Fretin heard a slight buzzing sound over his headset, then another,
then another. He smiled. Long-short-long. The signal to go. He glanced over at the Jynx
that had been assigned to him and nodded.
The basic precepts of Pokemon warfare, as every military man knew, were not that different than normal battling without Pokemon, with one very major difference. Psychics. Psychis were what made battling with Pokemon so very, very tricky.
You always wanted at least one Psychic on your side to protect the minds of your troops, and to coordinate efforts, as well as provide a Barrier to protect your men from physical attack. As a general rule of thumb, you needed one Psychic for every seven hundred men. If you had more than one Psychic, you could engage in Psionic warfare. That was, of course, engaging the opposing “Guardian” Psychic, trying to disrupt the other Pokemon’s coordination of the opposing army. The more powerful the Psychic, the better. Alakazams were ideal for this role, due to the fact that while they couldn’t take very much physical damage before they fainted, they could take quite a beating mentally. Of course, if you had enough Alakazams to cover your men, you would want to utilize your OTHER Psychics in roles more fitting to their species.
Fretin had two Alakazams, five Hypnos, and more than thirty Jynx. This meant that he would have one Guardian Alakazam, and one offensive Alakazam. Hypnos, due to their ability to take a beating both mentally and physically, were ideal for the front lines. As the enemy approached or the enemy was being approached, they could use their Psybeams at long range, and their more powerful Psychics at close range before closing to point-blank range. Jynx, on the other hand, were more fragile, in both body and mind.
The four ranges used in Pokemon combat were generally Long-range, Medium-range, Short-range, and Point Blank-range. Each of the ranges corresponded with various attacks.
Long-range attacks, while small in number, were very powerful, and consisted mainly of the various beams—Solar Beam, Hyper Beam, Psybeam, Auroura Beam, Ice Beam, and other beams; well as cannon attacks such as Zap Cannon, Spike Cannon, and Octazooka; Tri-Attack; the most powerful elemental attacks such as Fire Blast, Hydro Pump, and Thunderbolt; and Pin Missile. Medium-range attacks consisted of attacks such as Swift; medium-powered elemental attacks such as Dragon Rage, Twineedle, Thunder, Flamewheel, Fire Spin, Nightmare, Psychic, Razor Leaf, Toxic, and many others. Short-range attacks were generally attacks that damaged the opponent while not being directly touched by the attacker. Point Blank attacks, of course, were such attacks such as Tackle, Fighting-type moves, Dark-type moves, and any moves that caused damage by direct contact of Pokemon. There was also a fifth type of move, the Status Alterers; such as healing types or status raising techniques. Of course, there were many other moves, such as Teleport.
Fretin looked down at the Verin Retreat. The four buildings formed a square, and in the center was a small building beside the retreat’s airstrip. It was the main Verin Retreat base, and was where Gertal was most likely held. Anyone that wanted to reach the base, however, would first have to fight past the strongest defenses of any Resort in Nuschantz. This was, in fact, why the Verin Retreat had been chosen as the capitol of the country. No force had ever broken through the Retreat’s walls. Until today.
Fretin narrowed his eyes. He knew that this was the tourist off season, and that meant that there wouldn’t be as much of a defense, and would fight him to a stalemate if he were trying to take the resort over. However, he wasn’t trying to take the resort over. He wanted Gertal.
He glanced to his left, and nodded. Immediately, the Alakazam that shielded his group from psionic detection raised its psionic defenses. Because of this, any Psychic inside the base would see his force as easily as a Snorlax would see a garbage dump from thirty yards away. In seconds, he knew, the base’s own defenses would be raised, buth e had just enough time to launch one quick volley before it was too late.
The Psybeams, Solar Beams, Hyper Beams, Ice Beams, and Auroura Beams ripped into the nearest of the buildings of the Verin Retreat just before the bubble of a Barrier flickered into existence over the Retreat itself. Milliseconds later, a Barrier appeared over Fretin’s men in time to block the scattered Psybeams that returned.
As per his orders, none of his men or Pokemon returned fire after the opening volley as the Guardian Alakazam linked their minds one by one. Fretin felt the touch of the Psychic, and, moments later, he was connected to every one of his men and Pokemon. Ordinarily, they would have been linked beforehand, but there was no way that he could have done so without revealing himself to the Resorters at the same time.
“All right,” Fretin said out loud, and knew that every one of his men could hear him, “Bring up the RPGs.” Rocket-Propelled Grenades, or “bazookas” as they had been nicknamed, were the weapon of choice for bringing down Barriers. Pokemon attacks simply didn’t have the sheer power to focus on a certain point at a certain time as the RPGs did. Without Psionic assistance, RPGs would be almost useless. With Psionic assistance, they were one of the most deadly weapons there were. They were slow, but they were powerful.
Fretin watched as the scattered Psybeams began to from into a more cohesive pattern, and Ice Beams began to join them. Obviously, Lefar Verin was recovering, and getting his men ready. He had to know that a crushing blow was about to fall, but Fretin knew that he didn’t know where it was from.
“Aim for the highest concentration of fire,” he said, and mentally shifted his mental focus to the snipers, “Be ready,” he said, feeling the Alakazam direct his thoughts to them.
Then, suddenly, over forty RPGs were fired, and the origins of their smoke trails immediately attracted the fire of the Ice Beams. Suddenly, a Flamethrower reached out and struck the shield. Then a Fire Blast. Fretin grinned. They were bringing out the big guns.
Seconds before the missiles struck, in a precisely concerted effort, Pokemon up and down his line fired. Psybeams, Ice Beams, Solar Beams Hyper Beams, as well as a stray Fire Blast and a Thunderbolt from somewhere were flung against the opposing Psychic’s Defense Shield at the exact same moment the RPGs struck it. “Fire at will,” Fretin said, and the beams struck out again, once again nearly in unity, and then again, more haphazardly.
The opposing Barrier flickered for a moment, then dropped completely. The withering barrage laid waste to the two closest buildings, and the return fire declined before peteringed out altogether. Fretin frowned. “Cease Fire,” he said. Something wasn’t right. This was too easy.
And then he realized exactly what was happening. Somehow, the Resorters had discovered his second task force. He only had thirty-five men at his position. They were meant to be a diversionary tactic, to lure out the main bulk of the Verin Retreat’s men. Then, when the battle was fully joined, his second force would sweep in from the opposite direction, and take Gertal.
There was no way that that Barrier had been put up by an Alakazam. It was definitely the work of Jynx. Many Jynx working in tandem, most assuredly, but Jynx nonetheless. That meant that the resorts main force wasn’t inside the Retreat, but was in the mountains surrounding the Retreat. Fretin swallowed, and felt his skin grow cold. “Jynx, scan for a Psionic blocking field.” He said.
If Psychics worked hard enough, they could find Psychics that were preventing themselves and others from being seen. But it took a lot more work to find them than it did to make the field. The search lasted only a second, but it seemed to take an eternity. And then there it was. “Pincer!” Fretin yelled, “Darks and Fighters to the rear!” He whirled around, searching the top of the hill for the force that would appear there in seconds, “We’re being flanked! Down into the Retreat, now!”
Then there was confusion in his ranks as the Drak types and Fighting types moved to the rear to protect the retreat/charge, and the humans and other more fragile Pokemon began their march down to the Retreat. “Contact the Secondary Force,” He said, grateful for the link that the Alakazam provided to all of his men, “Activate them, and have them meet us in the Retreat.” He glanced over his shoulder, and there he saw them. The first ranks of the Verin Retreat’s finest. Their silver and blue uniforms shone in the sun, and the ranks of men and Pokemon stood menacingly. And then the first Fire Blast hit the center of a bunched formation, and men flew everywhere. Fretin whipped his head around to see his men charging down the hill that they had been hiding behind, and the Pokemon that had been assigned to them firing at the Retreat’s men. Within seconds, both forces had their Barriers up, but the retreating Resorters had been confused for a few critical seconds.
Seconds which Fretin and his men and Pokemon used to charge down into the Retreat. “Dark, Fighting, begin pulling back,” he said, pulling out his assault rifle, “Snipers, do your jobs.” He said. The snipers weren’t in his formation at all. He had considered it, but thankfully had decided against it. Now, they could take potshots at the Verin forces. Not that that would do a lot of good, but every little bit helped.
As Fretin ran down with his men into the Retreat, and watched the short-range attacks flying every which way, he wondered how long it would take Lefar to bring his equines into the battle. Once he did that, the battle would be largely over.
Fretin caught a mental warning and threw himself behind a rock, and an Ice Beam barely missed him. He popped up over the top of the rock and let loose three short bursts with his assault rifle. He saw the Pokemon fall to the ground, and he continued his run into the Retreat. Without the Fighting and Dark types, the assault was much more difficult, but the fighting and dark types on the opposite side of the base were doing an admirable job of forcing the Verins back.
Fretinn knew that now his men would be a diversion that kept the Retreaters at bay long enough so the Secondary Force could get Gertal. His men were already at the top of the base. He raised his rifle again and fired several more bursts. He glanced behind him, and saw that the Verin charge was already underway.
Suddenly, something around him changed, and he heard one of his men saying that the field that had prevented their teleportation directly to Gertal was down. Several Psychics immediately teleported down to the prison, and spirited their leader away. Fretin grinned, and called for the retreat. It was a great day for Nuschantz. Team Blizzard had their leader once more, and soon, Nuschantz would be theirs.
Fretin began pulling away from the Retreat, and watched as the Psychics began teleporting his men away, and knew that he would be among the last to leave the battleground. He had chosen the honor, and he would serve it. He wouldn’t have his men stay behind to fight just so that he could get away. What kind of general would he be then?
No, he would be the very last person to be teleported away. If he died, then he died defending Team Blizzard, not the other way around.
All around him his men were disappearing, but they were also dying much faster. Without their comrades to protect them, the Verinners were moving that much more easily through their ranks. He knew that retreating in this fashion would have a higher casualty rate, but he didn’t see any other choice. The Base was hidden, and it needed to remain hidden.
This was the only way to get back there without giving away the base’s location.
Fretin was finally away from the retreat, and a good distance up a hill. He dove in among a pile of rocks, and began firing his rifle nonstop at the approaching force of Retreaters. By now, there was nearly no one left on the battlefield BUT Lefar’s men. He swept his rifle back and forth, and flinched slightly as attacks of all shapes and sizes exploded all around him, but he wouldn’t stop firing until he was away from the battle.
He saw a horse rushing for him, and he shifted his aim. The horse stumbled and fell, but the rider leaped from his horse to cover behind a fallen rocks, and fired at Fretin. Fretin cursed and ducked down behind the rock, knowing that within seconds, his position would be overrun and he would be dead.
He braced himself for one last surge before he died, and suddenly felt the world around him melting away. He relaxed as the familiar sensations of the Teleport technique enveloped him. He was safe. He was away. He had won.
Eltan looked down at the unconscious girl, then at the Alakazam that had gotten onto the plane in a Pokeball along with about thirty other Pokemon
and the heavy weapons down in the cargo hold. The Alakazam
had been keeping the unconscious girl unconscious simply because she had proven
herself to be quite a fighter. If there were just three of her, and they had
all done what she had done, Eltan doubted that he
would have been able to take over the plane.
He pulled out his pistol and looked at it. It was a family heirloom. It had a trigger, a barrel, a worn grip, a revolving case that supplied up to six bullets to the barrel, and the arming device. He had once heard it called a “six shooter,’ but he just called it “my gun.” Kantans and Johtans failed to realize that even his small gun was more deadly in the hands of an expert marksman than an entire magazine of Snorlax-killing bullets in the hands of a novice. He pulled the hammer back and took several steps back from the girl. “Wake her up,” he said quietly, aiming the gun directly at her head.
With this girl, he didn’t exactly trust the Alakazam to keep the girl in one place. It was, after all, better safe than sorry. The Alakazam slowly began to stimulate the neurons in the young woman’s brain, and suddenly Lorelei was awake. She lurched towards him, but Eltan was able to keep from reflexively pulling the trigger. He smiled, “Well, Lorelei Belle Winters,” he said, “I’ve told Lefar Verin that I’m going to kill someone because he refused to let our leader go, and, since you gave us so much trouble, I’ve chosen you.”
Lorelei glared at him. “What, you going to shoot me?” she demanded, staring at him.
Eltan smiled. “Sorry,” he grinned at her. “But that won’t show our resolve. We’re willing to do anything to get what we want. And that means that you’re going to die.” He nodded to the Alakazam and lowered his gun. Instantly, a translucent barrier appeared between the two.
Lorelei frowned. “What are you going to do?” she asked, “Deprive me of air?”
Eltan smiled faintly. “Not quite.” He said, “you’ll have plenty of it. In fact, that’s all you’ll have.”
Lorelei frowned, trying to decipher what he had said. Suddenly, the door behind her swung open, and she was sucked out of the plane, and into the open air. Eltan smiled. It was done. “Close the door,” he said quietly. “And lower the Barrier. I need to get to the cockpit.”
Lorelei was falling. She was going to die, she knew. “You’ll have lots of air,” she mimicked the Blizzard as she watched the ground rushing up to meet her. Faster and faster it came. And all she could think of was how stupid the Blizzard was. “There were so many more chilling things to say,” she muttered to herself, feeling her lips pulling back as she continued to accelerate. “Why couldn’t he have picked something that would have sounded scarier?”
She consoled herself by knowing that she’d make a spectacular landing. Snow flying everywhere, a large crater…She felt giddy. This was all that was left to her, so she might as well do it to the best of her ability. She curled herself into a ball, and felt herself accelerate even faster. She began to roll, and she grinned. She’d make the best landing there ever was.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a flash of something silver, she turned her head, but either it was already gone, or she was starting to roll on all three axes now. She put the streak out of her mind, and watched as the ground rushed up to meet her. Any second now, and all she’d be was a big smear on the ground.
A big smear on the ground that made a GREAT landing. Too bad no one would be there to see it.
Bugsy stared up at the Blizzard, stunned. He hadn’t been close enough to hear the words that the Blizzard and Lorelei shared, but he had seen her ejected from the plane, and knew that there was no way that she would be able to survive. It made him feel sick. It made him want to rush the Blizzard too, but the time for that was past. The Blizzards were now firmly in control of the plane, and any attack on them now would be suicide.
He was pretty sure that there would be no way out of this for him. He glowered at the hulking man who’d knocked Lorelei unconscious, and the man, carrying a very impressive gun, grinned back at him. The man was missing several teeth, and Bugsy looked away.
There was a way out of any situation, he knew. He just had to find the way out of this one. One of his most valuable allies was gone, with the money he’d won off of her, he remembered with a wry smile. Sure, he had his university friends, but they weren’t really fighters. Neither was he, without his Pokemon. And they’d been confiscated by the Jynx that the Blizzards had gotten from somewhere. Everyone’s Pokemon had been.
He’d heard rumors that the Pokemon that had been released by trainers in the Business class had been heartlessly gunned down before they could attack anything, and Bugsy was glad that he’d decided not to release his Pokemon.
Bugsy swallowed. He didn’t see any way out of this one. In fact, he couldn’t even see where they were. Several of the Psychics on the plane were apparently holding the window shades down, and they had also relieved everyone of any tracking device that could show their location.
He sighed and leaned his back against the back of his seat, and felt hopelessness pervade his senses. There was nothing he could do right now. Maybe later would be the time for action, but not just yet.
Eltan put the headset back on, and nodded to the Machamp and the Abra that stood guard over the pilots. Yes, it made the cockpit cramped, but it was the best use of resources. The Machamp could face the door and cover it with two pistols in his top two hands, and still keep the pilots cooperating with his lower two arms, thanks to the Abra keeping mental tabs on the pilots and telling the Machamp what to do.
Eltan smiled and turned back to the radio, for once relieved that he didn’t have to worry about anyone trying to kill him. “Lefar Verin,” he said, “This is Team Blizzard aboard Flight 5671 from
Eltan waited for a minute. It would probably take Lefar a while to get to the communications array, if Fretin had carried out his attack on schedule. He repeated his message, and waited. This time, Lefar came back to him. “You know the answer to that,” the resorter responded, sounding mad enough to spit nails. “Your men have attacked my resort, and they took him. My forces drove them off and forced them to use a teleportation retreat. They took heavy losses.”
Eltan chuckled, “Lefar, Lefar…” he shook his head, “They were under orders to utilize a Teleportation retreat. You didn’t force them into anything. And they all volunteered. They all expected to die. They were willing to die to retrieve our glorious leader. That we managed to inflict damage upon you is simply a bonus.”
Lefar’s voice came back, and the tone was deadly serious, “Blizzard, with that attack, you have sealed your doom. I’ve asked for help from a great deal of countries, and many have already said that they will stand with us. The Indigo League Elite Four have agreed to help us, as has the Johto League. The Altans are sending their elite forces to help us, and Silph Corporation is sending its men to assist us. You are doomed.”
Eltan smiled faintly, and wished that Lefar could see his smirking face, “Do you really think I hadn’t considered that? We’ve got help. Your underestimating us will be YOUR doom.”
Bruno watched the Johto News Network coverage of the rapidly unfolding events happening in the tourist trap of a country that was known as Nuschantz. He could only stare at the devastation that Team Blizzard had caused in their attack on the Verin Retreat. They had all but razed one building, leaving it hanging, and looking like it would collapse at any moment; and had demolished an entire half of another. The other two were untouched from the third floor up to the top of the building at the twentieth floor, but had heavy damage on the bottom two floors.
He shook his head, and realized that he was among a knot of trainers gawking at the television in
His eyes glittered. “I can take ‘em all on!” he boasted, “If any of you want to help me, then you can follow me to Goldenrod. We’ll fly from there!” a cheer rose up from the crowd, and Bruno grinned. He would take on the Blizzard murderers, and whoever got in his way would be dead.
He was pretty popular, and he was sure that he could get a good-sized force together to go challenge the—“This just in,” the reporter on the television said, catching everyone’s attention. “It appears that the hijacked plane we told you about earlier has—“ the woman stopped, and stared at the piece of paper that had been put in front of her. She swallowed. “Ladies and gentlemen, they’ve killed one of their hostages. A young woman who has dropped out of the public eye in recent years. Her name is Lorelei Belle Winters. We’ll continue to—“ whatever she would say next was drowned out by an angry roar that filled the
Bruno stared at the screen. He didn’t doubt that it was true. He just couldn’t believe that it had happened. The girl that had beaten him in the Allnian National Tournament all those years ago was dead. His eyes narrowed. He had been looking forward to a rematch. He would kill whoever killed her.
That was his guarantee.
Steven glared at the television screen as he threw clothes into his suitcase. His Aggron watched him from the door. He had just announced that he was shutting down the
He shook his head. The response had been overwhelming. Everyone was willing to help him. Even some beginner trainers had volunteered. He’d refused to let them go, however, in favor of only letting the more experienced trainers come.
He’d left a young woman named Clair in charge of the defense of Blackthorne, in case any wild Pokemon decided to attack Blackthorne or trainers outside of Blackthorne in the absence of so many powerful trainers. Even though she specialized in dragon types, and he in Steel types, he was confident that she’d do a good job, though she seemed to be overly aggressive in her battles.
He closed the suitcase and turned to the door. “Well, Aggron,” he said, “This is it. You ready to go to war?” he asked, already knowing the answer.
His Pokemon grinned and roared out an affirmative.
Steven smiled. “All right then, let’s go.” He said, hurrying out the door towards the airport where nearly thirty trainers waited for him. He knew that all over the country, and in Kanto and Hoenn, the scene was being repeated. Gym Leaders and trainers alike had pledged their support to the Nuschantians.
He knew that before the conflict was over, more than two hundred trainers from Johto alone would descend upon the frozen country. There was no way that the Blizzards would win any way that they fought. Sheer numbers would defeat them, if nothing else.
There was simply no way that they could have a force that could best both native Nuschantian armies and the forces that were coming in from all over the world.
Or was there, Steven wondered. He doubted the leaders of Team Blizzard were stupid, and they surely must have taken this very thing into consideration.
With an uneasy stomach, Steven wondered how exactly the Blizzards were planning on countering their coming. There was no way that they’d be able to hijack any more planes going into the country, there would be simply too many trainers going into the country.
What, then, were the Blizzards going to do?