went off into the brush, once more with Lady encouraging Ky to stay close with her tails.
Getting back to the others I sat down to another problem with our plan. If we were going to raid the facility, how were we going to steal a boat at the same time? Not all of the people in that building were as dumb as those on the Cresselia. Someone would figure out we wanted to escape the island with our haul and guard the ships. Kat was arguing that we'd be out of there before they realized but I was on Tionis' opinion. Luca was the one with an answer though. She yipped happily and stood, her tail wagging behind her eagerly. She started to speak, forgetting only I could understand her. Confused, Tionis and Kat looked at me but I was engrossed in her explanation.
"What's she saying?" Tionis asked, unable to hold back his curiosity much longer, especially because Luca was talking mostly to him. At his question Luca paused and folded her ears back shyly, having just remembered the language barrier.
"Go ahead. I'm with you." I encouraged, blown away by her brilliance at the moment. "She's suggesting that Vaporeon and Oshawott swim to the boats and steal one for us when it's dark. They can move it without using the motor and Vaporeon can lead them to Kat's hiding place. If they beach the boat there we can escape back into the woods and meet them there. Darkrai won't expect us to run back to the woods so it'll be easier for us to escape back here." I translated as she started again.
"Yeah! Vappy and Oshy can do that no problem." Tionis said quickly, obviously enthused.
"There's a cave right up the beach from there too! Way to go Luca!" Kat added with a smile, making my Lucario's tail wag swiftly once more. We still had a lot more to discuss but throughout the ret I couldn't help smiling at how confident Luca was in suggesting things. I had never seen her so happy to be involved with something.
Our planning dragged on past noon as we kept debating on how three trainers with just eleven battle ready pokemon were going to take on an entire facility of ruthless criminals... With Lady in no condition to fight, the party's two resident Eevee rather inexperienced, and two of Tionis' water pokemon preoccupied, reality hit us hard and fast. We were outnumbered and outgunned probably a hundred to one. We had to rely on stealth and careful positioning so we could jam the opposition into tight quarters without cornering ourselves. In addition, we would have to rescue the pokemon in the research lab, and save all the pokeballs in the store room. This truly wasn’t going to be easy. No matter how we thought of it we had to wait for nightfall. It would catch everyone off guard and let us take advantage of the confusion.
Another hour passed as we debated how to get the pokemon out of the labs when they didn't have pokeballs. Tionis and I had the answer for that though. Between his Audino and Luca they could advise the pokemon on where to go. It was just as we figured that out though that we were all startled by a shrill yelp. My heart stopped, I knew that sound... Not a moment later I was running into the trees with Luca right by my side. About 100 yards from our camp we found Lady surrounded by some of Tionis’ wild pokemon protectors. She was conscious but someone had attacked her, leaving her left side sopping wet. She'd been attacked with a water pokemon...
Her breaths came in labored gasps and I just about broke into tears as I knelt with her. With a growl though she managed to get up on her front paws. She was able to move, that was good but a water attack on a fire type, let alone with her injuries I knew it had set her back in her healing. "Shhh. just relax." I tried to soothe, concern evident in my tone as I gingerly ran a hand through her mane.
"Nine! Ninnnn... Nine...." She whimpered and struggled to get to all fours in an attempt to walk past me. As she spoke I saw Luca stiffen and look in the direction the fox wanted to go.
"Where's Ky...?" I asked next, fear flashing through my mind. Thankfully, my words froze Lady in her tracks. She growled and grit her teeth, letting a thin line of smoke rise from between those pearly whites.
"Darkrai attacked her and took him." Luca spoke up. "He's too close to the building..." She said as she folded her ears back and opened her eyes sadly. As she finished Lady took another step.
"No!" I said quickly as I put an arm around her chest. I had to force myself not to flinch as she snarled and tried to force past me. "No... We'll get him back tonight. I promise. Please Lady, you're still hurt..." I pleaded, holding her back only because she wasn't back to full strength. She tried to shake me loose again but stopped when she heard Luca whimper. I looked up to see her conflicted expression. She wanted to get Ky but she knew we couldn't. With Lady and I on opposite sides she didn't know what to do or who to support. "We'll get him back. I promise." I said again to Lady if only just to break the silence. My old friend shot a glare at me, holding my eyes for a long moment before she turned and started back to camp. It broke my heart though... She had tears in her eyes. I had never seen her that upset before. Sure she had been worried and sad but I had never seen my strong fox actually cry. As Lady disappeared in the brush I looked up to Luca but she looked to the ground and fidgeted sadly. "We find him first ok?" I said softly as I got up and put my hands on her shoulders.
"Mhmm..." She answered as she put her arms around me for a hug. As I held her though my ire started to rise. I wanted to find who did this... I wanted to make him pay. If I could get Lady to tell me what pokemon attacked her, just maybe I'd get lucky and have a chance to repay the favor.
We got back to the camp and finished the last details of our plan. Confident we had all the angles covered we tried to catch a little sleep. It was hard to sleep for two reasons. First, it was still daytime, and second... it was agonizing for me and my girls to sit around and do nothing rather than going after Ky. Somehow the three of us did get some rest, and before we knew it we were up and heading towards the Darkrai facility under the cover of twilight.
Tionis sent his Vaporeon and Oshawott out to collect our boat, the two hurried down the stream then through the brush to get to the ocean cove. I still don't know how but I had managed to convince Lady to stay in her ball. She was smart, she knew how to break out of the device but she hadn't yet. Tionis kept Litwick out with him as we waited for our chance. The guard stationed around the perimeter was the same as the night before so Litwick once again easily managed to slip into the door. I had to give the pokemon credit, it was smart. The door it went in was an emergency door, but with a well placed piece of wax it jammed the sensor and opened the door for us. We rushed in before the next guard came around and took a moment to breathe. Step one was a success.
"Alright, let’s split up and find these pokemon." I said softly, getting nods from everyone. Luca looked around and shut her eyes, using her aura sight to find Ky. This was personal and once she found him I took that room as our assignment. Tionis and Kat understood and took other areas. Tionis went for one pokeball room while Kat went with her Furret towards another. She left her Pikachu in the closet though as a guide for the pokemon Luca and I would be going after. Outside her Glaceon and Flareon were waiting to direct everyone to our secret grotto.
Luca and I ran through the halls as fast as we dared. Though I had studied the layout earlier actually being inside the building was a different monster. Luckily I had Luca to guide me to our first target. We were doing well until we found the cage room door opened already. Without thinking we rushed in, only to find a late night researcher looking over their specimens. As we entered and skidded to a halt the man turned with a shocked look. That tense moment lasted far too long before the man took a deep breath, intending to scream for help. I didn't have time to give a command but I didn't need to. In a flash Luca's paw was jammed deep in the man's gut, knocking the wind from his lungs with only a sharp "Oof." With another thwack to the neck Luca knocked him out entirely and left him to crumple to the floor.
"Good job." I whispered, getting a soft, proud smile. I shut the door behind me and we quickly started searching the cages. There were a lot of pokemon here and after 20 cages we still hadn't found Ky. "Luca, start breaking locks and explain what's going on." I told her, getting a nod before she started smashing the locks with her wrist spike. I continued to look and finally, I found him. He was sleeping through all the racket, curled up tightly in the back corner of his cage. The fur around his eys was wet, he'd been crying. I called Luca over and she gave the lock a quick hit. It crushed enough that I could rip it open while Luca continued to free the others beside me.
“Hey… Wake up, it’s time to go.” I said gently as I reached in and laid a hand between Ky’s ears. I was so lost in the relief of finding the poor pup that it completely escaped my mind not to touch a scared and cornered pokemon. He gave a soft whine as he started to wake but seeing a dark figure he panicked. With a shrill yelp he did the first thing any pokemon would do in that situation. He shook my hand free and sank his fangs into the first thing he could.
The warm taste of blood must have crossed his tongue because I felt his sharp teeth pierce my skin. I bit my lip almost hard enough to draw blood myself as I used all the concentration I had to relax my hand and not pull away. I at least knew that much about pokemon instinct. If the prey struggled and pulled away they would fight harder. If it was limp, they let go. Sure enough, I felt Ky’s jaw loosen and I gave him a slightly forced smile. The look he now wore though was really hard to look at. His eyes wavered as he stared at me, finally recognizing my image and scent. His tongue flicked against the taste of iron and he started to shake, terrified of what he’d done to the one human who’d ever been kind to him.
“Shhh. It’s ok. I promise I won’t let anything else happen to you.” I whispered and gingerly rubbed his head once more with just my fingers. I didn't want to stain his pretty fur with blood. His nose twitched and still frozen in fear of what he'd done he stared at my hand as it dripped on the floor of his cage. "Come on little guy. Let's get out of here." I said softly once more, getting his eyes to focus on me. I gave him a genuine smile this time and reached in with my other hand. "I know you didn't mean it. It's ok." I continued, but just as I slipped my hand to his chest, the cage filled with light...
Stunned, I yanked both my hands away. I blinked and watched for a moment as the poor Eevee grew more and more luminescent. He was evolving! And now of all times! The light could alert any of the guards or scientists. Though it would only last a few moments more I quickly pressed my back against the cage entrance, sealing it off as best I could. I sincerely hoped Ky would be ok... the last I saw of him was a terrified scramble as he must have realized what was happening to him. A few seconds later it was all over. Slowly I came away from the cage and turned to look in. I couldn't see anything in the blackness. I knew my vision hadn't been affected that much by the light but what other explanation was there? I pondered just what had happened until eight bright blue rings started to glow out of the darkness. I watched on in awe as he opened his eyes, which were now a deep red color, just like Luca's.
Our little Eevee friend had evolved into a beautifully colored Umbreon. He had grown too, and his cage was two small for him now so I gently helped him crawl out. He leapt to the ground and stared at his new paws. He wasn't sure what to do. Luca stopped as our friend emerged. She'd hesitated when light filled started to fill the room but she knew her task was important. Now though, she couldn't help herself. "You ok?" I asked as I knelt beside him and hesitantly put a hand on his back. His ears went back and he looked back at me with a timid expression, as if still ashamed of what he'd done and more so now thinking that was what made him evolve. "Hey. I need you to help Luca ok? Lady wants to see you but we have to get everyone out first ok?" I said as if nothing was wrong and rubbed his back softly. I really hoped this would help with his inferiority complex, but he at least had to accept what he was for it to do him any good.
The new Umbreon blinked at me but held my gaze longer than he used to. "Bre..." He said softly with a nod, agreeing to my request.
"Alright. Try using faint attack on the locks." I replied, bringing to mind one of the few dark attacks I knew and hoping he could figure out the rest. Much to my relief, he did. He looked up at the cages and faded into the dark of the room. His rings dimmed and went out as his body disappeared entirely from sight. Immediately after, each lock gave a ping as they were attacked in quick succession. Not three seconds later those beautiful blue rings started to glow by my feet again. Just as Luca and I looked to him the locks all fell from their cages, freeing every last one of the pokemon within. Stunned, I looked back to Ky who was waiting for me to give him another command. "Wow... Good job Ky!" I whispered and gave him a rub between the ears. He shrunk a little from the touch but didn't avoid it and quickly relaxed when my hand left him. "Alright. Let's get them out of here." I said as I looked up at Luca. She smiled and nodded before checking the hall with her aura sight. Meanwhile, I took a moment to wrap my still slightly bleeding hand in my shirt. With a wave Luca pulled the door open and led the way, leaving me to shut the door behind us so no one noticed the knocked out researcher.
We crammed the nearly four dozen small and medium sized pokemon into the supply closet as they exited one by one out the window. There were a few that were too big but once more thanks to Luca, we found a break in the guards and slipped them out the emergency door. I waited while Luca got them out and was lucky enough to find a bag of rags in the closet. Tying one around my hand allowed me to use it freely once again. As Ky gave a whimper though I gave him a smile back. "Don't worry. I'm fine." I said and rubbed his cheek.
Our plan was working well so far. No alarm had been raised so Tionis and Kat hadn't gotten caught. In fact, they weren't far behind Luca and I in their first trip. Tionis lugged two bags of pokeballs, each weighing about 30 pounds. Kat only had one and even then they said there was one more they left in Kat's store room. With a look to Luca she nodded and was off as fast as she could. In no time flat she was on her way back with the last bag over her shoulder like a robber. With the mask in her fur pattern I was reminded how oddly appropriate the scene was for what we were doing.
We had only been in the facility for about an hour when Luca returned with the bag. That was when our luck ran out... Alarms suddenly blared through the halls, forcing Luca and Ky's ears against their heads. It was time to leave! "GO!" I barked at everyone, being the first to recover from the shock and fear of being found out.
"Over there!" came a voice from down the hall. Someone had found the researcher Luca knocked out... Obviously not wanting to get caught we all rushed out the door. Kat's Pikachu leapt from the window as the last one out and ran with us into the woods. Flashlights flicked through the trees and the red flashes of pokeballs could be seen as the building started disappearing behind trees. Looking back I could see they were following, we wouldn't be able to hide. "Tionis! I need your Tirtouga!" I said quickly as I slowed to run beside the bigger guy. He gave me a confused look but seeing no reason not to trust me he quickly handed over the ball. "Thanks! Luca! Ky!" I called, getting them both to skid to a halt a few paces ahead of me. "We're the bait." I said with a grin, adrenaline fueling my confidence in this hair brained scheme. Luca seemed worried but she came back to stand with me, trusting me despite her fears. Ky seemed confused but obeyed without question as he walked back, his blue rings still glowing in the night.
The lights were starting to fan out as each of our pursuers started found their own path through the brush. "Luca, water pulse the bushes all around us." I said first. She nodded and with an elegant fighting motion slammed a glittering blue ball into the ground a moment later. Both Ky and I jumped to avoid the exponentially increasing waves of water. Since we were right next to the source it spared us getting wet as the attack flattened the smaller plants, erasing all trace of the escaped convicts ahead of us. "Good! Now let's get their attention." I said with a grin as Luca stood. A smile crossed her muzzle too as my plan finally made sense to her. She flicked two aura spheres into her paws and arced them into the trees, popping them dramatically and snapping off the tops of the trees. The crashing branches brought all the flashlights towards us and slowed the ones closest. We didn't wait though. I started running to the left, away from the grotto and towards the edge of the search lights.
"OVER HERE! Flamethrower!" I heard the end guard say. It was perfect! All the lights started to give chase as a pillar of fire blasted straight through our path. We never faltered though. Luca shot a water pulse into the flames, extinguishing them so we could run through.
"Ky, faint attack the human and follow Luca. Luca, aura sphere the pokemon. Make sure you have its attention, get Ky and meet me at the lake ok?" I said quickly as we ducked and dodged brush and branches. She nodded, looked to Ky and the two darted off into the blackness. I hoped this worked... until they left I was as confident as I had ever been. Now though. I didn't know what I'd do if Luca got captured... I heard a yell behind me as Ky delivered his attack and saw more flames as Luca blasted the pokemon, confusing it quite effectively though she left it and the others no doubt where we headed. A moment later I stopped at the water line and collected my thoughts.
"Alright... lets see if this works." I muttered as I released Tirtouga. The fossil turtle blinked at me, wondering what was going on. “Sorry. I asked Tionis if you could help. I need you to swim me to camp ok?” I asked quickly and quietly. I heard rustling behind me and turned as my stomach jumped to my throat in fear. It was Luca and Ky, and both were unharmed. “Good job. Let’s get back to camp.” I said quickly with a smile but pulled out their balls to withdraw them. Luca was about to protest but she didn’t have time as she vanished. I could see the flashlights running in the trees. With Luca and Ky safely inside I jammed the balls into my pockets.
“Please?” I said to Tirtouga and thankfully got a nod of his head. I quickly waded into the water and with a deep breath, disappeared. The turtle was quite quick in the water but his shell made an excellent hand hold. I trusted him to know where to go and to avoid the lights skimming the water though they were mostly behind us. After 20 seconds my lungs started to ache, after thirty they burned but I tried to hold on a bit longer. Finally I couldn't hold my breath any longer. A large bubble escaped my nose as I tapped Tirtouga's shell. The turtle had obviously done this before and knew exactly what the signal meant. Rising about two feet in the current he let me pop my head above the water for a large gulp of air. With that I was good until we came to a point too shallow to swim up. I thanked the turtle and stroked his shell before withdrawing him and pulling out Luca's ball. I hated having to use these things... The ornate design just reminded me how special my girls and Ky were to me. Too special to be confined in these tiny balls.
I let Luca out first though and after a quick and tight hug she led me back to the base. Of course... she didn't realized I was wet before she latched onto me so to lighten her mood a bit I teased her about her wet fur and wrung my shirt out over her still dry tail. She knew it was a joke but she still chased me back into the stream as revenge, forcing me to walk a while more with the squish squash of water filled shoes.
Back at camp it was pandemonium. Pokemon were everywhere and Psyduck was waving his stick in a fight with a strong willed Pidgeotto. Not exactly a surprise. Kat and Tionis were busy trying to calm everyone down and organize them. When Luca and I showed up a lot of the pokemon seemed to start behaving, remembering the Lucario that had helped them. To help things along I let Lady and Ky out as well. I knew my fox would be able to keep everyone in line, even if she did so by outsmarting them. First of all though... She looked franticly around at the group. Seeing no silver Eevee she looked up at me and whined impatiently with a paw held in the air. "Sorry girl. We found an Eevee but he... well." I teased, unable to resist with such a surprise. Ky hadn't moved from beside and behind Lady. He'd just sat down and folded his ears back to stare at her feet. When I motioned his direction Lady spun and froze. She stared at him as his rings dimmed slightly. It seemed that light of his was very expressive.
"N-ninnnn...?" She murred as she took a step close and looked him over. The Umbreon gave a timid nod but didn't look up. By the way Lady was staring though I knew she was happy. What I couldn't see was the slight blush in her cheeks as she continued to take in the handsome canine. Trying to hide the slight shyness in her touch she slipped her head against his and nuzzled him affectionately. Out of habit she curled her tails around to prevent him from escaping, but the poor critter was already frozen stiff. Luca giggled as his eyes shot wide open at the affection, not expecting anything of the like and certainly not expecting the lick he got next.
"Nine ninetales!!!" Lady continued in a barking growl, all of the sudden changing moods and whapping him with a tail in the face! Luca put her paws to her mouth and poor Ky yelped in shock, now utterly confused. I just smiled and shook my head as she shoved him to the ground the next moment and nuzzled him again.
"Let me guess, "don't be a hero"?" I said to Luca, earning a giggle as she nodded fervently.
"You're lucky my tail isn't long enough." She said to me with a soft growl as well. I smiled and pulled her closer to plant a kiss on her forehead. She eeped softly but smiled and joined me to help the others. Ky was still timid but he stayed close to Lady as they followed Luca and I.
With all the pokemon milling around we had to figure out what to do. We'd be found before morning if we stayed. After talking with Kat and Tionis we figured our only option was to get them to the cave where Vaporeon and Oshawott were supposed to be. Looking at the group though I wondered if one boat would be enough... Kat volunteered to fly over on Flygon to check on them, and she managed to take several of the smaller pokemon with her.
The Pidgeotto that was arguing with Psyduck was among the few flying pokemon we'd freed. With a kind request from Luca they agreed to carry whoever they could. By the time the sun started to rise even Tionis and I had gotten to the other side of the mountains to hide in Kat's cave. It was a last moment decision but it was for the best. Those goons might be dumb enough to follow a distraction in the night but as soon as day aided their efforts the other path leading from Luca's water pulse impact would take them straight to the grotto. It was a tough job keeping all the pokemon happy as well. They all wanted their trainers, and food, and drink. It was a nightmare... Luckily, I had Luca and Lady to help.
We spent most of the day trying to tend to all the details so we could escape. Luca never let me forget about the pokemon in the basement but I got the feeling Tionis and Kat were reluctant to go back to the facility. The guard would most certainly be tighter, we would definitely get into a fight if we went back. Probably the only reason they agreed in the end was because we had to steal a second boat to get everyone home.
It wasn’t that Vaporeon and Oshawott had picked an inappropriate boat, quite the opposite in fact. They had stolen a rather nice speed boat, but even then it didn’t have the room to hold all the pokemon Luca and Ky had freed.
In the end we agreed it was better to distract Darkrai from their boats, since they would certainly be on guard at the docks realizing one was gone already. So we spent the day resting on the warm sand of the beach and in the cool shade of the cave. Once, a boat circled the island, but thanks to the keen ears and eyes of our pokemon friends we were able to hide in time to avoid being spotted.
When nightfall came we three humans finalized our plans for the daring rescue before Flygon flew the three of us and Luca back to the grotto. Her first flight with Flygon earlier in the morning she was terrified and hugged me so tight I could barely breathe. This time she actually seemed to enjoy it. She still clutched tightly to me for fear of falling off but her tail wagged behind her, tickling Flygon's scales a little and making him growl softly as he started his dive towards the grotto.
There was clear evidence of Darkrai searching for us, but it only made us laugh as we started to hike. These crooks might be good at avoiding the law but they were horrible at catching thieves like themselves. Once more we snuck as close as we dared to the building and observed the guards. Luca stuck almost to close to me as we went. A couple times she brushed against me for a moment before a bush parted us. I wondered if this had something to do with using her ball last night...
Hunkered in the brush we didn't need Lucas aura sight to see the guard had been more than doubled. There was one at every entrance and exit now, and they already had their pokemon out and ready. With no way in I looked to Luca, debated a diversion or using force until Kat had an idea.
“The roof.” She murmured, earning confused looks from all of us. “The roof! There’s no lights pointed up!” She continued and hurried back into the forest with us in tow. Again we called upon Flygon to act as transport. It took him three trips but by flying high in the sky he was able to dive bomb to the building’s roof, avoiding all guards. Luca wasn't too fond of that particular ride either. Kat was right though, there were no lights on the roof and despite there being an access door there was no guard and it had been left unlocked. Some smoker or maintenance guy was going to get an earful after this, that much was certain.
Luca led the way as we entered. She seemed entirely focused as she went with me right behind her. Silently she would hold out a paw to stop us now and again. Her tear drops raised each time she checked a hall before darting past to another door. The entrance wed found was at the far side of the building, and the descent to the basement was more towards the center. When we found the door Luca remembered passing with her mind we found out why it was in such a strange place. Another large lab rested down the hall but the basement was marked "TOP SECRET." It had a swipe card lock and we knew there was no stealthy way to break in.
"There's no other way in or out down there." Tionis whispered to me, having doubts about our endeavor.
"Can Litwick take a look for us then? Make sure it's what we think?" I suggested and Tionis nodded. We found another broom closet to hide in and sent Litwick on another reconnaissance mission. The little candle squeezed through the nearly sealed door and snooped around for the better part of twenty minutes before coming back to the closet. It started to talk franticly, waving its little arms emphatically as it described to Luca what it had seen.
"He says they have a Deoxys caged up down there." Luca told me first. It was quite a shock. I passed the word to the others as Luca continued to listen to Litwick, who seemed to have put his heart in this mission after complaining about having to look around again.
"What!? How'd they catch it? Let alone how are they holding it? Those things are unbelievably strong and fast." Tionis pondered aloud, surprising me with his knowledge of the species.
"Felix... we have to help it. Litwick says it just sits there as they torture it..." Luca whined softly as she tugged my sleeve.
"I know hun. We will." I said simply and gave her a reassuring smile.
As I turned back to Tionis and Kat they had already formulated a plan for the guards Litwick had seen. The candle ghost would use a night shade attack to black out the room and since Luca could see without her eyes she would be able to navigate the room and knock out the guards. Of course Luca agreed, proud that her abilities could be of use. I was more worried about the effect the night shade would have on her but she assured me she could take it and Litwick proudly promised not to hurt the fair Lucario.
Our plan still had one flaw though. How to get into the lab in the first place. The scientists down there didn't come up often and it was even rarer that someone went down. We could be sitting here all night waiting for a chance that might not come. "Hang on... I have an idea. There's offices upstairs right?" I said suddenly. Tionis nodded, having studied that part of the plans more than me. "Alright. Tionis, I need to borrow Litwick. We're going to go get a key. If a scientist comes up or goes down though grab him." I explained, getting a nod of agreement from the others. Luca seemed confused but quickly tailed me as I opened the door and bolted down the hall to the stairs with Litwick right with me.
"Felix? What are we doing?" She whispered as we went swiftly up the stairs.
"We're getting a card key for that lab." I answered and before Luca could use her aura sight I peaked around a corner. She quickly checked the whole floor for me though and informed me there were just a few scientists up there. "Any in the closed offices?" I asked, getting a shake of her head. Good, we could avoid the maze of cubicles and anyone inside. I darted down the hall, surprising my Lucario once again as she hurried to stay with me. Litwick seemed to be having fun as he just rested on my shoulder, wondering what his part was in my plan. Going down the hall I looked in the offices as they flew by. Name after name flashed in my thoughts as I tried to make a good guess. Finally I came to a corner office with large windows. I hoped my guess was correct...
"Litwick, can you get in and unlock the door?" I asked, knowing full well anyone important would lock their office. Of course, the candle obliged, letting Luca and I in with only a click of the lock. "Ok. Luca, start looking through the drawers for a card key. It'll have a picture of someone on it and a stripe on the back." I instructed as I started to paw through the desk. Three drawers later Luca found it, a name tag on a retractable cord. It was the swipe card we were looking for, now we just had to hope this guy was on the top priority project we wanted to interrupt.
After locking the office door once more we hurried back to the closet. Luca kept me from running into the guards and surprisingly enough we made it back without being noticed. Our luck was holding so far but this was the hard part. "Let's hope this works." I said to the others as I held up the ID. With a quick check Luca lead us back to the door where I swiped the card. There was no reaction from the lock... The others were already impatient as I swiped it again, a little slower hoping the darn thing was just picky. A ding sounded as a green light flashed, releasing the lock along with our collective breath.
The next instant we were all in the stair well, afraid a guard would somehow avoid Luca's watch and find us before we entered. "Alright... Let's do this. Luca? You ready?" I asked in a whisper. She smiled and nodded. Tionis took that as his cue and a moment later chaos ensued.
"This place has a triple back up generator for hurricanes! What's with the lights?!"
"Is containment holding!?" Were just a few of the audibly confused remarks before the first "Oof!" and thud was heard.
"It's a pokemon! They're back sound the alarm! Lock the doorrrr...!" Someone yelled before Luca silenced him. She was moving as fast as she could but there were too many to subdue in the few seconds of the black out.
"Stop that Lucario!" A scientist at the console yelled as everyone's sight was restored. Luca had downed at least 5 guards but that still left three, plus four more scientists.
"Go!" I shouted a split second before the others leapt into action. Litwick shot a confuse ray at one guard as Kat called out her Flareon. Ky was my only other option and I quickly released him to help Luca.
The scientists were franticly working on their consoles but one had the state of mind to hit the intercom. “All security to Deoxys’ Chamber! Intruders!” came the call to arms over the speakers. We were in for it now…
A moment later the scientists all released their own pokemon as the loud blare of an alarm filled the building. "Luca aura sphere the men! Ky, Faint attack!" I yelled. Two scientists fell a moment later, knocked back against their consoles by an exploding aura sphere. Sure it was an illegal command but then again; were we really fighting by the rules here?
Even without a trainer’s command the pokemon set their sights on Luca. Ky managed to grab the attention of a menacing looking Magmar but Luca still franticly dodged a flamethrower and two string attacks. We needed to get to those consoles and there were just two scientist left in the way. In the chaos of battle it wasn’t hard for me to work my way around the room. I stood at the computers and though my mind raced, debating what to do I looked up at the pokemon contained in front of me. Those eyes stared back at me with a curious hope, but Deoxys didn’t even move from its sitting position.
Tionis managed to subdue one of the remaining guards, as did Kat. The last was recovering from his confused stupor and was easily knocked out with a quick head butt from Kat's Flareon. Meanwhile, I had encountered another problem… When a flamethrower melted and destroyed the computer in front of me I had less than a second to dodge the swing of a fist. One of the scientists had decided not to let me ruin their research. With his attention on me Luca managed to blast the Magcargo chasing her with an aura sphere, knocking the slug out. She couldn’t help me though as she ducked another string attack and an X-Scissor attack. Ky was still busy with the Magmar of the other scientist so I was on my own.
I ducked another sharp jab and returned one of my own with all I had! Pain shot through my hand as I hit but I was sure it had hurt him too… I was wrong. My punch to the jaw barely fazed the man! And before I could even deliver a follow up he drove a fist into my gut. It took all my concentration not to throw up right there. I barely managed to stay on my feet as I held my stomach and staggered backwards before the grinning man. Luca saw me get hit and ignoring the two pokemon still chasing her with attacks, came to help.
Just as I managed to take a gasping breath and stand half upright to look up at the looming threat. A snarling blue figure drove her clenched paw hard into the man's jaw opposite where I had hit just moments before. I blinked as the man crumpled to the consol beside us, utterly motionless. I wondered if maybe Luca had actually killed the man but then again, we had bigger problems...
Luca looked at me with worry in her eyes. I think she would have been crying if she had the time. Her ears perked though and a second later both she and I were under a green protect bubble as two more attacks slammed into the barrier. Another flash went off outside the bubble and Luca finally relaxed. My legs stopped wobbling as I looked up, finding Kat’s Flareon had just burnt the two bug pokemon to a near crisp. We were victorious, for now.
“Now what?!” Kat asked quickly and a little sharp. It was understandable. We were basically trapped now. The guards were on their way and we would only have minutes if that to escape before we were over run. I looked back at the Deoxys in the cage behind us. It was standing now, having risen with the hope it would soon be freed. That pokemon was really our only hope, but all the computer consoles were broken in some way. The software must have been set to keep the containment up and we couldn't shut it down. At least, not properly... There were machines all over the room humming with power. It was a smash and grab operation now.
"Cut the power. Destroy the machines. Something will break and shut it down." I said quickly and turned to Luca. "I need you to destroy these consoles entirely. Then start on anything else that looks important." I continued. Luca nodded and quickly turned to summon her aura spheres and begin. Kat took her Flareon over to the cooling system fixed to the wall. With any luck an over heat error would shut down the system as well. Tionis let out his Psyduck and promptly had the proud duck start soaking machines with water.
Our efforts were quickly rewarded. Luca's consoles shattered under her attacks, sparking and setting off multiple alarms. The containment chamber was an immense force field with a gyroscopic look to it and it started to flicker as the rotating arms hesitated in their rounds. The flamethrowers of Kat's Flareon easily melted the cooling lines, vaporizing some antifreeze and letting the rest pour onto the floor. The growing puddle was of little concern though as finally, Tionis' targets sparked and arced, causing the computers to fail entirely.
Luck was in our favor. The hum of the machines and the field containing the legend faded to nothing just as the guards started pouring into the lab. There was a pileup as the front men realized Deoxys was free, and angry... The three of us readied to fight for our lives. Luca and Ky both came to my sides to protect me as the other pokemon did for Tionis and Kat. We waited, ready to react to whatever the grunts threw at us when a green protect shield encompassed us all. Confused, we all looked back to see Deoxys had been freed from its cage. With its freedom returned it had shifted to its defense form to put a shield around its rescuers. All of us turned and watched as Deoxy's shifted once again. It's body grew more sleek and pointed, granting it unparalleled attack strength. A fire burned in its eyes as it let out a loud booming cry aimed at the Darkrai members now scrambling to escape via the stairs. Deoxys’ had no sympathy for them though...
Stunned and scared we watched as Deoxys’ blasted the stairwell, most certainly killing several Darkrai members. Still trapped in the legend’s protect, we couldn't stop it from continuing. Luca and I just looked away...
The next blast was aimed at the ceiling. After the flash of the attack stars could be seen in the middle of the still glowing rim of the circle. Deoxys’ floated up and through the new exit and before we knew it we were floating behind the creature! Hefted floor and all into the sky by the psychic's protect ball Deoxys’ kept us close as it flew up to get a vantage on the building. Once there its tentacle like arms flicked in front of it to prepare a final attack. Energy crackled and burst into a bright white light as Deoxys’ poured all its power into one last ball. From a thousand feet up we could see the whole island illuminated as Deoxys’ finished. There was even a small spec on the outer beach, a second boat for our getaway graciously spared from Deoxys’ wrath by Tionis' Oshawott and Vaporeon.
With another booming call Deoxys’ hurled its psycho boost attack at the building far below. The legend's aim was dead on as the attack blew down our escape hole erupted. We watched in an odd mixture of awe and fear as the entire building was vaporized, leaving nothing behind but a massive crater.
Deoxys seemed proud that it had destroyed the cage and many of the people that had once contained it. All that remained to show the island was once inhabited by humans were the docks, which by now were almost devoid of boats and people as the survivors piled into every available vehicle to flee for their lives. It was a truly impressive display but I couldn’t help hoping with a heavy heart that all the pokemon really were out of that building before it went up…
As we floated there watching the last of the Darkrai members flee; the newly formed crater started to fill in with sea water. Amazingly enough, Deoxys had managed to preserve the fresh water lake that ajoined the facility. The pokemon on the island could finally live in peace.
Satisfied with its victory, Deoxys turned to face us. There was no hope of escape floating a thousand feet above the ground in a protect bubble maintained by our captor. Even if we could get out, Kat's Flygon wouldn't be able to hold all three of us humans at once. Much to our relief though there was gratitude in Deoxys piercing eyes. Luca, who stayed protectively at my side seemed to relax as Deoxys stared.
"It wants to know where it should take us." Luca said to me softly. I looked to my Lucario, wondering if Deoxys had spoken to her. In the end though, I figured it didn’t matter.
"We have a cave over there with a lot of pokemon in it. Can you take us there?" I asked of Deoxys with Luca's encouragement. Its gaze shifted from Luca to me as we spoke and hearing my request, it nodded. Deoxys turned and started to fly towards the coast, ignoring the roar of the last boat to leave the docks. Our bubble followed after the psychic pokemon without so much as a jerk of acceleration, and shortly after we were all standing on the beach where Deoxys set the one remaining piece of floor from the building.
Lady came out to greet us but seeing the legendary pokemon she paused and kept her distance. She believed Luca when the Lucario had insisted there was something downstairs but it seemed even pokemon revered these powerful beings we humans called legendaries.
Tionis Kat and I all thanked Deoxys for saving us, though we couldn’t help laughing when the pokemon tilted its head, expressing a little confusion. It seemed to laugh as well by the look in its eyes before it looked to Luca and gave a soft call. Though it was a psychic pokemon it didn’t seem very talkative. Only Luca and perhaps the other pokemon understood what it said, but judging from Luca’s proud smile and her curtious reply of “You’re welcome!” It must have been a personal “Thank you.” No doubt Deoxys was aware of who had convinced us to return for it.
Without another word Deoxys changed forms once again. This time its form shrunk to a sleek, skinny, and aerodynamic shape. We were all shocked it had a fourth form and we were even more surprised when without warning it bolted away over the water! It moved so fast just inches above the waves that it left a massive rooster tail of water in its wake.
The four of us were sprayed with a salty mist as we watched that wake fade into the distance. Luca was in awe, her tail wagging. I knew she was happy she had helped Deoxys but she probably wanted to try whatever move it had just used to leave… When she looked back up at me I couldn’t help smiling. As we all went back to the cave to check on the pokemon I put a hand on my girl’s head and rubbed between her ears. I loved the sweet giggle she always gave but this time I got a bonus. As we walked my Lucario wrapped me in a hug. It was a little awkward to keep walking but I lowered my hand to her shoulders to return the embrace as she loosened her grip. A soft growl got us both to look down, seeing Lady sitting with Ky at her side, corralled by all nine tails.
“Ok fine…” I said with a fake exhaustion and knelt to give my Ninetales a kiss on the bridge of her nose as I rubbed between her ears too. “Good job keeping everyone safe.” I said softly, then turned my attention to Ky. “And thank you too buddy. We’d have been in real trouble without you.” I praised as I smiled and pet him, making sure to give a long stroke of his ear. He only shied away a little at first but I felt him lean into the touch of his ear as his rings started to glow gently.
“Yeah! You really covered my tail!” Luca added happily, deciding to embarrass the poor Umbreon by kneeling and giving him a tight hug. Her attack obviously worked because Ky yelped and struggled, his rings shining brightly. Lady growled playfully and batted Luca with a tail, protecting her male though most of it was probably because she loved to be the one doing the teasing.
After a good laugh to finally banish all the trouble we’d gone through the past couple of days me and my pups went to join the others. The pokemon were behaving, though many had formed little clicks. So long as they didn’t start a gang war we figured it was fine. Tionis’ Oshawott and Vaporeon had brought back another speed boat, on which Oshawott was standing on the drivers seat stretching to barely reach the steering wheel as he acted like he was going faster than Deoxys. Tionis had yet to release Psyduck… probably a good thing with the relevantly peaceful atmosphere at the moment, and Kat was busy using a potion on her Flareon to make sure he was ok after the battle.
The pokemon were all eager to get going, having heard what was happening from Vaporeon and Oshawott. Tionis and I were skeptical though. Much to the dismay of the pokemon we stayed for another hour and a half, waiting to make sure Darkrai was far enough away that we wouldn’t find any of them out at sea.
After lying around the beach for that hour and a half it was time to head home. Over all it was nice just to spend some time on a private island, even if it wasn’t private for very long.
Tionis had figured out the boat well enough with the manual to drive one and with a quick tutorial I was confident I could do the same. Basically it was common sense, don’t turn the rudder too hard, don’t go to fast and slam a wave head on, etc…
With everything figured out Kat helped load pokeballs and pokemon into Tionis’ boat, which was now overseen by Admiral Duck and his mighty stick… While Luca and Lady helped get the rest of the pokemon into my own vessel. Not knowing where to go Ky stayed with me until Lady came aboard and joined him in the sitting area at the bow. It seemed like he always wanted me to put him in his ball so he could be alone but I hated using the things and so long as he stayed with me rather than running away I really had no reason to. Plus he did like Lady, that much was clear, even if she did seem a little demanding whenever she had to say something to get him to come closer. Luca joined me as Ky left though so I couldn’t have asked for a better cruise over the water. My cheerful Lucario sat in the passenger seat not far away. The two of us started talking about nothing and eventually she found a map in the glove box in front of her. We had been going by the direction of the rising sun but with her abilities Luca managed to correct our course and save us an hour over all.
“Luca that’s amazing! Can you really see the mainland?” I asked, shocked that she had gotten so good with her abilities.
“No… There’s an island not far over there. I think it’s this one here since I think this dot is where we were.” She answered, holding the map up for me to see.
“Oh. Still, good job. I you can’t even see that island without looking.” I complimented, squinting in the direction of the island she spotted and barely seeing a tinge of brown and green where the sea met the sky. Her tail thumped happily behind her as I turned a little off the course we were on, soon followed by Tionis and his boat.
Of course what Luca and I had done in that cave was still on my mind… She acted as though nothing was wrong between us, but since that night we had been busy trying to survive. I couldn’t help wondering what would happen when life returned to normal. I tried not to seem distracted by it as we went and thankfully Luca was too distracted by the salty sea breeze in her face to notice. I locked eyes with Lady once though… so she knew something was bothering me. Darn fox…
Never the less, we would soon be back on the mainland. And with any luck, all of these pokemon would find their trainers again very soon.
Chapter End Notes:
Alrighty, another chapter modified. Please let me know what you think. ^^ Again sorry it took so long. The holidays were less of a help and more of a distraction in this endeavor. x.x