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Angels and Demons

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by chosen_one386, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    I would totally sign up for Aquapolian boot camp (especially if House was leading it). As I've said before, I really want to make my own story kind of spin off from the original. I actually didn't take Hastings' name from Poirot (though I do know who that is :) ), but you'll see he's quite a...character. And his relation to the Camerlengo is going to play an important part in the rest of the story. Thanks for reading! I hope to update much more often in the future.
     
  2. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    As I'm back in school now, expect a huge delay in writing around March and April.


    10.



    Heat rose up from the smooth surface where she rested her head, warming Katharine’s cheek to an unbearable temperature. She stirred, drifting from sleep into consciousness in a mere few seconds, her ethereal blue eyes opening to take in the flickering of flames that shone across the marble floor. The heat now surrounded her and warmed her entire body until it was too hot for her to stand. She could see the outline of the star surround her, trapping her with this unbearable heat.

    “This is your warning, Chosen One.” Those cruel black eyes fluttered into her vision, fixing her with a taunting gaze. “I’m afraid I’ll be forced to kill you if you raise a hand against our cause…”

    The star of fire started to close in as the black eyes shrank back, the heat growing and growing. Katharine screamed in pain, struggling to stand, but her limbs felt as heavy as lead. She was trapped on the floor as the flames slowly closed in on her, licking against her skin on all sides…

    “Katharine? Katharine!”

    Something was now shaking her, the heat disappearing into a calm cool of the table’s surface pressing against her cheek. As she slipped into real consciousness, she noticed that her throat hurt as if she had been screaming in real life as well. She struggled to put a name to the voice of the person who was shaking her, trying to bring her to full consciousness. She immediately shrank back from the familiar accent, trying desperately to block it from her mind.

    Whoever it was continued to shake her, a hand firmly gripped on her shoulder. The voice continued to speak her name, her mind finally picking up on the differences between her enemy’s taunting voice and this warmer voice. She finally allowed her eyes to fly open, and she flinched, sitting up in the chair she had fallen asleep in. The camerlengo was startled by her sudden action, flinching in turn as she slowly tried to make sense of where she was.

    “You were screaming…” He tried to explain. At the look of confusion that spread across his daughter’s face, he sighed. “You fell asleep in here last night after our meeting.”

    Her eyes darted across the room, taking in the bright video screen in the back of the room and Riley’s worried gaze that looked out at her from behind the flatscreen computer monitors near the screen. He must have called the camerlengo down after he heard her screaming, afraid he would startle her into attack if he woke her himself. He didn’t look any better than she felt, though. His dark brown hair stuck up on all sides of his head, and the grey Aquapolian Institute of Technology shirt was wrinkled terribly.

    “You were screaming something awful, too,” Riley added. “As if something were out to get you…”

    “Or someone…” she muttered, a shudder passing through her as she thought of those coal black eyes. She turned back to the camerlengo, whose face was still plastered with a worried look. “It was just a bad dream…” she muttered, standing up. “Where is everyone else?”

    “They all went out to one of the courtyards to train. Rowan asked the Swiss Guard’s permission to do so earlier today,” Riley said.

    “Aren’t you coming?” She asked him, frowning.

    “I’ll be there in a bit…” he muttered, his eyes fixed on the screen in front of him. He was obviously distracted. Katharine turned to the camerlengo.

    “Let’s get out there and see what they’re doing, Father.”

    ------------

    A torrent of water slammed into a tree, freezing on impact and covering the trunk with icycles. Indy smiled and turned back to the others. “Guess I’m a water-type today….with a little bit of ice mixed in…”

    “Good one. Now stand back and let me have a shot,” Ben said, stepping forward.

    “Don’t burn the tree down, Ben,” Cyrus said in his usual serious tone.

    Ben spun around, flames leaping through the air from him to the ice that clung to the tree. The ice melted on impact as the flames carefully licked across the tree, only burning it slightly.

    “Is this what we’re reduced to? Target practice?” House complained. “Why can’t we start attacking each other?”

    Rowan sighed. “Because the Swiss Guard is afraid we’ll set buildings on fire if we try that…”

    “I’d think only three of us here could do that,” Eric muttered.

    “Well, four of us on a good day,” Indy said, smiling.

    “I say we need to start training with swords,” Ben said, turning from the unlit tree back to the others.

    “That would be great if we had any…” Cyrus said.

    “What about the Swiss Guard? Don’t they have a collection of weapons? I’m sure they have some swords to spare…” Langdon suggested.

    “They may not have enough for all of us,” Katharine spoke up from the back, where she and the camerlengo had joined the rest only a few minutes before. “But we could always ask…”

    “I’ll go and see to that now. We need nine swords, correct?” The camerlengo asked.

    “Ten, Father,” Katharine corrected him. He looked a little worried over this miscalculation on his part and the fact that he was the one person he hadn’t counted.

    “Right, ten…” He muttered before disappearing back into the building behind them.

    “Eric, did you bring your bow and arrows?” Rowan asked.

    “Yes, sir, I did. Just in case anything happened…which it did, I guess.”

    “Why don’t we all try shooting with that while the camerlengo gets our swords?”

    “I’ll go get it, then…”

    ------------

    Captain Richter gave the camerlengo a puzzled look. “Ten swords? For what purpose, sir?”

    “For the Aquapolian group who is here to help guard the Vatican. They are against using guns…”

    “Against guns? How do they expect to fight in the modern world with just swords? And at what point would they be protecting the Vatican at all? We have not seen any suspicious Aquapolians around here recently…”

    “There are Shadow Followers…” Realizing what crucial information he was about to impart to the captain, the camerlengo cut himself off. If he told Richter that there were Shadow Followers nearby, the captain would be forced to give this information over to the Italian police and government. Following that, there would be chaos as the police force tried to track down a dangerous group of Shadow Followers, who would much as soon kill any policeman who went after them than be dissuaded from his goals…whatever they were. Besides, this Shadow Commander was apparently very intelligent. Any sign that the police knew that a large force of Shadow Followers was located in the city would surely send them further underground.

    The camerlengo took a deep breath and started his sentence again. “In case of any…upcoming threats to the Vatican, His Holiness, the pope, would like for the people who saved his life to remain here to watch over the grounds for a little while longer.” He could see anger flicker in Richter’s eyes. That was the Swiss Guard’s job, and, since the kidnapping and killing of Cardinal Reed and five other cardinals a few weeks beforehand, the Swiss Guard had shown to be ineffective in keeping back any sort of Aquapolian threat. Instead, a ragtag group of Aquapolian professors, including Katharine and her Aquapolian friend Eric, had protected the Vatican from a literal demon who was intent on destroying it. Richter, obviously, was afraid of losing his job.

    The camerlengo, however, stood his guard, staring Richter down until the captain decided that he would not fight against the pope’s direct wishes. He was still captain of the Swiss Guard and would act that way, even with most of the security detail going to this strange group of Aquapolians. Richter sighed, thinking over the large inventory of weapons from all eras that were kept in their armory, more a sort of museum than an armory, really, since only guns were used by the human guards in these modern times.

    “I believe we have ten swords, sir. If you would just give me a minute, I’ll supply you with all of them…” The camerlengo nodded at Richter’s statement, watching as the captain personally left his office to retrieve the swords from the Guard’s armory. For centuries, human’s had been placed in charge of security of the human Catholic Church. Given the church’s habit of kicking the Aquapolian cardinal out….the fact that Aquapolians were now in charge of security was highly ironic.

    ------------

    Riley grumbled as he stepped out into the bright noonday son, glaring at House, who had drug him away from his computer long enough to take part in the subsequent meeting and training session that Rowan had called into order. The electric-type had been focused on his observation of Aquapolian travel patterns over the past month, closely watching to see when was the most likely time for Shadow Followers to enter the country. From the list of known Shadow Followers in the Ever Grande government database, he had come up with a list of 154 possible Shadow Followers that might have entered the country under different aliases. Why human security had not caught this was a mystery to him. They would have been arrested only a few feet onto Aquapolian soil…

    He squinted at the sun again…his old nemesis. House rolled his eyes. “What are you…a vampire now?” Riley scowled at the doctor, trying to keep himself from snapping back in frustration. It had been so easy for House to walk away from his job in New Jersey, where he was an Aquapolian diagnostician at a teaching hospital.

    “Glad to see you away from the computer, Riley,” Ben commented.

    Riley rolled his eyes. “Why does this sound like a miracle to all of you?”

    “Maybe because you rarely ever step away from your computer system these days?” Indy asked.

    Before Riley could protest, the camerlengo returned, carrying ten old-fashioned swords in his arms. “Will these do?”

    House whistled, picking up one of the blades and swinging it through the air. “These are awesome…

    “Those are perfect,” Rowan agreed as everyone grabbed a sword. The camerlengo stood awkwardly with the last sword, unsure how to hold it.

    “Now, we’ll go one at a time and see what we need to improve on,” Ben said. Everyone nodded. “Who’s first?”

    “I’ll go,” Katharine said, stepping forward, swinging her sword skillfully. “Anyone want to face me?”

    No one volunteered for a few seconds. She sighed and rolled her eyes. Finally, Eric stepped forward, grinning sheepishly. “I’ll fight you,” he said, confidently swinging his sword over his shoulder.

    “Are you sure this is safe…?” The camerlengo asked.

    “Don’t worry, there’s a doctor in the audience,” House commented.

    Katharine and Eric stood a few yards apart, getting into separate fighting stances, swords at the ready. Rowan stood in between the two of them as referee.

    “We’ll observe the usual duel rules. First one unarmed loses the match. Get ready…and, go!”

    Katharine was the first to attack. She swung around, sending blasts of energy flying toward Eric, who ducked out of the way, using his sword to cut through and shield himself from the psychic blasts. Katharine stepped back into defense position as he advanced, swinging his sword at her. She jumped out of the way, skillfully kicking his feet out from under him.

    Eric rolled across the ground, avoiding another sword stroke from Katharine, who was only aiming for his sword, not for his body.

    They faced each other again, eyes locked before Eric swung forward again in a rush of flames.
     
  3. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Chapter 10

    Firstly I'm really sorry that I'm late with my reply. Now onto the reply... I loved what you did in this chapter involving the residual torment (or that's what I was led to think) of the attack on Katharine a few chapters back. It's also quite interesting to note that it probably was the Shadow Follower Leader that contacted her in her dream; actually was it even a dream. From my rambles there, it clearly shows how well you did to create a puzzling situation here, which adds to the development of Katharine and also adds something new into the story itself. Concentrating on this a little more, I love the way you wrote it as if it were happening, which again adds to the confusion in this situation. So congratulations on a well developed little plot device there, and very good use of the English Language too. Some pragmatics there, and so on.

    My last comment about this chapter is the writing (everything else is absolutely brilliant by the way and is just improving). I feel that in this chapter you did something remarkable with the writing, and I can't quite put my finger on it. You have successfully created tension and so on, and the general description but your writing today had me in that place, watching the training, conversations, 'dream' an this is truly interesting. Looking back at the past chapter I can see a difference in the writing, but can't -as mentioned before- quite identify what it is, so if you can enlighten me that would be great.

    So, a brilliant chapter, great development and writing, good description and a wonderful cast of characters! Well done!
     
  4. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Wow, thank you. I really enjoy writing dream sequences like that. My general reasoning is that if something as life changing as that happened to me, I know that I would be having nightmares about it for years.

    A change in my writing style? Hrm...I can't put my finger on it, either. XD My writing style sometimes changes with my mood. Sometimes, I like a lot of description. Sometimes, I just want action. I think this chapter was a combination of both.

    And don't be worried about late replys. I've been late on updating many a time.

    Speaking of updates...



    11.



    Eric flew backward, crashing into the ground full force. Katharine kept both hands gripped around her sword, leveling it to her throat. She smiled. “I win.”

    “Yeah…yeah you do,” Eric conceded defeat. She moved her sword away, and he scrambled to his feet. “Anyone else want to have a go at her?”

    No one volunteered. Katharine rolled her eyes. “Fine, does anyone want to face each other?”

    The sound of sword crashing against sword filled the courtyard a few minutes later. The team had paired up against each other to practice at least swinging the sword before real combat. Ben and Langdon faced each other, swinging their swords a bit more harshly than the rest.

    The camerlengo stood by, awkwardly holding the last sword in his right hand. Katharine walked up to him, her sword slung confindantly over her shoulder. “Father, do you want me to teach you how to fight with that sword?” She smiled.

    “I don’t think that will be necessary, Katharine.”

    Her face fell. “You are going to fight when the time comes, right?”

    “I don’t think it’s my place to fight…” He trailed off, seeing the anger in her Aquapolian crystal eyes. His own emerald eyes trailed to the ground.

    She took a deep breath. “I thought you swore to protect the church…?”

    “My duty is not to physically protect the church, Katharine. That is the Swiss Guard’s job.”

    She crossed her arms. “Yes, it is, but look how much they did when Ojinan came to try and take over. To fight Aquapolians…you need Aquapolians. And right now, we need all we can get.”

    There were a few moments of silence. He looked up to meet her eyes again before sighing resolutely. “Fine. I’ll learn how to use…the sword.” Katharine simply looked at him, waiting. “…and my powers.”

    She smiled. “Great! Let’s start!”

    A clanging of metal on metal echoed through the courtyard once again as Katharine brought her sword crashing down on the camerlengo’s, nearly thrusting it out of his hand. He stumbled back a few feet, shaken by the impact of her attack. She swung again, narrowly missing his sword as he dodged backwards awkwardly. She took a step back, eyeing him. Something about his actions told her he was holding back too much. She needed to get him to attack.

    Katharine sprang forward, aiming at the lower end of the sword and using her attack’s force to knock it from his hand. Taking a chance, she swung again, her eyes widening with surprise when her sword hit a psychic barrier. “That was fast…” She muttered, taking a few steps back. The camerlengo carefully stepped over to pick his sword back up, getting back into an awkward stance again. Katharine’s Aquapolian crystal eyes flashed with annoyance and she lowered her sword.

    “What is it?” He asked with a concerned glance in her direction. “Is something wrong?”

    “You’re holding back! Do you know how fast you put up that barrier?” Something was not connecting in her brain. “I thought you rarely used your powers? Something like that takes years to perfect…” A hurt look crossed through her eyes. The camerlengo avoided her gaze, lowering his own sword.

    “I don’t like to use my powers, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t used them before…” He muttered.

    “Why don’t you want to use them?” She asked, walking closer so that they weren’t shouting at each other and so that the others couldn’t hear.

    He paused. “I’ve had to keep the fact that I’m an Aquapolian in the church for so long that…I’ve grown to even hate my own powers.”

    Her shoulders fell at this sad thought. “But now…now you have something to fight for.”

    He slowly looked back up to her and she could see the change in his eyes. Resolution. She nodded and backed up, raising her sword again. “Now…again!”

    She rushed forward, bringing the sword crashing down on him from above. The impact of his block blew her a few feet backwards this time. She dodged his second lightning fast swing, then gasped in surprised when she found herself knocked off her feet by a lightning-fast psychic blast. The sword clattered out of her hand as the camerlengo advanced with his own.

    She stared up at him with a surprised expression on her face for a few minutes before smiling. “You win!” The camerlengo laughed and helped her to her feet as she retrieved her sword. When she looked back up, she noticed several other Aquapolians were staring at him.

    “Wow…” House said, several of the other Aquapolians nodding in approval. The camerlengo looked embarrassed at his show of prowess, choosing to hand Katharine his sword.

    “I have some business to take care of,” he muttered, stepping away from her and disappearing back into the main building behind them. Everyone watched him leave. Katharine held both swords in semi-shock, then sighed, turning to the others.

    “Who wants to fight me next?”

    ------------

    Hastings stepped into the laboratory, eyeing the great steel machines that filled the space. Scientists brushed past him, eager to gather data on large white spreadsheets. In the corner of the room stood a scientist with shock white hair and dark blue eyes. He was focused on a lab culture in front of him, completely unaware that Hastings was in the room.

    “How is your little experiment coming along, Pluto?”

    The scientist jumped slightly, as if he had been startled out of a deep thought process he had been immersed in for long moments. Turning to the Shadow Commander, he seemed more annoyed that his train of thought had been disrupted rather than unnerved at how easily Hastings slipped into his lab without his sensing the Commander’s arrival. His deep eyes scanned the culture once more as if he longed to get back to work before turning to catch a glimpse of Hastings coal black eyes. He alone of all the Shadow Followers working in Rome did not flinch at Hastings’ gaze. Though he had no proof, he knew deeper evil existed than the Shadow Commander.

    “It is steady work, Commander,” he said, stepping away from the culture sample so as to avoid being drawn back to and distracted by his work. It was essential that the Commander know every possible drawback and step forward that Pluto and his scientists made in their creation process.

    At the Commander’s approving nod, the scientist smirked. Dr. Colin Pluto had once been one of the very few Aquapolian scientists working at the CERN laboratories in northern Europe. One of the largest Hadron colliders on the planet rested there as well as expansive laboratories that covered every range of science from nuclear physics to biochemistry. Pluto was by nature an Aquapolian physicist, who had been mocked daily because of his expansive work on the physics behind the legendaries who roamed the world and his home country. Humans didn’t believe in the legendary creatures…but he would prove them all wrong now.

    It was odd being in a more biological setting than he was used to, but he had worked in Aquapolian biochemistry, which was much more abstract and deep than human chemistry.

    “How soon do you think you’ll have it up and running?” Hastings asked, leaning closer.

    “A month at the very least. We’re still in the secondary stages.”

    Hastings smiled. “As long as we achieve our goals within the year, I will allow for this experiment to continue longer.”

    Pluto nodded. “Once we reach the final stages, I’ll alert you. The humans will fall by
    the millions before us.”

    Hastings’ smile grew bigger. “That’s just what I wanted to hear.”

    ----------

    Indy roamed around the Vatican Museum, the part of the Vatican open to the people of Rome and tourists. He enjoyed looking at the paintings and people watching. However, one tourist struck him as not right. The man had light blond hair and blue eyes and wore a black shirt and light blue shirt over it with jeans. An Aquapolian pendent hung around his neck. He looked pure Aquapolian to Indy, who stepped closer to examine the way the man walked through the exhibit. He seemed not to even see the paintings or artifacts that hung around him, only glancing at the guards that lined the museum, more interested in their presence. Indy stepped even closer to the man and cleared his throat. The man turned to face him, a stern look on his face.

    “It’s odd to see another Aquapolian like myself here,” Indy said casually. The man glanced over to where a guard stood near a door that led into the inner part of the Vatican. “Where are you from?”

    The man turned back to Indy and muttered, “Ever Grande.”

    “Really? I have relatives in Ever Grande.”

    “Don’t we all?”

    Indy smiled. “My family is originally from the Ever Grande area. I’m a normal-type.”

    The man paused. “Psychic-type.” He said, glancing back over to the guard. Indy kept his smile plastered on his face as he leaned over.

    “Whatever you plan to do here, I warn you that you’ll be under arrest in a matter of seconds if you touch one human in this museum.”

    The man smirked. “Who are you? The police?”

    Before Indy could ready himself, a blast of fire knocked him off of his feet, causing him to crash into the floor. He could hear a few tourists scream and the guards swept forward, several of them singed badly by another stream of fire. “Stop him!” Indy shouted as he jumped to his feet, bolting after the man who had just thrown open the door to the inner Vatican. Indy tested his powers for a bit, snapping his fingers to check which type he was that day. Droplets of condensation covered his hand. He was a water-type that day. He rushed through the corridors after the intruder, hot on his heels. They burst into the inner Basilica in a matter of moments.

    ------------

    Riley nearly fell out of his chair when he heard Indy’s voice boom over the communication system. “Riley! Tell the others that there’s a loose Shadow Follower in the Basilica!”

    Before Riley could respond, another call came in. “There’s another one in the south end of the Basilica!” Ben’s voice shouted loud and clear.

    “Okay, okay, just track them down and make sure they don’t go any further!” He groaned. “Guess I have to call the guard on this one.”

    ------------

    A woman with black hair burst through the southern doors of the Basilica, her dark brown eyes searching for any guards. Ben was hot on her trail. He fired a stream of fire at her, but she dodged, sending ice crystals his way. He smirked. “Ice-type,” he muttered to himself. “This should be interesting.”

    He pressed forward, chasing her into the main Basilica. He could see Indy on the other end, fighting with the other Shadow Follower. Streams of fire and water were flying through the air at lightning speeds. Ben withdrew his sword, focusing on his fire element. The path in front of the female Shadow Follower exploded into a wall of fire, causing her to pause. Another blast of fire knocked her off her feet. Ben stepped forward and put his sword to her neck.

    “Don’t move,” he muttered.

    On the other end, the male Shadow Follower was trying to escape from Indy’s torrent. Indy sprung forward, following after him and sliding on the marble. He jumped, knocking into the Shadow Follower and leveling him to the ground, quickly withdrawing his sword and pressing it against the follower’s neck. He could hear footsteps in the corridors and looked down at the Shadow Follower, shaking him.

    “Who are you?” He demanded.

    The Shadow Follower simply gazed into his eyes, saying, “I’m a messenger from Commander Hastings. This church will fall.”
     
  5. jesicakalra

    jesicakalra New Member

    This is my first post in this forum..
    i like to say thanks.
     
  6. JaimeGreenan

    JaimeGreenan Well-Known Member

    wow! I havent been on this in ages but this surprised me with how much more interesting this story has become! I'll be coming on more often to check on it now! well done! :0
     
  7. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Thanks for...? I'm a little confused.

    I need to make sure to add you back to the PM list, then! Thank you for reading, and I assure you that many more twists and turns are planned for the future.
     
  8. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    After a hectic week, I managed to write some! Yay! Things will be less hectic for another few weeks, so I'll be able to update sooner.


    12.

    Security was in an uproar, the Swiss Guard trying to usher out all of the tourists from the museum area while getting a grip on the situation. Richter was livid that not one, but two Shadow Followers had been able to enter the Vatican almost right under the guards’ noses. Once again, the Swiss Guard proved inept at handling Aquapolian threats. Another incident like this, and Richter could lose his job. As Katharine hurried down the corridors from her room to the main Basilica of the Vatican, she tried to keep from smiling. She didn’t like Richter at all, but she didn’t want him fired because of something that was out of his hands. Still, if this incident made the Swiss Guard really pay attention to the fact that the newly installed Legendary Team was effective, they may be given more leeway.

    She snorted with laughter at the group’s name that had been voted on the night before. They had tried stuff like the Legendary Knights and similar titles, but no one could agree on one name. The votes were always split. Finally, in the early hours of the morning, they were all tired enough to sleep-vote on the name of Legendary Team. And a ragtag team they were, albeit a very skilled ragtag team.

    As these thoughts ran through her head, she kept her mind on the threat in front of her. Whether or not the two Shadow Followers had already been taken down by a few of the other members, there was always the possibility that more were inside the Vatican. She sped up her pace, nearly running into three Swiss Guards as she turned a corner at high speed.

    “Excuse me!” One snapped, blocking her way. Katharine skidded to a stop, looking the guard up and down as she blindly searched for her security pass in her pocket. The camerlengo had been furious when Richter had insisted she get a pass when she turned thirteen, although she had lived in the Vatican for seven years already. None of the priests needed passes, the Swiss Guard knew them by appearance. Katharine was well known, too, but Richter had brought up the fact that she was not a part of the church. Somehow, she had a guess that this was a dig at the fact that she was Aquapolian Protestant and not Catholic.

    “Your name, miss?” One of the other guards demanded. The third guard, who looked to be only a few years older than she, turned to survey the corridor and make sure that they were alone and no Shadow Followers were there. She had seen this guard training in the small band of Aquapolian guards. She hoped he gained some new company on the force soon.

    “Katharine McKenna,” she said, finally extracting her security card from her pocket and holding it out for the guards. Her feet shifted on the floor restlessly, desparate to get her to where all of the action was going down. The two human guards looked over her card very carefully…so carefully that after a while, she realized they were stalling. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Obviously, they knew who she was. Richter was up to his old tricks, she guessed. The Aquapolian guard turned to say something, but, luckily, another voice interrupted his.

    “What’s going on here?”

    The guards whirled around to see the camerlengo standing a few feet away, confusion in his emerald eyes. The human guard who had her security card instantly handed it over, the Aquapolian guard glaring at him before turning to the camerlengo.

    “Sir, two Shadow Followers have made their way into the Basilica, and…”

    “If two Shadow Followers are in the Basilica, what are you doing here?”

    “Captain Richter…”

    “Make sure that things are tied up in the Basilica before you start other security measures.”

    The three guards stood frozen for a few minutes, then faltered under the camerlengo’s gaze. “Yes, sir!” They muttered, racing back down the corridor to the Basilica. Katharine hesitated for only a second before following after them. Before she could get further, the camerlengo grabbed her arm.

    “Ben and Indy are fighting them now. You don’t have to get dragged into this.”

    “What if they can’t subdue them?”

    A loud crash sounded down the corridor. Both of them jumped and turned to where the sound had come from. An ornamental vase had been smashed onto the tiles a few yards away from them. An Aquapolian stood over the pieces, looking up at the two of them. Katharine gasped. It was the man who had attacked her in the star of fire. The Shadow Commander. The camerlengo grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

    “Go to the Basilica!” He snapped, pushing her behind him and down the corridor. He stood facing the commander.

    “But Father…”

    “Go, NOW!” He commanded even louder, turning to her and giving her a freezing glare. She backed away, her eyes on his for only a few seconds before she disappeared down the corridor. The camerlengo turned back to the commander, who was grinning.

    ------------
    Katharine bolted down the corridors, her heart pounding in her ears. What she had just seen had sent chills up her spine that she couldn’t shake off, even though outside it was a warm summer day in Rome. In the corridor that she had just left stood the Shadow Commander and the camerlengo, almost mirror images of each other. At least in appearance. She had been silently hoping for the past few days that she was wrong in thinking that the Shadow Commander was similar to the camerlengo in looks…but now, her fears had been confirmed. How could it be? There was only one explanation…and she thrust it from her mind immediately. Rationally, it had to be true, but she knew that it made no sense to her own heart.

    In addition, she had just left the camerlengo to deal with the Shadow Commander by himself. What she had seen in their dueling session the day before was great power and skill on his part…but not enough to stand against the Shadow Commander. Katharine almost skidded to a stop several times at this thought, but she pushed ahead, remembering the chilling ferocity in her father’s eyes when he had…ordered her to leave. It was so out of the ordinary for him that she had left partly because she was stunned out of thinking straight.

    As she burst into the corridor to the main Basilica, she spied a lone, white-robed figure in front of her. Her mouth went dry as she finally skidded to a stop, her Aquapolian crystal eyes widening as large as dinner plates. “No…” She whispered to herself, stepping forward and praying to God that this was not the man she thought it was.

    The figure turned, pegging her with his worn, warm smile. His pale blue eyes lit up at her appearance in the corridor, and she wished that she could disappear. Though she had known him before he became pope…it was still nervewracking to be around him.

    “Ah…Katharine…Please don’t tell the Swiss Guard I’m here. They’d have my head for this.”

    She smiled. “No, sir…I’m sure they wouldn’t be angry at you for being here.”

    “No…” He turned toward the Basilica. “They’ll be angry at themselves for once again being unable to fulfill their duties.”

    Katharine followed his eyes to the main Basilica where Indy and Ben had a hard grip on two Shadow Followers, one male and one female. Their swords were at the Shadow Followers’ throats, poised to threaten if they made a move. Rowan had stepped into the Basilica, talking to both of them at a tone Katharine could not hear. The pope started to step forward before Katharine could even think of telling him to wait.

    At the appearance of the pope in the Basilica, Rowan, Indy, and Ben stared, the two Legendary Team members that had control of the Shadow Followers tightening their grip on their swords. Katharine wrapped her right hand around the hilt of her own blade, ready to strike down either of the two Shadow Followers who dared to attack the pope. However, she would not need to use her weapon that day. The pope simply nodded to Indy and Ben, smiling at their accomplishment. “It seems as if this Legendary Team has proved how efficient they are. I suggest that you take these…Shadow Followers into custody.” He said the words “Shadow Followers” as if they were demons of the most evil kind. Katharine wondered if these two followers had ever come into contact with the pope during the time he had been kidnapped a mere few weeks beforehand.

    Ben and Indy nodded, forcing the two followers to their feet. Katharine shuddered at the Shadow Followers’ looks. They said nothing to the pope whatsoever. They simply glared at him as if to say that they wanted to kill him where he stood. She withdrew her sword from her belt, tilting it slightly in a threatening gesture. The male Shadow Follower glanced at the blade and smirked ever so slightly before Ben and Indy pulled his companion and him away from the Basilica.

    Katharine lowered her sword, her mind racing with all of the events that had just occurred. Her next thoughts were to return to the camerlengo and make sure that he was alright, but the stern look that had flashed in his eyes continued to stop her from making that choice.

    ------------

    “This Legendary Team you’ve gathered is quite impressive, Patrick.”

    The camerlengo frowned at the Shadow Commander’s use of his first name. It had been years since the Shadow Follower had spoken his name, and he had hoped he would have heard the last of it years ago. Though it was wrong to think such things about another mortal soul, the camerlengo had hoped for years that the man before him would pass away before he could do any more damage. But the antimatter bomb had been proof that the Shadow Commander was still alive.

    “I did not gather this team…Hastings.” He hated that name. “Rowan did. I am simply working with them. To stop you,” he added, his eyes trained on Hastings’ as if he could stop the Shadow Commander’s movements if he just kept focused on those coal black eyes.

    “To stop me?” Hastings’ eyebrows shot up in mock surprise. “To stop me from doing what? Destroying this church? Killing thousands of humans?” He paused, a cruel smile spreading across his face. “Or to stop me from killing her?”

    He had done it. The camerlengo shrank back, his gaze faltering. Surely, Hastings had been the Shadow Commander Katharine had encountered in the star of fire. He had threatened her. The camerlengo’s emerald eyes flashed with anger, causing Hastings to smile even more.
    “I knew it. Everything could fall…but as long as she’s alive, you don’t care!”

    “I do,” the camerlengo replied simply. “I do care about what happens to the church…and I do care what happens to Katharine, but…”

    “You care about her more.” Hastings held up a hand to stop him from speaking. “Don’t worry. As long as she doesn’t trip me up too often, I’ll let her live in the end.” He shrugged. “Seems simple enough to me. Keep her away, and she’ll stay alive.”

    “Why are you doing this?” The camerlengo demanded.

    Hastings frowned. “Why am I doing this?” He stepped closer. “Why am I doing this? I’m doing this because this is what needs to be done. Once the church falls, we can start with the rest of the human race…The race that caused us so much pain years ago.”

    “You’re not doing this for them,” the camerlengo said. “You’re doing this for all the wrong reasons.”

    “Who are you to say that I’m not being led by God to destroy this race?” The camerlengo frowned as Hastings continued. “I simply chose a different way to serve God than you did.” He took a step back. “It’s time for me to go and leave you to your decisions.”

    “What decisions? After all of this, you still expect me to sympathize with your views?”

    Hastings shrugged again. “Maybe. Maybe not. At least call me every once in a while, seriously. Even though I know you’re too ashamed to call yourself my brother.” He smiled. “Good luck with everything, Patrick.” With that, he disappeared, leaving the camerlengo to his own thoughts.

    ------------

    “What is this?” Richter asked, frowning down at the piece of paper in his hands.

    “It is an order from His Holiness for your full cooperation with the Legendary Team,” the camerlengo said, fixing the captain with his emerald gaze. “In light of yesterday’s events.”

    Richter glared up at him before putting the paper down. “Do you really thing this ragtag bunch of…what? Who are they? Professors…doctors…engineers…what? Are they trained in military actions? Are they ready to fight at a moments notice…?”

    “Apparently so.”

    This caught Richter entirely off guard. The camerlengo nodded to the stunned captain before exiting the room. It was time for the Legendary Team to formulate more in-depth plans…without the Swiss Guard getting in the way.
     
  9. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Chapter 11

    Wowee! It's getting even more in depth, exciting, and fun thrilled then ever before. I just love your style of writing here as well. That chapter where I noted a difference, that style is still here but now mixed in nicely with your usual writing style which I think gives it richness. I'm loving the pace of it, and although there isn't much description this doesn't seem to bother me because the pace and action really does make up for it, and for some reason seems to describe it just as well. Lovely lovely lovely!

    Chapter 12

    Again, as before. I'm also loving the twists and turns here. I found the last few conversations absolutely hilarious. I though that the Carmelengo and the Shadow Commander were just brilliant together and interacted nicely! Just like brothers would do! Also the final one was just hilarious! Finally Richter has been put in his place!

    So yes brilliant! It's all brilliant!
     
  10. JaimeGreenan

    JaimeGreenan Well-Known Member

    I love the developments in this story! The characters, the storyline! Another great chapter! Well done!
     
  11. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    harryheart: Glad you liked the mix of writing styles I put in that chapter. And, my favorite character interaction in this fic has always been between Hastings and Patrick McKenna. You'll see even more of those. And, Richter had to be put in his place eventually. :p

    JaimeGreenan: Thank you for reading! :)

    I started on 13 the other day. It should be finished soon.
     
  12. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Exams start again next week, so the writing will slow down until the week after next (when I'll probably spend half my time studying for more exams and the other half playing Black and White!).


    13.



    “Field trip!” House exclaimed, rushing into the meeting room like an excited little kid. Riley jumped a bit from his chair, startled by the doctor’s sudden appearance.

    “Wait…what?” He asked, confused.

    “Didn’t you ever go on a field trip in school? What are they teaching kids in Aquapolis these days?”

    “I went to school in America, House,” he said, sitting back down in his seat.

    “Where are we going?” Katharine asked, entering the room and taking a seat beside Eric, whose nose had been buried in a thick book before House had entered the room. He had almost thrown it down at House’s announcement, scattering his copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince nearly halfway across the room.

    “We’re going to…a church!”

    “Like we aren’t already in one?” Eric asked, picking his book back up. House rounded around the table and snatched it away before he could open it again.

    “We’re going to a Catholic church.”

    “Again…as if we aren’t already in one.”

    “Which one are we going to? There’s like…hundreds in Rome,” Katharine asked.

    “We’re going to St. Katharine’s,” Rowan said as he entered the room with Langdon, Ben, Indy, and Cyrus right behind him. “Just to take a look around and see if we could find anything…interesting there.”

    “Why would we find anything interesting there?” Eric asked, snatching his book away from House when the doctor wasn’t looking.

    “There’s a statue of the Chosen One in the church…plus, it was also the place where the current pope was held hostage by the Shadow Followers,” Langdon explained.

    “There’s a statue of the Chosen One in St. Katharine’s?” Indy laughed. “Well, that’s perfect. Coincidence?”

    “I don’t know. You’re going to have to ask Father that.”

    “Speaking of the camerlengo, is he coming, too?” House asked.
    “Yes, I am.” Everyone turned to see the camerlengo enter the room, his eyes flickering over Katharine before he continued. “I asked if we could have the church to ourselves for today. It’s a Tuesday, so no one should bother us.”

    “Wait…are we all going?” Riley asked, confused. “Who’s going to stay here and watch over stuff?”

    “We’ll be gone for like a few hours, tops,” House said. “Things will be fine here.”

    ------------

    The inside of the church was completely empty, save for the pews, altar, and the marble statue in the corner. The Legendary Team spread out through the sanctuary, studying carvings and any writings they could find. Several looked from the marble statue to Katharine and then back to the statue as if they couldn’t believe how similar the statue looked to Katharine. Katharine took it upon herself to study the base of the statue for any clues. House bent down beside her, awkwardly because of his leg.

    “I spy…a language no one has been able to read in three millennia,” he said, pointing the carvings at the very base of the statue. Katharine peered closer, focusing on the writings. She could make out a few words, but none of them made any sense to her. She brushed her hand over the words to see if there were any dust particles lingering over them.

    Ben, who had been leaning up against a far wall, gave a yelping cry as part of the wall section gave way into empty space, causing him to fall backwards down a small slope of stairs. Everyone spun around, astonished by the discovery.

    “I think we found something,” House said.

    One after another, the Legendary Team descended the stairs, Ben in the lead. As they went further and further down the steps, the light behind them started to fade. Small orbs of fire and psychic energy lit their way as the Aquapolians tried to make up for the loss of light.

    Finally, they reached a small chamber only big enough for the lot of them to move freely within. Another marble statue, this one without wings, stood against the far while. It was carved in the ancient Roman style.

    “It’s a goddess,” Langdon said, stepping forward and examining the statue. “But I can’t tell which one.” Katharine stepped up beside him to look at the carved marble. Langdon glanced up at her and then back to the statue. “No…It’s the Chosen One.”

    “Without wings?” Riley asked, confused.

    “The Chosen One legend shows up in nearly every native text in every language on Earth,” Langdon explained. As he launched into professor mode, Ben rolled his eyes. His experience with legends was hands on and outside of the classroom. He would never have had the patience to teach…or put up with the academics he would be working with…like Langdon. “In some cultures, she’s merely a priestess of whatever major deity they worship. In the religions that believe in angels…she’s an angel. And…in some religions…” He turned back to the statue, pointing to the Latin phrases etched on its marble base. “…she’s recognized as a goddess. What’s surprising is that she has the same name in every culture, no matter if she’s an angel or a goddess. Quamachi.”

    The Legendary Team stood in silence, stunned by Langdon’s revelation that some cultures had worshipped Quamachi as a goddess. Katharine stared at the statue, trying to wrack her brain for any possible fact that could make what Langdon said make sense. However…it was right in front of her. She couldn’t read Latin…but there was someone in the room who could…

    As that thought crossed through her mind, as if everyone had the same thought at the same time, all eyes turned to the camerlengo, who had shared the thought with everyone else. He stepped forward and bent in front of the statue, shooting one quick glance at Katharine before he read the ruins.

    “It says…’Quamachi, goddess of the heavens.’”

    Silence reigned in the chamber once more. Finally, Cyrus spoke up. “This must have been an ancient temple dedicated to the…goddess.” He looked over at Katharine as he spoke. She wrapped her arms around herself, not feeling comfortable with the title at all.

    “So…we found an ancient temple dedicated to Quamachi…now what?” House asked.

    “What is that she’s holding in her hand?” Riley asked, pointing to a round, orb-like object resting in the statue’s open hand.

    “It just looks like…an orb to me,” Rowan said.

    Katharine stepped forward and ran her hand over the marble surface of the orb. It was smoother than the rest of the statue’s marble and seemed to have been carved from a different piece. The ground underneath her shook for a bit, causing her to jerk her hand back, staring at the marble orb in astonishment. Cracks ran through the marble at a lightning pace, breaking it apart. With a final shatter, the marble gave way to a translucent orb made of Aquapolian crystal. This time, the group was really stunned silent until the wall behind the statue started to shake as well. Riley took a step back to the door, obviously afraid that the temple was about to collapse on top of them. Something slid in the walls…until five slits opened, revealing five glittering orbs with different colored lights shining in them.
    From left to right shone sapphire, ruby, diamond, pearl, and opal-colored lights, illuminating the openings in the wall. Cyrus stepped forward and ran his hand over the pearl-colored orb, his eyes wide with awe. “These are the six orbs of the six powers.”

    “What?” Riley asked from the back. Langdon and Ben pushed forward to get a better look at the orbs, shoving each other aside in their haste. Rowan simply stood, staring at the bright lights in amazement.

    “The Red, Blue, Crystal, Diamond, Pearl, and Opal Orbs,” Indy explained, stepping over to stand by the Opal Orb, the one furthest to the right. “The orbs of land, sea, sky, time, space, and dimension.” He muttered to himself. “Groudon, Kyogre, Lugia, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina.”

    “Wait, wait, wait…” House said, holding up his hands for a minute, a confused look on his face. “I thought these orbs were supposed to be in the Cave of Origin.”

    “There are temples throughout the world that hold the orbs on a daily basis,” Langdon muttered, his eyes not leaving the Blue Orb in front of him. “There’s a legend that says that the orbs cycle throughout the many Aquapolian temples, never staying in one place for more than a week.”

    “They teleport themselves?” Riley asked, frowning.

    “Pretty much,” Ben replied.

    “And we just happened to be here on the day they were in this temple?” Eric asked, looking around pointedly at the others in the room. “One of you had to know this, otherwise, why are we here?”

    The Legendary Team members looked around at each other, trying to guess who had held this knowledge beforehand. One-by-one, they turned to Rowan, who frowned at them in confusion. “Why me?”

    “Cuz you hold all of the information that goes on in Ever Grande, that’s why,” House said.

    “And you have connections in the Cave of Origin yourself,” Cyrus added.

    Rowan shrugged. “So...yeah. I got a heads up from one of the priests I know at the Cave of Origin yesterday…and…”

    “What are we going to do with them, though?” Riley asked. “I mean, what can they do?”

    “They hold the six powers…” House said.
    Cyrus rolled his eyes. “Brilliant answer, House.”

    “Why, thank you.”

    “The legends say that those who can utilize the powers of the six orbs will inherit the six powers for a temporary amount of time,” Langdon said, reaching out to touch the Red Orb, which spiked with power at his touch, ruby flames shimmering inside the crystal. “You’d have to be pretty strong to use it, though. That much power could probably kill a person.”

    Katharine paused, thinking for a moment. “I wonder if we could use them…”

    “You could, maybe…but us? I have to admit that we have a gathering of some pretty strong Aquapolians here, but we have no idea if we’re strong enough to handle these powers,” Indy said.

    “Even if we don’t use them right away, we should take them back with us,” Eric said. “They’ll change positions tomorrow…and the next place they turn up might not be very accessible to us if we change our minds.”

    Ben nodded. “Question is…will we get burned by picking them up?”

    Katharine rolled her eyes and snatched up the Crystal Orb, feeling its power pulse through her fingers. She got the feeling of a strong wind storm rushing through her. The power of sky.

    “That doesn’t prove anything,” House said after a few seconds. “I’m pretty sure nothing created by the ancient Aquapolians is Chosen One-proof.” He stepped forward, snatching up the Diamond Orb and holding it out. Diamond light illuminated the space around him as the orb shone brighter. He shrugged after a while when he was not burned, then frowned in confusion. “Does anyone hear a clock ticking somewhere?”

    Everyone shook their head. “It’s the orb,” Katharine explained. “It gives you the sense and feeling of each of the powers.”

    One-by-one, other Legendary Team members picked up the orbs. Langdon reached for the Red Orb, which pulsed a bright ruby in his hands, instilling a sense of warmth throughout his entire body. Ben picked up the Blue Orb, spinning around when he heard the crash of waves and a cold sea breeze. Cyrus held the Pearl Orb, his mind spinning, and the space around him started to shift with power. The camerlengo picked the last orb, the Opal Orb, and froze.

    After a few seconds, Katharine stepped up beside him. “Are you okay, Father?”

    He shook his head as if to clear it. “Yes…I just…thought I was hallucinating for a bit.”
    “What did you see?” Katharine pressed, gripping the Crystal Orb tighter in her hands. The orb pulsed in brighter at her increased touch, spreading crystal light across her face in dappled patterns. She looked unearthly in the light.

    “I saw…red eyes…and a creature that was black and gold…”

    The other Legendary Team members looked at each other in silence before Rowan spoke up.

    “Giratina. You saw the power of dimension.”
     
  13. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    I hope you guys are as excited as I am about Black and White. :) My copies will be coming in the mail in a few days!




    14.



    The Legendary Team stood in silence, each Aquapolian staring at the orbs in awe, not knowing exactly what to say. Different thoughts raced through each of their minds, forcing the quiet air into a frenzy of racing thoughts and feelings. As each Aquapolian tried to cope with his or her thoughts, only two Aquapolians in the room seemed to be on the same wavelength. The camerlengo turned the Opal Orb over again and again in his hands, his thoughts both on the image of Giratina that had surged into his mind when he picked up the orb and on the possibility of their using the orbs to stop the Shadow Forces. Katharine, likewise, was thinking of Giratina and the use of the orbs. Which of the Legendary Team members were strong enough to contain the orbs’ power? She knew she would be able to…but it seemed a wasted effort for her to wield a power she already contained.

    Out of the other Legendary Team members, Rowan and Cyrus seemed to be the strongest psychics. Indy was a little bit too old, though she guessed he was only in his early sixties. House was strong enough to fight, but his injured leg would hold him back. She hadn’t even seen Riley use his powers, if he ever used them at all. Ben had proved to be a strong fire-type, and, from what Katharine had seen, Langdon was stronger than he thought himself to be. Eric was strong, too, but he had not trained near as long as the other Aquapolians. It would be better to equip him with a bow and arrow.

    That left the camerlengo. Other than the psychic powers she had seen him wield several times, the only other sign that he could use one of the orbs to his full advantage was his healing abilities. If they were as strong as she thought they were, they would make up for any lack of psychic abilities on his part, though she believed his attacking powers were just as strong as his healing abilities. The only obstacle to his utilizing the orb would be his reluctance. She had just barely been able to entice him into using his normal powers on a day-to-day basis. He would surely put up a fight before using one of the orbs.

    The Opal Orb would be the most difficult for anyone to use. The power of dimension was the strongest of the six powers, so the Aquapolian who wielded it would have to be strong indeed. Katharine pushed these thoughts out of her head, telling herself that she would think of the orbs later, after they had decided where the team would keep them.

    “We need a safe place for the orbs,” she said, breaking the silence in the chamber and the concentrated gazes on the orbs. “Though I really don’t know whether we should split them up or keep them together…”

    “There’s a vault in the offices of the Swiss Guard,” the camerlengo said, raising his emerald gaze from the Opal Orb. “We should put them all in there. There’s no use in carrying them around. If one of us gets caught, we’ll lose an orb. And if all of us get caught…”

    “The orbs will fall into the Shadow Forces’ hands,” Rowan finished firmly, shaking his head. “Even if we don’t use them to fight against the Shadow Forces, we need to at least keep them away from the Shadow Forces. They’ll become unstoppable with this kind of power…”

    “If some of us are going to use these orbs…” Ben said, holding up the Blue Orb and watching as sapphire light danced across the wall beside him, surging like ocean waves. “Then we need to train harder to make sure we’re strong enough to handle the powers…”

    “Boot camp, anyone?” House asked, looking around at the rest of the Legendary Team members. With wary smiles, each one nodded, agreeing to the intense training session that was ahead. Katharine knew that she was itching to get her hands around another sword’s hilt as soon as possible. In the end, she knew that she would most likely have to face Hastings in battle, a thought that sent shivers up her spine, though she was determined to beat him. She still equated terror with the Shadow Commander after his threat in the Basilica days beforehand. He would be hard to defend against in battle…and he was so smart…

    “Katharine?”

    She looked up, snapping out of her thoughts as the camerlengo called her name. The others were already leaving the chamber, those who carried the orbs stashing them away in pockets against any prying Shadow Follower eyes that may be in the streets above. Katharine slipped the Crystal Orb into her own pocket and nodded, walking beside her father out of the room.

    “I don’t know whether we should use these orbs or not,” he muttered to her, keeping his voice down so the others wouldn’t hear his doubts. They sounded so determined to use the orbs; they might get angry at any mention of the idea being bad. “What if these powers kill those who acquire them?”

    Katharine’s eyes widened. She hadn’t thought of the consequences of acquiring the six powers. She had just assumed that if an Aquapolian were not strong enough, they wouldn’t be able to acquire them. What if it meant that they would die under the force of so much power? “I didn’t think of that…maybe this should be a last resort thing…”

    He nodded. “What are the chances that you’ll be able to use all of them yourself?” He wondered aloud, trailing off at Katharine’s frowning gaze.

    “Not very high, since I already have a portion of those powers to begin with,” she said, stepping forward to walk beside Eric. That was that. With her words, she had determined that six other people had to take control of the orbs. There was no other way around the fact. Still, she couldn’t help but worry if she had just signed six Aquapolians’ death sentences.

    ------------

    “Shouldn’t those be kept in the Vatican Museum?” Richter asked as he followed the camerlengo into the Swiss Guard offices, obviously annoyed at the fact that the priest continuously showed up in the offices on Legendary Team business. The very same of the group made Richter scoff. They were nothing more than a misfit militia, made of academics who had never attended a training camp in their life, much less actually faced a true threat, be it terrorist or otherwise. He suspected most of them had lived their lives behind a desk, filling out paperwork and keeping their noses stuck in books.

    “Well, from what happened a few days ago, I wouldn’t say that the Vatican Museum is very…safe…” Richter turned and cast an annoyed glance at the Aquapolian behind him. From the files he had read on Professor Indy Jones, Richter had assumed that he was one of those normal academics; though prone to creating upsets amongst the professors he worked with with his abnormal habits and laid-back personality. Furthermore, he was a normal-type, which confounded Richter greatly. How could one not know what type one would be when one woke up in the morning? Indy seemed to take it in stride, but Richter would have been driven mad if he were a normal-type…or an Aquapolian for that matter.

    Ignoring Indy’s comment, Richter left him behind in the armory to look at the many ancient weapons gathered there while the captain and the camerlengo stepped into the large vault that marked the very back of the Swiss Guard’s office. Once out of earshot of Indy, Richter pulled the door to the vault closed and turned to the camerlengo, rage seething in his eyes.

    “I don’t have a problem with this Legendary Team running surveillance for Shadow Followers, but I do have a problem when they borrow my guards for training practice,” Richter said, crossing his arms. He was utterly and completely tired of dealing with these Aquapolians. He wondered if he would even have a job at the end of this skirmish with the Shadow Forces.

    “Which of your guards are they borrowing?” The camerlengo asked calmly. Richter glared at him. In his mind, this had all started years ago when the priest had insisted on adopting an Aquapolian girl and having her live in the church. She had refused to follow security protocol throughout the years, and he and the camerlengo had always been at odds with each other over it. In Richter’s mind, Aquapolians did not belong in the Vatican…which would include the camerlengo most of all.

    “The Aquapolian guards. I need them to head up my security detail. They can’t do their jobs when they’re being trained for a supposed attack that they may never take part in. Their main duty is to protect the Vatican from outside attack, not to head up a makeshift army to start a war.”

    “To start a war?” The camerlengo asked, raising his eyebrows at Richter’s phrase. “I believe the war was started when that demon attacked the Vatican a few weeks ago.” He turned away from Richter, who was getting madder each second he spoke to the priest. “Now…these orbs need to be put under the highest security you can spare. If they get into the hands of our enemies…well…” He held up the Crystal Orb, turning it in his hands and watching the crystal patterns glow in the air around him. “…we can consider the war lost.” He looked up at Richter pointedly. The captain sighed, exasperated at last. He was tired of wrestling with the camerlengo over everything.

    “Fine, we’ll put them in the vault, and I’ll have one of my men look after them at all times…” He growled, turning to walk away, then stopped. He didn’t know what these objects were. What were they to the Legendary Team? As long as he was being forced to protect them, he at least wanted to know what he was protecting. “What are they?”

    “They’re the orbs of the six powers,” the camerlengo said simply. Richter rolled his eyes. Once again, the Aquapolian tales of legendary creatures came to his mind. He had seen Pokemon with his own eyes…but these legendaries the Aquapolians believed in were too mythical to be real. Without another word, he stormed from the vault, brushing past Indy in the armory, who was examining a medieval sword.

    “Don’t touch that!” The captain snapped, disappearing into his office. Indy jumped and dropped the sword, glancing over at the captain’s office door with a confused look on his face. The camerlengo stepped into the armory and glanced at him with an exasperated look, and Indy shrugged. It was always something with the human captain.

    ------------

    The arrow collided with the center of the target, sending a ringing noise throughout the courtyard. The members of the Legendary Team who were present applauded Eric’s skill, shouting encouraging words as the teenager set another arrow into place. This time, the tip burst into flames, Eric’s powers surging through it as he let the arrow loose, allowing it to strike the target dead center again. The wooden target burst into flames on impact. Luckily, Indy was a water-type that day and quickly put it out before any of the fire alarms could alert the Swiss Guard to what they were doing.

    “Can I see that?” Langdon asked, suddenly curious to see if he could even come close to the teenager’s skill. Since they had begun their small boot camp the week before, he had become enraptured with every aspect of Aquapolian fighting techniques, including his own undiscovered fire powers. He was eager to try every sword move, face down any of the other Legendary Team members, and try his hand at every fire technique he saw Ben and Eric performing in the courtyard.

    Eric nodded and handed the bow and arrow to Langdon, who set the arrow into place and concentrated on the target. He looked awkward standing there, an academic handed a piece of weaponry he had never held before. He let the arrow fly and it landed on one of the outside rings of the target. Ben smirked, but said, “Hey, now, that was pretty good.”

    Langdon turned and rolled his eyes, handing the bow and arrow back to Eric, who turned to Katharine. “Want to give it a shot?”

    “Sure.” She grabbed both from his hand and quickly strung the arrow, focusing on the dead center of the target. She let the arrow fly, and it struck Eric’s previous arrow, splitting it right down the middle. Eric laughed and shook his head as she handed him back the bow, a triumphant look in her eyes. Several of the other Legendary Team members applauded, silently breaking back up into training groups. The sun was starting to go down over the church spires of Rome.

    Katharine took a few steps away from the group, heading back toward the Swiss Guard’s office, then froze. Something wasn’t right. Suddenly, alarms sounded in the air around them, and the entire Legendary Team turned to see what was happening. Each communicator in the crowd clicked on with Riley’s voice streaming into their ears.

    “There’s a large group of Shadow Followers at the back end of the basilica!” He shouted. “They’re fighting the Swiss Guard, and ten guards have already been taken down!”

    The Legendary Team sprang into action, heading for the back end of the courtyard toward the basilica, Rowan in the front and Katharine bringing up the rear. They rushed through the basilica and out one of the exit doors, stopping short to take in the scene in front of them.

    Swiss Guards were shooting at around ten Shadow Followers, who were firing back with their own powers. It seemed as if the Shadow Followers were winning, if the Swiss Guard bodies on the ground were any indication. When the Shadow Followers caught sight of the group of Aquapolians, they focused their attacks on the Legendary Team.

    Katharine was the first to spring into action, aiming a quick blast of energy at the psychic-type at the front of the attacking group. The Shadow Follower ducked and rolled, springing back up to fire a swiftly cutting psychic blast at her. The other Legendary Team members sprang into action, each taking one or two Shadow Followers on to take them down. A few razor-sharp leaves flew past Katharine’s ear as she slammed into the psychic-type again. Indy ducked and rolled away from an electric attack that nearly fried him.

    Another psychic blast slammed into the wall behind Katharine, and she stared, wide-eyed at her opponent. These Shadow Followers weren’t just here to frighten the Vatican’s inhabitants. They were here to kill whomever got in their way.
     
  14. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Chapter 13 + 14

    I'm so glad I finally found the chance to catch up, and with the addition of a lovely new chapter as well! Your pace is perfect as ever and the speed that it's all going down is awesome. The fact there's something always going on just helps keep me attuned for more so congratulations. Everything else I have to say is practically repeats of before such as brilliant writing, great description, awesome developing plot ad so on. Well done!
     
  15. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Why, thank you. Things will start to pick up after this little fight goes down. New twists and turns and even new Legendary Team members!

    The next chapter should come within the next week. However, if I get my copies of B/W sooner than I expect, don't expect much writing. :p
     
  16. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Sorry this chapter took so long! School was hectic...and though I've been out of school for a month, I lost all of my current chapters, so I had to start the writing over again!

    Character introduced in this chapter:
    Detective Zachary Nichols from Law and Order: Criminal Intent (told you I was throwing in a bunch of random characters). Coincidentally, the show will end in a few weeks! Here's to ten seasons of awesomeness!


    15.



    Katharine launched herself at the nearest Shadow Follower, spinning around to deliver a kick to the head that knocked him unconscious. All around her, the other Legendary Team members were scrambling into action, launching themselves at one Shadow Follower after the next. The only Aquapolian in the courtyard not fighting after a few minutes was the camerlengo. One of the Followers noticed this and broke away from the pack to face him. They stood there for a few minutes, the Follower trying to stare him down. He took an uncertain step backwards, not sure whether he should attach or not.

    A psychic blast rushed through the air toward him, crashing into the barrier he put up seconds before it could hit him. His opponent rushed forward, aiming another psychic blast at the camerlengo, which blocked the Follower again. Intent on stopping his opponent with one attack, the camerlengo let the Follower slam into his barrier once again before retaliating with a blast of energy so powerful, the Follower flew through the air and landed on the other side of the courtyard, knocked completely unconscious.

    Katharine stopped fighting long enough to stare at the camerlengo, amazed by what he had done. In those few seconds, she received a blow to the face that nearly downed her. She sprang to her feet, swinging around to knock the Follower down with a psychic blast. All around her, other Legendary Team members were winning their battles as well. Cyrus felled a Follower with wild black and white hair to the ground with his own psychic abilities, not reacting at all to the downfall of his opponent. Rowan had successfully taken down a flying-type to Cyrus’ left, pinning her to the ground with a psychic barrier so that she couldn’t fly away.

    After the last Follower had been taken care of, brought down by Eric’s fire powers, the retreat began. Every last Follower fled the courtyard, not looking back to see if their opponents’ were chasing them. The Legendary Team watched them leave, satisfied with a job well done.

    After a few seconds, Langdon turned to Katharine, who stood on his left, and winced at the marks that the Follower had left during his attack on her face. “Ouch, does that hurt?”

    Her hands subconsciously flew to her face, and she winced as well. “Not that badly.”

    Before the camerlengo could step forward to attend to his daughter, a Swiss Guard appeared, glancing around the courtyard to make sure that no Shadow Followers remained before speaking to the camerlengo. “You’re wanted upstairs, sir.”

    The Legendary Team members looked around at each other, wondering what kind of trouble they had gotten into now.

    ------------

    “We cannot allow the church to become a battleground.”

    The camerlengo froze at the pope’s words. “Sir, the church was made a battleground the moment that demon stepped into the Basilica.”

    The pope turned away from the window, fixing the younger priest with his gaze. “The Swiss Guard was formed to neutralize any threat. They will protect the church from this day forward. I’m afraid this…Legendary Team must go.”

    And, with that, the camerlengo was dismissed.

    ------------

    “Wait, what?!”

    Every soul in the room quieted at Langdon’s exclamation. The camerlengo sighed as all eyes turned to him, some begging him to tell them it wasn’t true.

    “His Holiness has declared that all Legendary Team members are to leave the Vatican grounds…permanently,” he explained. No one spoke as he continued. “None of you will be granted further security passes.”

    “A few days ago…he was almost literally singing our praises…” Cyrus said. “What changed his mind?”

    “Isn’t it obvious?” Rowan asked. “The engagement we had with the Shadow Forces the other day was right on the Vatican grounds. The war is being brought too close to home.”

    “Still, what can a Swiss Guard full of humans do?” House asked. “I mean, no offense, but seriously! You can’t take down demons or even simple Aquapolians with guns!”

    “We have no choice at this moment…All of you have to leave…”

    “The Vatican,” Ben pointed out. He glanced around at the others. “But not Rome.”

    “Actually…Rome as well.”

    “They’re kicking us out of Rome now?” Riley piped up.

    “And Italy.”
    “How many governments is he going to go to?!” House asked.

    “We’d be best to leave Europe if this keeps up…” Rowan muttered.

    “How are we supposed to fight the Shadow Forces if we can’t even physically protect the Vatican?” Eric asked.

    “We find a way back.” Rowan said. Everyone paused to think this over. He continued. “There are still two more members who were not registered under the Swiss Guard security as Legendary Team members. Which means…”

    “They can legally enter the country,” Katharine finished. Everyone nodded.

    “We’ll give them a call as we’re leaving the country. Until the rest of us can find a way back in…” Rowan glanced at Katharine and the camerlengo. “The four of you will have to fight the Forces on your own.”

    “I need to know where everyone is going first so I can keep track of y’all,” Riley spoke up.

    “Back to Harvard,” Langdon and Indy spoke up at the same time.

    “Washington,” Ben added.

    “I guess I’ll return to Yale,” Rowan conceded.

    “Ever Grande,” Eric said.

    House sighed. “I guess I’ll return to New Jersey.”

    “CERN,” Cyrus muttered.

    “Wait, what?” Rowan asked, turning to the younger scientist.

    “One of us needs to stay in Europe, and I have colleagues at CERN.”

    “I thought they kicked all of the Aquapolian scientists out?” Riley spoke up.

    “Not all of them…”

    “Then it’s decided. We leave as soon as possible…” Rowan turned to the camerlengo. “Do we have a deadline…?”

    “By the end of the week.”

    The Legendary Team members glanced at each other, unsure what to do next.
    ------------

    A few days later, the members started to leave, one-by-one setting off for their destinations, albeit very hesitantly.

    “Call me when you get to Aquapolis,” Katharine told Eric before he climbed into a cab for the airport.

    “I will.” He paused. “Everything’s going to be fine, Katharine.”

    She looked at him, confused. “Why do you say that all of a sudden?”

    “Because the expression on your face right now tells me that you think it’s the end of the world.”

    She tried to smile at his joke. “Be careful once you get there.”

    He forced a smile himself. “I always am.”

    A few yards away, Rowan was speaking in hushed tones to the camerlengo.

    “I called in to their office in New York. He should be out here in a few weeks. I told him to contact you directly once he’s here. We can’t afford to have the Swiss Guard suspicious that one of us has returned.”

    The camerlengo nodded. “The rest of you will be in touch, won’t you?”

    “Of course. If anything goes down here, we’ll be back no matter what.” Rowan looked to the street to see a cab drive up. “I’ll be in America. Feel free to call any of us at any sign of trouble.” With that, he was gone, simply nodding to Katharine before climbing into the cab. She walked back up the steps toward the camerlengo, her eyes on the street before them.

    “That was the last of them,” she muttered, crossing her arms.

    “Do you want to go down to the archives now?”

    She nodded. “The sooner we can find some answers, the better.”

    ------------

    “Yes, sir?”

    Hastings turned to see one of his agents behind him, waiting for his orders. He glanced back into the glass-lined laboratory where Pluto was working before he addressed the light-haired man behind him.


    “I want to get in touch with an old friend.” He turned back to the laboratory and smiled.

    “Everything’s coming together perfectly.”

    ------------

    The archives remained completely silent at night, the only sounds coming from the air vents that controlled the oxygen levels in the individual rooms. The Aquapolian section was quite smaller than the others, its contents restricted to important Aquapolian religious documents and ancient archives only. And, amongst these, there were even fewer manuscripts. The Vatican’s only copy of the Book of the Chosen One lay open on the only reading table in the section, its pages turned to the list of the Chosen One’s abilities, which spanned many pages of detailed paragraphs that spelled out exactly what powers she could wield.

    The camerlengo poured over this section, trying to memorize her powers as best he could. Katharine had fallen asleep at the desk, her head resting on another ancient Aquapolian text that she had been trying to read. It was written completely in the dead Aquapolian language, but she had stumbled through a few pages successfully before falling asleep. The camerlengo looked up from the Book of the Chosen One several times at his sleeping daughter, marveling at some of the powers the book said she could use. She could save the world or destroy it according to the book’s pages.

    A buzzer rang at the other end of the section. He got up from his seat and reached the intercom placed inside the glass paneling, pressing the call button. “Yes?”

    “Father, you are wanted in the pope’s quarters.”

    He paused before answering, “I’ll be there in a few moments.”

    ------------

    As he walked toward the pope’s chambers at the other end of the Vatican, an ominous feeling seemed to follow him. He stepped through the double doors to see the pope looking out of the window situated behind his desk.

    The pope turned away and hesitated before he spoke. “To ensure that this war does not reach our walls again, I must ask you for a favor.”

    “Yes?”

    A few more moments’ hesitation. “The Chosen One must leave our walls for the time being. I am sad to say that she especially attracts the Shadow Forces to our door.”

    The camerlengo stood stunned for a few moments, unable to comprehend what the pope had just said. “Where is she to go? The situation could be even worse in Aquapolis for all we know…”

    “I’m sorry. We must keep the war outside of our walls.”

    The camerlengo still couldn’t process what he was saying.

    “Take Katharine and leave as soon as possible. If the Shadow Forces find out that she has left our walls, they’ll be after her in no time at all.”

    Those words finally put the camerlengo into action. Without another word, he turned and sprinted from the pope’s quarters.

    ------------

    “Katharine? Katharine!”

    Katharine groaned at the hand that was shaking her. She could barely hear her father’s voice through her sleepiness.

    “Katharine! You have to get up now!”

    She finally lifted her head, rubbing at her eyes. “What is it? Has someone attacked?” At this thought, she became alarmed. “Someone’s attacked?!” She bolted from her seat.

    “No, no Katharine.” He grabbed her shoulder. “No one was attacked. Listen.” He waited until she was calmed down before he continued. “Pack one of your bags with enough clothes to last you for a few weeks and meet me outside of my quarters.”

    “Wait..what?”

    “Just go now, and don’t forget to pack your sword and Pokemon!”

    ------------

    Katharine stuffed clothes into her bag, a million thoughts racing through her head. Her cat Pika jumped up onto the bed, trying to make his way into her bag. With no thought to anything else, she grabbed a few cans of his food and stuffed it and the cat into her bag, leaving it unzipped so Pika could breathe. She flung her sword over her shoulder in a holster and tied her Poke Ball belt around her hips.

    She arrived at the camerlengo’s quarters to see him ready to go, his own sword tied over his shoulder. As she stepped closer, Pika let off a muffled meow and the camerlengo sighed.

    “I can’t just leave him here,” she protested.

    “It’s fine…” he glanced around. “Let’s go, now.” He grabbed her arm and they rushed out into the street, nervously glancing down every street to see if they were being followed.

    ------------

    “I’ve been banned?!”

    “Katharine, keep your voice down.”

    They had found a hotel on the other side of Rome where Katharine could stay until she was allowed back into the Vatican. Pika had already curled up on one of the beds in the room. He jumped at the sound of Katharine’s voice.

    The camerlengo glanced out of the window. No one was outside. “His Holiness believes that as long as you remain inside the Vatican’s walls, the Shadow Forces will continue to lay siege to the church.”

    “But if we aren’t there, the Shadow Forces will take over the church after all!”

    “We’re just going to have to fight them from outside,” he sighed. “We should be in contact with one of the missing Legendary Team members soon. Until then, we’ll stay here and keep an eye out for any Shadow activity.”

    Katharine hesitated. “Wait…don’t you need to go back to the church?”

    “I’m not letting you stay outside of the church’s walls alone. It’s too dangerous.”

    Katharine sighed, gripping her sword’s hilt tighter.

    ------------

    “Keep your Pokemon out of their Poke Balls.”

    “But that’s illegal!”

    “Then stay in the room with them. If another Aquapolian attacks you, you can claim you released them for self-defense.”

    Katharine stared at the camerlengo as he started to leave the room the next morning. Under normal circumstances, he would have never encouraged her to break the law. Things had become most serious indeed. She took a Poke Ball out of her bag and released her Umbreon as soon as he was out of the door. The dark-type glanced around the room, startled not to be in Aquapolis. She glanced out of the window, making sure that her father crossed the street safely.

    ------------

    He didn’t know what to do as he headed back to the hotel that night. Everything seemed to be running as normal as it had been before the Shadow Forces arrived in Rome. The camerlengo’s thoughts were interrupted as his cell phone went off a few blocks before the hotel. He continued to walk as he answered it, casting a quick glance around to make sure that no Shadow Followers were following him.

    “Hello?”

    “Is this Father McKenna?”

    It had been a long time since someone had called him by his priestly name. “Yes, who is this?” He asked warily.

    “This is your contact from the Legendary Team. I’ll be landing in Rome in a few days. Don’t try to look for me. I’ll be wandering around the city as a tourist for a few more days to make sure that no one from the Shadow Forces in New York know what I’m up to.”

    “Okay…” The call disconnected, and he stared at it for a while before entering the hotel.

    ------------

    “You didn’t get his name?” Katharine asked, hugging her Umbreon close.

    “No. I assume it was for safety reasons. He said he was coming from New York, though.”

    “And I’d assume that was New York City…but it could be New York state…”

    “We need to keep an eye on any American-Aquapolian tourists that come through here over the next few days. He’ll be among them.”

    “Will he know how to spot us on the street?”

    “No, that’s what I’m worried about. He’s not going to introduce himself unless he’s dead sure that we are who we say we are.”
    “Then we’re just going to have to look out for him…”

    ------------

    The detective walked down the streets of Rome, keeping an eye on his surroundings while pretending to be an ordinary Aquapolian tourist. No one had approached him when he got off the airplane at Rome’s busiest airport, and no one had deliberately spoken to him in an antagonistic fashion…except for the man he had accidently hit with his duffel bag at the airport, who had sworn in Italian at the American-Aquapolian, whom he thought had been an American human. Foreigners tended to accept American-Aquapolians more than American humans…

    Now, he sat down at an outdoors café, scanning his surroundings to make sure that no one had deliberately followed him to the restaurant. He glance around at the café’s occupants, who were mostly Italians and Italian-Aquapolians, with a handful of tourists scattered about. The two Aquapolians who sat at a table a few feet away from him caught his eye. The young woman, who couldn’t have been a day over twenty, was obviously an Aquapolian from the home country, judging by her accent. The man she was speaking to, who seemed to be only a few years younger than the detective, was an Irish-Aquapolian. They were talking in English and quietly, but the detective could pick up both of their accents well. The Irish-Aquapolian man looked around to scan the area almost in the same fashion as the detective had before, revealing to the American-Aquapolian that the man was a Catholic priest.

    He strained to hear their conversation, intrigued by the priest. Most Aquapolians were Protestant, but most Irish-Aquapolians were Catholic…which wasn’t that unusual. However, most Aquapolian Catholic priests didn’t wear their pendants in plain sight around their necks, leading some to believe they were human. This man’s cross pendant was visible around his neck.

    The detective nodded to himself, ordering coffee from the waiter who had just appeared at his table. The two Aquapolians at the other table continued to talk. The young woman was addressing the priest as “Father,” which was not unusual…except for the looks she gave him when she spoke. Obviously, father had a double meaning in this situation. Priests didn’t have children…Thus, the detective had finally spotted his contacts.

    “Excuse me.”

    He looked up at the sound of the Italian words being spoken in a thick Irish accent. A tall, well-built Irish-Aquapolian man stood before him, glaring down at the detective, whom he had mistaken intentionally…or unintentionally…as an Italian-Aquapolian.

    The detective responded in English. “Can I help you?” He asked as he prepared for a fight. Telling from the way the man carried himself, this was obviously a Shadow Follower.

    “This is my table. I had a reservation set for it at this time,” the man replied, this time in thickly accented English. The detective put on his friendliest face, seeing through the Irish-Aquapolian’s act. This man was obviously here to check him out and make sure that he was scared enough to leave town. However, the detective hadn’t spent nearly a decade putting Shadow Followers in jail in New York to be scared away from Rome by a simple sentence or two.

    He stood up, keeping the smile on his face and glancing over at the table, where the two Aquapolians were now looking curiously over in his direction. Good. This would be an excellent time to introduce himself. He turned back to the Shadow Follower, making sure that the antagonistic man didn’t try to drag any humans that happened to be around into their dispute…such as the waiter, who was an Italian human and who, now, was approaching their table, disturbed by the argument.

    “Now, now…I didn’t steal your table. The waiter placed me here..and it’s hardly rush hour!” He good-naturedly motioned to the empty tables around him. “Of course, if your heart is set on this table…” He stepped close enough so that only the Shadow Follower could hear him, keeping a smile plastered on his face. “I’m not exactly going to leave Rome to appease you.”

    Obviously, this Shadow Follower had never been told to “fly under the radar” in whatever boot camp the Shadow Forces sponsored. In a few seconds, the detective found himself flying backwards, bringing the table crashing down on him and nearly ramming his head into the wrought-iron fence that surrounded the café. The spectators jumped to their feet, though no body rushed forward to help him. The two Aquapolians wisely stayed where they were. They had obviously gotten the hint that this man was dangerous and a Shadow Follower.

    The detective stumbled to his feet, staggering a little bit as two more Aquapolians stepped up beside the Irish-Aquapolian, all three glaring at him furiously. His smile widened. He had obviously disturbed the Beedrill’s nest. Better to let them think he was fleeing town than to let them beat him up in plain view of the public. The waiter was frozen nearby, too shocked to do anything and too scared to get into the middle of an Aquapolian brawl. The detective stepped over to him and paid him for his coffee, shoving more Euros into the man’s hands than needed, then backed up around the fence. The three Aquapolians followed him with his eyes as he passed by the table where the two Aquapolian bystanders sat. The daughter had turned around to see if he was okay, following him with her crystal blue eyes. Perfect.

    He nonchalantly slid a brochure out of his pocket as he continued to walk, making sure that a picture of the Coliseum was in plain sight as he passed by the table, nodding to the young woman and pretending to glance down at the map inside the brochure. He took another look back at the Shadow Followers and pretended to limp the rest of the way down the street.

    ------------

    “First of all, we need to make sure he’s not hurt,” Katharine muttered after making sure the three Shadow Followers were no longer in sight. It was quite bold for them to make a disturbance in public, but Rome had never had the problem with Shadow Followers as other major human population centers did. “Though I’m pretty sure he was faking being hurt…”

    They glanced up again. The three Shadow Followers were making their way down the street in the direction of the man’s travel. The Coliseum was in the opposite direction. By now, he would have made a u-turn down a deserted alley in order to make it to their meeting point. After the Shadow Followers were out of sight, they carefully stood up, paid the waiter, and casually made their way down the street to the Coliseum.

    While the structure was magnificent, Katharine had been inside older and bigger arenas in Aquapolis, some dating back to a millennia before the Roman structure. They finally found their contact, surrounded by tourists on the eastern end of the building. They moved so that no one from the street could see them talking before they finally spoke to the man.

    “Are you okay?” The camerlengo asked, glancing around to make sure that no Shadow Followers were on the outside of the structure. Neither of them had even thought of making the dangerous point to the man that this was actually the Shadow Forces’ home base. However, during the day, Shadow Followers never traveled around the building. There were just way too many tourists there.

    The man nodded, wincing as pain shot through his back. “It’ll probably bruise, but I’ve endured worse from the Shadow Forces’ finest! Trust me, they could have easily beat me senseless in public, and have tried to do so on more than one occasion.” Katharine frowned, wondering where in the world Shadow crime was so dangerous that ordinary Aquapolians were attacked so frequently.

    “Anyway, allow me to introduce myself. I’m your contact, Detective Zachary Nichols of the Major Case Squad’s Shadow Division in New York City. I chase after these guys for a living, actually…” He glanced around to make sure no Shadow Followers were observing him. Luckily, their paranoia turned out to be for nothing.

    “I’m Father Patrick McKenna, and this is my daughter, Katharine,” the camerlengo said. Katharine gave the detective a wary smile at the introduction, wondering how he hadn’t already been killed by following this line of work. Shadow police in Aquapolis had infamously short life spans.

    “David told me where you were staying. I managed to snag the room next door.” He glanced around once again. This was obviously a habit of his. One could never know when one would be attacked by a savage Shadow Follower who pushed you over café tables. “It might be a good idea for us to carry out the rest of this conversation there. We’re kind of standing outside of the lions’ den here.” Katharine tried to contain a small laugh at his joke, which the camerlengo didn’t find funny at all. Seeing that his attempt at humor had failed gloriously, Nichols continued. “You two should go ahead first, just in case we’re being followed from a distance. I’ll be along in about another half hour.”

    ----------

    “By our estimates, there are over a hundred Shadow Followers in Rome and over two hundred in the country altogether,” Nichols explained, glancing down into the well-lit street below them. Katharine held Pika closer, squeezing him in anxiety over the number of Shadow Followers they had to deal with. He let out a small squeak in protest.

    “We can’t fight all of them ourselves. If we try to make our way through their base to find out what they’re here for…the three of us wouldn’t make it out alive,” Katharine said, putting Pika on the floor. He scuttled off and jumped up onto the other bed where Umbreon was asleep. The cat and Pokemon curled up together, unaware of the serious conversation going on in the room.

    “That’s why we’ll have to wait until we get a chance to strike at the Shadow Commander. If we bring him out into the open…we can corner him and take him down.”

    “Hastings isn’t that careless,” the camerlengo pointed out, shaking his head. “And if he does come out into the open, he’ll bring down any human that happens to be around with him. He’s too powerful to deal with in a populated area.”

    “Then we’ll have to depend on an undercover mission by someone whom the Shadow Forces don’t know is coming to Rome,” Nichols said.

    “There’s another member of the Legendary Team still out there?” Katharine asked, wondering if this was the last member Rowan had spoken of at the beginning of his calls.

    “Just one more. My partner from Major Case should be here in a week…and I guarantee you, the Shadow Forces don’t know that she’s coming.”
     
  17. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Looks like reviews are going a bit slowly. I'll add another chapter onto your reading time, then. XD

    We're introducing several legendaries in this chapter! One of them will be a regular, don't worry.

    New character: Detective Serena Stevens from Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

    This chapter is to honor LOCI especially since the show is ending on Sunday night after ten years of awesome cases and criminals! You'll be sorely missed, but Nichols and Stevens will be in the story for a long time yet!


    16.



    The next few days were entirely too boring for Katharine’s taste. She was not allowed to go outside without being accompanied by either her father or Nichols. She had nothing to do on top of that. She couldn’t train her Pokemon in a human nation, after all. And, she couldn’t train herself in such a small room. She had packed nothing to read, and Nichols insisted on keeping the room’s tiny television tuned to the international news, rotating the channel only to the Aquapolian news channel every once in a while.

    At least she could see what was going on in Aquapolis. Life was moving along as usual. The Platinum Conference was well underway in Sinnoh, a conference she had attended just the year beforehand and won, Umbreon being her lead. Apparently, the Sunyshore gym leader had returned to his gym after another long spell away on Mt Coronet training himself and his Pokemon.

    A few days after Nichols had shown up in Rome, Katharine was sitting in front of the television, brushing out Pika’s fur as the Aquapolian news flashed on the screen. Nichols and the camerlengo had just returned from another check of the perimeter to make sure that no Shadow Followers were stalking around the hotel.

    “Oh, it’s the Hoenn news!” Nichols said, turning the volume up. “It’s always fun to hear what’s going on in the great region of Hoenn!” Katharine rolled her eyes at his joke. Hoenn was a wealthy region, but it couldn’t be described as “great.”

    “Another museum in Lilycove has been broken into today, with police questioning the staff over what appears to be another attack by Team Aqua…Nothing of value was stolen, but the thieves did vandalize many artifacts in the museum.”

    Katharine cringed at the look Nichols gave her as the report further launched into other criminal acts by major syndicates in Aquapolis. Katharine had had the reputation in Aquapolis of occasionally becoming involved with the syndicates, mostly to stop them from raiding another museum or completing a certain mission. Of course, any detective involved with Aquapolians at home or abroad would have heard of at least some of her escapades. She shook her head at the detective, glad her father’s attention was on the screen instead of on either of them. She wasn’t ready to divulge her adventures with him just yet.

    “We have a real problem with criminal syndicates in Aquapolis,” Nichols said, nodding to Katharine that he wasn’t going to misspeak. “None of them are as serious as the Shadow Forces, but they can do some damage to our artifacts…mostly by stealing them, which is actually a federal crime in Aquapolis.”

    “Do you think taking the six orbs out of that room underneath Saint Katharine’s was stealing them?” The camerlengo asked Katharine, who was surprised by the question.

    “I don’t think so…At least…We’re not going to do anything with them…”

    “Wait..hold on a minute,” Nichols said, turning to them with a confused look on his face. “You have the six orbs? Where are they?”

    “In one of the Swiss Guard’s safes,” the camerlengo replied.

    “That’s not a safe place for them at all.” Nichols shook his head. “We have to go and get them…” He thought about it for a few seconds. Each of us should go at different times and get two each…just in case anyone is following us.”

    “I could call ahead and tell them…”

    “No, you go first and tell them. There’s no guarentee that call won’t be intercepted by the Shadow Forces.”

    A few moments of silence filled the air as the three Aquapolians wondered what they were going to do next.

    ------------

    “Oh, I just love Riley’s inventions…”

    “You say they can intercept cell phone calls. What about these transcievers?”

    “Believe me, Riley’s built them in a way that nothing can pick up their frequencies except his own computer.”

    The camerlengo continued to walk down the street behind the Vatican, casually stepping into the Swiss Guard’s office. One of the Guards was standing at the front desk. He jumped up when the camerlengo came in. “Padre…”

    “Is the captain in?”

    The guard paused. “Yes, sir…”

    Without another word, the camerlengo stepped past the desk and into Richter’s office. The captain didn’t seem very pleased to see him there.

    “Is something wrong?” He asked in an irritated voice.

    “I need to retrieve the six orbs from the safe.”
    Richter almost looked smug as he spoke. “I have orders not to let you into that safe.” A triumphant glare flashed in his eyes. The camerlengo could hardly speak, he was so surprised by this news. Who in the world would order the captain to refuse access to him? There was only one person who had more authority in the church than he did…and it was unthinkable that he would refuse to aid them in stopping the Shadow Forces. Unless, of course, the church was completely closing its walls and acting as if there was not threat after all.

    Two completely different sides warred in his head for several moments. One voice told him to obey the pope and simply leave the Swiss Guard’s office, making sure to inform Nichols and Katharine to return to the hotel immediately. Another voice screamed at him that, if he walked away now, the church was doomed.

    Without another word, he turned away from the captain, striding to the back of the office where the safes were kept.

    “What are you doing?” Richter asked, astonished, as the camerlengo reached the safe where the six orbs were kept. “You can’t obey a holy order!”

    “We’ll all die if these orbs land in the Shadow Forces’ hands!” His voice came out more harsh than he had expected, but he was desperate. “We have no idea if they already are coming after the orbs or not!” He turned to the safe, stopping for a few moments.

    “You can’t open it without the code number, Father…” Richter said, reaching for the communicator on his belt. It beeped once before he spoke, “I need a few Guards down here…”

    “You’re going to arrest me?”

    “No, we’re simply going to stop you from making the wrong choice.”

    The camerlengo turned back to the safe, placing his hands on the keypad, which was completely vulnerable to psychic attacks. A few seconds later, the safe clicked open, the dials having turned by his own powers. The bag of orbs was still there. In a few moments, he grabbed it and turned to Richter, who was red with anger.

    “I’m sorry…but this has to be done.”

    With that, he teleported out onto the street in front of the offices, sprinting down the road as several guards gave chase.

    ------------

    “This isn’t good…”


    “What is it?” Katharine stopped short in front of an Italian restaurant, growing nervous at Nichol’s tone of voice.

    “I just got word from the camerlengo. We’ve got to get back to the hotel immediately.”

    “Okay…” She glanced around her, looking for any suspicious Aquapolians in the crowd. This time, her search was rewarded. It seemed as if two or three Aquapolian men had been following her down the street for a while. It was time to run. She stepped into the restaurant, praying that there was an exit out back.

    “Excuse me, ma’am?” The man at the front desk asked. Apparently, the restaurant was a really nice one.

    “I’m sorry…” Katharine muttered, stumbling over her Italian as she pushed her way to the back of the restaurant. Enraged waitresses and waiters shouted after her as she emerged into the alley, two Shadow Followers already in pursuit.

    An electric blast rocketed down the alley, slamming into the brick walls of the back of the restaurant. She could hear several muffled screams of surprise as the sound of the shock reached the ears of the people inside. She continued to run, dodging an Aeroblast from the second Shadow Follower, who was almost ready to pursue her by air.

    She suddenly hit a dead end that contained a few dumpsters. She jumped from the dumpsters to the roof of the building next door, hoping that the Followers were far enough behind that they didn’t know where she went.

    ------------

    “What’s going on?” The camerlengo’s voice rang over Nichol’s earpiece.

    “There’s a riot near a restaurant downtown. Several Shadow Followers went in, chasing after someone.”

    “My God…they must be after Katharine…”

    Nichols approached the restaurant, running into the alley behind it and spotting scorch marks that ran up and down the length of the back of the building. He called in the street name and number to the camerlengo before retracing his steps to the front of the building, hearing screams come from within. Several Shadow Followers had rounded up human patrons into the street. From the way they were circling them, it looked almost as if they planned to execute them on the spot.

    He was only one Aquapolian…He glanced around. There were no other Aquapolians in sight.

    ------------

    Katharine raced across the rooftop, screams from down below filling her ears. She didn’t dare look down at the street below her in case the Shadow Followers chasing her caught up and caused more property damage to the ancient buildings of Rome…and, of course, to her or innocent bystanders. Her feet somehow found every footrest on the edge of every roof gracefully, as if she were flying only a few inches off of the surface. A psychic blast rang through the air, slamming into a chimney nearby and almost completely destroying it. Without stopping, Katharine tried to sense where the attack had come from, surprised to find that the attacker was in the street…A cold chill ran through her. She now knew where the screams were coming from.

    The street full of humans being attacked and hunted down by the Shadow Followers.

    She could feel her instincts urging her to jump off of the building and into the street, but the feeling was different from times she had acted upon before. A cold chill ran through her. As her feet left the roof’s surface, the world swam around her until it completely faded to black.

    ------------

    As the only non-Shadow Follower Aquapolian at the scene, Nichols took it upon himself to try and stop the Followers from attacking the humans surrounding the restaurant. The nearest Follower, an older man with graying hair, was completely caught off guard when the Major Case detective slammed into him, causing him to slam into the nearest wall with enough force to nearly knock him unconscious. He recovered as Nichols ran at him again and spun a dangerous psychic blast in his direction. Instead of dodging, the detective threw up the fastest shield he could, wincing as it shattered on impact and allowed several cutting threads of psychic energy to slash his arms. He needed to make this a close combat fight so that the Follower couldn’t harm any bystanders with his psychic attacks.

    He expected the Follower to attack again, but, instead, the man froze and looked up at the rooftops above them. More Shadow Followers around them followed his example, pausing from their abuse of the restaurant customers to stand and gape in the same direction. Nichols slammed into the Follower again, taking advantage of his surprise and flooring him. The unconscious man slid to the ground, allowing the detective to turn his gaze in the direction of the others’.

    What he saw made his heart stop and chills run up his spine. Standing on the rooftops above the crowd’s head was a beast twice as large as a horse. It stood on all fours, with massive blue paws, a purple mane, and white diamonds and muzzle adorning its features. A diamond shaped horn protruded from the top of its head, arching behind its mane, while two white ribbons flowed on either side of its body. Wherever it stepped, ice crystals sprang up, freezing the rooftop underneath its feet. Its eyes swung to the Shadow Followers on the street. Nichols struggled to make out their color, than shook his head at his first impression. There was no way this best could have Aquapolian crystal blue eyes…unless…

    A roar shook the buildings around them to their foundations, causing several humans around them to scream in fright. The Shadow Followers were even more shocked than the humans standing around the restaurant. They knew exactly what this beast was. It roared again, tensing its muscles in preparation to jump. One Shadow Follower finally snapped out of his stupor to scream as the beast jumped to the ground, “It’s Suicune!!! The Crystal Beast has shown itself once again!”

    The instant Suicune’s paws touched the ground, huge ice crystals shot out of the ground, looping their way around the courtyard and running straight through the Shadow Followers in the crowd, spearing only those who wished death to the humans in the street. The humans who were left uninjured ran back into the restaurant as the ice path continued to rage down the cobblestones toward Nichols. Not knowing if the attack was targeting the Shadow Followers directly or any Aquapolians in the area, he turned and ran, only to realize after a few feet that the ice path was not targeting him. He stopped and turned, gaping as Suicine roared once again and raced off in the other direction, barreling down the street at high speeds.

    “The legendary of wind…” He muttered to himself in awe, gazing around at the frozen bodies of the Shadow Followers. Each and every one of them had been killed by the Crystal Beast. “Of course…” He continued to himself, stepping forward to one of the ice spears and shuddering at the knife-like edge it had left. “All legendaries were placed on Earth by God to protect the human race…”

    ------------

    “Sir! Sir! Commander Hastings!!!”

    He was awoken from his daze by one of the Shadow Followers under his direct command shouting at him. He growled to himself, thinking that the news this man brought better be good…for the sake of his life. Hastings had been going over in his mind the final preparations for the mission that had brought him to Rome in the first place. The final steps were only weeks away, and he needed to think everything through so as not to make any mistakes.

    “What is it?!” He snapped at the Shadow Follower, who cringed away from him for only a few seconds, deciding that the urgency of his news was more important than incurring the Commander’s wrath.

    “Several of our agents in the field have been killed, sir! They say it was the work of the Crystal Beast!”

    “Suicune?” Hastings rose from his seat, a curious smile overtaking his features. “What is it doing here in Rome?”

    “I’m not sure, Commander, but it seems to have killed an entire squad.”

    “Send some agents after it. Try to capture it before it leaves the city.”

    ------------

    The camerlengo rounded another corner, rushing down an alley a few streets away from the meeting point with Nichols and Katharine. He could hear heavy footsteps coming from the other end in his direction. He sped up, ready to attack any would-be Shadow Followers who were in his way.

    Instead, he skidded to a stop as the footprints ceased. A large, blue and purple beast stood before him, as elegant as it was deadly. He could hardly breathe as he took a few steps back from it. The beast simply ducked its head, as mild-mannered as a dog, and stared at the camerlengo. Its eyes were the same Aquapolian crystal blue as Katharine’s.

    After a few moments, he finally regained his post, and stared into its eyes. “Katharine?” He whispered. She was the only one on Earth with those colored eyes. The beast seemed to nod, then swung its head up as angry shouts filled the air behind it. A psychic blast slammed into the wall behind it, causing it to roar and push past the camerlengo, who ran after it. He was quickly outrun by the beast, who bolted off into the streets of Rome.

    He turned to face the Shadow Followers who chased after it. Several stopped to attack him, while one shouted, “Leave him! Follow the Crystal Beast!” They shoved past him, heading in the direction of the beast. The camerlengo stared after them.

    “Father!”

    He turned to see Nichols racing down the alley towards him, panting with exhaustion. “Did you see it?!” The detective exclaimed when he was in speaking distance, slowing to a stop. “Did you see the Crystal Beast?”

    “The what?”

    “Suicune! The legendary of wind!”

    The camerlengo looked once again in the direction Suicune had raced off in. “I’m pretty sure…that was Katharine.”
    “What?” Nichols gave him an incredulous look. “What are you talking about?”

    “There’s only one person in the world who has those colored eyes…even amongst the legendaries.”

    “Then we have to catch up to her…”

    ------------

    The next thing Katharine knew, she was walking along the alley behind their hotel, glancing around to make sure that no Shadow Followers had come after her before she slipped inside, pressing a button on her communicator. “Father? Detective Nichols?”

    The line crackled before she heard Nichols voice come over the airway. “Katharine? Where are you?”

    “At the hotel. I’m almost to our room. Where are you?”

    “The camerlengo and I are only a few blocks away. Stay there!”

    ------------

    “Breaking news out of Rome today where a sighting of the legendary of wind took place. The massive Crystal Beast ran through several of the city’s streets this afternoon, freezing a crowd of suspects that have all been identified as Shadow Followers. All of the victims perished from the attack. Researchers out of Ever Grande state that Suicune has not been seen anywhere around the globe in nearly two decades, which has prompted some scientists to believe that it had simply perished years ago. This new sighting brings hope to many that the legendary is still alive and still fighting to protect the innocent.”

    As the Aquapolian newsman continued with more details of the story, scenes of Suicune crashing through the street in front of the restaurant and freezing the Shadow Followers played on the screen. Nichols stood in front of the television, his arms crossed and his head shaking in disbelief. Katharine simply stared at the screen, unable to comprehend what had happened.

    “Way to lay low…” Nichols muttered, shooting an irritated glance at Katharine after the story ended.

    “Are you sure you don’t remember what happened after you jumped off of that roof?” The camerlengo asked her.

    She shook her head. “No, it’s like my mind went blank. All I remember is getting to the hotel a few minutes after.”
    “How is this possible…?” The camerlengo muttered. “I don’t remember reading this in the Book of the Chosen One.”

    “You’ve read the Book of the Chosen One?” Nichols asked, surprised. After the camerlengo nodded, the detective shook his head. “As the announcer said, Suicune hasn’t been spotted anywhere in the past two decades…” He glanced over at Katharine, squinting at her. “How old are you?”

    “Nineteen.”

    “Exactly. We can then conclude that Suicune has been…absorbed?...and you’re able to transform into the Crystal Beast.”

    “What about the other two legendary beasts?” The camerlengo asked.

    “Well…we can always find out…What was going through your mind when you transformed?”

    “Nothing. I was just thinking about jumping off of the roof.”

    “So it was accidental…You should try transforming willingly.”

    “Where is she going to do that?” The camerlengo asked.

    “Are there any parks around here?”

    “There are some near the outskirts of the city.”

    “Then we’re going to have to be careful. We should go tomorrow and see if you can transform into the legendary beasts at will.”

    ------------

    Hastings sat in his office, endlessly rewinding and watching the news video of Suicune’s attack. The Crystal Beast had disappeared without a trace, but he would soon catch up to the legendary creature.

    “Sir?”

    He swung around in his seat to face a woman dressed in traditional ninja gear. Her white hair had obviously been dyed, since she was not a day over thirty. Capture nets and Poke Balls hung from her belt and a sword was slung over her shoulder.

    “Capture the Crystal Beast.” He paused. “Actually…if you see any of the three legendary beasts, capture them and bring them to me. Not in a Poke Ball…mind you.” He turned back to the screen. “I have a feeling that they are Aquapolian in origin.”

    The woman sharply bowed without saying a word and silently left Hastings’ office. The Shadow Commander leaned closer to the television, his eyes scanning the paused face of the Crystal Beast.

    “Well, well, Katharine, dear. It seems as if you’ve discovered another ability…” He smiled, leaning back in his seat. Despite what one would expect, Hastings did not hate his brother or his niece. In fact, if either of them had decided to join him or step out of his way, he would have been elated. Unfortunately, they were both too stubborn to see that what he was doing was truly God’s work. Of course…Hastings was stubborn, too. It was a trait that ran in the family.

    “I think it’s time for more family bonding,” he muttered to himself, thinking over the intelligence he had gathered from the Vatican over the past few days. “He wouldn’t have gone too far from the church, now would he?”

    ------------

    “Does this seem secluded enough to you?” Nichols asked the camerlengo as they stepped out into the seemingly deserted park located on Rome’s eastern edge. No one was in sight and it was nearly sunset. They had found a clearing in the park that seemed to be secluded from the public eye. It was a perfect place to see if Katharine’s new ability was intentional or subconscious in nature.

    “It doesn’t seem as if anyone is around,” the camerlengo replied, glancing around them to make sure that the area was really clear.

    “Okay.” Nichols turned to Katharine, who was standing a few yards away from them. “Try transforming into Suicune first.”

    She nodded and closed her eyes, trying to visualize changing into the Crystal Beast. She could feel herself slipping into unconciousness as she transformed, but held herself still, enabling her to control her actions after she transformed. In mere seconds, Suicune stood in the clearing.

    “Okay, can you speak in English?” Nichols asked. She shook her head. “The legendaries are supposed to be able to speak in human languages, but…I guess concetions must be made in order for her to transform. Can you try transforming into the others?”

    She closed her eyes again, this time, imagining the Fire Beast, Entei. Seconds passed before the legendary appeared, towering over the two men who stood, amazed at the appearance of the creature. Seconds later, she transformed once again, this time taking the form of the Lightning Beast, Raikou.

    “So she really can transform into all of the Legendary Beasts…” Nichols muttered.

    A whistling sound filled the area seconds before a net flew out of the trees above Raikou, ensnaring her completely. An electric shock downed the legendary, causing her to sink to her knees. Nichols and the camerlengo rushed towards the net, but were pushed back by a Hyper Beam. A large blue and yellow landshark-like creature stood over them, its black eyes following their movements.

    “Garchomp! Keep them back!”

    Nichols turned to see a white-haired woman drop out of the trees near Raikou, who was by now transforming back into Katharine. “It’s illegal to release Pokemon from their Poke Balls in public!” He shouted at the woman.

    “That’s not going to stop me from capturing the Lightning Beast!” She snapped back, aiming a psychic blast at the detective. He dodged, throwing up a barrier to repel her attacks. Meanwhile, the Garchomp loomed over the camerlengo, who backed away, unsure of how to attack the huge dragon Pokemon.

    The ground crackled underneath the Garchomp and an ice pillar rose around it, encasing the Pokemon entirely. The camerlengo looked up to see Suicune desparately trying to free herself from the net, which the white-haired woman had now attached to what seemed to be a hover device. A well-aimed psychic blast slammed into the device, causing it to explode and knock the woman away.

    Nichols turned to the camerlengo. “Good shot.”

    The woman struggled to her feet, shifting into a fighting stance as Katharine finally worked her way out of the net, glaring at her opponent the entire time.

    “Janice, we meet again,” she said, shrugging the net off and standing before the hunter. “You’re not just content to poach Pokemon in Aquapolis, are you?” She glanced toward the Garchomp. “You’re also not just content to break more than one law while traveling, I see.”

    Janice smirked, remaining in her fighting stance. “My job is to bring back at least one of the beasts, and that’s what I’ll do.”

    “Not exactly…” Nichols said, holding up his cell phone.

    “Detective…now, we don’t need to rely on the police here, do we?” She sneered.

    “Well, I find the police very helpful when I’m trying to arrest someone in a country where I have no jurisdiction.”

    Sirens sounded in the distance, prompting Janice to back off. “Rest assured, Chosen One, I’ll capture you next time!” She spat as she recalled her Garchomp and raced off into the bushes.

    “Let’s get out of here,” Nichols said.

    “What? But the police…” The camerlengo started.

    “Do you really want to have to explain all this to the police?”

    “But…”

    “Let’s go!” They sprinted out of the park seconds before several squad cars pulled up on the main road.

    ------------

    “Hastings knows that you’re the one who killed all of those Shadow Followers,” the camerlengo said to Katharine after they had returned to the hotel.

    “They’ll be on the lookout for the three beasts, so don’t transform into any of them for a while,” Nichols said. “Plus, we might get some researchers from Aquapolis over here trying to find out why Suicune appeared in Rome.”

    “So, what do we do now?” Katharine asked, running her hands through Pika’s fur. A knock sounded on the door. All three Aquapolians jumped, not expecting anyone to be there. Nichols strode forward, looked through the hole, and opened the door to reveal a woman in her thirties with long, straight red hair and green eyes. She quickly stepped inside as Nichols shut the door behind her.

    “Stevens, this is Father Patrick McKenna and Katharine McKenna. Everyone, this is my partner, Serena Stevens,” Nichols introduced her. They nodded to each other.

    “I saw on the television that Suicune is in the area. What do you make of that?” Stevens asked, looking around at them. Katharine and Nichols smiled.

    “Well, it could be that its returning to kill Shadow Followers after two decades…or…” Nichols glanced over at Katharine. Stevens studied the young Aquapolian before a few seconds before a surprised look came over her face.

    “You’re the Chosen One,” she breathed.

    “And that’s classified information,” Nichols added.

    “Of course, but…”
     
  18. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Yeah, so, here's another chapter... Sheesh, things are starting to get toward the big climax of the story and still no reviews. Better ride this one out, then. :)


    17.



    “So the Shadow Forces know that we’re here?” Stevens asked, pacing the length of the room.

    “No. They know that the three of us are still in Rome…They don’t know that you’re here,” Nichols explained.

    “So, what are we going to do now?” Katharine asked.

    “We need to see what they’re up to…” Nichols muttered, gazing out of the window. “Since Stevens is the only one of us that the Shadow Forces doesn’t know is here…She should take a little undercover trip into the Colosseum.”

    “Alone?” The camerlengo asked. “If they find her down there, they’ll rip her apart for solely being there, not to mention that, if I’m correct in saying, the two of you hunt Shadow Followers in America.”

    “We do…but we believe the Shadow Followers that Hastings has brought here are mainly out of Europe and Aquapolis. No one will probably recognize a detective that they don’t know is in the country.”

    “If she’s going down there, one of us needs to go with her,” Katharine insisted.

    “Nichols can’t go. Apparently, all of the Shadow Followers in the city are after him after he pulled that stunt at the café,” Stevens mused. “And there is absolutely no way the Chosen One can come with me…” She focused her eyes on the camerlengo. “What type are you?”

    “Psychic.”

    “Do you know how to make yourself invisible?”

    “Yes…” He answered hesitantly.

    “How good are you at fighting?”

    “I’m learning, but…”

    “You won’t fight unless you have to,” she finished for him. “I understand. Just keep yourself invisible and follow after me at a safe distance and we should be fine.”

    “As long as we don’t run into Hastings while we’re there.”

    “Is he really as powerful as they say he is?” Stevens asked, genuinely curious. At the same time, she looked as if she didn’t want to know the answer to her own question. From all of the Shadow Followers they had interrogated in the Major Case Shadow Division, Stevens had gotten the feeling that the Commander was to not only be respected, but feared. He had a reputation for being both cruel and downright powerful. No law system had been able to bring him down anywhere on Earth. If she ran into him, Stevens reasoned, she would most likely have to quickly talk herself out of a death sentence.

    The camerlengo nodded, confirming her worse fears. Of course, they all knew that they had to be slightly wary of the Shadow Commander in order to do their jobs, but his rumored power made most of their heads spin. She glanced over at the priest to see his reaction to their discussion of Hastings. He didn’t seem to be the least surprised at what they spoke about the Shadow Commander. This made her suspicious.

    “Have you met the Shadow Commander before, Father?” She asked, slipping into detective mode. She hated not knowing everything that was going around her, which made her the perfect candidate for a detective. Her driving force was that she couldn’t stand leaving things a mystery.

    He nodded, hesitating before he spoke. “You can say we grew up together…He’s my brother…my twin brother.” His words surprised even Nichols, who knew nothing of this fact. The two detectives looked at each other, a silent conversation passing between the two of them about how the two brothers were obviously polar opposites. Imagine the Shadow Commander having a twin brother that was not only a priest, but in a high position in the very church he was trying to bring down.

    “Has he ever approached you to get you to work with him in the Shadow Forces?” Stevens pressed, fascinated by this extremely interesting fact. Nichols leaned closer, also interested in hearing the camerlengo’s answer. Katharine paused from petting Pika, waiting for her father to speak. As she had never met Hastings before a few weeks prior, she didn’t know what kind of relationship the two brothers had.

    “He did once years ago when he first joined the Shadow Forces, but…I refused…” The camerlengo gazed down at the ground as he spoke. He was hesitant to share information from their past, but if it helped them take down the Shadow Commander, it was worth it. “I don’t know if David told you this, but I’m a healer. I can be within a few feet of someone with an illness or injury, and they’ll start to heal instantly. Hastings, on the other hand, is a destroyer. His powers are unbelievably destructive in battle and most injuries he causes never heal.” He hesitated again, looking around at the three Aquapolians who were hung on his every word. Katharine had even let go of Pika unconsciously. The Himalayan tabby was now winding around Stevens’ legs.

    “Our parents were killed by a human terrorist bombing in Dublin when we were young. We parted ways when we were eighteen. Hastings to join the Shadow Forces, and I to join the church. Unfortunately, we got into a fight before we left and both injured the other beyond repair in some way. Mine was physical…a scar that even I can’t heal…” He shrugged off his coat, under which he wore a short sleeved black shirt. Running up and down his right arm was a huge scar that looked painful. Katharine jumped up from her seat. She had never seen it before. Putting his jacket back on, the camerlengo continued. “I’m not exactly sure what I changed about Hastings, just that I injured him mentally.”

    “As in he became the ruthless killing machine he is today?” Stevens asked.

    “He was already like that before our fight. He was born without a conscience…But, for some reason, halfway through our battle, he decided not to kill me, which was his original intent.”

    “Maybe your mark on him was to give him a conscience?” Nichols asked.

    “It could be.”

    “So, is he still not willing to kill you?” Stevens asked.

    “I think he believes somehow that I’ll still join his cause further down the line…which will never happen,” he said firmly, glancing at Katharine.

    Nichols followed his line of sight. “Of course not,” he muttered.

    “So when are we going to the Colosseum?” Stevens asked.

    “Why don’t we strike tomorrow?” Nichols said. Stevens and the camerlengo nodded.

    “What do you need me to do?” Katharine asked eagerly.

    “Stay out of harms way,” the camerlengo answered before Nichols could open his mouth.

    The detective sighed. “And you can help me cover the area to make sure they get out safely.”

    “Okay.”

    They stood in silence for a few moments, thinking over their plans in their heads.

    ------------

    “How does the area look?” Stevens asked. She and the camerlengo were only a street away from the Coloseum. Crowds of tourists had already clogged the streets at nine o’clock that summer morning. It was enough for them to force their way closer to the Coloseum along their route from the hotel.

    “It looks clear, just a bunch of tourists, both human and Aquapolian.” Nichols’ voice rang lound and clear over her earphone. He and Katharine were stationed a few streets away, making sure that no Shadow Followers were coming in the direction of the Colosseum. According to Nichols’ observations, most Shadow Followers entered and exited the base at night so as not to be easily spotted. During the day, there were simply too many tourists around the monument.

    A few yards before they reached the Colloseum, Stevens turned around to address the camerlengo, only to see that he wasn’t behind her. All she could see and hear were the bustling of the tourists that surrounded her. “I’m right behind you. Don’t turn around to speak to me.” The camerlengo’s voice came from the space a few feet in front of her. “Let’s go before someone accidently runs into me,” he said. The only downside to his being invisible was that Stevens couldn’t see where he was walking. Though he was supposed to be only a few feet behind her, when she entered the door hidden behind one of the Colloseum’s pillars, she ran into him. Both Aquapolians had tried to enter the doorway at the same time. She let it fall shut behind them before she spoke.

    “I don’t know if this is going to work,” she whispered as they descended into the dark depths underneath the Colloseum. Dim lights shone over their heads, spreading just enough illumination to ensure that neither of them slipped and broker their necks on the steps.

    “I’ll keep a few steps behind you unless someone comes into my space,” he whispered back. “Just don’t speak to me. If there’s a threat, I’ll be able to catch it at the same moment you do.” They finally entered a small hallway, Stevens leading the way into a passageway lined with glass. She marveled at the modern machinery she spied through the obviously newly built windows. Scientists scurried around a few yards beneath the level the two Aquapolians stood on, checking computers and running machines.

    Stevens stepped closer to the glass and pressed her face up against it, straining to see what the machines were for. Several different types of plants she identified as being indigenous to Aquapolis grew in mini-greenhouses throughout the room. Scientists were experimenting with different chemicals they extracted from the plants.

    “Something biological?” The camerlengo whispered. He stood only a few inches beside the detective. She scowled in his direction, not sure exactly where he was. “I know I said not to talk, but…it’s better for me to speak than for people to see you talking to yourself.”
    “Yeah, we don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy, do we?” She rolled her eyes and returned her gaze back to the room in front of them. “What are they up to?” She whispered to herself.

    “We’ve got to get out of here,” the camerlengo whispered furiously.

    “Wait…why?”

    “Hello there!” Stevens turned to see the Shadow Commander himself striding toward her down the passageway. Her breath caught in her throat as he drew closer. He glanced around the passageway before turning his cold eyes to her. “What’s your name, soldier?” Stevens regained her composure before answering.

    “Maylene Sailor, sir. I was just sent in from the Jhoto Headquarters.” He nodded.

    “Right…” The Commander stepped closer as Stevens struggled to keep her composure. “Tell me, Maylene, have you see anyone else in this passageway while you’ve been here?”

    “No, sir, I haven’t.”

    “Then you might want to step aside so that I…” The Commander didn’t finish his sentence before a psychic blast slammed into him, knocking him back a couple of feet. The camerlengo came back into view again, and, grabbing Stevens arm, practically dragged her out of the passageway.

    “What are you doing?” She demanded as they stepped back out into the street.

    “He was going to kill you.”

    “No, he was going to kill YOU.”

    “I know that look. He could tell you were lying.” Stevens wrested her arm from his grip and walked beside him at a brisk pace. They didn’t speak until they were several streets away.

    “Next time, give me some warning before you attack. You nearly hit me with that blast,” she complained.

    “I’m sorry. I had to act quickly in case he attacked you.”

    “Is he really that powerful?”

    “Let’s just say that if he knew you were an Aquapolian detective, he would have incinerated you.”


    The thought chilled Stevens to the bone so powerfully that she actually shivered in the warm heat of the summer sun. She had faced many a powerful Shadow Follower on the streets of New York City, had almost been stabbed several times and had suffered from an electric shock to the system by and electric-type who almost refused to be taken to prison alive. However, all of the rumors of the Shadow Commander had simply been stored in the back of her mind. As a detective in New York City, she doubted that the Commander would ever make it to America to come face to face with Major Case. Now that she had actually met him, she understood why he struck fear in the hearts of those who had never even met him. She believed it was part of the legend behind him combined with his intimidating presence and cold, dark eyes. If he hadn’t already proved to be a living, breathing Aquapolian, she would have thought she had run into a real demon in the Colloseum’s passageways.

    “We need to get back to the hotel as quickly as possible…” The camerlengo muttered, distracted by the sound of a phone ringing. The two Aquapolians glared at each other, wondering which of them had been stupid enough to leave their cell phone on during a deadly mission. A few seconds later, after the priest pulled a small blue phone from his pocket, the fool proved to be him. Stevens gave him an even more intense glare, to which he answered, “You could have easily passed it off as your own cell phone.” She rolled her eyes as he answered.

    The conversation was short, but proved to change their course of escape. “I have to make my way to the Vatican…” The camerlengo explained, turning around in the opposite direction to which they had been walking a few seconds before. “Go straight to the hotel and report everything to Nichols.” He looked up at the sky, surprised to see that the sun was nearly setting. He had expected it to be earlier in the day. Now, they would both be traveling in a more dangerous city than before. “We should get going,” he said before running off.

    Stevens only looked after him as the priest rounded another corner, shaking her head at their experience as she rushed on to the hotel, still shivering from her apparently close brush with incineration.

    ------------

    “We had a few spies come in today…” Hastings muttered, sitting back in his office chair and gazing across the room at Janice, who stood as stoic as a rock, her arms crossed and her mind sharp. “I know that you’re one of the best Pokemon hunters in Aquapolis, but I’m going to have to call you off of the search for the legendary beasts for the time being.”

    The hunter was repulsed by any strong show of emotion, but anger overtook her so quickly that she had to keep her voice in check while speaking to the Shadow Commander. “But, sir…who are you going to have catch the Crystal Beast now?” She tried to control her shaking arms, but the thought of being dropped from an assignment infuriated her.

    “We’re going to stop going after the Crystal Beast for now. The next step in our mission is about to take place.”

    ------------

    The camerlengo was on the lookout for any Shadow Follower that may have followed him from the Colloseum as he walked up the steps to the back of the Vatican. One of the Swiss Guards greeted him and escorted him to the Pope’s offices.

    “I’m sorry that I’m late…We had a run-in with Shadow Followers near the Colloseum,” he explained to the pope after entering his chambers.

    “There are still Shadow Followers roaming the streets?” The pope asked, surprised.

    “Yes, sir. We still don’t know what they’re up to here in Rome.”

    The pope paused before continuing. “Perhaps it’s time to call in the Italian Army…”

    “They won’t be able to stop them with guns. Aquapolians are immune to those weapons…”

    “The Shadow Forces must be brought down…Or, at least, we must curb their efforts to attack the church by offering them a deal.”

    The camerlengo couldn’t believe his ears. “A deal, sir?”

    “Yes…” The pope looked at him thoughtfully. “Who under the church’s protection is the biggest threat to the Shadow Forces.”

    The camerlengo could scarcly breathe as he answered, “The Chosen One.”

    ------------

    “I’m telling you, they’re creating some sort of biological weapon down there,” Stevens said, sitting in a chair inside the hotel room.

    “Amazing that they built a lab down there within only a few months…” Nichols muttered.

    “Who knows if they’ve been down there for years?” Katharine pointed out.

    “We need to go down there again, but with more fire power.”

    “Are you suggesting I go as the Crystal Beast?”

    “Perhaps, as long as we don’t run into that hunter anymore.”

    “What hunter?” Stevens asked.

    “Janice. You know, that famous Pokemon poacher from Sinnoh.”

    “She’s here in Rome?!”

    “Yeah, and apparently releasing her Pokemon all over the place. She nearly took the camerlengo and I out with her Garchomp.”

    Stevens shook her head. “Don’t you get the feeling sometimes that we’re up against impossible odds.”

    “If the Chosen One weren’t on our side, I would say we are. But, with her here, God’s on our side.”

    “Let’s hope that’s true. Otherwise…” She paused. “Who knows what Hastings is up to?”

    ------------

    “Are you suggesting that we trade Katharine for peace here in the Vatican?” The camerlengo asked.

    “We can’t afford to do that, however…” The pope nodded for the Swiss Guards to leave the room. Once they were gone, he continued. “It may be best for her to join the Shadow Forces for a time to ensure that she is not hunted here in the church.”

    “If she is handed over to the Shadow Forces, they’ll kill her, and the church will fall.”

    “Are you so certain she holds the power to protect this church until the end?”

    “She destroyed that demon who was here a few months ago. There’s no telling what she can do to the mortals in the Shadow Forces!” He was raising his voice, but he didn’t care. Something in him rushed to protect Katharine before the church, and he was mad at himself for even thinking such a thing.

    The pope stepped closer. “Then tell her to stop fighting the Shadow Forces for now, or she’ll be killed.” A chill came over the camerlengo as the pope continued, his words ominous. “You can take that as a threat if you would like, but with the two of us leading this church, the Shadow Forces’ reign is unstoppable.”

    “Are you suggesting we quit?”
    “No, I’m suggesting we help them.”

    An ominous silence filled the room. The camerlengo couldn’t believe his ears, until he sensed something odd about the aura in the room. He hadn’t been able to put his finger on it before, but now he knew…

    He was standing in the presence of a Shadow Follower. And, as only he and the pope were in the room, there was only one explanation for the aura. Backing a few paces away from the pope, he asked, “How long have you been a Shadow Follower?”

    He smiled. “As long as Cardinal Reed was, but I decided not to leave. Instead, join the church and see if I can serve the Shadow Commander in this way. Now…” He paused. “You can join me in leading the church without the necessity of destroying it. Or…the Shadow Commander can see to it personally that the Chosen One will not survive the week. Your choice, Patrick.”

    “There is no choice in this…” He muttered, backing up further to close the chamber door. “How could you betray us all like this?”

    “Seeing as how I’ve been a Shadow Follower for my entire life, I don’t see a betrayal at all. Now, your answer?”

    The camerlengo though through his answer for a few more minutes.

    “No.”

    ------------

    The light shining through the hotel window woke Katharine the following morning. She sat up in bed and stretched, knocking Pika off of the bed. She gasped and bent down to pick him up, whispering, “I’m so sorry..” She glanced over to the other bed where her father lay, dead asleep. She wondered what time he had gotten in the night before.

    A loud knock startled her and woke the camerlengo, who slowly sat up and turned toward the door. He sighed as Katharine stepped forward to open the door for Nichols, who burst in, holding his cell phone.

    “We’ve got to get to the Vatican…NOW.”

    ------------

    “I don’t see how this is possible…”

    The two detectives, Katharine, and the camerlengo stood in the pope’s chambers, surrounded by the Swiss Guard’s own personal forensics team, who were milling about, taking pictures of everything. The body had been taken out of the room, but anyone could have guessed that someone extremely important had died there the night before. Of course, the pope’s body had been removed from the room as soon as one of the Swiss Guards found him that morning.

    The four Aquapolians were too shocked to speak for a few moments, wondering how anyone could have gotten in and killed the pope without an alarm being raised.

    “Shadow Followers?” Nichols finally asked.

    “I can sense some Shadow energy in here…” Katharine said, her arms crossed as she paced the room.

    “Someone must have slipped in and out without the guards’ realizing…A ghost-type perhaps? Most can slip through glass.” Stevens motioned to the large windows. “Then whoever it was simply levitated to the ground outside.”

    “What do you think they’re planning to do?” Nichols asked.

    “It’s obvious, isn’t it? With the pope gone, they plan to have the place taken over before the end of the week…”

    While Nichols and Stevens traded theories as to how and why the pope was killed, Katharine stepped over to her father, who was still frozen in shock. “Are you okay?” She asked, placing a hand on his arm. He jumped slightly, startled by her sudden touch, then sighed.

    “If only I had stayed a while longer…I could have saved him.” He ducked his head, and Katharine tightened her grip on his arm, trying to comfort him through her touch. After a few minutes more, he pulled himself together, and a determined light shone in his emerald eyes. He turned to Nichols and Stevens, who were still surveying the crime scene. “I’m calling the Legendary Team back to Rome,” he announced. They turned around with surprised looks on their faces as he stepped out of the room, furiously dialing Riley’s number on his cell phone.

    “Can he do that?” Stevens asked, turning to Nichols with a curious look on her face.

    “Do what?”

    “Disregard the pope’s orders like that.”

    “At the moment of the pope’s death, he became the leader of the church again. He can retract any of the pope’s decrees that he wishes to.”

    “We’ve got to stop this,” Katharine said firmly, stepping up to speak to the two detectives. “Before anyone else gets hurt.”
    “The only question is how…” Nichols muttered, pacing the floor much like Katharine had minutes earlier. Stevens could tell that her partner was deep in thought as he moved back and forth across the floor, his boots making noise each time he turned to pace again. Katharine ducked her head and crossed her arms, thinking through as many of their options as she could. There was only one solution that she could think of, but she wasn’t going to speak of it again until the rest of the Legendary Team members arrived in Rome.

    Another pair of footsteps sounding on the chamber’s floor caught her attention, and she raised her gaze again to see her father walking toward them. He was still dazed by the shock he had received only half an hour earlier, but he seemed to be as deep in thought as the other three Aquapolians about their predicament. For a few seconds, Katharine wondered if he wasn’t able to convince the other Legendary Team members to return to Rome.

    “I called David, and he said that Riley will get the word out to the rest of the Legendary Team in a matter of an hour. David can be here tomorrow, while the rest of the team may take a few more days to get here,” the camerlengo said hurridly. Katharine breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently, the other members were dying to return to Rome and help fight the Shadow Forces, especially after such an important figure in the church had been killed.

    “IF they can get through security, that is.” The four Aquapolians turned to see Richter marching through the chamber toward their small group, an angry scowl on his face. “Must I remind you, Patrick, that, although we must take into account who died here last night, this is still a crime scene that I am in charge of.” He scowled at the two detectives even harder. “And the last time I checked, neither of you have security passes.”

    “We’re detectives from New York’s Major Case Shadow Division,” Nichols explained. “I’m Zach Nichols, and this is Serena Stevens.” The two detectives fished their badges out of their pockets. Incidentally, both of them also had trainer’s licenses attached to their badge case, indicating that they both were authorized to bring Pokemon on their patrols.

    “Then you both are WAY out of your jurisdiction,” Richter said. “And…” He turned to the camerlengo, his face darkening even more. From the look on her father’s face, however, Katharine could tell that he was getting mad. She had never seen him so angry before, even after the very often times she had been scolded as a child for being mischievous. He had never raised his voice to her, but now, as she saw Richter about to launch an argument at the camerlengo, she could tell that he was going to shout back.

    “I believe His Holiness issued a decree that no more Legendary Team members were to be allowed into the Vatican.” A slight smile crossed Richter’s face. He believed that he had won.


    “I’m repealing his decree!”

    “What?!” Richter stared at him, astonished.

    “Two popes have died within a few months, one of natural causes and the other by the Shadow Forces’ hand. It’s time that we stop the Shadow Forces now, and the only way to do so is have the Legendary Team here to help fight. As long as there is no acting pope, I WILL ensure that this church still stands, which includes using my position to repeal decrees.”

    Richter, still stunned by the camerlengo’s statement, nearly jumped out of his skin when one of his Swiss Guards called to tell him that there was a message back at his office. He glared at the priest once more before leaving. The three Aquapolians left with the camerlengo in the chamber turned to look at him in amazement. He didn’t notice the surprised looks on their faces before he stepped out of the chambers once again.

    ------------

    “WHAT?!” Langdon shouted over his cell phone. Everyone in the lecture hall turned to stare at him. Glancing around, he realized that he had shouted over the speaker he was supposed to be listening to. Hurridly, he stood up and exited the hall, hurrying down the steps to his office, where he quickly slammed the door shut. “Are you telling me that the pope is dead?!” He furiously whispered to Rowan, who was on the other side of the phone.

    “Yes. Apparently, the Shadow Forces got to him last night. All of us are to be back in Rome as soon as possible.”

    Langdon was already gathering up his things in his briefcase. “I’ll be there by tonight!” He shouted, rushing out the door and down the passageway.

    ------------

    House leaned forward in his desk, nearly falling backwards from the weight distribution he had put on it a few seconds beforehand. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said, putting down the phone.

    “What?” Asked a younger man sitting in a chair on the other side of his office. He had light brown hair and wore a lab coat, unlike House.

    “Looks like I’m taking another trip to the Vatican.”

    The doctor across the room rolled his eyes. “Really? This again?”
     
  19. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Chapter 15

    Well a lot happened there! Plot really has kicked off and developed, especially with the radicall mocements from the Vatican in it's attempts to disband the Legendary Team, but we all know that's probably not the last of them! I also love the introduction of Nichols. He seems really suited to both the Carmelengo and Katharines personality so good one there! :D also... POKEMON! They've appeared again and this is cool, I look forward to seeing how Pokemon may cope being in a 'human' environment instead of their usual one.

    Chapter 16

    Wow. You took what you started in Chapter 15 and seemed to amplify it all and really develop things so much further. I also loved Hasting's character development, I felt that was really good and deserved on his part and I feel like we should be congratulating you on how you did it because you were able to develop his personality in those small scense and also show his emotions and attitude towards family! Bravo! Also, again more Pokemon, yay! Go Katharine in her legenerdary beast forms, and I hope to see them again soon! Also was the hunter Hunter J by any chance????
     
  20. chosen_one386

    chosen_one386 Angel of Chaos

    Thank you, and you are correct! Janice is totally based off of Hunter J from the anime! :D

    Chapter 18 is about halfway done. We're getting into the final few chapters of Angels and Demons now, so hold on for more twists and turns!
     

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