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Cynthia gazed at the glass doors of the Galactic Building and sighed. There was going to be so much fallout from this day. She’d be answering to the media for years. Nothing to be done – if they were going to spin her as the aggressor here she was going to make it a good show.
The doors slid open to admit Cynthia and her pokegirl. She’d chosen Sophea to accompany her. The Spiritomb was an army all on her own.
The receptionist was busy so Cynthia waited, lounging against the counter as she felt the eyes around her slowly begin to focus in as each human and pokegirl realized who had just walked through their doors. Eventually the receptionist looked up. “Hello. Welcome…” she trailed off. “to… um…”
“I have an appointment,” Cynthia stated coolly.
The receptionist’s hand was drifting under her desk. “I… am sorry, madam, but I’m not sure you do.”
Cynthia nodded at where the receptionist was reaching. “I do. It’s with you, and everyone else here, and especially whoever shows up after you hit that button.” Her neutral smile grew cold. “And once I’ve had my appointments with all of you, I have one with your boss.”
The receptionist moved. She slammed the panic button before choking, lifted from her chair by tendrils of smoke. Chaos erupted in the lobby – shouting Galactic grunts triggered their pokeballs or commanded the girls already standing around but Cynthia didn’t even turn until she’d heard the noise die away. When she finally did it was to see an empty fluttering robe hovering in the middle of absolute carnage. “Kill many, Sophea?”
Some of the figures on the ground twitched, wisps of shadow streaming back to the center of the room and reforming the Spiritomb. “Only a few, Mistress. I was… hungry.”
“You’ll have to introduce me to them later.” Cynthia looked around with a frown. “That woman did hit her panic button, didn’t she? That was supposed to be the signal for the others.”
Sophea floated around the desk and hit the button herself. Then again. Neither heard any alarms sound. “Odd, Mistress.”
Cynthia blinked and looked up. Looked at the cameras nestled around the ceiling. No lights shone back at her. “The cameras… They’re off. Why?” Suddenly she realized, almost simultaneously with Sophea’s sudden exclamation. A face had appeared on the receptionist’s computer screen.
“Champion. Sophea.” Kalmiya smiled at the guarded Spiritomb. “I have disabled the alarms and blinded the guards. Good hunting.”
Sophea glanced at Cynthia when Kalmiya vanished. “Mistress, it’s the virtual one. She’s here. Does that mean he is too?”
Cynthia was releasing the rest of her harem as she replied. “No doubt. Vanishes from sight for weeks and appears without warning in the middle of our little party.” She grinned. “Girls! We’ve been granted the element of surprise. Hold nothing back!”
Over a mile away Nicholas watched Kalmiya reappear on his screen. “Cynthia has begun her attack. I have signaled the others.”
Nicholas nodded and looked up. Miru nodded back and made a hand sign to the group clustered around the loading dock of one of the warehouses. The squad leader signaled affirmation before kneeling, light flickering as she carefully cut the locks.
Their explosive entrance was met with silence. The assault team entered the warehouse and spread out, searching the silent room before moving to a secondary interior blast door. Nicholas hung back with his harem while they let the police do their work, inspecting the crates that littered the bay. “Machinery, goods, supplies… Galactic was stockpiling.”
“Our intel suggested they were waging an invisible war. Some kind of region-wide operation, though the goal or enemy is unknown.”
Nicholas cracked open another crate and blinked. It was full of rocks. “Hey, I’ve got a crate of unrefined elemental stones here. Check the others, secure them – these things are volatile.”
Miru walked over to take a look. “Makes sense. Our interviews revealed that Galactic has been very, very interested in pokegirl evolution. Specifically the energy phenomenon of it.”
“Evolution, huh?” Nicholas muttered. “That’s my specialty. Hopefully we’ll seize some of their research notes.”
Quinn was at his shoulder. “Evolution stones?”
Nicholas blinked at the Kirlia before a smile grew. “Hm. That’s right. Hey, Miru, we’re not taking inventory of all this… are we?”
Miru grinned and stuck her hand into the mess to start rooting around. “I’m sure we will later. Whatever happens between now and then is off the books.”
They dug through the crate while the assault team worked at the interior door. It was much sturdier than the exterior one and was giving the pokegirls trying to cut it open quite a bit of trouble. Eventually Nicholas shoved the crate aside and reached for the next. “No luck.”
It was the third crate that held their prize. Quinn had been growing more and more agitated as they searched, going so far as to hurl a shimmering Moon Stone that had tricked her so it shattered against the wall. But she stopped dead when they made it to the third crate. Nestled right in the middle was a pearly blue stone.
Miru broke off. “I’m just going to go check on the cutters. Too bad I don’t have eyes in the back of my head.”
Nicholas chuckled as she walked away. None of the police officers were looking in their direction. What they didn’t see couldn’t be reported. “There it is, Quinn,” he said gently. “That’s a Dawn Stone.”
Quinn hesitantly picked it up, bracing as she did. Nothing happened and she looked up at him in a slight panic. “It’s not… working?”
Nicholas gently tapped the everstone she wore. “Of course not. You’ve still got that thing on.”
Quinn’s grip tightened on the Dawn Stone. “But if I take it off I’ll-“ she swallowed. “I’ll evolve.”
“Yes. You will.” Nicholas wrapped his hands around hers, and the stone. “You will evolve. As long as you’re holding that stone you’ll evolve into what you want to be.”
“What if- what if it doesn’t work?” Quinn asked. Now that she was this close her fear was making her hesitant. “What if…?”
Nicholas kissed her. Quinn’s fretful words died as he worked the kiss tenderly, pulling away only when he heard Quinn’s tension hiss out in a long sigh. “It will work,” he told her firmly. “You’ve been so brave to get here, but you’ve made it. It will work. The world is not cruel enough to deny you now.”
Quinn clenched down on her trembling hands. “I… I’m scared if I let go, I’ll… I’ll drop it. How am I going to take the everstone off?”
Nicholas laughed quietly and reached up to her neck. “You ever see that porn online? Where a pokegirl’s wearing a choker like yours and she deepthroats her tamer?" He took firm hold of the thin material. “My dick isn’t thick enough for that but my hands work just fine.”
Quinn swallowed. He felt her throat bob under his fingers before the Kirlia’s eyes slid shut and she nodded. “Hey… Nicholas. Bet you can’t s-snap my choker.”
The choker broke easily and Nicholas fell back with the everstone in his hand. For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then the glow started. Quinn’s eyes were squeezed shut as she clenched the stone, and at first it didn’t look good. The glow was coming from her body, not her hands. But then it activated and an explosion of light drowned out the rest.
Quinn’s own energy was being drawn through the stone she held and changing, shifting to match the energy thrumming within the stone itself. It returned to the transfixed Kirlia, filling her, overwriting everything her body considered natural. The first changes that came were not much different from what would have been without the stone’s influence - Quinn’s body grew taller, and her form simplified somewhat when her horns vanished from her head and reappeared fused between her breasts.
As she changed Quinn’s shirt shredded to pieces, her bra following not long after when the sharp protrusion cut through, helped along by Quinn’s swelling body. For a moment the remains stretched across her back, held up by the sleeves, but her shifting arms quickly ruined that too and the remains fell to the ground. Quinn’s forearms were growing more angular, sharp edges extending out from her elbows and growing as long as the arm itself. In direct opposition to what Nicholas knew of a Gardevoir’s evolution Quinn’s Kirlia body bulked up. Gone were the dainty limbs, the subdued highlights. As the glow faded and Quinn opened her eyes her hair had gone from a uniform sea green to being split by a robin blue stripe that ran between her alert ears, looking all the world like a sweeping crest over her head. The look was further accentuated by the changes to her ears - the white furred, large pointed ears had grown great tufts of the same blue that gave volume to the shock of it in her hair.
Nicholas slipped the everstone into his pocket. Quinn was lost in the sensations, her eyes staring straight through him. Eyes that were unchanged. Well, not completely, but the fierce gaze that skewered him didn’t feel new. He’d seen and felt it before, as he got to know the Kirlia. This was Quinn. Liberated from within the body she hated and given one that defied everything the world had expected her to be.
…Almost, everything. Despite her fervent prayers there were some things the newly evolved Gallade hadn’t been able to avoid. Her shorts were no longer loose, for one – perhaps it was from the overall growth she’d experienced, perhaps something else, but her ass and thighs now stretched the fabric. That, that could have been expected, or accepted. But Nicholas saw something else that he knew Quinn would not accept. Her breasts had grown to match her new size, and potentially even a bit more than that. She had gone from large breasted to massively endowed. So much that the large red protrusion between them was barely even visible as a little red bump in her cleavage.
She didn’t seem to notice at first. From the way she was standing Nicholas assumed her newly gained physical strength was more than capable of handling the extra weight. But she noticed when she raised an arm to her face and it collided with her chest. Blinking, she looked down at the mountains of flesh, her expression slowly turning distressed as she came to realize exactly what she was looking at.
“…no. NO!” Quinn wailed, sinking to her knees as her hands clawed at her breasts, squishing and pulling as if she was trying to pull them off entirely. “Please, NO!”
“Quinn!” Nicholas grabbed the wailing Gallade, trying unsuccessfully to stop her. She’d gotten what she wished for there at the very least. He could barely slow her desperate strength. “Stop! I- I didn’t want to say anything, but… this was always how it was going to be. You’ve gotten what you wanted, haven’t you? You’re no Gardevoir.”
“I didn’t want to be this!” Quinn cried. “This… this…!” She let out another wail, her whole body slumping as she crumpled to the floor with tears streaming down her face. The way her breasts bounced when she did only made her cry harder. “This squishy flabby feeble body!”
Nicholas gently took her breasts in his hands, intending on giving each a kiss. “I think you’re beau-“
He didn’t make it even halfway. Something hard pressed into his neck and he could see the savage red of Quinn’s eyes glaring up at him. “That is precisely the problem,” Quinn snarled under her breath, tears still flowing but forgotten in her sudden anger. “That’s what they all would say. How sexy I would become. What a beautiful pokegirl I would be. How humans like you would fall over themselves to bed me.”
Nicholas held extremely still. The thing pressed into his neck was one of Quinn’s new arm blades and while it wasn’t cutting him now, blunt as it was, it was the cutting edge that was in his throat. And he could see energy flickering intermittently down the length. Just beneath the surface were the razor-sharp structures that he’d seen on Wally’s Gallade, Gwen. He’d thought they were covered in skin before her mega evolution but experiencing Quinn’s now he understood much better. Those structures were focusing structures. As a Mega Gallade Gwen had pumped so much energy into them that they had cut through the protective exterior of her body as razor blades of their own. Quinn’s were where they were meant to be, and it was the hard, durable exterior pressing into him that they would focus energy into. If he angered Quinn further her whole arm would likely be suffused, turning it into a deadly cutting surface. He was very keen on having that happen after he’d had a chance to remove his neck.
“I won’t apologize for the way I feel, Quinn,” he said quietly, flinching when her eyes narrowed. “I understand that this hasn’t turned out exactly the way you wanted. But I want you to know that I would have called you beautiful no matter what you looked like after this evolution. You’re beautiful, not because of these breasts, but because you’re you. Over the last few days I’ve gotten to know you. I’ve learned about the Quinn who was hidden inside. I see her on the outside now. I see you. You’re beautiful.”
Quinn’s hand was flexing, her muscles pushing her blade deeper into Nicholas’ neck and back out while her teeth ground together. Her tears were drying up, giving way completely to anger. “Then why did you reach for my breasts. Why-“ a thunderbolt flashed over her face and Nicholas felt something hot sear his skin where her blade was, the unmistakable feeling of something running down his neck coming a moment later. Blood. “You… you said you knew this would happen. You KNEW!”
“I had an idea. But I didn’t know for sure,” Nicholas replied. “I have many pokegirls in my harem. I’ve known many more. I’ve never known a pokegirl’s body to shrink from evolution. Change, yes. Sometimes drastically and completely. But specifically regarding the features of their bodies I have never seen them shrink. At best they stay the same.” He had been releasing his hold on her breasts very slowly and now finally he managed to pull his hands away and relieve some of the pressure on his neck, though he didn’t try to escape. He didn’t know what Quinn would do if she was startled. “Your breasts are included in that. I had hoped they wouldn’t grow. Maybe you’d even be the first to break the pattern. But I was expecting exactly what has happened to you.”
The tears were beading in Quinn’s eyes again. “You… you knew. And you still gave me hope. I, I listened to you. Trusted you.”
Nicholas slid his eyes shut. “Yes. Hope. I wanted you to have hope. What would you have done differently if I’d told you? If I told you your dream, at least some of it, would never be reality? What then?”
Quinn stared up through watering eyes until at last Nicholas felt her pull back slightly. He took the chance and threw himself off her blade, fingers seeking the cut on his neck. Luckily it wasn’t deep but it was still oozing blood.
“I… wouldn’t have believed you,” Quinn whimpered. “I would have ran. From you, from this… I would have evolved anyways, someday, and with nobody to comfort me. Or maybe I never would and would have lived my life unhappy, never knowing that I couldn’t change it. You lied, but you did it for me.” She buried her head in her hands as she sobbed, the whimpers and tears of before nothing in the face of her grief. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I nearly just threw it all away.”
Nicholas glanced behind her. At Zisela, the Gabite hovering with her claws outstretched. Ready to attack if Quinn had become a threat. She was obviously unhappy when he waved her off but complied, slinking away and no doubt plotting just how Quinn would pay for harming her drake, but in this moment at least she let him take control of the situation.
Quinn hiccupped when she felt him wrap his arms over her shoulders. “You were never about to throw it all away, Quinn,” he said gently. “I understood. I mean, it took you shoving your blade in my throat, but I understood. I hadn’t expected your breasts to be this big of a deal to you. I acted to try and comfort you, show that I still wanted you with them there. Yes, maybe that I was even more interested with them there. Now I realize you need to hear something else.” He squeezed her. “You’re beautiful even though they’re there, Quinn. You have become a beautiful Gallade, fit and toned and deadly. Anyone who only sees you for your breasts will quickly repent when your blades find their neck.” He chuckled. “Just like I did.”
He felt Quinn lean slightly into him. “You… you really mean that?”
Nicholas nodded, bringing his hand up and itching the base of her ear. He heard Quinn making a contented purr as he worked his way around. “I do. It may not be everything you wanted but you have become something more beautiful than you were as a Kirlia. I have no doubt that it is infinitely more beautiful than you would have been as a Gardevoir, too. And that is no lie.”
Quinn had been melting more and more against him so he jumped when he suddenly felt her breath on his neck. Her tongue licked the dried blood from where she’d nicked him, lips pressing against his skin when she kissed the wound. “I trusted you,” she breathed. “I still do. And while I know I’ll hate how much you like my breasts, I… I know they’re part of who I am.” She pulled back, piercing red eyes tempered with a soft emotion. Trust. “You said you can see me as beautiful without them. Despite them. Am I more beautiful with them?”
Nicholas chuckled. He saw her trap. “You are beautiful with them and you would be beautiful without them. I don’t have a range of beauty to judge you by. But,” he remarked offhandedly, hand worming around her side, “I will admit I like it better when there’s more beauty to play with.”
Quinn sucked air when he groped her and suddenly she was fighting free, slipping from his embrace and stumbling a few steps away before turning back. After a moment she broke into a grin, laughing along with him and diving back down, kissing hungrily while the man explored every exposed inch of her new body. They might have tamed right then and there but when Nicholas slipped his fingers into Quinn’s waistband, he felt her own stop him.
Quinn was hunched over him, her new height changing their dynamic entirely as she bent down to rest her forehead to his and her chest rose and fell with heavy breaths. “I… want you,” she breathed, face and body flushed, mouth open to accommodate her pants. “But… I think… if we did, this, now… I would hate myself after. I would have… become what I don’t want.” She blinked to clear her watering eyes before any tears could form. “I’m so confused…”
Nicholas smiled. He pulled his hand back and lifted it to cup her by the cheek. “I understand, Quinn. If the first thing you did in this new body was sex, you would feel as if that was all it was good for. Even though that is not at all true. I know very well how feelings don’t care about facts.” He lifted his lips to kiss her again, drawing back after a moment and listening to Quinn swallow heavily. “Your body is a weapon. If you are still interested in being with me, then… My weapon?” When Quinn’s breath caught he chuckled. “My weapon. I believe, my weapon, that the police are still struggling with that door.” His eyes danced as he gazed up at her. “Galactic was obsessed, Miru said, with the power of a pokegirl’s evolution. Why don’t you go demonstrate exactly what that is.”
Quinn took a deep breath and as it entered her lungs her body stilled. She held it, just for a moment, before turning, exhaling while her pace increased until she just about leapt in front of the blast door.
The others turned to see her staring at the door, the metal marred and partially cut. “Oh, hey Quinn,” Miru said. “I take it you’re all…?”
Quinn bared her teeth and screamed. Immediately the pokegirls clustered around the door fled, retreating to a safe distance as the blades along Quinn’s arms began to glow with psychic power. The light flared, then began coalescing to a point until the edges of Quinn’s blades drew lines through the very air itself. She struck.
The first slice bisected a shutter. The second severed the rolling locks, causing the entire door to crumple and slump in its housing. Quinn dropped back, raising her arms in an x, and dove forwards, driving a flurry of strikes into the metal until she was through, standing in the middle of a mountain of fragments.
Quinn glanced back, her eyes lifting to the controller at the top of the door and her blade flashed. An incredible screeching noise emanated as the remains of the blast door collapsed around her. Immediately the police were streaming through, followed by Miru, Nicholas, and the rest of his harem. Miru barely gave Quinn a look but Nicholas couldn’t restrain himself and Quinn gasped when he drew her into a bone crushing hug.
“That’s you. That’s what you are, Quinn!” He didn’t know what else to do in his excitement except kiss her yet again, but this time Quinn didn’t kiss back. In fact she avoided his mouth and ducked free.
“We- we need to keep moving,” Quinn babbled, the adrenaline from her assault surging through her. “Right? Right?”
Nicholas calmed himself and clasped her arm beneath where the blade extended. “Yeah. Lead the way, Quinn.”
Zisela, Gabite (Alpha) – Level 37
Sohn, Monferno – Level 36
Miru, Buneary – Level 35
Sammy, Rotom – Level 35
Cathy, Miltank – Level 33
Quinn, Gallade – Level 35
Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 19
It was really quite relaxing, Nicholas mused to himself as the strike force swept through the underground tunnels that had been revealed. Here he was, yet again, assaulting a criminal stronghold, yet he was just along for the ride. Oh, sure, as the rearguard he and his harem were keeping an eye on the corridors they passed and keeping the main force safe from surprise attacks, but there were none to be seen. They’d only had to deal with a single grunt and his Glameow. She’d barely had time to register the threat before Cathy trampled her underfoot.
Of course Quinn was the star of the group. Sprinting forwards, breasts lurching about comically, all that was forgotten in the face of the Gallade’s flashing blades. There had been some resistance to the harem’s progress in the form of emergency doors attempting to close and cut them off, but Quinn had dealt with them just as she’d dealt with the first and the halls behind them were filled with shredded metal.
This went on for about ten minutes before Nicholas saw the police slowing. Stepping past he saw the hallway ending in a normal sized door, with Miru walking back as she ordered various officers around.
“Hey! What’s up, dead end?” Nicholas called.
Miru shook her head. “That’s an entrance to the main building’s basement. We’re assigned to locking down the warehouse district. We’re turning back, at least once that entrance is sealed.”
Nicholas glanced at the girls busying themselves with explosive charges. “What are you going to do, collapse the tunnel?”
“Only real way to make sure nothing comes through it, wouldn’t you say?” Miru chuckled. “I’m more than happy to let the Champion have her way with everyone on the other side of that door.”
Nicholas stared past her. “That’s the plan?”
“Yep. Champion Cynthia gets the big fish, we clean up the rest.”
Nicholas looked back to her. “I’m not a part of your plan though. Am I.”
Miru was smiling. She’d known this was coming. “No, and neither was I. Still, it’s my duty to follow orders. My orders are to secure the warehouse district from below while Looker secures the whole city above. That’s what I intend to do.”
Nicholas stuck out his hand and Miru took it immediately. “Well then it was a pleasure to go this far with you again, SI. I think this is where we part ways. Maybe for good this time.”
“Ha!” Miru laughed. “I did say the other side of that door was a Champion’s problem. I’m sure we’ll meet up again, Champion Topolski. As much as I wish it would, this fight won’t be ending today.” Her lips twitched. “Though I don’t know how you’ll ever replace that Buneary of yours.”
Nicholas chuckled. “Yeah, I’ll miss her. But I’ll survive.” He turned, beckoning his harem forwards. He was approaching the door when he heard Miru call.
Nicholas turned. Someone had handed Miru a bulletproof vest and so now for the first time in Sinnoh he was seeing the Buneary clothed, if only slightly. She still had no pants. “Yeah?”
Miru raised a fist in salute. The emblem on her chest glittered as her eyes bore into his. “Good hunting.”
Nicholas nodded. The sapper team let him pass and he slowly crept through the door, his harem spreading out on the other side. Quiet. He shut it, sharing a nod with the demolitionist before she vanished from sight. The group moved back, staring at the door. For a few minutes nothing happened. Then an explosion rocked the building, dust falling from the ceiling as the door warped and nearly came off its hinges. The tunnel on the other side was choked in rubble. No leaving that way anymore.
Zisela spoke first. “Well?”
Nicholas looked around. It seemed like they were right in the middle of Galactic’s R&D department. Glass windows lined the hallway, various bits of machinery and computers sprinkled about. “Kalmiya. Where are we, where is Cynthia, and what’s the state of the building.”
“Of course Master. We are currently on sub level 2. All security systems are currently disabled. However, I have full control.” She giggled. “Over half the enemy forces have already fallen as they stumbled across Champion Cynthia. The rest are between her and us.”
“Where is she?”
“Working across the ground floor. She went up first and cleared the upper floors.”
Nicholas nodded. “We can catch them in a pincer, then.”
Nicholas frowned. Kalmiya had trailed off slightly. “But?”
“But you aren’t interested in the foot soldiers, the grunts. Are you, Master.”
Nicholas snorted. “Not especially, no. Who else is here? That redhead? Mars?”
“No Master. The strange man you met a week ago. Cyrus.”
Nicholas breathed out. “Cyrus.”
“Camera records are… strange. There appears to be some kind of technology in place within the lowest levels of this building, one that allows teleportation of humans. I wasn’t aware such a thing existed.”
Nicholas’ brow furrowed. “That’s Rocket tech. How the hell did Galactic get their hands on it?”
Nicholas tapped his pokedex comfortingly. “It’s okay, Kalmiya. They probably just stole it, that’s all.”
Kalmiya quickly regained her composure. “You’re… you’re right, Master. I would have seen traces if Team Rocket was here.” She gave a virtual shudder. “I would have… have heard the screams in the system.”
“I didn’t even consider other Porygon being here but you’re right. If you didn’t feel any traces of Rocket Porygon then their technology being here is just a coincidence.” He hesitated. “Still… maybe it’s best if you hid - I mean, took shelter in the pokedex for now. You’ve done more than enough.”
Kalmiya’s relief was palpable when she responded. “Yes, Master. Thank you.”
“Cyrus.” Nicholas winced. He needed Kalmiya to be his eyes to locate the Galactic leader, but he also wasn’t going to force her to expose herself if Team Rocket had even a chance of being in play here. She’d suffered at their hands once. He wasn’t going to let it happen again. “According to my aura sense there’s nobody below us, but I don’t trust it completely yet. Not to mention that man apparently can hide from me.” He looked around at his harem. “We’re down to four. Are you all ready?” When the pokegirls all nodded he picked a direction and strode forwards. “Let’s go.”
Hours had passed since Nicholas and his harem had broken into Team Galactic’s basement. They’d worked their way down, to the third sub level, then the fourth, but the halls just kept going. They were in the process of searching every room on this floor before moving on and Nicholas was very careful to avoid anything that looked like a teleport pad.
“Master!” Nicholas turned to see Sammy zipping through the air towards him. Her body was pure electricity but the Rotom had shifted her metal to her chest, turning her into a pair of metal tits and a head. “I found something! We. We found something.”
Nicholas nodded. “Show me.”
Sammy reformed as she hovered through a large doorway. Inside were the others, resting in what appeared to be some kind of a conference room. Zisela was trying to ignore her still leaking breasts. “There you are, my drake.” She jabbed a thumb over her shoulder. “We did not find a way down, but we did find this.”
Nicholas walked past her. A couple of folding walls had been torn down, and behind them was an intricate repeating floor design. Nicholas grimaced. The circuitry and light glow was unmistakable. “Teleporters. Did any of you step on one?”
Zisela shook her head. “Not yet.”
“…Sammy is probably the best one to test them,” Nicholas said after a moment of deliberation. “Her or Kalmiya. Both can find their way back if it’s a one-way link and the other side is like, a trap. Sealed in some way.”
Sammy didn’t even hesitate. With a skip she was past him, stealing a kiss on the cheek before landing directly on the first pad. With a low electrical whine it activated and the Rotom was gone.
They all stood and sat in silence for a moment before Nicholas rolled his eyes and settled back with the others to wait.
It didn’t take long. Only a minute later the pad triggered again to dispense Sammy. “Biiiig room, Master,” she said. “I appeared up on a stage. Nobody there.”
Nicholas nodded. “Probably where they gather to get fed propaganda. Can you check the next one?”
Sammy nodded and vanished. This one took a bit longer before she reappeared with her report. “Storage area, Master. Like the warehouse, but much cleaner.”
Nicholas frowned. “That might be worth investigating later. No other entrances?”
“Yeah. Definitely keep that one in mind then.” He nodded at the last two pads. “Next?”
Sammy returned almost immediately this time, her eyes wide. “Master-!”
Nicholas caught her when she stumbled forwards. “What! What was it, Sammy?”
Sammy was trembling but she managed to speak. “It… it was dark. And there were tanks. Everywhere. There… there were… were…” She clutched him tight. “There were… pokegirls. Floating in tanks. Everywhere.”
Nicholas’ eyes slid shut. “Are you able to check the last pad?”
Sammy was still shaking but she nodded. “Uh huh.”
Nicholas waited. Sammy didn’t move. Eventually though she pulled herself away and tentatively activated the pad.
She was gone for the longest time yet. Long enough that Nicholas began pacing the room while he waited. “I hope something didn’t happen.”
“I am still in contact, Master,” Kalmiya soothed in his ear. “She says she has found a large space. Some kind of living quarters, or a fancy office.”
Nicholas swiveled to the pad. “Everyone through!”
“What’s wrong?” Kalmiya asked in confusion.
“This is a conference room on the lowest levels of the building. The hidden teleporter in it leads to a fancy office or living space.” Nicholas jumped on the pad himself without waiting to fully explain. When he appeared he began scanning for Sammy. “It’s the boss’ place. Cyrus will be here.”
Sammy rounded the corner ahead of them after a minute, the Rotom waving. “Hi Master!”
“Hey yourself.” Nicholas joined her but never took his eyes off the silent halls. Any one of the doors he saw could have Cyrus hiding behind it. “Anything special yet?”
Sammy shook her head.
“Right. All together then.”
Sammy sidled up to them as they began searching. “So, Master. Those teleporter thingies… they’re pretty… cool.”
Nicholas glanced at her. “And?”
“And complicated… intricate…”
Nicholas smirked and turned back to their path. “As long as I don’t find a broken one keeping me from where I’m going, well, who knows what’s happening to the rest of them?”
Sammy brightened and glanced around, phasing through the next door they came to. A minute later she was back with an extremely satisfied look on her face.
She did the same a few minutes later, this time returning in time for him to see the remains of something dissolving away in her stomach. He snickered. Hey, the more they looted Team Galactic’s base the less he’d be spending on his pokegirls. First a Dawn Stone, now priceless electronic components. Score.
Now Sammy was checking every door, likely because they’d reached the point she had searched before Nicholas had come to join her. She was happily darting back and forth across the hallway when Nicholas saw her zip under a pair of double doors. Seconds later she screamed.
“SAMMY!” Nicholas whirled to the door and tried the handle. Locked. “SAMMY! ANSWER ME!”
He was thrown aside by Zisela, the Gabite covering him with her body as Cathy came thundering forwards with a roar. Hearing her harem sister scream had instantly flipped her switch and the sound of splintering wood filled the air as she charged straight through, her roar rising in pitch to a challenging bugle when she saw the figure menacing the flickering Rotom. All it had time to do was turn its head to the charging Miltank before it was tossed in the air, Cathy digging her horns in deep and earning a pained scream for her efforts.
Quinn sprang through the busted door, running to assist Cathy. The pokegirl she’d gored had recovered quickly and now it was the Miltank roaring in pain, her charge swerving off course as the girl draped over her head yanked Cathy’s neck sideways.
He heard a man shouting from deeper in the room and seconds later Zisela was covering him again, the Gabite arching her back in pain as flames billowed around her. Nicholas stumbled back, eyes turning to where Sammy feebly stirred. Zisela was completely busy with whatever was trying to burn her, Cathy had careened through the furniture in the room and now Quinn sprinted past, her blades flashing and sizzling as they deflected daggers of ice. He felt nothing in this room. Nothing but his own harem. And yet pokegirls fought, and…
The source of the voice was obvious. Cyrus stood and as Nicholas turned to him the man triggered another pokeball. Shadow bled into the air, further obscuring the already chaotic scene, as a pokegirl spread her pitch-black wings wide. Without anything to stop her she stalked towards Nicholas.
Dark… dark. Nicholas flicked around the scene. He knew every one of these pokegirls. Flames and darkness, a Houndoom. Dark ice daggers, a Weavile. And this one. A dark crow. Honchkrow. He’d fought them all before.
His best answer to the Honchkrow was still recovering. Cathy was getting back to her feet now but she’d be drawn to helping one of the others. “SAMMY! GET UP!”
Zisela glanced over and cursed but her path was blocked when the Houndoom sprang forwards. It was all she could do to match the canine pokegirl. Quinn too was fighting for her life - the breasts she hated so much were cut to ribbons, same as the rest of her. The Weavile was simply faster than her. She couldn’t retaliate.
“You. You’re that Celestica from the cave,” Cyrus called amusedly. “You followed me here? How foolish. I was just packing my things. I’d like to leave before that woman arrives, and so I have no time to play with you.”
His Honchkrow lunged and Nicholas threw himself out of the way, scrabbling to get something between him and the slashing talons of the girl’s feet. “You’re not getting away.”
“I think,” Cyrus laughed, surveying the battle, “that I can leave whenever I so choose. You are the one trapped here.”
Sammy responded to that by forcing herself up and sinking a thunderbolt into the Honchkrow. The crow girl squawked, wheeling about and flapping her wings to send blades of darkness slicing through the struggling Rotom. Sammy fell again, this time without moving.
But her sacrifice had bought Nicholas time. His pokegirls were fighting the wrong opponents. Cathy was futilely charging at the Honchkrow, unable to match the girl’s wings with her own grounded mobility. Zisela couldn’t get close as the Houndoom corralled her with flames. Sammy was down, and Quinn… she was fighting well. But her blades simply couldn’t connect. There was someone else who could match the Weavile. He just prayed she had recovered by now.
He silently cursed his own stupidity as he triggered Sohn’s release. What had he been thinking, exhausting his own pokegirls earlier for a prank? It had not been the time. “Sohn! Help Quinn!”
Sohn appeared and immediately dropped to one knee. She knew what was happening. She’d watched, growing more and more agitated within her ball. She wanted to help, she did. But her fatigue. She held no ill will towards Quinn and Zisela for their actions that morning - she completely deserved it. But she had realized the same thing Nicholas was. It had not been the time. If not for her own prank she would be fresh, fighting alongside all of them. Fighting for them. Without Miru to overshadow her. The first time she had ever had this chance, and here she was, kneeling on the ground, the flame tipping her tail barely staying alight. She was pissed. At nobody but herself.
All of it, all of the frustration and anger and helplessness she had felt day after day and week after week and month after month struggling to find her place, to prove herself not only to Nicholas but to the uncaring Buneary, all of it crashed over her at once. It turned to rage. Rage at herself. At her inability. At her weakness. At her obsession with the approval of others. Everything she felt was wrong with her life… was her own. Damn. Fault.
The flickering flame shot into the air as she screamed. Giving voice to all of her anger as her skin began to steam and what was now an inferno roiling at the tip of her tail began creeping down its length. She glowed.
Speed was what Nicholas had praised her for and it was speed that took her now. Her evolution was the fastest of any he had ever seen, lasting only a few seconds. In that time Sohn’s rage empowered her, fueled her, allowing the Infernape that shot forwards mere seconds after appearing to fight with a fury the exhausted Monferno simply hadn’t had.
She was a blazing comet as she threw herself past Quinn, but as fast as she was the Ice-Type was even faster. The Weavile dodged, turning her attention to the new threat before her eyes widened when she saw the follow up.
Sohn’s tail no longer burned at the tip. It was flame, a lashing whip of it that wrapped around the Weavile’s neck and yanked her off her feet. Held her with the same solid grip Sohn had always had so that when her foot snapped back, burning bright, the Weavile was held right where she wanted her.
Sohn didn’t have strength, so she made do with technique. The combination clothesline kick to the head was so devastating it likely would have killed most pokegirls. It was more than enough to knock this one out, and she’d already shown that she was stronger than any of Nicholas’. Immediately the battle shifted. The Honchkrow brushed Cathy aside, squawking her challenge as she dove for the burning Infernape. She was intercepted by Quinn, the Gallade giving one last desperate strike to deflect the Honchkrow from Sohn while she got her bearings. A moment later she stiffened, teeth clenching when Sohn slapped her hands over Quinn’s wounds and cauterized them. When she removed her hands Quinn was a mass of burn scars, but she was no longer bleeding and the two pokegirls turned to their opponent as one.
Sammy was well and truly down so Nicholas recalled her, but Cathy was still moving and now the Houndoom was forced on the defensive, unable to corral the Miltank as she stampeded through whatever flames tried to get in her way without a second thought.
“Actually,” Nicholas called, taking a step forwards now that he was free to do so, “I think that’s you.”
His cocky smile slipped away when the Galactic boss held up two more pokeballs and raised an eyebrow. “Do you? Your girls fight well, but they are outmatched. It takes two to stop one of mine. I still have two more who would be happy to take you on, Celestica.”
Nicholas swallowed. He’d done it again. Just like with Giovanni. He really needed to stop taunting these crime bosses. “I suppose the advantage is still yours then. What do you want?”
“What a reasonable question. What do I want. I told you what I want, weak man.” Cyrus rolled his pokeballs back into his pocket. “I want to leave. Unlike you, the woman approaching us is a threat to me. I will be very happy to have left by the time she gets here.”
“I’ll fight you,” Nicholas replied. “I’ll fight – we’ll, fight – as long as we can to slow you down.”
“You will, too, won’t you,” Cyrus sighed. “You might even be able to slow me enough to make my escape annoying. But I promise you, I will escape, no matter what you try. You have a choice. Annoy me, and die; or stand aside, and live.”
“How about this,” Nicholas replied. “You tell me what you’re planning, and I’ll leave you to it.”
Cyrus began to laugh. “Now why do I not believe you, Celestica? Your kind constantly hound me, attempting to stop the coming of the new world. Even if I let you live today you will find me again, try my patience again. But, why not. You’ve amused me.” He spread his arms. “It is as I have told you before. I will bring about a new world, a perfect world, a world without the diseased thing known as spirit. To do so I will unleash the twin makers upon this world and when they are finished I alone will remain. The only human, a perfect human, to rule a perfect world.”
“You literally wish to play god? You’re insane. You’ll be erased instead.”
Cyrus chuckled. “Oh no. This is the difference between you, flawed and clutching to your desperate power, and me, pure and beyond all of it. I have clawed the means to control the makers from the very fabric of reality itself. I hold in my hands a power that has not been felt on this world since the dawn of creation.” He raised a hand, palm up, fingers cocked. “I do not play god! I. Am. God!” He turned dismissively. “The world will begin anew soon. Do as you will with the time you have left. Perhaps you will use some of it to mourn.” His eye glinted as he looked back with a wicked grin. “Your precious guardians lie back the way you came. Dead, or soon to be. They barely held enough eternity to create one controlling chain, let alone two. I had to take everything I could. I left them nothing.” With a mad cackle he swept away, his pokegirls retreating with him until all three vanished into thin air.
Nicholas stepped cautiously forwards. “Teleport pad. He had one hidden in the corner.” He looked around. At his bloodied and broken harem. “I think… we let him get away. This time.”
Sohn was the only one still functioning properly, thanks mainly to her evolution. Still, even she looked tired when she addressed him. “What did he mean? Precious guardians?”
Nicholas’ eyes slid shut. He didn’t have time to waste waiting on Cynthia or anyone else. If Cyrus was telling the truth… “Three eternal ones. Created to keep our world from tearing itself apart, exactly what Cyrus intends to do. If he’s killed them…” He opened his eyes. “If they’re dead we’re in much bigger trouble than whatever it is Cyrus thinks he’s going to do. Come on. We have to find them.”
Zisela, Gabite (Alpha) – Level 38
Sohn, Infernape – Level 37
Sammy, Rotom – Level 36
Cathy, Miltank – Level 35
Quinn, Gallade – Level 37
Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 22