Chapter 2: Entanglement

Note: This episode takes place in-between episodes 71 and 72 of Cosmic Quest, and is best read at that point.

***

A man is sitting down to eat a meal with his family, a wife and two children, when there’s a knock on the door. The man says, “Don’t worry, I’ll get it.” He walks up to the door and opens it. On the other side is Brandon and Chris.

Brandon is in the middle of whispering sternly to Chris, “No, just stay quiet. Don’t mess this one up like you did the last.” He then looks up to see the door open.

The man asks nicely, “Hello, may I help you?”

Brandon nods. “Hello, would you happen to be Professor Hanson, the astrophysicist from the University of Tenno?”

The man nods. “Yes, that’s me. Are you a student?”

Brandon shakes his head. “No, but if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ask you a question or two.”

Hanson nods. “I don’t see why not.”

“Alright, well, two years ago you went on record claiming that you had a mysterious visit from two strange men wearing black versions of the Team Planetary uniform. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about that visit.”

Hanson’s entire demeanor suddenly changes from kind and polite to angered and upset. He asserts, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Now if you’ll excuse me, my family is waiting for me.”

He attempts to slam the door, but Brandon puts his foot in first to stop him. He insists, “Please sir, you’re one of the only people to ever make such a report.”

“If you read the report in the newspaper about my account, then you also must know that I retracted my statement the very next day. I was mistaken, and there’s nothing else to it.”

Brandon practically begs, “Please sir, this group is dangerous, and we need to know everything we can about them, it’s of the utmost importance.”

Hanson looks to Brandon, back behind him to his family, and then back to Brandon. He sighs and then whispers, “Look, I don’t know if there’s anyone you value in life, but if you do, then you have to drop this investigation right now. The only thing I can tell you is that I have a family to care for, so I can’t tell you anything, now please, I’m begging you, just leave this be.” He physically looks afraid as he says this.

Brandon sighs and reluctantly removes his foot. Hanson immediately closes the door. Brandon and Chris walk away from the house.

Chris complains, “That’s the third one. How are we ever going to learn anything if they all keep on refusing to tell us anything?”

Brandon shakes his head with dismay. “The story is the same every time. There’s a report made of mysterious Team Planetary Grunts wearing black appearing at one’s house, but then the report is taken back the very next day and the reporter refuses to speak of it ever again.”

Chris suggests, “Maybe there really isn’t anything going on at all.”

Brandon shakes his head. “No, there’s almost certainly something going on. The eye-witness accounts all describe exactly what we saw at Kanaveral. There is something going on here, there’s no doubt about it.”

Chris suddenly points something in the middle of the street being illuminated by a streetlight. “Hey, what’s that?”

Brandon looks at it with curiosity. “I don’t know, it’s some sort of package.” He takes a step towards it. He realizes with confusion, “It’s addressed to me…”

Chris encourages, “Well, aren’t you going to open it?”

Brandon is uncertain. He reaches out for it and picks it up. He then opens it up. Inside is nothing but a slip of paper with writing on it. Brandon reads, “If you want the truth, meet me at the address written below at midnight tonight.”

Chris says excitedly, “Does that mean what I think it means?”

Brandon appears highly skeptical. “I don’t know. This is very odd. But with Professor Hanson refusing to tell us anything, we’re all out of leads, so I guess this is all we’ve got.”

Chris says excitedly, “This is like real spy stuff! So cool!”

***

Brandon and Chris stand in the middle of an alleyway. The only source of light is a dim streetlight above them. Brandon pulls out a Pokéssistant and watches as the clock on it changes from 11:59 to 12:00. He looks around. “Alright, it’s twelve, where is this guy?”

Suddenly an electronically disguised voice announces, “I’m right here.” A silhouetted figure appears right outside of the streetlight’s range. The voice says, “So I have heard that you’re looking into the existence of Team Interplanetary. I have information to give you, in hopes that it will lead to the truth being revealed.”

Chris is having trouble containing himself, he’s finding this moment so cool.

Brandon, on the other hand, is not amused. He snaps, “Just drop the cloak and dagger act, Braydon.”

After a moment of hesitation, the voice asks, “Wh-what do you mean? Who is this Braydon you speak of?”

“Very funny Braydon, but I’d recognize you anywhere. If you really wanted to hide yourself, you probably shouldn’t have started off talking about ‘the truth being revealed.’”

The voice sighs and then the figure steps into the light. It’s a boy about the age of Brandon. He wears tan pants and a white t-shirt. Draped over his shoulders is a red coat. As his arms are not in the sleeves, it’s being used more as a cape than a coat. His hair has several strips that wrap around each other in various ways. In a normal voice he asks, “Was I really that obvious?”

Brandon responds, “We grew up watching all the same movies Braydon, and I know your obsession with ‘the truth,’ so yeah, it was obvious.”

Braydon shrugs. “Eh, what’re you going to do?” He then notices Chris and asks, “So who’s the kid?”

Taking offense, Chris interjects, “Don’t you remember me? I’m Chris. I’m from Launch Town just like you and Brandon.”

Brandon adds, “He’s that kid who tried to pretend to be older to get his first Pokémon at the same time we did.”

With that, Braydon is reminded of Chris. “Oh yeah, the obnoxious little squirt.”

Chris objects, “Hey, I’m right here!”

Braydon nods. “Yeah, and?”

Chris stomps the ground with irritation. “Hmph!”

Getting back on topic, Brandon asks, “So you mentioned Team Interplanetary, who are they?”

“They’re the group you’re trying to track down. There’s extremely little information on them, and most of that is just speculation.”

Brandon groans. “So this is just another one of your conspiracy theories.”

“You know as well as I do that my whole Team Planetary ‘conspiracy theory’ turned out to be true, so I wouldn’t be so quick to doubt if I were you. From what I can gather, Team Interplanetary is some sort of black-ops unit of Team Planetary that works entirely in the shadows. While Team Planetary may not be afraid to get their hands dirty from time to time, Team Interplanetary was designed specifically to do the dirtiest of work. There are reports of them showing up at people’s front doors, demanding what they need, taking it if it isn’t given, and then threatening them if they ever revealed the encounter to the public. Only a small handful of people have ever come forward, I imagine that the actual number of people who have encountered them is much greater, they’re just too afraid to say anything. Why do you need to know about them, anyways?”

Brandon explains, “Remember that explosion that occurred in Kanaveral a while back? It was the result of a black hole created in a secret Team Interplanetary laboratory. I was there.”

Braydon is shocked. “You were actually in a Team Interplanetary facility?”

Chris eagerly jumps up and declares, “I was there, too!”

Brandon and Braydon ignore him. Brandon nods in response to Braydon’s question. “Yes, and I don’t like what I saw there. If this Team Interplanetary really is as bad as you say, who knows what they might have been trying to accomplish in that lab?”

Braydon puts and hand on Brandon’s shoulder, “Look, Brandon, I know that normally I’d be the first to encourage you to go and do whatever you can to stop Team Planetary, but this is different. Team Interplanetary operates by their own set of rules. I don’t think it’s wise trying to confront them head-on.”

Brandon shakes his head. “No Braydon, you know as well as I do that I can’t let this stand by.”

Braydon nods. “I figured as much. Just make me a promise.”

Brandon nods.

“Be careful out there.” After a moment, he adds, “If something happened to you, I’d never get my chance for that rematch. There’s no way I’m letting things end like they did in our last battle.”

Brandon grins. “You don’t have to worry about that, you’ll get your rematch. I promise.”

The two rivals lock eyes as only rivals can, nod in acknowledgment of each other, then turn around to go their separate ways.

Chris is momentarily left behind, then he runs off to catch up with Brandon.

***

Brandon and Chris are each in bed in a room at the Pokémon Center. Chris, who is wearing Pikachu-print pajamas, is sleeping in a very goofy sprawled-out fashion with his Sporout sleeping on top of his face. He snores loudly.

Brandon isn’t sleeping. He lies on his bed with his eyes open, staring at the ceiling while deep in thought. He remembers what Hanson warned earlier. “Look, I don’t know if there’s anyone you value in life, but if you do, then you have to drop this investigation right now.”

Brandon thinks, What if he’s right? Am I doing the right thing? Or am I simply just endangering the ones I love? He turns his head and looks towards Chris across the room. And what about him? It may be one thing for me to be doing this investigation, but Chris is too ignorant to know what’s going on. He probably hasn’t begun to grasp in the slightest what we might be up against. If what Braydon said is even the slightest bit true, we could easily-”

He stops mid-thought when he notices movement near the door. It’s shadows being cast underneath the door from the other side. Taking it very slowly, and being careful not to make a noise, Brandon carefully reaches out towards his nightstand, which has six Pokéballs atop it. He grabs one of them and slowly pulls it back towards him. He hides his hand under the blanket and then pretends to be asleep.

Within moments, the door to the room opens without a sound. Three figures walk in stealthily. Two figures are Team Interplanetary agents in black, while the third is a Beheeyem. One of the men in black whispers, “That’s him. That’s the boy that’s been looking in on us. Alter his memory and make it so he doesn’t even know we exist, Beheeyem.”

Beheeyem nods in response and then silently floats up to Brandon. It places a hand on either side of his head and then its finger lights begin to flash.

The other Interplanetary Grunt comments, “After his mind is wiped, he’ll never be a threat to us again.”

Suddenly, Brandon springs up out of bed and throws the Pokéball he grabbed earlier. He shouts, “Go, Boodini!” A mysterious Pokémon appears. It is comprised of what seems to be several freely floating articles of clothing. On top is a black top hat, below that is a red bowtie, which appears to be tied around an invisible neck. Under that are two white gloves that look as if they’re filled by invisible hands, one of which is carrying a black stick with a white tip. Floating mysteriously behind all of this a fancy cape with a black back and red front. All the objects that comprise it seem to be floating independently of each other, but also combine together to give the illusion of an invisible body being present. Brandon orders, “Use Pyromancy!”

Boodini waves its wand and a mysterious orb of flames suddenly engulfs Beheeyem. It cries out in shock and pain, “Beheeyem!”

Only just realizing what’s happening, one of the grunts says in surprise, “The boy was expecting us!”

The other declares, “Then we’ll just have to do this the hard way. Beheeyem, use Zen Headbutt!”

Beheeyem quickly charges forward out of the fire and attempts to ram its head into Boodini. “Use Phantom Force.” Brandon grins. “Now you see it…” Boodini swishes its wand and fades away. “Now you don’t.” Beheeyem stops itself before it rams into a wall. Without any forewarning, Boodini suddenly appears behind Beheeyem and launches an attack, knocking it to the ground. Brandon the adds, “Now use Legerdemain.” With a swish and flick of its wand, Boodini conjures a cluster of purple energy tendrils. The tendrils all wrap around the fallen Beheeyem and inflict damage.

The grunt who isn’t battling warns, “You are a fool if you think you can stand up to us.”

Brandon retorts, “I’ve been traveling for more than a year now, and all that time I’ve been fighting Team Planetary goons like you. The way I see it, the only difference is that you wear black.”

“That’s your mistake to make. You may have gotten lucky this time, but nobody goes against Team Interplanetary, and it’s a mistake that people don’t get to make twice.”

The other grunt says, “We’re done here. Get us out of here, Beheeyem.” Beheeyem gets up and then uses Teleport to transport the three them away in a blue haze of light.

Brandon breathes a sigh of relief. “Great job Boodini. Thanks for that.” He returns it to its Pokéball.

A loud snore can be heard. Brandon turns to the side to see Chris and Sporout still sleeping as heavily as before. He chuckles to himself and says, “Wow, nothing will wake those two.”

Chris suddenly bolts upright, flinging Sporout into the air, who then lands on top of Chris’ head, also wake now. The two of them quickly look back in forth several times. Chris asks in shock, “What’s going on!?”

Brandon chuckles again. “It’s nothing. I’ll explain in the morning.”

Chris nods. “Oh, okay.” He lies back down, and almost instantly is back asleep. Brandon shakes his head with disbelief.

***

Brandon and Chris are seated on either side of a table in the Pokémon Center. Chris asks with disbelief, “Really? They came right into our room? How’d they get a key?”

Brandon responds, “They’re a high-tech organization, getting past a basic locked door is probably the least of their problems.”

Chris nods. “Yeah, I guess. But what were they trying to do?”

“From what I overheard, they were trying to use Beheeyem’s natural ability to alter memories to change my own. That way I would stop going after them.”

Chris shivers. “Wow, this is some spooky stuff.”

Brandon nods. “For once, I agree with you.” He gets up. “Now, if you’d excuse me, I have a call to make.”

He walks across the room to a holographic video phones and dials a number. A few moments later, a hologram of Professor Pine appears. He greets happily, “Well, if it isn’t Launch town’s prodigy. How are you, Brandon?”

Brandon seems as if he resents the title, even if it is an accurate one. “I’m fine. Had some stuff pop up last night, but I took care of it. How about you, how are things at the lab?”

“Oh you know, busy as usual. Actually, busier than usual, since I’m in the middle of preparing for this year’s space camp. Speaking of, are you going to be able to make it back home this year to attend?”

Brandon shakes his head. “Unfortunately not, I’m very busy myself.”

“That’s too bad, there’s a trainer coming to this year’s that I really think you should meet. He’d give even you a run for your money in a battle.” Brandon doesn’t seem convinced. “Anyways, I can assume that you didn’t call to catch up.”

Brandon nods. “Regrettably, you’re correct. I wanted to know if that research I asked you to do turned up anything.”

Pine nods as he thinks back. “Ah yes, the Gravitonic Core. I looked into the research on gravity and related topics I could find, but none of it even so much as mentions such an object.”

“Yeah, the same for me.”

“However, I did find something.”

Brandon looks up eagerly. “You did?”

“Yes, but not where you were expecting me to. I found it in an account of the myth of the Cosmic Architect. According to this account, the Cosmic Architect, creator of the Solar System, used gravity as its toolset. So the Gravitonic Core is essentially the Cosmic Architect’s toolbox, an item which gave it control over the force of gravity itself. It was given to a servant of the Cosmic Architect during the construction, and this servant has guarded it ever since.”

Brandon is intrigued. He thinks, So Team Interplanetary is attempting to recreate an object created by the Cosmic Architect to control gravity. Not surprising considering how obsessed with the Cosmic Architect regular Team Planetary is. He then asks aloud, “Can you tell me anything about this servant, Professor?”

Professor Pine nods. “Yes, but only a little. It is a Pokémon that goes by the name of Gravisaac.”

Brandon repeats the name. “Gravisaac.”

“Very little is known about this Pokémon, but there are accounts of it visiting a specific location on Earth.”

This piques Brandon’s interest. “It visits Earth? Do you know where this place is?”

“There’s no first-hand, modern day accounts to back this up, but supposedly in ancient times Gravisaac would frequently visit a cave on an island north of Tenno known as the Cosmic Cave. Some suspect that the strange energies present there would allow it to somehow recharge itself.”

Brandon nods. “The Cosmic Cave…can you tell me where that is?

“I’m afraid that I can’t. The location of the cavern is a closely guarded secret.” Brandon looks down with disappointment. “However, I expected that you would want to go there yourself, and luckily for you, we have a mutual friend who does know the location, and he just might be willing to show you. I’ve already contacted him and told him to meet you at the hover port.”

Brandon looks up excitedly. “Wow, thanks Professor. You’re a life saver.”

Pine grins. “You’re welcome. Feel free to contact me if you need anything else. I’m always willing to lend a helping hand to the greatest trainer to ever come out of Launch Town.”

Brandon grimaces for moment, likely because of what the professor called him, but then puts on a smile. “I know that, and thanks again. Bye, Professor.”

“Goodbye Brandon.” The call ends.

Chris suddenly appears behind Brandon and asks, “Alright, so where are we going next?”

Brandon shakes his head. “I’m sorry Chris, but I’ve been thinking about this, and from this point on it would be better if I travelled alone, especially after what happened last night.”

Chris pouts. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I was barely able to protect myself last night, and what I’m doing is going to get more dangerous from here. You can’t keep following me around like this.”

Chris shakes his head and stomps a foot. “No, there’s no way you’re leaving me behind.”

Brandon responds sternly, “There is a way, and I’m doing it right now.” He turns around and walks out of the Pokémon Center.”

Chris is too surprised by this abrupt departure to do anything for a moment. Once he gathers his sense he quickly runs outside, but finds that Brandon is nowhere in sight. Chris angrily stomps his foot to the ground and declares, “No fair!”

***

Brandon stands looking around in a wharf area. After seeing no one he recognizes, he sighs and then thinks, Why does this kind of stuff keep happening to me? All I ever wanted was to be a Pokémon trainer and make friends with my Pokémon, and yet, I keep on ending up in these scenarios where I have to do something to save the region. Why me? What’s so special about me? To answer his own question, he thinks mockingly, It’s because I’m a “prodigy.” I never asked to be a prodigy. That title bares a lot of pressure, apparently heroic responsibilities as well. Last night could have easily gone so much worse. Those Interplanetary agents probably think that I’m just that good, but I’m not, I got lucky. I always get lucky. That’s why I’m a “prodigy.” If I weren’t already awake there would have been no way I ever could have stopped them. He thinks about Chris. And here I am, wishing for a normal life, while Chris wants to follow me into this crazy stuff. He can hardly comprehend what’s going on, he’s so naïve…kind of like I was back when I first started out.

Brandon is brought out of his contemplations when a voice calls to him, “Brandon, how good to see you again.”

Brandon turns around to see someone approaching him. It’s Galileo, the Tenno League Champion. Brandon puts a smile on. “Galileo, can’t say I was expecting to see you. You’re the one the professor contacted?”

Galileo nods. “Indeed. The cave you are searching for, the Cosmic Cave, is under the protection of the Pokémon League. As Champion, I have the special privilege of access to it for me, and those that I trust. I already have a hover boat waiting for us. Follow me.”

The two head off. Brandon says, “I really must thank you for this. You’re doing me a huge favor.”

Galileo grins. “Anything for an up and coming Tenno Champion. Speaking of, when can I expect your challenge? It’s been nearly a year since you were victorious at the Tenno League. Normally I face the winner within a few weeks.”

Brandon grimaces. “Well…I just don’t feel the time is right yet. I may have won at the Tenno League, but I don’t think that means I’m ready to take on the Tenno Champion yet.”

Galileo chuckles. “I see. Sounds funny coming from one of the most critically acclaimed trainers in the region. But no worries. When you feel you’re ready, I’ll be waiting.”

It would seem that Brandon doesn’t like being called critically acclaimed either. The two walk in silence the rest of the way and board a hover boat. Little do they notice, Chris and Sporout sneak on behind them.

***

The hover boat arrives at a secluded island with absolutely no hint of civilization. Brandon and Galileo disembark. Galileo looks to Brandon and says, “I hope you don’t mind a hike, we’ve got quite a one ahead of us.”

Brandon grins, looking ready for it. “I’m always up for a challenge.”

“Then let us be off.” He leads Brandon up to a trail.

A little down the trail are two guards standing vigilant. One of them salutes Galileo and steps off to the side. He greets, “Good afternoon, Champion. Going to check on the Cosmic Cave?”

Galileo nods. “Yes, this boy is with me too.”

The guard nods back. “Okay, be careful out there.”

Brandon and Galileo pass the guards. Brandon asks, “So what makes this place so special? Why does it need protection?”

“Any location connected to myths and legends need some degree of protection. This place isn’t just connected to the myths, it’s a part of them. And let’s just say there’s something very special about this cave. You’ll see what I mean when we get there.

Before Brandon can question what he means, a shout is heard from Chris. “Hey, let me through!”

One of the guards responds, “Sorry kid, this island is closed to the public. You need special authorization to be here.”

Brandon looks back to see Chris struggling with the guards and groans.

Galileo asks, “Do you know the boy?”

Brandon nods. “Unfortunately, he’s with me.”

Galileo nods in understanding. He then calls out, “It’s alright, let him through!”

The guards look to Galileo questioningly, but then shrug and allow Chris to pass. He quickly runs over to Brandon.

Brandon demands, “What are you doing here? How’d you even get here?”

Chris smiles innocently. “Isn’t it obvious? I followed you.”

Brandon is not amused. “You know what I meant, Chris. I told you to stay behind.”

“Yeah, but you also told me that you didn’t care where I went, remember that? So I decided to follow you. Sorry, but you’re stuck with me.”

Brandon groans and shakes his head with disbelief.

Galileo says, “Well, he’s stuck with us now. The boat that took us here already departed, and won’t be back until tonight.”

Chris and Sporout jump up and cheer.

Brandon says sternly, “Just don’t get in the way and, please, try to stay out of trouble.”

Chris does a mock salute. “Scout’s honor.”

Galileo beckons them forward. “Come on, we’d better get moving if we want to make it to the caverns.”

***

After walking the entire way, Brandon, Chris, and Galileo approach a mountain. At its base is a completely unassuming cave entrance. Galileo declares, “And there you have it, the Cosmic Cave.”

Chris tilts his head inquisitively. “That’s all? I was expecting something way more impressive.”

Galileo smiles. “Wait until you see the inside.” He leads them.

As soon they enter the cave, what Galileo meant becomes immediately apparent. The inside of the cave is stunning. The walls all colored a deep, dark purple, with thousands of sparkling, iridescent points, giving the illusion they’re floating in the night sky.

Brandon and Chris are breathless. Brandon manages to say, “Absolutely stunning.”

Chris manages a, “Woah…”

Galileo takes joy from the expressions on their faces. “Come on, you haven’t even seen the best part yet.” He leads them deeper into the cave. Once they’ve gotten far enough from the entrance that light no longer pours in from it, the effect of the shimmering walls is amplified. Unexpectedly, Galileo shouts, “It’s alright! You can come out! These are friends!”

Brandon looks to Galileo questioningly. “Who are you calling?”

Instead of responding, Galileo just smiles and waits. Moments later the head of a Pokémon peeks out from around a corner. Cautiously, the Pokémon then moves all the way forward and approaches the group. The Pokémon is a floating creature with a sleek body shape that’s almost mechanical in appearance. The body itself is vaguely shaped like a curved delta, being thicker towards the bottom, and thinner the closer it gets to the head. The Pokémon has no legs to speak of, and its hands have no arms connecting them to the body. They simply float at the side of it. What’s also disconnected is the head. While the Pokémon does have what could be considered a neck, it too is disconnected, floating between the body and the head. In the center of its chest is a smooth, spherical, red gemstone, which almost seems to glow, unmistakably a Gravitonic Core. The Pokémon itself is colored light blue, silver, and white. When the Pokémon stands still, it orients itself vertically, with its head on top, but when it moves, it orients itself horizontally, with its head in front.

After a moment of staring at the Pokémon with a stunned expression, Brandon asks, “Is that…?”

Galileo nods. “Brandon, I’d like to introduce you to Gravisaac.”

The Pokémon now floats in front of Brandon. Brandon begins to reach out to it, but then looks to Galileo for permission. Galileo smiles and nods. Brandon then reaches his hand out the rest of the way and places it on Gravisaac’s forehead. As soon as he makes contact, a connection is forged. Gravisaac smiles and calls out with joy in high-pitch humming voice, “Graaaaaaav!”

Brandon says, “I was hoping to meet you, Gravisaac. My name is Brandon.”

Chris butts in and says excitedly, “Yeah, and I’m Chris, and this is Sporout!”

Sporout waves lazily from the top of Chris’ head. “Rout spore.”

Gravisaac smiles at the two of them and cries again, “Graaaaaaav!” Suddenly and without warning, Brand and Chris are lifted into the air as if they were weightless.

Chris begins to flail his arms around and panic, this movement only causing him to tumble weightlessly through the air. Sporout doesn’t seem to care that much. He cries in fear, “What’s going on!?”

Galileo chuckles. “That means Gravisaac likes you. It’s removing the burden of gravity from you so you can feel like it feels all the time.”

Brandon looks to Gravisaac and asks, “Is that true? Is this a gift to us?”

Gravisaac happily nods. “Graaaav!”

Brandon smiles back. “Thank you Gravisaac.”

Chris kicks off a wall and flies right past Brandon. He says with joy, “Hey, I think I’m getting the hang of this now!” Just as he finishes saying this, he crashes into the roof. “Ouch!” He then regretfully says, “Or not…” Brandon and Gravisaac laugh at him.

***

Back near the shore of the island, the guards continue to stand watch. One asks the other, “So, do you ever wonder exactly what it is we’re guarding?”

The other laughs. “Ha! They don’t pay me enough to wonder. Besides, what does it matter? No one ever comes here, this is the world’s easiest job.”

The first guard chuckles. “I guess you’re right.” Suddenly his attention is caught by something just out of view. He shouts, “Hey, you! Stop right there! This island is off-limits to any unauthorized personal.”

A voice from someone unseen responds, “We’re always authorized. Take care of them, Clefable.”

The two guards open their eyes wide with shock. The second demands, “What are you doing!?”

A seen of the island from above is shown, and the two guards are heard screaming in horror.

***

Brandon stands next to Galileo and watches as Chris, Sporout, and Gravisaac all play around in zero-gravity. Brandon comments, “I can see now why this place needs to be kept under guard.”

Galileo nods. “It’s unfortunate, too. Think about it, we know the location that an actual Legendary Pokémon lives. That’s amazing. But the world is full of evil people with evil agendas. Gravisaac would never be safe if its location were advertised to the world.”

Brandon nods in understanding. “But why show me? If it’s so important that this be a secret, why am I here? To be blunt, we’ve only met a handful of times. There’s no way you trust me that much.”

Galileo shakes his head. “But I do trust you that much. Every time we’ve met in the past, you’ve done something different to prove what a great trainer you are, more importantly, you’ve proven what a great person you are. I know that you would never do anything to harm a Pokémon, especially one like Gravisaac.” After a moment’s silence, Galileo adds, “I must say though, you impressed me more than ever today.”

Brandon looks to him with a brow raised. “What do you mean?”

“The way Gravisaac trusted you right off the bat like that. It doesn’t usually trust anyone until it gets to know them well. It took months of me coming here for Gravisaac to even show itself to me, several more for it to actually bestow its gift of antigravity. There was a palpable connection between you and Gravisaac that formed the moment you two made contact. There’s something special about you, Brandon.”

Brandon shies away. “Oh…I don’t know about that.”

“No need to be modest. It’s the truth.” Brandon isn’t fully convinced.

As if sensing his unease, Gravisaac turns away from Chris, leaving him floating in the air upside-down, and floats over to Brandon. Trying to cheer him up, it lifts him into the air. “Graaaaav!”

Brandon smiles at Gravisaac. “Don’t worry about me Gravisaac, I’m fine.”

“Graaaaaav!” It then beckons for him to come and play.

Brandon is uncertain. “I don’t really feel like playing right now.”

Gravisaac won’t take no for an answer, though. It quickly grabs Brandon’s hat and then flies off, beckoning for Brandon to come after it.

Brandon shouts, “Hey, give that back!” He pushes himself off a wall and follows it. Gravisaac quickly turns ninety degrees. Brandon nods. “I see what we’re doing.” With a look of determination, he angles himself just right to kick off the ceiling and chase after Gravisaac. The chase quickly turns into a game and the two continue it for a couple more turns, until Brandon finally manages to catch up with Gravisaac and grab ahold of its back. He exclaims, “Got you! Now give me back my hat.” Gravisaac happily levitates the hat back onto Brandon’s head. They both laugh with joy.

But the joy does not last. Brandon, Chris, and Galileo are suddenly all pushed off to the side by some unseen force and pinned against a wall. This leaves Gravisaac alone and confused. “Graaav?”

Brandon shouts, “What is this!?”

Into view comes a group of Interplanetary Grunts and their Beheeyem, one of which is using Psychic to immobilize the trainers. Leading them is Messier, the Interplanetary Commander, and his Clefable. He says with fake joy, “I really must thank you three for leading me right to the Legendary Gravisaac. Normally I respect secrets, but you’ve made my job so much easier, I couldn’t help it.”

Realizing something is wrong, Gravisaac prepares to flee. Before it can, Messier orders, “Do it now.”

Four of the grunts pulls out some sort of projector, which each generate an orange beam of light aimed straight that Gravisaac. The beams combine together to form a force field around the Pokémon.

Gravisaac cries out in distress. “Graaaaav!” It tries ramming itself into the edge of the barrier, but it just bounces off.

Messier chuckles. “That same technology was recently used to hold the Legendary Pokémon Lunala and Solgaleo. There’s no escape from it.”

Galileo demands, “Who are you!?”

Messier turns to Galileo and responds, “That, Champion Galileo, is a secret.”

Angrily, Brandon answers for him. “That’s Messier, the commander of a secret branch of Team Planetary known as Team Interplanetary. They’re the reason I was investigating the Gravitonic Core.”

Messier shakes his head with disapproval. “Nobody seems to respect secrets these days.” He then looks to Brandon. “I must say though, at first I was enraged when I heard my grunts failed to deal with you, but as soon as I heard that my spies discovered you were heading towards the location of the mythic Cosmic Cave, I realized that you could be of use and lead me to the greatest secret of all. Gravisaac.”

Brandon shouts, “How about you let me go and we’ll have a rematch! I’ll beat you like I did last time!”

“You and I have a very different memory about how our last battle went. But no, I think not. We have what we want. So we’ll be leaving now. Once I’ve erased any memories you have of us, that is. It’s nothing personal, the secret must be kept after all.” He turns to Galileo. “I think I’ll erase your memory first.” He beckons to a grunt with a Beheeyem behind him and orders, “Do it.”

The grunt and Beheeyem approach Galileo. Galileo struggles to move, but to no avail. The grunt says unconvincingly, “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt one bit.” He chuckles. “And even if it did, you wouldn’t remember it anyways.” The Beheeyem raises its arms and the lights on its hands begin to strobe.

Brandon struggles to reach for his belt, managing to get just a little bit of motion. He thinks, If I could just grab a Pokéball… Slowly but steadily he continues to struggle his way towards a Pokéball. He looks up to see how Galileo’s doing, and it’s not well. Galileo cries out in pain, and then his entire body goes limp. Brandon manages to grab the Pokéball and give it a small underhanded toss. He shouts, “Solurtle, use Solar Flare!”

Brandon’s partner Solurtle appears from the Pokéball and immediately attacks the Beheeyem with a stream of super-heated plasma from its mouth. The grunt jumps back in surprise. The attack causes it to stop its immobilizing Psychic attack, so Brandon, Chris, and Galileo all fall to the floor.

Brandon runs over to Galileo and helps him up. “Are you okay?”

Galileo nods meekly. “Yeah, I think I’ll manage. I feel a bit dazed, but I don’t think it was able to cause any permanent damage.”

Brandon nods. “Good.” He turns to the Interplanetary group and issues an ultimatum. “The way I see it; you guys only have two options. You can free Gravisaac right now and leave, or you could do exactly what I know you’re going to do, and stay here to fight, in which case I will win, and I will free Gravisaac. The first option saves you a lot of trouble, so I suggest you pick that one.”

Messier shakes his head disapprovingly. “How about I take option number three? We have everything we need, so we’ll be going now.”

The remaining grunts all send out their Beheeyem and order them to use Teleport.

Brandon throws another Pokéball and declares, “Oh no you don’t, not again!” Out of the Pokéball comes his Boodini. “Boodini, Shadow Bind!” Boodini waves its wand and chains made of dark energy suddenly shoot out of the shadows around Team Interplanetary and quickly fade away. When the time comes that they would normally teleport, the chains reappear, locking them in place. “As I said, two choices, not three.”

Messier is visibly angered. He shouts, “Get him!”

The grunts all step forward and order, “Psybeam!” The various Beheeyem all aim their attacks at Boodini in an attempt to stop its Shadow Bind.

Brandon quickly orders, “Solurtle, Iron Defense!” Solurtle slides in front of Boodini and retreats into its shell, using itself as a shield to protect Boodini. “Boodini, you keep up that Shadow Bind going, Solurtle and I will do the fighting.

Boodini nods in understanding. “Dini!”

“Alright Solurtle, let’s do this.” He raises his arm and taps two fingers to the Mega Band on his wrist. “Go, Mega Evolution!” After a brilliant show of lights, Solurtle Mega Evolves into Mega Solurtle. When it does so, and intense, sun-like light fills the cave.

Chris cheers, “Alright, Brandon! You and Mega Solurtle have got this!”

Not paying him any heed, Brandon orders, “Gyro Ball and Solar Flare at the same time!” Solurtle pulls into its shell again and begins to spin at high speeds. It then becomes surrounded by an orb of plasma generated from its Solar Flare attack. It charges into the horde of Beheeyem and the plasma explodes outwards just as it does. “Now Solar Beam, wide angle!” Solurtle quickly comes back out of its shell and charges its Solar Beam quickly due to the ambient light, then attacks in a wide angle just as commanded, once again hitting all of the Beheeyem.

This isn’t enough to stop them, though. They all quickly get back up. The grunts then all order, “Psychic!” The combined forces of all the Beheeyem lift Solurtle into the air, immobilizing it. Solurtle struggles to free itself, but has little luck.

Brandon tells it, “Free yourself with Solar Flare!” Solurtle attempts to attack the Beheeyem trapping it with its attack, but they reposition it so that its attack completely misses. Brandon balls his fists angrily. He looks uncertain of what to do next.

Suddenly, Galileo shouts, “Dracosmic, use Dragon Force!” Out of nowhere, Galileo’s Dracosmic appears and unleashes a purple beam of energy that grazes all of the Beheeyem and frees Solurtle. It lands on the ground with a thud.

Brandon nods at Galileo. “Thanks.”

Galileo nods back. “Don’t mention it. We’re in this together now.”

Solurtle and Dracosmic position themselves back to back and are now surrounded by a full circle of Beheeyem. Brandon shouts, “Solar Beam!”

Galileo orders at the same time, “Dragon Force!” The two Pokémon rotate around each other and attack in a complete circle, their combined attacks knocking out all the Beheeyem.

Chris cheers, “Yeah, you beat them! Way to go!”

Sporout adds, “Rout spore!”

Messier declares, “You’re not through this yet. I’ll take you both if I have to.”

Galileo laughs. “Ha! You think you can defeat the Tenno League Champion and a Champion-in-the-making by yourself? You’ve got a lot of guts.”

Messier shakes his head. “I don’t need to defeat you.”

Brandon asks, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Messier simply answers, “It’s a secret.” He then orders, “Clefable, use Meteor Mash!” Clefable suddenly appears above Solurtle and prepares to pound down on it with Meteor Mash.

Galileo quickly orders, “Use Lightray Pulse!” Dracosmic knocks Clefable away with potent pulse of light.

Brandon thanks, “That’s two I owe you now.”

“You’ll have to repay with a good battle once you’re ready.”

Brandon nods. “I’ll give you one.” He then orders, “Solurtle, use Solar Flare!”

Galileo adds, “Dracosmic, use Cosmic Blast!” The two attacks are unleashed, aimed right at Clefable.

Messier counters, “Clefable, use Minimize, then Star Daze!” Clefable shrinks down to a tiny size, causing the two attacks to miss it entirely. It then grows back to normal size and quickly attacks with bursts of energy from several twinkling lights that form above its head. The attack comes too quickly for either Solurtle or Dracosmic to avoid.

This doesn’t stop them from launching a counter attack, though. Brandon orders, “Go, Gyro Ball!”

Galileo adds, “Increase its momentum with Dragon Force!” Dracosmic fires its beam attack at the spinning Solurtle, pushing it at Clefable at high speeds.

Chris cheers again. “Way to go, guys! This guy’s secrets are nothing compared to your strength!”

Sporout looks curiously to the side and notices that an Interplanetary Grunt and his Beheeyem are approaching Boodini from behind. It tilts its head, not entirely sure of what to make of the scene. It taps Chris on the side of the head and points towards it. “Sporout?”

Chris asks, “What is it Sporout?” He looks over to see the Beheeyem preparing to attack Boodini from behind. Chris shouts with panic, “Brandon! Look behind you!”

Brandon quickly turns around, just in time to see Beheeyem attacking with a Dark Pulse. Brandon shouts, “Boodini, look out!” It’s too late. The attack hits it from behind, and Boodini falls to the ground.

The moment it does, the shadow chains reappear and then shatter. Messier orders, “Get us out of here!”

The Beheeyem, which have now recovered enough to use Teleport, begin the transport process, cloaking all them, the grunts, Messier, and the containment field holding Gravisaac in a blue haze.

Messier sneers, “I told you we would get away. Team Interplanetary always gets away. One of these days you’ll learn not to cross us.”

Brandon shouts, “Gravisaac, no!”

Gravisaac shouts out in fear, “Graaaaaaaaav!” Then it’s gone, along with all of Team Interplanetary.

Brandon falls to his knees in utter defeat. He clenches his fists in ager, and after a moment of silence, shouts in an absolute rage, “Gravisaac!” Once he lets that out, he promises, “I’ll get you back, I swear.”

To Be Continued…