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In The Army Now
By Mega Raichu
Part 9

It is sometimes said that in order for there to be a balance in this world, there must be both good and evil forces. Too much of the good can lead to weakness and an eventual downfall. Too much evil can bring about anarchy and chaos, destroying everything and everyone. To keep this natural balance, the good forces and the evil forces keep each other in check, so that neither one will gain a real upper hand. But eventually, someone comes along and disrupts this balance. They disrupt that balance to give themselves money, or power, or even peace of mind. But to keep our world from spinning out of control, the forces of the other side will rally, and restore the balance. That is the situation that Surge and his platoon face. They must restore the balance that The Rockets have disrupted.

Surge slept uneasily in a large empty room they had discovered. They had been traveling through the complex for most of the day and well into the night. No one had complained about being tired, but Surge could sense that the others were getting weary. He even found himself to be getting fatigued. But, as tired as he was, he found he could not fall asleep. He looked around and saw that some of the soldiers had already drifted off to sleep. The lookouts were silently chatting. Surge closed his eyes, hoping to get some rest. But he could not. His mind kept drifting to the gruesome sight of all those dead soldiers. And what Beta had told him.

"They've all become monsters." He said silently to himself. "We can't save them. Not one."

He finally dropped off into sleep. It would be a few hours before he would wake. As he was conditioned to, he woke up promptly at dawn. Several soldiers were also finally coming to. The medics had looked to everyone's wounds during the night, so everyone was refreshed and ready to go. As Surge gathered his things, which consisted of a few rations, his pistol, an automatic rifle, his crossbow, and Raichu's pokéball, he wondered what else was lying in wait for him.

They all marched along, taking out any resistance they came across. It seemed as though this complex went on and on forever. They soon came upon a large set of double doors. There was a sign above the doors that read "MAIN POWER". Surge slowly nudged a door open and peeked inside. What he saw shocked him. There were more of those pokémon/human things walking around. Except they were all beedrill/humans. None of them seemed to notice Surge. Surge walked in, with his rifle at ready. The beedrills paid him no mind and kept on with their work. Surge stood in a huge room. The room was extremely hot and Surge was already sweating. In the center of the room was a large structure with several clear pipes running out of it and into the floor and ceiling. The pipes were full of what looked like lava. Surge signaled for the others to come in. Everyone stood in awe of the massive structure before them.

"They must be using thermal energy to power this place." Gentleman said.

"Thermal energy? I though that you could only get thermal energy from geysers." Surge said.

"Well, anything that is hot and under pressure can be used for thermal energy. And magma is a good source of hot stuff under pressure." Gentleman said.

Surge looked around. The beedrills still hadn't seemed to notice that a whole platoon of soldiers stood in their midst.

"They probably don't know we're here." Surge said.

"Dronesssssss." A voice from behind them said.

Surge and the others whirled around to the source of the sound. A lone beedrill/human stood before them. It had no weapon, and did seem to want to attack. Surge approached it.

"Drones?" Surge asked.

"Mindlesssssss.... dronessssss." The beedrill said.

"Busy as beedrills huh?" Gentleman remarked with a snicker.

"Quiet!" Surge barked, then turned back to the beedrill. "I'm Corporal Surge. This is my platoon. We're from Kanto. Who are you?"

"Foreman... of... main.... power. Me... sssssoldier.... too. No.... longer.... human. Me.... not... mindlesssssss.... like.... dronesssssss." The beedrill said.

"What is, er, was your name?" Gentleman asked.

"No.... remember. Jusssssst.... foreman." The beedrill said.

"That's good enough. Will you help us?" Surge asked.

"Yesssssss.... Rocketssssss... turn usssss... into monsssssterssss. We.... all... help. Ssssssome.... brainwasssshed. Not.... all mindlessssssss.... like dronesssssss." Foreman said. "Will.... help... to.... ssssstop.... Rocketsssssss."

"We need to get to the central network core." Surge said.

"Thissssss way." Foreman said, and then walked off.

Surge and the others followed quickly. None of the other beedrills even looked at them.

"Beedrillsssss... made... for.... labor.... not fighting." Foreman explained. "Othersssss like Machampssssss..... made for.... fighting."

"You mean that there's more like Beta?" Surge asked.

"More.... better... than Beta." Foreman said. "They... alwayssssss improving."

Foreman led them through many hallways and doors, passing more beedrills and not getting into any confrontations. They soon came upon a large door.

"Thisssss room... heavily guarded. Me.... musssssst... return to... main power. Good.... luck." Foreman said, then he left quickly.

Surge readied his rifle as did the others. Surge smashed the door open and charged in. The Rockets that were in the room were caught completely off guard. They were dispatched in record time.

"Uhhh, Corporal?" Gentleman asked.

"What is it?" Surge asked.

But Surge fell silent as he looked at the network core. It was a large lump of what looked like flesh intertwined in a large block of computer circuitry.

"Oh my God." One of the other soldiers said.

"God... has no place here." Another soldier said.

Surge turned away as a technician went to work at a nearby console.

"I can access all of their data from here sir." The technician said.

"Get all of it. And I mean all of it. Put it all on a CD and make several copies. One for each of us." Surge said.

"Yes sir." The technician said as he banged away on the keyboard.

"Why do we all need copies of this data?" Gentleman asked.

"Let's just call it an insurance policy." Surge said.

After a few minutes, the technician handed each soldier a CD. Surge ordered the demo-squad to take out the core. The demo-squad consisted of two men, each with his backpack full of C4 and plastic explosives. They set up the explosives all over the core and attached a remote detonator to them. Surge ordered all his men out of the room, and had the door sealed. They marched further down into the complex. When they were a sufficient distance away, Surge gave the order. There was a large explosion and a wave of heat passed over the group. They then continued to march down into the complex. Soon they came upon another weapons cache. Surge also noticed that there were several canisters of various chemicals laying around.

"Totally careless. What if one of these gets corroded?" Surge said.

Gentleman came over and picked up a canister.

"Hey do you know what this is?" Gentleman asked.

Surge looked over at it and shrugged.

"This is a liquified nerve toxin. Most nerve toxins are usually gasses." Gentleman asked.

"So?" Surge asked.

"So, what if you dipped the tips of your bolts into this stuff. You'd have poison tipped bolts." Gentleman said. "You never know when that'll come in handy."

"Okay. Let's do it." Surge said as he produced a clip of bolts.

"Just don't breathe in the fumes." Gentleman said.

Gentleman and Surge covered their mouths and noses with some thick cloth. Gentleman popped open the canister and Surge dipped the tips of the bolts in the clip into the green liquid.

"It'll dry really quickly. Just don't poke yourself with those." Gentleman said as he snapped the lid back onto the canister.

"Heh heh. Wait'll Giovanni gets a load of these." Surge said with a smile as he loaded the now poisoned bolts into his crossbow.

Surge called out the order to continue on. Soon they came upon another large door. A sign hung above the door. It read "Main Control".

"No security. No network. They're crippled. It won't be much longer now boys!" Surge said as he approached the door. The door slowly opened before Surge reached it. Behind the door, there were many computer consoles. But no one was in the room. Surge and Gentleman slowly made their way into the room, with weapons at ready. But the door suddenly snapped shut. They could hear the other soldiers banging on the door.

"Ahhhh so you've finally come." Giovanni's voice boomed through the air.

Surge turned and saw the young man, Ricardo Giovanni standing on a ledge across the room. He was still young, maybe in his late twenties. He had shoulder length blonde hair. In his right hand, he held a rifle. In the other, a vial of a strange blue liquid. He was wearing a Kanto soldier uniform.

"How rude of you to keep me waiting. You've been quite a nuisance to me. But your wild heroics end here!" Giovanni shouted.

Surge stared at Giovanni through slitted eyes of anger.

"Oh this?" Giovanni picked at his uniform. "One of your boys graciously donated his uniform to me. Wasn't that nice?"

Giovanni's tone was full of sarcasm.

"Now. Let's end this." Giovanni said. "Let's fight!"