Disclaimer: Don't own Pokemon

Hello everybody and there is another update! And guess what? DP has been updated as well!

Thanks SinCityAssassin for betaing this chapter.

Chapter 15:

Resistance base

Despite a lengthy wait at the doctor's office, Justin had his injuries checked out and his Scizor back. He was planning to take a nice long nap when he had bumped into a breathless Donovan who brought him up to speed with the news.

"Assassin did what?!"

"She," Donovan spoke louder this time, "informed Nova without us and then Nova ordered the Captain to-"

"No need to repeat. I heard the first time."

"Then why did you ask what she said?"

"I was just… surprised."

"Well, that explains your open jaw. Listen, about Henry…"

"There is nothing we can do," Justin interrupted bitterly. "And don't try to act like there is."

"Yeah… but you were there for most of the battle. What was your judgment on the situation? Maybe you could shed some light for me on this Pain guy."

The image of that man's face popped up in Justin's mind and he immediately shuddered. "I know only one thing about him. He… is not someone we should take lightly. He's a killer, and he's sadistic. He wouldn't let anyone die without having some "fun" with them; it'd be a slow and painful death."

"Oh… good thing I wasn't there."

"We were lucky that Fuuta, Ashe, and Assassin showed up." Justin was reminded of his promise to Ashe to check up on her. Looks like a rest would have to wait a little bit longer.

"And that's what I'm getting at. I mean we have our own psychic person, not to mention we won. Why is Nova freaking out now, trying to get Henry on the field? I mean Henry isn't even going to be much of an asset on the battlefield for a long while. Emphasis on the long."

"Fuuta receives personal objectives from Nova, so he's not always going to be there to help save the day."

"Really? What kind?"

"Not exactly sure," Justin said, trying hard to stifle a yawn. "And anyways, if there were any more psychic people there, we would've been dead."

"And while I'm not trying to think about that thought, you have to admit, if that was the case, this plan wouldn't even get off the ground in the first place. Of course… they could have been station at other places but we never had a run in with them before… at all… so…"

"Get to the point."

"Okay, here's my question. Why did this psychic guy show up in front of you and Leo when we were in the facility? Why not earlier? There was no intel about an enemy psychic tearing us up in the front line. In fact, we didn't even know our own psychic guy was going to be there either. It just seems like an awful lot of coincidences."

Donovan raised a good point, the entire situation was puzzling, but Justin was too exhausted to come up with a good reason.

"I don't know. Maybe they wanted to see if we actually had a chance of taking them down." Donovan fell silent at this new idea and didn't say a word that Justin finally decided to say something.

"Listen, Donovan. I'm exhausted. I have to go to see Ashe before I get some sleep. Is it okay if we continue this conversation at a later time?"

"Hmm? Oh yeah, sure."

With that, Justin left Donovan as the guy continued to stand there, thinking deeply into space.

"Whoa, looks like Sleeping Beauty has finally woken up."

The Blaziken PM groaned as she felt the throbbing pain at the side of her head increased as she slowly got up.

"Take it easy. You were hit pretty hard." When Ashe's blurry vision started to clear, she was able to see that she managed to get back into the infirmary. Next to her was the Glaceon PM – Ai. She seemed to be alone. There was no one else. Then all of the events from earlier came swirling back into her mind.

"Urghhh, what happened to everybody else?"

"They managed to survive. I'm pretty sure Leo and Justin are grateful of your timing."

"Until I got knocked out by that... arghhh…" Ashe rubbed her head gingerly, which was wrapped tightly with white bandages. "Gosh, thinking about it makes my head hurt."

"Still, it gave everybody enough time to make the final blow. At least that's what Leo told us."

"Where is he?" Ashe muttered, looking around the room. "He got badly hurt as well you know."

"Trying to help Henry I think. Though I'm not sure what kind of help."

"Henry? Why?"

"He got discharged an hour ago."

"D-discharge? How long have I been out? What is going on?" Ashe almost jumped out of bed in shock.

"Nova is making Henry learn how to fight. He'll be present when the next conflict arises."

"Henry!?" Disbelief was filled in Ashe's voice. "Are you serious? Our Henry?"

"Wish I could joke," Ai said bitterly. Ashe looked downright horrified and sank her head back down on to the pillow. She had already seen enough of her comrades' deaths, and she didn't want to see the death of someone who shouldn't be fighting in the first place.

"W-why?"

"Because of the existence of Pain," another voice replied. The two female PMs turned to see Dr. Aria walking in. She had an extremely bitter look that seemed to be more common on her face as each day passed.

"I've been at a meeting with Nova," Dr. Aria explained to the two girls. "He literally tore up psychoanalysis data I had on Henry that I gave him, and he knows I hate writing reports for him." Aria collapsed into her chair and looked extremely drained.

"Let me go get you some coffee," Ai said, clearly want to cheer up the dismal mood, "And get something for Ashe too."

"Ah, no. Don't worry about it," Ashe quickly said.

"It's okay; I'll get something for Ashe later. You should get back to your room. Don't worry about me." But Ai has already left the office to go to the cafeteria. Aria couldn't help but smile softly. "Such a nice girl." Aria then turned her attention to her patient.

"Are you feeling okay?"

"Of course, thanks to you," Ashe looked worryingly though at Dr. Aria. "But are you?"

"Don't worry about me. Just focus on getting better. Nova forced everybody else to be discharged."

"What?!" Just how many more pieces of shocking news was Ashe going to get today? Nova never cared about any injured PMs unless there was a job to be done. He didn't like unproductivity but he didn't have the time to care how Aria took care of her patients. "Why?"

"I don't know," Aria said grimly, "But I have a gut feeling that something bad is going on within the Resistance and Nova is planning to do anything to destroy it."

Inside Fuego Ironworks

Eleven year old Gavin could hear the sounds of gunfire coming from outside and he didn't like it. He turned towards his mother, who also had a frightened look on her face. Without a word, she grabbed her son and pulled him toward the other side of the factory with some of the other women, along with the children and the elderly.

"Hey! I want to go and check it out!" Gavin noticed that kid named Hiro had a fit of rage as he tried to break away from his uncle's grasp. "Let me go! Let me join the fight!" For a fleeting moment, Gavin felt like doing the same thing; he didn't want to sit in the background and wanted to be out in the frontline. Unfortunately, the tight grip from his mother's hand made it impossible.

"Hiro! Stay down!" the uncle snapped angrily at his nephew. "You're too young."

"Hey, if it's Team Galactic at the door, I'd want to give them a personal and warm welcome to the head!"

"That child!" Gavin's mother shook her head in despair. Gavin merely looked at his Buizel and noticed that though his Pokémon was shaking with fear, Gavin could make out the G-mark that was on its hind leg. It seemed like it was recalling its old life in a Galactic waarehouse. Gavin, on the other hand, had so much rage and anger boiling inside of him that all he wanted to do was to fight to get the revenge he had been waiting for. Gavin noticed that all the men, who were off-duty, began to hide behind old wooden crates that were set up in a barricade formation.

Well, all of them except one.

"WHAT THE HELL?! What's all this noise?" In the corner, a thirty-year-old man was lying on sacks of hard cement and got up into a sitting position. He looked like he had just woken up from a long nap and his bloodshot olive eyes suggest that he wasn't done with that. Hiro stopped pulling away from his uncle and looked around with sudden interest.

The guy had a stubble and his soft long auburn hair reached the back of his neck and was tied in a little ponytail. The black cloth tied around his head was a stark contrast to his rosy cheeks. He wore thick traveling clothes and worn out boots, giving off a sense of wariness. He was irritably chewing on the toothpick in his mouth.

"Some of us are trying to get some shuteye!" The man immediately motioned the scary Shiftry next to him and they walked, without fear, toward the door where the sounds of gunfire continued.

Hiro recognized the man. Never revealing his name, this trainer had shown up a couple of months ago, carrying with him a large sack of personal goods. If he had a full beard, he would've looked like Santa Claus.

And then he proceeded to singlehandedly take out the guards with ease in a Pokémon battle. Of course, all the guardsmen weren't really expert trainers to begin with, but their quick defeats proved that this man was not to be taken lightly.

However, even though he was eventually accepted into the shelter, the auburn hair man was the only one of all the Pokémon trainers who refused to contribute any of his time to defend the factory and often vanished for a few days at a time. Every time he returned, he'd come with a whole bunch of stolen food and goods, sharing them with the other residents, but instead of being in the spotlight of praises, he always went off into a corner to sleep. Overall, Hiro guessed that he was a Santa Claus after all. Most of them accepted his ways, but the men often gave him the cold shoulder, though this mysterious Santa Claus didn't seem to care.

Hiro had admired the mysterious guy, but never had the chance to talk to him. Even when he would try, Hiro's uncle had kept him on a very tight leash. And now, Hiro was excited. He could finally see the man in action.

"What are you doing?!" Hiro's uncle yelled. "Get away from the door!" As though to prove a point, the shots of fire stopped and after a long silence, the door suddenly busted open, followed by a rusty cringing sound that gave everybody goosebumps. Light spilled into the dark building and everybody huddled away in fear. And as flakes of snow came pouring in, two tall strangers in hoods slowly and methodically appeared at the entrance. One of them was holding dual pistols, letting his hands hang to his sides while the other merely stood beside. The auburn hair man wasn't fazed at the guns.

Before anybody could get a word edgewise…

"Bullet Seed!" Shiftry sent out a powerful blast of seeds straight toward the two people.

"Stone Edge!" Immediately, the seeds were blasted away by the slabs of rocks the spiked from the floor and exploded in the air. The compound shook from the impact and Hiro, taking advantage of the sudden shockwave, hurried up forward to get a better look.

"Wow!" Hiro turned to see another kid next to him. Next to this boy was his frightened Buizel. There was a look of excitement and curiosity in the guy's eyes as well. Hiro recognized him. They were both the same age, but that kid, Gavin, preferred to keep to himself. This was probably the first time they stood this close to each other.

"What? Never seen a proper Pokémon battle before?" Hiro asked bluntly. The Buizel trainer blushed in embarrassment and slowly shook his head. "Well," Hiro continued on, looking back at the scene. "At least we're gonna see a decent one for once."

As soon as the dust cleared, Hiro and Gavin gaped when the large shadow behind the two cloaks revealed to be a powerful looking Rhyperior.

There were two things Hiro and Gavin can gather from the two men. One was that they were not wearing Team Galactic uniforms, which gave a short sigh of relief until they saw what lied behind the two figures. Littered everywhere were the unconscious guardsmen and their Pokémon. Whoever these people were, they were a force to be reckon with.

There was a sense of horror among the group of refugees – horror because the intruders had taken down their 'bodyguards', but there was also a sense of small hope among them because their last line of 'defense' was still standing – the only man who managed to do the same thing and take out all of those guardsmen. For Hiro and Gavin, they both wished that they could join the fight.

"You guys took out all those guardsmen?" There was a crooked grin of amusement and excitement on the man's face. "Well, at least I'm not going to be bored this time. Shiftry! Use Leaf Storm!" A hurricane of leaves blasted from its arm toward the rock rhinoceros Pokémon.

"Hammer Arm!"

Woosh! The ground and rock Pokémon's powerful horizontal swing disrupted the powerful blast of leaves and the damage it took from the attack was miniscule its weakness to grass types.

"Now! Faint Attack!"

"Turn around and use Megahorn!" Shiftry had disappeared so quickly tried to attack from behind, but apparently the Rhyperior trainer had been expecting this. With incredible dexterity and speed, Rhyperior swung around was able strike down the Shiftry with its large horn and sent it crashing to the ground, severely injuring it.

"Ugggh, damn it!" the red hair man looked seriously pissed at the situation. "This is what happens when I don't have sugar in my system! Shiftry, get up!"

"Finish it off Rhyperior!" The man ordered his large bulky Pokémon to take down the Shiftry. Several women screamed in shock while the men continued to cower from behind.

"Wait, hold on!" the gun-wielding man stopped his friend from attacking again and focused on the auburn hair man, his eyes narrowed.

"What was that for?" His partner was infuriated at being interrupted.

"'Sugar in my system'… I heard that phrase before… Grant?" The man lowered his dual pistols and grinned with excitement. "Grant, is that you?!"

"Wha-? How?"

"It's me!" The man removed his hood and revealed to be in his late thirties. His hair was a dark shade of brown and was also wearing shades. "Don't you recognize me?"

"No way," the man muttered in shock and actually took a step back. The toothpick dropped out of his gaping mouth. "Not you…"

"You know this man?" the hooded man with the Rhyperior asked suspiciously.

"Of course! We went way back!"

"Quit making me sound old," Grant snarled. "And we don't go way back!"

"How long has it been? Ten years?"

"Three," Grant corrected. "And I can see that math still isn't your strong suit; nor is your perception of time." But the guy didn't seem to care and went over to try and give a hearty hug.

Anyone in the factory that managed to listen in on the conversation continued to with interest. The fact that the enigmatic trainer (whose name was apparently Grant) had recognized one of these two mysterious men was highly suspicious.

"Who are these people?" One of the male refugees demanded to Grant. "Are you with them?"

"Oh gosh, Grant! You have friends! Well, why didn't you introduce us in the first place? My name is Dr. Buchner and this here –" the man pointed to his hodded partner, "-is my friend Watson. Pleasure to meet you. And don't worry about your mates out there! I merely used some sleeping bullets. They should be having the best sleep of their lives since this tragic incident had occurred." Dr. Buchner shook the refugee's hand with such enthusiasm that it was rather uncomfortable.

On the other hand, Grant was grimacing, like he wanted to take Dr. Buchner's pistols and shoot him in the face.

"I apologize for the mess my colleague had made outside," Dr. Buchner continued, yelling to alert the whole facility, "He is a rather… restless at times."

"The mess I made?" Watson gritted his teeth in anger. "You were the one shooting everyone, I just defended us!"

"Details! Details! Now, onto business; I have something I wish to discuss with whoever is in charge here."

"Well," the refugee looked downright lost for words now. "You just shot him outside."

"Oh! No matter then! I guess you'll do. Can we have some tea first? Rather drafty weather we are having no?" With such a high-spirited atmosphere, all of the uncertainty and uneasiness evaporated, replaced instead with utter confusion.

"Can I kill him?" Grant muttered, eye his 'old' friend with disgust.

"Grant! Watson! Come! We have so much catching up to do and stuff. Oh, I must tell you the time when Watson fell down an elevator shaft. I even have a picture of it! See? He's screaming bloody murder."

"You can maim him," Watson replied back, "Kill him later so I can watch him suffer."

"Hmm, I actually like that idea better."

Author's Notes

R.I.P. Gilder (aka Dr. Buchner). You will be missed. XP

Moving on, we get to meet a new character – Grant. Strange guy but he seems to get along with Watson rather well… Perhaps too well…

Battle was short here but I promise the action will pick up very soon.

Remember guys, you can submit an artwork as the cover page for this story. I would like to see some fan art.

And I think that's about it. Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the next chapter.

-JapanDreamer