By: Theodore 'Blitz' Leung
The lights whizzed by as we drove along the highway. The foreground blasted past while the star-ful night in the background hardly moved. The van we rode in thumped along the highway towards our destination, our objective.
Another mission, another building. It gets to you after a while, but nevertheless, I remain loyal, though I can not say the same about my companions.
One Sky Knight, one Lightning Dragoon, and one Psychic Angel…and me, a Fire Knight. I've worked with this team before a lot, and have grown used to their company, even if we disagree most of the time.
The sea below us surged forward and backwards, the waves smashing up the stone pillar of the bridge then slipping back down to their murky depths. I don't know why I'm thinking about such trivial matters like the waves…
"What'cha thinking, Ignite?" the Lightning Dragoon asked me, walking over to join me in the corner of the van. The small Pikachu didn't seem like much of a companion, but he would stick up for his friends to the bitter end, even if wouldn't want to show it.
"Stuff…" I responded, glancing back at the sky through the high window. I hate being small like this, but I was one of the best infiltrators on the team. Between me and Styx, we could take down anything.
"You know how he likes to be alone, Styx," the Sky Knight told the Pikachu. The Pidgeot was pretty much our air support. We get in and out fast with the help of his aerial ability.
"Mind your own business, Skymin," Styx retorted. I smiled a bit, their bickering always making me smile for some odd reason. I couldn't understand why.
The breaks of the car activated quickly, nearly taking us off our feet, but we survived. Once we were reoriented, I glanced out, seeing the large tower that will be our next target for tonight.
"Well…another night, another round," the Psychic Angel told us, coming back from the driver seat. Human as he was, he was also reliable unlike some other people I had experience with.
"What's our job then Alex?" I asked, always the one to get the mission started as soon as possible. I hated waiting, but if the need arose, I can wait an eternity for something to happen. It's kind of a weird impatience/patience attitude. I was a strange one.
"We got to get some data about Pokémon Genetics inside the database," he replied, sliding a large, gray suitcase out from under the chair. He quickly opened up the case and distributed the equipment. We each got a headset. The headset had a small mike attached to it as well as a small eyepiece that showed us any information Alex wished to display on it. He also handed Styx's a small little beacon.
"You know the drill, put on the CPU, and activate," he told Styx. The Pikachu nodded, taking the beacon and using the shoulder straps on it to hang onto his back. "Expect a Lv.4 security system. Nothing you can't break." We each nodded in turn, seeing as another easy mission for us to accomplish.
"Well, let's get to it then," Alex said, opening the roof hatch of the van. Styx and I hopped onto Skymin, and blasted off into the night sky, the darkness our blanket of cover.
* * * * * *
"Do ever wonder why do we keep doing this?" I asked Styx. The two of us were making our way through the ventilation shafts, being both of us were small enough to fit. It's one the reasons why they were one of the few who weren't evolved by stones. Styx, a Pikachu, who was an ELITE for crying out loud! Who would've though a Pikachu would be known as an elite?
As for me? I'm a Vulpix, plain and simple. I didn't like the idea of being a Ninetales anyway. I would find it a little to big or cumbersome, or some other obscure reasons.
"For the greater good?" Styx answered my question with a definite sarcastic tone. He counter his fingers as we 'walked' along the vents. "Specifically the fact that they actually took us in when our original trainers left us is good for me. I get a home, I get feed, and I get some good experience working like this."
"Speaking of which, did you ever see the upper decks of the T.R.S. Sciteneg?" I questioned, turning the next bend. Our destination was another three floors down, so we still had time to 'chit chat'.
"Up there? Nah. They let NO ONE up there unless its one of those freaky scientists or the captain. I don't even think Crusaders are allowed up there," Styx answered, his tone stating he didn't really care what was up there anyway.
I, on the other hand, was very curious. Just seeing the scientist go up and down the only elevator to the upper levels of our base was enough to get my curiosity going. The fact that we steal so much information about genetics also fits into the puzzle somewhere. I just hope what goes on up there isn't so mad experiment.
I shuddered, the thought scaring me half out of my mind. I sure don't want to be a subject of those experiments. I wouldn't even want to be an experiment in the first place.
"Hey, get ready," Styx warned me, snapping me out of my trance. I glanced forward, then down, seeing our way to the lower levels. Just one large drop three floors down. Well, drop isn't the right word. Styx was already applying magnetic hooks to the vent's side. After sticking two on, one on the ceiling above our drop, the other on the side wall, he tied a small, thin string to the side hook. Quickly, he ran it through the ceiling hook, then tied it around my waist. After a light pull, he deemed it secured and allowed me to rappel down the shaft at my leisure. Once lowered, the Pikachu followed, unsealing the two hooks with a sharp tug on the wire. The wire the hooks collected, we continued on.
* * * * * *
"Hey, Alex, are you sure about this security?" I asked, scanning the area. If it was a Lv.4 security, I would've detected laser trip alarms, security cameras, motion sensors, noise detectors, or a combination of the aforementioned. But from my readings, there's nothing, zilch, nada.
"That's what the report said," Alex answered through the headset, his voice partially overcome by static.
"If it's easy, no use complaining about it," Styx interrupted. "Let's go." With those words, he pulled the vent grating off, then leaped down onto one of the tabletops of the large room below our exit point. I followed, but our paths diverged now.
Styx made a beeline for the CPU, while I stood guard over the one entrance if the room, aside from the vent we entered, and another in the room, which we would be using for our exit point. The door was a large metal one, one of those doors they use in a safe. I felt quite safe behind this door, even if it was currently being knocked over. It would still take a bit of time to crack. Even though I was known as an 'un-evolved', I still pack a mighty punch against anyone who would break through.
Then again, we still had the windows that lined the back wall as a way out, though a five floor fall is going to hurt a lot.
"Start hacking at your leisure, Angel," Styx told Alex through the comlink. With the affirmative given, the Pikachu headed over to our exit point, opened the vent, and began to attach the magnetic hooks and wire that would lead us straight to the bottom floor. I wonder if it is a coincidence this time around that the fact we only needed to take one vent to get to our target room and then only take one more vent to get back to our ride out of here.
"Hacking…hacking…hacking…done!" Alex reported. With a weak cheer of the news, Styx tied the wire around my waist yet again.
"Um…guys…we got a problem!!" Skymin shouted through his own link.
"Skymin? What's going on?" I asked, but was cut off with the Pigeot's cry of pain.
"Skymin?! SKYMIN?!" Styx shouted, unable to get a response. The short rustle of static that followed was not a good sign. "Skymin?!"
"Skymin is gone. You're next," a new voice spoke, a voice of darkness and of little remorse. The door to the room was being banged on, Alex taking the liberty to hack and lock the doors for us.
"GO!" Styx shouted at me, pushing me down the vent before I had a chance to protest the decision. I fell and fell and fell until I nearly hit the bottom at an incredible speed, only being stopped by the wire that amazingly didn't crack my bones when it suddenly tightened. With one ember, I burned the wire, then stepped back a few inches.
"Styx, get down here!" I yelled out, through both the comlink and the shaft. No response, but I clearly heard the banging on the door in the background.
"Ignite…don't worry…everything is okay," Styx told me calmly. I glanced back quickly when I heard the sudden thud on a large object. To my horror, I saw the two magnetic hooks that Styx used.
"Styx?! How are you going to get down?!" I screamed out, not wanting to believe he was going down.
"Alex, I've destroyed the beacon. Retrieve Ignite and return to home," Styx continued, the banging on the door becoming progressively louder. I wasn't sure if it was because they had more force now, or if it was because Styx was moving closer to the door.
"STYX?!" I yelled out again. "Just get down here!"
"I…can't…" he admitted, dropping my spirits. "The only way out was through that vent. Once I dropped the hooks, there was no way I could get down. Still, they can't pursue you now through the vent. Just make your way out."
"NO!" I didn't believe him. I didn't WANT to believe him. We've been through so much together. We can't lose now.
"Ignite, move it. That's an order!" Styx continued, raising his voice slightly.
"Not without your DAMN ASS WITH ME!" I yelled back, pressing back the tears. It may not be often to see a Fire type cry…but here was one crying now.
"Ignite, if you die here to, then this will all be for nothing," Styx reasoned. "I'll survive, you have my word. I'll come back, against all the odds, I will come back."
"Do you promise?" I asked, sniffing. It sounded like a dumb question right now, but I needed to know. I thought that silence that deemed as an eternity meant he wasn't going to promise, but he answered.
"I promise," he whispered, the door finally breaking down. The large thud of the metal door falling was apparent, as was the gun shots that were fired. I could faintly hear orders being issued, glass shattering, then…nothing.
No time to think, I had to get out, if I were to keep my end of the promise. Activating the ventilation system map, and the route already planned, I dashed off as fast as my tiny legs would take me. My tears still flowed, but I know he will keep his promise. He has too.
"He's gone, Ignite," the same dark voice spoke.
"SHUT UP!" I yelled out, still running.
"Through the window, and gone," the voice continued. I could hear his soft laugh, the soft sadistic laugh. He liked the pain he gave others, he enjoyed it. You could tell just by his voice.
"I swear, once I find you, I will have you begging for mercy!" I shouted in anger. In all essence, I should've been in the mood to just run back there and destroy them all. For some reason, my mind still remained on the task at hand: escape.
"No, when I find you, YOU will be begging for mercy," he replied wickedly. I growled, using a Flamethrower attack on the grating in front of me. It was melted in a matter of seconds. The attack also evaporated my tears…
"Ignite, keep running, and jump," Alex told me. I was relieved to hear such a familiar voice. It was a shock at first, but it was a good shock.
"Understood," I quickly replied, holding back more tears I was going to release.
"You'll never make it," the other voice continued. I could see the sinister smile on his face, enjoying the moments of pain and suffering.
I followed instructions, making a blind leap of faith out the grating. I knew this passage lead directly outside. I can just hope Alex parked the van in the right place.
My fears were dissipated when I landed onto a soft pillow that Alex used as my landing platform. I could hear the roof hatch closing behind me, as we drove away from these grounds of death.
* * * * * *
Minutes that felt like years passed by. I wasn't sure how to feel anymore. The last fifteen minutes of driving were the most excruciating fifteen minutes in my life. The silence in the air, the emptiness…we lost something…we lost a lot that were important to us.
"They'll be back," Alex blurted out suddenly. I glanced up at the back of his head. I still lay on the pillow, unable to move my legs anymore. They were numb with regret…regret of leaving them behind. "It's a promise. Skymin and Styx will return. Just wait and see."
I can never believe that. Through the window…and gone…just…like in a puff of smoke. Something that took so long to make was destroyed in a matter of seconds.
It's not fair.
Life is never fair…