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Posted: Jun 17 2018, 01:26 AM
Took Us Dead
“You’ll never take us alive!” Pelagia cried as the took off astride her mount, a pidgeot equipped with a saddle. She also had a pyroar lioness that she rode for travel over land, but with peace officers closing in, it was best to take to the air. Crater City’s finest were rushing towards the scene, but they wouldn’t be fast enough to catch Pelagia and her lover George. George rode his noctowl. These mount pokemon gave them a speed advantage over most of the peace officers. Besides that, the couple knew every short cut and hiding place. They knew how to disappear like smoke, leaving peace officers scratching their heads and family members of victims grieving.
According to the legend told in Crater City (as the origin of the couple seems to change depending on where the story is being told) the couple had come to Crater City from Oasis Village, and they had lived together peacefully at first. It was a large adjustment, however, living in a city with laws. In Oasis, people survived by fighting over what little was available. By comparison, some in Crater City seemed like soft, vulnerable, and inviting targets. They sheltered the weak and the sick, the old and the young. All anyone had to do was take the brand and become a worker, and they were guaranteed food, shelter, and protection. Pelagia and George resented this. They believed that the weak should either be culled or made to serve the strong. Not the strong like Beta and those higher up his hierarchy, but strong like them personally.
Thus, Pelagia and George became criminals, the most successful ever in Crater City and their reign of terror, however short, became a legend. The killer couple targeted Branded workers, choosing ones who worked alone or with the least supervision such as those who carried messages or did deliveries. They went after children who were too young to have strong well-trained pokemon to defend themselves, and those who suffered from chronic illnesses which also left them unfit to obtain and maintain a variety of powerful pokemon. At first, they killed quietly. A single body would be found in an alleyway with all valuables removed, all pokeballs stolen, a single scrap of cloth with a poem written on it as the only calling card of the killers. With no surviving witnesses, the couple was nearly impossible to track. However, they grew greedier and bolder.
Peace officers found they were often unprepared for the level of brutality they were up against when they finally managed to come into contact with Pelagia and George. The couple would resort to anything in order to escape, including unleashing powerful wild pokemon in order to create a distraction and sow chaos and taking Branded workers as hostages. Sometimes they would purposely leave victims wounded and crying for rescue so that peace officers had to choose between saving the life of a dying Branded worker or pursuing justice. During the time when the couple was at large, nine peace officers were killed in the line of duty. Whenever possible, they stole the pokemon of officers and Branded victims alike. They kept the pokemon they liked, worked to gain the pokemon’s loyalty, and then trained them to be a powerful allies.
Branded workers, they believed, hardly deserved to have pokemon at all since they seemed unable to bring out the creatures’ full potential. And the peace officers deserved to die for getting in their way. The couple were growing more dangerous, but the citizens and peace officers of Crater were learning quickly too. Branded workers no longer walked the streets alone. They traveled in pairs, packs, or were escorted by peace officers. Peace officers increased patrols and became trained in how to counter Pelagia and George’s techniques. Everyone trained fervently, preparing themselves and knowing that they might become the couple’s next victims.
“Everybody freeze!” Pelagia yelled, her granbull barking at her side as she and George rounded up the workers on a farm out the outskirts of the city.
“Nobody move!” George shouted, right beside her. His toxicroak stood ready for battle. It was a sinister, intimidating creature that no one wanted to tangle with.
“Give us everything you have!” Pelagia demanded with her beautiful brows bent in a dangerous glare. She always seemed to be wearing a long-sleeved black dress even in the full summer heat. She held a long spear in one hand while her other rested on the back of an elegant liepard.
“Or be dismembered painfully. We’ll do the children first, I think. Give us what we want, and we’ll just be on our way,” George drawled, sounding more reasonable. He had one hand on a pokeball at his belt while the other preened his mustache.
On this day, however, the couple’s luck finally ran out. There was one worker on the farm that absolutely would not go down without a fight. He was an immigrant who’d arrived in Terrene without any memory of his name, hardly able to even speak. He’d forgotten language itself, and when the peace officers found him wandering into town from the plains, he could only parrot words that he heard them say. Due to his habit of pointing at his forehead of saying “Brand” after being branded, this became his name. Brand loved his home in Crater City. He loved the other workers who’d helped him learn to speak, and he loved the city that made a place for him and protected him when he could not protect himself. He obeyed the laws and trained his own pokemon, which included the oranguru who was his starter, very diligently. He engaged the couple and allowed time for the other workers to escape and for peace officers to arrive and surround the farm.
The truth is that there was a team of peace officers who arrived that day, but one in particular garnered the most glory and is best remembered. Tim Lucas was young and handsome, born in Ashfield but his family moved to Crater City when he was still a boy. He worked hard and impressed those in Beta’s hierarchy with his courage and dedication. He showed uncommon wit, but like the couple themselves, Tim Lucas was willing to go to any lengths to achieve his goals. He'd been hunting the couple for weeks now, following close behind them at all times like a shadow. Today his goal was stopping them, no matter what it took, even if he and others died in the process. He was determined that their crimes would end here on this farm.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Tim and Brand (and the other peace officers who never get remembered but certainly did their part), George and Pelagia were at last outmatched. The mount pokemon that they used to escape were too injured from the battle to carry anyone. At last cornered, the couple ran into the farm’s barn for cover. “You’ll never take us alive!” this time it was George who made the portentous pronouncement. It was too bad for the couple that the barn had only one entrance, and the peace officers and Brand had no intention at all of coming in after them.
Tim Lucas gave them one last chance. “Come out with your hands up! Weapons and pokeballs on the ground!” He shouted, but he got no response. “Ready men! Ready? Fire!”
The brick buildings of Crater City resist fire, but doors made of wood and straw do not. The barn was full of straw bedding and it was thatched with a straw roof. The walls of the barn did not burn, but absolutely everything else did. Peace officers surrounded the building with their fire pokemon, and the creatures breathed fire onto the barn for hours until the sky over the farm was filled with black smoke that blocked the sun and made day look like night.
It’s here on this farm that George and Pelagia as well as their pokemon met their end, or at least that’s what everyone believes. However, once water pokemon were summoned to finally put out the flames, no bodies were recovered. Presumably, they were incinerated into ash. To this day, the farm and alleyways of Crater City are said to be haunted by the ghost pokemon that embody the spirits of Pelagia and George. The farm has become uninhabitable. Everytime the barn has been repaired, through one accident or another, it just burns again. Branded workers refuse to work the fields or live in the house, stating that they are tormented by the restless spirits of the outlaws. Outside the farm, Branded workers or peace officers walking alone at night are often attacked by ghost pokemon especially on the anniversary of that fateful fire. “You never took us alive,” an eerie voice whispers where no one can be seen.
*Title credit goes to Ajsol (Thanks AJ, I suck at titles! <3)