Fifth in the series! A bit short as well, but I hope you like it~ -Chapter 1- “Why are we running?” Fida gasped. She was intrigued by Sem’s sudden urgency after a grave phone call. He ran ahead of her, trying to run as fast as he could and slow enough for Fida to keep up at the same time. Fida was running with all she could, lungs burning as they raced back the way they had come. “It’s SIR,” Sem explained again. “We have to hurry to the Saffron Pokémon Center.” The sun was climbing up into its midday phase, and a light wind tugged at them as they ran. “Why?” Fida uttered, inhaling a large amount of air for her ravenous lungs. “He’s transferred himself there from my parents’ lab!” he answered, again looking grim. “He transferred himself?” Fida replied in disbelief, half in admiration of this mysterious creature. “Why is that a problem?” They had made it back into the city, having just passed through the south gate. They were rushing through crowded sidewalks, desperately making their way back to the center that they had left that very morning. “It’s a problem because he’s SIR; there’s going to be trouble,” he answered impatiently as they waited for the light to turn so they could cross the street. He considered having them use the particular advantages of their ghost Pokémon, but they were likely to get into trouble for that. Sem had noticed plenty of heightened police activity in this city in their short time there, and indeed, one officer sat in a squad car not far away. “I don’t think he’s as bad as you say he is,” Fida looked up at the boy with her gray eyes condescendingly. “No, he really is as bad as I say he is,” Sem replied as he ignored her stare, and took her hand without asking, rushing across the street with her. Fida still didn’t see what the urgency was, but allowed herself to be pulled along anyway. She took to gazing at the tall buildings they began passing, so tall that they shielded the sun from reaching the downtown area. The girl was admiring a particularly nice-looking penthouse atop a newer building when she felt a rush of cool air and sensed the scents of medicine and disinfectant filling her nose. A group of people were pressed against the walls inside, as far from the counter as they could be. At the counter stood a defiant Nurse Joy, standing firm with her arms crossed. “If someone is having symptoms then tell me what they are and I will look up what the possible causes are for you! Or even better - bring them in for treatment!” she argued with a peculiar creature floating before her. It was pink and blue, and resembled one of those toys that had Dodrio bending over and dipping their beaks in water. There were no legs per se, nor wings, only two oval-shaped fins along the creatures pink body, blue in color that matched the thing’s bill. Two white eyes stared emotionlessly from the head, though they were intently focused on Nurse Joy. “Wench,” it began, in a dull, monotone synthetic voice. “What right does a speck such as yourself have in wasting my time instead of doing as you are told?” Despite the flatness of the Porygon2's voice, it was easy to pick up on the demeaning tone in which he spoke. "I come from very important scientists and require access to your records." “Excuse me!?” Joy was outraged. Sem looked utterly mortified, an emotion Fida had never before seen on his face. Sableye cackled. The teen looked around briefly, spotting an activated terminal and the empty Pokéball still in it. His eyes widened. “Quick,” he hissed, nodding to the device. “Grab that ball, make sure no one sees it,” he instructed, desperately hoping that no one had seen the Pokéball from which SIR had emerged. He calmed himself knowing that if they did, the center would be storming with police at this moment, unless SIR put up a block on outgoing communication signals, which sounded like him. Of course, someone could simply run out the door, so that meant they were OK. Sem took a deep breath, and walked towards the counter with a shuddering sigh. He did not even have to make his presence known, SIR turned slightly, examining the boy for but a moment with his mechanical eyes. “Ah, Sem,” SIR’s tone went higher, as if he were pleased. “Please explain to this meat-sack that your Sableye is dying so that I may access this center’s well of information in search of a cure.” “Young man!” the nurse addressed him, recognizing him from that morning. “Is this Porygon2 yours?” “Yes,” Sem nodded reluctantly. “Fool!” SIR’s voice rose, causing some static to be heard along with it. “I am no one’s pet,” he turned to the nurse. “I am SIR. Do you wish to be blessed with the knowledge of what that stands for? S-” “Sarcastic and Imposing and Repulsive,” Sem finished for the Porygon2. SIR turned towards him again, “I will warn you again, human: I will destroy you. One day you shall cease to exist." Fida was at Sem’s side now, having just handed him SIR’s Pokéball. She had studied it for a bit before giving it back, noting the black and red colors and the red R emblazoned on the top of the ball. Normally she would have been terrified, but she knew plenty about the history of Sem’s parents to know not to panic. Now she was looking at SIR, the creature which Sem seemed to genuinely hate and never spoke of well. “Please,” Nurse Joy interjected, looking very red in the face due to her frustration. “Take your Pokémon and leave.” “Do you know…” SIR started, ignoring her statement. “I am half certain that you nurses are all robotic anyway; perhaps diving into your head would be even more entertaining than the center’s records." “I will call the police,” Nurse Joy whispered through her teeth. “If you are an artificial intelligence, you are far from the perfection that I have attained,” SIR lifted his bill, and began to make a series of beeps and tones that resembled a haughty laugh. The sound sent chills down the spines of those who heard it. “Let us go, my meat-things,” SIR commanded, as if he were royalty addressing two of his subjects. He hovered out of the center with Sem and Fida in tow. ------- “Why do you have to do that?” Sem asked as they walked down the street. “Why couldn’t you just wait for me so we could meet him?” “Once again, I am not a pet like the rest of your sorry group,” SIR replied. Hovering beside Sem. Sableye seemed to take no offense to his comment, and in fact seemed to rather enjoy the Porygon. Fida noted that Elvia was rather wary of SIR, only due to what she had seen and the fact that Sem did not like him. Sem shook his head, glancing briefly back at Fida. “Well, this is the great and wonderful SIR, Fi-” “Fida Corson,” SIR interrupted as he was now directly before Fida, eyeing her with his motionless eyes. His movement was so abrupt that Elvia reverted to her physical appearance in the same instant; the Mismagius hovered before her friend, ready to unleash any form of hell on SIR. Fida flinched at SIR’s sudden movement, at Elvia’s reaction, and at the sound of her last name. “Valens,” she correctly shakily, “Fida Valens,” “Ah, yes,” SIR hovered back, though not because of Elvia, who he seemed not to have noticed at all. “You have abandoned your family and former identity.” He began to orbit around her as he spoke; Elvia copied his movements, being sure to always be between him and Fida. Fida did not reply to his blunt yet accurate explanation of her recent activities, she simply nodded her head slowly. “How do you know that?” “I did some research when I first heard of you, looked into what I could of your history,” he replied. “A good student when human-standards are concerned; I was born with three times what you will ever know,” he added off-handedly. “You are quite missed according to emails from some teachers to the school board, whom were only told that your residence in Violet City had been vacated. Amusing,” he paused orbiting. “they assume you are with your parents.” “Oh…” Fida nodded again. “I didn’t know that.” She was beginning to see why SIR was so unlikeable, though she wasn’t yet committed to any personal opinions on him. “What they do not know that you do know is that your parents are actually fugitives. The issue with the social-slave that your father injured - they did not stay long in that residence it seems… but I know where they are…” he leaned in, ignoring Elvia’s expanding form, as if she were an Arbok ready to strike. “I could tell you where they are…” “That’s enough,” Sem interrupted. “You also know it in your bloated head that she’d rather not talk about that. And don’t you dare mention the other thing she’d rather not talk about,” he threatened, looking quite serious. “Look at you, pest, you are sounding more like me as time passes,” SIR abandoned his antagonizing of Fida and hovered by Sem once more, allowing the group to resume their walk. “Clearly you are attracted to the flawlessness I have achieved.” “I’m not like you,” Sem mumbled. “I have a soul, for starters.” “Despite was some radicals say, I think that I, as an intelligent being in general, have advanced enough and am capable of enough emotion and free-will to safely say that I have a soul,” SIR explained, taking Sem’s sarcasm literally. “Besides the fact that your parents study artificial intelligences such as myself, we could always go to a church to see what they think.” “You mock the very idea of gods,” Sem argued. “I do no such thing,” SIR replied in an indignant tone. “Else I would be mocking myself.” “Gods are sort of intangible by definition, all powerful and all that. You may have the ability to be all knowledgeable , but you’re not all powerful, and there are some powerful things on this planet.” “Please,” SIR scoffed. “With enough power I could control every machine, server, and network,” SIR’s tone raised rapidly. “More and more this world depends on its electrical and data-based nervous system. Control it, and I control the world.” He explained in a new tone, seeming to suggest that he was delirious with joy at the idea of him ruling the earth. “And that is something I pray will never happen,” Sem murmured as they turned left around a corner. People were giving them a wide birth, staring at SIR, Sableye, and Elvia as they passed. “It could,” SIR went on. “So far we have not found a Porygon2 quite so powerful as I am. Quite so skillful as I. I run circles around the other Porygon at the lab. And with this new upgrade… I could be limitless.” “Upgrade?” Fida spoke again, interested. “Indeed, child. For that is why I am here.” “You’re not getting upgraded,” Sem explained, sounding as if he knew his parents had told SIR this already. “This dubious disk, it’s not made by Silph. It’s a hack, it’s imperfect.” Sem put emphasis on the last word, as if the very sound of it might cause the Porygon2 to burst into flames. “There have been many upgrades recorded, upgrades into this… Porygon-Z model,” he answered, undeterred. “Ugh, it doesn’t even sound like an actual name; it sounds totally bootleg!” “The anomaly is official enough; that is what a PokéDex would list me as were I to receive this upgrade.” The boy shook his head again. “Besides, there have been ‘upgrades’ reported, but not successful or efficient ones. All these Porygon come out completely mad and glitchy.” “Some have adjusted,” SIR offered. “Adjusted to what? Spasms and episodes of insanity? Sounds like they’ve adjusted to being handicapped,” again he put emphasis on the word as if it would cause the data-Pokémon to go into convulsions. “With me, being as magnificent as I am, mortal,” SIR’s tone went deeper. “I could access only the beneficial parts of the upgrade; the improved speed and capped strength. The only creatures that could match me at those power levels would be the top psychics and attackers, creatures such as Alakazam… and her.” SIR added with what could only be a scoff, his peculiar ‘arms’ rotated around rapidly. “Who?” Fida asked. “No one, simply a psychic I knew from my old life.” “Porygon-Z are reported to be weaker endurance-wise,” Sem added. “As I was saying, I could access only what would benefit me, surely with my skill I could decide for myself in what ways to change. The new form would be a welcome change, and I could properly fly and not simply hover so high before being brought down by gravity.” “You can’t tell the disk not to do something it’s supposed to do without screwing everything up; you’ll come out more wacked than any Porygon-Z reported so far. If you made it out,” Sem half smiled at the idea. There was silence now between them now, making the city noises more audible and apparent. Fida was finding herself looking away from SIR for probably the first time since first laying eyes on him. She still wasn’t sure how she felt about him, but she just met him after all; there had to be something good about him besides research that allowed Sem’s family to put up with him. “We’re here,” Sem said suddenly. The group had stopped before the glass doors of a tall building which housed many suites and office-floors. They walked in and headed straight towards the elevators. Their footsteps echoed off the shiny floor into the expanse of the room. Sem was about to stop to look at a directory when SIR stopped him. “The human mind, really,” he droned. “No need for that - I remember where his suite is.” The teen only rolled his eyes in response, though mostly it was at himself for not figuring that SIR would know exactly where to go. He most likely even took control of one of the elevators when they were still a block away as well, Sem thought, just to ensure they wouldn’t have to wait around for it to come to them from thirty stories above. A ding confirmed that Sem was correct in his assumption. A set of doors opened before them so perfectly in timing that they didn’t even have to slow their pace. A button on the metal panel lit up on its own and the elevator began to rise. Fida found this all quite amusing, which caused her to add a tick-mark under her imaginary table of SIR’s Likeable Qualities. “Find it amusing, meat?” SIR inquired. Elvia flinched. Fida’s grin vanished for moment, not realizing she was expressing her enjoyment so openly. “You weren’t expressing it so openly,” SIR replied. Elvia was reeling. The temperature dropped suddenly and it seemed as though the lights dimmed. Sem’s eyes widened. “Oh gods, don’t you start digging through her head!” He reached out and physically swatted SIR on the head. “Don’t underestimate Elvia, and don’t make her hate you even more.” The climate in the lift became normal and the lights were once again bright enough to be called lights. “And don’t flaunt around your psychic abilities just because you have them,” Sem leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms. “Even if they are inexplicable,” he mumbled. “You’re psychic?” Fida asked, puzzled. “How does that work?” She wondered this as she felt Elvia doing a lockdown on her brain. “Some things even I do not know, however, I have my theories. One being the idea that I am not entirely different from any living thing at my most basic, aside from my perfection of course.” “Oh, enough,” Sem rolled his eyes, noting how many more floors they had left to go and tapping his foot impatiently. “These are irritatingly slow,” SIR noted. It sped up immediately, the elevator moving faster than any elevator should. In no time there was a familiar ‘bing’, signaling their stop. The doors slid open quickly and the group of five left the confines of the lift and walked down a well lit hallway painted with warm beige. Their feet sank slightly into the plush carpeting as they walked, passing doors until coming to one near the end. It seemed a bit different than the rest - heavier and sturdier. There was a small intercom on the side. Sem pressed the button. “Who is it?” the speaker squawked. “It’s-” “Open this door this instant, irritant, or I will dismantle your personally designed alarm system in the passing of a mere second and blast open the door myself.” The door opened. Sableye chuckled. “Hey!” said the man inside. He was of an average height, in loose clothes. He looked thin, and had some dark hair on his chin and a thin mustache across his lip. Shock was quickly receding from his expression. “Hey, Fabian,” Sem greeted, waving his hand. “Dropping by to pick up that… thing… parents should have called you about it.” “Yes, of course, come in,” he beckoned them with a wave and a jerk of his head. After closing the door behind them he went and sat at his chair by a large set up of monitors and computers. “It’s good to see you haven’t changed, SIR,” he added. “Yes, well, we will see about that…” SIR replied. “This is Fida by the way,” Sem introduced the girl. “Fida Valens. This is Fabian, he’s an old acquaintance of my parents from back when… yeah.” Fida waved, even though Fabian wasn’t looking at her. He was digging through a box near his desk. “Acquaintance? Surely I’ve moved up to irreplaceable family friend in all this time?” he asked, still looking. Sem smirked but said nothing. “She has a Mismagius with her named Elvia.” “Good afternoon, Elvia…” he stopped digging through the box. “Valens, huh?” Fabian murmured as he pulled out something from the box. “Fancy that.” Fida raised her eyebrows in curiosity. “Anyway, here it is.” He got up and walked over to Sem, handing him the object they came for. “Allow me to see it!” SIR said frantically as he whirred past Fabian to see the item of his current and exclusive worship. It was a simple disk in a simple jewel case, both were purple in color. Black marker had ‘dubious disk’ written across the CD’s surface. “Yep, totally bootleg,” Sem nodded, slipping the disk into his messenger bag. “I’d be careful with that; SIR’ll come out crazier than usual if you decide to do it,” Fabian spun his finger in circles on the side of his head. “Silence! We did not ask for your opinions,” SIR stabbed, exercising his divine authority. “This will make my parents very happy,” Sem said, preparing to leave. “Yes, and their money makes me very happy,” Fabian smiled. “We’ll be off now, see you,” Sem waved and made his way to the door. “Always a pleasure doing business with the Aquaises.” The door shut a bit too loudly behind them, obviously a sign of relief that they were gone. Sem grinned. “Who’s he?” Fida asked when they were back in the elevator. Sem shrugged. “Used to work for Team Rocket, knew my parents. He was one of the plants Team Rocket put inside Silph. He has a lot of connections because of that.” “Enough of that human,” SIR said impatiently as the doors opened. “Let us go to the airport and fly to Snowpoint,” Sem raised his eyes as they left the building. “No?” SIR stopped moving and only looked at Sem. “We want to take a boat there from Vermillion,” Sem answered SIR’s silent question. “I’ve never been on a ship before,” Fida smiled shyly. “… Vermillion? That would take days. We are taking a plane,” SIR repeated adamantly. “No,” Sem echoed. SIR was completely still and silent for a moment, not responding and looking very much like a frozen program on a computer screen. After about a minute he spoke. “Our flight departs in seventy-two minutes.” Sem raised his brow. “You booked us a flight just now? Using whose money?” “Your parents’ money of course; as if I would not know their bank account numbers.” “You know you can’t be spending their money like that,” Sem crossed his arms. “They knew that I would most likely do this before they sent me.” “They didn’t send you, you came on your own,” Sem narrowed his eyes. “They would’ve been happy to wait for a few days.” “You do not want to deal with me for the next week; take the plane.” “You could go back home.” “You know I will not.” “She wants to go on the ship,” Sem nodded to Fida. “The human is eight, and she lives a trainer lifestyle; she will be on many ships during the course of her pitiful existence.” “…It’s OK…” Fida interrupted, shifting her eyes from Sem to SIR. “I’ve never been on a plane either…” Sem pursed his lips. “Well, can’t walk away now and waste their money. One condition, however,” Sem raised a single finger and pointed it at SIR. “I will stay inside my prison for the duration of the flight and I will not interfere with any of the plane’s various intriguing functions.” “Good.” With that Sem and Fida followed a delighted SIR to Saffron’s airport.