By: Theodore 'Blitz' Leung

Day: 3, Time: 0630, Location: The S.C. Aleathra, Deck, Bow

Samantha ran out onto the deck, hearing all the commotion and trying to reach the source of it as quickly as possible. She halted quickly upon reaching there, seeing the soldiers lined up quietly, heads bowed. Slowly, they broke their lines, making a trail in between them. Alex walked silently and sullenly between them, shaking his head, pausing when approaching Sam.

"What happened?" she whispered softly, the strange silence scaring her. Alex slowly looked up at Sam, eyes sad, shaking his head once again.

"I once said we all control our own futures…" the Angel Chimera muttered softly, glancing away and closing his eyes. "Yet, I was powerless here…" With those words, he departed, heading towards the stern of the ship to contemplate the events that just transpired. Sam paused silently, beginning to doubt that she wanted to know what happened. Her gazed panned through the coalition of soldiers, falling dead centre on Carter. The SF returned the gaze, nodding slowly, motioning Sam forward. She nodded in return, silently walking down the artificial path between the soldiers, stopping at the head of the path. There, she saw all the explanation she needed to see…

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0629, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor GN

"So, tell me, how do I always seem to get into a mess like this?" Tim asked himself out loud. The barrage of attacks momentarily stopped, giving the pair some breathing room as they individually thought out something.

"I ask myself the same thing," the female replied, glancing back at the other before her. They exchanged gazes for a moment, determined to break through all odds.

"Tim," the demolitions man introduced, stretching a hand out for her. She nodded, taking it and clasping it with a strong grip.

"Kris," she replied, getting a nod in return from Tim. "So, any bright ideas?"

"I was hoping you would have one," Tim answered, half jokingly, looking back at the previous corridor. He frowned, returning back to Kris.

"Hey, can you collapse part of this corridor like you did back there?" Kris inquired. Tim blinked in surprised, but nodded, approaching the corner, pressing a fist against the wall, but looking back, waiting. A moment of silence was upon them, before Kris signalled.

In the next instant, shrapnel sprayed out through the corridor, creating a muck of confusion for the Rockets and their Pokémon. The distraction gave Kris time to leap out into the fray without worry of enemy fire, and from there, the daring escape plan unfolded.

"Man, leaping straight into the enemy, only someone with a sword would do that…" Tim muttered, taking a wad of C4 explosive and sticking a remote detonator on it. He tossed it down towards the other group of Rockets, throwing it as far as he could. Satisfied, he withdrew his pistol and began to follow Kris, turning the corner. He whistled, impressed how quickly she was able to disable so many Rockets and their Pokémon. Breaking into a brisk run, he followed her, as the corridor they left behind rumbled in an explosion that was soon left unheard.

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0623, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor MB

The four Pokémon waited patiently inside their little cramped prison, waiting for the attacks to subside, though finding themselves becoming increasingly impatient, or rather, anxious.

"Don't they run out of firepower…" Klik spoke softly, growing impatient as he continued to watch the stream of attacks flail by.

"Rockets were never known to be entirely smart…" the Scizor commented, his claws clanging together, also awaiting the moment to attack.

"Well, they were smart enough to get us into this mess," Lin broke in, cackling with electricity, not enjoying the feeling of being a trapped rat. The pair of male Pokémon grunted, not enjoying that fact of being outsmarted.

"Nightslice…was it…?" Psy asked, looking up at the Scizor. He nodded, wings fluttering a bit, claws continuing to snap open and shut. "I don't think you would have come in here alone…"

"I can take care of myself," he muttered softly, crouching down a bit, ready to attack.

"Let me help…" the Psychic Bulbasaur spoke softly, concentrating for a moment. A flickering emerald light began to form in the centre of the hallway, slowly growing in size and visibly becoming a wall, blocking out all attacks from the fire side. The Light Screen pushed forward, pressing against the barrage of attacks, but visibly winning over them. Nightslice stared in awe, looking back at the Bulbasaur.

"When opportunity strikes, don't just stand and gawk!" Klik exclaimed, leaping into the hallway and unleashing a Flamethrower straight down the centre towards the many Fire types who just could not punch through the psychic barrier. However, Klik, being on the other side of the barrier, was able to pierce the barrier with no repercussions, blasting through and dispersing the surprised fire line. Nightslice didn't need much more incentive than that, taking his cue to lunge forward, and attack with rapid wrath, ignoring the risks involved in attacking.

"Hey, wait up!" Lin yelled out, leaping into the hallway and speeding through, past Nightslice and softening up the Fire types for their new Steel type companion.

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0631, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor AF

Metal clanged together as the pair of blades danced back and fourth between the two users. Alken and his opponent continued to exchange slashes, neither striking their opponent as of yet, only their clothing.

Another heavy swing through the air caused Alken to leap back, skidding to a halt and watching the other. The Rocket swung his blade back and fourth idly for a moment, waiting with confidence. He then began to circle in the corridor, holding his blade tight and remaining in his stance. Alken followed the example, circling as well, waiting for a moment to strike. They paid no heed to the battle of their Pokémon nearby, having complete confidence in the abilities of their Pokémon to deal with the other.

"So, my dear ex-Rocket, how does it feel, to live in fear of being hunted by your former friends and comrades?" the other asked, continuing to circle around. Alken did not answer, watching with anxiety, focusing on the task at hand. "Or you don't feel anything at all? Has the time inside the organization destroyed your senses?"

"Shut up…" Alken growled, growing annoyed to his opponent's banter. However, all his opponent could do was laugh, grinning more… maliciously.

"I see you haven't lost all your emotion yet," he replied, stopping his pace around the circle, watching Alken intently. "However, without us, you are powerless…"

"Power was something I was willing to give up for freedom, something you will never understand…" Alken retorted bitterly, only causing his opponent to grin even more.

"You will have nothing when I'm done with you!" he screamed, lunging forward and bringing his blade down in a heavy slash. Alken blocked the blow, but the force of the attack threw him off balance. The ex-Rocket staggered backwards for a moment, trying to regain his balance. Quickly he looked up, only to see that crazy grin once more before he was knocked over, the butt of his opponent's blade flying right into his stomach. The man retreated as Alken clutched his body, falling forward onto the ground with a resounding thud.

"Good night," the other remarked, raising his blade over Alken's head and preparing to strike.

"Alken!" Abetos screamed out, leaping at the Rocket upon hearing the thud and seeing his partner on the ground. The hound Pokémon leaped at the swordsman, only to be caught up in the sludge of the Muk that he forgot about while trying to save his friend. Abetos fell to the ground, squirming underneath the engulfing Muk, trying to break free. However, the Pokémon's scream caused the sword to pause, looking up towards the ensnared Dark-type. The swordsman approached slowly, watching the struggling Houndoom fight against his Muk. He raised his blade…

"Maybe I'll take this away first…" he muttered, slashing downwards in one quick, clean slice.

The Dark-type Pokémon let out a deafening howl, bleeding. The Pokémon twitched on the ground, stunned, curling up into a tiny ball. He tried to open his eyes, but found he could not, found he could not see. He was covered in darkness, unable to escape from it.

"Abetos…" Alken muttered, looking up at the twitching Houndoom. The ex-Rocket saw the extent of the damage dealt to his partner, seeing the Dark-type's eyes sliced off by the blade. "No…" he whimpered, trying to crawl to his partner, to try to comfort him.

"Shut up," the other man remarked, kicking Alken in the back and causing the ex-Rocket to cry out in pain. However, Alken continued to crawl, trying to reach his partner. "Persistent one, aren't you," the man on the floor heard, before watching his partner get sucked up into a Pokéball without any resistance.

A sharp pain erupted in Alken's side once more, feeling the boot of his opponent against his ribs. The ex-Rocket collapsed once more, breathing softly.

"The name's Fuge," the other swordsman told Alken, walking away. "If you want to see your partner again, tell Ice to come after me."

"Abetos…" Alken whispered once more, trying desperately to reach towards his opponent, Fuge. The words of the swordsman echoed through his mind as he passed out…

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0624, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor SD

Hazuki held onto Yusia tightly, the pair running down the hallway, hearing the shouting of their pursuers close behind. They were panting, but never giving up, trying to escape from the clutches.

"Ahh!!" Yusia yelped, tripping and falling down. Hazuki tried to catch her, only falling down with the other. The older groaned, slowly getting up and quickly looking back, seeing the silhouette of a shadow approaching down the corridor. That was all the incentive she needed to get back onto her feet, reaching for the younger. Looking up once more, she saw a guard appear, pointing towards her.

"Here they ar-!" The guard's shout was cut off by a scream of pain as he collapsed onto the ground, blood splattered all over the wall. Hazuki nearly fell over, hearing the boom of someone's rifle followed by the soft clanging of a bullet casing fall to the ground. She gathered Yusia and returned her attention forward, seeing another, holding a large sniper rifle in one hand, preparing the next bullet with his other.

"W-Who…?" she questioned softly, pulling Yusia closer, watching the sniper. He stared towards the corridor, aiming with one hand.

"Just go up the stairs…" the sniper remarked, softly, yet with the force of the wind behind him. Hazuki glanced behind the sniper, seeing an open door that was probably the stairways. "Go to the roof. There will be a Fearow and Pidgeot there. Take the Pidgeot and get out of here."

"But…" the older blue-haired girl was about to protest, only to be interrupted by another eruption of the rifle, disabling yet another pursuing guard. Yusia cringed upon hearing the sound, whimpering as she drew closer to the older one.

"Your friends will be fine, they aren't alone anymore," the sniper continued, preparing his rifle once more. They pair of blue-haired females hesitated, watching the sniper. "Go!" he screamed, as the corridor erupted with turbulent wind. Both girls had to cover their eyes momentarily, before Hazuki nodded. They raced towards the stairway, only pausing to look back.

"Thank you!" Hazuki yelled out, before disappearing. Vyren smiled faintly, raising his rifle once more with one hand, somehow using it effortlessly. He saw more shadows around the corner, narrowing his eyes.

"Wind….protect me…" he whispered softly. The corridor echoed with the blast of another rifle bullet.

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0632, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor AG

Guile leaned against Nala, panting heavily, still trying to regain his breath after excessive use of his power and damage suffered. The female Chimera grew more and more worried with each passing moment as they slowly treaded through the corridors of the lab. They've been travelling for several minutes, and were fortunate to evade the patrols of the facility, else they may as well be dead.

"Hey…are you going to be alright…?" Nala asked, feeling the male Chimera slump more and more, growing weaker with each passing moment.

"Y-Yeah…I-I-I'll b-b-b-be….fine…" Guile muttered softly, looking up slowly and grinning to try to relieve some of the tension in the air. However, his grin soon faded as he looked up, seeing another fallen comrade.

"Huh…?" the female Chimera wondered out loud, following the other's dumbstruck gaze. She gasped. "Alken!" she screamed out, seeing the fallen ex-Rocket, unconscious on the ground. Guile slowly released himself from Nala, leaning against the wall, resting, and allowing Nala to check on the unconscious one.

"There's Alken…but…" Guile thought to himself, still trying to regain his energy, letting his mind wander as he gazed down the hallway. He watched Nala quickly approach Alken's side, scanning over his body for any serious damage, only to see her breath a sigh of relief.

"He's still alive…" Nala spoke softly, looking down and taking his hand, clutching it tightly. "You baka…what the hell are you doing here…?"

"He's helping us…" the male Chimera spoke softly, shambling over slowly. He grunted, clasping his stomach and falling onto a knee, once again leaning his body against the wall.

"Hey!" Nala exclaimed, returning back to Guile's wounds, wondering if there was anything she could do.

"Don't worry about me…." the injured Chimera spoke in a calmer tone, closing his eyes and focusing. "But…I'm wondering…where is Alken's partner…Abetos…" Nala only glanced back at the fallen man, wondering the same. But another question popped into her mind…

"How do we…continue…?" she asked the only other conscious person, getting more and more worried that they'll get caught here. "I can't possibly move both of you…"

"Like I keep saying, don't worry about me…I can handle myself…" Guile answered, gradually getting to his feet, continuing his trek forward. Nala looked on worried, though Guile flashed her a thumbs-up, causing her to relieved a bit more. She returned to Alken, drawing his arm over her shoulder and hefting him up, the trio beginning their journey anew to escape from the ambush, leaving other concerns for other times...

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0632, Location: North TR Research Facility, Security Room B

"It's been three minutes, and they don't seem to be coming any closer…" Des commented softly, listening intently outside the room.

"Maybe we scared them off…" Firestorm muttered in his native tongue, his flaming tail swinging back and fourth with anxiety. He glanced up at Blaster, getting a similar thought from the Water-type.

"I don't think it would be that simple…" Jade interjected, leaning against the far wall, gazing warily towards the door. The silence was only broken by the shallow breathing inside - the only sign to tell these trapped rats were still alive. However, that soon changed, with the faint quiver of the entire structure around them.

"What's that…?" Blaster questioned, looking towards the vibrating ceiling. The rumble intensified with each passing second. The four within quickly turned their intention to the hallway, hearing cries of panic and yells followed by intense gunfire, only to be silenced in the next instant as the groaning of the structure grew louder and louder. A large rock in the form of a Graveller rolled right by, continuing down the hallway as more gunfire erupted, trying to the stop the Pokémon's Rollout attack.

"Um…?" Firestorm asked, not sure how to take the sudden appearance of some other Pokémon that was decimating their ambushers. However, Blaster and Des understood completely, silently thanking lady luck for her kindness.

"Go!" Des exclaimed, as Blaster emerged from the door and looking down the hallway where the Graveller came from. There, he saw the familiar sight of a Sandslash, confronting what limited opposition was left.

"Slasher, get down!" the Blastoise yelled down the corridor, opening fire with a pair of Hydro Pump blasts down the hallway. The Sandslash needed no more encouragement, flopping onto the floor as the guards were slammed by the pair of water blasts, knocking all of them over like dominos. The Ground-type was quick the disable the guards in their fallen state, getting back up and glancing down the corridor, seeing his partner in crime handle the rest of the guards with a little help of a Fire Blast from a Charizard. It was a brutally efficient surprise attack that ended swiftly in their favour.

"Geeze, watch the fire," Rocky muttered softly, looking back at the Charizard, who only shrugged and grunted, looking towards the two Humans who exited the room.

"Now, the most appropriate question would be: where the hell is Tim?" Des questioned, after scanning the hallway and surprised to find the pair of Pokémon without their Human companion.

"He has to handle another problem, so we went ahead to look for Ryna," Slasher answered, approaching the security room and looking over the Charizard and the Human. "And who are…?"

"Jade, another Chimera, and his Charizard, Firestorm," Des answered, getting a soft grunt from the Charizard.

"You can't really say his Charizard, I'm my own," the Fire-type Pokémon corrected, crossing his arms and looking down at the Sandslash.

"Yeah… I'm Slasher, and that's Rocky over there who you almost barbequed," the Ground-type Pokémon introduced, glancing towards Jade. "Alright, considering this is a security room and both of you were in it, I don't suppose you know where Ryna is…?"

"Yeah, she's in Laboratory D," Des answered, beginning to lead the way. "Alken went to find Tim, so, if all works well, we'll be able to meet up there."

"If all works out well, we already know they've been waiting for us," Jade added, glancing back at the Charizard as they followed the group, taking up the rear. "You don't mind if we follow, do you? I think we could all use the help of each other." Des nodded, agreeing silently and breaking into a run, the maze of corridors awaiting them…

* * * * * *

Day: 3, Time: 0632, Location: North TR Research Facility, Corridor KD

"So, tell me, what are we doing here?" Tim asked, pressing his back against the wall, reloading the pistol he was carrying. The pair was trapped inside a small office they broke into for cover, being the only route to take them out of fire within the corridor they were just in.

"Praying for backup…" Kris answered softly, a bit tired from their running, but still ready for some more, gripping her blade tightly in her hand. Tim kept an eye on the door while Kris glanced out the window of the office, seeing police officers down below trying to contain the growing crowd, trying to determine the cause of the recent explosion outside. "I don't recall blowing up the receiving area outside…" she remarked softly, turning towards Tim. He grinned a bit sheepishly, turning away to face the door once more.

"Yeah, that was, um, my fault, looking for a way to get in…" the ex-SF told her, raising the pistol and aiming it towards door.

"Well, it backfired. We would have been able to escape through the window if you hadn't," the other intruder commented, sighing softly and taking a position on the other side of the door, pressing her back against the wall.

"Eh, blinded by love, as one may say…" he muttered, barely audible, but clear. Kris gazed towards him, wondering just why he was here, though saving those questions for a more appropriate time. He looked up towards Kris. "I hope that wasn't your brightest idea…?" Tim sort of trailed off after asking, seeing how his current ally would not really answer. "Great…" he whispered, understanding what the silence meant.

The pair stood silently, waiting for the impending doom to come. If the very least, they intended to make it hell for their foes. Slowly, they turned to face each other, as though their minds were linked for a brief moment, understanding what the other wanted to do. They sort of exchanged a faint grin, preparing themselves for the oncoming barrage.

"Well, let's get to it…" the male Chimera commented, breathing in once for a last moment of peace, before turning around the corner of the door…