The Lionhearts were trying their best to be inconspicuous, sitting at the bar in the Thirsty Cacturne. Violet with her face slightly hidden beneath her hood, her listening into the thoughts of those around. Nick with a loaf of bread under his wing, was casually chatting with the bartender.
"So me an' me bonny mucker over here are passin' through, 'eard dare is sum big shot lookin' ter 'ire people for gollier job. do yer nu anythin' aboyt dat?" asked Nick slurring his words, best he could.
The bartender, a cacturne himself just stared at him through bored looking eyes, "Don't know what you're talking about, mac. Haven't' seen or heard anything like that."
Violet felt a slight tremble as she heard the words, "Oswald's Rest," ring out in the cacturne's mind. She then placed a hand on Nick's shoulder, "I think I may have found us a lead." She suddenly disappeared in a flash of light, then reappeared on the other side of the room. She was staring down a surprised Hippopotas, food still hanging from his mouth.
Violet slowly pulled her hood back and looked it in the eyes. Her eyes began to glow as she said, "Hi there, would you happen to know anything about Oswald's Rest?"
The hippopotas managed to stutter, "Oswald's Rest is a cave west of here."
The kirlia smiled as she gleaned the thoughts from its mind, "Ah, thank you for your time."
As she turned to leave it said, "I-I wouldn't go there if I were you, it's haunted!"
"Well then I guess I'll find out," Violet said with a smile, before walking back over to the bar. She waved over to her partner, and the two quickly made themselves scarce.
Nick noticed that as they left a few of the locals were giving him and Violet the stink eye. A Hitmonchan at one of the tables cracked his knuckles while his friends were staring daggers at them. Nick muttered, "We seem ter 'av caused a stir."
After walking out towards the west for three hours, the sun had finally reached its peak. Though they seemed to be alone out there, Violet couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched. With every step things seemed to get more and more quiet, as if the wind itself seemed to be rendered silent. Eventually they came upon a small cave in the middle of a rock outcropping out in the hills.
It was particularly dark, so Nick began rummaging through his tail bag and pulled out the golden lighter he had "borrowed". The air began to get cold, and there was a foul stench in the air. A bunch of voices could be heard out in the distance, but no matter how much further they seemed to go into the shadows, the further the voices seemed to get.
All of the sudden two green lights seemed to appear in the distance, and a voice growled in a sinister tone that sent chills through them both, "Now what is it you two want?"
Violet tried to stretch out her psychic abilities and find the source of the voice, only to find that she couldn't sense anything at all. The lights to appear and disappear in different spots all around them, darting erratically. The lights appeared in front of them, showing it to be two eyes, not much else could be made out except many pointy teeth making a shark like grin. The voice asked again, "Is there a matter you'd like to take up?"
Nick quickly ran forward trying to illuminate the figure, only to have it seemingly melt into the floor. The delibird began waving the lighter around furiously, "Who ye? show yerself!"
The shadows then seemed to part revealing an astonishing shape, it almost resembled a Pokémon as it roared, scaring them both. Nick jumped at the shape hard as he could, almost taking flight. His wing balled up into a fist, he was flung within the shadows and seemed to make contact, causing the shadows to disperse. Lying on the ground was the form of a surprised looking Sableye.
Nick grabbed it by the throat, lifting it to its feet with a growl, "Gran' gie me wan gran' call why we shud not keep attackin' yer for dat, yer shuk de cr'ahp oyt av us yer dumb ghost!"
It was hard to tell, but the little lights behind those bejeweled eyes were staring the Delibird down. It wasn't afraid, it actually looked more annoyed at the hunter. It stuck out it's tongue through its pointed teeth and spoke in a much softer tone, "Oh I'm sorry, after that one fancy ponce and the gaggle of cronies he had followed him into my home and place of rest! I figured it would be better to scare off anymore Pokémon from coming inside."
Violet came forward, "Wait, wait, wait, you're Oswald?"
The lights rolled , "Oh no, I'm clearly the great Giratina! Do you see anyone else haunting this place?"
The Kirlia inched a bit closer, "So I take it you're not with the guys working with Rueben." She raised her hands to do quotations, "The ponce?"
"Of course not! That guy came in here so he could talk a bunch of local guys into, how did he say it. 'Remove an impediment to his luxury.'" Oswald answered, using shadow sneak to free himself from Nicks grasp .
Nick looked to Violet for a moment, then gave a subtle wink. Nick straightened his scarf, "Well den Os', 'oy wud yer loike ter teach mister fancy drawers an' 'is new lads a lesson in proper manners?"
Later that evening, no one seemed to have noticed the three figures hiding behind a large rock in the Thirsty Cacturne's yard. Oswald seemed to be a bit perplexed at how much the area had seemed to change since the last time he was out. He muttered with contemplative look in his eyes, "Last time I was here that was only a really big cactus."
Violet had her mind opened as far as she could, trying to listen for any sign of what was to come. But her skills could only go so far, best she could make out at this point was a bunch of researchers reeling from the effects of tequila at the bar. Either than that the only others outside were those back in camp. She turned to Oswald, "Are you sure they planned for right now?"
The ghost turned to her, "As he put it the job was to be done under the cover of darkness while he's at the bar..."
Nick hushed them both quickly and pointed off in the distance, "'ere de cum, nigh chucker yer two mind de plan?" His companions both nodded in turn. "Gran' so den, lets git started!" Quick as a flash the Sableye made a break for the tavern, melting into the shadows and leaving the others two fend off the brigands.
Violet and Nick came out in the opening staring down a collection of normal, ground and fighting types, led by that same Hitmonchan from earlier. It seemed surprised at first but then said with a sneer, "Was wondering if we'd get a chance to talk tonight. " It raised its fists, "Boys, seems we got ourselves some heroes to fight!"
Violet cried out with her eyes glowing deep red, "GO AWAY!" The psychic scream sent the boxer flying off into the distance. Silently her hands began to crackle with small nimbus of electricity. She then simply pointed and let the thunderbolts fly.
Nick charged blindly forward towards a Loudred, who roared at him with hyper voice. He was slightly deafened but quickly held out his wing, and with a simple flick threw an ice ball into his opponents gaping maw. With the loudmouth looking like it was choking he ice punched it out of the way and charged deeper into the fray.
As Violet seemed to knock out a Kecleon trying to sneak through the background with a well placed thunderbolt, she didn't notice the Diglet which had dug its way behind her. It quickly popped out of the ground and smacked her with a well placed sucker punch. The ground began to shake as it began to use magnitude, finally knocking her off her feet. But, she suddenly teleported herself directly in front of the mole and closed her eyes focusing all of her energy to one point. She then with a swift movement used Zen head butt, knocking the Diglett out cold. She then pushed a Raticate out of the way with psychic.
After a while it seemed that the thugs were all but defeated, but that's when the Hitmonchan came running back towards the Lionhearts, his face contorted with what seemed to be pure rage. Nick did not see him coming as he was trading blows with a Meditite, and paid the price. He was hit with a full speed mach punch to his left temple, knocking him to the ground.
Nick began to cry out, several images began to flash before his eyes, large cities and vistas he could not recall. Cracking a large safe to steal a big score, and sailing on the high seas with his crew. Even a familiar face, sharing tea with a much less scraggily looking Emily, flashed before him. But the last image was the one that seemed to actually cause true pain. He was fighting a Talonflame above the ocean in the middle of a storm, the foe used razor wind, his left eye began to sting and everything seemed to fade to red.
He snapped back to reality as a burning fist began to fly at his face, the Hitmonchan was holding him up by the scruff on his neck. All of the sudden his attacker seemed to be knocked away by a beam of black energy. Oswald strolled over, doing a jig as if he was almost drunk.
The Hitmonchan roared, "Oh it's on!" It charged, trying to hit from the right, its fist burning for a fire punch. But the ghost suddenly jerked to the left and rammed into the belligerent fighter with everything he had, using feint attack. He then melted into the ground, disappearing into thin air. His opponent began flailing about wildly trying to hit what clearly wasn't there anymore. Oswald then rose from the ground and finished it with shadow sneak, punching it while it's back was turned. The three stared at each other for a few moments, and then Nick finally slipped into unconsciousness.
Nick woke up in his tent, and there was a lot of noise going on outside. It sounded like everyone in the camp was shouting and making merry. Nick then noticed that a familiar Pancham was sitting in the tent with him.
"Ah mister Nicholas, welcome back." Said Fritz with his usual straight face. He then turned toward the door, "Doctor he's awake...."
Emily opened the tent flap and stood there, a big smile on her face. She shouted, "Nicky! It's about time!"
Nick sat up quickly, "Em, waaat 'appened, wha are Violet an' Oswald?"
He then heard that voice in his head, "We never left you." Violet leaned in next to Emily, and the lights from Oswald's jewels shone in the distance.
The ghost shouted, "Feeling better ducky?"
Nick did his best to stand in the tent and said, "Scon are gran', but cud someone please tell me wats de craic?!"
Oswald walked forwards so he could be in plain sight, "While you two were fending off those fools, I found Reuben and happened to spike his tea with a heavy amount of Watmel Berry juice. That stuff is a powerful laxative, so let's just say the ponce is too busy going to the bathroom to come up with a backup plan."
Violet then smiled, "After that Oswald came back to help us after that one guy hit you pretty hard. Emily and fritz were passing by at the time, since she was done her tasks, you got a quick check up."
"You were out cold all day, so what happened to you then? I thought you were the rough and tumble type, a punch to your head shouldn't have taken you out of commission that easily?" Emily asked, taking his temperature.
Nick just thought to himself so only Violet could hear, "I got a few memories from that punch."
Violet stopped, "Okay we need to talk 'bout this later!"
Nick nodded then turned to Oswald, " Wasn't expecting you to stay behind."
The sableye chuckled, "Haven't been out in years, and also your little friend in the hood asked if I'd like a job working for your team. What can I say, I've taken a shine to you too." He then threw a red coin, "That's our payment, by the way."
Nick put the coin in his tail bag, "Well den, Violet is a gran' judge av character. So for nigh, failte ter de team."
Emily then grabbed him by the wing, "enough of this seriousness come, come, let's get you something to eat, Doctor's orders!" She then smiled, "you can meet my new friend!"
"Wait, what?" Nick managed to sputter before getting dragged outside. Both teams enjoyed the evening but it seemed that this was going to be the last break they were going to get in a while. The final push to Geoda was to begin in the morning.