Colossus, Part I (M1P1)
Chief Tactician's Logbook
After a retrieval mission on Niile Island, the Aquila set course towards Airbase 32 over the North Kaygean Sea for repairs. It turns out that Mr. Conway, as the head of the Supplies Division, failed to inform that the ship is low on food, water, and ammunition. Not enough for the journey to the base.
As expected, Captain Frosteri ordered us to stop over the nearest settlement. The ship then docked over Pacifylle City Base. The captain, Ensign Vetrov, Lt. Cmdr Simmons, Dr. O'Seinn and I boarded the Yacht to gather supplies while the ship is doing minimal repairs until we could get to the Airbase.
It seems that Kyogre wasn't at his best moods because we were hit by a freak storm and then we were thrust into mainland as the storm suddenly disappeared and was replaced by the fog. The Yacht crash landed outside the walls of Andalusst, the Dreamer's Eye, one of the settlements that is completely free of the fog.
But something is definitely off. We arrived outside Andalusst in a matter of hours, while it should have taken days by our Yacht. Ensign Vetrov has suggested a spatial or temporal anomaly, which seemed plausible, but without the First Officer, Cmdr. Hadrian Decker, who is also our brightest science officer, we could not validate the idea. Then, something about the city is bothering the Captain. I have not been to Andalusst before, but I suspect it concerns the layout of the city. So, the five of us went into small groups to retrieve more information on our predicament and to find out why we couldn't contact our ship, and sort out the problems with the Yacht which have broken on our landing…
* * *
“It’s a bit too early to write on your logbook don’t you think?”
Tordon looked up towards the Prinplup standing in front of him. Three thick, leather bound books were propped on his left wing. “I always write these on afternoons, you know. I tend to forget important details at night.”
Tristan nodded dismissively and sat across his Chief Tactician and friend. “I left my logbook back in my quarters onboard the Aquila. I think we have a big problem here.” He said, casually flipping over one of the books.
“Besides losing all of our equipment, stranded in the city, and your responsibility to record every single event in your logbook even if you lost it?” Tordon raised an eyebrow, smirking slightly.
Tristan gave him a flat look. “Thanks for reminding me.”
The Shinx flashed him a broad grin. “No prob, Capt’n!”
“Here. Can you please read this line?” Tristan pushed the book he was reading to the Shinx. He pointed on one of the lines on the first page.
Tordon squint his eyes. The book seemed to have been printed in elegant squiggly fashion, which he disliked to read. “First published in Andalusst in...” His eyes widened. “…Second Edition printed in- What?!” He immediately winced as the Pokémon around him shushed loudly at him while giving him an annoyed glare. The Tentacruel librarian gave him a long, piercing stare before saying an eerie and drawled, “Quiet.”
“But-but that’s impossible!” Tordon continued in a hushed tone as the library returned into its quiet and peaceful state. He flipped the cover page and stared at the title. “A Comprehensive Understanding of Parai and Its Surroundings. Second Edition.” He read. “How could it be here? Second Edition for Arceus’ sake-“
“And here.” Tristan cut Tordon off. He handed another book to his friend. This time it’s a smaller one, covered in red leather and embossed silver letters. A Cursory Study of the Nobility of Parai, Part III
Tordon stared, mouth agape with surprise.
“Captain?“ the Shinx stared at the Prinplup, as if trying to find some sort of deception in the Captain’s hard grey eyes. He found none.
“So… what does this mean?” he asked after a full minute of heavy silence, slumping on his seat.
Tristan stared at the Shinx. “You tell me. I recalled that you have a theory to begin with.”
“A theory?” Tordon frowned. “What do you-“
The whole library fell in a deathly silence. Every Pokémon looked around confusedly before turning their heads to the windows, transfixed by the black smoke that towered over the sky. A second later, a series of tremors shook the whole building. Chandeliers swung on their chains, books and shelves rattled on their spot. Then, there was another explosion.
The whole building was filled with screams as Pokémon rushed towards the exit. The librarian’s cries to keep calm were ignored as ‘mons ran to safety. More panic settled in right when a part of the building was suddenly blasted away, sending pieces wood, glass and paper flying everywhere.
Tordon pulled Tristan out from a pile of books that had fallen over when their shelf toppled over unto another. “Are you hurt?”
Tristan shook his head. Everything was spinning. “I don’t think so. Those books really hurt.” He groaned.
“Uh, Captain?” the Shinx started to tug the older Prinplup, staring upwards to the large gaping hole on the ceiling.
“…Permission to speak freely, sir.” Tordon said feably.
Now Tristan was confused. “Granted…?”
“GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE!” he shouted as a large shadow fell all over the place.
Tristan turned his head only to see a very large thing charging energy when the Chief Tactical Officer dragged him away from the library with an incredible show of speed. They made it outside less than ten five seconds later, panting for breath.
Both Pokémon turned their heads towards the two storied building. Half of it was in ruins, destroyed by the energy beam from a rampaging statue that had somehow moved around. Tordon recognized it immediately.
“Ahlström, tell me that the statue isn’t the one what we passed on the city square.” Tristan stated, sweat poured down his face.
“I hate to break it to you, but it is.” Tordon replied. “But how is it moving?”
Tristan gritted his teeth. “You tell me.”
The colossal statue was a sight to behold. It towered over everyone else, standing around three meters tall. Its white stone-like body was adorned with strange black patterns and large yellow bands. Three pairs of different colored gemstones surrounded another yellow ‘band’ in the center of its body, which has five dots that formed a certain pattern. Currently, the lowest dot had lit up.
A series of beeps could be heard from the golem as it proceeded to crush a clock tower into rubble. It turned around, pausing for a moment before stomping away into another part of the city. Both Tordon and Tristan knew where it was headed instantly.
“Tell me it isn’t going towards the Residential District.” Tordon closed his eyes desperately.
Tristan shook his head. “I’m afraid it is.” He said, watching the once inanimate statue smashing the city into pieces. “Come on.” His expression hardened.
Both Pokémon whirled around as two familiar Pokémon came running towards them. Ensign Natasha Vetrov looked quite alright, although a bit shocked by the series of the explosions. But Lt. Dr. Leonard O’Seinn looked like someone had swallowed something extremely bitter. And that has never been a good sign.
“What’s up with you?” Tordon asked bluntly. O’Seinn huffed as a response, and Vetrov shook his head.
“Let’s just say that the doctor had met a rather… interesting Zigzagoon.” The Kirlia replied.
“I swear that kid has been stalking me.” Said doctor grumbled.
Tristan blinked. A child Zigzagoon stalking Leo? That’s strange. “Alriiight.” He cleared his throat. “Ensign, status report.”
“Well, the structure and architectural state of the city differs from our own data. Some historical structures oddly looked brand new.” Vetrov started. “The size of Andalusst is also noticeably smaller, and it’s currently suffers from overpopulation. And currently, the city is being led by the Nobility and protected by a guild system and the Royal Guards, rather than the Fleet Corps.”
“What’s the damage report?” Tordon piped up.
Natasha tilted her head slightly. “Well, from what I’ve seen, most of the Commercial District is in ruins. The Main Plaza has been basically flattened to the ground.”
“Good job Vetrov. That’s all I have to know.” Tristan replied. “I have found some rather… disturbing news, but it’ll have to wait. Right now, we have a dire situation to face.”
Another explosion shook the air as Tristan spoke. More and more ran onto the streets, trying desperately to get away from the rampaging statue or seeking a safe place to hide. “Vetrov, O’Seinn. You two go and check Simmons if he’s alright. Assist him if he needs anything. Protect the Yacht at all cost. It’s the only important thing for us right now.” Tristan said, shocking the two fleet officers. Never in their life had the captain said that the Yacht is more important than anything. “Ahlström and I will go and assess the situation, and perhaps find a solution to this problem.”
Vetrov and O’Seinn stared.
“Well, don’t dawdle, go!” the Shinx barked out.
Both Pokémon quickly ran towards the edge of the city, sending confused looks to each other before focusing on the task they have been given with. It had been a confusing day alright. O’Seinn sighed as he looked back to the street they came from. He hoped the Prinplup and the Shinx will be alright.
“Ah, there you are, doctor.” A voice called out suddenly, halting the Vaporeon on his steps. The said doctor turned around, and his mood darkened considerably.
Leaning on a wall is a young Zigzagoon, wearing a white buttoned up shirt with the sleeves rolled up under a grey waistcoat. He stood on his hind legs, arms crossed, and head cocked to the side in an inquisitive manner. For his species, the Zigzagoon was tad on the skinny side, with tussled fur and a pair of sharp blue eyes that seemed to be x-raying you when they looked at you.
“I thought I’d find you here, and looks like I’m right.” The Zigzagoon said with a distinctive accent. The same one Commander Decker and Lieutenant Commander Ahlström have.
“Damn it, kid, I’m not someone for ye th' stalk 'round!” O’Seinn’s eye twitched. “And what are yeh doin' 'ere?!”
“I need your assistance, doctor.” The Zigazoon continued, ignoring the Vapoeron’s question. “I’ve been tracking the statue down, and I think I have found a solution that requires your help.”
“Sorry kid, but can’t yeh see I have my hands full?”
“Something about protecting the gravity-defying boat on the outskirts of the city, given to you by your superior I presume.” the Zigzagoon said offhandedly. “I assure you, that boat is none of your biggest concern right now.”
O’Seinn stared at the Zigzagoon while Vetrov looked at him in surprise. “Alright, now tell me how in Arceus’ name you knew 'bout that?!”
The Zigzagoon blinked. “I think it’s obvious.” he said, but didn’t elaborate more. O’Seinn waited, but the Zigzagoon didn’t continue. Instead, he gave a waiting look at the doctor. O’Seinn took a deep breath before exhaling.
“Alright. I’ll take your word for it. But just this once, no more.” He said, calming down. “Where do we meet?”
“I'm sure you remembered my address.” The Zigzagoon replied. "I'll join you shortly."
Natasha sighed as the fleet doctor disappears from sight. “Forgive him. Everything that’s happened pretty much ticked him off.” The Kirlia said, giving an apologetic look to the Zigzagoon.
“He’s an interesting case.” The Tiny Raccoon Pokémon have a strange look on his face. Like a scientist finding a very interesting specimen. “It’s alright. I can see it from his body language.” The normal type said, picking up a cracked starcoin from the ground. He examined it closely before slipping it into his vest pocket. “Good day to you.”
“And you too, uh... James, isn't it?"
“It's Jim. Jim Holford. James is too long. A waste of good breath.” He replied before walking off.
Main Street was a mess. Rubbles and smoking craters marred the cobble stone path. Buildings were left in smouldering ruins. Most Pokémon had vacated the part of the town, some are in the process of evacuating. Tristan could see that they are being led away by some Pokémon. They’re probably from one of the Guilds.
“What’s up ahead?” Tordon piped up.
Tristan whipped his head around and saw a rather large group of Pokémon gathered around a ruined marble fountain. No. Scratch that. They formed a circle around someone in front of the fountain. As they got closer, the Prinplup could make out a rather tall Pokémon in the centre of the large circle. It was a Swampert. Tall and well built, there’s no doubt that the Swampert could take on a few opponents without breaking a sweat. His head is protected with a large brown fedora. He’s also wearing a pair of long leather gloves and a red pendant strung rather tightly around his neck. And he’s currently giving instructions to the crowd around him.
“…it never gets tired, or bruised.” The Swampert said, earning a number of gasps from the crowd. “I can’t even seem to damage it. Now, do as I’ve told you and I’ll make sure you’ll make it out safely. And the speedy rest of ya, go with my First Mate, Cassidy. He’ll explain what you’re gonna do.”
With that, most of the Pokémon dispersed away, but some looked rather unsure, but went nonetheless.
“What’s going on?” Tordon frowned. The Swampert seemed to have heard the Shinx as he quickly went to the two.
“Well, as you can see, Andalusst is under attack by some bloody statue.” He said, sounding exasperated, as if he had repeated it several times already. “Our own Guardian Statue, if you will.” He added. A look of confusion suddenly flashed through his face. “Hold on. I’ve never seen you two before. Did you just arrive here?”
Tristan nodded. “Yes, this morning, actually.”
“Oh. That explains it. I usually could recognize everyone I meet in this here city.” The Swampert nodded. He then extended his hand. "Name’s Luke. I’m the leader of the Explorers guild. That Floatzel with the Skelrp and Octirelly up there is Cassidy. Explorers Guild First Mate.” he gestured to the top of the building to his left, where a small group was gathered around the said Floatzel. “It would’ve been nice to meet under better circumstances, but well, you know.” He scratched his head. “Well, it’s best for you to evacuate the area. We’ve got this under control. But, if you wanted to help, I’d appreciate it.”
“We’ll help.” Tordon stated without hesitation.
Luke grinned appreciatively. “Alright! So, mind telling me who you are?”
“Lieutenant Commander Tordon-Ack!”
Tristan had deliberately stepped on the electric type’s foot, cutting what the Shinx was going to say out of habit. But the damage had been done. Tristan mentally groaned as he looked comprehension dawning on the Swampert’s face. He sweated and paled almost immediately.
“Y-you’re from the Royal Fleet?! As-as you see, sirs, we’ve got the situation under control. The Guilds are helping civilians out-“
“Luke. Calm down.” Tristan interjected. Luke shut up almost immediately. “I’d appreciate if you didn’t tell anyone about us here. Yes, I know it’s rather unexpected but our visit is also unplanned. We won’t arrest you or something.”
“Oh.” Luke sighed, visibly relaxed. “Ah, well… Erhm…so… here’s the thing. The Great Statue just got up all of the sudden and started to destroying everything around. I’ve been able to keep it at bay, but it’s getting stronger by the minute. So, here’s the plan. The explorers are going to act as distractions while the Researchers and Hunters do their job. If you think you’re up to it, you could help me and my team tough it out for a while. Cassidy and his team will distract it from afar in case it got too close for comfort.”
Tristan glanced at the Shinx beside him. His paws were cupped on his chin. “So, you were saying that the Explorers are divided into two teams, the first one will deal with the statue head on while the other will fight it from afar, distracting it away from smashing around buildings and citizens at the same time.”
“That sums it up, yeah.” Luke nodded.
“Alrght.” Tordon turned to the Prinplup. “Cap- I mean, Tristan.”
“You’re free to do as you planned, Tor.” Tristan addressed his Chief Tactician in an oddly casual manner, calling him by his nickname. “We aren’t in an official mission after all.”
Tordon blinked. “Oh. Ah, alright. Best of luck.” He said before running towards the small group on the rooftops. Luke watched them inquiringly.
“I’ll explain later.” Was Tristan’s reply before turning his attention towards the statue. “Well,” he thought. “So much for a big trouble.”