Actions

Work Header

Maskcapades

Chapter Text

Prologue

 

Many years ago, types of pokémon teamed together to rid the world of a menace. One that changed people, changed pokemon and was deemed evil by many creatures. One faithful day, many pokemon, big and small, marched together to rid the world of said menace. ‘Careful with the box!’ Roared a Charizard. ‘ The item inside is pure evil. We must make sure it doesn't escape again!’

A Mismagius floated towards it. ‘ Are you sure this is the right thing to do? ’ It asked, looking worried and its voice sounded feminine. ‘ Of course! You’ve seen what it has done to the Kalos Region, do you wish to see it what it does in yours?!’ Charizard yelled, looking at it. ‘ No, I don’t.’ Mismagius said, slowing down. A Blastoise walked up. ‘I want you to know, many of the others are considering leaving this region after we bury the tool.’ It said, looking towards the fire type. ‘ Let them. If it wasn't for my master, I wouldn't be staying here either. I consider this land cursed.’ Charizard said, flying towards a cave. ‘ This is where we shall rid of the device. Zangoose, Seviper, please bring it forwards.’ Both Pokémon in question glared at each other, and brought it towards Charizard. ‘ Zangoose. If you please, open it. I need to be sure Seviper didn't snatch it from our clutches.’ Charizard ordered, glaring towards the serpent. ‘ I would never- Seviper claimed, before being interrupted by Zangoose opening the box. Inside, a green, wooden mask stared at the three Pokémon. It’s frame glowed, calling for a host. Their eyes glowed green for a quick moment. ‘ C-close it!’ Charizard cried out, looking away. Zangoose obeyed, sealing it. ‘ I respect you for being truthful, Seviper. But as soon as this is done, our alliance is over. ’ Zangoose said, crossing it arms. ‘Agreed.’ Seviper hissed.

Mismagius. Please come forward.’ Charizard said, looking towards the elegant ghost type. ‘ Yes, the curse. I can set it upon it, but I still believe this will do no good. People will find it again.’ Mismagius warned, still looking concerned. ‘ That’s the future's problem. But, this curse will at least make sure whoever finds it will suffer.’ Charizard explained, looking towards it. ‘ Good or Evil, no one should come into contact with it. Now either set the curse, or be exiled!’ Charizard warned, many eyes starting at it. Mismagius lowed its head. ‘ As you wish. . .’ Mismagius floated towards the box and used curse. A nail appeared, surrounded by smoke. It landed into it and disappeared. It faced Charizard. ‘ It is done.’

Good. Now, return to your masters! All of you! we don't need to raise suspicions!’ Charizard ordered, flying away. Mismagius set the box inside the cave, burying it inside a hole. ‘ While I do believe you are not evil, you are still dangerous. Now, disappear, until you are found again. May the world have mercy when that happens . . .

Chapter Text

 

Hoenn Region

Present Day

 

“Ugh!” Tabitha moved a big rock from his feet. “I can’t believe we have to look here! The Red Orb probably isn’t in this dusty old cave!” He huffed, wiping sweat from his brow. “I know, but-” Courtney paused, looking forward. “The grunts need direction, and we have to-” she paused, then resumed. “Help for at least a while.” Tabitha rolled his eyes, and resumed working. “The red orb might not-” “-be here but our boss would like to find-” “minerals that would help find the cave Groudon is in.” Courtney hated her pauses, but at least Tabby listened well and he didn't really care. “Sir, Madam!” Yelled a grunt, running towards them. “What is it? You know we’re busy!” Tabitha ordered, looking towards them. “We found a strange artifact in the lower regions of the cave that you might be interested in!” The grunt informed, leading them towards it. Other grunts stood around a brown chest, cracked and brittle. “A box?” Tabitha asked, looking annoyed. “Hmm.” Courtney started at it intently. “Well, don’t just stand there, open it!” Courtney ordered, staring at them. The grunts did as they were told, and opened it with ease. Inside, a dark green mask. It seemed as it was staring at them, into their souls. “A-a mask?” Tabitha asked, looking at it. “Hmm. This thing has not aged well.” Courtney said, examining it. It seemed as if it glowed, leading Tabitha to pick it up. “It has a certain charm to it. Like it’s-- calling to me . . . ” Tabitha said, almost in a trance. He started at it intently, and it looked like his brown eyes turned a bright green. Courtney grew concerned. “Tabby? Tabitha!” Courtney yelled, snapping Tabitha came out of his delusion and looked towards Courtney. “I’m fine- I’m fine. That was. . . weird.” He said, gripping his head. “Hmm. How strange.” Courtney pondered, grabbing it. She set it back in it the chest. “We’ll take this back with us. We need something to show that we were here. Pack-” she paused, trying to collect herself. “-pack it up and we’ll take it back to base. I’ll make a quick call to leader Maxie telling him of our findings.” Tabitha nodded and lifted the crate.

 

Maxie stood in his office, petting his Camerupt and looking outside. It was a nice day, the sun shined in promise of good terms. He seemed bored, rolling a pencil around on his desk whilst doing his research. His Camerupt seemed content, dreaming away. It dreamed of finally finding Groudon and pleasing its master. “Hmm.” He smiled, glad to see it happy. His cell phone rang, interrupting the small peace in the office. He picked it up and answered. “Yes?” “ Hello, Sir. ” Courtney greeted, looking at the sky as they were returning. “Ah, Courtney. How was the search?” He asked, trying to be quiet. “ Unfortunately sir, we found no traces of the red orb .” Courtney said, hesitantly. Maxie gave a slightly disappointed grunt and continued to listen. “ However, we did find an ancient artifact. We have decided to give it to you to make up for loss time. At least this wasn-” she paused.

-wasn’t a complete waste of time. ” Maxie nodded, straightening his glasses. “Well, return safely. I’ll see you when you get off.”

‘Yes, sir. Signing off. ’ Courtney said, hanging up. “What did he say?” Tabitha asked, looking nervous. “He took it well, maybe Camerupt put him in a good mood.” Courtney put her cell phone in her pocket and sat down. “What do you that thing’s for?” Tabby asked, looking at the box. “It was most likely-” She paused. “-likely for a masquerade party or something.” She said, looking towards the sky.

“Hmm.” Tabby looked towards the chest, looking concerned.

 

“Leader, we have returned.” Courtney greeted, entering Maxie’s office. “Ah, welcome back.” He greeted, looking towards them. Tabitha brought in the chest, and set it down. Maxie arose from his chair and took a look at it. “Hmm. Open it.” Maxie ordered calmly, still looking at it. Tabitha looked at Courtney, nervously. But he caved in a opened the box. Inside, the strange green mask sat. It was a pale green, with various marks lining downwards. “Hmm. It looks peculiar, but has a nice charm to it.” Maxie studied, picking it up. Tabby stood towards Courtney. “I'll put it in a frame. You are both dismissed.” Maxie said, waving his hand in dismissal. They both exited, with Tabitha nervously curling his hands together. “I have a bad feeling.” He said, rubbing his knuckles together. “Why?” Courtney asked, looking at him. “I don’t know, I just have a bad feeling.” Tabitha said. “Hmm.” Courtney, said. They both turned a corner, and they were out of sight.

In his office, Maxie set the mask in a frame as his Camerupt awoke. It stood towards his master looking at the mask. It glowed, causing Camerupt to stand back. “Hmm. What’s wrong, boy? You look spooked.” He said, patting it. Camerupt made a disgruntled noise, turning its nose upwards. “Come on, it’s time for your dinner.” Maxie said, walking towards the dining room. Camerupt stood, looking at it. It hesitantly turned around, walking away as the sun lowered in the sky. It had a bad feeling in its stomach.

 

Chapter Text

Everything was calm at the Team Magma base that night, as the leaves on the trees swayed gently. However, Camerupt still had a worried feeling in his stomach. Something just wasn’t right. He could feel it in his bones. As he ate his dinner, Crobat noticed his worried expression. “What’s wrong, Camerupt?” he asked. Crobat’s voice was dark in brooding, like a vampire's. He had the accent too, for some unknown reason. “Wha-- oh, I’m fine, Crobat. Just some unsettling feelings is all. ” Camerupt replied, trying not to sound nervous. Camerupt sounded a bit like the nerdy kid at your high school, like his voice would start to crack like a preteen’s. But his voice would go to the occasional stutter. “You don't look fine. You look worried.” Mightyena chimed in, his gruff voice sounding almost like a bark. Mightyena was a pokémon who didn't like seeing weakness. Especially in his team, even though he did care for them, a whole lot. During their training he would try not make them feel bad about themselves, because he hated low self-esteem the most. “Well, Master received something from the admins today after their search.” Camerupt explained, taking a bite out of a poképuff. “So?” Crobat and Mightyena asked in unison. “Well, It worries me. It looks like a face, and it glows. It gives me this undeniable feeling that something bad is gonna happen.” Camerupt made a slight whimper. “ So it’s a bit unsettin’, that’s okay. You’ll get used to seein’ it. It’s probably nothin’ to worry about.” Mightyena said, trying his best to confort him. “Yeah, you're probably worried about nothing. Ya just a little spooked.” Wheezing said, losing breath a bit afterwards. He then coughed, sending smoke across the room. “ Sorry about that.” he said, zooming around the room to remove the smoke. Mightyena and Crobat rolled their eyes. “ It’s okay, Wheeze. We know you can't help it.” Camerupt said, holding his nose with his hoof. “It’s gettin’ late. Let’s stop talkin’ about evil face thingamajigs and get ready for bed.” Mightyena said, cleaning his plate and going into their specific room. “Agreed.” Crobat said, as his glided in as well. Wheezing followed, holding in a cough. “I’ll get a sip of water. I’ll be back.” Camerupt said, walking into the kitchen.



Maxie sat in his office, gripping his head in his hand. “This is hopeless. We’re no closer to finding Groudon than we were ten weeks ago. Archie and his band of goons are catching up with us, sooner or later they’re going to find Kyogre and--” He paused out of frustration and groaned. “Maybe I should have did what my mother said and became a writer. Then I wouldn't have to be dealing with all this bullsh-” A green glow coming from the right side of the room interrupted his thoughts. He turned to face the mask he had placed on the wall. But, it just sat there, emotionless and still. But, Maxie could feel it pulling him forwards. An aura he couldn't explain, like someone grabbing you by the collar and forcing you to look at them. He grabbed it off the shelf, and studied it closely. He could have just seen a spark of light from the outside, or it could have just been his imagination. He flipped it to the other side, examining its features. It glowed again, seeming as if it was going vertically to the left. “Wha--?”

He inched it closer to his face, trying to find out what would cause a phenomenon like that. Suddenly, it leaped out of his hands and latched onto him. In a dazed surprise, he reached to get it off. But, he couldn't. It was air tight, and it just keep sticking onto him when he got it a little loose. He started to panic, as it felt like he couldn't breathe. It squashed and stretched all over his head, wrapping around every feature. He felt dizzy, and it seemed like he was losing oxygen. Without warning, he started to whip around with such force. Like a tornado or a hurricane, he was going so fast that he couldn't make out anything in the room. Lighting lit up the room, and he was literally bouncing off the walls. Suddenly, he felt relaxed. Like he didn't need to worry about what was happening to him. Comfort washed over him in waves, and he was still confused.


He stopped spinning. But he didn't feel dizzy, like twirling around at 50 MPH didn't do anything to him. He looked around, feeling . . . off. “I feel strange--” he said, his voice was warped and bouncy. He walked over to his mirror, almost seeing someone he didn't recognize. His outfit had turned into a black, leathery suit. With fiery red seams and a red undercoat. His hair was neatly combed, and it looked like it normally did, but it looked like it had just been cleaned. His glasses had darken lens,and they were not as noticable now. He was wearing a nice fedora, too.  The one thing that stood out the most was his now oddly green face. It was a very bright color, and it almost looked like it was glowing. He was very confused, but it felt like he was in a dream-like state. He looked away from his mirror, looking at his gloved hands. His eyes glowed a bright red, and he grinned. “I don’t know if I should be worried about this.” He turned to face his mirror again. “But I’m stuck up with being a repressed tightwad! It’s about time Team Magma Leader Maxie steps out and steals the show for once!” He looked outside to see the bright lights coming from the nearby city.

“Watch yourself, Team Aqua! I’m coming after you first!” He zoomed out of his office at what seemed to be the speed of light, leaving everything in a mess from his transformation.

However, he didn't know that Camerupt, who had walked in for a sip of water, saw what happened. The poor thing stood there dumbfounded, wondering what the hell just happened. He trampled back to the other pokémon’s room. He had to tell someone about this.

Chapter Text

Camerupt ran into the room, gasping for air and he tried not to slide on the slick floor. In an surprised awaken daze, Crobat looked at Camerupt. “Camerupt, what’s wrong?! Is there an intruder?!” The pocket monster rubbed his eyes and flew down, trying to confort his friend.  Mightyena stood up suddenly, looking around. “Intruder?! Where are they?! Mightyena barked, running around and snarling fiercely. “N-no Mightyena, everything's alright. I-I mean, it’s not alright! Something crazy happened!” Camerupt took a moment to recover his breath, and gulped. “What happened? Is Master alright?” Crobat asked, looking concerned. “ N-No! That f-f-face thing! It possessed him! It made him-- different!  He zipped and zoomed all over the place! I can’t just explain it, everyone f-f-follow me!” Camerupt got off his knees and trampled his way out the door. Crobat and Mightyena looked at each other in a puzzled way and then followed. Wheezing opened his eyes slowly and looked out to them. “ What’s going on? Is it morning already?”

Come on, Wheeze.” Mightyena called looking through the doorframe. Wheezing slowly hovered and flew out the door.

The team followed Camerupt to Maxie’s main office, which was a mess. Papers were everywhere, his chair was on the floor, everything was out of place, books were off the shelves, and Maxie and his mask were gone. “ You sure somebody didn't bust in?” Mightyena asked, looking confused. “ This place looks awful! It looked like a freakin’ tornado hit it!”

Crobat flew around, examing the room. “Hmm. The face thing is gone, and so is Master. I think I heard about something like this . . .”  Crobat lowered to the other pokémon's levels. “ There’s this old myth about a ancient device. One that would possess humans and rid them of their insecurities. It made them powerful, and bold. But it was destroying towns, making people jealous and angry, killing people. It caused total anarchy as everyone was fighting to have it in their clutches. So other pokémon teamed together to rid of it, and it was buried in a . . . old cave . . .” Crobat halted his speech, his eyes widening. “You don’t think that we have it. Do you?” Camerupt asked, his tone quivering. “ We may have it, did you say it looked like a face?” Crobat asked, looking at the nervous fire type. “ Y-yes, and it’s a very dark shade of green.” Camerupt explained, gulping. “ It’s the it. That’s what they said it would look like. I can't remember what its called but we should go after Master before he does something idiotic or crazy.” Crobat flew upwards again and headed towards the window. “I’ll come with ya, but only because I’m a bit worried about this thing.” Mightyena said, clenching his teeth against the lock and opening it with slight ease. “ I-I-I’m coming, too.” Camerupt walked towards the window. Mightyena and Crobat were waiting outside, and they pulled Camerupt through.

Wheezing yawned. “ I’m going back to bed. Good luck, guys.” He said, as he floated back to the team’s room. The group rolled their eyes and started their journey to find their master. Along the way, they saw two figures standing alone, seemingly hiding in the bushes. “What will we do if our hordes discover our relationship? We will surely be abandoned, or killed!” One voice said, sounding scared. “I would rather die with you than return to our rivalry. I am sick of seeing your horde’s blood spilt.We’ll run away. Run away far from Hoenn.” Another said, sounding serious. Camerupt stopped to listen to their problem, having a small urge to help. He quietly approached them trying not to startle them. Mightyena noticed him inching towards two mystery figures, becoming startled. “ Camerupt, what are you doing?!” He whispered, trying to steer him back towards the group. Camerupt moved the bushes, revealing two monsters that would never be seen together, unless they were in battle. A Zangoose and a Seviper, who both jumped in surprise when the bushes were pulled away. The Seviper hid behind the Zangoose in fear, as the creature shown its claws. “ Who are you?! Where did you come from?!” He said, shielding the serpent-like creature. “ We’re not going to hurt you, we’re friendly, we swear.” Crobat explained, trying to calm the frightened pair. The Zangoose paused, trying to think. “ A-are you wild or captured?” Said the female Seviper, who revealed herself. She looked very different than most of her kind; her markings were bright shades green and pink, and the blade of its tale, along with its fangs, were shades of blue.

We are captured, but we swear we won't hurt you.” Mightyena promised, approaching them. “ Alright then, if you don't hurt us, we won’t hurt you.”  Zangoose slowly approached them, standing tall. “ What are you all doing outside at this time of night?”   Seviper asked, slithering towards them. “Well, it’s a long story. We don't really have time to explain. How about you come with us? We’ll explain on the way there?” Camerupt asked, looking at them. Zangoose and Seviper shared a slightly concerned look, but decided to follow along. The group and their new tag-alongs continued down he route to find Maxie and return him home safely.



Meanwhile, the base of Team Aqua stood quiet as eight grunts patrolled the outside. Two of each eight stood protecting each set of doors.

The two at the front were getting tired by the second, but they would rather stay up all night than be scolded by Archie. One yawned, as the other played cards by himself on the ground. A dash of colors zoomed down the path leading to the entrance, but neither seemed to notice. Maxie quickly stopped by a tree, looking at the small security at a distance. Grunts guarding the door, huh? I gotta admit, that’s smart for Archie. But, I have a bit of an idea. Maxie smirked, and dashed away. The grunts still stood at the door in a tired daze, but then bright lights  suddenly appeared out of nowhere, causing them to cover their eyes. Carnival music started to play as well as a booth appeared. “Step up! Step up!” Maxie announced, dressed like a carnival employee while wearing a fake mustache and pointing to a Test-Your-Strength pole.

“See if your strong enough to ring the bell! Ring it, and you’ll win a plush of any Pokemon you chose, and many other prizes!” He smiled as the grunts stood there dumbfounded. A few moments passed before he rolled his eyes.“ Well, COME ON! ” His yelled boomed loudly, causing the grunts to run towards him. “Uh, how much does it cost to play?” Grunt #1 asked. “Nothing! It’s absolutely free! Just hit the target, ring the bell, and win a prize.” Maxie informed, showing off a shelve of many plushes and other novelties. The grunts smiled and looked at each other with excitment. Grunt #1 quickly picked up the giant mallet and raised it up, wobbling slightly as he couldn't exactly hold its strength. He slammed the mallet down onto the target, and the metal bullet passed five marks before falling down. “Pshh, you call that strength?” Grunt #2 taunted, as he crossed his arms. “It’s hard! This thing is heavy!” Grunt #1 whined, dragging the mallet towards his feet. “Move, I’ll show ya how it done!” Grunt #2 said, moving the other out of the way and grabbing the mallet. He hoisted it up and slammed it down, causing the metal bullet to go straight up and hit the bell. “Congratulations! You win!” Maxie announced, smiling. “Cool! What did we win?!” Both grunts asked, jumping up and down with excitement. “A one way ticket to mars! ” Maxie said, still smiling. “Huh?” The grunts asked, stopping and looking at him. Maxie pulled a remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button. This caused the ground to spring up, sending the grunts to rocket up in the air so far that Maxie couldn't even see them anymore. “Enjoy your trip!” He snickered, waving. He spinned around and returned to his original outfit, then zoomed inside. He hid by a corner in a hall, as Shelly and a female grunt walked past. “So, have you received the papers from the boss, miss?” The grunt asked, trying her best not to seem rude. “Yes, we are very close to finding the blue orb. Hopefully closer than those Team Magma fools.” Maxie scowled and gritted his teeth. “Well, I should get to my quarters. I will see you and the others tomorrow for the meeting. Goodnight.” “G’night, ma’am.” The grunt said, before Shelly gave her an angry look. “I meant miss! G’night miss!” The grunt ran away quickly, as Shelly rolled her eyes. She walked down the hall and went to her room. Maxie grinned, and started to follow her to her room. Shelly walked into a bathroom, and Maxie ducked into her room, which was conveniently located next to the bathroom. Maxie flew around the room quickly, looking for the papers that the grunt had mentioned earlier. He smiled as he finally found them and put them into his pocket. Unfortunately, at the same time, Shelly walked in and got a good look at Maxie. She screamed and Maxie did too, the only difference between them was that Maxie’s eyes had flew out of his head as he screamed. Shelly retrived a small barrel gun from his waist and aimed it at Maxie, before he started to spin around the room. She fired rapidly, trying to hit him as the bullets seemed to miss his body. The room filled with gunshots and Maxie’s giggling as the two were seemingly fighting. Maxie then jumped out the window, landing on his feet and dashing away. Shelly ran up to it, looking around for whoever stole the papers. But, they were nowhere in sight. She threw the gun down in frustration, yelling “Dammit!”

She furiously left her room and stood out in the hall. “I need every grunt on stand-by, NOW!

 

Maxie dashed all the way back to his bedroom, setting the papers down and looking at himself in awe. “This in incredible! This powers are amazing! With it, I can finally acceive my goal of expanding the land for the greater good! I can be someone I’ve always wanted to be! Hell, I might just be able to do anything !” He looked at the clock, which read 3:30 am. He hesitantly wrapped his fingers around the base of his head and started to pull, causing lighting to flash as Maxie groaned. It came off, as Maxie was returned to normal. Exhausted, he staggered back to his room, the mask falling from his hands. He landed onto his bed face first, crawling up onto his and kicking off his shoes. He tiredly took his glasses off and set them onto his bedside counter, and curled into bed.


A little after 4:10 AM, the group of Pokémon returned, crawling in from the window. “ Are you sure it’s okay if we stay with you?” Seviper asked, slowly slithering inside. “ Of course, but it’ll only be for a while. ” Camerupt whispered, trying not to make much noise as he crawled in. “ That’s more than enough time. Thank you.” Zangoose said, helping him inside. “ We should get to bed, it’s very late.” Mightyena whispered. Crobat quietly flew to the door of their master’s bedroom, to see him quietly asleep. “ Master is back, but he’s asleep and I don't see that thing anymore. We should get to sleeping, we have an eventful day tomorrow.” The all headed into the room, not knowing that the mask was on the floor and it glowed, wanting a host once more.

Chapter Text

That morning was awfully slow, and it felt like time was slowed down as the grunts of Team Magma made their way towards the Magma Auditorium. Tabitha and Courtney stood waiting on the stage, both checking their watches. “Where is Maxie? The whole team is almost here!” The worried man bit his lip, looking through the curtains to see the audience. “I’m not sure. He never- n-never oversleeps. Camerupt was sick or something last night, I guess.” Courtney said, pulling her sleeve back over her watch and peeking out behind Tabitha. The entire team had arrived, waiting patiently for their boss to appear to present his speech. But, it had been over 20 minutes, and Maxie had not arrived. Tabitha was biting his lip so hard that it was turning purple. “Tabby, stop. You’re gonna burst it!” Courtney pried his mouth open in order to move his teeth away. “I can’t help it! It’s a habit!” He exclaimed, stomping his feet. “Ugh, They’re getting restless . . .” Courtney said, looking out at the audience again. “We gotta- gotta go out there. Maxie always told me that if he was ever late to a meeting to stall the grunts and keep them occupied. L-let’s go.” Courtney stepped out before Tabitha could object, as the crowd quieted down as soon as she did. “Good Morning, grunts of Team Magma!” She greeted, nodding. The grunts did the Team Magma salute in unison and sat down. “Our great Maxie is running late, so- so I will read the current complaints as we wait.” Courtney reached inside a metal box, pulling out a small piece of paper. She scowled as she read the first one, and quickly showed Tabitha. He scowled furiously stepped up to the stand and grabbed the microphone. “Whoever wrote ‘Tabitha should lose weight. He looks like a Muk.’; Hahaha. YOU’RE NOT FUNNY! ” He slammed the microphone down onto the stand, causing a loud feedback sound. The grunts covered their ears as it rang throughout the speakers. Tabitha ran back into the curtains, steaming. Courtney quickly grabbed the microphone and breathed into it, testing to see if it still worked. “Okay, I will remind you all once again that the complaints are for the community, not the team. I will find out who wrote that, and they will be fired. I hope you're proud of yourself.” She brought up some papers and began to read them.



The sunlight peeked through Maxie’s bedroom window, hitting his eyes. They scowled, and he groaned as he slowly pulled himself up out of bed. He slid his glasses off his dresser and into his hand, putting them on. He left his bedroom and walked into his kitchen, feeling sluggish. He poured some into a small glass and drank from it. He looked to his wall clock, which read 10:30 am, spitting some of his milk out of his mouth. He quickly gulped down the rest and exclaimed “The meeting! Sweet lord, I overslept!”

He ran into his bedroom and pulled off his pajamas, trying to quickly put on his outfit. He brushed his hair, his teeth in a quick manner. He checked himself in the mirror real quick, then ran into his Pokemon’s room. “Everyone wake up! We are very, very late!” He yelled, trying to wake up his exhausted pets. They groaned, slowly getting onto their feet. “Come on, Come on!” He said, smoothing out his outfit’s wrinkles as his pets went into their pokéballs. He picked them all up, and set them onto his belt. “Good boys! Very good boys!” He said, running out of his office and out the door.

Zangoose and Seviper peeped out of the closet, slowly stepping out. They looked around,walking into the kitchen and finding a bag of Poképuffs. They slowly ate them, savouring the first meal they’ve had in days. “ Will your father find us? ” Seviper asked, breaking the silence between them. “ I don’t think so. We are miles away from our hordes. We will be long gone by the time they pick up our scent here.” Zangoose looked at Seviper, cupping her cheek. “ You know that I would give my life for you, correct? ” He asked truthfully, gazing into her eyes. “ Yes, of course. I would do the exact same thing.” She said, curling around his torso. They shared a small kiss, and returned to the room.

 

Maxie sped down the hallway, praying that he would make it on time. He quickly opened the door to the back of the stage, running in. He approached Tabitha, whose eyes looked red. “A-are you okay, Tabitha?” He asked, reaching a hand out to him. “I-I’m fine. Boss, you should get out there. You’re very late.” Tabitha wiped his left eyes, and practically started to push Maxie onto the stage. “Okay, okay! I’m going, Tabby!” He said, awkwardly moving through the curtains and onto the stage. Courtney respectively moved out of the way and he took the pillar, picking up the paper and skimming over the words. “Okay, good morning everyone. I am so sorry that am I late, I absolutely promise that it will not happen again. Now, Courtney, what have you gone over in my absence?” She whispered in his ear, telling him about all of the announcements she made. “Oh great, I get the worse one.” He mumbled, turning back to the audience. “Alright, unfortunately, we are not any closer to finding Groudon or the Red Orb. We have found some materials, which will be useful later in finding the correct cave. I believe that we are right on the edge of finding the Red Orb, finding Groudon will soon follow. I believe in us, and we will, and I repeat, will crush Team Aqua and their silly pursuit to expand the sea!” The crowd cheered, and Maxie smiled in his victory to win over the crowd.

 

Courtney went back stage to check on Tabitha. As she looked around for him, she heard what sounded like gagging from the bathroom. She slowly walked towards it, hearing Tabitha cough and breathe harshly. Then the gagging resumed, as she gripped the knob. She pulled the door open, witnessing Tabitha shove his fingers into his mouth and coughing. A bit of vomit flowed down his hand, as the rest made it into the bowl. Courtney’s eyes widened, as Tabitha coughed more and gripped the bowl. “W-Wha-What are you doing?” She said, quietly in disbelief. Tabitha slowly turned to face her, tears streaming down his face and his bottom lip quivering. “W-wh- why ?” That was all she could ask, staring at him as tears threatened to flow from her eyes. Tabitha looked away, trying to find a good reason but he couldn't. He couldn't find a good reason to steer her away from what she was thinking. From what she knew. “I-I . . .” He felt like he couldn't speak, his throat was burning. Another stream of tears fell from his eyes. “I-I’m fat . . .” He said, those words being the only ones he could he could mutter. “C-come on.” Courtney walked towards him, picking him up. “You need some water. It’ll- It’ll rehydrate you.” They walked out of the bathroom, Tabitha covering his eyes as he sobbed. Courtney lead him to her room, sitting themselves down and giving him a glass of water to drink. He drank it slowly, trying to soothe the pain in his throat. He set the glass down and looked at the floor in shame, he didn't want to look at her. Not after what she just saw him do. Courtney lunged at him, pulling him into a hug. It was a few moments before Tabitha started to cry again, wrapping his arms around her small frame. She felt his body shake with every sob his produced, she felt his sadness. “It’s okay,” She whispered, trying to soothe him, but it only made him sob louder. Tears streamed down her face, as she gripped him tightly. “It’s gonna be okay,” Her voice started to falter, as they sat there and hugged, sobbing into each other’s clothes.

 

Chapter Text

“Shelly, that’s insane.” Archie said, leaning back in his chair, rolling his eyes at Shelly’s excuse. “I’m telling you it happened! Some green-faced man came into my room and stole the papers calculating the exact location of the Blue Orb! The grunts heard me firing shots at him!” She stomped her feet in frustration, trying to get her boss to listen. “Shelly, you sure you’re okay?” Matt asked, stepping towards her. “It might’a just been a bad dream. You never know for sure.” Archie stood up, and walked towards the window. “We’ll make new papers. It wasn't that hard to get them, ot was fairly easily, actually!” He chucked, staring at the sky. Shelly opened her mouth to protest, but he continued.“We’ll celebrate tonight with a party! A party for my winning, succeeding team! Team Magma is gonna be crushed between our toes when we find Kyroge and change the world for the better!” He heartily laughed, as Shelly walked out in frustration. “There is just no getting through to that man. . .” She muttered, heading towards her bedroom to recreate the papers that were stolen from her.



Maxie scoffed at the latest post that Team Aqua had created on a certain social media app. “A party? What do they even have to celebrate? Their stupidity?” He rolled his eyes, setting his smartphone down and looking at his papers from the meeting. He started to work on them, scribbling his signature onto them and whatnot. It was grueling. After thirty minutes, it felt like an hour had past. He briefly glanced at the clock, ‘ 6:45 ’. He sighed, biting his lip in utter boredom. ‘ I wish I could go that that stupid party. I’d love to see Archie trying to get rid of me, and me trying to frustrate him. I wonder if-’ He stopped thinking, getting flustered. ‘Ugh! How could I think such things?! You know that friendship ended long ago. . .’ He sighed once again, gripping his head in his right hand. A green light flashed in his in concern in his eye, seeing the same thing from last night: that mask. He slowly left the comfort of the sofa and walked to his shelf to retrieve it. He picked it up, staring at it. It glowed again, pulling his interest closer. “N-no. . . I shouldn't. Definitely should not. Not tonight.” He quickly tossed it behind his desk, walking away from it and sitting onto his couch. Camerupt curled up beside him, caught up in a deep sleep. Maxie watched some drama-tv show, getting ingaged in the story until his phone buzzed. He checked it, and it was a new post from Team Aqua. ‘It’s time to show up those Team Magma losers with our own kick-ass party! I bet they must be reading encyclopaedias or playing bingo LOL’ Maxie rolled his eyes as he continued to read on. ‘Hope Maxie doesn't show up and kill it with his absolutely boring attitude, that would be awful. Remember, party starts at 8:00 sharp!’ Maxie growled. How dare that pirate scum call him such a bland slander! He gritted his teeth and clenched his fist in anger. Then he remembered, he could ruin Archie’s party, but not in the way that he would suspect. He walked behind his desk and picked up the magical item he used last night. He hesitatingly walked into his bathroom, and smoothed his hair, trying to ease his rising nerves. Did he really want to do this? I mean, Archie and him were friends once. But he guessed that those times were in the past. Besides, he wanted to see the look on that fool’s face when showed up out of nowhere. He placed the mask in his hands, examing it once more. On the bottom side, the mask looked like it was smiling, and gave Maxie another glow as a sign of approval. Maxie smirked deviously, and held it up to his face, saying: “ Showtime.

In the living room, thunder boomed. “Ahh! ” Camerupt jumped up, startled at the noise. Lighting flashed, and the creature heard strange noises coming from the bathroom. He walked closer, peeking into the bathroom for a moment  Camerupt’s eyes widened when he realized what was happening. He reeled back as Zangoose and Seviper walked out of their room, puzzled. “ I didn't know a storm was expected tonight.” Seviper said, slithering up to Camerupt, who was shaking. “ It wasn't. ” Camerupt gravely said, still keeping his gaze locked onto the bathroom. Zangoose and her shared a look, before peeking inside themselves. Maxie flew out of the room, spinning around so fast that the couple couldn't even recognize him. He stopped with a screeching sound, and looked into the mirror. “Wooo! It’s nice to see me in this getup again! Welcome back, Mr. Powerful!” He straighted his sunglasses, his smirk widening. “Time to crash those loser’s lame-ass party and get some more sweet revenge!” He laughed maniacally, and flew outside.

All three Pokémon stood there in shock, with their jaws dropped. “ What the hell just happened?! ” Zangoose exclaimed, looking at Camerupt. “ That thing possessed him! And now he’s gonna go attack Team Aqua’s party! He’ll be crushed by those ruffians!” Camerupt put his head underneath his hooves in defeat. “ We should go this Team Aqua place and stop him then!” Seviper said, looking nervous. “Camerupt? What happened?” Mightyena asked, running into the room. “ It happened again, and he’s headed for Team Aqua's base! Ohhh no.” He covered up his head again. Crobat had flown in, listening to the conversation. “ What happened again?” Wheezing asked, puzzled. “ We explained this to you, Wheeze! ” Mightyena exclaimed, slapping his paw onto his forehead. “ Oh, the face thing? Did it happen again?” Wheezing asked, both heads on it were confused. Crobat sighed, and landed onto the floor. “ Look, at least we know where Master Maxie is going this time. We’ll head there, get him, and come back. Wheeze, you’re coming with us this time, whether you like it or not.” Crobat said, pointing his wing at the smoke-providing creature. “Ughh. Okay.” Wheeze said, rolling his eyes. Mightyena ran up to the window, and pushed it open. The group exited slowly and carefully, especially Camerupt, due to his size. The group started to hurry towards Team Aqua’s base, but got distracted by a battle in the same place they found Zangoose and Seviper. “ Where’s my son?! An much older Zangoose with a scar running down the left side of his face, wearing an amulet roared, clawing a Seviper in the face. “ We don't have your dirty brat! Where’s my beautiful daughter? I know you did something with her!” The serpent hisses, wrapping around the old creature in rage. “ Is that our--?” “Yes, Vipi. Let’s just walk away, We’re not any importance to them anymore.” Zangoose continued, until the other muttered “ S-son?”

He turned around in shock, wide-eyed and stared at him. “ Son, I’m so glad you’re alright! The whole horde has missed you! Now, help me finish this slithering bastard off!” The old pokemon broke free of the wrap, and pinned the male Seviper down. Vipi slithered behind him, looking into the puzzled eyes of her father.

Vipi! You’re alive- ack! ” Vipi’s father was thrown to the ground, as the leader Zangoose held his claws to his neck. “Father, stop!” Zangoose cried, earning a moment of his father’s attention. “ What? Why aren't you attacking her, son? Are you--traveling together?” The last words were spat out, like Zangoose’s father couldn't physically bring himself to say them. “ Not traveling. We’re . . .” He paused, shutting his eyes, he knew it was going to happen. He didn't, maybe even couldn't, tell him. “ We’re in a relationship, dad.” He whispered, tears threatening to leak out as he turned his head away in shame.

He had taught him that Sevipers were pure evil. He had taught them that they fight dirty, and will do anything to bring down the tribe. But, when he met Vipi, that changed. He had to protect her, he remembered the terrified look in her eyes when he found her at the riverbank. He took her in, and now-

Now he was betraying the horde for her.

Maxie’s team stood in shock, looking behind the two as they watched. Both of the father’s faces turned from slight confusion to blazing fury. “Fine. You wanna waste your life, your destiny, and be with someone who made to hate you? Fine.” Zangoose’s father said, running up and pinning him to a tree. “But don’t you dare come running back to me when she finds something better. You’re no son of mine. My son wouldn’t leave me and the horde for a seviper.He let go, dropping the younger and walking away, with no emotion at all in his eyes. Vipi’s father slithered up to her, towering over her small frame. “I- I’m so ashamed in you. I thought you were my little girl, Vipi. I guess that’s not true.” He hestaintly slithered away, sadness and regret in his eyes. Vipi fought the urge to sob as both fathers disbanded, abandoning their battle. Zangoose walked over to her, and stared into her eyes. His emotion overcame him, and he started to wail into the darkness of the night. They both sobbed, crying into each other’s frame. Camerupt and the others hesitantly walked towards them, trying to give any comfort they could before returning to the long journey ahead of them. However, Vipi and Zangoose decided to return to the Magma base, in order to confort each other; leaving Maxie’s team to trek on and find him.



The party was awful. Archie had to admit that.

Y’know that ‘prom’ your Middle School threw to make it feel like you were in High School for two hours? That was this party.

The music was bad, there barely any food, and people were just standing around talking to each other.

Team Aqua’s leader stood at the entrance, hand clasped over his eyes, he couldn't bring himself to look at this. “Well, I have to admit, this is absolutely awful, Arch. Nobody is having fun, not even Matt! Why don’t you just shut it down already?” Shelly asked, leaning against the doors. “I don't know. It’s been two hours and I haven't seen one person on the dancefloor. Holy Kyogre, I fucked up.” Archie pinched the bridge of the nose, he definitely didn't prepare for this party. “Yeah, the team’s not going to forgive you for this, not ever. I did remind you that you needed to send some people to prepare out about this but you were like;” She put on the best Archie imitation she could and bellowed: “ oh no Shelly! It’s gonna be fine! I got everything figured out, yar!

His pinched his nose harder when she said ‘yar’ and threw his head back against the door. The next moment, a strong burst of energy burst the door open and sent them flying. A stream of light flew by where they landed, and in a second flat, Maxie stood on stage. “Wow. I didn't expect this!” He said, his hat shielding his eyes from the audience. “The leader of Team Aqua’s party going down in flames! This is pathetic! No one is doing anything right now but standing around and mingling like people in a nursery home!” He giggled, trying to contain his laughter. He turned to the audience and smirked, a smile that looked evil. “Now, who wants a real party?” He whipped out a metal guitar, black with blood red flames surrounding the front. The grunts stood in awe, some even starting to cheer. “ I can't hear you! ” Maxie taunted, waving his hand to signal more cheering from the crowd. They cheered louder, some pumping their fists in the air. Maxie brought up his right hand and threw it down onto the strings, causing a booming note. The grunts flew back, some of them hitting the wall. Maxie preformed a riff, as the grunts cheered loudly and started to dance. Archie and Shelly groaned, slowly pulling themselves up and looking at the crowd. Shelly looked to the stage, instantly recognizing the mask stranger and reaching for her handgun. She grabbed her walkie talkie and spoke into it. “Matt, I need you. Rally the top grunts.” She ran into the backroom, as some of the other grunts did as well. Archie stood up, his mouth dropping in awe at how well this stranger rocked. The entire crowd was having a fantastic time! He laughed, looking to the stage as Maxie finished his song. He noticed Archie, looking at him with those . . . beautiful . . . sea blue eyes. He showed a nervous smile, as he zipped down, leaving behind a automatic DJ who kept the party going. He zoomed to Archie, staring straight into his eyes. “H-Hello.” Archie greeted, nervously smoothing his hair. “Well, Hello .” Maxie said in a bold voice, taking in his look. “You look absolutely stunning, pet.” He flirted, walking closer. “O-oh. T-thank you, I supose.” Archie backed up, his blush deepening. In a small second, Maxie swooped Archie off his feet and said “ Let’s light this candle.”

They leaned in for a kiss until Shelly kicked down the door, wearing Team Aqua™ foam armor and pointing her handgun at Maxie.

“Step away from our boss!” She yelled, firing a shot that hit Maxie’s necktie. A piece flew off, and landed on the ground, reverting to a piece of Maxie’s uniform. Maxie dropped Archie in a startled daze, and he scowled at Shelly. “Rude.” He said, stepping over Archie and whispering “Sorry, love.” “Archie, get out of here.” Shelly huffed, rolling her eyes. The team leader lifted himself up, and walked back to his office. “Okay, dirtbag. We want our papers and we want them now!” She threatened, as Matt and three grunts came running in. “Okay.” Maxie said, pulling out a Holo-Caster and typing onto it. “Hmm. That’s not good. The team’s fees are due, and almost none of them have paid yet. Your rate is low, yada, yada, yada, yada.” He continued to type as the group looked at each other in confusion. “I suggest signing up for our savings plan to make sure this place doesn't go backrupt.” He pulled out a paper, and held it out to them. Shelly rolled her eyes in frustration. “Take him down!” She cried, firing shots along with the others. Maxie dodged the shots, stretching his body in supernatural ways. Shelly’s eyes widened but she continued to shoot. Camerupt and Maxie’s team entered the auditorium, and saw the showdown taking place. “ We have to stop them! ” Camerupt exclaimed, and used Earth Power. The ground bursted underneath Shelly and Matt, as the grunts fled from the scene. Maxie zoomed towards his team, and they escaped from the auditorium.  “Damn it all to hell!” Shelly yelled, slamming her gun to the ground. Matt looked around at the scene, finding the small scrap of clothing from earlier. “Shelly, I think I found something important. . .” He said.



The next morning, Maxie stood outside Rustleburo Harbor as a white ship approached the dock. A man wearing odd clothes exited the ship, along with some employees from the corporation he was associated with. “Hello, Mr. Maxie. It is a pleasure to meet you.” He greeted, doing a small bow. His hair was a bright lime green, and he wore very odd goggles. “Charmed,” Maxie greeted, shaking his hand. “Very nice to meet you, Mister . . .?”

“Faba, Branch Chief of Aether Paradise. I am terribly sorry that Ms. Lusamine could not accompany us. She is very busy at the moment, children and all.” He explained, waving his hand dismissively. “Of course, I shall show you to your room, Mr. Faba. Please follow me.” Maxie lead them inside, as Faba studied the facility. When reached the room, Maxie left them after some words. Faba stepped inside and pulled out a device. “Come on, come on. . .” He growled, gripping it as it calculated the area. It pinged as it found a signal, and Faba grinned viscously. “Yes, yes! I knew it was here! The Mask of Loki, the ultimate power source! Now all I need to do is find it. . . and retrieve it.”



BONUS CHAPTER

 

“Please, Tabby, eat.” Courtney begged, holding a spoon to his mouth. “No.” Tabitha said, turning his head away. “Tabby, please. You need to eat.” She begged again, scooting closer to him. He shook his head, shutting his mouth tightly. Courtney grabbed his mouth and opened it forcibly, sticking the spoon in quickly and pulling it out. Tabitha turned his head to spit it out, but witnessed Courtney’s worried expression. He hesitantly swallowed, turning to face her. “Good, you’re getting better. S-” She paused. “S-sorry for doing it by force.” She looked to her feet, ashamed. “No. I wouldn’t eat it on my own.” He admitted, looking down at the plate of mashed potatoes that Courtney had prepared. She looked up, seeing his smile. It looked so cute when he smiled, with his chubby cheeks and brown eyes. He reminded her of a chubby cat. She scooped up some more, and held the spoon up to his mouth. It took a small moment, but Tabitha ate it willingly. After an hour, the plate was clear. Tabitha pulled Courtney into a quick hug.

“I really appreciate this, Courtney.” He said, snuggling her. Courtney snuggled him as well, hoping that this moment would last forever. Unfortunately, she had to go back to her bedroom, but she was glad that Tabitha was making good progress in stopping the doubt in himself.  

Chapter Text

Something felt . . . off.

Courtney could feel it, looming around in the base like a bad smell.. First off, that Faba guy and his employees were very strange. She noticed them looking around every corner, every drawer, every desk. She was pretty sure that they were looking in the grunts rooms, too. God, something was wrong. She had that feeling. The feeling where you’ve had a good day and all of a sudden something bad happens and that day is ruined. Like it was sunny and it rained for two hours afterward. Courtney sat next to Tabby during lunch, and she still felt that pit of dread in her stomach. “Something wrong?” Tabitha asked, knocking out Courtney of her thoughts. “Yeah, something feels wrong. I-- I don’t feel good about those Aether Paradise guys.” She said, looking at the ground. “Of course you don’t. Nobody does.” Tabby said, taking a bite his sandwich that Courtney had made for him. “They’re here to judge us and take notes about how we treat our pokemon. I have a feeling their writing notes about all of us and keeping them to themselves. Like high school girls with their menopause going wild.” Courtney curled her nose in disgust. “Gross, Tabby.” “I’m just saying.” He said, wiping a bit of mustard off his chin. “Yeah, but, I saw that Faba guy snooping around Leader Maxie’s office. I-I think he’s looking for something.” Courtney said, her suspicion growing. “What is he looking for?” Tabitha questioned, taking another bite of his sandwhich. “I-- don’t know. They’re not asking us anything, and I'm not sure what they want. . .” Courtney said, her expression becoming even more confused. “Courtney, don't think about it. They'll be gone in a week, that's not so long.” He said, setting a hand on her shoulder. She looked up into his eyes, and smiled. He smiled as well, feeling warm and fuzzy. When lunch had ended, Tabitha and Courtney made the venture back to their rooms, only to find one of the Aether Paradise employees snooping in Courtney’s room. “Hey!” Tabitha exclaimed, startling the employee and causing him to jump. “What are you doing in my room?!” Courtney yelled, pointing a finger to his chest. “We're just looking for an object of great importance. Something you wouldn't understand, so go back to planing to find geodes and all that stuff.” He said, rudely waving a hand in her face. “Hey, we're looking for the legendary Groudon, not hunting for geodes. Also, don't speak to Courtney that way! She's your superior here, whether you Aether Paradise assholes like it or not!” Tabitha interrupted, stepping in between the two. The employee scoffed. “Yeah, so? What are you going to do about me looking in here, tubby?” He scolded, pointing a finger at Tabitha. His eyes showed hurt and insecurity as he started to step back. Courtney reeled back her sleeves and prepared to slam the employee into the wall, before she saw Faba walking down the hall.  “Jason! What have I said about this?!” Faba yelled, increasing his walking speed gripping the employee's left arm and wrapping his fingers tightly around it. “I was just--!” He pulled the employee to his face. His eyes showed rage and his scowl could make even the biggest pokemon run away in fear. The employee opened his mouth to speak but Faba interrupted him.“Ah, ah, ah, don’t. We'll talk about this in my temporary office. Now, get out of my slight. ” Faba hissed the last word, as if he was spitting pure venom. The employee ran back to their room, as Faba brushed some dirt off of his uniform. “I am so terribly sorry, they don't usually don't act like this. All employees at Aether Paradise should act in a kind and civilised manner. I really am sorry for this, he shouldn't have called you that terrible word.” Faba apologized, straightening a few things on his outfit and facing them. “That's . . . very kind of you. T-thanks.” Courtney said,  a bit confused. Tabitha was lost in his own thoughts, staring into the wall. “I'll talk to him straight away, I promise this will not happen again. Good day.” Faba started to walk down the hall, until Courtney called him out. “Mr. Faba! What was he looking for anyway?” She asked, causing Faba to turn around. “My dear, that is for us to know, and for you not to care.” He said, eyes burning into Courtney's psyche. He walked down the hall until he wasn't visible to the eye. Courtney held Tabitha's hand, as she pulled the silent man into her bedroom for a reassuring conversation.

 

Maxie felt absolutely exhausted. The Mask had drained his energy for the day. He walked the hallways in a sleepy daze, visible bags under his eyes. He sat down at his desk, trying effortlessly to stay awake. Another meeting was today, and he felt anxiety rising up in his mind. They still didn't have any location for the red orb, they were extremely behind. He growled and slammed his fist on the desk. What a fool he had been! Using that silly tool to destract himself from his duties! He walked over to his desk, grabbing the mask. He angrily turned to the window and tossed it out. He breathed, and walked out of his office on the way to the auditorium. However, the mask flew back into his office, landing in its exact same place from before.

 

The auditorium was in a frenzy. People were yelling to the top of their lungs, voicing their complaints and concerns. Courtney stood on the stage, frozen in fear and anxiety. Tabitha stood besides her, trying to calm the wild crowd, without any result. The looked like they were going to riot, some were even grabbing chairs! Maxie stepped in, surprised at the sudden behavior of his grunts.

He stomped up to the podium in a rage, grabbing the microphone and yelling “ ENOUGH!

The grunts suddenly stopped, sitting down and paying attention. Maxie breathed in gasps, trying to control his fury. “Okay. You may voice your complaints, but please be calm about it.” He pinched his nose, trying to contain himself. “Those Aether Paradise guys are invading our privacy!” A grunt exclaimed, standing up. “Yeah, I've had to lock my door three times in a row!” A female grunt said. “They keep looking in our rooms! We have personal stuff in there!”

Maxie looked a bit surprised, as he grabbed the microphone. “Okay, I haven't heard anything about that . Faba hasn't even told me about it, how long has this been going on?” He asked, looking across the crowd. “Since they got here!” One grunt exclaimed. “Alright, alright calm down! I will talk with Faba about this, and if it happens again, I will do something about it.” Maxie aligned some papers and read them off. “Okay, once again, we are not any closer to finding the Red Orb or Groudon. I apologize for this, since I have been distracting myself with- other duties.” He cleared his throat nervously. “But, if we all do our part, we have a very good chance of finding them both. As I have said in the past, we will crush Team Aqua! Their plan is flawed, while ours is flawless! We shall defeat them, and expand the land for the better of all Pokémon! Together, we are Team Magma, the true victors of Hoenn!” He announced, as the crowd cheered. Courtney and Tabitha clapped, feeling proud of their leader. Maxie smiled, he felt like he was finally getting things done.



“Alright, we must do this quickly while they are in that meeting. Everyone keep watch, this won't take long.” Faba whispered, quietly entering Maxie’s office as his employees stood outside. He tiptoed through the room, looking around. He saw the treasure sitting on Maxie's shelf, sitting there in the sunlight. “Aha! There you are!” He said, walking towards it and picking it up. He examined it, his eyes filled with wonder.“The Mask of Loki! The magical tool of legend! I never thought I would see it in person. Now, let's see what you can do.” Faba giggled sinisterly, placing the mask on his face. A few moments passed, as it did nothing. “Huh? Why isn't working?!” He growled, shaking it in fury. “Wait--” He checked a device on his wrist. “Of course. Faba, you fool. This Mask was created from a Norse god, and Loki did his pranks and such at night. It only works at that time, that makes a small bit of sense. I should take it when Maxie is sleeping, he shouldn't notice it then. I’ll have to wait a few days, however. . .” Faba carefully placed it back, and sneaked out.

“Alright, back to the office. The plan has changed a small bit, we make our move Wednesday at midnight sharp.” Faba and the employees exited the hallway, unknowing that the cameras centered around Maxie's door had picked up the entire conversation.

 

Maxie sat at his desk, waiting for Faba to arrive. He had scheduled a small meeting with him after hearing the news that his employees were looking in the grunt's rooms.

“Hello, Mr. Maxie. You wished to see me?” Faba questioned, sitting down in the chair right across from him. “Yes. I've heard a concerning complaint from my grunts today.” He said, slow and calm. “O-oh.” Faba said, darting his eyes to the left in a quickened manner. Maxie stood up, crossing his arms behind his back. “Have you been asking your employees to search my grunt’s rooms?” Maxie questioned, a small scowl on his face. “Well, yes. . . but it is for a good reason. We are looking for anything that could harm your Pokemon.” Faba gulped, trying to keep his hands lowered at his sides. Maxie looked unconvinced, but a green glow turned his attention to his shelf.

There it was, just sitting there. Like he had never moved it. The mask was right there. He could have sworn he threw that menacing item out his window! His eyes had widen in surprise, and his jaw dropped. “Mr. Maxie?” Faba asked, returning his focus to the small man. “Your dismissed.” He suddenly stated, keeping his eyes on the mask. “D-don't let me hear of this again, Mr. Faba.” He said, mindlessly walking over to his shelf. Faba stepped out, slightly bewildered.

 

Maxie stared at the enchanted item, puzzled on how it was back in his office. He stared at it for a long period of time before walking to the window to open it. He took one last glance, causing the mask to glow. His pupils turned a bright green, and the mask's frown turned upwards into a smile. ‘ C'mon! What are you waiting for? it suddenly asked. “W-what?!” Maxie dropped it in a startled daze, backing away. Come on! Don't you want to have some fun? The sun is setting, and it's the perfect time!’ it speaked, causing Maxie to lift it up again. “H-how are you taking?” He asked, lifting up to his face without control. It went silent, but launched onto his face. His eyes widened and pupils returned to normal. “No! Get off!” He yelled, pulling and tugging on it. He heard faint laughter, but it got louder every time he tried to pull off the mask. It was crazed, and maniacal. “That laughter. . .” He sputtered, his mind becoming even more bent to the power of the mask. “I-it sounds like . . . my own?!” He gasped, but he started to twist. He spun around again, trying to force himself not to transform. His mind had failed though, as it felt like he was falling unconscious.

 

He stopped, his outfit changing a bit. His hat had disappeared, and his sunglasses’ edges had become pointed and the lens had turned into a light red shade. His hair was slicked back, with the ends pointing upwards. His suit had turned dark red, with black fingerless gloves and a black overcoat. He examined himself in the mirror, admiring his new look. “Looking good, Maxie! Now, what to do?” He zipped over to the desk. He ravaged through one of the drawers and smiled when he found a small picture of Archie inside. “Well, time to get that sea hubby on my side! Ha, ha, ha!” He zoomed out his window, unknowing that Courtney had seen the entire thing and muttered “What . . . the . . . hell.”







Chapter Text

Team Aqua was oddly calm that night.The trees swayed in a slow manner and the Noctowls hooted their songs. Sometime near 6:35am, Archie stood out on the dock located behind the base, looking up into the sky, admiring the stars. His mind was clouded with thoughts of that green-faced stranger from the party. He was . . . familiar, to the point where Archie could swear he knew who he was. But something always made it hard to remember. He couldn't get his mind off of him, especially the moment he leaned in to kiss him. That man was just . . . so bold. So attractive.   When Shelly and Matt surrounded him, he just stared into the face of danger, didn't even flinch! Also . . . he looked too much like Maxie. To the point where he could . . .

He froze. No way. . . He thought thoroughly, trying to understand how--

 

Hello, handsome. ” Suddenly a voice interrupted his thoughts, and he turned around to see the stranger standing there. His deep red hair was slicked back and his outfit had a new look. But he still had that green face. He stepped towards Archie, staring down at him. “I know the party was only three days ago, but I just had to see you again.” He said, as Archie stood up to look into his eyes. Archie chuckled and crossed his arms. “Yeah, I was thinkin’ the same thing about you.” He smiled, staring into those hazel eyes, admiring them. “Oh? I should've known you'd be thinkin’ all about me~” The stranger flirted, leaning closer to him. Archie chuckled again, blushing a bit deeply. “I've missed you, Archie. So, so much. Ever since we broke up over that stupid squabble, I've been longing for a moment like this . . .” Maxie said, a small part of his true self leaking out of the mask's power. Archie put his hands on his shoulders. “Really?” He asked in all seriousness. Maxie hesitated, trying to keep his pride. But he failed. “Yes. . .” he said, sighing in defeat and looking down into the water. Archie put a finger under his chin, pulling it up so Maxie could see into his eyes.  Archie looked to the side for a moment before leaning in. “I have, too, Maxie.

He clashed their lips together, Maxie's eyes widening for a moment. He slowly slid his hands up Archie's back, closing his eyes. Archie responded with a small “mmh~” and kissed deeper. Meanwhile, Courtney looked at them from afar with a pair of binoculars, jaw dropping. “Holy shit .” She said, lowing the binoculars down and closing her mouth. She tried to process the shock, until a small click interrupted it. “Don't move, Courtney.” said Shelly, who stood with a gun aimed at her head. “I don't know what the hell you're doing here, but I know exactly what will happen if you don't leave.” Courtney sighed, standing up and holding out the binoculars. “Wha--?” “Just use them to see over there.” She said, pointing to the dock. Shelly snatched the binoculars from her hands and stared into them towards the dock, witnessing the makeout session between her boss and that weirdo from the party! She lowered the binoculars and whispered a “Holy ssss shit. ” Courtney crossed her arms, looking at her. “No fucking way. . .” she said, looking down. “But what are you--” she quickly put the binoculars up to her eyes and took another look. “you gotta be fucking kidding me.” She said, realizing who the stranger was. “Yup. I can't believe it, holy crap.” Courtney sat down, placing a hand on her head, trying to understand. “Well, they have had a lot a history.” Shelly sat down as well, looking to the sky. “Yeah, it took me awhile to process the fact that they were partners once.” Courtney said, looking up. She looked to her watch, which said 6:59am.

The sky gradually became lighter as the sun peeked over the horizon, causing Maxie's eyes to widen and pull away from Archie. He backed up. “I-I have to leave--” He said, preparing to zoom off. “Maxie-- Maxie, wait!” Archie exclaimed, causing Maxie to run away from the light of the sun. Courtney suddenly stood up as Maxie zoomed past, and jumped over Shelly's legs. “That's my cue to leave, bye-” she said, running into the woods as a shortcut to the Team Magma base.

 

Archie stood on the dock, silently looking in the same direction Maxie had ran off in.

 

They had a lot to sort out.

 

Chapter Text

“You . . . are an idiot. A complete imbecile. ” Maxie stated, gripping onto the sink and lowering his head. “I can't believe we kissed. . . he doesn't even love me. He hasn't for god knows how long. Yes, we have dated in secret before. But, that was when we were eighteen. We were young and didn't know anything about commitment. Except, maybe . . . those feelings may have lasted throughout these years.” He stood in thought for a few moments, before hearing his room's door open. He heard footsteps approach his bathroom, and light knocks on the door.

“I'm busy.” He said in a stern tone.

“I need to talk to you, Maxie,” Courtney said, standing outside. She crossed her arms and quietly waited for her leader to come out, trying to think about the conversation they were about to have. Maxie walked out, facing her and sighing. “I know about your little ‘persona’” Courtney said, pointing to the mask sitting on Maxie’s shelf. His eyes widened, and he stared at her, but tried his best to stay calm. “How?” He asked. “I saw you--” she paused for a moment to find the right words for an explanation, moving towards him.. “-- Change last night. You became this whole other person, leader Maxie. It was amazing and frightening at the same time. I became very worried for your safety. You seemed so. . . reckless. So, I followed you to Team Aqua's base and well . . .” She halted her speech, having known that Maxie already knew what she was going to say. He sat down at his desk, putting his head in his hands. Courtney sat down as well, setting her hands on her lap. “I’ve betrayed the team--” he said, sliding one hand down his face. “I've betrayed my beliefs. Hell, I've even betrayed myself. I just-- miss him. So much. I miss the days when we were eighteen and it was a secret. Just a small secret thing only we knew about; because if it came out we would be laughing stocks. Outcasts. Being homosexual was hard when I was young. But now, seeing that it's accepted, I just-- want him. I want to hold him in my arms and sleep with him in bed like we used to. I want to go out again and laugh about the things we could talk about. I just--” he sighed in defeat, slumping onto his desk. “I just miss it.”

“You miss the feeling of being young, you also missed the day when you and Archie were lovers,” Courtney stated, trying to ease the tense environment. “Exactly.” He said, a bit muffled. “But that mask, it gives me that feeling back.” He said, pulling his head up and moving towards the shelf where the mask sat. He picked it up, staring into the hallow frames of its eyes. “It makes me feel like I'm . . . smooth. A sassy person who doesn't take lip from anyone, a guy who gets into a fight and wins without any effort! I feel alive when I wear it, and it makes me feel like an important person. Sure, I’m reckless, but I have the power to overcome any obstacle! I survived bullets! I ran at speeds no human could handle! When I wear it, I am at the same level as a GOD !”

Maxie’s throat erupted with malicious laughter, growing more intense and discordant as it continued. He looked like an absolute madman, his eyes flashing into a bright glowing green. Courtney was frozen as the laughter continued, eventually gaining the courage to hit him with a harsh slap across the face, knocking his glasses to the floor. His eyes returned to their usual color as he recollected himself. He kneeled to pick his glasses off the carpet, checking the Cameruptite in the right side. It seemed fine, so he placed them back on as Courtney sat back down into her seat.

 

A long silence spread across the room, as both tried to find out what to say next.

 

Courtney broke the silence. “Have you tried getting rid of it?” She asked, turning towards him.  “Yes, in a small fit of rage the other day, I had thrown it out the window. But, when I was speaking with Mr. Faba, it was on my shelf again! Like I had never moved it from the exact spot it lays!”  Maxie exclaimed, his face turning a small tint of red. “Maybe, that’s just how it works,” Courtney said, getting up and walking towards her boss. “Maybe it- becomes attached to you in some way. Perhaps you left a mark on it, and it doesn't want to leave. Then again, maybe it wants to consume you. Maybe it wishes to completely take over your psyche, until you can live without this “persona” of yours.”

Maxie stood in thought, processing the mere guesses that Courtney had presented to the situation. “You make a compelling point, Courtney. However, we still have no idea what this mask is, or its origins.” He said, placing his left hand against his cheek in slight frustration. Courtney walked over to the desk and sat down in her boss’s large burgundy swivel chair. She quickly typed a set of keywords into the search bar of the desktop's open browser, looking for even the smallest bit of information about the relic that sat upon Maxie's shelf. A few moments of searching and she found a web article on the object in question. She read the headliner aloud. “The Mask of Loki: a missing part of both Human and Pokémon history.” Maxie curiously walked towards Courtney, amazed at how she found information. “Legend says long ago after it had wreaked havoc in the Kalos region, A group of Pokémon had stolen the artifact from greedy humans to bury it in an abandoned cave. This recovered scroll shows the Pokémon who traveled miles to rid themselves of the mask.” A picture showed a Blastoise, a Mismagius, and a Charizard. Several other Pokémon surrounded them, including a Zangoose and Seviper. “It seemed that many Pokémon from other regions traveled to rid the world of it.”

Courtney continued to read the article after exchanging looks with Maxie.

“The team traveled to Hoenn, to bury it in the Fiery Caves. Groups of Slugma, Koffing, Numel, Grimer, and Torkoal were sworn to protect it. It seems that the mask itself was created by a god by the name of Loki. Thousands of years ago, all powerful beings known as Gods lived in the skies among Legendary Pokémon such as Reshiram or Darkrai. Loki was known as the god of mischief, and every night he would torment the various regions that surround our world. He would often pull pranks by breaking the laws of psychics and using his powers to often mess with mortal humans. Eventually, Loki was banished for challenging Arceus, as Zeus was forced to disown his own son to keep to bond of Gods, Pokemon, and Humans alive. However, the gods soon left, and Legendaries soon protected the world as our gods. However, before he was banished, he had created a mask and filled it with his power. It is said the mask can still be found in Hoenn today, but there is no proof that it exists.”

 

“Now I know what you are.” Maxie said, picking the mask off of his shelf. He felt the cracks in wood, lost in thought.

He finally spoke.“Courtney, you are to go back in your room. I need to be alone.”

“Leader Maxie-” Courtney was cut off my Maxie raising his hand in her face. “Please, I need time to process thisinformation.” He said, his eyes were closed.

“Yes, Sir.” Courtney said, exiting her leader’s office.