Chapter 17: Duplix
Of course, it was a massive cavern. Aside from the thin strip of smooth stone that the trucks and cars used to get this far, the roof of the cave, covered in stalactites or stalagmites (I still don't know or get the difference, but who does?) was all that was above, and a bottomless abyss was all that was below, save for more stalagmites...Or stalactites.
Regardless of a small lettering change to make it so that one was pointing from down from the ceiling and one was pointing up from the floor, The real attraction was a massive structure, still being built and only halfway done, but only if one looked carefully. Otherwise, from the angle we viewed it at, the whole thing was completed. It didn't give me the feeling of those castles nestled around England (One of the continents on Earth), but it did have a lot of size to it. It was designed more like a series of walls, the roofs going diagonally upwards and downwards, points where these patterns peaked sporting drills-why would they need those?
The crowd of Pokemon following me vigilantly, I did a head-count. Nobody missing, exactly thirty-seven Pokemon, none alien to my group.
Looking down, I noticed something...Well, it wasn't really odd. Film, the Togepi without two head spikes, had evolved into a Togetic, and as if to defy the people that had taken it's dominant feature away in it's pre-evolution, it now had far more head spikes than I thought Togetic naturally got. Regardless of that, it hopped over to my shoulder, grabbing my neck like Scyez did when she was a Riolu...Pokemon evolved quickly around me.
I returned Scyez and Vyraz, Lesha still being too adamant to even consider it. Lesha seemed to dislike Film, even if Film's only response was smiling politely or just giving puzzled looks. I took a second look back at the Pokemon-
"If I catch you or anyone else on Team Plasma trying to take so much as one Pokemon, then you will find out, to your displeasure, why Gear-"
"Do you mean-"
"No, I don't mean Clay, Gear is somebody else, and I can tell you that the difference in power is enough to make enraging Gear a death wish. I got him mad at me, and I knew what I was doing. Gear doesn't exactly have a short fuse, so if you or anyone else from Team Plasma dare try to take one Pokemon of this lot, you'll find out WHY Gear's so intent on killing me."
And with that, Ghetsis dropped the unknown PokeBall he was planning to use to snatch the Tyranitar. It rolled over to me, letting me see the one thing that made Master Balls look cheap and common.
Dark Balls should stand out in the memory of whoever had possessed one. Borderline uncontrollable power that somehow was still within control was put into the Pokemon that was caught within, it was a guaranteed capture, weaknesses the Pokemon had were instantly removed, loyalty was assured, and probably the only thing to offset the whole of these powerful features, their personality was turned to simple anger or simply wiped out entirely.
I knew better than to test it out, I had enough Pokemon knowledge to know that Dark Balls were not to be tampered with in any way, shape or form by anybody, save by a hand that was far too precise for missing. I pocketed it, hoping that Karazin had expertise in the matter. Seconds later, I reassured myself that Karazin had expertise in almost every matter you could name.
Once we were inside the castle, well, one could wonder where the hell Team Plasma got all that stuff from. The architecture was grand, magnificent, and stunning enough that one could stare at it for ours on first contact with the sight. I took two seconds.
"You know, I'm being generous to let this slide. I don't like bloodbaths, simply put. Try it one more time, though, and see what happens. I dare you."
The Plasma Grunt dropped the unknown Ball like it was hot, revealing it to be a regular PokeBall. I pocketed that too.
Ghetsis was muttering something to somebody, just two seconds later and one word was said a little too loudly.
I said. "You really want to die that badly?"
I heard no further muttering nor saw any attempts to catch the flock of Pokemon I had with me. My head count remained consistent, counting Scyez and Vyraz being in their PokeBalls.
We got to the dining hall, which was a room, mighty and majestic, the main table sporting room for eight and the other one sporting room for twenty one.
The meals were delivered quickly, and they were made for gourmets, famous people, wealthy families, powerful politicians...And they were all for vegetarians. I cared less for the absence of meat, I tore through the dishes like any Volteer would tear through any dish. I knew there weren't any animals there, so I knew why they refrained from using meats. Besides, they were wonderful regardless of the ingredients. They got passed through the hands of a master chef, that was for sure.
Quite a few others made similar scenes. As there wasn't anything really filling aside from bread, even Ghetsis was to be seen eating fast. It wasn't as if we weren't being uncivilized, no, we all used intricate knives and forks to eat, but we ate quickly, and quite a lot. I started to pity the time it took for the cooks to do the next course, considering the speed.
I made note of almost everybody there. The people at the table made for eight included N, six people dressed in mono-color robes of varying colors, variously aged, and Ghetsis. N was at the head of the table, seated on a throne, like a prince of sorts, though no crown was on his head. Aside him stood multiple Pokemon, quite like my own flock, and although they shot glances at me, Issac and the group I brought with me, they at least knew better than to tamper with me. N's group of Pokemon and my group were separate, eating away at their own food, prepared equally well.
I had taken note of the redhead Grunt. The only redhead of the lot, he made glances at me, signs and warnings in the form of eyes darting to Ghetsis, N, the exits, me, my mass of Pokemon, and Issac. I was ready to at a moment's notice pull out both Encrypts and 'somehow manage' to be both trigger happy and insanely accurate.
Last, came the wines. I got water, simply for being twelve, and N was reserved from the privilege due to age as well, but everyone else got some exotic touches of some of the single most exotic samples of alcohol I have ever known. As a tribute to how good they were, I managed to find a few bottles of their excellent wine when I went through the wreckage of their castle, twenty years later at that point. It was just hours after Povinal's time became synced with the regular time of the Nexus, when I was digging through some of the ruins, looking for something worthwhile, and I found quite a few bottles of wine lying around, unscathed, as well as a list of their ingredients. They were simply the rarest wines experts I consulted ever saw, and I'm keeping them for when I'm twenty one. Alongside another few Dark Balls and a small ruby-and-bronze statue of Moltres, those wines stand as some of the rarest things I ever found there.
When it was all said and done, me and Issac found ourselves ignoring Ghetsis's plans of action, only listening in when we were asked to sleep with Ghetsis tonight. We agreed, and Ghetsis said without hesitating that our Pokemon would also be staying in his room.
The halls were intricate, blah, blah, blah...You know, regardless of the compelling beauty the place had, I felt like it was missing something...I couldn't put my finger on it right then. It wasn't until the castle was totally ruined that I knew what it was-It wasn't that it was missing something, it was perfect. It was too perfect. The ideal N once had, the plot Ghetsis had made...Both crumbled as easily as the castle...
Creepy philosophy aside, I was in Ghetsis's room before we knew it.
You know why I was trying to loot Team Plasma's broken-down castle? This room was why. A small library of expensive-looking books were positioned on one wall, a collection of obviously rare and expensive-looking artifacts just aside from it. A rack of wines I already knew to be some of the best I would ever know was nearby a hand-carved desk, on which were several important documents and books. A table near a beautiful fireplace housed the previously mentioned small gold-and-ruby statue of Moltres, A bed with some of the finest sheets and covers I ever knew was tucked in a dark corner of the room, and a beautiful part of the cave, waterfalls pouring into shallow pools who's bottoms were beautifully coated in crystals, were all to be seen from here...The paintings of artists I couldn't name were covered here and there, I think we all get the idea. The room was extraordinarily expensive and luxurious. And laid out in the room were two sleeping bags, positioned in it's exact center, far away from any object.
None of us made any attempts at conversation, we just looked around, and Ghetsis turned out the lights shortly after our entrance, gesturing to the sleeping bags...
Nothing exciting about sleeping except it was sleeping, right?
Issac and I both had our eyes open, our weapons still at the ready, our eyes occasionally darting to Ghetsis's spot on the bed. We both knew that Ghetsis wasn't asleep yet, and we both knew that Ghetsis knew that we were awake as well.
It took hours. Then, at last, Ghetsis started to snore.
Silently as possible, we got out of the sleeping bags.
That meant go.
Without warning, we bolted for the door, three figures appearing out of nowhere be damned. They seemed similar to Curze, save that they wore true-blue ninja outfits over Curze's hybrid, but they obviously weren't expecting us to keep going. Even with katanas out, we charged straight into one on our way to the door, and we rammed into two more, who obviously thought that they were physically stronger. They barely gasped as we practically went straight through the door, letting the wood fly around us.
Well, they expected us to rudely leave, considering the Grunts. Our sole man in the midst had done his job, considering their unconscious status.
Oh, yhea...You don't get it, do you? Let's rewind a bit, back to when we were eating...
As the fourth course was being served, a voice pierced my mind.
<"Guys, Ghetsis'll kill you for not getting in the car with him! It was his intention to let N alone with the Pokemon, and you've gone and ruined that attempt!"> telepathed the Plasma Grunt.
<"He hasn't a chance against me.">
I reassured him. <"I could escape under all their noses.">
<"He'll make you sleep with him in his room, and then he'll send the Shadow Triad, his personal assassins on you while you're asleep to kill you then!"> he warned.
<"...Interesting...Do you know the way out?">
<"Yhea. He'll probably send everyone in here just to stop you if the Shadow Triad doesn't get you first, too, so I guess I'll just knock them all out..."> he started.
<"And get us out of here.">
"<"...So what's your name?">
Resuming our proper course of events...Well, Duplix did his job good. He still wore those Plasma Garments, but had packed with some more proper clothing. Timing it with my immediate next footstep, the Shadow Triad appeared right in front of us, unconscious fellows regardless, and Duplix used the same pulse move Iris and Gear did to knock them out, on the spot. However they were able to teleport like that is beyond me, but I didn't care. It was probably magic, the dumb thing it was. Most Volteers had a hard time using it if they could do it at all, and even if they were good, most Volteers keep away from it, partly because half the population is resistant or outright immune to every breed of magic one could name.
I should also note now how come Duplix is being so nice. It was a simple extension to our mental conversation at the dinner table.
<"Say...Why help us at all?">
<"If Ghetsis ever does anything for you, he'll half-expect it, half-demand it. He's not one for employee cruelty, but leaving is committing suicide, and hell, I'd take a chance to escape right f***ing now!"> He exclaimed.
<"Even if you find yourself in a terrorist group?">
<"I'm an outlaw as it is, I don't care!">
The best response one could give.
Everybody else in the castle was fast asleep, unaware of the trio of terrorists and their pack of forty-so Pokemon escaping, thank god. For once, I swore things would go off without an unexpected hitch in the plan.
Then Lesha found herself in a sneezing fit. I canned her nasals after the first shot, but it had enough noise to echo around the place.
Then came that music, like when we first wound up on Povinal...fainter than a drop of water on a pure white surface. It wasn't the same as before...I didn't even feel slightly sleepy, but what sleep did dare to crawl up in my eyes immediately fled them.
<"Ah, s**t. Somebody doesn't want us leaving...">
I telepathed, realizing what was going down.
I didn't even know how they knew of intruders that easily, but Team Plasma grunts came pouring out, armed and ready. Suddenly, time seemed to slow down straight in their faces, leaving only us at a regular pace. Issac and Duplix grinned...But their distortion seemed to be changing pace, and even with my help, it seemed inadvertent that they were speeding up...
We moved like lightning, shooting through the long hallways, letting time go to it's regular pace, even with our interference, and then suddenly start speeding up for everyone else but us...As if to further tease us straight in our faces at the ridiculous exercise in futility we were doing, the chambers started to stretch out in our faces, and the small exit seemed many miles away, and it continued to stretch...The only reason we weren't caught sooner because we had that big of a head start.
"WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON HERE?!?!"
A vision popped into my head, as if to answer. As we started passing through another hall, which was even longer than the one we were in, I had my head turned to a pedestal that had three crystals on it-one a seamless orb with a light pink tint, the second a shining union of triangular shapes in a orb-like shape and with a light blue tint, and the third a large yellow crystal in a crystal-like shape. Two were glowing profoundly, the first two. I shot a flame at them, blue and red without purple, nailing the crystals easily. It ended before I could see the result of my work, but that was all I needed.
As we left the hallway we were in, I pulled out the Ninjuitsu and the Bellartix, holding both single-handedly. I was the only reason a massive spray of bullets, far too fast for it to be simply a gun they were using, was bouncing off our party harmlessly. I unloaded both clips at absurd speed, firing off almost all the bullets at a split-second frame of time, and considering the massive speed those grunts gained, it was enough to allow the bullets to travel through their hearts to other victims, cleaning out the pack considerably. I almost started facing forward, when I saw the pedestal, crystals exactly as they were, two shining oddly.
I didn't even know what I was doing, but once again, I did it regardless. My right hand flaming without making the gun catch on fire, oddly enough, a stream of flame shot at the crystals, connecting easily.
Two roars were to be heard, from separate entities who's pain was equal from a massive blow. Whether they were the crystals themselves or something else entirely, I didn't know, but did it matter? Our temporal abilities were resuming their dominance, slowing down time to the point where we must have been flying down the hall to the Poor grunts, who were so slow, a random bystander who was spared their fate could have taken a bullet, eerily hanging in midair without any just reason for doing so, and pocketed it, no problem. Meanwhile, Ecuadorian space righted itself, quickly resuming it's regular length, and our goal seemed far closer than I would have guessed.
All of us ran down the hall like bullets, faster than bullets, even, for the bullets Team Plasma fired were beyond inadequate for speed comparisons at this point. We believed we were going to make it, still without a hitch, aside from time and space collaborating to kill us.
Then the Shadow Triad, alongside three bipedal black foxes with spiky ponytails, suddenly appeared right in front of the exit, seemingly immune to the temporal slowdown we created.
That was not a hitch, that was a slight obstacle. The Shadow Triad suddenly found themselves unable to contend without sleeping on the spot. They took to dreamland as we passed over them.
Then, out of the very corner of my eye, they got straight up.
Out of the other corner of my eye, I saw the source of all that d**m music, that somehow made these grunts insomniacs.
I took one of Issac's combat knives without permission ("Oy!"
) and threw it at the same girl from earlier this dumb*** day. Almost failing to catch the one window of opportunity to dodge the projectile, she opened her eyes enough to see it coming, and ducked low, forgetting about her music, however briefly.
I said in cynical and sadistic celebration, as every last person here hell-bent to kill me fell asleep on the spot, Melodey included. The truck, thank god, was still present.
"I'll drive! You get in the back!" said Duplix.
"Gotcha! Head to Undella Town!"
Issac said, pushing me off to the back of the truck.
It would be a long drive there...One I barely remember. The Pokemon and I got in our usual formation, and it took little time to go to sleep.