Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot however are my creation. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No profit is being made from this, nor am I expecting any profit to be made, no copyright infringement is intended.
Now that that's out of the way, I want to thank a fellow author by the name of Felix. His story, "Luca", is the semi-inspiration for this story. I contacted him and I asked if it was ok to have his characters make a few cameo appearances later in my story, to which he had this to say,
---"Thank you very much for asking. I would be honored to even have one cameo in your story!"---
So with that end, I guess I'm gonna cameo it up! lol
Seriously though, Felix is a great writer and I encourage everyone to read his stories which can be found here ----> http://agn.ph/fics/viewuser.php?uid=164
Like this story, don't like this story? Either way, drop a review and lemme know ^_^. Anyway, thanks for clicking on the link and at least giving Mina a try!
For those who have ever even visited the forum, it has been revised due to the site overhaul. The new link is this: http://forums.agn.ph/index.php?topic=38.msg282#msg282
Author's Chapter Notes:
In this chapter, Caleb finds out about Luke and Mina's relationship and takes it pretty hard. The group comes across the National weather institute and decide to take a tour there.
Chapter 4: Today's Forecast; Rainy with a chance of conquest!
The last thing I remember, I was staring down a giant fireblast attack. If I didn’t do something about it, Luke would be hit by it. I had to slice it in half. Not moving from my spot, I heard Luke yell from behind me, “MINA! MOVE!” I couldn’t though, I had a plan. Power swelling from inside me, I overcharged a shadow claw, the darkness bubbled up in my paws with the thick dark energy.
I let the ball get a little closer, then I began to swing at it, but… something happened. I can’t remember what though. I was knocked away from the field, and I saw Luke get hit by the flames. I tried so hard to get to him, but something was pinning me to a tree… a branch? Stone?... An arm?? It was choking me. I couldn’t breathe and I lost consciousness.
The next thing I knew, I woke up in our tent, but to my surprise, Luke wasn’t next to me; he was on the other side of the tiny room. The sun was just strong enough to peek through the walls of our road home, letting in tiny pricks light. Was it all just a dream?
Unzipping the doorway, I cautiously exited the tent and found Caleb lying on the ground next to a dying fire, his pokémon nowhere to be found. He must have put them back in their balls. Looking around for any proof of yesterday’s events, I came across the scorch marks left in the grass by the fireblast. Just at a glance, I could clearly tell where it was fired from, and where it ended. However, it looked strange, as if it came to a halt on one side as if someone were holding it back…
Other than that, there was nothing else to prove anything, and I was at a loss once again. I decided to put the events out of my mind for now, and set about taking a bath in the flowing river.
Apparently, I was the last person to wake up this morning. I rolled over and noticed Mina had left the tent. Naturally I wanted to make sure she was alright, so I stepped out of the tent and saw both Mina and Caleb sitting around a relit fire; Caleb being the one trying to cook the berries today. It looked as though he had already cooked some and Mina was acting as the taste tester as she held the clumsily burnt berries and sniffed at them before taking a cautious bite.
After having the berry in her mouth she quickly spat it back out, “Ehg! Caleb this is awful!” she coughed. The kid could only laugh and guess at what she had said, and it didn’t surprise me when his guess was right. “S-sorry Mina, I’m not a good cook.”
I took a seat on the ground next to the Zoroark and yawned as I stretched. Mina looked at me with a beaming smile for a second and then lunged at me. I was knocked back onto the ground with the huge fluff ball on top of me holding me tight. “Uhg… Hey girl, how are you feeling?” straining to ask as I could barely breathe. She quickly let me go and looked at Caleb then back to me. Then I was yanked off the ground as Mina hurriedly pulled me into the woods. I looked back at the kid sitting by the fire who was giving us a weirded out look as I said in a rushed tone, “Stay here, we’ll be right back!”
Once Mina was sure we were out of earshot from Caleb, she began to frantically search my body for something. “Hey, wh- what are you doing?” I stammered as she looked all over me, lifting up my shirt, looking up and down my arms, poking at my ribs. I started to squirm and laugh as the poking was starting to tickle me. All the sudden, she stopped and held my arms to my sides as stared into my eyes.
“Luke… you're not burned!” she started. “You're okay!” Tears welled up in her eyes and I recalled the events that took place yesterday. “Y-yea, I’m fine, but I’m more worried about you at this point, what’s wrong honey?”
“Don’t play dumb with me!” she shouted in my face leaving a ringing in my ears. “I saw you get hit by that fireblast! How are you not burned!?”
“I-I… uh. I’m not sure.” Was the only answer I could give her. Her expression went from happy crying to angry crying. “Why didn’t you move, Luke? Why? I thought you were gone, but I woke up next to you, and I didn’t know what happened and I thought it was a dream, but I saw the scorch marks and……” She continued to ramble on and on, her words turning into teary crying babble as she continued.
“Mina!” I snapped her out of it and she looked up to me with teary emerald eyes. “I don’t know what happened, but I will tell you everything I know.” The statement seemed to console her a bit as she gave out a sniffle and wiped her tears away with an arm. We sat down in the dried leaves of the forest, and I proceeded to tell her the whole story, as much as I could tell her anyway. She took special interest to the beginning when I held back the fireblast. I told her about the man who pinned her to the tree and she couldn’t believe how a human could be that strong. Everything I knew, and the events with the Celebi, and its power were relayed to Mina and it seemed like she was getting it okay.
I finished my recollection and waited for her reaction. The Zoroark however, was deep in thought as she went over the tale in silence. “Um, sweetie?” I asked breaking the silence. She gave a ‘hmm?’ and looked to me once again. “That’s all I can tell you, we don’t know anything else.”
“Oh Lukey, I’m just glad that everyone is okay” she whined. “Especially you!” Once again, Mina lunged at me in a hug, but she didn’t stop there. She pushed me to lie on the ground and our lips were locked in a kiss as our tongues fought each other within our shared mouth space. I gave a stifled chuckle and a bit of a cringe when I could taste Caleb’s burnt berries on her breath.
All of this kissing had begun to get me aroused, but I was soon snapped out of it when we heard a twig snap behind us, or above us; as we were lying on the ground. Mina broke the kiss and squealed at what I didn’t want to turn around for. Something deep inside me already knew.
I sat up on my elbow and turned to see that my suspicions were true. Caleb was standing just a few yards away, ducking behind a tree. His reaction was more of disgust than surprise, and I knew I would have a tough time explaining this one. Especially to a trainer like him. Especially to a fifteen year old!
“Ugghh! Gross!” The kid gagged as he saw us staring back at him. He then shook his head and began trudging back to where our camp was. Mina leapt off of me and I jumped to my feet as we both started to go after him.
“Caleb, wa-” He cut me off and turned to face Mina and I. “Don’t talk to me you disgusting pokephiliac!” Okay… maybe I wasn’t giving this kid enough credit, but he still had the wrong idea. “No, Caleb it’s not like tha-” I didn’t get a chance to finish the sentence when he cut me off again, “It all makes sense now!” Once again he turned and started to walk away from us, but we insisted on following. “No wonder you wanted me to let out all my pokémon! I bet you and Gallade got real chummy in that river while you distracted me with your Zoroark!” Mina gave me a twisted look as if she thought for a single moment that Caleb’s accusations were true.
“Come on Caleb, I didn’t do anything to Glade.” We just entered our camping spot as I finished my words. They were enough to make the trainer freeze and turn to me with a finger to my chest. “You know his name! How do you know his name!?” ‘Uh-oh’ I thought. I had to come up with something quick. “Uh, glade is its name? I just call all of those things glade.” Was the best I could come up with. Thinking back, I know for a fact that it wasn’t very convincing as it came out way too forced.
Caleb wasn’t convinced either. He narrowed his brown eyes and then shouted in my face, “LIAR!” He sharply turned and stomped to his bag and started to pack up his things. “You know, I feel sorry for you, I really do.” He said in a genuinely apologetic tone, “I wish I had caught you sooner, so you wouldn’t have to be this guy’s sex slave!” Mina and I quickly put together that he was talking about her. She gave out a confused ‘huh?’ and then a frustrated grunt.
I walked into the clearing and over to my own pile of camping equipment. “Really?? Mina is not my sex slave. She’s not even close to being that, but what we have, someone like you could never understand.”
“Someone like me?” he questioned raising his voice in a high pitch squeal on the word ‘me’. “HA! I’m the only normal person here! You know, I thought you were cool. You get to be on TV! You have all kinds of money! I’m sure you have a case full of ribbons!” My eyes subconsciously darted to the large backpack lying within the tent. Unfortunately, he was right about all of those things. Mina and I were pretty good on cash flow, I have been on TV, and of course there are lots of ribbons in that case. “But now, I see you for what you really are… A disgusting, immoral, perverted freak! And you can forget about hooking up with any of my pokémon, because we don’t fly that way!”
“And did they make that decision? Or was it just you?”
“I did! I’m the master, they listen to me! They were put on this earth to follow my commands and I say there is no way, you will ever see them again as long as we are traveling!”
Mina came up to my side and held my arm in her’s. She gave me a worried look with her big emerald irises. “Your pokémon was attacked by someone, and the next thing you do after saving her, is to go out into the woods and do… that!” he started in a lower tone, “I thought you would have more compassion than that, but I guess I was wr-” It was now my turn to cut him off, my rage boiled at what he had just said.
“Compassion!? You wouldn’t know about compassion if it whip-kicked through your bitch-ass face! You talk about how you’re the master, and pokémon do what you say by your command, and now you want to talk about compassion!?” Mina gasped at my outburst, but I only continued. Not being able to keep my anger pent up any longer, I just started to spew everything I had. “I didn’t want to have sex with your pokémon. I felt sorry for them, because their master is a cold uncaring douche bag!”
Caleb snapped up from his packing and for the first time since the forest, he was actually listening to me. “You use them for your own ambitions! Did you ever once consider the possibility that maybe they don’t want to battle? Maybe they don’t want to be forced to fight for someone who can’t even defend themselves, and probably wouldn’t fight for them if the tables were turned? Trainers like you disgust me. You don’t ever care about what they feel; you only want that next win, that next badge! Like a drug addict, you feed off of their achievements, and cast them aside when you no longer have use for them!”
Caleb started walking towards me, his lips pursed and his eyes in a fire of anger. I didn’t see it coming at first, and I didn’t know what to expect from the young man, but what happened was the last thing I was thinking. He swung back his right fist and hit in the face. He was only fifteen, but strong for his age; upon getting punched I was sent back by a few feet, knocked completely flat on the ground. I gave out an exasperated groan as I finally came to the realization that Caleb had taken me out with one punch. Sitting up on my elbow, I put a hand to my face and pulled it back to see quite a bit of blood running down to my wrist. Mina ran to me and crouched beside my form. “Luke!” she screamed, but I just held up a hand signaling that I was fine, save for the busted lip and bleeding nose. Caleb stood where he was and only glared at me.
“Get up! I’ll show you who can’t defend themselves!” At this, my lovely Zoroark gave a low growl at the trainer who had just clocked me. “No… Mina, don’t. I’ll handle this.” I uttered to her as I weakly stood up again. My legs felt like jello, as I tried to balance myself, still reeling from that hard first punch. “Don’t do this Caleb.” I warned, but it went unheeded, as the trainer swung at me again. I saw this one coming though, and I back stepped to avoid it.
“You really don’t want to do this man. I’m eighteen; it would be immoral for me to hit you.”
Caleb scoffed at my second warning and took another right swing which I blocked with my left arm. “As if you care about morals!” Caleb withdrew his first fist and started to swing another. It was a left hook, this kid was too predictable, I went to block with my right, but it was a fake attack. His real punch was a straight jab with his right and it was once again headed for my face. I was left open. This was kind of the same feeling I felt with the fireblast, it was too late to dodge or block; I could only take the hit.
My body apparently had other plans. My palms once again started to glow as my limbs began to move on their own. It would seem time had come to a complete halt to allow whatever was controlling me to grab the front of Caleb’s fist with my right hand. It then twisted his arm back assisted by a glowing palm placed on his shoulder. I saw Mina off to the side with her mouth agape as my hands stopped their strange glow and I heard Caleb give out a pained grunt holding him in place.
“Ugh! What the hell!?” he groaned. I didn’t know what just came over me, but whatever it was, it made me smile just a little bit. “Caleb, I want you to forget what you saw in the forest. Mina is not a sex slave; she is the most important person in the world to me, and I love her with every fiber of my being.”
“Aghh, okay, okay, okay! Just please let me go!” I did as he pleaded and he fell forward by his own weight. He sat up on his knees and hung his head; his back turned towards me. “I-I’m sorry a-about… that.” He said, genuinely apologizing. “I didn’t know you could feel that way about a pokémon. I know I… never… have.” He paused for a few ticks before and after the word ‘never’.
“Hey, I’m sorry too.” Joining in on the apology band wagon, I decided to apologize for the words I had said, even if they were true, no one should have to bear that all at once. “I didn’t mean to come off as so har-” Caleb then cut me off again.
“NO! You don’t have anything to be sorry about!” he started in a shout that echoed across the river. “I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. You're right, Luke. I’m a terrible trainer.” He started to sniffle a little and even though I couldn’t see his face, I could tell he was holding back tears. “I have used my pokémon for so long, without thinking about what they wanted… These last few days, they looked happy. Happier than they have ever been. I was just too stuck up to see it…
“Hey man. We’ve all got our flaws, and I don’t think you're a bad guy- Mina doesn’t think you're a bad guy, do you honey?” I looked to Mina and she gave a bark to agree with my statement. “You just need to love them more, and they will love you back.”
With that said, Caleb sniffed again and wiped his eyes as her stood up on his legs once more. “Alright. Let’s just finish packing, then we can get on the road again.” He turned around and I could see his red face, and bloodshot eyes. His eyes were avoiding mine however. I just shook it off and turned to the river then back to Mina. She gazed at me intently with worrying eyes, her paws clenching each other. “Don’t worry, I’m fine.” She let out a sigh of relief as her arms drooped to her sides.
“Could you do me a favor though?” Mina’s ears perked at the sound of a request and she nodded excitedly. “Can you take the tent down? I need to wash off my face.” I said with a chuckle. The heat of battle was over and the pain of an injury was finally coming to me. At first it tickled, but after a few more seconds, It started to full on hurt. The Zoroark immediately began to set about taking apart the tent, and Caleb just slinked away from in front of me, still not wanting to look me in the face. I supposed it had something to do with that shiner he gave me.
With Mina at work with the tent, I took a look at the damage in the water’s reflection. To my surprise, I had bled quite a lot, as it started from my nose and the rest of my face looked like it wore a crimson mask. Also it’s a good thing that I never wore white shirts, for if I had, this one would have been simply ruined. The wetness allowed the soulstone to shine through the thick, dark fabric. Before doing anything I pulled it out from around my neck and gazed into it intently. That was the second time my palms had glowed like that, and to make matters weirder, they glowed with the same hue light that this thing emitted. Light blue.
I stared into the crystal for a few moments not really expecting to see anything, just thinking. I then put the glowing crystal aside and began to wash my face off. Letting the dried, and not so dried, blood to come off with the water. Now it began to sting and hurt really bad whenever I touched the spot Caleb had punched me. It seems as though I would have quite a nasty bruise left over for a while.
Mina had done an excellent job at taking down the tent. Even putting it away nice and neat in the backpack! I had to say I was surprised that she could do all of this given her form, and in the short time it took me to wash my face.
I came over and gave her a hug; thanking her for doing that for me. I saw Caleb give out a shudder and thought that it must still bother him. All of our stuff was packed up and we were ready to go. I had to ask my travel companions something before we left though.
“Guys… Given what happened yesterday, I don’t think it would be wise to keep going through the forest like this. Maybe it would be better to take the road after all.” My suggestion was well received by both Mina and Caleb.
“Yea, I was thinking the same thing. That guy was crazy strong, and if it wasn’t for that weird pokémon, we might have been in some serious trouble.” Mina still wasn’t too clear on the events, and I understood that she didn’t have any input, but I still wanted to hear her opinion.
“What about you?” I questioned, looking towards her. She even knew she didn’t have any input so she simply nodded and replied with, “Whatever you think is best Lukey.”
“Alright then, I guess we’re gonna head for the road now.” I slung my heavy bag over my shoulder and with that we were off. I knew which direction the path was in, plus with Mina’s powerful nose, we’ve always been able to detect high traffic areas. Before we got all ‘gung-hoe’ I had just one more question. Caleb was following us a few feet behind Mina and I.
“Caleb.” I spoke up, quite nervous of what he might say to my question. The trainer lifted his head in response to his name. “Do you still want to travel with Mina and me?
Caleb put his head back down as we continued to trudge through the forest. “Y-you still want me around? Even… even after what just happened?”
He was taking his action harder than I was, if I didn’t know any better, it was like I had hit him, instead of the other way around. “If you want to stick around, I won’t stop you, but I only ask that you not hate on our relationship.” I gave a soft laugh as I finished the request. “I guess I should be more honest with you about things to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Caleb gave a ‘hmm’ and looked back to the ground. “I’ll stay…” he murmured. I couldn’t really hear him say it, but thanks to Mina’s good hearing, the message was relayed to me. Once again, it really bothered me that he didn’t want to let his pokémon out of their balls, but I didn’t think now was the time to bother him with that.
We traveled straight east for what must have been miles and the forest was finally starting to thin out. There wasn’t as much conversation today as there was the past couple. I could understand. I couldn’t directly talk to Mina because I still didn’t want Caleb to know I could, and I was sure Caleb didn’t want to talk after what had happened. So all in all, the trip was really boring.
Eventually we did find the road and immediately came across quite a few rookie trainers looking to battle. Mina decided to take on a couple, but our main battler was Caleb who insisted that he take care of, as he put it, ‘group safety’. His pokémon were quick in defeating the other trainers, because of this, Gyro and Kimi were able to finish their respective battles, and it looked like they were genuinely having a good time! Watching Caleb’s pokémon fight, I couldn’t help but think that maybe being a trainer isn’t all that bad. As long as everyone is having fun, battling can be fun too.
After just a few more hours along the road, I noticed a rather large building across another bridge. Mina and I had always taken the forest route to avoid trainers, so this was something new to us. Caleb however, had already known about this place, and practically lit up at the site of it.
“Hey, guys! This is the National Weather Institute!” The boy ran to the front of us, his eyes sparkling as he gazed at the fountains decorating the front of the building. “I come here every time I come through this path… well, I didn’t expect to come by it this time, but I guess we get to go through it after all! It’s a big tourist attraction.”
He was right, the road ended up going right in front of it. I thought that after what had happened in the past two days, we needed a little change of pace. Walking through the dense forest can be a pain, and as Caleb said, they accept tours. Mina and I had been out of school for five years and during our travels, we haven’t been learning anything interesting, other than… you know; battle stuff.
Mina was starting to get excited as well. She took my hand and started to drag me towards the building. “Come on Luke! Weather Institute! Let’s go!” We were all in a run to get there with Caleb leading the way. “Alright, alright Mina! Stop pulling you're gonna rip my arm off!” I laughed, but she took me seriously.
Letting go, she turned back with her paws over her mouth, “Oh, sorry! I’ll do this then!” She started to grab at my legs. “Hey! What the hell!?” Before I knew it, Mina had managed to literally sweep me off my feet, along with the heavy bag and started in a dead run bolt towards the building. At first I was surprised that she could lift me and it at the same time and still have enough strength to run faster than I could. Then I remembered that she’s a super awesome pokémon, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of her new abilities yet. I was being held in her arms like a helpless baby as we… uh, she… ran at full speed. I tried to struggle out of her grip but she only giggled and held me tighter.
“Mina! Let me down!” I yelled through my bumpy voice. “Hee Hee,” she giggled, “Nu-uh! We gotta get there fast Lukey!” I didn’t have a choice in the matter; she was going to carry me all the way to the Weather Institute. My only consolement of the situation was that it wasn’t that far away. I looked behind Mina and saw that we had left Caleb in the dust.
I could just barely hear him yell to us while running as fast as his legs could carry him, “Hey! That’s not fair! Don’t leave me!!” His voice faded in the distance as we drew nearer to the building. I looked back up to Mina. She was wearing her brilliant smile. I found it hard to believe that she was enjoying this. It’s a pain to carry the bag alone; I couldn’t even imagine what she’s going through.
Thanks to her efforts, The Zoroark and I made it to the building in just a couple minutes. She finally put me back on my feet which left me a little wobbly. Looking to the direction we came from, I could see Caleb running along the path; it would take him quite some time to catch up with us. Maybe 10, 15 minutes depending on how long he could keep running like that. Just glancing around the area, I could get a better sight of the building.
It was three stories tall, and had large, full body windows every few feet. The front door was one of those spinning things, unlike the sliding doors at pokémon centers. There was also a round tower off to the left side and on top of that were a few satellite dishes. The building had an overall cleanness to it; having a white paint job with blue stripes lining the bottom of each floor.
Mina was sitting on the edge of the large fountain that shot streams of water into the air; panting and hunched over. I took a seat next to her, laying my backpack on the ground and rubbed her back. “Was it fun Lukey?” she asked through her deep breaths and giggles. I couldn’t help thinking, her smile is so beautiful, and the way her eyes shimmer in the light was simply marvelous. I smiled as wide as I could back at her, “It was great honey…” I answered in a cheery tone. “Do it again and I’ll stop cooking your berries.”
When she heard my last comment her ears folded back and she stuck her bottom lip out. “I’m sowy Lukey. It won’t happen again.” We both started to laugh. Of course I wouldn’t stop cooking her berries. I could never do something that mean, and I’m pretty sure she knew that judging by her innocent ‘apology’.
“Hey Mina, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been ignoring you… does it?”
“What? Of course not!” Obviously shocked I would ask such a thing. “I know what’s going on. Plus, even when we can’t talk to each other, you always find a way to include my opinion.” I was glad she wasn’t upset with me; the last thing I would want is for her to be mad. Nothing worse than a mad pokémon with you in their sights.
I took a moment to gaze into the water to see the bottom was lined with Pokénies. There had to have been more than 6000 pokédollars in there. Mina’s hair tie caught my attention and I noticed that the tip of her red hair was dipped in the water, making little ripples. “What do you think is in there?” she asked, her head turned towards the Weather Institute.
I looked towards the building as well. The glass reviled the contents on the inside, but there didn’t seem to be any movement. In fact, the only person there was inside, was the doorman. He stood just within the lobby, all dressed up in his blue suit. The man seemed to be talking on his cellphone. “I don’t know, but I guess they study weather in there.” I took a pause continuing to watch the guy talk into his phone. “Doesn’t look like they have many people inside though, does it…”
“Mm-mm. looks empty… I got a weird feeling about this, Luke.”
No doubt, I knew what she meant, this is a big facility, you would think there would be people outside, coming or leaving work or something, but there was nothing. We waited around for Caleb to finally catch up to us. He was panting hard, being out of breath from running. “You guys… (pant, pant) are… terrible.” The trainer then collapsed to his knees against the fountain. Mina and I burst out laughing with our paws, and hands, trying to stifle our laughter. Even Caleb joined in when he had the strength.
Yep, it seemed like everything was back to normal. I still had a slightly swollen nose and a black eye, but at least Caleb wasn’t so depressed, or judging us on our relationship. After Caleb had fully regained his breath, we went up to the building and entered the spinning door. The inside was really sterile, just as the outside was. The white paint with a blue stripe was carried in doors. Mina’s claws clicked against the marble floor with each step she took. There was a cherry wood desk stretching the entire length of the lobby. I couldn’t help but think that it would look a lot less ominous if there were people sitting behind them.
The doorman noticed we came in and pocketed his cellphone. “Hello kids, welcome to the National Weather Institute.” He greeted us as he approached. “My name is Doug and I’ll be your guide around this facility. Unfortunately, this is a no pokémon zone after this point, so I’m afraid your Zoroark will have to be put in its ball until the end.” Oh great, this was one of these places. Good thing Mina and I had a way to get around this dumb ‘no pokémon’ rule.
“Oh, uh yea. I better go warn my girlfriend to put her pokémon away before she comes in. We’ll be back in a few seconds.” I started to walk out of the lobby to the outside air. “Come on Caleb, Zoroark, lets go.” Caleb was the only one to question me, but Mina was quick to push him out the door with me.
We ran to the side of the building to make sure we were out of sight from Doug the doorman. “What gives Luke?” Caleb started complaining immediately. “Just put Mina in her ball and we can go through… and who’s this girlfriend? I thought you two were a thing.” I set my backpack on the ground again and opened it. “Caleb, I will NEVER put Mina in her ball, firstly. Second, Mina is my girlfriend.” The Zoroark gave out an ‘awww’ and snuggled up against me. “Lastly, remember when I said I would be more honest with you?”
“Yea, but I doubt anything could be more disturbing than what I already know…” I glared at him for a moment, stopping my search through the bag. He only laughed nervously. Deciding to let it go, I continued my search and my ‘speech’. “Anyway, we get this kind of static all the time, and we have a way to get around it.” I pulled out a change of Mina’s clothes from my pack and handed them to her. We have done this countless times before, and Mina knew what to do by now. She donned the outfit and gave us a twirl.
“Luke, I don’t think that doorman is dumb enough to buy this…” Sheesh, Caleb has no confidence. “Watch this. Ok honey, you're all good.” I gave Mina a ‘thumbs up’ and she began to glow. After a few seconds, she wasn’t a Zoroark anymore. Her human face stared back at us with a beaming smile. Caleb’s jaw dropped. “What the?? She’s, she’s. Gorgeous!”
Mina, being slightly taller than Caleb now, put a fist to his head and began rubbing her knuckles against his scalp. “Oh, I’m gorgeous now am I!? What was I to you before? JERK!”
“OW OW OW!! Stop it! I’m sorry I didn’t mean it like that! Ow!!” Mina’s nuggie attack ended to the trainer’s plea. “Hmph, teach you to disrespect me kid.” At this, Caleb’s expression turned to shock. “Wait, she can talk now too?”
“heh, yea. Like I said, getting real honest here.” I chuckled. Learning this information seemed to make Caleb understand our relationship a bit more. If anything else, at least he knew we had a way to communicate that didn’t involve writing. “Okay, let’s go back inside, and make sure to not let on that Mina is a pokémon.”
“Of course not. It’s a secret… got it.” Caleb replied put a finger to his lips.
Making sure to leave my bag where I set it down, we then walked back into the building with Mina as a human, all dressed up in her blue shorts and hot pink luvdisc t-shirt. I held her hand as we approached the doorman once again. He looked to us and smiled, “Alright, you guys wanna take a tour?” Caleb was the first one to speak up, “Yea! Can’t wait to see this place again, you guys still have that cool pokémon right?”
“Heh yea Castform, it’s still around.” Doug replied with a slight waiver, “The tour starts in the weather detection room. This way, follow me gentlemen, and ma’am.” He turned and motioned us to follow. Caleb happily followed the man through a door which had a metal plate next to it that read “Computer room”. Mina and I however, stayed a little skeptical and followed the man from a distance.
Like the man had said, we came into a room that was nearly full of computers. They all had numbers and several images of Unova on display. There were radar images showing cloud coverage, and humidity levels as well as the temperature. “These monitors show all types of information, everything you could want to know regarding the nation’s climate is displayed on these screens.”
“They even show the pokémon population in different areas!” Caleb added. Doug looked over to him, “Ah, that is correct! I see someone has taken this tour before.” he then walked over to a larger computer that displayed an enormous amount of numbers and variables. “Do you know what this computer does young man?”
Caleb went up to the large monitor and looked it up and down. “I think I remember the tour guides saying that this takes information about current weather and attempts to calculate what the weather will be like in the future.” Doug let out a laugh when Caleb had finished. “That’s also correct! We should hire you to give out these tours.”
Caleb gave him a grin and we followed the man as he led us to the next room. I couldn’t help but glance around the computer room one last time. There were stools next to all of the desks, but there still weren’t any people around. The rest of the group had gone through the door marked “Research and development” and I followed close behind Mina as we slunk through as well.
The next room was more of a laboratory setting with tables set up throughout the place. Some of them had testing flasks and those crazy rubber tubes that you see on television. They all had strange colored liquid flowing from one flask to the next. Just like the last room, this one was void of employees as well. We stopped in front of a glass case with a metal rod sticking in it. Off to the side were six red buttons that each had a label above them.
“In this lab, we have synthesized all kinds of weather patterns, as well as formulating compounds that protect from the effects of climate change.” The blue suited man informed us. The only one of us who was excited about it though, was Caleb. “In this box, we have managed to scientifically create six different weather effects.”
Mina looked at the shiny buttons and pushed the one that read “Lightning storm”. Momentarily, a miniature storm welled up within the confines of the glass case. Black clouds started to twist around each other and lightning was generated out of the friction. Rain started to pour within the box as well. “Wow… that thing is pretty cool.” I commented before pushing another button. This time the label read “Snowstorm”.
Just like the lightning storm, clouds started to swell up within the box. After a while, light snow flurries started to coat the box, collecting on the wet spots left over from the previous example. Soon the wind picked up, and the snowstorm was in full effect with zero visibility. “Is there any way to make this work in full scale?” questioned Mina. I have to admit, even though this place was creepy and deserted, it was very informative.
“Well, we’re working on it, but the only things that can control the weather on full scale, are pokémon.” Doug answered her question, “That doesn’t mean that we can’t keep trying though right?” Caleb added trying to get brownie points I guess. “That’s our motto!” the man claimed. “Alright, off to the next room.”
The man started to walk to the next door, with Caleb happily following. I reached out and grabbed the sleeve of his shirt to hold him back. Doug kept walking to the door as Caleb looked back at me with wide eyes, confused as to why I would stop him. “Hey,” I whispered, “Is it always this empty around here?” The trainer looked around for a moment before responding.
“Now that you mention it, it does seem a bit empty, I hadn’t noticed…”
Just as I thought. There has to be something going on here. This place looks like it would be very friendly and inviting when there are employees here doing their jobs, but there's just no one around. “We need to get out of here; I don’t have a very good feeling about this.” Mina silently stated. I agreed, and Caleb was starting to get suspicious as well. ‘Bout time’ I thought.
We hurried over to Doug before he got too far away from us. He was beginning to open a door labeled as “Hallway 3A” until we came up to him. “Um, excuse me Mr. Doug, thanks for the tour, but we really should be leaving.”
“Hm? Oh no, can’t leave now, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the free snacks at the end of the tour would you?” he all but begged us to finish the tour, but this creepy feeling told me we had to get out of there. “No, I’m really sorry, but we have to go.”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you leave, sir.” I couldn’t believe it, this man didn’t look very intimidating, but yet the way he said that was pretty dark. However, I couldn’t very well back down from a man in a suit and also, who said we couldn’t leave? Him? I don’t think so, he’s only one guy. Apparently the only one in the whole building.
“Well, I’m afraid you can’t stop us… sir.” Adding on a dark bit of sarcasm to the words, before we turned to walk back in the direction we came from. “Man, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this…” I heard him say behind us. Do what? I looked back over my shoulder, and saw him pull out his cellphone. At least, that’s what I thought it was before but now, I could clearly see that it was a hand radio used to communicate over short distances.
“We've got runners in sector six.” My eyes widened, I knew something was wrong! Avoice came in through the other end of the device. “Copy ‘D’. Backup ETA, 2 minutes.”
“Oh crap!” Caleb exclaimed. I interjected the second my mind allowed me to, “Guys! Run!” Without any more hesitation, all three of us began to make a mad dash for the exit. Before we left the room I heard ‘Doug’ give a comment from behind us. “You won’t get away you know...” Ignoring him, we continued running.
“Caleb!” hearing my voice, he turned for a moment to listen to my words. “Let your pokémon out, we might have to fight our way out of here!” Caleb gave a nod and withdrew the pokéballs from his belt. As we entered the computer room, the trainer threw out three of his pokémon, Glade, Terkin, and Gyro. The three shook off the light and began running alongside of us. Upon seeing Mina, Terkin immediately asked, “Hey, who’s the pretty lady?” Mina blushed while huffing from her run. “Terkin, it’s me, Mina!”
We exited the computer room into the main lobby where, surprise surprise, there was a ton of people waiting for us, each with their own pokémon. They all had matching outfits that almost looked like that guy who attacked us yesterday, except without the long white hair. We stopped in the middle of the room, as we couldn’t leave because there were like five people just covering the door. Our entourage was at a standstill. With as many people there were, even in Caleb had let all of his pokémon out, there was no way we could win.
‘Doug’ calmly walked through the door we just came through. “Hand over your pokémon, and no one gets hurt!”
Oh no. This was bad; this was really, really bad. This… was terribly, horribly, horrendously bad… and the worst part was; I didn’t have a plan to get us out of it. Caleb dropped to his knees, his head hung in defeat. “Sorry guys…” he lamented before withdrawing his pokémon. “Caleb… you can’t be serio-” “What else can we do Luke!? Just be thankful you and Mina don’t have any pokémon to lose.” I caught on to what he was thinking. “I’m sorry Caleb.”
Three grunts came up to us. One of them took Caleb’s pokéball belt away and tied his hands behind his back. The other two started to do the same with Mina and me, but she began to fight against being restrained. “Honey… no. Don’t fight them, we’ll be okay.” She gave a whimper as she closed her eyes and looked down. I was the last one of us to be tied up. I felt hands pat me around my waist and pockets, all the way down to my shoes. I didn’t look, but the sounds coming from next to me said that the same thing was happening to Mina as well. “These two don’t have a belt, sir.” The grunt said after frisking Mina and me.
“What do you mean they have no pokémon?” ‘Doug’ questioned the grunt that had searched us.
“Sir, no belts or pokéballs were found on these two…”
“But he told me that this lady was a trainer!” uh oh, I had forgotten about that. I cursed under my breath; how would we get out of this if we were found out? I felt a bead of sweat trail down my forehead and run down my neck. I kept my head towards the floor, but I could see out of the corner of my eye; ‘Doug’ stood in front of Mina and leaned close to her. My breath shallowed to a bare minimum. “So… ‘girlfriend’, trainer. Where are your pokémon? And where… oh where did that Zoroark go?” This was it; I swallowed hard as I could feel my heart pounding, trying to beat out of my chest. We were going to be found out!
“Sir, No disrespect… but our mission is to-” The grunt that frisked us spoke up, but was soon interrupted by ‘Doug’ yelling at the top of his lungs, “I KNOW WHAT OUR MISSION IS!” The outburst made Caleb and me jump; and I heard Mina give out a yelp as well. I looked up from the floor to see the man facing who I could assume was the grunt who had spoken last. “Whatever the case may be, they don’t have any pokémon on them; lock ‘em up with the others!”
I sighed a small breath of relief, he didn’t figure us out. I was then pushed back in through the door to the computer room. Caleb was lifted to his feet, and Mina followed suit, both following me to the room where I could only assume we would be held. “Alright people… back to your posts! I want a clean sweep of this facility, don’t leave any part untouched!” It sounded like it was ‘Doug’ calling the shots around here. ‘Pretty leader like for a doorman.’ I thought as we were pushed along.
We came to the end of Hallway 3A and the grunt holding me opened up the last door to reveal a room full of people, all tied up like we were. Upon seeing the open door the people inside started shouting at us. “Let us out of here!” “You can’t do this!” “Give our pokémon back!” “Don’t hurt us!”
“SHUT UP!” the grunt yelled back at the crowd of people. He then pushed me into the room with Mina and Caleb to follow. He looked back at us and laughed before closing the door and locking it. Looking at the crowd of maybe fifty or more people, I could see that most of them were the weather institute employees. “Well, that explains where all the employees went.” I said looking at the scientists.
One of the employees looked to me from where she was sitting. “I’m so sorry you got caught up in this.” “What’s going on?” Caleb asked silently.
“These guys just came into our facility, calling themselves Archangel or something. They overwhelmed us with their numbers and since we didn’t have any pokémon to help fight, we didn’t even stand a chance…”
“Where are they holding the pokémon they get from trainers? Does anybody know?” Mina spoke up from her silence. I was amazed to see that she was still tied up, as she was the only one of us with the power to escape. A trainer spoke up from the back of the room, “I saw them throw my belt in the room next to this one.” I knew we had to get out of this somehow, but the first thing we needed to get to was the pokémon. Then maybe, just maybe… we could stand a chance.
Chapter End Notes:
Looks like things are getting too spicy for the pepper !
Our heroes are in a big fat pickle here, and what's worse is that there is a new evil organization in town and they are freaking ninjas! Well, no... not all of them, but three of them are!
So lets go over what just happened shall we? Caleb knows about half of Luke and Mina's secrets, Caleb also takes an interest in the weather, the weather institute holds all kind of information regarding pokemon whereabouts and even a machine that can predict future weather. To wrap all of this up its being taken over by said organization.
SO! Join me next time as we find out just how our heroes will undoubtedly escape from these fiends in the next chapter: Enter, Archangel.