Chapter Twelve: Philanthropy
“I appreciate you meeting me on such short notice.” The man said. His name did not matter. The moment that he had given it, everyone but Torok had known it was false. What mattered is who he represented.
“A request for a meeting from the Stone Cutters? A matter that requires my ‘urgent attention’ as your letter put it. How could I refuse?” Madam Kuroi asks.
Saji pours tea for her Mistress. The man does not want tea. He wants something much stronger. His mind is not completely protected. He has had no formal training, but his will is iron. Saji does not bother with the tea. She selects a decanter from its family on the shelf. Not their top shelf, but certainly not the bottom. She pours a healthy measure into a cup and places it on the table in front of their guest. He is impressed, but not surprised.
“You are an extraordinarily powerful woman, ma’am.” The guest says. “The Kuroi family has controlled Saffron’s and possibly all of Kanto’s drug trade since the 1900s.”
“Allegedly.” Kuroi reminds him. The guest nods and gestures with his glass. “Exactly so. No one can prove your involvement. Not the government, or the teamsters, or even the other noble families. But, the recent incident in the warehouse district did well to reinforce the idea.”
“I can’t say I know what you are talking about. When the incident you spoke of occurred, I was sitting in the Saffron Police Station, discussing SIM’s new community outreach program.” Kuroi responds. “Now, I doubt you went to all this trouble to remind me of my innocence in recent events. What actually brings you here?” She asks.
“To the matter then.” He says after a drink. “A matter of interest to us is appearing before the National Diet in the next few days. It will redefine the rules and tariffs governing the importing of Mega stones from Kalos. Additionally, it has a few riding issues, including a bill to legalize the manufacture of elemental evolution stones in private homes, as long as the standard regulations are met.” He says.
“Which would effectively kill the market for unmarked elemental evolution stones.” Kuroi comments.
“Precisely. Of course, any political influence you can bring to bare over the matter would be greatly appreciated. But we are resigned to the fact that the laws will change eventually. That brings us to the reason for my visit. We have shut down our facilities inside the Route 10 Powerplant.” He says. He slowly swirls the remaining liquid in his glass. “The place has been abandoned for years. But recently one of Professor Oak’s Dexters has been snooping around. We have roughly three hundred Magnamite stored there. They have been providing the energy we need to make Thunder Stones.”
“You still use the old method?” Kuroi asks. “Yes, the unprocessed stones are kept in close proximity to the Magnamite. They are not caged of course. They just have the run of the facility. There is also a high level Electric Pokemon roosting in the top-most of the plant. But he has not been sighted lately.” The man says. He knows that Madam Kuroi is strict on how she treats Pokémon and that she demands likewise from her business partners. “We can’t move them out of region. Not in those numbers. If the Dexter or someone else finds the Magnamite, then the police will know they were being used in stone production. What we need, is homes found for the Magnamite. Homes with families who legally own them.
“Who owns the plant now?” Kuroi asks. “Or at least the land it sits on?”
“I would think it belongs to METI (the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry) if anyone. The Elektek Power company that built the plant died a while back.”
“Yes, I remember when it was originally constructed...” Kuroi comments. She pauses and thinks for a time.
“I can solve your problems, But I must remind you my family’s motto: We don’t work for free.” Kuroi says.
“Ah yes. We have prepared this for you...” He says. He sets an attache case on the table, and opens it. Inside sits round stone. It has a semi-transparent, smoky color to it, save for the middle. Resting in the center of the stone are two veins of gold and red. They swirl about each other, deep within the smoke.
“Alakazite.” The man says, confirming what Madam Kuroi already expected. “Tuned here in Saffron, using Abras from the Saffron Gym. Cage free, cruelty free, all voluntary.” He says. Kuroi looks at the stone. “That is a great start…” she says. The smile on the man’s face slow fades. “I want two more stones made, Charizardite, and Gengarite...” This news breaks through the facade that the man had been keeping so well. “Both… Both of those stones will be hard to produce. The Charizardite will have to be made in Johto, in the Valley. Otherwise we will have to ship one in from Kalos. And Gengarite? It would have to be made inside lavender tower. It is going to take time…” He says.
“Young man…” Madam Kuroi says. “I have been alive for Ninety-Six years. And while I am a very patient person, I do not like to be kept waiting… Make my stones for me. By the time they are finished, your problem will be solved…”
* * *
Just as last time, Torok landed on soundly on the roof of the Saffron Branch of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Shorty after, Obsidian landed next to him silently. “Try not to set the place on fire again.” She teases. Torok looks at his feet. “That was one time… We’ve done like… twelve missions since then...” He protests. “And you manage to burn at least one thing every time...” Obsidian reminds him. The Charmeleon folds his arms and follows her along the roof. “It’s kinda my job...” He says.
“Focus-” Saji admonishes. “There are still people inside. Mostly janitorial staff. The room we want is on the third floor, that is why you are entering through the roof.” She thinks. Torok walks up to the Roof access door and tries it. He starts to melt the lock soon after. “This doesn’t count.” He whispers to Obsidian, who wags her tail in triumph.
Torok and Obsidian run down the stairs and into the building. They follow a memorized route to an air vent, and climb inside. “Like the view?” Obsidian says. “Why do I have to be behind you again?” Torok asks. “Because I don’t want to get burned… “Obsidian replies, wagging her tail. Torok grins and blows a cloud of hot smoke at the Umbreon, causing her to yip in shock.
“Stop playing around and move...” Saji thinks. “We only have a small window until someone notices the door.” The two move on until the find the room they need. “The fire alarm will lock down the records vault. That will give you all the time you need. Torok, you are up.” Saji thinks. The Charmeleon waits for Obsidian hops over the grate, and give room. He takes a deep breath, and starts to fill the room with smoke. The alarm goes off, and the sound of the vault door locking itself can be heard. The two Pokémon drop into the room. Obsidian is busy bending the sprinklers, shutting them off before they spray the room with water. Torok starts pulling files out of cabinets. “Here are the criminal records.” He says. “They will have back ups inside the police departments. Burn them.” Saji says. Torok pulls the files out and begins to pile them on the floor. Obsidian is leafing through another set of folders across the room. “I found the deed.” She says. She pulls the file out and shuts the cabinet door. Torok holds his tail to the pile of documents and sets them on fire. “Won’t this burn down the building?” He asks for the sixth time. “No. The vault is fire proof to protect from being burned from the outside.” Saji answers tiredly. “Now, stand together, I want to do this in one trip...” Saji thinks. With a flash of light, Torok and Obsidian are back on the roof of the building. Noctua is ready for them. Files in hand, the three fly off into the night.
* * *
“-closing at a low of ¥2,351 per share. Lastly, Sylph Co. did rather well yesterday, closing at ¥32,412, a full 2.5% rise from it’s open of ¥31,621. Now on to local news. There was a break in last night at roughly 3:00 AM the METI building. Police report that intruders entered the building through the roof, gained access to the records archive. The goal of the intruders seemed to be the destruction employee disciplinary records and other related legal documents. The documents were burnt inside the vault. The fire suppression system was disabled, but the nature of the fireproof vault prevented the damage from spreading further. A spokesperson from METI commented that most of the documents in the vault were backed up digitally, so very little of value was actually lost. On to happier news. The Saffron Institute of the Mind announced this morning that their latest Ecological restoration project has been a huge success. The Route 10 Powerplant has laid dormant for years now. SIM has been using the old building as a Pokémon reserve for electric type Pokémon. A representative from SIM announced that Magnetite, a previously rare species of electric Pokémon was successfully bred to secure numbers in the controlled environment. SIM intends to release the Magnamite along Route 10 later this year. Now that the project has come to a close, there is discussion as to what should be done with the dilapidated power plant. SIM has plans to refurbish the facility, with the intent on having it provide the electrical power required for the Ministry of Transportation’s proposed Magnetic Train project, slated to begin late next year. In support of the renovations, Residents of Kanto can now adopt Magnamites from SIM, with all proceeds from the adoption going towards the restoration project. And now on to Global News. It was announced today that-”
Madam Kuroi turns off the radio. It is an ancient thing, even though it is probably the newest thing in the room. She rolls down the hall, and turns into the library. Saji is there, phone in hand, ready for her. She has the number memorized.
“You have reached customer care at Sylph Co. This is Akai speaking. How may I direct your call?”
“This is Madam Kerra Kuroi. Please have Saito, my account manager, head down to my home at his earliest convenience. I have a new project for him.” Kuroi says.
“Of course Madam Kuroi. One Moment… … … … Yes, Mister Saito says that he can be out later today, around the early afternoon. Is there anything else I can do to assist you?” The receptionist asks. “That will be all, thank you.” Kuroi says. “Then have a good day Ma’am. Sylph Co. appreciates your business as always.”
Madam Kuroi looks into the incubator. It hums gently. Data on the two eggs scrolls across the screen. A box rests on her lap. She places a hand on the perfectly smooth sphere of Alakazite. Next to it rests the smaller mega activation stone. Madam Kuroi smiles. “Soon Saji...” She says. “Soon...” Saji agrees.