Now we're back to Beginnings. Enjoy!

Disclaimer-Shock Horror, I still don't own pokemon.

Previous Chapter Synopsis-Lauren has been captured, presumably by the demons, and is being tortured. Tsume, Lauren's Sneasel, told the group everything she knew about the demons. Mew and Celebi have located another place to attack, and Mew has promised that they will find Lauren again.

Tales of the Blade Chapter 10-Beginnings 4-Knowledge and Ignorance

"You should not have told them that…" muttered Celebi, so only Mew could hear him. "Messing with something this important is dangerous. Stick to the Prophecy."
"Aw, but where's the fun if you just follow a pre-laid plan?" she shot back.
Celebi sighed, and shook his head in disbelief.

"So…how far is this place?" asked Alan.
"Only a couple of minutes away." Said Celebi. He and Mew had disabled their human forms a while ago, floating being easier and more natural to them.
"It's there." He finished, pointing.

It was huge. More a Fortress than a newly built secret hideout.
"We have to get in there?" asked Alan.
"Yeps!" said Mew, laughing.
"Yes." Said Celebi. "But…Lauren's in there."
"Are you sure?" asked Alan.
"Pretty sure." Answered Celebi.
"Then we've got to get in." said James. "Wait…do you know how this turns out? Do we get in?" he asked.
Celebi hesitated, before answering.
"Yes, we get in."
There was a short silence.
"Do we get out again? All of us? With Lauren?" James asked, slowly.

Celebi hesitated again.
"Not all of you. James, if Lauren gets out, as herself, you don't."

This time there was dead silence. No noise, save that of the light breeze in the desert.
"Are you sure you want to go?" asked Celebi, softly.
"If you need to ask, you don't know me." Said James, quietly, his face pale.

"Do we go quietly? Sneak in? Or do we fight our way in?" said Alan.
"Fighting is always the most fun way." Said Sam.
"Secrecy is always more effective." Said Alex.
They looked at each other, Sam with undisguised disgust, Alex showing absolutely no interest at all.
"Why don't we split up?" asked Mew, doing a few loops in the air. "Me, Sam and Alan can go in the front, and Alex, James and Celebi can sneak in." she said, landing and changing back into her human disguise.

Celebi, already in human form, looked around.
"Well, does that sound like a good plan?"

There were murmurs of assent from each of them.
"Well then. Ok, there are two main places Lauren is likely to be. There are two prison blocks, at opposite ends of the facility. We'll go eastern block; you go for the northern one. It's slightly closer, as well." Said Celebi.
They nodded.
"Lets go. If you get to your objective and she isn't there, head for the other. I have a couple of maps that I made. I'll take one, Alan, you have the other. Good luck." Finished Celebi. He motioned to Alex and James, and they followed him as they started down towards the building.

"I give!" sobbed Lauren.
The figure smiled, and shouted, red eyes glinting in the half-darkness.
"Prepare immediately."
One of the shadowy figures guarding the room nodded, and left.

The figure smiled.
"I knew you'd see it our way eventually."

Mew, Alan and Sam were walking casually up to the gate, not even trying to be stealthy. As he always was when he wasn't fighting, Sam was complaining.
"Why do we get the pink kitten girl anyway?"
"This is why!" chirped the kitten goddess in response as she held out her hands, and stopped walking a few metres from the gate.
There was a noise like the crackle of lightning, and a smell like ozone, as her hands started to glow pink.

And then a wave of pink energy shot out from them, growing large as it hurtled towards the fortress.

With a crack like thunder, it struck the gates, huge, solid metal things.

They shattered into so many fragments of metal, crashing downwards onto the ground. The towers on each side of the gate collapsed, without anything to hold their weight. The area above the gates fell in, causing more havoc.

Mew laughed, and clapped her hands in triumph.
Sam just mumbled, as the first guards ran towards them, as he unslung his sword,
"I could have done that."

"Right…so how do we get in?" said Celebi.
James stared at him.
"You don't have a plan?"
"No, you're the experts."
"Both of you be quiet." said Alex. "This is meant to be a stealth mission."

He thought for a second.
"Take my hand." He said.

They stared at him.

"Just do it." said Alex, sighing.
They did.

Alex concentrated, breathing in deeply, and started to walk towards the wall, dragging them with him.

They winced as they hit the wall.

And gasped as they walked through it.

It was a thick wall. Metres, in fact, but they got through.

They noticed that Alex was sweating, holding their hands very tightly. As soon as they were free of the wall, he collapsed.

Celebi knelt down to him.
"Recover." he said, putting one hand on his chest.

Alex opened his eyes.
"Thanks… I didn't think it would be that thick. Are we close?" he asked, coughing slightly.
"Well… put it this way." said Celebi, starting to smile. "After that stunt… the block is about five metres away, through THAT door."

"Shame we have to kill them." said Mew, brightly, as she slashed through a pair of guards with a blade of psychic energy.
Sam disagreed, but he didn't argue, instead focussing on cutting through the guards who came at him, one by one.
Alan decided he might as well answer.
"Because they're evil?" he suggested, concentrating, and channelling a bolt of lightning through his sword at the coming guards. They were incinerated.
"Well, yeah, but I wish we didn't have to kill them…" said Mew sadly, as she destroyed the last attackers with a psychic pulse.

"In then?" said Alan.
"Yep!" said Mew, her happy mood restored instantly.

It was starting to get on Sam's nerves.

"Are you ready to move?" asked Celebi.
"Yeah." said Alex. To prove it, he stood up.
Celebi nodded, and they moved to the door, moving into the eastern prison block.

They looked around, but there were hundreds of cells, and slightly larger rooms, better conditions but not exactly hotels, and they were all around a large raised area, like a stage.

It had a door in it, leading back into the rest of the building.

It didn't take that long for the three to know she wasn't in any of the cells, nor the rooms. No-one seemed to be.

They gathered below the stage, planning what to do next.
"We said we'd go to the other end."
"What if she's not there either?" asked James, slightly worried.
"Relax." said Celebi. "She's in this building. I know that. And it's not where we go that's a problem, but how?"
"We should go through that door. It'll be fastest. It's not worth trying the same trick to get out then in again. Besides, I'm not sure if I could." said Alex.

That was one of the longest speeches James had ever heard him say.

A door opened. The one above them.


Someone landed maybe five metres in front of them, having jumped from the stage.

They were alone, wearing a cloak with a hood, obscuring their face.

The figure straightened up, and turned around. It was a woman, but her face was shrouded in darkness.

"Who are you?" asked James.
"What, you don't recognise me?" asked the woman.

She put down the hood.

"Lauren?" gasped James.

"Not quite." said Lauren, red eyes twinkling.

Hehe. Don't worry, I'll write the next one soon. Very soon, in fact. Probably next.
Oh, and the title will be explained next Beginnings.