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Chapter Thirteen: A Vow, Part 1

     The world, didn't just start spinning, it jerked between spinning and 
total stillness. Colors didn't seem to show up anymore, everything looked 
monochrome. I think I vomited, but I can't remember. My best friend was dead..
I insisted on seeing bodies, of course. I wish I hadn't.
Lucy was still identifiable. Barely. Her head had literally exploded. I 
could maker out a face, but I could also make out brains. Her Pokéballs were 
missing, too. I guessed the Ancients took them for their own uses, so I 
promised to get them back before I left.
     The one that Snake had thought to be Tony was not. When I told him this, 
he told me that there was still another boy who would be undergoing the 
Trials soon. I told him there was no way in hell he'd be undergoing them, and 
he readily agreed. He told me that he couldn't take putting children through 
this. He wanted to help me, he said. I told him that I might like his help, 
but that Tony was another story. He merely looked at the ground.
     "Take me to Tony."
     Snake turned slowly toward the door. 
     "Wait," I said, as I took the wallet of the unknown boy. I promised I would 
call his home next chance I got.
     As he walked, his footsteps had changed. The characteristic I'd combined with 
him since I met him. We walked for a few minutes. When we got to the door, he 
pressed an object up to a lock and turned it.
     Tony was in there. He started to speak when he saw Snake, but when I 
stepped through the door he sighed.
     "Thank goodness. I was starving in here. Where's Lucile?"
     I didn't know what to say to him, so I just looked at the floor.
     His smile faded and he grabbed my shoulder. "John?"
     I shook my head.
     His knees began to wobble. His grip on me tightened. "H-how?"
     "She, she tried to earn an emblem. She failed."
     His eyes turned upward, and he collapsed. Snake moved to help me support 
him, but I told him to stick something somewhere, and told him to lead me to 
the Pokéballs.

     I still had to drag Tony as we got the Exit. Snake took me to the 
Pokémon. All of Lucy's Pokémon had survived, and the Lapras was fine. Snake 
gave me a map of general locations of Ancient bases around the world, but it 
wasn't completely complete. There were vague descriptions and a lot of 
question marks. He also said that if I ever needed anything, he'd be here.
     As we set off on Lapras toward Pallet Town, I thought about a lot of 
things. Mostly of who to blame. A million names flashed through my head. 
Lugia, Snake, Howard, The Ancients, my parents, Lucy's parents, but mostly 
me. If it hadn't been for meeting me, she'd be safe at Pokémon Tech right now.
I decided, after an hour, that enough people would blame me. I would 
blame the Ancients. So I made a vow. I would collect all of the Emblems, free 
Orange Island, and then destroy every last one of the Ancients. And I knew 
exactly where to start. One of the high-rankers Snake told me about. One of 
the people directly responsible for this.
     Professor Oak.