Last chapter: How to Free the Grunts
"At attention, Galactic!" I said as I rapped my knuckles against my clipboard. Every Grunt in the facility stopped what they were doing to look at me. "We have a busy day!"
After a year of being a Grunt myself, the boss found favor in me. He said that I had been an asset to the team. I worked hard and did an excellent job, no matter what it was. And I did every job that needed to be done. Whether I was cleaning, guarding, or, my favorite, training Pokémon. "Above and beyond," were the words he used. So I was promoted and given my very own team and region to work. Coincidentally in my hometown, Oreburgh City. It was a safe place to hide, since we didn't have an official base there.
My team was a small group of fifteen and sixteen-year-olds. They hadn't been inducted yet, as they were too young, so they were merely trainee-Grunts.
Okay. Today, some of you need to stay behind and clean. And that will be..." I looked down at my clipboard, "Samantha, Brett, and Connor, stay here because you trashed this place," I stated, giving them the evil eye. They all groaned. "Ellen, Autumn, and Julie, you're going to deliver a package to the HQ in Eterna City. And I am going to run a quick errand," I finished. "So move out. Julie, the package is on the coffee table."
Everybody slowly got up off the green couch in our living room, stretching their arms and legs after sleeping all night. Brett yawned loudly and Ellen let out a huge belch. "That's disgusting, Ellen!" Ellen just shrugged and combed her fingers through her blue wig. "Hurry up! Go now!" I ordered. The Grunts stood at attention.
"Yes, Commander Epsilon!" They shouted. The grunts scrambled to their posts.
That's one thing I missed about being a Grunt. The name 'Caity' was no longer associated with me. Of course, I picked Epsilon as my commandant name, but it wasn't the same. "I'll be back," I said, throwing my bag over my shoulder.
I walked outside into the brisk morning air. I pulled a Poké Ball out of my bag. "Staraptor, let's fly to Sunnyshore. I need my last Badge."
As a Commander, I wasn't allowed to challenge the Gym Leaders. But I had a loophole. If I dressed as a normal Trainer, I wasn't a Commander anymore. So as soon as Staraptor landed, I hit the bathroom at the Poké Center to change into my street clothes: A pink ball-cap, a white skirt, and a black tank top. My red wig was gently placed (really thrown, 'cause the damn thing was itchy and hot) in the pocket of my bag. I brushed the tangles out of my wavy brown hair and stuck my hat over it. Here we go. I thought.
I opened the bathroom door and walked straight into a purple-haired girl, sending her Poké Balls flying out of her arms. We both sank to our knees, scrambling to pick up all six of her Pokémon. "I'm so sorry!" I said standing up. I handed her the two Poké Balls that I picked up.
"It's fine," the girl said, trying to hide her face behind her hands.
"Hey. I recognize your voice. Have we met before?" I asked, curiously, trying to get a clear view of her face. She just turned away.
She sighed, and revealed her face. "Epsilon, please don't tell anyone that I was here. I'm already in enough trouble with the boss."
"Jupiter?" I asked, surprised that she actually left the Eterna branch. "What are you doing here?"
"I was visiting my parents and brother. They live here," She answered. "What are you doing here?"
Jupiter and I had become fast friends over the past year. She was originally my commander. And we quickly hit off. I was obviously her favorite Grunt, so she let me accompany her on nearly every mission. She assigned me some higher level Pokémon, and had me battle any Trainer that stood in her way. So I felt very comfortable with telling her the truth.
"I won't tell the boss that you were here if you don't tell him that I'm here to challenge Volkner," I said, warily.
"You have your Gym Badges?" Jupiter asked, her eyes widening in shock.
"Yeah. I practiced battling. And I'm really good, Jupiter," I answered. "I beat all the Gym Leaders on my first try. And I really want to beat Volkner."
"Wow, Epsilon! I'm so excited for you! But this is really serious. It's really dangerous for us to be seen around a lot. The cops are on our tail. And you're a little recognizable."
Jupiter was right. My appearance was pretty generic (brown hair, brown eyes), but I had a large scar on my chin from when I fell off a swing as a child. I went to the hospital to have mulch removed from my skin and the scar was oddly shaped, making my identity very obvious. It was my most defining feature.
"I know, Jupiter. But becoming a Champion was my dream since I was just a Preschooler. Now that I have Pokémon, it would be pointless for me not to love them and train them."
Jupiter's face softened. "I know, Epsilon. I won't tell anyone. But just be smart about it. If this threatens Galactic's goal, the boss will snuff you out. Be very careful."
"Thank-you, Jupiter. You're the best!" I said, hugging her.
"I know I am. And by the way, Volkner is tough. But kick his ass. My cousin needs to be humbled occasionally."
I was a little surprised that Jupiter was related to Volkner, but I didn't show it. I just smiled and said, "I will."