They spent most of last night and all morning preparing for this. Sarah and Shawn both anticipated the Silicon Movement's next move. Sarah knew if she could at least take Solstice down, that would weaken their morale. The organization would fall apart, making more captures easier. It was a foolproof plan. They would stake out the area near the hospital where Solstice's “finger” was.
Sarah peeked out from behind a building. “Shawn. You still there?” The only response was a grunt from a nearby trash can. Sarah sighed. He actually hid behind a trash can like hide-and seek! He never could pick the best hiding places.
“Shawn?” She asked again.
Shawn's head slowly rose from the can, the lid over his head and bits of garbage all over him, “Here.”
Sarah groaned. She should have known he'd be in the can. “What in Arceus' name are you doing in a trash can?!”
“Don't be silly. This is perfect! When Solstice comes by, I'll be all BAM!” He swiped a fist in the air as if punching.
“Come out. The only thing going 'bam' will be you if you stay in there,” Sarah scolded. It was a clever spot, by Shawn's standards anyway. He often picked worse places and Sarah would often have to help him find a good spot. What he lacked in cleverness, though, he made up for in willpower. Sarah liked that in her foster brother. He complemented her sharp mind with his strength, and she complemented his somewhat brutish ways with her wit.
Shawn sighed, stood up, and looked at Sarah. “So where should I go? I thought this would be perfect...”
Sarah thought for a moment, scanning the layout of the area. “There. Hide in that alley,” She pointed to an alley near where Shawn was already hiding.
Looking like a whipped Poochyena, Shawn climbed out of the garbage and dusted himself off. He walked over to the alley and pressed himself against the wall. “Better?”
“Much,” Sarah said with a nod, “I'm starting to wonder where these Silicon goons are. Chikosu hasn't come back yet. I would've thought he'd found something by now...”
“I think I should send Serious after him. He's a dog. He can smell much better than a Flygon.”
Sarah considered it for a moment. “No. We need him as our ace-in-the-hole. We can't underestimate Solstice or her crooks. They're not afraid of murder and I'd hate to see him shot down. Chikosu can fly higher than he can.” Shawn seemed to mull it over for a second, then nodded once.
It was a strange thing to say that a dog could fly, but not so odd for the Pokémon Serious was. Serious wasn't an ordinary Houndoom. He had wings and a sharp scythe on his tail: both things no other Houndoom had. He was much bigger too, and stood at the hip as tall as Sarah was. Neither she nor Shawn was sure if it was just a mutation or if he'd evolved instead, but they'd decided to call the new form Houndark regardless. Serious was Shawn's strongest Pokémon and a loyal, if not scary ally.
Movement in the distance caught Sarah's eye. She gestured for silence and nudged her Vulpix, Pixzy. The Pokémon nodded and crouched down, lowering her tails and flattening her profile. Sarah slowly peered out from her hiding place, just as Shawn ducked behind the wall, a Pokéball at the ready.
Two people came slowly down the road, both wearing those trench coats. One was obviously Solstice: her distinct mask gave her away. The other was... also Solstice? There were two identical women wearing black coats, black fedoras, and that creepy mask. Obviously, one of the two was a decoy.
The left hand one spoke first, “There's no sign of Team Night anywhere.”
“Good. That means we can regroup here. Still no word from Granite.”
“No matter. Jet finally got some intel on that girl. She's supposed to be in Aspertia right now, chasing a badge.”
“A badge? Perfect. That idiot seriously thinks she can get away from us like that?”
“Irrelevant. She's human. Weak. Easily swayed by emotion and petty desires. Much too naive to pose anything but a minor inconvenience.”
“Once we have the Absol, we can dispose of any witnesses. I look forward to that part.”
Nothing about their mannerisms or conversation seemed to give away who was who. Sarah decided to ambush them both. Either way, she'd have to defeat both of them to bring them to justice. Not knowing who the “real” Solstice was though, that was a little unsettling. Just a little.
“Prepare for trouble!” Sarah declared, leaping out from the wall as they came close.
“Make it double!” Shawn chimed in, rushing the two from behind.
“To protect the world from cruel predation!”
“To unite the people in every nation!”
“To defend the beauties of truth and love!”
“To make our peace with the stars above”
“Team Night! We'll blast S outta sight!”
“Give up now or you'll lose to our light!”
“Hm,” Sarah said, “It kinda loses its edge without 'Rocket' in there.”
“We'll make a new motto for these dorks!” Shawn said, spinning a Pokéball on a finger, “We'll take both of you on! Come get a Team Night-style whooping!”
The two “Solstices” just looked between each other.
“Are you done now?” The left hand one said.
“How childish.” The right-hand one remarked. That was when she removed her mask, revealing a face that wasn't Solstice's at all. Her eyes were hazel-blue, not black, and her short, boyish hair was dark blue, not black.
The other one laughed out loud and removed her mask as well. To both Sarah and Shawn's surprise, this wasn't Solstice either. It was a guy with silver eyes and red hair.
“Guess what?” The woman said with a sneer.
“The ambush is on you!” The man laughed. His voice changed suddenly and he smirked. “I just love this voice-changer! Classic.”
“Stupid!” Shawn blurted, “We ambushed you!”
“Not likely,” This from a new voice. Sarah looked around, but she couldn't see where it came from.
She saw Shawn staring straight up, a bewildered look on his face.“Get down here and fight us!” He barked.
Sarah followed his gaze and saw Solstice, the real one, standing on top of a building. She was glaring haughtily at the two Team Nights below. There was a bird Pokémon of some kind by her side. Sarah could tell it was a medium-sized black bird, but it was too far away for her to really tell.
“Solstice!” Sarah blared, “Come on and fight!! Or are you scared of us?!”
Solstice just looked down at them, resembling a Braviary about to leap on his prey. “I'm surprised you actually have the guts to say that. You're surrounded. Just give up. Your pets can't save you from the inevitable.”
“We'll see about that.” Sarah snapped back. She was angry. They completely turned the tables! They didn't count on there being three of them! Solstice had the opportunity to attack from above, but she wasn't taking the opening. Why? If it were her up there, Sarah would definitely take the advantage. Solstice simply stood there, resembling a cruel queen on a wicked throne, and she hated the thought of being pounced on.
She knew she had to try anyway.
“Alright, Pixzy! Its time to arrest these guys! Let's go! Pin that man down!” The Vulpix leaped up at the man. He nimbly dodged the Vulpix's tackle and pulled a Pokéball from a pocket.
He glared at Sarah, his expression something between haughty and angry, “So you think you can arrest us. Fine. We'll take your Pokémon down first, then you'll see how we treat kids like you! C'mon, Sapphire! Its go time!”
“I've been waiting for this, Mew,” Sapphire said mockingly, “We know all about your cute hero-act. You're supposed to be a cop, but you have a nickname like a pathetic little superhero. It's time to grow up. Prepare for a taste of cold, hard reality, vigilante!” She looked over a shoulder. “Granite! Take care of the dunce. I've got Sarah.” Sapphire let out a Pokémon from her ball. It was a tan, long-necked dinosaur with leaf-like patches of color on its head, chest, and back. It also had three long leaves sprouting out of its back and a bunch of fruit that kind of looked like a bundle of yellow Nanab berries growing under its chin.
Sarah considered her tactics. Tropius: a grass/flying type. Fire was too obvious an advantage. If it knew how to use Mud-Slap, Pixzy would take major damage. Tropius, however, had one glaring, huge weak spot: ice. She knew her current team: Pixzy, of course, Ditto, Lanturn, Dragonite, Froslass, and Meganium. As Sarah made to unleash Froslass, the Tropius took wing, flapping its leaf-wings and soaring above the city quickly.
That made things complicated. Many ice-type moves have low accuracy. Froslass couldn't fly fast enough to keep up with the dinosaur: she was was out. Dragonite could do it. As a dragon, grass-type moves would do minimal damage, while he could keep up with Tropius' flight. Plus, if she could land an Ice Beam or a Blizzard, it would be all over in a flash. Perfect.
“Its you, Zentra!” Sarah announced, releasing the dragon. The big, orange dragon loosed a thunderous roar on emerging, locking its gaze on the Tropius.
“Really? That's a weird choice.” Sapphire scoffed, “But I guess that doesn't matter. I'll crush you like the insect you are! Tropius! Ominous Wind! I'd love if you get Mew too!” Tropius' eyes glowed violet and it flapped its wings, blowing a foul, purple fog at the Dragonite and Sarah. Sarah only barely managed to duck as the fog flew overhead. Zentra wasn't so lucky and he took a direct hit.
Sarah scowled at Sapphire, who was smiling wickedly at her. “Idiot! Are you trying to kill me?!”
Sapphire got a mischievous little gleam in those hazel eyes.“That wouldn't break my heart.”
“Bitch.” Now Sarah was really angry. She realized a traditional strategy would only get her killed. Sapphire was ruthless, and more than a little arrogant. She needed to find a way to defeat that Tropius before it could actually land a shot on her. She decided to try a desperate move. It might not have much hit-potential, but it would show she was no joke either. Sarah wasn't the crazy sort; she waited for Zentra to gain altitude before she issued her command.
“I don't think so. Tropius! Protect!”
Sarah was surprised. Sapphire was good. The Tropius glowed white as Dragonite loosed a ferocious snowstorm on the dinosaur. As the snow subsided, it was clear the Tropius wasn't even fazed.
Sarah glanced at Shawn. He seemed to be holding his own. His Garchomp, Draigonn, was doing quite well. She already landed several nasty blows on Granite's Lairon and luckily, Granite seemed to be flustered by the severe hits. Good. At least one of these two weren't that great at fighting. She turned back to her own battle.
“Alright Tropius! Now Mimic!!”
“Crap.” Sarah quickly realized Sapphire's plan. She was going to mimic Blizzard, then wipe out Dragonite with it. Not good. She had to act fast. She noted the Tropius' large, leaf-wings. If Dragonite could land a fire move on the wings, Tropius would be forced to land. That should weaken its agility too. “Dragonite, Fire Blast! Hit that dino in the wings!” Dragonite reared back and spat a star-shaped ember at Tropius.
“Gah! Tropius, Protect again!!” Sapphire demanded.
“Damn!” Sarah muttered. Tropius once again warded off Dragonite's attack with a white glow.
“Alright, Tropius! Finish that lizard! Mimic time! Blizzard!”
“No! Watch out! Fire Punch, now!!” Sarah tried to warn her Pokémon, but it only made Zentra look her way. The poor dragon was hit square on the side by a surprise torrent of snow, sending him careening out of the sky. Sarah recalled him before he fell.
She thought fast. Lanturn was a fish, and part water-type: bad against grass. Plus, fish can't fly! Pixzy couldn't fly either, of course. Meganium was vulnerable to flying-type moves: no good. Ditto was her only choice, but the more she considered Ditty, the Ditto, she begun to form a new tactic. The Tropius was clearly such a defensive type. If she mimicked the Tropius with Ditto, she could try to land some flying moves.
It was worth a shot.
Just as she released Ditty, she heard Shawn let out a whoop. Looking over his way, she saw what happened. Shawn was victorious. The Lairon was out cold and a rather happy Draigonn was dancing about, snapping her jaws in the air and grinning broadly.
“Dammit!” Snarled Granite, “I'll get you back for this!!”
Shawn rushed to Sarah and recalled the Garchomp. “You doing okay?”
Sarah shook her head and sighed, “Not really. That Tropius is a handful. It just got my Dragonite. I was gonna send Ditty after it.”
“Bwahaha! Dumb kids! We were just buying time!!”
“Granite?!” Sapphire looked like she'd just been slapped.
Granite beamed snottily at them, “While you were battling us, Solstice is getting further away! You two suck! We win!”
“Granite! Shut that hole in your face!” Sapphire snarled, “Stay put and quit giving our plan away!!”
Granite wouldn't stop smiling. He stuck his tongue out snidely at the two. “Losers!” He declared, blowing a defiant Razz Berry at Sarah.
Sarah and Shawn exchanged looks. It was just a diversion! Sarah looked back up to the building. Sure enough, there was no sign of Solstice, just a silhouette of a bird and a rider vanishing into the distance.
“Argh, Solstice! C'mon! Let's go after her!” Sarah growled. Shawn released his Flygon and his Houndark. Sarah quickly climbed on Chikosu's back while Shawn let Serious scoop him up onto his back with his head. The two took off and chased after Solstice.
“No way!!” Sapphire roared, “Tropius!! Stop them! Your call, boy!!” The angry dinosaur quickly charged after the two crime-fighters, roaring belligerently into the sky.
“Yikes!” Shawn said, looking back at the pursuer, “Sarah!”
Sarah didn't need to look. She knew the Tropius was going to tail them. She was counting on it, actually. She leaned down on the Flygon's back. “Let's go! Hidden Power!!” Chikosu nodded and shot six red orbs at Tropius. Sarah knew the Flygon's Hidden Power was fire-based, and it hit the angry Pokémon hard. It screeched and dive-bombed straight at Chikosu.
Sarah only had the time to realize it was a nasty Giga Impact before Tropius crashed into her and the dragon. Chikosu spun, trying to stay aloft, and Sarah struggled to cling on to him. Her hands slipped and she scrabbled at his scales, but Sarah lost her grip on the dragon.
“Sarah!!” Shawn cried out, a look of horror on his face. Serious folded his wings and dropped down, but Tropius flapped its wings. It created a Gust that blew both Shawn/Serious and Chikosu completely off course, dashing their chances of catching her.
Sarah was terrified. She could see the forest below coming up at her with frightening speed. She knew she was going to die if she didn't do something. There was only one thing she could do now. She closed her eyed and focused desperately. A blue aura gathered around her body and she could only pray this would work.
No! I won't give in. Not like this!
I don't want to die here...
I don't want to die!
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