The Changed Ones Prologue
The air split through the propellers of multiple helicopters in flight, each one marked with the insignia of The Quintessence on their sides. One of them had a large, metal cage in the back that had electrical bars. If anything touched them, it would be electrocuted into a deep, unconscious state. The sunlight peeked through a window and glinted on it, making it shine like new, despite its cold-hearted use on previous targets.
One of the Members held a walkie-talkie. His voice was gruff as he spoke, his eyes shaded by the visor of his sunglasses that had technology highly beyond its time. "Are you sure it's here?"
"Of course I'm sure. We detected it by satellite. It has to be in perfect health, or the process might fail." The voice that responded sounded equal in vocal tone, as if he was trying to sound firm despite previous sleepless nights.
"And if it's sick?" His question wasn't of concern, as his words may have seemed, but more in fear for the punishment that may be dealt for such a failure at their current mission. Their leader didn't have the mercy to spare on such lowlifes as he was at this current stage.
"We'll have to force it to heal itself. We have to finish the project. Today. Master Ventus commands it." The voice sounded equally fearful of their higher-up, as he know just what Ventus was capable of and exactly what he wouldn't hesitate doing to someone disobedient. Just weeks before, he had watched firsthand as his former comrade was dealt with in the most uncanny of manners, etching a picture forever in his mind.
Some lights flashed, some in an alarming, bloody red, following with a computerized voice that had the ability to strike anxiety in the newest members, "TARGET NEARBY. PREPARING TO CAPTURE."
"It was detected already?" The man almost dropped his walkie-talkie in his surprise, having the knowledge that such a creature as the one they were searching for was highly sought after and was beyond simple to capture, let alone find.
The person on the other side of the walkie-talkie seemed to regain a confidence, figuring that from this point forward, it wasn't on his shoulders in any way. "It's said to live near here, so of course."
The Member, ignoring the somewhat smug comment just made, put the walkie-talkie away. He fingered the collar of his uniform that went up to his chin, feeling like it was trying purposely to choke him. His once-bright eyes had taken on a dull gray hue, and they had been that way since he had figured out just what was going on with The Quintessence. He didn't know all of the details that went into all of this, as confidentiality was important to their particular leader, but it was certain he was in farther than he first anticipated.
A Suicune was standing next to a pond, looking at the sunset's reflection, enjoying it. Its cerulean blue fur glistened in the warm rays, its red eyes watching its white, ribbon-like tails blow in the breeze like blades of grass. Serenity emitted off of its being, showing an undisturbed, pleasant aura.
One of the helicopters landed nearby, the Members getting off and preparing themselves to execute. The other choppers stayed in flight, eyes inside watching the scene carefully, in case of assistance being needed. Suicune heard their arrival and rose onto slender, strong legs, ready both physically and mentally to fight whatever these humans may deliver.
A Magneton appeared out of the bushes and began to prepare for Zap Cannon. Electricity crackled between its six magnets and it shot an electrical ball at Suicune, who dodged with ease and power in its loins. In turn, the North Wind countered with Blizzard, an intense blast of chilling air filled with sharp pieces of ice. Magneton used Protect by creating a force field with electricity created from its magnets, deflecting the intensity of the oncoming attack. It got focused for a Lock On and once it took aim, it used a large blast of electrical power that would've made any normal target comatose. Suicune protected itself with a green forcefield, and ran forward, hitting Magneton with its thin, serrated tails glowing a silver color, an Iron Tail. Magneton flew back with intensity and crashed into a rock, getting knocked out.
A Gallade attacked, forming a sphere of electricity within its hands and used Shock Wave. Suicune dug into the ground to evade the attack, the electric ball barely missing the tip of its deep purple fur that flowed out from its head and neck.
Gallade relaxed its muscles, concealing its eyes behind its eyelids, and used its natural psychic ability to locate Suicune under the earth, who was about to spring up and strike its enemy. Gallade jumped to the side and counteracted the attempted move with its long blades glowing brilliantly when Suicune leapt out of the ground. It slashed the beast's hind quarters just past its ribcage, the flesh slicing open and drawing crimson.
Suicune cried out fiercely in agony and stumbled into the dirt just short of the shoreline. Lifting its head, it opened its mouth, revealing a set of razor sharp teeth that glinted in the light like the blades of swords, and used a shadowy orb-like attack made of collected darkness.
Gallade fell back from the blow, but merely shook off the damage as if it was nonexistent. Out of the corner of its crimson eyes, it watched as a large group of over ten in number of Pokemon appeared on each of its sides. Their types and varieties were compiled to make a weakness-absent assortment, all trained in merciless manners to keep an enemy at constant bay. They were taught never to seek for a painless victory, to prove just what abilities The Quintessence was capable of possessing.
Suicune prepared itself for what it anticipated was to come, using this moment that was meant for its opponents to build up an intimidation, possibly leading to an overly-exciting chase, it released a power beam, a highly-skilled combination of Hyper Beam, Aurora Beam, and Ice Beam all wrapped up into a golden beam flecks of colors with the entire spectrum, spikes of ice sticking out of it that reflected the sun's rays into blinding thorns. The magnitude of such an unpredictable and highly-implausible force sent all of its enemies reeling back, knocking every one into a deep, injured unconscious almost immediately after contact was made.
The two Members that were hiding nearby hesitated when witnessing such power contained in an injured creature. Was threatening such a beast all for the sake of satisfying one human really worth such pain and risk, especially now knowing the abilities it held within it?
"Maybe we should use tranquilizers?" the dull-eyed Member suggested. He was drawing designs in the dirt with his finger, trying to get his mind off just what may be demanded of him in order to capture the North Wind. But it was all in vain, as once again the next thing to come to his mind was the possibilities of consequences for failed operations.
"That probably wouldn't work… According to Ventus that Suicune is much different from the rest of its species. That's why it's needed for the experiment," his comrade responded with an expressionless face, looking at the Member who was written with complete anxiety. The Member remembered how much his eyes shined when he first joined The Quintessence, but now, he only saw negativity in the orbs of the one few years younger. He had to be only a teenager, not older than seventeen, yet he was here, doing things no one should even think about.
And it was obvious he regretted such a decision, shown by his constant living in fear of failure, and how his dark hair was always so mangled on his forehead, stuck in place by sweat. "Maybe we should get the backup to help." His voice cracked like a plate shattering on the floor into a million shards.
Suicune relaxed and began to leave, pulling itself up onto its feet. One of the helicopters dropped an electrical net down upon it. The attempt to dodge was made, but couldn't move fast enough, due to its leg injury causing a handicapping limp. It didn't struggle, knowing well enough if it did that the electricity would activate and send it into further agony.
"Why is it so calm?" the elder Member wondered aloud, watching in high curiosity of the dog of water's motives and intelligence of human technology that it really shouldn't have been familiar with. "Normally a Pokemon would struggle to get out of a trap."
"Let's just get back to the base," said the younger Member, trying to conceal his panic but failing in the effort. He wanted nothing more than to return to his designated dorm in the base, curl up on his squeaky mattress with his legs pulled up to his chest, and wish for the end to come. It seemed like a better future than the one he had chosen for himself at this point. Freedom from that constant trepidation of justice's hand driving its fingernails into his skull.
He felt a sudden, strange chill pass through him, and he shivered. His fingers went up to his thick uniform and rubbed up and down his arms, the sensation of a cold wind taking over his body. He looked about at the trees above, searching for the wind that wasn't there.
His senior looked more closely at him, wondering what the unexpected reaction was. "It's perfectly warm out here." His eyes went over the dark-haired boy, watching intently for any more strange movements on his part to occur.
"I know that, but if felt like something passed through me," he responded with a baffled shrug, sounding a little shaken, his eyes widened and their color moving around in his irises like active magma in black-and-white. "At least it wasn't a spirit or anything, because wouldn't that mean it tried to possess me or something?"
"Even a spirit that was desperate wouldn't want to possess you." He smiled smugly to try to put a lighter expression on the boy's face, but it didn't go over very well. "You're thinking too much, kiddo—" At this, he gave a taunting jab with his elbow to the kid's side. "—you always seem to do that. If you just let it all the details pass you by, things might just not bother you as much. Try it once, you'll be surprised."
He flinched at the playful blow to the side, and instead of the expression his senior was hoping for, he put on a scowl and let out a "You're not helping," that held a level of flatness that revealed he wasn't amused by the attempt at light-heartedness.
Suicune was moved into the cage from the net with no difficulties on The Quintessence's behalf. It didn't give any fight to make escape, knowing it would be futile because of its sustained injuries and the high voltage that coursed through the metal of its prison.
"It's so intelligent…" remarked the young Member quietly, trying to fill the silence that consumed him from every angle.
"I'm not surprised."
The Member looked around, confused, his head moving every direction. No one was around… so who's voice was that? He thoughtlessly grabbed onto a nearby crowbar, his hands sweating and trembling uncontrollably. "I've got a crowbar… and I'm not afraid to use it!" His tone was nothing but a squeak that came from the bottom of his throat and hardened as it moved upward.
"If you tried using it, you'd only hurt yourself."
"Where are you?" His lip shook, focusing on keeping his cool. His squeaky mattress seemed to be getting farther and farther away from him, like he was mere moments away from losing his recollection of the only escape he could imagine. It was distancing itself from him, trying to drive him into insanity.
"Where do you think?"
He tripped over his words, stuttering with every hint of realization that came into his being. "I-it sounds like you're-you're in my head…."
"What?" His face rapidly paled as his voice rose still higher in pitch. The crowbar dropped to the ground with a loud, echoing clang that reverberated inside his skull. His head suddenly ached with the reality fully dawning on him and the world began to spin out of orbit. The entire time only one word could escape his lips, repeating over and over, same tone each time it came, like a record stuck playing the same measure, "No, no, no, no…"
Hours passed. Suicune was healed in preparation for the experiment to take place, held captive in of holding unit made of an alloy unknown to most, looking around with no emotion portrayed. The room was lit brightly, tile flooring reflecting the light of glowing panels on the ceiling, illuminating machines and apparatuses of names not known. Computers and control panels lined the one of the walls, a large screen set up into it, graphs and data streaming on display.
"Yes, it's the one we wanted," Ventus noted. His pale skin and piercing eyes went over the North Wind, his mouth a flat line on his thin face. His slim form stood straight with perfect posture, his snowy-hued hair not a hint out of its place and his silver pendant rested motionlessly on his chest, a dragon wrapped around a dagger. "We have the other 'half', correct?"
His question was directed to a woman with straight, dark brown hair that fell down her back to about her hips. Terra is what she said to be called. She had an hourglass figure that was always covered by a baggy white coat when in her lab; her lime green eyes were covered by thin-framed glasses. "One of the Members carried it in earlier. It was much easier to get it than I thought," she kept her voice steady and carefully chose her words. Ventus could be highly unpredictable; she learned not to question his motives despite that his age couldn't have been more than twenty.
"That's because it was weakened. It needs others when it's weak." His jaw tightened after the words were out into the air, pictures filling his mind that caused his face to contort to an expression that made him look a lot older than he really was.
She placed herself down onto an office chair and crossed her legs, one twisted over another. With her small, delicate fingers, she ran her fingers over the bottom of her skirt that didn't quite go quite to her knees to get the wrinkles out. It was one of her useless habits that she neither just couldn't figure out how to kick, nor how to find the motivation to do so. "Who are we going to test this on?" Her eyes for a split-second flickered onto the captured beast.
"There's a certain Trainer who I'm sure will enjoy this opportunity to gain this ability." His lips suddenly changed to a twisted smirk, a glint sparking in his irises. His fingers on each of his hands folded together between the spaces that separated them and cracked his knuckles. Like Terra, he had his little habits.
She moved the chair around so she could watch the stream of information rushing onto the monitor. "I thought we were—" Terra was abruptly interrupted, but it didn't bother her as much as it used to. She had adjusted to his constant corrections.
Ventus suddenly grabbed the back of the chair and spun it around so she was looking up at his face that had a cocky, toothy grin. His appearance turned back, earlier than his actual age, into a child's. "Not that one; the other one."
Her eyes widened in understanding. "Oh… him."