Chapter 21 - Muk's Turnaround
Muk had finally returned to the Lab and was standing before an annoyed Toxicroak with Roserade standing next to him.
"Lorrrd Toxicroak, Muk is back," he said with a look of dishonour.
"Of course," replied Toxicroak.
"Muk got beat by a Treecko and his friends. Muk failed you," said Muk.
"You certainly have, Muk. And as a result of your failure and stupidity, I am demoting you from admin," said Toxicroak.
"Awww... But Muk sorrrry..." sobbed Muk.
"Sobbing will get you nowhere in the Poison Battalion's important mission," said Toxicroak, "Good grief... I don't know who's worse; you or the Skorupi Brothers. They've just came back after been defeated by Treecko again. They were clearly instructed to stay here!"
"Hurrrr... If only Muk's cutie Minccino was herrre... She would calm Muk down," sighed Muk.
"Humph. I don't know what happened out there with you, but forget about some insignificant Minccino and let's focus on the mission!" said Toxicroak.
"But Muk love Minccino. She cutie," said Muk.
"Enough! If you want her so much then fine! Away with you! I don't want anything to do with a numskull like you ever again!" yelled Toxicroak.
"Sniff... Muk just want to be with cutie Minccino!" said Muk, "Muk had enough of Lorrrd Toxicroak. Muk no like you anymore. Muk leave Poison Battalion. Muk no care about better world, Muk have cutie Minccino. That all Muk need!"
"Very well. Off with you. You'll be replaced immediately," said Toxicroak. Muk then put on a serious face.
"HUURRRRR! Muk have idea!" he exclaimed, "Muk wait for Treecko, Muk team up with him. Then he kick your butt! Hurrrr!" These were his parting words he slithered out of the room. Toxicroak didn't say anything back. Instead he turned to Roserade.
"Roserade, I have an order for you," he said.
"Yes, my Lord?"
"Bring me...Garbodor. He'll take Muk's place as admin.
"But...is there any need for that?"
"Yes! I wish to know how well he fights. He could be very useful."
"Um...OK, my Lord. I shall fetch him for you. I'll be right back." Roserade left the room, leaving Toxicroak by himself. He looked back at the strange machine. "It won't be long now. The day I have waited for six years to come is almost upon me! The plan will be a success! Ah, it's true what they say: good things come to those who wait. Yes... Not long now! Hahahaha--!" Roserade suddenly interrupted as she re-entered the room.
"I've brought Garbodor like you requested," she said. Standing next to her was a large brown Pokémon with a green face.
"Oh, Roserade. You're always so quick with stuff like this," said Toxicroak.
"Lord Toxicroak, I was told by Mistress Roserade that you wanted me," said Garbodor.
"That is correct," replied Toxicroak, "Listen. Since Muk can't handle being admin, I hearby promote you to admin status in his place." Garbodor looked surprised.
"What? Really? But...this is so sudden. I don't even know if I'll be any good at this," he said, "I mean, my temper could be..."
"It doesn't matter," interrupted Toxicroak, "I believe you'll at least be better than Muk ever was."
"Um...OK, Lord Toxicroak, I'll do my best," said Garbodor.
"Very good, you may leave now," said Toxicroak. Garbodor exited the room. Roserade then looked concerned about something.
"Um... My Lord, if you don't mind me asking..." she said quietly, "Is all this violence really necessary? I mean if you really want Treecko to come here, wouldn't it just be better if you just let him come here without any of these time-wasting battles?"
"Are you questioning ME?" snapped Toxicroak, "I am the leader here! I make all the decisions here! You know as well as me that these battles with the admins are a test to determine their potential. This potential is an important factor in the plan. Understand?"
"Toxicroak... You were never like this... I looked up to you," said Roserade, "Surely there's still some good left in you..."
"Enough!" shouted Toxicroak, "This is my destiny! And I shall fulfill it! My master would have done the same! I've given you the chance to lead the new age by my side. Don't throw that chance away!"
"I-I'm sorry for questioning you. Please forgive me, my Lord," said Roserade.
"For now," replied Toxicroak.
Meanwhile, Snivy was still sleeping in her cell. She was shivering and mumbling.
"No... Toxicroak... Don't take them...please..." She then suddenly woke up in a sweat. She began to hear voices from outside the room. She decided to slip a vine through the cell bars and use it to open the door. She wrapped the vine around the handle and opened the door very slowly, leaving a tiny gap in it. She could hear the voices more clearly. The source of the voices were walking down the hallway.
"So, big brother, that Snivy has been locked up for quite some time now."
"Yeah, little brother. I heard Lord Toxicroak isn't going to take her out until that Treecko gets here." It was the Skorupi Brothers walking past the door. Suddenly, the door next to them closed. They stopped moving and stared at the door.
"Hey big brother, that door just closed by itself," said the younger Skorupi.
"That's the room Snivy's locked in, little brother. Let's have a quick peek inside." said the older Skorupi.
"But big brother, Lord Toxicroak made it clear that no one should go in there. We've disobeyed orders once already."
"Then let's just be in there for a few moments. No one will ever know." The two brothers approached the door, the older one jumped up, hung onto the door handle and opened the door. They peered inside to see Snivy standing still staring at them. The brothers left the door open and approached the cell.
"Oh, it's you two. You won't...hurt me, will you?" she asked.
"Of course not," replied the older Skorupi, "The entire Poison Battalion has been given strict orders not to lay a single finger, claw or wing on you."
"Oh, that's good," said Snivy with a sigh of relief. She then noticed the younger Skorupi, whose left eye was half closed and red. "Hey, what happened to your eye?" she asked.
"Treecko happened," replied the younger Skorupi, "He did this to me in the desert."
"Treecko? So he's OK?" wondered Snivy.
"Yeah, as far as we can tell," said the older Skorupi.
"Oh, I'm glad to hear that," said Snivy, "I can only imagine the pain he's going through to get here."
"What about MY pain?!" snapped the younger Skorupi.
"I'm sure your eye will get better eventually," said Snivy, "But please answer me this: why are you two serving someone as evil as Toxicroak?"
"Evil? Lord Toxicroak is a great Pokémon," claimed the older Skorupi, "He gathered the members of the Poison Battalion to build a new life for us Poison-types. He promised us all a better world for us. And we really want this better world, so we had to be so rough with you back then."
"But you don't need a better world. This world doesn't need improving, especially for just one Pokémon type," explained Snivy, "This world is endless. Even on a small island like this, you'll find suitable land to live your lives normally. You just need to look around for it. Take Timber Forest for example. All kinds of Pokémon live there in peace. Why not join them? I'm sure you'll like it." Both Skorupi just shook their heads in response.
"Sorry, girly, but Lord Toxicroak has already convinced us," said the older Skorupi, "He cares for his own type and knows them very well. We can't just ditch him now."
"I understand what you mean, but listen to me, Toxicroak's not a nice guy," said Snivy.
"Why would you say that?" wonder the older Skorupi, "You don't know Lord Toxicroak as much as we do. You only think that because he has you locked up in here."
"No... It's you who don't know him..." said Snivy nervously.
"Well, as much fun as it's been talking to you, we have to leave before we're caught in here," said the older Skorupi, "Oh, and close the door behind us, if you don't mind." Snivy watched quietly as the brothers walked out the door. She used a vine to close the door, before sitting down on the floor.
"Toxicroak... He's gained too much undeserved trust," she said to herself, "When they find out the truth...it'll be hard to believe for them... They're innocent, really. Just gullible. Please Treecko, hang in there..."