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Operation GEAR: The Victory Star of Fate Retake

The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
Well, this was a project that was a long time coming, probably ever since I remade The Gardener of Gratitude a few years ago. I’ve wanted to revisit this story for a while, but it took a number of revisions and false starts before I had an idea that I was able to develop into a workable idea. I do now, though, and I’m excited to share it with you all.

A few notes before getting started. This is set just before the events of The Angel of Reckoning, and thus years after The Gardener of Gratitude, so if you want to read the three in chronological order, it goes The Gardener of Gratitude -> The Victory Star of Fate -> The Angel of Reckoning. As such, in order to maintain its place in the timeline, Fairy-type Pokémon and moves do not exist at the point where this story is set. Any Pokémon and moves that were changed to be Fairy-type in XY are their original types, and no Generation 6-and-up Fairy-type Pokémon or moves are in it.

As for content, it’s pretty much the usual you’ve come to expect from me. Swearing, scenes of elevated but non-graphic violence, darker themes than usual, that sort of thing.

I also want to thank my good friends Phoenix and Ren for their assistance in assembling this story. Their help was invaluable, and without it, there’s a good chance this remake would not exist.


There once was a thriving seaside city tucked in the southeastern corner of the Kanto region. Settled by travelers who had crossed the ocean from faraway lands, it swiftly grew into a prosperous community that got by through trade and the skills brought and passed down by those initial settlers. For many, many years, all was good.

But it was not to last.

That city was gone, consumed by the fire raining down upon it. Few buildings still stood, the vast majority having poisoned the air with the overwhelming smell of the wood they were built from burning. Most of the city’s residents had long since fled into the mountains, where they would be safe from the raid, but those most directly descended from the city’s original settlers remained, intending to fight back and protect their home.

The man hiding in one of the few buildings still standing wasn’t one of them.

To say his sailor garb hung on his gaunt frame would be an understatement. He hadn’t always been so sickly, either - the illness had come upon him fast and hard a few short weeks prior, and he’d been wasting away ever since. Only when the destruction started raining from above did he understand what the cause of his affliction truly was.

He didn’t have long to ponder his situation. A cannonball hit the roof of his refuge, catastrophically compromising its integrity as its brothers had done to the many felled buildings surrounding the structure. The sailor barely had an opportunity to escape outside before it crumbled behind him, and he stumbled, falling to the ground as a vicious, violent coughing fit overcame him. His singed, tattered coat slipped open, and a small, yellowish, rabbit-like creature tumbled out.

“Vic… Victini…” the sailor choked through the convulsions wracking his body.

The creature cautiously floated toward him, twitching both its long, pointy red ears and its two wing-like tails. It didn’t understand its friend’s illness on its own, but he’d impressed upon it how severe their shared reality was once he grasped it himself.

Suddenly, another man’s voice sliced through the chaos. “Aye, Samuel, ye bloody traitor! Come’n face yer fate like a man ’n give the captain back what’s hers!”

Samuel pulled Victini close and concealed himself beneath some rubble to the best of his ability. The voice he’d heard was familiar, all too familiar. It portended one dreadful, inescapable fact - their time was rapidly running out.

“Victini, l-listen to me…” he croaked, lowering his voice to barely above a whisper. “I can’t… I can’t protect you no more… you gotta run, get away from here…”

“Tini?” the diminutive Pokémon chirped, sadness filling its big, blue eyes.

“I know you don’t wanna, but you ain’t got no choice!” Samuel doubled over, his coughing intensifying. A different, foreign sensation then overcame him, and he snapped his head upward, his eyes briefly flashing a bright blue. He slowly turned back down and glared at his trembling hand, discovering a wispy, black aura radiating from himself. “It’s over, Victini… it’s all over. There ain’t no runnin’ for me no more… but you, you can live.” Grabbing Victini’s hand in his own, he impressed upon it, “No matter what, you can’t let the captain get her hands on you again! You know what she had us doin’ was wrong now! Go, just go… find Amélie, she can protect you. With her, you might even be able to stop the captain from totally wipin’ this place off the map…”

“Samuel, I can hear you!” the other voice called out. “I know yer here! Make it easy on yerself ’n maybe the captain won’t run you through!”

Abandoning all attempts to conceal himself, Samuel summoned the last of his strength and commanded Victini, “Run, now! It’s already too late for me! Save yourself! Go!!”

As much as Victini didn’t want to admit the truth, it knew everything its friend had said was right. It didn’t want to go, didn’t want to leave the man who had been its constant companion to his fate, whatever that fate would be. But it was also very well aware that Samuel was right about what would happen if it were to be recaptured by his fearsome captain. The terror she was capable of was unfolding all around it, and if she gained control of its powers once again, there would be no stopping her.

Resigning itself to the tragic reality of the situation, Victini voiced a sad farewell to Samuel before flying off, slipping away just as the other pirate pulled the rubble aside to reveal Samuel’s hiding place.


Operation GEAR: The Victory Star of Fate



“Oil. There’s a reason they call it ‘black gold.’ Such a precious resource deserves no less dignified a name.”

A tall, bearded man wearing a dark blue, four-buttoned coat stepped into the view of the camera recording him, its light casting a faint glow in the monocle covering his left eye. Curving, golden stripes were etched up his front from those buttons, matching the twin stripes wrapped around the cuffs of each of his sleeves. Behind him stood a similarly golden, illuminated statue of the same insignia that his captain’s hat bore - that of an anchor shaped into the image of a capital letter ‘E.’

“Civilization has used oil as we know it for hundreds of years, with cruder uses dating back thousands.” Chuckling to himself, he added, “Forgive me for the pun.”

Crossing his arms behind his back, the man walked away from the statue with the camera following. As he kept up speaking, he passed by a number of photographs on a black marble wall, some color, some monochrome and faded. “It helps us cook our food, it warms our homes. It lets us power our machines to drive our individual dreams into realization. When my father founded Everton International seventy-nine years ago, he did it with a dream of his own: to spread the precious prosperity oil brings to the entire world, especially those who could not reach it themselves. I picked that up when I inherited his position as president of this company, and it has always been my dream to push that mission even further. I take pride in the way the Everton Foundation has given a helping hand to the disadvantaged, and our scientists are always working on new concepts for spreading the dream of energy resources beyond our boundaries.”

The man stopped walking and turned to directly face the camera.

“That is the purpose of this address. Tomorrow, Everton International shall be hosting a press conference announcing our latest technology to enter development. Beginning tomorrow, Everton International shall change the world, because with Everton International, victory is written in the stars.”

His speech at an end, the man’s presence in the video was replaced by his company’s symbol. The video then shrank into a much smaller square over the right shoulder of a newscaster sitting on-set with a stack of papers in front of her. A chyron beneath the green-haired, suit-wearing woman identified her by her name, Midori Makise.

“That was a video release provided to us by Captain Liam Everton, president of Everton International,” she explained to the audiences watching from beyond the lens of her own studio’s cameras. “The press conference is scheduled to take place tomorrow afternoon in Everton International Park, near the Everton Building in Whitegold City, Kanto. Sources have informed us that besides Liam Everton himself, Matt Chiaki, the grandson of Professor Sutter Chiaki, will be speaking at the event. We will bring the conference to you live as it happens, followed by a panel discussion on whatever announcements Everton International makes.”


Despite being named the Everton Building, Everton International’s headquarters campus actually had two structures on it. Both were painted a silvery blue between the endless rows of windows lining all four of their sides. The shorter of the two was a squat, boxy shape, while the taller tower loomed over much of its surroundings like a pillar in an ancient temple.

The company’s executive boardroom, built with black marble walls and wood-grain fixtures, occupied space near the top of the skyscraper. That night, four men were there, with Midori’s broadcast on a large monitor mounted on the wall at the far end of the room. Three of them, all wearing nearly-identical black business suits, were seated at the conference table. The fourth - Everton himself - stood at the full-length window opposite the monitor, gazing down upon the city.

“We will bring the conference to you live as it happens, followed by a panel discussion on whatever announcements Everton International makes. And now, moving on to the continued investigation of Team Rocket’s appearance at the Indigo Plateau. Kanto crime kingpin Giovanni has been placed under house arrest for the time being, but his remaining followers…”

Seeing that their coverage was over, the oldest of the three men at the table switched it off and said to Everton, “There you go. They covered it just like you said they would.”

“Very good,” Everton replied, although he didn’t turn around. “What are the stocks looking like?”

“We’re looking at a two percent rise as soon as trading opens tomorrow, with the potential to go up further overnight. And that’s on top of the way it’s been going up all week.”

“Ah, Freddy, you treat me too well.” Chuckling to himself, Everton calmly swished the drink in the glass he held. It was a finely-aged alcohol from the Galar region, and he’d been saving it for a special occasion - just like the one they were on the precipice of. “Mr. Foster, the security situation?”

Of the two younger men at the table, Foster was stout in build and had red hair that matched his necktie. “I finished verifying all the press passes about an hour ago. And of course, I’m personally managing on-site security.”

“How about our guest?”

“I checked the flight records, Captain. Matt Chiaki is due to arrive in Whitegold City tomorrow morning, well in advance of the event, with three registered guests. Their names are filed as… Olivia Mistbloom, Bunny Spruce and Nekou Langley. Should I arrange for their transportation to the event?”

“No, that won’t be necessary,” Everton replied. “He’ll make it. This is his invention, after all. We just have to be ready for our role in tomorrow’s events. Mr. Baker, tell me something good.”

The third of Everton’s subordinates, Baker, was rail-thin with blue hair corresponding to his own tie, as well as a black eyepatch over his left eye. “Dr. Fennel is already positioned aboard the Nautilus One, and the Model A-PIx is ready for deployment at your order.”

“And the asset?”

“Oh, the asset…” Baker tapped some keys on the laptop sitting in front of him. “The asset is under our control, of that you can be sure. When the time comes, it will perform admirably.”

“Exactly what I wanted to hear. Once we deploy the asset, the queen will undoubtedly make her move… and that will leave the king wide open.” Everton put his free hand into his coat pocket and narrowed his eyes. “‘To treasures untold, constrained only by your dreams, the Victory Star shall light the way.’ Whitegold City, you have given us, given me, so much. Now is the time for your greatest treasure to show itself.”

Finally, Everton turned to his subordinates, though not without taking a swill from his drink first.

“Gentlemen, a toast,” he said, raising the glass up. “We are all about to make a lot of money.”