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TEEN: Unknown: The Escape

AnimeJewel246

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Riolu felt an involuntary shiver go up her spine. She had no idea who Team Rocket was, granted, but it still made her feel unsettled. A world-wide, evil organization? What on earth would this 'Cipher' want with her? What makes them so much worse than Team Rocket? And why does she not remember anything before she woke up?
***​
This story is rated T for:
-Some language
-Violence
-Substance Use
-Implied self-harm
-Abuse

Hello there, dear reader! :bulbaWave: I hope you like this story, as it's one that I honestly have very strong feelings for. I was originally going to make this a trilogy, despite it being unnecessary, which is why I just decided to make this one single story instead. Updates will be veerrryyy slow, though, if you're able to be patient with that. :bulbaLove: This story is pokemon centered-the main character being a riolu. There is also tie-ins with the anime, though I changed a lot of things from the anime canon to fit this story, and only one character from the anime has a prominent role anyway.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! :bulbaLove::bulbaLove::bulbaLove:

***

 
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Chapter 1: Battle

AnimeJewel246

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-Chapter 1-
-Battle-

Her eyes snapped wide open. Breathing heavily, she tried to move her head to see where she was. All she could see were white walls, a white ceiling, and glaringly bright lights. Where was she? What was she doing here? Why was she in the middle of this empty room painted so white her eyes were burning? Why was she strapped to what felt like a table in the middle of it?

...who even was she?

She paused to gather her bearings and gave herself a quick look over. She had a black torso and legs, blue and black fur, and strange rounded bumps on the front of her paws. She was a riolu. A pokemon. A creature with powers.

She tried hard to think about what else she could figure out. Unfortunately, she couldn't even scratch the surface.

'Okay,' she thought. 'Time to figure out a way out of here. Wherever 'here' is.'

Though she didn't have any memories aside from her basic biology, apparently, the mere fact that she was strapped to a table was a bad sign. The fact that right at that moment she heard a door open and footsteps nearing was even more of a bad sign.

She craned her neck to try and find the direction in which she heard the door opening from, but was stopped by a strong, calloused hand snatching the side of her face and pulling it forward.

Her first instinct was to glare harshly at her captor and struggle, “let me go!”

The man-a human, right-had the gall to smirk at her. With a buzz cut and clean shaven face, he looked absolutely spotless. He also looked like a punching bag. “Aw...does the little riolu want to go home?” He paused, then, “oh, right...you have no idea where your home is, now do you?”

He actually moved back a little at her retaliation. “Who the hell are you? Why do you have me captive? What do you want from me?”

The man let go of her face roughly and backed away, the smirk never falling. He began to pace back and forth, leaving her to stare back at the ceiling. Her ears perked carefully for a change in the man's footsteps.

They stopped. Then, “oh, how I wish Troy were here...” She frowned at the odd statement, but the man continued, laughing to himself. Actually, she wondered if the man were actually speaking to himself the entire time. “Well, there's no point in talking to the riolu...best get on with it, then.”

'Well, that confirms it then,' she thought. 'He was talking to himself. Weirdo.'

It took her a moment to be alarmed that he was approaching her, with a strange cube like device in his hand. She eyed it warily as he pressed a button on the cube and set it down right next to her before enlarging into a cage, trapping her inside.

The man unbuckled the straps tying her against the table, allowing her to move freely. Though, the term was to be used lightly considering the tight cage containing her.

She growled at the man as he leaned over to pick her cage up, humming merrily to himself as if he hadn't just moved her from one restraint to another. “Jerk,” she growled. “I wish you could understand me so I could give you a piece of my mind...”

Funny how, as the sentence stumbled out of her mouth, she realized something: she was a pokemon, and the man was a human. He couldn't understand her, no matter how much she yelled.

Even so, that didn't stop her from screaming profanities at the man as he took her out of the white room to even brighter colored hallways, filled to the brim with people in lab coats. The people kept shooting nervous glances at the man as he passed by them with her in his grasp, a few even asking if it was okay for her to be taken out so soon.

She had no idea what that meant, but it didn't stop her from shouting at them to back off anyway.

They arrived at what looked to be...a battlefield, with many other pokemon in cages surrounding it on all sides. More people in lab coats were in this room, carefully eyeing the pokemon in cages as if they were about to lash out. She thought this was pointless, as all the pokemon looked wholly submissive, with only a few letting out weak growls in retaliation.

'What am I doing here?' She wondered. She got her answer a mere second later when she was roughly pulled out of her cage without warning and tossed into the arena, causing her to inhale a bunch of dirt in the ground. “Ow...” she groaned and slowly pulled herself up.

It took her a moment to process that she was free. As soon as it sunk in, she whipped around and charged at the man, who calmly stepped back over the line of the battlefield, that stupid smirk still plastered on his face like a clown's.

She jumped into the air and pulled her fist back, ready to smash that stupid smile in to the ground...and then she froze. Mid-air. Her eyes widened as her heart plummeted into her stomach. What was going on? Why couldn't she move? Panicked eyes fluttering about, it took her a moment to realize why she had stopped in her tracks.

“A barrier,” the man said, maintaining his stupid smirk. She glared as she slowly backed away and shook herself off. “You're not going anywhere, Little Riolu.”

She scowled at him. He pointed behind her expectantly, as if waiting for her to turn around. She hesitated, before doing so. It wasn't as if there was anything else she could do by now, and the sounds of shuffling behind her had caught her attention. The scowl still kept on her face from having to listen to that man in the first place instantly died, however, once she caught a glimpse of a large pink pokemon in front of her.

An audino. The audino's knees were shaking as she weakly held her paws up as if ready to fight. “I'm ready...”

The riolu's eyes softened at the wide and erratic eyes of the audino. The audino kept glancing over her shoulder every few seconds, as if she were waiting for something to attack her from behind.

The audino didn't deserve this, just as much as she didn't. She took a deep breath and tries to strike up conversation, to try and understand what was happening, what the audino was doing here, but was stopped before she could speak a single word.

“Ready? Begin!” A voice called out, from a loudspeaker, making her ears ring. From the way the audino cringed, she knew that the fairy type felt the same, if not, worse.

'Are audino even fairy types...?' she briefly wondered where the thought had come from but snapped back to reality once she felt a huge weight slam into her, throwing her into the air and tumbling onto the ground.

She groaned and pulled herself up, wearily eyeing the audino as she did so. What was that move...?

“Take Down, again!” Another voice ordered-how many people were even here?

“Guess that answers my first question...” she muttered under her breath as the audino charged at her. She swiftly ducked under the audino's legs and ran from behind, her mind racing a mile a minute. 'What to do, what to do, what to do...' She braced herself as the man called for yet another Take Down before dodging out of the way yet again. 'I don't want to hurt her...'

“Double Slap!”

The riolu frowned as the audino charged at her, paws at her sides, emitting a strange light. What now? And why was the audino being given orders, yet she wasn't?

'What moves can I even use?' She wondered, before it slowly dawned on her. 'I can't use any,' she thought, horrified and unmoving as the audino struck her across the field. But she was too numb to react. 'I don't remember...'

She felt herself slowly begin to transition into a state of panic: she had no moves! She couldn't defend herself like this! Granted, she didn't want to hurt the audino regardless, but there was no other means of defense!

She gritted her teeth. 'All I can do is keep dodging...'

And so, dodging, she did.

The dance between the two pokemon grew tiring after a while, and Riolu wondered if things would be easier on her if she just let the audino knock her out.

If the audino could even manage that. The fairy type was breathing heavily, her eyes moving in and out of focus, and if her legs were shaky when she first entered the battlefield, they seemed to be completely made of jelly, now.

There was no way either of them could continue like this.

“Listen,” she finally spoke to the audino. “We don't have to fight. If we work together, we can get out of here.” She glanced around and frowned. “Wherever this even is...”

The audino straightened her posture, glanced back at the man calling out orders to her earlier-who currently seemed occupied by talking with another person, then carefully spoke, “...we're in the Battle Arena. Where we're put against each other to see how we fare in fights.” She swallowed, “some of us are even experimented on...”

Riolu frowned. “Who are these people anyway?”

“Cipher.” The audino spoke softly, briefly surveying the pokemon from the sidelines, all of whom looked rather unsettled. “They're an evil organization...world-wide...th-they're like Team Rocket but so much worse. Much, much, much, more worse...”

Riolu felt an involuntary shiver go up her spine. She had no idea who Team Rocket was, granted, but it still made her feel unsettled. A world-wide, evil organization? What on earth would this 'Cipher' want with her? What makes them so much worse than Team Rocket? And why does she not remember anything before she woke up?

Riolu glanced at the man who gave orders to Audino. “Do you not remember anything before you were taken here, too?”

The audino frowned, looking startled. “No,” she said. “Why do you-”

“Quit your chit-chat and fight already! Disarming Voice!”

The audino sent an apologetic glance at Riolu before opening her mouth, and causing an excruciatingly loud sound to ring within Riolu's ears. She startled so badly that she fell to her knees, vigorously shaking her head in an effort to get the piercing sound out of her ears.

She glared and looked up to see Audino charging at her again.

“Double Slap!” The man called out. Riolu jumped back at the last second, leaving the audino swiping at thin air.

She gritted her teeth and took a deep breath. She wanted desperately to continue her conversation with the audino, but worry for the pokemon overtook her-she couldn't attack back, or else Audino might collapse.

Her heartbeat sped up, and involuntarily, a series of thoughts pounded through her heat, increasing in rhythm, falling steadily in line with her heartbeat-

What can I do?

She jumped over the Audino's head, narrowly avoiding another Body Slam.

What can I do?

Her breathing quickened.

What can I do?

She heard a low humming sound as the backs of her eyes grew hot. Sweat dripped down the side of her face. What was happening?

What can I do?

What can I do?

What can I-

And then, something snapped. She wasn't sure what it was, but something in her made Audino stop in her tracks, staring at Riolu with such incredulity she looked like Riolu had died than promptly come back to life.

She briefly took note of the murmurs coming from the pokemon around the room.

“Are you seeing this?”

“No way...”

“That's super weird...definitely not like any other riolu I've seen.”

“Well, what have you seen? Golden Aura is not normal!”

“Wait, Aura's supposed to be blue, right? I'm from Sinnoh, so I should know...”

“Everyone quiet down!”

“Shut up, Espeon!”

“If you continue to be this loud, we'll get punished. So stop-”

'...Golden Aura?'
Riolu looked down at her paws to see that she was, in fact, emitting a golden glow around her body. 'This is...golden Aura?' As the pokemon were berated by the humans for their chatter before quickly quieting down, a brief murmur of “I told you so” came from the espeon, and Riolu thought back to what she overheard one of the pokemon shout a second ago.

'Aura's supposed to be blue, apparently,' she thought. 'So why is mine golden, of all colors?'

“That's enough,” another man says, and she scowls as soon as she recognizes the voice as belonging to the man who she first woke up to. “Put the audino back in her cage. You,” he pointed to a woman in a lab coat, “take the riolu back to the containment room. We'll resume normal training regimen tomorrow. For now, shut it down for the night.”

Riolu frowned as the woman approached her with a cage in hand. She growled at her in retaliation, though was cuffed on the back of her neck by the woman's hand. “Ah, ah, ah, little one,” the woman chided as she grabbed Riolu by the scruff of her neck and roughly threw her inside the cage before slamming it shut. She leaned in to the bars of the cage, a feral grin plastered on her face, as she locked it. “Now, you be a good girl...”

She knew it probably wouldn't help her situation, but as the woman carried her to her “room”, she couldn't help but long to slap the woman across her face.

The woman took her back to what Riolu recognized as the room she had woken up in. It seems that she didn't want to try to take Riolu out of her cage, so she just plopped the cage down on the table and tied it to the table instead. The woman looked over the bonds a few times before nodding re-assuredly to herself and hurrying out the room.

Riolu was left alone to succumb to her thoughts.
 
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OrionTheAbsol

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Hope you don't mind a quick reply. I got some extra time.

Chapter 1: Battle
  • Can't say I'm the biggest fan of the chapter title (considering how battles are common in Pokémon media), but let's see how it reflects the actual writing.
    • This reply is a followup to this comment. Fair enough title.
  • What stood out to me about your opening sentences is that they're in present tense ("snap", "tries"). But the sentences that follow after are in past tense ("could see", "was"). If possible, keep your main tense consistent throughout the story.
  • All she could see was the white-glaringly white-ceiling and white walls.
    • Awkwardly worded and hyphenated. I understand that this is to add emphasis to the word "white," but it could be worded better. Ex: All she could see was white; white walls, a white ceiling, a white light. Everything was white! The sight of it burned into her eyes.
  • I can't say I find the Riolu's amnesia all that convincing. How does she know she's a Riolu?
    • This would be a good opportunity to describe what she looks like, based on her own eyesight. She would notice her blue fur with a black torso and black legs. Her paws would be short and stubby.
    • She may see another living being and notice that there's a strange "light" around the person. She may conclude that this is Aura, which leads her to believe that she is indeed a Riolu.
  • She craned her neck to try and find the direction in which she heard the door opening from, but was stopped by a strong, calloused hand snatched the side of her face and pulling it forward.
    • Sentence with comma splices and mismatched verb tenses. Suggestion: She craned her neck to try and find the direction in which she heard the door opening from. But a strong, calloused hand snatched the side of her face and pulled it forward.
  • "Her first instinct was so glare harshly"
  • He began to pace back and forth, leaving her to stare back at the ceiling, her ears perked carefully for a change in the man's footsteps.
    • Another comma splice. Change the comma after "ceiling" to a period to resolve this.
  • I noticed you kept using "the fact" on various sentences and it gets repetitious after a while. For example: It took her a moment to process the fact that she was free. You can change it to: It took her a moment to process that she was free. It would still convey the same information without the extra words.
  • “A barrier,” the man smirked.
    • "Smirked" is not a substitute for "said" so it wouldn't work as a dialogue tag. If you want to still draw attention to his smirk, you can change it to: "A barrier," the man said, maintaining his smirk.
  • She felt herself slowly begin to go on a downward spiral into panic
    • A bit too on the nose with the "downward spiral" part, lol. You won't miss much if you revise it to: She felt herself slowly transiting into a state of panic.
  • And so, dodging, she did.
    • I'd revise it to: And so, dodged she did.
  • Why did the Audino hesitate in bringing up Cipher's name? It's not like her human captors would understand what she's saying anyway.
  • So, how do the other imprisoned Pokémon know anything about Team Rocket?
  • She wasn't sure what it was, but something in her made Audino stop in her tracks, staring at Riolu with such incredulity she looked like Riolu had died than promptly come back to life.
    • More comma splices and confusing wording towards the end. Suggestion: She wasn't sure what it was, but something in her made Audino stop in her tracks, The Audino stared at Riolu with such incredulity. At first, the Riolu appeared to have died, but then promptly came back to life.
  • Interesting. So Riolu didn't have a trainer to instruct her on what to do, just so she would become easy fodder for her opponent. And either get KO'd/killed for it. It was an intentional decision by the scientists.
  • Golden aura, huh? Why is it special? Will we get the answers in the next chapter?
So as you can see, my most cited complaint is comma splicing. This happens when you use commas or other punctuation in places where you ought to be using periods instead. In other words, if you have a complete sentence, it's usually better to end with a period. Don't be afraid to cut sentences short when you need to. It helps with readability tremendously. For reference, I found this quick guide that explains run on sentences and comma splicing.

I find it interesting that you decided to go with Cipher in this story. Does that mean we will be seeing Shadow Pokémon in this story? Does this story take place around Colosseum/XD: Gale of Darkness? Or is it an AU?

And since Team Rocket was mentioned, will they make an appearance as well?

Looking forward to where this is headed.
 

more than a torchic

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Interesting story so far. I read the sample of this from the Samples Thread, and there's already a review here with some pretty good points that I was going to bring up, so I'll try to keep it brief, and I'll try not to repeat anything that I or OrionTheAbsol already mentioned.
humming merrily to himself as if he hadn't just imprisoned her from one restraint to another
The use of "imprisoned" feels a little awkward. I get what you're trying to go for, but "imprison" isn't really a "moving word" (basically, it describes the changing of the status of freedom like "trapped", not the changing of the status of location like "moved", if that makes sense).
. Where Ci-these people put us against each other
Ooh, an almost Name Drop??
Yes! I was right!

Now, I know nothing about Team Cipher or the games they're from, but I'm guessing they have something to do with Shadow Pokémon.

Now I'm curious: What's Team Cipher up to? How will Riolu escape? I can't wait to see where this story goes!
 

Daren

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A good introduction chapter. It gives us a hints of the protagonist's character and introduces a number of mysteries:
*Why does Riolu have amnesia and what is her past?
*What is cipher doing here?
*What is the golden aura?
Looking forward to the next part.
 

AnimeJewel246

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Thank you to @OrionTheAbsol, @more than a torchic, and @Daren for reviewing my story! Your feedback is appreciated and I'm glad you find my story interesting! :bulbaLove:
So as you can see, my most cited complaint is comma splicing. This happens when you use commas or other punctuation in places where you ought to be using periods instead. In other words, if you have a complete sentence, it's usually better to end with a period. Don't be afraid to cut sentences short when you need to. It helps with readability tremendously. For reference, I found this quick guide that explains run on sentences and comma splicing.
Ah, I see...thank you so much for the guide! I think it'll take a while for that to stick, though, as my biggest flaw in writing is run-on sentences and punctuation placement. I can't seem to get these gosh darn concepts in my head for some reason. :confused:
Does that mean we will be seeing Shadow Pokémon in this story? Does this story take place around Colosseum/XD: Gale of Darkness? Or is it an AU?
I took inspiration from that game, but yeah, it's pretty much an AU. The same applies for the anime tie-ins for this story, actually. As for Shadow Pokemon...you'll see. ;)
And since Team Rocket was mentioned, will they make an appearance as well?
I'm actually not entirely sure. I'm still planning ahead for this story so I don't hit any writers block(it turns out that pantsing is NOT my style of writing...) and know exactly what I'm doing. I think for now, though, the answer is no.
 
Chapter 2: Conversations

AnimeJewel246

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-Chapter 2-
-Conversations-

As soon as her battle against Riolu had ended with the latter being carted away, Audino was shoved back in her cage right next to Espeon's before the scientists locked up the Battle Arena and left the pokemon alone for the night.

Which left them open to conversation. In hushed whispers, some of the pokemon bickered back and forth, the most recent subject of their conversation being the riolu who had fought Audino moments prior.

“Did you see that?” a weavile said, growling. “That riolu is definitely not normal.”

“Are any of us normal?” a kecleon muttered, but was ignored.

“Cipher must have captured her for something specific, if she is not being held with the rest of us.” Espeon reasoned. “They're very clearly planning something.”

“Planning what?” a mudkip asked, her voice wavering as she spoke. “Do you think they'll turn her into a...”

“Shadow Pokemon?” a smooth and deep voice spoke. Everyone turned towards the luxray in the corner grooming his paw. His eyes twinkled as he spoke, “now wouldn't that be fun to see?”

Audino shuddered, keeping away from the conversation. She was reluctant to speak before and now that Luxray had joined the conversation, those feelings had magnified.

Unfortunately, Luxray seemed to have other ideas.

“Now, what about you, sweetheart?” His yellow eyes burned a hole into Audino's head, though she desperately tried to ignore him. “You battled that riolu personally. What do you think?”

She winced. “Think about what, Luxray? There's nothing to think. We don't even know if we're going to see her again.”

“She's right about that.” Espeon said. “And anyway, you know what they say: 'curiosity killed the human'.”

Weavile snorted. “Yeah, sunshine? You're not fooling anybody. We all know you're the most curious about that riolu.” He grinned as a few pokemon began whispering. “Actually, I wouldn't be too surprised if you've already started to stick your nose in already-”

“I most certainly have not!” Espeon said, already having known what the dark type was speaking of. The surrounding pokemon snickered. “And would you lot be quiet?” He snapped.

“Espeon,” a typhlosion said sternly, but softly. “You need to quiet down yourself, first.”

The chatter around the room instantly quieted upon hearing the fire type's voice. Espeon's ears lowered as he looked down in embarrassment. “My apologies...” he said.

The conversations started to die after that, as many pokemon decided to turn in for the night, albeit reluctantly. The night was the only time any of them were able to take a breather, after all. However, conversation between two pokemon specifically were still going strong.

“My, that was embarrassing...” Espeon said.

Audino shot the psychic type a wistful smile as she quietly spoke, “it's quite alright, Espeon. And you know Typhlosion. She's ready to command a battalion, but just as ready to settle the rattled troopers.”

Espeon shot her a funny look. “You...do you even understand what you're saying?”

“Of course I do,” Audino said with a playful grin on her face. “Why? Do you?”

“You are absolutely terrible at metaphors,” Espeon said. “And before you say anything else, you didn't get your point across either.”

“No, you just don't get it.”

Espeon groaned quietly. “Whatever. So, about that riolu...”

Audino's smile fell off her face. She wasn't surprised that Espeon had brought it up, but she just didn't understand why he would ask her. Sure, she battled the riolu, but whatever she said was heard by the whole arena, surely? There wasn't anything else she could say that the other pokemon didn't already know, except-

“I'm unable to tell what she's thinking,” Espeon said. “But from what I've heard, she...has amnesia?”

Audino hesitated, then said, “well, apparently. She asked me if I didn't remember what happened to me before I was taken either. That, and, she asked who Cipher was.”

“I know. Though, I find it interesting how they're keeping her separate from the rest of us. Especially if they only just recently captured her...”

“...do you think we could find a way to rescue her? Or...you know, do what...we used to do?”

Espeon avoided Audino's stare and she regretted the suggestion almost immediately. There was no way for them to do what they “used to do” without the help of one other pokemon. And that other pokemon hadn't shown up at the Battle Arena for months, now.

Audino was about to open her mouth to apologize, when her ears picked up on a small creaking sound from the back of the room. She let out a quiet gasp and quickly ushered for Espeon to pretend he was asleep. The psychic obliged as she steadily lowered herself to the ground with him.

Audino's ears twitched as she tried to hear who was entering the room. 'They're opening the door awfully slowly...'
She took note of the footsteps, which were unusually light. 'Soft? Is that a pokemon?' She couldn't hear the rhythm for a human's footsteps, but instead...

'...is that...a pikachu?'

No, she corrected herself almost immediately. Because that wasn't just any pikachu. She giddily gestured for Espeon to sit upright and awaited for the pikachu to reveal himself to them. Judging by Espeon's stunned face, he had already figured out who arrived as well. And, as she predicted, her's and Espeon's close friend, Pikachu, had stopped right in front of them.

“Hey guys,” Pikachu said awkwardly.

It took all Audino had not to immediately hug him through the bars. “Pikachu! We've missed you! What happened to you? You've been gone for months!”

“It's been rather dull without you around,” Espeon said, a small smile on his face. “Now we only go through torture once a week instead of twice.”

Pikachu shot Espeon a glare. “Last I checked, you helped out of your own accord. And one of the escape attempts was your idea anyway.”

“Yes, one.” Espeon replied. “Out of how many that we've done since you arrived to this facility?”

Audino rolled her eyes then shot them both reprimanding glares. “Alright, cut it out, you two. And just a friendly reminder that not everyone got off free from those.”

That sobered the duo instantly. “How many?” Pikachu asked quietly. “Since I've last been here, I mean...”

Audino hesitated and exchanged a look with Espeon. “Typhlosion, Luxray, and Weavile are the only ones you know. Everyone else is new.”

“...I see.” Pikachu said numbly, then diverted his gaze to the ground. Audino took this moment to look Pikachu over, as well as she could in the near darkness of the room. Her first thought was wondering if he even slept in the months of his absence from the Battle Arena. His eyes had bags under them and his ears were dipping slightly, even when upright. Her second was wondering who groomed his fur, which looked oddly clean. Even in the dark, she was able to see its shine. Her third was wondering why there was a small satchel wrapped over his shoulder. Her final thought was wondering if she really could hug him through the bars...

The three of them sat in silence for a moment, taking in each other's company. Or as well as anyone could in their situation.

It was Espeon who broke the silence. “What are you doing here, anyway? I highly doubt you've come to just have a little chit-chat.”

Pikachu raised an eyebrow at Espeon's question. Espeon huffed. “Well, I already did do that, but I thought it would have been more polite to ask anyway.”

“One of these days, you're going to get yourself killed.” Pikachu warned. “I'm serious,” he added, when Espeon had waved him off with a paw.

Audino looked back between the two of them, trying to pick up on what she had missed. “Wait, so what is Pikachu doing here? Do...do you need our help?”

Pikachu nodded, “well, Espeon's. I don't think you'll be able to do much. Sorry, Audino...”

Audino let out a sigh. “As long as you don't get caught, that's fine with me. Seriously, what are you going to do, anyway?”

“Weavile,” Pikachu said, causing Audino to frown. “Tomorrow, they're planning on turning him into a Shadow Pokemon.”

The blood drained from Audino's face. “They finally found a match?” She hissed.

“Yeah...the only issue they had with Weavile is finding which prototype machine would work best for him, after all. I only found out a while ago, but I think with Espeon's help, I should be able to find the machine they're planning on using and shut it down.”

“Why don't you just destroy all of them?” Audino asked.

“Because they'll be able to trace it back to one of us faster that way.” Pikachu said. “If we destroy one at a time, we'll be able to throw them off our trail-even if it's only by a little.” At Audino and Espeon's doubtful faces, he elaborated. “I would've come sooner, since the machine malfunctioning a day before it's supposed to be used would raise some eyebrows, but trying to find an opening took longer than I expected. I don't think it should be too big of a deal, though, since I think I should be able to make it look like a regular malfunction and set the machine back at least a week.”

“So, there shouldn't be any problems unless someone were to see us.” Espeon said.

“Exactly,” Pikachu said. “Which is exactly why I need Espeon here. You should be able to shut down the cameras, right? I hid behind the camera's blind spots on the way here, but I can only do that for so long, so...”

“Yeah, I got it covered.” Espeon assured the mouse. “Now, do you have a key? You forget I need to get out to come with you, right?”

Pikachu let out a rueful smile. “Trying to find the key was a little harder than expected, but...I managed.” He reached into his satchel and took out a key triumphantly.

Audino let out an “oh” sound upon seeing the key being extracted from the satchel. So that was what that was for...

The cage unlocked with a click sound, though the door creaked open loudly as Espeon stepped out. The three pokemon cringed before Espeon's eyes glowed and he stopped the door with Psychic. “I do hope that didn't wake anyone up...” Espeon muttered, closing the door-still with Psychic.

“It'll be fine. As long as we work quickly.” Pikachu assured him. The electric type glanced at Audino, “we'll be back soon. Just wait here.”

“You say that as if I can go anywhere.” Audino sighed. She smiled at Pikachu and Espeon, “stay safe, you two.”

“We will,” the duo said in unison. They exchanged looks before quietly bounding out the room, carefully shutting the door behind them. Audino presumed that Espeon had used his Psychic to close that door as well, as it made almost no noise.

She let out another sigh, for what felt like the fourth time in a row, then set her head back on the cold bars of her cage. She really wasn't expecting her night to go in this direction...first the strange riolu, then Pikachu showing up out of nowhere, and now Espeon joining Pikachu on a mission to prevent Weavile from being turned into a Shadow Pokemon.

Despite all these thoughts bouncing around in the back of her head, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep, hoping that Pikachu and Espeon really would be okay.
 

Daren

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A good second chapter. It set up some mysteries and showed us that some of the prisoners are running an underground resistance against Cypher
Looking forward to future updates. :)
 

more than a torchic

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A very nice chapter with some great focus on developing the supporting cast (and each member is given a good amount of time to get developed). We're also getting a bit of insight on the Shadow Pokémon phenomenon, which I only assume is going to be explained further as the story goes on (I don't know how much the games go into the process of creating a Shadow Pokémon, but the Bulbapedia article on the subject says the process is "undisclosed", so I'm guessing this story is going to explore how one closes the door of a Pokémon's heart.)

Now I'm left to try to figure out how they would sing "Do You Hear the People Sing?"

Keep up the good work!
 
Chapter 3: Mission New

AnimeJewel246

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-Chapter 3-
-Mission-

Espeon carefully led Pikachu through the halls, the two pokemon making sure not to be spotted by any cameras as they did so. Espeon's eyes glowed as he used his more unique abilities as a psychic to see through the walls and find a path without being spotted by anyone. Thankfully, there was nobody out, meaning the only thing he and Pikachu had to worry about was the cameras.

“I was worried about the cameras,” Pikachu whispered, keeping close to Espeon. The two crept near a vent, directly under the angled security camera. “But if you really can't see anyone nearby, then we can just use the vents.”

Espeon shot Pikachu an annoyed look as he used Psychic to slowly open the vent. “And precisely why are we only able to use the vents if there's no one around? I thought you wanted me to shut them down.”

“They'll hear us moving,” Pikachu said. “Remember? Honestly, we're just lucky those stupid cameras are always moving.”

“...Pikachu, are you absolutely certain that those cameras have blind spots in the first place? You'd think for such a secret organization, they'd keep a better eye on their work.”

Pikachu hesitated. “I'm sure. Now, just come on. We got lucky there's no one around.” He scurried through the vent, and Espeon, though perturbed, followed. “Make sure you close that vent.”

“Yes, I did that already.” Espeon said, annoyed. “I really thought I was going to have to shut down the cameras. You didn't think this plan thoroughly, did you?”

Pikachu gave Espeon a distressed look before continuing. “I didn't have enough time. You know if I did I wouldn't have shown up last minute. And enough about the cameras already!”

“Fair enough,” Espeon said stiffly. “And since you brought it up, what has happened to you all this time? Everyone has been deeply worried about you.”

Pikachu tensed as he continued leading Espeon through the vents. Both pokemon were able to walk through it easily due to their size, with only Espeon having to duck by a margin. The two pokemon walked in silence for a while, Espeon's question being left unanswered.

“...it...it's a long story.” Pikachu finally whispered in reply. “I'm not even entirely sure what happened myself, but...I do know that things are starting to be set in motion around here.”

“And this means...?”

Pikachu winced. “I'll explain later. Just...be prepared, okay? And watch out for that riolu.”

Before Espeon could ponder as to what Pikachu meant, the mouse had bounded forward to a vent peering above a room filled to the brim with large, white, capsule-like machines. Huge, thick, black wires ran around the room, making Espeon wonder how the scientists were able to walk in this room, if they did at all.

Without prompt from Pikachu, Espeon used Psychic on the vent and opened it, allowing the two pokemon to jump down.

“Should I leave the vent open?” Espeon whispered.

Pikachu hesitated before replying, “no. If somebody comes in, we'll have to hide somewhere, and the vent being left open would raise suspicion that somebody's in here.”

Espeon nodded and closed the vent, feeling an inexplicable lurch in his stomach as he did so. He quickly bounded after Pikachu, who had started to search for the machine in which the two were attempting to destroy. 'Where is it...?! Come on, where is it...?!' Pikachu thought frantically, causing Espeon to stare.

He hadn't meant to read Pikachu's mind. Really, he hadn't. It was a mere habit at this point and made him sympathize with those gossipers who find it hard to go long without gossiping. He was very much the same in that he found it hard to go on for too long without poking around inside another's head.

Especially inside the heads of those as interesting as Pikachu's. Though, that wasn't saying much at the moment, as all Espeon could hear was the electric type having an internal panic attack.

“Pikachu,” Espeon spoke, snapping Pikachu out of his thoughts. “Concentrate.”

“You say that like it's easy,” Pikachu sighed. Still, Espeon advised Pikachu to calm down and look closer so he didn't overlook anything. It took a moment for Pikachu to look over the room before a frown made its way on to his face. “...it's not here. It's not here. Why isn't it here???”

Espeon frowned. “Did we perhaps enter the wrong room?”

“No, I...I'm sure this is the right room.” Pikachu said. “It's...yeah, this is the right room.”

“Are you really sure? All the Project Shadow rooms look the same-if you didn't pay attention to the room number, there's a chance you might've mixed them up.”

“...that's...” Pikachu frowned. “I almost forgot about that. I really am an idiot, aren't I?”

“Yes, you are.” Espeon replied casually. “Now come on, let's go back through the vent and check the next room. You could've been just one off.”

The two scurried back through the vent. Pikachu led the way again, asking Espeon just before they arrived if this was the room right next to the one they had just been in. Upon Espeon's confirmation, they jumped down from the vent and observed the room. Pikachu's ears perked gleefully before he ran to one of the machines in the center of the room. He looked to the side and smiled with relief upon spotting a placard with “subject: weavile 04” written on it.

“Yup, this is it.”

“Fantastic.” Espeon said as he trotted over to Pikachu. “Now what?”

“Well, now I need to find the control panel for the machine and fry the wires.” Pikachu explained. “It should be somewhere near the bottom...”

Espeon watched silently as Pikachu began investigating the bottom of the machine, listening intently to Pikachu's thoughts. There wasn't anything new though, so he stopped after a few seconds. There was only so much more of 'not here, not here, definitely not there' that Espeon could take.

After a moment, Pikachu had finally found the panel he had been searching for and with Espeon's help, he popped it open.

“Now what?”

“Now I work my magic and you watch.” Pikachu said, his cheeks sparking. “Now, I just need to be careful about how much voltage I use...”

A buzzing noise filled Espeon's ears, causing him to flinch slightly. He looked over Pikachu's shoulder to see the wires of the machine fizzled out and sparking. He winced. “Are you certain they wouldn't be able to trace it back to you?”

Pikachu didn't answer and instead hurried with closing the panel of the machine. “Come on,” he urged. “Let's get out of here.”

With the odd thought of 'that was all?' running through Espeon's head, the psychic made his way after Pikachu through the same vent they had just gone through. “That was it?” Espeon said, his voice not quite reaching his ears. “That's seriously all it takes to shut down the machine?”

Pikachu frowned. “Well, no, but I'm sure the wires getting fried will end up doing something dangerous.”

“You really didn't have a plan, did you?”

“Shut up.”

The two pokemon carefully made their way back to the Battle Arena with few words exchanged between them. Espeon was at a loss for words, entirely. This day had just been too bizarre. First, that mysterious Riolu appearing out of nowhere and having golden colored Aura of all things, then Pikachu appearing in the middle of the night after what felt like literal months, and apparently-

Espeon paused. Didn't Pikachu mention something about the riolu earlier? How he should “watch out for her”? 'What in the Heavens is that supposed to mean?'

Espeon debated it for a moment before simply deciding to ask. After all, what was the harm? He opened his mouth to speak, but accidentally bumped into a frozen pikachu. He scowled, “why would you stop in the middle of nowhere like-” Espeon trailed off upon seeing who Pikachu was staring at, “...that...”

The absol didn't seem phased. “Taking a stroll?”

In a state of panic, Espeon looked to Pikachu, not knowing what to say. Pikachu just opened and closed his mouth over and over again, his eyes distant and clouded over. 'This is bad, this is bad, this is bad...'

“Master'll be rather disappointed in you,” the absol closed her eyes in an almost tired manner. “Really, Pikachu, what exactly are you doing wandering out here in the middle of the night with one of the captives? You know what'll happen if Master finds out-”

“We're training!” Pikachu blurted out.

Absol raised an eyebrow. “Oh? And you're not, say, planning on escaping the island or doing something else that doesn't require brain cells?”

Pikachu's voice seemingly died before he spoke up again. “You know as well as I do that there's no real way of escape for us. They just keep the pokemon here captive as a safety measure, remember?”

Espeon looked back and forth between Pikachu and Absol, wanting desperately to read the latter's mind, but unfortunately being unable to on account of Absol being of the dark-type. The downsides of being a psychic, he supposed.

Absol considered that for a moment, “inaccurate. But fair, nonetheless.” Her eyes bore into Pikachu's, who flinched in reply. “I expect to see you back soon.”

Pikachu nodded awkwardly, “y-yeah. See you, Absol...”

Absol stared for a moment longer before turning around and walking away. Espeon watched Absol trot away, causing his stomach to inexplicably turn. He turned to Pikachu and saw that the mouse wasn't faring much better, his limbs shaking underneath him.

Pikachu breathed in sharply, catching Espeon's attention as he let out a laugh. “I'm so screwed.”

“Pikachu,” Espeon started carefully, almost fearing what his answer would be. “How are you going to explain this once they find out the machine is broken? As if this plan already didn't have hundreds of problems with it, you have one more: the boss will know it's you.”

Pikachu swallowed. “Espeon, you don't understand. Absol's already figured it out. You don't know her like I do-”

“Wait, what?”

“Knowing her, she's probably already figured it out...” Pikachu inhaled sharply. “I...” he stared at the ground miserably. “Sometimes I wish I had Ash's luck on my side...”

Espeon tried to ignore that last part in favor of getting back on topic. “So, now what?”

Pikachu straightened himself up. “...we're just going to have to see what'll happen. I...I doubt Absol will rat you out, especially if I make sure she doesn't but...she's also unpredictable. I have no way of telling what she'll do...”

“She's not the type to play charades with her trainer, that's for sure.” Espeon said.

Pikachu forced a smile. “Definitely.” He shuffled his feet before turning to Espeon. “So, we should probably...”

“Oh, er, yes. Absolutely.” Espeon agreed, his eyes on glued to Pikachu's back on their way back to the Battle Arena. The stress was coming out of his friend in waves, and for lack of proper self-control, Espeon couldn't resist, and expanded his mind.

'-can take it. Shouldn't be too bad...maybe Absol will stay quiet. Maybe she'll save it until later even...if she tells Nascour, then...' Espeon resisted the urge to shudder at that name. '...I can take it, right...?'

If there was one thing about mind-reading that Espeon hated, it was that, even if he did read someone's mind, he was sometimes unable to discern the full context that brought on said thoughts in the first place.

But judging by Pikachu's still shaking limbs, he didn't have to think too hard about what Pikachu was mentally preparing himself for.

Pikachu's fear was well-warranted. After all, nobody dared to defy the boss of Cipher. Much less on multiple accounts and on a regular basis, too. And Pikachu had done exactly that.

And to make matters worse, Espeon recalled, his heart sinking, Pikachu had to stay with him.

'Oh, please, for the love of Arceus,'
Espeon pleaded. 'Let there be some kind of distraction tomorrow that'll make sure Cipher's Boss doesn't find out about this...'

Espeon didn't expect that to work, but he was desperate. After all, he wasn't much of a prayer, let alone to powerful pokemon such as Arceus. And he had always thought of praying as useless, anyway.

'Well,'
Espeon thought to himself. 'Times change.'

Little did he know that his little “prayer” was just the calm before the storm. The very next day, the pokemon at the Battle Arena had been subjected to the usual battles against one another, varying scenarios every few hours, until disaster had struck.

Espeon really wasn't expected a distraction to come his way. Let alone in this manner. The entire laboratory was in a tizzy, pokemon and people all rushing about, pokemon shouting in cages, and the alarms blaring loudly over the distant sounds of fighting in the outside buildings and hallways.

The riolu had broken out.
 

Daren

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A good chapter.:)
I especially appreciated the realistic mistake of them going to the wrong room first because they're acting quickly.
So this seems to be either the Pikachu, or at least familiar with them.
 

more than a torchic

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I liked this chapter! I like how you slowly reveal details of what's going on as the story goes on. It's hard to balance between too much exposition and not enough, but I think you're doing great. I also like how you explored the concept of mind reading (and how it might not work on Dark types. I really like that detail.)
We've gotten more development of supporting characters, so I can only assume that Riolu will appear again in the next chapter. Also considering the fact that Riolu escaped. Maybe we'll see how she did and how she'll escape/get caught.
Good stuff!
 
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