DC18 Still the rain pelted down, perhaps harder than ever, and visibility was at its lowest. Even the frequent thunderbolts did little to light the gloom, doing nothing more than throw confusing shadows, making the humans jump at almost anything... And with the endless noise of rain and thunder, they could barely communicate with each other, let alone hear anything sneaking up on them.
The result? Paranoia at its finest.
They knew the Dragonites were out there somewhere. The haunting song of the pokemon would occasionally echo over everything, somehow unaffected by the constant noise. However, it was always impossible to tell what direction it came from.
Only Jess and, to a far more limited degree, James, had any chance of seeing through the gloom. Liam was beginning to wear down, between the effects of water and the heavy weapon he carried. Rob and Jeff lugged along sacks of living ammunition behind him.
They lay in wait some distance from their hideout and stood atop a building, so they could see more of the city. Keira, Liam and Jess had made some attempts at creating a shelter, though they had done their best to make it all but invisible. They had agreed that they wanted to catch the Dragonite by suprise if possible, and a Dragon Rage attack on their shelter would not be good news for them.
But boredom was setting in now, and not even Jess or James had spotted any of the powerful pokemon sent to hunt them. The cold and wet was getting to those vulnerable to it.
"We need something to lure one of them here..." Jess muttered to herself. James turned to her.
"Lure? A decoy or something?" He asked. Jess looked up in suprise, not realizing she'd said it loud enough for anyone to hear.
"What if we set one of these off nearby?" Jeff suggested, holding up the sack of Voltorb.
"...No, they don't know about our control of the Voltorb yet." Liam said, sighting along the length of the heavy tube. "I'd prefer that came as an explosive shock..."
"Well, we're not going to have one of us run out in the open..."
"Maybe we could use this place as a lure." Rob looked at the open dome in which they sat. "If we can put a fire or something in it, then shoot whatever comes to investigate?"
"I guess that would work... they'd be immediately suspicious of any fire they saw, especially outside."
"Relocation time!"
It took some work by Keira to move everyone over to the next flat rooftop. Rob sparked a fire with some dry branches Keira had - with considerable difficulty - conjured. Keira barely had time to vinelift Rob to the next rooftop before one of the pokemon let out a call, alarmingly close by.
"Ready, Liam?" Rob whispered to him. He nodded. Jess watched, ready to unleash some heavy ice attacks if necessary. Everyone held their breath...
A shadow flicked in front of the fire. Jess stared at it closely, but couldn't see it... but its identity was soon affirmed as the Dragonite's song rang out.
Liam slammed the trigger bar back, and held it. There was an almost inaudible whine, a crackling of electricity, then a 'whump' as the red-and-white missile shot towards the flame.
The explosion lit up the night, filling the air with smoke and steam. In the flaming aftermath, Jess looked for any sign of the surely injured Dragonite or any others, while the others worked to frantically reload the gun.
Another shape soon showed up against the light, flying down further, near the buildings. Jess shot up and threw a whirling mass of icy energy at it. The Dragonite roared in pain as the attack hit and immediately caused the rain around to be frozen, causing a localized blizzard attack around it. The white, crackling cold energy gave Liam enough of a target to aim at.
Another 'whump' as the Voltorb shot out and... missed its target. It shot into the wall next to the Dragonite and exploded there, and the power of the blast threw the weakened dragon into the opposite building, along with a great deal of rubble. Both buildings collapsed somewhat.
"That's enough! Run now!"
The twin screams of the Dragonites, rebounding off walls at a horrible volume, made the going confusing. Jess kept watching for any following pokemon, but all she could think of was getting away from that noise and out of sight.
They soon found they were going the wrong way, as the screams faded somewhat. However, that wasn't the biggest of their problems - another Dragonite got in their way. Seeing them, it sang out a warning, and at the same time, a blue, flickering glow began to show in its throat.
Keira was the first to act. She shot a Leech Seed straight into the gaping maw, and it immediately sprouted a heap of life-sucking vines which wrapped around the face of the creature... as well as several which shot straight down the throat.
The Dragonite, blinded, choking and impotent, writhed around for a moment as it tried to pull the constricting vines from its head. The humans just stood there watching it for a moment, then Jess threw an icebeam at its feet, freezing it to the ground, and they ran again.
James had a sudden idea and sped up to run alongside Jess, yelling his plan to her. It took her a moment to understand what he was saying, but once she got it she skidded to a halt.
The others slowed and jogged back, wondering what she was up to. James explained his idea very quickly as Jess gathered energy, then shot a huge blast of near-invisible energy into the sky.
The temperature suddenly dropped alarmingly. For some distance from the attack, the heavy rain turned into heavier hailstones, and what water there was on the ground threatened to freeze - as well as the water soaking the humans. Jess held her position for a moment, strengthening the web of coldness, then slumped slightly, panting.
"Dragons hate cold and ice! We should be safe now!" She shouted over the clatter of flying drops of ice, then ran again. The others followed.
'Safe' turned out to be a bit optimistic. The hail was extremely painful, even through the thick protective coats they wore, and the ice and stones underfoot made running treacherous. Jess led them carefully and they eventually managed to find their way to their hideout, inside and out of the rain, safe from the Dragonites for now.
"Did we take any of them out?"
"Not sure... we saw three, right? Did some serious damage to all of them. Any of them could be dead, or out of the fight at least... Might have damaged more in that ice storm..."
"We'll never be able to tell until we see them."
"Right."
"And considering we don't know how many of them there were to begin with anyway..." Keira grimaced with pain as she took off her coat, as the bruises from the hailstones began to show through. Patrick hurried over and did his best to heal her, having already dealt with his own minor injuries.
"Leave that thing here." Jeff instructed, motioning to the weapon. "Don't want to have to lug it all the way in an emergency of some sort."
"What if they find it?"
"They shouldn't recognize it for what it is. They're pokemon, and most likely wild ones - you don't exactly see a lot of trained Dragonites - and probably don't understand guns... Anyway, they've got a lot of ground to cover, and won't be looking too closely... we're pretty safe."
"I hope you're right..." Liam put the gun near the trapdoor as he opened it, and the others put the sacks on top. They climbed down to their hiding place, and as the trapdoor closed, the sacks fell forward to conceal it efficiently from unknowing eyes.
Not, however, from the rather wet Magnaton looking through the window, one of the scouts sent out by the Dragonites... having taken cover from the hailstorm in a doorway across the street, it had watched everything...

~-~-~-~

They were catching up on some sleep when the first explosion rocked the building. They all shot up and out of the dreamscape at once, fumbling and trying to figure out what the hell was going on...
The second explosion sounded shortly after. Liam, Jess and Rob were already pounding down the corridor to the surface, James and Keira not too far behind. They flung open the trapdoor and were immediately soaked to the skin.
"What the-" Liam's exclamation was cut off by a third explosion, and they all ducked back underground, their eyes not yet used to the bright light caused by the blast. When it had cooled enough to be properly seen, they looked up again.
"Ah, you're up! Now get down again!" Called a female voice. "The pokemon are attacking in force! Get out of it!"
"What?"
Another explosion. One guy ran over to them. "Listen, they found the bloody base last night! Some bloody Magnaton found out where you were hiding and went around telling the city, and the Dragonites ordered an attack as soon as they were ready! You have to get out of he-aarrrgghhhh!"
He suddenly screamed, clutching the collar around his neck. Liam growled and reached out, and with one quick movement snapped it in half.
A sudden burst of electricity ensued, and the guy suddenly stiffened up, wide-eyed, and fell to the ground. Liam was unharmed. He snorted.
"Paralysed, Russell was right. Pat! Are you down there?"
"C-coming!" The tentative reply came back.
"You idiots! Get down and get out of the bloody city!" Another voice called. It was Russell, and he was wielding the deadly Voltorb-bazooka with wild abandon. "And then blow the place up!"
"What?"
"We've got to help, guys!" Indeed, pokemon were pouring in from every angle, and beginning to overwhelm the mostly powerless humans. Russell and Judy were blowing up any particularly large concentration of pokemon, and electric attacks tended to behave erratically in the pouring rain, but they were slowly but surely advancing on the humans.
"Come on!" Liam hauled himself out of the trapdoor and unleashed a series of flying rocks and treacherous grounds, making life difficult for the pokemon. The others were starting too, but then...
Out of the shadows, seven huge shadowed figures marched. Both sides paused for a moment as the Dragonites entered most dramatically. Russell was the first to react, and the next Voltorb went tumbling towards the group.
A burst of blue flame met it mid-air. It exploded, doing damage to nothing more than the earth around it.
Jess began to charge an ice attack, but then the Dragons moved towards them threateningly. The guy who Liam had removed the collar from, now healed by Patrick, pushed them back.
"Get out of here! We'll deal with the Dragonites!"
"What?"
"Listen, if you stay then a lot of us are going to die, and probably you too, and the pokemon will restart where they left off and we'll have lost six bloody powerful Vaekar. Do you know how much damage you've done to Ash's armies?" He winced as a Voltorb slammed into the ground just ahead of the Dragonites, forcing them to pause. "Get down there and then blow the whole bloody city to bits! We'll hold them off!"
They paused, looking around at the carnage. Electric pokemon were flocking around now. "NOW! GET MOVING!" He shoved them roughly towards the trapdoor. They took one last glance at the city, then dropped back down.
"I'll take you on, you overgrown lizards!" They heard him yell. A nasty scream sounded a second later. Liam scowled, and made a gesture; the floor underneath the trapdoor suddenly shot up, blocking passage.
The sounds above ground were muffled now. Four more explosions sounded as they ran, but no more... there was silence...
A sudden roaring sound came from further down the corridor, and a few seconds later a small wave of water caught up with their running. Liam reached back, and another area of floor slammed up to the ceiling. Jess manufactured an icy barrier, and Keira one of plants, but they were all nothing but delaying tactics...
They soon ran into Jeff, quite literally. He was standing in the middle of the corridor. They all slowed down.
"We've got to run! They're coming this way!"
"I know... I've been watching on the cameras." He said softly.
"We've got to get out of here!"
"Listen - you remember I told you about a rail line that ran from here to Cerulean?"
"Yeah, you said it didn't work..."
"I... sorta lied about that..." He looked sheepish. "It does work, but it won't take you all the way to Cerulean. The line is broken, I don't know where, but you can take it out of here..."
"Let's go then!"
"Listen, I want you to get in that thing and do everything you can to make it as fireproof as possible!" He said, leading them through his room of Voltorb and into a smaller room. A large metal carriage lay there. "It will probably take them a while to find this place, the door's easy to miss. Then get moving. I'll try and stall for as long as possible, but when the Dragonites get in here I'm going to press the button."
"Huh?"
"I don't know how much damage a Dragonite can take, but my guess would be that a couple hundred Voltorbs exploding simultaneously is not something anything can survive. This place is going to go up like a nuke, and probably take out most of the city."
"You're not going to stay through that!"
"What am I going to do, come with you?" He laughed. "I'd just hold you back. I'm not built for adventuring. And it's not exactly a good time for a human to be wandering around free." He looked over his shoulder. "Look, just get in, okay? The further away you are, the less damage you're gonna take..."
No-one could find anything to say. He just ushered them on to the carriage. He pulled a lever, and the carriage set off...
"Let's see how master Ash likes this..." He whispered, pressing himself into a corner between two shelves of Voltorbs, peeking out through the gap, looking for his targets...

~-~-~-~

Very little was said on the now very fast moving carriage. Jess had her hand pressed against the wall of the carriage, having peeled away the soft covering between her and it, cooling the metal down to near-unbearable temperatures. Liam had semi-encased the thing in rock, but wasn't sure how much that would help... James was trying to create a barrier around it, but wasn't having much success...
None of them knew how much time had passed before the explosion occurred. Everything shook violently, and it threatened to come off the rails... the light went out, and everything was black, as it vibrated madly, but it managed to stay on track...
That is, until the shock wave hit...
The temperature inside suddenly rose as the waves of flame hit, and the entire thing was picked up and tossed around like a toy before the blast. Keira instinctively shot vines all around the cabin, softening the blow a bit, but it was still hard and painful...
Everything grew hotter, fast... James and Jess concentrated as hard as they could on keeping it cool and protected, though this was hard while they were being thrown like rag dolls as the thing tumbled over and over, and they slammed into each other, walls and vines...
It seemed like it would never end, but in the end they all blacked out...