Chapter One. The SDI Project.
After the defeat of Regli at the hands of the G-Force Poke Rangers three months ago, Crane, Mitzi, Duo, Scott, Chip, Paige and Danni have gone their separate ways. They believed that all the Pokemorph mutants were gone and defeated, meaning that their stint as rangers was up.
They weren't all gone...
Pain pulsated through every inch of his body, as he tried to drag his huge torso through the thicker atmosphere of this strange world. He didn't know how long he had been here, or how long he had been searching. All of the strange purple fog was starting to look the same as he crawled through the soup-like world.
"Has to... Be here somewhere," he groaned, trying to squint through the mist. "Know it is."
Slowly and painfully climbing back to his feet, his large clawed feet, he began to push on through on his search. He needed to find his target before much time passed. The power that had got him so far was beginning to fade away from his system. If he didn't find his target soon, he could sense that there was a good chance he might die. And the whole previous slog would have been nothing but a waste. Others would have thought that coming to the Shadow World was a pointless task to begin with. Yet, he knew that the possible benefits outweighed most of the risk.
Betraying Regli had been a decision that he hadn't taken lightly, and either way he needed the power that his target could offer to him. If only to defeat the rangers that might oppose him on the other side.
And, even as that thought sprang across the surface of his mind, his confirmed appeared far in front of him. Enough to raise his hopes up higher, and to quicken his steps.
He needed to get to the Skull Tower.
Like an oasis throwing off waves of evil, the tower rose high above the mist, a large horned skull visible at the peak. Even from his distance, a gap that was now shortening as he quickly walked, General Darkia could see the fanged jaws offering an entrance to the inner sanctum.
Moving even closer, he could see the thousands of steps that he would need to climb to get up there and confront whoever was inside.
Except, he thought with an evil smirk, I don't need to climb.
Flapping his wings, grunting with the effort needed to drag him high above the purple mist, he started to head for the giant skull.
Staggering into the chamber, he was disheartened to find the place empty. Disheartened, but not completely surprised. At least this gave him a greater chance of success. Looking over, he could see the altar ahead, the item that his source of information had told him to try and find. To the left of him was a strange gap which looked like what a human would have called a fireplace.
Reaching down into a pouch at his waist, he pulled out a handful of red dust and tossed it across the stone plinth, intoning the incantation that he'd been told.
"Queen Misteria, ruler of all that is evil and impure," he said. "Come forth and be reborn. Raze the land with your malice and help me in my quest. My quest to restore your kingdom."
Of course, he was planning to double cross her when the occasion rose to its most convenient. Yet, she wasn't to know that. Once he'd managed to gain some of her power, and destroyed Verger, he'd figure out a way to get rid of her.
As the falling sand came to a settled stop, nothing happened.
"Huh?" Darkia said, angrily turning around in outrage. He could see his annoyed features in a puddle on the ground. His body a smaller version of Palkia's torso, arms and legs, yet covered in a thick black fur. He had the face of a Darkia, the white hair running down the snake-like neck. Within the black fur, he could see the engraved white runes, remaining impassive. His sky blue eyes were locked on the puddle, as he wondered where it had come from.
And then, it started to rise. Rise up into the shape of a figure. A distorted figure, whose entire body was cloaked in shadow.
"Darkia," it said, the voice eerily feminine. "I grant you your wish. I grant you power to reclaim this land in my name. I even grant you some help. Open the altar up to release this aid, and go forth to destroy."
"Thank you, my liege," Darkia replied, turning back to the altar. Unlike before, cracks of light were starting to emerge from the structure. Striding forward, he pushed at the stone plinth and felt it give ever so slightly.
And then, the shadows began to escape.
Meanwhile, in Waterfall Shores.
In a room filled with expensive equipment and qualified technicians watching that equipment, an alarm suddenly began to blare out. The sounds immediately drawing the attention of a figure leaning against the grey covered walls. Nearly seven feet tall and well-muscled, with wolf-like features, he looked to be out of place in the room filled with white coated scientists. Wearing a set of black military fatigues and a pair of gloves, he stepped over to speak to the head scientist. His long beige hair swept out behind him, the auburn eyes glittering with worry as he opened his mouth to speak. A mouth filled with what could only have been described as canines.
"What is it?" he asked, looking down at the black haired woman who was frantically examining the screens. "What do we have?"
"We just recorded a huge burst of seismic energy all across Verger," she reported, adjusting her glasses. "It lasted for two thirds of a second and then faded."
"Miranda, is this something that I should report?" the man asked.
Dropping back into her seat, Miranda nodded.
"It's as we've feared," she replied. "Someone has managed to wake them up. The demons are back."
"Dominic, you have to report this, right now!" Miranda said, urgently. "We'll start using the Aura Finder to track them down. But, we have to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. They won't be too happy to find that a whole new region is built across their kingdom. It's going to get nasty! Nasty I tell you!"
"I'm on it," Dominic told her, turning to head for the exit. As soon as he was out of the door, he began to run.
Fortunately, he knew the place well, and within a minute was at his destination. Taking deep breaths, he brought up his gloved hand and knocked at the door.
"Enter!" the voice on the other side said.
Drawing one final deep breath, he pushed it open and stepped inside.
"Commander," Dominic said, seeing the black haired man wearing a military uniform sat behind a desk in front of him. "It's an emergency. Code red. They've escaped."
"They've... You're sure?" the commander asked, his face going white with worry. "Is the Aura Finder active?"
"Miranda has just switched it on," Dominic informed him.
"Then, we have to play the waiting game," the commander said, getting up and walking over to the wall. Lifting a picture up, Dominic could see a safe. He watched the commander input a code, before opening it up. Removing a box from within it, he turned over to Dominic.
"When we find the five of them," he said, putting the box down on the desk. "You will go and bring them here. It's time to activate the SDI project. To put everything that we've worked hard to build here into action."
"Of course, sir!" Dominic replied, before the phone went on the commander's desk. Wasting no time, he picked it up.
"Sir," Miranda's voice said, from the other end of the line. "We've got a lock on some of them. Not too far from here."
"Understood," Bristow said, hanging up the phone, before turning his attention back to Dominic. "Okay, you better get going. When you get out of here, take a chopper over there."
"Sir, yes, sir!" Dominic replied, before heading to the door.
As he left, Bristow got up and headed to the window. Shaking his head as he looked out to the area surrounding the SDI base of operations. Nothing but the depths of water for as far as the eye could see.
Soon, five more would know about the structures under the ocean next to Waterfall Shores. The SDI Aquabase.
"Welcome to Skull Tower, Darkia."
Those words came from the black and yellow creature stood across from him. Stood on two legs, the spiked white fur extended out around the neck to create an impressive collar. The arms were large, the fur striped with black and yellow bands, the fingers ending in large claws. Her face was that of a Jolteon, the ears sticking up to create a strange pair of horns. She was carrying a staff with a large golden opal at the top.
"Thank you, Joltara," he said.
"Now, what is your plan to ensure that Verger returns to the control of Queen Misteria?"
That voice came from another one of the new arrivals. A stick thin figure with the body of a Kabutops. Yet, his hands and face were those of something else. And, the fins on his back were black. The scythes associated with the fossilised Pokemon were smaller, and tucked into a sash at his waist. While the face was shaped like that of a normal Kabutops, it did have the features of a Gible. That was where the hands came from. And, for some reason, he was wearing a black leather overcoat and a pair of glasses which looked strange above the Gible jaws.
"Kable, I thought I might do it by sending down powerful monsters of our creation," Darkia replied. "I hear that you have special talents in that way."
Reaching down into his pocket, Kable pulled out a set of brown leather bound cards.
"Whatever you need," he said, with a smirk. "Stored within the magic of these cards are the worst soldier-demons ever recruited into Queen Misteria's forces."
"That's what I like to hear," Darkia replied. "I'm going to need an army. Foot soldiers to terrorise the people before we attack them properly."
"Hmm..." Kable muttered. "Ordinary foot soldiers... Interesting."
"Use the Misdrabeings, fool," Joltara snapped.
"Ah, the Misdrabeings," Kable replied. "How could I have forgotten about them?"
Poking her head up out of the water, Katie Myers brought up a hand and removed the face mask. The cool sensations of the air upon her face was a welcome relief for her, given the amount of time she had spent under the water. For the last hour and a half, she'd been exploring the oceans close to Ragnar Island. Looking with interest for anything that she could find of either value or interest. Unfortunately, she had come up dry. At least, figuratively, she thought, starting to swim across to the beach of the island less than half a mile away from her. Shaking her head, she could hear the sound of a helicopter high above her. Putting it to the back of her mind, she continued to swim through the tides of the ocean.
Pulling herself out of the water and onto the beach, Katie could see that her stuff was still where she had left it. Unstrapping her oxygen tank from her back and letting it drop to the sand, she headed over to grab a towel up and wipe her soaking wet blond hair. It was only then that she saw the shadow on the ground across from her. Turning around, half in fright, half in surprise, she could see a hulking figure stood across from where she was, wearing a set of black military fatigues.
"You want something?" she asked, wiping her wetsuit down with the towel.
Smirking, the figure's beige hair began to billow in the wind.
"Miss Katie Myers?" he asked. "My name is Dominic West. And, my employers would like to speak to you."
He swept up his arm to gesture at the helicopter perched on a rocky outcrop above them.
"So, please, if you would care to join me."
"I don't know..." Katie said, softly. "Can you show me some ID?"
"Oh, of course," Dominic replied, reaching into his pocket. "Forgive me. I'm with the NSA."
As he held the leather case up to her face, Katie quickly nodded, accepting that he was probably telling the truth.
"Sure," she said. "Can you just give me a few minutes to get changed and return the suit and tank?"
"Time is of the essence, Miss Myers," Dominic told her. "I'll have someone take care of it."
Heading out from behind a rock a few moments later, now wearing a white vest and a pair of blue shorts, Katie looked at where her diving suit and tank had been a few moments ago. Only to see that it had vanished from view.
"You didn't just hurl it into the ocean, did you?" she asked, looking at Dominic.
"Nah," he replied. "I found a local and convinced him to rush it back for twenty dollars."
"Take it you're not going to expect that money back," Katie remarked, picking up her bag and following him towards the helicopter.
"Nah, it was operating money," Dominic told her, as they reached the vehicle, the door already open and waiting for them. "Pretty much expendable."
"The NSA gives you expendable cash?" Katie asked, getting into the chopper with a surprised expression as she tried to digest what she'd been told.
"I'm from a very special unit," he replied, getting in after her. "But, all will be revealed soon."
With that cryptic statement, he slammed the door shut and the rotors started to whirl.
Striding through the Holimar City Airport, Dominic couldn't help but feel in the mood to whistle a merry tune. He wasn't worried about drawing the attention to himself, given his appearance. Could sense a few people shooting interested glances at him. Guessing as to his true nature, wondering if he was really completely human. Something that they would probably never find out.
Shaking his head, he glanced up at the arrivals board, trying to hazard a guess as to where his target would arrive from. Realistically, he thought, spotting a private flight arriving from the Orange Islands, that has to be it. Taking out his ID again, he showed it to one of the staff and was through into the section that lead to the runways.
Already, the emerald green jet was landed in front of him on the tar covered surface, the owner starting to ascend down the stairs. Looking down at the photo he had managed to glean from Miranda, Dominic confirmed that it was who he had been sent to target. A picture of a man in his late teens, possibly early twenties with a playful smile looked back up at him. One with green eyes and long blond hair. Although, the hair on the figure descending down the stairs in front of him was slightly longer than the photo.
Stepping forward, blocking the exit to the steps, Dominic put on his best smile.
"What do you want?" the blond hair figure asked, suddenly wary.
"Luke Sunderland?" Dominic asked, folding his arms. "My name is Dominic West, and my boss would like to speak to you about something of gross personal importance."
"To him, or to me?" Luke replied, bluntly. "I don't have the time. I've got something important to attend to."
As he pushed past him, Dominic shook his head.
"There had to be one," he muttered, seeing Luke take out a cellphone and dial a number. Pricking up his ears, he started to listen in on the conversation, wondering the best way to get him back to the Aquabase.
And then it hit him.
"You never told me not to do this," he muttered, thinking back to Bristow and Miranda. "So, I apologise in advance."
Shaking his head to himself at what he had to do, he stepped forward.
"Well, make sure that you hurry up," Luke said, hanging up the phone to his driver. "I don't have all day."
Before he could go back to the train of thought that he had been pursuing on the long trip from the Orange Islands, he felt a tap on the shoulder. Thoughts of how he'd have probably gotten here at least an hour earlier had he flown the damn plane himself. Had he not had stuff to do, he would have. Didn't train for a few years to get the flight license for nothing.
Throwing his attention back to the tap on the shoulder, he turned to see the face of the large figure who had tried to accost him before.
"Please," he said, looking down at Luke with an expression not known to him. "Can you come with me. It's important. The whole fate of Verg..."
"Sorry, but I've got other plans today."
"I'm sorry," Dominic said.
"My time is valuable," Luke replied, smugly. "So, I accept your ap..."
Before he could finish the sentance, Dominic hit him in the stomach. Causing him to double over in pain.
"That's what I was apologising for," he growled. "Now, just so that we understand each other, I'm not asking you to come with me. I'm now telling you to. This is not a kidnapping, my employer would just like to talk to you."
"Like I'm going to believe that," Luke said. "Don't you know who I am?"
"Do you think I care?" Dominic asked, grabbing him by the collar of his black suit. "Now, get your ass over here."
Humming a slight tune to herself as she headed through the streets of Sycamore City, Nahir Moon was aware of some of the looks that she was getting. Apparently the word had spread after the events of the last night. After she had been challenged to a battle in the Pokemon Centre and had announced to the world that she didn't believe in battling Pokemon. Might have sounded strange, but she wasn't interested what they thought. Seriously, what was the point in having the creatures beat each other to a pulp just for pride. She'd been a trainer in her early life but didn't see much point of it any longer. She'd given away all her Pokemon to her brother, apart from one. The Glameow that was darting around the street in front of her, frantically hunting for some Rattata to torment. As a slight drop of water fell down from somewhere and landed on her hand, she absentmindedly wiped her fingers against the hem of her grey knee length casual dress.
As she called out the name of the Pokemon, the Glameow's fur came up on end, as it attention was drawn by the sight of a big muscular man with long beige hair dressed in black military fatigues approaching her. As she saw the almost canine-like face, she suddenly couldn't help but feel a bit worried.
Some worry that was noticed by Dominic, as he approached the girl in front of him. She looked to be about the same age as the last one he had gone for, maybe a little younger than Luke. If he'd had to guess without looking at her date of birth in front of him, he'd had said she was about eighteen. And, the photo was a good match. The short black hair, a stark contrast to the huge black eyes. Compared with the pale skin, it was an interesting effect. What did interest him, was how short she was. Nearly two feet shorter than his 6"9. Looking down at her, he suddenly felt a bit uncomfortable towering over her.
"Nahir Moon?" he asked, hoping that he'd get an easier ride with her than he had with Luke. He really didn't want to whack her. Not just for the obvious reason, but also because he personally hated the idea of violence.
"That's me," she replied, taking a step back, her eyes dropping down to avoid looking at him in the eyes. Instead, she seemed more intent on starting at her short black combat boots.. Her Glameow continued to hiss at him, Dominic taking great care to ignore it. "What do you...?"
"Please," he replied. "I mean you no harm. My employer would like to talk to you about a matter most urgent."
"Oh..." she said, suddenly looking relieved. "Why me?"
"I'm sorry, but I'm not at liberty to say," Dominic replied. "My name is Dominic, by the way."
"Hi, Dominic," she said, still looking a bit unsure. "So, where do we go from here?"
"Well, you're easier than the last one," he remarked. "Just follow me to the chopper."
"Wow, never been in a helicopter before," Nahir commented.
"Lucky day then."
"Three down," Dominic muttered, as he strode through Red Moon City. "At this rate, I'll be done in the next four hours."
It had been an exhausting day, not least for the efforts of flying all over Verger. But, at least now it was drawing to a close. Miranda had sent him some information telling him that the Aura Finder had tracked down the last two candidates. One on the Merlin Plateau and one in Red Moon City. Given that after dropping Nahir off, he was closest to Red Moon City, he'd decided to head over there.
Using the portable tracker attached onto his contact lenses, he was following the Aura signature through the streets. Until...
"Typical," he muttered, seeing the gym up ahead. "Guess that I would have found at least one in a Pokemon gym. Wonder which one it'll be."
As he recalled, the Red Moon City Pokemon Gym specialised in ghost types. Grinning at the prospect at being spooked, Dominic pushed the door open and stepped inside, his Aura tracker already recognising its target.
Shuffling through his file, looking at the two remaining photographs, his thoughts were quickly confirmed.
"Blastoise!" the trainer challenging Tanelle, the gym leader, commanded. "Use Hydro Pump now!"
At those words, the evolved form of Squirtle and Wartortle cocked the cannons on its shoulder and launched a twin set of powerful water blasts towards the Dusknoir that he was battling.
Seeing that the Pokemon didn't have much health left, Dominic instead focused on the young man commanding the water type. Fairly tall, a little over six foot, with black hair and a set of brown eyes. Wearing what he assumed was his travel attire, of a red T-shirt, black jacket, blue jeans and a pair of brown shoes.
Watching the Dusknoir fall to the ground with a groan, Dominic turned tail and headed for the exit, knowing that it was only a matter of waiting.
Placing his new badge in the case, Xavier stepped out of the gym, wondering if he still had the time to go and get something to eat before starting his trek towards the next city.
As he replaced the case within his pocket, the corner of his eyes suddenly registered the sight of something approaching him. Turning to see what it was, he didn't expect to see the huge frame of a beige haired man who looked a little like a human Arcanine.
"Xavier Jackson?" the figure asked, causing him to stiffen up. "I presume that that's who you are?"
"What if I am?" Xavier asked, looking him up and down with what he hoped passed for sheer cockiness.
"My employer would like to speak with you," he replied. "My name is Dominic West."
"Why me?" Xavier wondered, taken aback by the request.
"That's something that he'll have to explain," Dominic told him. "But, please. Time is short. I've got one more stop to make before going to Waterfall Shores."
"Okay," Xavier replied, figuring what the heck. If nothing else, he got a free trip to the other end of Verger. "Let's go. If time's that short."
"Oh, believe me," Dominic said. "It is."
And with those words, they began to head towards the helipad across town.
Grunting with the effort, sweat running down her face as she tried to pull herself up onto the edge of the cliff, Danielle Tanner was somehow feeling psyched in this moment. Sure, she'd had a buzz before, but over the last few months this had been her only way to get that out of the way. Ever since Regli had been defeated by her and the other six G-Force rangers. With Duo having to head back to Johto for a few days in a family emergency, she'd decided that she was going to spend the time climbing the Merlin Plateau. As she pulled herself up onto the ledge, only a few hundred feet from the top, a shadow dropped over her. Sat down while looking up, she couldn't help but think that the figure looked even bigger than he actually was. She even almost reached for the Houndoom morpher in her bag out of surprise, before regaining some composure.
"Who are you?" she demanded, getting to her feet. She wasn't worried about his presence, had faced beings at least twice as scary in the past.
"Oh, forgive me, Miss..." the figure replied, looking down at his folder. "... Tanner. My name is Dominic West and my employer would like to talk to you. About a project of the utmost importance."
"Me?" Danni asked, surprised. "There's nothing special about me."
"I think we both know that that's a filthy lie," Dominic said. "Please, just listen to what he has to say. And, time is fairly short."
He looked down at the teenaged girl in front of him. So far, it appeared that all the chosen ones were about the same age. Anything from eighteen to twenty one. According to the files that Miranda had been able to garner up from somewhere, she was eighteen. Like Xavier, she had brown eyes, but her hair was red. She was wearing a black and yellow vest, above a pair of calf length dark grey sweat pants with yellow stripes. Her attire was completed by a set of white sneakers.
"This is a desperate time," he said. "Something that I believe you know about."
How did he...? Danni started to wonder within her head. Did he know about her previous history. If that was the case, then...
"Okay," she replied. "Lead on. If things are that desperate."
Having gone and picked the other four candidates up from the holding area where he'd left them, the helicopter was now heading out towards the ocean. Leaving the people that Dominic had gathered to engage in inane conversation.
"So..." Xavier said, looking over at Katie, with interest. "... Aren't you the former Verger champion?"
"Yeah," she replied. "Stood down about a month ago. Wanted to spend more time scuba diving with my Pokemon."
"I see," he remarked.
"Don't you use water types?" Danni asked. "Must have a battle sometime."
"Maybe," Katie said. "What's the catch."
"Most of my Pokemon are electric types," Danni smiled. "Give or take."
"You're all crazy," Nahir said. "I've said it before, I'll say it again. What's the point of battling, really? Just some sort of kick to prove that you're better than everyone else?"
"That's exactly the point!" Xavier exclaimed, with a wink. "Top of the pile. King of the... Thing."
"So, what's your story?" Danni asked, looking over at where Luke was leaning against the wall of the helicopter, looking a bit annoyed at being here. "You get recruited as well?"
"Unfortunately," Luke replied, breezily. "Although, I'd rather not talk about it."
"What happened?" Xavier said, with a grin as he leaned over to punch Luke on the arm. "You tell him no and he whacked you?"
"He do it to you as well?" Luke asked.
"Nah, I was smart enough to avoid telling him where to go," Xavier laughed. "Seriously, he looks like he eats metal for breakfast."
"I resent that remark," Dominic called back from the cockpit. "Anyway, we're almost here."
"Almost where?" Luke said, sarcastically. "Another part of the ocean, nothing around for miles."
"Hey, look at that!" Nahir exclaimed, glancing out of the window. "A submarine!"
Everyone bar Luke started to climb over and see if what she said was true. Just for something to do.
"Oh wow," Luke muttered. "Big deal. A submarine, out here on the ocean. Wonders will never cease."
"Just out of interest," Nahir said, looking back over at him. "Are you always this moody, or do you have a fear of flying?"
"I'm a qualified pilot, I'll have you know," Luke told her. "I'm not bothered by heights."
"We're landing on the sub," Danni reported, as the helicopter started to descend. "How about that?"
"You ever been in a sub before?" Xavier asked.
"Bet Miss Former Champion has," Luke said, looking over at Katie. Who returned the look with a roll of her eyes.
"Actually, I haven't," she replied. "Not one that was operational, anyway. I did dive through the remains of one a few months ago."
"Wow," Nahir said, as the helicopter landed down on the metallic surface of the vehicle. "Guess it's turning out to be one of those days."
"Okay, people," Dominic called. "Take all personal belongings with you when you leave and get on board the submarine."
"Holy crap," Xavier remarked, as the automated sub began to head towards the end of its travel destination. And, it finally came into view through the darkness of the water.
"Double holy crap," Danni agreed, as the lights given off by several large buildings perched on the seabed began to come into view. Each connected by a web of walkways, illuminated by several small pilot lights on their surface.
"What the heck is this place?" Nahir asked.
"This is the SDI Aquabase," Dominic said, proudly. "Although, the people inside will tell you more. We should be there in a few minutes."
"That... Is actually pretty impressive," Luke muttered.
"I've never seen anything like this before," Katie commented. She was almost jumping up and down in excitement at what was appearing in front of them.
"Oh, it gets better," Dominic remarked, with a grin.
"Welcome to the SDI Aquabase."
That was the voice of an iron haired man greeting them as the six of them walked into a room marked as a Briefing Room. Inside was a large conference table with over ten seats around it. On the top of that table, next to the man, there was a pair of closed briefcases.
"I'm glad that you could all make it in time," the figure continued, dusting a speck off the front of his military uniform. "It's good to see that West found you all."
"Couldn't have done it without Miranda's staff and equipment, sir," Dominic replied. "Anything else that you need me for?"
"Just stick around for a moment," the man told him, before Luke stepped forward in anger.
"Okay," he said, annoyed at what was going on. "Just who the heck are you? Because, this is kidnap. Do you even know who I am?"
"I'm Commander Robert Bristow," the man snapped, causing Luke to shrink back in surprise. "And, you were brought here under my orders. For reasons that will be explained once I'm through informing you. But, none of you will be detained here longer than you want to. You're free to leave at any time."
Almost instantly, Luke turned to head for the exit.
"Although, the submarine won't be charged up for the return trip for at least another twenty minutes," Bristow said, smartly. "So, you might as well listen to what I've got to say."
Shaking his head, Luke went over to sit down. The other rangers had already done so, Bristow waiting for Luke to sit down before starting to talk.
"Now, you might be wondering why I've brought you here," he said. "The short version is that Verger is in danger. A long time ago, this entire region was inhabited by a bloodthirsty race of demons. Demons that were intending to extend their control over towards other regions."
"You are kidding of course," Luke muttered.
"Why's that so hard to believe?" Nahir asked, waving a finger at him. "It could easily happen."
"Quiet," Xavier said. "He's speaking."
"Thank you," Bristow replied. "Anyway, as they were about to attack other regions, a warrior from Hoenn appeared and locked the leaders away in place known only as the Shadow World. Never to return on their own. It would take a being of unmistakeable power to release them."
He paused to clear his throat, before continuing on with his story.
"Long ago, this legend was established as fact. One day, these demons would return. And, this is where I came into the picture."
"How can you be sure that this is true?" Katie wondered. "It does seem a bit... Then again, I saw something a few months ago that would creep most people out."
"What, a mutant?" Danni asked. "Pokemon mutant that tried to kill a bunch of people."
"With respect, Miss Tanner," Bristow said. "Those events gave us our own initiative. When these legends were established, this place was created. The Social Defense Initiative. Long story short, I was sent down here to create a team that had a way of fighting these demons off when they returned."
"And, you came up with a solution," Xavier asked, not believing what he was hearing. "How exactly do you fight off a demon?"
"With the right weapons," Bristow replied. "You!"
"We're the weapons?" Nahir asked. "I'm not following you."
"Our team of technicians have come up with a way of taking the fight to the demons," Bristow continued, walking over to the two briefcases on the table. One of them he opened up to show a multitude of files. "Excuse me, wrong case."
Blustering a little at his error, he moved over to open up the other leather case. To reveal a plush purple inside, upon which five Pokeball-like orbs were perched.
"Because of your skills," Bristow continued. "Our Aura Finder has processed all the criteria that we were looking for. And then, our satellite tracked you down."
"I'm slightly worried right about now," Katie quipped. "That we can get tracked down by a satellite."
"But, why?" Danni asked. "What do you need us for?"
"We... And by that I mean the whole of Verger," Bristow replied. "Need you all to become Poke Rangers. It's not going to be easy. There's a chance that you might get hurt in the..."
"Already done it," Danni told him. "Been one before."
"Ah, the black ranger," Bristow said, reaching down into the briefcase he'd opened first and taking out a photograph. "Not so secretive as you like to believe."
Stepping over to see what was on the piece of paper, Danni let out a gulp.
"This was taken outside the Pokemon Centre in Eon City," Bristow said. "Seems about the only time that that security camera was switched on."
"Eep," Danni muttered.
"But, that's in the past," Bristow replied, ripping the photo into two pieces.
"You were a part of G-Force?" Katie asked, shaking her head. "Really."
"These powers are superior to anything that Verger has seen before," Bristow said. "Less than twenty four hours ago, we registered a power surge. One that could have only occurred by some of these demons being released from their prison. By who and why, we don't know. But, we do know that from now on Verger is in danger. You're its only hope. But, I can't tell you to do it. It needs to be your choice."
"Okay," Luke said. "I've heard you out. And, I think you're probably the craziest human being I've ever..."
"Oh shut up," Nahir told him. "I believe him."
"Yeah, because you're such a poster child for sanity," Luke said, snidely. "Does anyone else think that this is kinda pathetic?"
"Not really," both Danni and Katie remarked. "It could happen... That was freaky. Hey, so was that. And that."
"I can believe it," Xavier said, as the two girls tried to separate their voices from each other. "I come from Hoenn. Over the last four years, monsters have been attacking that place for fun. Be it freaky looking hybrids, machines, members of an intergalactic motorcycle gang or..."
"That's why you left, I take it?" Katie said, looking at him. "Interesting choice."
"If you don't accept this power," Bristow said, coldly looking at Luke. "And fight against this wave of evil, then all of Verger will be destroyed and its people killed. Or enslaved. Do you want that on your shoulders."
"If he does, he doesn't have a soul," Nahir muttered. Something that made Luke flinch as she said it. "Anyway, I'm in."
"I'll do it too," Katie said.
"Count me in," Xavier remarked.
"If it needs saving..." Danni said, folding her arms. "Plus, I suppose I have been missing the action."
Everyone in the room looked over at Luke, who let out a sigh.
"Alright," he said, reluctantly. "I'll do it."
"Welcome to the team," Xavier replied.
As he finished speaking, the alarms started to ring out around the Aquabase.
"What the heck?" Katie said, jumping at the sound.
"Guess the first wave of the assault just started," Bristow said, walking over to the intercom. "Status report."
"We've got reports of a monster attack in Waterfall Shores," a voice replied through the device. "If you're going to unleash the rangers on them, now would be the time."
"Prep the Defense Driver," Bristow commanded, before shutting it off. With a pace that belied his years, he stepped forward and picked up the briefcase containing the Pokeballs. "I wanted you to have at least some training before this happened. But, there's no time. These are your Defense Morphers. When you use them, they should upload you with just enough fighting skill to get by against whatever is out there. Take them, now."
Quickly doing as he said, the five new rangers reached out and each took one of the Pokeballs.
"When the time comes," Bristow said, as Dominic opened the door. "You'll know what to do. Follow Dominic and he'll take you where you need to go."
"Here, use these," Dominic said, as they passed through a locker room. Upon hooks on the wall, there were five red jackets. Each with a number from one to five on the right breast, back and upper arm. "They'll identify you as members of SDI."
Nodding, Xavier grabbed the jacket with number one on, removing his black one to make room for it. Katie took the one with number two on, while Luke went for the number three. Before Danni took the number four and Nahir took the only one remaining.
"Just felt right," Danni muttered, as she slipped the jacket across her upper body. "And, it fits pretty well."
"Increases your defense," Dominic said. "Will shield you against most physical attacks. Plus, they're fireproof, don't conduct electricity and..."
"Time's short," Xavier replied. "Where do we go?"
"Damn," Luke muttered, as the six of them arrived at a sleek red and yellow spotted jeep in front of them. "We going to ride that?"
"Shotgun," Katie shouted.
"This is the Defense Driver," Dominic explained. "It will carry you into battle."
"It looks like... It was modelled on a Shuckle," Danni remarked, as Xavier opened the door and got behind the wheel. True to her word, Katie jumped into the shotgun seat, while the other three jumped into the back.
The floor started to rise up, the rangers now realising that the Defense Driver was parked on an elevator.
"Floor it," Dominic advised. "Good luck, rangers. This is where your first mission comes into play."
"Sure you don't want to come along?" Luke asked.
"Not my battle," Dominic smiled, before the elevator vanished from view into the ceiling.
"Okay, let's go," Xavier said, as they arrived in a tunnel. "I presume that this takes us back to Waterfall Shores."
With that, he pushed down onto the accelerator and they tore away down the tunnel.
"No radio?" Nahir asked, half jokingly.
The journey took no time at all. The Defense Driver was faster than it looked, eating through the mile and a half with ease. Flying through a set of metal doors at the end, they were back out into the fresh air of Waterfall Shores.
"Right, where are we going?" Xavier asked.
"There's a GPS," Katie said, reaching down under the dashboard. "Go left here."
Following the directions, and the sound of screams, the new rangers soon found the source of the commotion.
"Damn, those things are fugly," Katie remarked, seeing a bunch of black and purple humanoid beings running around attacking anything that moved. They had Misdreavous heads, and were letting out desolate wails. Parts of the city were burning and the new rangers could see at least one person trapped under some fallen rubble.
"Let's do it," Xavier said, jumping out of the Defense Driver. "Let's save these people."
"You really took to the hero part," Luke muttered, sarcastically.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines, a pair of hikers were recording the entire incident on a camcorder.
"This is fantastic, Tim!" one of them said, eagerly. "We'll put this on the Internet and make a fortune. The monster attacks are back."
"Hey, haven't we seen that red head before?" Mal asked.
Running over to where a woman was trapped, Katie and Danni started to lift up the debris, allowing her to get free.
"You're safe now," Danni said, helping her up. Before the previously trapped woman let out a scream. Behind the three, a bunch of Misdrabeings leaped through the air and sent them crashing down to the ground.
Annoyed at the way she'd been taken from behind, Danni jumped back up and threw a kick towards the closest Misdrabeing. Only for it to grab her leg and send her spinning into the very debris that she had just helped the person out of. A bit unsure in her moves, Katie leaped forward and through a punch at the Misdrabeing closest to her. The creature let out a yelp, before striking back with a Night Shade attack. Sending Katie crashing into the middle of the road, where Danni had rolled a few moments earlier.
Across from them, Xavier, Luke and Nahir were also fighting the Misdrabeings. One of them grabbed Nahir by the shoulders and threw her back against Luke. Knocking the pair of them over. Meanwhile, Xavier was fighting two of them, a losing battle. As he managed to send one doubling over with a blow to the stomach, the other hit him in the lower back, sending him down to one knee.
Then the one that he'd hit in the stomach, extended out and kicked him in the face, causing him to crash down onto his back.
"These things are tough," Danni muttered.
Before, a voice came out of the Pokeballs hung on a cord around their neck.
"Rangers," Bristow said, his voice sounding tiny. "Use your Defense Morphers and take the fight to them."
"That makes sense," Danni said. "How did we not think of that before?"
"Because we lost focus," Nahir muttered, as the five got to their feet. They stood in a line, Xavier in the middle, Katie and Danni to his right, Luke and Nahir to his left.
"Ready to do this?" Xavier asked. His fellow rangers nodded, as they gripped their Pokeballs in their hands.
"SDI!" the five rangers yelled. "Time To Battle!"
As the five Pokeballs opened up, a white energy burst out from within them and began to cover the rangers. Creating their armour. All of which contained the same design of a white star-like pattern on their chest.
First Xavier began to change. His armour was all red, apart from his gloves and boots which were separated from the red by a gold band. The same colour that was his belt, the buckler which had the words SDI upon the middle of it. The same logo was on the band around his gloves and boots. His helmet began to appear, materialising around his face. The top of it had an Entei-like theme, while the black visor was shaped like a shield. There was no mouthpiece. At his waist, there was a blaster.
Then, Katie began to transform into her costume. Her armour was blue where Xavier's was red. Unlike Xavier as well, her uniform contained a skirt. Her helmet had an Empoleon-like theme and the black visor was a hexagon shape. There was also no mouthpiece.
Next, Luke transformed into a similar set of green armour. He didn't have a skirt, like Katie, and the costume was essentially a green version of Xaviers. The top of his helmet had a Flygon-like theme and and the black visor was an inverted triangle. Again, there was no mouthpiece visible upon the helmet.
As he finished, Danni started to change. Her costume was yellow, and like Katie, had a skirt coming down to the middle of her thighs. The top of her helmet could be seen to have a Victreebel-like design with the teeth and the eyes. The black visor was mainly a square with the top side curved into a circle.
And finally, Nahir began to complete the circle. Transforming into a pink costume, which like Katie and Danni, had a skirt added to it. The top of her helmet appeared to have a Blissey-like design, as well as the black visor being in the shape of a circle. And, just like the others, there wasn't a mouthpiece as part of her costume.
All around the scene, people stopped and gaped. It had been the second unexpected thing that they had seen in a matter of minutes. First the Misdrabeings and now..."
"Hey, this is cool," Xavier said, banging his fists together.
"The power's awesome," Katie remarked.
"Hmmm..." Luke mused.
"Definitely a different perspective," Danni said.
"Let's kick some ghost ass," Nahir offered, as the Misdrabeings suddenly looked worried. As if they knew that they'd bitten off more than they could chew.
"You did it," Bristow said, his voice loud and clear in their helmets. "And, the communication system seems to be working as well. Feel the knowledge supporting you and it's time to save Waterfall Shores."
"Let's do it!" Xavier shouted. "Poke Rangers!"
"SDI!" the other four rangers finished.
"Go forth and give them hell," Bristow said, folding his arms back in the Aquabase with a grin.
With that command, the five rangers charged to engage the Misdrabeings in combat.
Filled with a new power, Danni jumped up and took one down with a kick to the head. Hearing its ghostly body crash against the sidewalk, before vanishing away into nothing. Two more tried to take her from behind, only for Nahir to take out her Defense Blaster and shoot both of them down into nothing.
"These are pretty awesome," she commented.
"Oh yeah," Xavier offered, shooting another in the head. "Got to love spiffy laser pistols."
"How many people actually use that phrase anymore?" Katie wondered, knocking something on the back of the weapon. Kicking the closest Misdrabeing to her back towards the wall, she reached up and pulled the lever back the full way. It promptly mutated out into a sword, the barrel extending out to nearly three feet long. Grinning, she brought the weapon back and speared the stunned foot soldier through the stomach.
"Felt like a spiffy moment," Xavier replied, activating his own sword and starting to hack at the hoardes around him. A few feet away from them, Luke grabbed one of the Misdrabeings by the arms and hurled it around to the ground. Kicking it across the stone surface, he watched it crash into another group of its counterparts. Smirking, he turned to land a pair of punches into the one trying to sneak up behind him.
Running over and leaping off a fallen chunk of rock, Nahir planted both feet into the stomach of one of the final Misdrabeings, destroying it.
The last one, looking around in fear, quickly vanished of its own accord.
"Alright!" Xavier exclaimed, as the crowds started to gather around the rangers, offering their congratulations. "We did it!"
Across from them, the same two hikers were looking at each other.
"Okay, so there might be more of these things out there?" Mal wondered. "That's worrying. Maybe we should head to Kanto and live in the Rock Tunnel."
"Or..." Tim said, with a grin. "We record these things on tape and put them all on the Internet. Get our own reality show where we hunt monsters. With a complete collection, someone might just go for it."
"What are you getting at?" Mal asked.
"With that, we can become ultra rich!" Tim said. "Money! Alcohol! Women! That'll do me. And, we can leave the hiker lifestyle behind forever."
"I kinda like being a hiker," Mal protested. "I mean, we get respect because we're big and tough. Because we live in the mountains by choice. And, anything else would be..."
"To the Tim-Mobile!" Tim exclaimed, grabbing him by the coat and running away. "Away!"
"Did you foresee this happening?" Joltara asked, as the three villains looked at the mystical portal in front of them.
"What, a bunch of teenagers urinating on my metaphorical bonfire?" Darkia asked. "I might have had an idea that it could have happened. Only difference is..."
He let out a groan, shaking his head.
"Wrong group of rangers," he complained. "What happened to G-Force? Got these pissants instead to get at. Although, it was nice to..."
The General let it hang, partly to leave an aura of mystique, partly because the pillar of smoke flashed up to reveal Queen Misteria's astral form.
"So," she said, spitefully spitting smoke at him. "You already failed in your task to bring back my lands."
"My queen," Darkia replied, managing an uneasy smile. "This was just a test of the water. One to see what defences that would be thrown against the return of your glory. Now that I know what we're up against in this situation, the place will be back under your control back within the week."
"See that it is, Darkia," the Queen snapped. "Meanwhile, I'll be sending someone else to assist you very shortly. Someone who holds something very important to me. Make sure you treat them with the respect that they deserve."
"Of course," Darkia said, as she vanished away. Back into wherever she was residing. "My queen."
Applause rang out around the Aquabase, as the elevator descended down back into the holding bay. With the rangers getting out of the Defense Driver, they began to milk it up.
"Not a problem," Xavier said, waving down at the technicians. "All in the line of duty. We will be heroes and all that."
"You're really enjoying this," Nahir remarked. "Huh?"
"Hey, we saved the day," Xavier said, as the elevator finally reached its stop. "What's not to love?"
"You saved today," Bristow remarked, making his way to the front of the crowd. "But, it's not even close to being over. Those demons will continue to attack and attack until nothing is left. But, after what I saw today, I believe that the five of you can stop them."
"You do?" Katie asked. "Because..."
"I have the faith in you," Bristow said. "And, I think that Verger is in good hands."
"Pleasure to serve," Danni replied. "We won't let this region down."
"I know," Bristow said, managing a small smile.
Wow, hope you enjoyed that. Big old season opener. Emphasis on the big.
And, I enjoyed writing it. Maybe I should have done it into a two parter. Or, I don't know. I think this works. And, the two hikers, Mal and Tim return.
Well, thanks for reading.
The first of many. Hopefully.
Just on the photo that Bristow had on Danni. Even had that planned. The event happened in the chapter Blackout.
Okay, so some reviews would be welcome. And, thanks to those that sent me rangers to be used in this fic. They will be credited next chapter.
Anyway, Chapter Two, SDI Teamwork will be up as soon as I've written it. Preview below.
Bristow: I'd like to introduce you to the woman who created your powers.
Darkia: If you want to destroy a city, there's more than one way to go about it.
Dominic: A meteorite has hit Waterfall Shores.
Miranda: These are your Aura Carriers. They'll take you into battle.
Xavier: There are people trapped in that building.
Miranda: Check out what's inside your Aura Carriers.
Danni: Awe, sweet!