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  1. #31
    Sig By Blue Dragon Ino-Chan's Avatar
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    Wait, Azalea Town? I have a feeling that I know whats going to happen.

    I love this chapter!

  2. #32
    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar Retired Staff
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    It's time to forget the shipping for a moment. After this chapter, I only have one more until I'm caught up with Fanfiction.net!

    Chapter 22: Loyalty


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    Jessie grimaced as she stretched, and her back twinged painfully. It always hurt to be blasted off, but the effects from landing had never gone on for this long before. She leaned heavily on a tree for a moment, waiting for the pain to abate.

    "Where are James and Meowth?" she muttered. "I've been looking for them for days, but I haven't seen any sign of them at all. And Wobbuffet's still missing too..." She sighed and slumped to the ground, suddenly overwhelmed by a huge sense of loneliness. She felt her eyes begin to prickle, and she struggled to hold in the tears that threatened to break out.

    She had the bushes in front of her rustle; she raised her head hopefully and found herself staring into the cold, merciless eyes of Cassidy.

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    Ritchie trudged through Viridian Forest slowly, staring at the Poke Ball in his hand that contained Meowth. He sighed and threw the Poke Ball upwards, releasing Meowth in a beam of red light.

    "It's about time ya let me outta 'dere, twoip," Meowth grumbled, rubbing his eyes.

    "Let's get one thing straight," Ritchie said, frowning down at the Pokemon. "I caught you and got you healed. I'm not 'twerp' to you, okay? I'm your trainer, and you'd better show me the respect that I deserve."

    "I tink I'm bein' very generous on respect at da moment, considering my predicament," Meowth sniffed. "I got blasted off by a Rayquaza, smashed into a tree, and den captured by some twoip who don't seem to realize that Pokemon have feelings too."

    "You were hit by the Rayquaza's Hyper Beam?" Ritchie asked in amazement, remembering when he'd seen the attack on the TV. Meowth's eyes teared up as he relived that frightening moment.

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    "The twerp's doing really well against Cynthia," James said, watching as Ash and Cynthia both took to the battlefield as the intermission concluded, and completely unaware of the small girl nearby trying to buy a chocolate bar from him.

    "I'm not that surprised, considering how many times he's had us to practice on," Jessie said, serving the little girl with a kind smile on her face. Then she turned and smacked James in the back of the head. "We're working so that we can pay back the boss all of the money that we've borrowed in the last ten years," she snarled. "We're here to sell refreshments, not watch a battle!"

    "Right," James said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. "Hey Meowth, how much longer do we have to work until we can pay the boss back in full?"

    "Coupla months if we keep dis up," Meowth answered. "It'll be a nice surprise for da boss to get all o' dat money back in one go. Maybe he'll even reward us!"

    "We're at the bottom of the boss' list," Jessie snorted, handing over a soda to an immensely fat man dressed in a flowery blue shirt. "We'll be lucky if he doesn't lynch us when he sees how much we've owed him all of this time."

    "Better get out dose umbrellas, Jim," Meowth said as he felt a drop of rain splatter onto his nose. "We don't want all dat popcorn gettin' soggy."

    "Roger that," James said, pulling a small pink and green parasol from his belt that covered the popcorn perfectly. Jessie frowned as the slight drizzle suddenly halted.

    "That's weird. Maybe just a sun shower?" she asked as James took the parasol off again.

    "Nope, definitely rain!" he responded, hastening to put the parasol back on as the downpour restarted. It stopped again.

    "What da heck's goin' on?" Meowth asked, looking quizzically into the sky. Someone nearby screamed, jumping up and pointing towards the far end of Colosseum. A massive yellow beam shot through the sky at a speed that made the air sizzle. Pandemonium erupted, and as the spectators all tried to escape the Colosseum Meowth was knocked through a railing to the level below.

    "Meowth!" James shouted, dropping his refreshments and struggling to lower himself down to his friend, Jessie right behind.

    "Augh! It's a Rayquaza!" Meowth screamed as the green dragon began to circle the battlefield, firing off a deluge of Hyper Beams.

    "I've got you, Meowth!" James shouted as he reached his comrade.

    "For a cat, you really don't have much in the way of a sense of balance," Jessie said, shaking her head in relief that her friend was okay.

    "Look out!" Meowth screamed to Jessie and James as a Hyper Beam was fired in their direction. They managed a half-turn before it connected with them. There was a dazzling light, a blinding blast of pain, and then nothing.


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    "Next ting I know, I'm lyin' in a Pokemon Centre wid no friends in sight, and some twoip's tellin' me that I belong to him," Meowth growled. "So excuse me if it don't seem like I'm treatin' you wid any respect!" Ritchie opened his mouth to respond, but a nearby scream broke out first.

    "What was that?" he wondered aloud.

    "Dat sounded like Jessie!" Meowth said, his fur turning even paler than normal. Without waiting for Ritchie, he ran off in the direction of the sound. Ritchie hesitated for a moment and then followed the Pokemon.

    They burst through the bushes at the same time and skidded to a halt, stunned at what they saw. Jessie stood against the tree, shuddering in pain, one arm lacerated deeply. Her Seviper and Skorupi stood in front, desperately trying to protect their trainer from an attacking Houndoom.

    "Seviper, Poison Tail! Skorupi, Knock Off!" Jessie shouted. Her Seviper lashed it's glowing tail out at the Houndoom, while the small Skorupi scuttled in close, it's tail raised and gleaming black.

    "Fire Spin, Houndoom!" a trainer commanded. Ritchie turned to see a golden-haired woman standing a little way behind the Houndoom. "I hope you enjoy your last moments of life, Jessie," she taunted. Ritchie felt frozen. This woman wasn't battling Jessie; she was trying to kill her.

    "Skorupi!" Jessie screamed as the poison-type rolled backwards, burned and completely out of the battle. She knelt by the little Pokemon, holding it tenderly. "You tried your best," she whispered. "Thank you. Seviper, you're all I have left. Use Poison Fang!" Seviper slithered in swiftly towards the Houndoom, fangs extended and gleaming purple.

    "Faint Attack," the blonde woman ordered. The Houndoom turned and vanished as Seviper launched itself at the fire-type. Seviper crashed into the ground head-first as the Houndoom reappeared behind it. It jumped towards the dazed poison-type and slashed at it with it's claws. Seviper screamed as it was lifted into the air and thrown into a tree.

    "Seviper! No!" Jessie screamed.

    "Sehhh," it hissed, struggling to get upright. It collapsed. Jessie quivered as the woman strode forwards and grabbed her by the injured arm. Jessie yelped as she was forced to stand.

    "What do you want from me? Why are you attacking me, Cassidy?" she asked helplessly.

    "I want you dead," Cassidy growled back. "If I don't kill you, I'll be the one who's killed. And I love life too much to let that happen." Jessie stared into the eyes of her nemesis. Her look grew hard and she spat at Cassidy defiantly.

    "Go on then," she taunted, "give it your best shot!"

    "Raticate," Cassidy called, sending out the normal-type. "Use Super Fang on her neck."

    "Rah?" the Raticate asked in surprise.

    "Do it," she hissed, "like I told you earlier."

    "Raticate cate," her Raticate refused, shaking it's head from side to side.

    "Now!" Cassidy roared. With a look of apology at Jessie the Raticate lunged forwards, mouth opened and the sharp fangs gleaming. Jessie let out a scream and Meowth rushed in towards the leaping Raticate, claws unsheathed.

    "Rahhhh," the Raticate screamed as the Fury Swipes connected devastatingly with it's flanks.

    "Meowth!" Jessie shouted in surprise.

    "Perfect, two for one," Cassidy smirked. Then she turned back to the bushes. "Anytime you want to help me out, Butch," she called. Muttering darkly to himself, her comrade emerged from the bushes. "Houndoom, use Flamethrower on Meowth!" Cassidy commanded. Meowth stood frozen in the face of the powerful attack.

    "Sparky, Thunderbolt that Flamethrower away!" Ritchie shouted, throwing his Poke Ball automatically.

    "Chaa!" the Pikachu cried, unleashing a quick Thunderbolt that barely managed to deflect the Houndoom's Flamethrower.

    "What?" Cassidy whirled in disbelief at Ritchie's appearance.

    "I've got the kid," Butch said, stepping in hurriedly, "you take care of those two. Go, Mightyena!" Sparky cringed as the large wolf-like animal materialized, snarling viciously.

    "Thunderbolt!" Ritchie ordered.

    "Shadow Ball!" Butch countered. Sparky unleashed a series of electrical attacks at the Mightyena. It held it's ground and shot a massive dark ball of energy at the Pikachu. The Shadow Ball crashed into the Thunderbolt and broke through the attack easily, dissipating the electricity on either side. Ritchie gasped in horror as it smashed directly into his Pokemon, knocking it into his arms.

    "Sparky," Ritchie whispered, stunned that it had been taken out in only one hit. "Rose, let's go!" he shouted, sending out a Swellow. "Use Wing Attack!"

    "Stand your ground!" Butch shouted. The Swellow dove down, wings glowing; they smashed into the Mightyena, knocking it back several steps. Butch smiled ferally. "Payback!" he ordered. With a snarl, the Mightyena lunged forwards, colliding with a surprised Swellow and knocking it to the ground.

    "Rose, no!" Ritchie shouted as the Mightyena began clawing viciously at the flying-type. "Return," he called in desperation, unable to bear the sight of the attack anymore. "So that's what Payback looks like," he muttered.

    "Payback is a fantastic move," Butch grinned. "It's perfect for a dark-type. It hit's the opponent with twice the usual power if it's already been attacked."

    "Payback this!" Ritchie shouted. "Go, Zippo!" In the burst of red light, a massive Charizard appeared, glaring down at Butch and the Mightyena. Butch's grin vanished.

    "Flamethrower!" Ritchie ordered, and the Charizard unleashed a barrage of sizzling flames.

    "Payback!" Butch shouted. The Mightyena took the attack with difficulty and then sprang at the Charizard, it's eyes glowing viciously.

    "Oh no you don't," Ritchie snapped. "Zippo, use Iron Tail!" The Charizard whirled, it's entire tail glowing white save for the flames. It smashed into the Mightyena in mid-air and the Pokemon was sent flying backwards, screaming in pain.

    "Return, Mightyena. Cloyster! Go!" Butch shouted. "Use Withdraw, Hydro Pump, and Explosion!"

    "Zippo fly in close and use Dragon Claw!" Ritchie ordered.

    "Now Cloyster!" Butch called as the Charizard came in close. The Cloyster exploded, sending a powerful burst of frothing water in every direction. The Charizard had no chance.

    "Zippo," Ritchie whispered as he recalled his defeated starter. He looked helplessly around the clearing. Butch was recalling his Cloyster, and Meowth and Jessie were cornered against a tree. They were being attacked by the Houndoom and Raticate, as well as a Sableye. There was nothing he could do, nothing except...

    It was a slim chance, but it was a chance that he had to take.

    "Cruz, I choose you!" he shouted. The Tyranitar emerged in a burst of light, eyed the attack on the Jessie and Meowth with minimal interest, and looked down at the trainer disdainfully.

    "Cruz, use Stone Edge!" Ritchie ordered. The Tyranitar yawned and turned away. Ritchie looked up at the Pokemon helplessly and sagged. It was over.

    "Houndoom, Bite!" he heard Cassidy order. He turned and saw the Pokemon lunging for Jessie's vulnerable throat. Without thinking, he ran towards the Pokemon and jumped, smashing into it with his shoulder and knocking it away. Reflexively, the Houndoom twisted it's neck and bit deep into Ritchie's shoulder. He screamed in pain as he felt his skin rip and warm blood begin to seep into his clothing. The Houndoom swung around and released Ritchie, sending him crashing to the ground.

    Ritchie coughed hoarsely and watched helplessly as the Houndoom approached snarling, jaws wide open. A massive green fist swung from above and smashed into the Houndoom's flank. The fire-type instinctively released a Flamethrower at the source, and Cruz responded with a massive Hyper Beam. The two attacks collided and exploded. While the Houndoom was knocked backwards Cruz stepped in front of Ritchie, absorbing the brunt of the force.

    "Cruz," Ritchie whispered gratefully.

    "Sableye, Faint Attack on Tyranitar! Raticate, use assurance!" Cassidy yelled. Cruz let out a massive roar that caused everyone to cringe. The Houndoom, Sableye and Raticate all retreated to their Poke Balls, as did Meowth, much to Ritchie's surprise.

    Cassidy and Butch took one look at the burning rage in the Tyranitar's eyes and did the only sensible thing they could; they ran. Cruz gave them one last Hyper Beam as a parting shot, causing both of them to soar up into the air with a scream.

    The Tyranitar turned to its trainer, and Ritchie flinched in reflex. The Tyranitar halted and looked down at him, and Ritchie forced himself to look into it's eyes. They were full of compassion, contriteness, and loyalty.

    "Thank you, Cruz," Ritchie whispered. The Tyranitar gave a surprisingly melodic cry and sat down on a nearby stump.

    "Hey kid, listen," he heard Jessie say. "Thanks for helping me, but I need to know; why did Meowth go inside one of your Poke Balls when the Tyranitar used Roar?"

    "I'm the Meowth's trainer," he said. Jessie was appalled.

    "You caught Meowth?" she reiterated.

    "Yes, but... it's not right. I can't keep him as my Pokemon when I never even battled him for that right. I treat my Pokemon as my friends, but this Meowth is more sentient then a lot of humans that I've met." He sighed and shook his head. "I can't keep him. Not when one of his friends is right here, and needs him a hell of a lot more than I ever will." He grabbed Meowth's Poke Ball and tossed it high into the air. In a flash of blue light, Meowth was released. Ritchie stood up, leaning on Tyranitar for support.

    "See you around sometime, maybe," he mumbled, beginning to head north again.

    "Hey twoip, wait," Meowth called. Ritchie turned and looked back at the Pokemon. "I know I never treated you wid respect, but you did save me. Thanks." Ritchie smiled briefly.

    "No problem. Take care of yourselves." He walked away into the bushes, leaving Jessie and Meowth alone in the clearing.

    "What was it like being caught?" Jessie asked as she began to walk south, holding her arm awkwardly.

    "Trust me, you don' ever wanna be in one o' dem Pokee-balls," Meowth answered.

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    He awoke. The nightmares, and the pain, were finally subsiding, but he knew it was no longer safe here. In his delusions he had screamed, and he knew that people had heard. He had to move on.

    He stood up, shaking a little in his weak state. Taking several deep breaths, he gathered his mind together and concentrated. In a rippling flash of light, he vanished.

  3. #33
    Where the miis are at. Lil' Psycho.'s Avatar
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    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!
    i LOVE the plot.

  4. #34
    Sig By Blue Dragon Ino-Chan's Avatar
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    I was kind of hoping that Mrowth would stay captured.

  5. #35
    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Thanks for the review Master29! I'm glad to know that you're enjoying it. Ephraim, what did your friend think when you showed them the printed copy?

    With this chapter, I am now completely caught up with the uploads to Fanfiction.net. So the next chapter may be a little while (possibly two weeks) off. Still, I hope that this one will tide you over until then!

    Chapter 23: Hunter


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    400 years ago...

    "My Lord, I have crafted it," the short, humpbacked man said, bowing reverently before the King of Pokelantis.

    "Where is it?" the King demanded, gripping his armrests more tightly. "Better yet, what is it, and how will it work?"

    "Forgive me, my Lord, but it shall take time to explain how I created the technology needed for this," the man said, licking dry lips in fear at the insane King's response. The King looked at him impassively for a moment, and then nodded.

    "Make it brief," he growled.

    "Yes, my Lord," the man said, the relief evident in his eyes. "You know that I recently travelled to the city of Pokemopolis to exchange apprentices. While there, I found out that the smith of Pokemopolis has discovered a way to trap both people and Pokemon within objects!"

    "Trap the Pokemon?" the King asked, interest beginning to glitter in his eyes.

    "Yes, my Lord. The smith would not tell me how he accomplished this, but he demonstrated it by trapping and releasing an Alakazam within a spoon."

    "A spoon?" the King asked, his eyes narrowing in suspicion. "Do you seek to mock me with this lie, smith?"

    "No, my Lord, I swear it is no lie!" the smith protested, beginning to perspire.

    "What significance could a spoon possibly have?" the King sneered. "No ruler would use an object that can not be construed as powerful!"

    "M-my Lord," the smith said hurriedly, "the spoon is the symbol of Alakazam. It could be that by trapping it within a spoon, it heightens the Pokemon's own powers! And if the city were to be attacked and looted, the spoon would remain safe. What warlord would want to claim a spoon as the symbol of his victory? The Pokemon itself would remain safe in case of invasion!"

    "Y-e-e-e-e-esss," the King hissed, stroking his chin in thought. "That makes sense..." He suddenly snapped to attention and glowered at the smith, making him recoil. "If the smith of Pokemopolis refused to reveal the technology, how did you obtain it?" he demanded.

    "I used my Haunter to hypnotize him, Lord. While under the spell, he revealed to me every detail of the process," the smith answered.

    "And you have used this information to craft an object of your own that can trap a Pokemon?" the King asked.

    "Yes, my Lord."

    "How long will it be trapped for?"

    "Until it is released by the bearer, my Lord."

    "Where is the object?" the King demanded. The smith turned and beckoned towards the doorway. From it, the smith's new apprentice appeared, carrying a silk-lined tray covered by an elegant blanket. The apprentice bowed once he reached them and knelt, proffering the tray high. The King leaned forwards expectantly as the smith swept off the blanket. His face fell.

    "Smith," he growled dangerously.

    "Yes, my Lord?" the smith asked.

    "Where is the object? I did not ask for two rocks!"

    "These rocks are the objects, my Lord," the smith began.

    "Rocks," the King repeated.

    "Yes, my Lord."

    "Why rocks?" the King asked.

    "A rock is easily mistaken for another, my Lord. These rocks have been shaped into perfect sphere to distinguish them. If a thief were to look for the objects, he would never suspect a rock, and thus they would be left alone."

    "What does the sphere represent?" the King growled. The smith felt himself begin to shake as he heard the danger in the King's voice.

    'It represents the world, my Lord," he said, licking dry lips, "and your eventual conquest of it." The King looked at the smith for a long moment. Then he began to laugh. The smith was stunned. He had never heard the King laugh before, not even when he was a child.

    "Very good, smith, you have evaded the Stark Pit for now," he chuckled. "Tell me though, why have you brought me two?"

    "If my Lord desires a second, or a third, Pokemon captured, he will be ready," the smith answered. The King chuckled again and waved his hand in dismissal. The smith almost tripped over himself in his haste to leave, his apprentice following behind.

    The King clicked his fingers and a guard appeared at his side. "Bring me the Claydol," he ordered. The guard nodded and vanished, returning moments later with a Pokemon. The King looked at it momentarily and then picked up one of the two stone spheres. He held it carefully, noted the small square hole at one end and then turned back to the Pokemon.

    "You will be a gift for my brother in Whoeen," he said. "Serve him well." He raised the sphere over his head, pointing the hole towards the Pokemon and waited. A light tingle began playing over his fingertips and he closed his eyes expectantly. There was a rushing sound, and when the king opened his eyes the Claydol had vanished. He immediately put his eye to the hole and grinned as he saw a purple energy swirling inside.

    "Excellent," he murmured. "Ho-Oh will soon be mine..."

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    Present Day...

    Giovanni marked his page carefully and closed the book, placing it back onto his desk. He turned and looked out of his office window thoughtfully. He had read it several times, and he knew that every word of it was true. One of his undercover agents had discovered Pokemopolis almost a decade ago, and accidentally released the Alakazam from the spoon. A few months ago a team had uncovered what they believed were the ruins of Pokelantis, nearby Pewter City. While exploring its many secret tunnels, they had come across a gigantic hole in the ground that was covered in scorch marks. They had deduced that this must have been the Stark Pit, once home to the legendary Pokemon Heatran. Giovanni grinned.

    Heatran was, of course, no longer there. It had long since made it's home in the far north of Sinnoh, before it's capture only a couple of hours ago with a Dark Ball. Mentally he counted off all of the legendaries that they had managed to obtain. Heatran; Uxie; Raikou; Suicune; Regirock; Regice; Registeel; Rayquaza; Zapdos; Articuno; Mesprit; Groudon; and now Celebi thanks to Paul, although it still had to be brought back to HQ. He frowned in thought; he was sure that there was one that he was forgetting... There was a knock at the door.

    "Enter," Giovanni called neutrally, still looking out the window. The door opened and closed quietly, but the footsteps that approached his desk radiated confidence.

    "I've captured the remaining Sinnoh legendaries," a woman said in a sleek voice that made the hair on Giovanni's neck stand up. He turned slowly and watched impassively as she emptied a small bag of Dark Balls onto his desk.

    "All?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. She smirked.

    "I have to say that your assignment was unusual," she said. "My clients normally ask me to look for rare Pokemon, not legendaries. And I've never had to capture them with a Poke Ball after petrifying them before."

    "I prefer the convenience of a Poke Ball," Giovanni replied coolly. The woman shrugged.

    "We all have our preferences," she said. "I must admit though, your collection intrigues me. Why do you want to collect all of the legendary Pokemon?"

    "That," Giovanni stated coldly, "is my own business." The woman stared back at him unflinchingly, challenge in her eyes. "You can collect your fee at the front desk," he said, dismissing her. She looked at him disdainfully for a moment, and then turned on her wheels and walked towards the exit.

    "Oh, and J," Giovanni added, causing her to pause. "Did you find Latios?"

    "The last Latios died in Alto Mare City several years ago," J answered without turning around. "There are none left alive for me to capture."

    "I see..." Giovanni sighed, disappointed. "Don't go too far, J. I may need your services again."

    "I'm a Pokemon Hunter," she said coldly. "I go where my clients are." She walked out of the room, her head held high, although she was inwardly seething that Giovanni had come out of the confrontation with the advantage.

    Giovanni sighed and sat in his chair. [i]So, Latios is gone after all,]/i] he thought dully. Paul was right. This was all for nothing. Damn that Namba for mixing up the tracks of Latios with the last Latias! Damn Annie and Oakley for killing it! He smashed his fist angrily onto the top of his desk. A concealed drawer popped open and hit him in the stomach. He roared and wrenched the drawer out of the desk throwing it across the room where it smashed.

    He stood and glared around the room, his chest heaving with rage. A glitter caught his eye from the ruined drawer and he walked over to it curiously. A smile lit his face. "Of course," he muttered as he delicately lifted the object from the wreckage. "I stole this from the President when I took over Silph Co..." He strode quickly back to his desk, jabbing his finger on the intercom button.

    "Namba, get up here now!" he roared into the speaker.

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    James crumpled, shivering, the moment that Wheezing passed over Ilex beach. Paul snorted disdainfully as he leaped gracefully off of the back of his Magnezone, recalling it as he landed.

    "Don't tell me that's the first time you've ever had Wheezing fly you around," he said cuttingly.

    "Yes, actually," James gasped. "It's the first time I've crossed an ocean by dangling underneath a Pokemon too, and the first time I've ever hung in midair in the middle of a storm above a bunch of whirlpools!" Paul shook his head and began to walk up the beach towards the nearby trees. James struggled to his feet and staggered after him, Wheezing tagging behind.

    "Hey, where are you going? Where are we?" he asked.

    "Azalea Beach," Paul called back. "To get to Azalea Town we have to pass through the edge of Ilex Forest up ahead."

    "And why exactly are we in Azalea Town?" James panted, struggling to catch up.

    "Kurt," Paul replied.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ash and May lagged a little ways behind Brock, Dawn, Pikachu, and Rey as they walked towards Vermillion City. It was early evening, and both of them were feeling a little awkward from revealing their feelings the night before. May looked at Ash, blushed, and quickly turned away. Ash looked at May, tripped, and fell to the ground face-first. Dawn looked back at Ash and May, rolled her eyes, and kept on walking. May sighed and helped an embarrassed Ash to his feet.

    "Thanks, May," he muttered, brushing off some dirt.

    "You know Ash, you don't have to act different just because we kissed," May said. "You've barely said anything to me all day." Ash looked at her in surprise.

    "I thought that you were the one acting different," he said. "I've been waiting for you to say something to me for hours!" May sighed.

    "I think we need to work on this a little," she suggested.

    "Guys!" Rey shouted from up ahead. "Look, it's Vermillion City!" Ash and May ran up to where Brock, Dawn, Pikachu, and Rey stood waiting at the top of a slight incline. Together, the six of them looked down upon the pristine city, and the glittering bay as it lapped gently against the pure silver beach.

    "I'd forgotten how beautiful it was," Rey whispered.

    "Pika.." Pikachu agreed, perching on her shoulder. Rey gave a sudden grin and began to run down towards the city.

    "Catch me if you can!" she called. "I can't wait to try out that beach!"

    "Rey, wait for us!" Brock shouted after her. He began to run after her, followed closely by Ash, May, and Dawn. The run soon turned into a race to see who could reach the city first. Rey began to laugh when she realized that she was well out in front. The laugh turned into a scream of fear as a narrow tyrian beam of light shot down from the sky, impacting the ground just in front of her. The beam began to widen and turn, transforming into a vortex, and a dark shape began to materialize within it.

    "Bayleef!" Ash shouted, throwing a Poke Ball and running towards Rey. "Use Razor Leaf!"

    "Bayyyy," Bayleef nodded, twirling her head and sending a flurry of viciously-sharp leaves towards the mysterious shape still hidden in the vortex. The figure crouched and extended one arm; the razor leaves hit a thin barrier projected by the arm and shattered into dozens of pieces.

    "Vine Whip!" Ash ordered. Bayleef extended her vines and shot them towards the figure, but it twirled it's hand once and the vines circled backwards, slamming into Bayleef instead.

    "Bayleef!" Ash shouted as the grass-type was thrust backwards, screaming in pain. "Pikachu, try a Thundershock!" He reached Ray as Pikachu unleased the electric attack and began to drag the seemingly frozen trainer backwards. He gritted his teeth and looked towards the figure as it easily deflected Pikachu's attack and the vortex began to disintegrate. The figure crossed its arms and from within the dying cyclone it's eyes began to glow a neon blue. It suddenly uncrossed both arms, and the vortex burst apart completely.

    May, Dawn, and Rey stood immobile as they looked upon the strange creature. Ash, Brock, and Pikachu all gaped at it as it levitated slightly in front of them, taking in it's feline shape, and shuddering as it's cold personality washed over them. It's cape fluttered slightly as a light breeze began to blow towards them.

    Ash looked into his cold eyes, and saw them soften slightly with recognition.

    So, after all of these years we meet again, the caped figure said telepathically. Ever since you saved my life in Johto you have never been far from my thoughts, and I have often wondered if I would cross your path for a third time.

    "Mewtwo..." Ash whispered.

  6. #36
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    I've been writing every chance that I get, and as a Christmas present the two chapters that I have written are being uploaded now. I would hope for more, but school assignments were pouring in left, right, and centre! I know that this upload is earlier in the day than normal, but I'm in England right now so I'm five hours ahead of where I usually am.

    I hope that you all remember who Drew and Silver are!

    Chapter 24: Theft


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    May turned in her sleeping bag, her mouth opened slightly in her sleep. She breathed slowly and heavily, her chest rising up and down in a steady motion. From the nearby fire Drew sat watching, his face partially hidden in shadow from the blackness of the night.

    He watched her quietly, observing the counters of her body and her slight motions. His gaze lingered for a moment on her soft lips, and he felt a stirring in his chest. He let out a small sigh of pleasure and contentment and lay back on his own sleeping bag, staring upwards at the clear sky.

    Tomorrow, they would arrive in Mahogany Town where May was planning to enter the Pokemon Contest being held two days after. He grinned and patted his pants pocket, feeling the ribbon case press into his thigh; he already had his five ribbons, so he didn't need to enter.


    I'll tell her after the contest, he decided. After she wins, I'll tell her how much I want to be with her. With a sizzling hiss, the fire burnt itself out and Drew closed his eyes, feeling the comfortable warmth of sleep steal over him. Three days, he thought, the words echoing inside his head. Three days, three days, three days, three...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    He awoke, the tears flowing thick and heavy down his face. He sat up, struggling to contain his emotions, but to no avail. The tears continued to leak from his eyes, and eventually he just gave up and let them overcome him.

    Those dreams were just memories; memories of a near forgotten time when the difficulties of life seemed no greater than earning that next ribbon. Those times were gone now, and no matter how much he regretted his mistakes, no matter how much he wished that he had chosen differently, no matter how much that he tried to fix what had happened, he knew that those times would never be back. They were little more than dreams, faint traces of the person that he used to be; of the person that he wished he still was. A person who knew success, and friendship.

    A person who knew love.

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    The young Fearow sat despondently on a low branch, barely hidden from view by the foliage. For days now, it had sat there, waiting. The Fearow was still small, barely old and large enough to have left it's nest. Yet now it lived alone, parted from the one who had saved it from certain death. It let out a melancholy croak and shivered against the bark.

    When it's trainer had been captured, and his Pokemon seized, only the Fearow had escaped; the Team Rocket grunts had failed to notice the small flying-type hidden in the trees. It had followed them to their base, and had seen it's trainer forced roughly inside. It had not seen him since.

    The Fearow's attention was distracted by the sound of shouting coming from the Rocket base. Curious, it poked it's beak through the foliage for a look. A tall, muscular man with long, spiky, steel-grey hair emerged from a door, running hard and panting heavily. Three Team Rocket grunts were hard on his heels, and reaching for their Poke Balls.

    Flapping it's little wings, the Fearow emerged from the tree and flew straight towards the four quickly-moving people. The man being pursued saw the quickly-approaching Fearow and let out a yelp of surprise, ducking his head instinctively, and tripping. The Fearow swept past him and took aim at the lead grunt, it's beak beginning to spin. The grunt let out a yell as the Drill Peck connected and he was driven back into his two peers. The Fearow's temper began to rise as it saw the black uniforms emblazoned with the big red 'R', the sign of the ones who had taken away it's master.

    It let out an enraged squawk of anger and began to launch a series of sharp and well-placed Pecks at the three Rocket Grunts. They yelled in pain at the assault, and began to beat a hasty retreat. Silver climbed to his feet and proffered an arm to the flying-type.

    "Looks like we've got ourselves a common enemy," he said as the Fearow landed on his arm. "What made you hate the Rockets so much?"

    "Fee, fearow row fee," the Fearow croaked. Silver raised an eyebrow.

    "Sorry to hear that, kid, even though I don't really understand what you were saying. Still, any enemy of the Rockets is a friend of mine!"

    "Fee?" the Fearow asked, and Silver's gaze darkened; the Fearow's question was obvious.

    "The Rockets have done nothing but interfere with my life, ever since I was a kid. They stole my father's prize Parasect, they used me to try and capture Moltres, but worst of all, they killed my brother. His son never even found out who he was." He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists angrily, swallowing hard against the rage that threatened to seize control of him. The Fearow croaked sympathetically and Silver jerked his head, coming back to reality.

    "We'd better go before some more competent grunts show up," he said. "Lead the way, kid."

    "Feee," the Fearow agreed, sweeping it's wings and soaring into the sky. Silver noted it's direction and began to follow, never once taking his eyes off of the Pokemon.

    "There's something funny about that bird," he muttered.

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    The old man made his final careful adjustment and leaned back with a sigh. His arthritic fingers were aching worse than ever, but he had finally completed it; what he knew would be the last Apricorn Ball that he would ever make.

    The door smashed open, and Kurt whirled around in surprise. Paul stormed inside, his Magnezone close behind. He slammed the door behind him, and stared at the ancient smith for a moment before walking quickly towards him.

    "What?" Kurt managed to get out before Paul grabbed him by the collar and lifted him against the wall. Kurt floundered helplessly against his grip.

    "Where is it?" Paul hissed.

    "Where's what?" Kurt asked in fear.

    "The GS Ball! I know that you have it here somewhere, and that you've been studying it for nine years. Where is it?"

    "G-gone," Kurt spluttered, his face beginning to turn purple.

    "Where?" Paul roared.

    "K-Kanto," Kurt wheezed. "I gave it a young woman who knows Professor Oak. She'd been asked to take it by him. She was supposed to give it to him. She took off on her Pidgeot straight after I gave it to her, I swear!"

    "When?" Paul breathed menacingly. "When?"

    "Only a couple of days ago," Kurt whispered. Paul relaxed his grip and allowed Kurt to slide to the floor. He turned and began to walk towards the door, pausing only briefly to pocket the Apricorn Ball that Kurt had so lovingly crafted.

    "Magnezone, Thunder Wave him," he ordered. Kurt let out a cry as the electrical jolt shook through his system, paralysing his stiff old joints. His eyes watered in pain and shame as Paul and his Pokemon left the house, unable to move even a muscle.

    "Why..." he managed to wheeze before the pain became too much and he lapsed into unconsciousness.

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    Don't forget the next chapter, part two of my holiday upload, and as ever please review!

  7. #37
    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Chapter 25: Presence

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    ''There are several more specimens that I require,'' Giovanni said, looking out of the window at the mountainous landscape before him.

    ''They are?'' J asked coldly.

    ''Kyogre, Manaphy, Jirachi, Latias and Deoxys,'' Giovanni responded. ''We've located the positions of all but Latias.'' J raised an eyebrow.

    ''Impressive,'' she said sleekly. ''However did you manage to do that?''

    ''Kyogre is currently nearby the Sea Temp-''

    ''A myth,'' J interrupted, waving a hand dismissively.

    ''A fact,'' Giovanni responded coldly, turning to face the tall, slim Pokemon Hunter. ''I've known of the location of the Sea Temple for a long time; we infiltrated the organization of a man known as the Phantom several years ago. He has tried several times now to steal the Temple's riches, but has been defeated each time by the Kyogre, along with many other water Pokemon. The Kyogre now seems to live at the Temple permanently as it's protector.''

    ''Manaphy?'' J asked.

    ''Also at the Sea Temple,'' Giovanni responded.

    ''Jirachi?''

    ''Why don't I just download the information into your Poketch?'' Giovanni suggested. ''I'm a busy man, and I don't have time to personally tell you every location.'' J glowered at him, but then nodded.

    ''Oh, and I also require a Soul Dew,'' Giovanni said lightly.

    ''I don't suppose you'll tell me why?'' J asked dryly. Giovanni smiled, his demeanour turning from jovial to menacing.

    ''You don't suppose right,'' he said. ''Don't take the whole thing, that will only cause a disaster. All I need is the core.''

    ''What about my fee?'' she asked.

    ''After these five Pokemon and the Soul Dew, I will only need Entei, Moltres, Mew, and Ho-Oh,'' Giovanni said. ''Consider your payment double what it was for all of the Sinnoh legendary Pokemon.'' J grinned.

    ''Deal,'' she said. The door burst open and a Grunt ran in, panting heavily.

    ''Sir,'' he gasped. ''There's been an incident; Silver's escaped!''

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    ''What the hell is that thing?'' Rey shrieked, regaining her senses at last.

    ''Oh no...'' Brock muttered, covering his eyes.

    Thing? Mewtwo demanded of Rey. Thing? I walk under the same sky, I breathe the same air, I drink the same water as you, and yet you call me a thing? Mewtwo glared at all of them, his personality cold and hostile once more. [i]Humans are all the same, he muttered. They care only for themselves.

    ''Mewtwo, you know that's not true,'' Ash said. ''You remember what happened in Johto. Not every person in this world is like Team Rocket.''

    Those who aren't are too few and far between to bother spending any thoughts on, Mewtwo retorted.

    ''And just a couple of minutes ago you said 'I have wondered if I would cross your path for a third time','' Ash said softly.

    Mewtwo glared at him, but was quickly distracted when he realized that he was in an open field. Why am I here? he demanded suddenly.

    ''The same as any of us, I guess,'' Brock answered. ''To live.''

    If this is your attempt at humour... Mewtwo growled. I meant why am I here in this field? I was supposed to materialize directly in Vermillion City.

    ''Oh, well, you didn't miss it by much,'' Brock answered, pointing. ''It's just down this hill.''

    This is... disquieting, Mewtwo muttered. I know of nothing that can interrupt my teleportation and lead me to land elsewhere. He turned suddenly to May. You, he growled. There is a dark presence overshadowing you; you bear evil's mark.

    ''M-me?'' May squeaked, trembling as Mewtwo's cold personality washed over her. Mewtwo raised a paw and twisted it slightly. A dark purple aura enveloped his paw and began to glow brightly; May gasped as the same aura surrounded her, causing her to levitate.

    ''Hey, what are you doing?'' Ash yelled as she soared higher, jumping to try and drag her back down. Mewtwo ignored him, twisting a paw and causing her to rise even higher above the ground.

    I can't get it, he growled angrily, more to himself although everyone could hear him. I can feel it but I just can't grasp it!

    ''Mewtwo!'' Ash shouted. Mewtwo jerked around and glared at him.

    What? he demanded.

    ''Please, bring her down,'' Ash begged. ''She's too high, and she could be hurt if she falls!'' Mewtwo gave one last surge of energy, but when the dark presence refused to be dislodged, he relented, returning May to the ground.

    Your presence endangers everyone here, he growled to the coordinator. I don't know what it is that you carry, but only an object crafted from darkness can resist my Psychic powers.

    ''Hey!'' Ash shouted, stepping in front of May protectively. ''Stop saying that! May is the purest person I know and she would never hurt anyone, let alone put anyone in danger by carrying a dark object! I think all those years of solitude have damaged your mind, clone!''

    ''Cool it, Ash,'' Brock snapped, jumping in between the two. Ash glared at Mewtwo menacingly, who stared back coldly.

    You are indeed unique among humans, and yet unnervingly similar, Mewtwo stated; everyone shuddered at the tone of his words. You do not hesitate risking your life to save others, but at the same time you jeer at those same people with barbed words designed only to hurt. You are wrong; humans are all the same; they care only for their own kind.

    His eyes stared into May's, glowing a bright blue for a moment. Don't be so sure of your own assertions, human. She is not so pure as you think. Where she travels, hurt and despair follow. Whether she is willing bearer of her burden, or aware of what harm it causes, I do not know. But she carries evil with her, and it is an evil that is best left hidden again for eternity.

    Mewtwo turned and vanished. With his disappearance, May collapsed into Ash's arms, shivering uncontrollably, her eyes wide and staring.

    ''May,'' Ash whispered softly. As he cradled her gently, a voice flashed through his mind; a voice that he recognized as Mewtwo's.

    Whether willing or not, we are irrevocably and eternally linked to one another, he said. I can hear your thoughts just as easily as you can hear mine. Anger does much to alter one's personality; I, of all creatures, understand this most. I know that in your heart you regret your degradation of myself.

    Through our link I can sense how much you care for this girl, and I know that it is this caring that sparked your outburst. Such feelings are beyond my comprehension. However you did save my life once, and of all of the creatures on this planet you are the closest there is to a friend. For this I forgive your outburst, although I shall not forget it.

    We are permanently linked by our thoughts; we are one, but we are not the same. In times of danger, we have to carry each other. If ever you are in need of my help, simply call for me and I shall come. I know that you shall do the same, friend.


    ''Mewtwo,'' Ash whispered, his emotions filled with regret, shame, and worry.

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    Giovanni slammed his hands onto his desk, cracking the wood.

    ''What do you mean Silver's escaped?'' he demanded.

    ''Somebody left his cage door open, and he escaped the building,'' the grunt babbled, backing towards the door.

    ''Now wait just one minute!'' Giovanni roared. ''Why was his cage door open? Who opened it? How did something so big escape without any alarms being raised?'' The grunts face blanked for a moment and then he let out a little laugh of relief; a mistake. Giovanni strode around his desk and grabbed the grunt by the throat, lifting him into the air.

    ''Now,'' he said in a deceptively calm voice, ''I want you to explain this to me like we're not faced with a potentially critical situation!''

    ''Wrong Silver...'' the grunt gurgled, slowly beginning to turn blue. ''Hostage... escaped... Fearow helped...'' Giovanni released the gasping grunt, unnervingly calm again.

    ''Ah, you mean the prisoner,'' he said with a slight smile. ''Send out Grunts, six groups of four. Have them search the perimeter and report back every 90 minutes. Use the Zubat and Golbat to search the trees with their supersonic. Put the stolen Poke Balls under lockdown; we don't need him retrieving his Salamence. Place teams of three at every entrance and exit, and double the security for Namba's lab and the legendary room.''

    ''Sir!'' the Grunt saluted, running out of the room.

    ''Impressive,'' J drawled. ''You strangle the man, and he still obeys you without question. That is some impressive loyalty.''

    ''Are you still here?'' Giovanni demanded. ''I hired you to hunt, not to offer advice! Get after those Pokemon, now!'' J looked at him impassively and then walked towards the window. She stopped at the large pane of glass, and then turned to face the leader of Team Rocket.

    ''Salamence, Dragon Claw,'' she said calmly, pointing a Poke Ball behind her. The massive dragon-type materialized and shattered the window with one fierce slash. It swooped outside and J followed, jumping lightly onto it's back. ''Silver isn't the only one with a Salamence,'' she said coldly to Giovanni. ''I suggest you keep that in mind; you don't want me as your enemy.''

    ''Nor you, I,'' he whispered softly as she swooped out of sight, fingering the precious trinket in his suit pocket.

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    Happy holidays to you all! As ever, please review (you can make it my Christmas present)! Have a safe and fun New Years!

  8. #38
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Ooooh, awesome.

  9. #39
    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Thanks for the review Blackjack, I'm glad to know that you're still enjoying this story!

    Reading over some of my reviews on Fanfiction.net and then over my story to this date has just confirmed what I have been suspecting for a while. I've fallen into the same trap that so many other authors have without realizing it. I've been trying to get through the plot so quickly that I've let the plot direct the characters, rather than let the characters drive the plot. Hopefully this chapter is the first step to rectifying that mistake.

    A lot of people seem to think that I've written Mewtwo out of character. Early on in the fic I mentioned that Ash is 20 when this story takes place (I'm not sure how many of you remember that). Although I know that Pokemon is a floating timeline, my story isn't written that way. The last time that Ash met Mewtwo, he would have been 12 or 13 years old. And remember that Mewtwo doesn't stay in one location for any more than a couple of days. Imagine the strain that 8 years of near total isolation from every other being has on your personality. Mewtwo doesn't stay in one place long enough to interact with anybody. Is it so hard to believe that his personality has changed over such a long time? I like to think it's pretty realistic for him to act in such a cold manner.

    Warning for Advanceshippers, this chapter is chock-full of Contestshipping! Advanceshippers unite to kill Matkin22!

    Happy New Years to everyone!

    Chapter 26: Defeat


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    It soared freely through the air. It's long, perfectly streamlined form allowed it to move at speeds that made it almost invisible to humans. As it moved through the skies, it briefly contemplated it's past on the planet. The memories of the burning cold that had encased it for years upon years still hovered in it's mind. Even now, the effects of it's long trip to the planet were felt on it's body. No matter how many hot lands it travelled to, it never truly felt warm. But still... at least now it was free to roam the globe, meeting as many new Pokemon as it possibly could.

    It flew through the sky with unrivalled confidence, outstripping the Wailord in the water, the Rapidash on the land, and even the Pidgeot which shared the air. Revelling in it's freedom, the Deoxys let loose a foghorn blast and swooped down towards a small valley in the midst of a mountain range, feeling a hunger in it's belly.

    A sudden confusion ran through the Deoxys' body. Drawn unexpectedly to the right, it bypassed the valley and headed for a tall waterfall in the distance. Lances of pain suddenly shot through it's body as it drew closer, but the Pokemon was unable to resist the attraction of the waterfall. Blackness covered it's vision, and the Deoxys dropped swiftly to the ground, losing control of it's speed and direction. Desperately trying to shield itself from the unexpected pain which had overcome it, the Pokemon morphed into it's secure Defense form, but the pain was unavoidable. It crashed heavily to the ground.

    It heard hurried footsteps approach, the creature snapping branches without care as it approached. The Deoxys attempted to stand and escape, but it swooned as the pain hit once again; it fell to the ground, completely disoriented. The footsteps halted, and reaching out with it's Psychic nature, the Deoxys realized that the creature was standing only a few feet ago.

    Help me, I am in terrible pain, the Deoxys tried to say, but only an unintelligible stream of alien language poured from it's mouth.

    "Deoxys, Defense form," it heard a voice say, although it could not understand the human language.

    "Do we have one yet?" another asked.

    "No," the first replied, "this is our first Deoxys. You radio to base; I'll get it with the Dark Ball."

    "Rocket HQ, we have located a distressed Deoxys in its Defense form," the second voice said. "Capturing is underway, and the Pokemon will be relocated to base immediately." There was a burst of static, but the Deoxys heard neither HQ's response, nor the cry of triumph as the Dark Ball was thrown. It heard only the mad thoughts that began to swirl through it's head as pain and confusion took over it's world.

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    Professor Namba grumbled sourly as he climbed the elegant spiral staircase that led to Giovanni's office. A very frightened Cassidy and Butch followed, seeming shrunken and diminished. No semblance of life existed in their wasted faces. They had failed in their mission; they were as good as dead. Namba glared back at them, his cruel face showing no sign of pity.

    "I hope you're satisfied," he growled, stopping in font of an imposing set of double doors. "Since I have to report at the same time as you, I'll be shouted at too! All because of your failure." Cassidy and Butch looked at each incredulously. Did this man care more about whether he was shouted at than two lives? Giving them each one last sour glance, Namba turned and knocked lightly on the doors.

    "Enter," Giovanni's cold voice said.

    "Sir, you wanted to see me?" Namba asked, pushing open the doors and striding into the room quickly, Cassidy and Butch slinking through before they closed.

    "Ah, Professor Namba. Yes, I wanted to clear up a couple of things regarding your research and your schedule," Giovanni said, stroking his Persian delicately. "First off, you successfully mutated the Pokerus to create the Perporus, correct?"

    "The Permanent Pokemon Virus? Yes, I did," Namba answered, slightly confused.

    "And you injected it into a test Raticate, where the Pokerus effects were permanent?"

    "Yes, the Raticate continued to be infected after 24 hours, and all of the Pokerus's effects remained, including its contagiousness. The specimen also responded to all commands given by it's trainer, so we concluded a 100 loyalty rate, which sets it apart from the Pokerus."

    "Very good," Giovanni said with a slight smile. "Now, I have one last question to ask. Once a Pokemon has been infected with Pokerus, it can never catch the disease again. Can a Pokemon that has recovered from Pokerus be infected with the Perporus?"

    "From our experiments so far, yes," Namba answered, puzzled. "After the test with the Raticate, we tried it with the Rayquaza that Attila and Hun captured. As you know, it was suffering from Pokerus when it went on that rampage that was caught on TV. The Rayquaza showed all of the same signs that the Raticate did." Giovanni stopped stroking his Persian and stood, beckoning Namba forward.

    "Earlier today, two of our grunts radioed in to say that they had seen a Deoxys fall from the sky. They located the Pokemon and caught it with a Dark Ball. The Pokemon was heading in this direction when it crashed, and it was suffering from the Perporus."

    "But how could they tell? How is it possible?" Namba demanded.

    "They could tell from it's reactions," Giovanni said. "Both are part of your lab team, and just happened to be walking through the forest at the time. They were lucky enough to see it crash. As for how it became infected, I had hoped that you would be able to tell me."

    "I know of no way for the disease to spread," Namba said, gritting his teeth. "I do not know how it can be caught without direct physical contact. That numbskull Oak does, but I have never been able to steal that part of his research data. The Perporus has never left the lab, and the Deoxys has never been in the lab. There must be some sort of connection between the Deoxys and Rayquaza, but I do not know what it is."

    "Investigate it, Namba," Giovanni ordered. "You have both specimens; do whatever it takes short of a potentially deadly surgery to figure it out! The Deoxys was heading directly towards us. If this connection can be discovered, we may not need Hunter J to capture them for us, we can attract them ourselves!"

    "I will examine them both," Namba agreed. "If I may ask, what form was the Deoxys in?" he asked.

    "It was trying to shield itself from the virus in Defense form," Giovanni replied.

    "So we still need three more specimens for our experiment," Namba mused, bowing and walking out of the room. Giovanni sat down with a smile, one hand resting unconsciously on an ancient tome that lay on his desk. His gaze roamed around the room, freezing on Cassidy and Butch as he saw them still standing there nervously.

    "Can I help you?" he asked. Butch swallowed before answering.

    "Sir, you wanted to see us," he said.

    "Cassidy and Butch?" Giovanni asked. They both nodded. "Ah, I seem to remember telling you both that if you failed, you would be killed. Is that correct?"

    "Yes, sir," Cassidy whispered almost inaudibly, her red lips barely moving.

    "Where are they?" Giovanni asked, spreading his arms. "I don't see them here. Why is that?"

    "Because we... we failed in our mission, sir," Butch answered. Giovanni nodded approvingly and leaned forwards.

    "You're not trying to excuse what you did; good. Lets discuss your fate."

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    May glared across the Contest field at a smirking Harley. She only had four ribbons, and needed this win to enter in the Johto Grand Festival. This was the final Contest before the Festival at Mount Silver, and it was a double battle, something May had never truly been comfortable with. To make matters worse, the moment he had learned that she needed this ribbon to qualify, Harley, in his typical nasty fashion had entered it, even though he already had his five ribbons.

    She gritted her teeth and stepped forwards as she was announced. She knew that somewhere in the audience, Drew was watching, and at the thought of his name her heart fluttered. "I won't lose," she whispered to herself. Harley gave her a cheerful little wave as he too was announced by the special guest MC, Hoenn's Vivian.

    "Get ready," he said with a wink. "I'm going to blow you away."

    "In your dreams, Harley," May shot back as the clock started. "Blaziken, Ledian; take the stage!"

    "Let's go Octillery, Magcargo, it's time to shine!" Harley called, throwing forward his own two Poke Balls. The four Pokemon materialized simultaneously on the field, each one quickly trying to get comfortable with the layout of the field.

    "Blaziken, Fire Spin! Ledian, Silver Wind!" May shouted. A powerful, flaming vortex left Blaziken's maw, and it speed was quickly increased by the Silver Wind which rammed it from behind.

    "Too easy," Harley snorted. "Magcargo, stop that Fire Spin with your Lava Plume; Octillery, hit Blaziken with a Wring Out!" A solid stream of fire was aimed at the Fire Spin by Magcargo, halting the attack completely.

    The two flames fused and exploded, and through the smoke clouds Octillery charged forwards, taking both Blaziken and Ledian by surprise as it materialized completely unexpectedly. It leapt into the air and wrapped it's tentacles tightly around Blaziken's throat, spinning around the tall fire-type in a perfect U-turn before releasing it's grip and vanishing back into the slowly clearing smoke. Blaziken dropped to it's knees, one clawed hand painfully massaging it's damaged throat. May looked up at the score clock in disbelief, seeing her points drop first from Magcargo's deflection, and again from Octillery's Wring Out.

    "Ledian, use Hidden Power on Octillery, and Blaziken, you use Ember on Magcargo," she shouted.

    "Octillery, use Octazooka and Magcargo, counter Ember with your own!" Harley ordered. Ledian whirled it's wings at a high speed, forming several green spheres which it then flung at Octillery. The water-type retaliated by shooting several black pellets from it's mouth, deflecting the grass-type Hidden Power back at Blaziken on ricochet. May's starter, still on it's knees, unleashed a barrage of red cinders at Harley's Magcargo, but the attack fizzled out before the counterattack even hit. Blaziken was slammed head-on, first by Magcargo's Ember, and then by the deflected Hidden Power.

    "Blaziken!" May screamed, beginning to realize that Octillery's earlier Wring Out had actually done some serious damage to Blaziken and was preventing it from being able to use any fire attacks effectively.
    That was a good move, she realized. Now I'll have to fight in close, but that won't work well for Ledian. He's forcing me to use two different attack methods. Well, I've still got some moves in store for him!

    "Blaziken, Sky Uppercut on Magcargo!" she shouted, and her starter managed to climb to it's knees, although it ran more slowly than usual and breathed harshly.

    "Reflect," Harley said with a smirk, and a brilliantly-shining barrier was conjured in front of his fire-type; Blaziken, both fists glowing, smashed directly into the defensive barrier. It bent under the impact but rebounded; Blaziken was thrown backwards, taking on the damage from the Sky Uppercut itself. "Now use Rock Tomb!" Harley ordered and his Magcargo reared up before slamming itself into the ground, causing a massive pillar of rock to enfold May's Pokemon; the powerful fire-type struggled but it was completely trapped and unable to move.

    "Octillery, Water Gun on Blaziken!" Harley commanded.

    "Ledian, block that with Aerial Ace!" May shouted desperately.

    "Knock Ledian away with Yawn, Magcargo!" Harley countered. Octillery shot a powerful burst of water at the helpless Blaziken. Ledian swooped down, streams of air plying around it's speeding form as it smashed directly into the attack, deflecting the damage away from Blaziken. Magcargo yawned powerfully, and a massive bubble floated gently towards Ledian; it never saw the attack through the gush of water, and fell to the ground, sound asleep. With no obstacle in the way the Water Gun regained it's course, smashing straight into the Rock Tomb and Blaziken. It shuddered as the attack sapped it's strength.

    "Now, let's finish this up!" Harley said with a grin. "Magcargo, use Overheat!"

    "Blaziken, I know you're hurt and that your fire attacks aren't working. But I know that you still have strength left, and I believe in you! Brick Break and then Overheat!" May shouted. Blaziken eyes glowed fiercely as it's body was enveloped in a shining red aura. With a massive effort, it smashed both arms against the sides of the Rock Tomb, breaking free from the attack before jumping high into the air to avoid the Magcargo's attack. It aimed and unleashed a sizzling barrage of intense flames that shone far too brightly for anyone to look at. The attack smashed through the Reflect with ease, destroying it, and hit Magcargo point-blank. Three red X's appeared on the judges scorecard, and Harley's remaining points were halved. He gritted his teeth angrily; now he and May were almost even.

    "No matter," Harley muttered as he recalled his exhausted Magcargo. "Octillery has the type-advantage, and Ledian's still sleeping. Octillery, use Fire Blast on Ledian!"

    "Ledian, wake up!" May pleaded with her sleeping bug-type as the powerful fire attack bore down on it.

    "Leh... leh..." Ledian breathed gently, still asleep on the battlefield.

    "Blaziken, Sky Uppercut that Fire Blast now!" she shouted. Blaziken charged forwards, fists glowing again. It swung powerfully at the centre of the attack, smashing straight through. Ledian awoke just in time to see the two attacks collide and explode; the force drove Ledian backwards into the wall, where it collapsed. Blaziken was also thrown backwards, although it was able to stop short of the wall. May and Blaziken both glared through the smoke, trying to see Octillery. It slowly became visible, dancing gently inside of a Protect; it hadn't been damaged from the explosion at all.

    "No way," May whispered.

    "Blayy," Blaziken groaned, all of the battle damage finally catching up. The red aura faded and it slumped to the ground, completely immobile.

    "Blaziken, stand up!" May shouted.

    "And Blaziken is unable to battle!" Vivian announced. "That means the winner is Harley! We'll be awarding him momentarily with his incredible sixth ribbon! Folks, this more than qualifies him for the Grand Festival, which will..."

    May withdrew both Ledian and Blaziken, her eyes downcast. Only one thought reverberated through her mind. I lost... I didn't qualify... It's over... She began to trudge back to the dressing rooms, pausing to look back only briefly. Harley, holding his new ribbon, caught her eye and winked.

    "Better luck next year, hun," he mouthed.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Drew leaned against the doorframe, waiting for May at the entrance to the dressing rooms; he was the only person there, everyone else having left to congratulate Harley on the field. He watched as May's figure approached slowly out of the dim hallway, moving slowly and without any real sense of direction. She stopped in front of him and looked up from the floor, her red-rimmed eyes meeting his.

    "I've never lost so badly to him before," she whispered, the tears still streaming down her cheeks. "It's all over; I didn't qualify."

    "You know why you lost, don't you?" Drew said. May shook her head wordlessly. Drew sighed, looking away for a moment as he tried to think how to best word how she had lost her disastrous battle.

    "You went into that contest to win a ribbon. There was a lot of pressure because it was your last chance to qualify for the Grand Festival this year. But then you found out that Harley was entering too, just to try and stop you from qualifying. So what did you do? You played right into his hands.

    "You went into the appeals trying to win a ribbon, but you went into the finals trying to beat Harley. You started off in the right way by combining Fire Spin and Silver Wind, but then Harley blocked both attacks perfectly and countered with that Wring Out. When that happened, you stopped trying to win a ribbon. All that you wanted was revenge for that surprise attack."

    "He hurt Blaziken!" May protested. "It could barely breathe, of course I wanted to get him back for that!"

    "In a Contest Battle you don't get revenge by trying to overpower the opponent!" Drew shouted. "You get revenge by beating them tactically. Harley didn't break any rules, and you were lucky that Blaziken wasn't taken out in that first attack!" He paused a moment, striving to calm down.

    "You didn't battle with your head," he said, more gently. "You battled in desperation, and that stopped you from seeing Harley's game plan. He focused all of his attacks on your Blaziken, because he knows that it's your strongest Pokemon and Ledian is still inexperienced. He double-teamed Blaziken because then it would have been easy to take down Ledian. Why do you think he deflected Hidden Power at Blaziken? Why do you think he trapped Blaziken in a Rock Tomb and then ordered both of his Pokemon to concentrate their attacks on it?"

    "I... I didn't realize that," May whispered softly, her eyes staring in recollection of the battle.

    "Of course you didn't," Drew said, slightly exasperated. "You battled like it was a regular trainer battle, forgetting that you lose points if your attacks miss or are blocked. You tried to take him down using pure power, not strategy." He chuckled humourlessly. "It's all the fault of Ash and Brock," he said. "Maybe they're your friends, but the last thing a Coordinator needs is to associate with a regular trainer. The battle style are just too different. You got influenced by them too much. You can make your attacks flashy during appeals, but you've never learned how to do that in the battle rounds."

    "Ash and Brock are my friends," May said quietly, her face hardening. "I learnt more from them about battling and raising Pokemon than I ever could have on my own. I owe everything that I've done to them."

    "Relax," Drew said, holding up both hands. "I wasn't putting them down, I was just saying that you've been influenced by their battle styles so much that it makes it difficult for you to battle in a Contest style. It's not a bad thing because it throws off people you've never battled before. But when it comes down to facing somebody who's seen the way you battle countless times, like Harley, it just makes it easy to take away your points." May sighed.

    "You're right," she said, collapsing into despair again. "I've done everything I wnated to avoid by coming to Johto." Drew sighed as he watched her pretty face contort with sadness. He hadn't planned on asking her like this, but...

    "May," he said, "I have something really important to say, and I'm not quite sure how to say it."

    "What is it?" she asked.

    "It's, well..." Feeling suddenly awkward, he reached for the back of his belt, drawing out a beautiful rose. "We've travelled for a long time, and been rivals even longer," he said. "It took me a long to realize it, but I... I've gotten feelings for you."

    "Feelings?" May whispered, her heart suddenly pounding.

    "Yes," Drew said, his confidence surging when she didn't draw away. "May, I... I love you, and I want you by my side. I want to travel around the world with you, going to new places , and meeting all sorts of people and Pokemon."

    He continued talking, but May had stopped listening, her mind wandering. She remembered all of the times when Drew had been there for her; encouraging her Beautifly; warning her about Harley's deceitful ways. In the shadows of her mind, there was a slight stirring of guilt for a trainer who she had travelled with and grown close too, but when Drew clasped her hands between his it vanished.

    "May, will you be my girlfriend?" he asked. She thought for a moment, her eyes searching his carefully.

    "Yes," she answered, the look of misery from her loss fading into a small smile. "Definitely." Drew grinned widely and embraced her tightly. His heart jittered briefly when he felt her chest squashed against his, but with a massive effort he forced himself not to think about the sensation.

    "Thank you, May," he found himself saying. "But now I have some good news for you!"

    "Isn't a new boyfriend good news?" May asked with a slight laugh.

    "Yeah, but this balances out losing to Harley," Drew said. "There's actually one more contest left. It's in Blackthorn City in two weeks." May stiffened and stepped back from him.

    "I thought you said that this was the last contest of the year," she said quietly. Drew shrugged.

    "I lied," he said simply.

    "Why?" she asked, hurt evident in her face.

    "Because," he said, "Soledad is entering the Blackthorn contest, and I figured that you could do without the pressure of having to beat her to enter the Grand Festival. Now come on, let's get out of here. We can ride Flygon to Blackthorn City and be there with lots of time to spare for practice." He stepped forwards, gave her a quick kiss on the lips and then grabbed her by the hand before dragging her towards the building's exit. She didn't resist, not completely aware of what was happening as she tried to sort through the whirlwind of emotions that had assailed her in the last few minutes.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hunter J stared disdainfully at the green-haired teenager that lay in her way, fast asleep on the path. She snorted slightly and stepped forwards, bending down next to him. She quickly grabbed a Poke Ball from his belt, giving it a quick sniff. Sensing the aroma of a Roselia, she grimaced and dropped the Ball back next to the sleeper. She repeated her motions, leaving the second Ball when she scented Masquerain and pocketing the third when she realized it was an Absol.

    "This is too easy," she muttered, reaching for the last Ball on his belt. "I don't even need to use Drapion or my Capturer for this." She froze suddenly when she felt the green-haired teenager move under her touch. Her eyes wandered to his face, and met his narrowed gaze.

    "And what exactly are you doing?" Drew asked icily. J grinned at him.

    "Stealing your Pokemon, what does it look like?" she retorted. Drew turned quickly, drawing back both his legs and arms before shooting them straight into J's chest. She flew backwards, landing hard on the ground. "Why you..." she growled, climbing swiftly to her feet. "Salamence, let's go!" Drew grinned as her massive dragon-type appeared.

    "Finally, a real opponent," he said. "Flygon, I choose you!" The two Pokemon hovered in mid-air, sizing each other up as their trainers did likewise.

    "Salamence, Dragonbreath!" J shouted.

    "Flygon, counter with Flamethrower!" Drew ordered. Green flames collided with red as the two attacks met and exploded in mid-air.

    "Even," J growled, contemplating what attack to use next. She glared at Drew, hatred in her eyes when she saw that the stolen Poke Ball was resting at his feet. He noted her gaze and smiled, retrieving it and pocketing the Pokemon.

    "Your move," he said.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "And I thought that Mewtwo had mellowed out after Johto," Brock muttered, sitting in Viridian City Pokemon Centre's bedroom that he and Ash had rented. "I mean, at least his attitude to us was a little warmer after you helped to save him. But now it seems that he's even colder than he was on New Island. I don't get what could have changed."

    "All of those years alone, without any contact with other people or Pokemon I guess," Ash shrugged. "I'm guessing that he kept moving around every couple of days to stay undetected. That doesn't exactly give him a lot of time to make friends, or keep those friends. Mewtwo still cares, all of that isolation has just his personality colder."

    "I guess so," Brock sighed. "At least he trusts us enough to not remove our memories of New Island again."

    "Have you been able to get in touch with Forrest yet?" Ash asked, changing the subject.

    "Yeah, he's coming over after he's finished training with Lt. Surge. You know, he's still trying to teach his Raichu those speed attacks that you beat him with. I'm glad that Forrest agreed to help him out with that," Brock answered. He glanced towards the door. "How's May doing?"

    "She's still pretty shaken up from meeting Mewtwo. Nurse Joy won't let me in to see her, but at least she keeps on giving me updates."

    "I don't understand why she hasn't been taken to a hospital," Brock said, frowning. "I mean, she just collapsed when Mewtwo vanished and she hasn't been properly awake since." Ash grimaced.

    "You know how the hospitals work these days," he said. "If there isn't a broken bone or infection they just get a Pokemon to use Heal Bell or Refresh. I just want to know why she collapsed."

    "Do you think it has anything to do with that 'dark presence' Mewtwo mentioned?" Brock asked.

    "We've both seen 'dark presences' before, Brock," Ash said, shaking his head. "Remember when I was possessed by the King of Pokelantis? I don't know what Mewtwo was talking about, but May definitely doesn't have any 'dark presence'. I think it was something that Mewtwo did to her. But I can't shake the feeling that I've seen her symptoms before."

    "Same here," Brock muttered. "I wonder why..."

    "I wonder too," Ash said softly, staring out of the window at the bright sun.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nurse Joy watched May, worry on her face. Underneath the heavy blanket she continued to shiver, her face pale and sweaty. The thermometer beeped and Nurse Joy quickly took it from May's mouth. Her eyes widened when she saw that it was at 105 degrees.

    "You're burning up," she said softly, wetting a cloth and placing it on her forehead. May moaned at the contact, shifting slightly under the blanket. "I keep calling the hospitals, but no matter what I tell them they keep saying that they won't accept you. I don't know what else I can do; I'm trained to heal Pokemon, not people."

    She sighed and sat down in a chair placed close to the head of the bed, watching May carefully. "I've tried everything I know; Refresh, Softboiled, even an Alakazam's Recover. Nothing's worked, and if the fever doesn't break soon..." She bent her head, tears leaking to the ground. She had never felt so helpless before. "All I can do is try to make you as comfortable as possible if worst comes to worst."

    At the far side of the room, completely escaping the notice of the distraught Nurse Joy, something in May's discarded travel pack began to glow...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As ever, please review. It's only because of the recent spurt of reviews that I've realized the trap I fell into. I hope that you enjoyed this chapter, my first of 2008 (and probably the last for quite a while, thanks to exams in January).

    Keep on reading and writing!

  10. #40

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    I said it on fanfiction.net, and I'll say it here: This story is great. Worthy of a full length movie!

  11. #41
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Like I said before, Dark Ball technology is severely underused in fics. Glad to see it getting used here, and so well too.

  12. #42
    Sig By Blue Dragon Ino-Chan's Avatar
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    Dear God. That left me wondering.

    Oh. My friend loved it also.

  13. #43
    Triumphant Return betagold's Avatar
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    Have I said lately how much I love this story? No? Well then, let me take the time to say that I love this story! You've taken characters I've known for years and twisted them into completely different people. That, in itself is amazing, but then you had to change it to the hightest level of awesome possible with a compelling story. Congratulations, because this story is made of win. No, not win. Epic win.

  14. #44
    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Umm... Wow. This is a little strange, isn't? The last time that I updated this story was New Years Day. Now it's Valentines Day, and this short chapter is all that I have to put up. Still, I'm trying to make up for the delay, really I am.

    Thanks for the compliments everyone. You made me blush when I read those. I'm glad to know that you're all enjoying it.

    Enjoy!

    Chapter 27: Disease


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rey stood stiffly in the trainer's box, her hand clenched so tightly that even her short fingernails drew blood. Her jaw worked vigorously as she tried to figure a way out of the situation. Her Rattata kept dodging the Venomoth's attacks, but it was moving more and more slowly. Across the battlefield, Koga watched her impassively.

    "Venomoth, enough," he said abruptly. The Pokemon ceased it's attack and turned to it's trainer expectantly. "Let's go," he said, motioning towards the trick wall.

    "Hey... wait a minute! We didn't finish our battle!" Rey protested. Koga stopped, but did not bother to face her.

    "This is a four-on-four battle. You are on your third Pokemon, and my first has not been touched by any of your attacks. Now, you are not even issuing any attacks. Your skills don't measure up to the standards of this Pokemon Gym. Our battle is over."

    "You can't do that!" Rey shouted. "How can the battle be over? I haven't won or lost!"

    "It isn't victory that gives a person the right to a badge," Koga stated. "A Gym Leader has the right to refuse to issue a badge if the victor's skills are not up to a certain standard. A win is just that; a win. The challenger has to demonstrate their abilities to be worthy of badge. You have only demonstrated incompetence."

    "That's not true!" Rey shouted, beginning to break down into tears. "I've won five badges!"

    "I hope that count does not include the Cascade Badge," Koga said icily. "A Gym Badge demonstrates the skill of the bearer. There is no skill in just having the badge given away."

    "They said that all of their Pokemon were being treated at the Pokemon Center!"

    "Yet they were able to use those same Pokemon in a performance only a few hours later?" Koga turned and looked at the tearstained face of the girl. "You are not ready to face me," he said softly. "Go away, train hard, and try again another time." He sighed and shook his head. "I expected better from a Pallet trainer," he murmured, walking through the trick wall.

    Rey stood, staring at the wall. "Rattata, return," she whispered, as she turned and slowly trudged out of the Gym. Her head bowed in sadness, she looked back at the Fuchsia Gym despondently, at the four walls that had for so long held her dreams of the future. Now, they held only despair. She choked back a sob and ran into the nearby Fuchsia Forest, trying to put as much distance in between her and Koga as was possible.

    Branches tore at her face, slapping her cheeks with harsh stinging blows as she pushed her way through them. She breathed harshly through her mouth, her muscles screaming at her to stop and her brain ignoring them. At last she tripped, her feet caught underneath a large root that lay hidden in her path. Halted at last, she finally gave in to her emotions, her chest heaving spasmodically.

    She lay there for a long time, accompanied only by the fat tears that dripped slowly onto the bracken below.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The glow from May's pack vanished, completely unnoticed by the distraught Nurse Joy; her hands trembled as the thermometer beeped, indicating that May's body temperature had gone up yet another degree. The sick trainer from Hoenn moaned again, her body shuddering more and more uncontrollably. A small amount of froth began to collect at her mouth, which Nurse Joy tried to wipe away. The soft cloth touched her lips, and May suddenly jerked forwards, her jaws snapping shut on the place where Nurse Joy's wrist had been only moments earlier. She yelped in surprise and jumped backwards.

    "What was that for?" she yelled. May simply moaned and collapsed backwards again, shivering and unconscious. Nurse Joy sighed and, keeping a wary eye on May's movements, straightened the blankets. The thermometer beeped again, and Nurse Joy groaned. Her temperature was now 107 degrees, and quickly reaching the body's mortal limit.

    "There's nothing left that I can do," she whispered. "The fever just won't go down. I have to let your friends know what's happening. They need to be here to... to say goodbye." Tears began to prickle in her eyes, and she wiped them away quickly.

    She stood and went to the door, taking one last look at the dying girl in front of her. She frowned as she saw, for the first time, a lump on May's chest. She went back to the bed quickly, lifting up May's sickbay gown to see what it was. Her eyes widened when she saw that a lumpy grey-green pustule had formed on one of May's breasts.

    She carefully reached out and touched it lightly with one finger. May let out a high-pitched scream and began thrashing on the bed. Nurse Joy drew back her finger quickly with a squeal of surprised pain. She instinctively wanted to place the finger in her mouth, but common sense warned her against it. She examined her finger and was surprised to see that it had been burned. As the thermometer beeped again, May collapsed once more, drenched in soaking sheets of sweat. Nurse Joy leant in cautiously for a closer look at the throbbing pustule on her chest.

    "What on Earth could that be?" she murmured. She was so engrossed in her examination that she saw never saw May's pack begin to move. Slowly, quietly, the zipper began to open...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ash glared out the window, his gaze burning across the landscape. Behind him, Brock and Forrest chatted quietly, both realizing that Ash, through his worry for May, had turned into a raw nerve. The sun was slowly crawling down towards the horizon. As the shadows lengthened, Ash's eyes began to burn more and more fiercely.

    "I know that I've seen it before," he muttered. "But what? And where? She just collapsed and began to tremble..." Brock looked over at his younger brother and nodded. He walked over to Ash and laid a hand on Ash's shoulder. As he had expected, the trainer jumped.

    "Come on Ash, you need to rest. Your eyes are exhausted, and you must be hungry," Brock said. Ash shook his head.

    "Do you think I could eat or sleep knowing how sick May is?" he asked.

    "It's shock from Mewtwo, Ash," Brock said. "I'm sure of it."

    "Well, I'm not!" Ash scowled. "I know that I've seen this before, and I know that's it's a lot more serious than shock, or a cold, or..." He trailed off, his jaw slowly opening. Brock and Forrest looked at each other in concern, but Ash didn't notice. His thoughts whirled as he thought again of May's symptoms and connected them inexplicitly with the image of a deranged Rayquaza firing a Hyper Beam towards a Safeguarded Latias.

    "It can't be...!" he breathed, jumping to his feet in anguish.

    "Can't be what?" Forrest asked. Ash ignored the question and began to pace instead.

    "It's impossible... But it's the only thing that fits. I have to go and check..." He looked up, his eyes clear and focused. "Forrest," he said, turning to the Pewter City Gym Leader, "you get Dawn and Rey and keep them away from the emergency room!"

    "Why?" he asked, completely perplexed.

    "Just do it!" Ash shouted, running out the door. Forrest looked at his older brother, who sighed and began to follow Ash.

    "I'll go after him," he said. "You go tell the girls." With another sigh, Brock left the room and followed after Ash.

    The trainer from Pallet ran on through the Pokemon Center, oblivious that both Brock and Pikachu were hot on his heels. Only one thought was on his mind as he hurtled towards the emergency room, towards the dying girl that he loved.

    I know what's wrong... I know what's wrong... I can save her...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, I'm not completely satisfied with this chapter. Maybe it's because I'm so rusty, but it just doesn't seem as good to me as most of the others do. Ah well, no point brooding on it. Why not tell me what you think in a review? =P

  15. #45
    ... Amphlosion's Avatar
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    Glad to see a new chapter. You could always wait till the next holiday-like day to update: President's Day
    I'll probably have to read it again (as well as the sequel to May's Crush) because such is the way with reading that much in a single day.
    ...

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