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Pokemon: Four Journeys

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by BZRich64, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Camper
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    I want to work on my writing skills, so started working on a Pokemon fanfiction. I've been posting it on Fanfiction.net and figured I'd post it here too. I hope you all enjoy it.
    "My name is Samuel Oak, but most of you probably know me as the 'Pokémon Professor'. 'What is a Pokémon?' some of you may be asking. Well to some people, Pokémon are pets. Some use them for the purposes of battle. Some see them as friends, and to others they are family. No matter what Pokémon are to you, there is no questioning the importance of meeting your first Pokémon.

    It was roughly thirty-six years ago that I was given my Charmander and I began my journey across the region, learning everything I could about Pokémon. And now, almost four decades later I can still remember that day as if it just happened.

    In ancient times children were sent into the wilderness to tame their first Pokémon as a rite of passage, an initiation of adulthood. In modern times the connotation of ascension into adulthood, but now they are given out to those who have graduated from a learning facility approved by the Pokémon League. Here in Pallet Town I have been approved as a licensed instructor and children are taught under my supervision. This year there are four students who I have deemed worthy of this great honor.

    And so, without further ado, it is my proud honor to bestow onto these four promising trainers their first Pokémon as well as official Pokémon Trainer licenses and Pokédexes of my own design. First up we have Ash Ketchum."

    Prof. Oak looked over to his right were the Trainers-to-be were sitting. A wave of hushed muttering passed through the auditorium as the audience noticed that there were only three chairs filled. Noticing the unease filling the room, the professor tried lightening up the mood.

    "Well, either I can't count, or Ash is late like always. I swear, the day he shows up to something on time will be the day I die." His attempt at a joke didn't seem to go over well with the crowd, so he decided to move on. "Well I guess we'll just save him for last and hope he shows up. Next up is my granddaughter, Daisy Oak."

    The only girl among the three stood up and walked over to her grandfather who picked up her license and a Pokédex from the table to his left. As Daisy reached the podium, the Professor handed them to her and shook her hand while people in the audience took pictures, then told her to stand behind the table, where four Pokéballs were resting.

    "And now my grandson, Gary Oak."

    One of the boys stood up and walked over to the professor who handed him his license and Pokédex, shook his hand, and asked him to stand by his sister.

    "And last, but certainty not least, Samuel Redwood."

    The other boy, informally known as Red, got up and did as the others. He got his license and Pokédex, shook the professor's hand and stood next to Gary.

    "Is Ash here yet? No? Then I guess we'll move on." Professor Oak looked over to the three standing behind the table. "Now that you each have your licenses, you are officially able to have your own Pokémon. Before you are four Pokéballs, each one contains a Pokémon that will become a lifelong friend and companion. Choose among yourselves who will take which one."

    Each of the children picked up one the Pokéballs and held it up proudly in front of them.

    "Good, now release them from their Pokéballs and say hello to your new Pokémon!"

    The three did as the professor told them and as they did he introduced each of them to their new companions.

    "Daisy, you have chosen the Grass-type Bulbasaur; Gary, you have chosen the Water-type Squirtle; and Samuel, you have chosen the Fire-type Charmander. Your very own Pokémon legends are about to unfold. A world of dreams and adventures with Pokémon awaits you!"

    * * *

    As Daisy, Gary and Red set out on their Pokémon journeys, Ash Ketchum fell out of bed.

    "Huh? What?" It took him a moment to fully wake up. "Oh no! What time is it?" He looked over to his alarm clock and saw that it was broken. "How did…" Ash gazed out the window, seeing that the sun was already up higher than it should be. "It doesn't matter, I'm late."

    Ash got dressed and ran out the door as fast as he could, almost forgetting to put on pants. He ran to Professor Oak's Laboratory where the graduation meeting he should be at has being held, or to be more precise, the building next to the lab that was used as a school. He slowed to a walk as he approached it, however, when he saw the large crowd leaving the building. His heart sunk as he realized that he missed his own graduation and getting his first Pokémon. Even worse, practically the entire town was there and saw that he missed it. Despite the embarrassment he walked past the crowd, saying hello to some of the people he knew. He made his way to the auditorium. Professor Oak was still on the stage, packing up his things. He looked up and saw Ash walking up to him.

    "Ah, hello Ash, I was wondering when you'd get here." The Professor stood up and picked up Ash's Pokémon license and the final Pokédex from the table. "I'm sorry you missed the ceremony, but if you want we can call your mother back here and we can still get a picture of you receiving your license."

    "No thanks." Ash held his head low as he took the license and Pokédex from the professor. "Do I still get a Pokémon?"

    "Of course you do." The professor picked up the last remaining Pokéball and held out to Ash. "Unfortunately, there's only one left so you don't get to choose."

    A huge smile crept over Ash's face as he grabbed the Pokéball from Prof. Oak's hand. "Thank you." He held out the Pokéball and pushed the button to release the Pokémon inside. A trail of red light poured from it and reached the ground where a small, yellow Pokémon materialized.

    "That's Pikachu, the Electric Mouse Pokémon." The professor explained. "Unfortunately, I only recently caught that one, so-"

    Ash reached out to pet his new Pikachu and was met with an electric shock throughout his system.

    "-you might have a little trouble with him at first."

    * * *

    With his new Pikachu in tow, Ash made his way back home. While passing by the Oak family residence he saw Gary riding off with an entourage of women in a red convertible.

    "What?" Ash wasn't really sure what to make of that. Before he had time to question it further, Daisy walked up to him.

    "Hi, Ash."

    "Uh, hi Daisy. Who were those women with your brother?"

    "Oh, just some girls that work for our dad. He said something about Gary 'not being mature enough' to go on his own. If you ask me, I think it would be good for him to be on his own for once, but oh well. Oh, before I forget, I had something I wanted to give you."

    Daisy reached into her bag and shuffled around a bit before pulling out a large, folded piece of paper and handing to Ash.

    "What's this?" Ash said as he took the paper.

    "It's a map. I figured that since you seem to get lost all the time just in this small town, you're bound to need one if you plan on traveling the region."

    "Well, thanks for the vote of confidence." Ash said, sarcastically.

    "I didn't mean that as a bad thing, directions just aren't your strong suit. Well, I should be going it's a long walk to Viridian and I want to get there before dark. Goodbye, Ash."

    "Bye, Daisy." They waved at each other as Daisy walked off on the first steps of her journey. Ash felt a bit of sting as he realized that he had no idea when he'd ever see Daisy, one of his closest friends, again. After a moment he started on his way again before stopping in front of the Pallet House.

    Pallet Town was a pretty small town, so they didn't have any hotels or inns. There weren't enough people that visited to warrant any. What they did have was the Pallet House, a small bed & breakfast that had been started up by Ash's grandparents long ago. Currently, it was owned by his mother, Delia Ketchum, who had expanded the Pallet House into a large chain with Pallet Houses in almost every major city in the country. The key to its success was that every Pallet House strives to give the cozy, small town feel of the original, no matter where they were. People from rural areas love staying at them for a sense of familiarity in large urban environments, while people from the big cities love them for the exotic, rural environment that they can't experience anywhere else.

    Or so Ash had always been told, anyway. His mother has always been somewhat overprotective of him and had never let him go with her whenever she had to go out of town for business meetings or to open new Pallet Houses. All he knew was that the original one here only enjoyed mild success.

    Ash walked inside and found his mom in her office. Despite owning the entire chain, Delia preferred to leave the business aspects of the company to others while she managed this Pallet House on her own. She was still involved in big decisions, but she spent most of her time here.

    "Ash!" When Delia looked up and saw her son she immediately put down the paperwork she was doing and ran over to him. "How did it go? Did you get your Pokémon? Oh! That Pikachu must be him!"

    "Wait, mom, don't pet him he'll…" Ash trailed off as his mother put her to Pikachu's chin, expecting it to shock her like it had him. And to his surprise, it didn't. In fact the yellow mouse Pokémon seemed to enjoy it. "Hey! When I tried that he shocked me."

    "You must have done it too hard, you need to be gentle." Delia looked up at Ash while still stroking Pikachu's chin and then suddenly pulled him into a hug and started crying. "I can't believe you're going. My baby boy is going away on his Pokémon journey all on his own." She continued going on but her sobbing made it almost impossible to tell what she was saying after that. But then she stopped crying and stood up. "Wait a minute. You don't have to go alone. Carmine! Carmine, get in here!"

    After a moment a man ran into the room. He was tall, with dark red, shoulder length hair. He had huge bags under his dark brown eyes and overall and had a disheveled look about him.

    "There you are." Looking at Delia now, you would never guess that she had been bawling her eyes out less than a minute ago. "Carmine, I want you to go with Ash on his journey."

    Ash and Carmine both looked at each other. A loud "What?!" was both of their responses.
    Gary Oak had a plan. Once he got his Trainer's License, he would set out on his own to challenge the Gyms of Kanto, win their Badges and enter the Pokémon League. When he told his father these plans, his father, David Oak, simply laughed. According to David, Gary was 'not mature enough to be allowed on his own yet'. Gary tried to argue that his sister Daisy was going to travel on her own as well, but his father insisted that he had not 'earned that right'. And so Gary was now stuck in the back of one of his father's cars, escorted by the first six people his father could pay to completely drop whatever they were doing and accompany him for an indefinite amount of time.

    Gary glanced out at the grassy plain that was Route 1 and thinking about what he was missing. He could be out there right now training his Squirtle and catching more Pokémon. He saw some sort of large purple mouse in the distance and suddenly he had an idea. With no warning he suddenly unbuckled his seat belt and jumped out of the moving car. The fall hurt like crazy, but he didn't let that stop him. He ran off to where he saw that mouse Pokémon, completely ignoring the car stopping behind him and the girls getting out of it to run after him.

    When Gary finally found the mouse, he called out his Squirtle from its Pokéball and ordered it to use Tackle on the wild Pokémon, and Squirtle rammed into the mouse with all its strength. The mouse was surprised by the sudden attack and retaliated with its own Tackle. Gary simply ordered his Squirtle to use Tackle again and the mouse went down. Gary threw an empty Pokéball at it while the girls finally caught up to him.

    "Are you alright?"

    "What were you thinking?"

    "Why did you do that?"

    Gary ignored their questions and picked up the Pokéball with his new Pokémon inside. He held it up high as he turned to face them.

    "I caught…" He quickly pulled out his Pokédex to see what it was he actually caught, "a Rattata! Level 2, male, slightly taller than average."

    * * *

    Meanwhile, Red was also on Route 1. He had his Charmander out, walking alongside him so that they could bond. Red felt that it was important that they get to know each other, since they would theoretically be spending the rest of their lives as friends and partners. Eventually the two came to a river blocking the way.

    "You probably don't like water." Red looked down at the fire lizard, who nodded. "Well, there should be a bridge somewhere. I guess we should have been following the road."

    Red and Charmander looked to see if they could find the bridge. Unfortunately they seemed to be too far away. All they could see was a girl fishing on the other side.

    "Well, the water doesn't look to deep. We should be able to wade our way across from here." Charmander looked like it was about to have a heart attack from Red's decision. "Sorry, I meant that I can wade across while you can wait in the safety of your Pokéball."

    Charmander let out a sigh of relief as Red pulled out his Pokéball and called him back in. Red then proceeded to cross the river holding Charmander's Pokéball above his head. The water was deeper than he thought, going up to his waist. When he got to the other side he also found that the water had pushed him closer to the fishing girl.

    "You really shouldn't cross the river like that." The girl said to him, as he stepped back onto dry land.

    "I made it across just fine."

    "You lucked out. A Water Pokémon could have knocked you over and you could have drowned. Not to mention that Charmander of yours would have drifted away into the sea."

    "I didn't think of that. I'll have to keep that in might next time I-"

    "Hold on, I got something." The girl tried to pull in her line, but whatever she caught was too strong for her. "Don't just stand there, help me!"

    Together they were able to pull up the line, but to both their surprise it wasn't a Water Pokémon on the line, but a girl. She appeared to be a little younger than Red and had long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. The girl that had been fishing lowered her ear to the unconscious girl's mouth.

    "She's still breathing, but only barely. We need to get her to a hospital!"

    * * *

    Despite both of their protests, Ash and Carmine were unable to convince Ash's mother not to make them go together. And because of that, they were now running for their lives together from a flock of angry Spearow.

    "Can't you stop them with your Pokémon?" Ash yelled at Carmine.

    "You and your Pikachu are the ones who caused this! You stop them!"

    "What's Pikachu going to do against them?"

    "It's an Electric-type. They're Flying-types. You just graduated from school, right? You figure it out!"

    "Oh, right." Ash stopped running and turned to face the flock. "Pikachu! Thundershock!"

    The Pikachu desperately clinging on to Ash's shoulder didn't react to his command. Before Ash could go back to running, the Spearow caught up to him and started attacking him from every side.

    "Come on, really." Carmine stopped and reached down to one of the Pokéballs around his belt. Before he called out the Pokémon inside, however, he was stopped by a huge burst of electricity that shot out from inside the flock of Spearow.

    Pikachu let out another surge of electricity, knocking all but one of the Spearow to the ground, unconscious. The last remaining Spearow had now become even angrier than before and continued its assault on Ash, and Pikachu didn't have enough energy for another attack. In order to defend himself and his Pikachu, Ash reached into his backpack and pulled out the first thing he could grab out of it and threw the object at his attacker. Two seconds later and the Spearow had been successfully caught inside of the Pokéball.

    Carmine helped pull Ash back up onto his feat. "Well, I've got to say kid; that was actually kind of impressive, almost. I think I understand why your mom wanted me to go with you now, though. I could only imagine what could have happened if I wasn't here."

    "What are talking about? You didn't do anything!"

    "We should keep moving. It looks like there's a storm coming."

    "Don't change the subject!"

    * * *

    As it happens, there really was a storm coming, as Daisy Oak found out the hard way. The rain came down hard as she tried to shield herself with her bag.

    "Maybe I should have gone with Gary." She muttered to herself. "I'm sure he's nice and warm in dad's car right now."

    She continued trudging through the rain for a while, but then she heard the sound of thunder and saw a lightning bolt fall from the sky.

    "This day just keeps getting better and better." She said sarcastically.

    After a while the storm finally cleared up, just as she came within visual range of Viridian City.

    "Finally, things are starting to look up." She continued walking towards the city but then slipped into a muddy ditch.

    "Oh! Come! On! I'm sopping wet, I've been walking for hours, the sun is already starting to go down, and now this. I just got this dress and now it's ruined."

    Daisy didn't bother getting back up at first. She just stared up at the setting sun. Eventually she began to laugh.

    "If I can make it through this, then I can make it through anything you can throw at me, world! I will continue my journey! I will take on the Gym challenges! I will enter the Pokémon League!"

    She got up and climbed out of the ditch, then pointed a finger up to the sky and exclaimed at the top of her lungs:

    "Look out, world! Daisy Greenleaf Oak has got your number, and she's not calling you back!"

    She then lowered her hand back down again.

    "Wait, no, that didn't make any sense."

    Her hand shot back into the air again.

    "Look out, world! I will accept! No! Refunds! No, that was stupid."

    Daisy continued trying to come up with a good one-liner all the way to Viridian, but couldn't come up with anything.
    Gary walked into the Pokémon Center with pride. He had just started his journey earlier that day and now he already had four Pokémon. In addition to his Squirtle and the Rattata he caught, he also managed to catch a Pidgey and a Spearow.

    "Welcome to the Viridian City Pokémon Center." The nurse waiting at the main desk said. "Would you like to heal your Pokémon back to perfect health?"

    Gary put his four Pokéballs in the tray the nurse held out him. She put the tray into the large machine next to her and after a moment took the tray back out and held it out to him.

    "Thank you for waiting. We've restored your Pokémon back to perfect health. We hope to see you again!"

    "What do you mean?" Gary asked as he took his Pokéballs back. "Are you saying you want my Pokémon to get hurt so I need to come back?"

    "Not at all. You are clearly a Pokémon Trainer, and in your line of work it is inevitable that your Pokémon will eventually need healing again. What I meant was that I hope you come back here when that happens."

    "I guess that makes sense. It still seems odd to say, though."

    Gary turned around and began to walk back out. As he reached the door he turned again and spoke. "Smell you later."

    Outside, his chaperones were waiting for him. By now he was pretty sure he knew most of their names.

    Mallory, or "Mal", had curly, dark red hair. She had been Gary's father's campaign manager when he ran for mayor and had now more or less become the de-facto leader of the group.

    Katherine, aka "Kat", had long, brown hair and a notable tan. She was Gary's cousin form his mother's side. She had just returned home from her own Pokémon Journey around Kanto a few weeks ago.

    Ciel's hair was an odd blue color that Gary was pretty sure was dyed. She was Mallory's younger sister.

    Cleo's had black hair that she kept in a bob-cut. She was trying to form a career as a singer, but hadn't had any success.

    Sue, short for Susan, had long, purple hair. She was a competitive swimmer with aspirations of entering the Pokélypics.

    And finally there was Alice, or Ali. Her hair was short and brown. She was Gary's father's secretary.

    Right now, all six were wearing cheerleader outfits for no discernible reason.

    "What are you wearing and why are you wearing it?"

    "You're going to challenge the Gym Leader now, right?" Mal answered.

    "Yes..." Gary couldn't tell where they were going with this.

    "We're going to cheer you on in your match!" Kat chimed in.

    Gary just sighed and started walking towards the gym. When he got there he found that it was closed.

    "Hey, what gives?" Gary kicked the door in frustration. "I came all the way here and the gym isn't even open!"

    "The Gym's been closed for a while, "said an old man sitting in front of the building, "no one was seen the Gym Leader in quite some time."

    "Then how is anyone supposed to get the Gym Badge?"

    "If he doesn't show up soon, the Pokémon League officials will assign a new Leader. You also only need eight of the fifteen badges available in Kanto to take part in the Pokémon League tournament, if that's what you want."

    "Alright, fine. Come on girls, let's find a hotel."

    * * *

    Red and the girl who had been fishing earlier were sitting in the waiting room of the Viridian Medical Emergency Center.

    "My name's Red, by the way." He had just realized they had not introduced each other yet.

    "I'm Misty."

    A man walked into the waiting room.

    "Hello, my name is Doctor Sallow. Are you the ones who brought in the girl?"

    "Yes. Is she going to be alright?" Misty asked the doctor.

    "Yes, she's going to be just fine. You got her here just in time. She's resting right now, but should be able to leave tomorrow."

    "That's a relief."

    The doctor left to check on another patient, leaving Red and Misty alone again.

    "Hey, Red," Misty turned to the young trainer, "Can you stay here to see her when they let her out?"

    "Yes. Why?"

    "I have to get back home to Cerulean, so I won't be able to stay myself." Misty pulled out what looked like a business card and wrote something on the back. "I want you to call me when they let her out. I want to know who she is and how she's doing." She handed the card to Red who took it from her.

    "Wow, I've been a Trainer for less than a day and I've already got a girl giving me her number."

    Misty shot him a death glare.

    "I was only joking. I'll call when she gets out." He looked down at the card and his mouth dropped for a second. "Hold on, you're a Gym Leader?"

    "Well, one of four, actually. My sisters and I share the title. But if I leave them alone for two long they get lazy and just hand out the Cascade Badge to trainers instead of accepting Gym Challenges and letting the trainers earn it. I've got to get back to make sure they actually do their job."

    * * *

    When Daisy finally made it to Viridian City, the sun had already fallen. She pulled a map and her address book out of her bag and began searching the city for something. Finally, she found it; Viridian City's Pallet House. She walked inside and was greeted by the receptionist and the front desk.

    "Hello, and welcome to the Pallet House."

    "Hello. I'd like an overnight room for one."

    The receptionist seemed friendly enough but his mannerisms suggested that he did not like the idea of a dirty, mud-covered kid staying here. His expression changed, however, when she handed him a small, plastic card.

    "This is a VIP membership card. Where did you get this?"

    "Mrs. Ketchum gave it to me as a gift when I left to start my Pokémon Journey this morning."

    "You know the owner?"

    "Yes, she's my neighbor. I'm also friends with her son and I worked at the original Pallet House last summer. Oh, and my dad's a major-stock holder in the company."

    The receptionist just stared at her for a moment; trying to comprehend how this mud-covered little girl could be so important to the company he'd been working at for years.

    "So, can I have my room?"

    "R-right, of course. Can I get a name?"

    "Daisy Oak."

    After a moment of entering her information into a computer he handed the card back to Daisy and gave her a room key. "Enjoy your stay at the Pallet House."

    "Thank you." Daisy took her card and the key and headed up the stairs.

    "I can't believe that just happened." The receptionist muttered to himself. Just then the front door opened again and a boy came in followed by six women.

    "We need some rooms" The boy said as he walked up to the desk and held out a VIP card.

    "N-name?"

    "Gary Oak."

    * * *

    When Ash and Carmine made it to Viridian City, Ash insisted that they stay at the Pokémon Center. When Carmine asked why they needed to stay there, Ash answered that the Pokémon Center offers free lodging for Pokémon Trainers. Carmine pointed out that they could stay at the Pallet House for free too, and that they would have better accommodations. Ash's reply was something along the lines of 'that not being the genuine Pokémon experience' and that was the end of that argument.

    While Ash was sleeping in the dorm room along with all the other Trainers there that night, Carmine chose to walk around the city instead. He had been having problems with sleep insomnia for years and found that walking around outside for a while before going to bed helped him sleep.

    As Carmine walked by an ally way, he happened to turn and see two suspicious looking people standing there in familiar looking uniforms. There were a man, a woman and a Meowth standing on its hind legs.

    "Team Rocket." Carmine muttered to himself as he moved out of view from the alley. "What are they doing here?"

    He peered into the ally again and was relieved to see that they hadn't noticed him. He tried listening in on their conversation.

    "And then we nab all da Pikachu's that are in da Pokémon Center 'cause of da storm." Carmine thought he had seen everything, but a talking Meowth just proved him wrong.

    "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!" The woman said, walking out of the ally and straight into Carmine.

    "And where do you think you're going?" Carmine asked the trio.

    "That's none of your business." The man said.

    "You're wearing Team Rocket uniforms. That makes it my business."

    "And you do think you are, talking to us like that?" The woman pointed an accusatory finger at Carmine's chest.

    "My name is Carmine Noir."

    "Is that supposed to mean something?"

    "It should. I guess Team Rocket must have changed their uniform policies. I thought white was reserved for the higher ups."

    "Why you… Prepare for trouble!"

    "And make it double!"

    "To protect the world of devastation!"

    "To unite all people within our nation!"

    "To denounce the evils of truth and love!"

    "To extend our reach to the stars above!"

    "Jessie!"

    "James"

    "Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!"

    "Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"

    "Meowth! That's right!"

    Carmine had to hold back his laughter. "What was that?"

    "It was our motto. Now take this! Ekans!"

    "Koffing!"

    The two sent out their Pokémon, a snake and a ball filled with gas, respectfully.

    "Not even evolved? You must be really low-ranked grunts." Carmine let out a chuckle.

    "So what, I doubt you even have any Pokémon to defend yourself." James said.

    Carmine pulled out a Pokéball. "I think I'll have a bit of fun with you. Sneasel, use Beat Up."

    The small, black Pokémon came out of its Pokéball already ready to attack. It took a swipe at Ekans and then immediately returned to its Pokéball. And then, one by one, each of Carmine's other Pokémon came out of their Pokéballs, attacked one of Team Rocket's Pokémon, and retreated before Sneasel came out again. By the time Sneasel was back out, both Ekans and Koffing were lying unconscious on the ground, with Jessie, James and Meowth staring in horror.

    "How… How did you…"

    "As I said, my name is Carmine Noir. Tell your boss I said I'm looking forward to a rematch someday."
    When Ash woke up the next morning after he started his Pokémon journey, it took him a moment to realize where he was.

    "That's right; I'm in the Viridian Pokémon Center… I'm a Pokémon Trainer!"

    "One with a penchant for sleeping in." Carmine was sitting at a table to the side of the room, reading a book. "All the other trainers that were staying here last night have already left."

    Ash looked around and, sure enough, there was nothing but a bunch of empty bunk beds and the table Carmine was sitting at. Pikachu was resting on the other side of the table.

    "Why didn't you wake me up?"

    "I thought, if the sounds of everyone else getting up, getting packed and chatting amongst themselves weren't going to wake you up, I wasn't going to be able to. It was pretty loud in here. Besides, I'm just here to keep you out of trouble, if you want to sleep in and fall behind the others then that's your choice."

    Ash jumped up with that last statement. "Oh, no! I can't fall behind Gary." He grabbed his backpack and ran to the bathroom to get changed.

    "Ah, the rivalries of youth. The constant need to best your fellow trainers, especially the ones you know the best. I remember when I was his age, traveling around the Johto region." Carmine spoke to Pikachu, who clearly wasn't listening. "I had a rival. Both in Pokémon battling and in love. I lost in both. But why am I talking to you? You don't care."

    Ash reentered the room, dressed and ready to go.

    "Come on, Pikachu! Let's go!" Ash held out his arm for Pikachu to jump on. He didn't.

    "Why don't you just keep him in his Pokéball?" Carmine asked Ash as he but his book down and stood up.

    "He won't go back in." Ash tried picking Pikachu up but was met with a shock instead.

    "Well, this is going to be a long trip." Carmine picked up his own backpack and put on a black beret.

    "When did you get that?"

    "I stopped by a clothing store this morning and decided to get it. This style is supposed to be popular among veteran Trainers in Unova."

    "Why would you care about fashion trends half-way around the world?"

    "I just thought it looked good on me. Oh, and I saw the Oak girl there, too."

    * * *

    West of Viridian City is Route 22, which leads to the Indigo Plateau, home of the Pokémon League. This route is where Gary was now training. Despite its close proximity to Route 1, Route 22 has a different variety of Pokémon that call it home. Among these are Nidoran, which Gary was now caught two of, one male and one female. Another Pokémon from Route 22 is Mankey, one of which is what Gary currently has his sights on.

    "Squirtle, use Tackle!"

    Squirtle charged up to its opponent, but before its attack could hit, the Mankey countered with a Low Kick, knocking Squirtle off his feet and onto the back of his shell.

    "Don't let it make a fool out of you Squirtle! Use Bubble!"

    Squirtle let out a stream of bubbles from its mouth that his the Mankey square in the face. The force of the attack allowed Squirtle to get back onto its feet and Tackle Mankey. This time the attack hit and Mankey was the one who fell down. Making the most of this opportunity, Squirtle Tackled the Mankey again and this time it was knocked it out cold. Gary threw a Pokéball at the Pig Monkey Pokémon and caught it with ease.

    "Way to go, Squirtle." Gary pet his starter's head as he turned to the Pokéball in his hand. "This Mankey should make a fine addition to our team." Suddenly the Pokéball vanished from his hand. "Wait, what?"

    "Pokémon League rules say that Pokémon Trainers can only have six Pokémon with them at a time." Kat explained. "You already have your Squirtle, Rattata, Pidgey, Spearow and those two Nidoran, so the Mankey was automatically sent away. Most likely back to the Pokémon care facility by the Professor's lab back in Pallet."

    "I already know that."

    "Then what were you confused about?"

    "I just don't know how the transfer was able to happen automatically like that."

    "Each Pokéball contains information about the Pokémon inside and networks with your Pokédex. When the Pokédex registers six Pokémon as already being with you then any more too whatever care facility its set to, where they can be properly cared for by the workers there. That way you, the trainer, can focus on the six you have with you."

    "But how do they get it to work. That kind of teleportation can't be easy."

    Kat just shrugged. "I don't know. I'm a trainer, not a scientist."

    The others had similar reactions to his question.

    * * *

    Red was still sitting in the hospital waiting room; when Doctor Sallow came in again, this time with the girl standing next to her.

    "The doctor says you saved my life. Thank you." The girl gave a slight bow as she spoke.

    "Misty's the one that fished you out of the river, I just helped. It's her you need to thank."

    The girl looked around. "Where is she?"

    "She had to go home, but she gave me her number so that we can call her and let her know you're alright. I'm Red, by the way."

    "My name's Yellow… I think."

    Red looked at her, puzzled.

    "Yellow seems to have lost all memory from before you pulled her out of the river." The doctor explained. "Unfortunately, without knowing who she is for sure, we can't contact her family to pick her up."

    "Well that… doesn't sound good."

    "We can't send her on her own, so if we can't find her family then we're going to have to send Yellow into child services."

    Yellow looked up at Doctor Sallow and spoke. "I want to go with Red."

    Both the doctor and Red were surprised by this statement. The doctor scratched his clean-shaven head as he tried to think of the right way to tell her why that wouldn't work.

    "We can't send you with Red. We need to find someone who knows you."

    "I want to go with Red." Yellow said again. "He saved my life, and he feels…" Yellow trailed off like she couldn't find the right word, "good."

    "This is highly irregular." Doctor Sallow interjected.

    "You're traveling the region, right?" She asked Red.

    "Yes, but how did you know-" Yellow cut him off before he could finish.

    "So if I go with you, then you can help me find my family, wherever they are."

    "That does make sense, I guess."

    Doctor Sallow continued to point out why she couldn't go with Red, but it was no use. Finally he relented and Red and Yellow left the hospital side by side.

    * * *

    After yesterday's storm, Daisy decided that a change in wardrobe was needed if she was to continue her journey. Before, she had not taken into consideration the physical taxation her journey would have on clothing, so she had worn a simple green dress; a dress that had already been ruined by the rain and her fall into the mud puddle yesterday. But now Daisy had more of idea of what she was doing, she had just purchased knew clothes better suited to her journey.

    As she left Viridian to head for Pewter, she wore a blue and black tank top, a red skirt and a white sunhat with pink trim designed after a Premier Ball. And most importantly, a good pair of running shoes that would serve her well. Going around Kanto would require a lot of walking, after all, and a lot of running.

    She approached the edge of the city and the entrance of Route 2.

    "Here we go." She said to herself. "Day 2 of my Pokémon Journey. Let's hope this goes better than yesterday."
    Gary wandered through Viridian Forest, Kat, Mal and Ciel close behind. Ali, Sue and Cleo were taking the car around to Pewter City the long way. As Gary crept through the tall grass of the forest floor trying to sneak up on any wild Pokémon he could find, he was startled by the arrival of a kid in strange attire.

    "You there! Trainer! I challenge you to a Pokémon Battle!" The kid shouted so loud he hurt Gary's ears.

    "You are you?"

    "I am Samurai, of the Viridian Forest!" Sure enough, the kid was wearing what appeared to be a recreated suit of feudal era samurai armor.

    "Who's your shogun?"

    "My what?" 'Samurai' was visibly thrown off by Gary's question.

    "Your shogun. All samurai serve a master known as a shogun. If you're a samurai, then who's your shogun?"

    "I serve no master but the forest!"

    "Well, if you don't serve a shogun then you can't be samurai. A ronin, maybe, but not a samurai."

    "Fine!" The kid clearly just wanted to be battling already. "Then I am Ronin of the Viridian Forest! So, do accept my challenge or not?"

    "Sure. I don't see why not. What are the terms?"

    "A one-on-one duel is all that I ask of you!"

    Both trainers' called out their Pokémon. Gary sent out his Mankey, while 'Ronin' sent out a Scyther. 'Ronin' made the first move.

    "Gary! Gary! He's our man! If he can't do it, no one can!"

    Both Gary and 'Ronin' just stared at the three girls.

    "I thought I told you not to do that." Gary said to them.

    "Yeah, but Mal said we needed to anyway." Was Ciel's response.

    "Mal isn't here, is she?"

    "No."

    "Then don't do the cheer." Gary turned back to his opponent. "Now, where were we?"

    "Scyther! Use Focus Energy!" 'Ronin' shouted at his Pokémon, who drew in power for its next attack.

    "Mankey, Scratch!"

    Mankey clawed at the Scyther until Scyther returned the favor with its Fury Cutter. The bug-type move didn't do very much against the fighting-type Mankey, but the barrage of strikes was able to knock Mankey down. It got up and tried to counter with Low Kick to knock the Scyther of its feet, but Scyther just took to the air with its wings.

    "Now is your chance, Scyther! Quick Attack!"

    Scyther dove down and slammed into Mankey at top speed.

    "Don't just sit there and take it Mankey, use Scratch!"

    Mankey clawed the Scyther's wing before could get back out of range, forcing the Scyther back onto the ground. Mankey then followed that up with a Low Kick and another Scratch, defeating the Scyther.

    "That was a very good battle!"

    "Speak for yourself. That was barely a warmup."

    "Who are you, that you were able to beat me so easily?"

    "The name's Gary Oak, from Pallet Town."

    "From Pallet Town? Then I shall regain my lost honor by defeating all trainers from Pallet Town!"

    "What lost honor? It was just a Pokémon battle."

    'Ronin' stormed off without answering Gary's question. Gary just sighed and moved on.

    * * *

    Daisy was walking through the Viridian Forest when she spotted a Caterpie sleeping on a tree. She thought it looked adorable so she threw a Pokéball at it and caught her first Pokémon. Walking a bit further into the forest she encountered another Caterpie and decided to try out her new Pokémon.

    "Come on out, Caterpie." She sent it out and discovered to her dismay that Caterpie was still sleeping. The wild Caterpie Tackled hers, knocking it over, but not waking it up.

    "Caterpie, wake up!"

    The wild Caterpie Tackled Daisy's again and woke it up this time. Daisy's Caterpie Tackled the wild one and was able to knock it out in one hit.

    "That was a close. I thought for a moment you weren't going to wake up at all."

    Daisy's Caterpie then started shooting its String Shot straight into the air over its head, covering itself in a chrysalis.

    "What are you doing?" Daisy pulled out her Pokédex. "Wait, you're evolving? Already?"

    Just then a boy in samurai armor came out of seemingly nowhere.

    "You! Are you from Pallet Town?"

    "Y-yes…" Daisy wasn't really sure what to make of this strange boy.

    "Then I, Samurai of the Viridian Forest, challenge you to a Pokémon Battle!"

    "A samurai? So do you serve a Shogun then?"

    'Samurai' put his palm to his forehead. What were the odds that two trainers in row would point out that flaw in his self-appointed title?

    "I am Ronin of the Viridian Forest, then!"

    "Okay, 'Ronin'. How is this battle going down?"

    "I see you have a Metapod!" 'Ronin' pointed to the newly evolved Pokémon in front of Daisy. "Then the battle shall be your Metapod against mine!" He called out his own Metapod.

    Metapod cannot move and their only move is Harden, which makes it durable, but is not an actual attack. As such, the battle went on for a very long time.

    * * *

    Red and Yellow entered the Viridian Forest. Red still wasn't really sure about letting Yellow go with him. He looked down at his companion as they walked and she looked back up at him with a huge smile. He just couldn't say no to that. They continued walking along the path leading through it until they came to a fork in the path.

    Red pulled out his map to see which way they needed to go to get to Pewter City. Yellow looked around as he did so and for a moment he thought she saw a flash of movement up in the trees.

    "Did you see that?"

    "See what?"

    "Never mind, it was probably nothing."

    * * *

    Daisy and 'Ronin' were still waiting for something to happen in their battle, when suddenly Daisy's Metapod began to glow brightly. A crack formed along its back and a Butterfree burst out from its pre-evolved form's shell. Time seemed to stand still for Daisy as her majestic Pokémon rose up, covered in the glittering dust. It was a magnificent sight to behold. A wave a purple energy emitted from Butterfree's antennae and sent Metapod flying into 'Ronin', knocking him back into a tree.

    "Fine! I admit defeat!" 'Ronin' got back up and called back his Metapod into its Pokéball, then walked off.

    "You're so cool!" Daisy hugged her new Butterfree. "Catching you was the best thing I've ever done! I can't believe that… wait. Are you already sleeping again?"

    Daisy could not believe it. Her beautiful and powerful Butterfree was apparently narcoleptic.

    "Okay. It looks like catching you may have been a mistake after all. Oh well."

    * * *

    After Red finally picked which way to go, he ran into the kid in samurai armor.

    "You are from Pallet Town, are you not?" The kid asked him.

    "Yes, but how did you know that?"

    "I am Samurai of the Viridian Forest. I challenge you to a one-on-one Pokémon battle!"

    "Okay, you're on." Red pulled out a Pokéball.

    "Go! Heracross!" 'Samurai' sent out his Pokémon.

    "Charmander." Red was rather unenthusiastic with this fight. He was more confused by the kid randomly dressed up as a samurai.

    "Heracross! Use Horn Attack!"

    The blue beetle Pokémon rammed into Charmander with its giant horn.

    "Charmander, use Ember."

    Charmander let out a small puff of fire burned Heracross. Heracross Tackled Charmander, but Charmander just used Ember again a few times and the battle was one.

    "No! I can't believe this! How could I lose three battles in a row?" 'Samurai' was no longer trying to hide his distress like he had after losing to both Gary and Daisy.

    "Hey, don't feel too bad about it. We all run into bad luck sometimes." Red tried to comfort 'Samurai', who looked like he was about to break down crying. "You said three battles, right?"

    "That is correct! I have challenged three trainers from Pallet Town today and lost every battle!"

    "Three trainers from Pallet. That means you have one left. Just do your best and I'm sure you can do it."

    "Do you really think so?"

    "Of course!" Yellow chimed in, in her usually cheery fashion.

    * * *

    A lone Pikachu looked over the trainers below from the treetops. "That's definitely her." She thought to herself.

    "I've found her at last, but what do I do now? Do I contact her? She doesn't seem to know who she is. Can I expect her to know who I am? The boy with her looks like he should be able to take care of her, but what if he comes for her? The boy won't be able to protect her from him. No one can."

    Red and Yellow began to continue on their way again, the samurai boy heading the opposite direction. The Pikachu hopped from one branch to another in pursuit.

    "There's no telling what could happen. I should just follow from a distance. This is for the best."
    Jessie, James and Meowth walked into a dark room. Inside the room was a large empty chair and a Pesian laying besides it. After a moment, a man and woman both walked in from the other side of the room. The man sat in the chair while the woman stood next to it.

    "What was so important that you needed to interrupt my morning work out?" The man grumbled out to the trio. "My Hitmonlee doesn't like it when our sparring matches are interrupted, and neither do I."

    "Wells, ya see, Mr. Giovanni, sir…" The words stumbled out from the incredibly nervous Meowth. "We's tried ta take a bunch a' Pikachu's dat's were in da Viridian City Pokémon Center, but before we could even to da Center, some guy shows up and wiped da floor wit' us."

    "And did this 'guy' have a name?"

    "He said his name was Carmine… something." It was James that spoke now.

    "Carmine Noir?" Giovanni's interested was perked by this revelation.

    "Yes, that was it." Jessie was surprised by her boss' reaction.

    "That is interesting news. I never thought he'd leave his comfortable life in that backwater town of his."

    "You's know's him?"

    "Of course I know Carmine. He could prove a hindrance to our plans. Mallory." He turned to the woman at his side. "Send word, we need to move up the time table for Project Dark."

    "Yes, sir! But, our top scientists are already working as hard as they can."

    "Then they will have to work even harder. Carmine is active again, there are probably others that will try to get in our way and our spies report that the International Police are on their way right now. I want result by the end of the month."

    "What about us?" James asked their leader.

    "You three are to report in with our operatives in Mt. Moon. There are a number of important assets that need to be recovered."

    Ash and Carmine made their way through the Viridian Forest. Their trek through the woods was rather uneventful until they encountered a strange boy in samurai armor.

    "You! You are the last trainer from Pallet Town, are you not?"

    "Last? You mean the others have already made it past here?" Ash was dismayed by this revelation.

    "Yes! I, Samurai of the Viridian Forest have challenged each of the Pallet Town trainers as they passed by here and so far have lost to every one! But not this time! I challenge you to a Pokémon Battle!"

    "The others all beat you. Then this should be easy. I accept your challenge. Pikachu! I choose you!"

    The yellow rodent hopped off of Ash's shoulder. It still didn't like its trainer, but at least it would listen to him now.

    "I made the mistake of not using my strongest Pokémon against the others! But I will not make that mistake again! Come out, Pinsir!"

    The large, brown beetle came out of its Pokéball. It gave Pikachu a menacing look and the battle began. Pinsir opened with a Vice Grip, catching Pikachu between the two large, spiked pincers on the top of its head. Pikachu tried to shock the Pinsir to weaken its grip so that it could get free, but it was no use. The shocks only made the Pinsir squeeze harder. Eventually it became too much and Pikachu fainted.

    "No! Pikachu!" Ash ran to grab his Pokémon.

    "At last!" 'Samurai' jumped up in joy. " I have achieved victory!" He called back his Pinsir and walked off while Ash rushed over to his unconscious Pokémon.

    "You have a Potion, right Carmine?" When Ash didn't get an answer he looked around and couldn't find Carmine anywhere. "Carmine?"

    * * *

    As a plane landed at the Viridian Airport, most of its passengers were looking forward to going home, going on vacation or visiting friends. They were all unaware of the dark dealings going on in the Kanto region, all but one man. The man would tell you his name, but that would be a violation of international law. He went by the code-name of Looker and he was a member of the International Police.

    Looker got off the plane with the other passengers and as he entered the airport terminal he pulled a large, manila envelope from the inside of him light brown trench coat. He pulled a photo out of the envelope and looked around for the man in the photo. He found the red-headed man dressed in black and wearing a hat and sunglasses, sitting at a bench at the other end of the terminal. Looker walked over and sat on the bench, next to him.

    "I want to be the very best, like no one ever was." The man did not turn to Looker as he spoke.

    "To catch them is your real test; to train them is your cause." Looker responded.

    "Are you Agent Looker?" The man turned to him now.

    "Ja, yes. You are my informant, are you not?"

    "You can call me 'Dragon'."

    "Well, Dragon, what news have you for me?"

    "Team Rocket is back. There have been sightings in almost every major city in the region."

    "That, I already know. It is the reason I have returned to this country."

    Dragon looked around. "We'll need to go somewhere more private before I can tell you anymore. You never know when they might be listening."

    "I know of a place."

    * * *

    On the outskirts of Viridian City there was an old run down building with a sign outside saying 'Beladonis Investigations'.

    "It is not much, but it is the International Police safe house." Looker told his informant as they went inside. "The other agents should be arriving here later this week and we can clean it back up. Now what is it that you could not tell me at the airport?"

    "Rumor has it that it was Giovanni that resurrected Team Rocket, but we don't know why yet."

    "I should have known that it would be him."

    "I've heard you were part of the team that took down Team Rocket before."

    "That was one of my first assignments." Looker had an almost wistful tone to his voice as he recalled his past. "I was placed under the supervision of our team leader, Agent Beladonis. I told him that letting Giovanni go was a mistake, but he would not listen to the words of a rookie."

    "Why did they let him go?"

    "It was a part of the deal. He and the other members that went along with him were let free with all charges dropped in return for the names of all other members including their leader. We all thought that would be the end Team Rocket, but we were just being naïve. In our line of work, that can cost lives."

    * * *

    After looking around for a while, Ash finally managed to find Carmine.

    "Where were you?" Ash asked him, furiously.

    "Sorry. I had some business to attend to, if you know what I mean. How'd your battle go?"

    "How do you think?" Ash held out his unconscious Pikachu.

    "That badly, huh? Well, it's nothing a Revive shouldn't be able to fix." He pulled a small, yellow gem out of his bag and placed it on Pikachu's head. The gem glowed brightly and dissolved while Pikachu slowly woke up.

    "It sounds like you might need to do some more training." Carmine paused for a moment. "Or any training for that matter. This was your first actual battle wasn't it?"

    "Yeah, so what?"

    "Kid, training is important. You won't get far if you don't train."

    "But the longer I wait, the further ahead the other get."

    "This isn't a race. You're all going to enter into the Pokémon League. When that happens it will be a matter of who worked the hardest, not who got there the fastest."

    "But can't I train later, after I'm ready to enter the Pokémon League, but before the tournament starts?"

    "You could. But you need Gym Badges if you want to get into the Pokémon League and they don't just hand those out. You need to be able to win, and not just against Gym Leaders. There will other trainers challenging you, or even that you challenge, and you're going to want to win. There are also dangerous people out there like Team Rocket that you will need to defend yourself and others from."

    "Team Rocket? But didn't the police stop them years ago?"

    "Never mind that right now. We're training, whether you want to or not."
    Gary walked into the Pewter City Gym. The inside of the building was lined with rocks and the Gym Leader stood at the opposite end of the main hall. He was a young man with dark brown hair and a seemingly permanent squint.

    "I challenge you to a Gym Battle!" Gary pointed his finger dramatically at the Gym Leader.

    "I accept your challenge." The Gym Leader spoke. "I'm Brock, the Pewter City Gym Leader. My rock-hard willpower is evident even in my Pokémon. That's right; I specialize in the Rock-type. This will be a one-on-one match, show me your best!"

    "Rock type, huh? This should be easy then."

    Gary sent out his Squirtle and Brock sent out a Geodude, then the battle began. Gary opened by having Squirtle use Bubble while Brock's Geodude used Harden to strengthen its defense. Geodude then used Tackle on Squirtle which knocked him into a rock. Squirtle returned the favor with its own Tackle, which barely affected the Rock Pokémon. Geodude Tackled Squirtle again, slamming him into the ground.

    "Squirtle!" Gary yelled to his Pokémon. "It's time for your new move!"

    Squirtle nodded at his Trainer and faced the opposing Geodude. It shot a stream of water from its mouth with Water Gun. The Geodude was severely affected by the attack and collapsed to the ground.

    "Good job." Brock said as he walked over to Gary. "As proof of your victory against me, I give you the Boulder Badge." He handed the small rock-shaped badge to Gary.

    "Gary! Gary! He's our man! If he can't do it no one can!"

    Gary ignored his cheerleaders as he took the Boulder Badge and held it up to the light flowing in from the windows just below the ceiling.

    "One down, seven to go."

    * * *

    Ash was sprawled out on the ground with his Pikachu on one side and his Spearow on the other. They had been training almost non-stop since Ash's battle with 'Samurai' and they had finally been given a break for a few minutes.

    "I never knew… that training… would be so… hard." Ash said between deep breaths.

    "What, did you think it would be easy?"Said Carmine, who was sitting on a nearby rock.

    "No... But I didn't... think it would be... so involving."

    "The best way to bond with your Pokémon is to experience part of what they go through. By being more directly involved with their fights when training, you can get a better idea of their abilities and they learn to respect you more."

    "Is that true?" Ash asked his Pokémon.

    "Pika."

    "Spear."

    Both Pokémon seemed to nod back.

    "Its also good to focus on their individual strengths. So far, it looks like your Pikachu is good all around, while your Spearow has a focus on physical strength. Keep that in mind."

    * * *

    Daisy decided to visit the Pewter City Museum before heading off to the Gym. She was admiring the fossilized remains of several ancient Pokémon when a strange man in a white coat and glasses.

    "Excuse me, miss. You wouldn't happen to be a Pokémon Trainer, would you?"

    "I am." Daisy wasn't sure what to make of the man.

    "Great. Could I ask a favor of you?"

    "Maybe…"

    "I have recently found a sample of Old Amber that seems to contain trace amounts of DNA from an ancient Pokémon. We don't have the equipment to analyze it properly here, so I was wondering if you could take it to a colleague of mine at Cinnabar Laboratories on Cinnabar Island. I'd do it myself but I'm too busy here at the museum. I tried mailing it, but the postal service apparently doesn't allow the transportation of this sort of thing for some reason."

    "I'll probably be heading there eventually. I guess I can take it."

    "Oh, great! Thank you so much." He handed her a small box. "This is the box I tried mailing it in. The Amber is still inside. My associate's name is Doctor Crichton. It's written on the address label in case you forget. Oh, and my name's Seymour, by the way." He then nodded and walked away, back to his work.

    "What did I just get myself into?" Daisy muttered to herself, looking at the box in her hand and putting it in her bag.

    * * *

    After resting for a while, Ash was about to resume his training with Carmine when they both heard some rustling in the nearby bushes. The both looked over to it just in time to see 'Samurai' walk out from them.

    "What are you still doing here?" Ash and 'Samurai' both asked each other at the same time.

    "I am wandering the forest looking for more trainers to challenge!" 'Samurai' answered.

    "Then how about a rematch?"

    "I fail to see the point in fighting someone I already know I can beat!"

    "I've been training hard since then. I can win this time."

    "Fine then! With that kind of arrogance you deserve to be beaten again!"

    "Oh, we'll see who's being arrogant."

    'Samurai' sent out his Pinsir again, while Ash sent out his Spearow this time. Pinsir opened with Vice Grip like last time, but Spearow was able to dodge the attack easily by flying upwards. It then looped around Pinsir and hit it from behind with Peck.

    Pinsir tried to catch Spearow with Vice Grip again, but again Spearow dodged and Pecked him from behind again. At this point 'Samurai' decided that it was time to change tactics and ordered his Pinsir to use Focus Energy, drawing in power for its next attack. As soon as Spearow came in range to try and Peck again, Pinsir grabbed Spearow with its arms and used Seismic Toss, throwing Spearow into the ground.

    Spearow was barely able to get back up again. It managed to dodge another Vice Grip and fly back around Pinsir again. This time instead of Peck it used Fury Attack, hitting the Pinsir multiple times in quick succession. Pinsir was knocked down by the attack and did not get back up again.

    "Yes! I won!" Ash jumped for joy at his victory, before using a Potion on Spearow.

    "Fine, then! I admit defeat! It would appear that I was the arrogant one after all!" 'Samurai took of his helmet and held it in front of himself. "Perhaps dressing up as a samurai was not my key to victory after all." He was no longer shouting everything he said. "Know this, trainer from Pallet Town: the next time we meet I shall defeat you again."

    "I never introduced myself, did I?" Ash realized. "My name is Ash Ketchum, and I will become a Pokémon Master." He held out his hand and 'Samurai' shook it.

    "I am Rick Abner, Bug-type master in training."

    As Rick walked off, Ash noticed that Spearow was beginning to glow. Before his eyes the small bird grew until it was slightly larger than him.

    "What just happened?" Ash asked aloud in amazement.

    "That? That was evolution. You did go to school, right?" Carmine answered him.

    "Yeah, of course." Ash tried to pretend he already realized that. "I've just never seen it in person."

    "I'm actually kind of impressed. Fearow are normally just less than four feet tall, but this one looks more around five feet. I looked a bit bigger than the other Spearow in its flock, but not nearly this impressive."

    * * *

    Red and Yellow asked around Pewter City to see if anyone knew who Yellow was, but no one recognized her. So, Red was now going to challenge the Gym. He entered the building with Yellow following him so she could watch his battle.

    "Are you the Gym Leader?" Red asked to the man standing at the end of the rocky battle hall.

    "That's right, I'm Brock, the Pewter City Gym Leader. I specialize in the Rock-type."

    Red looked down at the Pokéball in his hand. Charmander was a Fire-type, and Fire was weak to Rock. He decided to risk the type weakness.

    "I challenge you to a Gym Battle!"

    "Challenge accepted. This will be a one-on-one match." Brock sent out a Geodude and Red sent out his Charmander.

    Charmander took one look at Geodude and turned back to Red with a worried expression.

    "I have a plan, Charmander." Red assured his Pokémon. "Start off with Growl."

    The Charmander opened his mouth wide and let out a high pitched Growl that intimidated the Geodude so that it would not hit as hard. Geodude used Defense Curl to make itself more resistant to damage. Charmander tried hitting it with his Scratch, but the attack did almost nothing.

    Geodude rammed into Charmander with a Tackle and knocked him back a few inches. Charmander let out another Growl before the Geodude Tackled him again, but was still knocked to the ground. Charmander got back up, but was hit by another Tackle.

    Red checked his Pokédex, desperate to find anything Charmander could do against the Rock Pokémon. Looking through Charmander's attacks, he spotted one he didn't expect.

    "Charmander!" He shouted. "Use Metal Claw!"

    Charmander stood back up again and closed its eyes in concentration. Geodude was about to attack, but stopped when it noticed that Charmander's right paw was beginning to glow a bright silver color. Charmander opened its eyes and charged at the stunned Geodude, a fierce determination in its eyes. Charmander pulled its arm up and struck its opponent with an uppercut of metal. Before Geodude had time to react, Charmander struck again, this time striking downward to knock Geodude into the ground.

    Geodude let out a faint "Dude…" as it tried to get back up again, but failed.

    "Geodude is unable to battle. " Brock said. "The match is yours."

    Brock walked over to Red and handed him a Badge.

    "That was a very impressive fight. Normally a Charmander wouldn't stand a chance against my Geodude, but you proved your Pokémon's power, as well as your own strength as a trainer. You've definitely earned this Boulder Badge."

    "Thanks." Red took the Boulder Badge from him and pinned it to the inside of his jacket. "I suppose I should probably catch some more Pokémon though. I can't rely on that kind of luck to get me though every battle."

    "That would be a good thing to do. You're probably headed off to Cerulean, next and their Gym has a Water-type specialty. You may have lucked out this time with Metal Claw, but I doubt that Charmander of yours can learn any Grass or Electric type moves."
    Daisy walked up to the entrance to the Pewter City Gym. This was it, her first Gym Battle. She opened the large double doors and walked into the Gym. She approached the man standing at the opposite end of the main room, who she assumed was the Gym Leader.

    "I challenge you to a Gym Battle!"

    "I accept your challenge, Daisy Oak of Pallet Town."

    "How do you my name?" Daisy asked with great surprise.

    "As a Gym Leader, I have access to the records of all officially licensed Pokémon Trainers in the Indigo League. I go through those records regularly to see who I'm going to be up against soon and which of my teams to have ready."

    "What do you mean by 'which teams'?"

    "The role of a Gym Leader is to challenge Pokémon Trainers and make sure that they are ready for the Pokémon League. Trainers of all skill levels can challenge any of us they choose, so we each have multiple teams set up to use based off of how many Gym Badges you've already earned."

    "Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense. Now are we going to battle now or what?"

    "Of course. I am Brock the Viridian City Gym Leader and Rock-type specialist. Since you don't have any badges yet this will be a one-on-one battle."

    After Brock finished talking, he sent out his Geodude. Daisy called out her Bulbasaur and the battle commenced.

    "Open with Leach Seed!" Daisy shouted to her Bulbasaur. The green Pokémon shot out a seed from the bulb on its back that hit the Geodude while it used Defense Curl. Small vines grew out from the seed when it hit, which slowly drained Geodude's energy and transferred it to Bulbasaur. Geodude tried to pull the vines out, but was unable to get a hold of them, so it Tackled Bulbasaur was able to brace itself for the hit and countered with a Vine Whip attack. The vines hit Geodude hard and it backed off wearily. Geodude tried to flank Bulbasaur and attack it from behind, but to no use. The vines growing out from Bulbasaur's back where able to hit Geodude from any direction. After several hits Brock's Pokémon was knocked unconscious. The Leach Seed fell off as it hit the ground.

    "Good job." Brock said as he walked over to Daisy. "Nice use of Leach Seed to wear the opponent down quickly. Here's your Boulder Badge. You've earned it."

    Brock held out the small, grey Badge to Daisy, who took it gratefully and pinned it to her bag's arm strap.

    * * *

    Ash took a big a breath and stretched as he took his first steps out of Viridian Forest. It felt like so long ago since he left home, even though it was only a few days ago. Carmine walked behind him, squinting at the sudden increase of light from no longer having the tree tops clocking it out. The two made their way to Pewter City, were Ash healed his Pokémon at the Pokémon Center and then immediately went straight to the Gym.

    He challenged Brock with his Pikachu and learned quickly learned how much of a mistake that was. Pikachu was quickly beaten by the Geodude without being able to harm Geodude in the slightest. After the loss and another trip to the Pokémon Center, Carmine took the aspiring trainer to the edge of town.

    "You have an extreme disadvantage." Carmine said to Ash. "Geodude has high defense and resists Normal and Flying-type moves and is outright immune to Electric attacks. Fortunately for you I have a solution."

    "What's that?"

    "Sneasel!"

    The small black Pokémon sped out of Carmine's Pokéball and chopped a large rock in half with a single blow.

    "Brick Break is a powerful Fighting-type move. If your Pikachu can learn it, taking down Brock should be a piece of cake."

    And so, Carmine got to work trying to teach Pikachu how to use Brick Break. He had Pikachu chop a rock like his Sneasel had done, to no avail. After trying to break the rock for nearly an hour, Pikachu began letting out Thundershocks in frustration. One bolt of electricity shot past Ash and Carmine and they heard a yell behind them.

    "My bike!" The red-headed girl looked furious as she held up the fried remains of bicycle. "You're paying for this!"

    "What?"

    "That's your Pikachu that destroyed my bike isn't it? Your Pokémon means your responsibility. You owe me a new bike!"

    "But I can't-" Ash started to say.

    "You can and you will!" Misty cut him off. "This is non-negotiable."

    While Ash and Misty continued arguing about the destroyed bicycle, Carmine stared off into space. Then he spoke.

    "Wait a minute!" Ash and Misty both stopped to look at him. "I have an idea!"

    "About my bike?"

    "What? No, not about that."

    * * *

    As Red and Yellow left Pewter City and headed out to Route 3, they passed by an old man in a red knit cap selling souvenir rocks by the side of the road.

    "Ooh, can we get one?" Yellow grabbed on to Red's arm and looked up to him with her eyes wide.

    "They're just rocks." He said back to her, bluntly.

    "There not just any rocks!" The salesman argued. "These are the finest rocks that the Kanto region was to offer, no, that the world has to offer."

    "They're still just rocks."

    "But have you ever seen a rock that looks like this!" The salesman held out a perfectly normal looking rock.

    "Wow!" Yellow gazed in awe upon the utterly plain looking stone.

    "That looks just like any other rock."

    "It does?" Yellow asked in confusion.

    "Of course it does. Do you not know what rocks look like?"

    "How should I know?"

    Red and Yellow both looked at each other in an awkward silence for a moment.

    "I'm sorry. That was rude of me."

    "What do mean?" The salesman asked. "How would you not know if you've seen a rock before?"

    "I don't remember anything." Yellow answered. "The doctor said I have amnosia."

    "Amnesia." Red corrected her. "We're trying to find anyone who knows who she is."

    "That sounds serious." The salesman's voice changed from a man trying to sell useless junk to a man that was thinking of important matters. "So you don't even remember your family? Your parents?"

    "Nope, not at all."

    Yellow didn't seem as shaken up about it as she probably should, but she was only a child. The true significance of her current condition was lost on her. It was not lost on the salesman, however, who sat quietly in deep thought for a moment before handing the rock he was holding to Yellow.

    "Take it. It's on the house. Take anything here you want. After all, as your friend here said, they're just rocks." The man stood up. "I… I have something that I need to do."

    He almost seemed to be crying as he began walking back to Pewter City.

    "What do you think that was about?" Yellow asked Red.

    "I don't know, but it seemed important."

    "Well, I hope whatever he needs to do works out."

    "Me too."

    * * *

    "Back so soon?" Brock wasn't expecting the young trainer to be ready for a rematch less than a day after his defeat. He then turned to the girl beside him. "And Misty? What are you doing here?"

    "The idiot owes me a new bike." Misty mumbled while trying to disinterestedly look away.

    "I know I can beat you this time!" Ash yelled, turning Brock's attention back to him.

    "Okay, I guess. Let's see what you've got this time."

    Brock sent out his Geodude again and Ash's Pikachu leapt off of his shoulder onto the battlefield.

    "Pikachu again? Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

    "Definitely!"

    "Alright." Brock shrugged. "Then let the battle begin."

    Geodude opened with Defense Curl, as usual, while Pikachu ran up to it at top speed.

    "Here we go, Pikachu! Brick Break!"

    Pikachu jumped up and swung its tail down, pulling the full force of his strength and momentum into a single blow to Geodude's head. In one blow the rock Pokémon was defeated.

    "Well… that was unexpected." Brock was nearly at a loss for words as he pulled out a Boulder Badge to give to Ash. "Sometimes I wish I could be a trainer like you, being able to better myself and my Pokémon. Not just being a challenge for other trainers to overcome." He hadn't meant to complain about his life like that, but the words slipped his mouth.

    "Then maybe you should." Everyone turned around to see the old man that had just walked into the Gym. "Maybe it's time you get to be your own man."

    "Who are you?" Brock asked the strange old man.

    The man replied by taking off the cap he was wearing that obscured the top half of his face.

    "Has it really been so long that you don't recognize me?"

    "Dad?"
    Looker sat at his desk reading case reports on the information his team had gathered so far. It wasn’t much. As he looked through the reports, two people walked into the room, Dragon and a blonde girl that appeared to be somewhere in her mid-to-late teens. Looker peered up at them and put the reports down.

    “I believe that I know where they are going to strike next.”

    “And where would that be?” Asked Dragon, who pulled up a chair and sat down across from Looker.

    “Resent geological surveys of Mount Moon have shown a large amount of rare fossils, minerals and other highly valuable resources that have until now remained completely unnoticed. I believe that they will try to obtain these resources for themselves.”

    “What makes you think that?”

    “When I met Giovanni briefly during our investigation of the first Team Rocket, I noticed that he does not seem to hold any value in gold. Despite it being the foundation of our global economy, he seems to feel that it will no longer hold any value in the future. As such, it is my belief that he will want to maintain Team Rocket’s finances through other assets.”

    “Then what do you want us to do?” Asked the girl, who was still standing in the door way.

    “I’m glad you asked that, Agent 009. The three of us are going to go to Mount Moon and confront any Team Rocket operatives in the area.”

    * * *

    Ash, Misty, Brock and Brock’s father sat around the dining room table in Brock’s house. Brock’s father, Flint, explained to his son the reason for his absence. Two years ago, after Brock had passed the Gym Leader exam so that he could fill in for Flint when he was gone, Flint decided to take a short break to challenge the Pokémon League himself. He lost in the preliminary rounds and became so ashamed of his defeat that he couldn’t bear to show himself to his family again. And so, he opened up his souvenir rock stand and had been running that ever since.

    “So what made you finally decide to come back?” Brock asked his father.

    “Earlier today I met a girl with no memory of her past. She couldn’t even remember her own family. It made me realize what I must be putting you and your brothers and sisters through. Everyone deserves a father that is there for them, but I’ve been denying that right to all of you for my own selfish ego.”

    Ash wasn’t quite sure why they were here for conversation. It seemed a little too personal to have guests over for. Brock seemed to know Misty, at least, but that didn’t explain why Brock invited Ash and Carmine. For that matter, where was Carmine?

    “So tell me Brock, are you willing to give me a second chance to be your father?”

    Brock took a moment to answer him.

    “I think I can. But I’m not the only one you need to ask.”

    “I know. But, where are your brothers and sisters?”

    “There all at school right now.” Brock looked up at the clock. “Although it’s about time to pick them up. You can reintroduce yourself to them there.”

    * * *

    The trio of Jessie, James and Meowth arrived at Mount Moon and were greeted by two other Team Rocket Agents, who were both wearing customized uniforms, a sign of high ranking agents.

    “You must be J Squad. We heard you would be meeting up with us.” One of the agents said; a large, heavily tanned man with spiky blonde hair. His uniform was light grey and lacked sleeves. He was also wearing sunglasses even though they were in a cave.

    “Which one of you is the squad leader?” He looked back and forth between Jessie and James as he asked.

    “I’m da top cat here!” Meowth said.

    “That is interesting.” The other man spoke. He had light grey hair and his uniform was the same shade of grey as the first ones, but with short sleeves and a dark blue shirt underneath. “We’ve heard rumors of a squad led by a talking Pokémon, but we never thought they were true.”

    “I’m Attila. My partner over hear is Hun.” Said the blonde man.

    “So what are we doin’ here anyways.” Meowth asked Attila.

    “Legend has it that meteor crashed into this mountain hundreds of years ago and that it has special evolution-inducing properties. Your assignment is to find and retrieve that meteor at any cost.”

    “If you run into trouble then call it in we’ll be nearby searching for rare fossils.” Hun added.

    “Agent Masque is also stationed here.” Spoke Attila. “Ah, here she comes now.”

    Agent Masque walked over to the other Team Rocket members. She wasn’t particularly tall, with a slender frame and reddish brown hair, parted on the right. The left half of her face was covered by half of an opera mask. Jessie, James and Meowth all had the feeling there was something distinctly wrong about her.

    “What are you all waiting for?” Her voice was almost a monotone. “Get to work.”

    * * *

    Daisy walked slowly along one of the tunnels running through Mount Moon. Going alone through a dark tunnel was definitely not her best idea. She was cold, and only had a flashlight to light her way. After a while she was finally able to get used to it.

    After a while she turned a corner and caught a glimpse of pink for a second before whatever it was moved out of view. She tried to catch up to it, but a sudden earthquake rocked the tunnel and the ground gave out underneath her. She slid down a rocky slope at least twenty feet, leting out a scream of pain as hit the ground.

    “Not to self: Never explore a cave without pants.”

    Her legs were covered scratches from the fall. She tried to stand up but her left leg gave out under her and she screamed again.

    “Not good.” She climbed up and sat on a rock. “Although I guess I should try looking on the bright side, at least all those books I read about the medicinal uses of Grass-type Pokémon are about to come in handy.”

    Daisy was trying not to give into despair from her current situation, but it was hard. She pulled out one of her Pokéballs and called out Bulbasaur from it.

    “Okay, Bulbasaur, I need you to listen very closely and do exactly what I tell you. I need you to use Sleep Powder on the cuts in my legs. It’s going to sting like crazy at first, so I might scream, but don’t stop. The powder will stop the injuries from getting infected and after a few seconds will numb the pain. After that I’ll need you to form a cast around my left leg with your vines. They’ll need to be tight, but if their too tight they could cut of the circulation.”

    Bulbasaur followed her instructions and treated her injuries. After the make-shift cast was formed, Daisy tried to stand up again, Bulbasaur used its vines to help keep her upright. They began walking around to see if they could find the way out, but found something else instead.

    “Clefairy?” The small, pink Pokémon looked up curiously at Daisy and then down to her leg. It reached out and touched her leg with its fingertip. “Clefairy.” A pulse of white light radiated from its finger and spread around Daisy’s leg. Daisy could feel the healing energy of Healing Pulse fixing her leg.

    “Thank you.”

    “Clefairy.”

    With a sense of urgency, the Clefairy gestured for Daisy to follow it. Daisy recalled Bulbasaur into its Pokéball and walked after it. The Clefairy took her to a large opening in the cave where what looked like a giant meteor was resting. A large whole had been blown out of the cave ceiling up above. A blue haired man, and red haired woman and a Meowth were trying to dislodge the meteor.

    Clefairy launched an attack at the three, drawing their attention.

    “Who are you?” The man asked.

    “It doesn’t matter,” said the woman, “She’s not stopping us.”

    The Team Rocket trio went through their motto and called out their Ekans and Koffing. Daisy fought them off using her Bulbasaur and Butterfree, with the assistance of Clefairy.

    “It looks like we’ll need to make a strategic retreat.” Jessie said when their Pokémon were defeated.

    “But shouldn’t we call in the others?” Asked James.

    “And let them knows we gots beaten by a twerp like this? No way.” Meowth argued. “We’ll just say we never found it.”

    The three ran off, leaving the meteor behind. A group of Clefairy entered the cave from the other side and, seeing that Team Rocket was gone, began to dance in a circle around the meteor. The Clefairy that lead Daisy here gestured for her to join them. She tried to mimic the Clefairys’ movements as best as she could. After their dance was done all of the Clefairy began to glow and they evolved. The one that had brought Daisy here walked off and came back carrying an egg, which it handed to Daisy.

    “Are you giving this to me?”

    “Clefable.” The Pokémon nodded.

    After Daisy took the egg from the Clefable, it lifted its fingers up, which began to glow. Daisy felt herself being lifted up off of the ground and out through the hole in the ceiling. She was let down gently on the soft grass outside the tunnels.

    “I don’t know what just happened.” Daisy said to herself. “But I do know that I’m never going back into a cave again as long as it can be avoided.”

    * * *

    Inside the Pokémon Center just outside the Pewter side entrance to the tunnels through Mount Moon, Red was getting his Pokémon healed. After the nurse handed them back to him he turned around to see Yellow carrying a large orange fish Pokémon, almost the size of her.

    “What-” He started to ask.

    “I bought a fish!” She said, as enthusiastic as ever. “The man over there sold to me for 500 Pokédollars.”

    “Where did you get 500 Pokédollars?”

    “The rock salesman said I could take whatever I wanted from his stand, and it didn’t look like he was going to come back for it.”

    Red put his hand up to his forehead.

    “In the future, don’t take someone’s money unless they directly give it to you. And what are you going to do with that Magikarp, anyway. You’re not a trainer, so you can’t technically have your own Pokémon.”

    “I can’t?” Yellow thought for a moment. “Well, then how about you catch it and I can hold on to it until I can have my own Pokémon.”

    “I suppose that could work. You really need to think these things through better, though.”

    Red pulled out an empty Pokéball from his bag and bumped it against the Magikarp. A red light poured out from it and sucked the Pokémon inside. The Pokéball shook a bit in Red’s hand and then the button on the front glowed red for a second and faded out. With the Magikarp successfully caught, he handed the Pokéball to Yellow.

    “Wow! That was so cool! You need to teach me how to do that!” She looked to the Pokéball in her hands. “I’m going to call you Maggie. Maggie the Magikarp.”
    After the tearful reunion between Flint and his children, it was decided that Flint would resume his old position as the Pewter City Gym Leader while Brock would be allowed to go on his own Pokémon Journey. Or rather, to go on Ash’s journey.

    Brock wasn’t really interested in fighting Gyms or entering the Pokémon League. He just wanted to explore meet new Pokémon. As such, he decided that going with Ash’s group would fit better for him than going out on his own. Ash would have objected, but at this point he figured that people were just going to join up with him no matter what he said and just accepted it.

    And so, Ash, Carmine, Misty and Brock set out on their way to Cerulean City, where Ash’s next gym battle awaited.

    * * *

    Red and Yellow made their way through the tunnels of Mount Moon until they began to get tired. Red checked his watch and saw that it was getting late, so he decided they should make camp for the night.

    “In a cave?” Yellow questioned this decision.

    “Why not? It’s not like we can do anything else right now.” Red pulled out a sleeping bag from his backpack.

    “Wait… How did you have that thing in your backpack?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “It’s clearly too big to have fit in your bag.”

    “Oh yeah, right. It uses a similar technology as Pokéballs, using matter-to-energy transference to store objects in containers smaller than themselves.”

    “What kind of energy?”

    “I don’t know, it’s just energy.”

    “There’s no such thing as ‘just energy’.”

    “You don’t know what rocks look like, but you know about energy?” Red looked at the girl like he didn’t know what to make of her, which he didn’t.

    “I don’t know why I know that either.” Yellow shrugged.

    “Well, hopefully it’s a sign that you’re getting your memory back. I’ve heard the term ‘Pokénergy’ used for the Pokéball energy stuff, but I pretty sure that’s just slang I don’t know the proper term for it.” He finally put the sleeping bag in the ground and laid it out. “I’ve only got the one sleeping bag, so I’ll let you use it.”

    * * *

    Ash’s group was able to reach the foot of Mount Moon without any trouble along the way.

    “Do we have to go through those tunnels?” Misty wined.

    “The tunnels are the best way to get past the mountain,” explained Brock, “and we can go up against the wild Pokémon along the way.”

    “Or we could just walk along the road.” Carmine pointed out. “It it’s faster, easier and we don’t have to wander around in the dark. I don’t really care much, either way. I’m just supposed to make sure that the kid here doesn’t get into trouble.”

    “Don’t call me a kid!” Ash yelled angrily.

    “I’m almost three times as old as you and I’ve known your parents since long before you were born. You’ll always be a kid to me. Now which way are we going?”

    Ash looked up at the sky and saw that it was getting dark out. “I guess we’ll stay at that Pokémon Center over there and decide in the morning.”

    “Way to be non-committal. You remind me so much of your dad that it’s not even funny.”

    * * *

    Red lay awake on the cold cave ground. He couldn’t quite fall asleep. In his mind he was going over all that had happened since he began his journey. He was eventually pulled from his thoughts by the feeling of something crawling over his leg.

    Red pulled out his flashlight and saw an orange insect Pokémon with mushrooms sprouting out its back crawling over his legs.

    “Well.” Red whispered to himself. “Not going to pass this opportunity up.”

    He pulled an empty Pokéball out of his backpack and tossed it lightly at the Pokémon, which was sucked into it. The ball rattled around a bit and the button flashed red. Red pulled out his Pokédex to check what he caught.

    “Let’s see… it’s a Paras, male, Grass and Bug-type, with the Dry Skin ability. That’s lucky. He should be really good against the Cerulean Gym. Wait a minute, wasn’t that Misty’s Gym?” He reached around in his pockets until he pulled out her card. “Yes, it is. That should be interesting. Wait a minute… I got so caught up in things that I forgot to call her and let her know about Yellow. I guess I know what I’ll be doing when we reach the city.”

    * * *

    The girls traveling with Gary, or his ‘cheerleaders’ as he had taken to calling them in his head, had insisted that they drive past Mount Moon rather than exploring it. Gary was disappointed that he didn’t get to see what kinds of Pokémon where there that he could add to his team, but at least there was one good thing to come from it. They managed to reach Cerulean long before Gary was expecting.

    He walked into Cerulean City’s Gym with his cheerleaders following him. The interior was very different than Pewter’s had been. The main hall consisted primarily of a large swimming pool as the battlefield with a spot on each side for the trainers to command their Pokémon from. To each side of the room was a large set of bleachers.

    “I used to train here,” said Sue, “for swimming, that is. I’m not really in to Pokémon.”

    “So do you know the Gym Leader then?” Gary asked her, mildly intrigued.

    “Yes. Well, three of them anyway.”

    “Three of them? There’s more than one?”

    “Cerulean has four Gym Leaders, known as the Sensational Sisters. They rotate through their duties and you only need to battle one to earn the badge. I never really got to know the youngest of them, but I’m good friends with the other three.”

    “That is interesting.”

    Before their conversation could continue, a blue haired girl poked her head out from the water in the pool.

    “Hey, Sue! Is that you?” She asked. “It’s been too long. How have you been?”

    “Hi, Violet! I’ve been good. Right now I’m helping this kid enter the Pokémon League.”

    Violet turned her attention to Gary.

    “So, do you want a Cascade Badge then?” She held out a water drop shaped badge. “Here you go.”

    “What? You can’t just give that to me. I need to fight you for it.”

    “Oh, fine, if you want to be that way.” Violet made no attempt to hide her disappointment as she pushed off the side of the pool and swam a back-stroke to the other side. She flipped up out of the pool with expert skill.

    “How many badges do have already?” She shouted back to Gary.

    “One, about to be two.”

    “Well, at least this will be over fast.” She mumbled to herself as she pulled out a Pokéball from seemingly nowhere “Then this will be a one-on-one battle!”

    “Where did that Pokéball come from?”

    “That is the most closely guarded secret of swimmers everywhere.” Sue answered Gary’s question, though it wasn’t really an answer.

    Violet tossed the Pokéball over the pool and a Seel came out from it. Gary sent out his Squirtle in response. Both Pokémon dove into the water and swam around waiting for their orders.

    “Seel!” Violet called out. “Use Headbutt!”

    The sea lion Pokémon swam aver and rammed into Squirtle headfirst. Squirtle was knocked back into the side of the pool, but was able to push itself off and use it to add more momentum into its own Tackle attack.

    This was Gary’s first underwater battle, but he felt like he was getting the hang of it. He ordered Squirtle to follow up with another Tackle. Violet had Seel retaliate with its Icy Wind attack, freezing the surface of the water and making it harder for Squirtle to maneuver while Seel was still right at home in the icy water. Squirtle tried to catch up to Seel for another Tackle, but Seel was able to outmaneuver Squirtle and went in for another Headbutt. That proved to be a mistake, however and as soon as the move hit, Squirtle was able to Tackle the Seel into a patch of ice. Seel was knocked out by the impact, meaning that Gary had won the battle.

    Violet walked around the pool and handed Gary the badge she tried to give him earlier.

    “Here you go, the Cascade Badge.” She then turned to the girls. “Nice cheer.”

    “Thank you,” responded Mal, “it’s nice to know someone likes it.” She glared at Gary.
     
    #1 BZRich64, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017 at 10:03 AM
  2. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Camper
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    “So, which way are we going?” Carmine looked down at Ash.

    Ash looked back and forth between the entrance to Mount Moon’s tunnel system and the road leading around the mountain while looking contemplative.

    “I think…” The others stared at him, waiting for his answer. “We’ll go through the tunnels.”

    “No…” Misty moaned.

    “You don’t have to go with us.” Brock pointed out to her.

    “And let this kid ditch me before he pays me back for my bike? No way.”

    “Why does everyone keep calling me a kid?” Ash asked. “I’m almost eleven and I have a Pokémon Trainer’s License. I am an adult.”

    “Not really.” Carmine argued. “You may have a lot of the privileges of being an adult, but you’re still the youngest here and you still tend to act like a child.”

    “I do not.”

    “Says the boy who’s basically having a tantrum.”

    “Whatever.” Ash said indignantly as he turned and started walking for the tunnel. “I’m going. Anyone who’s coming with me should just follow quietly.”

    * * *

    After Seymour had asked Daisy to deliver to deliver the Old Amber to Cinnabar Labs, he had been assigned to find some new fossils at Mount Moon for the Pewter Museum of Science’s ancient Pokémon exhibit. He managed to excavate a large number of fossils from various prehistoric Pokémon that were native to the area millions of years ago and was just getting ready to leave.

    “Where do you think you’re going?” Seymour turned around to see two men in grey Team Rocket uniforms.

    “I’m heading back to the Pewter Museum. Why do want to know? Who are you, anyway?”

    “My name is Hun, and my friend here is Attila.” Hun spoke rather nonchalantly.

    “You weren’t planning one taking those fossils with you, were you?” Asked Attila.

    “Yes, of course I was.”

    “We’ll I’m afraid that’s too bad.” Hun almost seemed sorry for Seymour, but it was clearly insincere.

    “We’ll be taking those off your hands for you.” Attila on the other hand, made such attempt at hiding his pleasure of taunting Seymour.

    * * *

    Ash felt surprisingly at ease in the tunnels of Mount Moon, and made his way through them without any trouble at first. After some time, a small Pokémon dug out from the side of the tunnel, right in front of Ash.

    “That’s a Sandshrew. They’re pretty common in the area.” Brock pointed out.

    “I’m going to catch it.” Ash turned his hat around on his head and stretched out his arm. “Pikachu! Brick Break!”

    Pikachu ran along Ash’s outstretched arm, jumped, and swatted the Sandshrew with its tail. Before the Sandshrew had time to react and attack back, Ash threw a Pokéball at it and the Pokémon was caught. Ash picked up the Pokéball as Pikachu leapt back onto his shoulder and held his new Pokémon out to show the others.

    “Say hello to the newest member of my team.”

    “Hello.” Carmine said, sarcastically.

    * * *

    Red and Yellow continued wandering though the tunnels, when they came across Attila and Hun threatening Seymour. Attila had sent out his Skarmory, which was holding the bladed tip of one of its wings up to Seymour’s throat.

    As if by instinct, Red sent out his Charmander and ordered it to fire an Ember at the Skarmory. The small fireball knocked Skarmory’s wing away from Seymour and turned the attention of the two Team Rocket Agents to Red.

    “Who dares?” Attila seemed furious at the interruption. “You’re going down, kid!” His Skarmory slowly walked out between Attila and Red, then assumed a battle-ready stance.

    * * *

    Masque set down her radio and stood up from her seat. She had just gotten word that the International Police were in the area. She packed up the secret base they had set up in the tunnels and was about to contact the others when Ash’s group wandered in.

    “Hi.” Misty said. “Can you tell us which way to go to get to Cerulean? We’re kind of lost.”

    “We are not lost! I just took a wrong turn.” Ash turned to Masque, and then a puzzled look came over him. Like he was seeing something the others couldn’t.

    “That ‘R’ on your uniform,” Carmine said bluntly, “you’re with Team Rocket.”

    Ash, Misty and Brock were all taken aback by Carmine’s comment, but Masque just seemed to smirk under her half-mask.

    “You took a worse turn than you thought.” Masque grabbed a strange black Pokéball from around her belt and called out a Vileplume. “Petal Dance.”

    Vileplume launched a whirlwind of spotted red petals from its head that almost hit Ash’s group, but were deflected at the last moment by a white beam of energy that came from the cavern’s entrance. Looker, Dragon and 009 came storming into the area with a Dragonite and Croagunk. Vileplume launched another wave of petals, this time around Masque and itself. When the attack cleared, the two were gone.

    “What in the Distortion World just happened?” Misty asked, completely dumbfounded.

    “Wait a minute.” Carmine said. “I know you; you’re with the International Police.100kr, wasn’t it?”

    “I am known as ‘Looker’ now, but yes. I too remember meeting you before. I’m afraid we all have much to discuss.”

    * * *

    Red and Attila were just about to start their battle when a voice came over Hun’s radio.

    “This is Agent Masque reporting in to all Team Rocket Agents in the Mount Moon area. Our mission has been blown. I repeat, our mission has been blown. Evacuate the area immediately. I repeat, evacuate the area immediately.”

    Attila and Hun both glanced at each other and nodded.

    “You got lucky this time, punk.” Attila turned back to Red as he recalled his Skarmory. “But we will meet again, and I will destroy you.”

    The two Team Rocket Agents ran off leaving Red and Yellow with Seymour.

    “Thank you so much. I thought for sure they were going to kill me.” Seymour bowed to Red and Yellow in thanks. “I don’t know how I can ever repay you for this. Here, take a couple of fossils, it’s the least I can do.”

    Red and Yellow took the fossils that Seymour handed to them and the two waved goodbye to him as he headed back to Pewter.

    “That was so cool!” Yellow said, as she grabbed on to Red’s arm. “Those bad guys were going to hurt him and you were just like ‘not today, villains’ like a superhero or something!”

    “I didn’t say anything like that.”

    “Okay maybe not, but still, that was so cool.”

    “We’re lucky we even managed to get out of that okay. I doubt I would have been able to beat that guy. Even if I could have stood up to him, there was no way I could have beaten both of them.”

    “I didn’t even think of that.” Yellow lost her smile for a moment, but then it was back. “We sure are lucky then.”

    “Let’s just get out of here.”

    * * *

    Daisy made her way slowly down the side of Mount Moon, making sure that the egg she was carrying stayed safe. Her walk down the grassy mountain slope was otherwise rather uneventful. Eventually she reached the base of the mountain and found the road leading in to Cerulean City.

    “I should have just followed the road to begin with. Although I guess I wouldn’t have gotten this egg if I did.” Daisy held the egg up in front of her. “They say just seeing a Clefairy is supposed to bring good luck. I wonder what it means when one gives you an egg. I mean, I guess it was just thanks for getting rid of those people trying to take that meteor, but it seems weird to give away your unborn child. Then again, they might not think of it that way. I don’t even know that this is a Clefairy egg.”

    Before Daisy could ponder it further, she reached the Pokémon Center along the outskirts of the city and went inside.

    “Welcome to the Cerulean City Pokémon Center. Would you like us to heal your Pokémon.”

    Daisy put her Pokémon’s Pokéballs in the tray on the counter in front of the nurse. The nurse put the tray inside the healing machine and turned to Daisy.

    “Would you like something to help you carry that egg? We have special portable incubators; if you want one, then it would help you carry that egg around.” She said, then took the tray back from the machine and handed it to Daisy.

    “Yes, that would be nice.” Daisy placed the Pokéballs back in her bag as she spoke.

    The nurse left and came back with a class case with an incubator and placed in on the counter. Daisy carefully placed the egg inside of it and put the incubator in her bag.

    “Thank you.” Daisy said as she turned to leave. She walked out of the Pokémon Center feeling ready on take on anything. “Cerulean Gym, here I come.”
    “As I said at Mount Moon, I am known as Looker. I am an agent in the service of the International Police. Team Rocket has recently been reactivated after five years of dormancy and we are working on figuring out why that is and find a way to take them down again.”

    Looker, Dragon, 009, Ash, Carmine, Misty and Brock were all sitting around a table back at the Adonis Detective Agency. The building and its interior had been fixed up thanks to the efforts of the International Police officers that had been stationed under Looker.

    “I don’t actually work for the International Police.” Dragon said. “I’m technically just an informant, but I decided to help out more directly. My codename is Dragon.”

    “Codename?” Misty asked. “But everyone already knows who you are, your Lance.”

    “Yeah, I’m not really sure why I bothered with the codename. I’m well known public figure through the region and I’m a Dragon Master, so ‘Dragon’ was kind of a dead giveaway.” Lance took of his hat and his bright red hair spiked up dramatically.

    “So, what do you know about the revived Team Rocket?” Carmine tried to get the conversation back on subject.

    “For the clarity of those who do not know the whole story, I shall start at the beginning.” Looker said. “Team Rocket was one of the largest criminal organizations in the world until five years ago when one of their agents decided to give them in. I believe you all know him; he is sitting in this very room. Mr. Carmine Noir.”

    Ash, Misty and Brock nearly fell out of their chairs in surprise at this revelation.

    “You were with Team Rocket?” Ash asked him, baffled. “Wait, does Mom know about that?”

    “I would assume so. Your parents were the ones who convinced me to leave them.”

    Looker cleared his throat to direct everyone’s attention back to him.

    “As I was saying; Mr. Noir directed us to the son of Team Rocket’s leader, Giovanni Rozzo, and my superior at the time, Agent Adonis, made a deal with him. In exchange for the names of everyone in Team Rocket, Giovanni and anyone who followed him in being a part of the deal would have all charges dropped against them. We all thought that would be the end of Team Rocket until a few months ago. It would appear that Giovanni was revived the Team for some reason. Our mission is to find out what reason that is and put a stop to them. If you have any information, any at all, it would be appreciated.”

    “I stopped a squad from trying to steal a bunch of Pikachu that were in the Viridian Pokémon Center from the storm a few days ago. They had a talking Meowth with them.”

    “A talking Meowth…” Looker stroked his chin as he took in that information. “That is interesting.”

    “Wait, what?” Ash looked at Carmine, confused. “When did that happen?”

    “That night we stayed at the Pokémon Center here. You were asleep at the time.”

    “That lady in the mask at Mount Moon.” Brock said. “The Pokéballs around her belt were strange. They were black and had a design I’ve never seen before.”

    “That’s right!” Ash added. “And there was something off about her and her Pokémon. They both seemed like they covered in a dark cloud or something.

    The others all looked at him, confused.

    “What do you mean?” Carmine asked.

    “I didn’t notice anything like that.” Misty commented.

    “Covered in a darkness that most people can’t see. I feel like I’ve heard that description somewhere before…” Looker’s eyes widened and he banged his fist into the table. “I’ve got it. I think I know what it was. We’ll need to bring in more help for this, and I think I know just who.”

    * * *

    Daisy walked into the Cerulean Gym and waited for a while. The Gym was completely empty. After she waited around the pool for a while she finally got up and was about to leave when a blonde woman walked in.

    “Oh, I’m sorry. Have you been waiting long?” She asked.

    “Yes, quite a while, actually.”

    “I’m so sorry. I had some stuff I needed to do and I didn’t think anyone would come in today.”

    “Can we have a Gym Battle now, then?”

    “Of course. I’ll go get ready.” The blonde woman walked over to the other side of the Gym.

    “I only have one Badge right now!” Daisy called out to her.

    “Got it.” The woman grabbed a Pokéball from some kind of console and stood at the other end of the pool from Daisy. “And you don’t need to yell. We have really good acoustics in here. It helps with our water shows.”

    “Water shows?”

    “Yeah, we have live performances in here. I has actually working on preparations on tonight’s show right now.”

    “That sounds nice.”

    “If you beat me, I can give you a free ticket with your Badge.”

    “You’re on!”

    “This will be a one-on-one match with standard Pokémon League rules. I’m Daisy, by the way, one of the Sensational Sisters and Gym Leader of Cerulean City.”

    Daisy had to hold back a laugh. “What a coincidence, my name’s Daisy, too.”

    * * *

    Red and Yellow finally made their way out of Mount Moon. They stopped enjoyed the fell of the sunshine and fresh air for a while and sat down on a patch of soft grass.

    “Being in that cave was fun, but I’m glad to be outside again.” Yellow said.

    “I know what you mean.” Red grabbed the two Pokéballs on his belt and called out Charmander and paras to enjoy the outside as well.

    “When’d you get that crab-thing with the mushrooms?”

    “I caught him while you were sleeping. He was crawling over my legs.”

    Yellow shivered. “That must have been creepy.”

    “A bit creepy, yeah. But I’m glad I have him.” Red pet his Paras in the head, between the two mushrooms growing out of its back.

    Yellow lay on her back and looked up at the sky. “I’m glad I get be out here with you. I feel like I didn’t really get to be outside much before.”

    * * *

    Daisy Oak sent out her Bulbasaur to battle against the Gym Leader Daisy’s Horsea. Bulbasaur had to stand outside the pool because it couldn’t swim, which gave Horsea a large terrain advantage, countering Bulbasaur’s type advantage.

    Horsea opened up with a Bubble attack, launching a steam of bubbles at Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur shrugged of the attack and countered by sending out a wave of Sleep Powder over the pool which, Horsea had to swim under the water to avoid. Bulbasaur took this opening sending out its vines into the water and hitting Horsea with a Vine Whip while it was distracted by the Sleep Powder. Horsea then swam up the surface again and let out a Smokescreen.

    Not being able to see Horsea through the smoke, Bulbasaur sent out another blast of Sleep Powder over the pool as well as Poison Powder, making it so that Horsea could no longer safely surface through the water.

    “I’m so glad we have someone to clean this stuff out of the water for us.” The Gym Leader said. “Battles like this would be nightmare if we didn’t.”

    Horsea didn’t notice the powder because of the smoke and tried to hit Bulbasaur with another Bubble, but inhaled some of the Sleep Powder when it poked its head above the water and instantly fell asleep. Bulbasaur used Vine Whip again and won the battle.

    Daisy the Gym Leader walked back to Daisy Oak and handed her a Gym Badge.

    “Here you go; one Cascade Badge. You earned it.” She then reached into her pocket and pulled out a small piece of paper. “And, as promised, a ticket to tonight’s water show.”

    * * *

    A gust of hot desert air blew in through an open window in a small jailhouse. One of the prisoners lay relaxed on his bed, while the other four seemed uneasy about his presence. One of the two men in the cell next to him finally stood up and walked up to the bars dividing their cells.

    “What are you in here for?” He asked the man. “Aren’t you supposed to be a hero or something?”

    The man let out a small chuckle as he sat up on his bed. “I don’t think anyone’s ever called me a hero before. Theft, arson, kidnapping; I’ve done plenty to earn a place in here.”

    “But you’re the one who got us in here, man. And you’re supposed to have saved the entire world or something, right?”

    “I wouldn’t go that far. I may have done a lot of good recently, but I’m no hero.”

    “No one cares!” Yelled one of the women in the third jail cell. “Just shut up already!”

    They all went back to just sitting in silence for a while. That silence was broken however, when the chief of police entered the jailhouse. He walked up to the cell that the lone man was in and pulled out his keys to unlock it.

    “You have a visitor.” He said.
     
    #2 BZRich64, Jun 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017 at 10:02 AM
  3. BZRich64

    BZRich64 Camper
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    I hope you all enjoy the story so far. My writing is still a work in progress, so the quality should improve as I go.
     
    #3 BZRich64, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017 at 9:59 AM

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