Flames licked the steel walls, burning and melting them in places as they tried desperately to hold onto their fragile existence. The heat they gave off was quickly dying as the flames were unable to find fuel to sustain them. Slowly each of the brilliant tongues of fire returned to the void from which they arose, dimming the light in the room until it returned to dull viridian. Justin's gaze never left Ein's as the men watched each other, neither making a move towards or away from the other.
'Justin! What are you doing? 'A small voice that felt like lavender and the gentle, early morning sun inside the man's mind asked him, 'are you sure this is the action you should be taking? Please, stop and think this through!'
'I have thought this through, Espeon,' Justin replied, his mental voice usually so calm and collected was laced with fire and rage as he spoke to his pokémon. 'This monster has gone too far and I can not, will not stand by and do nothing.' He absently brushed the top of Esepon's head as Ein, frustrated with the silence and stillness, recalled his two pokémon to their balls.
“And what do you think you're doing? You have no part in this arrangement. Step back before you get hurt.” Ein's voice was still quietly confident even as he stared down Justin and his two pokémon.
“Your arrangement has changed.” Justin said, his voice firm and clear even as his rage boiled just below the surface. “If you want her, you have to go through me first.”
Ein's eyes narrowed, “I have indulged you long enough. Move out of my way before I do something you regret. You have seen the power of the pokémon I have created! Do you really believe you can beat them?”
“It's not a matter of belief,” there was a slight quirk of his mouth that might have been a smile if the hatred in his eyes were not there, “I know I can beat you.”
“The arrogance of youth,” the older man spat, as if it pained him to speak the words aloud. “Very well, you will have the battle you so desire. But I'll bring you down as fast as I did Samantha. You are only advancing your own end.”
“You speak of my arrogance,” Justin said as he pulled a single pokéball from the inside of his jacket. “Ironic, since your own arrogance is what will bring you down.”
Ein ground his teeth for a moment before he tossed two pokéballs into the air, “Magneton! Bastiodon! Teach this nuisance a lesson he won't soon forget!”
“The only lessons being taught here today will be of humility and defeat- and both will be yours,” Justin said as he tossed his pokéball into the air, releasing a tall and lithe scizor. Nodding to arcanine, the sizeable fire dog stepped up to the field. Justin turned to his pokémon and with several quick hand gestures, he directed his pokémon on the field.
Caught off guard, Ein called out, “Magneton use supersonic on scizor! Bastiodon use ancient power on arcanine!”
Scizor took a step back, giving arcanine control of the field. Opening his mouth, arcanine released a second wall of flames that washed over magneton and bastiodon. Magneton shrieked with a metallic voice that quickly rose high enough to shatter the glass in the tanks closest to it, spilling the green liquid across the floor, making it slippery. The room brightened as well, no longer entombed in the dimming green fluid, the white lights cast their undiluted glow around the room. Bastiodon weathered the attack only slightly longer than his compatriot, succumbing to the inferno before he was able to do more than lift a few jagged shards of rock from the ground.
Ein ground his teeth as he recalled both his pokémon, “You got lucky once, it won't happen again! Go aggron and jolteon!” The two pokémon he sent out stood stoically until he called out their commands, “Aggron use bulldoze on arcanine! Take him out! Jolteon, use double kick on scizor!”
Justin only gave a similar flurry of quick, slicing hand gestures to his pokémon who moved instantly to his silent command. This time it was arcanine's turn to hold back while scizor stepped up. Leaping forward, scizor targeted aggron, striking viciously across his chest with frightening accuracy and precision. The brick break attack sent aggron reeling backwards. When he fell, aggron tried to struggle to his feet, but a second, decisive strike kept him down. Jolteon, just as fast as scizor, was on top of him as he struck down aggron, but before he could connect a strike, arcanine was between them. The much larger pokémon knocked jolteon back and into the wall where he slid to the ground, unable to rise.
Visibly shaking now, Ein reached into his lab coat and pulled out a small vial of serum. The vial was colored yellow with a stripe of green in the middle- a full restore. Grabbing a pokéball from his belt, he injected the healing elixir into it, healing the pokémon inside. “I'm not through with you just yet,” Ein murmured, trying to hold onto his confidence as he called out two more pokémon, “Go galvantula and lucario! Galvantula use discharge! Lucario use metal claw on scizor!”
Justin quirked a small smile as he gave his silent commands to his pokémon. Arcanine took a half step back before launching a jet of fire at galvantula, burning the giant spider to a crisp within moments. Scizor on the other hand, clashed with lucario, their glowing silver claws matching blow for blow. Whirling and striking, the two moved across the entire field in a fast-paced fist fight, neither gaining the upper hand. Leaping back from his opponent, scizor snarled, spreading his arms wide as he was surrounded by seven swords of light. Lucario closed in on him again as the swords faded, but this time scizor struck with increased fervor, driving the other pokémon back.
“Lucario, break off and use swords dance as well!” Ein cried out to his pokémon. The other combatant tried to pull away from scizor, but the red insectoid wouldn't have it. Each time lucario tried to break off the fight, scizor cut him off with his quick movements and even faster claws. As they continued to whirl around each other, it was clear scizor was quickly wearing lucario down. The opposing pokémon was breathing heavily as his movements slowed fractionally. Slowly he began taking blows from scizor, then faster and faster until lucario wasn't blocking any of the onslaught.
Seeing victory was within his grasp, scizor threw all his power into his strikes until he knocked lucario to the ground. With one final strike, scizor lunged forward, his right claw lancing towards lucario's head, burying itself into the ground on either side. With a scree of victory, he was about to slam his claws shut when a voice from across the field stopped him. “That's enough.” Scizor groaned under the weight of his trainer's command, warring with himself between following a direct order and his desire for a complete and total victory over the opposing pokémon. Finally, he yanked his claw free of the ground and returned, sulkily, to Justin's side.
Ein recalled his pokémon from the field with a wild look in his eyes. “You haven't beaten me yet, oh no, not at all.” He reached into his lab coat for two more pokéballs, but before he could release them to the field, Justin had cross the length of it to stand in front of Ein. Siding his right foot back, Justin balled his fist and lunged, throwing his full weight into the strike as he punched the scientist to the floor.
Caught completely off guard, Ein hit the floor with a heavy thump, his coat flying open and several dozen pokéballs flew out of it, scattering across the floor. “I said. That's enough.” Justin growled, fury and contempt clearly written across his face. “Now get out of here before I do something we both regret.”
Scrambling to his feet, Ein hurried to the exit, glancing back only once to look at the pokéballs scattered on the ground, but as he caught Justin's eye again, he yelped and ran out the door. Justin's hand clenched the hilt of his knife as he watched the older man's ungraceful retreat, sighing heavily as the door slammed shut behind him. Turning around, he realized he was face to face with Shane, and the Ranger was pissed.
“What the hell was that?” Shane asked, shaking with anger. “What the fuck did you think you were doing?”
Justin's eyes narrowed, “what would you have had me do?” He asked in reply. “Let that man leave with his shadow pokémon? Let him make off with Sam and the snagmachine? WHAT?”
Shane ground his teeth, “You still just let him leave. You let him get away.”
“Would you rather I killed him?” The man asked, his eyes unreadable. “I could have, if you rather.”
“No!” Shane cried out, only barely masking his horror. “I could have arrested him and taken him in for questioning!”
Justin just shook his head, “people like him don't just stay arrested. Besides, this way he's scared and on the run. He'll lead us right to Cipher's center of power.”
“He'll lead you right to them, then,” Shane said flatly. “If it's all the same to you, I don't think we should travel together any longer.”
The older man just shrugged, “Suit yourself.” Stepping over to Sam, he held his hand down to her and helped her to back to her feet. Tipping his hat to both of them, he nodded, “perhaps we'll meet again.” Walking out of the room, his espeon close at his heels, Justin began following Ein.
Shane huffed as the door closed behind him, “I sincerely hope not.” Stepping over the scattered pokéballs and around the oozing green liquid spattering the floor, Shane approached the computer. “I know he said it was wiped, but I don't trust that man father than I can throw him.”
Sam nodded, silent as she had been for a while, her eyes glued to the door the mysterious trainer had just left through. Caught up in her thoughts, she shook her head sharply when she realized Shane was still talking to her. “I'm sorry, I missed that last part.”
The brown-haired man sighed, running a hand through his hair as he typed furiously at the keyboard. “I said could you pick up these pokéballs? Ein called them the pokémon he created, so we have to assume they're all Shadow Pokemon. I want to send them back to the Ranger Union in Almia so that they can be tested. We need to know how these creatures are made so we can reverse the process.”
Sam nodded, bending over, she gathered the twenty-odd pokéballs Ein had dropped after Justin had decked him. She smiled slightly as she thought about the look on Ein's face in that moment. It had been a mix of fear and uncertainty, the same emotions Sam had felt during their battle. “You know,” she said slowly, “even if you didn't like his methods, Justin still saved my life. You have to admire that.”
“I don't have to admire anything,” Shane muttered angrily as he continued to type, though his keystrokes were becoming more frantic by the moment, “that man was just as violent as Ein was and if I weren't all by myself out here, I would have taken him down just as quickly. People like him are dangerous.”
Sam just shook her head slowly as she picked up the last pokéball. There was no reasoning with Shane at this point. She was about to stand up and put the pokéballs away when a slight glimmer in the corner of her eye made her turn around. “Hey, I think I found that disk!”
“What disk?” Shane asked angrily as he slammed his hands down on the keyboard. “Gods damn Ein! He completely wiped the memory of this thing! I can't even recall the data from the hard drive, the wipe was so thorough!”
“Ah, Shane, that's what I'm talking about,” Sam said carefully picking up the data disk from where it had rolled under one of the shattered tanks. “The disk Ein said had all his computer data on it. It must have fallen out of his coat when his pokéballs were scattered.”
Jumping up from his seat in front of the computer, Shane hurried over to Sam, his demeanor having done a complete 180, “Well why didn't you say so? This is fantastic! It's sure to have all the answers we're looking for on it!” He grabbed the disk from her and inserted it into his styler.
“Whatever you say, Shane,” Sam shook her head with a small smile. “But before you get sucked into decoding that disk and whatever knowledge is inside, we should really get back to Agate and see what Ian and Shea found.”
“You're right,” Shane sighed as he lowered his arm back to his side, the styler's screen turned off for the time being. “But we have an hour's ride back to the Under. I can work on it then!”
The pair arrived back in Agate well after the sun had set. It was only the reflective glow of the moon that allowed Sam to steer her bike back to the island town on the lake. Pulling up to Ian's grandparents' house, she and Shane were met by both Shea and Ian, who had returned from their exploration hours ago. “We thought you'd gotten lost,” Shea teased her brother.
“Or gotten captured,” Ian said as he smiled worriedly at the pair. “And when Shea couldn't get a hold of Shane via their stylers, well... we decided if you two weren't back by tomorrow that we'd come and find you.”
“Oh did you now?” Sam asked, “that could have been very dangerous.”
“I didn't think it would come to that,” Shea said with a haughty sniff, though she stayed quite close to her brother as she said it. “It was just a precaution.”
“You couldn't reach me because we were underground pretty much all day,” Shane explained. “First in the Under, and then in a lab somewhere north of Phenac.”
“How'd you get from here, to the Under, to Phenac, back to the Under, and back here in less than a day?” Ian asked, “that trip should have taken much longer!”
“There was a bullet subway train in the Under that took us to the lab,” Sam explained. “Look, we can explain everything that happened, but can we please go inside first? It's getting cold out here.”
The four moved into the house and gathered in the living room, sitting on the couch and pair of chairs around a low coffee table, before Shea couldn't contain her curiosity, “Okay, so what happened?”
Sam and Shane took turns talking about what had happened to them that day, each adding in the details they felt the other had forgotten. When they reached the end, Ian looked pensive. “You mentioned that Ein called his pokémon the ones he created? And you said that they're shadow pokémon.”
“Yeah,” Shane said with a nod. “That's just what we think, though. The scientists at the Ranger Union will have to confirm it.”
Ian held out his hand to Shane, “could I see a couple of them? I might be able to give you a better idea of which ones are shadow pokémon, since I've seen several now.”
“I don't think that's a good idea,” Shea said. “From what I learned about them, we definitely don't want even one running around without a trainer to control them.”
“I don't have to release them from their pokéballs,” Ian said patiently. “I can read their aura while they're safely inside.”
The two Rangers shared a long glance before Shane shrugged, “I don't see a problem with it.” Standing up, he pulled thee of the pokéballs from the backpack he wore over one shoulder. “Just be careful, alright? We don't need any accidents.”
Ian nodded as he placed the three balls on the table in front of him. He slowly ran his hand over the tops of each, spending several moments on each ball before pulling back, “These are definitely shadow pokémon,” he confirmed, adding, “it's strange though. I didn't notice it when I saw Shea battle earlier, but it feel like their hearts are...” he paused, searching for the right word, “it's like they're sick.”
“What do you mean by sick?” Shea asked, leaning forward and crossing her arms over her knees to get a better look at what Ian was doing. “Does the process of making shadow pokémon make them ill?”
Ian was quiet a moment, “well, yes and no. It's not that making them shadow pokémon makes them sick, it's that whatever makes them shadowed is the disease. It's like it takes root in their heart, breaking the connection between a pokémon and their emotions, which then deprives them of the ability to form a bond with a trainer.”
Shane nodded, “I seem to recall reading something about that earlier...” he pulled up the condensed version of Ein's files that he'd compiled on the train ride back to the Under and subsequently while returning to Agate. “Ah, here it is. Yeah. The shadowing process, the details of which I won't go into, was designed to sever the bond between a pokémon and their emotions, creating a killing machine, but it also had the added effect of breaking their emotional connection to a trainer and, thus, the control a trainer would have over them.” He scrolled down farther adding, “This made the pokémon incredibly difficult to use in battle, until the scientists realized that by battling with the shadowed pokémon, the pokémon slowly regained the bonds to their assigned trainer, breaking the hold of the shadowing process. It was both a problem and a marginal success. On the one hand, once a pokémon was shadowed, it never really lost the power granted by the process, nor truly regained their morality. On the other, there was always the possibility that there was a way to fully heal a shadowed pokémon.”
“Is there a way to heal them?” Shea asked.
“Celebi's Shine,” Eugene stepped out from the kitchen, clothed in a robe, it looked as if he'd just woken up. “If you're looking for purification, the closest place would be the Shrine in Celebi's Glade.”
Ian snapped his fingers, “Of course! There's that legend where Celebi is called upon to heal a bunch of people from a sickness that no one could cure, right? But Granddad, this isn't the same as that.”
“Isn't it?” The old man's eyes twinkled in the lamp light, “from what little I heard, it seems like a very similar thing.”
“But this is man-made, sir. Possibly not even an actual disease,” Shea explained. “I'm sure something like this is even outside the abilities of a powerful legendary pokémon.”
“Don't be so sure,” Eugene yawned, stretching his arms out and popping his back before sighing, “Ah, but what do I know. I'm an old man who still believes in fairy-stories.”
Ian looked around the room and said, “well, I think we should try it. It might not work, but we won't know until we try.”
“Yeah...” Shane said, rolling his eyes. “Sure, Ian. But do you really think a legendary pokémon like Celebi would take the time to heal these pokémon, even if she could?”
“She took time to talk to me,” Sam spoke up. “If she'd do that, I think we can assume she'd take time for afflicted pokémon. There's just one problem- there's no way to be sure she'll even be there. Ian said he spent time nearly every day in her glade for a year and never saw hide or hair of her. Even I only saw her once and only briefly.”
The room was quiet for a long moment, “There's an item spoken of in fables that is said to call the legendary pokémon Celebi to the one who uses it.” Eugene spoke carefull, “It's called the Time Flute since, as the legends say, Celebi can hear it no matter when in time she is.”
“Well that's great,” Shane said with a huff, “too bad it doesn't actually exist.”
“It does actually exist,” the elderly man said, walking across the room to a bookshelf that stood on the right side of the television. Reaching for the top shelf, he pulled down a slim, wooden box. Pushing back the lid, he turned and revealed a slim woodwind instrument. Silver in color, it seemed to shimmer in the lamplight as Eugene removed it from the silk inlay it sat upon. “I've only ever seen it used once, but that's all I need to know that this is the true Time Flute.” He handed the instrument to Ian saying, “I'm sure you remember the melody your mother used to sing to you, eh? That's the song you need to play to call Celebi to her grove. And do be careful with it, won't you? It's not something we can easily replace.”
Ian smiled, “Of course, Grandad. I'll be really careful with it.”
“Good, good,” Eugene yawned again, covering his mouth with a hand as he did. “Ah, well, I'm off to bed. You youngsters don't stay up too late now, ya hear?”
“We won't,” the four young adults promised as the older man walked back through the kitchen and into his room. Once the door was shut behind him, Shane said, “It's all well and good that we have a magical solution to our problems, but it seems like it might be a one-shot deal. If you guys really want to talk to Celebi tomorrow, be my guest, but I'm going to stay here and do some actual work.” He stood up and stretched, “I'm heading to the Pokemon Center, Shea. I'll leave the door unlocked, okay?”
“Thanks, Shane,” the blonde girl waved to her brother as he left through the front door. “I didn't figure he'd want to come. He doesn't believe in stuff like this,” she admitted, “but I'm game if the two of you want to follow this lead.”
“Of course,” Ian said, eyes wide as he gently cradled the Time Flute in his hands. “I'd never miss an opportunity to meet Celebi! And save these pokémon, obviously.”
The girls laughed. “I'll go as well,” Sam said. “There's no question that wandering a forest and seeing Celebi ranks higher on my list of things to do than sitting around while Shane slaves over his styler for hours.”
“Alright then,” Shea said, “you think we should go around noon? Earlier?”
“Noon would be good,” Ian agreed.
“I'll see you then,” Shea said as she stood up and headed for the door.
Ian followed her and locked the door behind her after she left. Returning to the living room, he turned to Sam, “I suppose we should turn in for the night as well.” He paused, about to say something else, but shook his head. “I'll see you in the morning, Sam.”
Shea was waiting outside the cave to Celebi's Grove as the sun reached it's zenith, a bag over one shoulder which she adjusted before leaning up against the wall of the canyon. Sam and Ian arrived shortly after, Ian carefully carrying the Time Flute in both hands. “Alright, Ian, you lead the way,” Shea said, standing up straight.
The boy nodded, “alright, keep close and stay on the path,” he warned, “you don't want to get lost in there.”
“Definitely not,” Shea agreed, following a step behind Ian. Upon entering the cave, the walls seemed to fade into the trees of a vast forest. Shea whistled as she turned around once, “It's much larger than I thought it would be.”
The three walked quickly along the straightest path into the woods, reaching the clearing where Celebi's Shrine was located within a few minutes. Ian walked into the wooden structure and up to the large stone located at the back. “Grandad said this stone is called the Relic Stone. I have to play the melody here since the stone is closely linked to Celebi herself.” Turning around, he handed the flute box to Sam, “Can you hold on to this for a minute?” Not waiting for a response, he took the flute from the case and stepped up to the Relic Stone, stopping just short of arms length away.
Putting the instrument to his lips, he blew a tentative note. The sound was crystal clear, ringing out around the shrine for a moment before it died away. Taking another breath, Ian began to play. The melody started low and soft, barely teasing the ears with a whisper of sound. As the song continued, the music rose into a slow crescendo until the music was loud enough to fill the shine, even echoing softly off the walls. The melody itself was simple, a rise and fall of notes that lulled the listener into a sense of timelessness. Once the song filled the room, the stone in front of Ian began to glow. The boy faltered slightly in his playing, but quickly recovered. The green lights from the stone danced around Ian, as if they had life of their own, filling the room with a cooling glow.
As the song concluded, the lights around Ian began to glow brighter until, in a flash of brilliant light they disappeared, replaced by Celebi, who stood floating just above the ground in front of the Relic Stone. She smiled at Ian, “for what purpose have you called upon me?”
Ian swallowed, awed by the small woman's glowing presence. “Ah... I... tha-that is we came here to ask for your help.”
Celebi nodded, her small, knowing smile settled permanently on her face, “I see. And what is it you wished for me to assist you with?”
This time Shea stepped up, “Madame Celebi,” she bowed slightly, “we've come to ask you to heal these pokémon, if it within your power to do so.” She pulled the satchel off her arm, flipping the flap back to reveal the pokéballs stored within. “We have heard tell that you have the power to heal that which can not be healed by our mortal means. Please, take pity on these pokémon and make them well again.”
Celebi stepped forward, and Ian scrambled to get out of her way, bowing deeply as she passed. She smiled at him when she passed, placing a hand on his shoulder before approaching Shea. Stopping just in front of her, the woman reached into the satchel and withdrew one of the pokéballs. She frowned as she looked it over, “this is quite strange... I have not seen anything like this before.”
“Can you still help them?” Ian asked.
“I believe so, but I cannot do it alone.” Celebi replaced the ball and took the satchel from Shea. “I can heal them, but if they are to remain so, it will be up to you to take care of them. These pokémon have been affected by a dark energy that I have not felt in centuries. I fear more than just these pokémon have been affected.”
“It's true,” Sam said, “a group calling themselves Cipher have constructed a way to close the hearts of pokémon. These are only a few of the ones they have changed.”
Celebi nodded sadly and murmured quietly, “I was afraid of this. Dialga was right, dark times are coming to the world again.” Turning her attention to the pokéballs in the bag, she closed her eyes and a wave of green energy washed over them. The energy rippled over the balls three times before Celebi handed the satchel back to Shea. “I have done all I can for them, the rest is up to you.”
“What happens if we find more of these Shadow Pokémon?” Ian asked, “can we always return to you for assistance?”
“I'm afraid not,” Celebi shook her head, “The Time Flute should only be used in a time of great need. You can help these pokémon on your own, if you wish, but it will take time and effort of your part. The sealing of their hearts is incomplete and if you spend time with them, the effects will begin to reverse themselves. However, this is not enough to heal them completely. When they have shed their dark aura, bring them back to this stone and the energy stored here will heal them of the remaining dark energy within them. If you do not, the shadowing process will begin to revert the pokémon back into it's shadowed state and the healing process will have to be done again.”
“What if there are shadowed pokémon scattered around the world?” Shea asked, “will we have to return here every time one pokémon has been healed?”
“My Glade can be reached through any forest, if you wish to find my shrine. Your will must be strong, however, as my realm has been separated from yours for quite a while.” Celebi began to glide back towards the Relic Stone. In a flash of white light, she disappeared.
Shea shouldered the satchel again and sighed, “Well then, I suppose that's the best we could have expected.” Turning to Ian she asked, “can you lead us out of here? I don't trust myself to remember the way out.”
“Of course,” the young man said after a moment, his attention still caught by the Relic Stone and Celebi, “I just can't believe I actually got to talk to Celebi!”
“Is it really that big of a deal?” Shea asked as she followed Ian out of the shrine and back into the clearing, “I mean, I know she's a legendary pokémon and everything, but she's still just a pokémon.”
“Just a pokémon?” Ian asked, turning on Shea, his eyes wide with surprise, “Celebi's not just a pokémon, she's the Lady of Time! Handmaiden of Dialga, the Lord of Time! She's not just a legendary pokémon, she's a goddess!”
“Oh, so you still believe in the old religion.” Shea sighed, “I'm not saying that pokémon couldn't be powerful enough to be considered gods, but it doesn't seem likely. Especially now, when we can capture any kind of pokémon in a ball like this,” she gestured to the pokéballs she carried in the bag, “It just seems really unlikely that Celebi- or any pokémon- is a god.”
There was a rumble in the ground as Shea finished speaking, and for a few moments it felt as if the earth were going to tear apart underfoot. “Maybe it's not such a good idea to question Celebi's goddess-ness while we're still deep within her own pocket universe,” Sam said, giving Shea a little push from behind. “Just a suggestion.”
Shea rolled her eyes, “it was just a coincidence,” but she kept any other opinions to herself.
The ground continued to groan and roll as the trio hurried from the Glade, no one feeling quite safe until the stoney ceiling of the cave covered them and the ground under their feet became solid once more. With a small sigh of relief, Ian stepped out of the cave, into the afternoon sunlight, and almost crashed into Shane who was running out towards the cave. “You guys are not going to believe this,” Shane said, bending over to place his hands on his knees as he panted, out of breath. “I think I've found where Cipher's been hiding all this time! It's really quite clever, but I still surprised I didn't realize earlier...”
“Just spit it out, Shane!” Shea said, rolling her eyes good naturedly. “We don't need all the little details.”
Shane looked up at his sister with a glare, “I was getting to it. Geez, aren't you in a rush today?” Having caught his breath, he stood up and tapped a couple of times on his styler, pulling up a hologram map of the Orre Region. “Cipher's been hiding in plain sight for a while now. There have been rumors of a colosseum being built in the desert where powerful trainers from around the world can battle for fame and fortune.”
Ian nodded, “yeah, I heard about that, but I always thought it was just rumors.”
“It's not,” Shane said with a tight smile. “Apparently there is such a colosseum and it's here,” he pointed to a spot just north of the midway point between Phenac City and Pyrite Town. “The colosseum is called Realgam and has been the seat of Cipher's power since it's construction a year ago, though it seems as though they've only just recently opened it for tournaments.”
“So that's where we're going next.” Sam said firmly.
“It would appear so.” Shane agreed, not even bothering to argue with her. “If we leave soon, we'll reach Pyrite by nightfall and we can leave early tomorrow for Realgam.”
“Then let's not waste any more time,” Shea said, stepping around her brother, “I'll pack up my things and meet you all at the bridge in a half hour.” She hurried off in the direction of the Pokémon Center.
Shane turned to Sam and Ian, “you'd better go gather up your things, too. I don't think we'll be back here until after Cipher is taken down.”
“You sure it's going to be that easy?” Sam asked.
“I'm counting on it.”