PR - Part One
"Smoking Ruin" Blake
With blind eyes, Iolani stared off into the gray almost absentmindedly. She waited, patiently, sitting with her legs dangling over the lip of an old well. It was early morning, the fog drifting lazily over everything that once made up a large city. A long time ago a fire erupted, started by Rocket Pack. It consumed everything. Many buildings, people and pokemon died that day and with the fire was birthed chaos, and newly christened Rocket Pack. It was the start of a war that ended bitterly. It was here that a Legendary was waiting with a young woman as his messenger. It was here the rebirth would start.
"Lugia?" She spoke the name quietly, almost a whisper.
Yes. They are close.
"Soon?" Her voice lifted in happiness.
Iolani stood on her bare feet and lifted her bandaged arm, then bent it skyward just in time for a Noctowl to alight on it. He was very gentle, one claw supporting himself on her bicep, the other grasping her wrist. His bell jingled as he nuzzled her, then lifted his head to stare into the distance. Slowly a muted red glow oozed from her eyes. "Oh!" She squinted, trying to 'see' further into the fog, making her owl pokemon hoot in amusement. His own red eyes did as she bade and by his enhanced sight she was able to see what looked like someone appearing through the fog.
A humanoid figure appeared first, spikes on his wrists and chest glinting in the weak light. The fighter slowed as he spotted those waiting, the fog swirling around him in a strange manor. He turned his head back in the direction he had come from. The black appendages hanging from his head twitched as two more figures appeared, one carrying the other on its back.
We have arrived, my lady, Lucario said gently. Even the girl sitting on the well would hear him when he spoke because his trainer had asked him to allow everyone to hear.
Triu lifted her head from Mewtwo's shoulder, her eyes practically glowing green. She sighed and looked towards the creature carrying her. "Mewtwo, is this really it?"
Without turning his head, Mewtwo nodded and looked at her from the corner of his eye. Indeed it is, young one. Relax, I will take care of you. He glanced at Lucario, who was watching them carefully. I made that promise already.
Triu nodded and leaned her head against Mewtwo again, trying not to cringe at the pain in her legs.
Though he felt assured that these people were safe, were allies, Blake the boy didn't arrive into the city, the Smoking Ruin did. Dressed in a red body jumpsuit lined with pockets, complete with backpack and a thick, bulging utility belt loaded with various weapons and gadgets, Smoking Ruin would have looked like a fashion forward handyman if not for the menacing mask he wore.
The mask covered his whole head. It was molded to the whole of his skull, and, in fact made his face look like a skull. The eyes were sculpted to look angry, and each were covered by green glass. The glass held the masks optical heads up display. It had night vision and meters in the bottom of the sight powered by a chip that counted the ammo in his wrist flamethrowers, the timers on his thermal detonators, and the temperature around him. The suit was only so much fireproof. These were all new improvements to his old gear. The Smoking Ruin had been announced killed in the Jubilife city explosion last week, his charred mask found in the scorched parking lot. Rocket Pack would be in for a pleasant surprise soon enough.
The large shape of Ho-Oh, with S.R. riding on his back loomed over the hill behind Iolani. S.R. reigned the beast up overhead, but did not land. He watched the other three intently. His mask had auditory enhancers, as well as a voice modulator to mask his voice as well as his face. The Ruin was perturbed to find the voices he heard were in his head and not his headphones. He noticed the pokemon were talking too, and felt a twinge of jealousy. He felt Ho-Oh's will and emotions, but never heard them.
The Noctowl on the girl's arm twisted his head to glance casually at Ho-Oh and though he couldn't see it Iolani's smile widened. "At last, we all could meet!" Her dimples were very pronounced, even as she spoke. She lifted her other hand and waved, albeit backwards for him to approach. There was a loud screech above them, so high pitched that it faded beyond their ability to hear it. Lugia, almost blending in with the fog flew like a bullet, circling around Ho-Oh to land near Iolani.
We came as promised, a voice said inside everyone's mind. Triu and Mewtwo's mental voices had merged into one, becoming a dual toned psychic sound. The human body is injured, so please speak quickly so she may be tended. It would be rather unnerving to anyone unaccustomed to hearing someone speak in their minds, but with Triu still very sore from her all out run and the traveling they had been doing, speaking this way was so much easier.
The arsonist didn't like this situation at all. He hoped Ho-Oh respected his wishes and kept the others from looking into his brain while they spoke inside it. He didn't need anyone who was about to fight Team Rocket or even talk to team rocket know anything at all about him. The only reason he was here is because he owed Ho-Oh his life, and he wanted to keep Ho-Oh's power.
Without him telling it to, Ho-Oh landed next to Lugia and squawked noisily at the even bigger bird. He felt that Ho-Oh didn't just consider Lugia an ally, but also a rival. The bird splayed out it's gorgeous orange, red, green, and blue plumage, showing off at Lugia.
Lugia lifted his head and tilted it away, ignoring the giant avian's display. Iolani snickered. "Don't let us uniting stop you from tending to her." She would have offered help, but the young woman had no possessions on her, nor pokeballs. "Why don't you come down from there?" She spoke a moment later, the Noctowl twisting his head again so that she could see the trainer sitting on Ho-Oh's back.
Mewtwo set Triu down very carefully, using his own telekinesis to keep from jolting her too much. Lucario knelt down next to her and started rubbing carefully at the girl's calves. It is easier if we speak like this, the dual voice said. We will not intrude past speaking. Though I am certain there is a plan as to what we should do next.
Triu looked up at Ho-Oh and his rider, blinking a few times. With her own powers augmented by Mewtwo, she could see the emotions like physical auras. She was about to ask the boy why he was still on the bird when Lucario hit a particularly tender spot on her legs. "Cursed hunters," she growled through clenched teeth.
Ruin climbed down off Ho-Oh and walked around to face Mewtwo and Triu and Iolani. He recognized Lugia from legend but Mewtwo was new to him. When he looked at Mewtwo he immediately felt the creature look into his mind and he instinctively put his hand back on Ho-Oh, effectively closing the door on his mind.
He was probably odd to look at, with the emotionless gritted teeth of the mask over his mouth and the creepy intensity of it's glass eyes made him enigmatic and unrelatable. He wanted it to stay that way. Ruin didn't speak and waited for the two girls to introduce themselves.
"Um... well I'm Iolani." She started off nervously, her blind eyes not moving, but the Noctowl on her arm was constantly glancing around. "This is Tune. I come from a tiny village to the North... and I have never been away from there. Lugia found me wandering in the woods... I don't know what happened to my village, or my family." Her cheerful nature had dimmed, and her face lost the smile. "He told me what had happened, what we need to do..." the girl trailed off, frowning.
Ruin nodded. He moved his head frequently when he spoke, as if he knew his mask didn't convey much body language.
"I am the Smoking Ruin," his voice was altered; deep, gravelly, somewhat robotic, "Thats an unwieldly title, I know. 'Ruin' will suit fine. I'm here to destroy the Rocket Pack. Why? That goes without saying." he tilted his head sideways very far at Iolani, conveying extreme incredulity. "I guess even blind, one can train pokemon." He turned on his heel and leaned in at Triu. "And you, tell your floating purple friend to keep his telepathy to himself." Ruin said harshly.
We are Triu and Mewtwo. Almost as one, both sets of glowing eyes, one blue and one green, turned to Ruin as he spoke. We do not intrude upon your mind. We can only see what is sent to us. We have already informed you. Do not insult us again by implying that which is not true. This was said for his benefit only, as Ruin was the only one who could hear it. Triu's eyes glanced away at the mention of Rocket Pack. Lucario looked up at his mistress with worry for her sudden sadness. Rocket Pack took my parents, came a sweet, feminine voice. With Mewtwo's voice faded, Triu's could be clearly heard. And they nearly killed me just to get to my friends. I am their sworn enemy.
Iolani felt bad that they both had personal vendettas against Rocket Pack, while she, had none. Tune, her Noctowl twisted his head and rustled his feathers. Soundlessly Iolani lowered her arm so that he could sit more comfortably on the well's brick ring next to her while they both watched the two confront each other. "If I may ask, what are your pokemon types? I specialize in flying, but most of my companions are secondary in other types. If we are truly going to confront Rocket Pack, we need to make sure we can unify our attacks." She tried to sound calm, but the Noctowl's eyes kept twitching between the other humans. In her village, there was only one other trainer that actually dueled and she wanted to sound like she knew what she was talking about.
Ruin didn't answer. He certainly wasn't a conversationalist. He was always alone, he didn't want to associate with two crippled females. He looked at Trui and waited for her to say something. Ho-Oh grumbled at him, and Ruin sighed and said "Fire," and left it at that.
Triu took Lucario's hands and let him pull her to her feet. Her legs were stiff and awkward, as if she had been on them much too long. She gave Ruin a searching look, but left his mind alone and instead turned to Iolani. I specialize in psychic, she said, not seeming annoyed in the slightest that she had to answer a question that should have been obvious. Mewtwo moved over to help Triu stand, his demeanor almost patient with her despite his giving surly looks to the others.
"Other then Lugia, my Gyarados can cover water, and my Emolga will cover electric." She was trying to get them to talk, so far it was unsuccessful. Finally... after a little bit of a silence, Iolani tried again. "Lugia told me about a secret lab that Rocket Pack has developed, he tells me there are pokemon in pain there. It is my fear they are... doing things to them. I think we should find out. We can test ourselves there as hopefully there won't be that many guards. But-" At this she giggled, "It is a secret for a reason, so we should expect anything."
"Where is it? I can take care of it myself." Ruin tighted his fists in his gloves. His voice was even more agressive than normal. Ho-Oh nudged him and he whipped around. "What? I don't need these two, Ho-Oh! Why are we even here?"
Lugia hissed and lowered his head defensively around Iolani.
You are here because there is a great evil at work. Rocket Pack is stirring. They are becoming mighty enough to take down the other nations. Don't you see boy, they are building an army. They are mutating pokemon, destroying their souls. You cannot take on this great beast alone. Iolani sighed. "Nor should anyone expect you to. It's just, the other nations have no idea Rocket Pack is coming for them. There is no standing defense, the last free lands will be taken and turned to ash. This." Her arms spread around at the vast graveyard around them. "We have all been chosen for a reason, whether you think us worthy or not." This Iolani said with venom behind her words.
Triu heard more than just the words spoken. Without even tapping into her abilities, she saw the emotion coming from both trainers. Leaning heavily on Mewtwo, she looked up at the sky momentarily. "It may be useful to have us around." She looked directly at Ruin. I can speak to all Pokemon as I speak to you and can understand them. Plus I can tell you where people are. I have as much hatred for them as you. Lucario looked up at her. His mental voice rang clear with everyone. Maybe this is where they brought your parents, he said. Triu frowned. Her parents were expert breeders and if Rocket Pack ever tapped into that knowledge, it would be awful.
"Fine. So, I know Ho-Oh is more than useful as are the rest of my fire pokemon. What are your pokemon good at?" he looked at the noctowl. "The bird could spy, but I don't know what Long-Neck-Flappy-Hands or the word mincing purple cat man can do." Ruin crossed his arms and tilted his head again.
Triu actually looked a bit upset as Ruin talked. He sounded to her like someone who didn't care for Pokemon unless they were super powerful. What are you? Some sort of....killing machine? Her words were angry, and Mewtwo responded to that anger. He held up one hand, his eyes glowing blue, and shot a wave of telekinetic power straight at Ruin.
Although he had made a snark comment about Lugia, Iolani was not affected by it and stood quickly in between the two trainers. The energy passed harmlessly through her. "Stop! We will not fight amongst ourselves!" Now blind, the soft red glow faded from her eyes and she moved desperately to wave her arms to halt the nonsense. "We were given a choice. We all were. By siding with the legendary pokemon that chose you, you accepted your fate." Tune hooted angrily and flew to her arm. With his sight, she twisted and turned to the 'smoking ruin' with anger in her movements. "You need to respect the pokemon and humble yourself. Your legendary chose you for a reason, your attitude I am sure was not part of it."
With her Noctowl's wings spread for balance while she turned to Triu, "I know you are hurt, and tired, but I need to ask you to speak aloud. I think your mental voice is scaring him." She snorted in annoyance to his attitude.
Perhaps Mewtwo, Lugia stated quietly, You should hold yourself back and not damage the boy. He doesn't know who he's addressing.
Ruin tilted his head in, adding emphasis to his words. "Call me 'boy' and scoff all you want. My actions speak for themselves, if the lot of you even know the work I've done for 'our common cause.'" he unfolded his arms. "I act, this is more than enough words for me. I'll say again, Where is this secret lab?" he stepped back over to Ho-Oh and reseated himself between the bird's wings. "Ill take care of it now, and if you come, stay out of my way. Fire doesnt care who it burns."
Ho-Oh crowed at Lugia. The rainbow Phoenix was less abrasive than the Smoking Ruin, but just as eager to fight.
Mewtwo narrowed his gaze at Ruin. You are but a petulant child in this fight. You have no understanding of the true horror you fight. He then turned to Lugia. Do not stop me again, I will have no qualms about harming your human should she step in my way again. Triu squeezed Mewtwo's arm. "I will say that you are acting quite like this is all destroying. We are also trying to save." Triu watched Ruin, her face sad but determined. "I have spent the last few years searching for my parents and freeing any Pokemon I find. Without loss of any life." She knew that Ruin could not claim the same thing. His entire being was surrounded by destruction.
Lugia scoffed at Mewtwo comment. Iolani sighed and shrugged, "I will not tell you where it is. We are all going there... Triu are you alright enough to move? I have a potion you could take however, it is made for pokemon, not humans." Her eyes widened, "Or how about a berry?" She rummaged around in a small pocket on her hip, which was pretty impressive since she or Tune were not looking and pulled out an oran berry, "This should help a little." It was blue with many small bumps all over it.
Ruin laughed a little. "Or you could take this." he took off his back pack and removed a pill bottle. "Good old-fashioned painkillers. You should only take one if you want your wits, but it certainly will make you forget the pain." he rattled the bottle and tilted his head. "If you two are going to bring Lugia and Mewtwo, then you should be in shape to use them. We won't just be standing and barking orders. You two are going to get shot at. With bullets."
"I do not actually step into these situations," Triu said, stalling what she knew was about to come from Mewtwo. "I am more useful outside the fight, relaying what I can to you." Lucario glanced at Ruin, then back at Triu. Her eyebrows knitted together for a moment and she smiled and nodded. "Lucario has an idea. If you traveled with one of my psychics, I could keep a better eye on the situation." Mewtwo sent a message straight to Lugia. I take it you are of the same thought as myself of keeping your human out of harm's way?
Of course. Lugia responded, She will be on my back, protected by my shields. Iolani tilted her head at the bullets comment. "My Gyarados has scales harder then steel, he should be able to withstand gunfire for a short period of time and make a capable distraction. My Emolga can slip in undetected and scout ahead for us." Walking back towards Lugia, she withdrew Tune into his pokeball and climbed with some help onto the larger avian legendary.
"Thats more like it then. Still, I suppose your self-important big shot pokemon will insist on listening to you and not the man who knows what he's doing." Ruin returned to Ho-Oh. "I suppose all you need to know is this." he pointed his wrist into the air and squeezed his fist. A smoke trail shot up in the sky and exploded into sparks even visible in the daylight. "Thats a flare. When you see it you have five minutes to get away from the building. Five and one and the whole thing goes up..." Ho-Oh spread his wings and started flapping, "...In smoking ruin." he flew off, knowing Ho-Oh already knew where to go. Iolani's legendary wasn't the only telepathic, And Ho-Oh was not about to bow to Lugia's will either.
Mewtwo sensed Triu's need to follow and make sure Ruin didn't kill too many people. The psychic swung her onto his back again and started levitating, Lucario brought close as well. Triu looked towards Iolani. I hate this violence, she said into the other girl's mind as Mewtwo headed after Ho-Oh, not caring if they were heading in the right direction. Triu's mind was focused on keeping as many alive as possible.
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