Chapter 1: Breaking and Entering
Cramp is starting to be a real problem for me. Crouched down in a thicket bush, watching the rotation of the guards. When I first began I thought my the biggest issue to contend with would be the thorns. Not so. The bush, though small, is the only cover big enough to hide me from the patrolling security guards – but I am forced to curl up tightly, which is leading to major cramp problems.
I look up again towards the base that I have to break into. The cave entrance seems to be the only one that there is – I wasted a lot of time trying to find the usual back or side entrance. It seems this is the only way in or out.
We've been watching the guards for 10 minutes now, me and my Natu – Mini – and I think I have detected a pattern in their movements. If I am right then a pair of guards will appear in a minute and patrol out of sight, giving me a three minute window to break across the open ground and into the entrance.
I send out a mind pulse to Mini who is perched in her usual position on my shoulder
++ Mini, how is Volter getting on? ++
I had sent Volter, my Rotom, to take advantage of his ghost/electric duel typing and get inside the security systems of the base and either over-ride or fry the computer controls. This is all so that we can get past the sensors in the front entrance of the cave that is being used as a base by the infamous Sol Ban, Pokemon Hunter supreme (yes, that really is what he put on his business cards).
++ He says he will be done in about 20 seconds ++ Mini reports back via mind pulse.
Mini is probably my most important member. Whilst all but useless in Pokemon fights she is able to keep me in constant contact with any Pokemon team members (or humans in the few times I work with them) that I have out doing certain jobs.
I do have other psychic Pokemon able to do the same, but none are small enough to fit on my shoulder like the 6 inch tall tiny bird Pokemon can.
Whilst I was thinking two security guards, big looking sods, one a black guy with a shaved head the other pale white with spikey black hair and a tattoo over his left eye, walked out of the entrance, guns at the ready. Exactly the timing I had predicted.
They make their way around the front of the cave and turn left, scouting towards the woods at the back.
This means that all I now needed to do was avoid the cameras and sensors. Which means I need to be sure Volter has done his job. Thankfully Mini seems to be reading my mind, as usual
++Volter is done, it is safe to enter ++
++ Cheers Mini. Start scanning the area for any life signs, I don't want anyone sneaking up on me ++
I edge my way out of the thorn bush, onto my feet. The cramp feels a million times better as soon as I am able to stand up right, my long legs outstretched. Running at a stoop I make my way across the hard packed earth in front of the cave and into the entrance.
Whilst nothing about the outside of the cave suggests it is anything more than a cave, the inside is a little bit more high tech. The floor is made of metal grates, no doubt containing pressure sensors. There is an iris scanner embedded in the fame alongside a futuristic looking sliding door.
I'm not surprised, this has been the base for Sol Ban for a few years and he is well known for loving his high tech methods of Pokemon hunting. It stands to reason that his base and security would be the same.
Hoping that Voltage has managed to over-ride the system, not just fry it, I walk over to the iris scanner. Looking right into it a shaft of light suddenly shoots out of the centre of the scanner and scans across my eye.
A breathless moment passes.
Then a 'ding' sort of electronic bell sounds and the large door slides open revealing the corridor beyond. I'm in.
And I am apprehensive.
I have been tracking Sol Ban for about 6 months now and he is good. I have brought down a number of criminals in my time, and Pokemon hunters are always the hardest. They prepare, they know the risks and they play the odds. They always have a plan. And Sol is amongst the best I operators I have ever seen.
As I walk along the grated floor, following instructions from Voltage, who is relaying them to me via Mini from a map on the system, I remembered of the other two times I thought I had caught up with Sol. Both times I broke into a base then fought through a mass of guards, simply to find it had been a dummy set up and Sol was nowhere to be seen.
But this one feels different. There are less guards, and less tech outside – like he is trying not to be seen. Sol would be confident in his ability to defend himself so having less guards here meant more to be seen at dummy bases. Which makes sense, at least in the way Sol thinks.
++ Two guards are coming up the passage to your left ++ Mini mind pulses to me
I look left and can see, despite the low lighting, a corridor a few yards away. I scan around for cover, I don't want to fight unless I absolutely have to – it is important I save myself for facing Sol. But there is no cover to be had.
Ducking down to the side of the wall I mind pulse Mini
++ How long? ++
++ About 10 seconds ++
I reach down to my belt and pull out a Pokeball. This has to be quick. I roll it across the entrance to the corridor and a quick flash of light bursts from the ball, followed by my Hypno, Dreamer.
++ Sleep attack ++ I pulse to Dreamer, the only Pokemon besides Mini I have with me that can communicate directly with my thoughts.
The light from the Pokeball alerts the guards, bringing them running. They are just yards from Hypno when he starts swaying his pendulum to and fro. Instantly they stop, their bodies swaying in time to the pendulum.
Slowly they start to droop down, bending at the knees and waist, struggling to keep themselves upright. One, then the other fall on to the metal grating floor with a clank. Both fast asleep.
++ Good work ++ I pulse to Dreamer before activating the button on the Pokeball, recalling it to the device.
I rise to my feet and set off again, following the instructions relayed to me.
It took me 10 minutes to find the main control room, and now I was crouched to the side of it, below the scanner-opener. Mini had scanned the area and reported back that only Sol was inside, but that he was Psy shielded by something that 'tasted like a computer' (Mini's words, not mine).
I had hoped that Mini could have been an advantage, reading his thoughts as I attacked, and maybe placing illusions in his mind (something Mini can do to those weak minded enough). But it was always a long shot – Sol had proved too canny for simple tricks like that in the past.
A small light flashed on a Pokeball at the side of my belt, letting me know Voltage had returned. I reached down and called him back out. Not wanting to risk being heard issuing instructions I send a mind pulse with my orders to Mini who relays them to Voltage. The shining ghost Pokemon fades from view (something I have offered wondered about).
Reaching up to the door I place my hand on the scanner to the right. Iris and palm scans in different locations, Sol really does like his high tech defences. As before though I have Voltage helping me, and his over-ride means that the door opened for my palm print.
I know that Sol will instantly register the door sliding open so I stand, a Pokeball in each hand. I threw both before calling in a loud voice
“It's over Sol, we're here to bring you in”
The large, imposing frame of Sol turns to face me. I had forgotten just how big he really is – all bulging muscles and massive shoulders. He's clothed in a 'blues brothers' style suit and shades, as is his preference. He always did like to think of himself as a jazz fan. Running from the shades to his ears are two wires, which suggests to me that the glasses are more than they seem. The psy shield perhaps? A mind pulse told me Mini agrees.
++ Fly to a place of safety ++ I pulse at her. Mini would be no good as a fighter right now, but I need her co-ordinating things from a place of safety – and I am confident my shoulder isn't that safe.
Behind me the two Pokeballs I had thrown burst open. Flashes of light released Sol my Scizor (an unfortunate coincidence of names) and Bruiser, my Poliwrath.
“Are you going to come peacefully?” I ask, confident of the answer.
Sol just stands there, a massive grin on his face. His rather large face. Damn it, if my plan doesn't work this could be difficult.
“Jack Throne” he says “I was wondering how long it would be before I we met. I hope you enjoyed the welcome at my other bases”
I reach behind me and pull out my needle gun, loaded with tranq darts capable of bringing down a charging Donphan, never mind a human being.
“Last chance” I say, just as I am hit from behind. Hard. Damn Sol is good, I didn't even see him throw his Pokeballs – and as I had no warning from Mini he must have done it very covertly.
I hit the deck, head reeling. Behind me is the biggest Parasect I ever saw. Instantly my Sol leaps to my defence – claw raising and lowering, smashing into the Parasect. Given how good my Sol is, possibly the best fighter I have ever trained, and the type match up I turn my back on them, confident that the Scizor will get the upper hand without my help.
Just in time to see Sol Ban throw another pokeball. The flash of light happens almost instantly and a monstrous Nidoking roars out. Sensing his moment Bruiser runs forwards to meet him, powerful arms outstretched. They crash into each other at full pace, two Pokemon full of anger and power.
I get to my feet and turn to Sol Ban – who is again simply grinning. I can't understand it. But rather than waste time I fire my needle gun... only to see the needle bounce off nothing, a foot in front of him. He must have some sort of force field.
I don't mind saying I swore at that point.
Sol Ban's grin is growing even broader
“This won't take long” he says and starts closing the short distance between us.
I back up, sensing things are going wrong. Behind me Sol, my Scizor Sol that is, is losing, which makes no sense. Bruiser is also being over powered. Something is up.
Then it happened. Thank Arceus. Sparks burst from the sunglasses Sol Ban was wearing. He stops, screaming, the flashes must be blinding him. My plan worked.
Above him Voltage materialises into view, his usually wide, infectious smile even wider at this moment.
++ Good work ++ I pulse, knowing Mini would pass it on.
Instantly I draw another pokeball from my belt and release Dreamer the Hypno again. Not even waiting for orders Dreamer started a sleep attack. With Sol all but blinded it isn't working completely – the psychic part not so powerful when not combined with the visual. But it is enough to cause Sol to drop to his knees with exhaustion.
Firing my needle gun again I score a direct hit on his exposed neck. The glasses must have been both a spy shield and a force field. I need to get me some of them. Within a split second he hits the floor, unconscious.
I turn to see Bruiser and my Sol now with the upperhand. Sol has all but knocked out the Parasect whilst Bruiser has the Nidoking on the floor, trapped in a wrestling hold. Hypno again works his magic and within moments both Pokemon are asleep.
++ Good work everyone ++ I pulsed as I walked towards Sol Ban, handcuffs in hand. This time he was going to face justice. Or at least our version of it.