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Regardless of whether the army outside noticed Flannery’s attack on the roof, the staff inside didn’t take long to investigate. Mere moments after the three trainers got their footing on the top floor, a pair of green-clad security guards stepped into the hallway. Eyes widened, one of the two immediately released his Manectric and the other ran back to his station. Jessie looked at Gyarados and shouted a command: “Bulldoze!”
Gyarados lunged for the floor and plowed forward, lifting tiles and warping metal. The broken, powdered remains of the surface formed a trench around her, and she buried the guard’s electric wolf in improvised earth. The guard himself went under a moment later. Gyarados continued forward and latched into the other guard at his station, tearing him from his rapid-fire intercom announcement and flinging him into the hallway’s inner wall. The two guards and Manectric lay insensate as Jane, Jessie, Flannery, Meowth, and Growly approached them and Gyarados reared up to keep a good view.
“I don’t think they’re going to talk,” Flannery observed, poking the second guard with her foot and receiving no response, “and we wouldn’t fit in their uniforms.”
Jane piped up, “If we leave them in the comm room, the people coming to check on their message can make sure these concussions don’t kill them.”
“Good plan,” Jessie agreed, dragging the second guard. Jane took the first guard’s Pokéball and returned Manectric, then put the ball back on his belt. She and Flannery carried the guard into the room as Jessie lowered the second guard to the ground and recalled Gyarados. Jane recalled Growly and closed the door behind her, making the group much less conspicuous. As they rounded the next turn of the spiral, the inner wall changed from ceramic and metal to glass, revealing the helix of Magnemites and Magnetons slowly spinning within.
Jane approached the wall, putting her hand on the glass and looking closely at the spherical, levitating Pokémon, their sad eyes, and the scratches, dents, and warps in their bodies. “So much pain,” she muttered, her fist clenching. “I feel a lot less bad for what we’re about to do to these people.”
“I see you’ve heard of me,” Lucy answered with a swagger as she recalled Milotic. Sometime between entering the airlock and becoming visible to Lizabeth and Elvis, she had stashed her protective outerwear in a backpack, standing before her new associates in her trademark Seviper-themed outfit.
Elvis stammered, “But—how—”
Lucy smiled. “I’m here to figure out why someone is breaking the dinnerware at the Battle Pike.” No sooner did she offer this explanation than the walls and floor shook. “I’ve been circling the island for hours, until your friend here showed me where to dive. Lizabeth, right?” Lucy extended a hand, and Lizabeth took it. “It’s nice to meet you. I like your hair.” She took a few steps forward, and continued with extended hand, “And you too, Elvis.”
Elvis shook her hand and held it a little longer than the handshake required. Lucy raised an eyebrow at him. She was over a head taller than him, and a little taller than Lizabeth, and the look on his face mixed intimidation with awe and something else she didn’t quite recognize. Something…familiar. Lizabeth spoke up next.
“What’s next, Elvis? What did…” Lizabeth looked at Lucy, not sure whether to name their oceanic benefactor, “…bring me here to help you with?”
“Something bad is happening in this tower,” Elvis insisted. “We need to figure out what it is, and stop it.”
Lizabeth nodded in determination. Lucy responded, “Count me in.”
“All right then,” Elvis continued, “the first place I want to see is the transmitter.”