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Private/Closed Raid on Route 12

Discussion in 'Pokémon Role Play' started by BurbleBurble, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. (Please note, this is a private Roleplay between me and @Vergil Tanner .)

    Route 12 was rather laid back.

    Compared to other Routes that Gerald wasn't about to mention, it was overall...just nice. It wasn't absolutely bustling with trainers, yet not a desolate wasteland like Route 13 after it. It was simply a sleepy seaside route, with the only real attraction being a ranch most well known for Skiddo. Without it, it’d just be a bumpy yet short road between Shalour and Coumarine city.

    But, if Gerald was being honest, he wouldn’t really care if there was a ranch or not. Because it was a nice place for training. The Pokemon were rather diverse, the odd terrain made it optimal for training in unorthodox environments. And...This was his last choice. He had tried Frost Cavern, but all he got was a pissed off Noivern and a bad cold the following week. The trainer had also tried the Lost Woods west of Snowbelle City, which also failed, leaving him unsurprisingly lost in the woods for what felt like hours...But! This was different. It wasn’t a frozen outback, it wasn’t a labyrinth of trees, it was just a fine little Route that was just there!

    But while the spot was great for training, but his Pokemon weren’t exactly...Well…

    The Pokemon he was trying to currently to train was the previously mentioned Noivern, who Gerald dubbed the Screecher, thanks to her constant screeching. She was little more than a wild beast, who wasn’t exactly fond of Gerald, despite him being the one who sheltered, fed, and took care of her needs. More or less. The other was a Lopunny, which would seem odd. Noivern were draconic bats, of course they wouldn’t be completely easy to teach. But Lopunny couldn’t be too troublesome, they were little more than walking rabbits, right? Well, there were Lopunny, and then there was Puff, Gerald’s Lopunny. He was a foot shorter than any regular one, and had triple the moodiness to compensate. Puff would have these swings, where one day he would be fight happy, ready to punch out anyone who looked at him funny, but the next would be a struggle to get him to do anything. For awhile he was a ton more timid, mostly after the incident on Route 15, but after being secluded at the “Dark Tournament”, his bratty attitude came back full swing. Gerald hoped to make some leeway on the two combative ones.

    Luckily, he wasn’t alone. He had June, his loyal Delphox. Most of his Pokemon were actually more loyal to her than Gerald. And, even more thankfully, she was quite happy to keep the others in line. It was to the point where some might even point out she was more of a trainer than Gerald.

    "...So, when I say air slash, you know what you do, Screecher?" His eyes locked with the yellow gazers of the Noivern. She flit her wings, raising Gerald's hopes...

    "REEE!" She screamed, jumping back a foot or so, and glaring back at her trainer, with nothing coming of the command.

    "Great. Great. We are almost there. Maybe next time you'll even try to use the move." Gerald sighed. Training the Noivern was next to impossible, and the red head was seriously questioning why he even was trying. Turning his head away from Screecher, he called out to his two other Pokemon. "June, Puff, how are you two doing?"

    A chipper bark came back, but no squeak came from Puff. He was preoccupied in a fist fight with a Heracross, as June looked on. She would likely step in if something bad were to happen, and Gerald only needed to hear the bark to know everything was a-okay. "Good, glad to hear your getting along better than me. Now, Screecher, how about- Screecher?"

    The Screecher was crawling off into the brushes, probably to find something to eat. That was likely more important to her than listening to some guy, regardless if that guy was her trainer. "Screecher, wait up!" He called, "Don't go!" But it was to no avail, as the bat was set on it goal of finding a meal.

    "Come on!" Gerald tacked on, fed up with Screecher's shenanigans. She really drove him up the wall some...well, honestly, most of the time. "Sorry to stop whatever you two are up to, but we need to get Screecher before she flies off."

    Puff let out a grunt, not too fond of interrupting his fight, but a stern look from June right before she left to follow Gerald changed his mind. So, he backed away from his opponent, raised his fingers as to say 'Wait a sec' and ran off after the fox, leaving behind a very confused Heracross.

    As Gerald and his Pokemon waded through the brush, nothing would deter the man from his goal of getting Screecher back. He was quite quiet about it as well, leaving most of the chatter around coming from Puff and June, who were bantering back and forth about something or other. Either a complaint or he was bragging about the fight with the Heracross that he had put on hold. Or maybe both, with Puff talking you really couldn't put much beyond him.

    There she was, just across a dirt road. Screecher was sitting under a tree, chomping up some berries that had fallen off of it. Completely unaware of Gerald or the others presence, she would easy to get. All he had to do was go across the road, which would be quite easy. So easy, he didn't even bother to look down, up, or any of those things one was taught to do before crossing the street. In his defense, the only thing he really expected was a pickup truck or something rural and practical. He pulled out Screecher's Pokeball and was halfway across the street when he heard a distinct vrrrrrr sound. He looked down the street, and froze in place, as a moving van drove at him at what seemed to be max speed.

    He thought it was all over. How he would find his end. Surviving two completely insane events, and then dying because he didn't look both ways and was hit by a truck. What a way to go. He told himself, right before being suddenly jerked back to safety.

    June had used a quick Psychic to save him. If she had been a second later, he would've probably been killed right on impact. It seemed as if there were not just one, but in fact two, so even if the first one didn't do it, the second probably would've. Gerald's heart was still pounding out of his chest, and he was still breathing in and out like a madman.

    "Th-thanks, June." He spoke, still a shaken over the whole thing. He got up slowly, his legs still a bit shaky, and, looking both ways this time (And catching the tail end of the black painted moving trucks) before shambling across the street toward Screecher, who despite her sensitivity to noise, somehow having ignored the entire thing in exchange for eating most all of the berries on the ground. "You!" He bluntly stated, as he returned the bat to her Pokeball.

    He was just about to throw in the towel and call it a day. Nearly getting ran over was a pretty day ending thing, after all. But that's when he started thinking...

    Why were two black painted moving vans driving out here in the middle of nowhere? It was pretty suspicious...A little too suspicious. He kind of wanted to look in to this...The only place the road lead to was the Skiddo Ranch. It couldn't be too incredibly far, maybe a quarter a mile.

    "Hey. June. Puff. Let's go see these truck guys, give them a piece of our minds."

    Even if these guys weren't doing anything illegal, he could still get an apology out of them about going so fast or something like that. And so he set off down the dirt road at a light jog, Puff (In a bit of a huff, because he still had a Heracross waiting) and June in tow.

    But only if Gerald knew what he was getting into.
     
    Nygenn and PentheWonderful like this.
  2. Name: Dante E. Young
    Location: Route 12, Beach.
    Current Team: Jason, Tails, Gary, Falcone, Mrs. Stabbington, Grael.



    If you were to say "Route 12" to any halfway serious trainer, the first thing that would likely come to mind would be its relatively boring nature. There were no especially rare or interesting Pokemon that could not be encountered elsewhere, so travelling to route 12 was not really all that high on most trainers list of priorities. It was rather out of the way in terms of its location on the continent, with few enough interesting Pokemon that most trainers stayed away from the area, gravitating to more centralised or exotic locales. Therefore, the concentration of high-skill trainers - or trainers at all, really - was also relatively low compared to many of the other routes available between cities. So, the lack of trainers coming to catch new Pokemon also led to a lack of trainers who went there specifically to train against those other trainers and their new Pokemon, which in turn led to a rather deserted route, point of interest wise. Yes, there was the ranch, but that kind of lost its allure after a couple of visits, and nobody was going to come out of their way for something so juvenile. Well, a bunch of 11 year olds might, but they were hardly worth the competition if you asked him. The route didn't even have the house of somebody interesting, or a fascinating cave or even just a daycare centre to its name. It was just...sand, sea and grass, with only a couple of trainers smattered here and there. Even the unorthodox terrain got samey after a while, so he tended to bring his Pokemon here for a few days, reacquaint them with certain manoeuvres, then move on.

    Of course, that kind of deserted, laid back uselessness came with an added boon in a different way; since nobody went there looking to harass passers-by into banal battles, and nobody really went there to cause trouble because there was really nothing of interest there, it made it the perfect spot to do a touch of R&R, and the isolated nature of the Westernmost beach - you had to either come from Shalour City or have Surf to get to it, and there weren't any trainers anywhere nearby who might decide to bother you - made it especially suited for some relaxation. See, Dante trained his Pokemon rather brutally sometimes, since some of them needed constant exercise and the reinforcement of certain drills to be able to be useful in coordinated battles, but that didn't mean that he didn't care about his Pokemon; indeed, he wouldn't waste so much time pushing them to be the best they could be if he - if you'll pardon his French - couldn't give deux volants baise about them. He pushed them because he cared, obviously, and so when they did well or they succeeded a particularly trying trial, well, he liked to reward them. In this case, he'd happened to have been travelling through the Frost Caves just the previous day when he'd ended up being set upon by a particularly vindictive Murder of Haunters - he didn't know if that was actually the term for a group of them, but it bloody well better be, and if it wasn't, it was now! - and thanks to his team, they'd managed to subdue enough of them to get out in one relatively unharmed piece.

    Since Dante knew by now just how tough it was to handle Ghosts - one on its own would have been easy prey for Jason, but as good and as courageous as he was, he just couldn't handle twelve of them at the same time - he was duly impressed by his teams resourcefulness and overall performance, so after taking them to a nearby Pokecenter to get patched up...well, he decided that it had been too long since they'd had a holiday. They'd been travelling for a while now, training and refining their tactics and working on how they gelled as a team, and they hadn't really had much time for an actual vacation. He knew that they liked the beach, he knew that Route 12 had a good, isolated one...so it felt like the perfect fit. Once they'd spent a couple of days here just unwinding, he'd pop his current lineup into the Box and bring his other Pokemon here, too - they deserved some R&R as well, and he wasn't a Trainer who would neglect his Second Team just because they weren't his First Team...besides, it would be fun to let loose and play with Syl again. She hadn't been able to stretch her legs properly in weeks at least, so he knew she must be itching to get out and spend some of that energy. Dante just hoped that he had the stamina to keep up with her this time! There was nothing more embarrassing than getting knackered out by one of your younger Pokemon, not when you were supposed to be an extremely fit young man yourself!

    Right now? Well, he was just sitting on the deck-chair he'd brought for himself, reclining in a dress shirt and trousers with his jacket hung up on the back of the chair (He usually wore more rough and tumble gear when travelling, but he always felt more relaxed in a suit and tie, and this was his holiday too damnit!) watching his Pokemon gallivant about in the sand and sea, generally taking his order to "Relax and have fun for a change" straight to heart. Rather than sparring or exercising or doing anything like that, the lot of them had somehow managed to procure one of those slightly oversized inflatable footballs from town - obviously reinforced in some manner to be able to handle the force exerted on it by a Pokemon kicking it rather than a human - and were in the middle of a kind of 2 Vs 2 Matchup. Jason, his Houndoom and the Pokemon who had been with him for longer than any of the other ones, was in the middle of headbutting the ball across the small strip of beachside sand that they'd set aside for their game, trying desperately to outmanoeuvre Mrs. Stabbington (seriously, you could blame his sister Grace for that name. It was most certainly not his idea), who was currently in Shield Mode, trying to stop Jason from getting any closer to their goal. Whilst Falcone, his Rhydon, was bellowing bold challenges at Jason from her position in goal, she seemed to be doing an admirable job of holding her impulsive nature back, letting Stabbington handle it, for the most part. She actually managed to hold Jason off for a while, surprisingly, which obviously frustrated Jason no end. He even went so far as to snap at Stabbington, perhaps getting ready for a Bite, but that was quickly cowed by a growl of warning from the water.

    See, Pokemon moves were banned in playful games like this, but sometimes tensions rode high - having competitive Pokemon was a side effect of his extensive training, after all, and Dante actively encouraged such urges; what good was a Pokemon you used for battling who wasn't competitive? - and they needed a firm hand to keep them in line. Since he couldn't really play with them in that kind of capacity, that duty usually fell to Gary, who was glaring at Jason now. Jason gave another half-hearted snap, then backed off, looking - to his credit - a little abashed. Stabbington switched to Sword Mode, then, for her Free Kick. Before meeting her properly, Dante hadn't known that a shadow sword and shield could look smug, but...more fool him, he supposed. Honestly, Dante imagined that Gary enjoyed his petty amount of power a little bit too much, but if he managed to keep order, then more power to him. Grael, for his part, just watched the whole thing with his characteristic stoicism. Every so often, Gary would cast a glance at Tails - who was currently stretched out in the sun next to Dante's chair, enjoying the idle scratching behind the ears she was getting as Dante himself enjoyed his book - who would either nod or shake her head languidly. So....the Linesman, then. Suited her just fine, he supposed; she was frequently the one who helped him control his more rambunctious Pokemon, so it only made sense that she would provide the balance to Gary's more aggressive style of asserting authority.

    Alas, such peaceful relaxation was not to last long, apparently; as quiet as the beach was besides his own Pokemon enjoying themselves, it wasn't difficult for certain sounds to carry across the water and soon enough there was more than just the cawing of seagulls and the gentle lapping of the waves echoing throughout the small cove. It started quietly at first, just the distant sounds of some clash or another, far enough away to not really be of any concern...probably just one of the rare Pokemon battles that occasionally took place on the Route, since trainers did occasionally pass through, so Dante thought nothing of it...until the sounds didn't die away, instead becoming louder and closer to them. He looked up at the towering cliff-face opposite the beach, frowning ever so slightly at the top. There was more than just the sounds of Pokemon colliding. If he strained his ears...was that...screaming, too? And not the desperate, melodramatic sound of a new trainer who's just had their arse handed to them, no...a genuine scream of alarm and rage. He glanced at his Pokemon; they'd heard it, too, and had abandoned their game to look up at the cliff, at the source of the sounds just out of view. And then...there! There, rising over the crest of the plateau, the faintest hints of something, conspicuous in the bright, clear blue sky; the dark waftings of the beginning of smoke.

    He paused for a moment, then got to his feet slowly. Normal Pokemon battles could get intense, but actual screaming, and a lasting fire? That was rare. It warranted investigation, if nothing else; if nothing was happening, then fine, they could go back to enjoying their day. If something was going on, though, well...better that they get involved early to prevent as many people getting hurt as possible, no? He looked down the beach at his Pokemon, but they were already on their way towards him, anticipating his thinking. He smiled slightly, a small half-twitch of his lips. They knew him so well. He turned, leaving the deck chair where it was, beginning to stride towards the waters edge, recalling his team to their respective balls as they approached leaving only Gary free. He lowered his head without needing prompting, allowing Dante to swing himself up onto his back, just behind his head, then turned and began swimming over towards the opposite bank. It was probably nothing, but...well, it never hurt to be cautious. If nothing else, if he investigated now, perhaps he could avoid becoming unpleasantly surprised by whatever was going on later. And as they say...knowledge is power, and Dante hated being powerless. Still, he lamented having to cut short his teams holiday. No rest for the wicked indeed.
     
    #2 Vergil Tanner, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    PentheWonderful and BurbleBurble like this.
  3. Shit.

    Shit shit shit shit shit.


    Gerald and his Pokemon stood a good few yards away from the entrance of the ranch, but it wasn't hard to figure out who the shady men with large red "R"s on their uniforms were.

    How did he know it'd be them? Every time, without fail, it'd be them. The assholes always had a habit of showing up whenever he wanted to do something laid back. Wanting to make sure someone was okay? Team Rocket shows up. Joining a tournament? Sorry, turns out it's a coup to have you thrown in a jungle of murderous beasts that could be vaguely classified as Pokemon! Oh, what's that? You wanted to just have a nice day to train for the league? Here comes Team Rocket driving their dumb moving vans at max speed, nearly running you over on their way to steal a bunch of Skiddo! Gerald's hated them more than anything else, and hoped that each and every last member would die in a horrible and agonizing way.

    ...He did have a bit of an issue with anger, when he thought more about it, but now was not a time for that!

    He considered, if just for a minute, about turning around and going to Courmarine to get help. There was only one way out, so they could blockade them in. Anyone with a strand of sense in their body would go do that. But...There had to be someone in there already. The route probably wasn't completely abandoned after all. But, he probably should ask his Pokemon for advice first...

    "Uh, quick vote," He asked his Pokemon, who were staring down the raid unfolding before them with contempt as well, "Should we go get help, or are we gonna go help out ourselves?"

    June took a few moments to contemplate. Puff, however, was ready to jump at the chance to fight some more.

    "Great, majority rules, let's go!" He quickly sputtered out, before breaking out in a dash. Puff followed suit, leaving behind a glaring June. But in end of the day, she really wanted to get those Rocket's as well...The fox found herself chasing down her male companions, towards the ongoing raid.

    When he made it into the ranch, Gerald knew he didn't have long to figure out a plan. Luckily, it seemed at the moment that the Rockets were more concerned with emptying the house of people and valuables. Bad for the victims, good for Gerald. He could cut through the fields towards the back of the house, bring out Million and the Switchblades, and they'd repel the Rockets until help could arrive, along with the trainer- Who he was sure was in here somewhere.

    The trainer didn't waste any time. He headed for the Skiddo field, Delphox and Lopunny following right behind. They were all dashing across the plain, without attracting any attention, until one of the absent minded grass goats spotted the fox. Terrified of their natural predator, it just had to let out the loudest and longest bleat ever.

    Shit. Gerald restated. He had to find somewhere to hide- and hope that place was large enough to hide June and Puff as well. Once more, luck was on his side, as a pile of hay bales was nearby, and looked big enough to cover them all. He motioned towards it, and soon all three of them were sitting behind the dried grass, waiting for Gerald's master plan. However, the frightened Skiddo could still see them, bleating even louder now, and then was joined by it's friends, creating a chorus of skittish goat screeching. The man was becoming very worried now- and not making things better, June was beginning to cave as well, emitting a low pitched growl. Puff was obviously trying to distract her from the goats, but he seemed to be making her growl even more. Please shut up. Please shut up. Please shut up... He mentally chanted, knowing that the Rocket's were not stupid and would catch on sooner rather than later. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, sh-

    "SHUT UP!" Someone shouted, and like magic, everything went silent. Well, less silent, more like made them all run off, still bleating their heads off, and shut up June instead. The trio were still for a second, before they began lowly breathing again. Someone else screamed- likely one of the tenants of the ranch- before a distinct scent wafted into the air. Smoke, it was smoke. Everything was slowly coming together for Gerald, who realized two things: One, they were burning down the ranch house. Probably. The other? Considering the house burning, the scream, and the shut up, he was probably the only real Pokemon Trainer on the ranch. The only one concerned with taking down Team Rocket.

    Well, it was time to implement a strategic withdrawal.

    "Not going to sugarcoat it- We have to run out of here and get help, as fast as possible. Got it?" He w

    Puff once again pouted, obviously unsatisfied at the fact he would in fact not be fighting. June, on the other side of the coin, nodded her head in a serious tone.

    "Okay, great. Puff, if you don't run, Team Rocket will sell you to the highest bidder. So, me and June are going to run now, and you can join if you'd like. How's that?"

    It doesn't take much to scare Puff straight. He was, for all his arrogance and pomp, a coward under it all. When his eyes widened, and his leg muscles twitched, Gerald knew he had gotten his point across.

    So they ran. They ran so fast, they probably would've left dust clouds. They tore through the field in at least half the time it took for them to originally cross it. But sometimes, even your fastest isn't enough. They were so close to the exit too...

    It started with Puff, who let out a high pitched squeak as something rammed into him. Both Gerald and June screeched to a stop, to find a Weavile had pinned down Puff, who in turn was thrashing like a madman. Gerald wasn't really fond of Weavile. They were fast, obnoxious, and loved to freeze things- and were a Team Rocket favorite from his knowledge. The one thing they couldn't do was take a hit.

    "June, blast that thing off Puff!"

    The Delphox whipped out her stick, pulled it back, and was just about to let out a jet of fire to get the Weavile off Puff, or at least knock it out, when it was blasted out of her hand rather painfully. She looked over towards her assailant, and stared down the angry face of a Mightyena, which soon tackled and pinned her just like Puff. Delphox were strong ranged attackers, but without their sticks, were pretty much sitting ducks. The Mightyena easily overpowered her, and being a dark type didn't help.

    Gerald fumbled for his Pokeballs. It was time to get Million out and-

    "Stop right there."

    He looked up, and wanted to look back down.

    Three Rocket Grunts were cornering him, and had their own posse of Pokemon backing them up. Raticate, Bisharp, Muk, Murkrow, and a Golbat- and some more Gerald didn't bother to identify. The Grunts didn't look like they had weapons, but Gerald didn't want to take any risks. Plus, Bisharp was literally a living weapon, and it would probably slit Gerald's throat if he tried anything.

    "Hands up." Gerald reluctantly obeyed. "Now listen here kid- do as we say, and we won't do anything to your Pokemon or you."

    Yeah right. He quipped in his mind. Yet he solemnly nodded to the Grunts.

    "You know," One spoke up, "When we started this raid, we didn't think we were going to get much other than a couple dozen Skiddo, and maybe a couple odd Pokemon here and there. But this? Do you know what the market is like for Delphox and Lopunny?"

    "Um," Gerald spoke. "No. I don't. Would you mind telling me?" The trainer was really just trying to buy time at this point. For what? Well, really he was buying it for the hope that someone would show up and give him a hand. There wasn't much else he could do.

    "Well then," The Grunt who had commented on the value of June and Puff, "I'll tell you, since you asked so politely. You see, those in the upper class..."

    The Grunt's ramblings fell on deaf ears though. Gerald was too busy bashing himself internally. Good job, Gerald. You've gotten yourself in a situation where you have virtually zero chance of getting out of. All out of luck. Yet, he still felt there was a sliver of hope. That someone out there would help him out.

    "I don't think he's listening to your spiel, Caleb." Spoke the final Grunt, who caught Gerald ignoring the blathering. "Let's just finish taking his Pokemon, we don't have a lot of time." The other two pretty much agreed, and all three were now closing in on Gerald.

    If that hope wanted to come through anytime, now would probably be good time to show up.
     
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  4. Name: Dante E. Young
    Location: Route 12, Beach.
    Current Team: Jason, Tails, Gary, Falcone, Mrs. Stabbington, Grael.



    The journey to the opposite bank lasted rather a lot longer than Dante would have otherwise liked, and it was fraught with pretty much constant fervent glances up towards the heights on which the Skiddo Ranch sat, and as he got closer, the signs of struggle, screaming and distressed Pokemon got ever louder. Now, Dante didn't consider himself a "Soft" individual by any stretch of the imagination; he'd been travelling in the wild, getting involved with all kinds of mischief and danger long enough to have built up a tolerance for stressful situations, but there was one thing that he didn't think he'd ever get completely used to, and that was the sound of a Pokemon or animal in pain or distress. It was almost heart-rending, hearing a creature in pain who had just enough sentience to know that it was hurt and needed help, but not really the sapience to know how it was being hurt, or the why's behind it; some Pokemon were almost eerily intelligent, but there were some - like Skiddo's - who were more like cattle than anything else and if they were subjected to abuse or harm, they wouldn't have a Vanillish's chance in a Volcano of understanding why it was happening. And in his opinion, that was worse than even human suffering; at least a human might be able to understand and take steps to end it. A Skiddo? They were pretty much defenceless.

    And honestly, he didn't really want to become desensitised to it. For as many issues as he had, he liked to think that he was still an empathetic enough person, and being able to ignore sounds of such agony...well, it would be the sign that he'd finally become far too jaded to be a decent trainer. He sincerely hoped that for his own sake, that day was a long way off; training was one of the few things left to him that actually gave him any sense of fulfilment or happiness, and to have it taken away solely because he had grown too bitter for it to be something he was good at anymore? That would be almost too much. So despite his sturdiness, yes, he did wince more than a little when he heard the Skiddo's plaintive cries echoing down the cliff-face, and pretty much as soon as Gary reached the opposite bank Dante recalled him to his 'Ball and was sprinting up the side of the mountain, feet pounding away as he raced to get to the scene of the fight. Any notion of it perhaps being a trainer battle turned dramatic was banished from his mind; the Skiddo wouldn't be nearly so terrified if it was something as simple as a sparring match, after all. Skiddo might not be the most intelligent Pokemon in the world, but they at least understood the difference between a Trainer Battle and an actual fight to the finish.

    Thankfully, he didn't just train his Pokemon; everything he asked them to do, he did alongside them which had served to make his body extremely tough for his age. The sprint up the mountain was tiring, yes - you couldn't physically run full pelt up hill and not be at least a little winded, after all - but nothing he couldn't handle. He was breathing heavily by the time he reached the summit, but he shoved that out of his mind; what he saw at the Ranch took precedence, by far. He didn't know how long it had been going on, but it was obvious that the Ranch was under attack; various grunts and goons with a very obvious black and red colour scheme - with the telltale Red R emblazoned on everything that could fit one on, it seemed like - were rushing around the place, capturing every Skiddo they could get their hands on....when they weren't engaged in bitter battle with the trainers that had rushed to the site, that was. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be enough; there were only a handful of trainers on the Route to begin with, and guaranteed some of them either wouldn't have come to investigate or were too far away to arrive in time, so the trainers were outnumbered something like two to one. They were holding their own - Rocket wasn't exactly known for their stellar training regimes - but there were just too many Goons to handle at once.

    Thankfully, they were slowed down a little simply by virtue of the fact that many of the Skiddo - thanks to a broken fence that was likely a result of one of the trainer battles raging in the clearing before the Ranch - had broken, setting them loose in every which way imaginable. Several Grunts were running around trying to catch them, and if the Skiddo could just stay ahead of them, then hopefully the Trainers could start to win their matches and even the odds. Dante paused at the edge of the warzone, considering; he needed to help, that much was evident, but how? Well, the obvious answer was to aid one of the beleaguered trainers in finishing their battles, and use the newly freed trainer to help another two, then four, etc etc...but who to help? None of them looked like they were struggling, per say, but some of them had to deal with two or even three trainers and nobody could handle those kinds of odds on their own. And if he took too long, he risked becoming swamped in battles such that he let the main force - the Skiddo thieves - get away, since the battling Grunts were almost certainly a screen for the real operation. He scanned quickly, thinking. If he started at the far end and swept through, he could roll up the attack before they realised what was happening, they intercept the Skiddo Thieves as they went past. There was one particular trainer, battling two determined looking Grunts on the far side. If he could just-

    His eye found itself drawn inexplicably towards the ranch itself. He could see through the window from here that there was something...odd going on inside. A number of shapes and shadows - four roughly human shaped, and a good eight or nine pokemon silhouettes - engaged in what seemed to be a pretty one sided fight. He couldn't tell what was going on - he was far too far away - but he knew immediately what he had to do. The inside of the Ranch was almost certainly Rocket's real objective, and if somebody was already trying to stop them, well, they were vastly outnumbered. The trainers out here would be ok; if he could stop what was going on inside, the rest of the Grunts would pull back as soon as they realised that the game was up. The thing with Rocket was, they had a lot of numbers, but their individual members were largely cowards too afraid to get involved in a fair fight. He could use that to his advantage. Ducking behind a tree, he palmed one of his balls and opened it, the form of Tails quickly coalescing into shape as she crouched behind the tree with him. He bent down - attaching his Pokegear to her collar as he did so - and ruffled her ears. "We need to know what we're up against, Tails," he whispered, "So reconnaissance the inside of the Ranch, then get back here. Got it?" He waited for Tails to give him a nod, then he gestured. And just like that...she was gone, slipping through the trees and dashing across open ground to get to the building itself.

    He watched her go anxiously, his hand on his belt, ready to send out an intercept team if somebody tried to attack her on her way, but thankfully everybody seemed so intent on their own battles that they didn't recognise the long silver streak that darted between battles and bushes on her way towards the Ranch proper. He watched, heart pounding, as she hit the exterior wall, approached the ajar door...then disappeared inside. He had no idea what was happening, and for a good twenty heartbeats his nerves were frayed and on edge, waiting to be set alight by some kind of yelp of pain or terror from the interior of the building...but nothing of the sort came. Instead, after only thirty seconds inside he building, he saw a whitish blue blur dart from the door and streak back towards him, making a beeline as fast as she could. He met her halfway, dashing across the open ground - ducking and weaving to avoid the odd Pokemon attack - and collecting the Pokegear on her collar as she drew close. He quickly flipped it open, scrolling through the recorded video that she'd managed to capture, frowning intently as he did so. The inside of the Ranch seemed largely clear....there were no rushing Rocket goons trying to round up Skiddo, no bickering Grunts setting charges or preparing and escape route. Maybe their target wasn't the ranch after all...

    Wait. He skipped ahead a little, on a hunch, and came to the last five or ten seconds of the recording...there were three Rocket Grunts - properly the Infiltration Team - and a veritable zoo of Pokemon focused in one area, all facing towards one specific corner...he couldn't see very clearly thanks to the amount of people and Pokemon crowded in that area, but...it looked like there was somebody backed against the wall. Another trainer, presumably, since the two Pokemon in the middle of it all were huddled over two others, probably pinning them to the ground. That was a favoured tactic of Rocket; corner a Trainer, neutralise their Pokemon, then steal all their balls. It was an effective tactic, if you outnumbered them...which Rocket made sure that they did, most of the time. He grimaced, glancing at Tails; she was bristling too, which was unusually emotional for her. Normally, she was all cool and collected and ice calm...but she herself had been stolen by Rocket once upon a time, so he imagined that this had to bring up some rather painful memories for her. She glanced at the Ranch, taking a step towards it. She wanted to get involved...well, Dante couldn't blame her; so did he. He studied the video once more; Three Grunts, commanding a Raticate, a Bisharp, a Muk, a Murkrow, a Golbat, a Weavile and a Mightyena....a fair range of Pokemon, but not an insurmountable challenge, especially not with his team and the element of surprise. All he needed was to have a plan. Thankfully...he always did.

    He calculated quickly. The first thing he had to do was free the downed Pokemon, and take attention off of the cornered Trainer so he could bring out his own backup and sort out his team. Three trainers against one was almost always a victory for the three - too many ways to divide your attention, after all - but three against two? Then it came down to how good those two trainers were. Besides, if they surrounded the Rocket Goons, then it became that much easier. So to do that, he had to make one hell of an entrance, and then exploit their surprise for all it was worth. He'd then need to set up a perimeter to prevent himself from being swarmed...but that was easy enough. A few of the Pokemon had a few glaring weaknesses that he could exploit. The only real problem was Weavile and Mightyena, since they could counter Stabbington pretty hard, but...he already knew how he was going to handle them. He brought his balls up to his face, clustered into his hands, with Tails - who was still out and watching his back for attack - listening in carefully as well. After explaining the situation to them, and the positions of all the Pokemon in the Ranch, he issued his orders. Of course...he never outright said what attacks he was going to use. That would just tip the other trainer off, which was why he had codewords and phrases for what he wanted them to do. Why do you think he had to train them so hard?


    "Gary. We're going for a Dynamic Entry, so when I release you, go for it. You'll be Delivering a Package, so wait for Tails to get on board before you do. Tails, you're going to Startle them with Crowd Control 3, so they don't see Falcone until it's too late. Falcone, I want you to Seek and Destroy 4 on the Pokemon keeping our two Friendlies pinned. When that's done, I want everybody setting up Defensive Diamond 5. You'll know your targets when you see them. Don't attack further until I enter and can ascertain the lay of the land."

    He paused, giving them a chance to digest the orders - they could hear him in their balls, which was a great boon to his planning, since him being in a huddle with his team in the middle of a battlefield would have been conspicuous to say the least - before straightening...and launching into action. First and foremost, he hurled Gary's ball - stylised with a Magikarps red scale design - straight at the Ranch wall, just behind where the Grunts and their Pokemon were in the video. Tails immediately sprinted after it, and before they'd reached the wall, the ball had bounced back towards Dante and was replaced with a raging, roaring Gyarados...that proceeded to smash straight through the wall in a shower of splinters and angry thrashing scaled flesh.

    It turned its head towards the Rocket Grunts and roared with it's characteristic almost affronted anger - as if galled at the sheer nerve of the Rocket Grunts to even consider annoying it - forcing them to all look at it in shock...just as Tails landed before its gaping maw, unleashing its charged up Dazzling Gleam. Gary was able to recoil quickly enough to avoid the worst of it, and of course, some of the Pokemon in the room weren't really all that affected - and thankfully the downed Delphox was even resistant to the move - but they weren't the targets. The real targets were Mightyena and Weavile, who were both hit especially hard, hard enough to recoil from their positions atop their erstwhile prey. Of course, that was exactly the plan; as soon as Tails disappeared inside the building, Dante - already running to join his team - had released the rest of his Pokemon. Most of them kept pace with him, but Falcone sprinted ahead, charging a fresh hole in the wall as it prepared its Hammer Arm. It clotheslined Weavile as it passed almost making Dante wince in sympathy as it was effectively turned inside out by its huge vulnerability to Fighting Type Moves - before grinding to a halt and backhanding a whimpering Mightyena into the opposite wall. At a gesture from Dante, the rest of his team piled in through the hole, forming a half-diamond shaped wedge of protection around the spot where the two pokemon had been pinned, which he stepped into as he slowed to a halt behind the Grunts.

    As he had predicted, his Pokemon were clever enough to figure out who he wanted them facing; Bisharp was especially dangerous, a lethal weapon in his own right, so Stabbington - his Aegislash - had taken up position directly opposite him in Shield Mode...but ready to unleash a Sacred Sword at a moments notice. Falcone was currently squaring up to Muk, with Tails eyeing up Golbat. The rest of his team were spread out behind those three, ready to charge at whatever threat made itself known, with Grael squatting next to Dante - ready to unleash Psychic Hell on whoever needed it - and Gary rearing up behind him, snarling and daring anybody to get close. Dante glanced back at the trainer backed up against the wall and tutted to himself; charging in without a plan and without having any idea what was going on, or what you were up against? Amateur, especially against an Organized Crime Gang. Haste was laudable, as was the drive to help, but unprepared aid usually got itself into its own trouble, more often than not. Thankfully, he was there to provide some kind of back up. He adjusted his suit and tie - slightly dishevelled from the run, and damp from the sweat - and straightened his back.
    "I thought that you could use some assistance." He stated simply, before turning his attention on the Rocket Grunts.

    Of course, he made sure to keep an eye out for any other Pokemon that might be lurking around. Just because Tails didn't see them, didn't mean that they weren't there.
    "Three against one is hardly fair. Three against two, however...I'm not sure that cowards such as you can handle anything that close to a fair fight. If you want to withdraw, now is the time to do it." The Art of War; hold out bait to entice the enemy. Whilst he could not feign disorder now, well...maybe taunting them would rile their ego enough to lure them into his trap. After all, if they attacked in disorder, he could crush them easily. His team knew their abilities well enough to hold their own until he could figure out an order for them, and now that the Grunts attention was split...well, maybe the other trainer could get a Pokemon or two out and even the odds. He reckoned he could probably handle the basic Pokemon that these Grunts had, especially in such narrow confines, but he didn't want to try; three on one battles were always taxing, considering the sheer amount of orders you had to keep track of and the amount of enemies to keep an eye on - both disadvantages that the team of three didn't have - and he didn't exactly relish the battle being harder than it had to be. Hopefully his distraction proved to be enough...otherwise, he was in for a fairly rough time.
     
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  5. Sometimes, you're just plain out of luck. Other times? A giant sea serpent bursts through the wall.

    Gyarados, to be precise. A creature rumored to have razed towns and ports in their rage- and Gerald could see why. It was absolutely massive, much larger than the stories played out the beast to be. And it looked pissed off beyond belief too, as it let out a primal roar fitting of it's terrifying reputation. For a moment, if just for a couple, Gerald was worried that it wasn't a trainer's Gyarados, but rather a wild one that had been drawn out by the noise...

    Of course, what followed was definitely proof this was not a untamed monster. Now that everyone was gawking at it, including the Rockets and their Pokemon, something jumped in front of the Gyarados. It was bluish, and...kind of familiar? He didn't have much time to gander though, as it began preparing an attack. An attack he was rather familiar with, as he had taught June it as well. He shielded his eyes, bracing for impact- probably non verbally hinting the Rockets of what was about to happen, but it was far too late for them anyways. Same for his Pokemon, regrettably- But Gerald had a feeling they weren't the true target, nor would they take the brunt of it.

    The familiar yet unknown Pokemon let out it's attack- a Dazzling Gleam -blasting off the Mightyena and Weavile from their helpless targets. An orderly chaos ensued as a slew of other Pokemon began charging in, definitely from whoever Gerald's unknown savior was. Speaking of, his own Pokemon were jumping into action. As soon as she was free of the hyena's grip, June found herself scrambling for the stick the Mightyena had knocked out of her hands. Lucky for her, it was still intact and safe despite tanking a Dark Pulse. For a piece of wood that was usually burning at one end, it was surprisingly durable. Rearmed with her wand, the fox positioned herself next to her trainer.

    Puff took things a little differently. It took him a moment to realize he was even free, and when he did realize he was, found himself harboring deep anger at his captor. That Weavile would pay. The weasel creature would rue the day it messed with Puff the Lopunny!

    The Weavile wasn’t quick to recover from the hit, but was still recovering nonetheless. Puff was just about to give that Weavile it’s just desserts with a Dizzy Punch to the face, when he heard several successive thumps approaching. Turning his head towards the source of the sound, he watched on as a beast of stone smashed through the wall, charging towards the dazed weasel, and heard as it was basically crushed by a super effective attack. The Rhydon continued on to smash into the Mightyena that had messed with June too! All while Puff watched with his mouth agape.

    The rabbit wasn’t sure if he was upset at the drill Pokemon for stealing his revenge or completely impressed at the way they did it.

    The trainer who owned these powerful Pokemon showed up as well, and was surprisingly well dressed. He even straightened his tie and suit too, emanating a feeling of upper class. It kind of made Gerald embarrassed, more than he already was. Gerald wasn’t exactly dressed up in a flattering way, after all. Combine that with the current situation, and it made him look like a total tool.

    "I thought that you could use some assistance." Was all the man told Gerald, who nodded and mouthed “Thanks”, before the trainer turned towards the Rocket grunts.They seemed to be pretty taken back, especially now that their Pokemon were being confronted by other Pokemon that had a good fighting chance of winning. "Three against one is hardly fair. Three against two, however...I'm not sure that cowards such as you can handle anything that close to a fair fight. If you want to withdraw, now is the time to do it."

    The Grunts did not respond vocally, though their facial expressions twisted into anger, with hints of fear. The tension hung like fog in the air, before being broken by one of the grunts. “Screw this, I’m getting the others!” Was what he said, before skittering off to get the “others” in question. The remaining two grunts groaned and jeered at their likely more intelligent colleague, before they turned back towards their problem- several large, powerful Pokemon.

    “Hey,” Said one of them. “You know what those Pokemon are worth?”

    “Beats me, Caleb. Kind of your thing.” The other said back.

    “A shitton more than just Lopunny and Delphox, I’ll tell you that much.”

    Now, Caleb probably wasn’t wrong. The Pokemon now shaping up against the Rockets were quite powerful and rare. Metagross, Aegislash, an exotic Ninetales variant, those would all fetch a pretty penny on the market, as would the more common yet still valuable Pokemon like Rhydon, Gyarados, Houndoom...They’d make a fortune with all of those.

    Of course, that was provided they won and could overpower the trainers. It would be no easy task, especially when down a member. They could hope their buddy would hurry up and bring the rest of the squad over, but that was a pretty slim chance. Instead, they would have to rely on whatever Pokemon they had left, which weren’t...a lot, but the ones out in the field weren’t all that they had, and they would use any underhanded tactics they could to defeat their enemies.

    They grabbed a few Pokeballs off their belts and let out several other Pokemon- another Bisharp, and an Arbok, along with a few unevolved Pokemon, such as Grimer, Koffing, and a couple Zubat to top it off. Weak individually, but obviously their plan wasn’t “Go in one at a time.” It hadn’t changed- It was still the old overwhelming strategy they had used on Gerald already.

    However, Gerald had also taken out some more of his Pokemon while the grunts were taking out their own. A Shedinja and Doublade. While Shedinja were incredibly fragile, this particular one had access to Protect, which made it slightly more viable. And while the Aegislash already out in the field covered most of the bases that Doublade covered already, there was never such a thing as too much of a good thing...Probably. Plus, the Switchblades had Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon to fight at a range too, which the Aegislash might not have access too.

    And if they fell through, he still had Million to fall back on. He could even take the Rockets by surprise if he wanted, as a “last resort” type thing. That left Screecher. She wasn’t very…good at listening. In fact, she’d probably just let out a shriek and fly off, just like she did with the Air Slash not too long ago. The bat could possibly count as a “last resort” as well, if a very unreliable one.

    Tension once again rose, as the Pokemon on each side began bracing themselves for battle. The Zubat and singular Golbat chattered. The Switchblades incessantly twitched. The Muk and Grimer convulsed. Puff cracked his knuckles in wait. The dual Bisharp's muscles tensed. June's stick ignited.

    And the tension snapped like a twig when one side finally lashed out.
     
  6. Name: Dante E. Young
    Location: Route 12, Beach.
    Current Team: Jason, Tails, Gary, Falcone, Mrs. Stabbington, Grael.

    Honestly, Dante had never expected the Grunts to take his warning seriously; the problem with scum like the Rocket Grunts, the problem with any low-level member of any big organisation, was that they liked to imagine themselves as more important than they actually were. They liked to imagine that the entire organisation was built on their backs, that their tiny, insignificant efforts somehow mattered to the organisation, and that they were far more competent than they actually were; I mean, look at their Pokemon. Basic and generic, every single one of them, and none of them seemed to display any kind of independent thinking or bond to their "Trainers" at all. It was Little Mans Syndrome, plain and simple; they were tiny, insignificant specks even to their own "Family," as they liked to call themselves, and so they behaved like little dogs; yipping and barking and squaring up to anybody they could to try and prove their own mediocre worth. Dante would have felt bad about what was about to happen to them, if they weren't in the process of attempting to steal other peoples Pokemon rather than going out to train them themselves. Honestly, if they dedicated as much time to actually training their Pokemon as they did to trying to steal other peoples, they might actually be a threat.

    And that was the grand irony of Team Rocket, wasn't it? They constantly hunted down "Strong" pokemon to try and steal, but if they just functioned like any other trainer, the chances are that they would actually be a force to reckon with. Their higher ups and their Executives were decent trainers, but their Grunts? They were absolute jokes. A competent trainer could beat two or three of them offhand easily, if they were smart. Of course...not many Pokemon Battles involved something like 18 Pokemon at the same time, so he supposed he couldn't blame the youngster on the other side of the impromptu battlefield for getting overwhelmed so quickly...especially if he did what so many Trainers seemed to do, and go in half-cocked without a plan. Well...thanks to his own stratagem, they'd managed to take down the Rockets team from something like fifteen to around 11, total...and with his own Pokemon combined with whatever the other trainer had, that was a pretty even fight. Of course...if the other Grunt was able to get the others to converge on their location, then it would get messy. After all, superior numbers always counted for a lot, especially if they were able to isolate and surround them. Normal Grunts wouldn't really have that kind of strategic acumen on their own, but if their Supervisor was here with them...well, perhaps things might get a little sticky.

    He watched the Grunt peel off and away, and knew immediately that he couldn't allow him to get away. He flickered his gaze towards the newly crammed battlefield, his mind whirling; he needed his Pokemon back here to deal with the onslaught that was coming, so who could he spare to chase down that Grunt? Looking at it...Jason. Yes, Jason would be the best bet. His Houndoom was powerful, yes, but there were no Pokemon who were particularly vulnerable to Dark or Fire who would be missed by his plan, and though he could use Jasons Thunderfang to take out that Golbat...he had a different plan for him. He jerked his head at the retreating Grunt. "Jason. Fetch." Jason growled his approval, and bounded off down the corridor after the Grunt. Hopefully he could get him in time without putting himself at risk; it was a gamble, but he trusted Jason. If he judged things to be getting too hairy or thought the chase was going on for too long, he would retreat and double back to Dante's position. His Pokemon had all been drilled extensively on "Acceptable Risks" and "Pyrrhic Victories." And that made it 11 vs 11, if his calculations were correct. None of the opposing Pokemon looked particularly dangerous, but that could be deceiving; a few of the Pokemon could know damaging moves for a few of his team, and in a fight like this, as soon as you became outnumbered, you would begin to lose.

    Both groups stared at each other for a long time, neither one blinking...the Pokemon all tensed and shuffled nervously, sensing the tension in the air...and then Dante leaped into action; he who moved first laughed last, after all, and in a situation like this, striking first could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
    "Gary, Tails; Natural Disaster!" They growled their acknowledgement, and even before the last syllable had left his lips, they were already moving. He needed some Crowd Control to distract the Pokemon in front of him to give the rest of his team some backup...and considering the moves they were about to use, he hoped that at least two or three of the opposing Pokemon would find themselves unable to continue. Gary undulated his body, bringing his tail around to smash against the already rubble-strewn floor, roaring as he did so. The entire corridor shook violently as the ground leaped and cracked beneath everybodies feet, random spikes of rock jutting out from the ground as Gary's Earthquake Attack rocked the area. Several Pokemon lost their feet, and Dante made sure to keep an eye on the primary targets; the Muk, Grimers, Arbok and Bisharps were all particularly vulnerable to ground moves, and with Gary's physical offensive capabilities being so high, he hoped that they'd at least sustain significant damage. The grimers, at least, should be down for the count.

    He was also proud to note that, having anticipated the results - having trained together for this instance so many times - Stabbington and Falcone had each taken the initiative with their opponents. As soon as the Bisharps staggered and went down, they were set upon by his own pair, Stabbington launching forwards with a Sacred Sword aimed straight at her opponent, and Falcone bringing his own Hammer Arm down on the second Bisharps head. He didn't get a chance to see the results, however, because as soon as the Earthquake began to peak, Tails bristled, stiffened...and then launched a barrage of icy cold, howling winds and shards of ice spraying into the opposing team, her Blizzard Attack coinciding with Gary's own disorientating attack to hit as hard as possible, specifically centring on where the enemies flyers were watching the Earthquake with amusement. The Murkrow, Golbat and Zubats soon found themselves in the midst of a fierce blizzard, hitting them right where it hurt. Whilst he doubted the Murkrow would go down that easily, at least the Zubats should be hitting the ground rather hard; that was the problem with having a large number of weak Pokemon...one decent Crowd Control attack, and there went your numbers advantage.

    Of course, Gary's Earthquake wasn't quite enough to take out the opposing Muk; they were hardy buggers - Dante should know; he had one back in the Box, taking a break from battling! - and even a decent Earthquake wasn't going to be enough to take it out completely...and with the range of attacks it could potentially know - from Poison and Dark moves to Electricity, Fire and Fighting - he knew he had to eliminate it quickly, or be in for a rather nasty surprise...which was precisely why, as soon as the Earthquake hit the area - which, thankfully, Gary had set up directly in front of his team, so he himself wasn't staggering around looking for balance - he looked at Grael, squatting beside him, and gave him a knowing half-smirk.
    "Grael. The Muk looks distressed. Help him Calm Down." Grael let out a rumbling, grinding sound that might have been a chuckle before it braced its arms...and launched itself through the air, aiming its Zen Headbutt straight at the Muk, hopefully before it got any attacks off. It was risky - it had time - but Muk's weren't exactly known for their speed. Metagross weren't either, of course, but they were generally faster, on average. Dante risked a glance across the way to the other trainer; hopefully he could get involved as well, and they could eliminate these Grunts before reinforcements arrived, and before any of their teams ended up needing medical attention. Dante preferred to get battles done as quickly as possible; he hoped that this other Trainer didn't like to play with his food, or they might be in trouble.
     
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  7. Of course. Of course this happens to ME. The grunt found himself tirading in his head. It was so simple until that other guy showed up. I mean, a goddamn Gyarados?! And of course my only good Pokemon get taken out too! Not sure what those other two idiots are thinking, but I'm not staying around in a situation to support with a Rattata and Zubat when it was clearly going down hill. As the Rocket Member kept running, he couldn't help but feel that eyes were boring into his head. As he turned his head, he desperately hoped it was one of the other members that had actually used their brains for once.

    Of course, it wasn't. The grunt was being chased by a vicious looking Houndoom- and it was gaining on him. With an audible gasp, he began running as fast as he could. But, relatively speaking, things with two legs usually weren't as quick as those with four.

    What wasn't helping was that the Grunt was still looking at the Houndoom, who was behind him, as he made his dash. Not exactly looking where he should be. Or he probably would've noticed the sturdy fence post he was about to run into. The man rammed into at full force, and pretty much all of his chest exploded in pain. The post hardly budged.

    Reeling from the hit, the Rocket stumbled backward, and fell right flat on his back. If he wasn't screwed over by the Houndoom already, he certainly was now. He fumbled for the Pokeballs fixed to his belt, hoping that the two weak Pokemon could at least cause a distraction.

    But by the time he had finally grabbed them off and was ready to let out the whole rage of two pitiful Pokemon out, he looked back one final time...

    The hell hound's eyes stared right back, only a few inches from his.

    "Uh...good...doggy?"

    -----

    Natural disaster? Gerald asked himself. What type of move was that? While not exactly an expert in his field, Gerald had still heard of whispers and rumors of super powered moves. But why did this man ask for two separate Pokemon, a "Gary" and "Tails" to be specific, to preform the move? Was it one of those combo moves that nobody really used? He just had to sit back and watch, he supposed.

    And it was fitting of such a name. The Gyarados came down with incredible force, unleashing an incredible quake. This Earthquake took a sizable toll on several of the Rocket's Pokemon, at least the ones on the ground. A few scattered off following the attack, leaving the less mobile creatures behind. After all, they were animals before teammates, and would save their own skins before helping one another. The Raticate and Arbok were mostly fleeing from the fierce looking Aegislash and Rhydon, who were proving to live up to such looks, with a Sacred Sword almost slicing the Bisharp in two, and another Hammer Arm that appeared to smash the bladed beast's head into its rib cage. While the Muk had taken it's damage much better, and avoided being targeted by the aforementioned Pokemon, the undeveloped Grimer that accompanied it were not even able to handle Gary's earthquake in the first place.

    And then came the second part of the disaster- a fierce blizzard from the familiar blue creature knocked the Zubat and Golbat from the sky like mosquitoes hit with bug spray, along with hitting the Murkrow and the Koffing, but not taking them out. They retreated, similarly to the Raticate and Arbok before them. Finally, he had the Metagross go in for the finishing blow on the Muk, as it smashed down with a Zen Headbutt.

    Gerald had to admit- that was badass. And he had seen some badass things before, and while maybe not the most badass thing he had ever observed, it was pretty high up there. That was some top notch Pokemon battling there, as the savior practically eliminated all of the Rocket's big threats in a few fell swoops. While maybe not all of the Rocket's Pokemon, the Bisharp and Muk were probably the most problematic, and only four of the eleven being left, all weakened from the powerful Blizzard and Earthquake combo.

    And then the man gave him a look. A look that said “do something!” Four of the Rocket's Pokemon, four of Gerald's Pokemon. Perfect, actually. They were even separated- the Arbok and Murkrow on one side, and the Raticate and Koffing on the other. So maybe Gerald wasn’t exactly the person who makes an complicated strategy that will help him long into the future. But he did know how to plan in the short term, and do things in the spur of the moment.

    “Alright, June, Empty, your up against the Raticate and Koffing, Puff, Switchblades, take out the other two.”

    And on these commands, his Pokemon jumped into action. While he wasn’t able to oversee two teams at one time, he had trust in June and Empty to attack independently of him, and do so with some semblance of their own strategy. Puff and Switchblades, however...well, he meant no offence to the trio, but they were a little...dysfunctional.

    As the Delphox and Shedinja reached their targets, the Raticate immediately jumped at the weaker looking cicada shell, and prepared a Hyper Fang, attempting to sink it’s teeth into Empty- immediately rebounding when it’s teeth met the surface, and failed to even get an inch in. And in retaliation, Empty let out an X-Scissors attack right on the oversized rodent’s face. With a hiss, it stumbled backwards to tend to it’s wound. Which it never got to do, as June let out a Flamethrower on it- sealing it’s fate, as it stumbled back once more, before falling right on it’s back. The Koffing attempted to get a sneak attack in, believing that these two Pokemon had forgotten it had existed, just to be slammed into with a Shadow Sneak by Empty yet again, and June joined in by swiping it out of the air with a Psychic. While June originally planned to smash the Koffing on the ground till it stopped spewing gas, she had to notice how tough it’s shell was. This gave birth to a brilliant plan in her head. Her only real problem at the moment was having to take a moment after using Psychic, but she had the time...

    As for Puff and Switchblades, well...Puff went in for a Jump Kick. Simple enough, right? Well, turns out this specific Arbok knew Wrap. And, at the current moment, Puff was being squeezed relentlessly, and the Murkrow was backing up to take a potshot at the poor rabbit. Thankfully, Gerald knew what to do. The Switchblades had taken a little longer to reach the Rocket’s Pokemon than Puff, but, they were at a good range now.

    “Switchblades!” Gerald called out, “Take that Arbok down with a Flash Cannon! Puff, Ice Beam the Murkrow once your free!”

    And with that, the Switchblades let loose a beam of light from the tips of their swords. It blasted into the Arbok, who’s grip finally let loose of Puff. And Puff did as he was told too- as the Murkrow swooped in for the kill, the Lopunny let out a beam of it’s own. The freezing jet of ice was a direct hit, and the Murkrow’s swoop was cut short, as it fell to the ground, unconscious.

    But the Lopunny and Switchblades celebrated a little prematurely. Turns out, the Flash Cannon wasn’t quite strong enough to KO the snake. It was going in for the kill on Puff, looking to use Crunch right on his throat. It made a quiet hissing noise right before it made it’s own fatal strike.

    If it weren’t for that noise, Puff would’ve been dead. But this Arbok wasn’t quite aware of the hearing capacity of Lopunny.

    The rabbit whipped around and decked the thing with a Dizzy Punch. Even after it fell, Puff felt inclined to do it again- and again- and again- until the snake had been bruised up and down, and probably suffering from a concussion. Oh, but it wasn’t done there…

    “Shit Caleb,” The unnamed grunt said, “I know those Pokemon are worth a lot, but I think we’ve lost. I’m running, and you probably should too.”

    “You know, I’ve had it with you two! You and that other guy always just dragged me down! Well, good riddance! I can beat these two with no Pokemon! I’ll make a fortune, and then I’ll be back to laugh in your and Mr.Runaway’s face!” Caleb responded, firmly cementing his delusional thoughts of victory on a battlefield without a Pokemon...against thirteen others, that mostly constituted of Pokemon themselves.

    “Your life choices, not mine. Se-” Before the grunt was able to finish, a Koffing abruptly smashed into the side of his head. Koffing were hard as all get out, despite being mostly hollow. The gas it produced obviously did not help the Rocket at all, who was now out cold.

    “See what happens?!” Caleb mockingly told his fellow grunt. “Now I’m going to go-” Now Caleb was interrupted by another Pokemon being slammed into hun. This time, the Arbok. However, Arbok aren’t exactly hard. It was still enough to knock the cocky guy down, but not out like his “buddy”. He still had enough left in him to question where the rather large snake had come from.

    Turns out it had been tossed by both the Switchblades and Puff in conjunction- it was a little too big to throw otherwise - and now the Lopunny was going in for some more punches. Except Puff also really wasn’t looking at what he was hitting. So what he thought was the Arbok’s ugly mug, was actually…

    Caleb’s face.

    Puff hadn’t stopped until he noticed he wasn’t actually punching the Arbok. Which took a bit. So the money obsessed Rocket grunt was out.

    Gerald took a moment to count the bodies. Fifteen lay on the ground, including the Weavile and Mightyena, with varieties of damage- but all were most definitely out.

    “I...I think we’ve won.” He announced. “We really did it! Man, for a moment there I thought we were goners!...Well, there was that one guy who got away, but he’s not a problem right now!” Yeah, Gerald really didn’t think long term. “And, um...Savior guy! I really owe you one. Or two! I don’t even want to think about what would’ve happened if you didn’t show up.” He gave off a nervous chuckle before continuing. “But yeah, thanks a ton. I suppose those were just a few grunts though...Probably a lot more up ahead. Still! The small victories count too, right?"
     
  8. Name: Dante E. Young
    Location: Route 12, Beach.
    Current Team: Jason, Tails, Gary, Falcone, Mrs. Stabbington, Grael.

    Somewhat surprisingly - he was used to things going wrong in the middle of a plan, so it was actually kind of refreshing - everything went pretty much according to plan. Between his own Pokemons thorough training and the Rocket Grunts pathetic attempts to make their own Pokemon somewhat intimidating through sheer force of numbers rather than actual experience...well, it was quite literally a Curbstomp Battle. The weaker Pokemon fell like dominoes under his Pokemon's surgical strikes, and the strong ones that were left were far too weakened to stand up to the onslaught that the other trainer - finally - unleashed on them. He understood being surprised and therefore slow to act when the whole thing kicked off, but he simply abhorred the inability act when something unexpected happened. Had the trainer just stood there watching, perhaps the Grunts would have stood half a chance of dividing his attention and pulling a quick and clever trick out of their hat...but thankfully, the trainer on the other side of the small war occurring in the middle of the room was more adaptable than he first appeared...and thankfully, his Pokemon were far, far better trained than he'd initially dared to hope. His own team had barely finished their first round of attacks when their teammates joined in, and saw off the last of the Grunts Pokemon.

    There were a couple of missteps that he noticed - leaving his Pokemons flanks exposed and not ensuring that the targets were actually out for the count especially - but they were covered up quickly enough that Dante wasn't certain whether he himself would have been able to take advantage of the holes in his defence. Of course, watching how he battled, he obviously left a lot up to chance; he only directed one group of his team, leaving the others up to decide their own strategy. That reflected a lot of trust, of course, but it also gave that trio the disadvantage of an experienced Trainer, outside the battlezone who could see the trends and tide and give direction based on external information that might not have been immediately obvious to the "boots on the ground," as it were. He was impressed by the trust the trainer placed in his Pokemon, but that trust itself could be taken advantage of if used in the wrong moment...but that was a question for another day. Right now, it seemed to work and before long both the enemy Grunts and the Pokemon had been neutralised; he had been prepared to send Tails after the Grunt who was getting ready to flee - he couldn't let any Grunts alert the main Boss of his presence until he was ready to spring his trap, after all - but that was rather handily taken care of by all of the flying Pokemon heading their way.

    It was an unconventional tactic, to be sure, but Dante certainly had no problems with it whatsoever. It was effective, it neutralised them as a threat and it meant less hassle for him when he strung them up to keep them out of his way. Now that the immediate danger had passed...now was the tough bit. They had to figure out three things. 1) How they were planning to move the Pokemon. 2) How to approach without being seen. 3) Who was in charge, and 4) How to ensure that they secured them before they made their escape. The Grunts were smallfry who likely didn't know anything...if they could capture a Scientist or even an Executive, they would have a lot more potential information to work with. So. 1) He hadn't seen any ships on his way in, so by sea was unlikely, and Airships would be making enough noise for them to know right away that one was nearby...and leading up to the attack, again, Dante hadn't spotted anything of the sort making its way across the horizon. So, given the limited information he had available...they were making their getaway by road. A decent guess, given the circumstances. 2) If they were indeed making their getaway via road, then their approach would be towards the parking area. If it was by air....again, the parking area, since they would need a wide open space to land and take off.

    By ship...he wasn't sure. They were on a clifface, so down by the beach? No. No, by sea wouldn't work for this heist, since they'd have a too great a distance to travel with their ill gotten goods. 3) and 4) of course, could be taken care of later, when they'd scouted out the area. He'd have to double check his information with this new trainer - perhaps, being here before him, he'd seen something that Dante hadn't and it was always worth asking to ensure that your information and therefore your conclusions were correct - but before he did that...he'd have to handle the Grunts. The other trainer seemed content to leave them as-is, but that was dangerous. The last thing they needed was them waking up and hitting them from behind at a crucial moment, or ruining an attempt at a surprise attack. He was good, but he had no idea how many Grunts were walking around the place unoccupied with Trainers, and he had no wish to attempt a five-on-one battle. He could win, given the right series of manoeuvres, but it would be a close run thing. "Team, establish a perimeter. I don't want to be caught by surprise while I'm working. Grael, with me." His team simply nodded, and moved off towards the outskirts of the Battle area, watching for company. Grael, however, plodded over to his side. Dante spared the trainer a glance as he approached, but shook his head firmly.

    "Do not celebrate prematurely. These were a pair of Grunts, nothing more, and the third one could easily have alerted his companions to our presence by now. We need to secure the prisoners and move quickly to thwart their objective, or we could very well end up winning the battle but losing the war." He stooped over the Rocket Grunts, testing at their pulses, then peeling back their eyelids, just to make sure that they weren't faking; they were alive, but unconscious. He doubted that they could fake as well as it would take to fool him. He dragged them apart from each other, perhaps ten or fifteen feet, then looked at Grael. Grael was Telepathic - having some powerful psychic abilities - but he didn't see the need to tip this other Trainer off to that little trick just yet. After all, he wasn't sure whether he could trust him yet, and he liked to keep his Trump Cards under wraps until the last minute possible. "Grael. Imprison Them." Grael rumbled his acknowledgement, and turned to face the Grunts, staring at them intensely. After a few moments, cracks began to form in the tiled floor of the corridor, grass roots and vines sprouting up from beneath the ground. They quickly slid over the two Grunts, wrapping them tightly in a web of vines and grass, courtesy of Grass Knot. That TM had been well worth the hassle to obtain.

    But Grael didn't stop there; after a moment, several rocks that had been shaken loose from the ground nearby - and others ripped straight from the ground by his Psychic abilities - shot over towards the pair of Grunts, quickly building two identical cairn-line structures around their bound forms, a la Rock Tomb. This way, not only would they not know where they were, even if they got free of the Grass Knot, they wouldn't be able to budge the stones, or coordinate with each other regarding an escape plan or shared information. When he was done, he simply straightened and looked down the corridor in the direction that Jason had chased the Grunt...after a few moments, a pitiful whining sound could be heard, but after a moment of worry, he realised that it wasn't a human whine; it was too lowly pitched for that, and his Jason didn't just whine constantly. He wasn't that type of Houndoom. He lifted his eyebrow in amusement...and a moment later, in came the Grunt, staggering forwards and casting worried looks at a very proud looking Jason, who happened to have a chunk of clothing caught in his teeth. Dante gestured to Falcone, who proceeded to stomp over and hoist the whimpering Grunt into the air with one hand. Dante observed him for a second, his eyes going chilled, cold and distant.

    "You are here to steal the Skiddo's." It was not a question. "You are going to tell me how you intend to transport them, how many of your number remain inside, and who precisely is in charge of the operation. If you cooperate, I shall simply leave you imprisoned for the authorities to deal with. If not, I shall give you to my Houndoom as a chew toy for a few minutes, and then ask again. If you do not cooperate then, I will give you to my Gyarados instead." He looked at him for a long moment, expectantly, as if waiting for an answer. This was a very...basic interrogation technique. If he had the time, he would do it in a more formal setting, more professionally; after all, any skilled interrogator beats around the bush, makes it vague as to what they do and don't know, and often the person being interrogated has no idea what they're after. Only an amateur comes out with exactly what they want...unfortunately, he did not have the time, and they both knew it. Honestly, he was fully expecting the Grunt to lie through his teeth, but that was irrelevant; Grael could read minds, after all, and if the Grunt refused to talk...well, the questions alone would bring the answers to the front of his mind. It would be easier if one of his team knew Hypnosis, but alas, they did not...so they had to do it the old fashioned way. It was a shame, but...as needs must.
     
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  9. This trainer was obviously the more calculated type. Rather than "celebrating" as Gerald had done, the man had his Pokemon set up a barrier to protect and alert them if anymore Rockets were inbound. That was pretty smart, he made a mental note to try that out in the future...Then he remembered that these Pokemon displayed much better retention than his own. So that could probably go out the window. Then the man pointed out that while they had won this fight, there still was more enemies out there and the Rocket grunt that had escaped was likely returning with more. He then moved on about imprisoning the grunts and moving quickly to succeed against the criminal group.

    Ah, well, this guy certainly wasn't wrong. And Gerald wasn't about to get bitter over something completely factual. So he just nodded in understanding.

    Meanwhile June found herself having to stop Puff from making the Arbok a bigger mess than it already was. It was just a waste in her eyes. The serpent had long been knocked unconscious, and repeatedly hitting it was just making it more… unconcious. Probably on the verge killing it too.

    Luckily for her, the Lopunny was easy to remove. Small and lightweight, pulling him off was a cinch. Despite him struggling to get out of her grip and continue his pointless assault on the snake, June’s hold was just tight enough to stop him.

    And also unintentionally allowed the Switchblades to steal the kill, as they came in to suck out whatever life was left in the Arbok, wrapping their cloths around the snake’s tail. Clever things, June admitted. At least they weren’t wasting time and effort like Puff, she supposed.

    Though the rabbit seemed pretty upset at them for this, so she’d now have to distract him with something else...why was it always so complicated? Luckily, the room was filled with distractions. Wasn’t he gawking at the Rhydon a moment or two ago? There, problem basically solved.

    With some sweet talking and a friendly push in the direction of the rock type beast, Puff had been successfully redirected. And as he approached Falcone, he realized- what would he say?

    That Rhydon really did a number on that Weavile, after all. Surely it deserved more than a simple thanks! Hmm…”You did good work out there”? No, too formal for someone he just met. Perhaps “Hey there, you took my target”? No, no, no, too passive aggressive...Then maybe “Hi, the name’s Puff, what’s yours?” No! Too much like flirting. What if it was a guy? That would just be embarrassing! Forget that, he’d just say thanks- and when he finally turned to it, the Rhydon was gone. Stomped off to do something else. Great.

    That left Empty, who was doing...nothing. The Shedinja wasn’t the social type, nor the one who told others what to do. He was an observer. And observing is what he did best. And he observed the return of a Pokemon, and a human it dragged along as well.
    -----
    This really wasn’t the grunt’s day, was it? What was once his simple patrol soon collapsed into a situation where most of his Pokemon were dead and the rest uselessly weak to even serve as a distraction. And the fact that he was being essentially held at gunpoint by a Houndoom, and not to mention his head was still ringing from ramming into that fence…

    And so the Houndoom led him back to the place that this all started. Same kid he and his buddies tried mugging, and same man with his fearful team backing him up...And were there more here too? He hoped he would meet whatever fate his squad mates did quickly.

    But he soon learned that he wasn’t so lucky. With a simple movement, the trainer brought over his hulking beast of a Rhydon to hoist the grunt in the air by his collar. And the man stared him down, with an icy gaze that sent shivers down his spines.

    "You are here to steal the Skiddo's. You are going to tell me how you intend to transport them, how many of your number remain inside, and who precisely is in charge of the operation. If you cooperate, I shall simply leave you imprisoned for the authorities to deal with. If not, I shall give you to my Houndoom as a chew toy for a few minutes, and then ask again. If you do not cooperate then, I will give you to my Gyarados instead."

    Interrogation. Great. Next thing up is going to be me being crushed by the roof, I suppose, since nothing wants to go my way today.

    The grunt weighed his options. Other than losing his job, which was already a given- as far as he was aware, you couldn't get your assigned Pokemon killed and expect to still have a paycheck -he was also probably going to be arrested. So he really had nothing to lose by telling the truth and cutting his losses. But this grunt then remembered- this man had caused all this! Sure, technically the grunt wouldn't be in this mess if he had tried getting a job at a grocer or something, but still!

    Of course, the man probably wasn't kidding about being handled by the Gyarados. So maybe he'd try to be vague enough about it to maybe get this guy screwed over in the end, but he'd start being more serious if he caught on.

    "Well," The rocket spoke, "I assume we'd be transporting them by the way we came in- moving trucks." That was true. But he didn't specify how many. "The amount of people- that's a little tricky, maybe a dozen or so." Again, not necessarily a lie, but also not specific. If he wanted specific, he should have asked. "As for my commander- honestly, it's hard to miss him. He has a Charizard and loves to be a huge asshole about it, saying how great it is and all that. And he also loves to rub things in by setting things on fire- with the Charizard. He's probably gonna either bail when he sees you and realizes he can't use his Charizard to cheese his opponents, or do the same thing my buddies did and beat his head against a brick wall and thinking he's gonna come out in one piece. I seriously hate him."

    He, once again, was kind of telling the truth. That was the commander- of sorts. The Charizard commander was the "distraction" of sorts. The real commander looked no different then any other grunt, only using slightly different Pokemon then your bog standard rocket lackey. But he was the key of the operation. At least, that's what this grunt had heard.

    And as this happened, it left Gerald to have his interest piqued- more specifically, how his savior worked. Gerald would admit- he wouldn't have thought twice about the two knocked out grunts, and probably just left them there. But this trainer had tied them up and surrounded them with rocks, it was quite clever. And then this whole interrogation thing...Well, it was a bit lost on him why they were wasting time on interrogating the grunt. Maybe he was just too used to "go into it quickly and come up with a plan as things happen".

    But he'd just have to watch how things unfolded, Gerald supposed.
     
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  10. Name: Dante E. Young
    Location: Route 12, Beach.
    Current Team: Jason, Tails, Gary, Falcone, Mrs. Stabbington, Grael.

    Honestly, Dante didn't give a damn about the circus happening behind him. He kept half an eye on his surroundings, just in case - knowing about a threat the moment it appeared was always preferable to being warned about it a few seconds after it was already too late, after all - but he didn't expect there to really be all that many issues. His team was well drilled, disciplined and experienced, and they already knew what to do. Tails was watching one corridor, Gary the outside, and Dante himself was facing the corridor that the Grunt had been dragged down by Jason. Mrs. Stabbington was doing her rounds, watching the knocked out and defeated Pokemon with a careful eye just in case they stirred, though Dante didn't really think he had to worry about them; without a Trainer to direct them, Pokemon tended to revert to the random, instinctive actions of a wild animal - as evidenced by the Bisharp, who were currently weakly cannibalising some of the other Pokemon; that might be an issue later, but with Gary and Stabbington watching them, he doubted that they could cause much disruption to his plans. He could be wrong, of course, but he doubted it. Besides, he couldn't afford to stretch his team any thinner than it was...he would have to trust the other trainer to handle any issues that arose while he was interrogating the prisoner, at least as long as it took for Dante to coordinate his team.

    And of course, the prisoner was very obviously hostile. He'd done enough of these interrogations to know the kinds of tricks he would pull; he was a Grunt, so not particularly smart or talented, but he was vindictive and spiteful. He'd try and screw Dante over somehow, whether it be through half truths and obfuscation, or even through flat out lies and misdirection...so obviously, he couldn't trust a word that he said. That would make things hard in most circumstances, but thanks to Grael's capabilities - which apparently, the Grunt didn't know about or didn't care about - he'd at least be able to identify when the man was...what was the term? Ah yes, when the grunt was "Bullshitting" him. He watched the Grunt carefully, making sure to keep Grael's reactions in the corner of his eye. Grael couldn't talk, per say, and he wasn't telepathic so couldn't communicate directly - his mind reading ability came from his Psychic Powers, not any telepathy - but they knew each other well enough to have some signals down, just in case they needed to talk without actually talking. Of course, there was always the possibility that this Grunt had undertaken training to strengthen his mental defences, but...well, if he had, he wouldn't be on patrol duty. He'd be a little more valued by Team Rocket than that, at the very least, considering that such conditioning is challenging to say the least.

    He went through his questions one at a time, as Dante expected, and each time he gave an answer, Grael gave an ever so slight vertical jerk of his head. So...they came in by road, and they were leaving by road. That was accurate, at least. He couldn't help but notice that there wasn't a number attached to that, but he'd get to that in a second...and hell, even if he didn't want to tell him, he'd figure that out as soon as they scouted out the area. It would help his intel if he knew roughly the number, of course, so he'd at least attempt to extract that information from him...but it wasn't crucial to his success to learn it right at this moment. Same for the numbers; roughly a dozen or so, and another nod from Grael. Not an exact number, but Grael gave him a slight hesitant bob from side to side, as if going "eeeeeh," while shaking its hand. Vaguely the truth, but the Grunt knew more. Well then...he'd have to press him for that later as well. But what he was interested in was the next bit of information...a Charizard Commander, apparently; Charizard was a powerful pokemon, for sure, and definitely not one to be trifled with...but of course, with his Gyarados and Falcone, it would be childs play to corner and neutralise it. Charizard could pull off some surprising maneuvers one on one, but he didn't intend to play fair. A rock throw from behind, followed by Hydro Pump? That's one incapacitated Charizard.

    Of course, it was Grael's reaction to that revelation that piqued his interest; Grael watched the Grunt from behind - out of sight, obviously - and gave a quick shake, then a nod. First statement false, second one true. So...there was a Charizard in play, possibly in an obvious place or as some kind of figurehead, but he wasn't the commander. It wasn't unheard of for Rocket Bosses to use patsies during operations, though that would suggest a more cunning opponent than he was used to dealing with when it came to the Team. This might actually be somewhat challenging. Of course, whether that actual boss was elsewhere and supervising from afar, or on site in disguise...he had no idea. And that was where The Grunt came in. He affected a sigh, a disappointed sound of slight irritation, and turned his head to look at Falcone. "Falcone. If you wouldn't mind, please prepare him for Jason." Falcone rumbled her agreement and, without hesitation, reached up and seized on of the Grunts wrists in her firm, rock-like grip. She yanked it out before him, leaning down to extend his arm and sleeve at knee level. Jason glanced at him - almost reproachfully; Dante knew that Jason hated the taste of human flesh, and he didn't doubt he'd have to deal with a tantrum later, even though he knew that Jason would follow orders now - before shaking his head as if resigned.

    He then promptly sank his teeth into the Grunts arm. He held it there for a moment, then shook his head from side to side before relinquishing the now bloody and chewed arm. Dante ignored the Grunts screams, and nodded at Falcone, who clamped her hand tightly over the wound, staunching the bloodflow; he didn't need the Grunt fainting from blood loss, after all, and whilst a bite was nowhere near enough to cause him to pass out from pain, he didn't want to risk it. Falcone hauled him up in the air again, and Dante met his gaze firmly, unblinkingly.
    "Now...shall we attempt that again? Who is the commander here, and how will I identify them? And whilst we are being honest with each other, I shall also need to know the precise numbers of the Operatives and Vehicles belonging to Team Rocket that are currently on-site. Answer honestly, to the best of your knowledge, or your other arm receives the same treatment from my Gyarados." He looked at him flatly. Dante didn't relish torture - he abhorred it as a tool used by thugs who could only get their way through force, in point of fact - but he did not have the time to be principled. Innocent Pokemon were in danger, and he could not allow compassion to get in the way of thwarting Team Rockets plan. Sometimes, alas, expediency had to take priority over his principles. He might not like it, but not liking it had no impact on the reality of the situation, now did it?
     
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