Current Track: Blabb
Chapter 5

When the door to the interrogation room next opened, Dani and Brian looked up to see four guards walk in. The guards worked in twos, unlocking the chains that tied Dani and Brian to their chairs and handcuffed their hands behind their backs. Next they chained their feet together, loose enough for them to walk but too tight for them to try and run. A chain was looped from the cuffs on their arms to the manacles on their feet. Then they were led out of the interrogation room in order to be taken to meet the mysterious ruler of this new land.

Charizard looked up as he heard the door open. Charizard had suffered the same experiences as Mightyena. After he had been returned by Brian Charizard fumed inside his pokeball. His only thoughts were to obliterate his opponents and protect his trainer. Inside he was helpless. When he was once again released he'd been ready to fight if needed but he materialized in a cloud of sleep-powder and was soon unconscious. When he awoke he was restrained in a dungeon. Gobi had come in and raped him while demanding information. Charizard had given nothing up. Now the hated sandslash was in the doorway again.
[Want a second round?] queried Gobi.
Charizard glared death at him he released what would have been a terrifying roar if he was able to open his mouth.
[I want it too,] smiled Gobi, [But unfortunately you have travel plans. I'll make sure to see you again; I love breaking spirits.]
Gobi raised Charizard's pokeball and returned the dragon before he could respond.

Dani and Brian were taken outside where they saw a black carriage waiting for them. There were four rapidash harnessed to the front and metal lining the tread of the otherwise wooden tires. Accompanied by two guards Dani and Brian were taken inside where Gobi was already sitting on the padded seats.
"I must have misjudged you," Brian said to the guard as he was pushed inside the rich carriage, "You certainly seem to treat your prisoners well."
"Silence!" snapped the guard.
Dani looked at the sandslash in the carriage. He could swear it was smirking at him. It reached behind it and picked up a pokeball and expertly spun it on the tip of one of his long claws.
"Is that ... give Mightyena back!" screamed Dani as he lunged at the ground type.
Gobi flicked the ball up and backhanded Dani, sending him crashing into the backrest of the seats opposite the pokemon with sufficient force to rock the whole carriage. In the same motion Gobi caught the falling pokeball.
"You okay?" asked Brian, kneeling down next to Dani.
"I'm okay," coughed Dani.
Gobi motioned at the two musicians and the guards forced them to sit on the seat facing forward. Gobi and the two guards sat on a seat opposite them, facing the back of the carriage. Once the door was closed the driver, seated on the roof, cracked a whip and the four rapidash began to pull the carriage along at high speeds.

"I don't see them," stated Rick nervously.
He and Rei were standing were they had left the truck but it was no where to be seen. There was a dreadful silence outside the city and being the only people out in the open did nothing to help them feel more secure.
"I hope they weren't found and captured," wished Rick out loud, "Then it's only us. We only have one day's grace to get out of here. After that the ship will be gone and who knows what the next captain will be like?"
He kicked the ground angrily.
"Don't you have anything to say?" demanded Rick, "We're stuck here, alone!"
Rei unclipped Espeon's pokeball from her belt and summoned her light purple pokemon. Almost the entire time Espeon was outside of her pokeball she had a mental link with Rei. It originally developed because Rei was very shy and it was easier to talk to Espeon privately using the psychic link but she found it was also a valuable battle tool as their opponents never knew what to expect and were thrown off by facing a totally silent adversary.
{Can you sense the others?} thought Rei, her thoughts immediately being picked up by Espeon.
{I'll see,} she replied.
Espeon closed her eyes and sent searching waves of psionic energy outwards trying to lock onto the familiar minds of her companions. At first there was nothing and she was about to give up when she detected Kirsten and Daron on the very limits of her range. Mentally fixing the position in her mind she returned her focus to her body.
{They're here,} Espeon told Rei, transmitting the location to her trainer's brain.
{Thank you, Espeon,} thought Rei, {let's go.}
"Well?" asked Rick, "Did she find them?"
"Come," said Rei simply as she began to walk, Espeon by her side.
"Okay. Don't tell me anything," he muttered as he followed, "After all why would I need to know. It's not like I'm also involved here!"
As usual Rei neglected to say anything.

After a fairly long and tiring walk; considering they hadn't had a chance to rest, or eat, or drink or even go to the toilet in town, they found the truck a short way into the forest.
"At last," sighed Rick, "I was wondering if we would ever find it."
He flung the door open and strode inside.
"We're back!" he called out cheerfully.
"The hell! Ow! Damn it!" was Daron's reply as he was awoken from his nap, leapt up and smashed his head into the bunk above his.
Kirsten got up a lot more carefully and didn't sustain any injuries.
"Is Dani with you?" she asked anxiously, looking out the door to see if he was still outside.
"Kirsten-" started Rick awkwardly, not knowing anyway to gently break the news, "Dani ... he and Brian were seen and arrested."
"N-no," moaned Kirsten, shaking her head, "They can't. No."
"We will get them back," Rick promised, "The ship will wait for us. Once we rescue them we're home free."
Kirsten paid little attention to Rick's words of comfort and instead sank despondently onto the bed and began crying softly. Rei sat down next to her silently and hugged her friend, sharing in her grief and comforting her with her presence. Daron caught Rick's attention and the two of them went outside, leaving the two females alone.

"So Dani and Brian need to be rescued," stated Daron.
"That's right," answered Rick.
"And the ship will wait for us?"
"It'll wait for one day."
"I thought it was too good," muttered Daron, "I don't know how we're going to save them and get back with that little time."
"They should just be at the police station or guard house or whatever it's called around here," answered Rick, "If we go in full-force we can get them out. Of course it will cause quite a commotion."
"How did they get caught anyway?" asked Daron, "Mightyena and Charizard are far stronger than any of the pokemon we've seen"
"The guards had crossbows. It was too dangerous. They wouldn't even have had time to power up."
Daron growled in frustration and spun around, sending his fist slamming into a close by tree. Although the bark was rough and left painful indentations in his skin he ignored them and just stood there for a minute allowing himself to calm down. Rick had already had time to come to terms with the current state of affairs and so was in a better state of mind.
"The batteries are dead," mumbled Daron eventually, "Jolteon needs to charge them before we can do anything."
"Right," acknowledged Rick, "I'll get on it."

The king's castle, when it was eventually reached, was an awe-inspiring sight contrasting with the landscape in almost everyway. All of the new continent that The Howl from Beyond had seen was scared by pollution and seemed darker and less alive than the land of Johto, where they came from, but the land surrounding the castle was covered with bright green grass and small clusters of trees. Through the emerald seas were lanes of brown, dirt roads, one of which the carriage was travelling upon, that seemed to come from all directions. At the centre of the web of roads was the castle itself, a thick black tower seeming to grow straight from the planet's surface.

As the carriage drew ever closer Dani was able to discern more features through the small window in the carriage door. The castle was constructed of black stone and reminded Dani of the strange pokeballs they'd seen in the possession of the men who attacked them after their first performance. Another feature that stood out rather notably was that the entire structure appeared completely smooth without the joints one would expect. Even the complex designs that adorned the exterior supported the idea that the entire building had been carved from a single large block of stone, although Dani knew that was impossible.

Jolteon was crouched under The Howl from Beyond's truck with electricity coursing over his fur in gold and blue flashes that fed into a special adapter to charge the truck's batteries. As he poured his power into the vehicle he watched the digital, battery readout slowly fill up until it was fully charged; once that occurred he cut off his thundershock attack and his body released the negative ions that had accumulated in his fur into the air the yellow hairs of his pelt softened and fell back against his skin.
Jolteon crawled out from under the truck and shook himself to dislodge any dirt that had adhered to his pelt. Glancing around and finding no sign of his trainer he realised that Rick must have gone inside the truck. After a cautious glance around he went to the open door and jumped in.

The guards roughly pulled Brian and Dani from the coach and placed them on the ground before the castle's towering door. The door consisted of two halves made of thick oak boughs that had been cut into planks and fastened together by means of a metal strip near both the top and the bottom of the door. The top of the door was spiked like a gothic arch and on the metal strips were engraved with decorative, swirling patterns.
Gobi walked up to the door, still holding Mightyena and Charizard's pokeballs, and knocked on the door. He waited a moment and then said something in the pokemon tongue that none of the humans present could interpret. When he was finished talking the doors swung open, seemingly of their own accord, and the guards shoved Dani and Brian across the threshold but avoiding entering themselves. Gobi now forced them further into the castle and the doors shut behind them with a resounding thud. Dani glanced back but was dumbfounded to see only a blank stone wall where there should have been a door.
Gobi growled something at Dani and shoved him forward as he slowed down from shock.

There was something strange about the castle. It was just an intangible hunch Dani possessed but it seemed as though the castle was alive or, at the very least, filled with an ancient energy. All the surfaces were slightly reflective and it was rather disconcerting to have the shadowy apparitions following them, add that to the fact that they had passed no windows yet it was still light inside and Dani and Brian found themselves in a very unnerving situation.
Gobi seemed at ease in the castle and led them on with no concern for their growing anxiety; his focus was the door that was now visible ahead of them. A door constructed in similar style to the main entrance but on a smaller scale and inlaid with shimmering, dark blue gemstones.
Gobi rapped a claw against the door and, after a short pause, the stones glowed. The sandslash said something and the door opened.