Barely a year after completing his own Poke'mon journey, Dr. Mack Foxx, a scientist and inventor from another world, retires back to his hidden laboratory. After a freak earthquake rocks the local mountain range, Mack sets off to find the cause, unaware of what lays ahead of him: a criminal organization and a hidden village, filled with secrets.
A Poke'mon fan-fiction written by Philip "Dr. Mack Foxx" Byard with some help from Aaron "Aaraboga Jones" Byard
This is a work of fan-fiction and may not be modified or sold under any circumstances.
Original Story, Characters and all other Original Content are Copyright 1987, 1995, 1999 and 2006 Philip "Dr. Mack Foxx" Byard and Aaron "Aaraboga Jones" Byard
Poke'mon and all related content and characters are Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2006 to Nintendo, Game Freak, Creatures and The Poke'mon Company
+The Village Guardian+
Today started out like any normal day for Dr. Mack Foxx. Mack was sitting comfortably in a chair in front of one of his super-computers. He was drinking a cup of coffee and reflecting on what had happened during his journey over the last several years. This journey started in his home town with the completion of a new device for his star fighter, named, the Firefox. This device allowed Mack to travel between dimensions and even through time. All seemed well the day he left his lab back home. Mack had no idea that someone had sabotaged the Firefox. Thus began a long, strange journey through one dimension after another, until he finally wound up here: in the world of Poke'mon. Just barely a year ago, Mack's journey with his friends Ash, Misty, Brock and others had finally come to an end. After releasing all his Poke'mon back into the wild, Mack retired back to his hidden laboratory to complete his latest projects as well as make repairs to the Firefox. As Mack's robotic companion, K-1, pointed out, the intricate systems on the Firefox had been severely damaged hundreds of times so far from frequent crash-landings into dimensions. K-1 had been discovered in a forest a few miles north of Mack's home. Mack managed to repair K-1, who looked like a large, metal cat's head on a steel box with legs. K-1 also had some doors in his chest which he could open and then extent arms from. Due to the damage, K-1 estimated that it would be roughly 5 more years until the Firefox would be fit to send them home. Mack was getting so bored; he was just about ready to start another Poke'mon journey. He looked to the left and stared at his glass trophy case. Inside the case, all the badges and trophies he had won were on display. His super-computer crackled to life.
"Good morning, doctor," said the computer with a feminine voice.
"Ah. Good morning to you as well, Central," replied Mack as he drank the last of his coffee. Central was an artificial intelligence program that Mack had developed while he was in his home world. Mack had made sure that Central was uploaded to the Firefox before he departed and now Central resided quite comfortably within a much more powerful computer.
"I still can't get a trace on that recent seismic disturbance," said Central. Just minutes ago, a powerful earthquake had rocked an area that had never experienced quakes since record keeping began. Not only that, but the quake only effected a few square miles. The magnitude of this quake should have destroyed the terrain for several hundred miles from the epicenter. Instead, there was almost no physical evidence that a quake had even occurred. Central had been shaken up and had to spend most of her power on restoring corrupted data, hindering the effort of locating the quake's epicenter. The quake was strange, but was of little concern to Mack, compared to his latest invention. Mack stood up and walked to another display case. This case contained a new cannon he had developed for his S-100 Type I battle armor: the Capture Claw. The capture claw was designed for one purpose: to instantly capture wild Poke'mon. After all, Mack was about to start another Poke'mon journey and had no Poke'mon of his own left. Mack was not about to use heavy weapons to get his first new Poke'mon. The capture claw would make acquiring a Poke'mon painless and almost effortless. Of course, the S-100 was a work of art in itself. This suit of electronic armor had been in development for thousands of years. Mack has constantly been improving the design since his journey began, adding more devices, more powerful weapons and also improving the power and shield generators. Thicker, stronger armor didn't hurt much either. Fortunately, Mack had never had to break out this awesome weapon of war in the world of Poke'mon. His Poke'mon were always ready to defend their trainer and his friends, but now Mack had no Poke'mon. With rumors of Cipher being in the area, Mack was not going to take any chances. Cipher reminded Mack of Team Rocket, an organization that was formed to conquer the world using Poke'mon. Team Rocket, of course, was no more. However, Mack had heard that Cipher was proving to be more ruthless and dangerous than Team Rocket, Aqua and Magma combined. Still, this was all based on rumors. Few people even believed that Cipher even existed. Mack pondered this thought until the lights in the lab went dim.
?" muttered Mack.
"There appears to be a problem with the power conduit at the ground surface," said Central as Mack grabbed the capture claw and ran for an elevator. Mack grumbled about his bad luck. The last time this happened, whatever had caused the power fluctuation was long gone by the time Mack had gotten to the surface, only to find the panels on the conduit torn apart. As the elevator ascended, Mack pressed some switches on his watch and instantly, his armor appeared and unfolded all over his body. He clipped the capture claw into a slot on the back of the armor's right shoulder. Mack wondered what kind of Poke'mon was causing the trouble and the possibilities were enough to make Mack chuckle with glee. When the elevator door opened, Mack was somewhat disappointed. Just as the door opened, he saw several Pikachu run from the conduit. There were still at least a dozen of them holding live wires that had been torn form the conduit. Why, the little rodents were leaching off power from the lab!
" thought Mack as he started waving his arms around.
"Go on! Get lost!" shouted Mack as he tried to scare off the timid Pikachu. Most of them ran off, but one of them stubbornly held onto a live wire and continued to leech off the high voltage.
"Hey! I said to get lost!" thundered Mack as he stomped towards the pikachu. The Pikachu let go of the wire and casually turned towards the strange metal beast.
"Pika," said the Pikachu rather smugly as its checks lit up with electricity. Before Mack could realize what was happening, the electric rodent fired off a bolt of lighting right at him. Mack dodged out of the way just in time. The S-100 helped make Mack more agile, but he still almost took a direct hit. Mack stared at the Pikachu. The Pikachu glared back. This was a first for this veteran trainer. Mack had always heard that Pikachus were timid and shy, but this one certainly had a bad attitude. The onboard computers also confirmed that this particular Pikachu was unusually strong. The Pikachu continued to glare at Mack.
"It's toying with me," thought Mack, "The little bugger is sitting there, waiting for me to make the next move." Mack slowly tilted the capture claw down into position while the onboard computers acquired a targeting lock. The Pikachu suddenly charged Mack, blazing with an aura of electricity.
"Bad move, buddy!" laughed Mack as he fired the capture claw. The cannon came to life with a loud "BANG!" and the Pikachu was enveloped in a beam of red light. The light turned the Pikachu into a ball of energy and then quickly dragged it down into the barrel. There was a loud "HISS!" as steam vented from the cannon. A few seconds later, a Poke' ball was dispensed from the cannon. Mack clutched the Poke' ball in his gauntlets, staring at it in disbelief. The capture claw had worked better than Mack had ever expected. He figured it would take several repeated tries to capture a Poke'mon and he would probably have to weaken it first.
"Well, looks like you're staying with me, little fella," said Mack with a grin as he boarded the elevator and headed back for the lab. He would have K-1 repair the conduit later. Mack removed his faceplate as the door opened. The lab was one of the few places he could do this. Mack was certainly not human, but more of a human/fox hybrid. Now this life form was common in Mack's world, but not in this one. Whenever he went out in public, he wore a mask, black leather gloves and a trench coat to help hide his tail. Not only did he stick out like a sore thumb in his disguise, but he had to explain often that a horrible accident had destroyed his face and that no doctor could fix it. So far, no one caught on.
Cecil Drake: a name known far and wide throughout Cipher, for he was one of the top administrators. So far, his plan was working. The moderate quake had shaken up the local village. Soon, it would come. Cecil had been waiting for this moment for over a year. Soon, he would have what he needed for what he thought would be the ultimate shadow Poke'mon. Cecil turned towards his assistant, Dr. Newman. Dr. Newman was an enigma within Cipher. No one really knew where he came from and why he always had a team of Alakazams following him everywhere.
"Do remind me what we are doing here?" asked Dr. Newman as he fiddled with his computer.
"You've forgotten, eh?" replied Cecil as he coldly stared at Dr. Newman, "We are here for one reason: to capture an unusually strong Poke'mon. With it, we will have the makings for quite possibly the most powerful shadow Poke'mon ever."
"What about the rumors of this XD001?" asked Dr. Newman.
"Bah! They're thinking too small. Besides, that project has been in development for months now with no results! They have yet to even find the right Poke'mon for their project. However, I've been watching this Poke'mon for months and know exactly what to do. No other admin in Cipher has a clue what I'm about to bring in," said Cecil triumphantly. Something on one of the video monitors in the room caught Dr. Newman's eye.
"What have we here?" said Dr. Newman as he walked over to the monitor for a closer look.
"Excellent. The cameras have spotted it," declared Cecil, "Do we still have that prototype?"
"The Master Ball? It's still in storage under lock and key," reporter Dr. Newman.
"Good. Have it brought up to me at once. I'm going to set out at once and intercept it," said Cecil as he started to leave the room. Dr. Newman did not quite understand what was happening. Why would Cecil want this Poke'mon so badly? More importantly, Dr. Newman had never seen this particular Poke'mon before.
"Excuse me, sir," asked Dr. Newman quietly.
"What is it?" replied Cecil.
"Pardon me for asking, but what Poke'mon is this?" asked Dr. Newman as he pointed at the monitor.
"Ah. That, my friend, is a Gardevoir. According to our research, this particular Gardevoir is the most powerful on record. For some reason, I have seen this one in the nearby village quite often," explained Cecil, "It always seems to react whenever the village is in danger. That moderate quake was just what we needed. It will track down the source of the quake and will ultimately stumble into my trap! One of the most powerful psychic Poke'mon in existence and soon, it will be mine."
Mack had been looking everywhere for K-1 for the last hour. Where had he run off too? Mack figured it was as good a time as any to meet his new partner. With a flick of his wrist he let the Poke' ball fly. With a bright flash it hit the floor, releasing the Pikachu into the lab.
"Pika? Pika-chu?" it said.
it seems curious
" thought Mack as the Pikachu wandered about, "Reminds me of my old Pikachu
" K-1 came into the room.
"Good afternoon, Mack. I just finished fixing the GAH!!" shouted K-1 as he noticed the Pikachu. The little rodent made a beeline right to a power socket and was happily siphoning the power. "What is the meaning of this?!" demanded K-1.
"Calm down, K-1. I want to you to meet my new partner," said Mack, pointing to the happy rodent.
"Ah, another one. What will you name him?" asked K-1. Mack pondered for awhile.
"He seems a lot like my first Pikachu. I think I'll call him, William!" declared Mack.
"Pika-chu!" said William with delight.
"I see he likes his name," said K-1 as Central clicked to life.
"Here is the report, doctor," said Central.
"Okay. Lay it on me," said Mack as he sat back down at the console.
"All data restoration is complete
"Good," said Mack.
"I have also tracked the epicenter of the quake. It seems to be coming from Mt. Terror," explained Central.
"Mt. Terror? What kind of a name is that?" asked K-1.
"Apparently, the first group that climbed the peak had a horrible time. They all made it to the summit and back, but there were plenty of times when it seemed that one of them would fall to their death," explained Mack as he checked some maps of the region, "However, something doesn't ring true. None of these mountains within 200 miles have ever experienced earthquakes. This region is certainly not known for volcanoes.
"I suspect you're going to check it out?" asked K-1 with curiosity.
"Of course," answered Mack.
"I'll mark the exact spot on your armor's map," said Central as she looked at William with one of the cameras in the room, "I see the capture claw did not need any adjustments after all."
"Indeed," said Mack as he slipped the faceplate back into place. He ran for the elevator and started on his way back to the surface.
Cecil had been waiting for this moment. The Gardevoir was racing straight to the source of the quake and Cecil was right in the path, camouflaged behind some bushes. Cecil looked through some binoculars and soon caught sight of his prize. Cecil readied himself and got the Master Ball into his hands.
"This is it
" he muttered as Gardevoir unknowingly ran right to him. Cecil threw the Master Ball and it hit its mark, capturing Gardevoir.
"Success!" he laughed. Then, something odd happened: the Master Ball started jumping and shaking around violently.
"I thought the Master Ball never failed
" thought Cecil as the ball started to spark, "Heh. Fight all you want! You're mine!" The Master Ball suddenly stopped moving. Cecil ran over and grabbed his prize. He held the ball, perplexed. Never had anyone recorded a capture with a Master Ball like this one. The Master Ball had looked ready to explode. The capture was supposed to be smooth and without a fuss. Undaunted, he started back to the mountain base, chuckling about the possibilities.
Mack had been in hot pursuit, heading towards the source of the quake as fast as possible when something hit him. He stopped at once. For some reason, he sensed fear and sadness for a few seconds, and then the feeling vanished as quickly as it had come. Mack had all kinds of tricks in his arsenal. Aside from the S-100, Mack possessed strong psychic powers as well as an unusual power over light. He rarely used these abilities as they would weaken him quickly. More than once, he had nearly died in combat. Not from injuries, but from the overuse of his power, sapping almost all of his strength.
" muttered Mack as he pressed some switches on his left gauntlet. Mack decided to check the area using his spectrum analysis visor. Using this visor he could see in the ultra-violet, infra-red and x-ray spectrums. Almost nothing could hide from him. Mack saw nothing on ultra-violet and normal heat from the infra-red mode. He soon picked out what looked like the entrance to a cave, roughly 20 miles from his position.
"May as well check there," thought Mack as he ran towards the cave. He continued his jog until something else caught his eye. "Hmmm?" Mack clearly saw what looked like a small town, nestled in the valley, roughly 5 miles away.
" thought Mack as he checked his maps, "This village doesn't show up on any of my maps. Why, the nearest town is over 180 miles away." Mack saw that the village was right in his path and he also sensed something about it.
"Looks like I'd better start my search there, at the village. Maybe I can get some answers," thought Mack as he ran off.
Dr. Newman had never seen anything like this before. Suspended in a glass tube was Gardevoir, surely one of the most beautiful species of Poke'mon he had ever seen. Dr. Newman eyed Gardevoir, wondering if Cecil was right. Cecil entered the room.
"Ah. I see the specimen is ready," said Cecil.
"Yes it is, sir. Gardevoir is asleep and my new psychic jammers will ensure that even if it does wake up, its psychic powers will be useless," explained Dr. Newman.
"Are you certain those new machines of yours will work?" asked Cecil.
"Of course!" laughed Dr. Newman, "Besides, I can't take all the credit. They helped me, of course." Dr. Newman pointed to his row of six Alakazams.
"Very well then. Let us begin," said Cecil as Dr. Newman powered up the machinery in the room. Dr. Newman frantically got all the machines ready, ready to create the strongest shadow Poke'mon in existence.
"We'll be ready to start the infusion within half an hour," said Dr. Newman.
Twenty minutes and one thermos of coffee later, Mack had arrived at the outskirts of the small town. Mack was hesitant to enter the village for he knew his battle armor would draw too much attention, but something compelled him to enter the town. As he started down one of the streets, a sign caught his eye.
"Gardev? Is that the name of this place? Hard to believe that my lab has been just miles away from this place, but I've never set foot here, let alone even see this village," thought Mack as he walked down the street. The town seemed eerily deserted. As Mack entered what he suspected was the center of the village, a large granite statue caught his eyes.
"What is this?" thought Mack as he closely examined the monument, "Why, it's a statue of a Gardevoir!"
"Freeze!" said a voice behind Mack. Mack slowly turned around and was face to face with the business end of a shotgun.
"What business do you have here?" asked the man angrily, "You're with them, aren't you?" Mack knew the shot-gun was useless against the S-100, but the last thing he wanted to do now was make a scene or start a fight.
"Jake! Relax. He's not with those bandits," said an old man as he walked up to Mack.
"If you insist, sir," said Jake as he lowered his weapon.
"Thank you," said Mack, "Am I correct that you're the village elder?"
"In a way, yes. I'm also the mayor of this small town. My name is Warren," explained Warren, "My family has been running this place for generations. Sure, we hold elections, but my family always wins, fair and square."
"I see," said Mack.
"Come with me to city hall," said Warren. With that, Mack followed the mayor. They sat down in a small office at the back of the building. Warren offered Mack some coffee, but Mack politely refused. There was no way he was going to remove his faceplate.
"What brings you to my town?" asked Warren calmly.
"To tell you the truth, I found this place while searching for
something," answered Mack, "I had no idea this place even existed."
"Most people aren't aware of this town," explained Warren, "The residents live here because of how isolated this place is. It's 180 miles to the nearest town and anyone who comes by way of car or truck has to navigate over 100 miles of treacherous roads. Of course
that didn't stop those fiends from stealing records from city hall."
"What do you mean?" asked Mack.
"A bunch of wackos came thundering through the village minutes after that freak earthquake occurred. They were wearing these strange white uniforms. They threatened us that if we didn't give them what they wanted, they would steal our Poke'mon. We were outnumbered and were not about to let those devils make off with our friends," explained Warren.
"Have you notified the police?" asked Mack.
"No point. In order to make telephone calls that go outside Gardev, the signal has to travel over 200 miles of radio towers. The towers were installed instead of telephone cables since it would be easier to maintain a few towers rather than several thousand telephone poles and miles of cable," said Jake.
"Ah, ha," replied Mack.
"However, there have been a lot of thunderstorms lately in these parts. You go thirty miles in any direction and you'll run into powerful thunderstorms. These storms come here once a year and last for weeks. The lightning is causing too much interference; therefore, we can't just call the police," said Jake with a scowl.
"Even if we did reach them, it would be hours before even a single policeman would arrive by car. I doubt they would send helicopters. Any wise pilot knows to avoid these mountains like a plague whenever the thunderstorms arrive. As for the bandits, they ran in the direction of Mt. Terror. Perhaps you could help us?" asked Warren. Mack stood up.
"Perhaps, but I must mention that I'm not some honor-seeking warrior or hero. I'm usually a mercenary, a bounty hunter. If you want my services, I will have to be compensated," declared Mack.
"Of all the nerve!" shouted Jake as he stood up.
"Quiet, Jake," said Warren as Jake sat back down and continued to glare at Mack. Mack stood still and heard Jake whispering to Warren.
"We don't have the money to hire this warrior! Besides, he's an outsider! We can't trust him!" whispered Jake angrily into Warren's left ear. Mack didn't think he was being unreasonable. After all, Mack's previous Poke'mon journey had nearly used up all his money. Not to mention the expenses of getting the materials and machinery needed to repair the Firefox. Mack was listening to Warren and Jake, argue quietly, until something hit him. Mack suddenly sensed pain and fear like nothing he had experienced in centuries. Whatever was going on, it was coming from near Mt. Terror. This didn't bode well. Mack knew he had no time to fight for payment.
"We need his help!" whispered Warren angrily at Jake.
"No way! We can't trust this outsider!" said Jake. Warren noticed that something was bothering the iron-clad mercenary.
"Is something troubling you?" asked Warren. Jake fell silent.
"I'll do it," said Mack.
"You'll what?!" shouted Jake with astonishment.
"I'm heading towards where those bandits came from anyway. I'll be more than happy to deal with them and recover those lost records," said Mack.
"Oh!" snapped Jake, "And how much will we have to pay you?"
"At this point, nothing," said Mack. Warren whispered something to Jake.
"You must be joking. Should we really tell him that?" whispered Jake. Warren nodded.
"What is your name?" asked Warren.
"My name is Dr. Foxx," said Mack.
"Well then, Dr. Foxx, there is something I need to tell you," said Warren as Jake eyed him cautiously, "There is a Gardevoir that has gone missing. I last saw it heading towards Mt. Terror just moments after the quake struck."
"That doesn't make much sense," thought Mack, "If the quake really did strike here, what stopped this village from getting torn apart?"
"At any rate, I don't want to imagine what would happen if it was captured by those fiends. If you find it, try and bring it back here unharmed," said Warren.
"Understood," said Mack as he got up and headed for the door, "I'll be back with Gardevoir and those records." Mack shut the door, leaving Jake and Warren alone.
"I've never heard of this character before. Why do you trust him?" asked a shocked Jake.
"There's more to that warrior than meets the eye," said Warren as he adjusted his glasses, "Besides, I believe his intensions are honorable."
Just minutes ago, Dr. Newman and Cecil were ready to infuse the Gardevoir with pure darkness, making it an unfeeling fighting machine.
"All systems are at 100%," reported Dr. Newman, "Conditions could hardly be more ideal."
"Excellent," said Cecil as he stared at Gardevoir.
"We are ready to begin at your command," said Dr. Newman.
"We?" asked a bewildered Cecil as he turned around. Dr. Newman pointed at his group of Alakazams.
"I see," said Cecil as he turned his gaze and focus back on Gardevoir, "Begin." With that, Dr. Newman pulled a lever and slowly, a black aura surrounded Gardevoir.
"How long will this take?" asked Cecil impatiently.
"Only a matter of minutes," said Dr. Newman as one of the warning lights on the control panel in front of him lit up, "What's this? The dark energy has no effect on Gardevoir."
"Then turn up the power level," said Cecil.
"Yes, sir," said Dr. Newman as he pulled the level further, "Increasing power to 25%." The black aura around Gardevoir got thicker and blacker. "Power at 25% and holding, but there is still no effect."
"Then what are you waiting for? Increase the power level to 75%!" ordered Cecil.
"75%? We've never had to go that high on the scale. It could be dangerous," warned Dr. Newman.
"You have your orders. Do it," commanded Cecil.
"Yes, sir," said Dr. Newman as he quickly pulled the level several notches. The dark aura around Gardevoir was filling the glass tube. Gardevoir seemed to be writhing in pain. "All this and still it refuses to give in, even in its sleep. No Poke'mon has ever resisted the shadow chamber at this power level. Fascinating."
"Grrr!" growled Cecil, "Let me guess: No effect. Crank up the power to 85%! NOW!"
"That's too dangerous! That could kill her!" protested Dr. Newman.
"Do it or you'll be dealt with quite harshly," growled Cecil. Dr. Newman was almost convinced that this experiment should cease at once. He quickly glanced at one of his Alakazams. It nodded its head in agreement. Eric flipped open a glass panel on the control console and pressed the kill-switch, instantly shutting down the machinery.
"What are you doing?!" thundered Cecil as he turned around to face the scientist. Dr. Newman sternly glared at Cecil.
"I cannot continue this. If I had turned the power up further or left the machinery on much longer, the dark power would have killed her!" shouted Dr. Newman, "Isn't it obvious?! We cannot turn this Gardevoir into a shadow Poke'mon! Plain and simple!" Cecil turned towards the glass tube. He glared at Gardevoir, who was slumped at the back of the tube.
"Very well. Take it to the holding room and lock it up," ordered Cecil.
"Pardon? Shouldn't you return it to its Poke' ball? It needs to rest," said Dr. Newman with concern.
"Have it shackled to the wall and have some of those psychic jammers of yours placed outside the room so it can't escape. If I can't have complete control over it as a shadow Poke'mon, then I will just have to teach it to fear me. That way, it will think twice about disobeying my orders. You know what will happen if you don't follow my commands to the letter," said Cecil with hatred.
"I will obey. I'll have it transferred at once," said Dr. Newman as Cecil left the room. Dr. Newman had heard rumors that Cecil was cruel, but the rumors were nothing compared to what he had just heard.
Mack was racing towards Mt. Terror. The cave entrance was less than a mile away, but Mack still could not figure out where the feelings of pain and fear had come from. Was it another human or a Poke'mon? As Mack drew closer to the cave, he once again sensed fear and sadness, but much weaker this time. Mack stopped running and turned on his radio.
"Central, I want William teleported to me at once in his Poke' ball," said Mack.
"At once, doctor, but why?" asked Central.
"I think this is Cipher we're dealing with. If I'm challenged to a Poke'mon battle I will not refuse," said Mack.
"Teleporting now," said Central. Mack heard the Poke' ball teleport into a holding box on his back.
"Good. I'll report back to you later," said Mack as he switched off the radio and resumed the chase.
Gardevoir awoke in a dark room. She tried to move, but soon noticed that she was chained to the wall. She closed her eyes, focusing, trying to call on her power, but nothing happened. Gardevoir almost broke down and cried, but then she sensed something, something that gave her hope. Someone was coming for her. Some sort of valiant warrior was coming and he was not about to let anything stand in his way.
Mack finally arrived at the cave entrance.
"Time to clean house," thought Mack as he pressed some switches on the control panel on his left gauntlet, "But first I need to check this place out more carefully." Mack suspected that there were people down there somewhere and wasn't about ready to be seen. After he pressed the last button, the jamming array activated. Mack had spent almost as much time on the jamming array as the S-100 armor itself. Currently, this device made Mack and his armor invisible to radar, infra-red scanners, ultra-violet scanners and even the naked eye. This wondrous machine also silenced his every move. The jamming array also defeated X-ray scanners, but Mack suspected that no one had developed one yet. The only X-ray scanner on this world was the one built into the spectrum analysis visor on his armor. The only way anyone could possibly detect him now was for the person to walk right into him. The only flaw is that the jamming array required almost all the power his armor's generators could produce, so firing any of his weapons would be impossible while cloaked. The armor suit itself also weighted over 800 pounds and required a sensitive hydraulics system to allow nimble, precise movement. So Mack could fire his weapons while cloaked, but the noise would give him away and the hydraulics would instantly shut down. The weight of the armor was too much for Mack to bear for long. Mack walked to the edge of the cave entrance. To his surprise, there was a 300 foot drop straight down into the cavern. Someone had also taken the time to install stairs and platforms on the walls for easy access to the surface. Mack jumped down the shaft, using his armor's jet boots to control his fall. He flew silently towards the bottom of the shaft. To Mack's horror, a Cipher trooper of some sort was right where he was going to land! Mack quickly adjusted his fall and landed inches from the trooper. Mack landed silently, but the ground still shook when his feet touched it. The trooper turned around, trying to figure out where the brief shaking had come from. Dismissing it as nothing important, he left the area. Mack breathed a sign of relief. That landing had been a lot harder than he expected. After he pulled himself together, he stood back up and started to explore. This underground facility was larger than Mack imagined. It would take hours to explore this place on foot.
"May as well try a new feature," thought Mack as he switched his X-ray scanner for Map Mode. In this mode, the x-ray scanner could see up to one thousand feet through solid rock and then generate a 3D map on Mack's heads-up-display on the visor. After just a few moments, something got his attention. Just 800 feet away was a gargantuan machine of some sort. He ran down the halls and corridors with his map to guide him. After 15 minutes of running and dodging guards, he entered a large room. The machine was right in the center of the room, about as big as the Poke'mon Center in Viridian City and was shaped like a cylinder. It was covered with panels that projected a strange, pulsing yellow light. Whatever this machine was, Mack was not going to allow Cipher to use it any longer. This was no time to be looking for lost records. He looked up towards the ceiling in the room. There were four guards in the area. Not a problem. Mack jumped to some higher platforms and got right behind two of the guards.
"Here we go," said Mack, "Stun Mode." With his command, four small cannons popped out of his gauntlets: one on the top and bottom of each wrist. He pointed two of the cannons at each guard. Mack clenched his fists and two bright bolts of orange light hit the guards in their backs. They dropped to the floor unconscious. The jamming array shut itself off instantly.
"What was that?!" shouted another guard.
"Captain?!" shouted another as they ran towards their fallen comrades. They looked down the corridor and saw what looked like a metal fox. Mack clenched his fists again and the guards were hit with orange energy bolts and then collapsed. Mack then walked back into the large room and pulled some timer mines out of a compartment in his armor. These mines were as big as a deck of cards, but had enough explosive force that they could be used to knock down buildings or bridges with ease. He placed them all over the room and the machine. He then placed one mine near the fallen guards.
"Twenty minutes should be enough," thought Mack as he armed the mines via his gauntlet control panel, "These guards will wake up in a minute or less and see this time bomb right in front of them. If they have any sense, they'll evacuate this place at once. I want to take these cretins alive!" Mack started running when he saw one of the guards waking up. The guard looked down at his feet and saw what looked like a small box. A small LED display said "19:20."
"Nineteen minutes and twenty seconds?" asked the groggy guard to himself, "WHAT?! A time-bomb?!" He looked around the room and soon discovered that the walls and the machine in the center of the room were covered with mines!
"Wake up, Captain!" shouted the guard frantically as he shook his leader.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Look!" shouted the guard as he pointed to the mines that covered the area.
"Impossible!" shouted the Captain as he ran down one of the hallways and pulled an alarm. Cecil was caught off guard and immediately radioed the captain of the guard.
"What is the meaning of this?" demanded Cecil over the radio.
"Sir! Someone broke into the base undetected and planted time bombs all over Sector-13!" shouted the captain frantically.
?" asked Cecil with disbelief.
"Yes, sir! The machine has been mined! We have to evacuate this facility!" said the captain as he tried to calm down.
"Just disable the little pieces of junk," said Cecil without concern.
"We can't possibly disable all of them! There must be 60, no 80 of these mines in here!" shouted the captain. Cecil could not believe what he was hearing.
"Fine! I order this facility to be evacuated at once! Have all personnel head to the launch bay and board the helicopters at once. Launch them as soon as they are full. We have to get everyone as far away from here as possible!" ordered Cecil. Just as Cecil was going to turn around and say something to Dr. Newman, he spotted something on one of the video monitors in the room. Some sort of assassin or bounty hunter dressed as a metal fox was running down the halls. "So
" said Cecil to himself as he seethed with anger, "This is who to blame for this outrage." Cecil faced Dr. Newman.
"What is it, sir?" asked Dr. Newman.
"You will lead the evacuation. I'm going to deal with this intruder myself. Have our helicopter ready. After that machine goes up, it will be only a matter of minutes until this whole facility goes up in smoke," said Cecil as he grabbed a strange collar from a glass case.
"Very well, but what do you need that restrainer for?" asked Dr. Newman.
"None of your business. Now go!" shouted Cecil as Dr. Newman called his Alakazams back to their Poke' balls. Meanwhile, Cecil went running down the hall. "That fool is heading right for the training room. I'll head him off there." Cecil quickly threw open a door. Gardevoir jumped and backed into a corner of the room.
"You're coming with me," snarled Cecil as he lunged forward and put the collar over Gardevoir's neck, "This will make sure you don't disobey me. It will let me disable your powers if I have to." Gardevoir backed further into the corner. Cecil laughed.
"Good. I can see that you know better than to toy with me!" snapped Cecil, "Time to prove yourself!" With that, Cecil called Gardevoir back to the Master Ball and then he ran off to confront the saboteur. Mack was sure he was getting close to the exit. His map said that the fastest way back to the entry shaft was through a large, dome-shaped room. Mack entered the room and after looking back and forth discovered that this was some sort of underground coliseum or training field. Just as he was at the other end of the field, he heard a voice.
"Come back here, you coward!" shouted a man. Mack stopped in his tracks and turned to face him. "Surely you would not refuse a battle with me. I am Cecil, administrator of this facility. I challenge you to a Poke'mon battle. Of course, you could just run away like a dishonorable piece of scum!"
"As you wish," said Mack. He sensed something about Cecil. Whatever it was, he didn't like the looks of this man at all.
"Let us begin!" shouted Cecil, "Onyx! Go!" commanded Cecil as he let a Poke' ball fly into the center of the arena. The giant rock snake towered over Mack.
"I only have one Poke'mon," said Mack.
"That's just fine with me!" laughed Cecil, "I'll be happy to crush you at a one-on-one fight!" Mack threw his Poke' ball into the arena.
"William! Get ready!" shouted Mack as the Poke' ball hit the floor and opened with a flash, revealing his Pikachu.
"Is that the best you can do?" said Cecil with cruel laughter, "You don't have a chance against my Onyx. Onyx! Focus!" At Cecil's command, the Onyx sat still, building its energy.
"William! Static Electric!" commanded Mack as he pointed at Cecil's Onyx. William blazed with electricity and then fired several green bolts of lightning into Onyx. Onyx didn't even flinch.
"You must be joking," said Cecil with a grin, "Onyx, Takedown!" At Cecil's command, Onyx charged at William.
"William! Thunderball!" ordered Mack. William again blazed with lightning, but this time, tried to focus it in his hands.
"What are you doing?" asked Cecil with bewilderment. Onyx went airborne, ready to crush the miniscule Pikachu beneath its massive boulders. William stared at the incoming behemoth and grinned. With a flick of his wrists, William sent a small ball of lightning at Onyx. The lighting ball exploded on contact, enveloping the Onyx in raw electricity. Onyx howled in pain and dropped to the ground, unconscious.
"What on earth was that?!" thundered Cecil.
"Simple. Static Electric makes the target's weakness electricity. After that, a shot of Thunderball, one of the most powerful electric-type attacks, slams into the target mercilessly. Very few Poke'mon can learn these attacks," explained Mack, "This Pikachu, William, is one of them."
"You're as good a trainer as you are a saboteur," remarked Cecil as he called his Onyx back to its Poke' ball, "But let's see how you handle this one." Cecil reached for a strange Poke' ball on his belt and Mack paused.
"That's a Master Ball!" thought Mack with shock, "What could he possibly have in it and why do I have this foreboding feeling about his next Poke'mon?"
"Time to prove yourself!" shouted Cecil as he threw the Master Ball into the ring. It opened with a flash and revealed Gardevoir.
"Oh, no! This must be the Gardevoir that Warren needed me to save!" thought Mack with shock. The Gardevoir seemed sad and fearful.
"So this is why I kept sensing those feelings. It must have been trying to lure me here to save it," thought Mack. He considered using the Capture Claw to save Gardevoir, but that move would have haunted Mack's conscience for the rest of his life. "I can't stoop that low and steal a Poke'mon, no matter what." Never had he been so reluctant to battle before.
"What's the matter? Has the warrior lost his touch?" said Cecil with cruel laughter. He pulled out a remote control of some sort. When he pressed the button, the lights on the Gardevoir's collar turned from red to blue. "Gardevoir, Use Psychic on that little rat! Shut it down!" With that, Gardevoir reluctantly started focusing her power.
"William! Thunderbolt!" shouted Mack as he turned away.
"PIKA-CHUUU!!!" yelled William as a bolt of lightning struck down Gardevoir.
"I can't watch
" said Mack, hiding his face while Gardevoir screamed. Mack slowly turned back and removed his hands from his faceplate. Gardevoir was on the ground, struggling to get up. William sat down on the floor, panting from exhaustion.
"What?! That can't be!" exclaimed Cecil with rage.
"What happened?" thought Mack, "That Thunderbolt was all William had left. That should not have done the trick
unless, unless Gardevoir was already weakened! That explains the horrid pain I sensed! What on earth have these fiends done to it?!"
"Grrr! Worthless!" shouted Cecil as he stomped on the floor. Cecil then pressed a switch on the remote control. The lights on Gardevoir's collar turned red. Mack studied the collar closely.
"That looks like some sort of restraining device. Hold on, why do I have the feeling I've forgotten something important?" thought Mack.
"GAH!!! The timer-mines!!" shouted Mack.
"WHAT?!" yelled Cecil. Deep in the facility, the mines detonated all at once, blowing the mysterious machine to bits and shattering the rock walls. The shockwave knocked the combatants to their feet.
"I don't have time for this," growled Cecil as he got to his feet and ran for an elevator at the other end of the field.
"Where do you think you're going?" said Mack as he started running after Cecil. Suddenly, an explosion blew through the floor under Mack's feet, sending him flying. There wasn't enough time to fire up the jet boots and land safely. Mack landed hard on his stomach and the impact knocked the air out of him. As Mack struggled to breath, some rocks from the roof came down, smashing into the back of the S-100. Mack howled in pain as one warning message after another appeared on his HUD.
"No! The power generators were damaged!" thought Mack with fear as he struggled to get out from under the boulders. They seemed too heavy for the hydraulics to handle as his armor started to lose power.
"I have no choice now
" muttered Mack as he tried to relax and focus. Cecil stopped in his tracks, turned around and saw a strange aura enshrouding the boulders. The boulders slowly lifted into the air and were then thrown to the opposite end of the field.
"What kind of assassin is this? He can't possibly be human!" thought Cecil as he started back for the elevator. Much to his surprise, Gardevoir was there, leaning on the door. Mack struggled to get to his feet, but without the hydraulics working, the armor was unwieldy, especially since he still couldn't catch his breath. That was the one real weakness of the S-100: virtually indestructible armor, but the internal systems were always much more fragile and could be damaged or destroyed by direct, hard hits. Cecil glared at Gardevoir.
"So you want to come with me, eh? Because I'm your master?" asked Cecil with a harsh tone. Gardevoir nodded as Mack started to push up from the ground. Cecil growled.
"Guess what?" said Cecil as he seethed with hatred and clenched his right fist, "I don't want to be your master anymore, you worthless beast!" Mack couldn't believe what he was seeing as he saw Cecil strike Gardevoir into the floor. Mack's eyes glowed red through his visor.
"And you call yourself a Poke'mon trainer?!" shouted Mack as loud as he could. Cecil boarded the elevator.
"What else do you do with garbage besides toss it out?" said Cecil calmly as the elevator started on its way up.
"Come back here!" yelled Mack with rage as he struggled to get to his feet with his eyes glowing even brighter. Gardevoir looked up and saw the elevator disappear into the blackness up above. Suddenly, a panel up above exploded and a live wire dropped from the ceiling onto Gardevoir. Gardevoir shrieked in pain.
"What?! NOO!!!" thundered Mack as he summoned up all his strength and jumped forward with all his might. He grabbed the wire with his left gauntlet and quickly plucked it off Gardevoir as raw power surged over his armor. Mack threw the wire aside and tried to catch his breath.
"What on earth was that? That must have been over 500,000 volts! If it wasn't for my armor, I would have been fried! What would they need that kind of power for?!" said Mack. His gaze turned to William who was hiding under a nearby bench from fright. Mack pounded on the control panel, trying to get anything to work. The radio crackled to life.
"Doctor? This is Central. What is happening over there?" asked Central with concern.
"I'll explain later! Teleport William out of here!" ordered Mack.
"Understood," said Central as William vanished with a flash of light. Mack rushed over to Gardevoir's side and managed to take off the collar. Gardevoir was still breathing.
"Thank heavens," said Mack with relief, "She's alive
barely. Central! Get us out of here!"
"Compliance," said Central, "Warning! Your reserve power-cells have been damaged! There is just enough power to bring you back."
"What do you mean?" demanded Mack.
"You're the one wearing the armor, so it would take less power to focus the energy to send you back here," explained Central, "There isn't even enough power to remove your armor and send it here. You will have to come with it." Mack had to choose between his own safety and that of Gardevoir. For Mack, that was no choice.
"Fine! We'll escape on foot!" declared Mack as he took Gardevoir up in his arms and started running. Without a map, the going was more difficult than expected. Nevertheless, he managed to retrace his steps. As he was running, Gardevoir awoke and saw the metal face of her rescuer.
"Don't worry! I'll get you some help! Just hold on," said Mack softly as he continued to run. Mack wished he was as optimistic as he sounded. He could teleport them both out of there, but that would drain enough of his energy to kill him. There was no way he was going to force Gardevoir to send them to safety, not in her current condition. Gardevoir soon fell back asleep. All was going well. Mack could see the shaft just yards ahead. Then, without warning, another rogue explosion sent Mack off his feet and into the floor. He struggled to get to his feet and soon discovered, to his horror, that he was almost completely buried under a rockslide. Only his helmet and arms weren't under the debris. He looked up and saw that Gardevoir had been thrown from his arms. Mack tried to get out from under the rocks with all his strength, but his armor's power had been drained and he was starting to grow weak. Mack let his arms drop to the floor.
"So this is it," thought Mack, "All my years of traveling, trying to get home
was it all in vain?" Mack shook his head. "What am I talking about? I can't give up!" Mack faced the ground, dug his gauntlets into the ground and tried to pull himself out from under the rubble. Mack heard some soft footsteps and he stopped what he was doing. Mack looked up and saw Gardevoir on her knees in front of him.
"You're okay?" said Mack with relief, "Good! Now get out of here! Escape before it's too late!" Gardevoir just stared at Mack. She seemed to be worried about him.
"I'll be fine! Just go!" said Mack as he continued to claw into the ground. Gardevoir didn't move.
"Who am I kidding? When this place goes up my armor would survive, but I'll probably be torn to shreds from the shockwaves. Either that, or I'll die from energy loss," thought Mack as Gardevoir grabbed his right hand. She closed her eyes and a blue aura surrounded her and Mack.
"What is she doing? Why, she's trying to teleport us out of here!" thought Mack as his gauntlet control panel started sparking. Mack glanced at the panel, "What in the world? The teleportation systems are going haywire!" Mack passed out as he and Gardevoir vanished in a blue flash of light. Meanwhile, Cecil was sitting in his chair onboard his helicopter across from Dr. Newman. Cecil watched as one side of Mt. Terror erupted into a giant cloud of black smoke. Cecil had no idea on how he would explain this disaster to his boss: of all the resources that had been lost just to capture a single Gardevoir. Cecil's only relief was that Gardevoir had probably perished inside the facility. If he couldn't have it, no one would. The blast caught the attention of the entire town of Gardev. The residents looked on with disbelief as Mt. Terror vanished behind a puff of smoke.
"What in blazes was that?!" shouted Jake.
"I think Dr. Foxx found more than he expected," said Warren, "I hope he and Aura are okay." One of the town residents was a young girl named Sakura. The explosion from Mt. Terror had gotten her attention, but soon afterward, a faint white flash of light appeared in the forests outside the village.
"What on earth just happened? Where am I?" thought Mack as he finally awoke. Though his vision was blurred, he could tell that he was now in the middle of a dense forest. Other than that, he couldn't tell where exactly he was. His senses seemed to be scrambled at the moment. He tried to get up, but his body refused to move.
"Looks like I'm safe," thought Mack as he sighed with relief, "K-1 should be by to pick me up soon." Mack started to lose consciousness again.
"I've survived, but where
?" thought Mack as he blacked out.
Sakura was running down the pathways in the forest with her mother right behind her.
"Mommy! I swear I saw something over here!" said Sakura as she continued running.
"Okay, just be careful!" said Sakura's mother, Makoto, as she followed her daughter. Sakura suddenly stopped in the middle of the pathway.
"Did you find that light?" asked Makoto as she came alongside Sakura. To her shock, Makoto saw Gardevoir on the ground, unconscious.
"I think she's hurt!" said Sakura with fear.
"You stay here," said Makoto, "I'll be back with Warren. He'll know what to do!" Makoto ran back to the town while Sakura kept vigilance over Gardevoir.
K-1 was absolutely stunned as he watched Mt. Terror vanish behind thick, black smoke from Central's viewing screens.
"Try again!" ordered K-1.
"Impossible," declared Central, "I cannot acquire a lock on Mack's location. Either the S-100 was destroyed or every last ounce of energy was drained from the power cells."
"Blast it all!" grumbled K-1. William walked beside K-1 and squeaked mournfully. K-1 opened the doors on his chest, extended an arm and then softly stroked the frightened Pikachu. "You're worried too, aren't you, little guy?" K-1 worried that if the S-100 wasn't located soon, Mack might die from energy loss or worse still, he might even be captured in his weakened state.
"I must point out that I did detect the energy signature of a teleportation just moments before the explosion," said Central.
"What do you make of it?" asked K-1 as William's ears perked up.
"I can't be sure. The signature seemed rather
distorted. I suspect this is simply because my sensor range is quite weak. Personally, I believe that Mack is alive and well. I think we'll see him soon, it just might be a few days or even a week," said Central.
"You sure are optimistic," said K-1, "At any rate, continue to search for Mack and the S-100."
Just hours after the destruction of Cipher's facility on Mt. Terror, Cipher administrators deemed that the facility was safe enough to conduct a short reconnaissance on. Thus, some of Cipher's lowest agents were sent in to investigate. This time, it was the Hexagon Brothers. This group of sextuplets had all joined up with Cipher just weeks before and they certainly did not enjoy getting stuck with the dirty jobs.
"I still can't believe they sent us here of all places," grumbled Blusix.
"Relax, Blusix, we don't have to stay here very long," said Redsix. The brothers had entered the ruined facility though the old service shaft. Oddly enough, the stairways and platforms were still intact. A shiny object in one of the hallways caught the attention of Greesix.
"I think I see something down there!" said Greesix as he and his brothers ran down the hall. At the end of the tunnel, they found what looked like metal just sticking out from under a pile of boulders.
"What do you suppose this is?" asked Blusix.
"Maybe it's a broken machine of some sort," said Redsix as he glanced at Greesix, "I'll bet you could yank it out of there."
"Me? Sure!" said Greesix as he grabbed the object and with one yank pulled it out from under the rocks. To his shock, he realized that he had just pulled a helmet out from under the debris. Greesix shrieked, fearing that he had just beheaded someone. His brothers laughed.
"Relax!" laughed Redsix, "It's just a helmet."
"Looks like more than a helmet," said Blusix as he and his brothers removed some of the rocks to reveal a suit of some sort of armor. Redsix closely eyed the armor and soon discovered that this chunk of metal was highly advanced.
"What is this thing made of?" asked Greesix as he struggled to lift the armor off the ground.
"I would like to know what happened to the pilot!" said Blusix.
"That's not important!" said Redsix with a grin, "All that matters is that we have something very valuable here. I bet if we report this find to our officers, we'll get a big promotion out of it!"
"Dr. Newman would have a field day with this thing. I'll bet he would be able to get it to work, too!" said Greesix with excitement.
"I don't know what this thing does, but it would be the perfect replacement for these uniforms!" laughed Blusix. Redsix pulled out a radio and told the support team that they had found something considerable. The support team would arrive in a few minutes to collect the armor.
To be continued...