Pokemon Battel Brawlers

one day out of the woods comes a young warrior, a human with anuff power to take down the most mighty of foe's (even pokemon them self's, for he is one of the race known as a PokeBrawler
 
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 Pokemon: The PokeBrawler Chronicles

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Frank Johnson
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PostSubject: Pokemon: The PokeBrawler Chronicles   Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:39 am

Book Zero: Prologue: Privileged a chosen few

A long time ago, when humans still lived in caves, there was a select few who were born with superhuman attributes. These included accelerated healing, super strength, inhuman endurance and stamina, and ungodly speed. This magnificent set of abilities enabled these humans to defend themselves from the attacks of prehistoric Pokémon. These elite chosen were called the PokéBrawlers, a group of humans who, by some strange genetic fluke, were bestowed with strength, endurance, and elemental resistances similar to that of Pokemon. It was a fitting name, seeing as they fought with Pokémon hand-to-hand. Over the course of a few millennia, the population of the “Brawlers” (as present-day people call them) steadily grew. Each Brawler was born within a specific type (Fire, Normal, Ground, etc.), however, unlike Pokémon, they could not manipulate the elements. The upside is, through specialized training and interbreeding, can gain another set's resistances in addition to increased strength and endurance.

Naturally, as proof that they were still human, the Brawlers formed different tribes based on their types; each tribe mostly kept to itself. Even then, most tribes split into smaller groups; these splits were often based on conflicts between the main group. The only exceptions occurred when two people from different tribes married. Most of these marriages occurred without either tribe knowing, the two lovers having run off and leave their clans behind. It was these acts that started the hybridization of the different types of Brawlers. However, in some cases marriage was arranged to settle a territorial dispute or even to form alliances between different tribes.

Each Brawler type had unique physiological and psychological characteristics. Many of the normal humans see the different Brawler traits as fitting to the type they were born as.

The Fire-type Brawlers have slightly thickened skin containing a large amount of tungsten carbide, enabling them to withstand a much higher level of heat. In Trainers terms, they are purely Fire-type. The tungsten compound gave their skin a distinct, very light shade of gray, appearing in streaks over their entire body and giving it the appearance of war paint. They are incredibly strong, possessing about six to eight times the average strength of a human. They are typically very short-tempered and overreact frequently. It’s actually considered an insult to say to another Brawler of a different type, “You’re being such a Fire-type”. Fire-types are typically between five and six feet tall. Fire-types are the special reserves in combat, able to access the Berserker in a matter of seconds. They are the true berserkers of any Brawler strike force.

The Ground-type Brawlers are their kind’s juggernauts, possessing incredibly thick skin, titanic muscle structure, and dense, rigid bones. Naturally, they are the strongest physically of their kind, possessing hundreds of times the strength of the average human. To Trainers, they are the most widely integrated of the Brawlers, combining Ground, Grass, Rock, Steel, and Fighting-type. Whereas a normal human’s skin varies from about .5 to 4 millimeter thickness and is lightly packed, a Ground-type’s skin is densely packed and varies from about 25 to 50 millimeters of thickness, providing them with a natural armor. Ground-types on average are over six feet tall, extremely heavy (though to themselves they feel light as a feather) and able to support many thousands of times their own weight. The largest Ground-type was over eight feet tall, weighed about seven-hundred and seventy-five pounds, and could lift about thirty metric tons. Their physiology also allows them to take a massive amount of physical punishment. In terms of scale, the average damage that would normally kill about one thousand normal humans barely scratched a Ground-type Brawler. Even the most accomplished human martial artists have resort to using pressure points to buy them enough time to run should they be foolish enough to challenge a Ground-type to a bout of hand-to-hand combat. Ground-types are very stubborn and are adamant in their refusal to admit defeat, in both life and combat. They are also the most violent, often beating each other up just for fun. This group of Brawlers is the most feared of all and are often considered the face of the entire Brawler people. The Ground-types are the shock troops, infantry and guardsmen of Brawler society.

The Flying-type Brawlers are very peaceful people, never getting angry unless you hurt one of their own. While not as strong as the Brawlers in total strength, their legs are considered just as powerful as, and in most cases even more so than, a Ground-type. In Trainer terms, they combine the traits of Bug, Flying, and Dragon-type Pokemon. Their legs are incredibly powerful, able to propel them to heights of around 40-50 feet when on the ground. They can go higher if they use objects around them as launch platforms. The Flying-types have barrel chests, enabling them to survive high altitudes. They can also use their powerful leg muscles to propel themselves forward great distances. The longest jump ever recorded for a Flying-type is 725 yards. They have evolved to where their joints have small pockets of a highly resistive gel, which essentially act as physiological impact dampeners. Their bones are also compressible in some regions; this however can be turned on and off at will. These packets essentially cushion the fall of a Flying-type and can be adjusted internally to compensate for extreme jump heights. Their bones also have certain portions which can be compressed, allowing the energy to be dissipated from a high altitude jump. When in combat, they tend to put artistic flair into their acts, turning combat into a form of interpretive dance. However, when needed, they act as advanced reconnaissance, essentially turning them into the coordinators of battle.

The Water-type Brawlers are very slim and streamlined, and possess slightly larger-than-normal hands and feet. They are the third strongest of the Brawlers, possessing three to four times the average strength of the average human. To Trainers, they combine the traits of the Water and Ice-type Pokemon. They are also double-jointed everywhere on their body, giving them an unparalleled level of flexibility, a must if one is to survive in the waters. Their blood also contains a high level of a compound similar to antifreeze; this enables to survive diving into waters with below-freezing temperatures indefinitely. In addition, there is a layer of material under their skin which is like fat, but is denser; this essentially acts as a heat trap inside their bodies. Their chests are fairly large due to their larger lung size, but not to the extent that the Flying-types. Because of this, they are somewhat awkward on land; however, they are the fastest things in the water. They tend to be very easygoing, but can turn on you in a second should you provoke them enough. The Water-types are the political figures of Brawler society. In combat they act as another form of special infiltrators, able to access underwater entrances and spring surprise traps.

The Electric-type Brawlers are a bit shorter than most of the other Brawlers, but due to their higher nerve conductivity and blood ion concentration, are the quickest of the Brawlers. Their strength is on average about three to four times that of the average human. The maximum height ever recorded for an Electric-type Brawler is five feet teen inches. They possess small capacitor-like cells in the upper layers of their skin, which enables them to store a rather large of amount of electrical charge. They can then use that energy to either accelerate their body’s already fast processes, or dish it out all at once. If they decide to use all the energy as an offensive measure, they can effectively kill effectively. The largest current ever delivered by an Electric-type was seventy-five thousand amps. Even if they discharge all their stored energy, they possess a residual charge on their skin. One of their favorite pranks is to find a way to build the charge up on their skin to its maximum, find a large Pokémon and shock it with a bit of energy. They then run from it using the leftover energy, laughing as they go. They also think the fastest, and are able to consider hundreds of maneuvers and counterattacks in a matter of seconds. Because of this, the Electric-types talk very fast and get distracted easily. In combat, the Electric-types infiltrate enemy defenses, placing them as special forces along with Flying-types and because of their accelerated brain rates, can also play the role of tacticians.

The Dark-type Brawlers are very pale-skinned and are sensitive to sunlight. To Trainers, they combine the traits of the Poison, Dark, Psychic, and Ghost-type Pokemon. Their muscle structure is very underdeveloped in Brawler terms; the strongest Dark-type was only about twice as strong than the average human. However, in their bodies lie specialized, evolutionized bacteria that allow these Brawlers to amplify their brainwaves into tangible threads of energy, essentially giving them telekinesis and telepathy. They also have higher levels of intellect and cunning, preferring to opt of combat in lieu of research and study. They tend to be withdrawn and anti-social, but can strike up a pleasant conversation if they want to. Unfortunately, they are the weakest physically of their kind. Although relatively non-combative, when needed, the Dark-types can use their psychological abilities to create illusions, effectively distracting enemy forces. The Dark-types tend to be the philosophers and scientists of the Brawlers, compiling research and providing insight into Pokemon behaviors that puts even the research of the various Professors to shame.

There is also an enhanced state of being for the Brawlers, one they aptly call the Berserker state, which in itself has four tiers; however, it was rare for a Brawler to go any farther beyond the first. This is due to the fact that they hate using this state, perceiving it as a weakness.

The first stage: Their eyes' whites turn blood red, their irises turn gold, and their pupils shift to resemble that of a cat's. In this stage, a Brawler's metabolic and physiological processes are accelerated one thousandfold, rendering all damage done unto them null and causing said Brawler to frenzy with the strength and speed of one hundred thousand Brawlers. Nearly every Brawler in history has reached this stage of the Berserker state.

The second stage: Their eyes now shift to having yellow whites of eyes and bright green irises. Also, discrete bright green marks appear on their skin. The resulting mark pattern is unique to every Brawler. In this stage, their body goes into overdrive, doubling the effects of the first stage. Only a handful of Brawlers have learned to master this stage.

The third stage: Their strength and speed increase further, their bones become harder than diamond. Their eyes shift once more, having now grey whites and dark purple irises. In addition, the green marks become more of a dark purple spiderweb covering their entire body. There have been only one hundred and fifty Brawlers to have made it to this stage.

The fourth, final and deadliest stage: This is the ultimate pinnacle of Brawler power. In this stage, a Brawler is practically invincible; their skin becomes stronger than chromium steel and their bones unbreakable. Their skin now becomes darker the night itself. Their eyes' color turns bright red, and their whites turn bright gold. At this point, the Brawler moves so fast that he leaves after-images in his wake. Only one Brawler in the entire history of the world has ever reached this stage, and he unfortunately died in battle against the god Arceus.

The legend goes that the Brawler had challenged Arceus to a duel, just to see how strong his training had made him. Arceus accepted the challenge, seeing the potential this human had to offer. Days dragged by and the battle showed no signs of stopping. The Brawler was evenly matched with Arceus, until the god Pokémon unleashed a potentially fatal attack that nearly killed the Brawler. The Brawler decided then to put all his chips on the table, and activated the Unholy Devastator stage. They battled it out for a few more days and in the end, the Brawler triumphed. He didn’t kill Arceus, but the god wasn’t exactly in top form. The Brawler, however, didn’t celebrate for long; for as soon as Arceus submitted, the Brawler collapsed and died, his body aged more than ninety years in an instant.

As one could tell, there is a deadly cost to this ability; the more it is used, the faster they age and the more mentally unstable they become, until they either die of accelerated aging or their mind shuts down permanently. The risk of untimely death increases exponentially until the fourth stage, in which the Brawler is certainly going to die. Like the set training, Blood Savage mode can be trained to help lessen the degenerative effects and augment the beneficial ones.

The power structure of the tribes was similar to that of a monarchy; one absolute ruler who claimed the throne via sheer dominance, a gaggle of subordinates he chose, and the rest were simple commoners. The only way to dethrone the king was to challenge the king directly for the throne. However, over time, the monarchy system was causing the clans to fall apart. With some clans, a new king would rise every three days only to be taken down. So, in order to preserve their bloodline, each tribe sent their wisest member to a meeting of the clans high up in the mountains. It was there, on what would be recognized today as Steel Cliffs, that the Brawler’s Creed and its tenets were formed. After this meeting, the entire structure of the clans was forever changed. The king was still the king, but his power was checked by a separate body, what would later be named as the Advisory Board. This group of individuals handled most of the issues; allocating land for planting, training the younger generation, and things of that nature. The king really only intervened if no clear-cut decision could be made, otherwise he used his strength and wisdom to empower his people and lead by example.

By the time a young Brawler turns thirteen, his rite of passage into manhood involves finding a pack of Pokémon, each member of which needs to be of considerable size and strength (the area Frank inhabits is rich with Steelix and Nidoking) and challenging the alpha leader to a fight to the death or until one gives up. The Brawler is allowed no weapons except the ones they were born with (their body and mind), however, they are allowed to pick up objects from their environment and use them. They are also given a special serum prior to the fight which prevents them from entering Blood Savage mode. Should the Brawler succeed, he has his defeated adversary break off a piece of his armor or skin for him/her to take back as a trophy to his/her victory and upon returning to his village has the Creed’s insignia tattooed on his/her dominant arm. Should the Brawler fail, he is killed and the alpha leader has a subordinate return the body to its place of origin. As one can tell, it's a very violent culture, but this rite of passage is necessary in order to weed out any and all "undesirables". Frank of the village Beacon, for example, took down a very high-leveled Steelix pack leader in the Western mountain range, at the cost of breaking nearly every bone in his body. The Steelix leader had so much respect for Frank that he carried him back to the village himself, where the Brawlers treated both Frank and the Steelix (Frank actually broke the Steelix's "jaws" and caved in the left side of its face). To symbolize Frank’s victory, the Steelix shed one of its “fins” and gave it to Frank. Steelix hide was a very valuable resource, and part of it was used to fashion the vambraces that is part of the Brawler’s ceremonial outfit, which consists of a sleeveless over-tunic with sewn-on hood, a skintight long-sleeved under-tunic , leather boots and gloves, cotton pants, and the vambraces themselves which were affixed onto the gloves.

This Creed has many founding principles, but there are four which are considered the most important:
1) Steal not from the innocent, but from the wicked
2) Help those in need, never exploit them for personal gain
3) Attack not, unless the motive is defensive or honorable in nature
4) Every creature is sacred; battle but never entrap, capture, or kill for sport or pleasure

They do indeed hunt Pokemon, but they do so properly; that is to say, they weed out the sick, the old and the injured, leaving the strong and the healthy to survive and give rise to healthier and more powerful offspring. In a sense they do use Pokémon, but merely to help further the understanding of the Pokémon world and gain insight into the behaviors of certain types of Pokemon. These "tenets of the Creed" guide the Brawlers to be a sort of "police" group. In the past, before any of the Teams even existed, the tribes dedicated their lives to not only fighting Pokémon to get stronger, but also to aid and protect the creatures and humans that had to coexist with.

In the present day, they constantly get into skirmishes with the infamous Team Rocket, a conglomerate of all the Teams with their bosses forming a Board of Directors, sometimes going on infiltration missions to liberate stolen Pokemon and return them to their owner. On occasion, they also capture high-ranking Team Rocket officials to turn over to the local authorities to collect bounties. Very rarely do they execute these officials, but if there is a clear and present danger, they will kill them. Their subordinates, however, are not so lucky. To the Brawlers anyone who guards these people are considered ‘expendable’.

Let us fast-forward to present day. There is one last remaining village of Brawlers, fittingly named Beacon as a symbol to its stance as a shelter for any wayward Brawlers who need a home. The king currently there is advancing in years. A wave of plague hit the world about thirty years ago. It killed off hundreds of thousands of Brawlers, the lingering effects making only 1 in 750 pregnancies viable. This naturally caused the Brawler population to steadily drop. Not only that, but their blood-thirsty traditions and deaths at the hands of Team Rocket have caused the deaths of countless more. There are about five-hundred Brawlers left, and they are all located in Beacon. They are managing to survive, but barely. And this is where our story begins.


Last edited by Frank Johnson on Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pokemon: The PokeBrawler Chronicles   Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:45 am

Book One: Commencement

It was a cool summer morning, and all was quiet around the forests of the Kelgon region. All of a sudden, two figures in white zoomed past, their forms a blur. One moved on the ground, while the other leaped from tree branch to tree branch gracefully. The one in the trees was about a hundred steps ahead of the one on the ground. The tree-jumper, a delicate-looking, somewhat pale-skinned woman, stopped at the edge of a clearing behind the cover of trees and waited for her partner. The woman, barely over five-and-a-half feet in height, was clad in a semi-tight white sleeveless, hooded overtunic that went down to her shins , a white long-sleeved undertunic and tight white cotton pants which showed off her curvy figure, but were still loose enough to allow total freedom movement. She also wore laced brown leather gloves with iron vambraces and laced leather boots that went up to the middle of her calves.

Serious, bright green eyes peered from under the cover of her hood, which had the appearance of a hawk’s head, toward a large compound in the middle of the clearing. The main gate was about forty meters out from her position. Luckily the treeline and underbrush gave her some cover. She counted six heavily armed-guards at the front door. Two were in towers on either side and the rest were outside the main gate. They all wore all-black jumpsuits with white gloves and boots. They also wore black beret-style caps and carried high-powered assault rifles. The woman squinted her eyes and saw that their jumpsuits had a big red ‘R’ on the front of their jumpsuit’s torso. “This is definitely the place. Way too close to Beacon for comfort” she muttered quietly. She then smiled lightly, “This looks like it’s gonna be fun.” She absentmindedly brushed a small lock of her dark brown hair out of her face so that it went behind her ear.

She heard a small series of thuds, and looked behind her to see that a massive figure, clothed in the same way she was, appeared by her side. This one was a colossal man, easily over six-and-a-half feet tall and heavily muscled. He had a squared jaw, his gloved hands clenched menacingly. He peered down from under a similarly styled hood at the woman, his gray-blue eyes burning with a fire of intent. “Sorry. Nearly ran into some trees back there”, he said to her emotionlessly. He then looked up toward the compound, “So that’s it, huh?” Jack’s face then turned serious as he gazed upon the large Rocket base; his face turned into a grimace as he said, “Those Rocket bastards. I’m gonna kill them!” He then started to charge out from behind, but he felt someone pull him back; no easy feat considering he was almost a pure Ground-type. “Jack, take it easy! We need to be silent, otherwise it’ll make this that much harder!” she whispered, the anger in her Jack turned sharply towards and pinned her against a tree before responding angrily “After what they did to James, you want me to be quiet about it? Hell no! I’ll gonna personally ensure each and every one of these fuckers bleeds! Or have you forgotten about what they’ve done? Not just to him, mind you, but countless others of our brethren.”

This made Lily even madder, and a small layer of electric arcs appeared around her. She then realized what she was doing and calmed down, making the electric cloud dissipate. However, her tone was just as chastising, “You don’t think I care about him? He was my love, the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! I want to avenge him as much as you do, but we need to be smart about this! You may be one of the strongest and best Brawlers we have, but you’re not invincible. They’re not using knives and fists, Jack, they’re using high-caliber, ARMOR-PIERCING bullets.” She emphasized the armor-piercing part because even though Jack was a Ground-type, he couldn’t take too many hits from those iron slugs. She also cared about him deeply, and his abandon of his own safety, albeit a calculated one more times than not, made her worry for her brother’s safety. “You get hit by enough of those, and you’re Swiss cheese.”

Jack sighed heavily; he hated when she was right. Charging in would only get him killed, even with his naturally-armored skin and high durability. He looked her in the eye and set her back down, “Lily, I know you cared about him. I’m sorry, it’s just that he was a good friend, and he would have made an excellent husband for you.” Lily nodded before replying “It’s all right. I understand, and trust me, you’ll get to kill your fair share of these aruscholchen today.” Jack then said with a satisfied grin, “All right, let’s do this. You got your throwing knives ready?” Lily nodded as she patted the knife holster on her hip. In it were a dozen precision-engineered daggers, which in actuality were treated Skarmory feathers. They were slight modified to travel through the air like a hot knife through butter. “Good to go” was her reply. She had always been like that; when it mattered, her words were short but to the point.

Jack nodded, “Alright then. Let’s do this. Get into position and take out the two into the tower. Once the operation starts, we have to keep moving.” Lily nodded in return, and disappeared. Jack eyed the guards, carefully gauging the distance between him and them. Thanks to part of him being Flying-type and Electric-type, his legs were incredibly strong, able to catapult him to distances that made even the most successful of long-jumpers stare in awe. He got the measurements and knelt down, preparing his legs for a fifteen meter jump. Now he just needed to wait for Lily.

Lily had quickly moved along the treeline to a point where she could easily get up the backside of the building. She looked around, and noticed cameras on the backside. She cursed under breath, then started looking for a means of getting past them. “Figures they would have something in the back” She said in her mind. She could use the energy in her skin to short-circuit them, but she shook her head at that, realizing that even if she did get close enough without getting spotted, the people inside would notice that one of their cameras went down. And that would generate unnecessary attention for her brother. She didn’t have the heart to do that to him, even if he welcomed it, which he most certainly would. She then got an idea; if she diverted enough charge to her legs muscles, they could in theory act like a spring and increase her jump distance. She had never faced this kind of thing before, so she had to be careful. She couldn’t run at them either; if she went full speed, she’d need more than twenty meters to stop before she crashed into the wall. So she decided that she would try jumping to the roof instead. Focusing on routing the charge to her extensor muscles in the legs, she sat still until she was ready. “Distance: twenty-three point eight meters. Wall height: one hundred and fifteen point three feet. Wind speed: two knots south-southeast” Were some of the thoughts that went through her head. She was considering all the important factors; she needed to make this jump so that if the guards in the towers turned around for some reason, she could hide under the small lip behind the towers when she landed.

After she plotted her jump trajectory in her head, she leaped, going well over the cameras and landing right at the small spot where the guards couldn’t see her. She peered carefully over the ledge and noticed that the guards didn’t even pay attention, completely unaware that she was behind them. She drew two daggers from her hip holster, and put one in each hand. She then slowly slinked along the slightly slanted surface, her boots and gloves acting as perfect adherents to the slick metal surface. Once Lily got within range, she quickly took aim and in one fluid motion, threw them both simultaneously. The daggers pierced the back of the Rockets’ heads; they didn’t even whimper as their life-flames were extinguished. They both fell over the sides of their posts, and Lily watched as they fell two hundred and thirty feet to the ground below. “What the hell?” he yelled, waving his gun as he frantically scanned the area. Jack saw the guards fall and at that moment launched himself high into the air towards the enemy base. He had hoped his path through would land him right on top of all four of the remaining guards, if they did what he was certain they would do.

One of the guards decided at that moment to look up and saw his comrades fall down and land right beside him. “What the hell?” he yelled, waving his gun as he frantically scanned the area. The other guards quickly rushed to where the tower guards had fallen; they were standing fairly close each other. One of them, a short, brown-eyed man, kneeled down and rolled one of the bodies over. In the back of his head, he saw that a dagger was thrown through the back of his head and pierced his throat, the bladed end sticking into his mouth. He stood back and looked to the sky; there he saw a women purely clad in white, standing right on top of their base! “Who the hell is that?” he shouted, pointing to where Lily was standing. The other guards looked as well and trained their guns on the female.

The corner of Lily’s mouth crept up; she was smirking. “Those fools” she said quietly, knowing that they no idea what was about to hit them. As the guards all had sighted their rifles on her, she knew she had their full attention. “Take her down!” the brown-eyed guard shouted. Right as the four started to pull their triggers, Jack landed all five hundred and twenty seven pounds of himself right on top of two guards. Their bodies exploded from the force of the impact, staining Jack’s front a slight shade of red. The other two jumped back in fright, their eyes wide as they stared at the titan before them. They their guns on Jack, only to have two more daggers fly down and impale them in the head. “Well, if the people inside weren’t going to shit their pants before, they will now” Jack thought with a chuckle.

Lily giggled, although she had to admit that was kind of a cruel trick. She looked down and shouted at Jack, “Nice work, brother!” Jack looked up and said, “Alright, let’s go! We’re gonna have some people waiting for us!” Lily jumped down and landed deftly on her feet, walking over the four guards guards she dispatched and retrieving her daggers. Jack then took hold of the main door, his gloved fingers biting through the metal. He gave a loud grunt and ripped it out its frame; it creaked and shrieked as the metallic bonds were torn apart. He then took the steel panel and ripped it in half; this door was made of a different material than the rest of the base, it would seem. Jack put the two halves in front of him to protect him and his sister, and ran forward looking for their main target.

The surveillance rooms were abuzz with activity. “Intruders have breached the perimeter! Sound the alarms!” one of the surveillance team members said. Another pushed a large red button and a blaring siren sounded out throughout the whole compound. Guards began pouring out of doorways, grabbing rifles from arms lockers and fanning out down every hallway.

Jack and Lily were running down an adjacent corridor, with Jack taking the lead. They turned a corner and ran into a small cluster of heavily-armed guards. “There they are! Open fire!” the one in the middle shouted. Jack barely managed to react fast enough, shoving Lily back around the corner and throwing the giant metal slab he had been carrying in front of him, creating a makeshift shield. He heard the bullets ping off the surface, the guns going off like a fireworks show. He then heard hurried footsteps behind him. Jack turned his head and saw another group rushing towards him from his rear. “Shit!” was all that Jack thought before he saw a yellow flash, the new arrivals falling as their throats poured blood. Lily stood behind the now-defeated second group, holding a blood-dripping dagger in her right hand. Jack smiled; now it was his turn. He waited until the guns stopped, then picked up the makeshift shield and charged forward. It collided with the first group of guards; he then pushed forward to ram them into the wall. He heard multiple yelps of pain as the massive metal slab pinned them. Jack then delivered a flat-palm strike into the center of the slab, effectively turning it into a giant compressor. He then heard screams of pain as the guard’s bodies were crushed, and then came several popping sounds. Jack looked up and saw the wall where he had slammed the metal slab had been painted a crimson red. He took his hand off; the slab, however, stayed glued to the wall.

They forged ahead, and came across a mysteriously empty computer room. Jack cracked his knuckles, “Alright. Let’s see what we can find. I’ll stand guard, Lily, you work your magic.” Lily nodded and ran to one of the terminals. Thanks to her type heritage, her fingers flew over the keys, hacking through the systems and bypassing blockers with no effort at all. After about thirty seconds, the blaring siren went offline. She then quickly executed a search, trying to find the correct port for camera access.

The surveillance room in Sector Twelve was now on full alert. Each officer there was flipping between cameras, trying to determine if the intruders were in their sector. One then shouted, “Found them! Terminal Room D! This floor!” Another then hit a button, projecting his voice throughout the entire compound, “All squads, this is Control Room Seven! The intruders have been located! I repeat the intruders have been located! Third floor, Terminal Room D, Sector Six!"

Jack and Lily heard the broadcast. “Shit, they know where we are!” Jack said in his mind. Jack turned his head, “Hurry it up, sis! We’re going to have some company!” “I need more time!” was her snappy response. “Dammit! I’ll do what I can!” Jack shouted and ran out to meet his attackers, carrying the second half of the front door with him.

Kappa Squad got the news; they were now on a search and destroy mission. They moved out, heading towards the terminal room, guns ready. “This is Kappa Squad reporting in! We’re almost to the objective!” the leader, an average-heighted, brown-haired man, spoke into a handheld radio. Just then, a massive man cloaked in white appeared in front of them. “There’s one! Open fire! Open fire!” the squad leader shouted. All the Rocket members raised their rifles and pulled the triggers. Jack almost didn’t get his makeshift shield down in time; the first few bullets whizzing past him and the rest pinging off the section of steel door. Jack was hiding for a second, trying to determine what to do. He then thought of something. He held the slab up with his hand and kicked, sending it flying into the group of enemy soldiers. The leader and two others ducked, the other four weren’t so lucky. The giant metal piece flew into them, hitting them with such force it caved in their sternums. They collapsed, trying to gasp for breath but ended up choking as blood invaded their lungs.

The leader leveled his rifle at Jack and pulled the trigger to find that it was empty. He looked back up and saw that the behemoth was charging him. His comrades also raised their guns, but it was too late. He grabbed them both by their faces, slamming their bodies together with such force that they exploded, showering the titan with blood. The leader dropped his gun and tried to run, but then felt a giant grab him and pull him back. He was now facing the giant blood-soaked Brawler, who pinned him to the ground and cocked his fist. The squad leader closed his eyes as he felt his life-fire extinguished by the man’s giant fist. Jack got up, his right hand coated in blood. He then walked over to the guards he had nailed with the giant steel slab and quickly snapped all their necks, ending their suffering. Jack then rushed back to Lily’s position with the hope that she wasn’t in any trouble.

Lily was still trying to find the right camera to find their objective. She managed to redirect the feeds of all the other cameras in the compound to her location, so now they could move about relatively freely. “You won’t get away from us again” she said under her breath. She was still filtering through the various feeds, until she came across one situated in a control room. In it was a man in a dark trench coat, he had gray-brown hair and grizzled chin hair. Lily smirked and whispered to herself, “Found you.” Just then, two more Rockets came into view at the entrance. Lily looked over as they appeared. “There’s one! Kill her!” one of them shouted. They quickly lifted their rifles and started firing at Lily. She dashed behind the cover of one of the terminals and drew a dagger from her holster. She counted to three and then charged the men, weaving this way and that to try and avoid the storm of gunfire. One let loose a barrage of hot lead at her, and one of the rounds connected with her leg, causing her to crash into the ground. She lay there for a second as she heard the two approach her. She looked up and saw a gun barrel in her face. The one holding the rifle was a blond man in standard Rocket garb. “You Brawlers have been giving us some trouble. But now I’m going to thin your ranks” he said with a satisfied smirk.

Just then Jack appeared and caught them off guard, grabbing the blond man’s partner by the head. The blond man looked back and saw the massive figure, his entire front-side stained an ominous shade of red, holding his partner’s head in his gigantic hand. “Not if I thin yours first” Jack growled maliciously, and crushed his captive’s head like an egg against a nearby wall. The blond man saw his partner’s body go lifeless and drop to the floor. He stood there in horror as Jack released his grip on his partner’s neck, making the body drop to the floor. Blood, bone and brain matter clung to his gloved fingers. Jack slowly approached the blond Rocket, his teeth bared in a frightening grimace and his eyes burning with murderous intent, ”You can hurt me all you want, but try and hurt my baby sister, and you die.”

The Rocket then did something unexpected; he ran behind Lily, picked her up by wrapping his arm around her neck and held a pistol to her head. “Come any closer and I’ll blow her brains out!” he said, tears of fright streaming from his eyes. Jack’s went went quickly to slight smile, and gave Lily a small nod. She returned his nod, and placed a hand on her captor’s pistol. She then discharged, delivering a massive twenty-five thousand amperes of current into her captor. The grunt lit up like a holiday tree, and in turn combusted. Lily released her grip, and her captor fell rigid to the floor and burned for a bit. The acrid smell of burning hair and flesh reached Lily and Jack’s nostrils, causing their faces to cringe.

Jack looked down, saw that Lily had been shot, and that the round went clean through. He instructed her to sit, knelt down, pulled out some conductor cream, pain medication and gauze from his waist pouch, and treated her wound. The conductor cream would bridge the insulating gap of air in her leg and facilitate her use of electricity to accelerate her already rapid healing ability to reform the bone and muscle area. However, he had to apply the cream inside her leg, so he gave her the pain pills and applied the cream. He then wrapped the leg in gauze and hung his head in shame. “Sorry, Lily. I wish I had gotten here sooner.” Jack said mournfully; if there was one thing he hated, it was letting of his own get hurt. Lily grinned, “Hey, it all worked out, right? Don’t beat yourself up, I’ll be good to go in a sec.” She stood up, wincing slightly. She then said, “I got the info. Our target is on the top floor, Master Control Room. We should move before he does.” Jack nodded, “Right, let’s go.” They then moved from floor to floor, wiping out the squads of enemies assigned to hunt them down and eliminate them. Soon the blood of Team Rocket’s workforce coated the metal interior of every floor, grunts lay dead and dying in piles on every level Jack and Lily came across. Not to mention that they also destroyed every security camera that they could find as they neared their objective.

The surveillance room was now a mess; everyone was scurrying this way and that, trying to get a handle on the situation. “Squads Echo and Omega are down!” “Dammit, we lost visuals in all sectors! We’re blind!” “Kappa Squad isn’t responding!”“Alpha Squad reports nothing! They’ll keep looking!” were just a few snippets that could be heard over the pandemonium. Meanwhile, a tall man with gray-streaked brown hair in a dark trench coat, which was buttoned up all the way to his neck, was looking at all the computer monitors. He was easily five-foot-nine, a stocky man who looked like he had been to hell and back. Grizzled chin hair covered a wide jowl, and his steel-colored eyes burned with hate; how did THEY find this base? Must have been someone they captured, giving them the information in exchange for their lives. Unfortunately, this man knew all too what these people did with prisoners; he had been captured once before by them, and somehow managed to escape. “Looks like they’ve come to take me back” One of the surveillance techs looked back and said, “Who’s they, sire? What exactly are we up against?” The strange man looked down in depression; all this time he honestly thought he would never run into THEM again, but these bastards were sharper than bloodhounds. He looked back up and said in a sad, tired tone, “It’s the Brawlers, son. Your worst nightmares come to life.”

As he said that, he heard a series of metallic thuds. He and the rest of the surveillance team looked back to see giant, fist-shaped dent marks being put in the door. After about five or six punches, they stopped. “Good. Looks like they’ve gone” the man in the trench coat said with a smile. And then, as if karma was mocking him, there came one final giant thud, and the steel door flew over the man’s head and into the monitor display, destroying all surveillance monitors except one in the room and killing three more Rocket members. The man looked back in horror at the scene. He then looked back to where the door had been and saw a titanic, blood-soaked figure in the doorway. He recognized them as Brawlers immediately; this confirmed his suspicions that they were coming for him and his special project. The rest of the surveillance guards had gotten up and drew their pistols. “Take them down!” one of them said. The man looked towards them and said in a panicked tone, “No you fools!”

Jack burst out in a grin as the bullets harmlessly bounced off him and fell clanging to the floor. He then turned his head and said to Lily, who was standing behind him, “Sister, if you would be so kind.” She said nothing as a small layer of electric arcs covered her again, and she disappeared. Seconds later, every guard in that room crumpled, their throats leaking copious amounts of blood. Lily reappeared by Jack’s side, her bloody dagger clutched loosely in her hand.

The man in the trench coat froze, standing perfectly still for a few seconds. He then pulled out a pistol of his own and tried to aim it at Lily, but was met with Jack staring him in the face. Jack nonchalantly rested one of his massive hands over the gun barrel, “Sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.” He then closed his fingers, crushing the pistol effortlessly and rendering it useless. The gray-haired Hunter then fell on his butt and crawled back into a corner. “Well, well, well” Jack said with a smirk as he slowly approached him. Jack then knelt down so that he was looking at the man dead in the eye. “You honestly thought you could erect a base and not have us know about it? That’s a might dimwitted, even for you Pokémon Hunters”. Lily then chimed in, “Well, what do you expect, Jack? They’re obviously getting desperate. We’ve pretty much nailed every base in this region, and either killed or captured most of their members. Even if all the Teams have banded together, they’re still the same braindead morons we know and love.” Jack turned back and replied in a mocking tone, “Now, Lily, be nice. Just because these Bokots don’t know their head from their ass doesn’t mean we can make fun of them.” ‘Bokot’ was a Brawler term for idiot, moron, dunderhead, or whatever insult regarding one’s intelligence level they could think of.

The Hunter then decided to pull one of the stupidest moves imaginable; he decided to throw a punch at Jack’s face just as the Brawler was turning his head back. The blow connected with Jack’s jaw. Lily saw this and held her face in her hand. “You really should’nt’ve done that” she stated exasperatedly, knowing full well what might happen now. Jack merely froze, and a devilish grin crept across his face. He looked back at the Hunter, a look of malice in his eyes. He said in a very calm tone, “You’re lucky we have to capture you alive. The authorities have put quite a bounty on your head.” He then fished a ‘Wanted’ poster from his back pocket and held up to the man’s face.Jack then said lowly, “ Hunter X, or as you’re more popularly called, Night Thief. And here I thought we had put you away for good. Tch, figures. We should just kill you right now, but we can’t.” The Hunter cackled evilly, “Even if you catch me, the Pokémon are already being loaded into a truck for transport! You’ll never catch them! HAHAHAHA! Jack then pulled out a needle containing a gold-colored fluid and jammed into the Hunter’s back, causing the man to scream in pain. His body then went limp and he passed out. “Ah, this paralyzing/knockout serum really does do wonders” Jack said aloud.

Meanwhile, Lily was quickly using the only undamaged monitor to try and find where the truck was. She located it, bottom level and from the looks of it they were still loading racks of Pokéballs, which meant they had some time before it took off. She also found an elevator shaft which led down to where the truck was. “Jack, let’s go!” Jack grabbed the Hunter, and then he and Lily took off to the elevator shaft. They got there and Jack set the Hunter down. He then placed his hands between the panels, ripped them off and cast them aside. He looked down the empty shaft; it was going to be quite a fall, but he could handle it. “YEEHAW!” he shouted as he jumped down the shaft, falling a good one hundred and seventy feet before crashing through the roof of the elevator car. He went right through the roof and landed face-down on his stomach, leaving an imprint of his body in the elevator floor and causing the sounds of the crash to reverberate through the entire shaft. Lily stared down in shock at Jack’s boldness, “You Bokot! Are you alright?” Jack gave her a thumbs up, his face still buried in the floor of the elevator car. Lily sighed, “Always a reckless idiot. But at least he didn’t get hurt....yet.” She then picked up the unconscious Hunter and proceeded to slide down the elevator cable.

Jack got up and started to rip the panels off, and soon busted through. He looked and saw the truck; it was still loading racks of Pokéballs, though there was only one left, and it was being transferred to the truck. “Man, they’re slow” Jack said with a grin, and then he ran out of the shaft and towards the truck. One of the grunts saw the giant charging towards them. He quickly slammed the trailer doors shut after he loaded the last rack of Pokéballs and ran to the cab, slamming the door shut. “Shit! He’s coming! Let’s go!” His partner quickly shifted the truck into gear and floored the accelerator. Jack was almost to the truck when he saw Rockets level high-powered guns right at him out of the corner of his eye. He jumped, missing the initial spray of bullets. He took cover behind a large spool of heavy-gauge steel wire, hearing the bullets zip and ping around all around him. All of a sudden, Lily appeared right next to him. “Having problems?” she said with a smirk. Jack grimaced and replied with a hint of annoyance, “Oh, be quiet and give me a hand. I’m going after the truck, cover me. I’ll meet you at the rendezvous point” Lily set the unconscious Hunter down, her body lit up once again, and she was off. Jack made a mad dash out of the facility, quickly preparing his legs for a long-range jump. As the grunts turned to fire on Jack once more, they were quickly dispatched by Lily’s speed, falling to the ground dead in quick succession.

The Rocket grunt in the passenger seat looked back and saw that one of the Brawlers was running after them, but he was getting further away, indicating they were outpacing him. The grunt, a short, black-haired man, sighed heavily, sliding back down into the truck seat and laughed with exasperation, “Holy shit, man. I thought they had us.” The driver looked over at him and smiled widely, his eyes hidden by a pair of dark shades, “No way, man. We’re in the clear. It’s nothing but smooth sailing from here.”

Jack quickly got himself up to speed, but the truck was easily going over seventy miles an hour now. “You’re not getting away that easily” Jack proclaimed mentally. He then jumped and flew well over the truck, landing on the road in front of it. He then turned and stood there, waiting for them to get closer. The two grunts were laughing at their good fortune when they saw the colossal, blood-stained figure further down the road. The passenger looked at Jack in shock, “H...Ho.....How did he get in front of us?” The driver grinned evilly and said, “Don’t worry; I know just what to do.” The driver then stepped on the accelerator, pushing the giant semi to well over a hundred miles an hour.

Jack saw the truck pick up speed and grinned, saying in an amused tone “How cute, they think they can run me over”. He readied himself, waiting until the truck was directly in front of him. When that happened, he leaned forward, driving his hands through the grill of the vehicle and stopping it. He felt the front of the cab wrap around him slightly and push him back; he was now sliding back while the entire semi was being held up at an angle to the road. After about twenty feet, Jack stopped sliding and set the truck back down. He looked in the cab and saw that the passengers were no longer there. He looked around and found no trace of them. “Guess they didn’t buckle up” Jack thought to himself; he chuckled as he imagined the two Rockets flying through the air. He then returned his attention to the cab; it was completely ruined and there was no way on Arceus’ holy design that he was going to be able to drive. Luckily for Jack, he wouldn’t have to. Pulling a small green pill out of his hip pack, he swallowed it and felt his energy jump. He then walked to the trailer and picked the whole thing up effortlessly, and began running with it toward the rendezvous point.

Lily had already dropped off the Hunter at a police station and had assembled people from various towns at the rendezvous point, which was another very large clearing. These folks were those that the Hunter had stolen Pokémon from. Lily was getting impatient and worried; it shouldn’t have taken Jack this long to catch the truck. “Hey, when’s your friend gonna get here?” a white short brown-haired boy in cargo short and a white T-shirt asked impatiently. “Tch, I bet he doesn’t even have our Pokémon!” another said, this time a tall, tan blond-haired girl in denim shorts and a tight pink tank-top. Lily frowned as she sat down on a rather tall flat rock, one of her legs crossed over the top of the other, “You should be thankful he did anything at all! Just be patient! He’ll be here!”

About two minutes after she said that, distant thuds could be heard. They grew ever closer, and everyone except Lily started looking around for the source of the noise. Lily merely smirked; she was the only one who knew what it was. “Wonder how they’re going to react when they see a blood-covered giant carrying a truck trailer full of Pokéballs with his hands land in this clearing” she asked herself rhetorically.

As if on cue, Jack gave one last great leap, and landed in the clearing, carrying the truck trailer above his head. Everyone there, Lily being the exception, gasped as they saw the blood-soaked behemoth standing there, the massive object being supported by his large arms. He was breathing in heavy grunts; he was used to flinging himself into the air like that, but not with a huge, fully-loaded trailer in tow. He set the trailer down and ripped the doors clean off. There was a loud metallic screeching as the door hinges were stretched before they broke, exposing the bounty inside. Jack threw the panels aside, then put his hands on his knees and hunched over, trying to catch his breath. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Jack stood straight and spoke in a booming voice, “Alright everyone, here are the stolen Pokémon, we’ll leave it to you to sort them out.” Jack wanted to get the hell out of there, so he looked down at Lily, who had long since jumped from her and stood next to Jack. “Mission accomplished. Let’s go home.” They each took a smoke pellet and threw it down, giving them plenty of cover to throw off any potential trailers.

As the smoke cleared, the people who had gathered in the clearing were seen coughing , some of them even streaming tears. “Ah, man, what was in that smoke?” A man in brown cargo shorts and yellow T-shirt asked in a raspy voice; clearly what was in it aggravated everyone’s breathing. When the smoke cleared completely, everyone there that the strange pair had vanished. “Where’d they go?” the girl in the tight pink tank top asked. Everyone looked around, trying to figure out where they had gone. Eventually, one of them said “Who cares where they went? Let’s just get our Pokeballs and go home.” Everyone then climbed into the truck and started searching for their Pokemon.

It was mid-evening when Jack and Lily returned, and the rest of the village folk were busy taking care of last minute chores. They quickly went over to the king’s quarters, as was procedure after a mission was done. They walked inside to find the king sitting in a chair, holding a small glass of Oran berry liquor. The king was a somewhat elderly man, in his late forties. He was fairly built, a slightly muscled man around five feet seven inches tall. His graying black hair was unkempt, and his goatee was becoming unruly. The king looked up, saw the two Brawlers, and his face lit up instantly as he downed the murky liquid. “My word, you’re back late! Jack, I thought you said this would only take three hours!” Jack scratched the back of his head innocently, “Well, we ran into a few....complications. But, the mission was a success. The Night Stalker is in custody and all stolen Pokémon have been returned.” Lily nodded, “There were more guards than we anticipated, and they had more firepower as well.” The king looked up at Jack, and then back down at Lily, and smiled proudly, “Looks like my children did another fine job. You make your father very proud. Now be off, you two deserve some rest. And Jack, you should get that blood off you as soon as possible. Believe me when I say this, when it dries your outfit will never fit the same until you get rid of it.”

The two bowed and walked out of the chamber. Bading Lily goodbye, he quickly ran to the pond west of the village, got some soaproot and quickly cleaned himself and his outfit. Grabbing some wildflowers off the bank, he went and visited his mother’s grave. Laying the wildflowers in front of her tombstone, he clasped his gloved hands together and recited a prayer, which told her of today’s deeds and the desire that she was comfortable in the afterlife. He then recited the final verse of the ancient story, “Dah Brawlers numales wuklch storbun. Dah Gahd Urin uir, ied dah Zazchüz dwah sokh bmühn iem bessere bwestan muit unriun Büdan aun frodulch uda stikrl bwestan trin dur ezagon Skudaaf (loosely translated as “The Brawlers never truly die. The God watches us, and grants those who strive to better exist with our brethren a peaceful and painless passing into the eternal slumber). He got up and decided to take a short walk around the village. He saw Old Man Jacob teaching Mrs. Robert's son about the Fire-type, and how if he trained enough, he could withstand a direct hit from a Fire Blast with almost no physical damage.

Jack also felt a hint of despair; there were so few people in the village now the place felt like a ghost town most of the time. After the plague that hit the Brawlers all those years ago, there had been a steady decline in the population of the Brawlers, no matter how they tried to recover and reproduce. Somehow the aftereffects made very few pregnancies viable. Even after that, death came and reared its ugly head for some of the survivors; there were less than five hundred and twenty Brawlers left, and from what Jack had recently heard from the recon units sent to the other regions, Beacon was the last place any Brawlers existed. Heck, only last week, Ms. Robert's husband died from a heart attack. Jack decided to stop at the tavern and spend part of his share in a drink. He walked into the tavern, aptly named the Drunken Fist, and sat down. He rested his head in his hands, despondent about what was becoming of his people. Each day more and more Brawlers died, either by the hands of Team Rocket or from natural causes.

Meanwhile, back at the now empty Rocket base, more grunts were pouring out of armored personnel carriers, their rifles loaded for battle as they stood in two neat rows leading from the back of the carrier. The leader, woman with long red hair and fiery green eyes that looked like they could kill a man should he meet their unforgiving gaze, stepped out of the carrier. She was dressed in long black jeans, a plain red shirt topped by a long black trench coat, and silver high-heeled boots. “Fan out! Search the area!” she barked. “Yes, ma’am!” the grunts replied, instantly disbanding to scour the area for whatever had caused the base to go into Code White alert. After about five minutes, she heard one of the grunts say “Ms. Rose! I found something you should take a look at!” Hearing this, the woman rushed walked over to where the grunt was, her eyes widened as she saw the four mangled guard corpses. “What the hell?’ she stated, in shock at having seen this. She looked to her left and saw two more corpses; she walked over and bent down to examine the bodies, soon seeing that the man had a large hole in the back of his throat, indicative of a blade being jammed in. “Damnit.....This must be THEIR doing” she growled; she instantly remembered tales she had heard from her subordinates about the cruel slayings of countless Rocket grunts by a group of people clad in pure white robes. They were called the Brawlers, and they were the biggest threat Team Rocket had ever faced.

Because of their interference, recruitment was dropping and more Grunts kept dying in the Kelgon region. “Ms. Rose, what are your new orders?” a familiar voice asked, snapping her back to reality. Standing back and straightening her coat, she replied, “Please, just call me Lydia, Jackson. As for the orders, let’s go inside and get this over with.” The grunt named Jackson was kind of her second-in-command; she had been recently reassigned as leader of the reinforcement units, but often they had to perform clean-up duty and damage control. Lydia reported to Chairman Giovanni directly, and Jackson led the rest of the troops through. She and Jackson had had to go too many ransacked Rocket bases than either of them cared to mention. “Yes, ma’am” Jackson said, turning to the other grunts and shouting “Ms. Rose wants us inside the base! Let’s go, people! Get that door open!”

One of the other grunts then responded in a shaky voice, “Uh, sir, you may want to see this.” Jackson walked over and paused, his body shaking as he said “Holy Arceus.” The front door was gone, and upon further inspection saw that door was literally ripped off. The grunts then filed into the base, with Jackson and Lydia following close behind them. Lydia and Jackson both saw the carnage that lay inside; what was scary was that they knew there was more to come. Lydia grimaced angrily and growled, “Dammit, these monsters are relentless. “ Many of the grunts were visibly shaking in fear; one eventually said in a stammering tone “M....Miss Rose, w..what happened here?” Lydia breathed a heavy sigh and said in a cold tone, “It’s the Brawlers, Lewis. They are what happened; you’re new so I was hoping you wouldn’t have to ever see the aftermath of their.....work.” She emphasized ‘work’ because she understood that the Brawlers had taken it upon themselves to put Team Rocket out of commission. She had often considered other lines of work; however, the fact was her face was plastered on every street corner and every police precinct, so her options were virtually non-existent. Even if she quit and went underground, the Brawlers would find her and make her answer for her crimes. That’s how they operated, and that’s how they would continue to operate.

After a fitful sleep, Jack reawoke at about quarter to seven. He got up, donned his pants and ceremonial long-sleeved tunic, fastened his boots, put on his gloves and buckled the vambraces. He then grabbed the needle with the anti-Savage serum inside, and began to walk towards the main gate. He then heard Rebecca say in a sleepy voice, "Quit worrying, honey. You and your brother taught him everything you both knew, he will be just fine." Jack responded, "Yeah, I know". He then walked to the main gate of the town, and found Little Tommy, dressed in the same style outfit as Jack, literally bouncing with excitement. "Master Jack!" Tommy exclaimed excitedly as he spotted Jack walking towards him. Tommy was one of the shorter Brawlers, about five-foot-two. However, he was quite a bit stronger than most of the young ones his age. His only real problem was that he had too much energy, and it caused to get in a lot of trouble. "Hey, Tommy" Jack mumbled. "Oh, boy! Today, I become a man! This is great!" Tommy answered enthusiastically. Just then, Jack saw the gatekeeper approach. They exchanged greetings; "Morning, Jack" "Morning, Bill". Bill then looked down at Tommy and asked, "So, Manhood Ritual is it?" "Yes, sir, Mister Bill, sir!" Tommy responded ecstatically. "All right, then" Bill continued. Bill turned his attention to Jack, "You got the serum?” Jack pulled out the needle and replied coolly, "Right here". As soon as Tommy saw the syringe, all the color left his face.

Jack noticed this and laughed, "What's the matter? Scared of this? HA! Try facing down a Rhydon's horn, then talk to me about fear!" Tommy turned beet red with shame and embarrassment, "Sorry, Master Jack. I just can't stand the sight of needles." Jack sighed, "It's all right. Ready?" Tommy closed his eyes and said, "Yeah". Bill then spoke up, "Alright, Jack, do it". Jack then jammed the needle into Tommy's thigh, as was customary, and injected the serum into Tommy's body. Tommy took it all without so much as a whimper. Bill then nodded and turned. "OPEN THE GATE!" he bellowed. As soon as he said this, the giant wood-and-metal door raised up. Jack looked down at Tommy and smiled, "This is it, Tommy. No turning back." Tommy returned the smile, "A Brawler never turns back and never backs down, no matter what." Jack chuckled, "That's the spirit. Alright, let's do this!" As soon as the gate finished rising, they charged full speed out of Beacon, heading straight for the Alpha's mountaintop.
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