Satori in Kalos

Interlude I
Officer Jenny

Officer Jenny watched as the two children left her kiosk, off to continue their journey. She was saddened that they had to face such an encounter at such a young age, but luckily nothing too traumatic happened. In fact, the girl had seemed quite capable of defending herself.

As per protocol, the officer began to type up an incident report on what had happened:

OJ-236 Isabelle Taylor

Ambrette Office

Tuesday August 5 20XX

The officer paused to think over how she would phrase the report. Her name wasn't actually "Officer Jenny" of course, it was more akin to a title. Her real name was Isabelle Taylor. The title referred to the branch of the police force that employed Pokemon and their trainers and was simply a smaller subset of the larger Kalos Police Department, or KPD. It was surprising how many criminals didn't realize there was a larger force besides the Jennys and were caught unaware as a highly trained team of officers wielding assault weapons surrounded their home.

Isabelle wasn't really trained in the use of anything besides her handgun, which was holstered at her side. Ignoring it, she reached to the left of her kiosk and grabbed a binder, flipping through it to the page that contained the incident report template. She didn't really mind the paperwork that came with the job, although out in Ambrette there were so few incidents so it never really piled up.

3:30 Calem and Satori, two children, travel by Rhyhorn to the Glittering Cave. They were going to contact an on-site archaeologist.

4:15 The two children arrive and head into the cave.

4:30 Children encounter four individuals identifying themselves as "Team Flare," wearing orange leather clothing. Team Flare threatens the children and tells them to leave. The children feel threatened and send out Pokemon to defend themselves. A battle ensues leaving the children as the victors

4:40 Team Flare retreats from the cave, no one else reported seeing them. Children physically unharmed.

5:54 Children report incident to Ambrette Office in person.

The officer finished the report, deciding to go with a simple timeline template. She added a few other technical details here and there, and sent the message to her superiors in Lumoise. Normally for local events Isabelle would take care of it herself after filing the reports, and update the incident file as she went about her duty. However, she got an automatic notification right after she sent off the report:

OJ-236, Regarding Incident Report AMBRETTE-0815XX-01

Your report contained keywords TEAM FLARE. Please suspend your investigation until contacted by Head Detective Onozuka Komachi. Thank you for your patience.

(This message is automatic, please do not reply.)

This was expected and Isabelle didn't dwell on it. All of the Jennys (and most other officers) had been briefed at some point on the Team Flare situation. The department was taking it seriously, although so far the team hasn't done anything really notable. They just stirred up trouble here and there.

That done with, the officer cleaned up the tea and sweets she had offered to the children. Her shift was almost done and a replacement Jenny would come soon. She wanted to make the kiosk tidy before that happened.

The next officer came right on time, but Isabelle stayed for an extra ten minutes to brief the new officer on the day's events. Since events were so rare in Ambrette, especially relevant ones, she thought it would be important to keep everyone informed.

After that, Isabelle clocked out and headed back to her house. She lived in a small place in Ambrette, alone, but that didn't bother her. She had her pokemon to keep her company. She reached her house and slipped her key into the lock. The mechanism clicked and opened.

Her house was just as she left it, cluttered and disorganized. As with every day, a Poochyena ran up to her as she entered and hopped all around her, eager at her return. Isabelle smiled and let the Poochyena follow her into the kitchen, where she prepared its dinner before preparing her own.

The simple life. Isabelle loved the quiet, simple life. As a Jenny, the favorite parts of her job was helping people in simple need such a lost children or an angry pokemon that needed taming. It's why she applied to Ambrette in the first place.

She spent the night watching TV, playing with her Pokemon and finally going to bed at exactly 12:00AM. She would wake up at 8:00 and arrive at the Kiosk at 9:30, eat breakfast there and start her shift at 10:00. Same as she did every day. Simple and tame. And so Isabelle drifted off to sleep dreaming of Flabébé floating among the flowers.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Isabelle shot up out of bed.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Her clock read 5:15, and that wasn't the sound of her alarm. It was the sound of her work-issued Holo Caster.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

She almost fell over herself trying to reach the damn thing, and fiddled with the buttons until she found the button to answer it with audio only. Her appearance was a bit unsightly at the moment and she didn't want whoever was calling her to see.

"Th..this is Officer Jenny..." She said, still groggy.

"Izzy, get over here." Said the voice from the other end. "The Head Detective wants to speak to you! What the hell is happening?"

Isabelle had a hard time forming her thoughts. "Mmmph...something...I'll be there soon..." She hung up the Holo Caster and tried to kick herself into gear. She did her hair, makeup and everything else as quickly as she could manage while shoving a bland meal bar down her throat for breakfast. Her Poochyena noticed how frantic she was, and tried to stay out of the way.

"Sorry, Pooches, gotta run." Isabelle said and hastily poured a random amount of food into his bowl. She ran out the door before the dog-like pokemon could even grasp what was happening.

The walk from her house to the kiosk was about fifteen minutes, although at a run Isabelle could cut it down to five. She arrived at the kiosk to see all of the Ambrette Jennys gathered, including quite a few others and the head detective herself.

Isabelle ran up to the group and saluted. "Officer Jenny reporting for duty, ma'am. Forgive my tardiness."

The head detective turned around. She wore a blue and white robe bound with a large brown sash at her waist. But what really drew attention was the massive scythe she rested against her shoulder. "No worries," she said lazily. "There isn't really any rush. Are you the officer who spoke with the witnesses?"

Isabelle felt like an idiot, but she was already here. What's done is done. "Yes, ma'am. I spoke with the children and filed the report."

"Just Komachi is fine," Komachi said as she yawned. "Let's get a pot of coffee brewing and talk about it."

Komachi walked over to the kiosk and sat down as another officer began to prepare the pot. Isabelle sat down next to her and relayed everything that had happened the previous day. In the middle of her story she was handed a cup by her co-worker and Komachi used the break in the story to start asking questions.

After the debrief was over, Komachi stood up and shuffled around the area. There were a good number of officers hanging around, mostly just chatting to themselves or trying to wake themselves up by shoving inordinate amounts of coffee down their gullets.

"Mmmmm..." Komachi rubbed her chin with her fingers. "Team Flare shows up in the Glittering cave..."

Isabelle watched the head detective of the entire Kalos Police Department lazily wander around. It didn't look like she was doing much of anything except taking in the scenery. After what must have been fifteen minutes, she finally spoke again.

"Two possibilities as I see it," she said suddenly. Everyone else looked in her direction, a bit more alert than they had been earlier. Isabelle wondered if Komachi took so long because she was just as tired, or if she purposefully waited for everyone else to wake up a bit more. "One," Komachi continued, "Team Flare was looking to somehow steal or mine the walls of the cave for a quick profit. Two, they were looking to steal or destroy the fossils. Anyone else have any ideas?"

Everyone nodded at Komachi's breakdown of the possibilities, and a male officer raised his hand. It felt degrading for Isabelle to call him a "regular officer," but that's essentially what he was. Komachi nodded in his direction.

"Perhaps they were looking for a place to hide out?"

Komachi shook her head. "Good idea, but it's unlikely. The Glittering Cave sees a lot of activity every day from scientists, it would be foolish to use it as a hide out."

Isabelle rose her hand next, and Komachi spun around to look at her. "Uh," Isabelle said, "maybe they stole something and were trying to stash it there?"

"Interesting, but I don't think so." Komachi crossed her arms and looked down. "We haven't gotten any reports of stolen items...or at least items worth stashing, and the same argument also applies. The Glittering Cave is far too active to be a smart place to stash stolen items."

"O-Oh, sorry..."

Komachi shook her head. "Don't be. Ideas are made to be knocked down. Never feel bad for doing it to others' nor having it done to yours." Isabelle nodded firmly, but stayed quiet. No one else really offered any other ideas as Komachi fiddled with her scythe. "Okay then," she said, "then let's start with number one:

"Team Flare invaded the Glittering Cave to mine the resources to turn a profit. Tell me why this is false."

Isabelle turned her head to look at the others. Her coworkers in Ambrette looked as confused as she did, but the other officers didn't seem disturbed. They probably worked with Komachi long enough to know how she operates. A few of them spoke, offering an idea why the team wouldn't mine for resources, or tried to show how it didn't make sense if they did. After each idea Komachi would come up with a counter-argument.

Some of the arguments and counter-arguments were fairly thin. "Excuse me," Isabelle said after a while of this back and fourth. Everyone gave her their attention. "A mining operation in the Glittering Cave would be a massive operation. To turn any real profit would require heavy machinery. Team Flare is on a watch list, right? If they set something like that up, we'd notice for sure and stop it."

Komachi casually pointed her finger at Isabelle. "If they were sneaking and only chipping away at a few gems per day, they could stay relatively discreet and turn a profit of...probably about 10,000P a day. Not a large amount, but not small either."

That didn't satisfy Isabelle, and she shook her head. "Maybe for a small time criminal, but isn't Team Flare supposed to be a large organization? Plus, with each day the likelihood of being caught rises. It's a stupid plan."

Komachi smiled. "I don't think this idea is worth defending anymore, my arguments are getting increasingly thin. Let's move on:

"Two, Team Flare is looking to steal or destroy fossils. Tell me why this is false."

"Because fossils aren't worth a damn," spoke up an officer. Everyone laughed at his jab including Komachi, but he restated his idea more formally after the laughter died down. "Except to scientists and researchers, there's no point in collecting fossils."

"Not necessarily," Komachi said. "Maybe there's some valuable piece of information that can be gathered from a certain fossil. Or maybe Team Flare is trying to revive some pokemon of their own."

Isabelle raised her hand and waited to be called on like a school girl. "Shouldn't we talk to the scientists and figure out what they're actually researching? It might help us refine our investigation."

Komachi nodded. "Excellent idea." She then began to divide up the forces into two squads. The first would head to the museum and talk to the people stationed there. The second would head to the mine and look around there. Isabelle ended up going with Komachi to the Glittering Cave, along with a couple other officers who she didn't know.

The ride to the mine was about an hour. Isabelle, for living in Ambrette, rarely actually rode the Rhyhorns to the cave. It wasn't terribly difficult to at least stay on it, although she could see how it was a definite skill to be learned.

During the ride, Isabelle couldn't help but stare at the head detective Komachi. Her eyes were closed and Isabelle wasn't sure if she was asleep or not. The scythe rested on her right shoulder and didn't look like it would fall out of her grasp. Was she really awake, or just that controlled during sleep?

Halfway through the trip, Komachi's eyes flickered open and she caught Isabelle staring at her. She gave her a little smile. "How's it going?" She asked.

Isabelle was a bit embarrassed at being caught staring and her face flushed red. "Good," she said awkwardly. The conversation didn't really pick up but Komachi didn't seem to be that uncomfortable by the silence.

The group of officers arrived in due time at the Glittering Cave, and Komachi resumed command. The group of officers walked briskly through the cave until they reached the open chamber at the end. Komachi told most of the men to inspect the cave walls and excavation sites for any clues. Isabelle didn't think "ordered" was the right word, it was more like Komachi just said things that should be done and her underlings did them.

Komachi took Isabelle and another Jenny to talk to the archaeologists. They found two working in the cave, and at the presence of numerous officers stopped their work and paid full attention.

"Hey, 'scuse me," Komachi said. "I'm a detective with the KPD. Mind if we talk?"

The scientists nodded. "What about?"

"Trespassers here, yesterday. Late afternoon...ish. We're kind of curious what they were doing here. Are you working on anything in particular worth stealing?"

The scientists looked to one another and shrugged. The one on the right muttered something, but Isabelle couldn't make it out. "Well," one of them said after a moment. "We only have three excavation sites at the moment and I don't think any of them are particularly noteworthy."

"Tell us about them."

"The first is what we imagine is just an Amaura fossil. We find about one a month, it's no big deal. We'll dig it out and take it back to our lab to resurrect it for some lucky trainer." Komachi nodded her head, but kept listening to the scientist's explanation. "The second is the site of numerous Absol bones. Some sort of long past tragedy, although the exact nature we haven't figured out yet. There's some link to mega evolution that we think will be useful. Maybe that's what your guys were looking for?"

Komachi hummed. "Maybe," she said. "What's the third site?"

"A couple of artifacts. Pots, bowls, that sort of thing. There was a carved tablet too, although it's damaged so we don't really know what it says. We haven't accurately dated it yet, but it's probably at least a hundred years old."

"And that's it?"

"Yeah."

Isabelle was left with the two scientists as her superior started to wander off. Komachi slowly walked towards one of the walls of the cave and sat down, leaning against the cool stone. Isabelle didn't quite know what to do about that, so she turned back to the scientists and asked them a couple of more basic questions. Where were they the time of the incident, any thoughts they had, if they recognized anybody. Typical police stuff.

Eventually the scientists were bled dry of their information, and the others started to come back. Komachi had her eyes closed, but when enough people gathered she stirred. She didn't stand up though.

"Detective Komachi," one of the officers said. "We've examined the walls very thoroughly. The gemstones in the walls are not nearly as easy to remove as one would think. Any sort of hit-and-run mining operation wouldn't be feasible."

"Good work," Komachi said slowly. "I think we can safely assume that Team Flare was after the fossils. To what end, I have no idea."

"They aren't valuable," Isabelle said. "Not even to the right people. They practically just give them away."

"Scientists give them away for research purposes," Komachi said. "They would probably be less agreeable if Team Flare wanted the fossils for some secret project that wouldn't benefit the scientific community."

"That obstacle could be circumvented with nothing more than a clever lie." Isabelle realized she had been a bit combative and regretted saying it to her superior. However, Komachi didn't seem to notice. Or if she did notice, she didn't seem to care.

"True," she said simply.

Isabelle was hesitant to speak again, and the silence lasted for several minutes. This sort of situation seemed to happen a lot near Komachi. She went at her own pace, sometimes it was quick but mostly it was very slow. Isabelle didn't know what to do besides just stand by and wait for her directions.

Eventually Komachi rose. "I'm afraid," she said, "we simply do not have enough information to make any reasonable guess at their motives. If I didn't know better I would say they just wanted to steal fossils in a misguided attempt to obtain their own Pokemon. But the fact that they were Team Flare members points to a higher motive."

"Are you saying we have to wait for them to do something else?" Isabelle was angry. "Children were caught up in this."

Komachi looked to the side. "You're right. But there's no one to arrest."

"We can put up posters, at least. Warn people."

Komachi nodded. "Do that. I'll be in town for the next couple days, but the chief will want me back in Lumiose soon."

Isabelle was actually a bit surprised her idea was listened to. Perhaps it was unfair of her to assume the higher-ups in the department would be tied up in red tape and such nonsense. Years of cop dramas on television spoiled her image of her own career. But Komachi listened to ideas, didn't shut her down, and even agreed with her ideas and let her implement them.

She started to like the head detective.

Over the next couple of days, Isabelle and the other Jennys drafted up an awareness campaign about Team Flare. They had posters describing the uniform and told people not to approach anyone wearing the uniform. The department officially classified them as "dangerous individuals," but did not name them with any other buzzword like "terrorist" or "cult member."

A number of posters were put up around Ambrette at Isabelle's initiative, although the physical posters didn't spread anywhere else. Isabelle also pushed for information to be made available online, but her hopes were dashed as the bureaucracy halted her in her step. It apparently would take up to four weeks for something like that to get approved by someone in her position, if it was approved at all.

Isabelle thought of giving up, but decided to take her concerns to Komachi instead. Komachi glanced at the form she had filled out for a moment before attaching her own name to it and a ten-digit code Isabelle could make no sense of.

The information was on the KPD homepage the next day.

Isabelle started to really like the head detective.

After about a week, it was clear that there were no leads to follow up on and Komachi returned to Lumiose. After the whirlwind of activity following the Team Flare incident, Isabelle's routine started to fall right back into place. It was almost like the entire investigation never happened, the only evidence of anything having taken place was the posters around town.

But seeing them made the Officer Jenny feel confident she was making a difference. Keeping people safe. That was, ultimately, what she had signed on for. And she was very glad that the rest of her coworkers and superiors took that seriously.