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Pokémon: Absolution (PG-15)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by SoulMuse, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. SoulMuse

    SoulMuse Shadow of nothing

    Pokémon: Absolution (PG-15)

    Pokémon: Absolution (PG-15)
    Warnings: Language, Violence, and depictions thereof


    Alright then, welcome. This is my latest foray into the realm of fanfiction, Pokémon Absolution. While I have read small mountains of fanfiction, I have only written a couple of one-shots, and those were generally in a very dark tone, (one of them literally disgusts me to read now). However, I have never tried to write something of this potential magnitude.

    I am looking for quite a bit of feedback on this story, especially my characterization, as several parts of the story will depend heavily on it. But that is enough of my yakking, on to the story.

    Chapter List:
    Chapter One

    PM List: (If needed)


    A single ray of sun was the only source of light, casting menacing shadows, and a thick murky darkness across the entire room. Few could even see in such conditions without night vision equipment, and even among those who didn’t need the technology, few would be foolish enough to be caught dead in that room.

    The average person didn’t even know this room existed, even the average government official didn’t know. Not even the above average one. Only ten people in the entire world knew this room existed, buried deep beneath Mt. Cornet, connected by a single nine foot square tunnel to the rest of the underground complex. Of those ten, eight were legally dead. Of the remaining two, one was a very high ranking government official, and the other, well no one talked about him. For President Theodore Ivanson, however, the fate of that man suddenly seemed very real.

    “Enter.” Air almost seemed to chill as the person spoke. Theodore gulped, and pushed the door open, stepping fully into the room. His eyes darted side to side, frantically searching for the speaker. However, as someone used to the bright light of the surface, the only thing President Theodore Ivanson saw was solid blackness, and a single ray of light shining in the corner. Even the area around where that dim ray of sunshine struck and stone walls was murky, and hard to view.

    “Where are you?” Theodore demanded of the speaker. A sinister chuckled filled the room, sending shivers down the presidents spine. He contemplated sprinting from the room, voiding his bowels, and curling up in ball and crying, and not in that order. The sinister chuckled came again and something brushed across the Presidents back, causing him to jump, and shriek in fear. He whipped around, and was greeted by the inky blackness of the underground tunnel. A feather light touch across the back of his neck had Theodore spinning around again.

    “Such bravery...what would you voters think Theo?” The voice came again, seemingly everywhere.

    “Show yourself you bastard!” He snarled, trying and failing to calm himself. The voice snickered.

    “Resorting to base insults, and vulgarity?” It teased; tone never changing from and icy monotone. “This is the scum they chose to lead them?” The scorn was palpable.

    “Shut the **** up!” Theodore spat, finally losing his cool. “I am the President you miserable piece of ****! You follow my orders!” Sinister chuckling filled the room once more.

    “Is that what they told you, Theo...” The voice sounded almost pitying. “You don’t get it do you?” The voice taunted, and Theodore swore he heard the sound of a chair scraping and the footsteps. “This is our domain. The moment you stepped into this place, you might still have authority over the lower ones...but in the end, here...you have no authority beyond what is given to you...” Theodore spun about, searching desperately for the footsteps he swore he heard. Slowly he began to edge his way towards the door.

    “I-I-I thought,” He began.

    A truly malevolent cackle filled the room, and Theodore shrunk in on himself, trying to escape the icy chill that threatened to suck the life straight from his limbs. The footsteps were growing louder in his ears, and he stumbled back, suddenly painfully aware the door was shut behind him. The cool steel seemed to sap the strength from him even faster than the frigid air did, even through his thick military clothing.

    “Ah yes, you thought...but not for yourself.” The voice rasped, and Theodore swore he could feel the icy breath on his cheek. Something brushed across his legs, then his stomach several times. Something cold blew across his check; at the same moment his knees gave way.

    Theodore slid to the floor curling almost instinctively into a ball. The footsteps were louder now, seemingly circling him, just outside his sight. He was suddenly struck by the fact that if he died here, no one would know a thing.

    A foot poked him in the side, and Theodore screamed, high and piercing. A snarl of rage filled the chamber, and Theodore was kicked in the knee. The crunch of bones turning to dust filled the room, followed a moment later by a second scream, higher pitched than the first.

    “So much for leading by example.” The voice mocked, seemingly everywhere. The footsteps drew near again, and something cold touched the back of Theodore’s neck.

    “Please! I have a family, children!” Theodore begged, knowing full well what was pressed against him. “I’m sorry for whatever I did, just please, don’t kill me!” He whimpered. The laughter was mocking and cold now.

    “Can’t even plead for your life with originality? You really are scum, the lowest of the low.” The gun pressed harder into his flesh now. Theodore closed his eyes, trying to staunch the tears that flowed from them. He knew his life was about to end, and end in a truly ignoble way. Lying on the floor of a top secret underground complex, in a top secret room that very few people even knew existed, and being shot in the head was not the way he had wanted to die. He offered a quick prayer for forgiveness, before clenching his eyes shut and waiting for it all to end.

    “Enough.” This voice was different, just as unfeeling as the others, yet it cut through the air like a whip crack. “This sort of display is beneath us.” The words were harsh, biting, and abruptly, the cold steel left his neck. Theodore scrambled back, biting back screams of pain as he put pressure on his shattered knee cap, until his back rested against the door. He didn’t know who this new speaker was, or why they had saved him, but at this point, the President could care less.

    “Speak you piece, mundane President.” The new voice ordered. Theodore nodded shakily, and pulled a folder from the pocket of his coat, before dropping it to the floor.

    “All the information is in there, we just want it dealt with!” He said shakily. Behind him, the door opened, spilling him onto his back. “I, uh, I’ll leave you to that then.” And, as fast as he could, Theodore Ivanson fled that murky black room, illuminated by a single beam of sunlight, deep under the mountain, that only ten people knew existed. And as he did, he swore he would never go back.


    Bursting onto the surface, Theodore Ivanson hobbled as quickly as he could to the waiting helicopter. Two soldiers helped him into the flying machine, which took off instantly. Neither one of the black clad men commented on his leg. Theodore just groaned.

    The helicopter rose silently into the air, filling the cabin with the dull hum of the engine. Beyond that, nothing would have told Theodore they were flying, beyond the slowly changing view out the window. Slowly he lowered himself onto eh bench on the back of the cabin, swearing quietly every time he put pressure on his right knee.

    “Give me some good news.” He told one of the soldiers in the helicopter. The man grimaced, drawing attention to a scar that ran across the bridge of his nose.

    “We aren’t dead sir. That is the best news I can give you.” The soldier replied grimly. “HQ says Hoenn dropped off the radar just moment ago, and Johto stopped answering radio not long after you entered that place.”

    Theodore indulged in a few choice words to describe the situation. “So what is the worse news?” He demanded, wincing as his leg throbbed in pain. There had to be worse news, after all, Hoenn had been on the verge of collapse for weeks, and Johto...well, who knew what had happened to them.

    “That you will have to wait until we get back to HQ for sir.” The man replied. “I was told the General’s would brief you on what had happened in the last three hours.” Theodore paled, his skin bypassing pale, and leaping straight to ghastly. He knew the situation was rapidly falling apart, hell life as he knew it was coming apart at the seams. But three hours required their own briefing? “We should be back at HQ in about forty minutes sir, I suggest you rest, and let Higgins look at that leg.” Theodore nodded absently, still too caught up in his thoughts.

    Higgins moved over to examine his knee, whistling in quiet amazement. Theodore closed his eyes, hoping for a few minutes of sleep. He could feel Higgins cutting off his pant leg to try and see his knee, just before he drifted off into nothing.

    “I am telling you, whatever smashed that knee, it wasn’t human.” Higgins was whispering to the other soldier. “His bones were literally dust, nothing normal can do that.” Higgins paused. “What even lives under that mountain anyways?”

    “I don’t know!” The other soldier snapped, keeping his voice down. “You’ve been here longer than I have! Whatever it is, the President and Generals are scared witless of it.”

    “Alright you two, wake up the Boss. We are thirty seconds from landing, so standby.” The pilot’s voice was scratchy over the intercom. Higgins sighed.

    “I’m awake.” Theodore groaned. Both soldiers turned away, obviously trying to hide the fact they had been staring at him. Higgins cleared his throat.

    “I did what I could for that knee sir, but you still are going to need surgery. I braced that leg for now, so be careful with it, alright sir?” Theodore nodded absently. He could tell Higgins was sugarcoating things massively; the medic had been part of the President’s escort for almost two years now, so Theodore knew a thing or two about how he worked. He also didn’t point this out to Higgins, knowing if he did; the brown haired medic would give him the flat, unaltered truth, and that truth was something Theodore just wasn’t ready for.

    The engines roared as the pilot entered the airspace surrounding the landing pad. Both soldier turned and slid back the doors on either side of the helicopter, before sweeping their rifles back and forth to watch for threats. The final twenty seconds or so of every helicopter trip were always tense; ever more so when you added in the possibility of flying Pokémon, psychically guided missiles, bullets, and then friendly fire. This time however, it seemed all was quiet as the helicopter dropped down, swooping toward the landing pad in a manner most pilots would have deemed suicidal.

    Out the open door, Theodore could see the Pokémon League building rising out of the mists as the aircraft descended, scattering the clouds that formed high on the mountain peaks. As the pilot guided the aircraft to the landing pad, Theodore sighed, hoping the Generals had good news for a change.

    Theodore slowly rose, and limped out of the helicopter to meet the ten heavily armed soldiers who swept from the building to provide his escort. Higgins and the new guy fell in with them easily, having performed the maneuver many times in the past three days. As sooner as they had taken up positions, Theodore set off towards the command center. He hated the need for the guards, feeling they made him look weak in the eyes of the people, however the General’s insisted. Today however, Theodore was glad for them, as even the short walk down the whitewashed halls felt like an eternity, and by the time he reached the command center, Theodore’s leg was pounding, forcing him to lean on one of the guard to remain upright.

    “Ah, Mr. President.” The grim face of General Allen Reaves greeted Theodore as he stepped into the room. Almost seventy people of varying military rank scurried about, marking things on a large map, while the high ranking officers simple stared with defeated expressions at said map. Theodore limped into the room, leaning against the massive electronic representation of the world, trying to will his shattered knee back together, and the situation to fix itself.

    “What happened?” He half asked, already knowing the answer. When Theodore had left four hours prior, various sections of the map before him had various colors covering them. Johto/Kanto was awash with blue and black, Hoenn resembling a mutant bumblebee, in black and yellow. Unova was grey and black, and several other smaller regions had their own colors. Sinnoh has been mostly alight in red, with a few isolated pockets of black, each very small. Now, however, the map was covered in black. Kanto/Johto, Hoenn, Unova, and every smaller region were engulfed by the blackness. Sinnoh was relatively untouched by the black thus far, but the discerning eye could guess that would be changing soon.

    “We don’t know.” Reaves said softly. “It started just after you left, and **** finished hitting the fan about ten minutes ago.” Theodore gulped.

    “Survivors?” He asked, almost afraid to know. This time, Reaves looked a bit more upbeat.

    “There were survivors from each region...” Reaves said with a nod, “They contacted us a few minutes ago asking if we could take them in.” Theodore didn’t hesitate.

    “And you told them we would.” He replied instantly. The General paused before speaking.

    “I told them I thought there would be no troubles, but that I would confirm that with you sir.” He replied carefully. Theodore snorted to himself, thinking, not for the first time that the General should have gone into politics. “Mathews, relay that confirmation to the survivors.”

    “Yes sir!” Mathews was a skinny kid, probably no older than twenty. He bounded over to a monitor, typing with a surety build from long practice. The screen came to life, casting his face is a strange light. “Sir...there is a message here, for the President.” Mathews looked up from the screen, frowning deeply.

    “Read it.” Theodore ordered flippantly, not thinking the situation could get any worse. The man nodded turning and reading the single line of text.

    “Fend for yourselves, we aren’t helping.” The officer looked up in confusion. “Do you know what the means sir?” Theodore didn’t answer, staring straight ahead.

    It was over. The entire command staff of the Sinnoh Military looked on as their President paled, seeming to slump over in defeat. Slowly, almost with a resigned look on his face, he turned and limped from the room.


    Three hours later, Sinnoh President Theodore Ivanson committed suicide in his office.

    --**--**-- Three hundred years later --**--**--

    The wind howled, slamming into the dark unforgiving sides of Mt. Cornet, carrying howls, snarls, and all manner of inhumane noises, born for an unknown distance. The mountain itself however, was silent, bearing the relentless abuse of nature with unflinching ease, just as it had for generations.

    In the remains of Celestic Town, and Eterna City, families knelt together in prayer, begging for protection from what lurked beyond the borders of their towns, outside of their triple locked doors.
    And unknown to them, every night those prayers were answered. Had they looked out their windows, truly looked, they would have seen the shadows seemingly blur with movement, or literally fade from existence.

    However, inside the mountain, few even paid the howling winds a second thought, never mind the walking shadows, having long since become accustomed to the unearthly screams. After all, when you have heard the world scream for mercy for all your life, why would you start listening now?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
    Cometstarlight likes this.
  2. TheBlackDuelist

    TheBlackDuelist Well-Known Member

    Yo I`m here from the review game, so without further ado let`s get down to it.

    This sentence has comma`s all over the place. When I read this, the only comma that should be placed is right after however, so you need to remove the one before Ivanson.

    I feel as if this sentence could be written better. Like, removing the comma the and between gulped and pushed and instead replacing it with "Theodore gulped, pushing the door open as he stepped inside"

    The underlined needs to be changed to your. Also, I see this mistake happen alot in stories where the author is trying to convey the feeling of a dramatic pause. Let me advise you, just remove the periods and try to describe the pause after the quote. so instead of that I would put "Such bravery, what would your voters think Theo? he said, pausing in between his sentence". I don't know maybe something like that, but it's just bad format to have periods where they're not supposed to be.

    That comma should be removed.

    Yea this sentence sounds really weird. Using the "tone" twice just sounds awkward and should be reorganised.

    Hm, now I have no problems against cursing in a fan fiction, I think it shows how angry a character is, but you might have gone about doing it the wrong way. Maybe you should try and use more impactful words to convey how angry Theodore was. Something like "Shut the **** up!" Theodore yelled, clenching his teeth in anger.

    Right after I read that sentence, the flow was destroyed. The sinister laugh should have been included in the next paragraph, as one paragraph should always be dedicated towards one topic. Move it to the start of your next one.

    Almost pitying? Meh, that just doesn't right. Maybe change that to like "the voice spoke, sounding as if he pitied the young man."

    You need to be clear on how is speaking at the moment. It might be obvious to you, or some of your readers but you should really try and state who is currently speaking at the moment. Starting a new sentence off with this makes it confusing to know exactly who is talking.

    Again, weird sentence structure, it sounds very off and awkward to read.

    Those dots.....

    That semi colon is not needed.

    The whole "only ten people" thing becomes a bit repetitive here. I mean, we were told of it in the beginning, so why do we need to be told of it again? Unless you have some sort of secret plot that involves those ten certain people, I feel it is unnecessary to keep in the sentence.

    That "eh" needs to be changed to "the".

    Now, the dots i mentioned before can be used in different exceptions when your actually describing something instead of when someone is talking.

    Ok, so that was quite something to read. I was actually surprised at the ending on how Theodore committed suicide after hearing that they were pretty much boned. I was quite confused at first in the beginning, I wanted to know what was going on and when I put two and two together, it became apparent. I don't know the general direction of where this fiction is headed, but if you can add in more shockers like at how you did at the end, I'm sure that alot of people will love it.

  3. SoulMuse

    SoulMuse Shadow of nothing

    Chapter One

    Just like every other day, I was awakened by the shrill ringing of my alarm clock. I groaned, rolling over and half heartedly glaring at the mechanical device. I would have thrown it, but in a rare moment of both brilliance and stupidity, I had placed the offending item across the room for the purpose of preventing that very action. I considered throwing a Pokéball at it, but I wasn’t that confident in my throwing arm, and it wasn’t like I was going fall back asleep anyway.

    Throwing the covers back, I pushed myself upright, shivering as the air hit my skin, wishing that we were given warmer clothing to sleep in. Even during the summer, the air inside the mountain never got above about sixty five degrees, and in winter that was the high, if we were lucky. Of course, the jumpsuits that everyone wore were insulated just fine, but sleeping cloths weren’t, which had led to many of my friends sleeping in their jumpsuits, something I found horribly uncomfortable.

    Putting my musing about temperature and clothing aside, I stood up, wincing as my joints popped, before grabbing a clean jumpsuit from a chair. Slate grey, with a few elements in silver, they looked incredibly dull, but when something is designed for functionality, appearance usually goes by the wayside. Much like the tunnels and caves we lived in.

    My room, like much of the rest of the extensive tunnel and cave network was paneled with featureless metal which extended, in this case, to the rocky ceiling roughly ten feet overhead. In other places that metal would go up twelve feet and stop, as the cave would extend much father up. Unassuming grey, and dull, the wall seemed to suck the life out of everything, creating a drab and listless atmosphere that permeated the entirety of the world around us.

    I finished pulling on my jumpsuit, and turned to the computer sitting at the end of my bed. Logging in was a simple matter, and in seconds I was staring a list of the Pokémon I owned. While I didn’t have three hundred, like some of the oldest Trainers did, I was quite content with my thirty-two Pokémon, which I knew for a fact to be more than anyone in my age bracket. I selected six, and the machine beeped a few times before six red orbs rolled out of a slot positioned just below my right knee. I grabbed them, slotting each one into the correct spot on the belt of my jumpsuit.

    A knock interrupted my attempt to decide what to do next. I groaned, wondering just what my friends wanted now. The knock came again, and I stood, resigning myself to whatever fate had planned for me.

    Two steps were needed to cover the distance between my computer and the door, and I opened the metal portal, expecting a boisterous greeting.

    To my surprise, none of my friends greeted me. Instead, a single, harried looked man, probably a full thirty years older than me was standing there. The beige jumpsuit made it obvious that he wasn’t from Central, instead indicating he was probably from Upper. Boredly, he extended his hand, which held an unassuming envelope. I took it, and without a backwards glance, he turned and strode down the empty corridor. I blinked, unsure what to make of that, and still holding the letter I decided to go find something to eat.

    However, when I turned the letter over, I was surprised to find the government’s seal on the back. Deciding breakfast could wait at least long enough to open the letter; I stepped back into my room, and tore the envelope apart.

    Inside was a single sheet of paper, folded neatly. I unfolded it, and quickly scanned the contents of the letter in question.

    Brooke Wagner

    Please report to conference room A17 in Northern Upper by 1300 today.

    Vice President of the Mt. Cornet Colony
    Winston Abrams.

    I wasn’t sure what to make of that. While as a Trainer I was slightly above average, I hadn’t done anything else that could possibly clue me into why Government would want to see me. Still, a request was a request, and I would see what they wanted, since doing anything else wouldn’t end well for me, especially since I was a Trainer.

    I glanced at my clock. I had an hour and a half to get to the meeting, but I knew that getting anywhere is Upper was hard, and since I didn’t know where I was going, I would need all the time I could get.


    Moving down the halls of Northern Upper was a never an easy thing. Of the seven thousand people who lived in the sector, probably eighty percent were traveling through the hallways at any given point. To make matters worse, the halls were tiny, and not designed for this many people, especially as I neared the government offices.

    Even my vaunted and sometimes feared status as a Trainer didn’t help all that much, although it did clear pathways when I was spotted. It was both unnerving and gratifying to see the eyes of the populace of Northern Upper widen as a I approached, watching their eyes take in my grey jumpsuit, the silver lines running down my arms and finally the red orbs hanging from my belt. Almost immediately people scampered out of my path, most eyeing me fearfully.

    Finally reaching the door of Conference Room A17, I paused, taking a moment to compose myself. I had no clue what was coming, but I knew that it probably wouldn’t bode well for me as a Trainer. These sorts of things never did, or so I was told. On day I would have to figure out why that was.

    Pushing open the door revealed a fairly bland conference room, which oddly enough, reminded me of classrooms. The walls were the same whitewashed color, made of the same prefabricated sheets of metal. Dangling a few feet overhead, bathing the room in uneven light, were five pods which passed for lights. As opposed to desks, the room was filled with a single, massive table, around which almost thirty people were seated. I recognized several scientists, the Vice President, a number of soldiers, and a few other people of importance.

    What struck me as more important, however, was that while that I could see someone from just about every possible faction in that room, and they weren’t killing each other.

    “Ah, good, that makes everyone.” The Vice President began, motioning for me to sit. I took the only empty chair, which was between a short stocky soldier in body armor, and an absolutely terrified looking girl, colors of her jumpsuit. Several people around the room glared at me, mostly Soldiers, who were well known for their dislike of Trainers, but at least one of the Farmers was trying to glare me to death as well.

    “And I don’t suppose you are going to tell us why we are all here?” A gruff voice spoke up. “And why there are two little girls here?” I narrowed my eyes at the speaker. He was a scientist, his jumpsuit indicated that much, with short jet black hair, which seemed to literally swallow light. Sunken eyes are bleached white skin made him look like some kind of vampire, and given that he was a scientist, it wouldn’t have surprised me.

    The Vice President sighed, running his hand through his rapidly graying hair. “Because, Avis, if we are going to follow through with this, we are going to need Trainers, and they are the only ones we can spare.” The VP sounded like this argument had been hashed out a thousand times before, and the scientist, obviously named Avis, leaned back in his seat and scowled.

    “So what exactly is this mysterious this that has Command in a titter?” The soldier next to me asked. At this, everyone looked interested. I had to admit to being curious as to what would require the resources of every single possible faction in the mountain. Just getting Scientists and the Trainers to work together was next to impossible on the best of days, or when we both wanted the same thing. If that wasn’t the case? Good luck, give up while you are ahead on the whole getting us to work together thing.

    “Right, I believe everyone here is aware of the space issues were ware currently facing?” The Vice President began. I kept my face blank, showing no reaction, just like I had been taught, but inwardly I was confused. I knew for sure that there was plenty of living space in Central, yet it seemed the Vice President wasn’t aware. A quick glance around the room showed three different reactions. Soldiers seemed confused, Scientists looked almost smug, and the Farmers just didn’t seem to care.

    “For Shadow’s sake, why are we really here?” One of the Soldiers exploded. I blinked, trying to keep from showing any other reactions. One of the Scientists sneered.

    “I see you really are as dumb as you look Major. The esteemed Vice President just told you why we are here.”

    “Oh, I see.” The soldiers tone was suddenly much more guarded, and seemed to gain a hard edge. “Carry on then.” Abruptly, he locked eyes with me, for just a second, but that look seemed to convey a sort of caution. I suddenly had the feeling there was more to this meeting than met the eye.

    “As I was saying.” The Vice President started again, eyes drifting over each of us, “We are finally beginning to reach the limits of the space the mountain can provide. Our best estimates are that we have maybe seven years before we have exhausted the free space available to us.” I caught a quick sidelong look at one of the Scientists, who offered a discrete nod at the factoid. “Celestic Town and Eterna City are of course not able to be converted into living space, and the Spear Pillar and area around it are needed for other things, and are thus unviable.”

    “Well, then tell your damn soldiers to clear us more bloody land!” Someone to my left snapped angrily. “Have them earn their keep around here.” A man wearing the stained jumpsuit of Farming glared at the Vice President.

    “I’d like to see you clear one of those fields and keep it clean!” One of the Soldiers snapped back. The Farmer sneered.

    “That isn’t my problem, now is it? The fact you can’t keep a few plants at bay?” He taunted. “I thought you lot were the ones trained to kill around here?”

    The meeting devolved from there, as the Soldiers blamed the Scientists, who blamed the Government, who was also being blamed by the Farmers.

    I watched the room for a moment, amazed at just how silly some of the arguments were. One Soldier literally was doing nothing but trading insults about hair styles with a Farmer. I couldn’t believe that these were the people who were in charge of the colony. None of the arguing men and women noticed me and the other Trainer girl however, and after almost five minutes, I decided that I wanted to know why I was here more than I wanted to leave.

    I reached down to my belt, and pulled off a Pokéball. Before throwing the small sphere, I took a moment to mentally measure up the room, making sure I had room for what I was about to do.

    I flicked my wrist, sending the ball spiraling towards the ceiling. With a thunderous roar, and a flash of light, a dragon appeared. And broke the table. In an instant the entire room went silent as they took in the four foot tall, ten foot long dragon, which promptly roared a thunderous challenge to everyone in the area. Needless to say, everyone shut up.

    “Now,” I spat angrily, “What are we going to do about this problem?” Everyone was still staring at Salamence in muted shock. I flicked my wrist, recalling the dragon. Everyone turned to stare at me. “Well?” I demanded.

    The whole room was silent for almost a full thirty seconds. Even considering that few people outside of the Trainer Federation ever saw a Pokémon, it was surprising; I would have expected that the people assembled by our government to deal with a supposed lack of space would have seen a Pokémon before.

    “Um...right...” The Vice President muttered, staring at the shattered table. “The bottom line is that we are running out of space, and clearing out the fields around what space we have outside the city might be possible later on, Shadows willing, but at present it just can’t be done.”

    One of the Scientists took over, “With this in mind, we need to find a way to expand outwards, or more space we can occupy.” I traded a dubious look with the Trainer next to me, and I could see several others doing the same. Mostly Soldiers, which was to be expected. After all, they had tried to expand our lands outwards before, and that hadn’t ended well for them. “To this end, we have been scouring old files, from What Was Before, and we stumbled across something that might be of use.” Almost in unison, every Soldier snorted contemptuously. I suppressed the urge to do the same.

    “Buried in one of the computers, we found a file talking about a top secret government research project, and the locations it was being carried out at. In light of this we are sending a group to investigate these facilities.” The Vice President took over. “All of your have been selected to be part of this team.” I started.

    “Whoa, whoa, back up a second there.” The Soldier beside me spoke up, his deep rumbling voice instantly silencing the beginnings of a second shouting match. “You are trying to tell me you are sending a selection of seemingly randomly chosen people, high ranking members of various factions, and two Trainers, one of which-“

    “Silence!” The Vice President snapped, eyes flashing. The Soldier held his gaze with infinite calm, seemingly refusing to back down.

    “You mean to tell me...” He trailed off ominously. The Vice President looked at me sidelong for a fraction of a second, before nodding.

    “We are not here to debate this.” The VP said with finality. “Each of you has been selected for this expedition. You will be leaving in three days from Eterna City. Any questions?” All of us were silent. I was still trying to process what was happening, the Soldiers looked mutinous, the Scientists smug, the Farmer afraid. No one spoke, and no one moved. I could have cut the tension in the room with a knife.

    For almost a full minute, no one stood, no one moved at all. I got the feeling there was some kind of silent politicking going on that I wasn’t privy to, yet at the same time, as a Trainer, I was. At only seventeen, I lacked the understanding of the intricacies of the games played by the higher ups of the various factions, but was old enough to realize just how convoluted said game really was. In a few years, I was told that I would start to become involved in those games, but right now I had no clue what went on behind closed doors.

    I chanced a look at the other trainer. Her face indicated extreme fear, and her right hand was wrapped around a Pokéball almost instinctively. She met my eyes for a second, and I tried to offer a slight smile. Whether I succeeded or not is irrelevant, as at that moment the door burst open.

    In one motion, every single person in the room whirled towards the door. Those who had them pulled guns, those who didn’t dove behind chairs, and the two of us with Pokéball whirled, wrists twisted to throw. I wasn’t sure what the girl had chosen, but I had been ready to send out Salamence, just behind what would not doubt have been a massive wall of bullets... to deal with a random messenger.

    The poor kid couldn’t have been more than fifteen, and when suddenly confronted with a large number of firearms, and two Trainers, he fainted. I didn’t blame him. Just two Trainers would usually be enough to make most people faint, never mind the twenty or so guns pointed at him. Slowly, everyone lowered their weapons, most of us rather sheepishly. I returned the Pokéball to my belt, and with that done, simply walked out the door, stepping over the unconscious form of the messenger almost lazily. I could hear the other Trainer get up and follow me in the silence that followed.

    In the hall, people scrambled to get out of the way for the pair of Trainers, and for the first time, I found myself glad for the mystique and power that came with being a Trainer, despite the veritable isolation outside of Central. Seeing one of us outside of Central was rare enough, so rare that the average citizen would consider the concept of two Trainers outside of Central to be preposterous.

    Thus, my strange companion and I managed to escape from the Plaza and get down to Northern Under in record time. From there a twenty minute walk brought us to Central Under Residence. Once there, I finally felt comfortable speaking to me silent companion.

    Stepping into one of the few unoccupied rooms, I turned fixing her with a look. “You have any clue what that was about?” I ask her. Mutely, she shook her head. Mentally I swore. I knew that space was become an issue in the other sectors, most notably Upper, yet here in Central, I knew several entire levels of Central had few if any inhabitants, even accounting for the two entire levels taken up by various facilities for Trainers. “Shadows preserve us.” I mumbled. Obviously there was some kind of game being played here. The girl smiled mirthlessly.

    Now, outside of a meeting room full of people who were likely scheming to have my head on a pike within the next three days, I actually managed to take in her appearance.

    She was shorter than me by a few inches, and potentially several years younger. Like everyone else from Central, her standard issue jumpsuit was slate grey, with silver accents. Brown hair framed her face, which despite an obvious youth, was starting gain the jaded tired look that the adults held.

    “So, in other words, the two of us are about to be thrown into the Outside, protected by a bunch of people with various political motivations, and all probably want us dead. Shadows preserve.” I muttered. The girl nodded.

    I glared at her, and she smiled angelically at me. Then suddenly, something else hit me like a ton of bricks. “Wait, they said we will be going outside!” I exclaimed. The girl nodded.

    In that instant, I could feel my heartbeat spike, and I forced down my instinctive reaction to curl into a ball on the floor. Instead, I simply closed my eyes, and pulled in a deep breath, seemingly collecting myself.

    When I opened my eyes again, the other girl was gone. I took a moment to search for her, but after a few moments I gave up on that. Instead, wandered the halls somewhat aimlessly, trying to shut out the voice in my head which was reciting a litany of possible things that could go wrong with this “mission”.

    I was headed towards the practice battle fields, hoping to catch someone for a quick battle, when the soldier who had tried to call the Vice Presidents bluff came striding up to me. I couldn’t help but stare stupidly as he approached, purposeful strides eating up the distance easily.

    “Could I speak to you for a moment?” He asked, stopping before me. I had to look up slightly to meet his eyes, which gleamed in the spluttering light.

    “I suppose.” I replied guardedly. He sighed, and his shoulders slumped, seeming relieved. “What do you want?”

    His lips quirked and I got the feeling that he was amused by my forthrightness. “I just wanted to give this to you.” I blinked as he pulled a small crystal, roughly an inch square, from his pocket. I recognized it as a storage crystal, they had replaced USB devices about ninety years ago, as they could hold about five times are much data in far less space. This cube probably had the capacity to hold terabytes of data. I took in, rolling the cube over in my hand.

    “Why?” I asked him, knowing the other part of the question, while unsaid was understood.

    “Just seemed like the right thing to do.” He replied seriously. “And for the record, we have never met before.” And with that, the Soldier turned on his heel and strode away, vanishing around a corner.

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