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Old May 5th, 2018 (8:18 AM).
BZRich64's Avatar
BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
The Mustachioed Machamp
     
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 146
    Chapter 97
    Spoiler:
    Im getting tired. Charmander whined. It feels like weve been walking forever.

    Oh, come on. Its only been a few hours. Squirtle pointed out. And we should be nearly there anyway.

    Should be? Charmander moaned.

    The group of Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Zoroark continued on their way to Cerulean City in relative silence until Bulbasaur decided to chip in.

    It probably would be a good idea for us to take a break. Especially since you two spent practically all night training. Its only natural that you should be feeling fatigued after all this.

    Time waits for no mon! Squirtle stopped walking and pointed dramatically into the air.

    Well who made you leader? Bulbasaur asked sarcastically.

    I did! Squirtle proclaimed, apparently ignoring the sarcasm.

    Youre not our leader. Bulbasaur said. Im much more qualified than you are, since I used to care for all of the Pokmon back at the Hidden Village.

    You seem to forget that I used to be the leader of the Squirtle Squad. Id say that makes me more qualified.

    Dont be ridicules. Besides, Charmanders the reason were all together to begin with, so if anything he should lead us.

    Yeah! Charmander agreed.

    Squirtle laughed. But it was my idea for us to challenge the Gyms, so I should be leader.

    What about Zoroark? Bulbasaur added. Since shes the one masquerading as our trainer, maybe she should be our leader.

    Dont drag me into this. Said Zoroark.

    Can we talk about this later? Asked Charmander. I just want to take a nap.

    Oh, fine. Squirtle relented.

    * * *

    Well you two have certainly had an interesting time. Bill said after Red and Yellow finished telling him about all of their adventures since they first met him back at his lighthouse, which felt like it had been a long time ago. Im afraid that I havent had nearly as an exciting time as you have. But I did have quite the eventful day today.

    Really? Red asked quizzically. What could have happened to you since we saw you this morning?

    Well, after you left the Pokmon Center I went back to trying to find out what was wrong with PC there. As it turned out, a couple of Porygon had somehow managed to find its way into the system and they had taken up residence there, which is what was causing the problems. My fiddling around trying to find out what was wrong woke the Porygon up and made one of them angry, which then somehow managed to zap me into the computer as well.

    Whoa! Yellow gasped in amazement. And then what happened?

    Well, it took me a while to get the hand of being in cyber space. Before now I didnt even know it was possible for anything other than a Porygon to even exist in data from like that. In fact, Im still not sure who it really happened. Anyway, so the other Porygon turned out to be quite friendly and helped me get my bearings straight and then track down the first one to try and get it under control. I ended up managing to hack into some code to catch both of the Porygon in digitalized Pokballs and then had them bring me back into the physical world. It was right after that when the nurse there at the Pokmon Center told me that I had an incoming call, which turned out to be from you guys.

    Do you still have the Porygon? An intrigued Red asked.

    Yeah, right here. Bill pulled out two Pokballs and held them up. I was going to give them to the Rocket Game Corner, since they give them out as prizes there and these two probably escaped from there anyway. But if what you said about Team Rocket being behind them, then I definitely dont want to be handing these two off to them. And it does make sense that Team Rocket would be in control of the Rocket Game Corner. Its right in the name and everything.

    So what are you going to do with them?

    Well, I guess Ill keep the friendly one for myself to help with my studies. Im not sure about the other one, though. It probably wont listen to a word I tell it. Then again, I suppose you can have it if you want. You should have enough badges by this point that it will listen to you.

    Really? Red asked.

    Of course. Bill held out one of the Pokballs to Red, who accepted it graciously. What are friends for, after all?

    Thank you. Ill try to keep good care of him.

    Thats all I can ask for. By the way, we should probably go to the local Department of Pokmon Training before they close up for the day, so that we can go get that Trainers Permit for Yellow.

    Id forget all about that. Red said as he put Porygons Pokball with his others. Lets get going.

    * * *

    Gary looked up at the imposing statue that stood before him. He knew that he had never seen this statue or the man that it depicted before and yet it was so familiar to him. This was definitely the statue from his dream, but how? And Why? His thoughts were interrupted, however, when the torches hung up on the walls and support pillars scattered around the room suddenly lit up, engulfing the room in their light.

    Whats going on? Gary asked, though he knew he would get no answer. His Growlithe stopped breathing fire since there was no need for it now and brushed up against Garys leg, whimpering loudly. Gary bent down to his knees and put his hand reassuringly on the Puppy Pokmons back. Itll be okay, boy. Ill make sure that nothing happens to you.

    Gary recalled Growlithe into his Pokball and stood back up, staring at the statue again. It depicted a large, intimidating man with a thick beard sitting in a massive throne. He wore old fashioned robes and a hat with a beaded necklace hanging around the color of the robes. His right hand rested on his knee while the left hand held a staff of some kind.

    Why does this guy look so familiar? Gary wondered. After staring at the statue for a little longer he turned around to head back the way he came, hoping to find some sort of exit that he had missed earlier. However, as soon as he turned around, his attention was drawn to a huge mural painted across the wall above the exit.

    The brightly painted image contrasted heavily with the dull brown of everything else in the room, making it stand out even more than it would have. An image of a bird Pokmon shrouded in rainbows looked down from the clouded heavens upon a stormy see, underneath which was a silver bird looking back up at the rainbow one. The two looked as if they were somehow locked in combat even though there was nothing in the mural to suggest they were even fighting.

    What is this place? Gary asked again. After a moment he looked back down to the entranceway and started moving forward. He knew that he needed to flee this place as soon as possible and walked as quickly as he could. Just as he reached the exit, however, he suddenly found himself pulled away from it by some invisible force, pushing him back into the large chamber. He tried to leave again, more desperately this time, but again he was pulled back into the chamber. Gary then turned back to the statue and yelled. What do you want from me?

    Gary suddenly found his attention shifted to the small throne sitting between the large stone feet of the statue. It was as if the mysterious force keeping him there was telling him to sit down on the seat of the throne.

    No! Gary shouted. Im not doing it!

    Gary started walking towards the throne, against his will. His legs were somehow moving of their own accord.

    I dont want to sit down!

    Gary started walking faster. He tried to stop but it was no use.

    Nidoqueen! Smash that chair!

    Nidoqueens Pokball lit up as if she was emerging from it, but nothing happened. Whatever force was dragging him to the stone throne was also preventing his Pokmon from leaving there Pokballs. Gary had seen this kind of reaction once before, back at the Lavender Tower.

    Theres a ghost here. He muttered in horror as he stepped in front of the throne. Thats whats doing this.
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      #102   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
    Old May 6th, 2018 (8:43 AM).
    BZRich64's Avatar
    BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
    The Mustachioed Machamp
       
      Join Date: Apr 2013
      Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
      Age: 23
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Quiet
      Posts: 146
      Chapter 98
      Spoiler:
      Daisy fell to her knees on the warm sand, trying her best not to break into tears. There was no sign of Gary anywhere. Her brother had simply disappeared and there was nothing that she could do about it. Cleffa looked up at Daisy from her arms. The baby could sense that there was something wrong, but did not know what it could be. She reached up with one stubby arm and touched Daisys cheek, pulling her out of her thoughts.

      Cle, Cle! Cleffa trilled at her.

      Daisy sighed and got back to her feet. There was no way she could stay worried, with that adorable face smiling at her, though she still had lingering doubts. What could possibly have happened to Gary? Why would he come out here in the first place?

      She looked out across the oceans waves, in the vain hope of finding something out there. Her gaze settled on a rock in the distance. There was something strange about it. At first, she couldnt tell what it was, but then she realized. There was a Pokmon resting on top of it. It was too far away to make out clearly, so she couldnt tell what kind of Pokmon it was, but she could see it moving around. Daisy started to hear singing coming from the distance, in the direction of the Pokmon. It was nice, soothing. It seemed to make her forget all of her worries and if she could just get closer to it

      Cle! Cle! Cle!

      Daisy was snapped back to her senses by Cleffas screams, knee deep in the water. She quickly turned around and ran back to the dry sand and fast as she could. Was she walking into the water? Why would she do that? As she thought, the song drifted back into her ears and everything started to fade away again, but she was able to keep herself focused enough not to fall into its allure again.

      It was then that Daisy remembered an old story she had heard when she was younger, told to her by a relative of her grandfather who would stop by every once in a while to check up on the family. It was a story of how sailors would hear the enchanting songs of a rare Pokmon that would lure them into crashing their ships. But the Pokmon from the old story wasnt one that was native to the area. There shouldnt be any of them within hundreds of miles. Yet there was no other explanation that she could think of.

      I need to get Kat. Daisy said as she ran away from the beach. Whatever was going on was more than she could handle on her own, but her cousin was much more experienced than she was and one of the top trainers in the region. Surely she would be able to help.

      * * *

      Now that wasnt too hard, was it? Carmine asked.

      I cannot say that battling is something that I care for. Gastly said solemnly in response. However I did promise young Ash here that I would help him in Pokmon Journey and I am a Pokmon of my word. If this is what it takes to honor that promise, then I suppose that it will do. A single humans lifetime is but a moment for an immortal ghost, after all, so in the grand scheme of things this is only a minor inconvenience for me. Although I must say, I do feel a little strange.

      Gastlys eyes suddenly widened as he began to glow. Ash and Carmine both had to look away as the glow got brighter and brighter. The purple fog surrounding Gastly retracted into him and his spherical body grew out onto a spikey, vaguely triangular shape. In a flash of light, the evolution was complete and Gastly had become a Haunter.

      It took him a moment to process what had just happened, as he stared blankly down at his newly-formed hands, which floated in the air in front of him, detached from his body. After a few seconds, it finally sunk in.

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

      * * *

      Bill walked into the Department of Pokmon Training and held the door open for Red and Yellow to follow him in. There were a few people waiting around for their turn to go up to counter, but otherwise it was fairly empty inside.

      Well, here we are. Now we just need to take a number and wait until were called for. Bill explained to Red and Yellow. Hopefully it wont be long of a wait.

      I got a 59. Yellow said, holding up the ticket she had just grabbed.

      Okay then. And according to the sign they just called for 42 We might be here a while.

      There arent even that many people here. Red pointed out, looking around.

      Yes, that happens sometimes. Im not really sure why. I guess well just have to wait it out.

      43! Someone shouted out from the other end of the room. I can help number 43 over here!

      Perhaps we should have tried getting here earlier. Bill sighed.

      Whats done is done. Red said as the three walked over to a row of chairs to sit down. We just have to live in the now. Or something like that, anyway.

      * * *

      What are these? Haunter shouted after he had finally stopped screaming his proverbial lungs out. Fingers? What do I need fingers for? Im a ghost that can levitate! And where is my gaseous cloud? Im I really just a body with no fog anymore?

      Well, to be fair, it looks like youre probably still made out of some kind of gas. Ash tried to cheer his Pokmon up.

      Am I really supposed to feel comforted by those words? Haunter cried melodramatically. I just feel so, so, restrained by this new form. Surely this couldnt possibly be any better than what I was before, what I have always been. Haunter rested one hand against his face and looked up at the sky, sighing dramatically. Oh, woe is me, that I might never be able to engulf some unsuspecting wanderer into my fiendishly elaborate and fantastical illusions again.

      You know, youre really overselling it. Ash said.

      How can I possibly be overselling it? Do you have any idea how much I have lost? Within the span of a few seconds, I have shed the form that I have cast for countless millennia for this lesser state of being.

      Well, you just evolved, so this form should actually be stronger than your old one.

      But at what cost? I am no longer the same being that I have always been since the days before your civilization was even dreamt of. I can no longer even be called by the same name that I have been known as since time immemorial.

      Do you mean the name that you shared with literally every other member of your species?

      Gastly sighed. Of course a human like you would not understand not things, with your obsession with having every individual with their name as if you were all completely different creatures altogether. Speaking of which, where did the other go?

      You mean Carmine? Ash asked. He said that he wasnt going to put up with this nonsense and left while you were still screaming. He checked his watch. Which would have been about five minutes ago.

      Hmm perhaps I am overreacting a bit.

      Thats what Ive been saying this entire time. Ash pointed out.

      Fine, then. I suppose I will just go back to my Pokball and think things over on my own. Perhaps there is some sort of advantage to this new form that I simply havent thought of yet.

      Like the fact that you can punch things now?

      Dont go giving me any ideas. For now, I take my leave.

      Haunter flew behind Ash and reentered his Pokball, leaving Ash standing alone in the middle of the Pokmon League stadium. He walked over to a bench sitting at the side of the arena, took his backpack off and lay down on the bench. He looked up at the bright blue sky, punctuated only by a few white clouds, and started thinking about his life. It felt like it had been forever since he set out from Pallet Town. His dream had always been to go on a Pokmon Journey and become a Pokmon Master, to be the best like no one ever was. And now he was here, in the Pokmon League. He may not have had all eight badges that he would need to actually compete in the League yet and would soon go back to his journey. But that did not change the fact that right here and right now, he was at the stadium where it all happened. Where the greatest trainers in the Kanto and Johto regions would fight every year to find out who was truly worthy of being the Champion.

      Someday. Ash whispered under his breath. Someday itll be me.
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      Old May 7th, 2018 (7:30 AM).
      BZRich64's Avatar
      BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
      The Mustachioed Machamp
         
        Join Date: Apr 2013
        Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
        Age: 23
        Gender: Male
        Nature: Quiet
        Posts: 146
        Chapter 99
        Spoiler:
        59! I can help number 59!

        Red almost missed the fact that their number had finally been called. He, Bill and Yellow all stood up from their chairs and walked over to the counter across from the person who had called their number.

        What can I help you with? The worker asked with a false smile that did not mask her boredom.

        Wed like to apply for a Trainers Permit for this girl. Bill said, gesturing towards Yellow.

        Alright then, may I see the paperwork?

        Bill slapped a hand to his forehead. I forgot that we needed to do that.

        No problem. The woman sighed as she pulled a blank form from a shelf under her desk. You can fill it out now.

        Bill took the form from her and placed it on the counter in front of them, then picked up a pen that was sitting to the side. Red picked Yellow up off the ground so that she could see the form and Bill handed her the pen.

        Youll need to fill this out yourself. Bill explained to Yellow. But we can help you if you dont know what everything means.

        Okay! Yellow said as she looked down at the paper. She checked the first box that she needed to fill out on it and froze. My name

        Red and Bill glanced at each other and then down at Yellow. Or rather, at the girl that they called Yellow but whose true identity remained a mystery to everyone including her.

        This may take longer than we thought. Bill muttered.

        The woman sighed and picked up an empty clipboard, which she handed to them. Take your time, its not like youre keeping anyone else waiting. She said sarcastically.

        * * *

        Im growing very impatient. Giovanni remarked as he stood on the small boat that Team Rocket had docked at the Vermilion Harbor. Were finally here and almost ready to go, but now we still have to wait for those three to show up. What could be taking them so long?

        To be fair, they do have to make their way all the way here from Cerulean City. Its not exactly a short trip. Mallory pointed out. We could just leave without them.

        No. I want to see what it is that they found. I have a feeling that its something very important.

        You could just have them take another boat to meet us there.

        No. I want to draw as little attention to this little trip as possible. This will be the only boat heading out there for now. They also cant use Teleport to get straight here since they dont have a Pokmon of their own that can use it and it could draw attention if they were to meet up with someone else who could teleport them here.

        Yes, and Im sure that that wont draw anyones attention at all. Mallory said dryly as she pointed to something off in the distance. Giovanni looked over in the direction that she was pointing and his jaw dropped.

        Im going to have to have to talk to them about what qualifies as stealth. Giovanni muttered.

        A moment later, Giovanni and Mallory had to brace themselves as a large orange blur leapt onto the boat at blinding speed. The entire boat shook at the impact as the Arcanine touched down on its deck. The trio of James, Jessie and Meowth holding tight to its back for dear life. After a few seconds, they climbed off of it and stepped onto the boat.

        Good job, Growlie. James said as he patted his oldest Pokmon on the back. Now its time for you to go back into your Pokball.

        I still cant believe thats they lets you take thats thing back from yous home when yous twos was goin though yas trainin. Meowth said as James recalled the Fire-type.

        Enough chatter. Giovanni snapped. Were leaving. Now!

        * * *

        Dr. Sallow said that he put Yellow on the hospital paperwork back when we first found her and that can be counted as her name until we find out who she really is. Red put down the Pokgear that he had just used to call the doctor and handed it back to Bill. And Im registered as her temporary guardian until then as well, which means we can use my information for some of this.

        Well, hopefully we wont have any other snags. Bill said, scanning the rest of the form as Yellow wrote down her name.

        They finished filling out the form and when they were done, Yellow handed it up to Red, who passed it on to the DPT worker.

        It looks like this is all in order. She said, barely giving the paperwork a glance. Now you just need to go to the corner over there and theyll take your picture, then give you your card.

        Yellow, Red and Bill walked over to where the woman had pointed, where a man was standing with a camera. He took Yellows picture like the woman said and hooked it up to a computer. A moment later he printed off Yellows new Trainers Permit.

        Wow! Yellow gasped as she held up the card.

        So this means that you can legally own your own Pokmon. Bill explained as they walked back to the exit. So they Pokmon that you already have will officially be yours rather than Reds. You could also take part in Pokmon battles if you wanted to, though only if Red is with you and you cant enter into official tournaments or the like.

        So does this mean that Im a Pokmon Trainer, like you? Yellow asked Red.

        I guess so. Red said, opening the door so that they could leave.

        In a manner of speaking. Youre not a full-fledged Pokmon Trainer yet, but you are pretty close. Bill clarified.

        Thats so cool! Yellow said excitedly. But now what?

        All three stopped walking.

        I dont really know. Red thought for a moment. Is there a Gym here?

        I think so. Bill said. I seem to recall hearing something about a Flying-type Gym being in Porta Vista, but I have no idea where it actually is or who the Gym Leader is. In fact, it might not have even been the Flying-type Gym. Or Porta Vista, for that matter.

        So basically you have no idea. Red summarized.

        I wish I could be a bit more help with this, but Ive never really been that interested in the League. Im more curious about Pokmon themselves than fighting.

        Its fine. Im sure that well find something to d-

        ATTENTION! PEOPLE OF PORTA VISTA! Red was suddenly cut off by someone yelling into a loudspeaker somewhere nearby. The sound was deafening. FOR FAR TOO LONG WE HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS MENACE! BUT NO MORE!

        Well, it looks like we just found something to occupy our time. Red said, though the others couldnt hear him over the loudspeaker.

        I, NASTINA, HAVE BEEN TRYING TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE HERE IN PORTA VISTA, FOR THE GOOD OF ALL, BY CONSTRUCTING AN OFFSHORE THEME PARK AND HOTEL THAT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE, LOCALS AND TOURISTS ALIKE! BUT UNFORTUNATELY, NOT EVERYONE SEEMS TO FEEL THIS WAY AS SOMEONE HAS BEEN TRYING TO SABOTAGE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS GLORIOUS PARK, AS PART OF SOME NEFARIOUS SCHEME, NO DOUBT. AS SUCH I AM HERE TO ANNOUNCE A ONE-MILLION POK REWARD FOR THE CAPTURE OF THE NO-GOOD MISCREANT WHOS TRYING TO RUIN THINGS FOR ALL OF YOU, THE GOOD PEOPLE OF PORTA VISTA!

        Well, this can only end well. Red remarked sarcastically once the announcement had finished.

        Does anyone else here a lot of booing off in the distance? Bill asked.

        I cant really hear much of anything right now. Yellow replied, clutching her ears tightly.

        I have a feeling that whoever was just talking isnt exactly a popular figure. Said Red. And I think that I understand why. Even just hearing her voice made it obvious that shes not a very good person and what kind of a name is Nastina?

        I HEARD THAT, YA NO-GOOD WHIPPER-SNAPPER! A familiar voice suddenly shouted from behind Red. KIDS THESE DAYS JUST HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOUR ELDERS, DO YA? INSULTING THE GOOD NAME OF MY DEAR COUSIN NASTINA WHEN YOU HAVENT EVEN MET HER BEFORE! JUST WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, GOING ON LIKE THAT?
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        Old May 8th, 2018 (8:02 AM).
        BZRich64's Avatar
        BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
        The Mustachioed Machamp
           
          Join Date: Apr 2013
          Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
          Age: 23
          Gender: Male
          Nature: Quiet
          Posts: 146
          Chapter 100
          Spoiler:
          Gary sat in the mysterious throne in the dark chamber he was trapped in, forced into it by an unseen force that Gary was sure was a ghost of some kind. He tried his hardest to stand back up and get away from the throne, but no matter how hard he tried, he no longer had any control over his body. He let out a scream in the vain hope that somebody, anybody, would be able to come to his rescue. But he knew that it was pointless.

          Quite, boy. A deep, gravelly voice echoed throughout the chamber. There is no use in fighting it. You are mine now and I shall do with you as I please. You have no say in the matter.

          Gary tried to say something in reply, but terror struck as he found that he could no longer even open his mouth. The ghost that was controlling him now had him completely at its mercy.

          This land has fallen far in my absence. The voice continued. It is time for me to return and set things right, restoring the power of this nation and bringing the land into a new golden age. And your body shall serve as the perfect vessel for me to use to return to the mortal realm. That is why I had my servant bring you here, because this is your destiny, child, and it always has been.

          Gary had never known fear like what he felt now. It was an overwhelming sensation that overwrote all logical thought. He would have broken down crying if he still had even that much control over himself. All he could do was sit there and listen as the voice declared how it would use him. He silently prayed for something to free him from this nightmare and that prayer was soon answered.

          The wall to Garys left suddenly burst open, leaving a gaping hole leading straight into the ocean. Water started filling the chamber, but not nearly as fast as it should have. Something was holding the water back. Something that was no walking slowly towards Gary.

          Pikoa. The ghost was talking through Gary now and spoke with more disdain than had ever passed through Garys lips before. It was clear that the ghost had some kind of history with the strange yellow and blue Pikachu that now approached, holding a bolt of blue electricity like a staff.

          Thats a voice I never thought that I would hear again. Pikoa said. Its been a long time, but it feels like it hasnt been long enough.

          You would dare come here at the moment of my return and taunt me, rodent? The ghost asked angrily, gripping the arms of the throne so hard that Garys knuckled started to turn white and then stood up to properly face his adversary. When you are the one who caused my kingdom to sink into these depths to begin with?

          Hey, you cant blame everything that happened on me! Pikoa snapped. Besides, you deserved all of it and more for the things that you did when you were still alive! Theres no way that I would let you return and do it all again!

          But you cant do anything to stop me this time. The ghost laughed. Not without hurting this child.

          I wouldnt be so sure of that. Pikoa said smugly. Youre essence is still bound to this palace. You havent fully transferred yourself to that boy yet, which means if I can take him far away from this place, then it will break the link and you will be trapped here again, never to escape.

          You could try that The ghost started to say. Or

          The strange Pokmon that Gary had caught a glimpse of earlier jumped in from the hole in the wall, ready to attack. No that Gary got a good look at it, it looked like the lower half of the Pokmon was a blue, fishlike tail while its upper half vaguely resembled that of a Dewgong, but more slender and with long, light blue hair that flower almost like water. Without looking, Pikoa tossed his Lightning Javelin at the Pokmon, knocking it out effortlessly.

          Did you really think that that would work? Pikoa asked. I can sense everything that moves in the water, you know. There was no way your Primarina could have snuck up on me.

          Yet another gift from your master, I suppose. You have no true power of your own, do you?

          Dont you dare bring Lord Manaphy into this! Pikoa yelled furiously as the Lightning Javelin rematerialized in his hand, which he pointed at Gary.

          If you are going to strike me, then strike me. I have other descendants than this one, you know. Others who share my blood. Others that I can use.

          And I will make sure that you are never able to get your hands on another one of them. I cant let you bring your atrocities back into this world. Poklantis will never rise again, nor shall its former king. Which is why I must do this!

          Suddenly the water that was steadily pouring into the chamber erupted in at full force, filling the entire chamber instantly. The force of the water was enough to knock Gary unconscious and he missed everything that followed.

          * * *

          Daisy ran back to Fuchsia City, pulling her Pokgear out of her pocket. She dialed Kats number and held it up to her ear, waiting for her cousin to pick up.

          Did you find him? Was the first thing that Kat asked when she answered the call.

          Not exactly. It looks like he headed south to the beach and then disappeared. Theres something weird going on over there though.

          Ill be right there. Where are you now?

          Im just reaching the Pokmon Center on the edge of town. Daisy answered.

          Ill be right there. See you in a moment.

          Kat hung up, so Daisy put her Pokgear away. She didnt know any of the others phone numbers, so she couldnt let any of them know what had happened. She would leave that up to Kat. After a moment, a single Charizard came into view flying towards her and landed just a few feet away.

          Climb on! Kat ordered from the Charizards back. Well check out the beach from the air. Hopefully well be able to find something from up there that you couldnt from below.

          Daisy obeyed and climbed onto Charizard, holding on to Kat for support as the Flame Pokmon lifted off the ground and flew to Route 19.

          So what was it that happened? Kat asked. She had to yell to be heard over the wind.

          Im not sure. Daisy shouted back. I thought I saw some kind of Pokmon on a rock out in the ocean and I started to hear singing. The next thing that I knew I was walking into the water, already knee deep. If Cleffa hadnt snapped me out of it I might have gone all the way in. You dont think that could have been what happened to Gary, could it.

          Probably. Can you point out where the Pokmon was?

          It would have been there! Daisy pointed to the rock that the Pokmon was on as it came into view.

          Alright, were going down to check it out.

          But what if it gets us? Daisy worried.

          You said that Cleffa was able to snap you out of the trance, right? Kat asked.

          Yeah.

          That means that whatever it is, it should only be affecting humans. Charizard here will keep us out of trouble.

          Charizard dove down low over the water and circled the rock. Kat and Daisy looked around, but couldnt find anything suspicious.

          Looks like whatever was here left already. Kat observed. I think we should probably head back to Fuchsia now. The trails gone cold here.

          Shouldnt we keep looking? Daisy asked.

          For what? We dont know what were looking for. Well just have to trust that Gary will be safe for now and head back to meet up with the others. Perhaps well come up with something then.

          Alright, but it still doesnt feel right leaving while hes still out there.

          Were not leaving him. Kat reassured Daisy. Well never leave him behind.

          * * *

          Im sorry, maam. Red tried to apologize to the old woman yelling at him. I shouldnt have said that.

          SORRY AINT GONNA BE GOOD ENOUGH! The woman continued to shout, far louder than a woman of her apparent age had any right to. YOURE GONNA HAVE TO DO MORE THAN THAT TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT AND I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT YOURE GONNA DO!

          The old woman suddenly grabbed Red by the ear and started pulling him away. Bill and Yellow followed them, unsure of what to do about the current situation. The woman dragged Red around the block and up onto a wooden stage where another old woman was standing. She pushed him onto the floor in front of the second lady and began talking to her.

          HEY, NASTINA! IVE BROUGHT YOU A VOLUNTEER TO HELP STOP WHOEVERS RUINING YOUR PARK!

          WHY THANK YOU BRUTELLA! ITS ALWAYS NICE TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WILLING HELP OUT A RESPECTFUL LADY SUCH AS MYSELF OUT THERE!

          Red looked up at the two old women, who appeared to be almost identical to each other. They both had the same crinkled old face that suggested that they both did a lot of frowning and they both had their hair done in pigtails that seemed like they would fit better on someone only a fraction of their age. The only discernible differences between them were their clothing and their hair color. The one who had dragged him there, apparently named Brutella, had bright red hair while the other, Nastina, had more of a reddish orange shade.

          WHATS YOUR NAME, BOY? Nastina asked Red. It appeared that both women also shared the same habit of yelling everything they said.

          Samuel Redwood. Red wasnt quite sure why he just gave her his full name but guessed that it must have been because of how uncomfortable the two women made him feel.

          WELL, SAMMY, IM GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU WANT TO HELP ME OUT. Shouted Nastina. YOU SEE, SOMEONE HAS BEEN BREAKING INTO THE CONSTRUCTION AREA OF MY BEAUTIFUL AMUSEMENT PARK AND HOTEL AND DESTROYING AS MUCH OF IT AS THEY CAN. NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRY, MY SECURITY TEAM CANT SEEM TO STOP THEM. BUT SINCE YOU OFFERED TO HELP, IM GOING TO HAVE YOU WAIT AROUND THERE AND CAPTURE THE CRIMINAL WHEN THEY SHOW UP TONIGHT. WHEN YOU CATCH THEM, ILL GIVE YOU A REWARD OF ONE THOUSAND POK. ISNT NASTINA GENEROUS?

          Red wanted to object to being called Sammy and point out that that prize was significantly less than she had said earlier during her announcement, but he didnt say anything because he didnt want to get yelled at anymore.

          Nastina held up the walking stick that she was holding and used it to point to some sort of offshore facility that was just barely in view. NOW GET GOING! I DONT WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN UNTIL YOUVE CAUGHT THE MONSTER WHOS BEEN CAUSING ALL OF THIS TROUBLE!

          Red scrambled up to his feet and started running towards where she had pointed to. The faster he could get away from them the better. Bill and Yellow, who had been standing away from the stage so that they wouldnt draw the attention of Brutella or Nastina, ran after him.

          Are you really going to try and capture whoevers destroying the park? Yellow asked Red.

          It doesnt sound like I really have a choice. Red replied. I just want to get this over with and get out of this city. Although I suppose we should try to find Sable before we leave.

          Im right here.

          The sudden appearance of the purple-haired young woman running next to Red caused him to trip as he continued to run and he fell to the ground. Yellow and Bill both crashed into him and fell over him.

          Where did you come from? Red asked.

          I just saw you running and decided to join you. What are you doing, anyway?

          * * *

          Ash stood in front of the PC in the Indigo Plateau Pokmon Center, with his hand hovering over the keyboard. He couldnt decide if he wanted to bring the Raticate King into his party or not. There was no doubt that it, or they, would make a powerful addition to his team if they would obey him, but what if they didnt? He had no way of knowing if the five Psychic Raticate would listen to him or not and if they didnt there would be no telling what kind of problems they could cause. On the other hand, it wasnt like not having them with him meant that they wouldnt cause any trouble. They would be at Professor Oaks Pokmon facility back in Pallet Town and could potentially be causing even more problems there than they would with Ash.

          He decided that it was for the best that the Raticate be with him. At the very least he should be able to keep it in its Ultra Ball where it shouldnt be able to cause any harm, similar to how Carmine kept his Tyranitar under control. He clicked the button to send the Raticate King to him and an Ultra Ball materialized on his belt next to his Pokballs. He then logged out of the computer and left, leaving the Pokmon League and heading into the nearby forest so that there would be no one nearby to get hurt if things went wrong.

          Haunter? Ash called for his Ghost-type once he was sure that he would be far enough away.

          What do you want? Haunter asked with a bit of irritation in his voice as he popped out of his Pokball and hovered beside ask.

          Im about to send out the Raticate King. I want you on guard in case I cant control it yet. You have a type advantage over it, so it shouldnt be too much trouble for you.

          Are you sure that you really want to do that? Haunter asked, concerned.

          Its not like I really have a choice. Ash said. What else can I do with it?

          I dont know. Haunter said honestly. But I still dont think that this is a wise decision. Perhaps you could find a way to seal it away where it wont be a problem?

          And how do you know that it deserves that? Ash asked.

          Haunter stared at Ash for a moment, deep in thought. I suppose I dont. Haunter relented. Do what you wish.

          Ash let in a sharp breath of air and held out the Ultra Ball, pressing the button to send out what was inside. A flash of yellow Poknergy erupted from the Ultra Ball and to a point on the ground a few feet in front of him, where the Raticate King materialized. The five Raticate joined at their tails each jittered and sniffed around, unfamiliar with the forest environment. After a moment of taking in their surroundings, the two Raticate closest to Ash turned to face him, standing eerily still.

          -What is it that you ask of us, Master?- The words were sent telepathically into Ashs mind in five different voices at once.

          M-Master? Ash stuttered. You called me master. That means that you accept me as your trainer, right?

          -Of course, Master. You were the one who was able to capture us in that strange device you hold. That means that you are the one who we now serve.-

          Ash let out a sigh of relief. This was going much better than he had expected.

          -However, you have not yet earned our respect or the right to fully command us. We will not harm you or those close to you, we will not cause any trouble that will be reflected back to you, but we will not take orders from you until we have decided that you are worthy.-

          Ash knew that things had been going to well to be true. But at least things werent too bad.

          Alright then. Ash said. Thats pretty much all I wanted to know right now, so return to your Ultra Ball. He held out the black and yellow Ultra Ball and pressed the button again, but nothing happened.

          -You did not listen to us. We said that we would not listen to you. Now, leave us be.-

          No. Ash said firmly. Youre going back to your Ultra Ball.

          -No, Master. We will not.-

          Ash suddenly found himself pushed back by a blast of Psychic energy. Haunter tried to intervene, but all five Raticate used Scary Face on him at once, lowering his speed to the point where he could barely move as the Raticate king ran off deeper into the woods.

          Well, that didnt go the way I hope that it would. Ash groaned as he got back up onto his feet.
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          Old May 9th, 2018 (8:13 AM).
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          BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
          The Mustachioed Machamp
             
            Join Date: Apr 2013
            Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
            Age: 23
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            Nature: Quiet
            Posts: 146
            Chapter 101
            Spoiler:
            “How long do you think it will take them to show up?” Yellow asked Red as they, Bill and Sable walked around the construction zone, waiting for some sign of someone coming in to sabotage the place.

            “Who knows?” Red replied. “We don’t even know that there will be anyone. For all we know, that lady could have just made the whole thing up.”

            “Why would she do that?” Asked Yellow.

            “I don’t know why, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.”

            “Perhaps we could just leave now?” Sable suggested. “It’s not like we would miss out on anything important if we did.”

            “No.” Red shook his head. “I have a feeling that something is going to happen. I just don’t know when.”

            Their conversation was interrupted by a loud splashing sound echoed throughout the area.

            “What was that?” Yellow asked, grabbing on to Red’s waist and holding him tightly.

            “I don’t know.” Red answered, resting his hand reassuringly on her shoulder. “Probably just a Water-type Pokémon in the area surfacing for air or something.”

            “It’s getting hard to see anything now that the sun’s going down.” Bill said, straining his eyes looking in the direction that he thought the noise had come from.

            “It is quite the lovely sunset, though.” Sable mused.

            A wet plopping noise squelched through the air, followed by another and another.

            “Well, that’s not something that you hear every day.” Bill said as he backed up towards Red.

            “It sounds like we’re surrounded.” Sable did the same.

            “Perhaps staying here might not have been the best idea after all.” Red said weakly. “But I’m sure that we can hold our own against whatever it is that’s coming towards us.

            The four stood close together, wary of the splotching noises that surrounded them and seemed to be getting closer.

            “After all, we can take on anything together, right?” Red asked hopefully.

            “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this about me, but I’m not exactly much for battling.” Bill said. “The only Pokémon that I even have with me is my new Porygon and I don’t even know what it can do in a fight yet.”

            “And I don’t have anything at all to help with.” Sable added. “So it looks like you two are on your own for the actual fighting, should it come to that.”

            “I’m scared.” Yellow whimpered, increasing the tightness of her grip on Red’s waist.

            “It doesn’t matter.” Red said, with a bit more determination in his voice than he had before. “We can still make it through whatever is about to happen.”

            “I think they’re almost here.” Yellow whispered.

            Sure enough, dozens of seemingly amorphous forms came into view from all directions, silhouetted against the golden-red sky as the sun sank below the horizon. Countless tentacles flopped against the ground as they crawled towards them slowly.

            “What are they?”

            “They look like…” Bill muttered. “Tentacool?”

            * * *

            “This is bad.” Ash said as he paced back and forth frantically. “This is really, really bad.”

            “It could be worse.” Haunter tried to calm his trainer down.

            “How? I just let that… thing… loose! There’s no telling what it could do!”

            “The Raticate King did say that it wouldn’t cause any trouble before it fled.” Haunter pointed out.

            “Any trouble that could lead back to me. That doesn’t really mean much since only three people even know that that thing is even mine to begin with. It could cause all kinds of problems out there and not have anything fall back directly on me, but it would still be out there doing who-knows-what!”

            “Hmm…” Haunter rested his right hand under his chin. Despite his earlier complaints, he seemed to have adjusted to his new form rather quickly. “Well I don’t know much about how modern technology works, but couldn’t you just do that thing that you did to bring the Raticate King to you, but in reverse?”

            “You mean send it back into storage at the professor’s place?” Ash asked.

            “Sure, what you just said.”

            “I suppose that could work.”

            “Then go do it.”

            Ash hurried back to the same PC that he had used to place the Raticate King into his party less than an hour earlier and logged into it. He dragged the icon representing the Raticate King out of his party and into the box that represented Oak’s Pokémon facility. The Ultra Ball on Ash’s belt vanished and he gave a sigh of relief. Then an error message popped up on screen.

            “Could not locate Pokémon.” Ash read aloud.

            “Well, I guess that didn’t work out quite as expected.” Haunter said, looking over Ash’s shoulder. “But there isn’t really anything else that we can do now. I suppose you’ll just have to hope that the Raticate King won’t do anything for now and come back for it when you’re prepared.”

            “But how am I supposed to prepare for that thing. You saw what it can do. It managed to use five attacks at once!”

            “Actually it used one move five times.” Haunter pointed out. “But that’s beside the point. It said that it wouldn’t follow your orders yet, didn’t it? And as you collect more badges you’ll be able to have higher-leveled Pokémon obey you, right? So just go looking for it when you come back to enter the Pokémon League. By that point, it should have to do what you tell it.”

            “I hope your right.” Ash sighed as he logged out of the PC.

            “Or you could just tell Carmine. I’m sure he could probably handle it for you.”

            “No!” Ash snapped at his Pokémon. “I’ve already relied on his help too much so far. I need to be able to deal with things on my own.”

            “Or you just don’t want to admit to him that you messed up.” Haunter made a motion that Ash interpreted as a shrug, though it was hard to tell when he had no arms.

            “That too, I guess.” Ash said quietly. “But mostly because of what I said.”

            * * *

            Daisy and Kat walked into the Fuchsia City Pokémon Center, where Mal, Ciel and Sue were waiting for them.

            “Any sign?” Mal asked hopefully.

            Kat shook her head, which the others all understood meant that they had still hadn’t found Gary.

            “Where could he have gone?” Ciel wondered aloud. “I know that I didn’t know him very well, but this still seems completely unlike him.”

            “He ran away once when we were young.” Daisy said drearily as she walked over to a chair and sunk down into it, looking like she was about to cry. The others all stared at her in stunned silence except for Kat, who looked away uncomfortably.

            “It wasn’t long after Mr. Ketchum disappeared.” Daisy explained. “Gary looked up to Mr. Ketchum as a hero. He was widely known for being one of the greatest trainers that this nation had ever seen, so naturally Gary idolized him. I did too. Once Mr. Ketchum was gone, we all took it pretty hard, but especially Gary. Ash closed himself off from the rest of us after his father vanished, which meant that Gary lost not only his hero, but also his best friend. After a while, it just got too much for him and he ran away from home. It took our parents three days before they finally managed to find him on Route 1, halfway to Viridian City, and brought him back. After that, our parents have always been overly protective of him, especially Dad, which is probably why he made sure that all of you went with him on his journey.”

            “I had no idea…” Ciel muttered.

            “I actually had heard that before.” Mal said. “I overheard David mention it once when he was running for mayor. I never found out the details about it, though.”

            “There are a lot of things in the past we don’t like to talk about much.” Kat said bitterly. “Pallet Town has never been quite the rural paradise that most people paint it out to be. We’ve had all kinds of problems in the past and for some reason, keeping them buried seems to be the go-to solution for everything, and our family is the worst with it.”

            “Don’t say that.” Daisy pleaded with her cousin.

            “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Kat apologized. “I’m just a bit bitter about the current situation.”

            “It’s okay. I know you want to find Gary as much as I do. It’s just… where do we look now?”

            “We’ll find out.” Kat said hopefully. “We’re Oaks after all, and Oaks always stand strong together.”
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              #106   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
            Old May 10th, 2018 (7:51 AM). Edited May 10th, 2018 by BZRich64.
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            BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
            The Mustachioed Machamp
               
              Join Date: Apr 2013
              Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
              Age: 23
              Gender: Male
              Nature: Quiet
              Posts: 146
              Chapter 102
              Spoiler:
              The sound of the front door sliding open drew Daisy out of her thoughts and she looked over to see who had entered the Pokémon Center. She thought for a second that it would be Giselle, checking to see what was going on, but she was wrong. It was the two swimmers that she had talked to earlier, now fully clothed, along with another man that she had never seen before. The three men walked over to Daisy and the others.

              “Koga?” Kat asked in confusion as she saw the man that Daisy did not know. “What are you doing here?”

              “I was informed that a boy has gone missing in the area and I have come to aid in the search. Am I correct in guessing that you are the ones who are looking for him?”

              “Right.” Daisy said. “My brother Gary disappeared. We haven’t been able to find any trace of him.”

              “Don’t worry.” Koga said, slowly kneeling down to talk to Daisy at eye level. “I will do everything in my power to find out where he has gone and bring him back here safe and sound. What information can you tell me about what happened?”

              “He left without saying anything earlier this afternoon.” Mal explained. “By the time any of us had realized that he was gone, it was already too late.”

              “I thought he would have gone to your Gym to challenge you.” Kat added. “But it looks like he went down to Route 19 for some reason instead. There was some sort of Pokémon there earlier that used a hypnotic song to try and lure Daisy into the water when she was looking for him, but she was able to snap out of it before going all the way in. We think that it might have done the same thing to Gary earlier, but it’s gone now so we don’t know for sure.”

              “Hmm…” Koga took a moment to process this information and stood back up. “I have heard rumors of a strange Pokémon that has been sighted off the shore of Route 19 as of late, but this is the first that I have heard of it trying to bring people into the water. I will go to investigate myself. For now, I suggest that you all get some rest. I’m sure you’ve all worked very hard trying to find him and could use some sleep.”

              “Thank you.” Daisy said. “This means a lot to me.”

              “Think nothing of it.” Koga replied. “It is my duty as a Gym leader to help anyone in need. And right now your brother is certainly in quite a bit of need. I will go now. The sooner I begin my search, the sooner I will be able to find him.”

              * * *

              “Go, Parasect!” Red yelled out as he held up a Pokéball. The mushroom Pokémon jumped out and landed on the ground in front of the huddled group of Red, Yellow, Bill and Sable.

              “Um, go Maggie.” Yellow said, holding her own Pokéball out the way that Red had. Her Gyarados emerged from it and surrounded the group with its long tail.

              “Parasect! Climb up on Maggie’s back and hit the Tentacool with a wave of Stun Spore!”

              “Maggie! Attack them with… um… an attack!”

              Parasect tried to make its way up onto Maggie, but with little success. Maggie decided to help him out and moved the tip of its tail underneath him, pushing him up onto her back. From there, Parasect sprayed out a thick cloud of spores from the mushroom growing out of its back that fell over the approaching Tentacool and caused them to seize up, unable to move any closer. Maggie then turned her attention to the Tentacool coming in from the other sides and pointed her tail towards some of them. The air around her tail condensed into an orb around it and then a funnel of raging wind grew out from the orb, heading straight for the Tentacool. The attack sent them flying back into the water and curved around to get even more of them. It didn’t take long before Maggie’s Twister attack was able to send all of the Tentacool back into the ocean from which they had come.

              “Did you get all of them?” Bill asked.

              “I don’t know.” Red replied. “It’s hard to tell with Maggie in the way.”

              “Hey!” Yellow snapped at him.

              “I just meant that I can’t see anything.” Red said defensively. “Although I can’t hear anything either, so I think that must have been all of them.”

              Red and Yellow recalled their Pokémon back into their Pokéballs.

              “Yep, looks like that was all of them.” Red said with a sigh of relief. “That was certainly easier than I thought it would be.”

              “That was my first Pokémon battle.” Yellow said.

              “Yeah, I guess that was.”

              “I’m a Pokémon Trainer now!”

              “Well, you’re not a full Pokémon Trainer yet since you only have a permit rather than a license.” Bill pointed out. “But there isn’t really much of a difference, so yeah. You’re a Pokémon Trainer.”

              “This is so cool!”

              “Does anyone else hear that?” Sable asked, breaking the mood.

              “Hear what?” Red asked.

              “That.” Sable raised a finger and the others all remained silent for a moment. None of them noticed anything at first, but after a moment they began to hear a loud crashing sound like a waterfall. Sable then lowered her finger to point forwards and the others looked where she was pointing.

              “What is that?” Yellow screamed in horror as something massive rose out of the water. The indeterminate blue and red object was far larger than Maggie and possibly even larger than the S.S. Anne had been.

              “I think it might be…” Bill started to say. “If those things earlier were Tentacool… but it shouldn’t be nearly that large…”

              “What do you think it is?” Red asked him.

              “I think… it’s a Tentacruel. But not just any Tentacruel, this has got to be something like the Dragonite that damaged my lighthouse or the Tyranitar that attacked Johto all those years ago.”

              Several gray tentacles rose up out of the water in front of the blue mass and landed on the ground with a massive thud before pulling the giant Jellyfish Pokémon up fully above the water. The massive Tentacruel towered above the group who looked on with horror. Dozens of tentacles hung down from the monster’s black underbelly, from which also sprouted two large blue mandibles that looked like they could easily crush through boulders like nothing. The top of its head covered in blue plating, with two giant red orbs sticking out and one smaller one in the center of its forehead. Not that the top of its head was still visible from down below, were they stood looking up at it as it stared down back at them. Fury clearly burning behind its eyes.

              “I have no idea what’s happening or why.” Red said. “But I think the answer to this problem is simple. Yellow, use Abraham to get us out of here.”

              “Right.” Yellow reached down to grab Abraham’s Pokéball from around her waist, but before she could grab it, a massive tentacle swung down where they were standing and Red had to grab her and jump out of the way, while Bill and Sable leaped to the opposite side of where it landed.

              “It’s not even going to give us a chance to escape, is it?” Red said as he and Yellow got back up onto their feet. “And I don’t think that there’s anything that we can do against something that big.”

              “What do we do?” Yellow asked.

              “I’m not sure.” Red replied. “Parasect isn’t nearly strong enough to take something like that on, Charmeleon is weak to Water-type moves which that thing probably has a ton of, and I don’t know what Porygon can do yet. I doubt even Maggie could take that thing on.”

              “But we won’t know for sure unless we try, right?” Yellow asked, reaching for Maggie’s Pokéball as the giant Tentacuel readied another attack.

              “Yellow, no! We need to find a way to get away from here, not fight it!”

              But it was too late, Yellow had already sent out her first Pokémon, which almost seemed to fly through the air out of its Pokéball as it went straight for the tentacle that was swinging down and used Bite on it. The Tentacuel raised another tentacle to slap her away but was interrupted by a bolt of electricity that seemed to come out of nowhere and hit Tentacruel straight in the central red orb on its head. Red and Yellow looked up at where the lightning had come from to see the silhouette of a Pokémon standing on top of a pillar. The Pokémon sent out a second Lightning Bolt and for a split second, they could see the Pikachu properly in the light of the attack.

              “Where did that thing come from?” Red wondered in shock.

              “I don’t know.” Yellow said. “But she seems… familiar…”
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              Old May 11th, 2018 (7:28 AM). Edited May 13th, 2018 by BZRich64.
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              BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
              The Mustachioed Machamp
                 
                Join Date: Apr 2013
                Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                Age: 23
                Gender: Male
                Nature: Quiet
                Posts: 146
                With this, I'm now caught up posting this story here, which means updates will now be twice a week, on Monday and Friday mornings (Pacific Time).
                Chapter 103
                Spoiler:
                The giant Tentacruel swiped one of its tentacles at Pikachu, who backflipped out of the way of the attack and landed on all four feet next to where Red and Yellow were standing. She may not be the strongest Pokémon out there, or even the strongest Pikachu, but at least she had a type advantage, which meant that she could do something to help protect Yellow from this monster. She sent out another Thunder Shock at the Tentacruel and used Quick Attack to run up a partially constructed wall to get a higher vantage point.

                “I feel like I’ve seen that Pikachu somewhere.” Yellow muttered while staring up at the Electric-type Mouse Pokémon, spacing out everything else.

                “Now’s not the time.” Red said a bit louder than he meant as he grabbed Yellow off the ground and started running away from the Tentacruel. “We’ve got to get out of here.”

                The tentacle that had separated Red and Yellow from Bill and Sable was still there and appeared to make its way all of the way to the other end of the small man-made island that they were on, effectively splitting the offshore construction site in two and preventing the two groups from reuniting. Despite this, Red ran alongside the tentacle as fast as he could while trying to carry Yellow in the vain hope that he would find a way to the other side of it to regroup with the others so that they could make their escape. Pikachu continued to attack Tentacruel while he did so, providing a distraction to keep Tentacuel’s focus away from them. After a few minutes, Red managed to reach the edge of the site, which the tentacle hung off the side of. There was no way for them to cross to the other side without trying to climb over it.

                “This… isn’t good.” Red said between deep gasps for air as he put Yellow back down. Running while carrying the girl took a lot more out of him than he expected.

                “Where have I seen her before?” Yellow whispered, still staring off in Pikachu’s direction.

                “You’re probably… thinking… of one of… Ash’s Pikachu… from the S.S. Anne.” Red said, still catching his breath. “His second one... was a girl… I think.”

                “No, that’s not it.” Yellow shook her head. “This one’s different. The marks on her ears are different.”
                Red looked up at the Pikachu. He hadn’t paid much attention to it before and it was too far away for him to make out clearly. “Different how?”

                “I don’t know.” Yellow said. “They seemed… spikier, I guess. The ones we’ve seen before had smoother marks than this one.”

                Pikachu dodged another one of Tentacruel’s tentacles, jumping down to the ground again and landing a bit closer to where they were standing. Sure enough, Red was able to faintly see what Yellow was talking about. But in a moment, Pikachu was too far away again.

                “I guess there’s no use just thinking about it.” Red said. “We need to do something to help out. I don’t think any of my Pokémon can do anything against that thing, but Maggie might have a chance.”

                “Right!” Yellow nodded and pulled Maggie’s Pokéball out again. A moment later, the large Water-type was flying through the air at Tentacruel and bit into one of its tentacles with an Ice Fang attack before falling into the water next to the beast. She swam around fighting more of the monster’s appendages as Pikachu continued fighting from above.

                “I suppose I should at least see what my new Porygon can do.” Red said as he pulled out his Pokédex to check what it had to say on the matter. “Wait, it looks like it might be of some use after all. Porygon, use Thunderbolt!”

                Red sent out his new Pokémon, which emerged from its Pokéball and floated in the air in front of him for a moment, not immediately responding to his command. The blue and red, bird-like Virtual Pokémon seemed to study its surroundings for a moment before rising up in the air. Electricity surged between the tip of its beak and then shot out at Tentacruel. The attack managed to hit, but that only seemed to make it angrier. Tentacruel stopped attacking and retracted all of its tentacles back to itself, even the one separating Bill and Sable from Red and Yellow.

                “Are you all right?” Red asked the others as they came into view.

                “Perfectly fine.” Bill called back to him. “But why are you all of the way back there?”

                Red then realized that he and Yellow were still near the far edge of the construction site. He and Yellow then ran over to meet up with the others.

                “I think this is our chance to escape.” Bill said once they had regrouped. “Just quickly recall your Pokémon and send out your Abra and we should be able to get out of here in no time.”

                “I wouldn’t be so sure about that.” Sable said, pointing a finger up at Tentacruel. “It’s readying another attack.”

                The others all looked over and saw what she was referring to. The red orbs embedded in Tentacruel’s head glowed brightly, a clear indicator that it was about to do something.

                “Run!” Red shouted and all four quickly made their way behind a wall just in time. A wall of water rushed by them with a ferocious power behind it. After it passed, they could see Maggie, Pikachu and Porygon lying on the ground where they had just been standing. Maggie flopped around, trying to get back up while Porygon rose back into the air. Pikachu continued to lie down, apparently unconscious.
                Porygon suddenly flashed white for a second as it changed color. Its previously red and blue body now being completely blue, with a wavy pattern to it.

                “What just happened?” Red wondered aloud.

                “I think Porygon just used one of its unique moves.” Bill explained. “Unless I’m mistaken, it just used Conversion 2, which changed Porygon’s type to something that resists the last attack it was hit by.”

                “That sounds useful.” Red said. “Though I’m not sure how helpful it will be in this situation. What even was that move it just used?”

                “I’ve I had to make a guess, I would say it was some sort of extra powerful Hydro Pump. Or maybe Surf?”

                “I don’t think that it really matters what move it used.” Sable said. “What’s important is that we find a way to stop it or get away.”

                “Um, Sable.” Yellow stammered, looking over the woman’s shoulder.

                “What?” Sable asked, turning to see what she was looking at, but it was too late. Sable was suddenly pulled away by one of Tentacruel’s tentacles that had snuck up on her from around the side of the wall.
                Red, Bill and Yellow all ran out to face Tentacruel, who was waving Sable around in the air triumphantly.

                “What’s it doing?” Yellow asked in horror.

                “I don’t kn-” Bill started to say, but was suddenly cut off.

                “STOP!” A voice echoed loudly around the area, and yet it seemed as though it only existed in the minds of those who heard it. It sounded like Sable’s voice, but there was something different about it. “FOR A LONG TIME I HAVE SLUMBERED PEACEFULLY IN MY HOME DEEP BENEATH THE WAVES.”

                Red’s jaw went slack as he realized what was happening. The Tentacruel was somehow using Sable as a mouthpiece of some sort to communicate directly with them for some reason. Although he had no idea how or why it seemed to be communicating telepathically through her.

                “BUT THEN I WAS AWOKEN FROM MY SLUMBER WHEN A HUMAN VESSEL SANK BELOW THE OCEAN'S SURFACE AND STRUCK ME. I WAS GOING TO OVERLOOK THIS INCIDENT, BUT BEFORE I COULD RESUME MY SLEEP I LEARNED OF HOW HUMANS HAVE BEEN DESTROYING THE HOME OF MY BRETHREN HERE. THEY HAVE TRIED THEIR BEST TO RECLAIM THERE HOME AND PREVENT ITS DESTRUCTION, BUT YOU HAVE STOPPED THEM. WHY?”

                “W-what are you talking about?” Red asked.

                “YOU HAVE USED THE POkéMON THAT SERVE YOU TO FIGHT OFF MY BRETHREN AND EVEN ME. WHY IS IT THAT YOU INSIST ON DESTROYING OUR HOME?”

                “I… we didn’t know!” Red tried to explain. “We were just told that someone was trying to stop the construction here and we were asked to stop them.”

                “FOOLISH HUMANS. YOU ALL HEAD INTO BATTLE RECKLESSLY WITH NO IDEA OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING. YOU ARE JUST LIKE THOSE WHO ATTACKED ME WHEN THEY TRIED TO FIND THE VESSEL THAT HAD AWOKEN ME FROM MY SLUMBER.”


                Tentacruel then raised five more of its tentacles above the water, revealing five more women that the giant Pokémon waved around in the air alongside Sable. Among them were Misty and her sister that Red had fought in the Cerulean Gym, Lily. He assumed that two of the others must be their other sisters, but he had no idea who the last one was.

                “AND NOW YOU WILL ALL SHARE IN THE SAME FATE.”

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                Old May 14th, 2018 (7:12 AM).
                BZRich64's Avatar
                BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                The Mustachioed Machamp
                   
                  Join Date: Apr 2013
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                  Chapter 104
                  Spoiler:
                  “Well, this just keeps getting worse and worse.” Red sighed as he looked up at the giant Tentacruel and the six women that it held hostage. “Anyone have any ideas of how we stop this thing?”

                  “Could we try reasoning with it?” Bill suggested. “It just said that it's attacking because this construction site was harming the home of the native Tentacool. Perhaps if we explain that we didn’t know that and if we promise to help stop it, then that thing will let them go and leave.”

                  “I’m not sure about that, but it’s worth a shot, I guess. Better than our other options right now.” Red cleared his throat and addressed the giant Tentacruel. “We didn’t know that this place was disturbing the wild Pokémon! We were just told to stop whoever was trying to sabotage the construction without knowing the details of what was going on! If you let those people go we can work together to stop the lady trying to build this thing and restore the Tentacool’s habitat.”

                  “YOU CLAIM YOU DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON,” Sable’s distorted voice ran through their minds again. “BUT IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT THAT YOU AGREED TO GO INTO THIS WITHOUT FIRST LEARNING WHAT IT WAS YOU WERE DOING. THE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO REMAIN WILFULLY IGNORANT OF YOUR OWN ACTIONS. I WILL NOT SPARE YOU BECAUSE YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE SPARED.”

                  “But we were forced into this!” Red pleaded.

                  “I WILL NO LONGER LISTEN TO YOUR PATHETIC EXCUSES. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN DECISIONS AND THE CONSEQUENCES THEY BRING YOU.”

                  With that, the gem-like orbs on Tentacruel’s head began to glow again and Red, Yellow and Bill quickly ran back behind the wall to avoid another attack. Yellow grabbed the fainted Pikachu off of the ground as she ran and Red’s Porygon ducked behind the wall with them, but Maggie was caught in the massive blast of water and knocked back into the ocean.

                  “We could really use some kind of miracle right about now.” Red said. “Like a Zapdos or something.”

                  “What about that yellow and blue Pikachu that helped us earlier?” Yellow asked. “Pikololu?”

                  “Pikoa.” Red corrected her. “Yeah, I’m sure he could come in handy right about now. But unfortunately all we have right now is ourselves and our Pokémon, and we are completely outmatched right now.”

                  “Maybe you could catch one of the Tentacool from earlier and have it reason with that thing.” Bill suggested.

                  “I’m sure that would just make it angrier.” Red pointed out. “There’s got to be something else that we can do.”

                  “This feels familiar.” Yellow muttered.

                  “What?” Red asked the girl.

                  “I’m not sure really. I just feel like we’ve been through something like this before. Confronted by a powerful Pokémon that we can’t fight or reason with.”

                  “Are you talking about when we fought Team Rocket back in Mt. Moon?” Red asked.

                  “No.” Yellow shook her head. “Something else. Something after that.”

                  “I hate to interrupt you while you’re on the verge of remembering something,” Bill said as he peered around the side of the wall to check on what the Tentacruel was doing. “But it looks like this wall is about to come crashing down!”

                  Taking Bill’s cue, Red, Yellow and Porygon all ran away from the wall just as a massive tentacle smashed through the wall and reduced it to nothing more than rubble.

                  “Is there nothing we can do to stop this thing?” Red asked in frustration as they ran behind another wall, narrowly avoiding another Hydro Pump.

                  The Pikachu clutched in Yellow’s arms twitched its ears and slowly opened its eyes as she regained consciousness. She looked around, seeing that they were still in danger and forced her way out of the girl’s grasp.

                  “Hey, come back!” Yellow yelled at the Pikachu as she ran towards the giant Tentacruel as top speed. “It’s dangerous!”

                  “I know.” Pikachu muttered as she forced herself to continue going forward. Her every instinct told her to turn back and run away, but she couldn’t. Not now. It was her sworn duty to protect the girl and while she may not have been able to do any good back on the S.S. Anne, this was chance to finally make her mark. “That’s why I have to do it.”

                  Pikachu jumped out of the way of a swinging tentacle and ran up a support pillar. Another tentacle slammed into the pillar to knock her down, but she jumped on to it and started running towards the giant Tentacruel, building up as much electrical energy from her cheeks as she could. She had never used this move before and most of her kind weren’t even able to pull it off, but she had no other options than to try.

                  “I have to protect you!” Pikachu shouted at the top of her lungs, though she knew that even if Yellow could hear her from that distance in the storm that had kicked up from the battle, Yellow wouldn’t be able to understand what she said. Tears ran down the sides of her face as the electrical buildup became more than she could handle, overloading her body and sending a constant wave of paint throughout her nervous system. But she couldn’t stop now, even if it meant electrocuting herself. “Even if it’s the last thing that I do!”

                  Pikachu leaped off of the tentacle and rocketed through the air straight towards her opponent.

                  “VOLT!”

                  Tentacruel’s eyes widened as it realized what was happening and that there was no way it would be able to dodge the overpowered attack. It did its best to brace himself from the impact, knowing that it would not be enough.

                  “TACKLE!”

                  Pikachu slammed straight into the center jewel of Tentacruel’s head with enough force and electrical energy to send the monstrous leviathan hurtling back, collapsing back into the sea. It lost its grip on the girls that it held hostage as it happened, causing them to fall into the water, along with Pikachu, who had been knocked unconscious again from the backlash of her attack.

                  Red, Yellow and Bill watched in horror as the figures of the six women and Pikachu fell out of their sight into the water and they ran to the edge of the construction site to see if they were okay. As they ran, Maggie rose out of the water, the girls and Pikachu all resting on the Gyarados’ back.

                  “Thank Arceus they’re alright.” Red said as Maggie gently lowered them to the ground.

                  “Do you think that it’s gone?” Bill asked, eying the water cautiously. “I mean, what if that didn’t actually knock it out? And even if it did, what will happen when it wakes up again?”

                  “I don’t know.” Red said as he and Bill checked to make sure that all of the women were okay. “But let’s just hope we don’t have to find out.”

                  Yellow ran over to Pikachu and cradled her in her arms. She could feel the Electric Mouse Pokémon breathing, but it was faint. “She saved us.”

                  “That she did.” Red said with a sigh of relief. All Sable, Misty, her sisters and the woman that Red didn’t know were all still breathing as well and would hopefully be waking up soon.

                  “But where did she even come from?” Bill asked.

                  “I don’t know.” Yellow said. “But I feel like she’s been with us the whole time.”

                  “Weird.” Said Red. “Although now that you mention it, I have often felt like we were being followed. But why would a Pikachu be following us?”

                  “Do you think maybe it could have something to do with your past?” Bill asked. “Like, maybe it belongs to your family or something, so it’s been following you this entire time?”

                  “I don’t see how that could be, though.” Red said before Yellow had a chance to answer. “We’ve been Teleporting around a lot, sometimes not even by choice. There’s no way she would be able to keep track of where we’ve been going.”

                  “I know her.” Yellow said simply. “I don’t know how or from where, but I definitely know her.”

                  “Well, I suppose you have plenty of time to think about it.” Bill sighed. “But for now we need to get these girls to a hospital and that Pikachu to a Pokémon Center.”
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                  Old May 18th, 2018 (4:32 PM). Edited May 18th, 2018 by BZRich64.
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                  BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                  The Mustachioed Machamp
                     
                    Join Date: Apr 2013
                    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                    Age: 23
                    Gender: Male
                    Nature: Quiet
                    Posts: 146
                    Chapter 105
                    Spoiler:
                    Team Rockets boat sped across the ocean as an island came into view at the edge of the moonlit horizon. It would only be a few minutes before they reached their destination.

                    What is that? James asked in awe as they moved in closer and they could start to see the island more clearly.

                    That would be our new headquarters. Giovanni explained. Although I must admit, its much more grandiose than I was expecting.

                    You can say that again. Mallory said. The report that I found did mention that the facility was built out some kind of ancient temple, but this is far from what I would have expected.

                    After a moment the boat pulled up beside the island, which could barely even be called an island. The relatively small landmass was held up in the air by massive pillars of rock rising out of the water. On top of the elevated island was a large gray building that didnt match any known form of architecture. Huge spires rose up out of the main ancient structure that had apparently been modified by the scientist that formerly worked there into windmills. There were glowing green orbs built into the temple and a single purple one near the top of the highest tower that felt like it was beckoning them closer.

                    The boat drifted carefully underneath the island, passing between two of the small waterfalls that came down from the edges. They docked at a small alcove at the center of the island and Giovanni, Mallory, the Iron-Masked Marauder, Jessie, James, Meowth, Masque, Butch and Cassidy all got out of the boat. There was a large staircase leading up to the facility, which was lit by more of the strange green spheres.

                    What kind of temple was this? The Iron-Masked Marauder asked as they climbed up the staircase.

                    The report didnt say. Mallory responded.

                    If I had to make a guess, then I would say it was a temple of Lugia built by the ancient Poklantians. Said Giovanni. Though there are almost no surviving records of the civilization and no one has ever found one of their temples before, so its hard to say for sure.

                    How do you know that? Jessie asked, surprised.

                    Studying ancient civilizations was something of a hobby of mine back in college. Giovanni explained. This temple looks to have built around the time they would have been active and this island was likely within their territory before they were destroyed.

                    What happened to them? Asked James as they reached the top of the staircase and entered a large open room.

                    No one knows for sure. One of the few things that we know about them is that they worshiped a Lugia thats known to live somewhere within the Orange Archipelago and the leading theory is that they tried to capture it, but they failed and it destroyed their entire civilization in retaliation. There is very little evidence to support that theory, though. But thats beside the point. This place is ours now and we will do with it as we wish.

                    * * *

                    So apparently a break means all night to you. Squirtle complained as he, Charmander, Bulbasaur and Zoroark sat around the campfire that they had made.

                    We didnt realize how late it was. Bulbasaur said defensively. And were not going to walk around all night after weve already spent most of the day walking. Well get to Cerulean tomorrow.

                    But were already so close!

                    The Gym probably isnt even open this late, anyway. Bulbasaur pointed out. Besides, well need to be well rested for the battle.

                    Ugh, fine. Squirtle folded his arms and looked around at the surrounding trees.

                    Can you two please stop arguing? Charmander asked exasperatedly. Lets just enjoy this pleasant night, spent around a fire with friends.

                    Im not sure that friends is really the right word. Squirtle said.

                    What? Charmander was taken aback by this comment. Were not friends?

                    Well, obviously I consider you a friend. Squirtle verbally backtracked. And Zoroark as well.

                    You just meant to say that Im not your friend. Bulbasaur clarified. Which I cant blame you for saying. Im here to make sure that Charmander stays safe and that Zoroark finds her son. I dont really care about you at all.

                    The feeling is mutual. Squirtle said, standing up and shaking his fist.

                    Guys! Charmander pleaded as Bulbasaur stood up as well, raising the vines from under the bulb on his back threateningly. Dont fight. Were supposed to be a team.

                    Charmander flinched as Zoroark reached over and put her hand on Charmanders shoulder unexpectedly.

                    Thats why they need to do this. She whispered to him. If the tensions between them keep up like they have been, then they wont be able to work together. Just let them blow off some steam and they should be alright.

                    * * *

                    Red slumped into a chair in the hospital waiting room and sighed. Well, this has been quite a night so far.

                    What are we going to do now? Bill asked.

                    I suppose we should go find that old lady and tell her to stop her construction project. We cant exactly just let her damage the environment anymore. Especially if damaging the environment causes giant Pokmon to suddenly attack out of nowhere. Although I suppose we could probably wait until morning for that.

                    Wait! Yellow held up the unconscious Pikachu wrapped in her arms. We need to go to the Pokmon center!

                    Oh, yeah, thats right. Red said. Sorry that I forgot about that.

                    Red leaned forward and looked more closely at the Pikachu. For the most part, it looked like a normal Pikachu, with a rounded, almost heart-shaped tail that signified that it was a girl. But the black marks at the ends of her ears were jagged, which he had never seen before.

                    Where do you think this Pikachu came from? He asked no one in particular.

                    I suppose theres no way to be sure. Sable answered wistfully.

                    Come on, lets go. Yellow said impatiently, motioning with her arms to the exit.

                    We should probably wait until we hear how those girls are going before we leave. Red replied.

                    I can stay here while you go. Bill suggested.

                    Thanks. Red stood back up and walked over to where Yellow was, then turned back to Bill. Well be back soon.

                    Ill stay here as well. Sable sat down in the chair Red had just been in. I dont really feel like doing anything right now.

                    With that, Red and Yellow left the hospital, leaving Bill and Sable behind.

                    Wait a minute Bill said as he looked over at Sable. Werent you just unconscious a moment ago?

                    No. Sable replied.

                    Yes you were. We just checked you in with those Gym Leaders.

                    You must have gotten mixed up in the confusion. Sable shrugged. Im fine. Just a little tired.

                    But that Tentacruel caught you and was using you to talk to us telepathically. Bill insisted.

                    How would that even be possible? Sable asked. Im not a psychic. I dont have that kind of power. And even if I did, how would it even be able to do that?

                    Huh, Bill stroked his chin. You know, Im not sure. I could have sworn it used to you talk to us, though.

                    Youre clearly tired as well. Weve all had a long night. I would suggest that you get some rest. Sable waved her hand and suddenly Bill fell back into the chair he was standing in front of, fast asleep.
                    Sable sighed and stood up, walking over to the restrooms. Once she was inside the womens room she stood in front of a sink and rested her hands on the counter, staring at her reflection.

                    I dont know how much longer I can keep this up. She muttered to herself But I have enjoyed my time with them so far. Its been a long time since Ive let myself get close to anyone like this. And the girl and the Pikachu are together now. I look forward to seeing how they interact. Perhaps we could even be like a family, at least for a little while

                    A rather uncharacteristic smile passed over Sables face and she watched as tears started to well up in her eyes before looking down at the empty sink.

                    Its been so long since Ive had a family. So very, very long.
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                    Old May 21st, 2018 (7:22 AM).
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                    BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                    The Mustachioed Machamp
                       
                      Join Date: Apr 2013
                      Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
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                      Nature: Quiet
                      Posts: 146
                      Chapter 106
                      Spoiler:
                      “Did you hear that?” Yellow asked, tugging at Red’s arm with one hand while she held Pikachu in the other.

                      “Hear what?” Red asked her.

                      “I’m not sure. It sounded like when those Tentacool showed up earlier.”

                      Red stopped walking and looked around. He couldn’t see anything outside of what was lit up by the streetlights lining the road that they walked beside.

                      “You’re probably just still shaken up by what happened.” Red tried to reassure her as they kept walking again. But then he stopped as he heard the distinct slopping sound that they had heard just earlier that night. “Stay behind me.”

                      Red turned around again, this time placing an arm in front of Yellow to try and shield her from any danger. He still couldn’t see any sign of movement at first, but after a moment it came into view. A single Tentacruel, only normal sized unlike the one they had faced earlier, plopped its way down the empty road towards them. Ash lowered his hand to his Pokéballs, ready to call out his Parasect. But the Tentacruel didn’t make any obvious signs of hostility as it crept closer. After a moment the Tentacruel lifted up one of its tentacles to hold something up. It took a moment for Red to realize what it was.

                      “Wait a minute…” Red checked the inside pocket of his vest. “My badge case!”

                      The Tentacruel was now only a few feet away from them and lowered its tentacle slightly as if it was trying to hand the small metal case to Red. Red hesitated before accepting it cautiously from the Water-type.

                      “Thank you?” Red wasn’t sure if he should actually be thanking the Tentacruel or not but felt that it was the right way to respond.

                      “Watch out!” Yellow yelled.

                      While the Tentacruel had been handing Red the badge case, he hadn’t noticed that it was reaching around him with another of its tentacles. Red flinched as the Tentacruel suddenly motioned as if it was going to hit him, but what happened next caught him off guard. The Tentacruel disappeared in a flash of red light and his backpack began to shake. Red pulled his backpack off and set in on the ground, then reached in and pulled out a Pokéball just as it stopped moving. The button on the Pokéball blinked once to show that the Tentacruel had just been caught.

                      “What?” Red was stunned by this unexpected turn of events. “Did it… did it just catch itself?”

                      “It must have wanted to join your team.” Yellow said. “Maybe because we beat the big one, it wanted to come with us?

                      “I guess…” Red hooked the Pokéball up to his belt with his other three Pokémon and slipped his backpack back on. “That was weird, but we should get back to going to the Pokémon Center.”

                      * * *

                      Squirtle and Bulbasaur stared each other down fiercely as they walked away from the campfire so that it wouldn’t be in their way. They stopped once they were far enough away from it and stood still for a moment, each waiting for the other to make the first move. After a few seconds, Bulbasaur used Vine Whip on Squirtle, who managed to backflip out of the way of the attack and countered with a Bubble. Bulbasaur waved his vines around to block the attack before it could hit, giving Squirtle enough time to land on the ground and charge towards Bulbasaur, hitting him with Tackle. Bulbasaur braced himself from the impact and was able to hold his ground. The two pressed against each other with all of their strength, neither willing to show any sort of weakness in front of the other. Bulbasaur used Razor Leaf and Squirtle’s eyes widened as two leaves shot out from its back. They arced through the air and hitting Squirtle in the back of his shell. Squirtle grimaced from the Super Effective move and Bulbasaur was able to knock him down. Bulbasaur then readied a Vine Whip as Squirtle laid there, seemingly helpless on his back, but then Squirtle retracted into his shell with Withdraw and followed with a Water Gun, hitting Bulbasaur while also using the force of the attack to send himself sliding across the ground away from Bulbasaur.

                      Squirtle quickly headed towards a tree and looked like he was going to crash, but then he used Tail Whip on the ground, flipping himself over and allowing him to move up the side of the tree and into the branches up above. Bulbasaur sent another pair of Razor Leaves flying up to where Squirtle had disappeared into the treetops but failed to hit him. Squirtle then looked around for any sign of Squirtle’s position. A branch shook and Bulbasaur reflexively launched a Razor Leaf at it, cutting it down. As the branch hit the ground, Squirtle jumped down from behind Bulbasaur and hit him with Bubble. The attack wasn’t very effective on its own, but it caught Bulbasaur off-guard and gave Squirtle an opening to hit Bulbasaur with another Tackle, flipping the Grass-type onto his side.
                      Bulbasaur recovered quickly and hopped back from Squirtle. A faint singing could be heard in the distance as the two faced each other. Squirtle prepared to use Bubble again while Bulbasaur raised his vines in preparation to strike. The singing grew louder. Squirtle launched his attack and Bulbasaur countered it. The singing was growing closer. Bulbasaur glanced over towards the campfire where he noticed that Charmander and Zoroark seemed to be drifting off to sleep. His own eyes seemed to be getting heavy as he side-dodged a Water Gun from Squirtle. Squirtle took a step forward and swayed to the side, falling over. Whatever was the source of the singing was now close to them. Bulbasaur got ready to hit Squirtle with a Vine Whip, but the attack never reached its target, instead falling limply to the ground in front of Bulbasaur, who collapsed in execution.

                      Jigglypuff skipped over from around a tree, singing to her heart's content. She stopped as she saw the four Pokémon lying on the ground in front of her.

                      * * *

                      The nurse turned as she heard the door to the Pokémon Center slide open and she saw two young Pokémon Trainers walk in. One was a black-haired boy in a red hat and vest, who had a look about him that suggested that he was a more experienced trainer than his age would suggest. The other was a shorter blonde girl who looked like she might be too young to actually be a Pokémon Trainer but was holding an unconscious Pikachu. She recalled seeing the two earlier that day, but they both looked like they had been through a lot since then.

                      “Welcome to the Porta Vista Pokémon Center.” She greeted them as they walked up to her. “Can I heal your Pokémon?”

                      “Yes.” The girl said, holding up the Pikachu.

                      “Alright then, I’ll take your Pokémon for just a moment.” The nurse reached down and gently picked up the Pikachu before turning to the Chansey that was standing beside her, holding up a metal tray with a white cloth on it. She laid the Pikachu on the tray and Chansey walked into the back room to heal it.
                      “I’d like my Pokémon healed as well if that’s alright.” Said the boy, who placed four Pokéballs on a tray sitting on the counter in front of the nurse.

                      “Of course.” The nurse picked up the tray and placed it inside of the healing machine next to her. The lights on top of the machine flashed a few times and then the nurse took the tray back out and placed in on the counter again. “Here you go.”

                      The boy in the red hat took the Pokéballs and placed them back around his belt. “Thank you.”

                      “You’re welcome.” The nurse smiled. “It may take a bit longer for the Pikachu to recover, though. It’s harder to heal a Pokémon outside of its Pokéball.”

                      “Well, we don’t actually have a Pokéball for her.” The boy said. “She’s not actually ours.”

                      “Oh?”

                      “She saved us.” Said the girl. “The least we could do was take her hear to get healed.”

                      “May I ask what happened?” The nurse asked inquisitively.

                      “It’s a long story.” The boy sighed. “And a rather unusual one. I’m not sure if I’d even believe it myself if I didn’t just live through it.”

                      “Well if the Pikachu is wild or belongs to an unknown owner, then I will need to file a report.” The nurse explained. “So you’re going to have to tell me anyway.”

                      “Well, it started earlier today, when we left here earlier…”
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                      Old May 25th, 2018 (6:27 AM).
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                      BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                      The Mustachioed Machamp
                         
                        Join Date: Apr 2013
                        Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                        Age: 23
                        Gender: Male
                        Nature: Quiet
                        Posts: 146
                        Chapter 107
                        Spoiler:
                        Gary heard waves crashing against the land and felt loose sand shift slightly beneath his weight. He found his current situation to be oddly soothing and decided to slowly drift back to sleep, but life had other plans for him that morning. A hand grabbed onto his shoulder and shook him back to his senses.

                        “Hey, kid! Are you alright?”

                        Gary slowly opened his eyes, and then closed them again due to the blinding brightness of the morning sun. He slowly opened them again to see the figure of a man crouched down beside him. As his eyes adjusted slowly to the light, he thought for a moment that the man’s head was on fire, but quickly realized it was the man’s hair, scarlet red and spiked up dramatically. Gary rolled away from the man and quickly rose to his feet.

                        “Where am I?” Gary asked.

                        “Cerise Island.” The man stood up and looked Gary up and down for any sign of injury. “Although I’m more curious as to how you got here. I had just gotten back here to check up on my Gym when I heard something over here and came to investigate. I found you lying here on the sand and there was something swimming away so fast that I barely caught a glimpse of it.”

                        Gary eyed the man cautiously. In addition to his flame-like hair, the man was wearing a dark purple suit with a cap flowing down his shoulders and down past his knees. This was clearly not a normal person he was dealing with.

                        “Gym?” Was the only word that stood out to Gary. “So you’re a Gym Leader, right?”

                        “Yeah.” The man clearly did not expect that to be what Gary would comment on. “Lance, head of the Kanto Elite Four and Dragon-type specialist. I run the Gym here, though few trainers actually come all the way here to fight me, so I don’t really spend much of my time here.”

                        Gary smirked. “Well, then I, Gary Oak, challenge you to a fight!”

                        Lance sighed and held his right hand up to his face. “Fine. But let’s make this quick, shall we? I have other things that I need to do today. Gary Oak, right? If I remember correctly you should have six badges already, right?”

                        “Seven.” Gary corrected him.

                        “Yes, you’ve certainly been making your way through the Gyms pretty quickly so far. I don’t think you’ve even had a single loss yet, which is rather impressive. Anyway, the Gym is on top of that volcano at the top of the island. I’ll meet you up there for a six-versus-six Gym Battle. Don’t keep me waiting.”

                        Gary caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye and turned to see a Dragonite lumbering slowly towards Lance. The Gym Leader ran over to it and hopped on the Dragon-type’s back and they flew away to the top of the island’s main feature: a large volcano with eight massive pillars of rock jutting out of the sides, almost resembling a set of teeth rising out of the ground to devour it.

                        “Well, this looks promising.” Gary said as he started walking towards the dormant volcano. “Head of the Elite Four, huh. That means he’s the strongest Gym Leader in the region. Nice.”

                        * * *

                        Ash jumped up to his feet with a start. He had just rolled off of the Pokémon Center bed in his sleep, which served as a very effective wake-up call. He looked around and saw Carmine sitting at a small table reading a book, as normal. He turned around to try and find Pika and started to panic when there was no sign of him.

                        “You’re Pikachu is still being cared for.” Carmine turned a page. “I just spoke with the nurse a few minutes ago and it looks like they’ll still need to watch him for another day or so.”

                        Ash sighed with relief as the events of the previous day flooded back into his mind. He turned away from Carmine as he remembered what happened with the Raticate King so that his expression wouldn’t tip Carmine off that something was wrong.

                        “Well, anyway, since you’re up we might as well get going.” Carmine set his book down and stood up with a groan. “We ought to be heading home, right Birthday Boy?”

                        Ash grinned. He had forgotten what day it was. His first birthday since leaving Pallet Town.

                        “Right!” Ash grabbed his backpack off the floor and marched towards the doorway.

                        “Forgetting something?” Carmine pointed towards Ash.

                        Ash looked down at where he was pointing and realized that he was still in his pajamas.

                        “Right!” He said again as he marched in the opposite direction, towards the bathroom. “After I get dressed!”

                        “Don’t forget to brush your teeth as well.” Carmine called after him.

                        “You sound like my mom!” Ash chided him.

                        “I used to date your mom.” Carmine retorted.

                        The two stared at each other for a moment of awkward silence.

                        “I don’t know why I just said that.” Carmine shook his head absently.

                        “I’m… just going to go now…” Ash closed the bathroom door, leaving Carmine to himself.

                        “I mean, it didn’t last long.” Carmine said to the empty room. “And in the end, she chose Graham over me, but I never held it against either of them and I’ve always supported them. They are my best friends after all and all I really wanted was for them to be happy and… why am I talking to myself?”

                        * * *

                        Red couldn’t remember falling asleep but woke up on a couch in the Pokémon Center with Yellow leaning against his arm. He looked down at her and listened to the sound of her breath as the girl slept beside him. They hadn’t really known each other for very long and yet somehow it felt as if they had always been together. He felt like she had become the younger sister that he had never had.

                        That thought passed through his head quite unexpectedly and made Red think for a moment. What would it have been like if he did have a younger sister or brother? He knew it was impossible since his father had left before he was born and his mother couldn’t have had another child after him. In fact, he had overheard on at least one occasion that it was a miracle that she had even managed to have him successfully. But what if things had been different…

                        “Good morning!” The Pokémon Center nurse greeted Red cheerfully once she saw that he was awake.

                        “Morning.” Red gently shifted Yellow off of his arm and rested her head on the armrest of the couch before getting up. He stretched his legs by walking over to the other side of the room and checking the clock hanging up on the wall while Yellow slowly woke up.

                        “Yesterday feels like a dream.” Red said as he walked back to the couch. “How are you feeling this morning?”

                        “Tired.” Yellow yawned.

                        The nurse walked over to the two of them, holding a yellow bundle in her arms that Red didn’t recognize at first.

                        “The Pikachu that you checked in with us last night has made a full recovery.” As if to confirm her statement, the Mouse Pokémon raised its head groggily to look around. When the Pikachu’s eyes met Yellow’s, it froze.

                        “I’m glad to hear you’re alright!” Yellow reached out and the nurse placed the stunned Pikachu into the girl’s arms. Pikachu stiffened as she held it, but soon relaxed and seemed almost to melt into her arms.

                        “If what you told me last night is true, then it’s actually quite a surprise that she was able to recover so quickly.” The nurse said. “Pikachu are normally able to resist their own electrical energy, but some strong attacks can cause them to hurt themselves, the most notable being their signature move, Volt Tackle. The fact that she used a move so strong she was able to knock herself out like that means she would have had to have used up all of her energy. Something like that would normally take at least a week to fully recover from.”

                        “She’s warm.” Yellow smiled. “I think I can feel her heartbeat.”

                        Red reached down and petted the Pikachu’s head. “So I take it you want to keep her?”

                        “Yeah!” Yellow looked up at him. “Can I?”

                        “Of course.” Red smiled. “Although she’ll need a name.”

                        “Well…” Yellow looked down at it. “How about… Chuchu?”

                        “Sounds good to me.”
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                        Old May 28th, 2018 (7:33 AM).
                        BZRich64's Avatar
                        BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                        The Mustachioed Machamp
                           
                          Join Date: Apr 2013
                          Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                          Age: 23
                          Gender: Male
                          Nature: Quiet
                          Posts: 146
                          Chapter 108
                          Spoiler:
                          Looker closed his briefcase and stood up from his chair, heading out of his office right as 009 walked up to him.

                          “Are we going somewhere?” 009 asked him, clearly caught by surprise to see her superior heading out without prior warning.

                          “No. I have a meeting with someone today that I must get to. You, on the other hand, are to stay here and watch the building.”

                          “But you shouldn’t be going anywhere on your own.” 009 tried to reason with him. “What if Team Rocket where to ambush you?”

                          “I will not be traveling alone.” Looker corrected her. “Mr. Jaeger and Ms. Masters will be accompanying me. But I want you to stay here and ‘hold down the fort’ as they say.”

                          009 stared Looker in the eyes. She had the same innocent look to her that she always had, but he could start to see through the façade now. There was contempt hidden behind her gaze as she tried to think of a way to convince him to let her go with him, but she knew he never changed his mind about things like this.

                          “Very well then.” 009 stepped to the side of the hallway to let Looker pass. “I will guard this place to the best of my abilities.”

                          “I can not say for certain how long we will be gone.” Looker said as he started heading down the hallway, which 009 following close behind him. “But we should be back by noon.”

                          “Yes, sir.”

                          There was something about 009’s tone of voice that made Looker wonder if she suspected that he knew she was working for Team Rocket. In fact, he would have been surprised if she hadn’t figured it out by this point. It was only a matter of time before she tried to make a move against him to try and take him out, which is why he was leaving her there while taking Wes and Rui with him. He actually had no plans of returning to the Adonis Detective Agency building again.

                          Looker reached the front door, where Wes and Rui were waiting for him. He turned back to 009 as he walked outside, to say one final thing to the traitor before he left.

                          “It will not be much longer before we are able to take down Team Rocket for good. I can assure you that.”

                          009 watched as the other three headed out to wherever it was they were going. Her left eye twitched slightly, the only break in her otherwise flawlessly charming smile. He was taunting her, wasn’t he? She knew he knew there was something up with her, but she hadn’t realized until now how much he truly suspected. How could she have let him catch on so easily? After all, she wasn’t just Tulip Black, some poor orphan with a knack for deception, or even 009, the child prodigy of the International Police. She was Domino, Team Rocket’s secret weapon, trained from birth to be the ultimate sleeper agent. There was no that Looker should have been able to find out. He was nothing more than a foolish idiot who couldn’t even detect the nose in front of his face without her assistance.

                          Domino’s fists clenched as she turned away from the doors and headed back to her room. What would she do now? Team Rocket was still on its last legs after what happened in Saffron City and she had already gotten reports of a break-in at the Celadon headquarters. There were even rumors that members from throughout the organization were starting to defect.

                          If only she had misled Looker and Lance back at Mount Moon, which felt like so long ago. She could have easily led them into a trap then. Not to mention it would have stopped them from rescuing those kids from Masque. If Masque hadn’t been interrupted back then, she could have taken out Carmine and the Ketchum boy long before he could have ever had the chance to defeat Giovanni in Saffron City.

                          “Ketchum.” She stopped right outside the door to her room and turned around slowly, an idea forming in her head. The boy was from Pallet Town, was he not? Perhaps if she went there, she would be able to find something. Something that would help her to get revenge for the Ketchum boy’s disgrace against Giovanni’s honor.

                          * * *

                          “Hachoo!” Ash sneezed unexpectedly as he and Carmine made their way out of the Indigo Plateau Pokémon Center.

                          “Oh, don’t tell me you’re sick too.” Carmine grumbled.

                          “I’m fine.” Ash said defensively. “My nose just kind of itched.”

                          “Yeah, whatever.” Carmine stretched his arms out and pulled out an Ultra Ball from along his belt. “Let’s just get going.”

                          Carmine tossed the Ultra Ball and his Skarmory came flying out and landed on the ground in front of them. Ash called out his Fearow in a similar manner. The two trainers climbed up on the backs of their Pokémon and together they flew away, back home to Pallet Town. The two bird Pokémon were both heavy, Fearow due to its size and Skarmory because of its metal plating, but that didn’t stop either of them from being faster than what might be expected just from looking at them. It didn’t take long before Pallet Town came into view.

                          “I can see my house from here!” Ash shouted excitedly.

                          “Of course you can!”

                          A few moments later and they were slowing down in preparation to land. It felt weird to Ash, being back home after all this time and everything that he had been through, but here he was. Ash’s mom came running out of the Pallet House, waving up at them excitedly. Ash waved back as they reached the ground.

                          “Hi, Mom!” Ash climbed off the back of his Fearow, only to be immediately tackle-hugged by his mother.

                          “Oh, Ash! It’s so good to see you! How have you been? Have you been eating well? Carmine hasn’t been treating you too harshly, has he? You haven’t been too warm, have you? Or too cold? Have you been remembering to change your underwear every day?”

                          Ash gasped for breath as his mother squeezed the air out of his lungs. This wasn’t quite the homecoming that he had been expecting.

                          “Same old Delia.” Carmine sighed as he recalled his Skarmory. “Come on, let’s get inside. It looks like its going to start raining soon.”

                          * * *

                          Charmander hadn’t woken up feeling so sore in a long time. His entire body ached as if he had been beaten into submission. For a moment he thought he was back with Damian and that everything that had happened since then was nothing more than a dream. But then he opened up his eyes and saw Squirtle and Bulbasaur lying on the ground a few yards away. They looked as beat up as he felt. Charmander sat up slowly and looked around. Zoroark was lying down beside him and was also covered in bruises.

                          “What happened?” Charmander let out a pained groan and turned around. “Wait, who are you?”

                          An unfamiliar pink Pokémon stood on top of a nearby tree stump, looking down on him in contempt.

                          “Who am I?” She yelled furiously. “Well, maybe you would know if you all hadn’t had the gall to fall asleep in the middle of my performance!”

                          “What are you talking about?” Charmander winced as a sudden pain shot down his side.

                          “What do you mean ‘what do I mean’? I was going around the forest, singing my best, when I stumbled across you lot falling asleep during my song.” The pink Pokémon scoffed. “Imbeciles like you have no appreciation for the fine arts.”

                          Charmander looked up at the Pokémon in confusion. “But what happened after that? I feel like I got run over by a Rhydon and the others look like they’ve been beaten up too.”

                          The round puffball glanced to the side with a guilty look on her face. “Um, never mind that.” She looked back at him and hopped down to the ground in front of him. “What are you doing here, anyway?”

                          “We stopped here for the night on our way to Cerulean City.” Charmander explained. He wasn’t quite sure what to make out of this weird stranger.

                          “That’s the human place near here, right?” The Pokémon asked. “Why would you ever want to go there?”

                          “We want to challenge the Gym there. We’re on a quest to enter the Pokémon League and become the Champions.”

                          “I have no idea what any of that means.” The pink Pokémon fluffed the tuft of hair falling down just above her big blue eyes. “Can I come with you?”

                          “Why?” Charmander did not expect that question.

                          “I don’t know. Because.”

                          “Um… I guess.”

                          “Great! My name’s Jigglypuff, by the way. Future fairy queen of all existence and the world’s greatest musical talent.”

                          “Um…” Charmander wasn’t sure how to respond to that. “I’m Charmander…”

                          “Nice to meet you.” Jigglypuff suddenly grabbed Charmander’s arm and pulled him in close. “I can already tell that we’re going to get along just great. I almost feel bad for beating the living daylights out of you and your friends last night.”

                          “Wait, what?”
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                          Old June 1st, 2018 (6:51 AM).
                          BZRich64's Avatar
                          BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                          The Mustachioed Machamp
                             
                            Join Date: Apr 2013
                            Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                            Age: 23
                            Gender: Male
                            Nature: Quiet
                            Posts: 146
                            Chapter 109
                            Spoiler:
                            Daisy stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She was so worried about her brother’s disappearance that she had hardly been able to get any sleep and it showed. She raised a finger to the bag under one of her eyes and poked it slightly. There was no change. Giselle had suggested using makeup to cover up how exhausted she looked, but Daisy didn’t really care for that idea. She was never a fan of makeup, plus she had allergies that made her unable to safely wear it without breaking out anyway, so it wasn’t really an option. Not to mention that it would not change the fact that she felt just as tired as she looked, if not more so, which is why she had decided to just stay at the hotel an extra day and see if she could catch at least some sleep.

                            She turned around and walked back into the empty hotel room. Daisy had already headed out that morning, not wanting to stick around just because Daisy didn’t feel up to leaving that morning which meant that she was now traveling alone again. Daisy was used to it by now, but she still missed the company. She also knew that Kat and the others were still in town, which meant that she wasn’t completely alone at the moment.

                            Cleffa bounced around across the floor, trilling happily. Daisy watched the baby Pokémon and decided that she might as well let the others out of there Pokéballs as well. She walked over to the counter where she had placed them and called out her Pokémon one by one. Bulbasaur wandered over to the wall and sat down in the corner where she watched Cleffa play around the room. Butterfree drifted lazily through the air for a moment before she collapsed onto the bed Giselle had slept in the previous night and started snoring lightly. Poliwag rushed into the bathroom and jumped into the bathtub, which he started to fill with his own Water Gun. Vulpix trotted around the room a few times while looking at everyone else with her nose upturned as if she were showing that she was better than everyone else and Farfetch’d started marching back and forth in front of the door leading to the hallway as if he were guarding the room.

                            After letting out all of her Pokémon, Daisy sat down on the empty bed and fell back. Vulpix hopped up onto the bed after her and curled up by Daisy’s feet as she closed her eyes and tried to drift off to sleep.
                            Suddenly Daisy’s Pokégear went off, waking her back up again and startling her Pokémon. Daisy sat up quickly, nearly knocking Vulpix off the bed, and reached to pick it up.

                            “Hello?” Daisy answered the incoming call.

                            “Hey, Daisy! This is Kat. We’ve found Gary!”

                            “Really!” Daisy stood up, excited by the news.

                            “Well, sort of. We know where he is, at least. Koga just got a call from Lance of the Elite Four saying that he found Gary washed up show on Cerise Island. We don’t know what happened or how he got there yet, though, but we do know that he’s alright. I’m going to go call him now to see what he has to say, but I thought I’d let you know first.”

                            “Thank you.” Daisy replied. “It’s really good to know that he’s alright.”

                            “Well, anyway, I’ll call you again once we know more about what happened. Bye!”

                            “Bye.” Daisy hung up the Pokégear and placed it back on the counter before returning to bed and lying down again. After what felt like forever, she finally drifted off to sleep.

                            * * *

                            Ash sat down on the couch in his living room. Everything was exactly as he remembered it and he felt almost like he hadn’t even been gone.

                            “So how have you been?” His mom asked, taking a seat next to him.

                            “I’ve been fine.” Ash said automatically, then realized that it wasn’t exactly true but that he didn’t want to make his mom worry about him, so he didn’t say anything more.

                            “You look good. It looks like you’ve grown a couple inches since you left. Are all of your clothes still fitting alright?”

                            Ash looked down at what he was wearing. He hadn’t noticed it before, but his pants didn’t quite reach his ankles anymore and his shirt was a bit tighter than it used to be. He had apparently gained a fair amount of muscle during his travels in addition to the growth spurt.

                            “I guess these clothes are getting a bit small for me.” Ash shrugged.

                            “I was worried about that.” Delia sighed. “You are a growing boy, after all. Fortunately, I’ve already gotten some new clothes for you to try on. I left them on your bed so that you can try them later when you’re ready. I just hope that they fit okay. I just had to guess how much you would grow.”

                            “I’m sure they’ll fit fine.” Ash said. “Thanks, Mom.”

                            “Oh, and happy birthday!” Delia suddenly got up. “I made a cake for you, but it’s too early to get it out yet. We should wait until after dinner. But I’m sure you probably want to start opening your present now, right?”

                            “You know me too well.” Ash laughed.

                            “Hold on a moment. I’ll go get them.”

                            Delia walked into the other room, leaving Ash alone with Carmine, who had situated himself in a recliner over in the opposite side of the room and was staring up at the ceiling. Ash looked over at the pictures hanging up on the wall. There was one from his parent’s wedding and one of Ash when he was still just a baby, but Ash’s gaze was drawn to a photo of him with his dad that was taken when he was five, shortly before his dad’s disappearance. Ash felt his heart sink at the sight. They still had no idea what had happened to him, but Ash had made a promise to himself that he would find him no matter how long it took. He had yet to make good on that promise.

                            “Here we are.” Delia walked back into the room carrying a stack of wrapped boxes, which she placed on the table in front of Ash. “I think you should open this one first.”

                            Ash took the present that his mom was gesturing to and tore off the packaging. The first thing he saw was a Silph Company logo proudly displayed on the corner of the box, which caused Ash to start having flashbacks to when he and his friends had been held hostage by Team Rocket in the Silph building just a few days prior and his battle with Giovanni. He quickly shook the memories out of his head and continued unwrapping the present, revealing what was inside.

                            “A Pokégear?” Ash held up the box in front of him.

                            “Yep.” Delia smiled. “Now you can call home whenever you want.”

                            “Shouldn’t you have gotten him that before he left on his journey?” Carmine asked semi-jokingly, which caused Delia to blush.

                            “I, uh, meant to…but, uh, I kind of forgot where I put it and couldn’t find it until a few days later.”

                            “Wait, so basically the whole reason I’ve had to run around the entire region for the past few months, getting into all kinds of trouble, was because you couldn’t find a stupid box?” Carmine stood up angrily.
                            Delia stared at Carmine with an awkward smile, unsure of how to respond.

                            “Whatever.” Carmine sighed and sat back down. “I suppose it has been fun, at least for the most part. By the way, I have something for you, too.” Carmine reached into his bag and pulled something out. “I didn’t wrap it or anything, but I figured that you wouldn’t mind.”

                            Carmine tossed the object at Ash, who tried to catch it but didn’t quite get a good grip and it fell into his lap. It appeared to be a red and white Pokémon League cap like the one he already wore, though as Ash examined it he noticed that the green emblem above the brim was different. Where his current hat had a stylized L that was shaped like a mountain, this new one had to lines that looked vaguely like Pokéball, though still resembled the letter L.

                            “I found that at the Pokémon League Gift Shop yesterday and thought you might like it. You don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to, but I figured that if something happened to your old hat or something, might as well have a spare.”

                            “Thanks!” Ash took off his old hat and put on the new one. It didn’t feel like it fit as well as his old one, but that might have just been because it hadn’t been worn in yet.

                            “I think it looks nice.” Delia commented.

                            “Meh.” Carmine sat back and folded his arms. “Personally I think the old logo was better. But then again that was the Pokémon League’s logo back when I competed, so I guess it’s only natural that I’d be partial to it.”

                            Ash took the hat back off and placed it next to his old one. “Let’s see what’s next.”
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                            Old June 4th, 2018 (7:02 AM).
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                            BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                            The Mustachioed Machamp
                               
                              Join Date: Apr 2013
                              Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                              Age: 23
                              Gender: Male
                              Nature: Quiet
                              Posts: 146
                              Chapter 110
                              Spoiler:
                              “Let’s see what you’ve found.” Giovanni said as James, Jessie, Meowth and the Iron-Masked Marauder followed him into a large empty room that appeared to have once been a chapel of some sort.

                              “A-are you sure.” James stuttered as he held up the Ultra Ball.

                              “Of course I’m sure. Now call it out so that we can get a good look at it.”

                              “I don’t think that I will be able to control it.” James said hesitantly. “We were barely able to get it contained in the first place.”

                              “Hm, I suppose you do have a point there. We’ll hold off on that for now.” Giovanni stroked his chin in contemplation and turned to the Iron-Masked Marauder. “In the meantime, I’d like to see how your little side project has been working out. Dark Balls, I believe you were calling them?”

                              “Yes, sir.” The Iron-Masked Marauder grabbed one of the six black orbs embedded into his chest plate and held it out. The small black ball expanded to the size of a regular Pokéball in his hand. “I’ve managed to convert the Snag Machine technology used by Cipher and their affiliates into a specialized Pokéball design so that they can be used to capture Pokémon that are already under the ownership of a trainer. They can then inject the captured Pokémon with the essence of the Dark Synergy Crystal to convert them into Dark Pokémon. That’s why I call them Dark Balls.”

                              “Very good.” Giovanni nodded. “You’ve been working on this project since before you came to work with us, correct?”

                              “Yes, although I was never able to get them to work properly when I still worked for Cipher. Creating Shadow Pokémon was too large a project to be able to condense into something as small as Pokéball, but the process of creating Dark Pokémon is significantly easier and more streamlined, which is what makes Dark Balls possible.”

                              “That’s good to hear. But what about your recent advancements?”

                              “But you already know about that, sir.” The Marauder pointed out.

                              “I know, but I want you to explain it for the others here.”

                              “Well, while I was working in the Silph Company headquarters, I stumbled across the blueprints for their upcoming Master Ball, a new kind of Pokéball that is guaranteed to capture any Pokémon in only one try. I then reverse engineered the technology and combined it with my Dark Ball designs.”

                              “So what you’re saying is that this Dark Ball right here,” Giovanni held out his hand to take the Dark Ball prototype from the Iron-Masked Marauder, who handed it to him, “is capable of capturing any Pokémon regardless of circumstance and instantly turn them into a Dark Pokémon.”

                              “At least in theory.” The Marauder agreed. “Although I still haven’t been able to test it out yet.”

                              “Well, this seems like the perfect opportunity, doesn’t it?” Giovanni turned back to James. “Now, call it out.”

                              “What?” James looked taken aback by the command.

                              “I told you to send out the Pokémon that you captured in the Cerulean Cave. Now.”

                              James gulped and stared at the Ultra Ball in his hand. He knew there was no way to talk Giovanni out of this, so he swallowed his fear and held it out, looking away as he pressed the button. A stream of yellow Pokénergy shot out of the Ultra Ball and condensed in the center of the room into a large, almost humanoid, pale form covered in deep cuts and bruises. The creature crouched down, wincing in pain and sniffed the air sniffed the air, looking around at its surroundings before turning its attention on the humans, a deep-seated hatred burning from behind its purple eyes.

                              The creature let out a tremendous roar of fury and released all of its energy in a massive wave that sent everyone flying back into the wall. As they fell back to the floor, the creature began to glow slightly and its injuries instantly healed right in front of their eyes. The creature suddenly charged forward, surrounding itself in dark purple energy, ready to attack. Giovanni reacted almost instinctively and a few seconds later, all was quite Giovanni walked calmly to where the Dark Ball had fallen and bent down to pick it up off the floor.

                              “Well, I’d call that a successful first test. It would appear that the Dark Ball works perfectly as intended. Now, let’s give this another shot, shall we? Are mysterious friend here should prove much more cooperative now.”

                              Giovanni turned around and say that the trio of Jessie, James and Meowth had fled the room while his back was turned, leaving only the Iron-Masked Marauder standing there, staring at Giovanni with his jaw slightly askew. Giovanni sighed and walked over to the Marauder before turning around and holding up the Dark Ball. A stream of black Pokénergy shot out and the creature materialized in the center of the room again. The effects of the Dark Ball were instantly recognizable. The creature was even paler than it had been before, almost white except for its tail which was a darker shade of purple than before. The fire of its eyes had died down completely into an ice cold gaze which seemed to pierce right through Giovanni, actually managing to send a shiver down his spine.

                              “Why have you brought me to this place?” The creature asked telepathically.

                              “So you can speak.” Giovanni observed. “That will make this much easier.”

                              “I asked you a question. I expect an answer.”

                              “This is simply the place we’ve decided to stay for the time being.” Giovanni looked at the creature with intrigue. “But judging from your reaction it would appear that this place is familiar to you. So tell me, what is this place and what does it mean to you?”

                              “This is New Island, named by the scientists who worked here.” The creature explained. “This is the place where I was created.”

                              “Interesting. And who are you, exactly? Or should I ask what you are?”

                              “The scientists who created me gave me the designation Mewtwo. I am a clone of the Mythical Pokémon, Mew.”

                              “Very interesting.” Giovanni thought of what to ask Mewtwo next. “We were not able to find much information about what this place was actually used for, or what happened to it. I want you to tell me everything that you know.”

                              “The scientists here had managed to secure a sample of DNA from Mew. The used that DNA to attempt to create a clone of Mew, intended to be the strongest Pokémon to ever live. They created dozens of failed attempts at creating their idea of the ultimate Pokémon, but only three subjects were able to survive the gestation process. The three of us were subject to countless experiments to test out our capabilities. They treated us as nothing more than research experiments, things to be studied only. Once they had finally finished their experiments they had no more use for us, but I could not allow them to dispose of us. They had desired to create the world’s strongest Pokémon. I proved that they had succeeded.”

                              "That is quite the story.” Giovanni mused. “But what happened after that.”

                              “I was separated from the others and went to search for them. But I was still weak from exerting myself and had to seek somewhere to hide while I regained my strength. I settled upon a cave at the base of a mountain where I rested for some time. Once I had fully recovered, I resumed my search but could find no trace of them. Eventually, I returned here to this island and rebuilt the facility thinking that maybe they would return to me there. They did not. I was eventually able to track them down, but they had changed. When I tried to take them with me, they attacked and I was forced to flee back to my cave to recover again. But I was attacked while I was still weak and was brought here before you. Now, I believe it is time that you answered some of my questions.”

                              Giovanni laughed. “I suppose that would be fair. You have told us quite a lot, so I might as well return the favor. What do you want to know?”

                              “I have already asked.” Mewtwo pointed out. “I want to know why you have brought me back here to this place.”
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                              Old June 8th, 2018 (7:00 AM).
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                              BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                              The Mustachioed Machamp
                                 
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                                Chapter 111
                                Spoiler:
                                There were very few times when Gary would admit that other people were better than him at something. Trying to make his way up the side of a volcano was one of those times. He silently wished to himself as he climbed up the mountainside that he had Ash’s Primeape-like climbing ability and then cursing himself for thinking that. He climbed over a ledge and rolled over onto his back. He stared starred up at the morning sky as he tried to catch his breath.

                                “First thing once I get the chance,” Gary said, barely a whisper between deep breaths, “I’m putting a Flying-type in my team so that I don’t have to deal with this again.”

                                After he lay there for a few seconds that felt more like hours, Gary suddenly realized that his Pokégear was ringing. He reached into his pocket and pulled it out, letting out a groan as he realized just how sore his arm was.

                                “Hello?” Gary answered the call.

                                “Finally!” Came a voice from the other end of the line. “We’ve been trying to get a hold of you all morning!”

                                “Who is this?” Gary asked weakly.

                                “Who is… What do you mean ‘Who is this?’ This is Kat!”

                                “Right.” Gary was so tired that he felt like he could barely think, but he suddenly realized that it was his cousin’s voice he was hearing. “What do you want?”

                                “I want to know where you are, how you’re doing! You just disappeared without a trace last night and we heard from Koga who heard from Lance that you’re on Cerise Island. How did you get all the way over there? That’s basically the middle of nowhere across the ocean! What happened to you?”

                                “I don’t know.” Gary mumbled. “I just woke up here. Right now I’m climbing the mountain so that I can challenge the Gym.”

                                “Ugh.” Kat sighed. “Of course you are. Well, I guess I’ll go over there so that I can pick you up once you’re done with that.”

                                “No need.” Gary shook his head, even though there was no way for Kat to actually see him. “This is the perfect opportunity to test out Surf with Wartortle. I’ll call you when I get back to Kanto and let you know where I am then.”

                                “Fine.” Gary could tell that Kat wasn’t happy about that decision. “But call the moment you get back. See you then, bye.”

                                “Bye.” Gary hung up and put his Pokégear back in his pocket. He stared up and the sky again, and then it hit him. “Wait, Kat could give me a ride up to the top with her Charizard.”

                                Gary pulled out his Pokégear and sat up. He opened up his contacts and was about to call Kat back when the screen went out.

                                “Oh, no.” Gary couldn’t believe his poor luck. “The battery just went out, didn’t it? Why now of all times?”

                                He leaned back onto the ground and closed his eyes, resting his arm over his face. He didn’t have a choice now; he was going to have to climb up the rest of the mountain.

                                * * *

                                “It would appear that this is it.” Looker said, looking up from the sheet of paper where he had Professor Oak’s address written down and at the large building right in front of him. “This is the place.”

                                “Professor Oak’s Research Laboratory.” Wes read the sign hanging next to the door. “Yeah, that seems pretty obvious.”

                                Looker shoved the paper into his coat pocket and walked up to the door, Wes and Rui following behind. He knocked a couple times before noticing the doorbell and ringing it. After a few seconds, the door opened.

                                “Can I help you with anything?” Asked the gray-haired man who answered the door, who Looker recognized as the Professor.

                                “Yes, I am known as Looker. We spoke over the phone yesterday and we set up an appointment.” Looker answered.

                                “Oh, right. I didn’t think you would be here this early.” Professor Oak stepped back from the door and motioned for them to come inside.

                                “I hope that you do not mind that I brought a couple of my associates with me.” Looker said as he walked inside, into a large hallway.

                                “It’s no trouble at all.” Professor Oak walked over to one of the doors lining the hallway and into the room on the other side. “If you could just wait in here for a bit, I’ll go get us some drinks.”

                                “I appreciate your genericity, but there is no need to go through the effort-“ Looker started to say as they followed him inside.

                                “No, no!” The Professor shook his head. “I insist. It’s not every day that I have company; this is the least that I can do. Now, does anyone have any preferences? I just put on a kettle of Roserade Tea earlier that should almost be ready and I think I have some sodas in the fridge.”

                                “I’d like a cup of tea, please.” Rui said politely.

                                “I’ll take whatever.” Wes walked over to a couch and sat down.

                                “Just water.” Looker lowered his head, a little embarrassed. “Danke.”

                                “Alright, I’ll be right back.”

                                The Professor left the room, leaving the three of them alone in the drawing room. Rui walked over to the center of the room, where two brown couches were placed facing each other with a black table in between, and sat down next to Wes. Looker sighed and went over to them, sitting down as well. After a moment, Professor Oak returned carrying some cups and with a large Krabby that had a tray strapped to its head that had a tea kettle and a pitcher of water on it. They walked over the table where the Professor put down the cups and took the kettle and pitcher from Krabby, setting them on the table.

                                “Thank you, Krabby. That will be all for now.” The Water-type Pokémon scuttled out of the room and Professor Oak sat down on the couch across from Looker, Wes and Rui. “Now, what was it that you wanted to talk about again?”

                                “I wished to discuss one of your former students, by the name of Ash Ketchum.”

                                “Oh, yes. That’s right.” Professor Oak nodded slightly. “Sorry about that, my memory’s not quite what it used to be. Anyway, what is it that you want to know?”

                                “Well, to be honest, I am not entirely sure. I suppose any information that you can give us would be helpful.”

                                Professor Oak eyed Looker suspiciously. “And why is it that you were interested in him, again?”

                                “His name has come up several times in our investigation of Team Rocket.” Looker explained.

                                “Well, I can assure you that Ash is a good kid who would never get caught up with the likes of them.” The Professor said defensively.

                                “That’s not what I meant. We do not suspect him of being in league with Team Rocket. It is quite the opposite in fact. We went to Mount Moon some time ago to investigate some potential Team Rocket activity in the area and ran into a group of people being attacked by a high profile member of the organization. Among them was Ash Ketchum as well as another resident of Pallet Town, Carmine Noir. We briefly met with them afterward and they explained everything that they knew about what was going on. Then, sometime after that, Team Rocket attacked the cruise ship known as the S.S. Anne.”

                                “Yes, I remember that. We were all very worried because there were several kids from our town were on that ship, including two of my grandchildren.”

                                “Yes, as well as Ash Ketchum. It seems odd that he would be caught up in two major events with Team Rocket, but it does not end there. Have you heard the news yet of what happened in Saffron City?”

                                “Bits and pieces.” Professor Oak said. “The media are still trying to piece together what happened, but it sounds like Team Rocket had somehow taken control of the entire city or something like that.”

                                “Yes.” Looker confirmed. “Their leader, Giovanni had bought out the Silph Corporation and began using it as a front from Team Rocket. From there, they spread out and quickly took the entire city hostage.”

                                “But I don’t see what that has to do with Ash.”

                                “Why do you think that they left?”

                                “I… I don’t know.”

                                “Because they were forced to flee the city after Giovanni was defeated by a Pokémon Trainer.”

                                “You can’t mean…”

                                “I do. That trainer was Ash Ketchum. That makes three times that he has had major run-ins with Team Rocket, even defeating their leader in a battle. That, Professor Oak, is why I am interested in learning more about him. I wish to know what kind of trainer could do that at his age.”

                                “Alright then.” Professor Oak sighed. “I guess we should start from the beginning.”
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                                Old June 11th, 2018 (7:04 AM).
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                                BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                The Mustachioed Machamp
                                   
                                  Join Date: Apr 2013
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                                  Chapter 112
                                  Spoiler:
                                  Ash stretched as he walked into his room for the first time in what felt like forever, carrying all of the birthday presents that he had just opened. He set the stuff down on his bed, beside the pile of new clothes that his mom had left there for him, and looked around. Apart from all the stuff on his bed, everything seemed to be exactly as he had left it. Even the alarm clock he knocked off of his dresser the night before he headed out on his journey was still lying broken on the wooden floor, next to his bed. He actually found it surprising that his mom hadn’t cleaned it up yet and bent down to pick up the broken clock. He stared at the clock, which was designed to look like a Voltorb, which would open up when the alarm went off to have a model Pidgey pop out. He had had that clock for as long as he could remember and he felt a twinge of pain as he dropped it into the empty trashcan underneath his desk. But his life was at a stage where everything was changing and it was time for him to move on.

                                  “Speaking of changing…” Ash said to himself as he turned back to the bed and walked over to the pile of clothes lying there.

                                  * * *

                                  Red and Yellow walked back into the hospital waiting room to find Bill sleeping in the chair he had been in when they left the night before. Sable was nowhere to be seen, though that didn’t really surprise them. They walked up to Bill, who slowly opened his eyes as they approached and sat up groggily.

                                  “Any news on their condition?” Red asked.

                                  “What?” Bill looked around and slowly remembered where he was. “Oh, no, I haven’t heard anything yet.”

                                  “This is Chuchu!” Yellow held up her new Pikachu excitedly to show Bill.

                                  “Why, hello there.” Bill reached out his hand and petted Chuchu lightly on the top of her head. “It’s good to see that you’re doing better. Thank you for saving us last night. I’m not sure that we could have made it out of that situation without your help.”

                                  “Pika!” Chuchu squeaked happily and small sparks fizzled out of her cheeks.

                                  “So I take it you’re keeping her with you.” Bill looked from Chuchu up to Yellow.

                                  “Yep!” Yellow beamed.

                                  “Well, I hope you both have a great time with each other. Now we just need to wait for the girls to recover and everything will be alright.” Bill leaned back in his chair. “You know, if you had told me that last night I wouldn’t have believed you.”

                                  “I know.” Red nodded. “I don’t think I’ve been through anything so terrifying before. I thought for a while that we would be done for.”

                                  “It does remind me of something that I wanted to talk to you about, though.”

                                  “What?”

                                  “Well, back when we first met, we talked about that giant Dragonite that damaged my lighthouse and the Tyranitar that rampaged through Johto years ago.” Bill paused and waited for Red and Yellow to show there acknowledgment. “I’ve done a bit more research into these kinds of situations and I’ve learned that there have actually been all kinds of sightings of giant Pokémon throughout history, as well as Pokémon with other unusual features like being a different type than normal.”

                                  “You mean like a Water-type Pikachu?” Red asked.

                                  “Yeah, there have been a lot of sightings of a Water-type Pikachu, how did you know?”

                                  “We may have run into one before.” Red shrugged.

                                  “Yeah, he was kind of fun. I’ll wonder if we’ll ever meet him again.” Yellow said.

                                  “Oh, right. You did tell me about that.” Bill thought for a moment. “Well anyway, I managed to stumble across some research that’s already been done on these kinds of things. Apparently, there are official classifications for these unusual Pokémon.”

                                  “Really?” Red asked. “What kinds of classifications?”

                                  “Well, there are Alpha Species Pokémon which are just regular Pokémon. Meanwhile, Pokémon that are a significantly different size than normal, such as that Dragonite or the Tentacruel from last night, are called Beta Species. Chuchu here would probably be classified as a Gamma Species Pokémon, which have other physical differences besides size, such as her unusual ear patterns. Next, there’s Delta Species, which are different types than normal, like that Water-type Pikachu you met the other day. Finally, there are Epsilon Species Pokémon, which have the traits of both a Delta Species and a Beta or Delta Species Pokémon, or even all three.”

                                  “Wow.” Red said. “That’s interesting. Although according to what you just said, Pikoa would be an Epsilon Species, not a Delta. He had blue marking instead of black and red.”

                                  “Oh, right. I forgot about that. Anyway, I’ve actually submitted an application to join a research group currently working on finding out more about these unusual Pokémon and hopefully learn how they come to be. I’m hoping to hear back from them soon.”

                                  “Good for you. I hope that everything works out.”

                                  “So do I.” Bill said. “There are a lot of well-known scientists and researchers working on the project, so if I make it in then it should be a really great opportunity for me to work alongside them and get my name out there in the Pokémon researching community. Who knows, maybe I could even be Pokémon Professor someday.”

                                  “I don’t know what all of what you just said meant,” Yellow said, “but good luck.”

                                  Red looked down at Yellow and noticed that the Pikachu in her arms was staring out the window. He turned to see what Chuchu was looking so intently at and say a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye, but whatever it was disappeared before he could see it.

                                  “Something wrong?” Bill asked him.

                                  “No, I just thought I saw something.”

                                  * * *

                                  Ash looked at his reflection. These new clothes hadn’t really changed his look much, but there were some subtle differences. He now wore a plain black t-shirt instead of the dark green one he used to wear all of the time and his jeans had now been replaced by a pair of light blue cargo pants. He wasn’t really sure how much he liked this new look yet, but he decided to give it a chance as he put on a new set of gloves that were the same fingerless design only black instead of green, though with the same light green cuffs. He then walked back over to his bed and held up the blue hoodie that his mom had gotten for him. He liked the design, but he decided to set it back down and put on his old jacket. Maybe when the weather started getting colder he would switch to the hoodie, but for now he felt that it would be too warm out for it.

                                  Ash then turned to where he had set down his hats, both his old one and the new one that Carmine had just given him. He picked one up in each hand and looked back and forth between them, trying to decide which one to wear. After a while, he finally decided and put his old hat back on.

                                  “Sometimes you just don’t mess with the classics.” Ash said as he went back to the mirror to check himself out. “Lookin’ good.”

                                  Ash then went back to the bed again and knelt down in front of his backpack, which he had left leaning against the bed frame. He started shoving all of his stuff into the bag, leaving out only his new Pokégear, which he held up as slung the backpack over his shoulder and slipped on his new blue and black shoes.

                                  “I suppose I should actually figure out how these things work.”

                                  He clicked the various buttons on it to see what they did as he headed out of his room, down to where his mom and Carmine were waiting. On the way, he happened to stop and glance out the hallway window and look outside. The sun shone brightly across the deep blue sky, which dotted only by a few small white clouds in the distance. Something flew out from behind one of the clouds. It looked to Ash almost like some sort of giant bird Pokémon that left a trail of light behind it like a golden rainbow. The sight filled him with a renewed sense of determination.

                                  “I’m going to be the very best, like no one ever was.”

                                  “That should be ‘like no one has ever been’!” Carmine called from down below.
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                                  Old June 15th, 2018 (6:42 AM).
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                                  BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                  The Mustachioed Machamp
                                     
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                                    Chapter 113
                                    Spoiler:
                                    Ash was born exactly eleven years ago, today. Professor Oak said. In fact, I heard hes visiting his mother today to celebrate his birthday, so you might be able to talk to him yourself after this if you want.

                                    Yes, that would be nice. Looker nodded. Thank you for letting us know.

                                    Anyway, his mother is Delia Ketchum, born Delia Thomas, their family owns a local inn called the Pallet House which expanded into a region-wide chain of hotels. Delia prefers to just run the local Pallet House while she leaves managing the rest of the chain to my son David. Although hes been busy with his duties as mayor so hes been leaving most of the work up to some of the other higher-ups of the company. Ashs father is Graham Ketchum, a professional Pokmon Trainer from the Johto region who moved here to Pallet Town after winning the Indigo League Pokmon tournament over a decade ago now. Professor Oak stared down at the cup of tea in his hands. He went off to investigate some strange things going on over near Mount Moon about five years ago but never returned. We still have no idea what happened to him.

                                    That is sad to here. Looker said solemnly. I am sure that he must have been a good man.

                                    He was a very good man. The Professor nodded. Some would say that he was one of the greatest Pokmon Trainers that Johto has ever produced and he was always doing his best to help people out whenever he could. He looked around at the three people sitting across from him. There was also something else about him. It somewhat of a secret, but it may be important.

                                    What is it? Looker asked, concerned.

                                    Well, you see Professor Oak looked around the room, trying to figure out how to word what he wanted to say. Have you ever heard of the Aura Guardians?

                                    Rui had to refrain from spitting out the mouthful of tea that she was in the middle of drinking. Wait, what? Are saying he was a Guardian?

                                    Yes. I take it from your reaction that youre familiar with them.

                                    Of course I am, but there are only ever a small handful of trained Aura Guardian in the entire world. Are you sure he was one?

                                    Quite sure. Professor Oak said. It was not something that he brought up very often but I know for a fact that he was an Aura Guardian.

                                    Small world, isnt it Ms. Guardian-in-training? Wes chuckled.

                                    Rui reached into her handbag and pulled out what looked like some sort of old, leather-bound journal. She rifled through it until she found the page she was looking for. I knew the name Ketchum sounded familiar to me, but I never realized

                                    Wait, are you saying that youre an Aura Guardian as well? Professor Oak leaned forward, surprised by this unexpected revelation.

                                    Im still in training. Rui said nervously. But someday I will be.

                                    If his father was an Aura Guardian, does that mean that Ash can also use the abilities of aura? Looker asked.

                                    Im afraid I cant tell you that. Professor Oak answered. I honestly dont know.

                                    Aura abilities normally dont manifest until the early teens. Rui explained. Generally around 12-13 for girls and around 14-15 for boys. I myself first manifested my abilities just a few months after I turned twelve. There have been known cases of people awakening to their powers earlier than that, but it is almost unheard of.

                                    Looker sat back and thought for a moment. Back when my team and I encountered Ash and his traveling companion at Mount Moon, he saved them from being attacked by a member of Team Rocket. After the attack, Ash told us that he had seen something strange about the woman and her Vileplume, describing it as if there was some kind of dark energy surrounding them. It was actually that which made me come to the conclusion that Team Rocket had managed somehow to gain access to the Shadow Pokmon once used by Cipher, which in turn is what lead me to seek you out for your aid.

                                    Why didnt you tell us about this sooner? Rui asked.

                                    I am not quite sure. Looker said, closing his eyes and stroking his chin. But I suppose that is all in the past now, as they say. Let us continue discussing Ash Ketchum.

                                    Well, there isnt really much else to say, honestly. Professor Oak shrugged. Ash was a fairly average boy growing up. He was good friends with some of the other kids his age, mostly my grandchildren, Daisy and Gary as well as a boy by the name of Samuel Redwood. After Graham disappeared, Ash started to shut himself off from everyone else, but after a while he started to open up again and returned back to his old cheery self. Although to be honest I dont think he ever truly got over what happened. A few months ago he, my grandkids and Red all graduated and went out on their Pokmon Journeys. The tradition here in Pallet Town is to have a Bulbasaur, and Charmander and Squirtle available for new trainers to choose as their first Pokmon, as is the standard in Kanto. I breed all of them here myself. Although because we had four new trainers this year I decided to go out and catch a wild Pikachu to with them. The Professor chuckled slightly. And things didnt quite go as I expected them to.

                                    What do you mean?

                                    The way I had it planned was that my grandson Gary would choose Squirtle and his sister Daisy would get Bulbasaur. We have a tradition in the Oak family of giving our children middle names that are related to one of the elements and we generally end up choosing the Pokmon that goes with it. For example, my full name is Samuel Redfire Oak and I chose Charmander as my starter Pokmon. I also assumed that Ash would choose Charmander since his father had the Fire-type Cyndaquil as his starter Pokmon. That would have left Red with Pikachu. Hes always shown the most proficiency at Pokmon Training of the group while I taught them and I felt that he would be up to the challenge of training a recently caught Pokmon instead of a bred one. But as it turned out, Ash ended up being late to the ceremony and wasnt able to choose his starter with the others and Red picked Charmander so I ended up giving Pikachu to Ash after it was all over. From what Ive heard Ash and Red both get along well with their Pokmon, so I guess it all worked out in the end.

                                    Looker thought for a moment. I find it interesting that you made your guesses as to what Pokmon they would want based off of family traditions from the patriarchal line.

                                    Well, I know my grandkids well enough to know that they were planning on following our family tradition when choosing their Pokmon. As for Ash, I was mostly just guessing because hes a lot like his father so I thought that he would choose the same type as Graham had.

                                    May I ask why did not make a similar guess about Samuel Redwood choosing the same type of Pokmon as his father? Looker asked.

                                    Professor Oaks hands tightened around his teacup. We dont talk about that man.

                                    A sudden uncomfortable silence filled the room. Professor Oak looked back down at his tea. After a moment, Looker opened his mouth to say something but was suddenly interrupted by the sound of the front door opening and shutting loudly and heavy footsteps rushed up to the room they were in.

                                    Alola, cousin! A man walked in that looked a lot like the professor, though slightly younger with darker skin and longer hair. He wore a pair of purple sandals, white cargo shorts and a blue button-up shirt depicting several blue Water-type Pokmon. How are you doing?

                                    Samson? Professor Oak nearly spilled his tea as he stood up. I thought you werent going to be here until tomorrow!

                                    You thought wrong, apparently. Samson Oak laughed. Did I catch you at a bad time? I can go wait in the other room.

                                    We were just getting ready to leave. Looker stood up and started heading towards the door. Wes and Rui followed after him. Thank you for the information, Professor. You were a great help.
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                                    Old June 18th, 2018 (7:41 AM).
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                                    BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                    The Mustachioed Machamp
                                       
                                      Join Date: Apr 2013
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                                      Chapter 114
                                      Spoiler:
                                      Ash walked back into the living room, where his mother and Carmine were waiting for him.

                                      “How do I look?” He asked.

                                      “You look great, honey!” His mom got up from the couch and rushed up to him. “Everything fits alright, right? I didn’t know how much you would grow and I wasn’t sure if it would all be the right size.”

                                      “It’s fine.” Ash reassured his mom. “Everything fits.”

                                      “Good.” Delia sighed with relief. “Oh, and before I forget, Professor Oak wanted to see you. He said that had something that he wanted to talk to you about.”

                                      “Okay. I’ll head over there now.” Ash started to head towards the front door but stopped as he walked by Carmine.

                                      “What?” Carmine asked as Ash stared at him expectantly.

                                      “Never mind.” Ash started walking towards the door again. He had gotten so used to Carmine going with him everywhere that it felt weird leaving without him. “Bye, Mom! See you later!”

                                      “I love you!” Delia cried after him as Ash walked out the door. Tears started to run down the sides of her face after he closed the door behind him. “He’s grown up so much.”

                                      “I suppose so.” Carmine said, getting up from his chair and walking over to Delia. “It’s amazing how much the kid reminds me of Graham sometimes.”

                                      “I’m not really sure what to feel right now. I know I should be proud of the man he’s becoming, but a part of me is worried that he’s growing up too much. My little boy isn’t a little boy anymore, but I’m not ready to let him go yet.”

                                      Carmine put his hand comfortingly on Delia's shoulder and smiled at her reassuringly. “I can’t say that I can really understand what you’re going through right now. But I do know that everything is going to turn out fine. Ash is his father’s son, after all. He’s a skilled trainer who can overcome any challenge that life throws his way. But more than that he’s also your son and while he may not always show it I’ve seen that he’s inherited the best of you, like you’re ability to stay calm no matter how hard things get. Ash is the product of two amazing parents and is on his way to becoming more than the sum of his parts.”

                                      “Thank you, Carmine.” Delia smiled.

                                      “No matter how much doubt you feel, just remember; everything changes. Changing all the time, playing with your mind, modified or re-arranged, everything has got to change.”
                                      Delia wiped a tear from her cheek as she stared at him blankly.

                                      “Part of a song.” Carmine explained. “Gets stuck in my head a lot.”

                                      Delia’s smile widened and she pulled Carmine into a hug, crying into his chest. Carmine placed his left arm around her back and rested his right hand gently on her head, staring up at the ceiling. There was a part of him that yearned for days long past, to return to how things had been when they were younger. But he couldn’t. She was Graham’s wife. He could never forget. She had chosen him all of those years ago and doing anything now wouldn’t be fair to anyone, least of all her.

                                      The moment ended. Delia and Carmine pulled away from each other and everything suddenly returned to normal. That quite whisper of a love long past faded away into the present reality, one where they were close friends, but nothing more.

                                      “I’m… I’m going to go check on my place. I’m sure everything’s probably coated in dust by now.”

                                      “Yes.” Delia blushed. “It has been a while since you’ve been home.”

                                      * * *

                                      Ash made his way across Pallet Town as he made his way to Professor Oak’s laboratory. It felt like every step he took was a trip down memory lane. There was Gary and Daisy’s house, with its perfectly kept lawn surrounded by a white brick wall with an ornate black iron gate. He and his friends would always race to see who could get from one end of their property to the other the fastest. Over in the other direction was the Pallet House. His mom made him help out around the place so that he could become more responsible. He always found it boring, at least until Daisy started working there after school. She always managed to make work more fun.

                                      Ash went a little further and walked by Red’s house. The old tire swing hanging from the tree in the front yard was still there. Ash smiled as he remembered all the countless times he would come over so that he and Red could work on their homework together. They would often stay up late talking about Pokémon. Ash briefly considered stopping by to say hello to Ms. Redwood but realized that she would probably be at work at the grocery store right then.

                                      Ash walked by the stream where he and Gary would fish. They always thought of it as a large river that was filled with rare Water-type Pokémon just waiting for them to catch. One time they both got a bite at the same time and each tried to reel there’s in before the others, but it turned out that they had both snagged a broken Pokéball drifting down the stream. Even after they found that out, they still fought over who would actually keep the old thing and ended up breaking it in half. Ash paused and reached into his backpack, pulling out his half of the Pokéball. It had chipped and faded over the years, the white becoming more of a light gray over time. He knew it was nothing more than a piece of trash that should have been thrown away a long time ago, but he could never bring himself to get rid of it. In his mind, it had become something of a good luck charm and a symbol of his rivalry with Gary. He was sure that Gary probably hadn’t kept his half, but somehow that didn’t seem to matter.

                                      Finally, Ash made his way to the lab, built on a hill overlooking the rest of the town. He walked up the steep driveway leading up to the lab. On the way, he was surprised to see a group of people walking towards him. There was a middle-aged man with short, dark brown hair wearing a tan trench coat. Ash thought that he recognized the man but couldn’t quite place where he had seen him before. Behind that man were two other people. One was a young, gray-haired man in a dark blue coat and some sort of metal visor resting on his head. The other was an orange-haired young woman that reminded Ash of Misty, though she was a few years older and had two ponytails rather than Misty’s one.

                                      “Ash Ketchum.” The man in the brown coat said as they got closer. He seemed to have a slight accent that Ash couldn’t identify but was sure he had heard before. “What fortunate timing, you are just who we wanted to see.”

                                      “Do I know you?” Ash asked, puzzled.

                                      “Ah, right. It would seem that you do not remember me.” The man shook his head. “Though we have only met once, so it is not that surprising. My name is Looker, we spoke briefly after your run-in with an agent of Team Rocket in the tunnels of Mount Moon some time ago.”

                                      “Oh, right.” Ash said as he remembered the events of that day. “I remember you now. But…”

                                      “Lance is attending to some business at his Gym and 009 is, well, let us just say that she is at the office.” Looker explained, knowing what Ash was just about to ask. “These are my other associates, Rui Masters and Wes Jaeger.”

                                      “What, don’t we get codenames?” Wes asked sarcastically.

                                      “Please forgive this Grumpig-head’s attitude.” Rui gestured towards Wes, then gave a polite curtsy. “It’s nice to meet you.”

                                      “Hello.” Ash felt a bit awkward and decided to return the curtsy with a slight bow, but that just felt even more awkward. He then turned his attention back to Looker “So what did you mean when you said you wanted to talk to me? Did something happen?”

                                      “You could say that.” Looker nodded solemnly. “What we actually wanted to know was what has happened with you. We have heard rumors that you have had more encounters with Team Rocket since we last met and I wish to hear from you what occurred in those situations.”

                                      “Uh…” Ash couldn’t quite tell what Looker was trying to say.”

                                      “He means we want you to tell us what happened on the S.S. Anne, what happened in Saffron City the other day and any other run-ins with Team Rocket you may have had.” Rui clarified.

                                      “Oh, okay. I’m not really sure how you knew I was in Saffron, though.”

                                      “We have our resources.” Looker said. “But we still don’t know everything that happened. Which is why we want to hear what you have to say.”
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                                      Old June 22nd, 2018 (6:17 AM).
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                                      BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                      The Mustachioed Machamp
                                         
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                                        Chapter 115
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                                        Gary finally managed to make his way to the top of the volcano. He pulled himself up over the rim and collapsed onto the ground, trying to catch his breath. Once he had regained the strength needed to get back up again, Gary stood up and walked over the Gym, which was practically right in front of him.

                                        The interior of the Cerise Island Gym was dark, with purple torches lining the walls being the only source of light. The main room had a gothic feel to it that Gary found rather disconcerting. He walked around looking for Lance, but he was nowhere to be found. Gary decided to turn around and walked back to the entrance, where he noticed an open door leading into a side room that was properly lit. Gary peered inside to see Lance sitting at a desk going over some paperwork.

                                        “Hello?” Gary said hesitantly.

                                        Lance looked up from the document he was reading. “It’s about time you got here. I was starting to get worried.”

                                        Lance set down the paper and stood up. Gary backed away from the doorway as Lance walked over to him.

                                        “I’m sure I don’t have to go over the rules with you, so we’re just going to get straight to the battle.”

                                        Gary and Lance both walked over to their places and faced each other. Once they were in position, they sent out their first Pokémon and the battle commenced. Gary’s Raticate stood ready to strike while Lance’s Dratini snaked its way across the floor. As the blue Dragon-type got close to Raticate, it suddenly lunged forward and used Wrap to coil itself around Raticate and squeezed tightly. It was hard for Raticate to move, but he managed to bite into Dratini using Super Fang. The attack forced Dratini to release its grip and slink away from Raticate. Raticate didn’t let Dratini retreat very far before he used Quick Attack to catch up to and hit Dratini, then immediately followed it up with a Hyper Fang. Dratini let out a pained noise that Gary wasn’t sure how to describe and turned around to face Raticate. Dratini jumped up into the air as its head began to glow a light blue. The glow spread to the rest of its long, snake-like body as it dove back down, slamming straight into Raticate with Dragon Rush. Raticate took heavy damage from the attack but was able to hit Dratini with a Sucker Punch before it was able to strike him again. Dratini tried to spin around and hit Raticate with a Dragon Tail, but Raticate caught Dratini’s tail in his mouth and used Crunch. This proved to be too much for Dratini, who couldn’t hold on any longer and fainted.

                                        “That’s what you get trying to use an unevolved Pokémon against me.” Gary bragged.

                                        “Unfortunately I don’t really have much choice.” Lance said as he recalled his Dratini. “The current Pokémon League rules state that Gym leaders cannot use more than one of the same Pokémon in a team, all Pokémon in our official teams must be of the type we specialize in and that all of the Pokémon in our official teams must be from within the borders of the League we are a part of. In the case of the Indigo League that means from either the Kanto or Johto regions depending which side the league we’re on as well as the Orange Archipelago and the Sevii Islands. Unfortunately for me, there are only a small handful of Dragon-type Pokémon species available within this area. In fact, some trainers think I cheat because a couple of the Pokémon I use are so rare here. For example, my next Pokémon was caught as part of a flock that only stay in the Sevii Islands for a few months out of the year.”

                                        Lance threw his next Pokéball and a blue and white Pokémon with cloud-like wings flew out. The Altaria glided in a circle around the room before landing in front of Lance. Gary’s Raticate charged towards Altaria, but Altaria simply flew up out of Raticate’s range. Raticate used Focus Energy, readying itself so that it would be more likely to get Altaria with a critical hit. Altaria didn’t give Raticate a chance to hit it, however, as the Humming Pokémon used Dragon Breath to engulf Raticate in purple flames. By the time the fire died out, Raticate had been defeated.

                                        Gary sent out his Nidorino next. The Poison Point Pokémon stood its ground and used Focus Energy. Altaria dove down to hit Peck. Nidorino used Poison Sting right as Altaria was about to hit him, poisoning Altaria and forcing it to fly up again. Altaria opened its beak and fired a Dragon Pulse from its mouth. The purple energy blast struck Nidorino and knocked him into his side. As Nidorino tried to get back to his feet, Altaria fired another Dragon Pulse which knocked out.

                                        “I expected you to put up more of a fight.” Lance said as Gary recalled his Nidorino.

                                        “The battle’s barely started.” Gary replied, sending in his Growlithe. “You haven’t seen my full strength yet.”

                                        Altaria dove towards Nidoqueen with Peck, but Nidoqueen was able to grab Altaria’s cloud-like wings and began to glow blue as she used Superpower. Let go of one of Altaria’s wings and used her free hand to punch Altaria in the face with as much force as she could, knocking Altaria out.

                                        Lance sent out a Dragonair as his next Pokémon. The Dragon Pokémon coiled around itself in the air, then suddenly lashed out, smacking Nidoqueen in the face with Aqua Tail. Nidoqueen stumbled back from the hit, then changed and hit Dragonair with Superpower. Dragonair was knocked to the ground, but quickly recovered and spun around quickly to create a Twister. The attack hit Nidoqueen and left her open for Dragonair to Slam into her, knocking her out.

                                        Gary grimaced as he realized that he was actually starting to lose this battle. He sent out his Exeggcute next but wasn’t sure how much it would actually be able to do. Dragonair flew up high and engulfed itself fiery blue energy as it prepared to us Dragon Rush, diving down and hitting Exeggcute at full force. With just the single hit, Exeggcute was down and Gary was forced to send out his Growlithe. Gary was in serious trouble now, down to his last two Pokémon while Lane still had four. But he wasn’t going to give up yet.

                                        Growlithe used Flame Burst and a pillar of fire shot forth from his mouth. The attack hit Dragonair, who seemed to ignore the attack almost completely and retaliated by hitting Growlithe with an Aqua Tail. Growlithe was barely able to hold himself upright after the blow, but still had enough power for another attack. Growlithe rammed into Dragonair using Reversal, but it wasn’t enough. Dragonair hit Growlithe with another Aqua Tail and the Puppy Pokémon lost consciousness.

                                        Gary couldn’t believe it. He only had one Pokémon left and yet he hadn’t even managed to take out half of Lance’s Pokémon. That shouldn’t have been possible. This should have been an easy battle that Gary would have won without any effort, yet things weren’t going even remotely how he thought they would.

                                        “Let’s show him what you’ve got, Wartortle!” Gary yelled with as much forced enthusiasm as he could muster.

                                        Wartortle leapt out of his Pokéball and assumed a ready stance. A moment later he was flat on the ground, defeated by Dragonair’s Thunder.

                                        “W-what?” Gary dropped to his knees, utterly defeated.

                                        “You know, I actually thought you stood a chance.” Lance said. “I’m actually surprised how week your team was for someone who already has seven badges. I guess you should stop rushing and actually focus on your training.”

                                        Lance walked up to Gary and pulled him up to his feet. “There’s a machine you can use to heal your Pokémon over in the other room. I’ll show you where it is, but I’ll have to go after that. I have other things that I need to do.”

                                        Gary recalled his Wartortle and followed Lance. He still couldn’t quite process what just happened. He was Gary Oak. How could he lose a battle so terribly? He knew Dragon-type Pokémon were supposed to be strong, but Lance’s team was still restricted by the limits of the Pokémon League regulations, which meant that he still should have been able to win. And if he did so badly here, what would it be like in the actual Pokémon League? Gary thought that he was already as strong as he needed to be, but now he knew that he was going to have to become much, much stronger to reach his goals.
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                                        Old June 25th, 2018 (6:58 AM).
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                                        BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                        The Mustachioed Machamp
                                           
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                                          Chapter 116
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                                          And then we left Saffron City and met up with Sabrina before we went to the Indigo Plateau, which is where Carmine and I have been until this morning. Ash finished his explanation of what had happened since his last meeting with Looker.

                                          Hmm Looker considered everything that he had been told. That is quite a lot for a boy of your age to have to go through. I am sorry to hear how involved you have gotten in this mess.

                                          Lifes life, I guess. Ash shrugged. I managed to get through it all and I guess now Im stronger for it or something. I dont really know, I just want to move on.

                                          That is fair. Looker nodded and held his hand out to Ash. I am sorry for taking up so much of your time, but know that what you have told us here is important. Now, I believe that is all we need from now but we would appreciate it if you could stay in the area for the rest of the day in case we need anything else from you.

                                          That was already the plan. Ash said as he shook Lookers outstretched hand.

                                          Id like to talk to you about something as well later when you get the chance. Rui piped in as Lookers group started to walk away. About what you saw in the Silph building. I know it can be hard when your powers first star to manifest, but I think I can help you through it.

                                          It took Ash a moment to process what she was telling him. He turned around and was about to say something, but they had already turned the corner in the driveway and disappeared behind a row of trees. Ash decided to turn back towards the lab and continue on his way, figuring that he could ask her about it later.

                                          * * *

                                          Gary stood around in Lances office. When he had mentioned to Lance that his Pokgears battery had died on the way up, Lance agreed to let him charge it there. Lance sat at his desk, going over more paperwork. Gary felt kind of awkward standing there and looked around a bit.

                                          You seem to be pretty busy. Gary observed. I dont think my dad even has this much work to do and hes the mayor.

                                          Being a Gym Leader is more work than it seems. Lance replied without looking up from the paper he was going over. Especially when youre in charge of overseeing all of the other Gym Leaders in the region. Not to mention all the work I have to deal with as a member of the Board of the Pokmon League and now Im working with the International Police on the Team Rocket case. Im not even sure why I volunteered for that when I already have so much to do. And even all of that pales in comparison all of my responsibilities as the patriarch of my tribe.

                                          What? Gary didnt quite understand that last part.

                                          I come from the Blackthorn tribe of Dragon Tamers. Lance explained. My grandfather was the patriarch of the tribe and when he passed away a little over a year ago that title was passed down to me. Now I have to deal with every little thing that happens to anyone in my entire extended family back in Johto. Lance held up the paper he just finished reading. You see this? One of my second cousins wants to marry someone from outside of the tribe, which means that I have to approve it and then Im going to have to officiate the wedding. And I dont remember ever even meeting this guy before!

                                          That sounds rough. Gary wasnt quite sure why Lance was telling him this.

                                          Lance sighed. Sorry, I didnt mean to vent at you like that. It just all gets to me sometimes. I dont think it would bother me so much, except that I never even wanted the position. The title of patriarch is normally passed down to the oldest son of the previous patriarch, but my father died when I was a child which meant that it skipped straight to me. And I already had my job here as a Gym Leader and had just been appointed as head of the Elite Four, meaning that I just got put in charge of a family I hadnt been around in years when I already had a lot of responsibility. Although it isnt all bad. Theres this one sweet little girl from another tribe who writes to me a lot wanting to know about how out customs and traditions. Reading her letters always puts a smile on my face and it's knowing that I help people like her that makes it all worth it.

                                          Gary checked his Pokgear. Well, it looks like Im done charging and I dont want to take up any more of your time.

                                          Alright. Lance said, setting down his papers and standing up. Im sure you didnt need or want to hear about my problems, but thank you for listening to me. Im sorry if I may have been a little rude to you earlier. Youre a good trainer and I think you have a lot of potential, I just think you need to spend a little more time training your Pokmon.

                                          Its alright. Gary was a little surprised to hear himself say that. Youre probably right. Is it okay if I stay on the island to train for a while?

                                          Knock yourself out. Lance stood up and headed towards the door. Theres a serious of old lava tubes running through the mountain filled with wild Pokmon that I use to train sometimes. Theres an entrance just on the other side of the mountain from where you came up. Id show you the way but I have to meet up with an associate and Im already running late.

                                          Thanks for the advice. Gary said as he headed towards the exit.

                                          I look forward to our rematch.

                                          * * *

                                          Ash opened the door to the lab without knocking and walked inside. He walked down the hallway and stopped at the doorway into the living room. He could see the professor sitting on a couch talking to someone who he couldnt see from that angle. Professor Oak happened to look up just then and waved Ash into the room.

                                          Hi. Ash said weekly, feeling like he was interrupting something. My mom said that you wanted to see me.

                                          Yes, I had something that I wanted to give to you. But before that, Id like to introduce you to my cousin whos visiting from the Alola region.

                                          The man who Professor Oak had been talking to stood up and turned to face Ash. Ash was surprised to see that he was nearly the spitting image of the professor apart from his tanned skin and long hair.

                                          Alola! The man said, waving his arms in an unfamiliar gesture. My names Samson Oak, but you can just call me Samson.

                                          Hello. Ash waved. Im Ash.

                                          Im going to get your present. Professor Oak said as he headed towards the far door and stepped out. Now where did I leave it?

                                          The last time I saw you, you were only around this big. Samson lowered his hand to his knee. My, how youve grown since then.

                                          Yeah. Ash felt a bit awkward being left alone with this stranger who apparently must have known him when he was little, but that he had no recollection of.

                                          I hear its your birthday today and that youre turning eleven.

                                          Yeah.

                                          We have a tradition in Alola where children who turn eleven go around the islands, going through various trials and battling the captains and Kahunas. Its kind of like the Pokmon League you have here in Kanto, though with a few differences. Samson said as he reached a hand into his pocket.

                                          Thats interesting. Ash said.

                                          I want you to have this. Samson pulled his hand out of his pocket and held up some sort of white bracelet. We call these Z-Rings. Theyre normally only given to those who go through the Alolan challenge.

                                          Ash took the Z-Ring from him and put it on his right wrist. Thank you.

                                          As trainers go through their island challenges they collect Z-Crystals, which can be used with the Z-Ring to allow Pokmon to use powerful moves. Unfortunately, I dont have any of those to give you. Youll have to go to Alola and earn them yourself if you want to collect any.

                                          Thats cool. Ash said enthusiastically. I guess I need to consider going there once Ive beaten the Pokmon League.

                                          You should. Samson laughed. Z-Rings can also be used to Mega Evolve Pokmon if you have the appropriate Mega Stone. I wouldnt recommend it though. Without a Mega Stone to collect the access energy created by Mega Evolution the results can be quite unpleasant and dangerous for both the Pokmon and those around it.

                                          Ill keep that in mind. Ash had no idea what Mega Evolution was, but at least he now knew to avoid it. At least unless he managed to get a Key Stone, whatever that was.

                                          Im back. Professor Oak announced as he reentered the room, carrying a Pokmon egg incubator with a large silver egg inside of it. Found this egg in my breeding area not too long ago but Im not really sure where it came from. I thought that you might be interested in raising whatevers inside.
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                                          Old June 29th, 2018 (6:04 AM).
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                                          BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                          The Mustachioed Machamp
                                             
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                                            Chapter 117
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                                            Red, Yellow and Bill walked into a hospital room with six beds, five of which were occupied. Misty sat up in one of the beds when she saw them.

                                            “Red? Yellow? What are you doing here?” She asked groggily.

                                            “We came to see how all of you were doing.” Red explained. “Do you remember anything that happened?”

                                            “Not really.” Misty winced and grabbed her forehead with one of her hands. “I remember diving down under the water to search for the S.S. Anne and then… nothing.”

                                            “We were attacked by something down there.” Said the red-headed woman who was in the opposite bed from Misty. “The doctor said that you were the ones who checked us in here, would you care to explain what happened?”

                                            “You are you?” Red asked the woman.

                                            “I am Lorelei, of the Elite Four.”

                                            “Oh, well…” Red thought of where he should start his explanation. “We were hired to stop whoever was trying to sabotage an offshore construction site. It turned out to be a group of Tentacool trying to defend their habitat from being destroyed, then a giant Tentacruel showed up and attacked. It had the five of you held captive, but then this Pikachu here showed up and managed to defeat it, rescuing you and saving us.”

                                            Red pointed at Chuchu, who Yellow still had in her arms and lifted up for everyone to see.

                                            “Well, that certainly is an interesting story.” Lorelei mused. “But is there any chance of this giant Tentacruel coming back?”

                                            “I don’t think so.” Red said. “But I can’t really say for sure.”

                                            Lorelei closed her eyes and looked contemplative. After a moment, she opened them again and spoke. “Thank you for your help. All of you. I do not know what would have happened if you hadn’t rescued us, but it likely would have been the end of us. We owe all of you are lives. I’m going to let the other’s know what happened and we’ll place a watch to see if anything else happens.”

                                            “You’re welcome, I guess. We didn’t really do much of anything, though. Chuchu’s the one who really deserves the credit.”

                                            Lorelei turned her gave to the Pikachu that Yellow was still holding up. “Thank you. We might not still be here if it were not for you.”

                                            “Hey, I’ve seen you before.” Red turned around to see a pink-haired girl in one of the other beds, who Red recognized as Lily. “Didn’t I fight you back at the Cerulean Gym a while back?”

                                            “Yeah.” Red nodded. “That was when I got my second Gym Badge.”

                                            “Well, it’s good to see you again, I guess.” Lily said. “These aren’t exactly ideal circumstances though.”

                                            “Yeah, I guess not.”

                                            Red looked around. The blue-haired and blonde girls were still unconscious and even the Gym Leaders who were awake still seemed to be in relatively bad shape. Misty had a dazed look on her face like she was having trouble taking in her surroundings. Red wondered if she might have sustained some kind of concussion from what happened.

                                            He also noted that Bill had gone up to the blonde girl’s bed and had been kneeling beside it the entire time they were there. He was looking at her with a loving sense of tenderness and wiped her hair out of her face. It was clear that Bill knew her and from the looks of it they must have been close.

                                            “You’re all going to be fine, right?” Red asked no one in particular.

                                            “That’s what the doctor said, at any rate.” Lorelei responded. “There shouldn’t be any lasting damage and we should all be ready to leave in a day or two.”

                                            “That’s a relief.” Red sighed. “Things could be a lot worse right now.”

                                            * * *

                                            Pikoa swam through the ocean to the eastern shore of Kanto. He had felt a disturbance there earlier but was too caught up dealing with the King of Pokélantis to check it out earlier. At last, he reached the source of the disturbance and slowed to a stop. There did not seem to be anything there at first, but he looked around and found it down below. A gigantic Tentacruel sprawled out along the sea floor, completely unconscious.

                                            “Kracruel?” Pikoa uttered in astonishment at the sight. “Well, that’s certainly not where I last left you. I wasn’t expecting you to wake up for another hundred years or so after that beating I gave you last time you tried to wipe out humanity. Though fortunately, it looks like someone else managed to get to you while I was busy. I wonder who could have done this two you.” Pikoa shrugged. “Oh, well. At least this means I won’t have to deal with you again for a while. That would be the last thing I need right now, considering everything that’s been happening lately.”

                                            Pikoa turned around and was about to leave when a glimmer of yellow light from down below caught his eye. He swam down to where he had seen it and navigated between Kracruel’s massive tentacles to find whatever it was. Finally, he found it nestled between a couple of rocks, where it had fallen.

                                            “Well, that is interesting.” Pikoa said in surprise. “I haven’t seen one of these in very a long time. I think I’ll go ahead and take it with me. You never know when it could come in handy.”

                                            * * *

                                            Ash returned home to find his mom in the kitchen fixing dinner.

                                            “Welcome back.” She said as she looked up when he walked in. “What did the Professor want?”

                                            “He gave me this.” Ash held up the incubator he was carrying.

                                            “Oh, that’s nice.” Delia set down the food she was preparing and went up to get a closer look at it. “Do you know what it’s going to hatch into?”

                                            “The professor wasn’t actually sure. He said he wanted to give it to me because he knew that I’d be up to the challenge of raising whatever it ends up being.”

                                            “Well, I’m sure he’s right about that.” Delia smiled and looked up at Ash. “Dinner will be ready in just a minute, so why don’t you go get ready.”

                                            “Okay.”

                                            Ash turned and headed over the staircase. He went up to the second floor, down the hall and into his room. He went over to his bed and knelt down to put the incubator into his backpack, which he had left sitting on the hardwood floor. Once it was safely inside, he slung the backpack over his shoulder and stood back up. He turned around to head back out, but took a step back instead and fell onto his bed.
                                            Down below, Delia heard a knock on the door just as she was setting the table. She stopped what she was doing and went to answer it. She was surprised when she opened it up to see a man she recognized as one of the International Police officers that worked to take down Team Rocket all of those years ago, as well as a young man and woman she did not recognize.

                                            “Can I help you with anything?” She asked.

                                            “Good evening, madam.” Looker gave a polite nod. “I am Agent Looker and these are my associates Wes and Rui. We were wishing to have a word with your son.”

                                            “Come in.” Delia stepped away from the door and held her arm out towards the living room. Looker, Wes and Rui walked inside and Delia closed the door behind them. “He just went to his room upstairs. It’s the last door on the left.”

                                            “Thank you.” Looker nodded again. “We promise we won’t take up too much of your son’s time. I just have a few follow-up questions from what he told us earlier.”

                                            Looker headed up the staircase with Wes and Rui close behind. The walked down the hallway and turned into the open door at the end into Ash’s room. There was someone standing in the center of the room, facing away from the door, but it certainly wasn’t Ash.

                                            “009!” Looker said as the blonde girl slowly turned around to face them. She wore a crazed smile on her face. It was the kind of expression that Looker always hoped that he would never have to see it again. And yet it was one that he saw far too often. “What did you do with the boy? Where is Ash?”

                                            “Gone.”
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                                            Old July 2nd, 2018 (8:08 AM).
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                                            BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                            The Mustachioed Machamp
                                               
                                              Join Date: Apr 2013
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                                              Chapter 118
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                                              “Do you guys mind if I stay here?” Bill asked Red and Yellow as the trio walked out into the hospital hallway.

                                              “Not at all.” Red replied. “Why?”

                                              “I don’t feel right leaving until Daisy gets let out. It’s been fun hanging out with you two, but it looks like this is where we’ll be parting ways for now.”

                                              Bill held out his hand, which Red shook. They said their goodbyes to each other before Red and Yellow walked away, leaving Bill.

                                              “I’m going to miss him.” Yellow said as they made their way to leave the hospital.

                                              “Me, too. He was only with us for around a day, but I got used to having him around.”

                                              “Hey, what happened to Sabubble?” Yellow asked.

                                              “You mean Sable?” Red thought for a moment. “I’m not sure.”

                                              “I’m right here.”

                                              Red and Yellow both jumped in shock before turning around to see Sable standing right behind them.

                                              “How long have you been there?” Red wondered aloud.

                                              Sable smirked. “So where are we off to next?”

                                              Red stared at the purple-haired woman, but it became quickly apparent that she wasn’t going to answer his question. “I don’t know. I guess maybe we should try heading back to Celadon and then make our way south to Fuchsia City. Or maybe Saffron City if the way is finally open.”

                                              “It is.” Sable replied.

                                              “How do you know that?” Yellow asked her.

                                              “I saw it on the news.” Sable shrugged. “Apparently some group calling themselves Team Rocket was the ones behind the city’s closer. I didn’t get any more information than that, though.”

                                              “Team Rocket?” Red couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “How could they have shut down an entire city like that?”

                                              Sable shrugged again. “I already told you everything that I know.”

                                              Red sighed. “Well, I guess we should be heading out now. Yellow, can you have Abraham use Teleport to take us back to Celadon?”

                                              “Yep!” Yellow pulled out a Pokéball and sent out her Psychic-type. The Abra sat, floating in midair for a moment before everything went white for a second and they were all standing in the middle of the street outside the Pokémon Center in Celadon City.

                                              “Teleporting truly is the most efficient means of travel.” Sable mused. “I don’t know how we would get along without it.”

                                              “The same way everyone else does, I guess.” Red said. “By foot.”

                                              “That just seems so primitive by comparison.” Sable replied. “It takes forever and there are all kinds of things that could go wrong while you’re going from one place to another. When was the last time anyone ever had any major incidents happen while using Teleport?”

                                              * * *

                                              It all happened so fast that it took a moment for Ash to process what just happened. One moment he was in his room when he turned around and saw that one girl who worked with Looker alongside her Alakazam. The next moment, he was here, falling through the air at dizzying speeds towards the hard, unfriendly ground far, far below him. He was practically winded by the sheer force of the air as he plummeted down. He just let it happen, at first, too stunned by the shock to react. After a moment, however, he finally started to act.

                                              “Fearow!” He called as pulled out the Pokéball that the large Beak Pokémon was in. The giant brown bird flew out of its Pokéball and dove down below Ash so that he fell hard onto its back. Ash felt like he may have broken a rib or something in the impact, and Fearow let out a caw of pain as well. Despite this, Fearow was able to safely slow their descent enough for Ash to make out his surroundings.
                                              Ash spotted a city in the distance. Ash recognized the Silph Company building among its massive skyscrapers, the roof of which hadn’t been repaired from the damages in his battle with Giovanni. He knew that city must be Saffron and in another direction, he saw a port city that must have been Vermilion. Based off of their positioning, Ash deduced that they were somewhere in the air above Route 12 or Route 13. Ash tried to guide Fearow towards Vermilion City, but it was no use. The only way they could go was straight down.

                                              Ash waited until they were close enough to the ground and then called Fearow back into his Pokéball so that the Flying-type Pokémon wouldn’t get even more hurt when they hit the ground. This caused Ash to return to a freefall straight into a tree. He tumbled through the branches and fell out where his fall was broken by a large bush. Ash felt like a Muk’s lunch as he rose to his legs. His arms were covered in scratches and scrapes and he felt that his face must have been in similar condition. His brand new pants were now filthy, though he didn’t really care much about that at the moment.

                                              He reached into his pocket and pulled out the Pokégear he had just pulled out that morning. He went to dial home to let his mom know what happened but quickly made a bad discovery. He hadn’t actually set up the Pokégear yet, which made it borderline useless for him.

                                              “Well, this is just great.” Ash sighed as he limped over a large rock nearby and sat down on it. “Well, I just need to keep calm and not panic. I’ll think of a way out of this situation. Yeah, all I have to do is make to the nearest town. Vermilion City’s nearby. I just need to go…”

                                              Ash looked around and realized that he had lost track of where he was during the fall. He couldn’t actually remember which way the city was and he had ended up in the middle of the woods, nowhere near a pathway or road that he could follow.

                                              “Just keep calm.” He repeated to himself as he started taking deep breaths. “Don’t panic.”

                                              Suddenly, Ash felt something lift from his head and he looked up to see a Mankey hanging down from the tree above him, holding his hat.

                                              “Hey!” Give that back!” Ash sprung to his feet and jumped up to snatch the stolen hat back from the Mankey, but the Mankey just swatted his face with a Scratch attack. Ash’s face already stung and this just made it much worse, but he didn’t give up. He jumped and reached for it again, but the Mankey swung up by its tail and jumped away into another tree and then another. Soon it was out of sight.
                                              Ash slumped down to his sour knees and did his best not to cry. Everything about his current situation seemed completely hopeless, and now he had just lost his favorite hat. It wasn’t even the hat itself that got to him. It was the fact that he and his father had worked together to collect and send in the postcards needed to win that limited edition hat. It was one of the only things he still had to remember his father and now it was gone. Just like that.

                                              “Just keep calm.” Ash repeated again. “Don’t panic, don’t cry. I can figure out a way out of this mess, I just need to keep calm.”

                                              Ash steadied his breathing and got back to his feet. He was not going to give up. No matter what life decided to throw at him, he would not give up. He was Ash Ketchum, after all. He was going to be a Pokémon Master one day and nothing could stop him in his dreams. His goals. His destiny.

                                              Ash started walking forward. He didn’t know what was up ahead, but that didn’t matter. He tried to remain as confident in his posture as he could, though it ended up being a sort of limp due to all of his injuries. If fate had decided to through him through the proverbial ringer, then he was going to show fate that he had what it took to keep on. His father had before him, after all, and he knew he could be just as good as is father was. No, better.

                                              “I want to be the very best.” Ash tried to keep his mind off of the pain by singing his favorite song. “Like no one ever was. To catch them is my real test. To train them is my cause. Pokémon!”
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                                              Old July 6th, 2018 (6:50 AM).
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                                              BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                              The Mustachioed Machamp
                                                 
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                                                Chapter 119
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                                                “I must express my condolences for what has happened.” Looker bowed his head as he stood before Delia, who was sitting on the couch, crying with her face buried in her hands. “I feel that I should take the blame, as this could have been avoided if only I had acted differently. I suspected 009 of working for Team Rocket and yet I did nothing to actually stop her from doing anything on their orders.”

                                                Delia looked up at the International Police Agent. Her eyes were red and puffy. “It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we find my baby boy.”

                                                “That will be difficult.” Looker shook his head. “He could be anywhere in the world right now. My associates are doing everything that they can to get 009… no… Tulip Black to tell us where she sent him, but so far it would appear that not even she is aware. He can only hope and pray that he is safe.”

                                                Looker and Delia both turned as the front door opened. Carmine walked in, followed by Lance.

                                                “I’m back.” Carmine said as he looked around. He frowned as he saw that Delia was crying as well as how Looker was. “What happened?”

                                                “Something regrettable.” Looker answered.

                                                “Ash is gone." Delia sobbed. “We don’t know where he is.”

                                                “What do you mean?” Carmine asked, more concerned than before.

                                                “We had a spy hidden among us.” Looker sighed. “009 was working for Team Rocket this entire time. She apparently decided to get revenge for Ash’s defeat of Giovanni and snuck into his room. She had her Alakazam catch him off guard and use Teleport to send him away somewhere. We still do not have any idea where he could be, but suffice it to say that he is far from safe.”

                                                Carmine lost his composure and reached out to steady himself against the wall. “But, we must have some way to find him, right?”

                                                “If we do, then we do not know what it is. I am afraid that it is currently up to Ash to find a way out of whatever his current situation is and reach out to contact us in some way.”

                                                Carmine clenched his teeth as his hands curled up into tight fists. Then he sighed and relaxed. “Well, I know Ash. He’ll be fine. Whatever he’s facing right now, I’m sure he’ll get through it without any trouble at all. Any moment now the phone is going to ring and he’ll tell us where he is. Assuming that he doesn’t find a way back on his own, that is.”

                                                Delia looked up at him and smiled weakly. “Yeah, Ash is just like his father. He’ll be fine.”

                                                * * *

                                                It had started to rain shortly after Ash started to walk away from where he had landed. It had started as a light shower but quickly turned into a downpour. The sky had seemed clear while he was falling from it though, which made Ash suspect that a Pokémon somewhere nearby had used Rain Dance to change the weather. He wasn’t sure that any Pokémon native to the area could actually learn the move on their own and thought that it must have been a Pokémon owned by a trainer, probably in the middle of a battle. Ash knew that he should probably try and find the trainer to see if he or she could help him out, but had no idea where they might be and didn’t really have time to consider it as he ran with his backpack over his head, trying to stay as dry as he could.

                                                The rain stopped as soon as it had started, which has further proof that it had been the result of a Pokémon’s Rain Dance. Unfortunately, he was sure that he had gone in the opposite direction if its source as he ran out of the trees into a clearing. On the plus side, there was an old road running through the clearing. It looked like it didn’t get much use, but at least it was something. He went up to the dirt road and started walking alongside it. Hopefully, it would lead him to a town or city where he would be able to find a Pokémon Center.

                                                His walk felt long and there wasn’t much around, but he continued to make his way. After a while, he started to notice something off in the distance. He couldn’t tell what it was at first, but as he got closer he saw that it was some kind of large building. Ash picked up his pace and started running towards the white and red, almost castle-like building. As he was running, he suddenly tripped over something and fell to the ground. He picked himself up and turned around to see what he had tripped over to find a fallen tree branch on the ground.

                                                Ash could have sworn there had been nothing there a moment ago. Certainly, he would have noticed something as large as that branch in his way. He picked it up and examined it, but couldn’t find anything strange about the discarded tree branch. He guessed that the leaves on it must have made the branch blend in with the green grass growing along the side of the old dirt road and tossed it over his shoulder as he continued on his way. Then he stopped again when he didn’t hear the branch hit the ground and turned around. There was nothing there. The discarded branch was nowhere in sight.
                                                Ash blinked a few times in confusion, before finally deciding to just turn around and keep going. He was only able to take two steps before slamming into a large stone wall blocking his way and falling back onto the ground.

                                                “What’s going on here?” Ash yelled in total confusion.

                                                Not noticing a branch in his way was one thing, but there was no way that this wall had been there a second ago. Ash got to his feet again and placed his hand up against the wall. He couldn’t find anything strange about it except for the fact that it hadn’t been there a moment ago. He stepped back and looked around. He couldn’t find any reason for there to be a wall there. It wasn’t a part of any larger structure and it was partially blocking the road. No one in their right mind would have any reason to put a wall here. Ash gave the wall and strange look and the wall smiled back at him.

                                                It took Ash a moment to process that. He thought it must have just been a trick of the light or something, so he rubbed his eyes and checked again. The wall was still smiling. Two beady black eyes stared at Ash above a thin mouth curved up in a grin. Ash stared dumbfounded at it before the entire wall suddenly moved, not to the side, but up. The wall almost seemed to jump over his head as it stretched up over his head and out of view.

                                                Clearly, this ‘wall’ must actually have been some kind of Pokémon, but Ash had never heard of a Pokémon that looked like this before. Ash spun around to face it again but it was gone. Instead, there was a Tauros standing there with its head lowered, whipping itself with its three tails and scrapping the ground with its hoof, ready to charge.

                                                Ash started to freak out and ran to his left to get away from the Wild Bull Pokémon. The Tauros charged after him, forcing Ash to run faster than he ever had before to try and stay away from it. He headed straight for the row of trees at the edge of the forest and jumped up, using his momentum and climbing as far up the tree as he could in the two seconds it took for the Tauros to slam into it. The tree wasn’t as wide as the span of the Tauros’ horns, meaning that the Pokémon ended up hitting the tree head-first with all of its strength and slumped to the ground. Ash was knocked out of the tree by the shock of the impact and fell onto the Tauros’ back before it stood back up again and shook its head. Ash thought that the Tauros was going to try and buck him off of its back but instead it… melted away beneath him,

                                                Before Ash had time to realize what was happening, the Tauros was gone and he was sitting with his legs sprawled out on the ground. He heard a loud thump behind him and turned around to see a Rhydon standing menacingly behind him. He quickly flashed back to his battle with Giovanni as the Rhydon towered over him with its arms crossed and smiled down at him. The drill-like horn protruding from just above its nostrils spun rapidly for a moment and stopped.

                                                Ash had no idea what was going on anymore, but he quickly got up to his feet and ran further into the woods as the Rhydon chased after him.
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                                                Old July 9th, 2018 (8:39 AM).
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                                                BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                                The Mustachioed Machamp
                                                   
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                                                  Chapter 120
                                                  Spoiler:
                                                  Ash continued to run through the woods from the strange Rhydon chasing after him. He tried to zigzag between the trees to try and through it off of his trail, but it didn’t work. The Rhydon seemed to move with grace and agility for more than something of its size and bulk should have been capable of. Ash reached down to his belt and grabbed one of his Pokéballs. He then turned around and held his ground as he sent out his Pokémon.

                                                  “Go, Kingler!”

                                                  The large Pincer Pokémon sprung out of the Pokéball towards Rhydon, its left claw held back and glowing silver. As Rhydon caught up to it, Kingler struck Rhydon with a Metal Claw, causing the Drill Pokémon to be knocked back off of its feet. Kingler followed up the attack with a Bubble Beam. Rhydon turned onto its stomach and laid there, defeated. Or at least that’s how it appeared at first, but then Rhydon began to melt away into pink slime which then rematerialized as an Electabuzz. The Electric Pokémon held its hands at its side as it charged an Electro Ball and then launched it at Kingler. Kingler was unable to jump out of the way of the attack and was hit by it. Kingler collapsed onto the ground and weakly tried to get back up, but Ash recalled him back into his Pokéball and sent out his Sandslash instead.

                                                  “Use Dig!”

                                                  Sandslash dug its way underground and rose back up directly underneath the Electabuzz, hitting it with a powerful uppercut. Electabuzz was knocked back by the attack and started to melt away, forming into a Poliwrath. Poliwrath launched a Bubble Beam at Sandslash, who was sent flying back at Ash, who was knocked down by the blow. Ash recalled his Sandslash and was about to call out Haunter, but was too late. The Poliwrath ran up to him and stood imposingly over Ash. The Tadpole Pokémon reeled one of his fists back and Ash closed his eyes as it was about to hit him.

                                                  All Ash felt was a gentle nudge to his forehead. He slowly opened his eyes to see the Poliwrath standing there, poking Ash with a single finger. The Pokémon then stepped back and melted away again, this time turning into a small bird-like Pokémon with blue wings, a black head shaped like a musical note and a short pink beak that Ash had never seen before.

                                                  “Squawk, you’re it! Squawk, you’re it!”

                                                  Ash stared at the strange Pokémon for a moment and blinked a few times. The Pokémon flew in place in front of Ash as he sat there in stunned silence.

                                                  “Squawk, you’re it! Squawk, you’re it!” It repeated.

                                                  Ash finally reacted, taking off his backpack and reaching inside to pull out an empty Pokéball. He threw it at the strange Pokémon, who easily dodged it. He threw another and another, but the Pokémon just flew around out of reach. Ash started throwing them faster and faster and it steadily became harder for the Pokémon to dodge until finally Ash threw his last Pokéball, which actually managed to hit the Pokémon and it was sucked inside. The Pokéball fell to the ground and began to shake. After the third shake, it stopped and the light on its button went out, meaning that Ash had caught it.

                                                  Ash put his backpack back on and rose to his feet, recalling Sandslash into its own Pokéball as he did so. He then walked over to the Pokéball lying on the ground and picked it up. He looked down at it in his hand for a moment before holding it out and sending out his new Pokémon. The bolt of red Pokénergy shot out and struck the ground, where a small pile of pink goo materialized, which looked up at Ash with small, black eyes and smiled, waving a little blob from its side that almost looked like a hand. Ash then pulled out his Pokédex to see what this thing actually was.

                                                  -Ditto, the Transform Pokémon. Normal-type. Height: 1’00”. Weight: 8.8 lbs. This rare Pokémon has the unique ability to reorganize its cellular structure to become a near perfect copy of anything that it sees. When they transform into something that is not right in front of them, Ditto have to rely on their memory instead, which means that they often fail.-

                                                  “Well, that explains a lot.” Ash said as he read the Pokédex entry. “Although you don’t seem to have a problem with using your memory to transform like the Pokédex says.”

                                                  Ash looked back up at his new Ditto and was surprised to see that it had turned into a copy of him while he wasn’t looking. The Ditto was looking down at its own fake Pokédex in an imitation of Ash.

                                                  “Although, you’re going to take some getting used to.” Ash looked around. “You wouldn’t happen to remember which way we came from, would you?”

                                                  Ditto nodded and smiled before turning around and transformed into an Arcanine, sniffing the ground to find the way back. Ash followed after the Ditto and they made their way out of the woods.

                                                  * * *

                                                  “We’re here at last.” Squirtle announced as Team Pokémon finally reached Celadon City.

                                                  “Finally.” Bulbasaur said. “How do so many humans do this? It feels like it takes forever just to get from one town to another.”

                                                  “Well, for one thing, they have longer legs.” Squirtle pointed out. “That means it doesn’t quite take as long to get from one place to another. And humans just seem to be good at traveling long distances, doing all of the dirty work while their Pokémon just relax in their Pokéballs most of the time.”

                                                  “Relax?” Zoroark repeated questioningly. “I always thought Pokéballs would be cramped and uncomfortable.”

                                                  “Not at all.” Charmander replied. “The Pokéballs actually create simulated habitats for the Pokémon inside, which are designed to be as comfortable as possible. I actually kind of miss my Pokéball, to be honest.”

                                                  “Yeah, but your trainer was walking pile of garbage.” Bulbasaur pointed out.

                                                  “I know some Trubbish and Garbodor who would take offense to that statement.” Zoroark said.

                                                  “What are those?” Jigglypuff asked.

                                                  “Their Pokémon from around where I live.” Zoroark explained. “They’re well… basically walking piles of garbage that go around eating actual trash.”

                                                  “So kind of like Grimer and Muk?” Squirtle asked.

                                                  “I don’t know what those are, but probably.”

                                                  “They’re living piles of toxic sludge that feed off of pollution.” Bulbasaur explained.

                                                  “Yeah, sounds like their pretty much the same then.” Zoroark said.

                                                  “Why are we talking about garbage?” Jigglypuff shouted angrily.

                                                  “You’re the one asked.” Zoroark muttered underneath her breath.

                                                  “So where’s the Gym, anyway?” Charmander tried to change the subject.

                                                  “No idea.” Squirtle replied. “But we’ll find it eventually. It should be a Water-type Gym, so when we get there, Bulbasaur will be doing the fighting.”

                                                  “Why me?” Bulbasaur asked defensively.

                                                  “Because you’re a Grass-type, which means you have a type advantage.”

                                                  “Oh, right.” Bulbasaur tried to hide his embarrassment. “That makes sense.”

                                                  “I’m up second in case things don’t turn out according to plan.” Squirtle continued. “And I guess Jigglypuff is on third.”

                                                  “What?” Jigglypuff asked in a tone that clearly showed she took offense to that idea. “What makes you think I’m fighting?”

                                                  “Okay…” Squirtle said awkwardly. “Then I guess Charmander is on third. But it shouldn’t have to come to that, anyway.”

                                                  “Hey, I think I see it up ahead!” Charmander shouted excitedly as he pointed to a large, brown-roofed building.

                                                  The group hurried towards the Gym, trying not to draw too much attention to themselves as they walked along the busy streets of Cerulean City. Finally, they reached their goal.

                                                  “Great, now we’re here.” Squirtle said as they walked up to the door. “We’ve just gone over the battle plan, so let’s go in… and… wait…”

                                                  The doors to the Gym didn’t open.

                                                  “There’s a note posted here.” Zoroark said as she pointed to a piece of paper hanging on the other side of the sliding glass door. “I can’t really read human very well, though, so I’m not really sure what it says.”

                                                  “Lift me up.” Squirtle told her. “I can read it.”

                                                  Zoroark reached down and grabbed Squirtle by the sides of his shell and held him up so that he was level with the note.

                                                  “It says ‘Notice: The Cerulean Gym is temporarily closed while the Gym Leaders are away for business. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.’ Well, that’s just great.”

                                                  “What now?” Bulbasaur asked as Zoroark lowered Squirtle back to the ground.

                                                  “I could hold a concert here.” Jigglypuff suggested. “Although I’m not sure if the people here are worthy of my performance.”

                                                  “That sounds like a great idea.” Squirtle lied. “But I think our time would probably be better spent doing… basically anything other than that.”
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                                                  Old July 13th, 2018 (8:08 AM).
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                                                  BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
                                                  The Mustachioed Machamp
                                                     
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                                                    Chapter 121
                                                    Spoiler:
                                                    Gary pulled out his Pokgear as he made his way back down the mountain. It had just occurred to him that he should probably let the others know about his change of plans.

                                                    Hello? Kats voice came from the other end of the line.

                                                    Hey, Kat. Gary said. I decided that Im going to stay here for a while to train.

                                                    You lost to Lance, didnt you? Kat asked him knowingly.

                                                    What? Why would you think that? Garys tone of voice made it clear that he had.

                                                    Hey, its not that big a deal. Kat tried to reassure him. Lance is probably one of the best trainers in the region, if not the entire country, and Dragon-types are notoriously tough. Its only natural that youd have trouble beating him.

                                                    Whatever. Gary grumbled angrily. Look, Ill call you back when Im done but dont expect here back from me for another day or two.

                                                    Be sure to call if anything happens.

                                                    Sure. Gary said with mild sarcasm. Although reception might be a bit of an issue while Im in a cave. Anyway, bye.

                                                    Wait, what do you mean by-

                                                    Gary hung up and put the Pokgear back in his pocket. He had just reached the entrance to the lava tubes that Lance had told him about.

                                                    Well, it looks like its time to get busy. He said to himself as he walked into the tunnels entrance.

                                                    Gary pulled out a Pokball and sent out his Growlithe. The Fire-type Puppy Pokmon wagged his fluffy tan-colored tail and opened his mouth. A small jet of flame jetted out from orange-furred Pokmons mouth, lighting the cavern ahead of them. Gary and his Growlithe started walking deeper into the tunnel.

                                                    I really need to get a flashlight when I get the chance. Or a lantern. Gary stepped over a rock. Probably both. That way I dont have to keep using you as a light source. Now that I think about it, weve been in a lot of dark places recently.

                                                    Gary and Growlithe turned around a corner in the tunnel and kept going.

                                                    I wonder how deep these tunnels go. Gary said, mostly to himself. Lance said they were lava tubes, so they probably go pretty far. We should make sure that we can remember the way back.

                                                    * * *

                                                    I suppose we should start making our way over to Saffron City now. Red said as he, Yellow and Sable stood around outside the Celadon City Pokmon Center. Unless anyone has something they think we should do first.

                                                    I think it would be a good idea to see more of the city before we leave. Sable said. Ive heard that theres a giant supermarket somewhere thats the largest store in the area. I kind of want to check it out.

                                                    I guess it would be kind of nice to stock up on supplies. Red agreed. Actually having enough sleeping bags for everybody would be nice. Maybe even get a tent.

                                                    Wait, do we even have any money? Yellow asked.

                                                    We should. Red said as he pulled out his Pokdex. The Pokmon League automatically sends money to trainers whenever they win an official battle.

                                                    But where does that money come from?

                                                    Red shrugged. My guess would be ticket sales from tournaments. Im sure they make a lot from the annual Pokmon League Tournament alone, plus they have a lot of smaller tournaments and events around the region throughout the rest of the year as well. They also get money from taxes. Im sure thats part of it as well.

                                                    Well, thats nice for you. Sable said. I for one am above such trivial matters as material wealth.

                                                    So youre saying youre broke?

                                                    Um Sable blushed slightly. Yes.

                                                    Thats fine. I know what its like. Red replied. It looks like I plenty saved up right now, so if you want anything I should be able to get it for you.

                                                    Thank you for the offer but I should be fine. Sable said.

                                                    Hmm Red suddenly looked contemplative. I wonder if this means I can file you as a dependent on my taxes.

                                                    I think you overestimate how long Ill be with you. Sable sighed.

                                                    It was a joke. Red said defensively.

                                                    Yeah, sure it was. Now are we going or not? Sable asked.

                                                    Yeah, I suppose we should. Red looked around. Hey, whered Yellow go?

                                                    She left right after you finished talking about where youre money comes from. I think she got bored. Sable gestured in the direction Yellow had run off in.

                                                    Why does she have to have to keep running off like this? Red asked rhetorically as he turned to go after her.

                                                    Why does the wind blow? Sable replied, following Reds lead.

                                                    Whats that supposed to mean?

                                                    I dont know. Sable shrugged. I just thought it sounded good.

                                                    * * *

                                                    Attila took several steps forward, dropped to his knees and punched the ground.

                                                    They were just here. He muttered through gritted teeth. Right in front of us and we let them get away.

                                                    Now, now. Hun said as he walked over to Attila. Dont let it get to you so hard.

                                                    Just when we finally managed to track down those brats, they Teleported to who-knows-where.

                                                    Attila stood back up and looked around, realizing that he was starting to draw attention from passersby. They were standing outside of the Porta Vista hospital that Red, Yellow and Sable had just left.

                                                    Hey, we never thought that tracking down those kids was going to be easy. So what if they have access to a Pokmon that can Teleport anywhere they want? The kid with the hat is working to enter the Pokmon League, right? That makes their movement predictable. Well find them eventually and give that brat whats coming to him.

                                                    I know. Attila said, not hiding his frustration. For now we should probably get out of here.

                                                    Attila and Hun both turned to leave the city, but on their way out they were confronted by a nasty old lady with red hair tied into a pair of braided pigtails that would have better suited a girl less than a quarter of her age.

                                                    WELL, WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? A COUPLE OF STRAPPING YOUNG GENTLEMEN THAT LOOK LIKE YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO HELP AN OLD WOMAN OUT. IM SURE THAT TWO CHARMING MEN LIKE YOURSELVES WOULD JUST LOVE TO HELP MY COUSIN OUT WITH SOME ISSUES THAT SHES BEEN HAVING WITH HER CONSTRUCTION PLANS.

                                                    Brutella chuckled devilishly as she admired Attilas rugged physique, with rippling muscles and spiky blonde hair, as well as Huns slender, almost feminine build and long gray hair. Attila stared down at the haggard old lady, the sun reflecting off of his sunglasses to completely cover his eyes and make his expression unreadable. He smirked.

                                                    What do have in mind? He asked, catching Hun off guard.

                                                    I LIKE YOUR ENTHUSIASM, Brutella said in a gleeful tone that did not suit her. COME ON, ILL TAKE YOU TO GO SEE NASTINA AND SHES TELL YOU BOYS WHAT TO DO.

                                                    Yes, lets get going.

                                                    Brutella turned around and marched off to lead the way. Attila and Hun followed her, though Hun wasnt sure at first why they were. Then he slowly realized what Attila must have been planning and he smiled. It looked like Attila was going to be able to vent some of his frustration after all.

                                                    The three made their way to the same stage where Brutella had taken Red to see Nastina the day before, where Nastina was waiting. She didnt seem to have actually been doing anything before they got there.

                                                    HEY, NASTINA! I GOT A COUPLE OF GUYS HERE THAT WANT TO HELP YOU OUT WITH YOUR PROBLEM. Brutella screamed at here.

                                                    I HOPE THESE ONES DO A BETTER JOB THAN THE LAST BOY YOU BROUGHT. Nastina yelled back at her even though they were practically right next to each other at this point. HE STILL HASNT COME BACK YET.

                                                    I can assure you, maam, that we are not like whoever it is that you hired before. Attila said.

                                                    WELL, THATS GOOD TO HEAR. YOU SEE, IM TRYING TO BUILD AN AMUSEMENT PARK AND HOTEL JUST OFFSHORE, BUT SOMEONES BEEN SABBATOGING THE CONSTRUCTION.

                                                    That is unfortunate. Attila said with false sympathy.

                                                    I NEED YOU TO GO AND STOP WHOEVERS DOING IT.

                                                    I see Attila paused. Theres just one problem with that.

                                                    WHATS THAT?

                                                    Its that I really dont care. Attila popped his knuckles intimidatingly. I just came over here because I have some anger issues that I need to work out.

                                                    WHATS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Nastina held up her walking stick angrily as if brandishing it as a weapon.

                                                    You really dont want to know. Attila took a step towards Nastina and Brutella, pulling out a Pokball and tossing it in the air.
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