Phantom Thief chap 1
Hello all! Tis I, tis I, Talkingbirdguy! Yes, I am starting this story with that line as well.
To those who are new, welcome! You'll have no problems getting into this, though you'll miss out on certain references and won't immediately know who certain characters are because you haven't read my previous stories. (Both of which are located on my profile, if you want to suffer through the unedited portions of the first in the series. I really do need to go back and polish those up at some point.)
To my old readers, thanks for sticking around! I'll go ahead and clarify by saying that Phantom Thief is NOT a continuation of the Curse of the Lucario series. Yes, I know it's sad. This story is, however, located in the same universe. The characters know about the famous Jason Simmons and his son and all that stuff but they will not, as far as right now, be interacting with the Simmons. They've earned their break after two very successful (in my opinion) fics.
And, without further ado, I present the first chapter of Phantom Thief. Enjoy!
Warning! This story will contain trace amounts of cursing. Nothing too horrendous, but enough that I feel the need to post a small warning here. This will be the ONLY warning. At least the only warning that has to do with cursing.
Disclaimer: If I owned Pokemon, Pokemon Go would be much more awesome. As it's rather 'meh,' I think you know that I don't own it. (Edit: If Pokemon Go does happen to get a lot more fun all of a sudden, I more than likely did not gain abrupt ownership. Just thought I'd add that.)
Cool First Job
The warm air was suffocatingly muggy, heavy with the humidity from the unrelenting showers the day before. This was my favorite kind of weather, no contest. The air was just warm enough to cancel out the cold without leaving me feeling defenseless from a lack of available water molecules.
While most would conceal themselves indoors, or at least limit their time outside in this kind of weather, I did nothing of the sort. I was out for a walk early that Sunday morning for two reasons.
One: I had a job to do.
Two: I actually do enjoy walks in that kind of weather. The reason behind this will become obvious soon enough.
As for the aforementioned job, I glanced down at the note that Shelly had given to me right before I had left that morning. On it was the address of the warehouse and description of the object I was hired to retrieve.
Once the note was committed to memory, and the roof of the warehouse was in sight, I disposed of the note. To do this, I used the water that had soaked into the paper from the air. I turned it into ice, forcing the water molecules to expand and tear the paper into frozen shreds that I tossed to the ground. There wasn't even enough for someone to call it litter.
Now you might be wondering the trick behind how I froze that paper. That's simple: I have the ability to lower the energy in the molecules that make up H2O, thus forcing them into a more ridged form. Or, in layman's terms, create ice from water and ambient humidity. I could also do the reverse with any ice that I create and turn it back into liquid. Naturally formed ice was out of the question, however.
If you are wondering how I got this power, then join the already-long line. My parents had gotten me tested and nothing was weird about me. No detectable Pokemon DNA, no mutations (aside from my insanely blue eyes), no abnormalities as far as the doctors could tell. I was a normal six year old with the ability to reduce the temperature of water by an extreme degree, thus causing it to form into ice. (Plus another, honestly less useful, ability.)
Sounds awesome, right? Well it is. That is, except for the downside of not being immune to the cold that I create. I was a normal kid, remember? Whatever abilities I had began and ended at changing liquid water into the solid form and back, if I so chose.
Because of this fact, I had to bundle up whenever I went out. It was when I hit ten or so that my abilities stopped being a matter of me willingly using them. Any time when the air was more than thirty percent humidity, my abilities would cool the humid air that touched my skin. I would have to wipe off a thin sheet of ice from my skin if I stayed still for too long. Sweat that accumulated had the tendency to build up and take the top layer of skin off when I noticed them and pulled them off.
Once this began happening, my mom began bundling me up in increasingly warm clothing. Back then, she had me wear bulky sweaters and whatever kept me warm. More than once, I was made fun of and had the urge to freeze some bullies or give them frostbite or something.
Shelly quickly took that thought out of my head after he had me purposely freeze a tree totally solid. He brought me out to a state park and into the most deserted area he could find when he had me do that. It was the biggest thing I had ever tried to freeze and was, while the most difficult thing I had ever tried to freeze, still done with relative ease at the time.
The thing about living things is that they have water in them. That is a basic rule of life. When water gets turned into ice, it expands. A basic rule of science. Now if that happens in a living being, that's no exception. Every liquid within the tree I froze expanded rapidly at my beckoning and ripped it apart, forcing Shelly to pull me out of the way to avoid the rain of frozen splinters that rained down soon after.
After that day, I never truly considered doing that to someone. Thought about it? Certainly. But who doesn't feel homicidal now and again?
...Ahem. Let's not travel down that line of thought, hmm?
My current clothing style consisted of jeans that were partially waterproof and extra tough, some better quality running shoes, a turtleneck, and a double-breasted jacket. The last item was insisted upon by Shelly after I had begun to live with him full-time rather than the occasional weekend when my mom was out of town.
They, Shelly and my mom, split when I was seven. It had nothing to do with my newly emerged abilities, I was certain of that. Neither of them showed any animosity towards my powers and actually encouraged my usage, with the condition that I did not show it to anyone that I didn't trust explicitly. They changed their minds about that as I got older and let it be my decision.
I didn't find out the reason why they split until I was seventeen. Before then, my mother took full custody of me but stayed on good enough terms with Shelly that she let me see him pretty often. They were basically good friends or at least did a good enough job faking it that I couldn't see any difference.
I'm not quite sure why they split up. I had only ever seen them argue on rare occasions and was relatively sure that they didn't argue an excessive amount when I was away.
But that's enough about my wardrobe and family life. Back to the job.
I mentally tested the air and found more than enough moisture available for when the need came up.
I took a right and walked between two other buildings when I came within a block of the warehouse in question. My job didn't involve simply walking through the front door, of course. What I was doing wasn't exactly legal. This job required stealth. Which brings me to the trash bag that was hid neatly behind some overturned rubbish bins. Anyone not looking for it would probably never notice it was any different from the rest.
I opened the trash bag and began to don the uniform that Shelly had conveniently placed the day before.
The first obstacle was a door. Me blowing into the lock and using the moisture from the exhale to force open the lock was a cake walk. Even easier than some of the practices Shelly had put me through. I eased the door open, wary of how it creaked. The warehouse was located in the old, not so pleasant, side of town. Everything metal was either well rusted or on its way there.
Once I opened it up enough to look in, I darted in and initiated the first part of the plan than Shelly had branded into my brain. Killing the lights.
I happened to be right next to the room with the circuit breakers, so I immediately flipped the switches and ran for cover. My dark clothing, quite honestly, had me looking like a ninja. I had fixed Shelly, who was half-Asian, with such a deadpan stare when he first showed me the suit.
The only reason I wore it was because it was incredibly well-insulated and kept ice from forming over my skin, even when I had to be still for awhile. I flexed my hands in impatience, feeling the gloves stretch a little with my fingers, and wiped away a bead of sweat that had formed and froze on my forehead. (It didn't take away any skin like such actions had when I was younger because I had figured out a way to avoid such annoyances.) Shelly told me that he would be giving me something to cover up the parts of my head that were still bare once I completed this mission. He called it a Right of Passage, grinning as he remembered something from long ago.
I would never admit it to him, but I was really looking forward to getting that mask. If not for the extra protection it afforded my identity, then for what earning the mask meant: the completion of my fist real job.
After what felt like far too long, the sounds of footsteps was heard from outside the room. I could feel the liquid within the man that entered the room. I knew that a thought would have it expand into ice and bring down the overall risk of the job. One less lethal threat. A simple clench of a fist would make the action happen in but a moment.
But that would also go against everything I had ever told myself since the day of the exploding tree. I recognized the possibility of me having to use that method in self defense, but that moment was not the right time.
Instead, I snagged his radio off of his belt and closed the door behind myself when I left the room. Then, I iced over the whole thing to keep it from melting for awhile. My abilities had a tiny bit of control over unfrozen water, which is how I directed the moisture to move towards the door before cooling it down enough to begin freezing. The process took a full, tension filled, minute while my palms faced the wood and created the obstruction.
Once I was sure that the guy wasn't going to be going anywhere for awhile, I stalked down the hallway, eyes moving and senses on high alert. It was a good thing that they were, because it was only my ability to sense the liquid in others that kept me from walking around the corner and into the line of sight of a guard.
I closed my eyes, making sure that I was not close enough to the edge to be seen immediately if they came around the corner. It took a ton of concentration to feel out exactly where the man was in the darkened corridor. I heard the man shiver as I took a hold of the moisture in the air and pushed it down the passageway. Any time I put a liquid under my control, it cooled just slightly. I could not prevent that no matter how much practice I put into the endeavor.
I felt how the vapor interacted with the hallway that I pushed it down, getting a mental image of what I would expect. I was able to tell when the moisture ran into something, where it stopped, and if there was nothing there at all. It was all memory, however. The mental image that formed was me guessing the objects that the water vapor butted against.
While incredibly useful, this would tip someone off to my presence if they knew what they were looking for. It felt like mist brushing up against you when I used it, according to Shelly and a few other trusted individuals that I had used it on.
The hallway was clear with the exception of the single man. I picked up on the smell of smoke, telling me that the man was smoking and probably relaxed. I saw the flashlight beam aimed more towards the ground, probably being held in between his arm and his body. He was leaning against the wall and did not have any weapons drawn.
Idly, I wondered if power-outages were the norm. Most others would be on high alert at a power outage, being wary of attack. Even if what they were guarding wasn't exactly worth millions of Pokè, they still should have been on higher alert.
I made a mental note to not let that become a habit of my underlings if I ever went into a life of violent crime. Surprise inspections would happen all over the place. Cameras that run on an isolated generators watching their reactions-
"What's taking the prick so long?" the man muttered before pushing off of the wall.
I panicked and began to silently move back to where I had come, intent on hiding in one of the empty side rooms.
A clang from an empty paint can that my foot made contact with halted all movement in the area.
Then came the sound of metal brushing on leather. In a movement that was part instinct and part training, I pulled a small device that was stored in my pocket out, clicked the button on the top, then threw it around the corner.
Panicked scrambling, then "FWUUUSH!" I took control of the water that sprayed from the device and encased the man in an icy prison in under five seconds. Gunshots rang out and I hurried the spread, layering the ice over and over all along his body and silencing the bellow that he began to let out. I didn't need to create any holes for air, as his pistol broke the ice around his hand.
I heard yelling from deeper in the building and cursed before running down the now-soaked hallway. I grabbed the device, not keen on leaving evidence, and ducked into a side room when boots were heard climbing stairs nearby. A door opened and five guards went by, weapons extended. Another device of mine was sent in front and behind and two walls of ice were created. I focused more on the one closest to me, healing the opaque walls even as the guns tore holes in it. The flash of a pokeball on the other side had me abandon the walls and make the floors slick while I ran. Humans didn't have the pummeling power of a Pokemon. I didn't have the time, nor sufficient quantities of water, to create walls capable of holding both humans and Pokemon right then.
Instead, I made the floors slick as could be while I ran.
"What's goin' o-" the words of the man that was heading up the stairs were cut off when three finger-sized spikes of ice, quickly formed while I ran, were sent careening into his legs. He went down screaming and fell backwards in the opposite direction that he had been coming. I kicked the gun away from him and kept on running.
Two more men were sent slipping around and heads covered in a layer of ice before I found the box. It was much different from the surrounding containers and I went for it first. The lock was broke by spitting into it, as I was feeling rushed, and I opened it to find the thing I had been sent to retrieve.
The machine was hardly larger than a pokeball, but was worth easily thousands or hundreds of thousands times the amount of the most expensive pokeball. I didn't know what it did. I just knew the amount of Pokè sign associated with it.
The sounds of men shouting down the hallway had me replacing the device with a seashell, per Shelly's instructions. He said that every good thief had their 'signature.' Mine involved creating a tiny, almost totally unmarked, ice pearl and nestling the new creation in the shell. I then melted the frozen spit and moved it to join a hastily created puddle from ice that I created solely to melt a moment later, taking care of anyone trying to test the DNA evidence.
It was a hurried job, but I barricaded the door with another wall of ice before I ran.
It wasn't the stealthy getaway that Shelly had planned, but I was able to get out of there and change out of the clothes with no problem.
The neighborhood became more active as the morning went on and I was able to stroll back home, slouch pronounced and ear buds muffling the sounds of the outside world. My bored expression did not give away the adrenaline that pulsed deliciously through my system. I was scared, excited, and overwhelmed by what I had just done.
It felt so good.
A job well done, a new limit reached, those were the kinds of things that made me feel alive.
Adrenalin junkie indeed.
"I'm home!" I called out, per our tradition. The way back had allowed the adrenaline in my system to wear down a bit so I was only a little jittery once I unlocked our front door.
"In the kitchen!" Shelly responded and I moved towards the location. The man was still in his butler uniform, having only returned home recently, and he looked the name of professionalism as he cut the cucumber in thin, even slices.
"I hope everything went well?" Shelly asked, not turning around to see the device I had placed on the table.
"I was discovered a bit early," I admitted, before adding, "But none of them got close to me and I didn't leave any traces."
"You did remember-"
"Aside from the seashell, yes. With the pearl. I left that."
"Good," he declared and set a plate down in front of me. I extended the device towards him and began eating while he stored it away to be delivered some time later.
Shelly tossed a comb to me before sitting down to eat what he had prepared for us. I grimaced, remembering a time when I could allow my dirty blonde mop of hair to stay messy. Alas, Shelly was a butler through and through. He wouldn't let his son be too messy. He often jokes about how my messy bed-head "brings shame to the Kaito family name."
Though Shelly was only half-Asian, his parents coming from some tiny village in China, he embraced a lot of the culture in our home life. We ate with chopsticks as often as forks in our household and Jasmine tea was just as available as sweet tea.
I was having some Jasmine tea with rice-balls and cucumber as a snack, actually.
We were planning on having spaghetti for supper, if the noodles laying out were any indication. We flopped between cuisine on a daily basis with how Shelly enjoyed experimenting with all sorts of food. He had to know how to cook to be good at his day job. His 'night job,' as we called it, was a gentlemanly thief. A profession I had been training in for the last couple years.
One evening, when I was over at Shelly's place, I found myself insanely bored. Shelly had passed out on the couch, watching some movie that was still playing as I walked away.
I was sixteen, then, and found myself insanely curious about a certain room.
Shelly had told me that it was his private work room and I wasn't to enter it without permission. To ensure this, he kept it locked with a key that he always kept on his person.
Long story, short: I managed to break into the room using a trick with ice (surprise surprise). I was nearly shot full of darts, splattered with insanely sticky goo, and stabbed with wall spikes before a simple net scooped me up. I had begun thanking Arceus until I heard Shelly begin to chuckle from the doorway.
It turns out that the room was his gadget room, as I decided to label it. The items hanging on the walls and all over the room captured my attention and only the traps kept me from trying to go back there again. After I had explained how I had gotten into the room, he had told me that he needed the stuff for his job. That led to him explaining a bit more about his 'other' job.
Soon after, I was being trained on how to protect myself, get into places I shouldn't go, and all manner of useful, if not very legal, skills. He started training me after my seventeenth birthday and used his connections to get my mother a job far away.
Per Shelly's instructions, I asked to stay with Shelly for the duration of my senior year of high school. I had to get in contact with her basically every day, whether by social media, calling, or texting. He apparently promised to tone down his 'other' job while I was with him. He kept his promise and avoided going on anything truly dangerous or with high levels of risk.
"Your friends called while you were out," Shelly mentioned, midway through the meal.
"Noire and Blanc?" I'm not sure why I asked. It's not like I had all that many friends that I hung out with on a regular basis.
"Them," he confirmed. "They said that they wanted to hang out if you didn't have any plans."
I raised a questioning look at Shelly. He was the one who knew if I had training planned. He often came up with training on the fly or prepared it without me catching wind of it.
"Take the day off," he waved his hand and I, sensing the freedom of the movement, finished the last bit of the food and moved off to grab my phone and touch base with my friends.
I checked my phone to find all manner of texts from Noire that basically sounded like [Yo, Thaddeus! Wakey wakey!]
After reading through the accumulated messages, I responded to the most recent few and headed out.
Yeah, I know this chapter is short. I have a feeling that the chapter sizes will fluctuate slightly with the plot.
I know that the next chapter is almost fifty percent longer than this one because it is already written! Yes, I said it. Already. Written.
I decided to be intelligent about a new story, having started college and all, and decided that I would type up three chapters before I posted the first. If all goes to plan, which means as long as I remember to edit it, I plan to release the next chapter two weeks from now. While I could release all that I have right now, chances are that the wait for the chapter after those would be pretty long and I don't want to disappoint you all with that. So that's how I'm going to be doing this.
Also, I need to give credit for this story to Insomniac98338. Our relationship is kind of weird in how he comes up with ideas that are pretty darn good (most of the time) and I somehow hammer them out into works of fiction. He is responsible for quite a few of my characters in several of my stories and this one is no exception.
IMPORTANT! If anyone here wants to make any sort of fanart of any of my stories, I give you full permission with only one condition: you let me know when it is done and let me see it! As I am an absolute terrible artist, I adore seeing any sort of art that people make about my stuff. Who knows, maybe it'll get to be the cover image for this story? I need to find one eventually.
And with that taken care of, tell me what you think! Reviews are the only way for me to know your thoughts!