1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 51: The Enemy You Don’t See

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey On this day, the 10th anniversary of the longest running series on Pokecharms, I bring you the first chapter of the long await Volume 2 of Team Neos at last! Tis not as long as I would have liked the first chapter of the second volume to be, but it does what it needs to in setting up the new arc! >:D

Oh, and spoiler alert, notice that says Chapter 51 up there. You're gonna want to read Vol1 first if you haven't already for things to make sense. ;p
Volume 2: A World Under Siege

Chapter 51: The Enemy You Don’t See

At last, after what has felt like three years (but has actually only been three days) since Leader’s grand proclamation on live international TV, the time had come! Arka Squad was scheduled to leave for Unova tomorrow morning! Over the last few days me, Chane, Zack, and Eve had been busting our asses getting everything ready for our departure while Raiden spent most of his time getting debriefed on his new responsibilities as a lieutenant. Today he was able to find time in his busy schedule to join the rest of us for the last of our preparations which was getting fitted for new uniforms. While the style remained unchanged for our new ranks and new missions, our old ones had seen better days. All of us had rips, tears, and scorch marks in our old uniforms from our many fierce battles, and mine especially had too many bloodstains that just wouldn’t come out no matter how much I tried to wash it. Raiden insisted that all five of us look our best when we got to Unova instead of like the ragtag bunch of misfits we truly were.

The benefit this time was that we could get them customized from the start instead of making the alterations ourselves like we did before. This meant I could get premade fingerless gloves to make using Dragon Claw easier rather than cutting off the tips like my original pair. Eve, of course, insisted on getting a lowcut V-neck to show off her cleavage and got the frilly skirt attached to the shirt this time making it a one-piece dress. Zack added large pockets to his pants legs so that he would have an easier time carrying his Capture Styler, a Wonder Launcher that I found out was among his loot for our raid on the Game Corner (he said it was really effective on Archer), along with any other items he’ll need to support Lloyd and the rest of us on our future missions. Chane left her new uniform unaltered since she didn’t know how else to modify it. Raiden went all out in the updated customizations on his uniform. Instead of a single metal plate built into the back for Magnezone to latch onto, he made his entire torso into the same flexible armor the Pokémon used with a metallic alloy mixed in so that he could still fly with Magnezone. The sleeves and hood remained the same type of cloth of the standard uniforms. His reasoning for this modification was to protect his vital organs since he was more likely to get into melee combat with sharp weapons involved.

“Alright, that should take care of that.” I declared looking myself over admiring the tailor’s handy work. Due to the specifications Raiden ordered for his, we were picking them up in the R&D Department where we got the armor.

You humans get so wrapped up in clothes, I swear.” criticized Axel shaking his head with a shrug.

“You’re just mad that you can’t look this good.” I taunted. “Besides, you rocked that armor and you know it.” I pointed out.

Yeah I did!” he agreed proudly.

“Oh yeah, Zack. Did you ever get Lloyd’s armor repaired?” I asked him.

“Yup! I plan on having him wear it for every mission we have from now on since it worked out so well.” replied Zack sounding pleased. Lloyd gave an affirmative quack while nodding in agreement. I turned to Axel and wiggled my eyebrows at him. The Infernape responded by giving me the finger with a grumpy face getting a chuckle out of me. That armor is too awesome for him to not wear again so I’m sure I can convince him.

“D’aww. Awe you boys such wittle cowards that you’re afwaid your Pokémon are gonna get booboos?” taunted Eve. “Seriously, the fighting’s over, what’s the point? We’re done taking on gang members out to kill us and our Pokémon.” she pointed out bluntly.

“Not necessarily.” Raiden interjected. “While we will no longer be focused on intervention type missions, we will be faced with far more difficult challenges ahead. Remember, there is little to no Neos presence in Unova. We will be among the first wave which means it will be the five of us against the entire region, a region that has been without a major criminal organization. Whether that is by chance or the power of the Unovan people is yet to be seen. I do not know if I have ever shared this with all of you, but I am from Unova and we are a proud people who value freedom and will not easily yield to outside invaders.”

“Are you excited about going home Raiden?” Chane inquired cheerfully.

“I am ambivalent about it.” he replied stoically. “I have not been home since I was a boy. Were we not assigned there I probably would not be going back at all.” Hearing that gave Chane a despondent look on her face.

“Not me. Given the chance, I’d love to go back home.” she said quietly. I didn’t know what to say to her. How could I? I’ve been all over Kanto this past year and not once have I gone home to my parents. I could have easily taken a couple of days here and there when we weren’t busy just to stop in and let them know I was fine. Hell, I could have done that any time in the last week now that we had brought peace. But it was too late now. Tomorrow we’d be leaving and then who knows when I’ll get another chance.

We left R&D with our gear to head back to our rooms to finish packing up for our departure. However, as we walked down the hall, Feng came slithering around the corner looking as irritable as ever.

“Arka!” he shouted standing right in the middle of the corridor blocking our path.

“Lt. Arka.” Raiden corrected. “For one who is such a stickler for rank, you seem to forget that.” The First Seat snarled at him in response.

“It is because of that that I can’t accept you getting promoted over me! You, a lowly Third getting promoted over me, a First!” he yelled pointing his finger in Raiden’s face.

“Are you implying Captain Ross made a mistake?” asked Raiden matter-of-factly.

“Yes! Yes she did! What have you accomplished that I couldn’t? Do you have a Legendary Pokémon? No! I do! I caught Moltres! I should be the lieutenant!” This was pitiful to watch. Feng was throwing a tantrum over not getting his way like a spoiled toddler. The real Lieutenant here shook his head in disappointment.

“And that is why you failed. You think it is all about you and your so-called accomplishments. Yes, you caught Moltres, but not with your own strength. You took advantage of a weakened Pokémon without doing any of the work. Team Triad collectively weakened Moltres and Zack Kaguya was the one who brought it under control.” he reprimanded pointing to our teammate.

“So what? It’s power belongs to me now.” Feng spat haughtily.

“But you did not earn that power on your own. Even I cannot say I earned my promotion on my own. I owe it to these four right here.” he said modestly. The First Seat gave us a condescending smirk.

“So you even admit you are unworthy of being called a Lieutenant.” he jeered pompously.

“That is not what I am saying.” Raiden rebuked shaking his head. “I already told you, it is not just about your so-called accomplishments. What of your squad? What have Brad and Doug achieved?” he questioned.

“What does it matter?” questioned Feng dismissively.

“Everything. As the commanding officer, you should know that your squad is only as strong as its weakest member, and my squad is not weak.” Raiden once again pointed at Zack. “Not only did he facilitate your capture of Moltres, he also defeated Team Rocket’s second-in-command, Executive Archer Kurtz with only one Pokémon.” He then moved down the line pointing out each of us in turn. “Eve Illuminati defeated Rocket Executive Ariana Sham. Chane Turk defeated Executive Lance Proton. Brian Xelbu defeated Executive Petrel Lambda. With the exception of Giovanni, the entire upper echelon of Team Rocket was felled by the individual members of my squad in single combat. I was not made a lieutenant because I was strong, I was made a lieutenant because my squad is strong. Captain Ross knew that the five of us together could handle any mission no matter how difficult it may be.”

“That was beautiful Master.” I complemented tapping my chest over my heart. He doesn’t say it often but, despite all the trouble we cause, deep down Raiden really does care about us.

“I don’t care about those weaklings!” snarled Feng baring his teeth at us. “It’s you I want! I will prove that I’m better than you! I challenge you to a battle! Just you and me! None of our subordinates will interfere. We’ll see how strong you really are without their help!”

Raiden lowered his head contemplatively thinking about Feng’s declaration. If he accepted it, I would love to watch! The sound of quick moving footsteps echoing down the hall behind us however broke him from his concentration. Approaching was a short woman with wavy hair going past her shoulders dyed with shades of aqua blue and purple wearing glasses and a Team Neos uniform. When she saw us she slowed down to a stop while panting heavily. She kept moving her mouth as if wanting to say something but needed to catch her breath first.

“Use your words.” Eve taunted with a wide grin.

“Are you Lt. Arka?” she asked finally able to speak.

“I am.” he replied blankly.

“I’m Aimee from the IT department. We have an emergency that needs your attention right away!” she explained urgently.

“Do not ignore me Arka!” shouted Feng furiously. Raiden turned to look him straight in the eyes with an unamused look.

“Sorry, duty calls. You are not my top priority at the moment.” he told the First Seat straightforwardly.

“Are you afraid you’ll lose to me?” sneered Feng arrogantly.

“You are not someone worth being afraid of. And how can I lose to you when I have already surpassed you? Now if you will excuse me.” Raiden told him bluntly. As he turned around to hear what Aimee had to say, Feng reached out and grabbed his right arm.

“How dare you look down on me!” he roared furiously. My Master spun around throwing his weight into his arm pushing the First Seat to the floor. In his left hand he grabbed one of his Pokéballs and pointed it at Feng to keep him there.

“If you do not wish to be looked down upon, then make yourself someone worth looking up too. I have more important matters to attend to than your petty grudge right now so stand down First Seat Ken Feng! That is an order! Any further belligerence from you will be met with disciplinary action.” The Lieutenant commanded authoritatively. “I apologize for the delay Aimee. Please, explain the situation.” he requested turning his full attention to the bluenette.

“It’s a sensitive matter. Follow me.” she explained apprehensively. We turned to follow her to where ever the emergency was leaving behind Feng quivering with rage.

“CURSE YOOOOUUUUUU!!” he screamed up the corridor after us. None of us, not even me or Eve, bothered to dignify that with a response. Raiden already won that battle. There was nothing any of us could do that would be more perfect than his finisher.

Aimee led us downstairs to a large computer lab. There were numerous rows made up of eight desks each, four in a line side by side and two across from each other. Technicians sat at each desk typing vigorously at their keyboards. Everyone in the room seemed tense and in a panic which instinctively put the rest of us on edge as well. I waited impatiently for the bluenette to explain the emergency that we had been summoned for.

“So what is going on here.” Raiden questioned again jumping straight to the point.

“This way.” she invited bringing us to one of the unoccupied computers. “Just… read this.” Raiden took a seat at the desk with the rest of us standing behind him looking over his shoulders. On the screen was a note written in a fancy cursive font with gambling chips as a boarder framing the message.

Greetings Team Neos,

Pardon me for this intrusion. Luck Gambit is the name, brokering knowledge is my game. I have been following your exploits for quite a while, and I must say, I am most impressed with your latest caper. So impressed in fact that I dared to challenge your cyber security to see if it was as formidable as your reputation would suggest. Regrettably I was sorely disappointed at how easily I got around your firewalls. The enemy of the world should not be this lax with protecting their secrets. A more dishonest hacker could easily have gotten onto your network, stolen everything you have, and melted your hard drives before you even realized what had happened. Lucky for you, I am an honest man who buys and sells information for a living. I learned what I needed from you so consider this notice my payment for the valuable information you so generously provided.

♠♦Luck Gambit♣♥

“What is this?” demanded Raiden looking up at Aimee asking the question all of us no doubt had on our minds. She took a deep breath before answering.

“We’ve been hacked, Sir. I don’t know how or when, but we found this message this morning. It was on every terminal meaning this wasn’t an isolated incident to one single computer. Luck Gambit somehow got onto our network and planted this message so that it would be seen by everyone.” she explained. “We’ve been working nonstop to try to find out if any files have been accessed without authorization, if any data has been corrupted or deleted, we’ve been running virus and malware scans in case he left anything behind, the Porygons have been deployed but we haven’t even begun trying to track him yet…” Aimee let out an exhausted sigh. “Everything’s a big mess right now. We haven’t even determined if only the Kanto branch was hit or if this goes all the way to the top.” Raiden jumped from his chair never taking his gaze off of Aimee for a second.

“Have the other lieutenants been informed of this breach?” he interrogated sharply.

“No Sir. You were the first one I ran into.” answered Aimee apologetically.

“Find them! Now!” he commanded.

“Yes Sir!” she responded quickly before running out of the room again. My Master then walked into the center of the room to address everyone.

“If there is anyone in this room who is not essential for working on the Luck Gambit case, go find a lieutenant and tell them what has happened here immediately!” he ordered. After a few seconds of everyone processing just how important their role was, about five or six IT people got up and ran out after Aimee to spread the word.

“Um… R-Raiden. I n-need to t-talk to you.” Chane stammered nervously shifting in place.

“It will have to wait Chane.” he responded hastily moving to leave the room. “I need to inform Captain Ross of this situation.”

“B-b-but I know someone who might be able to help!” she blurted out. Raiden paused, turning back to her with a quizzical look on his face.

“What?” he questioned narrowing his eyes. Chane looked around the room with uncertainty.

“C-can we talk in p-private? I don’t want anyone else t-to know.” she requested still sounding hesitant. Our superior studied Chane for a moment before nodding and taking her out of the room with him.

“So who do you think it is Brian?” inquired Zack. “The person Chane knows I mean.” he clarified.

“Heck if I know.” I replied shrugging.

“Come on, you’re her boyfriend. You’re supposed to know these things.” Eve chided crossing her arms. I shot her an unamused look.

“First of all, no. And second of all, how should I know? Just because she and I are best friends doesn’t mean we tell each other all of our dark secrets. The only one knows everything about me is Axel.” I told them flatly.

And I ain’t no snitch!” my monkey confirmed. I pointed at him nodding in agreement.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply anything by it.” Zack apologized holding out his palms to ease the tension. Lloyd also voiced an apology translated curtesy of Axel.

“I meant everything I implied. The fact that you two are so close makes it all the more fun to play with you. Oh what, you don’t like it?” taunted Eve feigning sincerity. I gave her a devilish smirk.

“Then try playing with us both at the same time. If you think you can handle us together that is.” I challenged. Eve put her hand to her mouth with a wide grin.

“I’m fine with a three-way if you are.” she said seductively. I mentally facepalmed. Stupid me, I walked right into that. I couldn’t even come up with a snarky comeback so I just flipped her off instead.

“I wonder if Aimee is single and would be into a threesome with me and Skylar.” Zack mused quietly to himself.

“What? Am I not good enough for you Kaguya?” cried the succubus pretending to be offended.

“I mean if all it takes is another chick to get you in bed, then of course!” he replied eagerly.

“Could you three keep it down!” one of the IT people requested in annoyance. I guess we were being kind of loud while they were working diligently to see how far the security breach went. Not to mention also trying to find any leads on Luck Gambit.

The three of us continued standing around awkwardly waiting for Raiden and Chane to get back. Unfortunately there was nothing any of us could do to help the IT Department nor did we have any idea what we were supposed to be doing. We couldn’t just leave only for Raiden to have to come looking for us. He’s been having a rough enough day as it was without us adding to it. After about 20 minutes of waiting, Aimee and the other techs that went with her returned.

“Lt. Arka is in a meeting with the other lieutenants but wants the rest of you to meet up with your teammate in the North Hall Lounge Area.” the bluenette relayed. We thanked her, apologized for being a nuisance earlier, and left to rendezvous with Chane.

Much to no one’s surprise, Chane was keeping quiet about the identity of her secret confidant, however, it was by Raiden’s order that she wasn’t saying anything about it until he and the other lieutenants got a handle on the situation. All she would tell us is that he would call us after his meeting to discuss what the five of us would be doing in response to the breach.

To pass the time, I got out a deck of cards for all of us, including Axel and Lloyd, to play Old Maid. We caught Eve trying to cheat using Diva early on. That specter may have the ability to turn invisible but there is no hiding her chilly presence when she gets close to you. As karma’s justice would have it, Eve was the one now currently stuck with the Old Maid.

Oh yeah! Who’s best monkey? Me you bitches!” Axel cheered doing a little dance at being the first one out. I grabbed him by the tail and pulled him back to his chair.

“Doesn’t mean you win. It just means you’re the first one not to lose.” I told him.

We were playing by the standard rules of the game: draw cards from the person on your left, place any pairs you got on the table in front of you, once all the cards in your hand were played you were out of the game, and the last person with the Old Maid was the loser. Just to raise the stakes a bit, the loser had to treat the rest of us to dinner, or if a Pokémon lost, their Trainer had to take responsibility. Axel being the first out meant that I only had to worry about myself now even if our situation was mostly unchanged. Axel had been on my left but Eve was on his left which meant I was now drawing directly from her hand.

“Your turn.” Eve said sweetly holding out her cards for me to draw one. I hovered my hand over them focusing exclusively on the cards. She was a master manipulator after all so trying to gauge which card to take based on her expression would be pointless. The sound of Chane’s phone ringing broke me from my concentration.

“Y-yes?” she said answering the phone. “Yeah, we’re all together. …Ok. I’ll let them know.” She hung up and turned to all of us. “Raiden wants us to come to his office.” she relayed.

“I didn’t know Master Raiden had an office.” I said in confusion.

“It’s Lt. Deter’s old one. He’s just using it until we leave. It’s where he and I talked before so I can lead the way.” she explained.

“We’re right behind you as soon as we clean up our game.” Zack told her cheerfully.

“Game over Eve. Looks like you’re buying dinner tonight. So sorry.” I mocked. She gave me a contemptuous smirk before flicking her wrist to scatter my cards all over the floor.

“So sorry.” she repeated conceitedly.

She’s not paying is she?” questioned Axel helping me pick up the cards.

“Probably not.” I surmised.

Once we finished cleaning up, we followed Chane back upstairs to Raiden’s temporary office. For previously housing a dwarf, the room was pretty spacious. It felt even more open with how empty it was. I don’t know if it had been cleaned out after Lt. Deter’s death or if he wasn’t much for decorating. All that was in here was a desk and the chair Raiden was sitting in.

“So what was decided Master Raiden?” I asked him.

“We will not be going to Unova tomorrow. Instead we will be going to Hoenn.” he answered matter-of-factly.

“Hoenn? Why there?” inquired Zack. The Lieutenant turned to Chane and nodded.

“I-it’s because I’m from Hoenn. A-and the person I know who might be able to help us find Luck Gambit is m-my older brother Ellion. He’s also a knowledge broker and a hacker and he’s even w-worked with Luck in the past. If there’s anyone in the world who can help us find him, it’s my brother.” she explained.

“So we’re changing our travel plans just because Baby Chane is homesick and wants an excuse to see her brother.” ridiculed Eve. “Why not simply call him? Or send some other squad after him?” Chane gave Eve a scowl.

“Ellion doesn’t do business over the phone, even with me, and he isn’t going to discuss his dealings with Luck Gambit with just anyone. But if I talk to him in person, then he’s more likely to help us. We… we’ve always been really close so I know if I’m the one who asks then he should be willing…” she trailed beginning to sound uncertain.

“Sounds like fun! I love Hoenn!” I yelled excitedly mostly to support her but also because I really did like the time I spent in that region.

“I have already explained Chane’s proposal to Captain Ross and the other lieutenants.” Raiden interjected. “They are all in agreement that Luck Gambit is a serious threat to us that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible by any means necessary. That is why we have been given the order to make contact with Chane’s informant and convince him to assist us anyway he can. I kept his name and relationship to you a secret.”

“Thank you.” she said gratefully.

“I’ve never been to Hoenn. I know it’s got a tropical climate so most of the girls should be showing off a lot of skin.” mused Zack in anticipation.

“In any case, we are still heading out tomorrow morning so make sure you are ready by then. As planned we will go to Saffron International Airport only instead of flying into Mistralton we will be departing for Lilycove City.” Raiden continued.

“I can’t believe this. Some idiot hacker breaks into our computers and now the five of us are stuck going on a wild Farfetch’d chase.” Eve complained with a roll of her eyes. Raiden shook his head regretfully.

“It is as Luck Gambit said in his letter. We are the enemy of the world now. We should expect outside forces trying to destroy us from this point on. We need to be willing to adjust and alter our plans in response to those threats. And not just the five of us, but Team Neos as a whole. The Captains are launching a full investigation through all of our branches. IT is doing their job in finding the extent of the damage caused by this breach as well as reinforcing our security so that it never happens again. We, the Combat Division, must be willing to play our roles as well.” he elaborated. “Now go finish getting ready. After getting Ellion’s assistance we will go to Unova as planned so make sure you are prepared for that as well.”

“You got it Master!” I agreed giving him a salute. I left the office with the others close behind. I was pretty much packed up at this point so I was free to do whatever I wanted. I looked at Axel with a wild grin. Maybe get some last-minute training done before we leave. The Infernape looked at me returning the smirk. I bid my squad farewell for the time being as I left for one of the training rooms.