I said I'd let Carmen's fic be the first thing of BTH that would appear in the writing board. I guess I lied. Not that this is actually anywhere near as good as anything she'd write, but BTH is my canon, and I'll write something for it if I feel like sometimes... --- Serum #418 21st May, 2009 It was a quiet night in Eterna Forest. The police had ended the day’s search for a missing young man many hours ago. They had said the woods were too dangerous to search at night. In a way, they weren’t lying. It was only a few years ago that the quarantine of the forest had been lifted. Spencer Asimov would know all about that little incident. He was, after all, the one who was indicted for the outbreak. At least, that’s what the government had told everyone. 1997 was a turbulent year. The war between the newly formed Russian Federation and North Korea over control of the island of Sinnoh was entering its last phase. The island had been a Soviet territory since before Spencer had been born. There were things here that Russia had to take responsibility for. The Soviet Union had used Sinnoh as a developing place for a Biological Weapon the likes of which had never before been seen. It had been a silly idea, really. Incapacitate your enemy by turning them into Pokemon? Spencer had to admit, it was a highly effective method of making people disappear, but there was no chance something like that could be use effectively on a large scale. But it was the Cold War. The Americans had latched onto the idea as well the second they heard the Soviets were doing so. All of a sudden, an arms race formed over something that by all rights shouldn’t be a weapon at all. Of course, it was the Soviets that managed a working product first. Unfortunately, the USSR had crumbled soon afterward, and Sinnoh found itself under attack by a nation that had overgrown its small borders. Trapped in their lab by the Korean invaders, the scientists in Eterna had no choice but to use their weapon against their enemy. It worked a bit too well. Spencer was the only man left of the original group that had worked on the serums. At least, he was the only one still human. He was 22 when they released the serum. As the only human survivor, he was indicted for it by the time he was 23. Now he was 33, and still on the run. Spencer had long since forgotten what they charged him with releasing, but what ever it was, it had caused the “deaths” of more then fifty civilians, scientists, and Korean and Russian soldiers. He was the only one left with that knowledge who was still in a position to expose it all. Which, of course, he had tried to do- “Have you reconsidered yet?” a voice asked, breaking Spencer from his thoughts. He looked over his shoulder at one of his two companions, 23 year old Leon Vance. A Johto native, of American decent, Leon was a single farmer, though a good Trainer in his own right. He had taken on the Elite Four, so when he offered to travel with Spencer, it hadn’t taken much to convince him. Spencer needed someone of Leon’s capability on his side. Fairly tan, with brown hair and blue eyes, his years as a traveler and a farmer had done Leon well, physically. He wore a simple pair of blue jeans, which had muddy legs, a long sleeved white t-shirt, and a pair of black gloves. His eyes still held that glint of childish idealism Spencer found himself lacking in. Spencer looked a lot older then his 33 years would suggest. His platinum blond hair was already starting to gray from stress. His own brown eyes had pronounced bags, and his skin was rather pale. Spencer didn’t tan, he burned. So he covered up, blue jeans, a white light coat, and crimson scarf. A pair of wire framed sunglasses rested on his nose. He took a moment to push them up to his eyes before replying. “No Leon, there will be no reconsideration,” Spencer said, a small trace of a Russian accent in his voice. “But Spence, he’s just a kid, and he’s done nothing to you,” Leon pled. “No reconsideration,” Spencer reaffirmed, his tone silencing any more objections from Leon. The younger man backed off a little, putting more space between himself and Spencer. In a way, Leon was right. The child himself hadn’t really done anything, but an emotional teenager was far easily to get to then a professional adult. Without him really knowing it, Seth Thompson had been recruited into Spencer’s revenge plot against his mother. Loraine Thompson was the American Consulate General for the island of Sinnoh. She was rather good at her job, and had a connection in Moscow through the US Ambassador to Russia. Spencer had gone to her two years ago, having built up a case to prove his innocence to an international court. He had begged Loraine to use her connection to help in Moscow, but she had refused, and called the police. In the resulting chaos, not only was all of his evidence lost, but one of Spencer’s oldest and closest Pokemon had been killed. Now, she would learn what it was like to lose someone close to you. And Spencer? Well, if he was lucky, he might just get a new companion to help fill the void left by Sevastion’s death. And if not, a young man named Isaac would certainly take it off his hands. Finally, the Old Chateau came into view. As they approached, Spencer’s other companion hovered closer to his master; Mikhail the Infernape, Spencer’s oldest Pokemon. The six foot tall monkey stood a good three inches taller then his master. He carried a silver briefcase, where Spencer had taken to putting what he could carry around safely. The Pokemon was giving him a disproving look, obviously holding the same opinion as Leon. Spencer waved him off, before opening the door to the Chateau. They were expected, of course. Both Leon and Spencer had sent several of their Pokemon ahead to prepare for them. Sitting in the foyer waiting for them were Leo, a Linoone, and Grant, a Tropius. Spencer looked around; it looked like all the Ghosts of the Chateau had crept away. Good, that would make their job a lot easier. “Hey Leo, it all work out?” Leon said, pleasantly. The Linoone nodded, rising from his seat near a staircase leading down. He was a special one, Leo. Proof that the Transformation serums worked, but not the way they had hoped. Intelligence and human mind were kept after the Transformation. Leo, born Leonhart Langenberg, had been given to Spencer when he started working at the lab, for good behavior on the Linoone’s part, and as a welcoming gift for Spencer. “I guess we don’t really need Grant out, then,” the American Trainer said, pulling out a Pokeball and returning the Tropius to it. He walked over to the Linoone, and down a staircase the Pokemon was sitting next to. Mikhail quickly followed him, leaving only Spencer and Leo. “Tanner is already in the mainframe?” Another nod. “Then we don’t have much time, let’s hurry.” The two of them descended the stairs, into the faded corridors beyond them. This had been the lab, back in the day. The technology had been outdated even back then, but it all worked, and it apparently held together rather well. The lights were on, even. It couldn’t last though. Careful as he might be, Tanner would eventually fry the system. They didn’t have time to waste. After a few moments walking, the two entered the observation room. Leon and Mikhail were already waiting for them there. The one way screen that separated the observation room from the containment area was slightly warped, but allowed Spencer to look into the room nonetheless. Sure enough, the boy was there, sitting in the corner. Brown hair, much lighter then Leon’s, average skin tone, slightly lanky. He looked tall, but Spencer couldn’t really tell due to his pose. The teenager was Seth Thompson, a spitting image of his late father, guarded by Spencer’s Hades and Kevin, a Dusknoir and Sableye, respectively. Spencer accepted the briefcase from Mikhail, and opened it. He pulled out another box inside it, and from there, a syringe and capsule. Tape on the Capsule identified it as number 418. Spencer had made it himself, replicating Sevastion’s genetic code when he had been a Buizel. All they had to do was inject it into his bloodstream, and, like a virus, it would take over, and modify the human boy’s cells. He opened the lid of the capsule, and drew the liquid into the syringe. Sealing the capsule again, he returned it to the box, and was about to give the syringe to Mikhail to inject the boy, when Leon put a hand on his shoulder. “Spence, please, I’m begging you. Don’t go through with this, you’ll never forgive yourself,” Leon said. Spencer sighed. There would be no convincing Leon of this. Though, he could do something to make it better. “Take a sample from the boy, and then inject him,” he ordered the Infernape, taking a second syringe and offering it to Mikhail. The Infernape accepted them both and left the room. A minute later, the Infernape entered the containment area. Seth looked up at him, but was quickly grabbed by Hades. Unable to flee, the human was forced to endure both needles. Sample taken and serum injected, the human was dropped onto the floor. He didn’t stand back up, and, in fact, seemed frozen in place. The serum was already working its magic. Mikhail left the room as the screams started. --- The screaming went on for two hours. A lesser man would have gone crazy listening to it. Spencer worked through it all, somehow unaffected. Leon had no idea how the Russian could manage such a thing. All he could do was stare at the thing in the other room as it shifted from human to Pokemon. It was a horrific sight, but he just couldn’t look away. As the clock ticked, the screams started getting more animalistic as the change progressed. Finally, they stopped. Hades reached into the bundle of clothes the human left behind, and pulled out a small orange thing. Leon’s eye’s widened and he looked at the thing. Spencer had actually used 418. He had sworn on Sevastion’s memory to never use the thing. Yet, as the Dusknoir floated out of the containment room, the Sableye following behind him, he was still holding a Buizel by its flotation sac. After a minute, the Dusknoir entered the room. Leon immediately snatched the Pokemon from it, before Spencer could. Barely conscious and not seeming to realize what was going on, the Pokemon’s only reaction was to shiver. Spencer already had a Pokeball in his hand, “Leon, give it to me.” The younger Trainer took a step away from his companion, “Spence, you promised you wouldn’t do this.” He glanced at the Pokeball, and then at the Buizel. “You’ve done enough, haven’t you?” “Leon, give me the damn Buizel,” Spencer ordered. He approached the younger trainer, backing Leon into a corner. With no where else to go, Leon was forced to let Spencer yank the Pokemon out of his arms by its flotation sac. The jarring motion seemed to bring the Pokemon around, and it did its best to look back at its captor. Spencer brought it up to look him in the eyes. The Pokemon made a whimpering noise, wrapping its tail around its waist. “Spence, you’re hurting it,” Leon said, reaching for the Pokemon. Spencer let go, and the Pokemon hit the floor with a pained grunt. The man then quickly forced it into the Pokeball, and threw the ball at Leon. “Keep it, for all I care,” the man said. That confused Leon. What was with the sudden change of views? He didn’t really have time to think about it though; Spencer was already on the move. The older trainer cleaned up his briefcase and handed it to Mikhail. Spencer then returned his Dusknoir, Sableye, and Linoone, then left the room, with Mikhail following seconds after him. Leon hurried after him, keeping a tight grip on the Pokeball that now contained the new Pokemon. He’d let him out once Spencer had cooled off. After Leon exited the lab through the foyer stairs, Spencer called his Rotom back to him. Tanner looked extremely tired, and seemed relieved that the whole mess was over. Spencer walked over to a statue, and pressed a button hidden on the back. The staircase disappeared as the floor slid into place. The older Trainer then commanded his Rotom to fry the statue, sealing the lab. It was quickly done, and the Pokemon was returned to its Pokeball. The two left the Chateau, for the last time, Leon hoped. He had to wonder, what had made Spencer act like that? Was it safe to continue travelling with him? After that episode, Leon wasn’t so sure. Maybe he should take the Buizel and leave? All things to be considered, but he couldn’t act irrationally now. The best thing to do was to wait for Spencer to calm down. So he would wait, and hope for the best.