Tuesday, June 14th - Relic Castle, Unova
For the next moments, all that could be heard was a hum from the meteonite and the sound of Iris's flames and her heavy breathing. "Girl? Please tell me it's finaly over." Rick called. Iris gave out a hoarse nicker. Rick peeked from the side of the pedestal before getting up and walking to his tired pokémon. "Nice work!" He praised, patting her neck before walking back to the pedestal. "All this work for a rock." He commented, as he reached out to grab the igneous rock from the pedestal... and immediately regreted as he felt his hand burning before even touching it. "Careful! It's hot while it's releasing energy!" Chris warned from the headset, too late for Rick's content. "And you only tell me that now?" Rick complained, shaking his hand. "Well, besides common sense, you should be able to feel it." The man responded.
Then, there was an explosion at the top most balcony, above the fainted volcarona. From the resultant gap came a group of armed men, who quickly surrounded the area. Rick raised an eyebrow as he looked around. It was the same group of bounty hunters he had met outside. "Man, do I miss these guys so much..." He muttered. The boss was one of the last to enter. "Nothing that a few pounds od dynamite can't solve eh guys?" He said. Rick tilted his head and crossed his arms while looking at the man. "Well, look who it it! You're a little late for the party, aren't you?" He said.
The boss looked at Rick with a smirk. "Ah... I'm a simple man, ya know. I don't care as much about how the game plays out. I'm all about the end result." He said, before walking down the stairs and approaching the volcarona. "This bug gave us a lot of trouble. Doesn't look so tough without the power of the meteonite now, does it?" He said, kicking the fainted pokémon down to the lower floor. Rick frowned. "You used me, now I'm seeing it!" He exclaimed.
"We used each other, kid! Don't fall into the false impression that you did all the work by yourself. How many traps did you have to get through? How many of those empowered pokémon did you have to deal with? Pff... you had the course facilitated, thanks to us." The man told him, before looking at the volcarona. "And don't get me started on that bug. Had it not been us wearing it down the last few days, your puny trio of pokémon wouldn't stand a chance!" He continued. He then looked back at Rick, hands in his back. "Ya know boy, I'm curious. What are ya gonna do with the meteonite? What's your big plan?" He asked.
"Oh, I'll take it into a lab for research. And you?" Rick responded. "Research?" The man sighed with a palm in his face. "See, this is the problem I have with working for third parties. You're about to get your hands at one of the most powerfull energy sources in the world. So much potential being thrown to waste for the sake of curiosity. And for how much? A few thousand bucks?" The man started walking left and right, hands on his back as he talked. "Even a small fragment of meteonite has enough energy to power an entire city. Pokémon themselves can also absorb that energy, too, as you had the chance to see for yourself. Of course, it can also be used as a weapon of mass destruction."
"And I bet that's what you're gonna use it for." Rick said with narrowed eyes. The man smirked while giving him a side glimpse. "No, kid. Again, that would be such a waste of potential. Just imagine how much influence you can have with such power in your hands. Forget about governments, world leaders and elite businesses. Everyone will want a share of that power. You can control everything!" He exclaimed, with arms spread. "Of course, the destructive side of the meteonite will also serve its purpose as a tool for peace. Afterall, fear is the greatest equalizer." He added.
"Extortion, then..." Rick said. The man shrugged. "You can call it whatever you want, boy. I like to think of it as community service. I don't expect you to understand. But lets get back to business. By our agreement, we found the meteonite first, but you ultimately completed the mission by getting rid of that volcarona. So how do we solve this problem? I propose that we share the meteonite, since we worked so well together. Like I said earlier, there's no point fighting for it. Especialy for you, who only has one pokémon standing in its last bits." He said. Iris gritted her teeth and started growling as the man referred to her.
Meanwhile, the volcarona recovered and clumsly flew to the meteonite. Upon landing on it, it started aborbing its power with Giga Drain. "Don't let it transform again!" The boss shouted, pointing at it. One of the henchmen fired a rocket at the volcarona. Rick flinched as the projectile flew past him and exploded next to the moth, sending it and the meteonite falling to the lower floor. "Iris!" Rick called. The mare nodded and quickly jumped down the bridge and positioned herself under the volcarona to break its fall.
The man looked on with a frowned expression. "Pff... vile creature! Interrupting a man when he's talking. I don't understand why you suddenly care about it. It tried to kill you, and it almost killed us. But whatever! Lets not get distracted from what we're here for. I made you a proposal and didn't hear an answer from you. Even though it should be a no brainer of what the right option is. You're either with us or against us. So how is it gonna be?" The man asked.
Rick stared at the meteonite down below. Iris leaned to drop the volcarona on the ground, then turned to lock eyes on the rock, and slowly walked towards it. "You seem to have had a lot of trouble with that volcarona. Would be a shame if... you had to go through that a second time." Rick said. The man's eyes narrowed. "Don't you dare trying to harness power that you don't fully understand!" He warned. And, as he did, he was startled by a burst of light coming from the bottom floor. Iris's flames instantly flared up, completely engulfing her in a dome of swirling flames before raising into the air, stoping above the meteonite's pedestal.
"Volcarona did its job protecting the meteonite. Now it's only fair for me to protect it from people like you!" Said Rick, leaning on the pedestal with arms crossed. The fiery dome bursted out as Iris let out a high pitch whinny, her body glowing brightly as she spread out a pair of flaming wings that had grown from her withers. The boss of the hunters gritted his teeth in a mix of anger and concern, until he started looking around. "So what are you waiting for? Fire!" He ordered to his henchmen. Two rockets were fired at Iris. She closed her wings and engulfed herself in flames before spreading them out, releasing a heat wave from her body that exploded the projectiles. Rick grined. "Yeah, I see why you failed against that volcarona!"
The group then started sending out pokémon. A Drapion and a Liepard fired their Dark Pulses. Iris responded by firing a huge stream of flames from her body at the two pokémon, whose attacks got completely overcomed. The boss then sent out a Rhyperior. "Use Rock Wrecker!" He ordered. A large boulder formed between the Rhyperior's hands before it threw it at Iris. A Solar Blade formed in Iris's horn and she swinged it down, slicing the boulder in half. She then pointed the blade at the Rhyperior before firing it at the Drill Pokémon as a Solar Beam.
Next was his Salamence. "Very well, lets take this to the skies then. Use Dragon Pulse!" He shouted. The dragon fired a beam of draconic energy at Iris, while she responded with a Solar Beam. Both moves clashed in the middle and exploded. Iris then fired off a Fire Blast, which the Salamence dodged to the side. "Hydro Pump!" The boss commanded. A huge jet of spiraling water came out from the Salamence's mouth. Iris closed her wings in front of her to block the attack, resulting in a big wall of steam as the water came into contact with her flames. The jet continued until Iris spread out her wings, sending out a gust of wind that canceled the attack. The boss gasped, before calling out the next attack. "Stone Edge!" Multiple small sharp rocks materialized around the Salamence before being fired at Iris. The mare climbed into the air to avoid them. Her body then started glowing brightly and her flames turned into a white-yellow tone, before she dived down at the Salamence at high speed, sending it crashing to the ground.
"Are we done?" Rick asked. The boss gritted his teeth, his body shaking as he clenched his fists. "Alright boys! Everyone attacks at the same time!" He ordered. Iris narrowed her eyes and flew back to gain some distance. The henchmen sent out the few pokémon they still had remaining. "Ready? Attack!" The boss shouted. At his order, several attacks are launched at Iris. The mare closed her wings in front of her, forming a shield around her to protect from the onslaught. A huge cloud of smoke formed as the attacks connected one after the other. Soon after, Iris bursted out in flames, clearing out the smoke. At this point, most of the henchmen had already turned tail and retreated, and Iris had had enough of the others. She cloaked in flames and started flying in circles around the group of pokémon, leaving a trail of flames as she passed until they were engulfed in a column of swirling flames. She then flew back to her original spot above the pedestal. The flames kept raging for a few seconds before they died out, revealing the full group of pokémon unconscious.
"Hmm... welp! That was fun! For me, at least." Rick said, with a faint smile. The henchmen, with weary expressions, returned their pokémon. Their boss, on the other hand, didn't hide his frustration. "I always get what I want. And I won't let a random kid steal my treasure." He said, pulling out a gun from a holster and pointing it at Rick. Iris landed at the bridge with a loud thud, her wings spread wide as she growled at the man with bared teeth. "Pff... your
treasure? That's why I despise people like you. Always thinking that everything is theirs to exploit for profit." Rick said. The man lowered his gun and slowly started backing away. "Guess you won today, kid. But I don't give up so easily. You haven't seen the last of us." He said, turning back and walking off. Rick narrowed his eyes. "If you ever decide to come back, at least you know what will be waiting you." He said. The man gave him a side glance and a smirk, before leaving with the rest of his group.
Rick took a deep breath, until Chris talked to him. "Did you see what it can do?" He said. "Yes. I did." Rick replied, patting Iris on the neck, before looking down at the meteonite that was still lying at the bottom. "No one should be allowed to have this much power." He added, as he started walking away to the exit. "Whoa, wait! What about the meteonite?" Chris asked. "Sorry, Chris. There are some things that should never be found. The meteonite is one of them." Rick told him, with a frowned expression. Meanwhile, the volcarona recovered and flew to Rick, though it didn't seem aggressive for once. The two stared at each other for a moment, until Rick speaked. "They entrusted you to protect the meteonite. We tried to steal it. I'm sorry... but you can rest, now." He told to the moth, before walking past it.
Rick mounted on Iris and flew back to the Volcarona's shrine. "Well. Now to find our way out. 'Cause the one we came from is totally blocked." He said, looking around. "Hey! At least now we can go up, right?" He added. Iris gave him a side glance and a smile. She also noticed from the corner of her eye that the volcarona was back again and following them, this time carrying the meteonite between its claws. She stopped and groaned, while the volcarona cut ahead of them. Rick raised an eyebrow and dismounted. "What is it?" He asked. The volcarona droped the glowing rock on the ground in front of them. Rick stared at the meteonite for a few moments. "You trust us?" He asked. The volcarona chirped in responde. Rick then sighed. "Well... if that's what you want... I promise we'll keep it safe!" He said. Iris went ahead and grabed the meteonite in her mouth. The moth did a short dance, to which Iris bowed in return.
Rick then mounted on Iris once more. "Not trying to abuse our luck, but... mind telling us where another exit is?" He asked, scratching his head. The volcarona flew back to the room where the meteonite was originaly. She turned to them and started chirping and spinning. "I guess there is another way out!" Rick said, before they followed the moth.
Meanwhile, back in Castelia's harbor, Chris was sitting at his desk with a very depressed face. Having traveled all the way from Sinnoh for nothing. Or so he thought. Turns out the headset he gave to Rick ran out of charge shortly before he received the meteonite from the volcarona. Then, out of nowhere, Iris landed from the sky right into the boat's stern, causing Chris to jump out of his seat. "What the...!"
"Hello Chris! Long time no see!" Rick shouted. Chris held up on the chair to stand up before looking up. "Is that... the meteonite?" He asked. "Yep! Apparently, that volcarona thought it would be better off with us. So you're in luck!" Rick explained, before seating down on a bench. "Now, if you don't mind... take us home! Oh, and pass me those sandwishes and the soda. Iris can have the lettuce, I hate that crap." Chris picked on a small insulated box and held it up towards Iris for her to drop the meteonite in. "Oh boy, I can't wait to figure this thing out!" He exclaimed, as got on the ship's controlers and started sailing off.