A valuable resource, he was believed to be the very life-blood of our foundation
But he is only a disposable tool
To be used by all...And thanked by none
"Cole, what good are you to me if you cannot live up to your expectations?!"
A fiery voice that commanded authority scorched the bitter silence of a large, darkened room.
"I don't have any use for you now ever since Maxie abandoned us. Simply put, there isn't anyone left to baby you for your pathetic performance with Groudon's resurrection." The man's sharp tongue pinpointed towards an outcast, singled-out from the other lowly bystanders. All of which were currently loyal members of an organization long passed its prime, Team Magma.
"Holland please! I wouldn't have failed if the others didn't get in my way!" Deep brown eyes were wide with disbelief as a tall young man argued to the new-found leader of Team Magma.
The dreary dark room slipped into another drone of uncomfortable silence after the members jumped from the sudden change in volume of their leader's voice. Cole looked down in silent shame, fading memories reignited of jeopardizing control of Groudon's power.
"Maxie gave you the Red Orb because you were one of the strongest trainers that we had. The fact that you're only nineteen and have one of the new Magma Admin positions is outstanding," Holland looked down at Cole with no mercy in his piercing eyes, "but your foolish decisions at the most crucial times cost this organization too many setbacks!"
The young Admin's fist clenched as two grunts stepped from behind Holland and grabbed his arms. "Cole…It's over. I want you out of this base now. One of you, get his belt, we can use his Pokemon for future plans."
"What!" Cole hurriedly flung the two grunts away from his arms and pulled a Poke ball from this belt, "Houndoom!" A snarling black dog-like Pokemon materialized out of the red and white sphere, firm claws dug into the rocky floor as its menacing red eyes pierced the grunts around its Trainer, ready to fight. Holland sighed tiredly as the grunts backed off immediately from Cole's Houndoom. Maxie's promotion of Cole to Admin was not on a whim, he knew Cole's abilities as a Trainer were nearly second to none.
"Holland…" Cole looked around the room as all the Magma members held out their Poke balls. He wasn't going to get out of this base alive unless…
"...There must be a way to regain Groudon's power again!"
The infamous leader of Magma blinked once, twice, waiting for the boy's last ditch excuse.
"Let me find a way to reawaken Hoenn's legendary beasts. You know that I can still be useful to you!" Cole explained as Houndoom opened his mouth, threatening hot sparks beginning to form. Holland closed his eyes slowly.
"Tell you what." Holland smirked, getting a glare from Cole in response. A cold sweat began to form on his forehead, it was clearly known that the new leader was not one to make deals. Holland suddenly stood up from his desk and walked over to Cole, putting a hand on his shoulder.
"If you can find a way to resurrect any of the legendary beasts, you can come back to Team Magma and I shall appoint you as the new leader."
"WHAT?!" Everyone gasped as Cole's eyes widened with obvious surprise.
"That's a joke, right?" Cole almost laughed, Holland was actually giving him a second chance? He looked down at Houndoom who looked just as surprised as the others.
"No, this is a challenge for you to get the next step." Holland answered quickly. "I know how loyal you are to Team Magma, we were the ones who brought you in when Aqua attacked your home."
"I know that..." Cole let out a small breath, remembering the day their rivals ravaged his small home long ago. He had never stopped thanking Maxie when the previous leader had saved him. The only thing that his hero asked for in return was to join Team Magma and get revenge against those sea-loving fools.
"You have one week to find me something useful..." Holland whispered in his ear, the very sound sending a chill down his spine. "If I don't hear back from you..." His teeth glinted lightly from the glare of the ceiling.
"I can guarantee that Tori and Koji will hunt you down and permanently deal with you."
"Ugh!" Cole cried as he felt Holland's fist connect directly with his ribs. Houndoom barked with anger but was quickly knocked out by one of the grunt's Machoke's that was released before the assault.
"Take them out of here." Holland ordered while rubbing his knuckles. But before they could take the beaten man away, Holland walked over and leaned down, taking two Poke balls from his belt.
"Just to show that I'm serious Cole, I'll be taking Nidoking and Shedinja." Cole struggled to stop him but a heavy foot from a Machoke knocked the wind out of him. He was then picked up by the two previous grunts along with Houndoom. Warm blood slid down his lips as he was dragged out of the silent room.
"Remember what I told you! One week Cole, then I'll need something from you. If you think that you're valuable, don't screw up this time!" Holland shouted as the door slammed shut. He held Cole's Poke balls in his hands and looked down at them, 'Don't fail me this time.' He tossed the Poke balls to his other new Admins of Team Magma, Tori and Koji.
"Sir, what do you want us to do with these?" A slender woman, Tori, asked as she held onto the Poke ball containing Shedinja.
"They're yours for now," Holland went back to his desk and rubbed his forehead, "I know he won't find anything so have fun with your new Pokemon."
"Sweet!" A burly man, Koji, smirked as he held up Nidoking's Poke ball as if he just caught it himself, "Now my team will be unbeatable!" earning a sneer from the younger Admin.
"I want all of you out of here now." Holland barked before Tori could spit a comeback. He watched on as the Magma members shuffled out of the head office of Team Magma's new, well… newly substituted base. After the destruction of their base on Mt. Chimney, and losing Groudon thanks to those children from Littleroot Town, the remains of Team Magma had to run and hide in the mountains of Meteor Falls.
Basically, Team Magma was nothing now, he had not heard from Maxie ever since he had the change of heart in Sootopolis and ran away from Groudon and Kyogre's climatic battle two years ago.
He slammed his hand on the table. Splinters cut into his fist but he did not care, he would find a way to return Team Magma back to their former greatness. "That boy will find a way for me to reach that greatness," his dark eyes hardened, "he will do anything for Magma..."
The gentle lapping of waves, a young man awoke with a stinging sensation in his side. He coughed roughly as he rolled onto his back, the day's events washing through his head like the waves of the beach he was on.
"My Pokemon!" He jumped despite the bruised ribs. He breathed a sigh of relief once he saw Houndoom beside him, groggily getting up as well with a low growl.
"...You alright?" Cole leaned down and rubbed the fire dog's head affectionately. Houndoom barked softly in response. Cole then smiled at Houndoom while he checked his belt. His smile faltered immediately once he felt two empty spaces that once held his Shedinja and Nidoking.
"Holland is serious about this…" Cole breathed, looking around the calm beach as the sun was setting, painting the land in a golden hue. "If I don't find anything in a week, they're going to get us good." He mused.
"Houn…" Houndoom responded sympathetically. The fire dog then looked over to a skyline of towering buildings down by the end of beach, glittering in the fading sunlight.
"Rustboro City," Dark brown eyes darkened ominously in the golden sunlight, "There must be some info at the Devon Corporation." Cole shook the sand out of his black running shoes, brushing off his black cargo pants and sand-coloured jacket before starting in the direction of the city. He looked down at his Starter Pokemon Houndoom and smirked. "We should check that place out first. They'll most likely have something of value for us to take."
"Doom." Houndoom replied with a bark. The long time partners continued on, walking towards the stone city. They knew that one way or the other, they would be meeting Holland and the rest of Team Magma again, hopefully on good terms.
This was his only opportunity for a second chance.