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COMPLETE: The Dark Lord

Charizard2006

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This is an on-going story that I've been posting to other sites. The overall public review has been wonderful, so I'm hoping to get a following here as well. I'll post what I have, and let me know what you think. As for what the story's about, I'll let you figure it out. The story is rated 'R', mostly for violence and action sequences, but I'd like to assume we're all mature enough for that sort of thing. Anyway, with that said, let's start this.

~Charizard2006

* * The Dark Lord * *

Chapter 1

When he was very young, his father was a hero.

Tucking him into bed at night, his father would

tell him tales of courage and valor; men who conquered

and vanquished evil. The Golden Warriors who marched

forward, never looking back, never afraid. The warriors

would march into battle for their king and their people,

and they would win.

His father was one of the Warriors. His father would

never admit this, but in his heart he knew. His father

served the king of the great lands in the best of times.

The times where the harvests were good, the people

were happy, and the king was alive and well. The warriors

kept watch over the people to keep them safe, his father

would tell him. And safe they were kept, until the day

everything changed.

When you were very young, his father would tell him,

a Dark Lord rose. The Dark Lord, they say, could

cast a spell on the crops and the lands and then it was

that the lands were no longer fertile. The Dark Lord

would starve his followers and use black magic on them

to keep them under his will. The Dark Lord, his father

told him, wanted the crown of the King. He wanted it

so badly that he sent his armies across the lands,

destroying everything in their path.

The Golden Warriors rose to fight the armies of The Dark

Lord. Charging into battle, never looking back, determination

in their eyes. The Golden Warriors rode on their mighty

steeds of metal and iron, waving their flags in the name

of the King, and fight they did. They fought in the name of

truth and justice, and love and hope, and all the things that

made the Great Kingdom great.

The Dark Lord's Army was tremendous; one so great that it shook

the land when they marched, and would flatten the ground with

their footprints. The sky turned black with the Dark Lord's

magic and the Golden Warriors could not see. But march they did

into battle; outnumbered, and outgunned, they marched. They never

looked back. The battle, his father would say, went on for many

days and many nights. The frightened villagers retreated into

underground caves and into the forests and into tunnels underneath

the kingdom, so alas they were safe from the hordes of the

Dark Lord's Armies.

The Golden Knights, with all their armor and strength and machines,

with all their graciousness and bravery, failed the king miserably.

The King did not run when the Dark Lord's armies approached his

castle. The King did not flinch when the Dark Lord approached his

throne and demanded the crown. The King died a man of honor at the

blade of the Dark Lord's sword. And so it was, the Great Kingdom

died that day with the King.

And that's the life you were born into, his father would tell him,

a time of famine and disease, a time where hope is almost

diminished. But someday, his father says, someday the Dark Lord will

die and the land will be great again. Someday the people will rise

and take back the Kingdom that is rightfully theirs. Someday there

will be new Golden Warriors who will rise up to avenge their fallen

brethren.

And he believed all this.

He believed his father until the day The Dark Lord and his armies

came and took him.

There was no such thing as a good Poke'mon.

This was a thing that his father told him long ago. All the good

Poke'mon died back in the days of the great battle between The Golden

Warriors and The Dark Lord. The best of them, his father said, died in

that fateful battle.

Foxx mused over his journal and ended his thoughts with a splotch of

black ink on the dirty yellow pages. He looked up over the sea of

wreckage that lay before him and wondered what life was like, back then.

Times were simple, like his father had told him. People had driving machines

that took them to and from places, and there were flying machines that took

people anywhere in the world, over oceans and mountains, within hours.

He had seen pictures in old books and magazines, but it was still hard for him

to imagine these great machines that his people had used in the times before

the war. He picked up his half eaten can of peaches and chewed thoughtfully.

A warm gust of wind on a cloudless day told him that winter was over, and that

spring was beginning. This was good news. It meant that scavenging for food

and supplies would be easier. His bunker crew had made it through the winter

comfortably, the pre-war reserves in the bunker kept everyone well fed, as long

as they would ration it. But these supplies were all but infinite, and to make

sure they would have a steady diet, scavenging for these things was a necessity.

He spooned out the last bit of peaches from the can and drank the syrup slowly,

the way his father had taught him. He licked his lips and placed the can inside

his backpack and watched the sun rise over the decimated city skyline. In the

distance he could see Machoke and Machamp units roaming the land in search of survivors.

They normally didn't spend much time searching out refugee bunkers, like Foxx's, because

refugees never gave them any trouble. What they were looking for was equipment left

behind by The Resistance.

Foxx had heard of a resistance movement years ago, but thought it was all rumor. It was

only until recently that their radio equipment began to pick up radio broadcasts of

a man speaking out against The Dark Lord. The man had a rough, deep voice. Almost

menacing. He talked of men and women banding together, uniting against The Dark Lord.

He claimed to be a remnant of the Saffron Militia, and that he was stationed with

other remnants of the Poke'mon Island Government. Foxx's father had taught him

the art of combat and basic military strategy, but Foxx only applied these skills

to scavenging and sometimes haggling with unreasonable traders. He had only fought

a few times against a group of raiders who tried to break into their bunker and steal

supplies.

What the man spoke of was a rebellion against an unbeatable enemy. There was not much

that people knew of "The Dark Lord", but surely he was an unstoppable force if he were

able to crush the government of humans and decimate cities. Foxx knew, now that he was

older, that his father told him stories that were nothing but metaphors. He theorized that

The Dark Lord was a Poke'mon, and that he used his special abilities to control other

Poke'mon into submission. This is why there were no good Poke'mon left.

Foxx wrapped his scarf around his face and pulled his goggles over his eyes. Apart from

the miles of empty, blown out buildings and wreckage, the land was flat and dry. Dust storms

and fields of withered, dead crops made up the landscape. He walked against the wind, toward

an empty convenience store, its front window shattered and its contents looted long ago.

But there was always something overlooked. There was always a stray can of corn or spam

or something on the ground. There always was, and there had to be. He stepped inside the

quiet room and took his googles off. He wished he had a flashlight, but the wind up

one he used so frequently had broken the year before.

Nothing in the room but scraps of paper and empty tin cans. He pushed aside the carts and

hopped behind the clerk's counter. Opening drawers. Some string, a couple moldy brochure

pamphlets. Papers about Employee Codes of Conduct. In the back of the drawer was a

withering rolled up sheet of paper. He took it out and unravelled it. It was a Call To Duty

poster for the military. It showcased a man dressed in armor, much like that of which his

father described to him, standing on a pile of rubble holding a flag of the Poke'mon Islands,

other armed, similarly dressed men standing beside him, and Poke'mon standing on the sides of

the men. It read, "Take the Fight To Mew-Two: Enlist Today!"

Normally he would have discarded a poster but he had never seen anything like this before.

He ran his fingers over the faded ink of the paper and studied the hardened, determined

expressions on the men's faces. He folded it up and slipped it into his backpack. He emptied

more drawers and kicked aside some of the trash on the ground. Nothing here.

A little disappointed, Foxx didn't notice the figures looming outside the building, standing

on the rusted vehicles and the stacks of rubble. He didn't hear them whisper to each other,

gripping their spears while their eyes burned through his skin. When he noticed them, they

were too swift for him to react, pinning him down while they grabbed his backpack and emptied

its contents on the ground. Foxx tried to cry out, but the weight of the Machamp's foot on his

chest was too great, so he could only lie there in a silent horror. He had encountered

Machoke units before; this was a common thing in the wasteland. They either considered you dead or dying and didn't see you as much of a threat, letting you on your way. There must have been something about him that caught their attention.

As the Machokes looked through his things, scattered on the pavement, the Machamp looked down at him and growled. He was clad in a strange metallic armor that set him apart from the rest of the unit. He must have been in charge.

"..What..you doing..here?" The Machamp growled in very broken English. Had he not pressed more weight onto Foxx's chest, Foxx would have just sat there in a stunned silence. He had never heard of a poke'mon talking before.

"..I'm...just looking for food.." he wheezed. He hated himself for being caught so easily. This is exactly the kind of thing his father had trained him for, and he had conducted himself horribly. Sloppy and stupid.

The Machokes took out the poster and unfolded it. They studied it for a minute and talked quietly amongst themselves. They conveyed their findings in a strange language to The Machamp who looked at the poster, and, looking even more furious than before, returned his gaze to Foxx.

"What do you know about Ian Surge?" he asked loudly, his English suddenly very clear.

"Who?" Foxx coughed. The Machokes held a spear to his neck, but the Machamp waved them off. He spoke to them in the foreign language as they tied his wrists together and pulled a blindfold over his eyes. They buckled him in chains and carried him over to a large, metal cylinder where he could only hear the soft whimpers of other humans.

Foxx only had his own terrified thoughts to keep him company amongst the whimpers. Where were they taking him? What did they want with him? Who was Ian Surge, and what did he have to do with him? The cylinder rumbled loudly and shook violently. Foxx had never been in a car before, but this must have been what it felt like, and judging from the sounds of the people around him, he slowly began to realize they must be heading toward one of the Dark Lord’s Deathcamps…

His father had told him of these before, as a child. He told him that these were dark places that The Dark Lord took people who stood against him, to be punished. Most of the people that went into these camps never came out again. Foxx lay there in a silent horror as the cylinder came to a slow, rough stop.
 
* * CHAPTER 2 * *

Mass hordes of thin figures shuffling in the darkness.

Bald heads. sunken eyes.

Diseased.

Foxx had seen them before in his dreams, and imagine in

the stories that his father would tell him of the death camps.

The Dark Lord, he would say, kept his prisoners alive as

punishment for their disobediance.

And there was much truth to this.

Their heads were shaven.

Their bodies were starved.

There was no food.

There was no water.

There was only the dry, dusty air to choke on while

you performed your endless work.

Foxx had been in the encampment for three weeks. Or was it

four? Days molded together in a confusing blur. So much

time spent without food and water. His lips were chapped

and his throat was dry. They had been fed small scraps

two days ago.

So hungry.

His thoughts were clouded and his eyes were beginning to

retain a distant stare that was so much like those around him.

How can things have gone so badly? In Foxx's life, there was

not much room for emotion. Life was about survival; it was about

scrounging for food and supplies so that you may last another

day. But even a hardened scavenger has their breaking points,

and Foxx was just on the edge of madness.

He shuffled along in his faded blue jumpsuit the soldiers had

issued him. His gaze shifted to the sea of bald heads in front of him.

No one spoke. The only thing that he concentrated on was the shovel in

his hand. For several days they had been digging trenches. For what reason

he did not know. The Poke'mon had only spoken in their broken English to

dig a trench a body deep, and two bodies wide.

The encampment was a football stadium that had been modified, most likely

in the days of human rule, to be a military installation. High fences were

watched by guard towers that were set at each corner of the field. Two more

sets of fences existed on the outsides of the stadium, stretching into the parking

lots, where they were to dig the trenches. The cars had long since been removed

and the pavement was soft and reduced to mostly rubble. Foxx and a few others

in his digging group punched their shovels into the hard Earth and began to

silently do their work.

Foxx didn't think about each spot that he dug. He didn't think about tomorrow,

or when the next time they would get fed. In all his teachings, his father had

always used an undertone of death, and how to be prepared for it. Through all

the stories and the metaphors that he had shown him, Foxx realized his father was

really mentally preparing him for the day that The Dark Lord would take him as well.

Foxx didn't think about his father nearly as much as his stories. People died

in the wasteland, and that's the way things were. You didn't linger on the fact

that they were no longer with you, it was the fact that you had to carry their supplies

that you burdened yourself with. He knew nothing of his mother, the only thing he remembered

of her was her flowing bright orange hair. She died long before his father did, and

all he could recollect of her was her bright orange hair.

Yet this was something you didn't concern yourself with. Foxx continued to dig.

There was something in the way, and the tip of his shovel snapped. Panicking silently,

Foxx looked at the guards in the tower. They had not noticed. What happened? One of his

digging companions had noticed and brushed some dirt out of the way. Cement.

They had been digging for hours, and to see cement so far deep in the ground was unusual.

"What is it?" a dry voice broke the silence. Foxx's digging partner cast a distance gaze

over to him. He said nothing. A dirty young girl stepped over to the cement.

"What is it?" she repeated. Nobody spoke. Foxx brushed more of the dirt off to the side

with what remained of his shovel and tried to outline the cement structure. It was

several feet wide and seemed to continue into the stadium, underground.

"It's a service tunnel." Foxx said quietly.

His words hung in the air. For a moment they all thought about escape. But digging into

the cement tunnel with shovels would be impossible. Judging by the size of the tunnel,

the walls around it had to at least be a foot thick. The thought of escape was amusing for

a moment, then Foxx returned to his work, trying silently not to get annoyed with the missing

tip of his shovel. His digging buddies spoke quietly amongst themselves as they worked.

"There's so many people here, one of them has to know something about explosives."

"Even if they did, how would they get the supplies they need to make something big enough

to blow a hole in there?"

"There's got to be a supply closet around here somewhere. Where do you think the guards get

all their guns and shit from? c'mon, man, think about it!"

"If we're gonna do this, we're gonna have to be discreet about it, we need to make sure

that we have this space for the next few days, and cover what dig up with a small layer

of dirt."

"No shit. In the meantime, we should look for anybody that knows something about blowing

shit up. There's a lot of political prisoners in here. Somebody has to know something."

"What about you?"

Foxx continued to dig.

"Hey man, what about you?"

Foxx stuck his shovel in the dirt and looked up and away. He did not look at the man behind him.

"What about me?" he asked softly, keeping his eyes on his work.

"Are you in on this? do you want to get out?"

Foxx turned to face the man. He looked down at the tunnel.

"I think you're foolish."

"Alright, fuck you then." The man replied. He went on his side of the top of the tunnel and

began to trace it out in the dirt. He paused for a second.

"You know, what's your deal? I've been here longer than you, and you've already given up hope.

Don't you have a family or friends that want to see you? what the fuck's your problem?"

Foxx continued to trace his side of the tunnel out in the dirt.

"My father died when I was young. He told me stories about great warriors who

sacrificed themselves for the greater good, who showed no fear or emotion, and he

taught me these ways. He taught me how to survive, and how to prepare for death.

Until here I only cared about survival, but now all there is to do is die."

The man was quiet for a moment.

"Who was your father?" he asked. Foxx continued to dig alongside the tunnel.

"Ash Ketchum."

The man was quiet again, but this time it was a surprised silence. Out of the corner of his

eye Foxx could see them whispering excitedly to each other.

"Your father was a great man."

"I know."

"My brother served alongside him in the Enforcer Division...during the war. Everyone knew your

father. He was the first great Poke'mon Master in a long time. I don't think we've ever seen a man

who was---"

A loud howl from the Guard Tower told them to get busy. The man started to dig, and lowered his voice.

"Look, blowing a hole into this service tunnel could be our only way out of here. Your dad told you those stories to inspire you, not to prepare you for death."

Foxx didn't look at the man but he was listening.

"If we escape...when we escape....there's this whole movement started, you know..if you've ever gotten to listen to a radio. There's this guy, Ian Surge? he used to be an Enforcer. He served in the division that was right under the President. Now if that recording is just an old loop and he's dead, we're screwed, but you know what? we're screwed anyway. These people," he paused for a moment to gaze out over the large field of slaves digging trenches. "Everyone's dying. Ian has the know-how to take back what's ours, but what he needs are people to help him."

Foxx continued to dig. He found the man's words inspiring, in a lot of ways he reminded Foxx of his father.

"If you only care about dying, then why not do it for a noble cause? Why not die a hero, like your dad? We need guys like you. You're Ash's son...he ought to have taught you SOMETHING about standing up for what's right."

Foxx continued to dig. In the Wasteland you don't make agreements, only compromises. Everyone loses a little bit on their end. The man had a point, absurd as it sounded. Foxx was no fighter; he knew self defense and basic military tactics, but only what his father was able to teach him, and some of it had become hazy over the years. What his father had given him was discipline; and right now it was telling him to listen to the man. Fight for a noble cause. Live rather than just getting by. These things had not really had to applied over his years of scavenging, because it didn't matter. This was now a life or death situation that he was faced with. He looked over the sea of sulken, dirty expressionless people. These were his people, but he did not want to die with them.

"Okay." he said finally, placing a foothold in the dirt, and pulling out clumps of rock with his shovel.

"Okay?" the man asked.

"Okay." Foxx repeated.

By a rough estimate there were about 2,000 people in the camp. This meant close quarters and almost

no room to move. The bleachers were occupied primarily by the Death Squads who squandered their food

and surveyed over the mass of tents that belonged to the prisoners. Finding the person who knew something about explosives without letting everyone in on their secret was a blessing and a curse.

Foxx would survey the vast sea of people shuffling along, and pondered if this was actually worth it.

This is time that he could dedicate to sleeping; they didn't get enough time to rest as it was. Instead he was wasting his time asking around for former soldiers or electricians. This was foolish. He didn't know who to look for in particular, and even then, they had no plan. His digging companions were under the impression that they would blow a hole in the tunnel and slip into it, and there would be nothing but fields of rainbows on the other end. For all they knew it could have been a sewer pipe.

But regardless, Foxx had compromised with the man. He did not want to die here, and if there was a chance at escape, he'd rather die trying to leave than trying to live a life like this.

He pushed through the crowd, slipping through different figures of dust and grime. He didn't know who or what he was looking for. He found it when he saw a tall man with a bar code on the back of his neck.

"um...hey..?" Foxx mumbled. The man turned around.

He was a little over 6 feet tall, with a grizzled face. He had a large scar on going from his eye

to his cheek and another one underneath his neck. His eyes were full of hatred.

"What?" he asked in a hoarse voice. He was already impatient; he stared down at Foxx with a gaze that burned right through the boy.

"Do you know anybody that knows anything about explosives?" he blurted out.

Sloppy and stupid once again. The exact thing that got him in here could probably get him in

even more trouble. It was difficult; he hadn't eaten in two days and his mind was thinking irrationally.

Still the man's eyes lit up. Either he was confused or absolutely enraged.

"Why?" he grunted.

"Do you?" Foxx asked. He was losing this interrogation; soon everyone would know about their secret

if he was any more of a dumbass.

"I might. What, are you planning some kind of escape?" The man sounded almost amused at the word. A couple people stopped around them. Foxx only smiled weakly and beckoned the man to follow him.

They stepped inside Foxx's cramped tent where his digging companions were waiting.

"Who's this?" the young girl asked. The man looked over them and didn't say anything.

"Who wants to know?" he said finally.

A couple of them looked around nervously, as if someone would see them.

"Who is this guy, Foxx?" one of them asked.

"I'm Clyde Wright, and I'm guessing you guys know of a way out of here."

"That depends, what can you offer us?"

Clyde thumbed toward Foxx. "This kid tells me that you need somebody who knows something about explosives. I know something about explosives."

"How do we know you're telling the truth?"

Clyde cleared his throat and turned around. He pointed to a barcode chiseled into the back of his neck.

"This is how they keep track of me," he replied. "I was an Enforcer in Assault Divison B of the Poke'mon Island Armed Forces. There's a few more of us in this camp, and this is how they know who was a soldier and who wasn't."

"What does that mean, though? you didn't say anything about being a demolitions expert."

Clyde turned around and what happy personality he had about him had faded.

"As a soldier they had us dabble in a bit of everything, and I'm very good at what I do. If you want to keep bullshitting me, then I'm outta here."

Clyde started to leave when Foxx put a hand on his shoulder.

"Okay, you're in. Are you gonna help us?"

Clyde turned his head slightly.

"On one condition. My friends come with me."

"Deal."

The next few days were spent developing a plan.

The guards mostly turned in at night time, which is when they would commit their escape. They had been there long enough to know that guards made their patrols around the base on foot about every half hour, which would give Clyde plenty of time to set the charges. In the meantime, Clyde needed a couple days to gather the materials for the bomb from the camp kitchen and guard supply closets.

Foxx would help him with this while the others covered their shifts at digging the trenches. Most of the guards were outside watching the prisoners so they had a bit of cover for sneaking into the supply closets located at some blown out vending areas in the interior of the stadium.

"Stay close, and keep your fucking head down," Clyde whispered fiercely as they left his tent, moving quickly and low to the ground. "If we get caught, we're fucking dead."

Foxx tried to simulate the way Clyde moved, but it was nearly impossible. He was an older man, but he moved with a kind of grace that was unusual for a man his age. Foxx attributed it to Clyde's time spent as a soldier, and an elite one at that. They ducked behind a pile of scraps as a couple Machokes strolled by, grunting to each other in their own language.

Foxx's heart pounded in his chest. He had no reason to be here. Why was he here? the only reason was to watch Clyde's back and help him carry a couple of the supplies. Then what?

Whatever they were going to do, it was going to go down tonight. They had to do it. Every day Foxx and his crew became weaker, almost too much to be able to fight for the scraps of food that the guards would throw down at the prisoners. He hated this; they were treated like animals.

"Stay with me!" Clyde whispered angrily. He had already darted several paces ahead of the boy, and Foxx struggled to keep up.

So hungry.

He did his best to ignore the stinging feeling in his gut, but it was all he could do to keep from passing out on the ground. He wondered how much weight he would actually be able to carry. They made their way inside the stadium and Clyde peeked around a corner. An empty hallway.

"Let's go. NOW." he hissed. They darted across the hallway to a giant fast food inlet. The door had been padlocked with the words "Supplies" written crudely across the top of it. Clyde took out a small bobby pin and began to fiddle with the lock.

Foxx watched in horror as shadows of the Machokes that walked by them earlier appeared on the wall. The shadows ran up the side of the wall over the corner. They were getting closer. If they turned the corner, Foxx and Clyde would be in plain sight.

"Hurry, they're coming!" Foxx pleaded.

"Fuck you, I almost have it..." Clyde said sharply. The lock gave way and he threw Foxx inside, pulling the door behind himself. The minute they were in the closet Clyde threw his head around, grabbing whatever he could get his hands on. The first thing he grabbed was a broom handle that he broke the end of.

"What're you...?" Foxx started.

"They saw us close the door." Clyde responded, looking over the broom handle like a surgeon.

He opened a toolbox to his right and pulled out a wrench.

"When they come, stay down." He ordered. Foxx held his breath as he heard foosteps approach the door. The handle turned and the door swung open. Two large Machokes stood in the doorway. As soon as they were in plain sight, Clyde sprung from his crouched position and speared the splintered broom handle into the bottom of the Machoke's chin. Surprised, the other Machoke stumbled back as his friend fell to the floor, blood cascading down his chest. Clyde wasted no time leaping from the speared Machoke to the second one. Like an animal he jumped onto the Machoke and brought the wrench down on top of its head, hitting him repeatedly in the skull until Foxx heard a sickening crack and the Machoke's body went limp.

"Help me drag these bodies in the closet," Clyde ordered gruffly, not missing a beat. "We have only a little while before the rest of them know their buddies are missing."

Foxx helped Clyde drag the bodies into the room and they went about their business. Clyde grabbed numerous utensils that Foxx had no idea how you would create an explosive with. Some cleaning liquids. Bleach. Saran wrap. Numerous pieces of other scrap. The only thing that made sense was the string and the box of matches, but this was just based on what Foxx had seen in old movies.

"What do you need so much of it for?" Foxx asked. Stupid question.

Clyde gave him a cynical look.

"You didn't think that there would just be one explosion, did you?" he asked, assembling the pieces together.

"The only way this makes sense is to have a first explosion on the other side of the stadium. That way the guards are already distracted, and the prisoners are in chaos, so not all the attention will be on us when we blow the pipe."

Foxx nodded. It made sense.

A large scale distraction was exactly what they needed.

It took Clyde a few more minutes before he was finished assembling the two bombs.

"Alright," he said finally, wiping sweat from his brow. "We need to get out of here, back in our tents, and get these in place tonight."

"Tonight?" Foxx asked.

"Pack your bags, we're out of here in a couple hours," Clyde said with a slick smile.
 
slow down, man. give us a chance to read and comment on the chapters.
 
The rules clearly state to wait a minimum of three hours between posting chapters. You posted them in a manner of minutes, and it shows. Look at the first part! You wrote this in Notepad, didn't you? Fiddle with Word Wrap and those annoying line discrepencies should go away, but seriously man.
 
* * CHAPTER 3 * *

There was an unusual silence in the rolling plains outside of Cerulean City. The truck rumbled along through the forests where there were no longer animals or Poke'mon alike. Looking out from the vehicle you could see that there was nothing for miles; just an endless stretch of field whose tall grass swayed uneasily in the cold wind.

Clyde took a drink from his water bottle and watched the clouds. He wondered if he would ever see the sun again. Word had it that Mew-two had brought about the clouds with a flick of his wrist. Word also had it that Mew-two's forces had knocked out most of their grounds communication and some of their caravans in a couple other cities. Clyde never really listened to The Word. Out of his whole unit he was the one whom kept most to himself, always silently surveying the others. This was an act that some may deem as anal, but Clyde was very good at his job. Though he did not come off as friendly, he would sacrifice himself for the lives of any one of these men that he was traveling with. It's just the way things were, and he had come to respect them all in that sense.

Nobody spoke. Another soldier flipped up his visor and took a long drink on his water bottle. Everyone held tightly onto their rifles with one hand. Clyde had never felt this anxious since the day he first stepped off the bus at Boot Camp eleven years ago. Eleven years in the Armed Forces had earned him the privilege to fight among the most elite soldiers in the Poke'mon Continent; The Enforcers. Sworn to protect and serve the public, this is what he lived for. This is what he had trained for, and though part of his training had showed him to conceal emotion, he could barely contain what excitement was thriving through his veins. He could only hope that the others in his unit were feeling the same euphoria as he.

His knuckles were white on the nozzle of his rifle and he let off the grip, taking a moment to check the weapon for any bugs as he had done a hundred times before. The LandRover 32X model was in perfect condition; he had even gone as far as to polish it himself and affectionately name it Jessica, after his wife. In a lot of ways, his weapon reminded him of her. Trustworthy, dependable, and loud. Very loud. The Landrover 32X Poke'mon Armed Forces Issued Assault Rifle was the most powerful assault rifle the Islands had to offer, and they were reserved for the Enforcers. Lightweight but powerful enough to sweep through three dozen bodies on just one clip, armor included, definately earned it its name. Clyde suppressed a grin and looked to his side, but with slight difficulty. Their armor was designed for aggressive combat, not so much for comfort. In fact, looking at the armor suit from a distance, one may believe they were a SWAT Team. It's true, their glass visor and padded vests did give them the appearance of riot control, but every detail of the suit had been designed with a purpose; the visor had a small computer chip that fed information directly from HQ at his command. The vests were suited to be lightweight, but were hard enough to defend against an 5.56mm round, and were equipped with enough pockets and secret compartments to hold plenty of ammunition (his favorite part). The suit underneath had a built in microchip into every joint in his body that read his vital stats and in the event of a limb becoming injured, would inject it with a small dose of adrenaline, allowing the wounded soldier to take cover while the suit sent the information back to HQ.

It was a state of the art design; much like Clyde. He had been involved in the Armed Forces for so long that he had become a hardened soldier; he did not speak unless spoken to and did not flinch at the sight of gore. These two simple things were all the unspoken qualities that The Enforcers were asked of. The truck rolled to a stop and without waiting for any kind of order, the Enforcers shuffled out, lining themselves up into a perfect formation in front of a grizzled looking man in a tan uniform.

Clyde's eyes followed the soldiers scrambling around them, setting up barricades and evacuating civilians out of the city. They were afraid.

Their fear disgusted him.

They should be as enthralled for the fight as he was.

Once the last soldier had fallen into line, the man cleared his throat.

"My name is Colonel Thompson, and you're here because this is my city, and when it comes to Cerulean City, I don't fuck around,"

he walked up and down the row of men.

"Mewtwo has declared war on the human race, and will stop at nothing until he

reaches our great nation's capitol, Saffron City."

He looked down at the ground, frowning, but his tone did not faulter.

"We are next in line for his ground forces, Gentlemen, they have yet to encounter an Enforcer Assault Unit."

The soldiers did not smile, nor make any sound in response. The man grinned at their discipline.

"According to our scout reports, Mewtwo's forces are not taking any prisoners, and we expect you to do the same. In fact, we expect you to do more than that. We expect you to make Mewtwo's Forces so sick and disgusted with fighting that they lay down their weapons and beg for forgiveness. We expect you to answer their request in the form of a bullet to the brain, because it is our duty to arrange their meeting with God, am I clear?"

"Sir, Yes sir!" the soldiers said unison.

The man smirked.

"We will meet the Poke'mon on the battlefield, and we will not hinder, we will not faulter, because we are Enforcers. For years it has been our duty, our God-given RIGHT to Enforce the law, and the law of the land says that these creatures threaten our way of life. We will seek out and slaughter the Poke'mon in such a fashion that their brethren will see their mutilated bodies and they will be afraid,"

His voice seemed to drone out the noise of the artillery equipment rumbling into position. Some of the soldiers scrambling around the city stopped to listen, enthralled by his words.

"They will learn to fear The Enforcers and in turn learn to fear the rest of the human race, and they will surrender themselves and their master to us, and we will execute every last Poke'mon until the only Poke'mon you can find is in a fucking text book, AM I CLEAR?"

"Sir, Yes sir!"

* * * * * *

Clyde woke up with a start.

He was no longer in Cerulean City.

He was dressed in rags and his uniform was nowhere to be found.

It took him a moment to remember that it was over a decade in the future.

It always did.

He had spent most of the day sleeping, trying his best to conserve energy. Spending many years in the Special Forces had taught him how to keep his body running on good capacity at times like these. He looked down to see the boy, Foxx, sleeping soundly on the ground next to him.

He had been a good assistant.

Clyde almost felt bad at the thought of leaving him behind.

Clyde was faster and stronger than the rest of the group.

Trying to help them leave would only slow him down.

The charges that he had set would only create an explosion large enough to make a hole in the pipe big enough for one person to slip through at a time. He'd be damned if he wasn't going through that first. The longer he watched Foxx the more he pondered how much potential the boy may have. While he looked weak, he was also a lot younger than most of the prisoners, especially the ones inside the group.

The first thing on his priority list upon escaping would be to contact Ian Surge, and join the resistance. He only hoped that the recordings were not dated.

* * * * * * *

"Wake up."

A stern, gruff voice echoed in Foxx's head. His body moved. Somebody was shaking him.

"What?" Foxx coughed.

"It's time."

Foxx opened his eyes and watched Clyde step over him to look out the flap of the tent.

"Is everything set?" Foxx asked. Clyde looked back at him and nodded.

"Yeah." He replied. "Our friends are setting the charges at the other end of the base. When the charges explode, that will create enough chaos to give us cover to detonate the pipeline. Our friends will have somewhere in about 5 minutes to make their way back across the stadium to slip through the hole," he tossed Foxx his shovel. "Which we will ensure is big enough to slip through. If there's any debris in the way, we'll have to clear it out so we can get out. Clear?"

Foxx nodded, looking down at the shovel. His heart raced.

This was insane.

But this was their only ticket out.

"How do we know when they're setting the--"

A sound like thunder cut him off, making the ground shake and the dust to kick up off the dry ground outside. There were frightened screams from all around.

"I guess now," Clyde said, without missing a beat. He disapeared out the flap of the tent with Foxx close behind.

"Fuck, fuck fuck," Clyde hissed under his breath. "We're not even FUCKING THERE yet."

They fought against the crowd of people making their way toward the sound of the disturbance. There was dust everywhere and Foxx choked on the lack of oxygen. Guards mixed with Prisoners were scrambling past them as they made their way to the opposite end of the building.

They encountered one guard on their way to the parking lot, but Clyde attacked the beast with such a savage tenacity that, had Foxx not grown accustomed to this sort of thing, would leave him mentally scarred. Clyde pulled the shovel out of the bloody skull of the guard and continued his way out to the parking lot.

The rest of the guards in the towers had been pulled from their posts to see what was going on. It looked like the start of a riot; the prisoners had used this temporary distraction to find tools to use as weapons against the surprised, unarmed guards. This was perfect.

Clyde had set the charges and pulled Foxx away. He told Foxx to plug his ears.

Another explosion rocked the ground and a cloud of dust erupted from the Earth. Foxx fell to his knees, with his ears still plugged there was a ringing that he could not ignore. More people were coming out of the dust. Dark figures in this shroud of grey. Clyde was yelling something but Foxx could not hear it. He was disoriented. Had they been too close to the explosion?

He saw a Machoke making his way through the crowd toward them. There may be more. Foxx still had his shovel and he looked behind him to see Clyde slipping himself through the pipeline. He wouldn't make it without having to fight this guard.

Clyde had bailed on him.

With a wild cry Foxx ran at the Machoke, whom did not look surprised. Foxx did not appear intimidating in his rags, and even the rage in his eyes could not show through the sunken, distant look his eyes had retained.

but this is exactly what he needed.

The Machoke reared up, reading to swing his fist down and crush the boy, when he speared the shovel into his kneecap.

The Poke'mon howled in pain as he stumbled backward, with Foxx uppercutting him again with the head of the shovel. The poke'mon doubled over and Foxx stood atop him, spearing him again and again, blood smearing his face as his rage overtook him. The weeks of food and water depravation, the endless toil in the hot sun. This poke'mon was the embodiment of everything bad that had ever happened to him, and now it was a bloodied mess of gore on the ground. People were rushing by him, storming the outer gates on the edge of the camp. They hadn't even noticed the hole in the pipe, or maybe they didn't care. Foxx ran over and slipped through the hole, and found himself in a dimly lit service tunnel.

There were footprints on the sludge on the ground leading in the direction of the outer gates, or at least what he figured would be the right direction. He was still a little disoriented. He stumbled his way down the tunnel, gripping his shovel and panting as if he had just run a marathon.

* * * * * * * *

The sky had gone from an overcast gray to a engulfing black.

This was how the Poke'mon fought.

The soldiers had planned for this and generators rumbled to life, washing light over the outskirts of the city.

Clyde grunted and looked over his unit of soldiers.

Each Enforcer had been given a unit of soldiers ("regulars", as they called them) to be placed under their command. This was an effort to keep the units organized and from fleeing. In other words they were given a crash-course in Enforcer tactics. The men looked at him with puzzled expressions, fear and distraught written all over their faces. They didn't like this any more than he did. They were too used to their officers who treated them well, and because of this they were softened.

Clyde would rather have fought by himself, but orders were orders, and he never disobeyed.

"When they come," he said, walking across the row of soldiers. "Spread out, but stay within sight and earshot of each other. The Poke'mon tactic is to separate and confuse us, that's how they overrun Pallet Town and Vermillion City. Not Cerulean. If you run, you will die. I know, because I don't miss. If you run I will shoot you myself, because you are a coward and you will die anyway. A team that works together is a team that lives. We are a team. Under my command is the best chance at survival you have, and the best chance that this city has. Am I clear?"

"Sir, yes sir!" they chorused. Clyde sneered.

He had spent the last three days training these soldiers and in that time he prayed for an attack from Mewtwo's forces. He didn't think he could bear the torture of trying to whip these undisciplined half wits into shape any longer.

His prayer came answered in the form of a Fearow.

Its cry echoed off the walls of the empty city.

Clyde could not see it but he could hear it as it flapped its wings over their heads.

In a way it reminded him of the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, coming to give the message to the men of their final minutes alive on Earth.

There was a howl of men readying at their stations, jeeps rumbling down the streets and artillery guns being wheeled into position.

"This is it!" Clyde howled, barely able to contain his excitement. "Stay together but spread out. They'll come fast and they'll come hard, be ready to stop them in their fucking tracks!"

The men readied their guns and kept wary. They were not the first wave of defense on the south end of the city. There were two units in front of them. However it was their duty to defend the southern sector, an intersection in the south end of the city. You could not travel anywhere through the south end of the city without coming through this large plaza.

It was a very integral part of Cerulean's defense grid and Clyde hoped his soldiers would be enough to stop the onslaught of Poke'mon coming through.

They would come through.

He knew it. It was only a matter of time.

He had heard the stories of the ground turning gray with Machokes and Machamps as they rumbled over the plains. He had heard impossible stories about Dugtrios tunneling through the ground, making pathways for Beedrills and Hitmonchans to get through. He had heard even of Gyaradoses blocking ports to the cities and even in some cases, coming on land to sweep the ground forces clear.

There was air support but the blackness was so thick even the brightest lights had difficulty navigating helicopters through the narrow maze of buildings. It was his theory that the darkness, like heat, rose, and that it was much easier to unveil the closer to the ground you were. He looked at the generator lights around him and prayed they would stay on.

They were sitting ducks and he knew it.

He knew it the minute a Fearow came out of the blackness and plucked a soldier off the ground, smearing his entrails over the white marble of the plaza ground.

"Take cover!" Clyde commanded, as the darkness was lit up with a dazzling display of firepower.

Shells pounded the pavement as Landrovers and Assault Rifles fired blindly into the sky, creating a pattern simliar to that of fireworks. Artillery shook the ground as it pounded round after round into the hills outside the city.

Glorious.

Fearows crashed into the plaza around him as Clyde guided his soldiers into cover. He ordered his heavy weapons crew to aim their rail guns toward the south end of the plaza, the spot where the wave of Poke'mon would most likely be coming through. He knew the first wave of defense would not hold out long, not under these circumstances. Fearow bodies littered the ground as they swooped down, attempting to snatch soldiers into their beaks. The soldiers kept their discipline and pumped round after round into the sky, at points waiting for some of the Fearows to get brave enough to swoop down out of the darkness to try and pick one of them off.

The ground rumbled underneath them.

"Dugtrio, 5 o' clock!" a man howled, aiming his rifle into the ground several feet ahead of him. Some of the soldiers tried to flee as brick and marble broke and deteriorated underneath them, but they were sucked underneath the Earth before their brethren could assist them.

"Stay together, stay hidden, goddamnit!" Clyde yelled, eyeing a pair of soldiers ducking out of their cover to try and pull soldiers out of the pitt.

Some soldiers in the pitt scrambled out while others frantically shot into the dirt as their legs were devoured from underneath the earth. Their screams echoed as the soldiers watched on helplessly.

Then it happened.

A vast array of Poke'mon appeared out of the pitt, crawling out faster than the soldiers could shoot them. They were easy targets, with their laughable rag tag armor and primitive weaponry, but their numbers were overwhelming. Clyde slid a fifth clip into his Landrover as he swept the Poke'mon off their feet in a wave of firepower. He had packed extra ammunition, in case a situation like might arise, but most of the regulars had not. The munitions officer was scrambling around to the huddled masses of soldiers around the plaza dropping off boxes of ammunition as they frantically tried to keep pace with the amount of Poke'mon coming through the pitt and the barricades above ground.

Clyde watched as they pounded through the fence and barbed wire around the south end of the plaza. They had broken through the first and second wave of defenses. It was up to them now.

He shouldered his weapon and stood, not fearing the birds coming down from the sky, not fearing the endless waves of enemy Poke'mon erupting from the pitt. It was here that he would make his stance. This had gone on long enough.

The butt of his LandRover pounded his shoulder as he fired short bursts into the crowd marching toward him. Two Machamps threw aside several soldiers nearest the fences. Clyde continued to march toward them.

They watched him approach and roared, spreading all four arms, each holding a dead soldier. Clyde did not flinch. He did not faulter as he pounded round after round into the stomach of the first Machamp. He did not flinch when he shot out the eyes of the second Machamp.

He stood there, in all his discipline, firing until his clip ran dry and the Poke'mon continued to approach. In all the chaos and confusion, he looked around himself to see that most of his soldiers had fled; the ones choosing to stay were being overwhelmed by the mass array of pitts opening up all around them.

This was how the Poke'mon fought.

Darkness.

Confusion.

Overwhelming numbers.

Seeing that there was no remaining backup, Clyde ducked into cover and drew his pistol.

The remaining wall of soldiers had broken into small pits dotting around the perimeter of the plaza, most of them hastily set up with their equipment behind sandbags and debris.

"Stay together!" Clyde commanded the few remaining soldiers behind him. "I'm gonna radio into HQ and ask them for Air Support."

The soldiers nodded, but he wasn't sure if they heard him. In all the panic and confusion, they were ready to believe anything he said was good news.

Clyde stayed ducked behind a sheet of rubble with a handful of soldiers at his side, firing his pistol into a horde of Poke'mon whom had broken into the plaza. The soldiers had set charges that had begun to go off, creating a cloud of smoke all around them. It was good cover for Clyde and his soldiers, bad cover for the Poke'mon. They scrambled around, trying to figure out where the shots were coming from as they fell, one by one, at the hands of the soldiers.

A Machoke hurled a spear that landed in the neck of a soldier behind Clyde.

They responded by pumping 10 5.56 mm rounds in the Machoke, watching him fall over with blood gushing out his mouth.

"HQ, this is Enforcer Reynolds, ID 3560!" Clyde yelled over the noise, holding down a button into his helmet.

"This is HQ, go on Enforcer Reynolds," a static filled voice in his ear responded.

"We are suffering mass casualties in the south sector of Cerulean!" Clyde panted. "Requesting Air Support!"

"That is a negative," HQ responded. "The skies are too hot for air support to come through."

"Requesting Artillery Support!" Clyde shot back. "We need this area swept clear!"

"That is a roger, Enforcer," HQ radioed back. "You have 3 minutes, clear the area."

"Enforcer out!"

"What'd they say, sir?" a soldier asked over the pounding gunfire.

"We need to move, NOW!" Clyde yelled. He waved to some of the other soldiers across the way. He gave the signal for a tactical retreat, and they in turn signaled the soldiers within their view.

Clyde's group held down suppressing fire as the first group of soldiers fell back out of the plaza. Once they were in position, they layed down covering fire until Clyde's group had evacuated and then the last group.

The Poke'mon, due to their sheer numbers and lack of intelligence, had no concept of tactical retreat and were under the impression that they had won the fight, some choosing to pursue the soldiers as they backed out, only to be shot down by soldiers holding down suppressing fire.

Artillery dropped from the sky and shook the Plaza, throwing bodies of Poke'mon in shards and pieces across the decimated marble floor. The Poke'mon scattered in a mass confusion, the shells pounding into the Earth created clouds of smoke and flying debris that broke their line and sent some of them fleeing.

Clyde used this distraction to overview his troops, who were cheering as the artillery ripped apart the onslaught of the Poke'mon Death Squads.

With his second-in-command officer dead, Clyde took a status report on his own. At the start of the assault, he had 50 soldiers in his unit. Now there were only 12. A few of them had been taken down by arrows in the tactical retreat, despite the covering fire. Several of them were wounded. Ammunition was low.

"Where's our medic?" Clyde commanded over the booming of the artillery.

"He's dead, sir," one man choked out. He held his own bleeding arm, which had been hastily wrapped with a rag. "I'm next in line for it. I just started my field medic training--"

"Forget it," Clyde responded. "You're too wounded to field dress these men."

Clyde was trained in basic field medical dressing, but he needed to not be distracted for the next wave of Poke'mon coming through.

He looked at his men in front of them. Only a few were able to fight. The rest were out of ammo and close to bleeding to death. If he pulled them out of the fight, and into cover, then they would leave the southern edge of the city unprotected. However if he kept them in the fight, they would be slaughtered.

He weighed his options.

"Get these men into this building," he ordered his few healthy men, pulling up a wounded soldier himself.

* * * * * * *

Clyde shook his head and wiped the blood from his face. In all the confusion of blowing the pipeline open he had not noticed that he cut himself on all the debris jumping down into the hole. There were people behind him but he did not look back. For all they knew he was oblivious to their presence, which made it all the easier on him.

They knew he was a former soldier, and knowing this made him a very useful tool to them. They would ask questions and look to him as a leader. He was through teaching. He had no orders to teach and in turn would not implore the possibilities of showing these people a way out. They were following him not out of choice, but out of necessity. There was only way out of the tunnel.

He approached an iron grid that had rusted badly over time. On the otherside of the grid was the vast wasteland, with dead, wirey trees covering the exit of the tunnel.

Clyde took his shovel and start to beat away at a section of the grid that looked the most rusted. It gave way after a couple swings and created a hole big enough to slip through. One by one the people slipped through the rusted hole and into the wasteland. Foxx was the last to crawl through, slipping out of the hole and slowly climbing to his feet. He blinked several times as his eyes adjusted to the light. He looked at Clyde, whom had already begun to walk away.

"What now?" he asked.
 
* * CHAPTER 4 * *

Early light rose from the horizon, casting shadows from the trees; dark figures dancing on the ground. They fooled your eyes and misguided your judgement. Thoughts were hazy and jumbled, his mouth was dry. He squinted in the early morning light as he stumbled his way along the wasteland. There were people behind him but he did not look. His legs were tired and weak but he kept moving, afraid that if he were to stop he would not be able to start again.

The people followed him because he had not left them.

That bastard Clyde had slipped off somewhere out of sight and now the people were following

Foxx. Perhaps they thought he was Clyde. Hunger and thirst will cloud your judgement and make you see things that are not true. Foxx did not deny that he was Clyde, nor did he say he wasn't. He did not speak. He was no leader, but these people would know no different.

Out in front of him a valley stretched out into nowhere. A mass of jumbled, gnarled trees stretched out before him, their dead leaves littering the ground from years ago. There was no rain. The sky was overcast but it would eventually give way to sun. It was going to be a difficult day.

The Dark Lord had wanted to conquer the planet and rule as an emperor. He had succeeded, but what he had inherited was a wasteland. Even a being as intelligent as The Dark Lord had given way to being incredibly dense. Or maybe this is what he wanted after all. He had heard tales that The Dark Lord lived in a lush city, surrounded by green trees and an endless sea of blue water. It was a city of Poke'mon; it was a way of starting over. Maybe this was all according to the Dark Lord's plan. Without readily available food and water, the human race would die out within years. Then the Poke'mon would populate the planet.

Foxx shook his head and blinked several times, making his way across the wasteland.

"Where are we going?"

a voice rung out in the still land.

Foxx turned and saw a small handful of people, dressed in rags, following him. Their heads shaven, their eyes sunken, he was surprised any of them had the strength to speak. He could not explain to them that he did not know, he could not explain to them that he was not their leader. He simply opened his mouth and said softly,

"Away from here."

So they walked. Had he known what direction in which he were walking, he would return home, to his bunker. As far he knew, he was going in the right direction. He was bound to happen across something, sooner or later. He hoped. They found a long, desolate road that followed a dip in the land, that seemed to stretch on for miles. They walked along it, wary of traveling Poke'mon Death Squads and raiders. They slept during the day and traveled at night where it was the coolest. They found a small pond that had been tucked away by rubble and tangles of dead plants, and they drank their fill. Filling their thirst did not replace the hunger, however, and along the road a couple of the travelers began to linger until they faded away into the distance. Foxx was not new to the pains of hunger, he had only learned how to manage it. He did not think about how his gut wrenched and wiggled inside of him and screamed for nourishment. He only thought about what was ahead of him and how much longer it would take to get there.

His prayers for civilation were answered on the second day of traveling, when they found a small town on the edge of nowhere, tucked down inside some long forgotten valley. He stumbled into the street, littered with broken glass and debris from stores looted long ago. He looked around lazily, his head wagging this way and that. There had to be something. There always was. He walked up to the first shop he saw and peered inside. He started to climb inside the front window, but it was a slow, painful process. So weak. He felt eyes on him. The people that had followed him, yes. But there was a new feeling. New eyes. Faces.

Foxx swung his other leg over and slipped inside the store, but his legs could not carry his weight, and he collapsed on the cool hardwood floor of the shop. Everything faded to darkness.

* * * * * * *

"He's got a mark on him."

"What does that mean?"

"I think it's from one of the Death Camps, probably the one about ten, fifteen miles from here. Shit, how do you think him an' all those people got this far?"

"No idea. I guess it's good we got him when we did, though. Jesus, how those Death Squads DIDN'T find these guys, I'll never know."

"You know they almost got Rick when he led those people back here."

"He's the one they want...why don't we give him to them?....well don't give me that civilized look!"

"He came here for help. We're going to give him all the help he needs."

The voices were soft, and gentle. Foxx had not heard such tones in a long time. He slowly blinked to consciousness but his head did not move. After several minutes he looked around slowly. Three people were standing over him. They were dressed in pre-war clothing; mostly military gear. Two women and a man. The man had a perplexed look on his face, having argued with the woman on the left, who wore a scowl. From the looks of her, she wanted Foxx out of there at the first opportune time.

"Who are you?" The man asked softly. "Are you here from the Death Camp?"

"Water," Foxx said hoarsely. "...water.."

The man beckoned to the woman and she brought him a glass of water. He sipped it slowly. It was pure, uncontaminated. This kind of filtration must have taken hours.

"Who are you?" the man repeated, his eyes locked on Foxx. The gentle tones were gone.

"I'm Foxx Ketchum," Foxx replied quietly.

"Foxx Ketchum?" one of the women said. They talked amongst themselves quietly while the man smirked.

"I knew your father." he replied.

"I'm hearing that alot these days."

The man pointed to a tatto on his bicep.

"I was from Enforcer Ground Unit Alpha. The same as your father." He cast his gaze over to Foxx's shaven head. "How about a mark for a mark?" he asked.

"I was in a death camp," Foxx replied. "We managed to escape because of some Enforcer named Clyde."

"Where's this 'Clyde' now?" the man asked. Foxx shook his head.

"I don't know. He helped us escape then he kind've took off before helping all of us out of the prison."

The man nodded. He held out his hand.

"I'm sorry, I've been rude. My name's Thompson."

"Thompson?"

"Just Thompson. Used to be a colonel--back when that meant something. Got so used to hearing just that part of my name that it stuck. We'll keep it at that for now."

"Where am I, Thompson?"

Thompson put his hands on his hips and looked around, almost as if seeing this place for the first time.

"You're at Enforcer Headquarters, son. Well, the NEW headquarters--after the conflict relocated us. You're in the most secure place in the Wasteland, that is, aside from Mewtwo's Fortress on the other side of the island."

Foxx finally had enough strength to sit up, and felt the pull of his muscles as he did so. He must have been out for hours, maybe days.

"Why'd you save me?" He asked. Thompson almost looked offended at the question, as his poker face flustered for a moment, then returned back to a hardened look.

"Well, you brought quite a few people with you, and that many people, no matter how many--is going to attract attention. What kind of attention is the problem. It was either us that picked you up, or Mewtwo's troops, who are probably out scouring the area right now. The longer we have them here, the better the chance of them finding us. But...we cleaned up the area pretty good. Looks like it always does, no evidence of any new visitors in this dead-ass town."

Thompson went on to tell Foxx that they were in a bunker underneath Mt. Moon. Back in the days building up to the war, The Enforcer unit had used this as an outpost to stock munitions and resupply caravans coming through. Thompson was part of an Enforcer unit that had been in deep conflict during the war, and after scouring the region for supplies, had stopped here to regroup. Upon entering the outpost, however, they found the weapons cache had been raided. There was nowhere else to go, so they had set up shop inside the outpost and been living there ever since.

He also explained that the outpost gave way to an even deeper complex that went inside of Mt. Moon, where they had begun to set up greenhouses to harvest food. Generators built inside Mt. Moon by the military provided adequate power to light the greenhouses and parts of the complex. Because of this they had running water and electricity--a paradise inside the wastes.

* * * * * * *

Clyde raised his head out of the shadows for a moment to watch the line of Poke'mon warriors march. The Poke'mon had spent several hours cleaning the plaza clear of debris and their fallen brethren. Why they were clearing the debris as well he didn't know. It wasn't his concern at the time.

What was his concern was his broken unit of 12 soldiers who quietly moaned as their blood seeped through their bandages. Their supplies were low and reinforcements obviously weren't coming. It was too risky to try the short wave radio; he wasn't sure what tech the Poke'mon had, but he was pretty sure they would be able to track a radio signal. So here he sat, patching up damaged pieces of his armor and other equipment. The poke'mon marched outside the building where they held refuge; their disciplined silence nothing short of remarkable.

Even with the threat of death right outside the walls of the building, he could not keep his unit quiet. The wounded ones moaned quietly while the few healthy whispered to each other. Clyde tapped into his helmet's wireless connection with Enforcer HQ and examined the maps of the city. It was divided into 4 sections; A, B, C, & D. The section he was in charge of, C, was a dull red along with A and B. There was no intel on section D, but he assumed whatever human infantry that were there were probably doing not much better a job of holding out.

They were losing the war and he knew it. He didn't like the thought of it, but it was a thought that hung over his head like a dark cloud. All he cared about was serving his government, and now what he favored most was dissolving before his eyes. He pondered what he would do when Mewtwo conquered the planet. IF he conquered the planet.

It was extremely difficult to keep his thoughts positive.

A buzzing in his ear brought him out of his trance.

The buzzing indicated an incoming transmission, and for a minute he hesitated to answer it. It could be a trick.

"This is Ash Ketchum, Enforcer ID 1390. I'm with Enforcer Unit Alpha. We've lost contact with Enforcer Headquarters and are looking for any remaining Enforcer Units. Do you read me?"

"This is Clyde Reynolds, Enforcer ID 3560. I am with the unit in charge of defending the Southern Sector's Plaza. We're low on supplies and manpower, we've taken refuge in a building outside the plaza, over."

"I got you, Reynolds. We've picked up your signal and are headed to your location, over."

Clyde's men watched him intently as he broke radio contact with Ash.

"Looks like we might be getting a ride out of here," Clyde said. The men grinned in approval, some starting to ready their gear for transport.

Several minutes later Ash's unit entered the building from the opposite side of the room; a collective group of shadows making their way through the rubble, the noise of their presence no louder than a whisper. They were called Unit Alpha for a reason. They were the best.

Ash was the first to step out of the darkness, his face bruised and armor badly damaged. His eyes told Clyde the man had slept very little.

"These your men?" he asked Clyde gruffly.

Clyde nodded.

"Yes sir. We were in charge of defending the southern Plaza, and were overwhelmed..sir."

Ash nodded and looked over Clyde's rag tag group of soldiers. They returned his gaze in respective silence. Moments later Ash's unit had dispatched over the wounded, giving them medical supplies and redressing their wounds. Ash and Clyde discussed their next move on the other side of the room.

"We were placed in behind Mewtwo's forces here," Ash pointed on a make-shift map on the ground. He drew circles in the dirt. "We set off charges here, here, and here. That pretty much took out a good chunk of Mewtwo's backup infantry units. God knows where he got reinforcements for the reinforcements."

Clyde nodded.

"I don't think I've ever seen so many Poke'mon in one area," he replied. "You were sent in to flank his troops?"

Ash nodded. "Yeah, but a fat lot of good it did you guys. Our mission was to get behind enemy lines and mess with Mewtwo's Ground Unit operations. That's all useless now because they're already in the city," Ash continued. "Besides, they don't use radios--We're finding out that Mewtwo gives all his orders to them telepathically. We set up right outside of where he housed his soldiers for the night--last night--and it was numbers like you've never seen before. HQ could've taken them out with a couple artillery shells, but the darkness was so thick we had trouble setting coordinates. Something also told me that Mewtwo was right in there with 'em. He could've knocked those shells right outta the sky if he wanted to."

"My HQ connection is all fucked up," Clyde responded. "I'm not getting a solid reading on section D of the city at all."

"That's because it's still active," Ash said. He drew more circles in the dirt. "We just came from there. The poke'mon ran into a lot of trouble because this is the heaviest residential area in the city. There's still people here. The units placed in charge of the area didn't have time to evacuate all the people, so we're talking gangs, kids, goddamn seniors, fighting alongside the ground units. They're really giving them hell."

"So what do we do?" Clyde mused.

Ash grimaced.

"There's not much we can do. You have a handful of men here, and less than that are combat-ready. We need to evac these men and get them back to the nearest Enforcer Outpost. It won't be easy, though. We're surrounded by enemy troops, and intel says that there's even more coming in the morning."

Clyde looked up. He had no idea what time it was. Upon checking the internal clock on his helmet, he realized he had been up for a straight 48 hours. His muscles were tense and his thoughts were clouded. No wonder he had so much trouble keeping focused.

"We'll leave in small groups," Ash continued. "I'll lead you and a couple others out, then my men will follow with some of yours."

"Sounds good. Let's go."

After Thompson treated Foxx to a meal--some canned Pork n' Beans and SPAM, he started to ask him questions about Clyde.

"I don't know where he was headed," Foxx said, hungrily attacking the slab of spam on the plate in front of him. "He said something about Ian Surge, joining the resistance, I have no idea where any of that stuff is located, though."

Thompson nodded, drinking in Foxx's words.

"Who is this Ian Surge guy, anyway?" Foxx asked, a bit of food dribbling onto his chin between words. "I mean, why do people follow him?"

It was a moment before Thompson responded.

"Ian Surge was a high ranking Enforcer during the war. Real committed to his work. After the war, there was a lot of confusion. Anyone with a gun left the service to go help their families. There were abandoned posts everywhere. The Enforcers...there weren't enough of us to retaliate effectively, especially with our 'regular' units abandoning their duties, so there was a loss in communication, no supplies coming through, it was a big mess. What this resulted in was pockets of Enforcers scattered all around the island. A lot of them are probably dead now, but the majority of what's left is most likely with the resistance." He pounded softly on the table.

Foxx nodded.

"So this is why you've been holding out here?" he asked, licking his fingers after sliding the last piece of meat into his mouth. Thompson nodded.

"Duplica and Melody, the women you met when you first got here? They were part of an air assault unit that never left the station--again with the 'darkness' thing. We got mechanics, computer experts, some infantrymen, what we don't have are guns. Ian says a lot of great things about his resistance. He says that he's got supplies, guns, meds, this, and that and all that shit. It doesn't matter, because we don't have enough ammo or food to make it that far."

"Where's 'far'?" Foxx asked.

Thompson sighed.

"Don't bother, kid," he said. "There's an old Air Base located on Seafoam Island, with a tower big enough to transmit the signal that Ian's broadcasting out. That's the most likely spot. The only problem is, it's too far out for anyone to get to, at least by boat. You're better off just sticking around here until we figure out what's what."

Foxx nodded and chewed thoughtfully.

He looked down at the can of Pork n' Beans that he was eating and wondered how long until all the canned food in the world was out. He wondered how long until he would get cabin fever from living underground. This place was bigger than the underground facilities that he grew up in, and there were more people, but this was not living. His father was a noble hero; he would've wanted more for him. Foxx wanted more for himself. The time for hiding was running out.
 
* * CHAPTER 5 * *

The skies were blue and the land was fertile on the first day of the last day.

The rolling plains of tall green grass, teeming with Poke'mon and adventurers alike were fit for a portrait.

On the first day of the last day, people commuted to work and children hugged their mothers as they left for school.

On the first day of the last day, there was a horrid stench of death in Fuschia City.

There was panic and chaos and smoke.

Sirens cut through the dust and the grime and there were cloaked figures, digging through the rubble to retrieve the bodies.

Cell phones rang and cameras flashed.

The wounded were reported just in time for a line of explosions that leveled the city.

Blood seeped through the cracks in the pavement and the roads ran red. A fine mist hung thick in the air, birthed of rubble and sweat and death.

Poke'mon turned on their masters and added to the misery.

Helicopters.

News Teams.

HOW could this have happened?

WHY did this happen?

WHAT exactly happened?

Who is responsible?

Police were organized and scattered throughout the city, rescue teams from all around the area were called into action even as the pulse of the city began to cease. A strange darkness settled on the horizon; dark clouds running over the city. Lighting and rain rumbled across the sky and in a flash, there was Mewtwo.

Hovering over the city in an invisible orb, observing the destruction from below.

This was how the End War started.

In the days that followed, hordes of Poke'mon retreated from their masters to join Mewtwo's side. There was no rhyme or reason for their actions, they simply 'did'. Mewtwo held a telepathic link to every Poke'mon on the island, and it is with this that he built his army.

It was with this telepathic link that he cast out his soldiers to bring forth destruction upon humanity, and it is such misery they brought.

In the days that followed of the End War, Fuschia City lay in a mass of ruin, plagued with anarchy. The former citizens indulged themselves in looting, rape, and bloodshed. Mewtwo mused over the chaos that he had created before sending forth his Death Squads to begin the final slaughter.

The Island was in shock of the events; even in the days following the fall of Fuschia City. The humans had never bore witness to this kind of thing before.

The President declared Martial Law and Fuschia City a war zone.

Droves of men and women arrived at military facilities around the Island.

On the day of mankind's retaliation, The News broadcasted the soldiers marching into the darkness, convoys of vehicles and tools of war at their side.

On the day of mankind's retaliation, Ian Surge, a representative of the Enforcer Assault Unit, met with The Presidents' Top Military officials in the War Room of Saffron City.

On the day of mankind's retaliation, Ian Surge convinced The President to sign the last official document: The Approval to the Destruction of Poke'mon.

* * * * * * *

White flashes illustrating artillery shells lined the sky. Cerulean was a dazzling display of red and yellow light as flames engulfed the city, swallowing human and Poke'mon alike. Ash and his unit arrived in the downtown strip, now reduced to a war zone. The piles of dead Poke'mon lined the street as urban assault vehicles rolled through. Fearows swooped down from the darkness and snatched up uniformed men, leaving only a trail of blood in their wake.

Shells making a rythmic pattern on the ground, falling in droves. Feathers and blood raining from the sky, men yelling orders and running in a strange coordination with each other.

Ash led the mixed unit to cover behind a pile of rubble, barking orders into his HQ link

while Clyde indulged on his surroundings.

He was at home.

HQ had issued a tactical retreat and the first wave of soldiers were pulling back, dragging their wounded as the second wave gave them covering fire. Clyde knew that their cover would soon be compromised. Several moments after Ash had requested Medical Assistance from his HQ link, two Medics arrived. They were covered in dust and dirt and grime. Neither looked rested. Clyde watched Ash talk to them but he did not listen. He was busy calculating how much ammunition he had left in his pistol. He would need to restock his munition, certainly there should be a weapons cache around here....

"WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE, NOW!" One of his regulars screamed, grabbing Clyde's arm.

"SIR," he repeated, his face strewn in a panic. "The Medics just said Mewtwo's ground forces are breaking through the barricades two blocks from here--our unit is pulling back---"

There was gunfire and shouting and the crowing of Fearows in the sky.

Clyde heard the man's words despite this, but he brushed the man off.

The second wave of soldiers broke and gave way to the third wave, artillery posts that had not been abandoned had been redirected to a location dangerously close to where Ash and the medics were planning their evac.

Another man clad in an Enforcer uniform approached Ash and knelt beside him, ordering him to vacate, despite the wounded. Ash yelled back at him, flashing the Alpa Unit patch on his chestplate. They talked for a moment before the man parted, waving signals to men that Clyde could not see.

"Who the fuck was that, sir?" Clyde yelled to Ash, collecting a LandRover off a dead body.

Ash ducked down and jogged over to Clyde's position.

"Ian Surge," he replied. "The Medics have pulled some strings and gotten us two chopper evacs, ETA 5 minutes."

"With all due respect, sir, what does that blowhard fucking have to do with anything?"

Clyde hated Ian Surge.

Ian Surge was a PR specialist; not a soldier. He was the man who wore a shiny "Enforcer" Badge and made all the public appearances, speaking on behalf of the Enforcer Assault Unit and handed out awards at ceremonies. As far as Clyde was concerned, Ian Surge was not a soldier.

"Ian's buying us that five fucking minutes, soldier," Ash hissed, his face half torn into rage. "He's flanking the Poke'mon's Position with his M.R.U."

"M.R.U.?" Clyde asked, taken aback by Ash's sudden distaste for him.

"Modified Regulars Unit--Shock Troops," Ash replied. "I suggest you assist them with the able men of your unit, so that we can all get the fuck out of here."

Clyde nodded and signaled his healthy men to move out. Ash grabbed him before he stood up.

"If I hear you slander another officer again, you're back down to Infantry Grunt, you got it?"

Clyde's poker face flustered for a moment, but he quickly recollected himself. He wasn't sure what powers being in Alpha Unit gave Ash, or any other Enforcer, but if redirecting a retreat into an offensive, even for five minutes was doable by those standards, Ash definatley had some leverage over him. He had actually heard of the M.R.U. Initiative; a program set up by none other than Ian Surge during the war to churn out more Enforcers than basic infantry soldiers. He had heard they genetically modified Regulars through a series of tests and injections to make them quicker and more physically fit than regular soldiers--a "just add water" recipe for an Enforcer.

Signaling his men, Clyde scooped up reloads from abandoned ammmo boxes and they moved out to the front of Ash's concealed position, some of Alpha Unit following closely behind them.

Clyde fired three rounds into a Tauros's skull and quickly shot out the legs of a Primeape. Alpha Unit covered his position by firing into his left and right flanks, several Growlithes and Bulbasaurs dropping to the ground. Clyde watched the herd of Poke'mon approach them from two blocks away; the remnants of a barricade long abandoned scattered across the street.

Jesus.

He had never seen so many Poke'mon before; all of them organized and heading straight for them. Alpha Unit kept their discipline and knelt down for more precise aim, firing controlled bursts into the crowd.

Clyde ordered his men to take cover and fire from fixed locations on the sides of the street; he only had moments to locate his men and he worried that these positions would be fruitless without Ian Surge and his "MRUs"

"Frag out!" An Alpha Unit soldier called, throwing a grenade. An explosion blew apart the legs of a Ponyta and created a toppling effect on the Poke'mon behind it. The Machokes in the front line wore a strange metallic armor that shielded them somewhat from the fire of the Enforcer Unit. They threw spears with terrifying accuracy

"WHERE THE FUCK IS SURGE?" Clyde yelled, his voice droned out by the roar of Poke'mon.

As if on cue, walls of buildings on either side of the street exploded around the Poke'mon. The horde was reduced to a thin line coming up the center of the street as soldiers dressed in armor similar to that of Enforcers emerged from the smoke. Clyde was lost for a moment watching them as they mercilessly executed the wounded Poke'mon, pounding round after round into the center line of the enemy with remarkable accuracy. Several soldiers even attacked with combat knives, taking down rows of Machokes and Machamps with incredible speed and strength.

The MRUs attacked the Poke'mon with such an intensity that it illustrated exactly what Colonel Thompson had discussed earlier that day with Clyde's Enforcer Unit. The MRUs brought with them a sort of terror that cannot be matched by that of an Enforcer; these were not men during battle, these were monsters.

The Poke'mon, despite their hypnosis and leadership, panicked and spread out further, their formation having deteriorated.

The MRUs fired shots into the retreating pockets of Poke'mon, bringing down an entire Mewtwo Ground Unit within seconds.

Alpha Unit was just as astonished as Clyde was. Ian Surge flipped the blood soaked visor on his helmet up and approached Clyde's position.

"Who's in charge here?" He demanded.

"Me, sir," Clyde responded, despite the looks of his higher ranking Alpha Unit brethren.

"We have lines of Poke'mon Death Squads moving in from all directions around us," Ian reported. "Our Units in sector A, B, and C have been overwhelmed and have issued a tactical retreat, bringing them to an evac location HERE." He emphasized the point by stamping his foot on the ground.

"All the reinforcements in the surrounding areas have been exhausted, and we have about 100 men that need immediate medical evac. I need you and your men to buy them some time--more than 5 fucking minutes," he nodded toward Ash. "and hold position here with our Unit until these men are out. After we've been evac'd, HQ is gonna bomb the fuck out of this place and hopefully that will take out a good chunk of his ground forces. Are we clear?"

"Yes sir, we're clear," Clyde responded.

Maybe Ian Surge wasn't such a bad soldier after all.

Ian nodded and turned back to give orders to his MRUs.

Without complaint they scrambled to put makeshift barricades back into place and settled into strategic spots behind rubble. Clyde could hear the choppers in the distance. Alpha Unit took position behind the blown out walls of a pharmacy while Clyde had his men back the furthest--nearest the choppers.

Cerulean had been built as a shopper's paradise; all the roads intervening from a complex transit system into a multiple lane road for trolleys, coming right down through Mainstreet, where he settled himself and his torn unit. It was only logical that the Poke'mon were convening at the center of the city, spreading out, then regrouping again at the center intersection which Clyde now occupied.

Clyde fixed his scope on the LandRover and anxiously awaited the first wave.

The choppers had begun to arrive but it was going to take several minutes to board the wounded, not to mention Clyde's unit.

He wondered how many they would lose before the choppers stopped coming.

* * * * * *

A sea of shadows on the bleak horizon.

A gust of wind created movement in the weeds and played with your senses.

The jagged towers shot up into the sky, their bent and broken steel

pillars reflecting the sun on the cloudless day.

The rolling hills around Mt. Moon had eyes, and they covered the span of

ruins that made up Pewter City.

Foxx remained hidden in the weeds and watched through binoculars the movement of some Machokes on the outskirts of the ruined city. They waddled along, their engorged leg muscles throbbing in the summer heat. They grunted in a casual fashion to each other, communicating in a very simplistic Poke'mon language. A couple of them hauled a cart that held the spoils of the wastes; some canned food and what looked like basic electronic equipment, most likely harvested from deserted shops and stores.

"Well, what do you think?" Taylor asked, running his tongue over his lips. They had been out on the hillside for about 5 hours, and both boys were getting antsy.

"It's a traveling convoy," Foxx reported, handing the binoculars to Taylor. "I'd say it's hardly worth our time--that is, if we were to attack them anyway."

Taylor nodded and watched the Machokes through the binoculars.

"God knows what the hell a convoy is doing out this far...Do you think they're setting up an outpost?"

"Could be. We haven't exactly been quiet around here, I wouldn't be surprised if they're setting up observation units from here to the Indigo Plateau."

Foxx and Taylor watched the Machokes travel slowly across the ruins of Pewter for about another hour before they gathered their equipment and traveled back to the pipeline into Mt. Moon.

It had been 6 months since Thompson had saved Foxx from the wastes, and in this time period there was much that Foxx had learned. While his father had taught him basic military strategy and tactics, Thompson had been teaching Foxx the Art of War. Being a former drill sergeant for the Enforcer Assault Unit, Thompson applied what he knew to Foxx in terms of advanced combat and military strategy. He had began teaching a select few, those who were strong and motivated enough, to carry on the legacy of The Enforcers. Taylor was a former prisoner in a Death Camp located in the Safari Zone, and had managed to escape during a prisoner riot.

Taylor knew the meaning of hard work; he grew up in a world where there was no other way to survive. He was an orphan found in the ruins of Saffron City and had traveled all around the island with a band of gypsies before being captured by Mewtwo's forces. After the riots and spending another year traveling, he had happened across Mt. Moon and the human encampment there. Foxx had taken a liking to him, as their personalities seemed to mesh together so well. In turn, Thompson admired both the boys for the enthusiasm they showed, despite the upbringing they had.

It was within these 6 months, Thompson had taken a handful of young adults, and molded them into a functioning squad of Enforcers.

The training was grueling; a lack in supplies forced Thompson to improvise on many of his methods, and at times they were thrown into situations with little to no information on what to do, or how to conduct themselves. Today Thompson had instructed the squad to break up into teams of two and move alongside the hills lining Mt. Moon, to observe and report on activity that had been occuring in Pewter City.

Foxx and Taylor made their way back to the underground facility and reported their findings to Thompson.

"Wonderful," Thompson scowled, looking over the notes that the boys had taken. "It sounds like they're setting up outposts around the city; trying to get a better map of the landscape to find out where The Resistance is."

"So what do we do about this, sir?" Taylor asked. Thompson's eyes appeared lost in thought for a moment, then he recollected himself.

"I need you to gather the rest of your squad," he replied. "Meet me in the conference room."

Foxx and Taylor did as they were told, and retrieved the rest of their rag-tag Enforcer trainees. They escorted themselves to a dusty old Conference room where Thompson was waiting with Mrs. Louise, the facility doctor. She was holding a metal suitcase that sat open, displaying several vials of a purple liquid.

The trainees seated themselves at the table, all of them wearing blank, confused expressions. Thompson had several files scattered out in front of himself, flipping through them absent mindedly until the last soldier was seated.

"Mewtwo has re-ordered his troops to get a visual on the landscape around our hideout," he said. "Or so we believe. Regardless we know that he's also doubling his efforts on finding the resistance, which includes US. It's just a matter of who he finds first, who he finds, and when he finds them. And he WILL find somebody. Now it's just a matter of hide and seek, and we've skipped ahead on our turn."

He looked on at the row of soldiers seated before him. He opened a folder and pulled out a sheet that was labeled, "Classified".

"We need to find the resistance before Mewtwo does. Something big is coming, soldiers, Mewtwo is regrouping his army. We may need to retaliate, and to do this, I need to speak with you all about a project called the 'M.R.U. Initiative'."
 
* * CHAPTER 6 * *

There was a time when people wrote books.

At night before he was tucked in, his father would read to him from books.

Stories of any measure were contained in novels and poems and sonnets.

His father mused that the child's interest in these tales may be the bright

beginnings of a writer.

Foxx thought about this as he looked out over the sea of weed choked landscape and rubble.

He felt the wind whip around his legs as they dangled out of the helicopter, the machine roaring over the desolate plains. Figures around him were unmoving, casting blank stares shrouded behind in black armor.

A red patch on the chest plates separated himself and his team from their new friends.

The last few days had been a blur, and he struggled to remember the events that had led up to this moment. The happier times with his father reading to him made him ponder whether or not his life was worthy of being immortalized in a book. The Deathsquads had taken his journal months ago. It was the closest thing he had to a personal memoir...he made a mental note to someday pick up where he left off.

Consciously he ran his fingers over the automatic rifle in his possession. It was strapped securely around his chest and he checked it again. There was a nervous anticipation in the back of his throat that he couldn't ignore. It rang and rattled and jumped inside his lungs as they grew closer to the Indigo Plateau.

It was up to him.

He knew what he had to do.

He knew the ins and the outs of the operation, he had gone over it countless times in his head and his teammates knew and trusted in his ability.

But it was he who was in charge of his squad and there was still that little beacon of doubt that pulled at him lightly. Just enough to be a nuisance.

The Indigo Plateau came into view and he pulled the visor down over his face. Aside from the blue star spray painted on the left of his chest, he was faceless dark warrior just like the others on the helicopter.

A sea of information cascaded from the visor in front of his eyes. He studied it for a moment, reading over measurements of activity in the Plateau over the last few days. These were things that they already knew, but he needed to be sure that this information was second nature to him.

When the information scrolled away, he watched the last flashes of artillery make their marks on the outskirts of the Plateau's defenses. Bright flashes of red light from the sky beamed down and ended their travel in an explosion that visibly rocked the ground. For a moment he was dazzled at the sheer tenacity of the exploding shells.

"Alpha Bird 3 coming in hot," the radio crackled in the side of his helmet. He turned his attention away from the artillery and looked to the cockpit. The pilots were letting up; it was time to leave.

He faced the others in the helicopter and motioned with his hands. The helicopter kissed the ground and immediately dozens of feet touched ground.

"Alpha Bird 3 falling out," The radio ended, the helicopter lifting off the ground.

"Roger," Foxx reported back. "Renderzous back, ETA 15 minutes."

The wind the helicopters created blew down the weeds and kicked up a sea of dust as the soldiers rushed in, rifles aimed forward.

Wounded Poke'mon littered the outskirts of what had been a blockade; now reduced to shards of rubble that jutted out of the ground like broken glass. Foxx fired two rounds into the chest of a Squirtle and two more between the eyes of a Hitmonlee. There was a pattering of shells hitting the dirt as enemy survivors were dispatched.

A small group of Machokes whom had somehow been unaffected by the assault rushed out of their quarters with their weapons raised. The squad, still moving forward at an incredible pace quickly dispatched them with a volley of bullets to the head.

As Foxx's team pressed forward, he waved at the unit to his left, motioning for them to veer off and cover their left flank.

* * 1 Week Ago * *

For a moment, he saw God.

He was elevated into heaven, a blinding white light wrapping his body its warmth.

If he reached out, he could touch the clouds and be reunited with his lost family.

His dad reached out to him, and for a moment, their fingers brushed together.

"Dad..." he wheezed, pain exploding in his chest as he struggled to speak. The image of his father, tall and strong, stood in the clouds. The defined lines of his features began to melt before Foxx, and all too quickly he was plunged into the darkest depths of Hell.

The room boiled, and bumps and rashes plaqued his skin. The more he scratched, the more skin came off until all he saw was white bone underneath. At the edges of the wound he could see glistening muscle tissue that leaked blackness. He tried to scream but the pain enveloped his chest once again, only this time it was more intense. His body held a living connundrum, feeling as if volts of electricity were flowing through his body, bringing with them an intense heat that boiled underneath his skin.

It lasted for what felt like hours, and just when he was on the brink of madness, he was awake.

The floor was layered with cold tile, and the sweat that ran down his forehead wasn't making it any better. When he tried to move his arms and legs, he realized he was strapped into a chair.

"Hello?" he croaked. He felt as if cotton were shoved down his throat, and his tongue were ballooned twice its normal size. "Hello? is anyone there?"

He tried to shimmy himself away from the puddle of sweat on the floor, and the pool of vomit that lay beyond that. Alas his struggle was useless and it wasn't long before a Thompson's boots came into view.

"Foxx," he said steadily. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

"I can't see from here, sir."

There was a pause.

"Good answer."

He hoisted Foxx upright and began to unstrap his wrists from the chair.

"You've been hallucinating for hours," he explained. "The MRU serum rewrites your genetic code--not entirely, but enough to have a significant effect on your body on the initial injection."

"Thanks for telling me."

Thompson eyed him and Foxx's confidence flustered.

"..With all due respect, sir....that was...that was hell."

Thompson nodded and unstrapped Foxx's ankles. He stood up and faultered lightly; his legs felt like jello.

"You're gonna have a hard time walking for a bit," Thompson said, noting Foxx's difficulty. "The serum didn't have enough time to be tested thuroughly, it has hundreds of possible side effects."

Foxx looked at him.

"Sir," he asked quietly, his temper rising. "Is there anything else you 'forgot' to explain to us in the briefing?"

* * * * * *

Clyde stirred the hot coals and watched them simmer in the heat of the day. His dirty fingers stroked the scruff on his face and for a moment he forgot that he didn't have a razor. Years of good hygiene habits died hard out in the wasteland.

"Fuck," he said under his breath, feeling the coat of hair on his face having grown further than to his liking. His eyes turned to the fire where he was cooking a small can of beans. They were almost done so he scooped them up with one gloved hand and began to spoon them out, savoring the taste in each bite.

This was very important.

Chew slowly, chew thuroughly.

It was an art that he had crafted over years of discipline.

But something was wrong, and he stopped chewing.

Of all times, it had to be now.

Disgruntled, he set his can of beans aside and rested his arms over his knees.

"I know you've been following me," he said aloud.

There was nothing but the wind to respond.

"You can come out of hiding. I know you're there." he continued, shifting his weight subtly.

Tall, dark shadows blotted out the sun as they surrounded him. He didn't look up.

"Where are the others?" they asked, their voices hushed among the quiet of the plain.

"I don't know," Clyde answered, running his tongue over his lips. He really wanted to finish those beans.

They stood in silence around him for another moment, whispering amongst themselves. Clyde stood up and tucked his gear into his pack.

"If you're going to do it, do it." He growled. "I'm no stranger to death, but I am familiar with wasting time."

They looked amongst themselves for a moment, and finally one rose among them, the leader.

"Take him."

As they left the coals were stamped out and the beans were scooped from the ground. There was nothing more.

* * 5 Days Ago * * *

"The Machoke Deathsquads are in Cerulean for a reason," Colonel Thompson had said. "They're looking for something, and so are we."

Foxx crouched low amongst the rubble. He was in the middle of some long since abandoned market place that seemed like it had no business being on the outskirts of the city. The only saving grace of this position was that their gray armored jumpsuits helped them blend in well with the burnt rubble.

Across the street Tyler made a signal for enemy movement ahead.

Several rifles were raised without a sound and Foxx made his way over the jagged pieces of rock for a better look.

There were 3 well armed Machokes investigating a large building just east of their position, milling around as they talked in their language to each other.

"Scout Unit," Erin whispered behind Foxx, lowering her binoculars. Before the MRU Initiative, Foxx would have wondered how she had slithered up so quietly behind him. Now it was a trick that they all knew.

"Looks like they're keeping watch for a bigger unit inside....it's a trap."

"I'm not so sure," Foxx replied. "Check your map for what that building used to be."

There was a quiet ruffling of paper as Erin, the team's landscaper, reviewed old city plans.

"It's zoned as commercial," she reported. Her gaze turned to the top of the structure and she flashed Foxx a grin. "But look what it has."

Foxx looked up and noted a large tower protruding from the roof of the building.

"Big enough to send out a short wave radio signal, no?" she grinned.

"We don't pirate any signals in this area," Foxx nodded. "but it doesn't mean someone else isn't using it."

"Looks like Mewtwo's got the same idea." Erin mused. "So, what's our move, Captain?"

It took Foxx a moment for the term "Captain" to register.

He wasn't quite sure what had brought him to such a position, but he wasn't about to argue. His father had taught him leadership and loyalty above all things, and it was with this power bestowed unto him that he felt he was best suited for the position, despite how nervous it made him at times.

"We need to find out if anything is coming in or out through that tower," Foxx said finally, eyeing the structure. "If anybody's pirating it, they'll most likely have installed something to get that signal up and running."

"And the Resistance is the likely culprit," Erin replied, holstering her rifle.

* * * * *

Dispatching the Machokes at the front of the building came with a kind of ease to the soldiers' enhanced agility. Quickly and silently the bodies were moved and hidden out of sight as the group divided up into two teams and entered the building one by one.

Foxx was the first one inside, noting the lone reception desk in the middle of a large open room.

Lining the walls was a balcony that extended the entire width of the building with several barricaded doors along it. The only open entrance was the stairwell that looked like it had seen heavy traffic in the last few days; he picked up a can of soup that was still moist on the inside.

"Raiders," he thought. "Sloppy and stupid."

He handed the discarded can to Tyler who passed it on. Once the message was received, he ducked into the stairwell and crouched low at the foot of the staircase, looking at the winding rows of steps above him. There was movement in the dim light and from his depth perspective he assumed it to be more Machokes.

Slowly he ascended the stairwell, rifle pointed high as his team followed him. Cans littered the staircase and made it hard to move, and for a moment Foxx wondered how many people may have been living in this building at one time.

Approaching the second floor, Foxx watched a Machoke slip by an open doorway. He was alone.

Foxx turned to look back at his team, motioning for covering fire and drew his combat knife. He turned it around in his hand as he approached the doorway and crouched low, watching shadows on the opposite wall for signs of movement. There was none, and as he peeked around the corner of the building, there was the Machoke, crouched low, observing a piece of trash on the floor.

In one fluid motion Foxx charged at the Poke'mon, knife raised, and jumped on it's back. The beast nearly had time to let out a surprised roar as the soldier's knife dug deep into his throat, twisting slightly to intensify the pain. The beast's body relaxed almost instantly, Foxx's arms cradling around his chin, lowering the beast to the ground. He wiped the gore off his knife and seathed his weapon, drawing his rifle.

If the Machokes were exploring this floor, so would they.

His team followed silently behind him as he crept along the stretch of room, past makeshift bedding and boxes filled with office supplies.

There was movement ahead of them, and several of his team drew their combat knives. If there really was a full unit of Machokes in the building, the last thing they wanted was each Poke'mon within reach hearing a fire fight.

Two more Machokes exited a small office to their right, and were jumped immediately by a flurry of soldiers, blood soaking their gray jumpsuits.

"Talk to me, Erin," Foxx said, seathing his knife. "If we were the control room to a radio tower, where would we be?"

Erin climbed off the Machoke's corpse and examined her map.

"Most likely on the third floor," she said. "The layout of this building seems pretty obvious--first floor is secretary, second floor," she paused, looked around, and returned her gaze to Foxx. "Business operations, and third floor, utility."

Foxx nodded and signaled for his team to gather around him.

"We're gonna make our way to third floor," he said quietly. "If there's anything worth looking for as far as the location of a radio signal, the rest of the Death Squad is gonna be up there."

His team nodded in silent unison and they approached the stairwell, rifles at the ready. Foxx ascended the steps with a smooth, silent grace that made his heart race at the anticipation of the coming fight. His vision cleared at the foot of the steps to the third floor, and with a quick gasp of breath he saw...

a Hitmonchan lying dead on the floor.

Slightly fazed by the sight, he approached the corpse and crouched low, examining the dead Poke'mon with his free hand as he observed the rest of the open area with his rifle. There were several dead Poke'mon littered around the room, and judging from the bullet wounds on this one, they had all suffered the same fate.

"We're not alone up here," Foxx murmured, just in time for several figures to step out of the shadows.

"You have five seconds to drop your weapons," they hissed, their rifle scopes gleaming in fading light.

"Shoot me," Foxx replied, his gaze cold as ice. "And you won't live five seconds to realize you made a mistake."

His team rallied behind him, their weapons raised.

"Who's in charge of your operation?" a voice among the shadows rang.

"I am," Foxx replied. He stood up and approached the figures shrouded in darkness. Behind him, his team covered him from the doorway. Foxx extended his hand. "The Resistance, I presume?"

"No," a man said gruffly, stepping out of the darkness. He tapped a red patch on his chest. "Team Rocket."

Foxx lowered his hand and looked deep into the man's rough expression. He was a tall, grizzled man with defined features. His swollen nose suggested that he had been subject to many beatings in his earlier years.

"I've heard of you," Foxx said slowly. "You're a group of murderers and thieves."

"Well out here, we're the only friends you've got," the man snarled. "And friends don't accuse friends of such atrocities."

"What're you doing here?" Foxx asked, ignoring the man's tone.

"Looking for you," The man replied, beckoning his friends to step out of the shadows. They all bore the same uniform; tattered black armor with red patches sewn to the chest.

"What?"

"We knew there was an Enforcer Outpost somewhere near here," The man explained. "The only way to draw you out was to get the attention of some traveling Mewtwo Death Squads." He kicked the ribs of a Hitmonlee corpse next to him. "That's why we made look so obvious there was a high concentration of people living here."

Foxx thought about the trash lining the floors as they entered the building. In another time he would've kicked himself for being so stupid, but this plan just seemed foolish.

"It was the only way to get both parties' attention," the man continued, as if reading Foxx's thoughts. "We were careful to examine every option we had."

"So what do you want with us?" Foxx asked, crooking his jaw. They were wasting time.

"My boss wants to meet you," the man said. "He's got a plan to bring down Mewtwo."

Foxx thought for a moment.

"Let's go meet your boss," he said finally, sparing a glance at his team. Their gazes were just as cold and emotionless as his was. "And by the way, I don't think I caught your name."

"Call me James," the man said, extending his hand.

========

SO! that's all I have so far, I'm working on part 7. Epic is promised. Feel free to tell me what you guys think, I'd love to hear some feedback. Positive, negative, whichever. :)
 
Okay, you are posting way too many chapters way too fast. Give your readers time to comment before posting another chapter: my suggestion is to wait a few days between chapters.
 
While I'm glad you're reading my content, once again I'm just a little flabbergasted that posting chapters quickly is even an issue. Regardless, this is all I have so far, and the views on this story keep going up, so I'm assuming that I have not been doing a bad job of following through and progressing the story. I'm assuming you guys like what you're reading, otherwise the viewing number would come to a standstill.

tl;dr:

thanks for reading, and I guess I'll "slow down" on the pace of posting chapters.
 
Okay, you are posting way too many chapters way too fast. Give your readers time to comment before posting another chapter: my suggestion is to wait a few days between chapters.

The rules say three hours. "A few days" is way out of it.

Reading the rules doesn't just apply to people posting fics, you know, so please do so before you try to tell people what to do.
 
The rules say three hours. "A few days" is way out of it.

Reading the rules doesn't just apply to people posting fics, you know, so please do so before you try to tell people what to do.

to be fair, he was just suggesting, not demanding.
 
Yes. First of all I can't sleep despite having to go to work tomorrow.

Second, you have some nice descriptions.

But one thing: a scourge that plagues many authors: the plot.

Add some hooks, man. Seriously. Maybe some plot twists, a cliffhanger here or there, some false plot holes, etc.
 
I must have re-written this chapter about 7 or 8 times. Finally got it to where I like it. Here it is, chapter 7 in its entirety. Lemme know what you think

* * * * *

Team Rocket was a murderous band of thieves.
His father had taught him from right and wrong,
and it was in these lessons that Team Rocket played an integral part.
His father had a past with Team Rocket, and while Foxx was too young
to understand such things, he was told to stay away from the "bad men"
that were like those in the dark uniforms.

The black berets.
The red "R".
The shadowed eyes that were only equal to that of the darkness in which Mewtwo had spread across the land.

Foxx said nothing as the truck rumbled its way along the desolate landscape.
He only thought about this and what he had told his team before he departed with James.

"Go to Thompson," he said to Taylor. "Go to Thompson and tell him that I'm investigating a lead on The Resistance."

Taylor had looked at him almost longingly. Foxx was the closest thing the boy had ever had to family in a long time. They had gone through training together, and survived the effects of the MRU serum. The entire squad had become close, and it was difficult to think of leaving his team. However being a scavenger for most of his life, Taylor knew discipline, and loss above all things. It was in these teachings that allowed him to salute Foxx before depature, and leave with the rest of the team, heading back to base to deliver the news to their captain.

And now, here Foxx was, in a truck filled with murderers and thieves. It was this thought that clouded Foxx's judgement as he sat quietly in his seat, watching the landscape go by. The figures around him murmured to each other about the oddly-uniformed soldier amongst them . His head shaven, his uniform tattered and torn. His seemingly antique rifle that was patched with pieces of scrap metal. What could their boss possibly want with a scavenger from the wasteland?

The truck's rumbling softened as it hit torn pavement, the tires finally meeting smoother ground. Foxx watched a road sign as they passed by. Route 10. For a moment he wondered what the landscape was like, back in the days of Poke'mon Trainers. Back in the days of his father, when Ash Ketchum crossed Route 10, like so many other trainers. Things had been different back then; the cities thrived and the ground was lush with tall grass and friendly poke'mon. He was sure of it.

He was sure the structure they arrived at was much more friendly than what it appeared to be. Tall, dark iron arches loomed over them as they passed underneath a gate that read, "Route 10 Power Plant". If rust and decay had a noise, it's what the gates sounded like as they opened for the truck to move through.

More eyes on him.

Foxx could feel the gaze of a hundred souls as the truck rumbled through the abandoned power plant. It came to a slow, screeching hault inside of a small warehouse at the far end of the complex. The soldiers shuffled out silently, Foxx being among the last and he holstered his rifle as he did so. The TR soldiers went about their business, handing over their weapons to another uniformed soldier. Their eyes met for a moment, but Foxx held his weapon at his side. He did not trust this place.

"It's okay," James said. Foxx thought he was just talking to the portly man in charge of the weapons, but his voice was loud enough to be heard by everyone. Why not, Foxx figured, everyone was staring at him anyway.

"He's one of us." James sounded. He looked back to Foxx and beckoned to follow. Foxx followed a comfortable distance behind James as they walked along the decaying walls of the warehouse. Civilian men, women and children whispered amongst each other as he passed, pretending to go about their business but obviously distracted by the newcomer. A little girl whispered something to her mother and stood behind her as Foxx offered her a scowl in his passing.

Maybe coming here was a bad idea, he thought. Maybe it was all along.

James opened a utility door marked "basement". It connected to a flight of stairs, leading out to a small hallway with a series of offices branching from it. The glass door at the far end of the hallway had a faint light behind it.

"We radioed ahead," James informed him quietly. "He's been expecting you."

* * * * * *

Giovanni exhaled slowly on the cigarette, the smoke clouding around his head in a messy pattern. He held the cigarette in a familiar posture, but he wasn't a smoker. From the moment Foxx studied him, he could tell this was a recent habit. He was pulling it off well.

Giovanni noticed the boy watching him and a thin smile creased his lips.
"I am a man of luxury," he said, casting his glance down to the cigarette. "Down here, cigarettes are a luxury. I was never set out for a life like this."

"Nobody ever was." Foxx answered coldly. The more he studied the man, the more he didn't like him. Foxx had spent most of his life dressed in rags, scrounging for food and living day to day with a feeling of uncertainty about tomorrow. Giovanni stood before him dressed in a relatively clean suit, his hair slicked back and a pack of cigarettes tucked into his pocket. He even had a polished cane to lean on.

"You have to understand," Giovanni continued, easing his way into his chair. His posture gave way to old age quickly as he settled into the leather seat. "I wanted to better the world. Mewtwo was the start of that. He was the prototype for...for something great. With his evolving DNA we would be able to cure diseases, plague, who knows what else."

"Didn't exactly work out the way you planned." Foxx mused. Hearing news that Giovanni was responsible for Mewtwo's creation was nothing short of enraging, but Foxx was in no position to assault the man. At least not right now. Giovanni's narrowed his eyes at Foxx, stubbing the cigarette into the table.

"I've met several others whom were very more upset with me upon finding out I'm the cause of all this...I'll take your comment as a compliment." He said briskly. Giovanni's gaze studied the boy hard, but the Foxx's expression did not faulter.

"You said you had a plan," Foxx replied. "What is it?"

"I'll answer your question with a question," Giovanni replied, shifting his weight on his cane. Foxx already noted Giovanni's peculiar limp.

"Most of this complex is above ground. How have we not been sighted by Death Squads, or Fearow Scouts?"

"I was never good at trivia," Foxx said impatiently. He crooked his jaw as Giovanni shifted his weight again on his cane.

"Electro magnetic pulses," Giovanni answered, his gaze shifting around the room. If he wasn't leaning so much weight on his cane, he would've thrown his arms around in a semi circle.
"Mewtwo's 'scouts' operate on the same telepathic link as Mewtwo himself. What they see, he sees. He is the sole battery that is holding his entire empire together. When I built Mewtwo, I built a few fail safes. None, however, have been as prominent as the ability to block his telepathic sight on a small scale."

"I'm not sure I understand this," Foxx interjected. "You're saying you have a way to disable his power?"

"Think of Mewtwo's psychic energy as a kind've signal, like with bats," Giovanni shuffled his way back to his desk, spreading out a mess of papers. "It bounces off something to read back to him what's there. This is especially true over long distances. He sees with his eyes, but with his scouts, only in his mind. What we've managed to do is create an electro magnetic field that scrambles this signal that his scouts throw out, and it returns to them as nothing. They see us as just an empty space."

Foxx tried not to let Giovanni see that he was impressed. He made his way to the desk and looked down at the papers spread out before him. They were construction plans for towers that emitted electro magnetic signals.

"I first established this camp during the war," Giovanni said softly, shuffling the papers into a neat pile. "I saw an opportunity and I seized it. I knew Mewtwo was going to win, so I gathered my remaining resources and went proverbially underground. It was during this time that I constructed these towers to mask our whereabouts."

"So you have a way to make yourself appear invisible to Mewtwo," Foxx replied. "What I'm looking for is a way to kill him."

Giovanni nodded and another thin grin creased his lips. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette and lit it subtly.

"Which is where you come in," he explained. "My scientists have been working on a prototype weapon for years....a weapon that focuses this electro magnetic wave into a physical beam that may weaken Mewtwo's resolve."

Foxx eyed him carefully.

"What's the catch?"

"We don't have the proper assets to finish the weapon," Giovanni said flatly. "There is a facility west of here that here that has what we need to finish this weapon. I'm sure you've heard of it...The Indigo Plateau?"

"You still haven't said why this involves me," Foxx said impatiently. Giovanni waved him off through a cloud of smoke.

"The facility is heavily guarded. There is a fortune of pre war technology and supplies there, and Mewtwo knows it. He would have it destroyed if there weren't something in it that he could use. Our scouts say he's brought slave labor into the facility, and the power reserves have been reactivated. The only reasonable explanation is that he's building equipment for his army."

"But why?" Foxx asked. "He's already won."

"There's dozens of islands out there," Giovanni said, pushing aside the tower plans to reveal a world map. "Many have pockets of formidable human resistance. When I designed Mewtwo, I designed him to win. He may have won, but now he wants ultimate victory...our extinction."

Giovanni let out a low sigh and there was another cloud of smoke. He stubbed the unfinished cigarette into an ashtray and rubbed his chin absentmindedly.

"I could send fifty soldiers into the Indigo Plateau, and they'd come back in body bags." He continued, his eyes meeting Foxx's. "and THAT is where you come in."

* * * * * * *

Foxx thought of the little girl that hid behind her mother as he passed.
This was an odd thought considering the timing; a Hitmonchan, eyes a milky white, gurgled blood and dropped to its knees as two 5.56mm rounds drilled through its chest cavity.

Poke'mon were not meant to fight, not like this.
But this is the way things were.

The way things were, Foxx realized, is what had turned him into a monster. A monster that sweeps through a line of Poke'mon, leaving a trail of blood in his wake, a monster that makes little girls hide behind their mothers, a monster that feels no fear or regret or sorrow.

Indeed as a monster he was reborn.
Fear, regret and sorrow were buried deep in his past, and it was there in which they were to stay.

The last line of fences lining the Plateau came into view. Foxx's heart pounded. He realized him and his team had flat out sprinted a half mile, punching through resistance as they went. He had a hard time distinguishing if the easy part was over. Yet when he looked toward the gates, and saw hundreds of fingers curled against the chain links of the fence, he knew the easy part had long since subsided.

"Watch your fire, friendlies at 12 O' clock," Foxx ordered into his helmet radio.

A portion of the fences had been damaged by the artillery, and they fell easily. The slaves ran forth to meet the soldiers, and Foxx for a moment felt relieved to see other human beings in the wastes. However this sense of optimism drained as he saw the slaves' expressions were frantic and bewildered.

"Don't come!" a young girl howled at him, a twisted expression of horror shining through the dirt and grime on her face. "Get away!"

She passed him, running for safety. Foxx's eyes met another soldiers', and even behind the visor Foxx could tell the man was just as bewildered.

As the slaves poured around them, tripping over each other as they scrambled for safety, Foxx felt a low gurgle rise from the ground. It spiked and shook violently and had his armor been lighter, he would have toppled over.

The facility was heavily guarded, Giovanni had said. I could send fifty men into there and they'd come out in body bags.

Foxx had pondered what Giovanni meant when he said that. Artillery had wiped out most of the infantry The Plateau housed, leaving Foxx to muse that they may have had their work cut out for them.

But as the tall figure billowed up from the center of the Plateau, Foxx realized this is what Giovanni feared. The Snorlax' head lolled around loosely on it shoulders, its fat chin quivering as it thumped forward. The ground tremored with each step, small stress cavities appearing before him. From behind the Snorlax, a unit of well armed Machamps appeared, their odd salvaged armor reflecting the afternoon sun.

The soldiers panicked, blindly firing into the horde before them. The small 5.56mm rounds did little to the onslaught, as the Snorlax continued forward, swiping a hand the size of a trailer across the ground.

Its hand scooped up three soldiers, toppling over each other amidst the beast's palm.
Foxx watched in horror as it dropped the men into its gullet, their rifles clattering away as they made their final descent. Meanwhile the Machamps advanced, spearing the soldiers as they were distracted.

The soldiers' line broke as they scrambled for cover. Machine gun fire rattled. The Snorlax continued scooping more soldiers into its mouth. Spears soared through the air. A soldier next to Foxx fell to the ground as one pierced his leg.

This was suicide, Foxx realized. They were less than prepared to handle this situation. Anything less than a 50 caliber was fruitless. The helicopters were the only option they had...

Tossing the rifle over his shoulder, Foxx scrambled across the ground, holding his radio transmitter.

"TR, this is Squad Leader, we need the birds back in position, over!"

"Squad Leader, that is a negative, area is too hot for birds to land, over."

"TR, A Snorlax is mopping the floor with us, in five minutes the birds won't have a reason to come back!"

All Foxx heard was white noise on the other end. The deafening radio silence was almost worse than the Snorlax.

"....Copy that, Squad Leader," The radio gurgled finally. "Your birds back en route, ETA 2 minutes..."

* * * * * *

Somewhere in the back of his mind, a piano played softly.
The keys hit a rhythmic pattern that was nothing short of bliss; the music floated and drifted off into the sky, bringing with it a faint rainbow with every note.
The feeling was as familiar to him as the day he had first touched a piano.
When he was a child, his mother had given him lessons. It was only in his later years that he referred back to these memories in times of distress.

One of these times was now.
In the air it hung like a thick fog; a certain stench in which he had come to know so well. The stench of death and decay. Everything foul in the world, everything hate and sorrow and despair, the thick odor of defeat, lay just beyond his office door.

He poured himself another drink, and watched the bourbon swirl in the glass as they pushed the door open. The door creaked mildly on its hinges as they stepped through the frame. There was a pistol in his desk drawer, but he didn't bother touching it. They would kill him before he could even touch the handle.

"Where is the other one?" They asked, looming over him like shadows.

"I don't know," Thompson admitted, pouring himself one last drink. He set the nearly empty bottle of bourbon down and watched it settle in his glass. "I was informed that I am no longer in command, as my elite disregard orders to pursue the plans of murderers and thieves."

The silent majority watched him suspiciously, but did not make a sound. They only loomed over him, spots of darkness seeming to radiate from their very being.

"I've heard of you, you know," Thompson said, lifting his glass. He smiled vaguely at the glass, and for a moment wondered truly, what he had to smile about. "Settlers out in the wastes call you 'Hell Hounds'. Judging from how you've found me....us...I know now how you've earned the name."

He stabbed a thumb at the tall figure to his left, the bourbon slowly taking effect. He truly didn't care anymore.

"To be honest, I didn't think I'd see you," he said, downing the last of his drink. "You being here proves me wrong, at least to an extent. It's all one big lie, isn' it?" he set the glass down harshly and stared at it for a moment, a wave of sadness coming over him. "It was always a lie..."

* * * * * *

Two of three helicopters made their way back to the TR headquarters, only a quarter of the men who left had returned. The people were silent as the choppers landed, trying not to stare as they went about their business. Foxx stepped off the helicopter and removed his helmet, tossing it to the ground. He would have no more to do with this uniform.

From the start, this whole situation had brought him nothing but trouble. Already he could feel the fuming of a hundred hateful eyes on him. The soldiers he had evacuated hated him for creating an exit strategy; he felt that they would been better suited to die out there among their friends.

"I thought you were supposed to be some kind of super soldier," one of the soldiers scoffed. Foxx turned, his face strewing slowly into a fit of rage. He had seen too much death today; he was in no mood for this. The soldier, a young man with wavy blonde hair, sneered at him. "Some kind of fucking, 'Master Chief' you are. I saw you out there. First sign of trouble, your chicken shit runs like--"

Foxx swung his fist and broke the boy's nose. The boy stumbled back by surprise, his face caked with fresh blood. MRU had made Foxx's body stronger and faster than that of an average person, despite only the slight change in his physical appearance. He was much stronger than he looked.

"Jeebus!" The boy croaked, his hands clinging to his face. Foxx kicked him in the chest, knocking him down. He sat on the boy's chest and beat him mercilessly, feeling a sort of fulfilling ecstacy from his rage. It took four men to pull Foxx off the boy, who now lay a bloody mess on the ground. His face was remnant of a raw hamburger.

"I radioed for the evac," Foxx spat. "ME! Maybe I should've left you to die with the others, you fucking prick---"

"That's ENOUGH!" James roared. He grabbed Foxx by the throat as the soldiers held him in place. The pipes in his neck were strained as he searched Foxx's expression for any sympathy.

"There was no way of knowing they had a Snorlax locked up," James hissed, staring into Foxx's hateful eyes. "That operation was a failure, but it was to no fault of anyone's." He turned to the remaining soldiers. "Foxx got everyone out as best he could."

He let go of Foxx's neck and turned to the boy on the ground.

"Get him a fuckin stretcher," he muttered, picking up the boy's discarded rifle. As he approached the medical team, he turned one last time to face Foxx.

"Boss wants to see you," he said. "It's important."

* * * *

"I'm assuming you want to quit?" Giovanni asked, lighting a cigarette. He turned to face Foxx, waving the match in the air. "Is this a fair assumption?"

"Why did you pick me?" Foxx hissed, his knuckles cracking as his hands balled into fists. "You sent 50 men to die out there, all because you had me."

"Sooner or later we had to try," Giovanni replied, taking a long drag. He puffed out the smoke and idled through some files on his desk. "The men needed someone to look up to, someone to motivate them so they wouldn't have a feeling of failure in their hearts."

"Bullshit." Foxx seethed. He wanted nothing more than to rip out Giovanni's heart right now.

Giovanni's brow furrowed and he stubbed the cigarette into the desk. He pulled another one out and lit it. He was nervous.

"You're going to find out sooner or later," he said calmly. "So I'll just tell you right now."

His expression softened into a frown and he sat down at his desk, suddenly feeling very tired.

"When you're in charge, you have to make hard decisions," he explained. "Unwritten laws of society maintain that first you must take care of your own people, then if you have available resources left over, that's when you help others. I, am out of resources."

Foxx stood his ground, watching Giovanni carefully. The man sighed and took another long drag on his cigarette. This seemed almost painful for him to explain.

"We're faced with dwindling resources; power, food, water. I even have a small rebellion on my hands. My own people are starting to believe that I am driving them into the ground. Me! The one who took them under my wing and protected them from The Wasteland."

"Get to the point," Foxx pressed.

"The point is," Giovanni growled, returning Foxx's cold stare. "Is I had to strike a deal with the first thing that came my way. In this case, I was approached with an offer of protection. Reserves of food and water were thrown in to sweeten the deal. All for the price of mapping out a location."

"I thought you said this place was under disguise, why would you need protection?" Foxx asked.

A weak smile creased Giovanni's lips.

"Please," he said condescendingly. "When Mewtwo takes control of a Poke'mon's sight, its limited, as I explained before. Humans operate much differently, especially those with already trained eyes. They see right through the magnetic field."

"What are you talking about?"

"The Hell Hounds found us, and approached me," Giovanni replied, stubbing his second cigarette. "The deal was that I give them the location of the Mt. Moon base, in exchange for our salvation, and reserves of food and water."

Foxx was almost too shocked to say anything.

"Hell Hounds..?" was the only thing that escaped his lips.

"Yes," Giovanni answered slowly. "The original Enforcer Alpha Unit.....your father included."


* * * * *

Foxx could have killed Giovanni.
Giovanni's henchmen had patted him down before allowing him into Giovanni's office, but they failed to find the combat knife that was hidden in a compartment of his boot. Sloppy and stupid.

TR was no murderous band of thieves.
It was a group of young men and women, some no older than 16, armed with rifles and pre war technology, under the guide of a madman.

Foxx did not kill Giovanni that day. Instead, he turned and ran.
He ran so fast that his heart, fit and strong, screamed and protested for him to stop. He ran out of the TR compound, across the wastes and to Mt. Moon, the place where he called home. The sun had since retreated, giving way to the moon as he arrived. In front of the compound he fell to his knees and gasped for breath, his TR armor weighing a thousand pounds and drenched with sweat. There were fresh foot prints in the dirt. They weren't the prints of the standard issue boot his Enforcer team was equipped with, and it was often a team this size was allowed out of the compound.

Still panting, he climbed to his feet and approached the tunnel leading into Mt. Moon. Inside was deathly quiet. He readied his rifle, listening to his own ragged breath as he made his way into the darkness.

Ahead of him was the steel doorway that led into the vast compound. By protocol it was kept shut at all times, only opened by authorization by Colonel Thompson.

It hung open, the airlock beyond it whistling into the tunnel.

Foxx stepped through, the artificial light washing over his exhausted frame. The airlock was the final step before entering the compound, not only did it lock out germs, but it prevented sound from leaking out into the tunnel. The airlock hummed quietly, but there was no other noise beyond that. He stepped out of the airlock into the locker room, where he and his team had gathered their equipment many times before.

Some locker doors were open ajar, and there were a couple wet towels on the floor, but nothing out of the ordinary. Rifle still in position, he crept along the tiled floor into the main room, where he had had his first discussion with Thompson. The locker room door gave way and he stepped into the large room, greeted only by deafening silence and a pair of bodies that lay face down in a pool of blood.

Looking around suspiciously, Foxx approached them and rolled them over. One of them was a nurse from the medical wing, her face strewn in a face of pure terror. In her hand lay a clipboard. The other body belonged to that of the doctor whom injected them with the MRU serum. It was his guess they had been the first to die, having their backs turned, discussing something when the Hell Hounds came through. Foxx raised from his crouch and continued on, his heart skipping a beat at every shadow.

Every hallway and every room from there was the same. Blood and gore caked the walls, small battles illustrated through bullet holes and overturned furniture. The bodies of workers and soldiers alike lay scattered in the ruins of the place he had called home. The way things were had turned him into a monster, but even a monster breaks when its hit in the harshest way.

Members of his team lay scattered among the overturned furniture. Caught by surprise, they barely had a chance to resist; several of them clad in their jumpsuits, books and food in their hands. Few were even in reach of their weapons, it seemed, when the Hell Hounds came through. Foxx cried out the loudest, however, when he saw Taylor at the foot of Thompson's office door, the young boy's intestines ripped right out of his stomach, spilling across the neat tiled floor.

Taylor was dead.
Erin was dead.
His whole team lay dead, holding their spilled intestines on the floor, joining the shadows that danced and sang under the flickering lights of the compound.

The compound was quiet, and quiet, and quiet.

A silence so deafening Foxx's ears rang, even as he pushed open Thompson's office door to the familiar creaking noise at it swung loosely on its hinges.

And there was Thompson, strewn over his desk like a deer carcass on the bed of a truck. The man's breath was ragged, and filled with blood, but he was alive.

"Sir..." Foxx said quietly as he carefully rolled the man over. Despite the things he had seen throughout his life, the training he had been conditioned under, and the recent events, he still cringed when he saw Thompson's face. What was left of it lit up upon seeing a friendly face.

"Foxx," Thompson rasped weakly. "Your father..."

"I know," Foxx said quietly. "I'm sorry I wasn't--"

"The resistance," Thompson coughed, blood spilling onto his jacket. "everything we worked for...it was all a lie," another coughing fit of blood. "to get us to find them. When we didn't...show....they came looking for us....all lies..."

Foxx studied Thompson, trying to piece together what Thompson was saying.

"..they're all.....dead...everyone," he gripped Foxx's sleeve weakly. "They're looking for you, you're the one they want the most..."

Foxx was too strewn in emotion to say anything, he only stared blankly at Thompson as the man wheezed out his final words.

"They'll never stop looking," Thompson gasped, sliding a small key toward Foxx. "Consider this your official promotion...."

Thompson's eyes rolled into the back of his head, and Foxx let the man's head down slowly. He took the key and examined it for a moment, standing over Thompson's body. He absorbed the silence of the room.

When he was very young, his father was taken by Mewtwo.
While he was not killed, he suffered an even more horrible fate.
Alpha Unit and he, along with Ian Surge, were recruited to become Hell Hounds;
a Human Mercenary Unit engineered by Mewtwo with abilities beyond his Poke'mon.

Foxx crossed the room to Thompson's locker. He slid the key in.

The Hell Hounds were poisoned by Mewtwo's cancer.
They felt no fear, no anger, no pain.

He opened the door.

While he didn't know why they wanted him the most,
he understood that they would never stop looking.
Giovanni cut a deal to save his own life along with his people, but
Foxx doubted The Hell Hounds would keep their bargain for long.

Inside the locker, among old military dress wear was Thompson's Enforcer armor. Patched across the right chest, "ENFORCER ARMOR PROTOTYPE 101a -- THOMPSON"

The Hell Hounds would not stop looking,
and neither would he.


* * * * * *
 
So this has taken me quite a while. For the longest time I didn't really know how I was going to write this chapter. I could go on and on about all the experimentation and rewrites that I did, but I think that you've waited long enough. Long story short, it all came together because I was listening to The Immigrant Song one night. The opening is a tribute to The 'Zep, which seems to have some significance to this chapter. Enjoy and lemme know what you think.

~Charizard2006

* * * * * *
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!

* * * *

He stuck the shovel in the ground and wiped sweat from his brow. The dry breeze did little to comfort him, as he was more exhausted than he had ever been in his life. There were many dead, he still had work to do. The ones he had buried first were those of his team, taking great care to lie them one foot underneath the dry surface. In the past few days he had seen many die; it was no different from his whole life, which was surrounded by death. Although familiar with loss, he knew little to nothing about funerals. His father never spoke of it...perhaps out of respect for his mother. She was a vague memory in the back of his mind. Looking back he realized how little he actually knew of her, if anything; just her vibrant orange hair. He pondered if his father shared the same feelings as he.

Foxx sat back on his haunches and watched the dry winds kick dust across the barren plains of gnarled trees. Things were different now. They had always been different; his life was an ever evolving series of events that twisted and turned and defined him. It was only in recent events, however, that his life had deterred away from scavenging. Survival was no longer a priority to him, revenge took the top of the agenda. Perhaps he had been planning it all along, he mused. Perhaps killing Mewtwo was less of a benefit to humanity as much as it was a vendetta for himself. Considering the circumstances, he wouldn't have it any other way. With a low sigh, he lifted his shovel once again and returned to his toil.

* * * *

A knock on the door sent a wave of shivers through her spine. She hesitated before answering, her tongue dancing behind her lips in nervous anticipation. Another knock. This one louder and more persistent. Slowly she made her way across the linoleum floor, watching the doorknob rattle lightly. Another knock. Then another. Fear echoed through her body in waves...knowing....DREADING..what was on the other side of that door.

Alas there was no more delay, her hand was on the doorknob, and with a steady twist, she unlocked the bolt and opened the front door.

Ian Surge stood on the doorstep, accompanied by two grim faced soldiers. All three bore the Enforcer Unit patch on their chest.

"It's nice to see you, Misty," Ian said, tucking his uniform hat under the crook of his arm. There was no cheer in his voice. "I need to speak to Ash."

"You're not going to take him, are you?" Misty blurted out. She almost recoiled in shock from the sound of her own voice. Surely now that she mentioned it, they would, wasn't that the same thing as jinxing? Ash would leave and never come back and oh god--

"I'm set," Ash said solemnly behind her. She turned halfway, staring into the kitchen as she spoke to him.

"You're not leaving, Ash, not now..."

He squeezed her hand lightly and kissed her on the cheek.

"I'll be back in a couple hours, I promise," he lied. "Foxx is asleep upstairs. Tell him I'll read to him tonight if he behaves."

Misty nodded, helpless, and watched him move past her. He packed into a black SUV with the soldiers and as it pulled out of their driveway she could do nothing but wave lightly. Somehow she knew she would not see him again.

In the SUV Ian Surge rubbed the growing stubble on his chin as he sifted through reports and briefings among a manilla folder.

"How much of the news is true?" Ash mused, watching Ian intently. Ian's brow raised and there was a half smirk.

"Not much," he replied. As he closed the folder he looked up. "It's hard to know where to start, Ash, so I'll just give you everything we've got so far.....Mewtwo has the southeast corner of the island, and he's fucking keeping it. Everything we send in there comes back in bodybags. We have helicopters and F-15s but they're fucking useless against this wave of psychic energy he emits. Troops on the front lines say that they see a kind of darkness when they get near zones of enemy activity. Due to this we have cases of hallucination, hysteria, aneurisms...initial reports say that it's a storm cloud, but the Poke'mon see perfectly well in it, which only brings us to theorize he's casting a kind of psychic energy mask over his activity. We can't see what he's doing, or where he even is, for goddsakes--that's the scary part. The only advantage on our end is our artillery units. Our teams say the Poke'mon are absolutely terrified of the damn things--they call them 'Sky Demons', or something absurd like that."

"The Poke'mon are speaking English now?" Ash scoffed.

"Apparently," Ian sighed, sifting through reports. He was in no mood to refute this. "I'll just attribute that to more hallucinations. So....after we lost Vermilion and Route 11 we moved the President to a secure location. Now our scouts say that Digletts are moving toward the capitol, Saffron, to immobilize our ground forces."

"Jesus," Ash breathed, running a hand over his head. He forgot that his head was freshly buzzed. "So how bad IS it?"

Ian grimaced and cast a glance over at the soldier driving.

"We're going to lose Saffron, Celadon and most of the territory southwest of that. At the rate he's moving, this is all going to happen in a couple of weeks, maybe less. We're already setting up a defense in Cerulean--all cities are on alert--but Cerulean is the port for Mt. Moon, where we can establish a fortification in the mountains. We've been evacuating people out there as best we can, but we just don't have the manpower," He ran a hand over his tired face again. "We lost half our forces when the Poke'mon rebelled, and we're hurting for recruits. We've already had cases of AWOL."

"What are you going to do?" Ash asked.

"We've activated the MRU Initiative," Ian replied. "We're getting you some backup as quickly as possible. We've got 30 candidates that showed positive results after the procedure--"

"Thirty out of how many?" Ash asked warily.

"I don't want to get into it," Ian waved him off. "All we know is that it works. It fucking works. There's only a few side effects; memory loss, cases of delirium, random bouts of rage...which, considering the circumstances, we'll take what we can get."

"Jesus, Ian, you guys have already tested them on the field?"

"What did you want me to do, Ash?" Ian asked, he kept his voice low but frustration was audible. "We're running out of time. We don't have the luxury of a steady line of soldiers graduating from Marines to Enforcer Unit. We need answers now, otherwise we're going to be sunk."

"What's their primary objective?" Ash shot back. "There's no room for test tube soldiers in my unit."

"They're going to assist our ground forces in Celadon and Cerulean," Ian said tiredly. "Look, Ash, whether or not you like it, we're doing whatever we can to fight back here. We've never faced anything like this before--no country has ever had to fight the majority of its own HYPNOTIZED population."

Ash looked out the window at the blur of buildings outside. Military convoys were already setting up roadblocks.

"And what will you have me do?" he asked quietly.

"We need you to do recon," Ian replied, scooping up the manilla folder and handing it to Ash. "Reports show that we're losing a lot of our scientists at military outposts near hot zones. I don't blame them for leaving, but I do blame them for not cleaning up after themselves. There's all kinds of information there that can be very useful to Mewtwo if he happens across it. We need you to get in there, make a copy, and destroy the mainframe. Your team is waiting for you at Indigo where you'll be prepped."

Ash nodded and thought for a moment.

"What about my family?" he crooked his jaw. "Pallet Town won't be safe much longer."

"I'll send someone," Ian agreed. "We can get them in a secure convoy tonight to a bunker on the coast."

Ash said nothing and returned his gaze to the blur of buildings outside, the scenery giving way to rolling hills of tall, green grass. He wondered how long things would stay this calm.

* * * *

His footsteps echoed along the halls of the compound, long and steady strides making waves against a dead current. He paused for a moment and absorbed the silence, then continued on his path. Pivoting on his heel, he stepped into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. Placing his hands on the cold ceramic sink, he stared at himself for a while.

"There's a storm coming," Thompson grimaced as he leaned in the doorway. His body was still badly beaten, it looked as if it pained him to speak. Yet there he was, in the corner of Foxx's eye, watching him intently.

"It already came and went," Foxx muttered, still facing himself in the mirror. He could see the reflection of Thompson as he shifted weight. He smiled vaguely and looked into the depths of the bathroom, his arms folded across his chest.

"You think that just because they got all of us that they won't come back for you?" he scoffed. "This is just the beginning. The worst is yet to come."

"Then what do you want me to do?" Foxx growled, running his hands over his head. Desperately he wanted to turn and face Thompson, to speak with him on a normal level; to ask him what was next. But he knew Thompson wasn't there. Thompson was a foot underneath the dry earth, less than a quarter of a mile away, his bruised and beaten body most likely sopping through the thin cloth Foxx had wrapped him in. The blood and callus was still on his hands from driving the shovel into the Earth. Burying these people had taken a toll on him; while he knew this was a conversation playing out in his head, he wanted it to go on for as long as possible.

"You're a soldier," Thompson said coldly. "You know what you have to do."

"How?" Foxx's face twisted in dismay. He wanted to scream. "I led my team into a trap in Cerulean. I abandoned you to join Team Rocket….then I led those men into a fight we couldn't win. How am I supposed to--" without thinking, he turned and the doorway was empty. For a moment he stood there and for the first time since he was a child, he felt like sobbing.

'You're a soldier, you know what you have to do.'

Words from his own mind, playing in Thompson's voice.
Later he would recall almost hearing those words along the quiet compound.
While he stood there, staring at nothing, he felt his hands clamp into tight fists. The wave of sadness subsided into rage; a blind, sweeping horde of anger that overwhelmed his senses, flared his nostrils and drew blood from his lip as he bit down.

'You're a soldier, you know what you have to do.'

Indeed Thompson would have said that.

And he was right.

* * * *

"So now youd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day
Despite of all your losing."

* * * *

"What did you do?"

Giovanni turned his head slightly, but did not face James entirely.

"I don't know what you're talking about, James."

"I'm going to ask you one more time," James pressed, his hands clenching into tight fists. "What did you do?"

Giovanni turned now, his expression sagging into that of a tired old man. He stared at James for a moment before saying anything.

"I cut a deal," he replied, slipping a cigarette out of his pocket. "It was them or us."

"You cut a deal with those lunatics?" James hissed. "Is that why you had us out scouting around Mt. Moon? So that you could find some other people to sell out?"

"What would you have done?" Giovanni asked coldly. "I have my own to protect here, you more than anyone should understand that."

"We have guns," James shot back, his temper rising. "We have helicopters! Trucks! We have soldiers! The people at Mt. Moon had nothing, we let them die!"

"You don't understand," Giovanni said patiently. "These things, they're not...human, not anymore. They're--"

"They're killers."

Foxx stepped into the room. His eyes held a vacant stare remnant of an old man lost at sea; solemn and quiet, speaking in a flat monotone that made the men uneasy.

"I buried over twenty bodies," Foxx continued, looking at his blistered hands absently. "These were people that took me in, fed and clothed me, trained me and made me who I am." he looked at Giovanni, then his eyes fell onto James, who stood frozen in place.

"Giovanni cut a deal to save this place from being destroyed by Mewtwo. In turn these killers received my location, and destroyed everything there...except me."

Giovanni's brow furrowed but he said nothing. James looked furious but continued to listen intently. He felt as much enthralled by Foxx's words as enraged; guilt sunk deep into his skin. He had not questioned Giovanni when he was ordered to set up a decoy camp in Cerulean. Now he realized why they had been really looking for Foxx, and his carelessness had signed the death warrant of innocent lives.

"So why are you here?" Giovanni frowned. "An attempt to make me feel guilty?"

"No," Foxx replied. "The Hell Hounds are looking for me, and they're going to continue looking. They'll tear the wasteland apart, and they're going to kill anyone who crosses their path, including those I've spoken with, like you two."

Giovanni exchanged glances with James and leaned forward.

"…so what's your plan?" he asked.

"We hit them before they hit us," Foxx said, stepping up to the foot of Giovanni's desk. The map of the Indigo Plateau was still spread out among other files. He tapped the faded paper and looked Giovanni in the eye.

"You still need components for your weapon, and I need revenge. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."

Giovanni ran his tongue along his dry lips and grinned scornfully.

"You're insane," he spat. "I gave you every available soldier and you came back with a handful of them."

Foxx shook his head, "Only because we followed your plan," he said impatiently. "A full frontal assault doesn't work--it didn't during the war and it sure as hell won't now." His face had strewn into a sneer. "What I need are eight soldiers for a covert operation. We go in quietly, we go out with a bang."

"What does this have to do with The Hell Hounds?" James asked, intrigued. His gaze never left Foxx's finger as it traced the map of the Plateau.

"We set off a series of charges along the Plateau. We level the place without being seen. This will disable Mewtwo's attempt to leave the Island. Because of yesterday he'll know it's us. Most likely he's going to have the Hell Hounds stationed nearby, and when those charges go off, he'll send them in to investigate….to pick off anybody trying to make a clean get away."

"So you attract the attention of the hounds," James mused. "Then what?"

"...Then I go hunting," Foxx growled.

* * * * * *

The portly man eyed Foxx suspiciously. For what reason, Foxx didn't know.
Around his neck was a volley of keys that jingled as he waddled his way to the locker room. The bolt slid as he opened the door and Foxx stepped through. Lining the walls was a wealth of combat suits, all in near perfect condition. Riot gear, complete with shields and batons hung in lockers in the middle of the room.

The man closed the door behind Foxx and eyed him for a moment, figuring his size.

"Y'know," he said, thumbing through a rack of suits. "I don't think we've ever used this one. Orders came straight from the boss, though."

He pulled out a slim dark armored suit that already looked like a burden on the small man. Foxx lifted it from him and noticed it was indeed very heavy.

"This was original Enforcer Riot Gear," the man explained, itching his head as he thumbed through pages on a clipboard. "Says here that it was only used in combat a few times by Shock Troops because they were the only ones able to move comfortably enough in it."

Foxx held the suit in front himself, inspecting it carefully. At plain view it looked like typical SWAT team Gear, except the armor plates were lined with steel.

"Alot of this shit is pre war tech," the portly man continued, not even noticing Foxx slipping into it. "Fifteen years ago we'd prick your skin and feed a sensor to your vein, so we could monitor your heart rate and detect if your body is feeling any distress. What the suit should do is allow you to move just as quick as--isn't that a bit heavy for you?"

Foxx had removed his clothes and slipped into the new body armor. The chest and armor plates were a bit uncomfortable, but as he moved he felt the fabric underneath flex to his movements.

"It's fine," Foxx reported, looking at the man. "I can handle it."

As he flexed underneath the armor, Foxx was reminded of the prototype battle armor Thompson had left for him inside the compound. Earlier he had made a conscious decision to leave it there for the time being…the armor had been too bulky for a stealth mission; He had other plans for it.

The man shrugged at Foxx's comment and led him into a room branching off from the lockers. He unlocked a series of gates that led into a dimly lit room filled with weapons.

"I know you must like ol' Bessy there," the man said, stabbing his thumb at Foxx's patched rifle. "But how about you give this a shot?" he handed Foxx an assault rifle, seemingly new with just a few scratches along the barrel.

Foxx set his old gun down carefully and adjusted his grip on the new weapon, testing its weight in his hand. It felt good. He held the butt of it in the crook of his arm and checked the eye sight. There was even a silencer placed over the nozzle. The weapon was indeed in very good condition. The sight lined up perfectly with the barrel and it seemed to be well polished and maintained over the years. However it was still his best practice to take the weapon apart and clean it, he made a note to do this later.

"Orders from the top," The man repeated, observing Foxx's fascination with the rifle. "He wants you to have the best of the best, and that's what we're here for."

Foxx nodded. "Do you know--"

"I'm just in charge of the weapons and armor cache," The man waved Foxx off. "That's what I do. I don't know what operation the boss is having you do, and really, I don't give a fuck. I DO know that there's a unit of lesser equipped soldiers outside waiting for you, and they're probably pissed to high-hell that you get the royal treatment, but hey...I'll leave the pre-game speech up to you."

The man closed the door behind Foxx and for the first time Foxx saw the Hangar.

Lining the rounded walls were four helicopters, all with the red stencil "TR" across the nose. Further down was an array of vehicles, ranging from urban assault to transport, most of which were in need of repair. Foxx felt a wave of remorse upon realizing the men that manned these vehicles had perished in the Indigo assault the day before. He turned away from the vehicles and proceeded to face eight soldiers, milling about as they checked their equipment. Their chatter turned to a low murmur when Foxx stepped into the middle of them.

"I know you all hate me," Foxx announced. "And it's for good reason. I know how you feel."

"Fuck you," the blonde haired boy spat. His nose was bandaged, you could still see the swelling underneath.

"How's your nose?" Foxx mused, reaching over half heartedly. The boy flinched away and said nothing.

"I know how you feel," Foxx repeated. "and unless we do something, more people are going to die." he let the words sink in before continuing. His gaze extended among the soldiers, feeling their undivided attention. "The Hell Hounds came into the Mt. Moon compound and killed everyone but me." He cleared his throat, swallowing any feeling of anger that may deter his speech. "Now there's nothing stopping them from coming here and killing all of you, unless we hit them first."

"So what do you wanna do, chief?" one of the soldiers scoffed. "How about we pile into the helicopters and run at the plateau? that sounds like a good plan."

Foxx swallowed another fit of anger and narrowed his eyes at the young man.

"We're going to be dropped in behind the Plateau, opposite of which we would obviously be coming from. We're going to sneak into the compound, take what we need and level the place."

There was a low, uneasy murmur that rose above the soldiers. Foxx cleared his throat and there was silence again.

"I know a lot of you aren't happy with what Giovanni's doing…how he's running things. I know you didn't volunteer for this, and you're at the end of your rope. But if you help me, we'll be one step closer to taking down Mewtwo."

"Why's that?" one of the soldiers asked.

"Because after we level Indigo, I'm going to kill The Hell Hounds." Foxx answered solemnly. The soldiers exchanged glances and Foxx waved them off as he began to step away.

"We're leaving at nightfall," he added. "Make sure you're prepped and ready to go."

* * * * *

"You didn't answer my question," Foxx gripped the porcelain sink carefully, examining his own complexion in the mirror.

Thompson swirled the bourbon in his glass and looked up. He tried to smile but the muscles in his cheeks were drying, filled with dirt and grime. He returned to his glass and as he sipped he responded, "refresh my memory."

"Why are you here?" Foxx repeated, his face glowing red. "You're dead, you're gone, you're not HERE. GET OUT OF MY HEAD."

Thompson attempted another grin and lowered the glass, holding it lazily at his hip.

"I'm here because you still need me, or at least you think you do," he said. "I'm not leaving until you let me."

"Enough," Foxx spat, looking down into the bowl of the sink. "Just leave me alone....please."

Thompson shook his head and peeked down the hallway. He finished the bourbon and examined the empty glass as he spoke.

"You're assuming The Hell Hounds are going to be stationed nearby. It's a fair assumption considering the assault went so sour yesterday. Mewtwo most likely believes you're going to try it again, and the best way to go about killing you is by placing his best and brightest right in your way. My question though is why you need to bring eight soldiers into an operation that only requires one?"

"I need others," Foxx argued, his eyes watching Thompson's movements carefully. "I need eight men to set charges simultaneously throughout the base. The only explosive we have operate on short wave frequency, some of the remotes most likely don't work after all these years," he lowered his gaze again. "Besides, this is best in case things..'go sour'. If I'm taken down, at least more than one charge will be in place."

Thompson nodded and Foxx's nostrils flared.

"I told you what you wanted to know!" he hissed, gripping his temples savagely. "Why are you haunting me?"

"Do you remember the side effects of the MRU Serum, Foxx?" Thompson mused. Somehow his glass of bourbon was refilled and in the corner of his eye Foxx could see a trickle as small amount of alcohol leaked from punctures in his face.

"Of course I don't."

"Of course you don't," Thompson echoed sarcastically. "Look in your duffel bag."

Foxx paused, and turned to his left. He paced across the room to a grimy duffel bag, sitting open on a bench. Reaching inside he found a piece of paper that appeared to be ripped from a larger document.

"Enforcer No. 191: MRU INITIATIVE Case 25. Side Effects of MRU Serum," he skimmed down the page. "Side Effects include random bouts of rage as examined in subject 11, case 3. Not nearly as prominent, however, as subjects 12 through 29 [cases 3 through 9] whom have displayed cases of hysteria six hours after preliminary injections, subjects 13 through 28 have exhibited delusional behavior [48 hours from initial injection]… complaints of hallucinations," Foxx bit his lower lip, skimming further down the page. "..symptoms brought on by increased heart rate, extreme stress and/or anxiety, feelings of loneliness, depravation…." Foxx looked up from the paper, feeling Thompsons' presence close behind him. He could almost smell Thompson's dead flesh.

"What does this mean?" Foxx breathed. "…that I'm crazy?"

"I packed it in your bag so you could see for yourself," Thompson said softly. "The MRU Initiative only included one successful case; no hallucinations, no hysteria, no voices-in-your-head," his voice was just a faint whisper in Foxx's ear. "Subject 30 was the only perfect case we had."

"Out of how many?" Foxx was staring at the opposite wall, his eyes wide and unblinking.

"One hundred and twenty," Thompson replied.

"Jesus," Foxx ran his hands up his face. "…..You didn't put this in that fucking duffel bag. I DID," His anxiety was only matched by the sheer horror of not remembering packing the document, or even bringing a duffel bag at all. "I'm losing my fucking mind."

"We've never been able to test it long term," Thompson added. "It could get worse or better the older you get."

Foxx said nothing and stood there, his hands gripping into fists.

"I'll fight it. I'm not crazy..."

"Who're you talking to?"

James was standing in the doorway. Foxx turned, "Nobody," he replied. "nobody at all."

"The helicopter is prepped and the men are ready." James reported, suspicion in his voice. "Are you?"

"Yeah, I'm ready." Foxx grabbed his equipment and followed James out the door.

* * * * *

Between gasps of breath, there were echoes of sporadic gunfire.

Sobs and cries for mercy in the distance.

A sea of flames licking into the night sky, explosions near and far cursing the twilight.

Ash removed his helmet and ran a gloved hand over his sopping wet head. His body was caked in sweat and grime, but it was his face that bothered him the most. He looked at the helmet absently, what it represented, and discarded it. The visor along the front cracked as it tottered against the cold pavement, resting among garbage in the alley. His heart pounded and his breath was weak, he leaned against the cold brick for a moment's rest.

He cast a gaze over to the fallen city, and for the first time since the conflict had started, he realized that things were different now.

They had lost.

Never before had they encountered an enemy like this, and never again will they; their time was through.

His helmet's radio had only been broadcasting static for the past 48 hours, and only technical jargon before that. He was isolated from his team and from headquarters. For all anyone knew, he was dead already.

But that didn't matter anymore.

Whomever was in charge had given their last orders around 72 hours ago and even now that didn't matter, all that mattered now was his family, and they were waiting for him. Ash watched a crowd of looters and rioters scurry their way around the maze of abandoned vehicles in the street. He cast one more glance into the orange haze in the night sky and proceeded on his journey.

He was very close now.

He bounded silently over debris as he made his way through back alleys and abandoned shops until the sea came into view and in the distance he couldn't hear the cries of the forsaken but the yelping of seagulls. Skeptical, he cast a look up and down the beach before coming into plain sight.

He stepped out of the darkness and into the pale twilight, moving down the beach cautiously, feeling a growing paranoia that something was wrong; dead wrong. Consciously he shouldered his rifle and adjusted the strap as he walked, even though the weapon was out of ammo. He could almost hear his heartbeat as he approached the small bunker, the entrance hidden under thick brush at a hillside in the sand.

Looking around once again, he held the brush up as he pushed the door open, only a subtle creak giving way to his entrance. The brush fell back into place as he closed the door behind himself, walking carefully down the rickety steps to a small basement. A dim light cast ominous shadows in the room and bled into the staircase from which he came. In his nostrils he could smell mildew.

Waiting for him under the light was Misty, her eyes a sparkling blue when she saw him.

"Ash!" she nearly yelped, running to him. She embraced him in a tight hug, Ash still recovering from the sight of his wife.

"Misty," he croaked, returning the embrace, wrapping his arms around her. "I thought you were dead. I've been having these horrible visions..."

Misty relaxed from the hug and took a step away.

"It's okay, Ash, really. I'm here," she said softly. As she said this, Ash saw several more figures step out of the darkness, the pale light washing over their grim faces. Ash recognized them immediately and ran his tongue across his dry lips.

"I ordered you to disband after Cerulean," he said slowly. Alpha Team returned his gaze only as a distant stare and said nothing. Their Alpha patches seemed to glow under the fading light.

Ash took an uneasy step back, glancing to his wife then to the figures around her.

"…what is this?" he asked suspicously.

They rushed him.

Ash taken half by surprise, elbowed one in the face and kicked another one in the knee cap. He cried out, all the time Misty watching him helplessly. It took four of Ash's elite to restrain him.

"Relax, Ash." A voice said coldly from the next room. Ash looked over to see Ian Surge, still dressed in his combat fatigues, step out from behind a door. He made a careful note to close it softly behind him.

"Foxx is sleeping," Ian added. "You wouldn't want to wake him, would you?"

"If you wanted to visit, all you had to do was call," Ash spat. "What the fuck is going on here?"

Ian waved him off, "It's okay," is all he said. He gestured toward the staircase and to Ash's horror a large, cat like figure came down the steps.

"Mewtwo," Ash breathed. "What…"

"Release him." Mewtwo ordered, his voice a deathly monotone. Alpha released him, and it was all Ash could do but step back and stare, squeezing his wife's hand.

Mewtwo touched down on the cold cement floor and Ash could feel his glare, burning right into his eyes. He licked his lips again cautiously and cast a nervous glance to his former teammates. They were disarmed, just as vulnerable as he… however they held an odd comfort in seeing Mewtwo come down the steps, even Misty seemed relaxed. Ash could almost hear his heart pounding inside his chest.

"Do as Ian says," Mewtwo said. "Relax…I understand how tense you humans can get in situations like these."

"Why?" is all Ash could muster. "….You've won, okay? leave us be."

If Mewtwo could seem to express any emotion other than anger he would have laughed. Yet his stare remained the same and with a flick of his wrist, Ash's body stiffened as it elevated six inches into the air. His grip was torn from Misty's hand and he could only stare now as sweat ran down his face.

"There is still much to do," Mewtwo replied. "You humans are a cancer and must be eradicated…yet to bring about my new world of purity, it's an irony I need your best and brightest to bring about your own end. So yes….I have won, but I cannot leave you be."

Ash broke.

"Do what you want with me," he choked. "Just…leave my family alone."

A subtle smirk broke Mewtwo's expression and he drew Ash closer to him, Ash's gaze unable to deter away.

"Your family?" Mewtwo echoed. "Oh, your family is interesting indeed." he cast a glance over to Misty whom returned his gaze and said nothing. "The Water Goddess," Mewtwo continued, and gestured toward the room in which Foxx lay asleep. "and the offspring."

"Don't you dare touch them," Ash said stiffly, sweat running down his face in rivers. A hideous grin ripped across Mewtwo's face and for a moment Ash was more terrified of that look than his prior motive.

"Oh, I won't touch them," Mewtwo rasped, staring deep into Ash's complexion. "Years ago when we first met, I pushed my psychic abilities to their limits to see fragments of your future, and I saw it. I saw you making your way above the rest to become one of the greatest fighters your people could offer. I saw you becoming the man you are now and marrying this 'Goddess of Water' before you and yes….I saw your son."

It took all Ash's strength to turn his eyes toward Foxx's room. He wanted nothing more than to protect his son from this monster.

"Years later I delved deeper into the future and saw myself a champion over you grueling worms. I watched your cancer envelope this island and all the Poke'mon within it and set into motion what you see before you. Then I saw your son's future…."

Ash was quiet, returning his gaze to Mewtwo, swallowing hard.

"And what an interesting future your son leads… he will be useful to me then, as you are now. So….no, I'm not going to touch your family. At least…not your son."

"Wh--"

Another flick of the wrist and Misty was drawn to Mewtwo, standing before Ash with a blank stare. Ash felt what was happening and felt tears brim before his eyes.

"I love you, Ash," Misty said coldly, before a penny-sized hole pierced the middle of her forehead, dropping her instantly to the ground.

"NOO!" Ash screamed, his voice twisted with terror that was only matched by his disbelief. His body quivered and even under Mewtwo's control it shook violently.

"I'LL KILL YOU, YOU MOTHERFUCKER I'LL--"

Another flick of the wrist, and Ash was silent. The tears ran down his face and there was no sound.

"To better serve me, it would be best for you to have no distractions," Mewtwo said subtly.

Ash nodded slowly. It was only fair, he reasoned. If Misty were still alive, he would not be able to serve Mewtwo to his full potential, and that was the most important thing. He cast a glance at Ian Surge and the rest of Alpha Squad. They all shared the same belief, and it was this belief that tied them together once again. They were a family, complete only by serving under their master.

"Clean this up," Mewtwo ordered, beckoning to Misty's body and the pool of blood forming beneath it. Two of Alpha Squad bent down and picked up Misty's body. Another began sopping up the blood on the floor.

"I'll transport your offspring to another human encampment east of here," Mewtwo told Ash as they exited the bunker. "It is there he will remain until he is old enough to be of service to me."

Ash nodded and felt a grin crease his lips. He loved Mewtwo.

* * * * * *

The Indigo Plateau rose before them like a silent giant, its sheer mass blotting out the moonlight and swallowing the landscape in its shadow.

Foxx cycled through the names of his new team but it was difficult and he had resorted to simple hand gestures instead. This was almost equally unreliable; while the soldiers had basic firearms training, they lacked other basic combat abilities such as staying alert to signals from their squad leader.

Foxx had briefed them once again on the way over to the Plateau and reviewed with them a third time when they landed two mies away from the location. He was sure that they had it down pat; there was really nothing else for them to occupy their minds with.

So now they approached the rear of the plateau silently, picking their way over corpses and discarded weapons and armor. The Death Squads had taken the bodies from the day before and dropped them into the desecrated forest behind the compound.
The ground was hard and crusted with death beneath their feet, and it was all Foxx could do but ignore the moist patches of ground, wet with the decay from their fallen brethren.

Cradling his rife in the crook of his arm, Foxx knelt down amongst the decay and flipped the visor on his helmet up. He gave the signal for his team to spread out, and seconded the motion by mouthing the orders. His team nodded and spread out over the landscape, the blonde haired boy staying closest to Foxx.

Ahead at foot of the Plateau, seven Machokes were rebuilding their barricades with cinderblocks and sandbags. This was a good thing, they would be too preoccupied with their work to see Foxx's team coming upon them.

Foxx shouldered his rifle as he drew near the first Machoke and seethed his combat knife. It seemed to glisten in the moonlight and as he motioned for his team to move in as approached the monster from behind.

His boot cracked over a twig and the Machoke reared up, already half turned when Foxx was on him, sinking the knife deep into his lower spine, cupping the monster's chin with the crook of his thumb forefinger. The Machoke sank to the ground as Foxx lowered him, and the rest of the team followed suit, attacking the remaining six Machokes with all the tenacity of wild beasts.

There was little noise in this and Foxx was pleased. Perhaps this rag tag group of kids wasn't so undisciplined after all, he though as he dragged the Machoke's body behind a pile of rubble.

"Helluva stab," the blonde haired boy grunted, dragging a Machoke by the armpits behind a pile of sandbags. "Do you think--"

"What's your name?" Foxx interrupted. The boy looked startled, then regained his composure.

"Randy."

"Not anymore. Your name is Chatter, because you're always fucking taking," Foxx hissed. "Now fucking shut up and follow my lead."

Chatter looked resentful, but subconsciously his fingers brushed against his swollen nose and stayed quiet.

At the rear of the Plateau was a large utility door, most likely leading to the stock room, and this was where Foxx and his team would make their entrance. Foxx positioned himself in front of the door and waited for his team to align themselves beside the doorframe. When they were in position, he kicked the door open and entered swiftly inside, pegging a silenced 5.56mm round into the head of a Machamp stacking crates.

There was a volley of silenced shots pattering in the room as the team dispatched the worker Poke'mon, moving their way swiftly among the maze of supply crates. Foxx reviewed the basic floor plans Giovanni had showed him in his head and led his team to a large, open doorframe leading into a factory room. Inside Poke'mon were operating machinery and loading scrap metal onto conveyor belts.

"Chatter, set your charge for this supply room," Foxx said quietly. Chatter nodded and dropped his backpack. He pulled out a large pack of C4 and pasted it to the wall nearest them.

"This is a big room in front of us," Foxx told his team. "We're gonna have to sweep in, spread out, and take out the opposition. Good news is that they look unarmed, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. We need to be quick, though. Anyone else sees us coming in, they'll rain down on us in no time, are we clear?"

His team nodded in unison, readying their rifles.

Foxx nodded, flipped down his visor and readied his rifle.

"Go on me," he said, and turned the corner.

Crouched down, he swept into the room, firing his rife in short bursts. Above them was a catwalk lining the width of the room, with offices branching off. Several surprised Poke'mon turned to face him as he swept in, his rifle making quiet patters among the loud machinery. Foxx focused on the Poke'mon along the top floor while the rest of his team concentrated fire at their level.

A Hitmonchan, strewn in the confusion of the situation, ran out of a side room and Foxx pumped three rounds into its chest. His attention was already directed to a Psyduck before the Hitmonchan crumpled over. The team pressed forward into the room, a volley of rickety shots plugging into Poke'mon workers.

A group of Machokes came down a lift and Chatter laid down suppressing fire for his teammates to get into position. Foxx covered their rear flank as more Machokes came into the room, opposite their position.

"Frag out!" a teammate yelled, lobbing a grenade into the Machoke's position. The Poke'mon began to scatter, but the explosion of shrapnel brought two Machokes down. The team concentrated their fire on the center of the group while Foxx pounded a repetitious fire into the Machokes coming from the back of the room.

"Push forward!" Chatter commanded, the team moving from their cover to pick off the last few Machokes. Foxx plugged three rounds into the chest of a Machoke and followed his team deeper into the room.

"Chatter, and you two," Foxx turned momentarily, motioning for three soldiers. "Cover our left side. He turned to the remaining soldiers. "Cover our right. We're going to be coming into a hangar, we need to cover as much ground as possible."

The team nodded and moved swiftly through the machine room, dropping fleeing Poke'mon on their way. Arrows painted on the floor from previous generations directed them into the hangar where several ships and other vehicles were in various states of repair. In charge of the repair were numerous slaves, watched under a careful eye by a unit of armed Machamps. Foxx signaled for a quick pause, assessing the situation.

"Watch your fire, friendlies at 12 and 2," Foxx reported, spreading out from his team into the room. The Machokes roared in anger and began to scoop up their weapons.

Foxx stormed the room, firing short bursts into the chests of Machokes in sight. His team followed suit, keeping low as they fired a flurry of burst shots. The slaves fled as the Machokes tumbled off their posts, spears clattering away as they hit the floor.

Suddenly one of the soldiers flew off their feet and soared across the room, hitting the wall on the opposite end. Then another, and another. The soldiers cried out, their guns firing wildly as they soared through the air, not understanding what's happening. Foxx looked bewilderedly around the hangar for the cause of it. Did they hit some kind of booby trap?

"Alakazam!" Chatter yelled, dragging one of his fallen teammates back. Foxx looked over to their 10 o clock position, where two Alakazams had appeared from the the edge of the hangar.

"Frag out!" one of squad yelled.

"NO, DON'T--" Foxx was cut off. The grenade lobbed into the air, stopped mid-flight in front of the psychic Poke'mon, and flew back toward its owner. The grenade exploded in the soldier's face and the team's line broke.

"Fall back!" Foxx yelled, firing short bursts at the Poke'mon. A volley of concentrated fire erupted toward the Alakazams, who appeared unhindered by the assault. Bullets ricocheted off an invisible bubble around them as they pressed forward, a group of Machokes behind them.

The team retreated back to the entrance of the hangar, ducking into the supply room.

"Chatter, get ready to activate that C4," Foxx ordered. Chatter looked at him, his face strewn in wild disbelief.

"Don't worry," Foxx pressed. "One alone isn't going to be enough to take us all out. Hit it when they come through the doorway."

He turned to the rest of team, motioning for them to cease fire.

"Let's not give them a reason to keep that psychic shield up. Fall back deep into the room and take cover. On my cue, throw a flash bang."

The team looked ansy, but they kept their discipline and ceased fire. The wait retained the feeling of some overbearing monster, looming over them. It was a deafening sort of silence that rang in your ears and drew away your breath.

When the Alakazams came through the doorway, their psychic shields up, at the ready, they were met with a blinding white light that broke their concentration. Like glass the shield shattered as it was engulfed by the explosion, rocking the foundation of the compound as the Poke'mon were engulfed by a sea of debris and support beams and cement.

None of the soldiers saw Foxx twitch horribly when the Alakazams died, their psychic energy emitting one last wave that hit him like a fist; his mind after the MRU serum much more tender and susceptible to any outside influence, regardless of how indirected. Foxx felt a flash of memories that pounded and drilled into his head: visions of his mother, father, bouts of rage, screaming, pain…it stabbed him like a knife and then reduced to a dull thud in the back of his head, suddenly nothing more than a minor headache. Though reduced, it still made his nose bleed and he gulped for air when it was over. He kept his visor pulled down; masking his face behind a shroud of tinted plastic. Nobody should see him like this.

In the aftermath of the explosion the soldiers swarmed from around their cover and pegged off the survivors, climbing around the bodies and the debris to make their way back into the hangar, where all the slaves had fled and the stationed Poke'mon were dead at their posts.

"Alright, we have only a few minutes," Foxx said. "Let's get C4 on every support beam of this hangar, and blow this shit sky high."

Within five minutes the team scattered around the edges of the hangar, strapping C4 to each individual support beam of the crudely constructed hangar. Foxx made a careful note to attach a couple explosives to some of the vehicles inside the compound.

"Medic, what's the status on our wounded?" Foxx asked the nervous young man beside him. The young man looked around himself, gathering his things. He fumbled when spoke.

"We um…we got a couple broken ribs and a couple gun shot wounds," he stammered. "You--um…we need to leave, don't we? aren't they gonna come down…I'm just the medic."

"What's your name?"

"Andrews."

"Your name is Panic."

"Everything's set and ready," Chatter reported, running up to Foxx. "Should we get outta here?"

"Yeah," Foxx nodded. The headache was a dull thud in the back of his head. "Round up our wounded and let's get the fuck out of here."

The team rounded up their three wounded, Foxx putting one over his shoulder, and left the hangar the way they came in. Things were panning out well, but the blast of psychic energy had given Foxx a bad vision. The Hell Hounds knew he was here. They knew even before he planned it. And they were waiting for him.

They exited out the back under the mask of darkness, most of the attention having drawn in Machoke Units from the front of the compound.

"You guys have five minutes to get out of dodge," Foxx breathed, gently setting a wounded soldier to the ground. "Give me the charge remotes and radio ahead to James to call for a chopper evac when you get about two miles away."

"What about you?" Chatter asked, shouldering his backpack. Foxx turned back to the compound. They were going to be coming in through the front.

"I still have work to do," Foxx muttered, loading his rifle.

* * * * * * * *
 
I spent so much time stewing over this. Rewriting, and rewriting. I even put it off for a while, until something like two months past and I had nothing. What you see here was written over the course of a week and I have to say that I'm finally happy with what I have. There ARE grammar errors, etc., because I haven't proof-read it due to strain of time. However I'm glad to say that I'm happy with the final product and I hope you are, too.

Let me know what you think and thanks so much for reading!

~Charizard2006

Foxx's jaw was clenched, and his brow was furrowed.

Faded blue eyes burned through the boy's head and though he was in deep, he felt right at home.

Chatter had made a living out of pissing people off. It wasn't anything personal, really, it was just his personality. Half the time he didn't even realize he was doing it. Growing up in the Team Rocket compound he had been immersed in a destructive climate, each day being taught something new, and it was only until now that he realized all of these lessons had been structured around that of leading a life of injustice. Team Rocket was nothing but a band of thieves. He had heard bits and pieces of what Wastelanders had been saying about his people. He had never believed it. But when Foxx had left, and they were ordered to turn him into the Hell Hounds upon his return, Chatter knew this wasn't right, and everything fell into place.

If it was one thing he had learned that was always constant, was to maintain leverage. This was how the criminal world worked, before and after the war. To keep the advantage you always needed leverage over someone else. In Team Rocket's case, Giovanni had squirreled away as much technology as he could before the war to reassure the standard of living for his people (and for himself). Wastelanders wanted in, and were allowed in, on the condition that they serve Giovanni beyond any complaint or rational thought. In Chatter's case, Foxx was his leverage. Losing Foxx meant that there was nothing keeping Mewtwo from ravaging the Team Rocket compound and in turn Chatter would lose everything that he set out to do.

So now here he was, standing in front of Foxx, pissing the man off.

His nose still throbbed from the other day and Chatter wondered if Foxx would break his jaw, as well.

But Foxx's attention was divided. While he loomed over Chatter, his head was cocked to one side slightly, as if listening intently to somebody behind him. There was nobody there. In his hand he held parts of his gun, he had begun to clean it when Chatter stepped up.

"Giovanni wanted us to set you up," Chatter explained. "He wanted us to get the components for the bomb and he knew The Hell Hounds were going to be stationed nearby. He thought you would be able to hold the Hounds off long enough for us to get the parts we needed....I don't know how far into everything he has looked, but it seems that he's been right about everything so far."

Foxx's nostrils flared and Chatter could only sympathize with him. From the start Giovanni had sold him out, sending the Hell Hounds to kill everyone at Mt. Moon, then sending him to die yesterday at the Plateau. Now Foxx was standing before him as Chatter revealed Giovanni's sinister plan. He hated Giovanni probably as much as Foxx hated him now, and though Giovanni had been a provider for Chatter and his people, he was a filthy murderer.

Foxx didn't speak, he only looked toward the entrance to the compound and appeared to be listening intently to someone behind himself. There was nobody there. Foxx had an odd aura about him; Chatter felt as if Foxx were in a world of his own, filled with secrets and feelings of which his cold exterior did not hint at. But now was not the time to dwell on such things, and Foxx seemed to feel the heaviness in the air when he spoke.

"Alright," he said finally. He finished sliding the pieces of his rifle together and looked at the group before him.

"What do you need for your bomb?" he asked. Chatter and a girl from his team exchanged glances. The girl stepped forward.

"We have most of what we need. What we're missing is a component to activate it and a way to..transport it. In its current state, it's too heavy. It needs to be…" she paused, looking for the words to properly explain ti. "We basically need something to house it. We need to fuse the bomb with something else that will activate it. We're going to need a form of compressor."

Foxx thought for a moment.

"What kind of compressor?" he asked.

"One that can hold static energy," the girl responded. "We were thinking a type of C02 tank."

His briefings on explosives had been downplayed with Thompson. He thought of the armor he had buried at Mt. Moon.

"How quickly can they get choppers prepped and airborne?" he asked.

"In a hurry? won't take longer than five minutes, why?" Chatter mused.

"I have a plan," Foxx replied, shouldering his rifle.

* * * * *

Empty.

Dark.

Quiet.

These were a few of the ways to describe the compound in contrast to the life it held earlier. Though the life was thoughtless and dull, and only serving the purpose of a higher power, it existed. But now, the compound held a kind of aura around it that made Foxx uneasy when he stepped inside.

There were no corpses like at Mt. Moon.

There was no back up.

There was not going to be any help coming.

There was only the silence offered by the hallway and the ringing in his ears, the memories of his team at Mt. Moon and Thompson in the back of his head, reduced to a dull thud.

It was now only him and a growing sense of dread that existed someplace in the direction of the entrance.

Minutes crawled by and Foxx could not bring himself to shake his growing sense of dread. There was the thudding but also the steady rhythm of whispers of memories past, horrible images and realities dawned upon his psyche and he could not erase them from his mind. This is how he knew the Hell Hounds were close, he could feel the energy that they gave off. It was thick like a fog and it clouded his senses; overwhelming, sickening. His stomach churned.

It took every inch of his confidence to continue forward, not sure of what he will find, not sure of how he will fight…the hallways were narrow and long and dark. No room for error, should he fall in this fight he will not get back up. There was a kind of relief in this, however. He felt at peace with his existence…dying in a blaze of glory.

He turned another corner, and the hallway gave way to an open room. A loading bay for military convoys. Foxx pondered how deep into the plateau this facility went. It was beyond him to know that before the great war, The Island Government sanctioned The Indigo Plateau as an end stage for Poke'mon Trainers. The select few that would make it this their journey would have the grace to battle the best of the best here. And battle, they would. Should the few defeat the poke'mon trainers stationed at the Plateau, they would complete their quests as Poke'mon masters and go on to establish their fame elsewhere. However in its later years, the Indigo Plateau was seen as a strategic Military vantage point and reconstructed for such use. The Masters were removed and the Plateau, in a course of several years, went from being a place of Poke'mon training, to a place of combat; vehicles, bombs, soldiers, shelters, and guns all tucked away under the seal of the Plateau.

So here Foxx stood, at the mouth of the hallway, giving way into a docking bay where several Urban Assault vehicles sat in various states of decay, and it was here that his sense was the strongest.

Before Foxx could comprehend what was happening, before he could step foot into the room, he saw the air….move?

something quivered.

No, no that wasn't right.

Another hallucination.

His eyes followed the quivering that was in the corner of his eye and he saw the air…move? again. This was not a hallucination.

Thompson was nowhere to be found and his head had stopped aching. Now it was replaced by the intense beat of his heart.

It was time to move.

Time to move.

MOVE!

Foxx threw himself back, sliding to his butt and doing a backwards somersault just as something hit where he was standing. He couldn't comprehend what was happening so he immediately drew his pistol and fired three shots into the empty room.

Another quivering of nothingness and the outline of a figure manifested before him.

He fired an additional three shots at the figure.

Whatever it was seemed to be living in a world of slow motion. The pistol fired with precise discipline, three rounds aimed right for the chest. The figure side stepped each individual round as it made its way toward him, one arm slithering down to its side for a knife.

Foxx emptied his clip and discarded his pistol. The figure was on him almost instantly and Foxx met his combat knife to the jagged blade of the monster before him.

The beast knocked Foxx to the ground, falling onto his chest and pushing a blade toward Foxx's neck. It was strong.

But Foxx was stronger.

Foxx held his knife, interlocked with the monster's, out in front of his chest. The beast roared in frustration as it pressed its weight against Foxx's arm. Foxx groaned and tried to push it off, but he could only utter the words,

"NOW!"

A peppering of automatic fire dispatched the beast above Foxx.

Chatter and the rest of his rag tag crew emerged from the room's entrance, shrouded in darkness. They looked nervous and sweaty and afraid.

Foxx was panting as if he had run a marathon. He scrambled to his feet just in time to see the kind of enveloping darkness unwrap itself from the figure.

Clyde.

Foxx could do nothing but stare for a moment.

Clyde's expression was twisted into a horrible sneer. He gagged, blood drooling out of his mouth. His wicked eyes washed over Foxx, filling Foxx with a kind of hatred that was only equal to that in Clyde's heart. He did not speak, though he possessed the strength to.

Chatter and his team were rooted in the spot, watching Clyde carefully.

The man said nothing, his hand leafed into his blood stained jacket and revealed a canister. He smashed it against the ground and six figures materialized behind him.

Tall, dark men.

Sneering faces.

Old.

Diseased.

Their eyes milky white.

Each were clad in faded military gear, The Enforcer patch peeling on their chests.

They did not move at first.

One stepped forward.

He did not seem to notice Clyde's body, now gathering a pool of blood. He spoke in a firm, commanding voice that was flat and as terrible as the darkest horrors of night.

"Give us Foxx and you will live."

His words struck Chatter and his team like knives. They were not expecting a negotiation, and for a moment, the boy seemed to consider it. Yet, he stood rooted in the spot.

Foxx, likewise, was not expecting this either.

The Hell Hounds were a mercenary group commissioned by Mewtwo. They were the nightmare of the wasteland, devouring life as they crossed it and decimating everything else in their wake. They were a collective devil.

"If you want me, you'll have to take me." Foxx said finally, stepping forward. The man turned his face to meet Foxx's, there was something familiar about this man. Foxx did not remember Ian Surge from his time as a child.

"No weapons," Foxx continued, tossing his rifle aside. He unholstered his knife and dropped it to the ground.

He did not know what he was doing.

This was unreasonable.

They could kill him on the spot if they pleased.

But something told him they wanted him alive.

He peeled the eroded armor from his chest. "No armor," he finished. Beneath his gloves, he had medical tape wrapped around his fists. The bruising and swelling and blisters from digging graves had left his hands raw. He removed the gloves.

The burial at Mt. Moon.

His friends.

His family.

"Foxx, don't…" Chatter pleaded. The rest of his team bore solemn, hopeful expressions.

This was suicide.

"You can kill me," Foxx ignored Chatter, his eyes burned into Ian's. "But there's no honor in that. You may serve Mewtwo, but you still follow a code of honor."

The men were silent, watching him intently. Ian said nothing.

"If you want me," Foxx repeated. "You'll have to take me."

The silence in the room was deafening.

In Foxx's head was the looping memory of discovering his team.

Bloodstained walls.

Motionless bodies.

Spilled blood.

Everything about this was personal, inside his head and out.

Ian removed his jacket.

His body was chiseled from years of hard labor and malnourishment. Across his chest were several scars from battles long since forgotten. On his shoulder he bore an Alpha Unit tattoo that had faded with time.

He said nothing as he balled his hands into fists.

He approached Foxx, and the two circled each other.

A steady, careful ring began to form; Chatter's team on one side of the room and The Hell Hounds on the other. Each gripped their weapons carefully; one false move and a firefight would ignite the room in a vivid display of red and yellow fire power.

Foxx's heart pounded inside his chest as he matched Ian's pace. The man was energetic and strong for his age. His eyes were lifeless yet frozen in place, burning a hole through the boy.

Then.

A swift punch in the gut knocked Foxx off his feet.

He reared his head up to another swift blow to the chin. The force rattled his jaw and knocked a tooth loose. Foxx spat blood and rolled out of the way, scrambling to recollect himself and get the daze out of his vision. Adrenaline flooded his veins and he ran at Ian in a blind fury.

He swung, and Ian grabbed his wrist with all the precise measure of years of training, and slammed Foxx into the wall.

The boy dodged a kick and blocked another swift blow from Ian.

He panted.

The man was indeed very strong.

But Foxx was stronger.

He matched Ian's pace and faked a jab, watching Ian's stomach open up from defense. Foxx swung a fist into his abdomen and heard the man grunt in dismay. Ian keeled over from the blow and Foxx planted another fist into his face, knocking the man off balance.

The MRU Serum accelerated the healing power of his body, throbbing in his veins. Foxx could feel his body recovering from the recent blows. His chest heaved and he quickly wiped the sweat from his brow as he watched Ian regain his composure.

The man lurched back at Foxx, swinging a high kick to the boy's side. Foxx blocked it and swung a fist. Ian ducked underneath it and drilled a punch to Foxx's kidney.

Foxx cried out and doubled over, enough for Ian to strike him twice in the face.

Foxx fell to the ground, catching a glimpse of Chatter readying his rifle.

He held out his hand.

"No," Foxx gurgled, blood filling his mouth. He spat out a tooth. He waved them off. Chatter hesitated, but then signaled at ease.

"Give up," Ian loomed over Foxx. "Give up and it will all end."

Foxx soaked in Ian's words and a grin creased his split lips.

He chuckled.

"It ended a while ago." Foxx hissed, quickly pushing himself to his knees to tackle Ian. His low, forward motion knocked Ian to the ground and he pinned the man's arms with his knees, punching him in the face.

The force of Foxx's fists pounding into Ian's face ricocheted the man's head against the cement floor. Foxx's heart was pounding and his muscles were tensed but also filled with a sort of euphoria that began to engulf him. A wicked grin spread across Foxx's face and before he realized what was happening, he was being pulled off Ian's body.

The Hell Hounds swarmed around Foxx.

Chatter's team moved in, but several were knocked aside with a few precise blows by the Hounds. The rest were scrambling into position, trying to find an opening where they wouldn't accidentally shoot Foxx.

One of the Hounds swung a punch into Foxx's gut. Another drilled a kick into his ribs. Foxx toppled over and scrambled back to his feet. He dodged a punch and swung a fist into the side of a man's jaw. He was knocked off his feet again by another kick.

Firepower erupted, washing the room in red and yellow flames.

Chatter's team broke, scrambling about the room.

Foxx dove for cover and collected his rifle and combat knife. He found refuge behind a crate and dropped against it, feeling his battered and broken body heave in ragged breaths. Everything ached. With gasping breaths he quickly inspected his rifle, loaded it, and slung it around his chest. He peeked around the edge of the box to see The Hounds having taken position behind some convoy equipment. Chatter's team was across the room, but not nearly as fortified.

There was an echoing of cries as Team Rocket was being dispatched, one by one.

It was true what they said about The Hell Hounds.

They rarely missed.

Foxx steadied his rifle and took aim. His fingers felt dumb and useless. Even the effects of the serum couldn't revive his body this quickly. He fired two shots and attracted the Hounds' attention. A bullet split the top of Foxx's ear and the boy fell behind the crate, hissing in pain.

"FUCK!" he spat. This wasn't working.

"TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON, FOXX!" Chatter yelled from across the room. There were only four members still standing, including Foxx. They couldn't hold out much longer.

Foxx looked around him and grabbed a flash bang from a fallen soldier. He tossed it into the open, blinding both sides, and ran to Chatter's position.

"Chatter!" he ordered as he got close enough. "Radio in and tell them to move in now!"

Chatter patted the soldier next to him and grabbed their radio. He spoke into it and tossed it aside.

"How long?" Foxx asked. Chatter shook his head.

"Two minutes," he answered. Foxx grimaced and reloaded his rifle. The spray of bullets had resumed and another from their squad fell.

Foxx readied his rifle, quickly leaned over their defenses and fired.

Once.

Twice.

A bullet whizzed by his head and Foxx ducked back down. Chatter fired a pistol blindly over the cover and said,

"This plan you had? it's gone to shit."

Foxx forced a smirk.

"It hasn't yet."

As if on cue, a blinding white light filled the room. Foxx cried out and tried to shield his eyes, but he was already seeing dots. Soldiers rushed in the room from all sides, rifles blazing.

When the dots disappeared, Foxx stood and charged over the defense, followed by Chatter and their remaining team. They raced toward the center where the Hounds had taken position.

The Hounds were men.

But as they fell they did not yell.

They did not surrender.

They did not cry for mercy.

They stood up.

Rifles raised.

Firing blindly, madly, into the wave of soldiers rushing in.

TR soldiers fell.

Hell Hounds gulped blood.

A bellowing sickness of death.

Empty shells pattered on the floor.

One last spray of blood and it was over.

Foxx and the reinforcements stood over the Hounds' remains. There was a kind of sorrow that ensued. What lay before them was the result of Mewtwo, not of men. These men were following orders against their will, issued to them by the one being that hated them the most. There was no honor in this, but there was no honor in much anything anymore. Foxx moved Ian's head with his foot and rubbed the side of his ribs. His body throbbed.

But it wasn't over.

James removed his helmet and shouldered his rifle.

"So these are the Hell Hounds," he mused quietly, looking over the result of their work. "You know, that was a tactic of the ancient world."

"What's that?"

"Get your enemy into position, and just overwhelm them with numbers."

"I'm sorry you had to lose men," Foxx noted. In their blind rage, the Hounds had dispatched five rushing soldiers. James nodded and bit lower lip.

"It's the price to pay for taking down murderers."

They stood in silence for a minute, letting Jame's words hang in the air.

Foxx turned to face him.

"You didn't have any trouble finding the armor, did you?" he asked. James shook his head.

"No, it was marked just like you said. Are you sure it's strong enough to support the bomb?"

"Let's hope so." Foxx replied.

Foxx slung his arm around James as he helped Foxx to the waiting helicopters outside.

* * * * * *

From the start, Fuchsia City was going to be the end.

Fuchsia stood as a vast sea of gleaming metal, a shrine to Mewtwo's cancerous presence.

It was where he began to his slaughter, and it was where all of this, Foxx hoped, would end.

The pilot looked nervous as he guided the helicopter toward the city. Fearows and Pidgeottos flapped around them, swarming the helicopter but not harming it. What was inside was far too precious.

Foxx shifted his weight in the prototype armor and felt a relief of stress on his bones. Miniature gears inside the armor creaked and groaned with age, but held true to their construction. The armor was indeed very heavy, but with the suit's main function, simulated strength, Foxx was able to move comfortably, quickly, and was stronger than average.

"You're sure?" James asked, eyeing the flock of Fearows suspiciously. "I can't help but feeling that we're making our way right into a trap."

Foxx shook his head.

"No," he replied. "If Mewtwo wanted me dead, the Hell Hounds would have killed me. But they didn't. Mewtwo wants me alive."

"For what reason?"

"I don't know," Foxx replied, scooping up the suit's helmet. "But I'm going to find out."

He latched the helmet into place and immediately the right side of the visor was filled with information.

"ENFORCER ARMOR PROTOTYPE 101a -- THOMPSON"

….WELCOME THOMPSON...

10101010001010001010

01010100101010010010

Connecting to ENFORCER DATABASE…FAILED

Connecting to BACKUP SERVER…FAILED

Connecting to INCOMING PORT 4968…

The holographic visor projected more information before his eyes. The engineers at the Team Rocket compound must have installed a port for their server to stay in constant contact with him. Useless, he mused, should he die. But it was still amusing to see that they were looking out for his best interest.

After the sea of information had passed, there was one last set of text, sent from the compound's port, 4968. It simply read,

"Good Luck."

"This is as far as I go!" The pilot shouted to Foxx. James put a hand on Foxx's shoulder and nodded.

It was time to go.

The helicopter hovered several feet above ground, and Foxx rappelled to the dark Fuchsia streets below. Dust kicked up from the chopper and as settled, Foxx felt more alone than he had ever felt before.

That is until the Poke'mon began to move out from cover.

Hundreds of Poke'mon….thousands…

Beyond comprehension, Foxx felt engulfed. Each individual Poke'mon malnourished, dressed in crude armor, holding blades and spears. They stepped out from abandoned cars. They crawled out from shop windows. They swarmed down from the tops of buildings. The city wasn't just a sea of gray metal, it was a living city of Poke'mon.

This was more than just a shrine to Mewtwo and his new world order.

This was Mewtwo's Mecca.

They surrounded Foxx; the strange, big metallic man with a shielded face. Foxx's hand brushed against his assault rifle nervously, and for a moment, the Poke'mon glared at him with a sort of hatred that is beyond words and meaning.

So there they stood, Foxx in the middle of a sea of Poke'mon, about to be swallowed up whole, when a silent order rang out among the deafening growl of creatures.

"Bring him to me."

A silent order than echoed in Foxx's head. The Poke'mon all looked in one direction, toward Fuchsia City Town Hall, at the end of the street. It was a tall, sleek building that looked as if it had at one point been military stronghold. There were still sandbags and remnants of barbed wire strung around the tall staircase leading up to the large cement building. Poke'mon flocked around it and watched him silently from every nook and cranny.

Two large Machamps holding spears moved through the crowd. Foxx turned to look at them and they grunted, beckoning him to follow.

So Foxx followed.

all down the street, passed abandoned cars and shops and buildings and deserted homes where human families once lived. Past thousands of eyes and the ignorance and the hatred that he could feel each Poke'mon felt for him.

Up the long set of steps into the capitol of Mewtwo.

Through the large double doors and into the belly of the beast itself.

The doors closed behind him and he was shrouded in darkness.

The suit's night vision capabilities switched on and Foxx looked around what used to be a lobby.

All furniture had been pushed out of the way to direct those passing through to the second room, with which were constructed crudely with metal doors. Even inside the building, Foxx could see dozens of Machokes and Machamps lounging inside. They eyed him suspiciously, grasping their swords and arrows.

An Alakazam sat atop the reception desk, levitating a spoon between his hands. He watched Foxx carefully as he passed, and for a moment, they made eye contact.

"Disgusting." was a thought that crossed Foxx's mind as the Alakazam stared at him. This thought was not his own.

As quickly as the thought came to him, it passed, and Foxx found himself pushing the metal doors open to step into a dimly lit room.

In the center was a throne, shrouded in darkness.

He turned off his night vision and removed his helmet.

"And the armies of men shall bring forth their greatest warrior," a voice said softly from the darkness. "And their greatest warrior will bring forth his greatest sacrifice."

Foxx ran a tongue over his dry lips and took another step forward. He was directly under the sole source of light in the room. There was no lamp, there was no hole in the ceiling. He did not know where this light was coming from. His only guess was that it was being manifested from something beyond nature.

"Show yourself," Foxx demanded. "You wanted me, here I am."

There was a pause.

Sweat brimmed Foxx's forehead.

The tension in the room was almost more than he could bear.

Then.

Out from the shadows stepped Ash Ketchum.

Foxx froze.

Speechless.

A flurry of emotions.

"Surprised?" Ash said, a grin creasing his lips. He looked about himself, clad in military issue jumpsuit. On the chest was the tag, "Ketchum". He stepped up to Foxx and looked him up and down.

"Not what you were expecting?" he continued. "I can say the same for myself," he tapped the armor. "Then again, we all have to make sacrifices to protect ourselves."

With a flick of his wrist he cast a second light that shown from nowhere, to highlight a large tank of water. Foxx glanced at Ash, then back to the tank. Stepping toward it, he made out a figure inside the bubbling glass tank.

It was Mewtwo.

"Alas my body was created by science," Ash sighed, stepping toward the tank with Foxx. "Science, created by man, and by man, there were created, as your people called, 'fail-safes'." he circled the tank, running his fingers along the delicate glass. He paused for a moment, seeming to reminisce.

Foxx was stunned, rooted to the spot, unable to speak. He made the connection…but how was it possible? They were…the same person?

Ash pivoted on his heel and gave a light grin, tapping the glass.

"The failsafe," he explained. "Was an accident. My body began to deteriorate after several years. So I brought upon all this," he held out his arms, as if examining some form of classic art. "to resurrect my existence."

He stepped up to Foxx.

"There were other motives, of course, however this," he tapped his own chest. "Was the most important." He strode around the room, "I needed the strongest body, the most trained senses," he paused. "Not necessarily the most intelligent--I supplied that, but the most able body to provide me a way to continue my campaign."

"Your genocide," Foxx rasped. Ash's brow furrowed and his eyes narrowed at Foxx.

"Call it what you will," he said, and with a flick of his wrist, Foxx's body went stiff. It levitated off the ground a few inches and Ash stood there for a moment, watching him. "Call it what you will," he repeated. "I call it progress. This planet…Earth…humans are a cancer to Earth's existence. The only true, pure race are the Poke'mon," he turned his back to Foxx and highlighted another part of the room, that showcased a large painting, depicting a field full of Poke'mon. "Innocent, loving, caring, they live without crime, without pollution, without impurity," he turned back to face Foxx. "Without science."

"It was because of science that I was created…I am an abomination," he turned back to face Foxx. "And it is because I am a desecration of nature that I should be a desecration of humanity. I am a scourge on this planet as much as your people are, but it is my duty to bring about the end of one of us, and it is only logical that those with the might to do so bring about the end of their enemy."

Another wicked smile.

"Which is where you come in," he explained. Foxx couldn't speak, but only listen intently, as beads of sweat cascaded down his forehead. His assault rifle was just out of reach…

"Did you really think that you could just walk out of a prison camp?" he asked, folding his arms. "Or that my Fearow scouts wouldn't pick you off while you roamed the wasteland?"

He strode around Foxx slowly, examining his armor.

"Or that Mt. Moon was a secret to me?"

he chuckled.

"I knew all of this." he tapped Foxx's chest. "I know all your secrets, I know your future and your end," his eyes burned into Foxx's. "I know everything."

Foxx's lip quivered. He could barely move. He wanted nothing more than to hurt Mewtwo…this was not his father…this was the devil in person.

"Protection," Ash continued. "From the moment I ravaged your people's existence, I've been protecting, you, Foxx, I've done you a favor! I saw your future…living in a bunker, getting exposed to the MRU Serum…it was my order to make it 'easy' for you to be released from the prison camp, because I knew Clyde would lead you to Thompson, who would train your body and mind."

He looked down at his hands.

"It's all one large puzzle that is pieced together slowly, and delicately."

"So why?" Foxx stammered out. Ash looked up, somewhat amused at Foxx's ability to speak despite his psychic power.

"Exactly, why you," he thumbed at Foxx. "I put you through a series of tests over the last few days, to finalize my puzzle. Your hallucinations? they're not induced by the serum, they're from me. I had to see if you were strong minded enough to be able to withstand what I'm going to do to you, and you performed magnificently. The MRU Serum--something your people actually did RIGHT--was just an added bonus. This dried out old husk…" he ran a hand through his hair. "Is wearing out. To continue my new campaign I need to place myself into a new body." his eyes narrowed. "Your body."

Foxx grunted and tried to shake himself free.

"In short, with my power, I will place myself into your body and abandon this one," his arms spread out again. "And continue my plans of ridding this planet of your people. And when it's all done," another wicked grin. "Pure poetry."

"Fuck you," Foxx choked. Ash grinned.

"Yes, well, now you know everything," Ash explained. "Even though in a moment it won't matter…I just thought it was best practice to fill you in…as I did your father, before you."

He took a few steps back and braced himself.

"First, I need to strip you of that armor. I need you pure."

Foxx's heart pounded inside his chest.

Ash closed his eyes and balled his hands into fists.

Time stopped.

Ash swung forth his hands and a powerful, invisible wave struck Foxx's chest. Foxx cried out as the armor exploded into pieces before him, and the bomb, integrated into the armor, was pierced.

A wave of static energy emitted from Foxx's chest and washed over Ash.

Ash cried out and stumbled back. Foxx dropped to the ground and the pieces of his armor fell beside him. Foxx lay on his hands and knees for a moment, panting. He felt as if he had just gotten a breath of fresh air after being underwater. But he only had a couple minutes, and they had to count.

Ash was trying to regain his composure, looking as if he was trying to regain balance.

Foxx rushed him, swinging a fist that connected into Ash's jaw.

Ash stumbled to the side, shrieking out, and Foxx swung his foot into Ash's gut.

Rage.

Anger.

Horrible agony.

Foxx grabbed a hold of Ash's collar and buried his fist into Ash's nose.

Again.

And again.

And again.

He threw Ash's broken body against the wall and panted, wiping sweat from his brow.

"The MRU Serum was an added bonus," Foxx seethed. "Guess you didn't think of everything."

"….how…?" Ash rasped, coughing blood.

"Static energy, just how Giovanni cloaked his city." Foxx said, stepping toward Ash. "Enough of it to disable your power temporarily."

he grabbed the scruff of Ash's collar and pulled him up.

"Enough for me to kill you."

Ash tried to resist but Foxx was too strong. Foxx pulled Ash's head into the crook of his arm and held Ash's jaw delicately with his other hand.

Time stopped again. Ash's body was not resisting anymore.

Foxx was too seethed with rage, it was as if he wanted to savor the moment.

Then.

"Do it."

Foxx looked down at Ash's face, blood leaking from his eyes and nose. His teeth were loose and his face was purple with forming bruises.

This was not Mewtwo's voice.

This was someone else's voice.

"DO IT!" Ash howled, his eyes burning into Foxx's. "DO IT!"

Foxx locked his arm and shoved with his other hand.

Ash's neck made a sickening crack and then went limp.

Foxx let go and stumbled back. He stared at Ash's dead body and fell to his haunches and sobbed.

He had not cried in a long time.

He did not know why he was crying, but the release felt good.

The bent up anger, the rage, the sorrow, the agony.

It was over.

It was all over.

When he was done he climbed slowly to his feet and scooped up his rifle. He shouldered it with what was left of his armor and found the weight of it labored him. He was still sore and wounded from his prior fight with The Hell Hounds.

He limped out of the room and pushed open the doors.

The poke'mon had dispersed, milling about, they were staring at him dumbly. They did not attack. They did not speak.

There was no hatred.

Only…

nothingness.

Foxx climbed down the steps of the hall and out into the street.

He made his way slowly to the edge of the city and climbed up a hill the overlooked the edge of the bay. From here he could see Pallet Town.

There was a purple haze on the horizon.

When he looked at it he saw that the sun was just beginning to set. He stood there for a while, looking over the bay. Clouds were rolling in, covering up the stars. It was going to be dark soon. Very dark.

* * * *

and so that's it, it's done.
I can't believe it's over.
I just want to thank everyone who read along the way and enjoyed it.
Lemme know what you think!
 
I also want to point out that this fic is finished,
how do I go about getting it submitted into the fanfiction archives?
 
Please note: The thread is from 1 year ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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