Chapter One. Today: Part One.

The year 5090. An age of prosperity, a time of social and technological advancements. In past years, humanity has travelled to the stars, realising what a select few had already come to know, that they were not alone in the universe. That the beings known as Pokémon who had already inhabited the Earth were not of that planet, yet they were the evolution of their ancestors, alien races who had already visited the Earth in the past, forced to stay there. When the first human met the first Poké Alien, something special was born. A universal society headed up by the central hub of the galaxy, the Stronghold, a huge space station holding the ruling power body of this universe, the Council of Gak'rah. A society based on the principle of coexistence and cooperation...

"Hit me!"

At the request, Richel Groern immediately obliged, reaching out to punch his colleague in the face, Bandro Roselli taking it like he had to. That didn't stop him whimpering from the force of the blow, the skin split almost completely apart from the forfeit.

"Good hit," Roselli conceded, grimacing as he spoke, the small stream of light blue blood trickling down his cheek. Not about to let the wound become infected, he reached up to hold it shut with his forefinger and thumb, still wincing as it started the relatively quick process of healing.

"You two are completely insane," the female voice of Meekra Sangsten commented, rolling her eyes. "You're meant to be responsible scientists, yet you're playing a primitive version of Tech Ball."

"You're watching us play a primitive version of Tech Ball," Groern pointed out. "What does that make you?"

"Hey, I'm just a common First Mate of an intergalactic frigate," Sangsten answered, sarcastically. "What do I know?"

"She does have a point," Roselli commented, still pinching his cheek. "What does she know?"

"I hope for your sake that you just made a joke," Sangsten replied, mock seriously. "Otherwise, I'd have to report you to the bureaucrat assigned to investigate incidents of sexism on intergalactic freights."

"You have one of those on this ship?" Groern asked, surprised by the admission.

"Yeah, his office is right next to the airlock," Sangsten replied, still sarcastic. "It's ever such a tragedy when I get confused and direct morons to the wrong room."

"You're evil," Roselli said, winking at her. "You've got that streak of maliciousness that's really appealing."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"That's how it was meant."

"This is the RSS Pastoria requesting permission to land."

Walking into the cockpit, Sangsten heard the final part of the pilot's request to the ground control on the planet below them. Almost involuntarily, she glanced over to one of the windows, taking a deep glance at the dark red surface of the planet. Lucofa. That was the official name that had been given to the planet below.

"Roger, RSS Pastoria, this is Lucofa Ground Control. What's the nature of your visit?"

The unofficial name for Lucofa, a title that had been forced upon it by those who had discovered it many many years earlier, a team of Magmavore pirates, was Noieba.

"We have a small team of scientists from the Stronghold wishing to investigate an incident on planet," Irain Helzi replied. He was small and slight, his appearance similar to a Mr. Mime, apart from his lime green skin and dark blue cheeks. Ever since she had known him, Sangsten had been curious about the strange colours of his body, rather different than normal to the colours that a Memiorte was normally famous for.

"Stand by for standard examination of your ship, any sign that things are not as you claim will result in your imprisonment and the impoundment of your ship."

"Roger than, Ground Control," Helzi said, nodding his head slightly, even though they couldn't see him. "Starting descent now."

As the RSS Pastoria began to descend, Sangsten shot another look at the planet, thinking of what she had heard.

Noieba was the Magmavore word for Damnation.

"Being on this planet is a very bad idea," Helzi whined, glancing around the space port where they had been forced to dock. "Ships that go here tend to vanish off the radar."

"Good thing we've got that great tracking beacon then," Captain Helgusin remarked. He was a brown furred Bibloian, a Bibarel like creature from the planet Swam. "Relax, it's not going to happen to us. This is an official Council ship, they try to hijack us there will be repercussions of the most quick and efficient kind."

"That's not normally what I'd call bureaucracy," Sangsten remarked, dryly. "I thought it was slow and easily bought."

"Actually, the explosive charge in the tracking device will activate and we'll be blown sky high, taking the ship, the scientists, the crew and the opposition along with us," Helgusin replied, ignoring the shocked reactions of the pilot and the first mate. "Which means..."

"You're bluffing, right?" Sangsten asked, seeing Helzi almost at the point of a nervous breakdown at the revelation.

"They don't know that," Helgusin said, tapping his large front teeth with one of his paws. "It's all in the delivery."

"Wonder how the scientists are getting on," Helzi interrupted, changing the subject. Both Roselli and Groern had left several hours earlier, along with a well paid local tour guide to take them to where they needed to go. "You think we'll here from them again?"

"They did take two Cosmo Force cadets with them as bodyguards," Sangsten pointed out. "A pair of the most highly trained enforcement agents in the galaxy."

"It's true," Helgusin added. "I used to be a part of them. The training is intense, but there's no supply of labour to join up, beings from all races and creeds. It's estimated that there are currently over two million throughout the galaxy, thirty thousand on the Stronghold alone."

"No greater sign of authority, huh?" Helzi said. "You've got to give the Council credit for being able to maintain such a force. Virtually nobody else in the galaxy could do it."

"Which is why they're the dominant force," Sangesten pointed out. "It's not for nothing."

"Cadet Djurgen?" Groern asked, leaning over into the front seat of the small speeder that they had chartered to be able to get out into the desert. Below them, the dark red sands of Lucofa were being kicked up by the thrusters, scattering against the windshield. "Have you ever visited Lucofa before?"

"Never," Djurgen answered. He was a humanoid creature covered in bright green fur, a spiked yellow ruff around his neck above his clothes, and a Jolteon face. "But, Cadet Gothe has, I believe."

"When I was younger," Gothe admitted. He was a brown Garchomp like creature with blue Gyarados scales across his legs, arms and back. "I spent a year on this planet as part of my training."

"What did you think of it?" Roselli wondered. "Is all of it as depressing as this, or...?"

"Just most of it," Gothe replied, his voice not showing any emotion. "There's one place about ten miles back the way we came which is okay."

"You're talking about the space port, aren't you?" Groern asked, rolling his eyes.

"But, of course," Gothe said, darkly. "This place is... Put it this way, if they had a huge cannon that could wipe out a planet, this would be the first place on the demolition list."

"If that was the case, we wouldn't be able to get our job done," Roselli pointed out. "Speaking of which, what are we looking for again?"

"That!" Groern exclaimed, gesturing out over the horizon. Far ahead of them, towering up above the dark red sands, they could finally see it, observe the very thing that they had come to find. "Either that or there's another monolith out there that we don't know about."

"Our orbital scan showed this to be the only such structure on the planet's surface," Djurgen said, directing the vehicle over towards the structure in the distance. "At least, the only one that matches the para-metres of our search."

"Good enough for me," Roselli replied. "Pity the tour guide decided it was too dangerous to come on out here."

"Clear!" Gothe shouted, lowering his assault rifle as he came out of the monolith. "It's clear, there's no clear and present danger."

"Okay, I'll bring them in," Djurgen replied, stood with the scientists a few feet away from the steps leading up to the entrance. "Keep it secure for us."

"Affirmative," the other cadet answered, looking back at the dark entrance of the structure. "Not a whole lot to keep it secure from. This place looks like it hasn't been touched for years. Decades even. I might even go further."

"Don't, we get the idea," Roselli muttered, close enough now to make the response. Their progress had been faster than Gothe had expected, the scientists more in shape than he would have expected.

"Nice of you to join us," Gothe remarked, dryly. "What kept you so long?"

"Well, there's just so many exciting sights here," Djurgen commented, sarcastically. "What about that red sand. Don't see that often."

"Never mind the sand," Groern said, looking at the entrance to the monolith. "What about the temple. That's the main reason we're here."

"Then, let's get it checked out and leave," Gothe remarked, shrugging. "This place is disturbing me. After you!"

Sweeping out a hand, he made a sarcastic gesture to direct the scientists into the chamber, before following Djurgen inside.

"Excellent!" Roselli exclaimed, moving to the middle of the room, immediately moving his hands across the stone structure that they had immediately seen upon walking in. "This has to be what we came to find."

"You know what it is?" Djurgen wondered, trying to get a better look in the darkness. "Because, it's not that clear."

"Any chance of some light?" Groern asked, bringing up a portable lighting device up to try and get a better view of the structure. "Don't you have anything that can...?"

"Think we should burst out the flash rounds?" Gothe asked, glancing over to his fellow cadet. "Give them some more light to work with?"

"Seems like a plan," Djurgen replied, hitting a button on the side of his weapon. Across from him, Gothe did the same, the two of them immediately raising the assault rifles up to fire at the ceiling. Their rounds hit the ceiling of the temple-like monolith, immediately illuminating the area below to make the area more visible.

"Aha!" Groern yelled, almost ecstatic as he got the full view of the thing that he and Roselli were examining. "You beauty! This is what we came out here to find."

Lowering their weapons, both Djurgen and Gothe finally saw it, the sight surprising both of them. As they looked across to it, the two of them very quickly realised the true nature of what it was.

"It's... It's a sarcophagus!" Gothe exclaimed, still a little surprised. "What's it doing here?"

"I imagine someone brought it here long ago," Roselli said, not really paying attention to him as he carried on examining the stone box. "You know what that design on the front is?"

The question was directed at Groern, the other scientist examining the front of the sarcophagus, his eyes flickering across the carved etches upon the lid.

"If you want my opinion, it looks Anubian," Groern mused. "But, just because that's the design doesn't mean that whatever might be in there is Anubian. Just that they built it up to contain whatever it is."

"What do you mean, whatever it is?" Gothe wondered, taking a step back to get a better look at the scene in front of him. "Is there any chance that it's just a long dead Anubian?"

"There's always that chance," Roselli said, reaching into his bag to pull out a laser cutter. "And, there's only one way to truly be sure."

"Hacking it open?" Djurgen asked, seeing the scientist already moving to start the lengthy process, his laser cutter starting to heat up. "Are you sure that's wise?"

"What's the worst that can happen?" Groern asked, rolling his eyes. "This thing has been here for at least two centuries. I'm not a Psorian, but that seems like it's long enough for anything to expire."

"Besides," Gothe pointed out, patting his assault rifle as he spoke. "Whatever it is, we can take it on. Open it up!"

"Should have brought a bigger cutter," Groern grumbled, watching Roselli finally finish the act of opening up the sarcophagus, it having taken at least half an hour. None of them had any method of gaining an actual estimate of how long it had taken, but they were all bored, with the exception of Roselli who had given off the impression that he was enjoying the act of cutting into the ancient object. "Maybe a class three version."

"A class three cutter would be too big to carry," Roselli pointed out, already switching the item off. "This is about as big as we could manage easily."

"Could have rented a hover trailer and dragged it," Groern whined, before shaking his head at the scars that now marked the sarcophagus. "Would it really have..."

"It's done now!" Djurgen interrupted, ending the argument. "No point complaining. Just get it open and see what's in there."

Listening to his orders, the two scientists immediately went to try and pull it open, grunting with the effort that they were exerting to try and move the heavy object.

"Come on, put your back into it," Gothe muttered, watching them struggle. Against his better judgement, Djurgen went to help them out, the three of them managing to move the stone cover away from the rest of the structure.

As they did so, Gothe noticed something out of the ordinary, something that made him tighten the grip on his assault rifle. A sight that made his scales prickle, a sight that filled him with trepidation.

Thick black smoke was starting to billow out from the cracks made by the laser cutter, the murky stuff starting to fill the chamber.

"What is it?" Djurgen asked, taking a step back away from it, suddenly sounding worried. "This stuff... It's not natural."

Even as he spoke, the smoke began to take shape, forming away into humanoid shapes, shapes the same colour as the smoke that had created them. They seemed to lack any features, other than huge claws and teeth, their edges distorted.

"Oh, Frinkrors!" Rosellie exclaimed, bringing his hands up in surrender. "Don't kill us!"

If anything, the plea seemed to aggravate the creatures, a series of shrill shrieks whistling out through the damp air in the temple. Deciding that they were unwilling to risk their health, Gothe and Djurgen brought their weapons up and began to fire.

As the sound of laser fire began to fill the small space, it was soon followed by screams...

One Year Later...


Raising an eyebrow in response to the question, the dark skinned woman looked across at the Poké Alien in front of her, a morbidly obese Wailinki, the blue rubbery skin underneath the orange jumpsuit heavily covered in sweat. Whatever had gone on to produce this appalling blend of humanoid and Wailord, she didn't want to know.

"Yico?" the Walinki repeated, rubbing at his domed head, almost daring the woman to come to back with a response.

"Cut the crap," the woman said, reaching down to pick up her briefcase. "That's not a real language, you're an idiot for trying to make me look a fool."

"Ah, you're no fool, my dear," the Walinki smiled, reaching out to pat her on the arm. He would have, had she not moved away, giving him a cold smile in retaliation. "So, are you wanting to make this deal?"

"That's the reason that I'm here," she retorted. "It's not for the charming social banter."

Ignoring her, he reached down to a briefcase next to him, something that she hadn't seen against the colours of his jumpsuit. Quickly going through the motions, he opened up the reinforced case and brought out what it was that he was trying to sell to her, a small orb shimmering with several different colours. Red, black, blue, green, yellow, all wavering through the small structure of the item.

"This is what you're trying to peddle?" the woman asked. "Go on, enlighten me. Prove you know what you're talking about, what is it?"
"This is the heart of a meteorite that hit a rainbow and then crashed into the second moon of Renos," the Walinki replied. "If used in the right way, you could use the components of it to build a weapon capable of mass destruction, the power is such."

"So, you're selling components that could be used to make an illegal weapon?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Most interesting."

That was when the door to the room was kicked open and four people charged in, each aiming a blaster at the Walinki. They were all wearing white uniforms, each arm of the uniform having silver stripes across the upper parts. They also consisted of black belts and boots, while having an empty holster for a blaster and a baton on each thigh. To complete the attire, everyone wore a single black glove on one of their hands with a silver rectangle on the roof of the hand.

"What the...?" the Walinki exclaimed, looking around at the woman who he had been trying to deal with in the last few minutes. "What's going on?"

"You're under arrest," she said. "For the theft of natural resources from Renos, the attempt to illegally sell said resources..."

"Who are you?" he demanded. "You're not Goldara Tayne."

"Well, you're right there," she said, smirking at him. "Congratulations, if you'd been that perceptive earlier..."

That was when she began to change, her form altering into something similar but also different. Where the dark skinned woman had stood, there was now a different person there, a woman with her hair still the same flowing brown colour, still wearing the expensive suit she had worn before. Her skin had a pink tinge to it, while also appearing to be slightly gelatinous in nature.

"Nice," one of the uniformed cadets remarked. "I'm curious. Does everything change when you transform, or..."

"What do you think?"

The sarcastic response came from another one of the white suited cadets, the one who had knocked the Walinki out with a baton. He had a medium build, with green eyes and reddish-black coloured hair.

"It's not exactly transforming if something remains the same, huh?" the woman with the pink tinged skin commented. "Otherwise, it'd be a pointless ability."

"I suppose so," the cadet said, quickly trying to withdraw what he had said. "Sorry, Cadet Camerons."

"Don't you have to be downstairs checking that people aren't getting too close to the barriers?" Cadet Camerons asked, shooting him a sarcastic smirk. "Huh?"

He said nothing, instead heading for the exit, leaving the cadet with the reddish-black hair grinning at the admonishment, at least until he had left.

"Bit harsh on him, weren't you, Diana?" he asked.

"Probably," she conceded. "Then again, Nick, it was a dumb question."

Rolling his eyes, Nick reached down to pull up the Walinki, determined to escort him out of the building as fast as possible.

"On the charges of smuggling illegal weapons, resisting arrest and assaulting a cadet of Cosmo Force," he said, half dragging the Walinki towards the door as he spoke. "You're under..."

Before he could finish, the Walinki swung out his arms, the tremendous strength too much for Nick to hold. As his hands slipped off the wet rubbery skin, the Walinki sent Nick crashing to the ground, instantly making a break for the door.

No sooner had he reached it did it slam open and hit him in the face, insult added to injury by a kick hitting him in the same wounded area of the face, the blows staggering him enough to send him to the ground.

"Damn, how many of you are there," he muttered, punch drunk by the blows before collapsing, his huge weight causing dust to fall from the ceiling.

"Might want to add attempting to assault a cadet and resisting arrest to that list," the feminine voice said, coming from the person who had stopped him from escaping. In she walked, a figure who resembled a bipedal Mightyena, wearing the same white uniform as the rest of them. She had purple Arbok scales below her jaw and her back, as well as shoulder length gold coloured hair.

"You enjoyed that, didn't you," Nick commented, narrowing his eyes at her. "Didn't you, Cadet Yushaa!"

"Who wouldn't?" she replied, rhetorically. "Slam a door into a fat piece of Borack like that and then hit him a bunch of times. All within the law at the same time, which is a bonus."

"Is someone going to CED him?" Diana asked, looking down at where the Walinki had fallen and making a face. "I need to go and shower the smell of him away from me. Always be suspicious of people who sweat that much."

"Sometimes, I envy you," Cadet Yushaa said, sarcastically. "Having that view of the world, dividing people up between those that sweat heavily and those that don't."

"Which are you?" Nick piped up, grinning at her, a comment that she didn't take that well.

"Why do you want to know that, you freak?"

"Excuse me, sir!"

Looking around, the suited Grobalski gave the teenager a dark look, annoyed at being interrupted before seeing that he was holding a leather wallet in his hand. Apparently, his own.

"You dropped this," the youth said, grinning at him. He had black hair with a red coloured fringe, and his skin was tanned. He was wearing a red shirt and a pair of jeans, along with some white sneakers and a pair of red and black gloves. "Thought I'd give you it back."

"Didn't you push past me a moment ago," the Grobalski asked, taking back his wallet. As a side note, he opened it up to glance through it...

... Only to see a gold coloured shield within it, and the documents he had been hiding there gone.

"Terril Birtel, you're under arrest," the youth said, holding up the secret document that the Grobalski had been carrying in his wallet. "For the embezzlement of funds, the attempted subversion of power on your home planet of Grancaw, and for attempting to bribe a cadet of Cosmo Force."

With that, he tossed a wad of credit bills that had also been in the wallet at Birtel, the Grobalski giving him a filthy look.

"That's out of order," he said, darkly. "You're a..."

"How hard do you want to make it?" the Cadet asked. "Because, you can make it easy for me and surrender, or..."

Completely ignoring him, Birtel turned to run, the heavy sound of his feet booming away across the floor sounding out around the area.

"Or, you can run," the Cadet finished, already starting to chase after him. "Son of a Hrake."

"Hey, Harry, you got anything on right now?"

Looking up from the paperwork he had been focused on, Harrolvar Kingstro saw the smiling face of one of the cadets looking down at him, hoping for something to be thrown her way. She was wearing the standard issue Cosmo Force cadet uniform, while she also had long silver hair, so long that it covered her left eye. He could see that her right eye was an onyx black colour.

"Garcia, right?" he asked, looking down to the pile of papers to his right. "Seven Garcia?"

"Sandy Garcia," she corrected. "That's... That's a nickname."

"How'd you get it?" he wondered, raising an eyebrow. "If I may ask."

"It's a kinda private story," she admitted. "If you really want to know, it's in my file."

"I look like I've got the time to go around checking personal files?" Kingstro asked, grumpily. "More to the point, I look like I've got the time to go around looking for your personal file?"

"Anything out there that needs attending to?" she asked, ignoring his question. "I just came on duty..."

"You were meant to be here twenty minutes ago!" he grunted, still not giving her an answer. "Twenty minutes ago, we would have something for you. There was a sting operation on a Walinki trying to illegally sell some natural resources from Renos, and... Well, Redwood called in and said that he was going to try and bring someone in who the Grancaw authorities asked us to bring in if we encountered him."

"He need any help?" Sandy asked, hopefully. "He can lose the plot sometimes."

"Haven't heard from him since, he didn't give a location," Kingstro answered. "So, you might have to wait around for something to happen. Shouldn't take too long, it's the Stronghold. Somewhere, someone's always going to try and get up to mischief."

"Yeah, that's the case," Sandy replied, shrugging her shoulders. "Well, if anything comes up, I'll be around."

"Hey, you've got to see this!" someone, a cadet that she had never spoken to but seen around, yelled, suddenly bursting into the room. "This is crazy! The Pastoria is back!"

"What?" Sandy asked, surprised. "Are you sure?"

"A ship utilising its unique energy signatures just entered Stronghold space, provided to the flight directors working codes, but it sounds like something is off."

"A ship that goes missing for a year suddenly reappears to try and enter the Stronghold?" Kingstro asked, surprised. "I think this qualifies as suspicious. Looks like you've got something to do after all, Cadet Garcia. Check it out. They give them landing permission?"
His question was directed at the cadet who had come into the room to warn them, the reply coming quickly.

"I asked them to stall for a few minutes, but they should be starting the landing procedure," the cadet answered. "What's the plan? Standard quarantine in these circumstances? Take them in and check that they aren't harbouring anything nasty?"

"Why are you still here if you know what to do?" Kingstro asked, grumpily. "Get out there and..."

He didn't have to finish his sentence, Garcia and Risar were already gone.

Ahead of him, Birtel had broke out of the crowded district and was making for the walkway that lead to another area of the Stronghold. Still annoyed, he hurdled over a bench to try and cut some of the distance between him and the Grobalski. Normally, he would have been able to catch him by now, but the crowds had really prevented him from doing his job.

Now, that was going to change. Up ahead, Birtel had gone through the gate, was already making to try and get through the exit door before it closed. The anger touching his subconscious, he felt his hair burst into flames as he slipped a CED glove onto his hand, the glove he had previously worn being discarded.

"Last chance to stop!" he shouted, bringing his hand up. "Or, else!"

Predictably, Birtel ignored him, frantically pressing the button for the door to close. His patience finally snapped, Redwood unleashed the stored burst of energy within the CED glove and fired, a white orb streaking through the air from his palm. Slowing to a stop, he found himself watching as it homed in on Birtel, before striking him in the chest. The Grobalski let out a howl of pain, before trying to make an escape back towards the gate. It didn't work, the white orb opened up, scratching out a tear in reality which sucked the Poké Alien back into it. Within the space of a second, he had vanished along with the portal, leaving just a white metal card on the floor between the gate and the exit.

"Told you not to run," Redwood muttered, already at the gate. Jumping over the barrier, he went over to retrieve the item left behind by the use of the Cosmic Entrapment Device. "We'll ship you back to Granclaw, they'll decide what they want to do with you. Either way, you're not going to see the light of day for quite a while."

Pocketing the item, he retrieved his badge and the evidence, before turning to leave.

"Hey, Risar."

Glancing around at her, he gave the impression that he wondered what it was that she wanted from him. He was a green coloured Vibrava-like alien with some brown fur on his shoulders, also wearing the white uniform of a Cosmo Force cadet.

"Yes?" he finally replied, apparently at unease. "What's up?"

"Good job getting me out of some waiting around," she grinned. "Thought I'd be hanging around for a while."

"Good thing I was at flight control," he replied. "Otherwise, you could still be."

"Why were you at flight control, Risar?" she asked, interested. "Because, it seems a strange place to be. Were you assigned there?"

"That's right," he answered. "Spend a fortnight there, just in case someone tries to hijack the place. Thought that I should let people know that the Pastoria had returned."

"You think that it was hijacked and someone's trying to gain access to the Stronghold?" Sandy wondered. "That'd make things... Interesting. Where they landing?"

"Docking Bay 94," Risar answered. "Guess we better hurry before they leave."

The exchange had happened quite amicably, the returning crew of the RSS Pastoria had willingly gone into quarantine and were currently in the interrogation room.

"Currently in the room are interviewer Cadets Sandy Garcia and Risar Jonarne," Sandy said, looking at the piece of recording agreement. "Being interviewed are the crew of the RSS Pastoria, Captain Rellio Helgusin, First Mate Meekra Sangsten, Pilot Irain Helzi and Council Scientist Bandro Roselli..."

"Is it true that the Pastoria returned?"

Rather than answer him, Kingstro took the metal card from Redwood and dropped it in a black evidence bag, that taking his full attention.

"Hey, Harry!"

"What is it, Max?" Kingstro asked, eventually bringing himself to answer. "Why you so interested in the Pastoria?"

"One of my friends was on it when it shipped out," Max replied. "I was wondering if he had been able to make it back."

"Who was it?"

"Djurgen," he answered. "He... Well, he helped me to get where I am today. He was the one who gave me the option of going to the academy."

"Cadets Garcia and Jonarne are currently interviewing those that were aboard when it returned," Kingstro answered. "Other than that, I can't say anything. They're across in the Dah Building, room seven. Maybe when you're done filling out your report, they might still be there."

"My report?"

"On the Birtel incident, including a full explanation as to why you used your CED where there was the chance of danger to civilians."

"Man, there's some stuff here," Nick commented, walking out into the Docking Bay where the Pastoria had landed. Already, the contents of the ship were starting to be removed, examined and searched. Reaching down, he picked up a large disc-like item with some strange looking writing on the surface. "What's this?"

"Looks like an MP99," someone else offered. "Must be old, they stopped making them years ago."

"Hmm, I see," he replied, glancing over to some of the other stuff. "All this they found on Lucofa?"

"Unless they stopped at the intergalactic trash collection on the way through," another one of the searching custom officers remarked, unhelpfully. "That might explain where they've been all this time."

"Anything of use?" Nick wondered. "Commandant Kingstro asked me to come down and see if there was anything we could fling at the crew to get some sort of reaction while they're being interrogated."

"Well, there was this," the first custom officer replied, handing over a grey bag with two straps at the top. "It's pretty heavy, and we can't get into it. Maybe see if one of them can open it, it needs some sort of biological signature."

"Right, I see," Nick answered. "I'll go and get right on it then."

"Entering the room is Cadet Nick Miele," Risar said, as Nick came into the room, the bag in his hand. "With a very fetching look, managing to pull off an accessory in ways that few can manage."

"Go and vibrate yourself," Nick replied, trying to sound as polite as possible considering he was being recorded. "Hey, guys."

When none of the crew replied to his question, he dropped the bag on the table and looked across at them with interest.

"Anyone want to inform me what this is?" he asked, folding his arms. "Because, it was found on the Pastoria."

"Along with a lot of other meaningless drabble, I imagine," Captain Helgusin commented. "Why this, out of everything on board?"

"Because, it's sealed with a biological lock," Nick replied, quickly. "And the psychics tell us that it has the potential to be dangerous."

Both Sangsten and Helgusin gave the impression that they would like to refute his suggestion of psychics being involved. They probably would have said something, had Roselli let out a scream and jumped to his feet in terror. Snatching out at the bag, he grabbed at it before making a leap at the window to the other side of the room. Before any of the cadets could stop him, he had thrown himself through it and out of the building.

"Well done, idiot!" Risar growled, moving over to the window to try and check on Roselli. Since they were only on the first floor of the building, he didn't expect for the scientist to be too badly hurt. "That was... Woah!"

Not only was Roselli apparently unhurt, the scientist was already running away from the building, darting across the street into the main part of the district.

"What's happening?" Sandy wondered, about to move over and join him at the window, had he not stopped her by gesturing for her not to come any closer.

"Get after him!"

"Precious, precious thing!" Roselli whispered, reaching down to the bag and opening it up, the item reacting to his biological signature and revealing to him what was inside. "Don't worry..."

He paused, realising that he had entered one of the shopping districts, which being the evening was relatively full. This wasn't what he needed, he thought, looking around for a suitable area to let what he had go off. He needed somewhere where he wasn't going to be interrupted, somewhere...

Like there!
... He noticed the statue ahead of him, a monument of some sort, and began to run towards it, laughing manically.

"This is it!" he roared, letting out the elation as he ran. "This is the moment that you all get blown away!"

"Holy mother of Xanthel!" a Collusc shouted, taking several steps back away from the scene. "He's got some sort of bomb!"

Even as the shout rang out, panic was already spilling out, the rampaging scientist managed to hurdle the barrier, past the idle Cosmo Force cadets and slammed his bag down in front of the huge statue of Romenetra the Sixth, a Mewtwo-like alien who had been part of the group who had discovered the Stronghold. Still surprised by his sudden appearance on the scene, the cadets were now moving to engage him, ready to take him into custody. Before they could reach him, he turned, a fully automatic Blaster Pistol in hand. They couldn't even react before the barrage of laser fire downed them, the shots ripping through their armour and defences before taking them to the ground. Still jittery, Roselli went back to his bag, pulling it apart to reveal a circular grey metallic device, a key pad of numbers in the middle. Already keying in a combination, Roselli felt it whir into life below his fingertips, that all the confirmation that he needed to step back, counting down from three, two, one...

As the device exploded, the world seemed to end. The white marble floor cracked open like a nut, huge streams of black energy began to billow out from it, a crack in reality beyond it spewing out the shadow coloured matter. Within seconds, the falling drops of energy began to reform, mutating into vicious featureless clawed beings the same colour as the matter that formed them.

All around them, it was happening. The black creatures, shaped so much like humans were running amok around the Stronghold, attacking anything that moved, destroying anything that didn't. Two Choklian security guards stood at the entrance to a bazaar turned to see what the commotion was, only to be ripped apart by the rampaging Oblivings, the muscle for hire ineffective at defending themselves against this strange new threat.

Some tried to fight back. An elderly Psorian dropped his spoon shaped walking stick and hurled a blast of psychic energy into the crowd, his courageous act intended to force them back towards where they had come. Instead, only a few were dispelled by the blast, the rest going for the Alakazam inspired alien. No sooner had he made his stand, he was downed, his body vanishing beneath the writing black masses of screeching.

More were soon attacked, the various aliens either running or fighting as best they could, neither option seeming to make much of a difference. The relentless forces kept on coming, more Oblivings appearing through the tear in reality that had been formed by the distressed scientist and his makeshift bomb.

Not hesitating to cause more chaos, some of the Oblivings had turned their attention to the statue of Romenetra, the slight shadowy creatures already climbing up the body to get to the head of the bronze structure...

... Only for several barrages of laser fire to erupt out, striking them down. As a new battalion of Cosmo Force Cadets, at least fifty of them in the group, raced onto the scene, the Oblivings quickly realised a new challenge was upon them, the black spectral creatures already rushing to engage the new threat to the success of their attack...

To Be Continued...

Author's Notes.

I'm back!

This whole brand new world is here, hope that you liked it and liked it lots.

Nice to see you all again.

Hope that this was suitably enjoyable and strangely mysterious. Things will all get revealed more clearly in time.

The next one is the second part of the opener. Today: Part Two. Preview below. At which point, the new credits will be revealed...

So, hope that you enjoyed reading this, seeing the new characters and all that.

Thanks for reading.

Don't forget to review! Please!

Chapter Two, Today: Part Two, preview.

Max: Where did these things come from?

Sandy: Who knows.

Lily: For that matter, who cares.

Nick: This is bad.

Diana: We need help.

?: Use these.

?: For the first time in centuries, Poké Rangers have returned to the galaxy.

Coming soon.