Chapter 38

Breakdown


Weeks before the transformations...

"Why on the rooftops?"

"We can't risk to be caught," a man donning a scientist's garb said.

The rooftop of the skyscraper was gray and somewhat dirty; vents, small passageways and a door were the things on the place. It was not very windy, but the air was cold for such a night. Behind and in front of the two men were other skyscrapers and tall buildings, both shorter and taller than the building they were on. Many lights were on but many more were off.

The other man, wearing a black shirt and dark jeans, looked around. He saw no one else but the man right in front of him. He immediately tightened his grip on the leather black suitcase.

"Before you even say anything," the man with the black shirt began, "it's like we're in some sort of movie and the bad guy makes a shady deal with another guy in some secret place. And chances are, you'll give me that liquid stuff of yours and I'll give you the briefcase of money. Fleur—that's your name, isn't it? This movie magic is very typical, eh?"

"Yes," Fleur answered. "It is typical and redundant, but movies do give some nice advise sometimes. Now, to the topic at hand."

Fleur hastily pulled out from his pocket a vial of what a slow, white liquid. He put it on the palm of his left hand and let the other man see the vial clearly.

"I heard this is what your superiors wanted," Fleur said.

"Are you sure this is the one that they want?" the other man asked. "This could be a trick."

"It will be insane for me to give you a fake or a decoy; if I did, it's very likely that you and your leaders will hunt me down to torture or even to kill me."

"I see. Can you give me the specifics of what this...liquid can do?"

"Well, I codenamed it 'DEON-1,' if that's going to do me any good. DEON-1 can and will do what your leaders want it to do: On contact with human flesh, it can turn any person into a Pokemon that is determined by the genes and brain cells of the victim. It can not turn people into mythical or legendary Pokemon; I understand that you don't want multiple Reshiram and Zekrom trying to fight you."

"If the Pokemon they'll change into is determined by the genes and so on, does it mean that it can turn a person into the Pokemon he loves a lot?"

"You can say that," Fleur replied. "However, there's another nice thing with DEON-1: It has a suppressor that drastically decreases the sense of danger detected by the victim. That means less panic, less chaos, less catastrophe, less disaster in the cities—and for you, less trouble catching them because they won't be running here and there. Also, the suppressor will partially block a certain set of thoughts from coming to mind—specifically, the thoughts of getting back to being a human. You may think this is a bad idea but it's just giving you time to capture and even contain as many hostile Pokemon as you can before it stop blocking those thoughts—whether the Pokemon used to be human or not. When the suppressor stops blocking the thoughts, it will be like a waterfall. There will be so many of those thoughts at the dam that when the dam breaks, those thoughts rush to mind perhaps all at once."

"What's that going to do?" the other man questioned.

"Depends on the person. The person may have an intense desire to get back to being a human, he may do crazy things to bring himself back to being a human, he may panic, or he may go into a spree of anger when he realizes that he won't be human for some time. There may be others, but these are the behaviors with the most likely chances of happening in one person. I know because I tested DEON-1 on some unfortunate people."

The other man looked surprised.

"Of course, I had to bring them off to some far place where they can't possibly escape. Now, you've heard enough. There is no need to ask if there's any catch to this. You did not even need to bring that suitcase of yours; half of whatever money would do."

"Oh, you don't like half a billion Poke?" the man asked. He put the briefcase on the palm of his two hands. "You can even join the big 'U.' Besides, we're going to use that DEON-1 of yours and you'll be in a safe place when we use it in our plan."

"Yes, I'll join your team of yours," Fleur answered, "but, there's one thing I need." He slowly put his hand in his pocket.

"And what do you need?" the other man asked, eyeing Fleur's suspicious hand.

Then, with a quick move, Fleur pulled out an improvised gun. A syringe flew into the flesh of the other man.

"AAAHH!" the man screamed in pain.

"I needed one more test subject," Fleur said cold-heartedly. "Thanks for volunteering."

Then, a great white light emitted from the other man's skin. The screams of pain intensified but Fleur's face did not show a sign of pity. The screams of a human slowly turned into the shouts of a Pokemon. The light dimmed and instead of a human, a pile of clothes and a Lillipup took his place.

"Lillipup!" the Lillipup shouted angrily at Fleur. The former human growled at him.

"I do not understand you now, Lillipup," Fleur told. He walked gently towards the Pokemon. "The human language and the Pokemon language are very different, aren't they?"

The Lillipup, barking in his rage, slowly walked towards Fleur. "Now, easy now," Fleur tried to calm. But the Puppy Pokemon still barked at him, the Lillipup's face looking as if it was about to bite him.

"OK, OK, you win!" Fleur exclaimed.

"Lillipup, Lillipup, Pup!" the Lillipup barked and shouted.

"Is it the berry you want?" Fleur asked. The voice sounded very honest, something very different from the voice the former human heard only minutes ago.

"Pup?" the Pokemon said in surprise—and in a sudden craving for a berry.

"Yes, Lillipup, you'll get a berry," Fleur promised. "Just don't bark at me anymore, OK?"

"Lilli..."

The Lillipup smiled as he waited for the berry and as he watched Fleur try to grab supposedly the berry. Then, suddenly, his smile was gone. He looked at the ground and then started barking angrily at Fleur again.

"Hey, what's wrong, Lillipup?"

But the Lillipup kept barking and then he dashed at him. Fleur ran quickly to his right, only to see the former human stumble on his four paws.

"Where is the trust?" Fleur asked the Pokemon. "I really have a berry for you. It's a sweet one and I know that you'll like it. Just let me get it."

Lillipup felt happy again at the promise of a berry, anticipating the berry all the more now that it will be sweet. He looked on at Fleur, trying to get a berry from his pocket. Then, he raised his hand up. In his grip was a Mago Berry.

"Here it is, Lillipup," Fleur introduced, "a sweet, juicy Mago Berry, just for you!"

The Lillipup wagged his tail happily. He could even smell the scent of the berry. Why am I even doing this? the former human thought to himself.Here I am, falling into an obvious trap; I'm sure that berry has some sort of sedative or something to make me sleep. Or it could even erase my human memories. How come I can't help—

He jumped up towards the berry. All in his mind was Give me the berry, give me the berry! Fleur dropped the berry over the Lilllipup's mouth but it bounced off his face and landed on the ground. The Lillipup quickly ate it, anyway. He could taste the sweetness and the unique taste of the berry.

OK, this is getting too far. I should just bite him on the leg; that would—

He felt Fleur's hand pat his head. Instantaneously, his plans of escape were gone. They were replaced by thoughts of relaxing, the feel of being patted and having the hand go through the fur, and more berries.

"You seem very lost up here," Fleur suddenly told.

Wait, what was I thinking? the former human thought. He looked at Fleur and made a surprised face but he kept the thoughts in his head. He's telling me a straight lie; I know my way down this building and I can outrun him!

"I'll take you to my place and keep you there until I find your trainer," Fleur tried to gentle as he pat on the Lillipup's head even more.

The warm, cozy feeling changed the Lillipup's thoughts from escaping to relaxing and waiting for his trainer to come get him. He wagged his tail and he smiled at Fleur.

I just want to get out of here! the former human yelled in his mind. How come I just can't help the feeling? Oh no, what if the liquid changes the mind, too? If that's so...

The Lillipup suddenly jumped towards Fleur, barking loudly at him and surprising the man.

"Hey!" Fleur shouted at him.

Then, he saw the Lillipup running frantically towards the only door on the roof.

"You can't get that far, you grunt!" the running Lillipup heard. He glanced back and he saw Fleur chasing him. In his hand was something but the Lillipup could not clearly see what it was.

The Pokemon looked forward. The door became closer and closer to him with every step.

"Excadrill, go get him!" Fleur suddenly yelled.

The Lillipup did not want to look back for fear that he may slow down. Then, there he was, right in front door. Oh come on! How can I open this door? he thought.

"I'm ready!" a voice echoed.

In panic, the Lillipup did not bother to see who said it. He charged to the door and tackled it. It hurt a little to him but the door was still not open. OK, calm down. First, I can't just jump—

A feeling of hard, wet mud hit him. Lillipup quickly turned around and he saw an Excadrill beside Fleur.

"Excadrill," Fleur ordered, "do what you think is best for the human—er, I mean Pokemon."

The Excadrill's claws glowed a bright white; the glow subsided and the claws looked like iron. Then, it charged with a loud shout toward the Lillipup.

Please, no...

The claws slashed Lillipup's small body. The former human yelled out in pain. He saw Pokemon in pain from the many battles that he watched, but he never anticipated in his whole life that he would actually feel the magnitude of pain that the fighting Pokemon really felt.

The final slash threw the Lillipup a little away from the door. The Lillipup still moaned in pain. He felt as if his energy was gone in that one minute. He looked up and saw Fleur walking up to him. He saw what the man was holding.

Two Poke Balls.

"Hold it, Excadrill" Fleur said to his Pokemon. Then, he faced the Lillipup. "I dare you to attack me."

The Lillipup did not respond. He just looked at Fleur, the Excadrill and the floor as he continued to moan.

"A few final words before you go: I am willing to join that organization that you're in. Perhaps I may have the same views as they. I will give the half billion back to the organization. And since the goals seem very ambitious and very big, I think the administration won't mind losing just one pawn. I'll tell them that I shall take good care of him.

"Excadrill, return!"

He opened of his Poke Ball and the Excadrill turned into a red, plasma-like substance and went into the Poke Ball. It closed. It scared the Lillipup.

Then, he threw the other Poke Ball at the Lillipup. The ball opened and the Lillipup turned into the same red, plasma-like substance and went into the Poke Ball. It closed and it shook. Once. Twice. Thrice. Click.

Fleur picked it up. He looked around. No one seemed to be watching him.

He dashed to the pile of clothes. He rummaged through the clothes. Then, a modern, sleek cellphone was in his sight. He turned it on but it had a password lock. He kept the cellphone in his pocket. The rummaging went on and then he found a calling card. It looked official enough. A big "U" was imprinted on the card. Under the "U" was the word "Unitary." He kept the card in his pocket and ran towards the only door on the rooftop.


Eight days after the transformations...

"I'm still irritated by the mass leave," Mark said as he, his friends and everyone left in the camp walked in the caves of Mount Coronet. "It's as if one moment, it's all normal, then the next moment, everything goes downhill from there!"

"Shh!" Some Pokemon from behind shushed.

The Chimchar looked at the Pokemon behind him. "Yeah, I get it!" Mark angrily whispered. "We're trying to do our best in handling our part of this situation." He looked back at the underground path ahead of him. "But we never asked hundreds of you to come here," he mumbled; "I was expecting at best fifty or sixty to be here by now. If you learned to at least be thankful that we're helping you cope with these changes."

"Just keep quiet, Mark," Wallace said sternly. "You might alert the local Zubat. And start treating everyone else nicely; you're not the only one who used to be a human."

Mark groaned. He said nothing more as they continued walking quietly through the dark caves of the mountain.

Then, a sound.

"EEEEEE!" Mary screamed as the screeching sound ringed throughout the caves and through their ears.

"Somebody stop the Zubat!" A Cleffa from the crowd shouted.

"No! Don't attack them on sight, remember?" Frank yelled at everyone. Only a few actually looked at him as the rest tried their best to look straight at the Treecko without letting their ears experience more pain. "If we just stay calm and don't make a sound—"

"Zubat have good hearing, Frank," Clive reminded.

"Uh...don't panic, everybody?" Frank said sheepishly.

But his statement went unheard, with some clearly panicking.

And then, the Zubat came. With painful, screeching sounds. Sounds that grew more painful as the Zubat came closer.

Some Pokemon attacked in spite of the pain, but the rest just did their best to cover their ears from all the pain.