I recently rediscovered Team Rocket. :) Let’s face it, those guys are some of the most funny characters I’ve ever seen. And seriously, they have a much better character built than the main characters, with sad pasts and their evil-good complex… The problem is that the authors of the anime seem to forget that… -_-’’ Well, basically, the idea spawn from re-reading James’ profile. The guy has Pokemon waiting for him a bit all over the world. So… Well, no point in reading notes. Just read the story! ^^ Enjoy!
“Hmmm… This sure takes long… Atchoom!”
A little cold. Things that happen when you walk around in a damp forest wearing nothing but a light outfit and a scarf. That was something James didn’t like at all, even if he had gotten used to it over the years. And another thing that he hated was passing trough forests all alone. But there he was, walking alone in a cold forest. No talking Meowth, no Jessie… Just him, the cold and the forest.
“I should have brought something to wear over this thing… Even if I don’t possess other clothes. Damn, I didn’t remember Kanto to be still this cold, in April…” Yep. Kanto. James was back in Kanto, alone. Why? Let’s say that he took a vacation to go visit an old friend. It all started a week before, in Sinnoh…
“… James… What the hell…”
P-Q-R-S Team Rocket!
“Ehm… It’s my Pokenav’s call tune…”
“YOU GOT A POKENAV?!” Jessie looked ready to jump and strangle the hell out of her companion, remembering all the times they were forced to look for a cabin to make even the shortest call.
“Ehm… It’s really particular. It can only call and be reached by certain numbers.” The violet haired man picked the Pokenav out of… Where? There are no visible pockets on the Rockets’ uniforms… Whatever. He got the thing in his hand and opened it. “James here…”
Young master, good morning.
“Ah! Eiji! It’s good to hear you!”
“Eiji?” Whispered Jessie to Meowth, lowering her head towards him. Meowth whispered back…
“I think it’s the old man we met some time ago… You know, the one who takes care of his family’s vacation home along with his wife…”
“Ahhh…” Jessie remembered of that occasion, and then returned her full attention to James.
“You haven’t called in a long time. What’s the matter?”
Eheheh… A joyful one, young master. James blinked. Why was Eiji being so enigmatic? I’m happy to warn you that your friend, that you have left with us some time ago, is now in full health conditions.
“E-EH? YOU DON’T MEAN…!” Suddenly, James heard a very familiar sound coming from the Pokenav. A sound that he had stopped hearing ever since the little Pokemon that produced it fell ill. “Chimecho!”
Exactly, young master. He’s up and well. And he’s eager to see you again.
“… I’m so glad! I’ll come as soon as I can!”
Of course, young master. We will wait for you. Have a nice day.
James closed the call and turned, beaming, to his companions.
“Great news! Chimecho has healed! Shall we go?!”
“… Hm?” James blinked at the stares of his companions. And they were stares that told him ‘Are you out of your mind or something?’. “What?”
“…” Jessie put a hand over her eyes and began to massage her poor temples, which she felt were about to burst. “James, answer this question. Where in the world are we, now?”
“Ehm… The region of Sinnoh?” James didn’t know… Oh. Wait. He was starting to.
“And… Where is de place where you left your Chimecho?” Asked Meowth, who was just crossing his arms. With claws and an enormous head is a bit difficult to massage your temples.
“Ehm… A mansion near Saffron city, in the region of Kanto?”
“Right… THAT MEANS THAT BETWEEN US AND THERE THERE’S A BIT OF DISTANCE!”
“Well… I can just take a ship to Jotho’s Olivine city from Sunyshore city, and then take another from there to Kanto’s Vermilion city. From there, it’s an easy trek to Saffron and my vacation’s house.”
“…” Jessie and Meowth suddenly blinked… What James had just said actually made sense. It was a thing that could be done. “B-But what about de twerps! We…”
“Come on. We’ve been following them for… I don’t know how long. I think we can take a break once in a while.” James had suddenly become very wise and cunny. What one does for his Chimecho… “Think about it like this. I will be away like, what, two weeks at most, and in the meanwhile, you can do everything you want like I hurry to run back here as soon as possible. You can work to replenish our finances, go to parties… Be normal people for once. I mean, it’s been ages since we took a break from work.”
“… If you put it like that…”
“Sniff… I sure hope Motoko has just finished cooking some chicken soup or something because… ATCHOOM! I’m gonna need loads of that stuff, if this keeps up.” James resumed what was finding incredibly easy at that moment. Doing the ‘Teeth-machinegun’ dance. Trembling and making the sound of a machinegun with his teeth because of the cold.
“Well, not chicken soup… But we just cooked some veggie soup. Of the kind you always loved, young master.”
“Eh?” Before James could turn around, he had found his whole body wrapped up in a warm blanket. When he turned around, he recognized the smiling face of the man who had been his vacation home’s caretaker since he had been a child. “Eiji…”
“Come on, young master. The soup will get cold… And your friend and my wife just can’t wait to see you.” The old man moved a branch out of the way, and James finally was basked in the vision of the mansion’s sight.
Journey of a thousand James
Chapter1: Brief family reunion… Run for your lives
“Eheheh… Chimecho, I suppose you should restrain yourself from wrapping yourself around the young master’s head, at least till that nasty colds passes.”
“Sniff… Listen to Motoko, Chimecho. You’ll just keep on getting blown away, otherwise…” Good thing that James had learned to turn away from his soup each time he sneezed, otherwise it would have all ended up on the floor way before Chimecho’s fifth attempt at ‘hugging’ James around the head.
“So, how are things going for yourself, young master? Still with Team Rocket?”
“Yeah… Sniff…” James rubbed the underside of his nose. “It’s not like I can just leave it out of the blue… Leaving alone my companions, on top of that…” James took another big spoon of soup before continuing to talk. “We’re currently travelling in Sinnoh… Ah, and I stumbled upon another of my family’s old vacation homes. I found another of my old friends… I won’t call him out because he would hug me in his own way… Around my head.”
“Ahahah! Your old Carnivine! What a pleasant surprise!” Eiji laughed and took a sip of water from his glass. “And what about our Mime Jr? Is he being a good Pokemon?”
“Of course! Together, we even managed to win a Pokemon Orienteering competition… AT-CHOOOOOM!” James turned around before he could send everything on the table flying. This last sneeze was a lot stronger than the other ones. “Damn cold…”
“Things that happen when you walk around in just that light outfit and a scarf, young master…” Motoko had returned from another room with a bundle of clothes in her hands. “Since I suppose that tonight you will be staying with us, we prepared you a room. Here are a pyjama and some clothes that it would be good for you to wear, when you leave tomorrow.”
“Ah… Thanks.” James took a tissue and blew his nose loudly. Eiji chuckled.
“Seriously… I understand the importance of the uniform and all, but you should carry other clothes with you, young master… By the way, how did you manage to take two boats without getting arrested? I mean, that big red ‘R’ is a dead give away…”
“Ehm…” James blushed a little and scratched the back of his head, while Chimecho wrapped itself around his forehead, this time. “I hid in a couple of crates…”
“…” The elderly couple stared at him for a couple of seconds. Then, sniffed the air. “Young master… What was in those crates?”
“…” Eiji got up from his seat, and with the same grace and gentleness of a marine sergeant said… “You. Bathroom. Warm water. NOW.” James saluted and then hurried to the bathroom.
“Ahhhh… So niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice…”
James felt in heaven. It had been ages since he had taken a real bath in a real bathroom… Especially one as big and luxurious as the one he was using at that moment. One could really see his family’s level of wealth from that bathroom. It was huge, to use one word. And it was made out of marble and gold only. Yes, gold. You heard right. The tubes, the taps, the very doorknob were made out of gold. And the bathtub had a wonderful whirlpool bath. So, James decided to share that moment of pure bliss with his Pokemon… Well, Carnivine had to be persuaded to leave his head alone, before enjoying the warm water.
“Sigh… You know… Sometimes I miss this kind of life…” Said James, leaning his head back into the water, on the edge of the bathtub.
“Mimemime!” Mime Jr’s tone was like ‘You bet!’.
“… But then I remember about the forced studying, the imprisonment days… And the forced engagement to Jessiebell…” At that, the trainer and two of his Pokemon shivered. Chimecho just let out a ‘Chime?’. Among the occupants of the bathtub, he was the only one who didn’t met Jessiebell at least once in his life. Carnivine had been with James ever since he was a little kid, and Mime Jr… Well, he met her one time when his parents came to the house along with the girl… It wasn’t pretty. “And I say to myself ‘Vive la liberté’.” Saying this, James stood up in the bathtub and walked out of it, and then enveloped his lower half in a towel… But suddenly, he heard the door of the bathroom opening and a voice.
“Bathroom, bathroom, gotta clean the bathroom…”
James turned around towards the door… And he witnessed that a girl had just entered the bathroom. She was wearing a maid outfit and holding a mop and a bucket in her hands… The girl herself had noticed that there was someone in the bathroom… Then, she noticed something that James had remembered. He was half-naked. They stared at each other…
“CHIME!” The Pokemon believed it was a screaming contest or something.
“S-SORRY! I DIDN’T MEAN TO… KYAAAAA!” Letting the mop and the bucket fall to the ground, the girl ran out of the bathroom while covering her face, now deep red, with her hands, while James fell back into the bathtub. He could hear some other voices coming from outside.
“OH MY… GIRL, I’VE TOLD YOU TO LEAVE THE BATHROOM FOR LAST! THE YOUNG MASTER IS BATHING IN THERE!”
“I’M SO SORRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”
“…” James slowly got into a sitting position in the bathtub, and he stared at the now opened door, blinking. “What the hell did just happen?”
After getting dressed in his pyjama and a robe, James returned to the living room, where he found Eiji scolding the maid with his wife trying to calm him down, while the poor girl kept on muttering apologies in a bowing position.
“Ehm… Something happened?”
“And another… Ah, young master.”
“Ah! S-S-Sir James!” The girl returned into a standing position for one second before bowing again, to him, this time. “I-I-I-I-I’m so sorry for what has happened before!”
“Ehm… It’s no big deal…” James said, flushing a little and scratching the back of his head. Then, he smiled awkwardly, still a bit uneasy talking to the girl. “Ehm… Who are you, exactly? You weren’t here, last time I was here…”
“Eheheh… Her name’s Jill, young master.” Replied Motoko in place of the girl, who was still bowing down to him, and of her head he could see just her black hair. “She’s a camper girl… She offered to work here for a while to earn some money. When you arrived we had sent her to buy some things in Saffron. That’s why you didn’t see her before she rushed into the bathroom to clean it.”
“I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooooooorryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…” Eiji groaned and covered his face with one palm.
“She’s a hard worker… But sometimes she’s just clumsy. And raise your head, before you get a hernia!”
“Y-Yes!” Jill returned into a standing position, but she was still embarrassed, and so, she kept her gaze on the ground. Like he had seen before, her hair were black, cut just under her chin, and she had hazel eyes. “I-I’m sorry… I forgot what mister Eiji had told me…”
“Ehm… It’s okay. Like I said no big deal…” James tried to cheer her up a bit. “I mean, it could have been worse. I could have been naked…”
“N-Naked?” The girl raised her head… Then she blushed even more and ran out of the room. “KYAAAAAAAAAA!”
“…” James sweatdropped. That girl had some strange issues. Motoko just chuckled.
“Poor girl, she’s so uneasy around men her age… It seems like she just gets along with us and her Pokemon.” The old woman then turned to James. “Your old room has been prepared for you. We wish you a good night, master.”
“Thanks. Good… ARGH!” Suddenly, all his Pokemon glomped him in their own personal way. Hence, James was currently on the ground, blindfolded by Chimecho, bitten by Carnivine and hugged around the legs by Mime Jr. “GUYS, I DIDN’T SAY WE WERE GOING TO SLEEP TOGETHER! AND EVEN IF WE ARE TO, I’M NOT GOING TO SLEEP BINDED LIKE THIS!”
“Sigh… I’ll never understand why just certain kinds of Pokemon like me so much…”
In the end, James had ended up in his bed with Chimecho wrapped around his forehead, Mime Jr under the covers with him and Carnivine cuddled up above him. And the grass-type Pokemon could rival a Snorlax, when it came to snoring… But, nonetheless, James felt that sleep was about to take him.
“Mhhh… It’s better to get some good sleep…” James let out a loud yawn and cuddled up against his cushion. “Tomorrow will be eventful.”
And James just didn’t know how much.
“Hmmm… Good morning, Eiji.”
“Good morning, young master. I take you slept well?”
After sleeping in a real bed, James was about to take part to something that he had not done in a long while… A true, large, satisfying breakfast. And he could see Pokemon food too, at the tables. Good thing he had not put his Pokemon back in his Pokeballs yet, since the hungry monsters immediately dug into the food, much to James’ sweatdropping.
“Ahahah. Quite lively, your Pokemons, young master.” Motoko, with the help of Jill, was bringing even more food to the table. James felt his mouth already watering, so, he sat at the table and started digging into the pancakes. Jill, still blushing like the previous day, put in front of him a cup with some hot tea inside. James took it and took a sip.
“Mhh… Black tea… Two spoons of sugar… And a drop of milk…” James then blinked and turned towards the maid. “Hey. How do you know I always take tea like this?”
“Ehm… Lady Motoko told me.” Jill lowered her head once again.
“Ah. Well, thanks anyway.” James smiled at her… And the girl ran out of the room again. “… Seriously. What’s her problem?”
“As I said yesterday, she’s just very uneasy around men her age. Especially attractive ones like young master.” James scratched his head while Motoko chuckled.
“Mmmmh… I guess… But it’s kinda childish behaviour. I mean, I acted like that as well… But I was like, 10?” James passed to the french toasts and put some syrup on his pancakes, before continuing to eat.
“Eheheh… Yes. And I remember that Growlie… …” Motoko had suddenly stopped talking, but James didn’t give it much thought.
“Yeah… He always nudged me in the back with his paws, trying to make me stumble into the girl I was being shy about.” James chuckled, and then put a hand on the paw that was nudging him in the left side. “Hey, that tickles, Growlie… … …” James blinked. And then realized what he had just said. “… Growlie?”
“…” James felt his brain’s gears turning at light-speed, giving him in two seconds the answer he was searching for, the only possible explanation to why Growlie could be there. And the hypothesis was confirmed by Carnivine and Mime Jr trembling in fear.
“What a surprise! We were thinking about paying a visit to our vacation home…”
“But this is really a bonus.”
“…” James slowly turned around. And he took in the sight of two people that he would have never wanted to see till they changed their minds on a certain thing… His parents. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
“Hohoho… James, is this the way to greet your parents after all the time we haven’t seen each other?” His father laughed while stroking his moustaches. Then, he turned to his wife. “Hon, would you mind calling…”
“I’m already on it, dear.” James’ mother had gotten out of her purse a Pokenav, and was searching for a number. “The girl is probably in Sinnoh, but, I bet she will get here in less than three days, when she hears that our beloved son is here.”
“AAAAAAARGH! NO! DON’T CALL HER!” James practically begged his parents. He knew that they were about to call the bodyguards who were outside too to restrain him till that… That… That sadomaso freak Jessie-wannabe with the name of Jessiebelle arrived there.
“Nonsense, James. Your fiancée has all the right to know…”
“! Honey! What…”
“…” James and the other occupants of the room had shifted from terrified to… Surprised. Really, really surprised. Because, in the laps of time of three seconds… Jill had hit both his parents in the head with a frying pan, causing them to go unconscious on the ground, with big, smocking lumps on the back of their heads. “… Jill… Why… Did you do that?”
“B-Because these unknown persons were being mean to mister James?”
James winched for his father, who had not fallen unconscious on the first hit. That had to hurt. In the meanwhile, Eiji was twitching.
“Girl… I don’t know if I should praise you because you just saved the day or scold you because you just hit the young master’s parents…”
“I… WHAT?!” The girl immediately began to shake like rag dolls the unconscious couple, completely out cold. “I-I’M SORRY! I DIDN’T MEAN TO... I DIDN’T KNOW!”
“Alright, let’s calm down for a bit…” James brought his hands in front of his face, while his Pokemon, Growlie included, were gathered around him. “My parents are not going to be out for long. And I need to run. Runrunrun.”
“And I think you need to run too, dear.”
“E-Eh?” Motoko was talking about Jill. The girl had turned to the elder woman, confused.
“You hit them with a frying pan in the head and knocked them unconscious. If you’re still here when they wake up, they’ll throw you in the mansion’s dungeon for sure.”
“… NOOOOO! WHAT HAVE I DOOOOOOONE!” The girl exploded in tears. Everyone who could, plugged his/her ears.
“Girl, just shut up! You’ll just have to go with the young master!”
“Say that again?”
Everyone turned to Eiji.
“I refuse to send you out again on your own, young master. You can’t cook very well for your own, and you’re not expert at doing chores. The girl, even if clumsy, has a certain experience with them, by now, other than being a camper. And since she still has left two weeks of paid work to do, I will assign her to you.”
“B-But I can’t bring her with me! I mean…” Eiji had that look that meant ‘It’s final’. James just groaned. “Whatever! I’ve got to get dressed and pack! Jill, meet me at the exit in twenty minutes!”
“H-Hai!” Jill bowed and hurried to her room, to pack and dress up like she had been said to do. James pulled out three Pokeballs.
“Get back in the Pokeballs, guys! It’s time to return!” He pushed the three buttons on the Pokeballs one after the other and made Carnivine, Mime Jr and Chimecho return into their Pokeballs. And he was about to hurry… When he felt something pull his leg. “What now… Eh?”
James turned around… And he saw Growlie pulling on his leg, biting on the trousers of his pyjama. He had an angry stare.
“Don’t you think it’s time to listen to your heart, young master?” Eiji had talked again. James turned to him. “This would be the third time you left him behind. And I think he’s opposed to that as much as he could.”
“… But…” James tried to say something, but returning to look at his pet, his words got stuck in his mind.
“We know that you think that he would be better off with your parents, in his luxurious house…” Motoko continued for her husband. “But… Is that how you feel about the matter? Or how Growlie feels about it?”
“…” James stared at his Growlithe, who didn’t look he was about to let go of his leg anytime soon. James tried to mutter an answer. Then, he just sighed. “I warn you, Growlie. There will be no more good Pokemon food to eat three times a day.” The Growlie, like he had understood what James had just said, raised his head, expectantly. And one could see him very happy, when he saw James holding a vacant Pokeball in his hand. “Together again, Growlie.”
“Growl!” James let the ball fall towards Growlie. The ball bounced on his nose once, and opened, enveloping the Pokemon in a flash of red light, completing the capture. James then kneeled down and took the Pokeball back in his hand. He stared at it a bit… Then he smiled.
“Alright! Now, let’s get packed!”
“I’ll prepare some new clothes for you to wear as well, young master!”
“… I don’t know…”
“They suit you well, young master.”
“Absolutely. My old PIs’ clothes look great on you.”
Indeed. PI clothes. James was now wearing a long, dark red trench-coat, with a hat of the same colour with an horizontal stripe around it of an even darker shade of red. Under it, a white shirt tied with a black tie, quite loosely tied. Then, a pair of grey trousers and yellow polish shoes.
“I didn’t know you previously were a Private Investigator, Eiji…” Hey… Don’t tell me he’s one right now too…
“Private Eye, young masters. It sounds better.”
“Yes. They look good, mister James.” Jill had changed as well. She was now wearing her usual camping clothes… Even if they usually called girls like her picknickers. A hat, a jacked and a pair of shorts all of the same colour, aquamarine, with a red emblem on the hat and a red foulard. Then, a couple of low shoes, aquamarine too, worn over a pair of dark blue long socks.
“Hmmm…” James suddenly grinned. He took a Pokeball and let out Growlie, and then put one hand inside his right pocket and the other on his hat, enjoying the image reflecting into it. “A private eye and his loyal track hound… Don’t we look cool, Growlie?”
“Ehm… Mister James? Should we go? To dodge the bodyguards outside we will have to take a longer route from behind the mansion…”
“Yes, sorry.” James let go of his hat and turned to Eiji and Motoko. “It’s been nice meeting you two again. Thanks for what you’ve done for me and for taking care of Chimecho. Take care.”
“Of course, young master. We will.”
“And, girl… Take care of the young master.”
“Y-Yes.” Jill bowed deeply. “Goodbye.” Then, carrying her backpack, she hurried towards the backdoor of the mansion. James picked up his own from the ground and ran after her, followed suit by Growlie. The elderly couple smiled at them, and watched them go till the door got closed.
“Well… I suppose we should clear ourselves from any possible accusations like the young master suggested.” Eiji picked out of nowhere a frying pan. His wife imitated him.
“We certainly should. On the count of three…”
“So… Were are we heading to, mister James?”
“Please, just call me James. You make me feel like I am my father.”
“Groooowl…” Growlie shuddered. It wasn’t a happy thought at all. James becoming like his father… What if he tried to marry him to a Delcatty?
“Sigh…” James scratched the back of his head. “I have to return to Sinnoh as soon as possible. I have a couple of friends waiting for me, there…” Then he turned to Jill. “Are you sure you want to follow me around?”
“Y-Yes. After all the good things that mister Eiji and lady Motoko did for me, including paying me in advance… It’s the least I can do.”
“Hmm… As you wish.” James put a hand on his chin. “Now, I bet that my parents will put a surveillance around all the docks of Vermillion’s city.” James sweatdropped at that. They had did so, once, when he had gotten lost in the city. “So, I will have to modify the travel route.”
“Well… The point is getting to Olivine city in Jotho, right?” James nodded.
“Yes. And from there, take the ship to Sunyshore city in Sinnoh. But first thing, we have to find a way to get to Jotho.”
“Well, the fastest way is… The Magnet Train.” James blinked at her. Magnet what? He had never heard of anything like that... Well, he had been away from Kanto for a while. Noticing his puzzled look, the girl flushed a little and began to talk again. “The Magnet Train… It has been built recently. It’s a high speed train that travels from Saffron city to Goldenrod city, in Jotho. It takes a day an a half. It’s two times faster than the ships. And on top of that, it’s free.”
“Wow… Good. Very good! Heard that, Growlie?!” The Pokemon yapped in approvation. “Then, let’s arrive to Saffron and take one right now!”
“Yes, sir. To board the Magnet Train you need to possess a pass.” While the assistant kept on smiling, James threw to Jill a look that said ‘You didn’t tell me about that.’. The girl just blushed and kept her head low. “To get one, you have to pay 10000 yen and submit a request to our company, and the pass will be ready in three days.”
“THREE DAYS?! B-BUT… I CAN’T WAIT THAT MUCH!” My parents will already have caught me by the first day, if I remain in Saffron city for that long! And on top of that, I don’t have 30000 yen!
“Hmmm… This requires a keen eye…”
“Eh?” James turned around… And almost jumped out of his outfit. Standing behind him, there was a perfect copy of himself, clothes included, and even Growlie was identical. His Pokemon was as surprised as him, and Jill had outright screamed… Wait. Why was there another, smaller Growlie, on top of the bigger one? “… What the…”
“Ahahahah! Surprised? It’s my specialty. Imitating people, I mean…” Suddenly, the James clone waved his trench-coat around himself… And in place of James’ copy, there stood a girl with green hair tied in two pigtails. And in place of the two Growlie, two Dittos… “The name’s Duplica.”
“…” Wait a minute… She’s familiar. Green hair… A Ditto… A mini Ditto… Mini… Mini-dit? … !!! “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” James got even more scared than before, and screamed pointing his right index finger at the girl. He knew her alright. He, Jessie and Meowth had kidnapped both of her Pokemon, one at the time.
“Uh?” Duplica just blinked… Then began to glare. “Hey! I’m not ugly! I know I’m not a beauty, but…”
“Nonono! I just… I just thought you were someone else! You looked like someone I knew! Yeah, that’s all! Ahahahah! To tell the truth, I find you pretty! Very pretty!” Thanks god, no one ever recognizes me as long as I wear something on my head or over my face… Even if it doesn’t make sense, it’s pretty useful.
“Hmmm…” Duplica observed James’ face, like to see if she could read that he was lying on it… Suddenly, she smiled and got back in a standing position. “Alright! I believe you! So, what’s your name? I can’t call you ‘guy who has a problem with the train’, right?”
“Ehm… My name is James. This is Growlie…” James patted the head of his Pokemon, and the with the other head pointed in the direction of Jill. “And this is Jill. She’s travelling with me.”
“It’s a pleasure! Well, from what I’ve heard, you want to board the train… But you need a pass, right?” James nodded… And then sweatdropped when the girl had picked out one of those very passes. One that they needed. “Guess what? I have one right here! Aaaand… I’m inclined to make a bargain!”
“A bargain?” James blinked.
“Yes. You see. I’m a performing Pokemon trainer, and I travel a lot… But my house is actually here in Saffron city… And it’s the place where I keep all the dolls I collect during my travels!”
“Dolls?” James blinked.
“Dolls?” Jill blinked.
“Growl?” Growlie blinked.
“Yes, Dolls! I collect them! I just love to!” Duplica hugged her Dittos, who had transformed into a couple of Clefairy dolls. “While I travel, I always look for dolls! I’ve got a lot of finished collections! Except…” Suddenly, James flinched. Duplica was angry, all of a sudden. “Except for the first Generation Psychic one! All because of Sabrina!”
“Sabrina?” Another familiar name… James sweatdropped. He hoped it wasn’t another person who he had tried to Pokemon-theft…
“Yeah! Sabrina! The Gym Leader of Saffron city! That damn, ugly, mean girl… She likes dolls too, and she has two copies of the one I need to complete that collection, the Alakazam golden special… But she doesn’t want to trade! And I know she’s doing it on purpose! I know she is! As a revenge because, unlike me, she never had the occasion to really become a collector! ARGH! Last time I asked her, know what she said? ‘… Beat me in an official Gym Challenge and I’ll give you the thing’.”
“And… You tried?” Duplica suddenly slumped, at Jill’s question.
“Yes… And I lost in an awful way.” Duplica sniffed a little. “So, here’s the deal! Since you’re a Pokemon trainer, beat Sabrina and earn me that doll and I will give you this extra pass! Alright?!”
“…” James blinked. Then, he stared at the girl like she had just grown a second head. Then, he freaked out. “YOU WANT ME TO WHAT?!” Jill plugged her ears for safe-keeping.
“Then, it’s a deal! When you’re done, pass by my house! Just ask for Duplica’s house! Everyone in town knows me! See ya!” And with that, without even giving James the chance to retort… Duplica walked away waving at them, like she had just asked them to go and shop for that night’s dinner. James was still pointing at where she previously was, his jaw hanging. Jill waved a hand in front of his face and he seemed to regain some colour.
“W… I mean… What the hell?!” James shifted his head left and right a number of times, to Jill and to the place where Duplica had just been standing moments before. “She asked me to… Beat a Gym Leader?!”
“Yes… I think she did.” Jill just nodded. James shifted his head some more.
“B-But… Why would she?! I mean, I don’t look nothing like a Pokemon trainer! Where did she get the idea that I’m a Pokemon trainer?!”
“Well… I think…” Jill moved her gaze to Growlie, who was observing James smiling. “Because she saw Growlie… I mean, even by looking, you can tell that he’s a pretty strong Pokemon.”
“Well, duh, he is… But the problem is, me. I don’t look nothing like a Pokemon trainer. I mean, my clothes… …” Then, James remembered. He was no longer wearing his team Rocket clothes. They were in his backpack because he needed to be disguised. He was wearing Eiji’s PI clothes. He remembered the scene he had done in front of the mirror… And slumped his head, groaning. “Yes. Growlie and these new clothes make me look like a really cool Pokemon trainer, I guess…”
“Yes… So, what should we do?”
“…” James huffed. That was a mess. He knew that his Pokemon were strong… It was him who was weak and absolutely not a good Pokemon trainer. But… He really didn’t have a choice, did he? “… I think… I should at least go and see the Gym.”
“… It’s creeeepyyyy…”
“Master James… It’s just an entrance…”
But James was still freaked out. The Gym was shaped… He didn’t know how. It was like they were a number of tents fused together, all plain white. It creeped him out greatly. He wasn’t advancing towards it not even of one step, even if Growlie was pushing with all his might.
“Come on, Master James… You want to challenge the Gym Leader or not?”
“Ehm…” James needed to think of an excuse. “But… Maybe after collecting some informations about this Sabrina? Like, her age, what kind of Pokemon she uses, how many trainers before me have managed to get a badge…”
“Sabrina is 21. She just uses Psychic Pokemon, and her Gym has given just one medal ever since it opened.” James sweatdropped and almost facefaulted, when his plan was destroyed by an unknown voice. He slowly turned around. It was a man with tanned skin and a black beard, wearing a pair of black trousers and a white shirt over a couple of black polish shoes. He was standing in the shadow of one of the strange pointed pillars of the entrance of the gym.
“Ehm… Thanks.” Weakly said James. “And… How do you know all of those things?”
“Well, a father knows a lots of things about his daughter, doesn’t he?” The man grinned, and James blinked. So, that man was… The father of this Sabrina girl he was supposed to defeat? “So, you want to fight Sabrina? Do you have at least another badge?”
“Eh?” James had been doing that a lot, that day. How come new things kept on popping out, that day? “What do you mean?”
“Sabrina doesn’t let anyone challenge him, if the trainer doesn’t have at least a badge earned from another Gym.” James groaned.
“Great… So, basically, no train… We’ll have to run…”
“Hn?” The man had raised an eyebrow at that. What did that man mean, by that? Suddenly, he walked towards him. James and Jill jumped a little, at that. “Hold still.”
“Eh…” James suddenly felt that, even if he wanted to, he was unable to move a single muscle. He was stuck in that position… And he didn’t understand why… Maybe it had something to with the fact that the man’s eyes were flashing red and staring directly into his own ones? After a few seconds, he stopped. “… I see… You’re here for the doll, but… Like you’ve thought previously, you have no chance.”
“I knew it… Hey. Wait a minute. How…”
“Psychic powers. Run into the family. That’s why Sabrina loves Psychic-type.” Suddenly, the man crossed his arms in front of his chest. “So, let me get this straight. You have four Pokemon. And out of them, just two are strong enough to face Sabrina’s ones. On top of that, you don’t have another badge needed to challenge her, and, you’re not even a real Pokemon trainer. And you want to challenge Sabrina, who has never lost a Pokemon battle in her whole life?”
“…” James stared at the man, and gulped. Psychic powers… A good way to bring out everything one despised about his own self. He dropped his head. Jill gasped, and then turned to the man a bit angry.
“S-Stop being so mean to the young master! … And… If Sabrina has never lost a battle in her whole life, why did she give someone a badge?”
“Words hurt only when they’re true, young lady… And, that badge was handed out… Let’s say as a gift of thank you.” The man kept on staring at James. It’s a shame… It’s probably because of how his life turned out. Because, one thing of a good Pokemon trainer is there… “… Don’t ask me why… But I want to help you out.”
“What? You want to…” Suddenly, the man held out his right hand… And something appeared in it out of nowhere. James recognized the device. The twerp always carried it around. The man suddenly tossed it to him. “Is this…”
“A Pokedex. If you want to fight Sabrina, learn how to be a trainer, first.” The man crossed his arms again. “Now… To challenge Sabrina, you need to have at least another badge. I’d suggest you to head to Celadon city. If you hurry up, you’ll be able to get the last bus there.”
“Celadon city? Why there?” Asked Jill, bringing a finger to her lips.
“Because Erika, that city’s Gym Leader, specializes in Grass type Pokemon.” James blinked and then sweatdropped at the memory of another Grass-lover Gym Leader he had recently met. “Once you beat her… Or better, if you beat her, she could give you some tips about how to train your Carnivine.”
“… You think he needs it?” The man nodded.
“Your Growlithe and your Chimecho, with just a bit more of training in real combat, should stand at least a chance against Sabrina’s Pokemon… But you need three Pokemon to fight against a Gym Leader. And sending an highly unprepared one…”
“I would never do that! That was another reason why I didn’t want to try this!” Even if James let out that kind of outburst, the man just stood there, unfazed. The rocket suddenly returned his gaze to the ground. “I… I don’t want my Pokemon to get hurt…”
“I know. That’s why you should train your Carnivine really hard. It’s better than sending in a Mime Jr. against Sabrina’s Pokemon.” James stared at the man… And the nodded.
“Alright. Autobus. Celadon city. Gym leader. Train Carnivine a lot. Gotcha.” Jill took a real note of all that, while James just a mental one.
“Yes. Now, go. Or you’ll lose the bus.”
“R-Right! Let’s go, Jill! Growlie!”
“T-Thanks!” While the two youngsters hurried away along with the Growlithe, the man stared at them… And suddenly, he sighed.
“I really have nothing to do, nowadays, if I start helping out Rockets. Now I need a new Pokedex… I almost miss when Sabrina turned people into dolls.”
In the next chapter…
With plans in mind, James arrives in Celadon city… But he’s still not really sure about the whole ‘challenging Gym Leaders’ thing… So, he asks Jill to help him out with some battle training… Bad idea. Stay tuned!
- The tune is the English lyrics of one ending of the anime, Maemuki Rockettodan.
- The elderly couple’s names are never voiced. So, I decided to use the names of their Seiyuu (Voice actors).
- While it’s canon that there’s a connection by ship between Vermilion city and Olivine city (Pokemon Gold/Silver), it’s not confirmed that there’s one between Olivine city and Sunyshore city. But the presence in Sunyshore of Jasmine in Pokemon Pearl/Diamond, Olivine city’s gym leader, is a big hint.
- For an image of James’ clothes: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Gamer (Diamond and Pearl version)
- For an image of Jill’s clothes: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Picnicker (Ruby and Sapphire Version)
Since James will be using his Pokemon for more things than being a comical joke, in this fanfiction, I thought that it would be useful to give out their levels. This is something I made up on my own, though, by comparing the list of the moves known by James’ Pokemon and the Pokemon’s learnset tables from Diamond and Pearl.
This was probably the easiest to calculate. We’ve seen Growlie fight against Jessiebelle’s Vileplume, and use Flamethrower. According to the tables, a Growlithe learns Flamethrower at level 34.
This can look like an exaggeration, since it would make Chimecho James’ strongest Pokemon, after Cacnea, but it’s not. In the anime, Chimecho has been seen using four moves. Astonish, Wrap, Heal Bell, and Double Edge. Now, while Wrap is a starting move for a Chimecho, and Astonish is learned at level 9, Heal Bell and Double Edge are learned, respectively, at level 38 and 33! Add that Chimecho has got to have gained at least a little exp while travelling with James… Well, you got yourself a very powerful Psychic-type Pokemon.
This was a bit more tricky. In the anime, we’ve seen Carnivine use, till now, the attacks Bite, Bind and Bullet Seed. Bind is a starting move for Carnivine, and Bite is learned at level 7. Bullet Seed, instead, can just be taught by TM, to a Carnivine. So, I had to reason. I saw that most Pokemon learn Bullet Seed at a level between 17 and max 29. So… I guessed that 25 was a reasonable level.
This was easy, even if, according to the games, a Mime Jr shouldn’t be able to learn Teeter dance. Oh, well… We’ve seen Mime Jr use Tickle and Mimic too. Mime Jr learns Mimic at level 18.