The door to the Rogues’ headquarters was surprisingly big up close.
Myra took a deep breath and a nervous chuckle escaped from her mouth. “I never thought we’d come here voluntarily. Funny how things can go…”
Chloe smiled and nodded slightly. It was not something that she would have predicted either. But this needed to be done. Opal, on the other hand, wasn’t sharing the nervousness with them, but then again, she had never had any real connection to the rogues. Myra glanced at her both sides as if to plan for an escape route, and pushed the door open.
Before their eyes could adjust to the darkness of the room, a deep and chilling voice suddenly came from right in front of them: “It would be more polite to knock first. I would have assumed that the Rescuers made sure they followed the proper protocol.”
The voice immediately made Myra leap into the air like she had been electrocuted (funnily enough, considering her type). “I-I’m sorry, I guess I forgot… I- we came here to… to…” She lifted her head and stared at the sound of the voice. “You’re not… you’re not him…? B-but…”
In front of them was standing a rather tall Marowak.
“I can understand the confusion”, said the Marowak. “But alas… I’m afraid it won’t be permanent…” He looked down as his voice became harder and harder to hear. Then he seemed to notice the confused looks of the rescue team in front of him, and gathered his posture again. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have other business to attend to. Whatever your need, you can discuss with Gunpowder.” He pointed to the back of the room, and they only now noticed Gunpowder standing there.
“But… Are you really… How could you have-“ Myra stuttered, but the Marowak stopped her. “As I stated, Gunpowder can answer all your questions. Good day”, he said as he turned around and walked out of the door.
Myra immediately rushed to Gunpowder, apparently forgetting her nervousness. “I knew his voice. That was Devonshire, wasn’t it?” she asked. Chloe’s and Opal’s eyes widened.
“Really?” Chloe gasped.
“The Sableye leader, wasn’t it?” Opal asked. “I thought I had heard that voice before, but…”
Gunpowder looked like he wasn’t quite sure what to say about it. “…He did tell me to answer yer questions…” Chloe, Myra and Opal were staring at Gunpowder, unblinking. The pirate sighed.
“…Yeah, he was. I guess the fairy has sumthing to do with it. Today a bunch of long-gone Pokemon started appearing all over Tao. ”
Opal managed to speak first. “So he has already dead? I had heard rumors about dead Pokemon turning into Ghost types but-“
“…I thought it was only a fairy tale”, Chloe filled in. “He must have passed away a long time ago, I’ve heard he’s been in the village since anyone can remember.”
“…I never knew.” Myra’s voice was quiet and toneless, like she couldn’t decide whether she should feel sympathy or terror. “Do you know how he-“
“That’s something ya gotta ask about Devonshire himself, if ya dare.” Gunpowder shook his head. “Now, I probably shouldn’t have talked about this at all. Now what were ya here for anyway?”
“Oh, r-right!” Chloe’s long neck straightened in nervousness. “W-we came to ask for a favor.”
Gunpowder didn’t say a word, just grunted for Chloe to keep going.
“Our guild is in trouble”, Chloe admitted. “Even though Chill came back to lead us, Fresnel apparently quit at the same time. And now Mike… ...Chill could manage everything on his own, if we had enough money. But we don’t.”
“That’s too bad and all”, the Gabite sighed, ”but you can’t think that Devonshire would let me donate any of our treasure to you? That’s not how it’ll go down.”
Chloe’s eyes got more determined. “We know that. Chill just thought that you might have some treasure that hasn’t been found yet.”
Gunpowder frowned. “That hasn’t been found yet...?”
“Treasure maps!”, Myra butted into the conversation. “You have to have some, right? You’re a pirate! If you could spare one, we could go look for it! If we found something big, it could just save our guild!”
Gunpowder’s laugh sounded more like a vicious barking. “Oh, just because I’m a pirate you think I have a bunch of treasure maps lying around?! With those things, you have to be quick before someone else get’s them! Ya really think I just kept them locked up to wait for someone to steal them? It’s not like my treasure has been safe even from you goody-goody Rescuers in the past!”
Silence fell. Myra looked stunned and Opal just had an “I told you so” look on her face. Just when Chloe drew her breath to start speaking, Gunpowder spoke again.
“…Well… Turns out I actually have one. A treasure map, I mean. Said to have a big one at the end of it, too. I just couldn’t go there myself, being a dragon and all. Hmm, now that I think about it, I guess I could now…”
“Please”, Chloe pleaded, “couldn’t you give it to us? We’ll find it for sure! We can give you part of the treasure once we find it!”
To everyone’s surprise, Gunpowder seemed to have a sincere grin on his face. “Nah, I don’t need your change. I guess I really owe you one from that last time. …To Chill, too. It’s a really dangerous place though, so it’s not gonna be easy.”
Myra and Chloe looked at each other with their faces beamed.
“Don’t worry, we’ll do it! Thank you so much!!”
Gunpowder went to dig through his documents, and after some time, they were already at the door holding the precious map that was possibly going to be the last hope for their guild. Just when Opal was already halfway outside, Chloe seemed to make her mind about something and turned around. “Gunpowder!”
“Huh? You still want something?” the pirate asked.
“I’m sorry we ever thought so lowly of you! We… we were the ones that were the criminals that time.”
“Oh, yer talking about that old thing now?” Gunpowder laughed. “Man, I was really pissed at you that time wasn’t I. You two were such pipsqueaks back then, I dunno how you managed to get me so badly.”
Chloe blushed at the embarrassing memory, and Myra giggled awkwardly.
“Don’t sweat it, kid. Ya might’ve been a pain in the butt, but I guess you’re alright now.”
Chloe looked Gunpowder straight in the eye. “I promise, we will pay back that lost treasure to you! Some day!”
Gunpowder turned away, but there was just enough time to see a slight smile on his face.
“Do what ya want, kid. But ye aren’t really in a situation to think about stuff like that. See ya.”
Chloe and Myra found each other’s gaze and nodded. Some day, they would repay Gunpowder.
“I wouldn’t want to disturb your discussion about something-I-don’t-know-about”, Opal interrupted. “But where exactly are we headed next?”
“Oh, right.” Myra rolled the map open and tried to make sense of it. “Let’s see now…” Her eyes stopped and widened.
“What is it?” Opal asked. “Where are we going?”
And thus, I finally conclude this middle-part story! Boy did that take long. I'm sorry. I already drew the picture in April, too, it just took me this long to sit down and finish writing the story.
I wanted to add a little extra dialogue to finish some things up about both Gunpowder and Devonshire. They aren't really going to have a role in the rest of the story, which makes me a little sad. Ironically, they ended up being my favorite guild leaders. My team has had a lot of interactions with them too, and I've enjoyed every chance I've gotten to do that. Heck, Gunpowder was the whole center of their first mission! I know Devon being a Marowak doesn't really continue to anything here... But since that was part of the event PK had planned, I really wanted to draw him like that! That's pretty much the only reason for him to be in this picture, to be honest. :') (and already feel like I didn't draw him very well here... I guess that's what I get for waiting 5 months before posting this pic.)
Even though I ended having a long break, I really really miss drawing comics about my team. I can't promise to get any comics finished before next year, but I'll keep working on it nontheless.
<--- 'Event 8' part 1
"Mission 9" ---> (not yet)