When Taka and Victoria got into the next area, they could barely see what was right in front of them. The area was almost completely dark. Luckily, Victoria had a flashlight on her. She took it out, turned it on and flashed it around the place. The pair of friends couldn’t see anything but the still cracked walls and cracked floors. They hadn’t been able to fix this part of the region yet. The 2 started to walk into the almost pitch black room. It didn’t take long for them to see a partial lit area of the room. When they got closer, they noticed that it was Arclight.
Arclight: Yo. Victoria. Taka. What’s up?
Victoria: Sorry it took us a bit to get here.
Taka: Yea… We ran into a couple of Team Meteor grunts just outside.
Arclight: I see. So that’s the commotion I was hearing before.
Taka: Wait. You heard all of that and didn’t come to help?
Arclight: I needed to stay here just in case some other Meteor dumbasses were about to come out. I would take them out here and we’d have less to worry about inside.
Taka: Well… I suppose that makes sense.
Arclight: You ok? I can see that bandage wrapped around your shoulder.
Victoria: He’ll be fine. He kind of saved my life by taking an attack that was intended for me.
Arclight: I see. You sure he’s gonna be alright to make it through here?
Taka: I’ll be fine. If Matt could go through the whole day with a couple of cracked ribs and a super migraine, I can handle a simple stabbing through the shoulder.
Arclight: -chuckles- Alright. That’s what I like to hear. So are you 2 ready?
Victoria: Absolutely! Team Meteor is gonna pay for what they’ve done to Kiki!
Arclight: Alright then! Let’s get going then you 2!
The 3 of them rushed up the stairs and were now inside, what they assumed to be, the Devon Corporation building. Right in front of them were a couple of Team Meteor Grunts. Well, it was more of the orderlies from the orphanage dressed in Team Meteor outfit colors. The 3 of them turned around and faced the 3 of them.
Female Meteor Orderly: FINALLY. Someone shows up.
Arclight: Sorry we’re late but now let’s get the party started.
Male Meteor Orderly: -laughs- Well too bad for you that we’re gonna have to close down this party of yours.
Victoria: Not a chance! There’s not a Pokemon strong enough to toss us aside!
Taka: Or for me to right the wrongs I made for affiliating with you people!
It was a 3 VS 3 battle. Luckily for Arclight, Victoria and Taka, their Pokemon were more powerful than their opponents and they came out the winners. Arclight made them stand in front of him as Victoria called out her Incineroar and bashed the steel gate in front of them and recalled back her Pokemon. The 3 of them rushed up the stairs and stopped by a door entrance that led to what was the front of the Devon building. It was clear though that something was bothering Arclight though.
Taka: Arc? What’s wrong?
Arclight: Ame and Adrienn should have finished dealing with the storefront by now but…
Taka: But what?
Victoria: Are they… not here?
Arclight: Yea. I don’t see ‘em.
Taka: Maybe they went up the stairs and went ahead of us?
Arclight: Yea. I’m gonna head up just far enough to see if they’re up there. I want you to check the storefront for me Taka.
Taka: Ok but what am I supposed to be checking for?
Arclight: I’m not totally sure but this whole situation… I don’t trust this.
Taka: Alright. I’ll search it.
Arclight: Victoria, I want you to watch our exit in case anyone comes to separate us that way. -goes upstairs-
Victoria: -shouting to Arclight- Alright! Be safe and let’s not go too far! -looks to Taka- If you hear anything, just let me handle it alright?
Taka: You got it Victoria.
Taka headed to the storefront and was shocked at what he was seeing. There was a lot of debris on the floor and also a couple of Team Meteor Grunts unconscious on the floor. Taka kind of felt relieved by seeing this. This had to have meant that Ame and Adrienn were alright. There was something that was troubling him though. It wasn’t strong but there was a feint, weird smell in the room. And what he saw on the ground made him feel even more troubled. On the ground near the regular entrance was the radio transceiver that Ame was carrying.
While Taka didn’t know Ame for that long, he knew that she wouldn’t have left something like this behind unless she wasn’t able to keep it on her person. Suddenly, he could hear a lot of noise coming from the room above. Although Victoria told him to stay put if he heard anything, Taka couldn’t help but run out of the room and up the stairs to see what was going on. When he got there, he could see Victoria knocking out a Meteor Orderly.
Victoria: HA! Call it karma! You had that loss coming to you.
Arclight: Thanks for the backup.
Victoria: It’s nothing! I heard fighting from downstairs and I wasn’t about to just stand by.
Taka: Hey! Are you 2 alright?
Victoria: I’m just fine Taka. Can’t say the same for these guys though.
Arclight: I’m good too. But did you see them at all?
Taka: No I didn’t. And that’s not the most worrying part.
Arclight: What could that be?
Taka: Well 1st, it wasn’t strong but I could smell something weird in there. And also… -pulls out the radio transceiver-
Arclight’s eyes widened, which was a clear sign that this definitely wasn’t a good thing. He ran up to Taka, took the device from him and inspected it quickly.
Arclight: Damnit… No doubt about it. This is the radio I lent to Ame.
Taka: I might be overreacting but I don’t think that’s a good thing.
Arclight: It’s not Taka.
Victoria: Well what could have happened to them? I mean… they couldn’t have been overpowered, could they?
Arclight: Ame is the Champion and Adrienn is a high leveled Gym Leader. I can’t see how they could have been but… No… No. They have to be fine.
Taka: Well what do we do now?
Arclight: We keep going. We’ll probably find them if we keep going.
Taka: Alright then. Let’s get a move on!
Arclight: Hold on there man. I’m glad you’re wanting to find them but something’s odd with this room. Check out the floor.
The trio went over to the area of floor that had some kind of panels on them. They looked at it thoroughly but couldn’t see if anything way wrong. There was a small opening between a wall and fence. Arclight stepped on the panel to get to the other side. When he stepped on the panel though, he was shocked with electricity. It was surprising to Taka that the young man didn’t fall over from the pain. But it was clear that these panels were rigged with something.
Taka: Are you ok?!
Arclight: Damnit. Yea. I’m fine. It’s nothing really but I wouldn’t recommend you 2 stepping on those.
Taka: So what’s over there?
Arclight: -walks over to the panel- Hmm… Yea. Just like I thought. This terminal up here controls the patterns on the floor.
Victoria: Maybe press the buttons? It might turn this off.
Arclight: You want me to press random buttons in an evil organizations secret hideout base…? I guess I’ve heard of worse ideas. Here I go!
Arclight started to press the buttons. While nothing threatening happened, the panels on the floor started to change colors. Red, blue and gold. Some of the panels were more brightly colored than the other ones. While Taka was inspecting it, he accidentally fell onto 1 of the panels. He laid there expecting to feel a shock but nothing happened. He stood up and stepped on the brightly colored panel. Nothing. He yelled out to Arclight to press the button again to change the panel’s color. Arclight did it and the floor changed. The panel Taka was standing on was no longer brightly lit but the panel in front of him was. He slowly moved his foot to the next brightly lit panel. Nothing happened to him. They knew that there was a way to get through this place now but there was only 1 problem.
Arclight: Nice job Taka. We can get through this place now.
Taka: Alright! Let’s go you 2!
Victoria: Wait. Hold on.
Arclight: Someone needs to stay down here to operate this machine in order to change the panels on the upper levels.
Taka: So… we have to split up?
Arclight: Seems so.
Taka: Is that such a good idea though? I mean what if more Team Meteor Grunts try to attack you while you’re here?
Arclight: I’ll be fine man. I can take care of myself.
Victoria: Ok. I get that we have to split up but how are we supposed to tell you to change the panels? Not like we can just yell out to each other. We’d cause too much noise and have more trouble to deal with than we can.
Arclight: Hey Taka. You still got the radio transceiver?
Taka: Yes I do.
Arclight: Good. I have mine right here with me. Anytime you need to change the panel floors, just press the button and I’ll hear a noise and I’ll know press the buttons here to change the floor panels for you.
Taka: Alright. I guess that works. Just be really careful alright?
Arclight: Don’t worry about me man. I’ll be fine. Now let me get Victoria over to you and then you can both cross the floor together.
Arclight pressed the buttons for the floor panels to change so Victoria could catch up to Taka and then reach the end to the other side of the room. Before heading up the stares, Victoria and Taka look towards Arclight 1 last time. He gave them the “don’t worry” look. The 2 of them were worried about leaving their friend behind but they knew they had to do it if they wanted to end this whole thing. They walked up the stairs but when they got to the top, 2 Team Meteor Orderlies were there waiting.
Taka: I’ll give you 2 1 chance to let us go by without any altercations.
Male Meteor Orderly: Well well well. If it isn’t the traitor Taka. Why would we ever stop doing what were doing? I just hope that all of this persistence doesn’t go to waste. -chuckles to himself-
Victoria: The only here that will be wasted will be Team Meteor!
Female Meteor Orderly: I wonder. Is that attitude you’re exhibiting right now taught down at that tawdry school?
Victoria: You… Heh. I’ll be happy to give you a lesson right now!
The battle 2 VS 2 battle started. Taka was surprised that Victoria kept her cool when the Meteor Orderly tried making fun of the school she was in charge of now. In just a bit of time, Victoria and Taka had won the battle. Just then, the radio Taka had started to make noise. He took the device out and listened.
Arclight (RT): Hey! Can you 2 hear me on this thing?
Victoria: Yea. We can hear you. Is everything ok?
Arclight (RT): Yea. I just heard a bunch of noise upstairs though. Everything good?
Taka: Yea. We just took care a couple of Meteor Orderlies.
Victoria: Don’t forget that I told you there’s no way I’ll lose to Team Meteor ever again!
Taka: That goes double for me!
Arclight (RT): That’s music to my ears.
Victoria: There’s another 1 of those panel things on the floor. You ready?
Arclight (RT): You know it little lady. You know what to do Taka.
Taka and Victoria stood near the panels. Taka started to press the button on the radio transceiver and Arclight was changing the floor panels. This 1 took a bit longer to get through than the previous 1 but they were able to do it without getting shocked. However, there were more Team Meteor Orderlies waiting for them at the end of the room. Before the battle even started, the male Meteor Orderly spoke of Kiki’s name. Taka could see the hatred come over Victoria’s face. He could tell that she had a lot of love and respect for this woman. Soon enough, Victoria and Taka had beaten the bad guys. But instead of just keeping quiet, the male Meteor Orderly kept trying to push Victoria.
Male Meteor Orderly: My, my. I wonder. Is Kiki smiling right now?
Victoria: …Say her name 1 more time… and see what happens.
Male Meteor Orderly: Hmm… Is that what Kiki wants?
Victoria: -lowers her head, chuckles and then grins at the Meteor Orderly- Well… Can’t say I didn’t warn you.
With incredible speed, power and accuracy, Victoria punched the orderly straight in the face. He flew back and hit the whole back of his body off of the wall and then slumped down to the ground. He was definitely unconscious. Taka had never seen Victoria so vicious towards anyone. He felt very relived that he was able to avoid a physical confrontation with her. Victoria turned around and looked at the female Meteor Orderly. She put her hands up to show that she didn’t want any of what her colleague had just received.
Female Meteor Orderly: Hey. I’m good. Hell… Even I can’t say he didn’t deserve that.
Victoria: Good. You’re lucky.
Taka: Victoria? Are you-
Victoria: Let’s keep going Taka.
Victoria rushed upstairs. Taka felt sorry for her. She had lost her teacher, half of which was technically her fault and these people were now taunting her using Kiki. Suddenly, he could hear sobbing coming from up the stairs. He rushed up the stairs to see what was going on. He was relieved to see that there weren’t any Team Meteor people there. He then went over to Victoria to see what was wrong.
Taka: Victoria? Victoria. What’s wrong?
Victoria: I-I’m just… I know that I’m disappointing her right now. This isn’t how she taught me… But at the same time, I just can’t let these people get away with what they did.
Taka: More like with what I did…
Victoria: Huh? What do you mean?
Taka: I was there when it happened. When she was…
Victoria: …Yes… Yes you were there but you’re different Taka. You’re not apart of them. Seems like you never really were even from the start.
Taka: But I-
Victoria: Taka, you didn’t do anything wrong. Sirius did. Your father did. But you didn’t. You’re innocent in all of this.
Taka: Well I don’t know about me being innocent.
Victoria: You didn’t contribute to it though and that’s important. If you had, I don’t think we could be friends like we are now.
Taka: I… I guess you’re right.
Victoria: I am. Although, maybe you feeling like this is my fault too. For earlier. Ahh… I’m a terrible person.
Taka: No. You were just angry. You needed to blow off some steam. It’s understandable.
Victoria: Yea… I guess you’re right.
Taka: Do you… Do you think Kiki would forgive me?
Victoria stared at him for a moment. She didn’t expect him to ask her such a thing. Taka started to think if asking her that was the right thing or not. She turned straight forward and then back at Taka but with a smile. A legitimate smile.
Victoria: I think she would. Might have taken some time to prove your good side to her for a bit but… I think she would have forgiven you.
Taka. I’m… I’m glad.
Victoria: -chuckles- Alright. We should really get going.
Taka: You’re right. We spent too much time here talking.
The 2 of them started to walk to the other side of the room. They walked onto some panels but when they did, the way downstairs was sealed shut. Taka and Victoria turned around to the noise it caused. Victoria ran back and tried to get the wall to move out of the way but it was no good. Suddenly, the walls around them started to close in. Victoria called out her Incineroar and instructed it to hold the walls open for as long as it could. Taka was about to send out a Pokemon but Victoria stopped him.
Taka: What?! But why?!
Victoria: Someone needs to be able to continue and that someone is you Taka!
Taka: Wh-What?! But I-
Taka: I-I-I can’t just leave you here like this! We’re friends!
Victoria: Taka… Heh. Think of it as me paying you back for earlier.
Victoria: Now get out of here!
Taka stared at her for a very short while and then ran up the steps. When he got to the top, the entrance near the bottom of the steps sealed up. Victoria was now trapped. Taka felt bad for leaving her in there but he knew that she would be more upset if he stayed there with her. The radio transceiver started to make noise. Taka reached into his pocket and pulled it out.
Arclight (RT): Taka! You there?!
Taka: Y-Yea… I’m… I’m here…
Arclight (RT): What the heck happened? It sounded way louder up there than just some Pokemon battle.
Taka: The room we were in. The walls started to close in on us. She sent out her Incineroar to keep them open and told me to go on. I just…
Arclight (RT): Hey. You need to try to calm down dude. She has her Pokemon right? I’m sure she’ll be fine.
Taka: I hope she is…
Arclight (RT): What about Adrienn or Ame? Any sign of them?
Taka: No. Haven’t seen a trace of them.
Arclight (RT): Urgh! This hasn’t gone as planned at all…
Taka: You don’t say.
Arclight (RT): Well look. I’m pretty sure you’re close to the top now. There has to be something there. Get up there and save everyone.
Taka: Right… You’re right. I got this!
Once again, there was another floor panel. Pressing the button on the radio transceiver, Arclight was pushing the button down below to change the panel lighting on the floor. Half way into the room, he battled Meteor Orderly and then proceeded. When he got to the end, he had to fight another Team Meteor Orderly but this time, he said something interesting.
Taka: No matter how many of you there are, I will beat you all!
Male Meteor Orderly: Heh… I never thought the day would come where I’d be facing you Taka. Although, I must say, your new batch of friends are really gullible.
Taka: What? What do you mean?
Male Meteor Orderly: You really should know better than to trust an anonymous tip.
Taka: Wait… Are you saying Team Meteor was that anonymous tip?
Male Meteor Orderly: But of course. We wanted to lure a lot of you in here and take care of the lot of you. But the fact that we got the Champion here as well? That’s just a bonus.
Taka had heard enough talk from this Orderly. After their battle, Taka headed up to the top floor. As he reached the floor, the radio transceiver was making noise again.
Taka: Arclight, I’m glad you’re messaging me. I have something to tell you. It was Team Meteor that-
Arclight (RT): Taka! She found m-
Taka: Huh? What did you say?
Arclight (RT): I mean-
Then all of a sudden, Taka could only hear what seemed to be scuffling on the radio. The last thing he heard from Arclight before the radio signal went dead was a very soft sounding help. Taka was now very nervous. It was just him now. Ame and Adrienn seemed to have just disappeared, Victoria was possibly squished in between a wall like a sandwich and now something was happening with Arclight. He frantically went running further into the room, hoping to find something that would help him in this situation. He wasn’t paying attention though and he stepped on a panel. He could feel electricity flowing into his body. Normally, this kind of shock wouldn’t have hurt someone like Taka much. But thanks to the puncture wound in his shoulder, the pain intensified times 10, which caused him great pain. With a screeching scream, Taka crumbled to the ground, unconscious.