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Irako of the Desert's avatar

Swashbuckling Scarface

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BLANKSPACEβenjamin Sonezaki
Today's Costume: Stefan's imaginary younger brother


Ben gave a mental sigh of relief, and shifted his Umbreon to his shoulder, where she immediately stretched out like some living neckwarmer and sighed happily. He waved his hand flippantly as he said, "Oh, you know. Earnest, kind-hearted trainers with the desire to be heroes and no idea of how horrible this job can be or the risks involved." He smiled sadly at his own words, knowing that these people were the ones most likely to be killed in action.

They reached the discreet black car that had brought them here and got in the back seat. Their guards dispersed to either go back to the local Indigo hideout or take off to give the car an aerial escort. The driver already knew their destination and began the long drive back to Cerulean. Ben picked up the locked briefcase he'd left there and opened it with his key to reveal a slim pile of folders.

"These are the files with the information our people have collected so far. You can go through them if you like." Ben knew most of those folders inside and out already, as was his custom. Normally, Stefan would have seen them before now, but Ben had tried to be considerate of his grief and given the gray-haired man freedom to roam instead of burdening him with family business.

He leaned back against the seat and remembered his own "recruitment" session. His grandfather had chosen to do as Ben now did, and tested new recruits. There had been little chance of him failing it, being the heir and all, but nervousness had still gripped him as the old man in an intimidatingly dark costume of a Banette had approached. Most of the other recruits' tests had just involved being ordered to take out one Pokemon and allow "Bill" to examine it. Ben's test was a little more complicated than that.

"Well, son. You want to join our organization, do you?"

A younger, less experienced Ben gulped and replied, "Yes, sir. Very much so... sir." It was disconcerting to see the painted zipper on his grandfather's face move with his lips, and also a bit distracting. In a distant corner of his mind, Ben wondered if the effect could be better exaggerated with a real zipper.

"Good, good. Now then..."

His grandfather's face assumed a distracted expression before a gleam of inspiration lit up his eyes.

"Ben, I want you to tell me what moves a newly-hatched Clamperl can be born with."

Ben blinked in surprise, but answered quickly and dutifully. This was followed by another question, this time about Pokemon natures. Ben answered to the best of his knowledge, which was extensive, as question after question was handed to him.

"Bill" paused for a moment, and Ben began to think the test was done. Then the old man spoke again.

"Ben... If an Indigo and a Pokemon were about to be killed and you could only save one, who would you choose?"

Ben froze in shock. He'd never thought about something like that before, and honestly didn't know what he would do. Pokemon and humans ranked equally as important in his mind, and to be forced to choose between them was an impossible task.


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Wocaine's avatar

Malevolent Tactician

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ȠɨɠɦϮʂɦαɖε
==== ☠ ====
Ȼyril Ⱥcerbi

【 Vincit omnia veritas 】


As the Donna of the Aqua family had cast away the large hat of satin with intense purpose, and her locks of blue cascaded down past her shoulders, Nightshade’s eyes widened with surprise, briefly. A-Alcyone, he thought, suavely containing any and all evidence of being startled by such a revelation. Of course, he often lingered in the background, beyond notice, anyway. The unfurling spectacle seemed to have moved her to action, reminding her of painful memories that had come and gone. The beautiful and graceful Donna, an elegant trainer, held enough empathy to step in and apparently defend the honor of a murderous sociopath that would very likely open her throat on a whim.

This goes beyond attempting to build an alliance with the new Don, he thought, narrowing his eyes upon Alcyone as she took her dive ball in hand. This seems much deeper than that.

Wanting to learn more about a potential enemy, as well as gain the trust of his new Don for other purposes, Nightshade moved through the crowd, striding boldly to stand at Alcyone’s left side with brazen familiarity. His right hand flashed down to the belt beneath his suit jacket, reaching for a pokeball.

A grunt like him typically deals with poison type pokemon. This choice is perfect.

“Forgive my intrusion, Lady Alcyone, but I must insist that I join you in soundly thrashing this base oaf, in the hopes that he may learn some manners,” he said, gently, letting the shrunken ball swell in the palm of the hand that withdrew it from its place of rest.

“How dare you conduct yourself in such a manner, especially on this occasion and at this venue?” Nightshade hissed disdainfully, cleverly wearing the mask of an angered mourner. He tossed the pokeball in an underhanded throw so that it might land between the battlers. “I call upon you, Solano!”

The ball exploded in a flash of white, unleashing the Cacturne within. The humanoid shape uncurled from a fetal position, rising to his feet, as its menacing black and yellow eyes fixed upon the drunkard, all but daring him to unleash a pokemon to battle him. Solano always reminded Nightshade of a scarecrow, a demonic cactus-like scarecrow. Though growing accustomed to his companion’s unsettling appearance, the Cacturne’s silent and brooding nature would, on occasion, send shivers down his spine. He could only imagine the effect that Solano had on his opponents. The pokeball, after releasing its inhabitant, then leapt up and into Nightshade’s hand where he gripped it firmly. The Cacturne glanced back to Nightshade casually, tightening his sinister gaze upon his human companion before he looked back to the other trainer. He was ready for battle. Nox watched on as well, the faintest traces of interest upon his otherwise aloof countenance. Perhaps, the master of the Hellhound might hold some appreciation for a pokemon as chilling as Solano.

Nightshade casted the grunt a measuring look, absorbing and reading the proud drunk. He seemed well aware that a Capo in his own family and the Donna of another family teaming up against him indicated that he was in over his head, yet, at the same time, he also knew that he had passed the point of no return. To retract, to cower now, he’d be an even bigger fool. They’d finish this quickly, sparing the gorgeous monuments.

“Grimer! Gastly!” he called out, throwing a pair of pokeballs forward to meet the Milotic and Cacturne about to, without a doubt, make short work of them. The shapes of the pokemon emerged as their pokeballs leapt into the hands of their master.

“I will follow your lead,” said Nightshade to Alcyone, courteously. “ Whomever you target, I shall move against the other.”


==== ☠ ====
Battle!
Ardent One's avatar

Enduring Warlord

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Stefan Schwertwulf
ΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞ


"Oh, you know. Earnest, kind-hearted trainers with the desire to be heroes and no idea of how horrible this job can be or the risks involved."


That brought a grim smile to Stefan's face. That was how most Indigo recruits started off, certainly. Once they got some experience, that ignorance, that naivete quickly vanished. The Indigo Family was an idealistic organization run by a man with a wonderful vision for the world. That didn't mean their dealings never got dirty. There was the occasional interrogation, and sometimes the other families forced a shoot-out. Stefan trembled whenever he wondered how many innocent, green recruits Nox had seen eviscerated. It was one thing to see how things worked, to see the abyss of corruption and moral decay. It was another not to be swallowed up by it.

Stefan flipped through the files. More of the usual. Younger men and women, with fire in their hearts. Not so different from the Numbers 1 and 2 of the Indigo organization. Not all of them could be accepted. Some wouldn't be ready. Some would likely be mob spies. Some would have misguided intentions. Thats how it always was. But they needed manpower now. Every good person working for the Indigo family was one less recruit the mobs could bring in, and contributed more resources to the only extralegal organization committed to justice.

Ben fell silent. Something about the recruitments seemed to occasionally bother him, but Stefan never felt it necessary or proper to ask. A man like Ben had many secrets, and it was not the place of his subordinate to pry. Stefan let him be and started generating questions ahead of time. There were certain questions that always seemed to be applicable. What makes us different from the other families? Is it okay to take a bribe from a corrupt man if you don't actually fulfill it? What makes a pokemon trainer different from a mere person with a pokeball? Stefan's gaze drifted back to the book he had picked up. It would be rude to open it now, though, and they had more urgent matters.

Instead he mindlessly shuffled the papers as he stared out the window, his mind elsewhere.




░░▒▒▓▓To the last, I grapple with thee
from Hell's heart, I stab at thee
for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.▓▓▒▒░░
Rosilien's avatar

Romantic Lunatic

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Ϻɑxѡϵʃʃ Dɑѡϵs
Breathe and I'll carry you away into the velvet sky
And we'll stir the stars around


xxxxxFlipping through the pages again, Maxwell felt the tiniest pain in his temple. The mission info distributors from Viridian had been in a hurry, as if they had something more important to do, something important to see, and they couldn't be bothered to stay in the Goldenrod train station. Whatever. It was a smooth ride on the bullet train, and the scenery zipped by in a blur of soft green and gray. Mr. Muffins sat on Maxwell's lap, purring in that weird rolling way that dunsparce do.
xxxxx"Saffron City arrival in three minutes. Please gather your belongings." An unnervingly calm female voice carried across the train. People had already been shuffling around, packing worn-down electronics and books into cheap faux-leather briefcases and purses. Maxwell was the only Rocket in this car, as the higher-ups never provided money for mission necessities. All of the other mission members had been at least Junior Admins, and they were paid well enough to avoid the working class car. Maxwell had to make sure he destroyed his mission info packet and Rocket tags when he got off the train; some people had given him suspicious stares when he boarded in Goldenrod.
xxxxxThe Saffron station seemed significantly larger and busier than in Maxwell's home city. A wash of voices echoing off the vast boarding hall pressed into his ears, and Muffins wiggled around in his arms, alarmed at the light from the dawn outside. Maxwell had only brought the harness pack that held his money and pokeballs, and he felt desperately unprepared when he stepped out of the station. If Goldenrod was the biggest city of Johto, then Saffron had to be the biggest city in the world. Despite being in the largest mafia family, Maxwell's missions had never taken him past the west coasts of Johto, and the most exotic place he'd seen was one of the towers of Ecruteak. Taking a deep breath, Maxwell stepped up to the sidewalk and held a hand out to hail a taxi. Muffins wiggled again, letting out a high-pitched spaa. Maxwell twisted his head to where Muffins was trying to struggle and saw a kid staring at them. He was short, a little chubby, but his face and stance told Maxwell that this boy was about the age when people first get a pokemon. The kid grinned.
xxxxx"You a Rocket, huh?" Muffins finally wiggled out of Maxwell's arms and dropped onto the sidewalk, his tiny wings barely slowing his fall. He wanted to eat the kid's shoelaces. Dunsparce are weird creatures. "Imma be a Rocket soon too. My ma says they're crooks, but you ain't no crook, huh? The Rockets are cool, huh? That grin got wider, but Maxwell frowned and bent to pick up Mr. Muffins.
xxxxx"Why would you want to be a Rocket?" he asked, dodging the stinger-tail that waved every time he tried to peel Muffins off the ground. Rubbing his nose, the kid laughed.
xxxxx"Cuz they're cool! You get to do whatever you want! And I bet you and your friends, I bet people are scared of you, huh?" Maxwell gave up picking his pokemon off the concrete and pulled out the dunsparce's ball. His frown turned into an expression of mild anger. This kid had no idea what he was talking about.
xxxxx"Rockets don't get friends, and people are only scared because Rockets are mean bastards. Everyone you know eventually gets killed, and you get treated like s**t no matter what your rank is. You don't wanna be a Rocket, it's not fun or cool, it's terrifying." Maxwell turned to walk away from the kid to avoid discussing the subject.
xxxxx"Well, you just a p***y then! Imma be a Rocket, and it's gonna be awesome cuz I'm gonna be the best one!" Maxwell whipped around and grabbed the kid's t-shirt collar. Suddenly the grin was gone and his chubby face turned red with fear. "Hey man! Hey I didn't mean it! Let go!" People started to stop, and a rather burly man advanced on them with a threatening growl. Maxwell let go and backed away. The throbbing in his temple became heavier, harder, and he instinctively wove his way through the crowd, leaving the station and heading toward an alley.
xxxxxLetting Ayan out of her ball, Maxwell threw his info packet and tags on the ground.
xxxxx"Sludge bomb," he mumbled, pressing his hands up against his ears. The sounds of passing traffic were getting more and more painful to listen to. His mind raced with thoughts of the Rocket manifesto and memories of team members dying. Ayan vomited up a bit of that nasty poisonous sludge onto the papers, dissolving them into a puddle of black. The arbok flicked her tongue out and nuzzled Maxwell's forehead, her muscular body curling around him gently. At least Maxwell knew his pokemon were on his side. They wouldn't leave him to die like the other Rockets would. He knew Rockets would leave each other, because he had done so himself. He patted her quickly, then called her back into her ball.
xxxxxThe taxi ride to Cerulean was slow and soothing. Taxi drivers in Johto had always wanted to chat; here the driver just asked his destination and drove. By the time they arrived in front of the Cerulean pokecenter it was nearly noon, and Maxwell's stomach was gurgling like a koffing about to self-destruct. Unfortunately most of his money had been used for the train and the taxi, so he went into the pokecenter to see if they had anything free for trainers. There were a few fiber bars the nurse said he could take if he filled out a survey about battling strategies, which he did. The "recruitment" test wasn't supposed to start until three that day, or so the packet had said. Wait. Had it said three? Suddenly Maxwell remembered that it had said not to mix up the recruitment test time with the recruitment report time, and he nearly choked on the fiber bar as he ran out the door. Cerulean didn't have many tall buildings, and it wasn't nearly as huge as Saffron, but he still did not know his way around the city.
xxxxxs**t, he thought. The new "recruits" were supposed to meet on the bridge, which Maxwell could not for the life of him see from where he was, or from anywhere he went. After running a few blocks and ending up back in front of the pokecenter, he asked the nurse where the bridge was.
xxxxx"It's almost directly behind us, you just go east a bit and there it is," she said, her peppy voice jumping up and down with each word. Just as Maxwell turned to run out the door again, she grabbed his arm and her smile disappeared. "Good luck, and may you be successful in their family." Maxwell stared at her for a second, a feeling of fear creeping into his gut. The nurse knew that the Indigo family was having a recruitment that day. Maxwell hoped that she had not been able to tell that he was a Rocket.
xxxxxThe bridge was full of tourists and trainers. Maxwell shaded his eyes; the sun was too bright and overbearing for his taste. He spotted a familiar face, a Junior Admin who's name escaped him. She was leaning against the side of the bridge, and there were maybe seven or so other trainers standing around the same way, all trying to look casual. The Junior Admin's eyes met Maxwell's, and he started toward her, but she turned away quickly. A tall man with silver hair and an impressive demeanor was walking toward the group of waiting trainers, who all visibly tensed up at the sight of him. Maxwell's head throbbed a bit, and he braced himself for what could be the most difficult mission of his life.


xxxxxxxxxxWe're hanging on so take us high, to sing the world goodbye
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DuskyDare's avatar

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A dull silence followed the widow's speech. She found herself in the middle of a Church courtyard with large sea serpent coiled up in front of her and a crowd quickly forming. Alcyone slowly drew in a breath, waiting for the drunk to rebut or a Magma supporter to make themselves known. None did. She glanced through the group; they were decidedly motionless, there were no fastening of cloaks or straightening of jackets despite the breeze, only surprised onlookers, trying their hardest not to bring any attention to themselves. The moments suspense brought on a terrible feeling of exposure. Being a Donna meant living with a bounty on your head, and a target on your back. Revealing herself so publicly was a mistake, but not one she could justify regretting.

A man stepped forward, bringing resolution to her out lash. He wore a tailored suit over a bright red shirt, and his carefully combed hair ran just past his shoulders. Alcyone recognized him, although they had never met, this was Cyril Acerbi; better known as Nightshade. The Rocket's top assassin, celebrated for his work with poisons.

“Forgive my intrusion, Lady Alcyone, but I must insist that I join you in soundly thrashing this base oaf, in the hopes that he may learn some manners,” he began smoothly, taking out and enlarging a Pokeball.

“How dare you conduct yourself in such a manner, especially on this occasion and at this venue?” the man spat, voice laden with disdain.


“I call upon you, Solano!” Nightshade tossed the ball, freeing a Cacturn. The poison type had a strange air about it, almost surreal. Their opponent gaped, caught between fleeing like an imbecile or being beaten like one. He tossed his own two standard issue red Pokeballs, "Grimer! Ghastly!" and the Pokemon materialized.

“I will follow your lead,” Nightshade offered courteously “ Whomever you target, I shall move against the other.”

Milotic's move set instinctively ran through the Donna's mind. In retrospect, this might have not been the best choice. Surf of Hydro Pump would disrupt too much property, or harm too many guests. Had this not been a Church, and these people not funeral goers, that would not have been a problem. However, it was, and they were. Wrap would be good, especially for a double battle, if only her opponents were corporeal. This only left attract, Milotic's go-to contest move.

"Darling, attract, to your left." she spoke rather softly but the message carried as far as it needed to.


The aquatic creature coed, its voice rose and fell in an almost mournful, yet beautiful melody. The Pokemon extended its fan like tail fins and swayed them gracefully, as naturally as the current would underwater. Her glistening scales caught the noon sunlight. She uncoiled herself and slithered into an open circle, leveling her head with the Haunter, allowing the diamond pink and blue patterns to be seen fully. She was a sight to behold. The ghost was entranced.

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Candied Cupcake's avatar

Thieving Prophet

10,600 Points
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==== ☆ ====

Kokori Sorcral

==== ☆ ====

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Kokori had been at the funeral for some time now, but had kept quiet through most of the ceremony trying not to shed tears. Emilo was her obsession, the one person she dreamed about almost constantly, for many obvious reasons. It had only been a week but you could tell those few days had taken a toll on the woman. The Plasma captain was breaking, in one day her whole world was taken from her. She was demoted and while on mission only feet away from Emilo he was taken, missing, he just vanished. Although she was dressed quite nicely you could tell she was unkept, her oily hair was wrapped up tightly in a bun a black sun hat hiding her roots. She had no make-up on, her neck wrists and ears stayed bare. The woman looked tired, she hadn’t slept for days, and she lay awake for hours thinking of how this could have happened. She was there, she could have done something, but she didn’t and Emilo was missing, in fact everyone thought he was dead.

Kokori was too smart for that, she knew he wasn’t dead, but the possibility did run across her mind several times, but there was no body. How could they prove this if there is no body? The coffin is empty and I know it is She stood far back from the lowering of the coffin, she felt no need to be close to it considering the man she adored wasn’t inside. I have to speak to Nox before this is over, he has to know something. Tough as nails she would think of herself, but she was ashamed of whom she was now, but in some ways she didn’t care either. Slash, her Skarmory, stood beside her rubbing its smooth steel like skin across her hand. Slash was very in tune with Kokori and her emotions, the steel type Pokémon looked intimidating but it was very gentle natured.

“Murder!”

The words rung out loud enough for everyone to hear, this was just the commotion Kokori was waiting for.
“Emilio was a great man!” The man continued “And you were jealous! I knew it was only a matter of time until you set your Hellhound on him, Demon!”

Before Kokori knew it a Milotic could be seen above the crowd that began to huddle around, a smile swept across her face for the first time in days, she wasted no time finding Nox. She scoped him from behind, but as she caught glimpse of him her stomach sank. He doesn’t seem too bothered at all by his brother missing, perhaps the rumors could be true. She shook her head, she had traveled too far to wimp out now. Unova to Kanto was a long way, she had to travel the day before just to be sure she would be on time. She swallowed hard then tapped him lightly on the shoulder.

”Nox, I know we don’t do business, but you don’t believe he is really dead do you?” Kokori’s voice was hushed, not wanting to draw attention to them although it would be hard to upstage the battle. Her throat was tight with anxiety, Nox made her nervous, Emilo wasn’t half as ruthless as his younger brother, not to mention she hardly ever spoke to him at all.


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Irako of the Desert's avatar

Swashbuckling Scarface

13,950 Points
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BLANKSPACEβenjamin Sonezaki
Today's Costume: Dialga


The car took them all the way to Ben's villa, where he had Umbreon return to her Pokeball and briefly donned a new costume. It was his favorite for meeting with new recruits, and it made him look more intimidating than his narrow frame usually allowed. He and Stefan then walked to the bridge that led to Cerulean proper where the meeting had been scheduled to take place.

As they approached, Ben studied the crowded bridge, picking out the few captains who were sponsoring the new recruits. They and their current soldiers were disguised as passerby, taking pictures or contemplating the scenery. Each captain caught his glance and nodded slightly before passing along the word that their president approached. The bridge slowly cleared until only the captains and the recruits were left. Some of the soldiers now casually clustered at each end of the bridge, making it impossible for a regular person to walk by.

Ben smiled as the new recruits grew tense at the sight of Stefan. He always had that effect, and was probably more intimidating than usual with lines of strain from his loss. Ben began to trail the taller man, allowing him to act as a screen from the view of the recruits until he finally set foot on the bridge. When they all finally noticed the president, there were the usual coughs of laughter at his costume, but he put on his best I-am-unamused expression to quell them while noting who had laughed in his mind

The captains saluted him with a fist tap to the chest. He nodded at them and said, "So these are the ones I'm to adopt?" His gaze slid over some of the recruits in mock bemusement. "Couldn't you have found better orphans than these?"

The captains exchanged grins, and one spoke up.
"Feel free to test them out yourself, sir."

Ben turned in a slow, dramatic fashion to face the recruits fully. "That's an excellent notion. I think I'll do just that. Stefan, would you be so kind as to help me? We have so many here today."

There were ten in all, and he began with the young woman standing closest to him with a barely concealed expression of amusement. He said sweetly, "My dear, is there something funny?"

She straightened up, though a grin still tugged at the corners of her mouth.
"Only your costume, sir."

There was a trace of arrogance in her voice, and Ben's smile grew feral. His voice dripped with honey as he said, "Oh? You mean you don't recognize this Pokemon?"

"No, sir. Whatever it is though, it's pretty funny looking."

He paced up to her, still smiling, and said nothing. The silence grew longer and longer, and the young woman's face began to pale as Ben continued to say nothing. When her face had gone a pasty gray, he said quietly, "I'm sure it does to an ignorant trainer like yourself. It isn't your fault that you are unable to appreciate the jewel-like majesty of the Temporal Pokemon Dialga. Now, then."

Ben held out his hand and waved his fingers expectantly. "Show me your Pokemon, girl."

Without hesitation, she plucked all three Pokeballs from her belt and deposited them into his hand. He looked at them thoughtfully, then began spinning them in his palmd

"You know, only a trainer who doesn't care what will happen to their Pokemon will hand them over to a complete stranger. That, or an idiot. Tell me, girl, which are you?"

She stood frozen for a minute. He didn't wait for her reply, but instead tossed all three Pokeballs into the air to allow the Pokemon inside to come out. As the materializing light faded, it revealed a sadly deflated Koffing , a Zubat that struggled to keep its wings beating, and a dull-eyed Ekans that coiled up sadly. They all looked underfed and mistreated, and when Ben attempted the coax the Zubat out of the air into his arms to rest, it flinched away with a pathetic squeak rather than the defiant cry of a healthy Zubat. He tried the same with the Koffing, but it only turned away and wheezed a little gray mist instead of the trademark thick, black clouds of toxic gas. The Ekans had buried its head within its coils, and a few purple scales had fallen to the bridge around it.

The captains' faces had gone hard, but Ben's face was more terrifying to those who knew him well. It had gone completely still. Not even his eyes betrayed any hint of emotion. The young woman had a bewildered expression on her face.

"I suppose that is my answer," he said quietly, gathering up the Pokeballs to return the abused Pokemon. The young woman held out her hand expectantly, but Ben didn't even glance at her.

"Stefan, perhaps now would be a good time to explain just who the Indigos are to this filthy Rocket."

She had been one of the ones flagged as a potential infiltrator in the file on her. The mistreated Pokemon had only confirmed his suspicions. They were the trademarks of the Rocket family grunts.


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Candied Cupcake's avatar

Thieving Prophet

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Watson Stantler awoke in a daze, although it was later in the day he didn’t have anything he had to accomplish. His guest for the night had already put on her cloths from the night before and went on her walk of shame. He scratched his nose irritated by the hotel’s musty bed set. He hardly liked to think of what others had done in that room, but most of the time when he checked in he could hardly care. The man grabbed the scotch off of the night stand and took a swig, smiling as it burned his already sore throat. Looking out of the window the male wondered what kind of trouble he would get into that day, it was a sunny day in Saffron City, Kanto wasn’t his favorite region but it was where the wind had taken him.
Having caused some trouble in Unova he was on the run from the Plasma family. He didn’t think it was that big a deal what he had done, much better than crimes he had committed before.


”Damn, why the hell did I choose Pokémon over people?” Watson asked himself.
He had released their cargo of at least 30 Sawsbucks, to gangs Pokémon were money. You don’t mess with a gang’s money. The male reminded himself clearing his throat.


The blue menace packed up his few things and checked out of the sorry excuse for a hotel. Lighting a cigarette he walked on to find something to do.


Maybe I can find an unfamiliar face, someone who doesn’t know who I am. Catch some conversation, maybe learn something for once. Watson never really did well with friends, he would rather spend his time with people who had no idea who he was. Although an infamous character, he wasn’t affiliated with any gangs, and most people wouldn’t recognize him by his face. In fact his crimes were not even by his real name, only The Blue Menace. He let out a puff of smoke before putting out his cigarette, walking into a park, he let his Pokémon out to stretch, knowing he would get into trouble later.


Stantler stomped around while the rest flew around stretching their wings. This was an odd moment of peace for all of them, it made Watson smile, bringing memories of his later childhood after he had run from home, but just as the man was about to relax a voice came from behind him.


”HEY YOU! You’re under arrest!”


”Oh great,” Watson mumbled under his breath hopping on Stantler’s back, then threw his pokeballs in the air. ”RETURN!”


All of the Pokémon returned to their pokeballs except for Dragonite who caught all of them and fallowed Watson who was racing through the park on Stantler. The cop couldn’t keep up, but the man knew there would be more. It suddenly came to him the crimes he committed the day before. ”s**t, I knew I shouldn’t have taken that kids Pokémon! DRAGONITE! Let’s fly!”
Dragonite swooped down handing Watson the pokeballs, and grabbed him. ”Stantler return! The deer Pokémon returned to its chamber, and he and Dragonite were high in the air racing to the next town. ”We barely got out of that one Dragonite, good job.”


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Ardent One's avatar

Enduring Warlord

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Stefan Schwertwulf
ΞΞΞΞΞΞΞΞ


Finally. The ride from Lavender to Cerulean had hardly been brief, and though Ben's personal vehicle was quite comfortable, Stefan was glad to get out. This town was his home, after all. He found himself hoping this round could be done smoothly and without incident. Perhaps he could be home early and rest. There had been a few red flags in the portfolio, though. Things could get unpleasant. The driver brought them to Ben's residence first, where the President excused himself to get changed. Stefan waited outside, taking the moment to peek at his book. The contents inside were arranged by lore. The birds, the hounds, the weather trio, the kami. . . it seemed pretty comprehensive, complete with ancient woodcarvings and modern renderings alike. There was even an appendix at the end for the unown.

Ben appeared once again, in his famous dialga costume, the one he wore to make an impression. They went to the location on foot. The widely known nugget bridge had received a fresh coat of golden-tan paint the day before. It wasn't a coincidence. It was particularly crowded today, all of the indigo men and women in plainclothes creating organized chaos. It wouldn't fool the law enforcement, but then again, the Cerulean police department had probably already been informed. Stefan went first, creating a gap for his president to follow in. He paid no attention to the stares he got. He had originally died his hair to get such stares, and had grown used to it, although now it was just one of the reasons people looked at him with bemusement and/or fear. Their attention would soon shift to the outlandish man behind him, after all. Stefan personally thought it was a little cruel, wearing such costumes and then acting offended or surprised when Ben got a reaction. Still, like father like son, I suppose. The Pokemaniac's reputation had been well known.

The ten from the portfolio were gathered in the middle of the bridge, a few talking among themselves but most remaining reserved and silent. Stefan took a place along one of the handrails while Ben spoke to their captains. He didn't see Zabre here, but her specialty was escaping notice. He allowed himself a small chuckle as Benjamin sunk his fangs into one of the ones who had laughed. She was digging herself deeper and deeper with each word she spoke. The amusement gave way to fury when her pokemon's health was revealed. He straightened up as the Indigo President sentenced her guilty, and began to cross over to the doomed Rocket.

"Lesson one," he began, loud enough for the other nine to hear him. "An Indigo always tries to do the right thing."

The girl was confused. She didn't see where he was going with this. Neither did the other potential recruits. Stefan closed the gap and continued walking, his size forcing the young woman several steps back, until she bumped against the low, smooth handrail of the bridge.

"Can you swim?"

"What? Not -"
Stefan, folder and book tucked under his left arm, threw his left outwards, roughly shoving her backwards. For a moment she teetered, arms flailing as she looked for something to catch hold of. Then she was gone with a splash into the the river beneath. It was high tide, and the current was slow. With no particular haste, the Vice President peered over the edge. Apparently she was not a great swimmer, and she was desperately trying to keep afloat in the placid waters. Stefan almost wished the former members of the Cerulean gym were here to laugh at her. He made a show of sighing audibly before lifting a ball from his belt and hitting the release. A great shaggy blur of red and yellow landed heavily, yet not ungracefully on the banks of the river.

"Fish that rat out of the water, would you?"

The pokemon so regal as to once be considered legendary waded into the river, tall and strong and completely in control. Solara allowed the rocket to wrap her arms around her neck before hauling the wretch onto dry land. The girl was on her side, sputtering and coughing out the rest of the water before she stretched out on her back, apparently having exhausted herself during the 'ordeal'. The arcanine loomed over her, though, its presence now almost ominous. There was a loud growl, audible to even those up on the bridge.

"Your boss killed my most faithful companion and countless other good pokemon and people. I'd love to make you suffer for every crime of the organization you work for. I wanted to let you drown like the miserable cretin you are. Your rescuer, that arcanine? Solara is her name. She watched your rat brothers and sisters murder her first trainer and every one of her comrades in the line of duty. One effortless bite from her and your pointless, offensive existence would be snuffed out. I'm sure she'd be happy to do it too."

The girl was terrified now. It was all she could do to crawl to her feet and clamber up the bank in panic, literally running for her life. Stefan let her go, and Solara slowly began her own ascent up and back towards the bridge.

"Lesson two. The right thing is not always what we want." He took the folder out again, and slipped her page to the front of the stack. "Ah, here she is. Katrina Amano. Age 18. Boring details, boring history. . . probable rocket spy."

He closed the portfolio once more, raising it into the air.

"We have information on each of you. Anyone else want to come forward and confess before we carve you out like a cancerous mass?'



░░▒▒▓▓To the last, I grapple with thee
from Hell's heart, I stab at thee
for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.▓▓▒▒░░
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Malevolent Tactician

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ȠɨɠɦϮʂɦαɖε
==== ☠ ====
Ȼyril Ⱥcerbi

【 Vincit omnia veritas 】


Attract; a nuisance at the best of times, Nightshade mused, observing the entrancing dance of Alcyone’s celestial serpent as it performed for its victim. His violet gaze then fell upon the grotesquely oozing mass situated to the right of ghost enshrouded in purple mist. The unappealing sight complemented by an equally foul odor, how many pokemon would an imbecile of his ilk carry? His gaze zeroed in on the belt at the stockier man’s waist. Six, this could take a while. Let’s cut this short.

Without delay, the poisonous mass of sludge lunged across the expanse towards Solano. As the creature deftly moved across the turf below it, it withered and lost its emerald sheen—dying. Time could not be wasted here, especially with a grass type up against a poison type. That filthy entity could not be touched, and it could not be permitted to sully his beautiful Cacturne. The Grimer propelled itself into the air, dispersing itself into every direction so as to make it cover more area in its tackle.

“Solano,” he said coolly, “evade, now!”

The menacing visage of a thorn covered scarecrow dashed backwards, leaving a momentary trail of black silhouetted afterimages, all the while casting its fierce yellow stare upon the mucous that converged on the place he had once stood. The shadowy incarnation of a plant rustled, almost in a manner that ridiculed his foe. Solano was laughing. Its head rotated unnaturally, facing Nightshade while his body faced his opponent. Its eyes lingered on its master, seeking permission. Cyril nodded and the pokemon’s malevolent grin widened before its head slowly returned to face its opponent.

“Focus Blast, Solano,” Nightshade cooed eloquently, “full power!”

To obey his command, the Cacturne anchored its stance while bringing its spiky limbs, where hands would be, together. A blue light began to emanate from the ‘hands’, flashing and pulsing, as it drew energy within for the impending blast of bluish-white ki energy. Nightshade looked to the quickly sobering man, all but shaking with trepidation, as he stood directly behind his pokemon and wasn’t given the time to react, for the blast had fired immediately after the command was given. The sphere-like wave of blue energy swept forth from Solano’s hands and over the frame of the Grimer, burning brightly for all to see as the black silhouette caught in the destructive wave got smaller and smaller—completely disappearing. The residual force of the blast made impact with the opposing trainer, sending him sprawling and rolling backwards before he finally came to a stop.

“Y-y-you killed him!” cried the trainer, slowly rising to his feet. “You killed my pokemon!”

“You truly believe that making creatures of varying power wage war would not yield such a result? It was you who killed that Grimer, not Solano, and certainly not I,” Nightshade purred, recalling his Cacturne and putting the pokeball away. “Grimer has fallen, and you can’t call anymore pokemon to battle. You’re about to lose.”

“Wha-what?”

Nightshade chuckled sadistically, placing his hands into the pockets of his dress slacks, “Check the sealing mechanisms on your pokeballs. My Solano had positioned your Grimer there so the residual force of Focus Blast would hit you and disable your other pokeballs. You can’t release them now.”

The trainer looked down at his belt, taking notice of the cracked pokeballs with damage sealing mechanisms. “No!”

And if we had a bit more privacy, this would have been the moment in which I killed you, he thought, reminiscing about each time he and his companions had caught a trainer in the very same trap just moments before they met their demise. I’ll leave you for Nox. It’s a bit cruel of me, but you do serve as a pawn to be sacrificed. Yes, a kill on a silver platter. Openly declaring disloyalty is certain death in this family, and it is the very reason that I move through the shadows.

The famed assassin of the Rocket Family smiled the smile of a predator, baring his shining white teeth, and turned to Alcyone. “I have done my part with minimal damage to the cemetery.”

He then turned his attention to the gaseous entity as it watched the nimble movements of the serpentine Milotic with a glassy-eyed expression. The pokemon didn’t seem all that willing to fight so much as it seemed more fascinated with the one who had captivated it with a dance.

“And I see that you have done yours. You have subdued it, doing the pokemon no harm.” he said politely, genuinely, as he knelt before her and took her left hand, kissing it in a knightly fashion. “As I’d expect from the Donna herself, I could learn from your example. It was a pleasure to fight at your side, milady.”

With that, Cyril stood up and turned away from the Donna, his Don, and the gibbering trainer.

“Let us do this again, perhaps against a more worthy opponent,” he said pleasantly, his back still turned, as he walked away and moved across the crowd that had parted for him. Now that he had Nox’s attention, it was only a matter of time before he could get close and personally remove him from the seat of power. He also savored the opportunity to demonstrate his efficiency to not only Alcyone, but to everyone who watched him today. Things would come to fruition soon.

For now, though, it was time to board the next train to Ecruteak City.


==== ☠ ====
Victory

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Malevolent Tactician

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Ƞɸӽ Ⱥʅϲɦєɾɨ
βɑρϮɨɀєɗ Ъӌ Ϯɦϵ ϝʅαɱϵϛ,
αɲɗ ЪαϮɦєɗ ɨɲ α Ъαsɨɲ ϕϝ Ъlϕϕɗ,
ӌϕʊ ωɨʅʅ ӄɲϕw Ϯɦє pϕwєr ϕϝ ӺȈɌΣ!


ɌΦȼӄεϯ`•.¸¸.••´´¯``•• .¸¸.•´םɸɳ


╔══════════════╗

Before any of the four bodyguards could intercept and restrain the woman, Nox raised his right hand into the air as signal to stop them from doing so. Intrigued, he lowered his hand and wanted to know who had approached him and diverted his attention from the battle.

The Demon’s crimson stare burned upon her as he had turned to face her. Who was this woman, approaching him so shamelessly and asking a personal question such as this? He remained silent, his expression chilling, before turning his attention back to the unfurling battle. Nightshade had entered the fray and Nox suddenly found himself interested in what was about to transpire. Emilio had often spoken highly of Cyril, telling Nox that the assassin had earned his nickname. According to his brother, Nightshade was a talented trainer who is capable of ending battles before they even begin.

“Watch the battle,” Nox hissed, offering a harsh rejoinder. “Nightshade is going to fight.”

As sure as Emilio’s esteemed words were, the battle had ended quickly. The Grimer lunged at the Cacturne who evaded and then crushed his opponent with relative ease. Not only that, the attack had broken the other pokeballs and rendered the boorish oaf incapable of battling. How crippling and interesting, he thought. Though, I prefer the flames and showing my enemy hell as I battle them. Furthermore, Alcyone had appeared and entranced the fool’s ghost pokemon with her Milotic. They were both far too talented to battle a lowly, intoxicated, grunt, and it was painstakingly evident in this moment.

“Anticlimactic,” Nox said simply, turning back to the mysterious girl in a black sun hat. Had he seen her before? No, but something was familiar for sure.

The rumors and the accusations since Emilio’s disappearance, he’d heard them all. Nox had heard all about how he murdered his own brother to obtain the seat of power. There were other rumors that Nox had sold Emilio out to the other families, Indigos included, for a vast fortune or a rare pokemon. There were an abundance of outlandish rumors, each malicious and intended to weaken the already vulnerable Rocket family in the midst of their political shift. But, to encounter someone who asked him whether or not he believed the Emilio was truly dead? This was a first.

“Who are you? And why do you ask about Emilio?” he asked, jaw tensing. Could it be that this person might be trustworthy enough for him to disclose his theory behind Emilio’s disappearance? “Did you know him personally?”

Nox would give her the audience she sought, but if she proved boring or turned out to be an assassin, she would die...painfully.

╚══════════════╝

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Thieving Prophet

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==== ☆ ====

Kokori Sorcral

==== ☆ ====

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----------------------

Kokori flinched a little when his hand rose, not sure if he wanted the guards to catch her or if he would punish her himself. She was put at ease to here his response for her just to keep quiet, it was a rather gentle gesture compared to his legendary ruthlessness.

She honored his orders and kept quite watching the match, she didn't find it that impressive, two on one and a drunk and disorderly trainer it couldn't be any easier. But, the man did have an elegance to his battling style, it was something to be admired. The Grimmer didn't look too healthy either, he probably did it a favor by ending its life. Kokori didn't have much time to reflect on the battle before Nox turned back at her with an intimidating glare. Skarmory even flinched at the Demon's words, placing its beak under Kokori's hand.

The woman was very careful with her words, she would speak only the truth but she knew Nox was unstable and could at this time in her damaged state, kill her with ease, and Skarmory wouldn't be able to hold him back either. When he asked if she knew him personally she nodded getting a little choked up but kept her composer.

"Yes. Kokori Sorcral, Plasma captain." The rockets and the plasmas weren't allies nor enemies, they mostly kept to themselves only offering the occasional peace offering to remind them they weren't a threat and Unova territory was all they had and were pleased with it.

"Under personal acquaintances, not business. A romantic interest I like to think." her soft voice uttered out, still very nervous, petting her pokemon gently. "I admired Emilio very much, and I know the respect the two of you had for each other. As ruthless as your reputation is I don't think you are that evil." She tried to flatter him a little, hopefully give her some answers she desired.

"So, do you think he is still out there?"

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DuskyDare's avatar

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The scarecrow like plant deftly flew in an intricate pattern around its gelatinous foe. Alcyone held an embroidered handkerchief to her mouth, suppressing a gag as the filth tried in vain to follow, sullying the air in the courtyard. All the while her Pokémon continued entrancing the ghost. Milotic swayed, emanating a peaceful aura that was noticeable affecting some of the crowd as well as its target. Alcyone grew up as a dancer, one of the Kimono Girls, and she had dominated the contest halls in her prime, but part of her was itching to be able to use an actual attack. There were some influential trainers gathered around this church, and it would be nice for them to know that the Donna was good for more than just dancing.

A well placed Focus Blast and this gravely uneven match was at a close. The sludge reduced to nothing and its trainer was knocked backwards by residual forces. He gaped at the charred grass that once held his grotesque blob.

“Y-y-you killed him!” the man clambered to his feet “You killed my Pokémon!” his speech was uneven, a bit spluttered, and drenched in accusation. It was no longer drunkenly slurred, however. His eyes shone clearly, sobered by despair.

Cyril called back his Cacturne while addressing their shared opponent. He explained first how he was blameless in said death, and then how he'd disabled the mans remaining Pokeballs with the same move that KO'd the filth. As Alcyone watched the stranger worry over his wrecked equipment the widow reflexively ran her thumb against her own six miniaturized Pokeballs. They were all safely in her pocket and still without cracks, none the less debilitating ones. Cyril hesitated after he’d finished with the grunt, Alcyone could sympathize. People in their business rarely did their fighting so openly, and although it still ended in death, it wasn't usually the Pokemon that didn't walk away. He turned to face her.

“I have done my part with minimal damage to the cemetery. And I see that you have done yours. You have subdued it, doing the Pokemon no harm.” He spoke pleasantly to her, in a fashion most unexpected of an assassin.

“As I’d expect from the Donna herself, I could learn from your example. It was a pleasure to fight at your side, milady.” The famed Nightshade knelt before her and took her left hand as he spoke. She smiled courteously at him and bowed her head. He then rose, as controlled and smooth as he fought or spoke, and strolled out of the courtyard. Alcyone was impressed. Usually the men she had to deal with had little in the way of manners.

“Let us do this again, perhaps against a more worthy opponent,” he called to her over his shoulder. Alcyone stood for a moment, watching him walk away. However, her silence did not lead the crowd to disperse. The widow looked at the scene before her, returned her serpent, and followed in the wake of the assassin. She briefly considered stopping to offer her condolences to Nox, but thought better of it, her actions had spoken for her.

After several raps of her heels against the stone walkway the chattering of the funeral procession reduced to a low murmur of voices. She rounded a corner and walked for almost a mile before extracting and enlarging a Pokeball from her pocket. There was a soft clang as it hit the pavement before bouncing back into her palm. A dragon materialized in front of her and crouched down, offering her its back.

"To the villa, dear."


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Romantic Lunatic

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Ϻɑxѡϵʃʃ Dɑѡϵs
Breathe and I'll carry you away into the velvet sky
And we'll stir the stars around


Couldn't you have found better orphans than these?
xxxxxThe strange man's words echoed around in Maxwell's brain, bouncing off vague images of who he supposed was his mother, crashing into thoughts of the other sad Rockets he'd grown up with. Of course the first thing this mission would do was remind him of that. As the man in the costume began to focus on the Junior Admin, Maxwell looked up at the silver-haired person. Neither of these Indigos were normal people, that was for certain. Silver hair? A Dialga costume? Really?
xxxxx"Show me your pokemon, girl." Maxwell sucked in a sharp breath of anger when he saw the poisonous creatures emerge. The koffing could barely keep itself in the air, and the ekans didn't even rear its head as they usually so proudly do. He wanted to snatch the zubat out of the air and cradle it like he used to with Corabelle when she was small; instead, he just returned his gaze to the Indigos, fighting the urge to slap the Junior Admin's round face.
xxxxxWhen the costumed man gave an indirect order to the silver-haired one, Maxwell could tell immediately that there was a close bond between the two, made obvious by the use of a first name. Though, Stefan was much more intimidating than subordinates usually were, even for high-ranking ones. He began his "lesson" roughly, shoving the Junior Admin back into the river. Maxwell tried not to glance back, fearing that it would be mistaken for sympathy, but Stefan simply glared at the girl in the water. Slowly, he released a muscular arcanine that waded into the water without even a grunt of complaint. It amazed Maxwell, the level of control that this man had over his fire pokemon, who would otherwise have never gone near the riverbank. He wrenched his eyes away from the embarrassing ordeal unfolding before them and looked at the costumed man, who stood by as his subordinate threatened the Junior Admin and said aloud the second "lesson" of being an Indigo. Stefan lifted the portfolio in his hand and returned his steely eyes to the other candidates.
xxxxx"We have information on each of you. Anyone else want to come forward and confess before we carve you out like a cancerous mass?"
And there was the throbbing. Followed by a serious lurch of the stomach. Maxwell willed himself to relax, tried to blink away the terror he felt, begged Arceus to give him the strength to calm down. Stefan definitely did not seem the type to overlook extreme anxiety in candidates for his family. Suddenly, one of the other candidates panicked, broke away from the group, and tried to run off, knocking into Maxwell. He pushed the unfamiliar Rocket off of him and watched as the chubby young man tried to shove his way past the Indigo captains. Surprisingly, they let him go. Maxwell felt the terror fading a bit, and was relieved that someone had taken the focus of the group so that no one would question his nervousness. He straightened up and thought of Corabelle, and how she needed him to stay strong. The last thing he wanted was to be discovered and have his closest friend taken from him. Then he saw the three pokeballs that were still held by the costumed man.
xxxxx"What are you going to do with them?" he blurted. He regretted it instantly. Calling attention to himself was the exact opposite of what he wanted. Yet he had done it anyway. Oops.


xxxxxxxxxxWe're hanging on so take us high, to sing the world goodbye
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Irako of the Desert's avatar

Swashbuckling Scarface

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BLANKSPACEβenjamin Sonezaki
Today's Costume: Dialga


Ben watched impassively as the recruits shifted nervously in the face of Stefan's demand. Finally, one of the fatter ones made a break for it, dashing back to the city in a panic. The captains shifted aside to let the young man pass unchecked, though Ben knew one of the other soldiers would slip away unobtrusively and intercept the runner. The spy had seen the faces of those there, and with enough "persuasion" from his superiors, could probably give good enough descriptions of them. They would take him somewhere private until Ben or Stefan got the chance to speak to him and either offer him a chance at redemption or convince him that his life was forfeit if he returned to whoever his superiors were.

Suddenly, one of the other recruits spoke up, asking about the Pokemon. Ben glanced at the Pokeballs still in his hand, then back to the young man. His name was Maxwell, if he recalled, which he did. There had been very little in this one's file, since the Indigo presence in Johto hadn't been able to spare the people to keep a good eye on him. Common sense said to be suspicious of him, but there was something in the young man's voice that appealed to Ben. He cared what would happen to some stranger's Pokemon, and that was a point in his favor.

Ben held them up, pursing his lips in consideration. Who could give these Pokemon the care they so desperately needed? Madame Zanover, the famous breeder under their protection, was far too busy to devote the amount of special attention they needed. While many of his Indigos would gladly take in the Pokemon, he would not distract them from their duties in such a way. These Pokemon needed a caring trainer to work with them and teach them that not all humans would abuse them.

Ben looked back to Maxwell. "I'll see to it that they are taken care of properly. For now, I'll take them with me." The Pokeballs were slipped into an outside pocket.

He thought that perhaps the Landshark would know a good Pokemon rescue that would appreciate a sizable donation and made a mental to note to consult with the older man later about it. For now, he needed to focus on the matter at hand. He went to each recruit in turn, asking to see their Pokemon and quizzing them about their training methods. Some had to answer questions of morality instead, and a few were asked to demonstrate their Pokemon's skills. They all performed satisfactorily, with no more spies attempting to infiltrate being revealed. Everyone would be under a probation period, of course, after being inserted into a unit and watched carefully by their teammates, but Ben had little doubt they would all prove to be Indigos at heart. When they did so, Madame Zanover would grant them a Pokemon to add to their team, just as she'd done for every Indigo ever since they'd begun protecting her ranch and stock.

Ben saved Maxwell for last. All the other recruits had been sent to stand by their sponsoring Captains, leaving the young man alone. The sun was hanging low in the west, heading for the horizon.

"May I see your Pokemon?"


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