Chapter Eight: Rapacity
“Sold! For ¥260,000 to bidder twenty three!”
The evening was passing by slowly, despite all the activity. Izumo had lost count of the number of violations he had witnessed throughout the night. Everything being sold required a license to own, if it was not outright illegal. He did not expect anything less from an auction that caters itself to Kanto’s criminal underground. But still, many of the items being sold shocked him.
“Next up we have lot 061. A set of four unprocessed Pokenite shards. These shards can be smoothed and processed into Mega Evolution stones. They are uncut and unattuned to any species as of yet. They are also unregistered with the NPL and therefore unmarked. Since these four stones can be used to create unregistered Mega Evolution stones, we will be starting the bidding at ¥3,000,000.”
“Unregistered Mega Stones… There is at least five separate laws that violates.” Izumo thinks. “They will probably sell to bidder Seven. She represents an underground stone cutting ring. Normally they just manufacture evolution stones, but they have been branching out lately.” Kuroi responds.
“Sold! For ¥5,800,000 to bidder seven. That concludes The non-living section for this evening. We have two living lots this month. First, we have lot 062. Two Pokémon eggs.” As the auctioneer spoke, a cart was wheeled out. Contained in an incubator was two pristine brown eggs, each the size of a melon. “The spieces of the eggs has been verified by CAT scan. Both eggs contain an Eevee. We will start the bidding at ¥2,500,000.”
“Bid on them. ¥5,000,000.” Kuroi thought. “I thought we were here to rescue a Charmeleon.” Izumo thought back, even as he keyed in the bet. “We are, and if we can rescue those two eggs at the same time, then so much the better.”
“Ten Million!” The words made every head turn. “Wait!” That is it. Whoever placed that bid, has the same account who bought the Charmeleon!” Kuroi thinks excitedly. “Going once, twice, sold, for ¥10,000,000, to bidder twelve.”
“Bidder Twelve,”, Izumo thinks. “We can follow them after the auction ends.”
“There will be a reception afterwards while everyone pays for their lots. Talk to them and see if you can get a read on their identity.” Kuroi instructs.
“This will be our final item this evening. Lot 063, a male Noivern, caught live in Cerulean City. This Pokémon is a Flying/Dragon type native to Kalos. Importing them to Kanto is nearly impossible without authority from the NPL or a Professor. As always without live products, we will reset his ID chip to read however his purchaser requests. Starting bid is ¥5,000,000.”
Attendants wheeled out a metal frame. The Noivern was suspended inside of it. Iron chains held his limbs taught. A steel muzzle held his mouth shut. His wings were bound closed with leather straps. His breathing was shallow, and his eyes were half closed.
“What gender is it?” A woman in the back asks. “Male, madam. Please refer to images 063-23 through 063-31.” The auctioneer says. Izumo keys in the image number on his tablet, and holds back his repulsion as he finds several images of the Noivern’s genitals. The woman speaks again.
“Seventy-Five Million, and I want the equipment as well.” She says. “Current bid is ¥75,000,000, to Bidder thirty three.” The auctioneer responds.
“Cerulean City! That Noivern is the one from the Cyprès case! He has to be!” Izumo thought.
“And he has caught the eye of Madame Pourpre. Trust me, that alone is reason enough to save him.” Kuroi responds. “Do I want to know?” Izumo asks. “No...” Kuroi replies flatly. “You need to show interest without any compassion. If she knows you want to save him she will drive the price up past what we can afford. The most I can put towards him is Ninety Million.” She thinks, Izumo sighs. “That is three times my annual salary.” He thinks to himself. He then shivers when he feels both Saji and Madam Kuroi’s amusement.
Izumo raised his hand, and when the Auctioneer acknowledged him, he spoke. “Looking at images 063-17 and 063-20, this creature has suffered what seems to be burns. Is it healthy?” He asks. The Auctioneer listens to a microphone in his ear, than speaks. “Yes, 063 was collected at the scene of a fire. Our medical staff have treated him, and believe he will make a full recovery within the month. They do caution to not subject it to combat or strenuous activity before then if you expect performance.” He says.
Izumo listens with relative disinterest. “Eighty million. One tenth that if it dies within the month.” He says calmly. There is some muttering from the crowd. The auctioneer listens to his earpiece. “The house will accept Bidder Seventeen’s conditional bid.” He says. The auctioneer looks towards Bidder Thirty-Three. She shakes her head. “He is no good to me dead. I don’t come here for damaged goods.” She says, as if the Pokémon now amounted to little more than pond scum to her.
“Current bid is ¥80,000,000. Going Once? Twice… Sold. To Bidder Seventeen.”
“Well Bought...” Bidder Thirty-Three says. By the look on her face, she now holds Izumo with even less regard than the Noivern.
Izumo stepped into the front room, to retrieve his Pokémon and pay his bill.
“Only one item tonight sir.” The attendant said. “Lot 063. Your total tonight is ¥80,000,000. Should your purchase die within Thirty one days, please bring proof of it’s death to next months event. You will be reimbursed at that time. How would you prefer the item be delivered?” He asks. Izumo reaches to his belt and pulls one of the six luxury balls from its holster. A sapphire gleams at its apex. “Place it in here.” He hands the sphere to the attendant, who in turn hands it off to his assistant. The latter heads off to collect the Noivern. “As a free service, we will reflash his ID chip. How would you like it altered?” The attendant asks. Izumo pauses. “Leave it’s species as its name. Change the Trainer ID to the same as this one,” He says, handing over Obsidian’s ball. “Capture location will be Saffron City, via hatching. And… Set the birthday to a random date a year sooner.” He says. The assistant returns with the luxury ball in hand. The Attendant sets it in the scanning device, and sets to work. Once Izumo has collected his things, the Attendant speaks. “Will there be anything else?” He asks. Izumo is about to turn and leave, when he stops. “Yes. I would like to purchase the harness it was kept in as well.” The attendant can’t help but grin. “Of course sir, the house values it at ¥200,000.” He says. Izumo turns to leave. “Send it to Bidder Thirty-Three, with my consolation.” He says. He walks out of the door before the Attendant can respond.
“Now that we spent a fortune on an illegal Pokémon (A class B felony). How are we going to rescue that Charmeleon?” Izumo thinks. “Walk up to Bidder Twelve and give them our hotel room number.” Kuroi says. “We will set up a meeting there.”
“Twelve.” Izumo says. Bidder twelve turns. “I have a name son. And it sure ain't Twelve.” He is Unovian, and despite calling Izumo ‘son’ He couldn’t me more than a few years older than Izumo. “Name is Derrick.” He says. “And you are?”
“Inugami.” Izumo says, “But my name is not important. What is important is Room 1401.”
Derrick looks at the monogram on Izumo’s suit. “Well. It seems that Ms. Black has got herself a new dog.” He says, chuckling at his own joke. “I’ll stop by tomorrow afternoon.” He says. “Tomorrow morning.” Izumo counters. “She doesn’t like to be kept waiting…
* * *
Torok walked into the living room. He froze. His heart started to beat faster and faster. Why was he here? Why was HE here. Noctua turned, and saw Torok. Without hesitation, Noctua bowed before the Charmander.
“Torok, c’est ma faute. I hurt you. I let him hurt you. I let them hurt you-” The Noivern began.
“Where is Orion...” Torok says slowly. His eyes are focused, sharp as knives, and just as painful.
“He was still inside when I-” Torok shouted, mentally and verbally he roared up at Noctua. “YOU left him. You let Cyprès hurt him! You Let Cyprès hurt me! You let him ki-” This time. It was Noctua who yelled. His voice had a piecing undertone to it. A second layer of high picthed down that shattered glass around the room. “Je l'aimais!” He yelled. The room fell silent. “I loved him… I loved him deeply. Tu as fait aussi.” For a while no one speaks. Then Noctua turns back to the Charmander, and sinks to the floor. He puts his nose at Torok’s feet, prostrating before him. “Pardonne-moi tous mes péchés…” He says, his voice a whimper of defeat. Almost silently, he adds. “Désolé.” Torok looks down at Noctua. He trembles with rage. Then, he spits. A glob of turpentine lands on Noctua’s face. “JE SUIS désolé.”
Torok says. He turns, and storms off to the bedroom. Obsidian follows him.
Madam Kuroi gently wipes Noctua’s face clean. “I can not forgive you. Only Torok has that right. But I can offer you atonement… Through service to me, my family, and our cause.” She says.
“What are you?” Noctua asks her. “I are you Milieu? God Mother? I saw him at the auction.” He points to Izumo, “You bought me… And now you think you own me.” He says. Madam Kuroi shakes her head. “We are a chivalrous organization. I did buy you, yes. But I do not own you. If you don’t want to be here, then you are free to leave when you want. You may live your life however you see fit, with or without us.” She says. “I only ask that if you leave now, you do not speak to Torok until he is ready to talk…”
Noctua considered this. After a time he sighs, and speaks. “I will never hurt someone who is innocent. Promise me this.” He says solemnly. Kuroi nods. “You have my word.” She says. Noctua bows his head once more, resting it at her feet. “Je t'appartiens… I am yours.” he says.
There is a knock at the door. “That must be our guests...” Kuroi says. “Inugami, be a dear and get it for me.” She says. Using Izumo’s pseudonym made him remember himself. “One moment!” He said, just loud enough to be heard outside. Izumo opens the door, revealing Derrick.
“Derrick Redmond.” Madam Kuroi says with surprise. When Inugami told me you were Unovian, I never imagined that it was you.” She says.
“It is indeed me.” Derrick says. He walks into the room as if he owns it, and stands before Madam Kuroi. “Is this about those Eevees?” He asks. “I doubt that father will part with them.” He says. Kuroi smiles. “I want a meeting Derrick. I have something that I knew he will want.” She says. “Show me...” Derrick counters. “If I think it’s worth Father’s time I will set up a meeting.”
“Very well… Torok.” Kuroi calls. The Charmander walks into the room, followed by Obsidian. He has calmed down. He looks up at Noctua as he passes the Noivern, but says nothing. Derrick stares in disbelief at the lizard crawls onto Kuroi’s lap.
“Is it-” “Male...” Kuroi finished. “Yes. It is...” Derrick pulled out his phone. “Alright. You got yourself a meeting. Will it just be you Ms. Black? Or you you intent to have your dog push you around.” Derrick says.
It was a subtle gesture. A wave of the hand. A mere movement of the wrist, but it had two pronounced affects. Firstly, Madam Kuroi’s wheel chair moved forward of it’s own accord, bringing her closer to Derrick. Secondly, Derrick sunk to his knees stiffly, as if his joints had suddenly become locked. With a strained grunt, he tried to move or speak, but both were exercises in futility.
“I will be alone dear.” Kuroi says. “Now run along. I have had a long day, and am tired of dealing with children...”
Derrick suddenly finds he can move again. He stands. He looks as if he is about to say something, then he thinks better of it and departs. He is half way through dialing his father as he shuts the door.
“Call your friends Izumo.” Kuroi says. “In twenty-four hours we will have the confession of Johnathan Redmond. Get a raid ready. Tell them to bring water type Pokémon.”