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Old 6 Days Ago (5:13 AM).
BZRich64's Avatar
BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
The Mustachioed Machamp
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
    Age: 22
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 132
    Chapter 122
    Ash made his way back out of the woods, walking around the tree he had climbed up to avoid the charging Tauros from earlier. Although it hadn’t actually been a Tauros but the Ditto that was no taking the form of an Arcanine and leading the way for Ash. It was hard for Ash to believe how much his situation had changed in just the past few minutes. Then again, he had been having a very eventful birthday, to the point where this wasn’t even the biggest change in circumstances that day.

    The red and white building that Ash had seen earlier was still in view, so Ash called his Ditto back into its Pokéball and made his way over to it. The building appeared to be an old, decrepit manor of some sort, which managed to remain bright and colorful despite the wear and tear that became more and more noticeable as he approached. As he approached the building, a rising feeling built up in Ash that is must have been abandoned long ago. It was unlikely that he would find any help here.

    Ash looked up at the sign hanging above the front doorway. ‘House of Imite’. The name didn’t sound familiar to Ash but he only had a moment to think about it before he jumped suddenly, startled as someone opened the door and walked out.

    It was a boy around Ash’s age, wearing a red and white jacket over a dark purple t-shirt and a dark blue pair of jeans. He had black hair that kind of spiked out a bit and there was a Pikachu resting on his shoulder, although that wasn’t what really caught Ash’s attention.

    “Oh, hi. Are you here to challenge the Gym Leader, too?” The boy asked when he saw Ash there staring at him.

    “There’s a Gym Leader here?” Ash was surprised to hear that.

    “Yeah. The actual Gym is still being built right now, so this place is being used until they finish with that.” The boy explained. “But isn’t that why you’re here?”

    “Um… no.” Ash smiled weekly in embarrassment. “Actually I’m kind of lost right now. I was just looking for someone that I could ask for directions.”

    “Where do want to go?” The boy asked. “I can probably tell you how to get there. I haven’t been in this area for very long, but I think I know the area well enough.”

    “Well, anywhere really.” Ash replied.

    “Well, Fuchsia City is just a couple miles west from here.” The boy pointed in the direction Ash had been walking. “I was actually just about to head over there myself so that I can challenge the city’s Gym.”

    “Thanks. Ash said as he started to notice the distant cityscape of on the horizon.

    “It’s really no problem.” The boy smiled and started to walk past Ash. “I always help anyone in need whenever I get the chance.”

    “One more thing…” Ash said before the boy could leave. “I just wanted to say that I used to have a hat just like that one.”

    “Oh?” The boy automatically glanced upward, towards the hat he was wearing, which looked identical to the one that Ash had just lost. “What happened to it?”

    “A Mankey stole it this morning.” Ash explained. “Took it right off my head and ran off before I could get it back.”

    “Well, in that case, this probably is yours then.” The boy said as he took the hat off and tossed it to Ash.

    “What?” Ash stared at the boy in confusion as he caught the hat.

    “Shortly before I got here I ran into a wild Mankey, which must have been the same one that you encountered.” The boy said. “Naturally, I sent out my Pidgeotto to attack it and then managed to capture the Mankey but then I sent it out to get a better look at my new Pokémon I realized that he was wearing this hat. I figured that it must belong to someone who lost it and that the best thing to do would be to wear the hat. That way, if I ever ran into the hat’s owner they would notice it and be able to tell me that it was there’s. It seemed much more efficient than just going around asking everyone I meet if they lost a hat, or something along those lines, and it would appear that I was right.”

    “Well, thank you. I didn’t think that I would ever get this back.” Ash could barely follow along with the boy’s story because he was talking so fast, but he thought that he caught the gist of it. He put his hat back and suddenly realized just how weird it had been not wearing it.

    “No problem.” The boy smiled, holding out his hand. “By the way, my name’s Satoshi. Satoshi Shigeru, of Viridian City. Most people call me Shu. What’s your name?”

    “I’m Ash Ketchum, of Pallet Town.” Ash grabbed Shu’s outstretched hand and shook it.

    “Small world.” Shu laughed. “My friends used to call me Ash when I was younger, short for Satoshi. Over time the nickname just kind of phased out though and people started calling by Shu, taking the ‘sh from Satoshi and the ‘u’ from Shigeru. Anyway, I should probably be heading off now and leave you to your own business. Catch ya later!”

    Shu waved as he left, heading up the road leading towards Fuchsia. Ash thought that Shu seemed friendly but he sure talked a lot. Ash felt like he still had the sound of Shu’s voice echoing through his skull as he stepped into the House of Imite.

    It was dark inside, but fortunately Ash had remembered to grab a flashlight while he was at home. He pulled it out of his backpack and used it to light the way. The building seemed abandoned as he wandered through the halls and he was starting to wonder if maybe Shu had lied about it being a Gym.
    “This place gives me the creeps.” Ash muttered to himself. “It feels like its haunted or something.”


    Ash jumped and nearly dropped his flashlight. He slowly turned around to see who, or what, was behind him and saw Hanami floating there.

    “You startled me.” Ash said, relieved that it was just her.

    “That was kind of the point.” Hanami smiled mischievously. “And everywhere you go could be considered haunted as long as I’m with you.”

    “I guess that’s kind of true. Although it feels like it’s been a while since you’ve shown yourself.

    “It’s only been around a day.” Hanami pointed out. “Don’t tell me you forgot about me that quickly.”

    “No, no!” Ash waved his hands nervously, not wanting to admit that he actually had forgotten about his ghostly traveling companion. “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know if there’s anyone else in here besides us, would you?”

    “Are you talking about the Gym Leader that the boy from earlier mentioned?” Hanami closed her translucent eyelids for a moment, concentrating on something, and pointed towards a door leading out of the hall. “I sense someone over in that room. It must be her.”

    “Good.” Ash said. “I was starting to worry that I’d been lied to.”

    Hanami faded away again and Ash headed towards the door that she had pointed to. He opened it up to see that it led into a large room filled with chairs facing an elevated stage of some sort. Ash put his flashlight away as the lights were actually on in this room and looked around as he walked slowly towards the stage, but he couldn’t see any sign of another person in there with him. He stopped halfway along the walkway between rows of seats and closed his eyes, taking long, drawn-out breaths. He tried to remember what it had felt like back in Saffron City when he had started to see things when his eyes were shut. He had been under a lot of stress back then but something deep in the back of his mind told him that he would be able to do it again if he simply concentrated hard enough. He was right.
    It felt a bit different this time. Before, it had been like he was able to see what was in front of him when his eyes were shut and that he could look past what his eyes would normally have seen, even through solid objects and walls. This time it was more like he was feeling what was around him. Not just in the direction that he was facing but the entire room. The entire mansion, in fact. Every chair, every hallway, every speck of dust. It was all clear to him.

    After a moment of taking in the strange sensation, his attention focused on the area up above the stage. There was a person up there, a girl, who was waiting for him to get closer so that he could surprise him. He didn’t sense any ill will from her though, simply a desire for theatrics. Her presence reminded Ash of the Ditto that he had just caught.

    Ash opened his eyes again and everything returned to normal. Though a part of him could still feel the Gym Leader’s presence up above. He continued walking towards the stage and felt the girl drop down onto the stage, probably using a rope to control her descent. He climbed up onto the stage where he was greeted by… himself?

    “I’m here to challenge to challenge the Gym Leader. You wouldn’t happen to have seen here, have you?”
    Ash wasn’t sure what was going on. This person appeared to look just like him and was even talking in his own voice. It was as if he was facing himself but that couldn’t be. He could clearly sense that it was the girl he had felt.

    “But… aren’t you the Gym Leader?” Ash asked in utter confusion.

    Ash’s doppelganger mirrored his confused expression, staring at him for a moment. “Wow, hardly anyone ever sees through my disguises that quickly.”

    The lights suddenly turned off for a second and when they turned back on the Ash imposter was gone, replaced by a girl with bushy teal hair tied back in twin ponytails and wearing an orange shirt with a yellow star on it.

    “My name’s Duplica. I’m the Gym Leader here.” She said. “Now what are we waiting for? Let’s get this battle started.”
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    Old 2 Days Ago (7:50 AM).
    BZRich64's Avatar
    BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
    The Mustachioed Machamp
      Join Date: Apr 2013
      Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
      Age: 22
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Quiet
      Posts: 132
      Chapter 123
      “I’ve never seen anything like this.” The Iron-Masked Marauder sat at an old computer console, going over whatever data had been left behind.

      “What is it?” Giovanni stood behind the Marauder, with his arms folded tightly.

      “I’ve found some notes on Mewtwo’s development.” The Marauder said. “I didn’t know it was even possible for a Pokémon to develop so much power so quickly. It says here that only a week after it was created, they set Mewtwo loose against a herd of thirty Tauros that they look from the Safari Zone. He defeated the entire herd without taking a single hit.”

      “That is impressive.” Giovanni smirked. “Assuming that his power continued to grow.”

      “Apparently he got so strong that the scientists eventually had to develop a special armor for him to limit and control his power.”

      “A lot of good that did them. Do you have anything of actual importance to report about your findings?”
      The Iron-Masked Marauder paused for a moment. “No.”

      “Then I’ll leave you to your research for now.” Giovanni turned around and headed for the doorway but then turned back. “By the way, have you finished setting up Dark Synergy Crystal yet?”

      “Yes.” The Marauder asked, a bit confused by the unexpected question. “Why do ask?”

      “I was just curious.” Giovanni slipped out the door without another word.

      * * *

      “Unless I’m wrong, you currently have four Gym Badges.” Duplica said as she stood at one end of the stage.

      “That’s right.” Ash stood at the other end.

      “Then that means this will be your last three-on-three Gym battle. So, we might as well not doddle any longer and get this battle started.”

      Ash sent out his Fearow, who flew out of his Pokéball and landed on the floor a few feet in front of Ash. Duplica called out a Raticate that ran around in a tight circle for a moment before standing up straight and using Growl. Fearow flew up and spread his wings out wide. A valley of stars launched out from them and hurtled towards Raticate. Raticate tried to jump out of the way of the Swift, but the stars arced around and hit Raticate anyway. Raticate was knocked onto its back but quickly rolled back onto its feet and looked up at Fearow with a Scary Face. It startled Fearow, causing him to slow down, but didn’t really do Raticate any good because it didn’t have any attacks that could actually hit Fearow while it was flying high in the air. Or at least, that’s what Raticate wanted Fearow to think.

      Raticate suddenly ran towards the wall and started climbing up with surprising speed. Once it had gone up high enough, Raticate jumped off and managed to Tackle Fearow, knocking the giant bird down to the ground and using Super Fang to bite into Fearow’s right wing. Combined with the damage that Fearow had already sustained when he and Ash had plummeted into the ground earlier, this left Fearow too weakened to fly. Fearow remained undeterred by this and used his left wing to knock Raticate away using a Steel Wing attack. Raticate was knocked into the wall and stunned for a moment by the impact. Fearow took this opportunity to use Roost. He closed his eyes and began to glow faintly as an aura of white feathers surrounded him and his injuries began to rapidly heal. Raticate charged towards Fearow to try and interrupt but was too late. Fearow took off back into the air and out of Raticate’s reach just in time to avoid being hit by Raticate’s Crunch. Raticate stared up at Fearow, trying to decide what to do now. But there was nothing that Raticate could do as Fearow dove back down and rammed hard into Raticate’s side, knocking out the Mouse Pokémon.

      “Impressive.” Duplica said as she returned her Raticate back to its Pokéball. Now it’s time for the second part of our cat and mouse game.”

      Ash had no idea what Duplica was talking about at first but then she sent out her second Pokémon and it sort of made sense. Her Persian landed on the ground in front of her and the Classy Cat Pokémon let out a fierce Growl, lowering Fearow’s attack. Fearow flew up high above Persian and circled the air a few times while Persian stared up at him intently. Fearow dove down to strike Persian but Persian was able to leap out of the way in time and Fearow was barely able to pull up in time to avoid crashing into the stage floor. Persian turned around and dashed towards Fearow, hitting him with a Slash before Fearow had time to react.

      Fearow flew back into the air and instead of using Fly again decided to use Ariel Ace instead. His wings began to glow just before he dove down and Persian jumped out of the way again but this time Fearow was able to twist around in midair and slash Persian across its side with one of his glowing wings. Persian was knocked onto its back but was able to quickly roll over and get back to its feet. Not fast enough, though, as Fearow flew straight up, spinning itself rapidly in the air and swooping back down, hitting Persian with Drill Run. Persian was knocked back several feet and sprawled out on the ground as it lost consciousness.

      “Wow, you’re actually doing better than I thought you would.” Duplica said. “One more to go, but can you beat my best Pokémon?”

      * * *

      Daisy stretched and sat up in bed, yawning loudly as she slowly opened her eyes. She looked over at the clock and realized that she should probably get up and actually do something. If they knew where Gary was now then that meant that Koga would no longer be out looking for him. Daisy figured that she might as well give the Fuchsia Gym a visit and challenge Koga to a battle. She was sure that she had probably fallen behind the others in regards to collecting Gym Badges and now was as good a time as any to earn one more.

      Daisy got out of bed and returned all of her Pokémon to their Pokéballs except for Cleffa. After she brushed her hair, put her hat on and slung her bag over her shoulder, Daisy picked up Cleffa and cradled the shiny baby Pokémon in her arms. Cleffa giggled as Daisy headed out of the hotel room and started down the hallway. It didn’t take long before she had reached the lobby, where she checked out and then left.

      Fuchsia City had sort of a musky feel to it. Daisy wasn’t sure if she had really noticed it before but it seemed obvious to her now. The air was thick and humid. She wasn’t sure how anyone could live in a place like this. Although maybe it wasn’t always like this, she wasn’t really sure. Daisy made her way along the dark red roads across the city until she finally found herself standing outside of the Fuchsia Gym.

      The moment she stepped into the Gym Daisy realized that she was drenched in sweat. She felt sticky and gross, though Cleffa didn’t seem to mind at all. Nothing ever did seem to bother her adorable little pink and green star.

      Daisy looked around the Gym, which seemed to have an elegantly old-fashioned look to its design. She spotted Koga sitting at the far end of the Gym, apparently meditating. She started to walk up to him but instead ended up slamming into something. Cleffa let out a squeal as Daisy stepped back and rubbed her injured nose. At first, she couldn’t see anything there, which made her utterly confused about what just happened. After a moment she realized that there was a glass wall in front of her, polished so clean that the only reason she could see it at all was the smudge marks she had left when she walked into it. Daisy tried to walk around seemingly random glass wall only to walk into another one. She had no idea why all of this glass was in her way, but she looked down and happened to notice that there was a slight divot in the floor where the glass was. She looked around to see if there were any more and quickly came to realized that the entire Gym was some sort of invisible maze that she was apparently going to have to navigate through in order to get to Koga.

      “Well…” She muttered under her breath. “This is different.”
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