(Yes, this really is still happening; I know I’ve been lazy)
Spruce: Why would Lavoisier even have a spy working for him anyway?
Ruby: I imagine the ability to gather data in a clandestine fashion must have been useful to him from time to time. A lot of organisations in Kalos are cagey about the information they share.
Spruce: But he always seemed so… uh… legitimate…
Ruby: Well, true, but… look, put it this way, Spruce: we work for him.
Spruce: …ah. Right.
Ruby: Lavoisier’s no villain, but he has projects that he prefers kept under wraps. Things that might receive an annoying level of scrutiny from an official ethics committee, or be zoned as ‘hazardous’ in an urban environment, you know the sort.
Spruce: I… really, really don’t.
Ruby: The point is, sometimes secrecy is an important trait in a minion. [muttering] Not that there’s any point in telling you that…
Fisher: Sometimes we must walk in darkness in order to bring greater evils to light – a lesson I am… gradually learning.
Spruce: What do you mean?
Fisher: All my life, I have served the glory of the Blessed Helix in pious devotion to His Holy Anarchy, bathed in His light. Yet recently it has become clear to me that true Anarchy is beyond mortals like ourselves; the darkness of order, of Democracy, the way of the Dome Fossil, is just as much a part of our nature, and from it we may draw purpose and certainty to guide us through the divine chaos. Both are necessary… to my faith, to our quest… to me.
Daku: Hmph. An asinine theology for an asinine creature.
Ruby: Oh, will you please just stay quiet for one hour? There’s no need to trash his religion while you talk down to him.
Daku: [sceptical] Is that so? You’ve had no shortage of criticisms for the duck’s primitive fossil cult in the time I’ve spent with this… assemblage.
Ruby: …well, yeah, but…
Daku: Clearly even a being as base and craven as yourself recognises that your respective positions in the Hierarchy of Tiers dictate your responsibility to educate and better the NU trash. His liberation from his outdated and tiresome faith is obviously one element of that duty.
Ruby: You condescending little-! I have just about had it with your-
Fisher: My lady, please, there is no reason to become so… animated on my account! How could I call myself a Blessed Apostle if I could not tolerate criticisms of my faith, and answer them in good time?
Ruby: [unintelligible grumbling]
???: Delphox! Stand and be called to account!
Ruby: What the-?
???: Behold, for justice is come upon you! [a cloud of pink mist surrounds the team]
Ruby: [coughing] What-!? How-!? Is this perfume!?
Martial: Show yourself, coward, and state your grievances openly!
Aromatisse: I stand before you as the messenger of judgement. You, Delphox, are summoned before the High Sorceress in Laverre City to account for your actions!
Ruby: Summoned? High Sorceress? Actions? For? Account? Mine? Do you know who I am?
Aromatisse: [sigh] Unfortunately, yes, I am quite aware.
Ruby: I am Ruby the Delphox, fiery-
Aromatisse: -jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme, yes, yes, quite. And as you can tell, yes, I have heard of you.
Ruby: Hmph. Well, at least someone has. [glares at Daku] And what business, pray tell, does this so-called High Sorceress have with me?
Aromatisse: All mortal magic in Kalos is her business, Delphox, even that harnessed by such a petty witch as you.
Ruby: Petty!? Who are you calling petty, you jumped up powder-puff!?
Aromatisse: [ahem] The agents of our Cabal are well aware of your tinkering with magical artefacts, and the damage you have risked to the underlying fabric of magic by subverting them for purposes they were never meant for. My mistress hopes, for the moment, for a peaceful resolution, though to be honest, I do not put much trust in the humility of a self-proclaimed “sorceress supreme,” or whatever it is you call yourself.
Martial: Ah, hold a moment there – “self-proclaimed”?
Ruby: What? Yes, yes, what of it?
Martial: You mean to say that you just… started calling yourself that one day?
Ruby: Well. Yeah. I mean. Who else was going to give me the recognition I deserve?
Martial: It sounds to me as though this “Cabal” plans to give you exactly the recognition you deserve…
Aromatisse: You, Delphox, stand accused of meddling with the delicate balance of arcane magic, and overstepping your bounds by seeking to harness powers beyond the comprehension of a mere pyromancer-
Ruby: MERE PYROMANCER!? I’ll have you know that in addition to my scintillating array of devastating fiery enchantments I have mastered several forms of nature magic, apotropaism, and mental-
Aromatisse: Oh… I’m sorry. Mere hedge witch.
Ruby: WHY YOU LITTLE-!
Ruby: [dazed] -adorable fairy creature who smells like rainbows and can do no wrong. [blinks] Who are you again?
Aromatisse: As I was saying, for your reckless misuse of magic, you will be tried by the High Sorceress and judged accordingly. You and your entourage will present yourselves at the Laverre City Gym by sunset tomorrow to justify yourselves, or we will be forced to take action against you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more important places to be and matters to attend to. [vanishes in a cloud of perfume]
Spruce: Well. That happened.
Martial: As it eventually must…
Ruby: [blinks, shakes head] Those insolent little-! Why, I- I- I’ll eviscerate the lot of them and make balloon animals of their entrails! I’ll…
Spruce: …and she’s back.
Ruby: …with a rusty pike, and then…
Martial: In any case, clearly we must comply with their request and deliver the witch to this “high sorceress.”
Daku: What, and take orders from that RU lawn ornament? And an- an upstart Fairy-type at that!?
Fisher: I too must protest, noble one! What of more important matters, of our mission to stop Team Flare? It is the will of the Blessed Helix that we pursue that course above all others, I am sure of it!
Martial: This organisation is apparently the closest thing in Kalos to body of magical law enforcement, and if we are to take them at their word they desire a peaceful resolution to any conflict. Perhaps they can instil some semblance of responsibility in her.
Ruby: …out along a barbed wire fence dripping with Seviper venom…
Martial: …or perhaps not.
Daku: How easily you abdicate your responsibility to govern and enlighten your lessers-! Master Amaldos, can you offer us any guidance?
Amaldos: We who smuggle wheelbarrows had best take care that the dirt we carry remain clear as mud to those with rocks in their heads.
Daku: …very well. I see.
Spruce: You have no idea what any of that meant, don’t you?
Daku: Shut up, NU wretch.
???: Um. Excuse me.
Fisher: Friends, do you hear something?
Ruby: …and pickle their extremities in vinegar for six days, so…
???: Excuse me! Hello?
Spruce: Hello? Who is that?
Ruby: …sideways, but slowly enough for them to feel it…
???: Uh… no one! Just, uh… someone who needs to know the latest news from Lumiose City! Someone who is no one. No one important, I mean.
Martial: Show yourself, stranger, and we will help you if we can. You need not fear us.
Ruby: …but then the cage will come down, and the spiders will…
Martial: …most of us.
???: Um. O-o-okay. Coming out now. [rustling]
Shelmet: Um… Hello.
Spruce: Hello yourself.
Ruby: …so then they’ll have to swallow the bees, but the bees will be on fire, and…
Shelmet: Is… is she okay…?
Fisher: In a manner of speaking.
Amaldos: OK until we are KO’d, keeping on as opportunity knocks, on our knees to know ourselves, out of kilter as we keel over…
Fisher: Yes. Exactly.
Spruce: So, uh… how can we help you?
Shelmet: Well, I- I need to know what happened at Sycamore Labs. That is, during the lockdown. That is, uh, if there was a lockdown, which I don’t know whether there was because I wasn’t in Lumiose City at the time, but I have some friends who work at Sycamore Labs – uh, near Sycamore Labs, that is, and I had heard from someone that something had happened there, or, um, near there, and… um. Yeah.
Spruce: Wait, hold on, are you… Umbriel?
Umbriel: Um. Yes. Hi. Uh. You don’t… work for the Lumiose City police, do you? I mean, not that there would be anything wrong with that if you did; it’s, uh… it’s a living! Right? And it’s not like I have anything to hide. I mean, except for my personal belongings that are mine and that you can’t search without a warrant because I know my rights. Uh. Sir.
Spruce: Calm down; we work for Lavoisier as well. It’s okay; we just saw him a few hours ago, actually. Um. In a prison cell underneath the Lumiose Gym. So… maybe “it’s okay” is not what I should have led with.
Umbriel: But he’s safe? He’s being held at the Lumiose Gym by that Heliolisk and the Gym Leader, not by… not by those other guys?
Ruby: …and finally just twist them into pretzel shapes, nail them to a frisbee, and fling them into a volcano! I hope you were all taking notes, by the way, because I don’t want to miss a single step of that. [blinks] Who the hell are you?
Umbriel: [eyes wide] …oh no, it’s the sister. PLEEEEEEEASE DON’T KILL ME; I tried to warn him before they got to the lab but it all just happened so fast and I barely knew what was going on until the police were knocking on his door and I almost didn’t even get out of the city myself and- and- but-
Ruby: [curiously] What exactly did my brother tell you about me…?
Umbriel: Oh. You know. Only good things.
Ruby: …yes, well, he always was a terrible liar. Look, Lavoisier told us to find you once we got out here. Said you’d have all of your team’s information on Team Flare.
Umbriel: …well… yes… that’s true, but, um… look, you know they’re the bad guys, right?
Ruby: Yes… and?
Umbriel: I just mean, well, you know, they’re involved with some bad stuff! Kidnapping Pokémon, taking over human facilities, manipulating the Lumiose Police and the Gym Leader? I… really don’t think you want to mess with them!
Ruby: I’m sorry; I thought you said you know who I am?
Umbriel: …okay, true. You… probably know as much as I do, but, um, here’s the… the scoop, I guess. Team Flare are a region-wide, uh, based in Lumiose City… um… research group, slash crime syndicate, slash cult. Uh. Slash fashion house. I think.
Spruce: Slash cult?
Umbriel: Yeah. Uh. I mean. Like “slash cult” as in “and also a cult,” not like “a cult that slashes people.” Although honestly I’m, um… not totally comfortable ruling that out either.
Spruce: No, I know what you mean, but, um… what do you mean?
Umbriel: Team Flare, they say they worship “life itself,” and they fight against the “enemies of life,” which, uh… is a list that includes her, apparently. A lot of their operations are about gathering… well, energy in all forms, but particularly life force, to power up something they call “the great device.” I don’t know wh- what that is or what it does, but it- everything they say about it has a kind of… messianic tone. It’s… a little creepy.
Ruby: Why does my brother have to do with all this? They can’t have been going through him to get to me, or they never would have let us go.
Umbriel: I… don’t know. When they found out he was working with you, that- I think that was only a pretext. The underlings only even knew who he was because he’s famous locally, but the orders that came down… it seemed like they were targeting specific elements of his research agenda. I just don’t know what; they used code names for everything.
Martial: More importantly, can you tell us anything about their plans? Where will they strike next?
Umbriel: Well… there’s been a major operation ongoing over at Dendemille Town for a while; I- I haven’t been able to act against them without exposing myself… b-b-but something else is going down at the Pokéball Factory just outside Laverre City in a few days. I- I don’t, uh, know exactly what, yet, but as soon as I knew what’d happened to Lavoisier I was planning to head up there and conduct some, uh… surveillance. You know, surveil them and stuff. With my skills in surveilling. That I definitely have.
Ruby: Hmm. Well, do that. We’ll meet you there the day after tomorrow; for now, we have… business to attend to in Laverre City.
Spruce: Wait, we do?
Daku: You mean you actually intend to answer that ridiculous summons?
Ruby: Uh… yeah. Didn’t you hear anything I said before? I’ll “answer” it and then some!
Ruby: RIGHT. WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE!?
Aromatisse: Milady, it seems the rogue sorceress has answered our call.
Sylveon: [bored] Mmm. So I see. Welcome to the Cabal, honoured guests… Charm
Sylveon: Ruby the Delphox… “fiery jewel,” is it? “Sorceress supreme”?
Ruby: …you’ve heard of me… yipeeeee…
Sylveon: …quite. Not only have we heard of you, we’ve heard of your… many impressive deeds in Kalos. But more importantly, have you heard of us?
Ruby: Um… heard… of…? What? Um. No. [shakes head, clears throat] That is, of course not! Don’t be ridiculous!
Martial: Your envoy led us to infer that you are a body that regulates the use of magic in Kalos.
Mawile: More or less. You are welcome in the presence of the High Sorceress of Laverre City…
Sylveon: …no need to bow, by the way…
Mawile: …leader of a Cabal of Kalosian magic-users who ensure that sorcery is used responsibly and safely in our region.
Sylveon: Ruby the Delphox, you stand accused of crimes against magic, and… well, crimes against rather a lot of things, actually. Chancellor, read the charges.
Mr. Mime: [shocked] [covers mouth with hand] [shakes head]
Sylveon: Yes, yes, mime the charges; you know what I mean, just get on with it.
Mr. Mime: [clears throat] [runs in a circle waving hands in the air] [hunches over, stage whispering] [clasps hands and pulls them towards chest, collapses] [stands] [feels the shape of a fancy hat on his head]…
Ruby: [squinting] …what?
Fisher: My lady, I believe we are in the presence of a mastermime! Tales say they can communicate any message to any being by means of pantomime alone, and are beyond language itself.
Ruby: Uh… huh. So what’s he saying?
Fisher: Well, um… I believe that you are accused of… something involving a large garden rake and several upholstered coffee tables…?
Amaldos: To gild the lily, to paint refined gold, to throw perfume on the ice, or add another violet to the rainbow, is wasteful and ridiculous excess. Never get a mime talking; he won’t stop.
Sylveon: [rolls eyes] Oh, come, it’s not that difficult to understand. Arson, conspiracy, murder, treason… um… wait, I haven’t seen that one before…
Mawile: Reciting poetry in August? Is that even a crime?
All others: [staring at Ruby quizzically]
Mr. Mime: [using a typewriter] [peering at a document through spectacles]
Sylveon: Well, yes, I know I told you to search all the records, but- oh, whatever.
Mr. Mime: [grabs something at arm’s length with pinched fingers] [holds out one hand and wiggles fingers while waving the other over his head]
Sylveon: [sigh] Yes, yes, and so on and so forth; furthermore, sorceress, although no specific Kalosian laws govern this offence, you stand accused of conducting highly unpredictable magical experiments that risk damaging the foundations of magic itself.
Ruby: What on earth are you babbling about?
Mawile: We are well-informed of what you have been doing with the Mega Stones you have found – artefacts of tremendous magical power that you have subverted to a variety of highly destructive uses bearing no resemblance to their intended function.
Sylveon: But more importantly, you have done all of this without the sanction of our Cabal. We might have overlooked your failings in one of our own, but not in some… vagabond. [bored] How do you plead?
Ruby: Not guilty! By reason of being smarter, stronger, prettier and just generally better than the lot of you!
Sylveon: Oh, dear… Have I given you the impression that was an option?
Martial: Is the witch to have no opportunity to speak in her own defence?
Sylveon: …she just did; do you think she has a more compelling argument in reserve?
Amaldos: He who defends own his attorney should hope for a jury of fools.
Sylveon: Hmmm…? Lucario… what is that you are holding?
Amaldos: A cow hidden in a field.
Sylveon: I… was asking as a courtesy. You hold a Mega Stone, and that is something your… party… has proven they cannot be trusted with. You should surrender it to our care, for the safety of… well, I was going to say everyone in this building, but really everyone in this city, if past experience is any indication.
Amaldos: Better safe and sorry than safe and sound, if the sound of safety is made by an empty vessel. [clutches Lucarionite to his chest]
Sylveon: [sigh] I would prefer that this end peacefully, but you know I cannot allow you to keep that.
Amaldos: [glaring] Every dog eats its dog-day.
Sylveon: Must you make this difficult…? [to her minions] Seize him.
Ruby: Oh, hell no.
Martial: If you wish a fair trial for the witch, I’ll not stand in your way, but my companion has committed no crime against you and your ilk. En garde!
Slurpuff: Energy Ball!
Azumarill: Time to… Play ROUGH!
Kirlia: EEEEEEAAAAARGGHHHHH WHYYYYYY!?
Klefki: The pain! THE PAIN!
Spruce: Ah… sorry about this! Um. Sorry! Um! Featherdance!
Ruby: HA-hahahaha-HAH! FALL before me! MYSTICAL FIRE!
Aromatisse: You’ll surrender your treasure soon enough once you’re under my power, Lucario. Charm.
Amaldos: So said the farmer who was murdered by his inductivist turkey. Bone Rush!
Aromatisse: Agh! Oof! Enough of this! MOONBLAST!
Amaldos: [gasp] …
Daku: My lord-! How-!?
Amaldos: …at last… [collapses] oblivion…
Sylveon: The stone, you fool! Get the- argh!
Ruby: PAY ATTENTION TO ME, DAMN IT! GRASS KNOT!
Aromatisse: Yes, the- the stone! Of course, I- [grabs Amaldos’ Lucarionite]
Amaldos: …child of light… blinded by white wings of wax…
Aromatisse: What? What are you-? [Lucarionite flashes] AHHHHHHH!
Sylveon: Hmm. Well, that’s interest- oh, stop it! Get off me, you little twit! MOONBLAST!
Ruby: LIGHT SCREEN! Who are you calling a little twit, you vacuous charlatan!? MYSTICAL FIRE!
Aromatisse: The- the light- found by a pig whose acorn was lost- the pig-headed face that stops the clock will face the music twice a day-! No! NO! [holds up the Lucarionite] MOONBLAST!
Sylveon: No, you fool, don’t destr-!
Aromatisse: AAAARRRGGGggghhhhh… [collapses]
Spruce: Amaldos-! STOP IT, all of you! Featherdance! Amaldos, are you-?
Amaldos: …Lelanthion… Lelanthion, do you hear me…? I… see you… once more… a sore sight for blinded eyes…
Fisher: Do not speak, noble one; save your strength!
Amaldos: [smiling] I go… to my final… evolution… [vanishes]
Spruce: Wha-? Amaldos? Where-?
Daku: …ascended to the beyond… called to a far grander meta than we… [to Spruce] Such things… such things have their place. Their time. Argh; curse it all…
Sylveon: Well. That was certainly… educational. Perhaps it’s best you continue your… research… independently after all, “sorceress supreme.”
Mr. Mime: [quizzical look]
Sylveon: Better her underlings than ours, don’t you think?
Mawile: My lady, you can’t mean-!? We can still defeat her; I am certain!
Sylveon: [to Ruby] You must understand, it is clear to me that your experiments have potential. For the good of magic as a whole, I thought it best for you to be under our direct control, to ensure that the forces you play with were safely contained, but… well, clearly “out of hand” is simply a necessary baseline here.
Mawile: Necessary to what?
Ruby: [narrows eyes] …what are you saying?
Sylveon: I am saying, my dear sorceress, that as long as you agree to make it known that your research into the Mega Stones is conducted with the consent and cooperation of our Cabal… and pay a nominal fee, of course… I can arrange for you to be left to your own devices.
Ruby: Wait, wait, wait. So what you’re saying is that ALL THIS NONSENSE has been just a way of cornering me into paying MEMBERSHIP DUES to your ridiculous little club?
Sylveon: Mmm. I suppose you could put it that way.
Ruby: You accused me of half a dozen different crimes over this!
Mawile: [appalled] Crimes you objectively did commit! [to Sylveon] Using magic that we are responsible for regulating!
Sylveon: [to Mawile] This is not the time–
Spruce: And you killed Amaldos!
Ruby: Hmm? What? Oh, yeah, that too. He was very useful! For a number of things! Which I’m sure I’ll remember if you give me a minute!
Sylveon: My most trusted field agent is apparently now blind and insane, but you don’t hear me complaining. We’ll both just have to find replacements.
Martial: You… honourless… WRETCH! Poison Jab!
Sylveon: Ooof! Oh-!
Martial: Hmph. Be glad I leave you with your life, witch. [leaves the room]
Mawile: [to Sylveon] …well, you can’t say you didn’t have that coming.
Ruby: AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that we’ve defeated her, I’M the new High Sorceress! BOW BEFORE ME, minions!
Mawile: Wh-what? No! No, what- what the HELL would make you think it worked like that!?
Ruby: Um. Well. Well, it… stands to reason.
Mawile: High Sorceress is a position of tremendous responsibility that is attained after a lifetime of service to the arcane arts and the balance of magic; why in Arceus’ name would we let some random challenger just take over the job because they happened to win a single battle!? What do we look like, humans!?
Spruce: …I mean, the quiet guy actually kinda does look a bit-
Mr Mime: [shocked] [obscene gesture]
Mawile: You’ve made your point! It seems we have no choice but to tolerate your actions for now. Just get out.
Fisher: Before we leave, are you sure you would not like to spare a moment to listen to the good word of the Blessed Hel-
Mawile: GET OUT!
Valerie: Hmm? Oh… I’m sorry, do forgive me; my mind was wandering. Is the battle over?
Chris: Uh… yeah.
Valerie: Oh, how spectacular… [eyes glaze over]
Chris: Are you… um… hello?
Valerie: What? Sorry, I’m just… so intrigued by all the different ways that battle could have gone… such mysteries of the imagination…
Chris: Do I… like… get a badge, or…?
Chris: Uh…? [waves hand in front of Valerie’s face]
Chris: Well… [glances from side to side] Maybe I’ll just, uh… take that badge you’re holding, then…
Valerie: …so many elegant, captivating dreams… like cherry blossoms on the breeze…
Chris: Yeah. Um. I’m going to, like… go now.
Valerie: …such beauty… such grace…
Ruby the Fennexis (Delphox)
Female, Bold nature, level 40, Großbrand (Blaze)
Lichtschild (Light Screen), Psychoschock (Psyshock), Strauchler (Grass Knot), Magieflamme (Mystical Fire)
Spruce the Tauboss (Pidgeot)
Male, Rash nature, level 40, Adlerauge (Keen Eye)
Windhose (Twister), Daunenreigen (Featherdance), Fliegen (Fly), Ruckzuckhieb (Quick Attack)
Fisher the Entoron (Golduck)
Male, Brave nature, level 40, Wolke Sieben (Cloud Nine)
Aussetzer (Disable), Dunkelklaue (Shadow Claw), Zen-Kopfstoß (Zen Headbutt), Surfer (Surf)
Martial the Nidoking
Male, Brave nature, level 40, Giftdorn (Poison Point)
Donnerblitz (Thunderbolt), Doppelkick, Gifthieb (Poison Jab), Stärker (Strength)
Daku the Knarksel (Gabite)
Male, Sassy nature, level 40, Sandschleier (Sand Veil)
Klauenwetzer (Hone Claws), Drachenklaue (Dragon Claw), Schaufler (Dig), Schlitzer (Slash)
Melissa the Bibor (Beedrill)
Female, Jolly nature, level 16, Hexaplaga (Swarm)
Giftstachel (Poison Sting), Duonadel (Twineedle), Energiefokus (Focus Energy), Furienschlag (Fury Attack)
Boreas the Amarino (Amaura)
Male, Mild nature, level 29, Frostschicht (Refrigerate)
Natur-Kraft (Nature Power), Bodycheck (Take Down), Felsgrab (Rock Tomb), Aurorastrahl (Aurora Beam)
Amaldos the Lucario
Male, Hasty nature, level 39, Felsenfest (Steadfast)
Steigerungshieb (Power-Up Punch), Schwerttanz (Swords Dance), Egotrip (Me First), Knochenhatz (Bone Rush)