The Dragon Plates
"Why the hell did we have to move the new base to Meteor Falls?" A Magma grunt groaned as he rubbed his bare arms excessively, trying to warm himself in the cold midnight air.
"Shut up." A deep voice shot back, "If you want to complain so badly, why don't you go to Holland and say that to his face?" Koji, one of the newly appointed Team Magma Admins suggested, shivering slightly from the cold breeze. The Magma grunt stared at his superior in shock before shutting his mouth and looking down, fear written all over his face. Complaining to Holland pretty much meant one thing, getting removed from the team permanently. Koji smirked at the lower ranked member's obvious fear before turning back to the view in front of him.
Hundreds of stars twinkled and shone in the night sky, only being upstaged by an eerily large white moon that blended in with a few passing clouds. Koji and the grunt were on guard duty for the night, sitting lazily in front of a secret cave entrance high above the main entrance to Meteor Falls. The roar of the waterfalls inside were still deafening to Koji's ears but it paled in comparison to the chilling winds that pierced at his bones outside.
'Stinkin' Holland..' Koji shivered while stifling a sneeze. Even though he believed that their new leader was going to bring Magma back to thier feet, he still didn't like the situation they were in right now. Basically, everyone had been on standby since Cole was kicked out of Team Magma a couple of days ago. Thinking back, Holland had told him and Tori that they would wait until Cole had found information on any of the Legendary Pokemon, but according to his knowledge, no such news had been given to him or any of the Magma members.
Koji and the Magma grunt yawned in unison as another chilling wind rolled by. Being the lookout for the night was the worst job of all, 'Why was I even appointed to such a low task?' Koji thought grudgingly as he cracked his bare knuckles. He was one of the new Magma Admins! He rightfully deserved a better job, like finding any remaining clues about Groudon, searching for the broken pieces of the Red Orb.
'Or...Or?...' Koji pondered trying to think of another serious task he could be completing right now, anything but lookout duty.
Suddenly a small sound broke the midnight silence and both men shot up from their positions, Poke balls in hand. It was coming from the hidden path.
'Did one of those idiots not seal the path off properly?' Koji swore, fearing the worst as one his Poke balls flashed white in the frozen moonlight. Koji was about to release hell upon the intruder before a young woman came into view with a Ninetales trotting at her slim legs. Both Magma members released their held breaths when they recognized it was the only female Magma Admin, Tori. The grunt seemed to be more mesmerized by the girl's beautiful amethyst eyes and seductive curves that innocently swayed with each step, rather than the fact that they could have been ambushed. Koji dropped his guard with a sigh as he watched the youngest Admin walk by them.
"No hi?" Koji asked in mock sadness as the young woman was about to turn into the dark shadows of the cave.
Tori stopped in her tracks along with her Ninetales who reflected the same bored attitude as its Trainer, "For what reason? I need to report to Holland about the Dragon Plates." Tori explained, casually turning back to the cave entrance.
Koji's dark sapphire eyes lit up curiously, "Dragon Plates? What the hell is that?" He asked, clearly confused.
Tori gave him a dejected look, 'He was never informed, ahh the poor loser. I guess Holland could only entrust me with that new information from Cole.' She thought proudly, knowing that she was the favourite new Admin of the trio.
"You weren't informed were you? I guess you must be on Holland's bad side again because whenever we get new information, you seem to be the last one to hear it." Dark purple eyes glinting mischievously from the taunt.
Sapphire eyes flared towards loathing amethyst from her comment, "What did you say? I'm stronger than you and Cole! Why would I be on Holland's bad side?" already getting edgy. "You know that he sees me as the greatest Trainer out of all of us. I even have the strongest Pokemon, so tell me about the Dragon Plates!" Koji spat angrily, making a fist.
"You're the strongest?" Tori asked, soft pink lips churning upward with glee, "From what I remember, Cole has mopped the floor with you multiple times. And I'm pretty sure that I've whooped your butt over and over again too." Tori replied with a devilish smile causing the lowly grunt to blush scarlet.
"You two brats barely get on top!" Koji's temper just rose at the young woman's comments. She wasn't lying sadly, but he did not want to admit it. Cole and Tori were in a class of their own, he may have been the oldest and longest serving member for Team Magma between the three, but Holland had found two high potential Trainers during their younger years and nourished that potential into dangerous results.
"I wish she would whoop my butt."
Koji glared at the Magma grunt for his perverted comment and punched him roughly in the back of the head causing him to drop to the ground in pain. "Just shut up!" The eldest Admin barked, "What are the Dragon Plates?" Koji finally demanded after the grunt had stopped whimpering on the ground.
"You can find that out for yourself. You've already wasted precious time because of your slow brain." Tori smirked before turning to leave. She did not respond again, even though Koji had barked at her to return.
"Stupid woman." Koji swore under his breath before glaring back up to the starry midnight sky. "How did she even get by the barrier? You can't even enter once it's up..." He pondered aloud as he scratched through his short brown hair in confusion.
"She must have passed those boulders and traps with her beauty sir!" The grunt answered with enthusiasm.
"Shut up!" Koji punched the grunt again causing him to keel over in pain.
She was only on Holland and the rest of team's good side because of her beauty. Long raven black hair that ran down her sleek neck, curves that would cause any other girl to loathe in envy, and eyes, 'Those eyes.' Koji thought darkly as the girl's beautiful dark purple eyes flashed through his memory. Those eyes put men into some kind of trance, unwillingly making them fall into her control. She was able to give off that seductive hypnosis to basically anyone, even surprisingly to female members of the team, not that he minded though. Well, everyone except for one person.
"Cole.." Koji's eyes narrowed in thought.
Whenever Tori tried to persuade Cole's decisions during Groudon's resurrection phase, she would always be rejected before she could even give the boy a smile. His negative attitude towards Tori's advances had caused Koji to question the boy's very manhood sometimes but he knew it couldn't be like that.
'He's just too weird to be tricked so easily by others.' Koji hurriedly decided before stretching his toned arms. 'If she got through the barriers, then she most likely made a mess of things with that Ninetales.' He thought with a groan, grabbing the lowly Magma member and dragging him towards the base of the path.
Holland sat at his desk, preparing to retire for the night. Ever since Cole had called him earlier yesterday, he had been looking for any information about the elusive Dragon Plates that the young Admin spoke of. So far, there were no leads that he could find except for that there were three of them. 'This could be a joke.' Holland thought bitterly as he closed his eyes, listening to the roar of the waterfalls in the heart of the mountain.
Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted when he heard a gentle knock on the door to his office. "Enter." Holland ordered before a young woman came through the door with a beautiful creamy coloured Ninetales at her side. Holland watched the youngest Admin of the newly built trio intently as she bowed to her leader.
"Sorry to interrupt you sir. But my team and I found some information about the Dragon Plates." Tori announced raising her head with a serious face. Although Tori did view her superior as handsome, in an older guy sort of way, she would never try to flirt during business.
"Let's hear it." Holland ordered.
"We were able to find a man by the name of Jin in Fallarbor Town yesterday afternoon when you sent us out to collect information." Tori started, hands at her sides as Ninetales sat silently. "He had been investigating the lake just West of the town for any clues that could link to the strange weather phenomena that we experienced a couple of weeks ago." Holland's cold expression remained fixed on the young beauty, but she did not waver from his gaze. "Basically when we confronted him, he said that the occurrences were caused by the Legendary Pokemon, Rayquaza." Tori explained.
Holland's tired eyes flashed in the swaying ceiling light at the sound of the news, "What else did he tell you?"
Tori continued, "He told us that Rayquaza was most likely the reason for the strange weather because of an imbalance between the Red, Blue, Green and Jade Orbs."
"Jade Orb?" Holland asked, confused.
"There are four orbs?" His voice rising further as vivid memories rushed back into his head, recollecting on the battle between the three Legendary Beasts of Hoenn, within Sootopolis City. Those young, but powerful trainers, Brendan and May, had found the Green Orb and summoned Rayquaza when Maxie and Archie were having their duel between the land and sea. That dragon had used an attack that completely blew his mind away when he first saw it. An amazing light had engulfed everything that sent Groudon and Kyogre back to their resting places before Rayquaza had flown back into the upper atmosphere. Never to be seen again, until now apparently.
He recalled that the Red and Blue Orbs shattered in the light after the climactic battle. Venturing deeper into those thoughts, he remembered Cole had taken the remains of the Red Orb, trying to resurrect Groudon but to no avail, the broken shards had supposedly lost all of their power but some illogical light had seeped into Cole when he touched it. He had been unconscious for a week but had no memory of the past events.
"Yes sir." Tori replied, breaking his train of thought.
"I was skeptical at first when he told me about another orb, but I'm positive that he was telling the truth." Tori's voice was delicate when her superior turned to her, but remained strong. "He told us that the Jade Orb was supposed to be used as some sort of counter source of energy towards the Red, Blue and Green Orbs, keeping the balance between land, sea and sky intact for Hoenn."
Holland eyed Tori with intrigue causing the young woman to finally crumble, averting her eyes shyly. "...Jin told me that the Jade Orb's power is split up into three different plates of energy that may be connected to Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza respectively."
Holland nodded his head, amazed by the vast amount of information that was basically being handed to him. "Continue." He demanded.
"I was able to find out that they are called the Ocean, Earth and Sky Plates. He also told me that they were called Dragon Plates because, when they were first discovered hundreds of years ago, they were found with Rayquaza at the Sky Pillar. The Jade Orb is supposed to be the first orb ever created and that it was buried underneath the Sky Pillar so that it would not be activated if all three plates are returned there." Tori then let out a breath, finishing her report.
"Amazing," Holland commented in astonishment. "A negative orb that counteracts the three other orbs that control the beasts of Hoenn. So these Dragon Plates must have been activated when the Red, Blue and Green Orbs were destroyed." Holland concluded as he rubbed his temples in deep thought. This Jin person was a lucky find, he had to admit. The information that he was able to give them was extremely valuable.
"Excellent work Tori, I knew I could count on you to find information about the Dragon Plates in such a short amount of time." Holland praised as he got up from the small wooden desk.
Tori felt her cheeks begin to heat up from her superior's praise, "It wasn't a problem sir." She said quietly as the leader of Team Magma paced back and forth in the room.
"If what this Jin person told you is correct, then it must mean that Cole was telling the truth after all about summoning Rayquaza under our control. Does Jin have any of the Dragon Plates?" Holland asked, this time catching Tori off-guard.
"N-No sir." She stuttered, "He told me that he's been searching all over Hoenn for clues and that the only possible Dragon Plate is in the custody of the Oceanic Museum at the moment." Tori answered, still avoiding her leader's gaze.
"I see." Holland sat back down, assessing his strategies and options. He then looked back at Tori who was ready for her next orders. "For the time being I want all of Team Magma on standby." He announced.
"Sir?" Tori asked, dumbfounded by his words. "Not to argue sir, but shouldn't we steal the Dragon Plate from the Oceanic Museum for more information about the Jade Orb's powers?" Tori asked. She had never tried to argue with Holland ever since he had obtained the position of Magma leader a couple of years ago.
"Yes, that would be a good plan, but ever since our last visit to Slateport, the police have been keeping that building locked out from most of the public. I know you would like to find more information but it would be pointless from what you told me without more clues. These Dragon Plates are extremely elusive, so sending out our small amount of remaining Magma members would be a waste of time and energy." Holland's dark eyes narrowed, they were losing members these days. "I already have a significant lead that should get me results in time." Holland explained, his firm jaw melding into a smirk.
"Cole..." Tori concluded, a common feeling of jealously rising in the pit of her stomach. He was the true favourite and she knew that, everyone did. She considered Cole the best Trainer remaining on Team Magma, except for Holland of course, but even she had trouble admitting that.
'When he battles...' Her thoughts were laced with envy, replaying countless battles she had seen him in. 'I bet he finds a strategy to beat you before you even try your first move.' She sighed. He was truly powerful, only seeing him lose against Holland, but that was after he faced like five other members straight.
Thoughts beginning to wander, she asked herself why such a powerful and honest Trainer would join the life of Team Magma. Usually those types of Trainers were on the 'good' side like those kids that she remembered two years ago, Brendan and May. They were an aggravating and relentless duo that ruined both Magma and Aqua's plans: later learning that they were the children of Hoenn's top Pokemon Professor and Petalburg City's Gym Leader. No wonder they had caused so much trouble during the Continent Project, they were what you would truly call 'gifted' Trainers.
"He already has a lead with a girl he met in Rustboro City," Holland's deep voice snapped Tori out of her thoughts.
"A girl?" Tori mused, forgetting her tone of voice in front of her leader. "That loser could never ge-"
"That has nothing to do with our project, Tori." Holland's sharp voice cut of the girl's speech immediately, she bowed her head in apology. "Cole has an apparent lead that should get him to one of the Dragon Plates. And if he's doing the job right, he should be in Slateport in a couple of days with similar info that we have." Holland nodded towards Tori, "We can use you and him to get into the Oceanic Museum since he wasn't involved last time." stating his current plan.
"Once he obtains it, he'll tell me and we'll see if this whole Dragon Plate, Jade Orb and Rayquaza summoning business is really the truth or not." He concluded while folding his hands in conclusion.
"Yes sir. So we're on standby for the time being?" Tori asked in confirmation.
"Yes, for most of us. I want you to find more information about the Dragon Plates or the Jade Orb. I can trust you with that task, right?" Holland asked, catching the young Admin off-guard again.
"Of course sir!" Tori bowed again.
"Excellent. Don't push yourself too far though. I don't want you to tire yourself out when we begin to put actions into phase. You can leave now." Holland waved his hand at the door and she exited immediately.
Tori passed the two grunts guarding the Magma Leader's door without looking at them and quickly turned a corner to a few corridors until she stood on the main floor of the base, over-looking the Meteor Falls raging waters. She caught her breath as she tried to calm herself down.
"I did it!" Tori whispered to her Ninetales who looked at her in confusion. "I can't believe he told me to go easy out there. Do you know what that means?" Tori asked her Pokémon in controlled excitement. Ninetales just cocked its head to the side, waiting for her to continue. "I must be the favourite now! Holland is asking me to obtain more information for him." She hugged her Ninetales softly before turning her gaze back to the beautiful waterfall that shimmered softly in the white moonlight that peeked through small cracks of the ceiling above.
'I will not fail Holland.' Her thoughts sharp as she pumped a fist to the waters below.
Holland had taken her from an orphanage when she was a young girl. He had told her that he was going to be like a father to her but that was only to lead her away from the orphanage's grasp. When he did finally get her, he said that she had the potential to be a powerful Trainer someday.
'Of course I'm strong..' Amethyst eyes sparkling from the reflective waters of Meteor Falls, she knew of her real history. She was the daughter of a long retired Battle Frontier Brain, but that member had died during an adventure to the Orre region years ago, where he was apparently killed by a reckless organization.
'He had taken me in when I thought there was nowhere for me to go...' Tori smiled as her thoughts drifted. He was basically like her father, she adored him. This close relationship probably was the only reason as to why he was not as cruel to her as he was to the other members, but she did not care, as long as she was just near him.
"Let's head back now." Tori urged her first Pokemon as she got up. "We'll need plenty of rest for tomorrow and the coming days. Who knows how long that stupid guy will take until he finds info on the Dragon Plates." She smirked confidently. "I can find ten times the amount in half the time!" Tori explained, referring to the 'strongest' Admin with annoyance.
"Nine!" The Fire type replied happily. Tori silently moved towards her private room, knowing what her next objective was in order please Holland: Find information on the Dragon Plates, and fast.