Chapter 5 – Break In
Luke leapt from branch to branch, following the trail of Shaan’s aura. It wasn’t too hard to track the serpent. He left an Aura trail that a blind man could follow. It was almost as if he was… sleeping. Luke stopped on a tree branch and took one look back at the trail behind him.
A living thing gives off its aura the most when it’s asleep, or when its mind is inactive. The subconscious can’t control the aura given off when that creature is asleep or under… “mind control!” Luke almost shouted at himself. How could I have been so blind? It makes sense. Arbok are hunters, not scavengers. Shaan wanted those eggs for some other reason, and I’ve gotta find out why.
With one bound, Luke leapt to the ground, and began sprinting at a breakneck pace. The crisp night air stung his eyes as he picked up speed. The Aura trail led into a grove of trees along the side of the road across from the retention pond.
Stopping for a moment Luke studied the trees. The forest went on for miles and miles, all the way to another road land-marked by cliffs that dropped off right into the ocean.
Along this road there was another tree line that blocked a passerby’s view of what lay between the cliffs and the road. A small building that looked like a shack to the naked eye, but under it was a complex of rooms and air shafts. The remnants of a played out gold mine now converted into a secret base of some kind.
Luke opened his eyes and looked at the sky. Judging by the position of the moon and the stars, even running at top speed, he wouldn’t make it to the base until at least day break. There had to be an easier way to get there. He scanned the trees once again for any sight of Shaan, who couldn’t have gotten a head start.
Shaan was nowhere to be found. His Aura had even disappeared.
With a deep breath and a sigh, Luke started off into the trees trudging slowly, until he tripped over a root and landed face first on top of a white linoleum tile with a green diagonal square in the center. “What the hell is this,” Luke said to him self as he stood up on the tile and allowed his feet to touch the cold surface.
Suddenly, the world around him began to spin at a dizzying speed until it blurred into a mesh of colors. He felt as though he were being propelled through an alternate plane of space to another place. When his feet returned to the cold surface of the linoleum tile, he dropped to his knees clutching his stomach, trying to hold in the meal they had served him at the Pokemon Center in Vermillion City.
As Luke finally started to regain his bearings, he looked around and noticed that he was no longer surrounded by thick foliage, but now he was in front of a shack with a thick line of trees on one side and a steep drop-off which went right down to the ocean, on the other side.
He allowed himself to take in the surroundings before he tried to do anything too difficult with his brain. The world was still spinning, and thinking would only make it worse at the moment.
After letting his mind slow down, and his stomach settle, he started to make quick deductions about where he was. Standing up, he growled his discomfort slightly. “That was not pleasant.”
It was only then that he became fully aware of where he was. The shack was the same as the one he’d been studying through the Aura.
Luke took several steps back and took a deep breath. “This is the place,” he said to himself. He stepped over to the door, and attempted to push it open, but to no avail.
To the naked eye it appeared that a slight breeze would cave it in, but now that Luke examined it more closely, with the Aura guiding him, he could see that there was an iron door, with about six different locking mechanisms which were opened by a key-card and number panel. “And I thought Team Galactic was a push-over,” he said to himself with a slight grin.
Luke drew his arm back and held it, allowing time for all the electricity he could charge. When he felt as though he couldn’t hold the electric charge any longer, he drove his electrified fist into the console, sending a powerful electric charge into the door.
A series of whirs and clicks emitted from the door as it began to open and shut wildly in a fanatical malfunction.
Luke studied the door as it opened and shut in a rhythm that he was beginning to memorize. Luckily the door wasn’t just sporadically opening and closing, but instead it had timing. It seemed that the door would open for a second, and then shut half a second later. So I’ve got a half second window to jump through the insane door, and hope I don’t get smashed like a Tamato berry.
He calmed his mind, and waited for the opportunity. Quickly the opportunity arose, and Luke dove through the door, just barely getting his tail smashed in the door. “That would’ve been painful,” he mused as he turned around and stepped on the elevator.
It wasn’t too hard to operate since there were only two buttons, one with an arrow pointing up and an arrow pointing down. Almost instinctively, Luke pressed the down arrow, sending the elevator down in a slow groan as the equipment began to do its work. After three minutes of bad elevator music, the elevator stopped and the doors opened allowing him to see the next level of his adventure in the base.
He stepped out into a long corridor that ran side to side from the elevator, with two guards walking down the hall with their backs toward the elevator.
Silently, Luke leapt up and grabbed a hold of a pair of pipes, monkey-barring his way over to the two guards walking down the hall. As he did so, another guard rounded the corner down the hall, walking in the opposite direction of the other two.
Quickly, Luke dropped down behind the guards onto the cold metal floor, and looked up at the guard who was approaching them. Their eyes met for a brief moment, and then the guard pointed at Luke.
The other two guards, aroused by the third guard, turned around just in time for Luke to grab them by the backs of their heads, and slam the two together with a thud. As the two unconsciously fell to the floor, the third guard turned and began sprinting down the corridor as fast as he could.
With a scoff, Luke turned and ran after him, effortlessly catching up to the frightened guard.
“Have mercy,” the guard squealed, as a blue bone-shaped staff formed in Luke’s hands.
“I’m fresh out,” Luke said coldly, swinging the staff down onto the man’s head which sent him reeling to the iron floor.
Luke turned and closed his eyes, holding his hand to his chest. He began to focus on Shaan’s Aura.
There was no trail, but the Aura was near by. The Aura could lead him to Shaan and any other Pokemon that were with him. Down the corridor, on the third left, leading down another corridor into a large storage facility, was where he found Shaan, and many other forest Pokemon from the surrounding area. They were in force cages, sleeping off the daily hypnosis of a Pokemon standing in the center of the room.
He had yellow fur all over, save for a white mane of fur around his neck. In his left hand he held a pendulum which arced back and forth, hypnotizing his victims. The Pokemon in the storage facility were under his command.
Luke began sprinting in the direction of the storage facility, in the hopes that he might be able to defeat the puppeteer, before he himself fell under the other Pokemon’s spell. He dashed through a multitude of corridors at full speed, until he reached the door that he was searching for. The door opened right up for him, as he slowed down to a halt.
The Hypno smiled at Luke as he entered cautiously. “Welcome. You’ve just successfully infiltrated a base that took my master thirteen years to build.”
Luke stopped and looked at the Hypno. It was he, who controlled the minds of the Pokemon. If he locked eyes with a person or Pokemon, they’d be under his control for as long as the pendulum swings. Shutting his eyes, Luke concentrated on the Aura around the Hypno.
As the pendulum began to swing, Luke leapt high into the air, hoping to land a kick and break the Hypno’s concentration. His kick was flawless as he slammed into a wall of absolutely nothing.
Luke’s eyes widened as he suddenly felt himself being suspended in mid-air by an unseen force. The Hypno’s Aura was unchanged, so he wasn’t exerting himself anymore than he had to, in order to control the minds of the other Pokemon. That was when the thought hit him.
Luke took a look around the room and noticed that one of the force cages were open, and its occupant was no longer inside. He’s making the Pokemon fight for him so that he can stay focused on controlling the others, Luke told himself.
An Alakazam appeared next to him in a flash of light. “You’ll deal with me now!”
Luke was suddenly and violently flung across the room by invisible hands, sending him careening into the bucket of a nearby front-end loader.
Clamoring out of the bucket, Luke cursed as another tractor sailed at him from the other side of the room. He put as much distance between himself and the two tractors as possible as the machine collided with the other front-end loader.
Luke had begun planning his strategy ever since the psychic Pokemon came on the scene. It was obvious that a frontal assault on either Hypno or Alakazam would be more than just futile; it would be suicide. Alright. So far, it looks like Hypno’s ability to fight is hindered by his need to concentrate in order to keep the other Pokemon in line. If I break his concentration, the Pokemon will be free. The only problem is standing right in front of me.
Quickly he dove out of the path of a generator which had torn itself from the concrete floor, and cut a path leading right to where Luke’s head would have been had he not moved; instead the massive machine flew right by him, and raised a cloud of dust as it slammed into a pallet of concrete mix.
Standing up, Luke turned and ran in the direction of Hypno, his plan formulated. Luke stopped right in front of the preoccupied Hypno and watched as an aluminum scaffolding went flying in his direction.
The plan was working perfectly; better in fact. Luke dove to the ground once more, and rolled over in time to see the scaffolding slam into the exact spot where Hypno had been standing. The impact knocked loose an aluminum bracket on a crate behind Hypno; which in turn let loose of at least forty or so large lead pipes which crashed down onto the mess.
Luke rose to his feet again and grinned to himself. “That, as they say, is that.” He gave the room the once over, searching for Alakazam, but didn’t find any trace of the psychic Pokemon. After using his ability to sense Aura to search for Hypno, he also soon discovered that the Psi Pokemon was also long gone.
After cursing to himself silently, he began to release the other Pokemon from their holding cages. Soon they were all gathered in the center of the room buzzing with curiosity.
Luke stepped up onto one of the toppled tractors that had been used as a projectile earlier. “Quiet down everybody. I know you’re all confused and wonderin’ what’s goin’ on. There’ll probably be somebody comin’ to check out what just happened here so everybody be on your guard.”
“There aren’t many guards here! The humans abandoned this place a week ago and left about six guards,”
a Meowth called out loudly.
Luke looked at the crowd of faces and nodded. “Alright then. Before we go, I have to ask. Are there any Arbok or Furret among you?”
After a few moments Shaan’s familiar face appeared above the crowed. “Here and I have a friend right here that is a Furret!”
Luke nodded and motioned the two to the front. “C’mon up here, I wanna have a talk with the two of you.”
As they did so, the other Pokemon murmured curiously as Luke spoke with Shaan.
“Hello again, Shaan,” Luke said with a slight grin.
“Do I know you,”
he asked raising what could only be determined as an eyebrow.
“I’ll explain later. Right now, I need to know about the eggs you guys were stealing,” Luke said quickly, as he glanced at the door.
“There’s not much to tell. We were captured by those fiends, and then we were taken under control by Hypno. When we became too tired to do what it was he made us do, he would free us long enough to sleep. That’s when I found out that we were stealing eggs. I overheard one of the human’s talking about it several nights ago. He said the eggs were being held in an incubation facility in the city to the north of our forest.”
Luke nodded. “That’s more info than I had before. Right now, let’s get you guys outta here, and back to your homes.” He looked at the Furret who stood about the same height as he did. “And you must be Rolland.”
The Furret nodded. ”I am, but how do you know who I am?”
Luke gestured toward the group of Pokemon that stood around them. “I don’t see any other Furret among them. Besides, your mate is worried sick about you.”
“Min. You’ve seen her? Is she okay?”
”Yes, I have. She’s just fine. A little shaken up though. An…” Luke glanced at Shaan for a moment. He saw no need to bring him into this if he wasn’t at fault, “unknown attacker tried to make off with her eggs. The eggs are just fine though, and I’m sure the attacker was under Hypno’s control.”
Rolland glanced at Shaan as well. It was apparent that he had an idea. “I’ll harbor no grudge if he was under Hypno’s control.”
“One thing’s for sure. That damned Hypno has a lot to answer for if they ever find him.”
Rolland nodded. “If it’s all the same to you Lucario, I’d like to get home to Min.”
Luke took a moment to make his next plan. “I suppose since there’s no guards, we could walk right out the front door. The only loose end after that would be the getting the eggs back to their parents.”
“The longer we delay, is more precious time we loose,”
Rolland said forcefully.
“Alright. Let’s go then,” Luke said. “Hey! Everybody follow me, I know the way to an exit on the cliff face near the ocean,” Luke announced. As he made his way to the exit of the room, the drove of Pokemon began to follow.
Soon after that, they had made their way to the exit and were heading home. All except Shaan who insisted upon apologizing to Min after Luke had related their past skirmish to him.
Min and Lanai had quickly fallen asleep while Salem stood guard over the girls and the nest. It had been almost a whole day since Luke had gone after Shaan. There wasn’t much to do but pace around anxiously and hope Luke wasn’t lying out there somewhere dying.
What could it be that he had? What if his illness flared up in some way and gave Shaan the advantage over him? These were all questions that were running through his mind as a paw touched his shoulder causing him to jump.
“Worried so easily,” Luke asked with a quick grin.
Salem replied glancing over Luke’s shoulder to see Shaan and a Furret standing behind him. “What’s he doing here?”
Luke held up a hand to stop Salem from jumping to conclusions. “He’s cool. We had a long talk on the way back. I would’ve gotten back sooner but they sabotaged the damned teleport thingy.”
Salem shot Luke a quizzical glance about the “teleport thingy” but decided against asking. It probably had something to do with something else that Luke couldn’t explain or understand.
Long after Rolland and Shaan had fallen asleep, Luke and Salem sat on the branch of a tree limb, staring at the full moon. “We’re gonna have to go to Saffron City real quick, and take care of somethin’ there.”
Luke had explained to him about how the eggs were stolen by Team Rocket, and were being stored in the city to the North called Saffron.
“Have you ever been there?”
Luke smiled slightly. “That’s a question for another day. I’m gonna go to sleep. I’ll see ya in the mornin’ okay?”
Salem nodded. Good night brother.