326 stolen lives, 326 broken hearts, 326 dreams shattered
Ash quickly darted across the living room and into the other rooms of the cabin in search of Pikachu. Ash searched every room twice and could not find Pikachu anywhere. His heart began to race and panic was overriding his entire system. The only thing he had in mind was to release his Pokémon and have them help him in his search. Ash figured the girl and the other person were still in the area but he had no idea how long he had been unconscious but he still had to give it a try. After all of his Pokémon were out he couldn’t help but drop to his knees and in tears asked them to help him look for Pikachu.
Grovyle and Swellow nodded and began to search high and low for the small Pokémon. Snorunt and Torkoal saw their trainer on his knees so they walked over to him and in despair he grabbed both Pokémon and hugged them tightly as he cried. Torkoal and Snorunt couldn’t help but cry as well for they too felt the pain Ash was going through. After four hours Ash and his Pokémon returned to the cabin but with no Pikachu, Ash felt devastated and above all heart broken. Not knowing if Pikachu was all right or if he would ever see his best friend again tore at his very core. Those questions were all he was thinking about. Ash turned and looked at the cabin and then at his Pokémon but couldn’t help but sit and begin to cry. His team of Pokémon was also very upset so they gathered around him and tried their best to comfort him.
As the minutes passed by Ash recalled back to when he first received Pikachu and when they first set out to begin their journey, Ash once again lived every minute they had passed by through out the years. As the memories lived once more Ash couldn’t help but cry silently. His despair was such that he spent the entire day in the cabin just thinking and when he wasn’t even thinking he was just sitting there wondering how Pikachu was doing.
Finally around in the afternoon Ash looked at his other Pokémon and realized that they might have gotten hungry and they looked pretty tired since from time to time they went out to search the area for any signs of the thieves or Pikachu. Ash decided to swallow his sorrow and tend to his other Pokémon since they had no fault in the events that had happened. He returned them all but Grovyle refused to return to its pokeball and it stood firmly beside its trainer as it gave its reasons for not returning to its pokeball.
“Grovyle, grov! Grovyle, grovyle!” The reptilian Pokémon stated kindly. It was very worried about its trainer and it knew just how upset Ash was. Ash gave Grovyle a bitter sweet smile and started to walk towards the next town. The walk to the next town was a very quiet one since Ash did not say a single word.
Once they reached the Pokémon Center Ash ran inside and as luck would have it the place was empty except for Nurse Joy and a very happy Blissey holding an injured Meowth. Ash’s plan for the moment was to leave his Pokémon at the center while he ran to the police and then he would pick them up once more after they’ve had they’re rest.
“Good evening.” Nurse Joy said as an ever so sweet smile appeared on her face. Blissey was not far behind; as soon as it saw Ash and Grovyle it smiled at them and greeted them happily. “Blissey, bliss!”
“Hi,” Ash said bitterly, he returned Grovyle to its pokeball and handed the rest to Nurse Joy. Nurse Joy saw Ash’s eyes and noticed how they were watery and red and she knew he had been crying and a lot by the intensity of the red color. As she took the pokeballs she looked at him seriously and with one hand lifted his face gently with her hand until they were looking at each other eye to eye.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” Ash barked back and ripped his face from her hand, “I’ll be back later. I’ll be at the police station.”
“The police?” Asked Nurse Joy as her eyes widened and looked at Blissey who was also just as dumbfounded by how Ash was acting. Ash nodded and headed out quickly to the police station.
White Falls was a very small town, it consisted of a wide dirt road with several stores and a hospital at the other end of the line of buildings and at the end of the line Ash could see the Police Station. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him over to the station. He burst through the front door and immediately saw an Officer Jenny leaning on the front desk looking through some papers.
“Where’s that darn thing? I know I put it here.” Officer Jenny muttered as she pushed aside several files and looked through a herd of papers. Finally Officer Jenny gave up her search and yelled out, “Redwood where is the file for Southerport?”
Officer Jenny stopped looking through the papers and looked behind her and saw Ash standing in the middle of the station with tears in his eyes. Officer Jenny dropped all the papers she had in her hands and without hesitation ran towards Ash to see what the problem was.
After briefly going over what happened Officer Jenny had Ash moved to one of the interrogation rooms where they could talk better and she could see what she could do for Ash. Officer Jenny asked Ash to sit comfortably while she ran to get her captain as the events that happened were all too serious in that town.
Ash sat on the chair looking into the reflection of the table. He saw his face perfectly well and thought whoever did the cleaning around there was completely paranoid. The table was spotless and when he set his index finger on it and then lifted it he could just make out part of his finger print. He exhaled deeply and tried his best to avoid thinking about the present situation.
As he stared into his reflection he could barely look into his own eyes. He was starting to feel very angry. Soon his frown had turned and his face was emotionless yet his eyes burned with a sensation he had not felt before or at the least not in such a level. Ash was thinking up ways to get back at the thieves but his train of thought was soon broken when Officer Jenny and a man walked in.
The man was in his mid 50s but he seemed pretty robust and quite capable of slapping around a few crooks and other people who would get in his face. He had gray, thinning hair, clear blue eyes and rosy cheeks. Both Officer Jenny and the man, who was obviously the captain, sat down. Ash saw a pitiful look in their faces that only lit him on fire. He immediately knew the first words to come out of their mouths would just enrage him. Fake sympathies, that was what Ash thought to himself as he saw them look at him with saddened looks on their faces yet their eyes seemed to say “it’s hopeless.”
Ash braced himself and tried his best to control his rage which he knew if he let it loose he would lose the police’s help. Officer Jenny had been grasping a file on her hands tightly as if the contents were something sacred. She carefully opened the file and gently slid it across the shiny table towards Ash. To his surprise it was only pages full of names. Page after page there were hundreds of names, Ash was puzzled as to why Officer Jenny would just simply hand him a file but before he could ask the captain spoke up.
“That right there is every trainer that has fallen victim to these two sons of *****es. You would make victim number 326.” Ash gasped loudly as he heard the number. His eyes then fell back on the file and looked at each name carefully and horrified. “326 stolen lives, 326 broken hearts, 326 dreams shattered.” Those words echoed through out Ash’s mind as he griped the pages in rage. Now more than ever he wished only the vilest of fates to befall on the thieves who were responsible for such heinous crimes.
“How could you let it escalate to such heights? How could let them get away with this?” Ash asked as he still griped the pages in his hands. He looked at Officer Jenny but she only lowered her gaze in utter shame so the captain spoke for her. “It’s not like we haven’t been doing something about it. All of the victims seem to be able to identify the female but the other one always seems to hide his face well as to avoid recognition. That’s what we have so far.”
Ash was not satisfied at all, that information was obtainable anywhere, he could read that off the news paper. He scoffed and looked away as he closed his eyes to avoid letting the tears flow out. The captain once again spoke up but with information that would prove both useful and frustrating.
“One thing we picked up is that the female perpetrator always changes her appearance. She’ll dye her hair any color, she’ll lose or gain some odd pounds, her wardrobe always changes styles, and her eyes always change as well thanks to contact lenses. We have her pictured up on a wall. There are now over twenty pictures of her up in the wall. Her latest look is soft brown hair, hazel nut eyes, very little make up and she was last seen in a pink sweater with baby blue jeans and white sneakers.”
The description seemed to awaken a sudden urge to pound his fist into the table in anger but Ash controlled himself and said bitterly, “Selling the story about her little lost sister and how she was attacked by a Houndoom. That’s the same little—” Ash froze since the word he had in mind was very rude and he thought it might offend someone. Officer Jenny looked at Ash and finally spoke.
“Ash, are you familiar with trafficking?”
“These perpetrators are in this business. Every Pokémon they steal they sell to the highest bidder or whoever pays the highest. They only go for strong Pokémon which they’ve seen in action themselves and once they have the Pokémon they want they rush out of town and sell the Pokémon. They never keep a Pokémon for more than 48 hours. What I’m trying to say is that…there might be the possibility that your Pikachu is gone for good.”
Ash could not believe what he was hearing, it was as if they were telling him to forget about his best friend and move on as if nothing happened. The rage was coming back and it was building up inside of him and he knew it would just burst out but he did little to try and control it. The captain shook his head and said, “For all we know that Pikachu could be in Minsk.”
Ash had heard enough, he sat up so quickly that the chair he was sitting in flipped back and hit the wall. Ash slammed both fists on the table rather violently as he yelled out, “Then why the hell aren’t you out there doing something about it? You know what? Don’t do squat! I’ll search for Pikachu myself!”
Ash stormed out of the police station and headed for the Pokémon Center to pick up his remaining Pokémon. Once he walked in through the door Nurse Joy went to pick up the tray containing Ash’s Pokémon. She set it gently on the counter and saw Ash did not look happy at all. Nurse Joy looked at Blissey and it looked at her sadly, Nurse Joy and Blissey knew something terrible had happened to Ash but he did not look like he was going to talk about it but she still gave it a try.
“Something terrible happened, didn’t it?”
“Don’t wanna talk about it.” Ash said as he picked up the Pokéballs from the tray. Nurse Joy felt his anger but at the same time she could feel his sadness and despair so she said sweetly, “Perhaps talking about it will make you feel better.”
“What part of ‘don’t wanna talk about it’ do you not understand?” Ash barked back bitterly at her. As he held Torkoal’s Pokéball he sighed deeply and said in a low tone of voice as he lowered his gaze, “I’m sorry…it’s just that…”
“Blissey and I were about to have a cup of ice tea. Let’s go over to the waiting room and we can talk, all right?”
Ash agreed and after Nurse Joy had given out the ice tea Ash explained from the very beginning what had happened. Nurse Joy was both in shock and angry at the thought of how people could be so cruel. What angered her most was that after Ash had helped the girl she betrayed him and stole something very dear to him. Nurse Joy had seen several of the kids that had their Pokémon stolen and she knew it was very wrong and somehow the police were no help at all. Some times she wondered if the police were on their side at all. Nurse Joy looked at Ash and saw so much sadness so she decided for once to step up and do something about all the things that were happening since the police were no help.
“I’ve been looking around and asking since the police don’t seem to have a clue about what they’re doing and I’ve come up with several names that just might be able to help you in your search for Pikachu.”
Ash’s face lit up, it wasn’t hope or happiness, it was strange really, it was as if he had woken up from a dream. He looked at Nurse Joy who got up and headed for the front desk and looked around. Finally she came back with a pen and some paper. As soon as she sat down she began to write down something, Ash out of curiosity leaned forward to see what it was that she so eagerly wrote down on that piece of paper.
“Here we go,” Nurse Joy said as she handed the piece of paper to Ash. “Those are the names and phone numbers of the kids who have been investigating their own robberies. The first one on that list managed to get his Mankey back and he’ll be more than happy to help you.”
Ash’s hopes were once again restored and now with this new information he was far more determined than he ever was in his entire life. He took the paper and held it tightly as to avoid it from being misplaced or even lost. He looked at Nurse Joy and calmly said as he got up from the chair, “Thanks Nurse Joy.”
Ash then headed out to find the first kid on the list. As he walked out the door Nurse Joy smiled sweetly and said, “Good luck.”