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Old 06-25-2007, 04:11 AM
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Default [WAR]Solar Destiny: Tales of War(PG-13)

Disclaimer: This story contains intense violence and profane language. Don't read if you can't handle it.

By Deoxys Trainer
NightStriders: Renegade Knights
Banner by Kaze

Chapter 1: Nightmare

The pungent stench of smoke and fire filled the air...

The plains were quiet, and looked deserted. The monotone of rolling, grassy hills filled the scene, save for one dead, spiky tree standing on one small hill, another dead tree fallen next to it. The sky was filled with clouds, colors drifting from dark blue-grey overhead to a gradual reddish hue farther to the East. The Eastern sky was ablaze, embers drifting upwards from far-off explosions, whose distant thunder rumbled the ground.

The captain of the advance forces, a particularly bad-tempered Wartortle sporting a black headband and a belt of bullets over his chest crept up to the log silently, hoping to God he wasn't spotted. He peered over the top of the fallen tree, holding his M-1 Garand at the ready. Seeing nothing, he faced the direction he came from and motioned to the other pokemon in his unit.

What appeared to be small bumps in the grassy knoll shifted closer. Upon closer inspection, there were close to twelve pokemon, their backs covered in grass similar to that on the hill. Each held a gun in their hands, save the pokemon on four legs; their job was to carry extra weapons and supplies. All of them gathered behind the log, all cocking their weapons. They sat and waited, not moving an inch...even breathing was at a minimum.

Out of the gloom to the west of the log, an odd-looking Camerupt lumbered up to the log. A cloth covered what was on the hump on his back. To show he knew who they were, he made four clicking sounds in his throat, recieving the same from the Wartortle. Smiling, the Camerupt slowly walked behind the log, slightly taken aback at the small number. "Are you sure this is enough?" He whispered, nearly inaudible.

The Wartortle grinned. "Usually, I'd bring one less, but it's time to test Junior over there." He indicated a trembling Pikachu with his head. The Camerupt nodded in understanding before he moved completely behind the log with the rest of them. He shuffled twenty feet from the log and turned around to face them. The Wartortle gave a signal with his free paw.

The cloth was pulled off, revealing a metallic contraption over the Camerupt's hump. A barrel extended from it, making it look like a cannon of sorts. The barrel was angled up with a couple of quiet clicks in the machine, aiming over the heads of the gathered force. The Wartortle aimed his M-1 Garand over the log slowly, quietly, and the rest followed suit. The Wartortle looked back at the Camerupt once more, and nodded.

A sound of thunder, and all hell broke loose.

The cannon fire had taken out a bunker dug into the grasslands, hidden to all but the most trained eye. Bodies flew out from the explosion, charred and unmoving. The task force surged over the log and ran towards the yells of their enemies, bullets flying and bodies dropping. Bullets ripped through the fragile bodies of unarmored pokemon, while others suffered trauma from bullets ricocheting off of the armor they wore, natural or otherwise. Blood soaked the grass as the group took the element of surprise and ripped their foes in two. Not a single one of the small force has died, but a couple have taken hits.

The Wartortle dropped his M-1 Garand, now out of bullets, and whipped an AK-47 off of one of the dead pokemon at his feet. Taking aim, he pulled the trigger, the rat-tat-tat crying death to those unfortunate enough to come within range. Suddenly, he stopped firing, and looked to the Pikachu, who had frozen where he stood, oblivious to the bullets flying just inches by him. Seeing he had no weapon, he pulled an M-16 from another dead enemy and tossed it at him. The machine gun hit him in the chest, bringing him back to reality; the Pikachu caught the M-16 just before it hit the ground and held it up, looking to the Wartortle, his eyes wide.

"Just aim and pull th' trigger!" he yelled at him, "Try t' aim fer th' heads!" With that, he ran off, the dirt behind him flying up like a fountain as the bullets trailed his position.

The Pikachu stared at the scene unfolding around him in horror; this was much different than the training he'd gone through. He wasn't ready for this...he wasn't ready to take another's life. His thoughts, however, were suddenly interrupted as a sudden scream raised behind him. He turned on the spot, only to see a Mankey charging, a rifle equipped with a bayonet in his grip. Before he could think, he pulled the trigger, watching as his body is ripped apart by his bullets. When he stopped, there was hardly any resemblance to what the Mankey was only a few seconds before.

He stared at the dead Mankey, then again at his paws. He dropped the gun in fear and horror and backed up. A sparkle caught his attention form the corner of his eye. He slowly turned his head to see an unbloodied pool of water, perfectly reflecting the broiling sky above. He stepped closer to observe it. When he was directly above it, he expected his own reflection. However, when he saw his face, it was as though he'd never seen it before. He screamed in fear...

As he woke up, a human.

Van looked wildly around his room, expecting the sound of bullets ripping up the earth or the screams of a dying pokemon, but he calmed down as a realization came to him: it was all a dream.

His breathing was erratic, though his hyperventilating eventually slowed down to slow, deep breaths. Finally, he sighed, having calmed down from the adrenaline rushing through his veins. He sat up, flinging his legs over the edge of the bed, and buried his face in the palms of his hands; he tried desperately to sort out the images that were going through his head, all from the dream. A Wartorle, looking like Rambo...a Camerupt with a cannon on its back...a gun in his hands, a Pikachu's hands, the bullets blasting from it ripping into a Mankey's body...

Growling in frustration, he stood up, realizing his sleep clothes, a light pair of sweats and a white tee, were plastered to his body with cold sweat. "Ugh! Gross..." Quickly, he pulled some clothes out of his dresser and left for the bathroom.

After a quick shower and getting dressed, Van walked back into the room and glanced at his alarm clock: it showed 10:08am in red numbers. "Aw, great...lucky its Saturday, or else..." He couldn't imagine what his mother would do to him if he woke up this late on a school day! Running a hand through his short blond hair, he threw his still-damp sleep clothes into the laundry hamper and headed downstairs for breakfast.

As he walked into the pristine kitchen, he was greeted by his brother in the usual fashion. "Morning, Sleeping Beauty."

"Shove it up your ass..." Van responded in a grumble.

"Van!" His mother snapped at him from the stove, "You may be four years older than Spencer, but that still doesn't give you the right to treat him like that! Apologize. NOW."

Van grumbled out an "I'm sorry..." to Spencer, who was grinning wide. Van couldn't figure out what was up with his parent. Spencer would do something really rotten, taunting and ridiculing him, even in front of his parents, but when Van snapped a retort back at him in similar fashoin, he was the one who got yelled at and, often, punished.

"That's better, though your tone could've been much better." Van's mother said, "Now, what do you want to eat for breakfast?"

"Just some cereal or Toaster Strudels." Van responded.

A hissing intake of air came from Spencer. "Ooh, sorry...I got that last one." Spencer laughed at Van and ate the last remaining bite of the flaky pastry mockingly to him.

Van galred at him. "Guess I'll just have some Lucky Charms cereal, then..." He said, his gaze never leaving Spencer's.

A minute later found Van devouring his cereal, Spencer just lounging at the table, and their mother busy cleaning up the stove. Pausing from his scarfing, Van asked his mom, "So, where's dad?"

"He went to that business trip earlier this morning." His mother glanced at him from, the corner of her eye. "If you'd been awake this morning, you'd have known that."

"That was today?!" Van said incredulously, "Aw man! I thought that was Monday!" He groaned in disappointment before returning to his cereal, eating slower.

A few minutes passed in silence, save for the clink of Van's spoon on his bowl every now and then. Suddenly, the doorbell rang, and Van's mother went to answer it. Spencer stared at Van, like he was sizing him up. Van noticed this. "What?"

"You've got bags under your eyes." He responded.

"Wow, very observant of you." Van said mockingly before returning to his cereal.

"I heard you thrashing around in your bed earlier, too." Spencer continued, "So, tell me: what were you dreaming about? What nightmares haunted you and made you pee your pants?"

"Shut up!" Van restrained himself from tossing his entire bowl at his brother. "Anyway, what is it any business of yours?"

"What, can't a brother be concerned for his older bro? C'mon, tell me!"

Van sighed. "Fine, but only if you don't rip on me for it. You see...there was this plains feild, alright? Well, there were explosions far off from this dead-lookin' tree. Then, this group of pokemon-"

He was cut off by his brother's guffawing. "My God, you're pathetic! I mean, you're seventeen, and you had a nightmare about pokemon?! That's just frickin' lame!"

"I told you not to do that!" Van yelled.

"How can you expect me not to?! I'm your younger brother, and this is just gold! Wait'll I tell the guys at school that you were dreaming about gettin' kissed by pokemon!"

"Shut up! That's not what happened, and you know it!" Van refused to tell his brother any more.

"Aw, come on, you need to just get over it." Spencer told him. "Now, what else happened?"

Van glared at him. "Do you promise not to rip on me for it, OR tell anyone else?"

Spencer had to think about it a sec before nodding. "Fine, but you aren't making this easy."

Van huffed before continuing. Spencer didn't interrupt him again, just listened intently to Van's description of his vivid nightmare. Finally, Van finished. "You know what the wierd thing is? I've had this exact dream for, nights now. They weren't as...well, they didn't seem as real as the one I had this morning."

Spencer raised an eyebrow. "Really? Well, I still say that's lame, although I could probably relate to that War-turtle, or whatever it's called. I can't say I envy you, cause I'd wanna rip my mind out after a dream about something as lame as pokemon."

Van "Pfft"-ed before getting up and rinsing his bowl in the sink and placing it in the dishwasher. "Whatever, dude. See, this is how I know that you're adopted; we have absolutely nothing in common."

It was just Van's luck that his mother had walked into the kitchen at that moment. "Van, what did I just tell you about saying something like that to your brother?!"

Van sighed again and glanced at Spencer, who smirked behind their mother's back. He knew their mother didn't know all that Spencer said, and that she'd never believe Van telling her that their "little teenager" wasn't as much an angel as they thought. "Sorry, Spencer..." Van grumbled, knowing what his mother was about to tell him to do.

"You know what? I might not be feeling generous enough to let you go to this Solar Eclipse party your friend invited you to if you don't behave!" She held up a flashy card with a picture of a Solar Eclipse on it.

"AW, c'mon, mom! I've been looking forward to being invited, and I finally got it! Please can I go, please?!" he begged.

His mother just glared at him before sighing. Fine, if you just stop that. Here." She handed him the card.

Van took it and thanked his mother before dashing to the front door to put his shoes on. Afterwords, he looked inside the card to find out when the party'd be done.

"I want you home before 7:30, alright?" came his mother's voice.

"That's perfect. See ya, mom!" He yelled back before opening the front door and going out into the streets of the Stratton Meadows neighborhood.

An hour later, he was having fun at his friend Oric's house. It was an invitation only party, so there were only a few people there. Even his best friend, Danielle, was there. She, like Van, had decided to bring her DS and a copy of Pokemon Pearl (Van had Diamond instead), and was busy in a battle with Oric. As Van walked up, the battle was over.

"Agh, dammit!" Oric cursed his bad luck.

Dani laughed. "No need to get worked up over a loss, geez...Sore loser." She tossed her long black hair.

"Losing just isn't my thing, okay?" Oric defended poorly. He put his hand on his head, rubbing his short, brown hair stubs...he liked his hair short.

"Whatever...hey, Van!" She called, having spotted him. "Wanna battle?"

"Sure!" Van ran up and pulled out his black DS Lite. "6 on 6, no Legends, is that fine?"

"I don't battle any other way, so yeah."

A minute later, Van and Dani entered into a fierce battle, with each of their pokemon trading fierce blows. While they had no lv 100 pokemon, they were still powerful. Finally after a long, half-hour battle, dani triumphed, with her Luxray trumping his Gyarados.

"Damn...I forgot you had that Luxray." Van groaned as he pocketed his DS.

"Nice battle. That Gyarados you got is really good...took out half my team with it..." Dani followed Van's example and pocketed her handheld as well. "You want some soda?"

"Just some Pepsi, thanks." Van said, watching Dani go off to the refreshment table set up by the fence.

"Man, that was a long almost took her to the cleaners, dude." Oric said.

"What the heck does 'take them to the cleaners' mean exactly, anyway?" Van asked, "I mean, I know it means beat down, or something like that, but why?"

Oric raised an eyebrow. "You think too much."

"Yeah, I know..." He ran his hand through his hair in embarrasment. "I can't help it though."

Oric held up a pair of dark glasses. "Here, you'll need these."

It was Van's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Oric, you know I wouldn't look cool, even with the sunglasses."

Oric chuckled. "These aren't your everyday sunglasses, they're specially made. They aren't used to make you look cool, either. They're for the Solar Eclipse, remember? It should be happening any minute now."

"Oh." Van took the sunglasses and put them on. "Thanks."

Oric put on his own pair and smiled. "No problem. Oh, and I'll need them back afterwords; my dad's only borrowing them from his observatory, and they're very expensive."

"Only the best for you, huh?"

"You know it!" the two friends laughed as Dani joined them with three cans of Pepsi. She handed Van and Oric each a can, and Oric handed her a similar pair of glasses. "Why'd you invite Rachel, huh?" She asked Oric, "You know all she does is try to hit on guys at any party she's at, or just hit people."

"Yeah, but in return for inviting her, I get to keep my nose." Oric grinned sheepishly.

Suddenly, one of the other teens said, "Look, it's starting!"

All twelve people looked up at the sun in synch, like robots, gasping as they saw the moon beginning to cover the sun. They felt lucky; a complete Solar Eclipse happens over a particular area of the world only once every 300 years.

"Magical, huh?" Dani asked her two friends.

"Yep..." was all Van chose to say. The only sounds as the moon moved across the sky were mutterings from the others. This was going to be the first Solar Eclipse many of them had ever seen, so they were excited.

"Cool..." Van whispered.

"Yeah...I've never seen something like this...have you?"

"Nope. I'm really glad these sunglasses work, otherwise, we'd be blind right now." Van and Dani laughed at this.

Suddenly, Van felt like his stomach was kicking him in the ribs. He doubled over, wave after wave of nausea pounding away at his inards. "What the-"

"Van, are you okay?" Dani asked, an edge of panic in her voice.

"Yeah. I think that Pepsi might've been bad, though..." Van groaned. He stood up, though with difficulty, and looked up at the eclipse once more. He at least wanted to enjoy what he came here to see before he went to the bathroom and purged himself...

A few seconds later, the moon fully eclipsed the sun, and the corona of the sun was finally visible, shifting and moving like waves on the sea. It was bright, even through the sunglasses.

Instantly, Van blacked out.


Van woke with his head pounding. His eyelids felt too heavy to open, so he felt content to just lay where he was until he could recover his energy...How long was I out...? he thought to himself. Even breathing was making him feel a little sick.

"...Hey...are you okay...?" came a distant voice.

"...Dani...?" Van asked.

"...Dani? No, I'm Harold." Came to distant voice, though it sounded closer ever second.

"Harold? Never heard of ya." Van said, before slowly opening his eyes. Everything was very blurry, but he was able to make out something red. "Are you here for the Solar Eclipse party?"

"Huh? No, there isn't any party here. Besides, the Solar Eclipse isn't for another month or two." The shape said. It was slowly, but surely, coming into focus.

"One or two-" Van said, incredulous. "What are you talki-" He stopped as the shape finally became visible. It was not a person he expected...or, anything he expected at all.

Before him stood a Combusken.

"A pokemon?!" Van cried, pulling himself away suddenly. "This's gotta be a dream!"

"What's wrong with you?!" The Combusken said, angered. "Of course I'm a pokemon! Wha-" He was cut off as the side of his head exploded when a bullet hit it.

"What the f*ck?!" Van yelled, hopping up and backpedalling as quickly as he could. Blood pooled from the dead Combusken's head, soaking the ground dark red. Then, he began to notice the sights and sounds of his surroundings.

The sky was colored a blood red glow from the sunset. All around him, bullets flew a deadly dance, and explosions rocked the earth from bombshells. Pokemon of all kinds were engaged in brutal warfare, bloodlust showing in the eyes of those Van could see before the darkness of death clouded them. Blood soaked the ground, a putrid smell emanating from it. Bird pokemon circled in the air, the smell of carrion waking their feral instincts.

The scene brought constant waves of confusion, horror, and absolute terror to Van, hiding behind a dead-looking tree. "What in hell's going on here?!" He glanced around wildly as the yells of the warring pokemon, coupled with the cries of the dying, sang a symphony of destruction. "This has got to be a f*cking dream! No way in hell is this real!"

Suddenly, something thick struck him in the back, driving the breath out of his lungs and sending him flying to the ground. Van coughed as he turned onto his back, to see who had struck him. All he found, however, was the blade of a bayonet in his face.

Van's breath caught in his throat as all his muscles siezed up. The sight of the point of a blade centimeters from his nose slowed everything down to him, even the sounds of warfare around him was muffled. He gazed at the bayonet, then at the wielder.

The bayonet was attached to a sort of rifle, held by a Nidoking. A belt with a pouch along his waist held some bullets that were showing. He was breathing hard, as if he'd run quite a distance. Blood seeped from bullet holes on his arms. Finally, after a few seconds of silence that lasted an eternity, his lips parted and he grunted out a statement.

"Don't move an inch, or I'll make sure the next hit'll gut ya."
<3 Paired with Dog of Hellsing, mah awesome vampire lady <3
Thanks to Neo Emolga for the banner and Knightblazer for the avatar ^^.

Last edited by Shen; 09-03-2007 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: [WAR]Solar Destiny: Tales of War(PG-13)

Chapter 2: Prisoner of War

Van stared at the point of the bayonet, mere centimeters from his nose. The Nidoking holding the rifle glared at him, unmoving. For a minute that lasted forever, battle blazed around them unabated, as if they didn't exist.

Then, the Nidoking moved the gun slightly and grunted, "Alright, get're comin' with me." He shifted the gun to the side slightly to allow Van to get up without getting cut by the blade. "Get up, ya little cretin."

Trembling, Van stared up at the Nidoking for a few seconds longer, the rocky pokemon's demands barely registering. Finally, he got to his feet slowly, still shaking. The Nidoking beckoned Van before him; Van only too happily obliged, what with the blade poking him in the back. The two began a march through the raging battlefield. All around them, gunfire was constant. There were yells of rage and invigoration, but these were drowned out by the screams of agony. It wasn't pretty...

Miraculously, most bullets missed them, save for a couple that pinged harmlessly off the Nidoking's impressive armor. However, one eventually grazed Van's knees, making them buckle. Van shot out his hands to prevent him falling face first into the dirt, but know his hands smarted as well. Van clanched his eyes in pain, stifling a whimper, and the Nidoking laughed cruelly."Better get used to pain, boy...there's a lot more where yer goin'."

Very soon, the sharp sting subsided, leaving only a dull, throbbing pain that was more endurable. Van slowly opened his eyes, expecting to be gazing at his hands. However, what he saw nearly made his heart stop, even after all the wierd things that had happened today.

What he saw were not his hands, but yellow paws...exactly like those of a Pikachu.

Time seemed to halt entirely for Van as he stared at his hands...his paws. None of this could possibly be real! His mind shouted. Now that he'd seen his paws, Van began to notice other odd things about himself...such as the lightningbolt tail sticking out of his rump, or the long ears lowered on is head...he even noticed that he was covered in yellow fur, the only thing separating him from total nudity.

Time eventually caught up to Van, and a sharp prod in the back brought his attention back to the world around him. The Nidoking stared at Van with a look of utter confusion. "What's the matter, never seen yerself before?" He asked harshly.

"...Apparently not..." Van muttered as he stood up. With another hard poke to his back that opened the skin, he resumed marching in front of the Nidoking, oblivious to the world around him as he buried himself in his thoughts. Van so desperately wanted this to be another nightmare, but he was quickly being forced to believe that this was all real...that some force, mystical or otherwise, had turned him into a Pikachu and brought him to this war-torn world of wasn't very encouraging.

The sounds of battle began to die away as they marched on. Soon, they were joined by many other pokemon, all yelling and talking jubilantly; Van supposed they had been victorious in this battle, though against who, he didn't have the slightest idea. A Gligar, carrying a type of machine gun, came walking up behind the Nidoking. "Hey Johnson!" He called out, "Nice job out there today!" He glanced around the Nidoking to see who marched before him. "Y'know we don't usually take prisoners. How do you think the General's gonna act?" He asked.

"Oh, he'll be plenty pleased with who I've got." Johnson said with a small grin to him. The Gligar walked up next to Van. Van looked over at him though the corner of his eye, and saw the Gligar's eyes open wide.

The Gligar looked back at Johnson. "A Pikachu?! Again, nice job!"

"Thanks, Yarsan." Johnson responded. Van kept himself from snapping a retort at the Gligar; it'd be a bad idea to snap at the friend of the one who's got a knife sticking in Van's back. Johnson looked over to Yarson, who'd taken to walking beside him, and started a different conversation.

Van wondered about what the two had said; what about him being a Pikachu made him so special? And how was his capture significant? It's not like he put up much of a fight...or even any of a fight, for that matter. No answers came to him as they continued marching.

It was an hour before they neared a bunch of buildings crammed together in a fenced-off area. A large gate flanked by sentry towers loomed before them. There was a loud whistle from on top of one of these towers, and the gates began sliding open on wheels. The large force of pokemon began flooding through, now evidently marching. Lines formed up, and all the pokemon stood straight and serious; apparently, there were some high standards here, Van thought.

Van was forced to march as well, and the puncture wound that had clotted and closed earlier was opened and continually prodded until he got the hint to march with them. Furiously, almost rebelliously, Van consented, just to stop Johnson's prodding.

The marching column eventually split into a single line before a massive building. When the end of the line was reached, they stopped marching, only to mark time in place. Van was stopped in the middle of the long horizontal line. Luckily for him, he wasn't forced to mark time, and took the time to rest his aching leg muscles; he just wasn't used to it, at all.

Suddenly, a pokemon called out from the building, yelling, "Company, HALT!" In unison, the pokemon stopped marking time, keeping completely still and silent. Then, two calls went up, one on either side of the line. On Van's left, one pokemon yelled, "Right Face!", While on his left, another said, "Left Face." As one, the pokemon lined up turned to the front, facing the building they lined up in front of. The only sound for a long time was the wind on their faces. Van glanced around, lookin for the ones who gave the orders, and what they were waiting for.

With a great cracking sound, the wall in the part of the building before Van split open along a perfectly straight line, about five feet from the ground to the top of the line. Then, the two parts of the wall slid open, like automatic doors. Van realized it was an ingenious door design; it was impossible to find except by those who knew where it was and how to open it.

From the new opening in the wall, a Golem stepped out, his hands behind his round back. He sported a type of hat Van recognized as one the Marine Corps in his world wore; this Golem must be a high-ranked official in this army. The line of pokemon saluted him in a single movement. Van stared at him, eyebrows furrowed in anger at his captors. The Golem stepped before him and gazed down at Van, the same look of anger on the rock-pokemon's face.

Finally, he looked up to Johnson and spoke. "You captured him, knowing full well that the orders were to take no captives, only eliminate or drive out the enemy?" The Nidoking nodded and lowered his saluting hand. The Golem loked into Johnson's eyes for a minute, scrutinizing him. Then, he cracked a smile and patted him on the back. "Good job, Johnson. This may give you a promotion, if I have anything to say about it."

Johnson saluted once more. "Thank you, General, sir!"

The General stepped back and looked along the line of pokemon. "Johnson, bring the Pikachu with you and follow me. The rest of you," he shouted so the rest of the pokemon would hear him, "are dismissed back to your barracks!"

"SIR!" They yelled as one before they all dispersed, talking casually amongst themselves.

Suddenly, Van's arms were grabbed and held together behind his back. "Hey!" He cried as he struggled against the hold. He realized it was the Nidoking, Johnson, again, especially after he was lifted by the arms into the air and moved forward. "You bastard! What's the meaning of this? Let me go!"

"Gladly, if you let me have the pleasure of keeping your arms!" Johnson growled in his ear. That shut Van up, though he still struggled in his hold.

The hallway past the hidden doorway was dark, especially after the wall closed behind Johnson. Van's eyesight was another thing he noticed was amplified, as he could still see well in this darkness. He went limp in the Nidoking's grasp, letting himself be carried to what may be his doom.

The hallway suddenly opened into a gigantic, circular room, filled with many screens on the walls, showing black-and-white pictures of the buildings and the surrounding area, among other things. There were raised diases in the very middle of the room, the top one of which Van couldn't see what was on it. Pokemon of all kinds milled about, doing their jobs.

The Golem General from before stood at the base of the lowest dias. As Johnson walked up to him, he called up towards the top dias: "Commander, Johnson is here! He has someone you may want to see!"

Johnson stopped ten feet before the General and looked up. Van followed his gaze. What he saw made him stare in awe.

Floating down rather quickly from the top dias was Mewtwo. As he landed before Johnson and looked upon Van, his expression went from something of serious neutrality to on of fury.

"So, one of you still live, eh?" His voice was very calm, but eerily icy. It dug into Van's skin, his very soul, and made him tremble once more.

"Mewtwo..." He whispered in awe, staring upon the Legendary before him. Van glared upon the Psychic being. "What do you want with me, exactly?"

"Oh, as if you don't know." Mewtwo responded with a chuckle. He looked back to the Golem. "What are the Zenos Army's plans, traitor!" He said.

"Zenos army? What the hell is that?" Van spat at him.

Mewtwo glared at him before looking back at the Golem. "Take him to the torture room. If he doesn't give an adequate know what to do." Mewtwo said with a glint in his eye.

The Golem saluted and said, "Of course, sir."

Van's eyes opened wide in fear at what he heard. "Torture?! What the hell did I do?! I don't know anything, I'm telling you the truth!" he yelled as he was carried into another hallway by the Nidoking. "Stop, please!"


Five hours later, Van was tossed, bloody and wracked with pain, into what looked to be a priosn cell. Despite the soft hay covering the stone floor, it didn't soften the hard landing. Van coughed harshly, spitting blood on the hay, before laying still, groaning in pain. Outside the barred window above his head, the nihgt sky gazed through the opening upon his pitiful form.

Obviously, the Golem had ben unable to extract exactly what he wanted to hear from Van. For five hours, he'd told the same story over and over. His words, however, were recieved with laughter, scoffs, and another dose of torture. His pleads for mercy fell on deaf ears, and he was repeatedly brought to the brink of death before allowed to rest and recuperate...if only for a few seconds.

Van's thoughts were interrupted when the door to the cell building opened. He perked his ears and listened: a single pokemon was approaching. He sat up, pressed himself against a wall, and steeled himself to fight off the approaching mon if he tried to take Van to a horrible fate. As the footsteps came closer, he grew more afraid, but he refused to show it.

A light brightened the stone building before a Charmander came into view, carrying a tray of some kind. As he began messing with the lock to the cell, a smell reached his nose. The smell was definitely of food, and it made Van's mouth water, because he hadn't had anything to eat since that morning. Van calmed down as he decided to see what the Charmander had for him.

"Hey, sorry about this..." The Charmander apologized, "The Commander isn't usually so fierce with captives, despite us having so few, but...well, you are a Pikachu."

"And just what the hell does that have to do with it?!" Van snapped, exposing his teeth fiercly.

"Sheez, no need to bite my head off!" The Charmander said, offended, "It's just that...wait, you don't know?"

"It's a long story." Van said, averting his eyes.

"Well, if you tell me, I'll tell you what you being a Pikachu has to do with your...situation." The Charmander said, sitting down.

"Wait, one thing's first: What's on the tray?" Van said, pointing to the covered tray letting off the succulent aromas.

"Oh, right, totally forgot about this." The Charmander placed the tray before him and slid it across the hay to Van. "I managed to snag some food for you. Just because I'm in this army doesn't mean I totally agree with everything they do. I just want to do the right thing, and stop the enemy from destroying us."

"Oooo...kay...thanks, uh...what's your name?" Van asked as he took the cover off the tray, revealing a small loaf of bread, a bowl of what seemed to be Gumbo, and a cup of water.

"I'm Jordan." The Charmander responded, "Jordan Scotts. And you?"

"I'm Van." The Pikachu grabbed a piece of the bread, dipped it in the Gumbo, and popped it into his mouth, savoring the flavor. He swallowed it whole, not even bothering to chew it. "Oh, God I'm hungry!"

"Go, ahead, I can wait." Jordan folded his arms and waited as Van filled his starved belly, scarfing down the bread quickly. He tried to make sure he wasn't rude, but it was so hard, because he had never gone so long without a single was kind of pathetic, really.

Finally, Van finished and wiped his mouth with his arm. "Heh...sorry. I should've told you the story before bein' so rude."

"Again, no problem." Jordan just smiled. "Anyway, care to expain?"

Van lowered his ears to his head. "I'm pretty damn sure that even if I tell you, you'll think I'm crazy, like those guys who tortured the hell outta me..."

"Try me." This time, Jordan grinned.

Van shrugged and told him everything he had told the General when he was being tortured. Van felt calmer and had an easier time telling the story, seeing as how he wasn't being shocked with electricity levels too high even for a Pikachu or being slashed and cut.

When Van had finished, Jordan merely stared at him, rapt. "See? Toldja." Van said.

"Wow...I always thought that humans were a myth, since there aren't any in this world, but if your story's true, then you're living proof!" Jordan said excitedly.

"There are none here?" Van asked, confused.

"As far as I know, there never were any."

"That's...interesting." Van then remembered what Jordan had said. "Okay, I've told you my story, now, please tell me what me being a Pikachu has to do with my abuse."

"Huh?" Jordan looked at him, confused, before he remembered. "Oh, right! Well, to start off, there weren't many Pikachu's to begin with before this war. However, a large number had joined our military forces in peacetime. Soon after, however...things began to go wrong..."

"What do you mean?" Van asked.

Jordan sighed before continuing. "No one but the Commander really knows, but he told us that the entire Pikachu population in the military rose up and tried to overthrow our government and the heads in the military. Mewtwo was so angry and distraught that he attacked mercilessly, killing most of them right off."

"Jeez..." Van breathed out this word.

"The ones that escaped made it back to a neighboring country called Zenos. According to Mewtwo, they were an entire legion of spies tasked with eliminating and taking control of the military and the government in a hostile takeover...So, a war was started between Zenos and us, the proud country of Ishtaria. Within the first few battles, the rest of those traitors were killed...unfortunately for them, they were all done in by the Commander himself, each and every one."

"Woah..." Van whispered, mostly to himself.

"So now I think you understand why Mewtwo is so hostile with you." Jordan finished.

"Yeah, ya think?" Van chuckled.

Jordan laughed with him until a sudden noise atracted his attention. "Crap, someone's coming. Listen, I gotta go; I can't risk myself getting caught here. You understand, right?"

"You have no idea..." Van laughed inwardly as he remembered sneaking out to talk to Dani when she was grounded to her room. "No problem. Hey, if I live through whatever they ave in store for me, we're friends, right?"

"Sure." Jordan gave a thumbs-up before taking the tray and leaving, closing the cell door behind him. "See ya!" He whispered hurriedly before running off. The light of his tail faded as he left.

Van sighed and just decided to lay until he fell asleep. Nothing to do now until tomorrow, when his fate was decided.

His sleep was dreamless and uninterrupted, even by the forgotten pain he was in. He regained a little of the strength he was sapped of the previous night. However, all good things must pass, and all too soon he was shaken awake and hefted out of the prison building by Johnson, the Nidoking from before. The pain returned to his body, so Van tried to prevent it by going limp in Johnson's grasp.

Van didn't see where they went from the building because his eyes are closed, but when they entered a shadow much cooler than the sunlight pounding on them, he opened his eyes and recognized the hallway of the large building; he was being brought straight to Mewtwo, no doubt.

Two minutes later, they entered the large room with the raised diases. Suddenly, Johnson stopped and threw Van towards the lowest dias's base. Van skidded on the ground painfully. He breathed raggedly, pain lancing throughout his body.

"So, are you prepared for what is in store for you?" Came that same eerily icy voice from the previous day.

"As ready as I'll ever be..." Van groaned, looking up at Mewtwo. Van was lifted effortlessly as Mewtwo raised his left hand. Damn Psychic powers... Van thought. Then he snapped at the Legendary, "Kill me if you must. At least this pain'll be gone."

"Oh, I won't kill you...yet." Mewtwo said snidely, "First, I'm going to probe your mind and gather what you know about the plans of our enemy."

"And what'll hapen to me if what you find is that I've been telling the truth this whole time?!" Van growled at him.

Mewtwo smiled. "If it IS that case, which I doubt, then I'm truly sorry, and I'll let you join our forces, after you get healed from yesterday's...misunderstanding. Now, let's begin!"

Van cried out in pain as he felt Mewtwo's mind probe strike painfully into his mind. Mewtwo was invading every part of his mind, his feelings, his experiences, and even the personal parts of his brain. don't belong there... Van thought with a litle effort. Whether his thoughts were heard by the intruder, however, was unknown. The pain became so intense hat Van finally submitted all thoughts to the probe, hoping the pain would soon end.

After a particularly painful spike, Van felt the probe begin to leave. Thankful that it was over, Van sighed in relief. When the probe was gone, Van's senses returned to the real world. Stars erupted in his eyes as he tried to focus. "Well?" Van said, impatient.

Nothing was said, until, "Van, I am truly sorry." Mewtwo said, knowing his name from the probing, "I thought you were one of those who tried to destroy our country's government...will you accept my apologies, as well as my offer to join our army?"

Van had to truly think about this: He was captured, he was tortured and maimed, he may have suffered brain damage, and all this because of a misunderstanding?! was tempting...Maybe by joining this army, he can help them defeat those that are evil, and do the right thing. Finally...

"Yes...I'll accept you offer. I'll join your army."
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: [WAR]Solar Destiny: Tales of War(PG-13)

Chapter 3: New Recruit

Mewtwo smiled at Van's words. "Excellent, young Van. I sensed great potential within you. Make us proud."

"Th-thank you...Commander." Van added in an afterthought.

Mewtwo turned to face the General as he psychically put Van back down and released his hold on him. "Take him to the infirmary for an overnight stay, then return here. I wish to discuss the terms of Van's...special training."

"Yes, sir!" the Golem responded with a salute before gingerly picking Van up by the scruff of his neck. Van immediately went limp, unfamiliar to this new sensation.

"What the heck?" Van groaned.

The Golem chuckled as they entered the hallway to the exit. "You really arent' used to being a Pikachu, are you?" Van shook his head in response. The Golem suddenly looked away sheepishly. "I, uh...I really must apologize for last night. Had I just tried to believe your story, I wouldn't have nearly killed you in that torture chamber..."

"As long as it doesn't happen again, I suppose I could...let it slide..." Van moaned, his strength failing.

The General noticed this. "Go ahead and rest, Van. I'll get you to the infirmary either way."

Van nodded slowly as he fell out of consciousness...


The next thing he knew, Van was awake, lying down on a bed in a very white room. Sunlight poured in through a window to his left, brightening up the room and blinding Van. Van shut his eyes and rubbed them. "Ow..."

"You alright?" A voice next to Van said.

"I recognize that voice..." Van said as he squinted his eyes, trying to adjust them to the bright room. He looked over to the origin of the voice. "Jordan?"

The Charmander smiled. "Yep. I volunteered to watch over you last night."

Van finally opened his eyes all the way. "Well, ain't that sweet of you." The two laughed. van sat up, examining himself over. "How long was I out?"

"Just a day, no worries." Jordan explained.

"Just one day, and all those injuries are gone? Wow..."

"Well, what do you expect with Chanseys and Blisseys, huh?" Jordan sat back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head. "They know their stuff, don't they?"

"I imagine."

Jordan looked over to Van, his eyes sparkling. "Heard you decided to join our army. Is that true?"

"Yeah, I did." Van sat up, sliding the white sheets off of himself. "Mewtwo asked me to after he, uh...probed my mind, I believe he called it."

"He probed your mind?! Jeez, that's rough." Jordan sighed. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?" Van looked over to Jordan, concerned at the question.

"Well, that's a relief. Usually, those who's minds are probed by the Commander come out a little...loopy, if you catch my drift. He must've been generous with you." Jordan said.

Before Van could respond to that, the door opened and the General stepped in. Jordan jumped up and saluted. "Sir!"

"At ease, private." The Golem said, walking up to Van. "So, feeling better?"

"A hundred percent, thanks!" Van jumped out of bed and stood before him.

"Good. Now, come with me. I think it's time we begin your training."

"Training?" Van cocked his head. "What do you mean?"

"While you have potential in you, we have to more or less coax it out." The General turned and walked slowly towards the exit. "I'm going to train you the basics of military: using guns, proper care for them, and basic survival skills for the warzone."

"Basically, Boot Camp." Jordan said simply.

"Well, I guess I should've expected that..." Van said with a sigh.

"Yes, I suppose you should've. Now come along; we have much to do." With that, the General left. Van hurried after him, saying a quick goodbye to Jordan before leaving.

"Just because you are a special case, don't expect me to be lenient with you, Van." the General said as they left the infirmary building, "I expect you to follow my exact orders, no matter how degrading they are. You will be in the best physical shape of your life, if I have anything to say about it. Understand?"

"Of course." Van responded.

The General stopped suddenly and spun around on the spot. He glared down at Van. "I can't hear you!" he yelled.

Taking the hint, Van saluted and said, "Sir yes sir!"

The General smirked and turned back around. "Good, you learn quickly." He began walking again, and Van followed. Nothing else was said as they made their way through the camp. Hardly a pokemon was seen, but Van didn't notice this.

A few minutes later, the two entered a gated-off area of the camp. Inside, there was a single building, but the rest was almost untouched. There were many rocks around, all larger than Van. "What's this place for?" He asked.

"This is where you'll be training, of course." The General responded. He headed towards the lone building. "Stay here." He commanded Van, who obeyed.

He opened a door on the side of the building and went inside, closing the door behind him. Van stood next to a large rock, patiently waiting for him to return. It was awfully silent...

The silence was interrupted by a loud click above Van's head. He looked up, curious...and found himself staring into the barrels of a gattling gun.

"HOLY SH*T!" Van yelled as he dived away. He only just made it away; the gun began firing the instant Van moved, tearing up the dirt where he stood. However, a second later, the gun pointed at Van again. He ran behind another rock as the gun began firing, hundreds of bullets barely missing his tail. "What the hell?!"

"Good reflexes!" The General's voice called out from what seemed to be an intercom or megaphone.

"What the f*ck was that?!" Van yelled.

"The first part of your training." the General's voice responded. "See if you can make it to the other side of the lot. There are guns you can defend yourself with over there."

"What the f*ck?! I thought you said you were gonna train me to use a gun!"

"What better way than under pressure?" The General said with a laugh. " Hurry, because as time passes by, more guns pop up and shoot at you. Oh, and those are real bullets, so I'd be careful if I were you!"

"Sonuvabitch!" Van cursed under his breath as he peered around the side of the rock at the gun. As soon as he looked, the gun pointed at him and began spinning its barrels. Van pulled his head back instantly, hearing the bullets ricocheting off the rock. "Dammit, how'm I supposed to get past that damn thing?" Before he could divulge a solution, however, the top of the rock in front of Van opened up, another gattling gun rising out of it with another click. It pointed at Van and began spinning.

"Aw, sh*t."

Van dashed away, his position being trailed by both guns. Van took a brief second to be amazed that he was still alive before running behind another rock. He was finally able to catch his breath as he heard the guns "looking" around for him.

"Almost there, Van! Hurry up, here come some more!" The General's voice rang out as two more rocks opened up by Van.

"Oh, come on!" Van shouted as he ran out into the open again, barely keeping ahead of the bullets streaming after him. He took cover behind another, larger rock and glanced around, making sure no more rocks were opening near him. It was then he spotted a stash of three or four guns, lying against a rocky wall, marking the edge of the training area. "There they are!" Taking a chance, he rocketed towards them. The guns noticed him and fired upon him, but he kept ahead of them. Of course...Pikachus are speedy. Van thought with a grin.

A gattling gun suddenly sprouted from a rock beside Van and fired at him. Van jumped to the side, just avoiding the bullets. Before the gun could fire at him again, he sprang at the guns and grabbed the nearest one.

"Good, now defend yourself!" the General barked, "Shoot the guns out!"

"Here goes nothing!" Van whispered as he aimed the gun he grabbed at the nearest gattling gun. As it aimed at him as well, he pulled the trigger.

A single bullet rocketed from the barrel, striking the gun. The kickback from firing wasn't as bad as he thought it would be, though the loud sound made Van's ears ring. The gattling gun began twitching before it exploded a second later, sending metal parts everywhere. Van covered his head with an arm before looking up. "Nice..."

Little time was left for thought, because another gattling gun appeared from another rock. Van immediately pointed the gun at it and fired again. The bullet struck the side, knocking the gun off of the rock entirely.

Van noticed a scope on the top of the gun, so he made use of it and peered through it. he was able to see around twenty feet away, making it easier to aim at gattling guns without being in range. "Hmm...must be a sniper rifle, or something..." Van whispered as he took aim at the first gattling gun that showed itself. He fired a bullet, but it only struck the gun, instead of making it fall off or explode. Van fired again, though this time he missed entirely. "Dammit!" Van spat as he messed with the knobs on the scope, increasing the zoom. He put the gattling gun in the crosshairs and fired again.

This time, the bullet ran true, and the gun exploded. van grinned as he aimed at yet another gattling gun. He pulled the trigger...and only recieved a click in response. "What- oh, sh*t!" Van yelled, "Out of ammo..." He threw the gun down and turned back to the weapon stash, grabbing a gun he recognized from video games. "Sweet, AK-47."

As soon as he grabbed the gun, three more gattling guns popped up around him and took aim. He jumped out of the way, but his left arm was grazed by a couple bullets. Blood seeped from the long cuts dug into the skin, stinging like hell. Van's breath hissed through his teeth as he clutched his arm while hiding momentarily behind a rock. The he took the AK-47 and aimed it at the guns, slamming his finger down on the trigger.

Bullets sprayed from the gun, literally tearing through the metal weapons.The ground was littered with their pieces. However, the amazing kickback from the gun actually knocked Van to the ground. "Damn...wrong choice..."

"Alright, that's enough!" rang the General's voice just as another gattling gun popped up. It began spinning, but stopped almost a second afterwords, and retracted back into the rock, along with the rest of the remaining guns. Exhausted, Van just dropped his AK-47 to the ground and collapsed onto his rear, gasping for air.

The General walked up to him, smiling smugly. "The Commander didn't lie: you really do have potential. I noticed you seemed to like rifles in particular. Nice choice, if I must say so."

"Th...thanks, I...guess..." Van gasped. "But next time, warn me when you're gonna try to kill me..."

The General chortled. "Of course, of course. Now, follow me. We have one more bit of training today before you can relax."

"This one isn't where I'm dangling over a pit of lava, is it?" Van joked as he stood up.

Again, the General laughed. "No, no...we'll save that one for another day." Still chuckling, the General began wlaking away.

"Wait, you're not serious, are you?!" Van said frantically as he ran after his superior.

Not much else was said as they exited through the gate they entered earlier, heading back into the main of the camp. More pokemon were around now that the day was in full swing. Once again, Van took little notice, being worried about what other hell he was going to go through today.

The General turned through the many buildings until he faced one slightly larger than most of the ones here. Van assumed the ones they had passed were the barracks, because they were the most common buildings in the camp.

Van and the General went through the door together, into a much darker, cooler climate. even with his better eyesight, Van still had a little trouble seeing in the gloom. "What are we doing here, General, sir?" Van asked.

Before he could get an answer, Van was hit hard from behind, knocking him sprawling to the ground. He slid on a rough, metal floor. Then Van's ears were grabbed by a pair of rough hands and pulled back tight, bringing his head back with them. Van felt somthing thin, sharp, and cold press up against his neck.

"So, this is the 'prodige' you told me about?" Said a rugged voice, definitelly masculine, as a weight pressed on Van's back.

"Who the hell-" Van began.

"I thought you realized he would need training, Grauss." The General said calmly, turning to Van and the one on his back.

The weight lifted from Van, as did the cold metal from Van's throat, and his ears were released. Van immediately shot up and turned to his aggressor. As he turned, lights blared in the chamer, revealing a plain, metal cube of a room; this seemed to be the only room in the entire building. It also revealed who attacked Van.

Van recognized him from his dreams: The Wartortle with the headband, though he lacked the bullet belt strapped to his chest this time; instead, he had a combat vest on. His hardened black eyes glared into Van's blue ones. In his right hand was a wicked-looking dagger. Part of the blade was actually stained blood-red.

"Van, this is Colonel Grauss. He will be in charge of training your close-combat skills." The General explained. "I expect you to follow his every order, because he isn't exactly one who tolerates disobedience or failure well."

Van turned to the General and saluted. "Yes, sir!"

"Good. Now, I'll leave you to. I have other things to do today." With that, the General took his leave. Van turned to Grauss and awaited any orders.

"I don't care just how highly others may think of you, even the Commander; you're still just a measly private to me, and you'll get no special treatment from me unless you earn it." Grauss said coldly. He took another dagger out of a pocket in his combat vest and threw it at Van's feet. It actually stuck into the metal floor, quivering before the awed Pikachu. "What do you know of fighting with knives in hand-to-hand combat."

"Uh...nothing, sir, other than that they can tip the favor to you." Van responded.

"Pitiful..." Grauss sighed before he turned his back to Van. "Pick up the dagger I threw at you. I expect you to become so familiar with that blade, it's as if it's an extension of your own arm. We will not rest until you can successfully block my own blows and get me with it." He explained as Van lowered himself to pick up the dagger.

"Wait, you mean I have to fight you to pass?" Van asked, wary.

Grauss chuckled slightly. "Actually, you have to fight me every day. THAT will be how I train you." He turned back to face Van and held his dagger as if he were ready to fight. "On guard!"

Grauss shot forward so suddenly that Van only brought his own dagger up in time;Grauss would've cut his head clean off had he not deflected the blade to the side. However,it still nicked Van's cheek slightly, causing blood to ooze forth. Van was knocked to the ground again, and felt the blade pressed against his neck once more.

"Well, at least I didn't kill you, though you still have a ways to go." Grauss said gruffly as he climbed off Van, allowing him to get up again. "You need to be able to deflect my blade and keep standing. You'll be dead in an instant if an enemy caught you like that."

Van stood straight and held his dager like Grauss held his own. Grauss laughed. "I think it'd be better if you find a fighting stance and style that better fits you. Don't just copy me."

"Uh...right..." Van said slowly, confused.

"Now, let's try this again. Be ready!" Grauss surged forward once more.


Two brutal hours later, Van exited the building, bleeding from several more cuts on his face, arms, and chest. He couldn't help but feel that Grauss was purposefully just nicking him, rather than taking his extremities off entirely. He shrugged off this feeling and headed to the infirmary on Grauss's orders. After getting his "scratches" cleaned and patched up, he was allowed to go to the Mess Hall to get something to eat before he was showed to the barracks he would reside in.

As Van left the infirmary, he heard someone yell, "Hey, Van!"

He looked over to see Jordan running towards him from one of the closer barracks buildings. "Hey Jordan." Van said as the Charmander met up with him.

Jordan looked over the gauze and wrappings all over his body. "God, what happened to you?"

Van looked over to him. "Don't ask..."
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: [WAR]Solar Destiny: Tales of War(PG-13)

Chapter 4: Fruits of Training

After his meal in the Mess hall (a package called an MRE, containing what looked like cold spaggheti and meat sauce, as well as a small device to heat the meal), Van quickly met up with the General outside the Hall.

"Uh, sir?" Van asked after saluting, "I'm afraid that I don't know your name, just your rank."

The Golem looked at him sternly. "I am to be called just 'General' or 'General Pak.' That's all you need to know, Private."

", I mean, understood, sir." Van replied.

"Good. Now, follow me to your living quarters. It's over here in block C." General Pak turned towards the long, semi-circle buildings, vaguely reminding Van of Native American lodges. As they walked, Pak explained that there were four blocks of eight barracks in the camp (Van mused to himself that it was more like a fort). The barracks weren't gender-specific, but they were rank specific, meaning Van would live with fellow Privates in the Ishtaran Arm. An entire end of each building was devoted solely to showers.

By that time, they'd reached the door. As general Pak grasped the handle, he said, "We have only one available bed, which obviously will be yours. You'll be able to tell which one it is." he added, anticipating Van's question. Finally, he opened the door and allowed Van in.

It was exactly as Van had seen it in some war movies in the human world. Each side was lined with numerous metal bunk beds, all plain and uniform with white sheets. There was a rectangular box attached to the end of each bed; Van assumed these were for the personal items of the soldiers. The barrack was absolutely filled with other soldiers conversing with one another. Arouns the beds, such as the walls, were personalized with newspaper cutouts and pictures, among other things.

As soon as the open door was noticed, all head turned towards Van, and an eerie silence fell. Van suddenly felt very hot and sweaty, like being in a spotlight. Still, he refused to show this as he gazed back.

"Listen up!" General Pak said loudly, his voice reverberating throughout the long metal building, "This is the new Private, Van. I expect you to treat him as one of you, as you will be training with him from now on. help him to familiarize with our surroundings and customs." He looked around quietly before barking, "Understood?!"

"Yes, sir!" The multitudes of voices rang out with a salute each.

"Good. Carry on." With that, the General shut the door.

The seconds dragged on as the silence continued. Nobody said a thing...indeed, even breathing was so quiet it didn't break the silence. Finally, Van decided to just take what was coming, and began walking down the middle, amidst the stares. The distance to the one untouched bed seemed miles in the strained atmosphere, even more so due to Van's diminished size. After what seemed to be an eternity, Van reached what was supposed to be his bed. On the top, a Sandshrew gazed down upon him, her eyes unreadable. van grew more uncomfortable as he pulled himself onto the mattress and sat with his legs over the side. As the silence still coated the air, van finally snapped.

"What the hell are y'all staring at?!" he asked coldly.

"Sorry if we're all still apprehensive after what the last Pikachus we knew did." a Charmeleon answered just as coldly.

"Don't judge me by their actions." Van said, anger boiling within his stomach, "I am in no way responsible for what they did."

Yeah, uh-huh..." said a Squirtle near the Charmeleon, "I bet you're no better than those bastards."

"Hey!" Van yelled, his cheeks sparking dangerously.

Numerous "Ooohoohoo"s rippled through the barrack. The pokemon glanced at one another, a few even grinning. The Charmeleon smirked. "Touched a nerve, did we? Wanna fight, and prove yourself?"

Van growled before shutting his eyes and facing the floor. "Shut up. That'd be childish." He glared at those around him. "Isn't it enough tha Mewtwo trusts me?!"

"Ha! That's a laugh!" Another pokemon said (Yeah, I could tell by your 'ha,' retard... Van though coldly), "The only way Mewtwo could possibly trust you is if he gave you a m-"

"Mind probe." Van finished, "Yeah, don't remind me...It really hurt, worse'n the torture I went through."

The looks of anger and contempt instantly switched to expressions of utter surprise.

"'re mind was probed?" asked the Sandshrew.

"Yeah." Van replied, "And don't say anything about brain damage. I already got that from Jordan."

The others looked around at eachother and murmured quietly. Finally, the Charmeleon turned back to Van. "Well, if he trusts you, then I guess you can't be one of those traitors...But," He punctuated this last remark, pointing a claw at Van, "You have to prove yourself in training and on the battlefield before I'll fully trust you."

"Aw, darn..." Van said sarcastically, "I just knew there'd be a catch." His reply was met with a few chuckles. The atmosphere lifted, and everyone resumed their activities. A couple even came over to talk to him and answer his questions.

In no time at all, night fell, and lights out was called for ten minutes. Van climbed into his bed, suddenly feeling tired. he was asleep within a minute.


Van was actually prepared for the bugle reveile, probably because he was used to waking up very early in the morning for school. Immediately, the barrack was active, the soldiers hopping out of their beds and straighteneing the sheets. Van followed suit, and stood straight and silent at the end of the bed with the Sandshrew, just like all the others. Silence permeated the air before the door slammed open, and a Vigoroth stalked in, hands behind his back. He, too, had a cap Van recognized like one General Pak had. This must be another General. Van thought.

Slowly, the General walked between each bed, inspecting the area. As he passed Van's bed, Van thought he saw the Vigoroth do a double take on him. However, the Vigoroth didn't say anything as he passed. After what seemed to be an hour, he reaced the end of the barrack and turned back to face the soldiers. "Well, congratulations." He said, almost mockingly, "I see nothing that shouldn't be there, and all the beds are made to my expectations. Give yourselves a pat on the back."

Nobody moved.

"Seems I picked the smart ones this morning." He said with a smirk. Then suddenly he yelled, "Well, what are you maggots waiting for?! Get outside for P.T. Formation, on the double!" At his command, all the Privates in there ran out the open door in lines. At a nudge from the Sandshrew, Van got in line and ran behind them.

As it turned out, P.T. Formation was physical training (hence the "P.T.") and conditioning, starting with exercises Van got to know from P.E. classes at his high school, though much faster and much more.Next, they had a four mile run on a path behind the camp. Afterwords, they were given a half hour "hygiene break" where they'd shower and get ready for the day, then they went to the Mess Hall for another half hour for breakfast (today it was beef stew). Then, every soldier in the camp gathered outside for First Formation, and were given the day's tasks. These tasks included vehicle inspection, ammo inspections, "policing" the motorpool (where they'd sweep down the floor of the buildings the vehicles were stored in) and community service (though there wasn't a community around for miles to service...), among other tasks. Van was usually given the gun training he had on his first day, though he now had it with other pokemon with him, or weapon management, where he'd learn how to strip down and reassemble guns. Van quickly learned the names and functions of each gun. He grew fond of assault rifles and machine guns, though he had a knack for long-range rifles.

At dusk, soldiers would eat dinner and return outside for Last Formation. They were inspected quickly before they were released for their own personal interests. Van, however, would return to the large metal building for his close-combat training with Colonel Grauss before doing what he wanted. Van was getting better, though he still failed to land even a scratch on the Wartortle. Despite this, Van rarely got frustrated, and when he did, he was punished with menial tasks (scrubbing the bathroom or kitchen down with a toothbrush, for example). Van quickly learned not to let his temper get the better of him. Soon, Grauss began calling Van "Junior." At first, it was just to demean him and coerce him to attack recklessly. Howver, after a time, the nickname stayed.

For three whole months, Van's life continued in this fashion. He'd return to his barrack exhausted every night. When he had dreams, they were filled of images of his past life: his mother's face, his bastard of a brother, his school...his friends...However, as time went by, Van's memory of his life as a human was slowly vanishing. Van's hopes that there was a way back home was fading with those memories. Inside, he was struggling with his new life, but outside, he was becoming hardened. Van was quicker, stronger, smarter...on the gunning range, he soon was able to fire at a gun without giving it a chance to even fire. Van's abilities were becoming better with time. He also knew almost every gun available to ground troops, how they worked, and how to disassemble and reassemble them in no time flat. After a time in close-combat "training," he was soon ambidextrous. he was also able to eventually control and nuse his electrical attacks, though he did that on his own.

However, despite how quickly Van excelled, he recieved no special treatment. General Pak didn't speak to him like he had the first day, rather taking an icier tone with him. Van had expected this from the start, and wasn't in the least bit disturbed by this fact. Despite the fact that he was just a grunt of the Ishtarian Military, he was fine with that.

Finally, one day three months later...

"You're not trying hard enough!" Grauss yelled as Van was slammed onto the hard metal floor. Van had just barely blocked a fierce blow that would've taken off his head. "Get up and try again. Make the blade slide along your own, allow the energy to glance off you. If you get the brunt of the blow like that, you'll go down quickly."

"I know..." Van said through clenched teeth as he stood back up and held his knife ready. "I'm prepared."

"Oh, you better be!" Grauss shot forward and attempted to stab Van, but Van sidestepped the dagger. The Pikachu brought up his dagger to catch Grauss' before he was sliced open. Van shoved the blade aside and slashed at Grauss, who knocked Van's to the side. Van spun and tired to slash at Grauss again while avoiding Grauss' attack, though Grauss was too quick for him.

The clang of metal-on-metal rang throughout the chamber with every strike. It looked almost like a sword fight, though with much shorter and quicker blades. Van tried every maneuver tha Grauss had taught him, though Grauss parried and anticipated each one. Finally, irked, Van tried something Grauss had never shown him. He feinted left, though Grauss anticipated this. "You're too slow!" he barked as he swung his blade.

Exactly as Van had planned.

Van parried the attack and, discreetly, filled the blade with electricity. As Grauss' blade touched his, lightning lanced through the dagger and into Grauss body. Being naturally weak to electricity, this did not bode well for him. Grauss' muscles bulged as he staggered back, crying out in pain. As he shook his head to recover quickly, he felt something long, thin, and sharp press against his neck.

Van finally got him.

Grauss smiled. "Well, that was clever. I didn't expect something like that, and that gave you the advantage. I guess some thing's actually got through your thick skull." he stepped back and put his blade away. "Well done, Junior."

"Thank you, sir!" Van replied happily, saluting.

"We're done here. From what I've heard, you're ready for combat. I think I have something I could slip you in to." Grauss said.

Van cocked his head. "What do you mean, sir?"

"I think you'd be good for our 'Ghost' troops."

"Ghost troops?" Van asked still confused. "I've never heard of those before."

"That's because they're not well known. Secret project of mine and the Commander's." Grauss said, walking around Van. "The Ghost troops are an advance squad of pokemon. What they do is sneak onto a battlefield and get the jump on the enemy before the main body of our army gets there. They are all exceptionally well with guns and stealth. You've become quite good with both, am I right?"

Van thought a second, and then nodded slowly. "But why me, sir?...if you don't mind me asking..."

"Because of those qualities you've got. Simple as that." Grauss explained. he looked to Van, but he wasn't smiling, as usual. "Now go. I'm sure there're things you want to do."

Van was confused once more. Grauss was never so...kind. That was the only word for it. However, Van knew that'd change if he didn't do what he said. "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." Van saluted one more before putting his dagger in the sheath at his hip, turning, and leaving for the door.

The week continued as it had been going, except for training sessions with Grauss. Van was always thinking about what Grauss had said: he was exceptional in his talents...he was good enough to be in an elite advance force...van didn't see how he was much better than anyone else he trained with, but he let the matter lie.

Finally, on Friday, Van was just comming off the gun training field when he noticed Commander Mewtwo approaching him quickly. Van quickly stood stock-still and saluted as he got closer.

"At ease, Private." Mewtwo said with a wave of his arm.

Van dropped his arm. "To what do I owe this honor, sir?"

Mewtwo smiled. "I've decided to try you out for the Ghost troops. We're finally ready to launch a mobile war against Zenos, and we're heading out in two days. However, the Ghost unit will move out tomorrow morning, before dawn, and begin an attack by dusk on an enemy encampment in our path. Will you be ready?"

"Do I have a choice?" Van asked humorously.

Mewtwo smiled again and nodded. "I expect great things from you Van. Prove me right." With that said, Mewtwo turned around and left Van standing there.
<3 Paired with Dog of Hellsing, mah awesome vampire lady <3
Thanks to Neo Emolga for the banner and Knightblazer for the avatar ^^.
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