AGNPH Stories

Luca - 1st Edition by Felix


Story Notes:

This is the first posted edition of my story Luca.
Luca is a special riolu who is given to the trainer Felix. Meant for each other, the two endeavor to make the best of their lives together. However, what is life without trials to make bonds grow stronger?

Rescued At Last . . .

“Felix I don’t think we should attack this facility.” Kail said to me as we hung out in the pokemon center one day. We had been traveling for eleven weeks and still hadn’t found any trace of Luca. Between my wave guiding abilities with Luca and Kail’s with my sister I could still understand him, though something had defiantly happened between me and Luca, giving me a feeling I just couldn’t shake.

“You’re probably right. It’s far too big isn’t it? Just let me take a quick look around to make sure she’s not here and we’ll leave.” I replied despairingly then closed my eyes to take a look around with wave sight, but as I tried I got a painfully blinding flash of white thrown at me causing a sharp splitting pain to run through my skull, knocking me out cold with a pained gasp…

“Dad!!!” Leo yelled as he rushed to Felix’s side when he fell out of his chair. Kail wasn’t far behind but when they found Felix was only knocked out they relaxed and called for Nurse Joy.

Another hour later I awoke in a bed. Shaking the pain from my head I sat up to look around.

“Dad! You’re alright!” Leo exclaimed as he quickly wrapped me in a tight embrace.

“Yeah, I’m fine… I think…” I said hesitantly as I returned his gesture.

“What happened? You tried to use wave sight and all of the sudden collapsed.” Leo asked after releasing me to let me get up. As I stood up I realized Kail and Lisa were also standing close by, with the same questioning looks.

“I don’t like this… First I can’t understand Lisa and now I can’t use wavesight… Kail, where’s that list of facilities?” Leo had a concerned look as I spoke my thoughts out loud. Both he and I knew it had to do with Luca being separated from me, but I was still hopeful it was simply that we had been apart for so long. Kail quickly handed me the crinkled list of Darkrai facilities, of which all but one had been crossed out.

The city we were currently in must have been the headquarters since it was so gigantic. Even though this was the only facility left, the four of us knew we stood no chance at infiltrating it to find Luca. There were constant guards, and a lot of them at that, throughout the building. So I started trying to think of some way to infiltrate the facility, but the more I thought the more frustrated I became since I could think of nothing. Finally I sighed and laid down on the bed.

“Any idea’s guys and girl?” I asked wearily as I flopped, opening one eye to look at them, but as I did they broke my gaze and found more comfortable seats. Leo sat beside me while Kail remained on the second bed with Lisa taking a seat between the beds.

“Well our usual tactics won’t work.” Kail said first.

“Then what do we do? This is the last facility, where else would mom be?” Leo retorted, his excitement obvious in his voice since he thought we had finally tracked down Luca. Lisa then chimed in and accidentally started an argument between the three, but as they squabbled and idea came to me.

“Hey! Shouldn’t they have an inventory list of their test subjects?” I asked as I sat up and continued thinking.

“Yes actually. They give each pokemon an experiment number, so they should have a file system.” Kail said quickly as he looked at me hopefully, as if we had both thought of the same thing.

“Then it should be on a computer by now! Ah…! But how would we get into their database…?” I continued excitedly, but got frustrated with my words. We had tried to get into the computers in the previous facilities wondering what was on them but with no success.

“No, it might work. What if we broke in and simply waited for someone to log in, then knocked them out, got what we needed, and snuck out.” Kail continued, but we both knew it wouldn’t be as simple as it sounded.

“It’s a start, but if we’re going to do that we need some help.” I replied, mulling Kail’s suggestion over in my head and finding it oddly appealing. It was simple, we could sneak in without a big racket and they wouldn’t think anything of it. I just had to find a computer close to the exit.

“Help? Who? And why? I thought you didn’t want to get anyone else involved.” Leo said in a worried voice, he knew I had insisted that it be only us in the first place.

“Well I don’t want to offend you guys but if we’re to do this we need to sneak in, rather than blow the door down.” I said teasingly as I stood up, filled with a renewed hope that we would finally find Luca. I kept thinking it through and honestly thought it would work. I just needed one temporary addition to our current team…

After a long phone call everyone but Lisa knew who I had in mind and we waited around the pokeball transport. With one last goodbye I hung up the phone and released the pokemon from her custom ball. She shook her head once and looked around before locking eyes with me briefly then tackling me to the ground with her nine tails wagging happily in every direction.

“I missed you too!” I said from beneath Lady as I hugged her tightly to me. I found myself nearly in tears as she nuzzled me sweetly, but I kept my head and released her after she gave my face a thorough tongue bath.

Leo and Kail just watched as Lady said her hello to me, but Lisa seemed tense and looked as if she were debating whether to defend me. She decided against it though, having heard the previous phone conversation.

Having nothing to do but plan for our operation the five of us headed back upstairs. Lady stuck to me like glue, with Kail and Leo following behind, but Lisa fell back slightly. Lady’s arrival must have made her feel as though she didn’t belong with us, but at the time I hadn’t noticed how she was acting.

Despite how happy I was to see Lady again she accidentally reminded me of one of my troubles. She started speaking to me as if I could understand her, but stopped when she noticed I had looked away sadly.

“I’m sorry Lady. For some reason I don’t have that ability any more…” I said as I rubbed her neck.

I was sitting on my bed with Lady lying in my lap. She looked up at me with sad eyes as I spoke then nuzzled my thigh lightly before looking at Leo and speaking to him. Leo nodded and turned his attention back to me as Lady relaxed.

“She says she’s sorry, she was just so happy to see you again.” Leo repeated sadly. He and Kail sat on their bed, but unknown to me Lisa hadn’t come past the room’s short entry hallway and was thinking quietly to herself.

“It’s alright Lady. But the reason I wanted you here is so we can finally find Luca. This is the last facility we know of but I can’t use wave sight. We need to sneak in, but Leo and Kail here can’t exactly “sneak” in…” I said, beginning with a sad voice but finishing with a joking look at Leo and Kail. Kail simply gave me a mockingly insulted look while Leo didn’t react much at all. He just observed innocently with his ears forward, waiting eagerly to hear the entire plan.

“Alright I’ll get to the point. Lady, I need some way to get into the building without knocking down a wall. If you could melt a lock to get me in, I can do the rest.” I explained while continuing to stroke Lady’s neck, but as I finished Leo got a scared and surprised look and tried to disagree with me. However, before he could speak a word Lady smacked me across the face with a tail, growling as she did so. You wouldn’t think the furry appendage would hurt, but it actually felt like I was hit with a club.

“Were you going to just leave us here!?” Leo exclaimed, once he realized Lady’s gesture meant she felt the same way as him.

“Well I can’t take you with me!” I replied, getting rather angry about being bludgeoned in the face.

“Why not? Just put us in our balls and act normal.” Kail said calmly, trying to avoid raising tensions any higher.

“What if they manage to take my pokeballs from me!? Then where would I be!? I refuse to loose all of you as well!” I yelled, grabbing another flying tail to avoid getting whapped again.

“Then take me…” Lisa chimed in sadly, even though I couldn’t understand her.

“So now you’re going to argue with me!? I’m not taking any of you!” I said, still angrily, but controlling my temper a little more, though my response seemed to strike a nerve with Lisa.

“Leo please translate… Yes I am going to argue with you! You can’t deny I don’t mean as much to you as everyone else here so what’s it matter if they take me back!!!” She said, still keeping her gaze on me as she yelled, even though Leo was translating. Leo did as he was told but kept his opinion silent for the time being, he knew this wasn’t something he wanted to get too involved with.

As Lisa finished I saw the hurt look in her eyes. I was speechless, there was nothing I could say because I now realized I had forgotten to even introduce her to Lady.

“Lisa… I.” I stuttered sadly as I had my realization. I gently lifted Lady off of me, who moved willingly as she lowered her head away from Lisa because she felt just as guilty as me for not being polite. Once I was free from Lady I got up and moved towards Lisa with an ashamed look on my face but she backed away from me as I rounded the foot of the bed.

“Darkrai released me from my pokeball so you can catch me. It’s not like you actually intended for me to stay with you. Just catch me and if I survive release me. I promise I won’t bother you again.” She continued with a sad angry voice that let me know I had betrayed her trust. Leo kept translating but I could tell he was starting to feel bad for Lisa and wanted to say something to make her feel better.

“Lisa, I don’t want to risk your health any more than the others…” I said, trying to find words that would let her know I really did care what happened to her. As I spoke I took a step forward, but stopped as she took another step back from me and remained silent with that pained look in her eyes, like she didn’t believe what I said.

‘… I just don’t have the will to deal with this right now…’ I thought to myself as I simply despaired from Lisa’s movements. I once again moved towards her but without the intention of even trying to comfort her. This time I was headed to the door.

“I’m going out I’ll be back later...” I said as I walked past Lisa with a sad look, though I didn’t look at her. Leo started to get up but thankfully Kail stopped him and with a quiet canine whine Leo sat back down. Lady barked something at me but Leo didn’t translate and I didn’t stop as I opened the door and closed it behind me. Lisa looked surprised, and had frozen when I came towards her, but she too just watched me leave.

‘What is wrong with me? I end up yelling at my son and closest friends, then I hurt Lisa because I can’t seem to think straight any more. I’m falling apart!’ I muttered inaudibly to myself as I left the pokemon center and headed for a nearby park. After walking around for a while I slumped at the base of a tree facing away from any activity.

‘This isn’t right. I didn’t think Lisa even wanted to stay with us. To make matters worse everyone wants to help but I can’t let them, I’d sooner jump off a cliff without a parachute before letting them do this with me… Luca’s already been taken, if they get me it doesn’t matter, but if the others are taken from me…’ “Ahhh! Why don’t they see it my way!?” I continued thinking, getting frustrated and clutching my head as I spoke the last part out loud.

‘No, what am I saying. I should have known they wouldn’t let me go in there alone… Where are you Luca? My life’s falling apart without you… I can’t keep this up any longer, trying to help Leo be strong, and dealing with Kail and Lisa. It’s not any more than I had to deal with when you were here but without you it’s so much harder… And I know you’re not at this facility, I can just feel it.’ I thought, before closing my eyes and trying to relax, and before long I found I had dozed off under the tree.

“Leo, Kail, would you follow him? Make sure he doesn’t get into trouble, but I’d let him have some time to himself.” Lady said once Felix was gone. Both Kail and Leo nodded slightly and heeded the fox’s request, heading off to secretly follow Felix. Lady had known Felix longer and better than any of them so she knew what she was doing. “I’m really sorry this happened. I shouldn’t have been so rude. My name’s Lady.” She continued kindly as she shifted on the bed to get a clear view of Lisa and trying to at least get Lisa comfortable enough to stop fretting about why Felix had simply left the room in frustration.

“I-I’m Lisa.” She replied, still looking at the closed door as she attempted to piece things together and also try to figure out just why Lady had as much control as Felix over the two Lucario.

“Don’t worry about them they’ll be fine. But would you mind speaking with me? I haven’t seen Felix since he left home, I’d like someone to tell me what’s happened.” Lady continued as she got in a more comfortable position on the bed and lay down again.

“Sure, I guess. There’s not much to it really. He, Kail and Leo attacked the facility I was being held at, and after they… buried, someone dear to me they offered for me to stay with them and we kept traveling while attacking the remaining Darkrai bases... I don’t even know why I stayed, all Kail does is hit on me. Leo is nice enough, but now I know Felix doesn’t consider me one of the group.” She said sadly as she hopped up on the other bed and curled up, unwittingly playing right into Lady’s paw without realizing it. Even Lady didn’t think it would be this easy, but Lisa had told her everything she wanted to know, what was bothering her, why, and finally Lisa had even give her the opportunity to explain things.

“If that’s how you feel why do you care, and why did you stay? I think you know Felix doesn’t force anyone to stay with him, you could have left any time if all that really bothered you.” Lady said, keeping her gaze on the moping manectric.

“I don’t know…!” She replied shyly and defensively, now realizing she had said too much.

“Look. What happened before was as much my fault as Felix’s. I’m sorry, and I know Felix is too. I’ve never seen him simply give up like that, but I’ve never caught him in such a position.” Lady said kindly, trying to prove her point and get Lisa to rethink what she thought of the situation, but Lisa remained silent and didn’t even look at the fox.

“So, do you know everything Felix is going through at the moment?” Lady asked seriously, cutting right to the chase and practically demanding a response with her tone of voice.

“He explained it to me yes. Darkrai took his mate and he’s trying to find her. And before you say I don’t understand you should know the pokemon we buried, I desperately wanted him to become my mate…” She said replied harshly, suspecting she was about to get a lecture about how this was harder on Felix than it was on her.

“I see. I wouldn’t know how that feels but I haven’t seen Felix in three months, and I was his first pokemon and for several years his only friend. We traveled alone together for those years before Luca was given to us. He forced me to stay behind and left with only Leo and Kail. He hasn’t contacted the rest of his family once in these past three months, so we’ve been worried sick about him. I’m glad he found you for help, but if Felix really didn’t care about you he wouldn’t have offered to let you accompany him in the first place. He is a very caring person and what happened to Luca has really put a strain on him. I know you’ve actually lost the one you care about, but Felix has to suffer through the possibility that he may not reach her in time, or ever. From what you’ve said you four have attacked many facilities and still haven’t found her. Just think what it would be like for you if the one you cared about was moved to another facility and you were searching for him without knowing if he were even still alive.” Lady said with a stern and convincing voice, getting Lisa to look up at her half way through the speech.

“I hadn’t thought about it that way, and I think I understand now but why couldn’t he say anything?” Lisa asked as she raised her head, finding Lady knew what she was talking about, and deserved her respect.

“I’m not sure. It’s not like him; usually he would have tried to convince you that he did care what happened to you. We’ll see what he says when he gets back though so don’t worry about it.” Lady replied as she lay down satisfied she had resolved things nearly to completion though the final bit would be up to Felix.

“I… Thank you. I’m sorry I acted like that, Felix’s actions just hurt me for some reason.” Lisa said as she lay down again.

“I know. Despite what you say you do care what he thinks of you. And as for Kail you know he’s not being disrespectful right?” Lady continued.

“I don’t know what he’s doing, but it always feels like he’s hitting on me.” Lisa answered.

“He’s not. He’s just being nice, He doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just used to us letting him help when he wants. I’ll bet the reason he’s being so nice to you is because he knows what it’s like to be imprisoned by Darkrai, so he’s trying to help you get over it.” Lady replied, happy that she could get Lisa to talk with her.

“I suppose you’re right. I guess I should back off, I’m just afraid I’m going to forget Psy… Why am I telling you this!?” Lisa continued, embarrassing herself by talking so casually to someone she just met.

“Because you’ve wanted someone to talk to? Believe me I’m a good listener. I’ve been with Felix for a long time and believe it or not he’s still a pretty needy individual.” Lady replied cheerfully, trying once again to put Lisa at ease. To Lady’s delight it worked and the two girls shared nearly their whole life stories while the boys were out…

“You sure he’s alright…?” Kail asked Leo as they hid behind some bushes avoiding Felix’s sight. They had silently caught up to him about halfway through his conversation with an imaginary Luca but decided to let him be for the moment.

“I think he’s fine. I know how he feels really. We still haven’t found mom and somehow I think he knows she’s not here.” Leo replied as he watched his dad drift off to sleep a short time later…

“Hey dad. We should get back to the room.” I heard as I woke up later that day to a furred paw on my shoulder.

“What are you two doing here?” I asked groggily as I looked around, noticing Kail and Leo were standing before me.

“We couldn’t let you wander around alone. Come on let’s get back.” Kail replied taking a step towards me and offering his paw to help me up.

“Alright. Did Lisa leave then?” I asked sadly as I was heaved onto my feet by the much smaller Lucario.

“I doubt it, but we don’t know. Lady told us to follow you while she talked to Lisa.” Kail answered, and the three of us turned to head back to the center.

“That means she’s still there then. Lady’s a great psychologist, though she may not know it.” I said with a smile along our way, which seemed to lift Leo’s spirits more than my own.

We made it back to the pokemon center, but the closer I got the more reluctant I was to enter our room. I suspected Lady had fixed my troubles yet again, but I still felt bad about what I did to Lisa. Reluctantly I opened the door to our room and let Leo and Kail enter first with me following behind with a somewhat ashamed posture.

“Lisa, I’m sorry about before, I really ammmhhhh…” I began as I entered the main room but as I looked up to her with my apologetic eyes she zapped me with a thundershock attack. When the attack stopped I fell to the floor, with a few of my muscles still twitching as the electricity continued to course through me.

Almost immediately after her attack Lisa jumped off the bed and stood next to me with a worried look saying what I could only guess was an apology or an explanation based on how her face looked. Leo and Kail had spun quickly to see me get zapped and froze thinking they were next.

I groaned on the floor and looked at Lisa as I regained control of my numb body. As I looked at her I saw a look of regretful fear wash over her features, but just as I was about to ask why she had zapped me I heard a Ninetails laughing hysterically on the bed above me.

As it turns out this was just what I needed. I was painfully yet cheerfully reminded that I still had friends that cared deeply about me, and as I suspected before, Lisa was one of them.

They had succeeded in cheering me up a little and before Lisa could avoid me I grabbed her and pulled her down on top of me, while wrapping my arms around her. She yelped indignantly in fear and surprise, but relaxed entirely as I whispered teasingly in her ear, “I guess we’re even then.” and after hugging Lisa a little tighter I released her and stood up, turning to Lady as I did so.

“You, however, are getting a cold bath tonight!” I said with mock anger, which got a retort back. Leo stifled a laugh at Lady’s remark, but it was too late. I looked sharply over at him and asked sternly, “What did she say…?” which almost made him laugh again.

“She said, “It was worth it…”” Leo quoted while trying to hold a straight face. I turned back to Lady to see her grinning innocently at me while wagging her tails happily. She knew better than anyone I almost never followed through with my threats.

“Ug… Why did I bring you here again…?” I said jokingly as I sat down on the bed with her and ruffled her fluffy head fur.

As I teased Lady, Lisa jumped up onto the bed and lay down beside me with a newfound confidence, while Leo and Kail flopped on the other bed. If I didn’t know better I would have guessed Kail was Leo’s older brother from the way they acted when they were together.

“Alright guys, let’s talk… How are we going to do this?” I continued seriously after a few seconds of getting comfortable, with Lisa and Lady both lying beside me and acting like puppies. It was oddly comforting to see how much Lisa had loosened up, but I shouldn’t have been so surprised, after all Lady was very good at getting others to relax.

“Well first of all we aren’t letting you go in there alone.” Kail started forcefully, but this was something I had already come to terms with.

“I know. But there is a problem with your plan Kail. Leo doesn’t have a ball.” I replied calmly, but this got a surprised look from everyone but Lady.

“I-I don’t?” Leo said in an almost hurt voice since I hadn’t explained to him why I never got him a ball.

“Felix! What if one of the grunts had thrown a ball at him!” Kail yelled at me.

“I would never allow that to happen as long as I live!” I replied, loosing some of my calm tone.

“So… I can’t come with you then because you can’t hide me…” Leo said sadly as he looked at my feet.

“I did this for a reason Leo. I never want to tie my friends to me like that, and you especially. You’re my son and I never wanted to do such a thing to you. I don’t even think your mother realized I never “caught” you. If you’d like I can give you a pokeball but I want you to know I would never force you to stay with me like that. I made that mistake with your mother, and I was going to fix it, but now I’m glad I didn’t…” I answered, explaining my reasoning for Leo’s situation and forcing myself to resist the sudden urge to fiddle with Luca’s ball.

“Could you dad…? I don’t want to be left behind.” Leo said hopefully as he looked sadly up at me.

“Alright, here.” I said calmly as I pulled one of my spare balls out and handed it to Leo. He looked at it nervously for a second before pressing the button with a finger… The odd thing was, the ball simply opened without sucking Leo inside.

“Uh dad?” Leo said as he looked back at me.

“… I was afraid this would happen. I’m sorry Leo…” I said sadly, even though I was greatly relieved, I no longer had to worry about him getting caught.

“But… No it’s just the ball!” Leo said looking back at the ball in his hands. He tossed it aside and took another from the pack and pushed the button, but it had the same result. After the second failed attempt Leo got tears in his eyes and pulled a third ball out. It really hurt to see him like this, he wanted to come with me so bad but I couldn’t let him if I couldn’t hide him.

“It’s not the ball son. I’m sorry, this is my fault.” I said as I laid a hand between his ears getting him to look at me with his watering eyes.

“No! I want to help! We’re finally going to save mom…” He replied as he shook his head and stood up from my back pack, freeing himself of my hand, but now he was sobbing.

“I know… I know.” I answered as I stood with him and laid a hand on his shoulder, after a few seconds I felt him relax slightly in my firm grasp, but he was still trying to compose himself.

“I-I don’t want to loose you too dad… I can at least protect you…” Leo practically whispered as he finally opened his eyes to look at the floor.

“Hey… I promise you I’ll come back, and when I do we’ll know where to find your mom.” I replied comfortingly, pulling Leo into an embrace which he returned quickly, but I could see his tears hadn’t stopped. “Besides you won’t be alone here. Kail will come back after I’m in the building.” I continued, but was soon met with Kail’s reply.

“What!? I’m sorry Leo, but Felix, you’ll need all the help you…” He said hastily.

“Just hear me out I’ve thought this through quite a bit. Leo, if you’d like I just thought of a way for you to help.” I said before Kail could finish his sentence, and as I got a flash of inspiration. I knew I would be fine with just Lady and Lisa, plus I had thought of another inconvenience during my earlier walk.

Leo looked up at me with his teary eyes, but I could tell he still wished he could stay with me the entire night in case I needed him. After that look he released me and wiped his eyes as he sat on the bed again, waiting for me to explain and hopefully include him in the plan.

“Ok, this is a big facility, and even some of the smaller ones we attacked had surveillance systems. I figured if they saw someone break in and noticed that no one left they would be on alert and find me in no time. So, when we get in I’m going to find a hiding place and let Kail out to “escape” the building in my place. That way no one knows there’s still someone in the building. Leo, this is where I could use your help. If you and I break in and split up to find a place to hide we can find one faster. Once that’s done I hide so you and Kail can get out. I’ll have Lady and Lisa with me so I’ll be fine, and once I get into a computer I’ll get out as quick as possible and meet you back in this room. That’s the hard part on my end. Leo, you and Kail have to do some acting. Once I’m in place I need you two to look around some more and draw attention away from that room so they won’t search it and find me. Act like you didn’t find what you were looking for in the room and go to another, steal something petty or free some pokemon if you find them, but I’m counting on you to keep their attention off me.” I explained, covering every detail of the plan with them, by the time I finished Leo had stopped sniffling and just looked a little disappointed. Lady and Lisa both looked content with it but still had their gazes on me incase I said something else.

“What about a night watch? Wouldn’t there be someone watching those cameras?” Kail asked seriously, poking welcomed holes in my plan.

“Hopefully he won’t sound an alarm and if he comes to confront us we knock him out while we continue, by the time he would come to, you and Leo would have left with all the suspicion.” I replied, hoping it would be that simple or even better… that the guard would be asleep.

“Sounds good dad…” Leo replied still sadly.

“Don’t worry buddy, and this works out better than me just sneaking in with all of you. They’d have known I was still there otherwise.” I said trying to convince him further. He seemed to cheer up but as before remained a bit disappointed and nervous. With that out of the way we started getting ready, first we made some makeshift cloaks to cover me Kail and Leo so they couldn’t tell us apart on camera, then I let Lisa choose whether she really wanted to be a pokemon of mine. She thought about it one last time as she looked at the pokeball I had set out for her but ultimately convinced herself that staying with me wouldn’t be so bad and hit the button of the ball. I had also told her that if she ever wanted me to, I would release her, which might have influenced her decision or it might not, I wasn’t sure.

When everything was taken care of it was about 2 in the morning, so I withdrew Lady, Lisa and Kail then Leo and I suited up and headed covertly out of the center, being careful not to wake Nurse Joy since she would most likely stop us from going through with this.

We made it to the facility unnoticed and took a look around to spot the cameras so as to avoid looking into them. Once we had our bearings I asked Leo if he was ready. With a hard swallow and a nod from him we began.

We ran to the front set of big glass doors and checked them, finding them obviously locked I released Lady who quickly blew a white hot flame at the center of the doors melting a 3 inch hole through metal and glass in an instant, after she was finished I quickly withdrew her and entered with Leo.

Trying to keep as quiet as possible I nodded to Leo and we ran off down different halls to look for a hiding spot for me. I found several storage closets but nothing big enough to remain undetected if someone came in, and nothing with a computer. After searching for nearly ten minutes I got frustrated and headed back to the lobby, but on my way there I came across a guard. As I hoped they hadn’t sounded an alarm, but they had detected us. Luckily I had told Leo not to use special attacks since it would give away who we were.

The guard had a flash light and turned towards the lobby as I approached. When I saw him I screeched to a halt and hid around the corner with my heart racing.

‘Damn… Wait, I guess he didn’t see me…’ I thought as I quietly tried to catch my breath, but just then I saw his light shine down the hall in my direction…

Leo on the other hand had much better luck. He found two rooms suitable for Felix’s purpose and was looking for a third, but after looking for one for five more minutes he figured he better find Felix and report in. With this on his mind he ran full force down the halls, keeping on his pads to remain silent. Despite how disappointed he was about having to leave his dad in the building he was having some fun with this, it was such a rush to be infiltrating this big of a facility and he couldn’t help jumping off the walls to round corners quicker. However, as he came to the main lobby he realized there was a light down the hall, and it was moving in the direction Felix had taken.

Without a second thought Leo charged full force at the figure, knowing it wasn’t Felix or Kail by the shape and clothes. Just as he reached the figure it stopped, but it was too late even if the man had heard Leo.

As the light neared the corner I readied myself to punch the guy in the face and do whatever it took to knock him out, but just as I was about to jump out the light stopped, and I heard a crack, followed by a groan and the sound of a body hitting the floor. The flashlight skittered slightly down the hall, and I couldn’t decide whether to look and see what happened. My mind was quickly put at ease when a cloaked figure ran around the corner, it was Leo, but of course I mad a big mistake…

I grabbed Leo’s arm to get his attention as he turned the corner, which surprised him and suddenly I had to dodge a spiked paw that was heading towards my head. As I ducked his paw collided with the wall with a thud, but didn’t hurt him, and when he realized what he had done I saw a look of terror on his face. I quickly brought my finger to my lips to tell him to keep quiet and patted him on the shoulder to tell him I understood. With that he quietly whispered that he had found two rooms he thought would be suitable and I followed him to them.

The first room was filled with cases and had a random computer for inventory, while the second was more of a general office that had quite a few abnormal places to hide.

We took a good look around the office for anything helpful but found nothing, however something struck me as strange. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I had a strange feeling about the room. I took a closer look at the computer and found it had been left on…

“No way it’s that easy…” I muttered as I looked at the screen power light and saw it was orange. Leo however was getting impatient and started to leave to take me back to the other room, but I grabbed his arm and told him to hold on a sec. I moved the mouse and sure enough the computer came out of sleep mode, showing a full desktop display of whoever had been using the thing last.

Leo’s eyes widened at the discovery and he focused intently on the screen just as I had. I started looking at the icons but found nothing of interest so I opened the start menu and looked for something I could use.

After opening several different programs I found the one I was looking for… a pokemon database! I quickly typed in “Lucario” as the species and only two entries came up, one read “Experiment Subject 3689 - Escaped, recapture if possible.” And the other read “Experiment Subject 5062 ��“ Aura Research, Cainin Facility.” Thankfully the database was very well organized and I only had to click the link to the facility to get all its information. The location, experiments, staff list… everything. It was incredible! And to make things even better there was a printer in the room! So I quickly printed out the location of the facility.

I couldn’t, however, bring myself to look at any of the reports pertaining to Luca. I really didn’t want to know what they had done; I just wanted her back…

Just to be safe though I found a “map” link and clicked it. It popped up a map of a fairly large area, on which there were a good many red dots. I printed it out as well and decided to sort it out later if we needed it.

Leo watched in amazement at how easy this was turning out to be. I finished quickly taking a little more info than we needed, but figuring it would eventually come in handy for something. Once I was finished I started deleting the records of my search and made sure there was no trace that I had used the machine in the first place. As I finished with the computer Leo went and picked up what I had printed out.

“Hey! What are you doing!?” A voice yelled from the door, and as a reflex I immediately charged an aura sphere and leveled it at the man. Suddenly stricken with fear he dropped the files he was holding.

“Y-you…” He stuttered as he realized who I was.

‘Awww damnit… Curse my reflexes…’ I thought as I realized I had revealed myself in the homestretch. “That’s right me… I’ll have to send you a thank you card for your help here, but right now I really must be going…” I replied coldly as I glanced at the computer to make sure I was finished covering my tracks though it did me little good now. After that quick glance and as I finished speaking I fired the sphere at the man. He gasped sharply in fear as I fired but couldn’t move. The sphere hit him and exploded, knocking him out the door, into a wall and unconscious with his clothes ripped and his chest slightly burned.

“Let’s go!” I said sharply to Leo who had frozen in instinct at the man’s intrusion. He nodded to me and we both ran out the door and down the hall. We reached the main lobby and kept right on running through the doors and all the way to the pokemon center.

By the time we made it upstairs to our room we were laughing hysterically. Both Leo and I discarded our cloaks and flopped on the beds.

“I can’t believe it!” I managed through my laughs.

“I know!” Leo replied as he laughed just as hard, but he calmed down enough to continue first. “Come on… let everyone else out. I want to see their reactions!” He said as he sat up on the edge of the bed and wiped the tears of laughter from his fur.

“Careful what you wish for… Lady is never happy till she has the last laugh.” I answered happily as I too calmed down and reached to my belt and the three balls attached to it. I grabbed all three and tossed them about the room, and just to add insult to injury I yelled, “Get ready to fight, we’re in deep!” when they materialized.

I watched as Leo held his paws to his muzzle to hold in the laughter, and when the others heard my command they took fighting stances and charged attacks. Kail was ready to hit something while Lady’s muzzle was smoking, and Lisa’s fur was crackling with electricity. Of course it took them all of two seconds to realize this was the pokemon center and when they did they all looked at me questioningly. It was then that Leo couldn’t hold his laughter back any more and fell back on the bed as he started laughing hysterically again.

“But… Felix, what happened?” Kail asked, but the look on his face wasn’t a worried one and I knew why. They knew nothing had gone wrong or Leo wouldn’t be laughing and I wouldn’t have been teasing them.

“Leo hit the jackpot! That’s what happened! We know exactly where Luca is now!” I said with an enthusiasm I had forgotten a long time ago. Lady and Lisa just looked at each other with confused looks; nothing made much sense to them at the moment so I figured why not show them what we got.

“Here, look at this. Leo found an office while we were looking for somewhere I could hide. Apparently there was a researcher working late and he left the computer on. By the time he came back we had everything we needed and we ran out with it.” I said happily as the three stared at me in amazement. When I finished they all looked at Leo who smiled cheerfully as he blushed slightly in embarrassment.

“Bet you’re glad you can’t be put in a ball now, aren’t ya? Nice job.” Kail said teasingly to Leo as he gave my son a pat on the back. Once Kail left him alone Lady sat in front of him and yipped once which I knew was another compliment. Lisa however was still dumbfounded at how crazy and lucky we were.

“Ahhh… Well I feel much better. Thank you Leo, we’ll head out tomorrow but let’s get cleaned up and get a good nights rest for now.” I sighed and said cheerfully as I stood up and stretched.

“Come on Lisa you’re first.” I said as I started towards the bathroom, she followed me without hesitation but I could still see the questioning surprise on her face. Once Lisa was finished I called for Lady who happily pranced into the bathroom.

Lady wasn’t quite as cooperative as Lisa. Instead of letting me wash her she fought me off with her tails and gave me the distinct impression that she wanted me to bathe with her, mostly by tugging at my clothes with her tails.

Ever since Luca was taken I hadn’t been this intimate with anyone and after I got the message I smiled warmly and complied. Once I had stripped I slid into the hot water with her and she let me wash her fur, though as always she took every chance to make my job difficult, mostly by making me loose track of her tails. But once I had finished she did something more for me.

I was about to get out when Lady blocked me with her wet tails. Once again I took the hint and relaxed in the hot water. As I slumped in the tub Lady made room but once I was comfortable she laid down on top of me, placing her head on my chest with a warm murr. I was a little surprised at first but quickly got over it and put my arms around her warm body and held her close as she nuzzled me.

“Thank you… I’ve missed you so much. Sometimes I wish it were you, me, and Luca traveling together again…” I said sadly as I cuddled her, which she only replied to with another murr. “I’m betting you want to stay now, don’t you?” I continued as I looked down at her and stroked her wet fur. Knowing I couldn’t understand her words she stuck with gestures and whined as she nuzzled me once again. “I know… But I won’t allow it. Your kits still need you more than I do.” I continued again, but this time I got a low sad growl in response. “Shh. You know I love you but I won’t risk your safety. Not when those kits need their mother. Now don’t worry. We’ll be back in another week, with Luca. And Lady… Thanks again…” I finished, making it clear I wasn’t taking any arguments, but still ending lovingly. As I finished I hugged the fox tight and she returned the affections by nuzzling me through the embrace and licking my neck.

When I released Lady I got out of the tub with her and dried her off before turning on the shower and cleaned myself up quickly then headed out to join the others. Leo and Kail both took care of themselves as usual which I didn’t mind, and for the special occasion I let Lady spend what remained of the night with us.

When Kail came back out he found something rather surprising. With Lady, our sleeping arrangements got reshuffled, and with the happy occasion Leo preferred to sleep with me instead of Kail. So Leo and I had gotten comfortable with Lady curled up at our feet and letting her tails drape over us. Meanwhile Lisa had curled up on Kail’s bed, and left him a comfortable amount of space, but something was odd to him. She wasn’t trying her hardest to avoid him. If Felix had asked her to do this and she really didn’t want to, Kail knew she would put as much space as possible between them rather than do what she had done now. With a little hesitation Kail got into the bed, being careful not to do anything that might upset Lisa, but she didn’t stir at all as he did so.

Soon enough everyone was asleep and dreaming happily, which was more apparent on mine and Leo’s faces. Both of us had buried our heads in our pillows and fell asleep with a smile.

The next day we all woke up together, but not entirely by choice… As Lisa stretched out Kail rolled over in the bed and bumped her with a foot. Immediately Lisa jumped in surprise and shocked her “attacker.” With a wail Kail flailed and ended up rolling off the bed with a loud thump. Kail groaned then as he realized what happened he stood up quickly and yelled at Lisa.

“What the hell was that for!!!? You’re the one that decided to sleep on the same bed as me!” He yelled, but immediately after he said it he saw Lisa’s expression and regretted what he said.

“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to, it was a reflex…” She said nervously and sadly as she sat there on the bed before him with her head hung in shame and her tail wrapped submissively at her side. Kail couldn’t think of anything to say when he saw her reaction. It just wasn’t like her, before last night she would have been in his face saying he shouldn’t have touched her, and possibly zapped him again.

“Kail! Leave her alone!” Lady finally spoke up from our bed. We had been asleep until the incident, but before Kail had recovered his senses we were awake and watching, though both Leo and I had to stifle our initial laughs as Kail fell out of the bed.

“Me!? She did that on purpose!” Kail said quickly to Lady, pointing at Lisa to accentuate his point, but Lady only looked at Lisa with an unconvinced look.

“I did not! You startled me!” Lisa retorted regaining her former attitude.

“Yeah like I believe that one…” Kail replied as he rolled his eyes.

“It figures! I take Lady’s advice and try to be nice to you and you make me out to be the bad guy!” Lisa said only half angrily as she turned and got off the bed. Oddly enough Lisa was smiling to herself at the fact that Kail seemed to enjoy bickering with her, but also because she had the upper hand now. He wouldn’t know what she was going to do next.

“Wait, what? Is that why you were on this bed?” Kail said calmly as he uncrossed his arms and looked at her with a surprised look.

“Yes. Lady said I was being too hard on you, course now I see you just like being abused.” She answered in a teasing sadistic tone.

Kail’s jaw dropped at the accusation and that was about all Leo and I could take. We both burst out laughing and Kail blushed as he forced an insulted look on his face and turned away from Lisa.

“I think this is worse than traveling with your sister…” Kail muttered to himself, but Leo heard him and couldn’t stop himself from asking, “Why? What’s so bad about traveling with Ashley and Latias?”

“I’m sure Felix knows what I mean... And just imagine how Latias adds to that…” Kail replied with even more of an embarrassed tone.

“Oh yeah. I know what you mean.” I said with another laugh. I had no doubt that my sister teased Kail nearly as much as she teased me, she was very fun loving.

Leo still looked confused and for that matter so did Lisa, but Lady was only snickering to herself at the thought of Ashley pestering Kail. Of course Kail would never admit it, but I knew somehow he enjoyed every bit of torment we put him through.

“Alright then… You ready to go home Lady?” I said as I got up out of the bed and started getting ready with the other’s help. Lady whined and laid her ears back as her tails drooped, but she already knew I wasn’t going to let her stay. Once we were packed up we headed downstairs and called home again. They were happy to hear everything was fine, and that we were close to finding Luca, though my parents had given me quite a speech the day before since I had left without their knowing I was even home. Still they knew I wasn’t a kid anymore and understood why I had done what I did. They agreed to pick Lady up at the pokemon center nearby and I hung up to get a meal with everyone before Lady left.

My mother called when she got to the pokemon center and I gave Lady one last hug before putting her in her pokeball to send her home. With everything taken care of and a few more goodbyes I hung up the phone and we headed out onto the road.

It was very refreshing to see my three traveling companions in such a good mood. Kail was walking proudly, having shook off the playful insults of the morning, and Leo also seemed in high spirits and was having trouble restraining himself from running down the path. Lisa even seemed to have a perkier attitude. She was walking proudly on my left as the boys walked to my right. All of this defiantly had an effect on me. It raised my spirits immeasurably to see them so hopeful and determined after traveling with a slowly growing pain in my chest for so long.

After an hour of walking I couldn’t hold back any more either and we started running down the trail, stopping every now and then to get our bearings with the map and make sure we were heading in the right direction towards Luca.

It took us two days to get to the facility but every step we took seemed to excite me more… I was so close to finding her…

When the facility finally did come into sight we bedded down for the night in a clearing about two hundred yards away. Of course Leo had to fight the urge to rush in and start tearing the facility apart but we all managed just fine that night. Before I fell asleep I found myself rubbing Luca’s pendant between my fingers and as I got comfortable I whispered to myself, “I’m here… Just hold on one more day honey…”

“What’s wrong?” Elli asked me as I gasped lightly and a chill ran down my spine.

“D-did you hear anything?” I asked in a crept out voice, I could swear I just heard Felix telling me he was “here” but that was impossible.

“No. Why? Did you?” Elli asked worriedly, fearing I had finally lost my mind to this place.

“N-no. It couldn’t be I’m just imagining things. Good night Elli.” I replied and curled up on my sleeping pad.

“Alright, good night.” Elli returned and did the same, though I was still lost in thought for a while before I drifted off.

‘It couldn’t be… He gave up on me I’m sure of it…’ I tried to convince myself, though I still had a strange feeling that made me wonder if Felix really had been behind the strange comment I heard…

We woke up early the next day to sneak up to the facility and observe its activity. It was defiantly the most secluded facility we had found and there didn’t seem to be much activity, even thought we knew that wasn’t the case inside.

After an hour of watching we regrouped and started thinking of what to do next. Despite our eagerness we managed to stay calm and develop a plan, though it didn’t require waiting till nightfall. We figured this facility was so secluded, and the fact that no one seemed to be leaving or entering suggested that the employees stayed here during the night, which meant no matter when we attacked we’d meet the same amount of opposition. With our minds set we set our plan into motion…

I emerged first from the brush into the clearing in front of the building. Lisa walked proudly beside me as we took purposeful steps towards the entrance with determined looks on our faces.

“Halt! State your business!” The two door guards said as they pulled pokeballs from their belts. However, before they could throw the balls Leo and Kail rushed in from the sides and knocked them out cold.

Lisa and I never changed our walking pace and calmly met Leo and Kail at the doors.

“All the guards are taken care of. We tied them up and made sure they couldn’t get to their pokeballs then left them in the woods.” Kail reported as we met him. Leo nodded and smirked at Kail’s last sentence.

“Good. Let’s continue then. Leo you’re with me, Kail you and Lisa are together. Be careful.” I said confidently giving each of them a look to show them I trusted them. They all nodded back and answered, “Right.” before following me into the building. My heart was racing, Luca was here and I could literally feel it.

As I suspected this facility wasn’t fancy at all and the main entrance immediately split into two corridors. With another nod we split into our groups, with Leo and I heading to the left and Kail and Lisa to the right.

Leo and I strolled down the hall and soon met our first employee. Since Leo was so energetic I let him have the honor and he rushed the guy before he could say a word. With him unconscious we headed down the hall he had come from and found a few research labs. I smirked menacingly as I charged an aura sphere and aimed it at the door. Leo stepped back and let me take the lead on this one.

I blew the door off its hinges startling the two scientists inside, as well as the pokemon they were examining.

“What are you…?” They said, freezing almost immediately as they realized who I was, but once again before they could get another word out Leo delivered a swift punch to the jaw while I took the pleasure of knocking out the other.

“Leo, the door. I’m sure more will come to investigate the explosion.” I said to him calmly as I rubbed my knuckles then turned to the pokemon on the table.

“Don’t worry we’re here to help you escape. Could you help us out?” I asked the baffled Cacturne as I undid its restraints. It took a minute to think about it but seeing Leo knock out two more scientists in the door seemed to convince it we defiantly had a chance, even without its help. It soon looked back at me and nodded, so I smiled and joined Leo at the door to continue…

“Well, Felix is counting on us.” Kail said to Lisa as they passed a barren hallway.

“Yup. So don’t get carried away will ya?” Lisa answered jokingly.

“Me!?” Kail retorted quickly, but wasn’t given a response as Lisa launched a thunderbolt in front of him down a hall to knock out a grunt.

“See! I’m not the one that goes overboard.” Kail laughed after realizing he wasn’t the target of her attack.

“Ha. You’re just mad that I’m winning. Lisa taunted with a smirk, she was actually having some fun at the moment.

“So you want to make this into a contest hmm?” Kail answered with a smirk of his own. Neither of them would admit it but they did enjoy each other’s company.

“Sure! One point for each grunt or scientist, and ten for rescuing a pokemon.” Lisa bargained as she fired another thunderbolt at a grunt coming out of a closet ahead of them. “That’s two for me.” She continued happily, but Kail only laughed.

“You’re on then!” He said and at that moment disappeared from sight.

“Hey! No fair!” Lisa yelled and started running down the hall only to screech to a halt as two grunts fell in her path from a corridor.

“Now we’re even.” Kail joked as they continued their explorations.

“Let’s just work our way around the labs.” I told Leo as I charged an aura sphere in my hand.

“Sounds good.” He answered as he clenched his paw and positioned his weight further forward on his foot pads.

“Cacturne, help Leo here out and convince any other pokemon you find to help us, alright?” I requested kindly with a look to match and once I got a nod I ran into the hall and threw my sphere at a grunt that was stalking down the hall. Of course it knocked him out and I busted into the next lab I found.

By the time we had finished with the current hallway we had a few more pokemon followers which included a meowth, a furret, a natu, a wartortle and a pupitar. Each one of them eagerly agreed to help us in return for rescuing them and it only got better as we went. This was a big facility and from what Leo had translated there were a lot of specimens being held there.

Our group kept knocking out any guards that came our way and kept freeing any pokemon we found as well. Thanks to the direction of the pokemon with us we soon found a holding room with a good many cages containing pokemon. I excitedly blew open the doors to the holding room and rushed in yelling “Luca!?”

“I wonder why the grunts aren’t as active now…” Elli wondered out loud. I knew she was talking to me but I didn’t know what she was getting at. There were plenty of other pokemon to be examined and why should we be complaining?

“Coincidence maybe?” I answered rather uncaringly, though Elli knew she was the only friend I had in here.

“Maybe, but no one’s come back either.” She replied but let things drop there and like me just enjoyed the time we had to relax.

Sadly I got no answer to my yell. ‘Damn…’ I cursed to myself then started looking around at the cages. It didn’t take me long to figure out these cages were reinforced. In other words there was no way to bust them open as we had with the other facilities. We would need a key…

“Leo, stay here I’m going to look for a key to these cages.” I said to my son as I turned and walked out of the room. From his gestures I knew Leo understood and he wisely took the already freed pokemon to the door to guard the hallway.

Two minutes later I returned with an electronic key, a vulpix, and a bagon. From the new bodies I had guessed more grunts had come by, but Leo had handled them expertly. The odd thing was that Leo wasn’t at the door. I made my way into the room after convincing the new pokemon guard that I was one of the good guys and found Leo going from cage to cage and unlocking them with a key of his own.

“What’s this?” I said with a laugh which startled Leo slightly.

“Oh. One of the grunts that came by after you left had a key; I figured I’d get a head start.” He replied with a happy smile, knowing I could only be proud of him for what he did.

“Good job. Has anyone seen Luca?” I said as I patted him on the shoulder and set about helping him with the rest of the cages.

“No, but they said there are two more holding rooms.” Leo replied as we finished.

“Alright then. Let’s take this group to our camp and start looking again.” I instructed as I pet a pidgeotto’s head to show it I meant no harm and coaxed it to sit on my shoulder.

“Sounds good.” Leo answered and we led the group out of the building to our campsite where we told the wild pokemon they were free to go and if the others wanted to find their trainers they were to stay at the site and wait for us. Once they were settled and understood we weren’t just going to abandon them Leo and I headed back into the building, though we met a lot more resistance this time. After battling three pokemon and knocking out the two grunts that owned them Leo and I entered the building.

“Let’s find Kail and Lisa. Maybe they found another holding room.” I instructed, and we started running down the hallway Kail and Lisa had taken in the beginning.

“Hey, what did we agree a Darkrai pokemon was worth?” Kail asked as he stood back to back with Lisa in a fighting stance. They had found several pokemon to assist them but none that were strong enough to fight the grunts.

“We didn’t… say! How about they don’t count? There’s too many of them anyway!” Lisa replied as she electrocuted a Hariyama that charged them.

“Sounds good to me. Just remember… I saved your butt here!” Kail replied teasingly as he vanished again.

“Yeah yeah, whatever!” She answered and roared as she charged the group of grunts in front of her and released electricity in all directions.

Almost simultaneously the two groups blocking Kail and Lisa’s way fell to the floor.

“One, two, three… eight. That makes 57 for me!” Kail yelled as he strolled back to the group of pokemon that were still dumbfounded at how Kail and Lisa were handling things.

“Gah… 56 for me.” Lisa snorted with mock anger; truth was she was enjoying herself far more than she thought she should be.

“Hey you two! Seems you’re doing great. Have you found Luca yet?” I yelled as Leo and I rounded the corner and dodged bodies to get to the splinter group.

“No, but some of the pokemon here say there’s a holding room at the end of this hallway.” Kail replied as he stepped towards me.

“Good let’s go.” I answered and ran past them, continuing quickly down the hall followed by my companions and a small group of pokemon that were easily able to keep up. It wasn’t long before we found a set of larger than normal double doors and I quickly blew them open once again. “Luca!?” I yelled once again as I ran in…

“You’re right Elli. Something is wrong; no one’s been in here for a long time.” I said as I sat there. I had nothing to do and the lack of activity was starting to get to me. Plus I could swear I heard sounds of a battle from elsewhere in the building, but no alarm had been sounded.

“Maybe they got a day off or something… So Luca, if we have a day to relax how are you doing?” Elli replied, starting conversation to break the obvious silent tension in the room.

“I’m fine. That last exam they gave me wasn’t bad.” I replied with my now somewhat characteristic sad indifferent voice.

“That’s not what I meant. How are you feeling about him?” She replied, being more specific this time.

“Like I said I’m fine. He’s not coming, I realized that a month ago” I said in the same voice as before.

“Just curious, what would you do if he actually did come here?” She asked.

“I-I’m not sure. I’d probably just leave him for what he did… If I could, I’m still bound by that pokeball he caught me with…” I answered, though slightly hesitantly, but became angry at the thought that I was still tied to Felix. Elli had brought that issue up as well. If he did love me he wouldn’t have forced me to be with him like that, but I had no choice now…

“That’s right, you said you still felt the ball’s effect. I’m sorry Luca, that does make things difficult.” Elli replied.

I still got no answer from the cages and I cursed my luck again. She must be in the third holding area, just my luck it would be the last one I checked…

“Hey dad! We got company…” Leo said as he peeked around the door frame to see several pokemon and their grunt trainers moving quickly towards us.

“Alright then. Kail, Lisa, help Leo out while I free these pokemon! We’ll be right there to help you.” I answered as I started unlocking the cages as fast as I could.

“Hurry up dad. More are on the way.” Leo replied from the hall as Kail and Lisa joined him. Luckily I had already freed a few pretty big pokemon and I knew they could help. It turns out the oversized doors to this place was because the bigger pokemon were kept here.

“All I ask in return for freeing you is that you help us escape!” I said loudly to all the pokemon in the cages as I kept unlocking the doors. The occupants hesitantly left their confinements at first, but soon got their senses and went to the door to help my companions.

I had to force myself to continue unlocking the cages through a few cries of pain that came from the hallway. The initial confidence I had when we started had started to fade as I heard those cries and I now just wanted to wrap this up and leave with my entire family.

Since this room had large pokemon there were relatively few cages so I finished in about the same time that Leo and I had cleared out the last room. Once I was done I quickly rushed to the hall to make sure everyone was alright.

“I’m sorry Felix… A stray attack got to her.” Kail said as he approached me holding a small spheal.

“… Could you take her back to the campsite with some of the others? We’ll bury her when we’re done here and we’ll stay on this floor till you get back.” I answered sadly as I ran my hand sadly over the spheal’s smooth lifeless body.

“Sure…” Kail replied and looked sadly back to the spheal in his arms before looking to those I hadn’t chosen to stay and help.

While Kail led his party back to the campsite the ten strong pokemon I had stay accompanied Leo, Lisa, and I in clearing the first floor of resistance. We saved another three pokemon, but they agreed to stay and fight with us rather than be escorted to the camp site.

It wasn’t long before Kail met up with us and by that time we had regrouped at the elevator and stairs that led to the second floor. Since our entire group couldn’t fit in the elevator we let a bronzong, a gardevoir, and a mismagius take the elevator while the rest of us climbed the stairs. As I suspected there was quite a welcoming party and even from the stairs we had a large fight on our hands.

The trio in the elevator came out fighting fiercely as soon as the doors cracked open. Mismagius played distraction while Gardevoir used her psychic abilities in conjunction with Bronzong who also acted as a shield for the concentrating Gardevoir.

As we broke through the stairwell door Kail and Leo began fighting any pokemon that came at them. Lisa also took the lead and zapped random pokemon that either target her or tried to sneak up on our teammates. After I cleared the door I began ducking and dodging attacks from the onslaught of trainers and pokemon flooding the hallways. All the while I kept charging aura spheres and forcing them into the chests and abdomens of my attackers. I took a few good hits and by the time I found an opening to relax in, my left shoulder was aching pretty bad as well as my head and jaw. I breathed a heavy sigh and licked the blood from my lips before starting to attack again as another wave came at us.

Immediately after we cleared the stairs everyone began to spread out and push back the Darkrai members. Things were going very well, and I knew exactly why. Darkrai had so many strong pokemon kept here in cages and they neglected to consider the possibility of what would happen if all of them got out.
After that second wave we had the grunts on the run, and it looked as if nothing could stop us. I relinquished my lead to a nidoking that started assisting me. He noticed how out of breath I was when facing a Mightyena, a yanma, and a sudowoodo, and firmly grabbed my shoulder to show me he intended to take over for me. With a nod I let him and went back to find Leo Kail and Lisa so we could look for that last holding area…

“Do you hear that?” Elli said to me some time after our first talk.

“Yes I do. It sounds like a fight, and a big one at that. What is going on out there?” I replied as I could no longer ignore the sounds coming from elsewhere in the building. It sounded like an enormous pokemon battle was going on but there was still no alarm and still no apparent reason for the commotion. Still there was no denying the loud rumbles that ripped through the building from obvious explosions. After a while I could no longer sit quietly in the cage and I moved closer to the bars to look at the exit of the room.

“You three alright?” I asked Leo, Kail, and Lisa once we were reunited.

“I’m fine… just a bit bruised.” Kail answered, which Leo seemed to agree with. They both had some physical wounds but neither was bleeding and Lisa looked almost pristine since she had continued to zap enemies from behind the front lines.

“Ok then… Here use these.” I said as I pulled two full restores from my pockets. They were very small bottles, but it was something new I had found in the last city. The medicine inside was super concentrated and just a drop in the vicinity of a light injury would heal it completely. As we walked the boys applied the medicine to their wounds.

We continued to make our way around the second floor, but with the pokemon we had freed taking care of the fighting we didn’t have much to do. If we saw one of them having trouble we would help them out, but otherwise we were just searching for the third holding area.

We came across one set of double doors and I blasted them open as I got a little over eager. It turned out to be an observation room that overlooked a battle arena. Since it wasn’t what we were looking for we continued on, freeing pokemon from the labs as we went and fighting off the occasional grunt that escaped the rampaging pokemon. We eventually enlisted the help of a young Arcanine who hadn’t grown to his full size and could easily fit in the hallways. We asked him to lead us to the holding area and he obliged, knowing exactly where to take us.

As we rounded a corner I saw another familiar set of double doors and couldn’t contain myself. I rushed the doors as I charged an overly powerful aura sphere and blew the doors off their hinges. The force of the blast sent them, careening all the way to the other wall of the room and imbedded them deeply in the wall.

“Luca!!!?” I yelled as I ran into the room and started looking around.

The commotion Elli and I heard began to die down as it seemed the battle headed towards the other end of the building or was simply being resolved. But just as I was about to relax again the doors I was watching suddenly shot from their hinges.

“Luca!!!?” I heard a familiar voice yell into the room, and I couldn’t believe my eyes…

“F-Felix…?” I stuttered quietly in astonishment. ‘This can’t be real! He… did come…? But what does that mean? He wasn’t supposed to care about me… yet here he is. Should I be mad at him? Did he only come back to get his toy back or is he here because he really loves me…? None of this is making sense! What do I do!?’ I thought quickly to myself as I watched Felix’s reaction to my voice.

“What!!? Is that your trainer!!!?” Elli exclaimed from beside me in just as much of an astonished voice.

“Luca!!!” I exclaimed again as her voice registered and I homed in on it. The second I laid my eyes on her I ran to the cage and grabbed the bars. I heard another pokemon say something and I thought it came from the cage next to Luca but I didn’t care… I had found my mate! But I immediately knew something was wrong. Instead of greeting me as I reached her cage she recoiled and looked at me in surprise and disbelief.

“Hang on! I’ll get you out of there!” I said excitedly as I fumbled over the electronic key and opened her cage.

“Mom!” Leo said as he and the others ran in a split second later and found me already at a cage. Leo reached me first and peered past me into the cage at his mother, but her reaction was the same as the one she gave me. She simply stared at him with a bewildered disbelief. Once I unlocked the cage I threw the door open and tried to enter to embrace her, but she stopped me…

“No! Don’t touch me!” She yelled as she held out her paw to stop me as I tried to enter the cage. I couldn’t believe what she had said, but at her command I froze and my face changed to a sad and confused look that nearly matched her own

“L-Luca…?” I questioned slowly and sadly, but she only kept looking at me.

‘What do I do? He betrayed me… didn’t he? But he’s here, and with Le…o… He brought Leo here!? That proves it! He really does only think of us as tools… The Felix I thought I knew would never have put Leo in danger like this… and Kail’s here… and who is that manectric with them…? E-Elli was right… He’s already replaced me with another female…’ Luca thought as she stared at me and glanced at the other pokemon standing in front of her cage.

“Just, put me in my ball…” She finally said resentfully, going nearly limp and lowering her head as she got tears in her eyes.

“I’ve never kept you in your ball. Why would I start now…?” I replied with a sad confused voice to match my hurt expression. I just couldn’t fathom why she would act like this… Had she really given up on me? No! I refused to believe that!

“Because I’m a pokemon… That’s all I am to you…” She replied sadly, but I could swear I heard a sliver of her voice that indicated she didn’t mean what she said.

“You are not! You mean the world to me! Luca, I love you. Why would you say something like that?” I answered as I tried to get closer to her but was once again stopped when she cringed from me.

“How can you say you love me!? You left me here for three months, and now you miraculously appear and expect me to come crawling back to you!? You never loved me! I was just a play thing to you! And look… there’s my replacement!” She replied angrily from the corner of her cage and pointed to Lisa as she finished.

“Luca, no one could ever take your place… Was I really that bad to you?” I asked sadly, still unable to believe my ears. I had never meant to mistreat her but why did she suddenly think I did?

“I didn’t think so at first, but I was naive! You were just playing with me… Now just… put me in my ball…” She said as she cowered in the corner with tears starting to overflow from her eyes.

“I-I can’t… But…” I started, trying to keep the conversation going to try and talk her out of her thoughts, but she cut me off.

“Why?” She said sharply, but still had tears in her eyes and wouldn’t look at me.

“Because of this… I had Razor make it. It’s a lock that… that only you can remove. This way you never have to go in it unless…” I answered as I undid my necklace’s clasp and held it out to show Luca. But her reaction caught me entirely off guard and only hurt me more.

She looked at her ball with hopeful eyes at first as she reached towards it to see what I meant, but when she got a few inches away from the pendant she snatched it out of my hand, interrupting my explanation as her tears started to fall from her eyes. She looked at the item in her paw briefly before maneuvering it between her other paw and pulling her ball from the lock with a tiny click.

“Luca!” I managed as I tried to stop her from continuing once I realized what she was doing, but it was too late. Before I could even lay a hand on her paw to stop her she pressed the button once to enlarge the ball and a second time to vanish inside. Before she vanished though I saw tears fall from her eyes. I sat there in disbelief as I watched her ball fall to the floor of the cage. She really had just done that… but why…?

“… Unless you want to…” I finished as I shakily reached out and picked up the pokeball and simply started at it as tears began to cloud my vision further.

“Dad…? Why did mom do that?” I heard Leo’s sad voice ask from behind me.

“I-I don’t know…” I said as I clenched Luca’s ball and sniffled to try and stop myself from entirely breaking down and sobbing right there. I continued to fight the urge as I wiped my eyes and picked up the pokeball lock then stood up. “Let’s keep going… Here…” I continued as I turned to head to the other side of the room to begin unlocking cages, handing Leo the second key as I started walking.

“Dad…?” Leo said again as I seemed to emotionally lock up.

“Just unlock the cages…” I replied with the most depressing voice I had ever used as I kept walking. Leo took the hint and started with the closest cage, which happened to be Elli’s…

The Glaceon in the cage Leo unlocked didn’t even move. All she did was stand there and look out at us with an awestruck look. Leo and I both weren’t going to waste time speaking at the moment and we continued to free the other pokemon with heavy hearts and racing minds. Seeing our condition Lisa and Kail both went to guard the door, leaving Leo and I to think.

Leo finished his side of the room first and joined Kail and Lisa at the doors. As I finished my task and walked towards the entrance Kail warned me that we had company. Three pokemon with odd looking collars were heading in our direction.

“There’s a Blaziken, a Houndoom and an Alakazam.” Kail said, and at the mention of Alakazam I saw many of the freed pokemon cringe and start backing away from the door.

“Why are you all so scared of that pokemon?” I asked uncaringly, but as I half expected none of them would answer me. “Fine…” I continued as I clenched my fist tight and closed my eyes. A split second later I snapped both my right fist and eyes open and overcharged an aura sphere. It was so strong that blue lightning began to crackle around the sphere’s surface, and just as quickly as I had formed it I let out a sad feral yell and hurled the sphere at the far wall of the room.

Instantly the entire wall exploded outwards creating a new exit. “Go that way then…” I yelled angrily at the pokemon who watched me with wide eyes as they sheepishly obeyed my order. One pokemon looked back before leaping off of the small ledge that led outside, the Glaceon Leo had freed first…

While I was busy however, Leo and the others had engaged the three oncoming pokemon and were having a much harder time than I expected. Leo followed Kail’s lead and charged the trio when they began running the remaining distance between us. Both Lucario jumped to the walls just before picking a target, and at that moment Lisa launched a thunder attack at the lead Alakazam, unaware of its psychic mastery.

Leo and Kail both leapt at their opponents as the lightning flew forward. If their paths had been uninterrupted there was no chance they would get in the way of Lisa’s attack, but Alakazam froze Leo in mid jump and held him in place as a shield. With a loud cry of pain Leo took the attack, but that wasn’t all. He now found it hard to breathe as well. Weakly he opened his eyes to look at the Alakazam that held him and saw the pokemon grinning madly.

“Lucky me… More Lucario. Maybe I’ll get to kill these two…” The Alakazam said as it grinned at Leo.

“Leo!” Kail said as he tried to attack the Alakazam from behind but was stopped by the Blaziken that he had engaged in the first place. The Blaziken grabbed Kail’s paw and spun, throwing him into a wall then fired a high powered flamethrower at him. Kail cried out but held his resolve and charged an aura sphere quickly then threw it in the fire bird’s face causing its flames to fade as it recoiled.

Seeing her mistake Lisa growled and charged the Alakazam, intending to latch onto it to shock it without a danger to Leo. However, she was intercepted by the houndoom. In a flash she was tackled to the ground, throwing her back a ways as the houndoom growled at her. Lisa wasn’t one to be easily deterred and quickly shook her daze off and rushed the houndoom again with her fur crackling. The houndoom once again sidestepped her attack, but made the grave mistake of biting her hard with a crunch attack…

After her initial yelp of pain Lisa smirked and glared at the dog through her pain. Just as the houndoom realized its mistake Lisa poured every bit of electrical energy she had into the dog’s jaw before it could release her.

As Lisa’s attack hit with full force the houndoom’s body twitched and convulsed violently. When she stopped her attack the dog fell limp, with its eyes rolled back in its head. As quick as she could Lisa shook the houndoom’s teeth from her shoulder and stood up to help Leo once again, leaping towards the Alakazam from her current position even though she was bleeding heavily from her fresh wound.

As Kail cried out from the fire attack I turned to see the scene. I saw Lisa try and bite the Alakazam to help Leo, but the Alakazam simply pointed a hand towards Lisa and launched a visible psychic wave which slammed her into the wall so hard the wall buckled from the impact while Lisa was left unconscious.

Kail and the Blaziken were duking it out behind the Alakazam and Kail was desperately trying to help Leo with every opening he got though he failed each time.

As Leo reached to his neck and I heard the Alakazam’s comment I completely lost it… My expression twisted into a snarl and I bolted forward with a speed I never knew I had. In a flash I reached Leo and dodged his body as I reached a hand out and clamped down on the Alakazam’s neck. The look on its face was utterly surprised, as if it never even saw me coming, which didn’t make much sense seeing as it was a psychic… It looked down at me with its limited vision, but instead of the smirk I expected from the Darkrai pokemon its expression resembled fear.

I snarled as I tightened my grip on the Alakazam’s neck and it got a more terrified look, but still had the concentration to keep Leo held fast, who if I could have seen him had stopped struggling and was trying desperately to figure a way to ward off the invisible hand that was choking him.

“Let him go…” I growled at the Alakazam as I lifted it off the ground with one hand. It still didn’t comply so I tightened my grip further and it gave a small gasp as its expression turned too one of pain and confusion mixed with the fear of before.

“I said let him go!!!” I yelled and spun towards a wall, slamming the pokemon into the wall with a force comparable to what had knocked Lisa back and at the impact Leo was freed as the Alakazam clutched at my arm and kept staring at me in confusion and pain.

Leo coughed and tried to catch his breath while I continued. It turns out I had gotten lucky, if Leo had been held much longer he would have passed out.

“W-what… are you…? H-how are you doing this…?” The Alakazam asked telepathically.

“What did you do to Luca!!!?” I yelled without regard to his question. But I had such a grip on the pokemon’s throat he could barely breathe himself and he failed to gather the concentration to answer. It didn’t matter to me anyway. From his comment before I knew he had hurt her somehow and I could only clench my hand around its windpipe as the anger flooded my mind. Thoughts of Leo being held there and Luca getting something of the same treatment enraged me further and tears began to fall from my eyes.

With another growl I tightened my grip further and felt a slight pop which caused my victim to start gasping harder as the pain increased. The Alakazam coughed and tried to grip my arms with its weakening muscles but it was far too late. Somehow I was entirely immune to its psychic effects and had managed to fool his enhanced senses in the first place to get a hold of him.

‘T-that look… H-his eyes…’ The Alakazam thought to itself as it looked in my eyes and saw the pure rage of pain and loss in them. By this time I was entirely lost in my thoughts about Luca and what could possibly have happened to make her distrust me. Every millisecond that passed enraged me further and someone had to pay…
I kept tightening my grip on this Alakazam causing it to start gasping desperately for air, and with one last pained growl of rage I clenched tighter and felt a large pop as its neck became slightly smaller in my hand. Its expression suddenly changed and it started choking much more, but I wasn’t finished. I pulled it away from the wall and held the pokemon in the air for another second as I watched its eyes glaze while my tears streamed from my eyes.

When the Alakazam stopped struggling all together I tossed him into the wall as hard as I could and clenched my now empty fist as my tears continued to fall and I breathed heavy sad breaths.

After a moment a movement to my right caught my attention. It was the Blaziken and Kail still fighting as if nothing had happened. For some reason the sight enraged me further and I lunged forward with the same incredible speed as before and delivered a hard left hook to the Blaziken, knocking it to the ground as Kail froze.

“Get out!” I said firmly to Kail without lifting my gaze from the recovering Blaziken, all as my tears kept flowing.

“We won’t leave you…” Kail started but I cut him off.

“Leo take your mother, Kail take Lisa and GET OUT!!!” I yelled angrily as I tossed Luca’s ball gently to Leo and as my left fist began to crackle with the strange blue lightning from before. Kail’s expression shifted to a fearful one as he took a step back from me then ran to Leo who had caught Luca’s ball and tried to protest.

“GET!!! OUT!!!” I yelled again which convinced my son and he helped Kail lift an unconscious and bleeding Lisa then left through the hole I had blown in the wall.

As they lifted Lisa I snapped my fist open to instantly charge an aura sphere. The Blaziken shook its head once then went wide eyed as it saw the blue ball in my palm leveled at it. It looked past the ball to my face and froze as it saw the cold and angry stare I wore.

Somehow my mind wouldn’t let me fire the sphere into the Blaziken. Instead I lifted my aim and fired the ball down the hall. It careened through the corridor with an eerie blue light and collided with the far wall.

I knew I had overpowered the sphere but even I was somewhat surprised to see the entire corner of the building explode violently.

“Here… If you want to live… I suggest you leave…” I said coldly as I tossed the electronic key I had to the Blaziken, which I assumed would remove the collar on its neck. It nervously fumbled with the key in its claws and scrambled to its feet them leapt away out the exit behind me.

“… I don’t know what they did to you Luca… And I don’t know what I can say to you now… ” I muttered to myself as I started roaming the halls to make sure the place was deserted. I found a few pokemon doing the same and simply ordered them to leave. I found no Darkrai employees though, apparently they were smart enough to know when they were beat and left of their own accord. As I walked my tears kept flooding my eyes. I still couldn’t believe Luca had shied from me and it simply didn’t seem possible that she had given up on me, but what other explanation was there? It had been three months and I suspected she would despair slightly and doubt me a little but I figured once I found her again she would see just how much I loved her. All this weighed heavily on me and just depressed and angered me further.

By the time I made it to the main entrance I couldn’t stand my thoughts any longer. I walked a short distance from the building and turned to look at it once again. From the front it looked pristine despite the two massive holes I had blown in it. Just the thought of this place being left standing enraged me further and I yelled sadly as I held my arms over my head and forced every bit of my concentration into forming another aura sphere, though from the size and power of the attack it would be more equivalent to a focus blast.

I clenched my jaw and eyes tight as I poured my energy into the attack and let out another feral scream as I brought the blast down and fired it at the facility. I didn’t care what happened to me at that moment. I saved Luca even though she wouldn’t even speak to me. Leo, Kail, Lisa, and countless pokemon were now safe. What did it matter if I remained? I had lost everything I thought I had been fighting for and as far as I was concerned Leo was the only one that would truly miss me. So with a heavy heart I watched as the facility before me was destroyed by my aura sphere…

Leo, Kail, and the others easily made it back to the campsite. Kail laid Lisa down next to a tree and dug through Felix’s backpack for some kind of healing potion for her wound while Leo let Luca out of her ball.

“No! Put me back…!” Luca started with tears in her eyes but soon realized Felix wasn’t the one who let her out.

“Oh Leo…” She cried as she wrapped him in a tight embrace.

“I missed you so much mom! I’m sorry it took us so long to find you! We didn’t know this place existed until a few days ago.” Leo replied as he returned the embrace and nuzzled his mother’s fur with tears gathering in his eyes.

“I thought I’d never see you again…” She continued then kissed him behind is ear, refusing to even release him enough for him to look up at her.

“We weren’t going to stop till we found you…” Leo replied happily, but before either of them could continue an explosion rang out through the trees.

Leo and Kail had heard one explosion after they left, accompanied by part of the building being blown apart but this time it sounded nearly ten times bigger.

“Dad!!!” Leo wailed and forced himself quickly out of Luca’s grasp, turning to see a pillar of dust and smoke rising from the direction of the facility.

“Stay here, I’ll get him!” Kail said as he bolted off then vanished as he jumped off of a tree trunk, having just finished tending to Lisa who was now sleeping peacefully.

Luca in the meantime simply stared at the column of smoke, unable to decide whether she was worried about Felix or not.

Kail quickly reached the clearing he had initially entered from, but froze in mid step as the sight registered. The entire facility… was gone…

All that remained was a smoking pile of rubble with several fires spread through out and plumbing spouting water over the shattered blocks of the foundation.

“Felix!!!?” Kail yelled as tears began forming in his eyes. He never knew how hard this would hit him. Felix was like family to him and he was just now realizing it.

“No, No… He can’t be… he just saved Luca, he wouldn’t have…” Kail muttered, but couldn’t move an inch. “H-he’s gone… He was too close when he destroyed it… He’s gone…” Kail continued as his arms went limp. After another few seconds he inhaled sharply and as he recognized the smell his eyes widened. “Felix!” he exclaimed and regained control over his limps to bolt off to his left through the woods.
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