Gertal looked over his men, over fifteen hundred strong, and smiled to
himself. This was a more than ample force with which to take a resort or two, or to destroy every resort in the entire country if
that had been his intentions. Of course, it was miniscule in scale compared to
armies from countries such as Alto, Tintia, and Engara, but it would have to do.
He and his men had spent most of the previous ten hours discussing tactics. He, personally, had wondered long after he was supposed to have gone to take a nap how Eltan could possibly have turned on him. He had been his most trusted advisor, and now the leader of Team Blizzard was on the run from Eltan.
Nearly the entire force that he would use to destroy Eltan and whomever followed him stood in the large auditorium next to the large, shielded double doors that opened onto the snowy wilderness that waited just outside. Some waited by saddled equines, and others had fierce canines by their sides. Gertal smiled. These men would soon march out those doors and undo the damage that Eltan had done in just a short period of time.
For starters, they would march against the Hampton Haven, and leave it in the hands of the Resorters while the men kept marching on Eltan’s main attack force. Gertal glanced around. A makeshift podium with a microphone had been set up to allow him to speak to all of the men at once. His men looked expectantly up at the podium upon which he stood, and waited for his pre-battle speech.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he said slowly, then paused as feedback screeched through the room’s speakers. He grimaced, and adjusted his microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he began again, “Less than twelve hours ago, our fellow brothers began an uprising against us.” He paused, and waited for the angered muttering to die down, then once again, he began to speak.
“They were led by our very own Eltan, a man whom you and I have more than once trusted our very lives to. He wants nothing less than complete domination of the entire country, if not the continent.” Gertal looked at the technicians in the very back of the room, to make sure that they thought everything—that was technical in nature, anyway—was as it should be. They gave him a thumbs-up, and he continued. “And so here we are, faced with the betrayal from within, and the sudden influx from without of international Pokemon trainers, who have sworn to destroy Team Blizzard forever.”
He paused as the crowd reacted to his news, and once the mutterings had ceased, he began again, “As most of you know, I formed Team Blizzard as a political group, to try to change the way our country governs itself. It has become clear to me now, however, that because of Eltan, we will be treated like such groups as Team Rocket, Team Aqua, Team Magma, and Team Aero. I am ashamed to admit that because of Eltan, we are, in some ways, like some of them.”
There was dead silence in the room, and Gertal began pacing back and forth in front of the podium, the microphone on his lapel carrying his words to the assembled Blizzards, “That is why we must act now. Unless we destroy Eltan and his followers, we too will be hunted down and either destroyed or jailed. This leaves us with but two options. Stay and hope that Eltan is defeated, or march out and defeat him ourselves. If we stay here and wait, it is a certainty that we will be destroyed by Eltan. However, if we march out and destroy Eltan, the Resorters and their international allies will destroy us.”
Gertal felt tears coming to his eyes again, but kept them from falling, “Ladies and gentlemen, we face a hard choice, and I believe that I have made the right one. We will not stop marching, we will not rest until Eltan is defeated. And once that happens, Team Blizzard as we know it will cease to exist. Our armies will disband, our bases forfeited, and any and all information that we have will be turned over to the Resorters. In short, we will surrender.”
There were some gasps out in the audience, and more than a few angry grumblings. “I did not come to this decision lightly,” Gertal said, slightly louder than before to get everyone’s attention, “But if we do not do this, I guarantee you that we will all be destroyed. This is our best hope for our cause. This does not mean that our nomadic way of life will disappear, only that it will take a temporary setback.”
He took a deep breath, and asked, “If any of you think that this is the wrong thing to do, speak now.” He looked out over the audience, and watched them shift uncomfortably, but nobody raised their hand. Gertal felt as if a weight had been lifted off of his heart. “Then we ride, brothers. We ride to war. Not in hope for victory for ourselves, but for the greater good. We will be outnumbered three to one by Eltan’s troops alone. While that means that we must choose our battles very carefully, we will be victorious, I can guarantee you that. And I DO have a plan to destroy him.” He stepped back from the center of the podium, as a holographic projector came alive, with a map of Nuschantz upon it.
“As you can see, Eltan has moved quickly. Within these past eight hours, he has taken the Hudson Resort and the Hampton Haven, and has left just enough men behind to keep them safe from a light attack from the Resorters. His main force, however, is currently marching on Sheer Cliff. As of right now, we have no idea why. We will split our forces to take both the Hampton and Hudson Resorts, but we will also be taking a larger force,” he looked out over the men assembled, and swept his hand expansively over the middle group, “This force will march on Sheer Cliff, but will wait to attack until the other two wings catch up with them. Once again, we do not know what he plans to do at Sheer Cliff, but I doubt that it’s anything good, and we cannot let him accomplish it. Are you with me?” he shouted his question, and his men responded in kind.
Gertal’s eyes glittered. Eltan had hijacked his team, and thought that he could do what he pleased with it? The young man would pay for his arrogance. He would pay for it dearly.
Eltan looked around the cubic gray room in fear. He wasn’t able to tell where anything was. It was just four walls, a ceiling and a floor. There was nothing in the room besides him. Well, Ghrenda had been there, but they had remote teleported her away.
Then a noise cut into his thoughts. It was the sound of remote teleportation. He looked up quickly just to see a short man in a simple black business suit standing there. He was basically of average features. If Eltan had run into him on the street, he wouldn’t have given him a second thought. “Eltan,” the man said, smiling slightly, “I’m the Director.”
Eltan felt a chill run down his spine. He had heard rumors of the Director. A man with terrible power far beyond belief. He was someone that even the leaders of Specter Company were afraid of. He didn’t know much beyond that, but knew that he was right to be terrified. He swallowed and stood up a little straighter. “Hello sir,” he said in a shaky voice, “I’m—“
“Eltan, yes,” the Director said, cutting him off. He sounded annoyed, “You’ve failed us in Nuschantz, you know. One of the requirements for The Day of Lont is that Allnian, Ho-oh, and Lugia be reunited. We were nearly there, and then you let Gertal escape! If he hadn’t escaped, the Day of Lont would be several years closer! You slimy, wretched quisling,” the Director sneered.
Eltan was cowering, trying to get as far away from this strange and terrifying man. “But you are not without your uses,” The Director said in a somewhat softer tone, “You will have one last chance. If you fail us in this, however, you will die.”
Eltan shivered at the casualness that The Director said the words, and managed to get out, “Anything, sir! Anything!”
The Director smiled. “Very well. I thought you would say that. One of your inferiors is having trouble over in Johto, keeping control of the
Giovanni was mad. Very mad. He was almost mad enough to spit nails. If he had had any left in his mouth. He and his men had been assigned to protect the Hampton Haven, and he had been forced to abandon it. True, he had been facing at least five thousand men, and every one of them were better equipped and better trained than his men, but he was still mad about it. And he would make them pay.
Very soon, in fact, they would pay. His scouts, the ones that hadn’t been caught and killed, had reported that the main Blizzard force had moved on, leaving just under three hundred men to guard the resort. Of course, Giovanni now had only about four hundred, but he was reasonably sure that he’d be able to take them on.
The main thing that had surprised Giovanni and his men had been their tactics. They had used Light Screens and Reflect Screens to prevent most damage to their men. Giovanni and his men had neither of those things. So, of course, it had been a massacre. Fortunately, he had been able to get most of his men out.
This time he would learn from his mistake. He had gone to each of his lieutenants and had found every Pokémon that could put up either a Reflect screen or a Light Screen, and had conscripted them to do that very thing. He had also organized his men into various divisions, according to type, rather than according to who the Pokémon belonged to. He probably should have done that in the first place, but there was no changing things now.
Especially because they were mere minutes away from an attack on the Hampton Haven. Giovanni had sworn to protect the resort, and would stand by his word. He had positioned his men into three wings, and had gotten them settled in. He would have preferred to wait a day longer, but he had gotten word of Blizzard reinforcements marching towards the Haven. He had a window of only a matter of hours to take the resort and get its defenses in place.
So here he was, climbing up to the top of a ridge that overlooked the Hampton Haven. He peeked up over the crest of the hill, and nearly had his head vaporized by an Ice Beam that flew by two inches from his face.
Giovanni jerked his head down and glared at his subordinate. “How did they do that?” he demanded, but the young man didn’t have time to respond before reports were coming in over his radio that there was significant Psionic interference among the troops. Some had even apparently been taken over by whatever Psychics were down in the
Giovanni grimaced. Once again the Nuschantians had devised a way to defeat him. He needed to withdraw, figure out what exactly was going on, and how to beat it. By that time, he knew, his window for taking the Hampton Haven would be closed. And he would have failed the Nuschantians he had sworn to protect.
Unfortunately, he didn’t see any way for him to move in on the Hampton Haven any time in the immediate future. That meant that he would need to make a strategic retreat. Suddenly, he began to hear a voice in his head, telling him to stand up, and to wave his hands.
Giovanni shook it off. He knew that if he did that, he’d be killed. It had to be the Psionic interference he’d been told about. Somehow they had gotten their Psychics to try to take over his men’s minds. He grabbed his radio, but moved slowly, as if in a dream, “Psychic division, where are you?” he demanded, feeling is ability to resist the voice begin to sharply decline.
From his left, he heard a scream, and glanced over to see one of his men tumbling down the back side of the hill, a massive hole passing through all the way through him, and suddenly the voice in his head was insignificant. His eyes narrowed. They had killed one of his men. He could still hear the voice, but he didn’t care about it anymore.
A silent rage came over him, and he didn’t care about anything but avenging his fallen comrade mattered to him. With a roar, he pulled out his pistol, leaped up, and charged down the hill, releasing his Pokémon as he ran. His men, stunned, began to follow his example.
For some reason, the people in the Hampton Haven didn’t respond until he was nearly halfway down the hill, and by then, it was all over. By that time, Giovanni’s men had gotten their Light Screens and Reflect Screens up, and the first few scattered Ice Beams merely reflected off and into the sky, dissipating high in the atmosphere.
The return fire from Giovanni’s troops, however, met little resistance. As Giovanni would surmise later, the Blizzards had expected him to retreat under the Psionic Assault, and had not erected any defensive screens. By the time that the screens were put up, Giovanni’s attack that surprised even his own men was fully underway, and several of his men and Pokémon were actually under the Psionic Defensive screens.
Giovanni glanced to his right, and saw a Blizzard. With all the calm of a practiced soldier, he calmly brought his pistol over and fired. He wasn’t exactly sure where he was, but all he knew was that the murderous rage that had sent him flying down the hill was gone. He couldn’t explain it, but somehow, he wasn’t operating on rage, now, he was operating on pure skill and instinct. He had somehow gotten into the tunnels that ranged below the resort that he and his men had become very familiar with.
The formerly plush hallways had been stripped to the bare walls and bare floors, and bright lights had been shining behind him, casting a shadow into the hallway, before he’d shot them out. He did have a problem, however. He was running out of ammunition. He had picked up a Blizzard pistol, but it only had a few shots. Additionally, he’d been separated from his entire team, except for his Nidoking and queen. They were watching his back. He was responsible for the front arc.
Giovanni raised his pistol and moved forward, towards a closed door. He leaned against it and listened. He could hear men inside talking in low voices, and the distinctive sound of magazines being slammed into guns.
He grimaced, and looked at his gun. Unless he had some kind of advantage, he knew he wouldn’t be able to do anything of value. He had come here because it was the main jail facility, and the main armory as well. If any Nuschantian prisoners were still held at the Hampton Haven, they would be held here.
He glanced at his two ground types, and grinned. He DID have an advantage, he realized, after all.
Tenloss glanced over at Holen, both armed to the teeth, and fully half the security force that had been assigned to the Nuschantian prisoners. They had not been given Pokemon, because their superiors had assured them that the weaponry in the adjoining armory would be more than enough to take care of anything that came their way.
“They’re right outside, right?” Tenloss asked Holen, who was standing behind a bank of camera monitors.
Holen nodded, “Yeah, they were, before they shot the camera out.”
Then, everything changed. The door burst open, and a huge fist retracted from the opening, and to one side of the door. Instantly, dozens, if not hundreds, of bullets roared through the doorway, missing the hand by centimeters. The bullet casings fell onto the floor, the air became permeated with gunpowder, and the Blizzards’ ears began to ring from the sheer amount of noise that permeated the very air of the room.
Then the sand entered the room. From either side of the doorway, a massive figure suddenly appeared, and both sprayed sand into the eyes of the gunners. Instinctively, they stopped firing and raised their hands to their eyes. Tenloss did have a small bit of reassurance in that he heard a roar of pain.
But his rejoicing was short-lived, and was killed completely by the first gunshot and Holen’s screams. There were more shots, and more screaming. Tenloss fired wildly, but only heard the sound of exploding circuitry. Then one more shot that wasn’t from his gun sounded, and then all there was was pain.
Giovanni stood over the bodies of the four Blizzards, pointing his gun at each of them in succession. “Get in here,” he called over his shoulder, and his two hulking Pokemon entered the room. Nidoking, he noticed, was favoring his left leg. “Keep an eye on ‘em,” he said quietly, “I’m not sure if they’re totally dead. If any are still alive and so much as look at you wrong, make sure that they’re dead.”
They both nodded, and Giovanni moved to the soundproof door beyond which, he knew, the prisoners were kept. He opened the door, and didn’t think about until later that it was unlocked, and walked through.
From then on, until the end of his life, he would never forget the overjoyed cries of the Nuschantian prisoners.
Giovanni looked up from the rifle he had commandeered from the arms locker that was now several stories beneath his feet. He’d given orders that every Nuschantian and Kantan be armed with the weapons in the locker, in order to help fend off the Blizzard’s second wave, which would come over the crest of the hill he was facing any second.
He had gotten one gun from the armory that he liked particularly. It was a pistol that had a fifty-bullet clip, a laser sight to help him aim, electric darts that acted as ranged tazers, and many other bells and whistles. He made a mental note to ask the Nuschantians later if he could keep it.
He shook his head, and brought himself back to the present. The Blizzards were coming up over the hill. He waited as the first rounds of the defenders roared in towards the Blizzards, and, for some reason, struck Psionic Barriers only five feet from their targets.
And there weren’t many targets, either. Giovanni frowned. There were only five people that had come over the hill. And they were waving a white flag. And it looked like they only had a Jynx with them.
He grabbed his radio, “Hold you fire,” he said, “Let ‘em approach. Biggs, you and your squad meet up with me at the northwest corner of what used to be the terminal for the ice runway.”
The Blizzard yawned. It was a quiet night. The Nuschantians had barely managed to mount a defense against the lightning attack that he had led nearly three hours before. The Hudson Resort was firmly in the hands of Team Blizzard, and would stay that way, as long as he had a say in it.
True, he only had about a hundred men, but that would be good enough to defeat nearly any force the Nuschantians threw at him, unless they left one of their cities vulnerable to an attack.
He had heard that the Loyalists were planning to attack him, but he wasn’t worried. By the time that they organized an attack, Eltan and Ghrenda would be finished with their plan, and he would have reinforcements being sent to him again.
He glanced out towards the mountain that towered over the Resort, and frowned. Was that movement? It was probably just a Piloswine or something. He glanced over his shoulder at the main resort building. The lights were on, and the sounds of celebration were coming from inside.
He stamped his feet, wishing he were inside, away from the cold. He had just had to volunteer for guard duty, hadn’t he? He glanced at his chronometer. Five more minutes, and he’d be relieved. Then he’d be able to relax for the rest of the night.
He looked up at the building, and smiled. It was at least ten stories high, and the size of four Indigo League Colosseums. He could almost imagine the soft beds that waited for him inside. It wouldn’t be long before he’d be able to get some well-earned sleep.
Or so he thought. He never saw or heard the Psybeam the struck him in the back of the head. It burned literally through his brain, and it felt as if someone was twisting his brain inside out. The sheer pain of the sudden assault made him cry out unconsciously, and the impact sent him sprawling, limp to the ground. The Jynx that had fired the attack slipped back into hiding, waiting for the inevitable. Sooner or later, someone would come out to see why the man had screamed.
It did not take long. Several Blizzards, obviously drunk, staggered out of the main hostel, and went over to their comrade. The Jynx shifted, preparing to teleport, but then they closed the door behind themselves. It growled to itself in frustration. Despite learning Teleport from the TM she’d been given, she still couldn’t teleport through walls, or even glass. She’d just have to wait. When the drunk Blizzards saw the man on the ground, they at first laughed amongst themselves, then tried to pick him up.
The Blizzard at the unconscious man’s head jerked his hands away, and stared at them. They were covered in blood. Then, the Blizzard who had went around to the man’s head froze, and yelled for help. Immediately, about a dozen more Blizzards came out the door, leaving it ajar. Immediately, the Jynx teleported through the door, and began its Blizzard Technique. That was the signal to begin.
Dozens of men leaped up from behind boulders, crests of snow, and even some of the outbuildings that weren’t being used. They all charged the main building of the Hudson Resort. There was the characteristic sound of Pokemon being released, and then the size of the attacking force more than quadrupled.
The drunk men looked up, startled, and reached for their belts, but were cut down by the first volley of Ice Beams before they could get very far. The men rushing out of the Hotel managed to get several Pokemon released before they were Psybeamed in the back by the Jynx that had teleported inside the main building.
The rebel Blizzard Pokemon put up a valiant fight, but they were outmatched in sheer numbers, and were swept up or trampled by the onrushing Loyalist Pokemon. The Loyalist Pokemon poured through the door, and overwhelmed the first floor of the building almost immediately, but faced heavy resistance when they tried to go up the stairs.
An Aggron, a Medicham, and a Houndoom held at bay the torrents of Sneasel, Jynx, and Delibirds trying to rush up the stairs with a flurry of Swifts, Psychics, and Flamethrowers, but they too were pushed back, slowly but inexorably.
At another staircase, the rebel Blizzards launched a counter-attack with several Glalie, Sneasel, Lapras, and Walrein, but were pushed back up the staircase within minutes, only to be trapped by a contingent of Loyalist Pokemon that had broken past the rebel Blizzards on another staircase.
There was no stopping the Loyalist Pokemon from taking the entire building. They refused to let the Rebel Blizzards stop for a moment to catch their breath, and instead pushed onwards, until the last of the rebel Blizzards, cornered on the roof, surrendered unconditionally.
Half an hour later, Belsa, the woman Gertal himself had picked for the raid, stood on the roof, feeling the wind biting into her skin, and stared at the pitiful half-dozen rebel humans and the dozen rebel Pokemon that were still conscious from the attack. Among them were the Medicham, Aggron, and Houndoom who had so bravely defended the second-story staircase.
Belsa looked at them for a moment, and they glared back. She had to admit, she was impressed with them, but they had fought against her. They were her enemies. It was a shame that her enemies had men, women, and Pokemon such as them fighting for them.
She glanced at her lieutenant, and asked, “Have you located the Nuschantians?” she asked quietly, turning from the prisoners.
“Yes sir,” the young man replied, “They were locked in the building’s cellar. What are your orders, ma’am?” he asked.
She smiled. “Release them, put the rebels down there, and give the key to the Nuschantians. Once that’s done, prepare to move out. Apparently the Kantans took over the
The Director glanced up at the woman standing in front of his desk. “Giovanni has proved very susceptible to Psionic suggestion.” He said, smiling. “His attack on the Hampton Haven has certainly proven that.”
The woman nodded, “Yes, he certainly has. Unfortunately, The Project couldn’t maintain contact with him and keep himself from being detected once both sides' Psionic screens were up. The technicians recommend an upgrade.”
The Director smiled, and took the report. “If The Project isn’t able to operate under that kind of pressure, it won’t be any good on the battlefield. Contact the scientists on Cinnabar, and tell them that they’re recalled. We need them to work on an improved version of their project.” He glanced at the folder, then up at the woman. “What did they call it, again?”
The woman smiled, “Mewtwo, sir. They called it Mewtwo.”