Amazing Story!!! Cant wait for new updates!!!
I luv Chimchar!!!
I lost the game :/
Okay, I've only read the prologue and first chapter, but I'm hooked, man. Once I catch up (or finish, whichever comes first), I'll try and give a little bit more comprehensive post than this.
Very nice details! I love how this is going, not being overly cheesy and having good description and action. Keep it up!
You've been going fast lately haven't you.
Keep up the good work!
Stand up; because life waits for no one.
Stand tall; and be proud of who you are.
Stand strong; and know that nothing can bring you down.
And stand together; for although we are many, we are one.
And as one, we will not be broken.
All right, here's Chapter 15. After this, I probably won't be updating quite so fast. Please leave some feedback!
“Pikachu!” Ash cried out. He ran over to his fallen comrade and scooped the pokémon up in his arms. “Are you all right, buddy?”
Pikachu didn’t respond immediately, but eventually the battered battler came to and looked up at the boy.
“Pi… ka-pi,” he squeaked meekly and groggily, barely opening his beady eyes.
Ash forced himself to smile comfortingly down at Pikachu, who had battled valiantly. Inside, however, Ash was absolutely crushed. His shoulders slouched, his head drooped down towards the ground, and he made sure the bill of his hat was pulled way down so that it covered his eyes.
He had been on the verge of the biggest victory of his entire life over the legendary trainer whom he had looked up to for years. But now, somehow, the boy found himself taking the long walk of shame back to the Pokémon Center as a loser once again.
"I was so close… but what happened?" he thought to himself.
As he gloomily trudged across the battle field towards the exit tunnel while cradling his battle-worn pokémon in his right arm, Ash tried hard to wrap his brain around what had occurred just before Lance’s dragonite had finished Pikachu off. But no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t make any sense out of it. One minute, Ash had been in total control of the battle, ready to command Pikachu to finish it with a final Thunderbolt… and the next thing he knew, Ash was watching a Hyper Beam defeat his final pokémon and win the battle for Lance.
The circumambient crowd noise was still reverberating in the background of his thoughts, but Ash wasn’t paying any attention to the fans who still packed the arena. He was still staring straight down at his sneakers as he walked slowly across the concrete field, focused on nothing but the confusion and disappointment that was drowning him from the inside.
“Hey, Ash.” He suddenly heard Lance's voice from nearby over the roar of the stadium.
The teen stopped and looked up to see the red-headed Dragon Master smiling sympathetically at him. Lance patted him on the back as the he joined Ash in walking off the field towards the exit tunnel.
“Great battle, Lance… Good luck the rest of the way,” the younger trainer said, trying to sound gracious but unable to hide the disappointment in his voice.
“Listen Ash,” Lance replied as they walked. “I noticed that you kind of hesitated there at the end… It looked like you were hurt or something. Perhaps you were still feeling the effects of your injuries.”
Somehow, Ash didn’t think the sudden explosion of pain he had felt coarsing through his entire body had been due to his injuries. The suffering had been more agonizing than anything he had felt following his surgery, yet had been mysteriously brief… just long enough to prevent Ash from winning the battle. The timing of it all seemed fishy. But then again, what else could have caused it? It was probably just the intense stress he had been under, he figured.
“Uh… oh, yeah,” Ash stammered, but refusing to accept any excuse for his loss, he then said, “No… I’m fine. You beat me fair and square, Lance.”
“Well, that’s modest of you to say, Ash, but I’m not so sure. You had Dragonite beat there at the end, and I saw you kind of pause there for a second. I felt bad about winning that way… I really wanted to just kind of wait and let you compose yourself, but I didn’t really have a choice. I had to attack, Ash. I’m sorry.”
“I understand, Lance,” Ash said sadly, finally conceding that Lance had been right about the end of the battle.
Ash wasn’t upset with him at all. He totally understood that Lance couldn't have just let him win because he had looked to be hurting. Ash wouldn’t have even wanted to win that way. But nonetheless, he felt extremely downhearted about the defeat. Lance was about to console the boy further, but was interrupted by a television reporter who was requesting an on-camera interview about his victory. The winning trainer stopped to oblige, leaving the boy to continue on his long trip back to the Pokémon Center.
The crowd had apparently noticed Ash wincing in pain during the battle as well, probably assuming, like Lance had, that it had been due to the fact that the kid had nearly died not even a week before. They cheered even louder and gave him a standing ovation as he neared the tunnel to leave the field. Chants of ‘Ketchum’ again boomed throughout the arena, exhibiting just how appreciative and sympathetic the fans were to see the young boy from Pallet put up such a fierce battle despite all that he had been through over the past week.
But Ash hardly noticed the applause. He gave a half-hearted head-nod to the spectators as he left the field, but was still too upset to fully appreciate the moment. As the boy entered the dark tunnel back to the Pokémon Center, he sadly replayed the final moments of the match in his head. It had been that brief moment… that split second, during which that excruciating pain had interrupted his final attack… almost as though fate had wanted desperately to prevent him from achieving his dream. The pain had been so crippling, so unendurable, so intense that Ash had not been able to move any of the muscles in his body. By the time Ash had finally made his way into the warmly-lit Pokémon Center lobby, he was more than depressed.
“Great battle, Ash!” Nurse Joy said with a smile when he approached the front desk to drop off his pokémon for healing. “I’m not sure it was very smart to be out there in your condition, but you look all right. You should go get some rest. You are more than welcome to stay here at the Pokémon Center for as long as you like.”
“Uh… Thanks, Nurse Joy,” Ash mumbled dejectedly, not really feeling like talking. “But I think I’m gonna head back home as soon as possible.”
After he had dropped off Pikachu and his other injured pokémon for treatment, Ash turned and walked away before Joy could say anything else. His head was still down as he approached the lobby and headed towards his room to collect his things.
It was then that he remembered the gold coin, which he had left inside the dresser drawer in his room. Prior to the match, Ash had decided to again leave behind his mysteriously powerful 'good luck charm' in the name of sportsmanship and also because he wished to truly measure his talents again Lance. But now, with the sting of defeat fresh in his mind, Ash began to regret his decision to go without the magical coin.
But suddenly, all the confusion, depression, anger and regret that had been swirling around inside Ash’s mind was instantly erased when he saw who was waiting for him in the lobby. He saw Brock, May, Max, and Dawn’s normal smiling faces, but right now, he hardly noticed them. The only person he was looking at was the fair-skinned, copper-haired girl who was standing alongside them. His brown eyes grew wide when they met the familiar gaze of the aqua-green ones belonging to his old friend.
“Misty!” Ash shouted from across the room, sounding slightly shocked.
He stood frozen in place for a few moments just staring at the beautiful girl, almost as if he wanted to preserve this moment in his brain forever. He felt a sudden sense of warmth and happiness wash over him, cleansing him of the harsh feeling of sadness he had been experiencing. He had seen Misty in the stands during the battle, but with how the match had ended, he had nearly forgotten that she was here.
Finally, Ash took off in a full-on sprint across the lobby towards Misty, who was wiping happy tears from her eyes.
“Hi, Ash,” she said simply as Ash nearly tackled her to the floor with the tightest bear-hug she had ever experienced.
“Misty!” Ash said again as he wrapped her up in his arms. “It’s so great to see you! I can’t believe you’re here!”
Misty couldn’t say anything more. Her emotions had rendered her totally speechless. Her eyes were closed, her chin gently resting on Ash’s shoulder. A look of calm but joyful bliss was on her face as the two friends continued to embrace.
The rest of the group watched silently as the two long-time friends finally (officially) reunited for the first time in years. Brock had a smile on his face, trying not to chuckle at Ash and the uncharacteristically affectionate way he was acting towards the girl. May, Max and Johanna were also grinning at the touching reunion. Dawn, however, didn’t look so pleased. She didn't speak or voice her displeasure audibly in anyway, but she wore a definite expression of envy on her face.
Finally, Misty and Ash pulled away from each other and the former spoke.
“It’s good to see you too,” she said sincerely, her lip quivering.
She looked into Ash’s twinkling eyes, took a deep breathe and opened her mouth to finally apologize for everything: for how she had not shown up to the hospital immediately after his battle with Zak, for how she hadn’t called or wrote to him recently while she was busy feeling depressed at the gym… but most of all, for how she had failed him as a friend over the past few years. But as Misty started to speak, Ash interrupted her and gave her a very serious look.
“Misty, it’s okay… really, it is,” he said firmly, as if he already knew what she was going to say and understood exactly how guilty she felt.
And just like that, with those simple yet comforting and rejuvenating words from the boy who meant more to her than any other person in the world, Misty felt as though the weight of that world had just been lifted from her shoulders. She and Ash shared one last affectionate look before he turned to the rest of his friends.
“You were great out there, Ash,” Dawn said as she quickly approached to give him a hug as well, obviously trying to imitate the intimate connection that she had seen him and Misty sharing.
“Thanks,” Ash said simply, not seeming nearly as thrilled to see Dawn as he had been to see Misty, but happy nonetheless. He didn’t notice the very discontented expression on Dawn’s face as the two pulled apart.
“You battled very well, young man,” Johanna commended after Ash and her daughter were done hugging. “The match was incredible!”
“Yeah, you almost had ‘em,” Brock said in more of a congratulatory tone than a consoling one. He slapped Ash lovingly on the back.
“I thought for sure you were gonna win, Ash!” Max added, still clearly buzzing with excitement from the battle. “But even though Lance pulled it out in the end, you were still really awesome out there!”
“Thanks, guys,” Ash replied dispiritedly, feeling the sense of exhaustion, befuddlement and extreme disappointment return to the forefront of his psyche when he was reminded that he had lost.
“So,” May piped up. “What do we do now?”
“Now,” Ash said, looking grateful that May had changed the subject and that none of the group had apparently noticed the incident at the end of the match. “Let’s catch the first plane out of here. I just want to go ho--”
“Ash Ketchum!? Oh my god! It’s him!” a couple of screaming female voices interrupted him.
Two teenage girls came running up from across the lobby towards the group with giddy looks on their faces. One was a tall and leggy blonde with beautiful tan skin and glistening emerald green eyes. She was wearing a tight-fitting pink halter-top and a scandalously short skirt, which showed off her provocatively curvaceous figure. The other was a big-bosomed, raven-haired girl with stunning brown eyes and full, plump and glossy lips. She was wearing a white mid-drift-revealing tank top with a very low-plunging neckline and an impossibly tiny pair of denim shorts, which left very little to the imagination.
Both gorgeous teens, who looked a few years older than Ash, smiled alluringly at him, but Brock sprang into his usual love-struck theatrics before either of them could speak. He fell to his knees at the girls’ feet and grabbed each girl by the hand.
“Why hello, my two bodacious beauties!” Brock said in a whimsical tone of voice, his mouth hanging open like he had been hypnotized. “My name’s Brock! It truly is an honor to have the privilege of basking in the wonderful glow of your allure! My dears, if your collective beauty were sunlight, you’d shine from a million light-years awa--”
“Ugh, out of the way, you creeper,” the blonde girl sneered and shoved Brock out of the way before he could finish his histrionics.
“Yeah… we’re not interested in you,” the other girl added snidely. “We’re here to talk to Ash.”
Both girls sauntered up to Ash and stood closely on either side of him. They batted their eyelashes and smiled sweetly at him.
“Do you… ummm… think we could have your autograph, Ash?” the blonde squealed.
The black-haired girl took out a small sheet of paper from inside her brassiere and handed it to the boy along with a pen. Ash looked a little perturbed at the request. He still wasn’t used to all the attention he had been getting ever since his battle with Zak, but he accommodated the girls’ wish and scribbled his name on the piece of paper.
Misty and Dawn both glared at the two promiscuous girls with looks of rage on their faces, but the two older fan-girls completely ignored their presence. Even Johanna seemed disapproving of the two groupies.
“Oh my god! You were like… sooooo awesome out there, Ash,” the brunette cooed as she grabbed Ash’s right arm affectionately. “Lance totally got lucky there at the end.”
“Yeah. You looked really amazing,” the blonde said flirtatiously, leaning in close to Ash so that she was almost whispering into his ear.
“Uh… thanks,” Ash replied, looking somewhat uncomfortable yet flattered and completely aware of the two girls’ attractiveness. Unlike when he was younger, Ash was now very aware of girls, especially beautiful ones. “What are your names?”
“I’m Kaylee,” the blonde one said with a flirty giggle.
“My name’s Sophia,” the other girl said.
“Well it’s nice to meet you both,” Ash replied with a friendly smile then motioned towards the others. “These are my friends, Brock, Max, Ma--”
“Anyways, Ash,” Kaylee interrupted, clearly uninterested in meeting or even speaking to the others. “We were wondering… since you’re not going to be battling anymore in the tournament… if you wanted to hang out with us for the rest of the week.”
“Yeah,” Sophia agreed, looking up at him hopefully. “We could definitely show you a good time! We’re gonna be going out and partying all week! And then, maybe you could escort us both to the championship match on Wednesday!”
“That sounds really fun,” Ash said uneasily, “but--”
The two girls were pulling Ash along with them towards the Pokémon Center’s exit in an attempt to coax him to go with them.
“Come on, Ash!” Sophia urged as she batted her eyelashes at Ash.
“Yea! And if you come with us… I promise we’ll make it worth your while,” Kaylee added with a seductive wink as she playfully stroked Ash’s chest.
Seeing this set Misty and Dawn off. Looking enraged, both girls clenched their fists and looked ready to get violent with these two bimbos.
“Um… excuse me,” Dawn admonished. “But Ash is here with us!” She stepped forward to grab Ash by the arm in order to pull him away from the two girls.
"Yeah! Who are you two anyway? Why don't you go find someone else to bother!" Misty growled, stepping in to assist Dawn.
“As if!” Kaylee hissed, finally acknowledging the presence of Ash’s friends. She gave both Dawn and Misty a nasty look. “Why would he settle for you two, when he could have us?!”
“Yeah, come on, Ash!” Sophia said as the two girls dragged a bewildered Ash towards the Pokémon Center’s front entrance.
“See? Look!” Kaylee pointed outside through the transparent sliding glass doors.
Outside, Ash and the rest of his friends saw a long, black limousine parked directly in front of the Pokémon Center. All of its windows were tinted black, matching the limo’s glossy paint job. Somehow however, its extremely dark profile as well as the bizarreness of this whole situation made the car seem more suspicious and ominous rather than a vehicle for some sort of joy ride.
Still, Ash considered the girls’ offer. It did sound fun to explore the city and let off some steam after all that had gone on during the previous week, especially with two beautiful female companions. And as a red-blooded, heterosexual teenage boy, the suggestive manner in which Kaylee had promised to make the trip “worth his while” definitely aroused his interest.
Despite those reasons to stay however, being around the city would only remind him of how he wasn’t participating in the tournament anymore and of the heart-breaking fashion in which he had been eliminated. Returning home would be a nice way to take his mind off things and would give him a nice chance to relax.
“Thanks for the offer, ladies,” Ash said finally. “But, I think I’m just gonna head back to Pallet Town. You two have fun though!”
And despite the two girls’ last-ditch efforts to change his mind, Ash politely bid them farewell and turned back to return to his friends, much to Misty and Dawn’s relief.
“A very wise decision,” Johanna praised Ash as the girls turned to leave. “Now… Why don’t we head back to the hotel and pick up your mother. Then we can go get something to eat and talk about catching a flight out of here.”
“Sounds good,” Ash replied, momentarily forgetting about losing at the mention of food. “I’m starving!”
Everyone rolled their eyes when Ash’s stomach growled loudly right on cue.
Brock stared at Kaylee and Sophia with a look of yearning as they both stomped away angrily, obviously disappointed and irritated with Ash‘s decision. The nineteen-year-old looked like he was about to turn around and chase after them, but Misty and Max each grabbed hold of one of Brock’s ears just in time to yank him back.
“Oh no you don’t!” Misty chided. “We’re leaving!”
“We should pick up a leash and muzzle for Brock on the way home,” Max added.
“Ow! Owww!! Okay! Okay! I’m coming!”
The rest of the group laughed as they exited the Pokémon Center.
The big-screen television in the boss’s office showed Lance, the Dragon Master being interviewed on the field following his victory.
“... Well, it was definitely a well-fought battle, and I feel fortunate to win. My pokémon battled hard, and they gave it everything they had. As everyone saw, the way Ash battled tonight was inspiring to say the least. He should be proud about everything he did during this tournament.”
The television showed video highlights of the battle as Lance’s voice spoke in the background. Footage of Ash and Lance commanding their pokémon in battle rolled across the wide screen.
“Ketchum has definitely been through a lot this week,” the reporter said, leading into his next question. “What are your thoughts about how he battled, especially considering that just days ago, he was in critical condition at the hospital?”
A close-up video clip of Ash in action flashed across the screen on cue with the reporter’s mention of him.
“Yeah. It’s amazing.” Lance answered. “Like I said, seeing him out here so quickly after being in the hospital was inspiring. And as you saw, the crowd loved him. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as a trainer and a person. He’s a very gifted young man who clearly loves his pokémon very much. Ash definitely has a very bright future ahead of h--”
The image of Ash’s face on the television suddenly froze as the boss had paused the T.V. with his remote control. He jumped up from his desk, from which he had been watching the coverage, and walked up to the T.V. in order to get a closer look at the boy’s face.
“Those eyes..." the man said, observing the still-shot of the boy. "It's him all right. I knew I had heard the name before!"
“What are you talking about?” a male voice asked from the other side of the room. “Of course you‘ve heard his name. That Ketchum kid has been all over the news the entire week.”
It was Sai, who was seated in a chair a few feet from the boss’ desk. He had since changed out of his tattered and torn prison-issued jump suite and was now wearing the same all-black uniform that many of the other Team Rocket agents had been wearing. His tangle of long, silver hair had been cut short, and his unkempt beard was now gone, revealing the scarred and leathery face of the fugitive.
“No, you fool,” the boss hissed. “I’m talking about many years ago. I know this kid! Well… indirectly, I know him.”
“Huh? What do you mean, indirectly?” Sai asked, looking puzzled.
“It’s not important,” the boss said, looking rather pleased with himself. “But, I do know that it is now more imperative than ever that we capture Ketchum. He could definitely be of great use to us!”
“Well, didn’t you say you already had someone working on capturing the boy?”
“Yes,” the boss replied. “I have two agents in Sapphire--”
Just then, the intercom on the boss’ desk lit up and beeped, interrupting the two men. The man in the business suit reached over and punched one of the buttons.
“Boss? I have Agent Kay on the line, sir.”
“Good, transfer her thorough.”
“Hello, Boss?” a female voice said after a second or two.
“Ah, Agent Kay… or should I call you ‘Kaylee?’ We were just talking about you. I trust you are calling to tell me that you’ve successfully seized the boy.”
“Uh… not exactly, sir.”
“I beg your pardon?” the boss replied, his anger clear in his voice as he spoke over the intercom.
“Well,” Kay said, sounding nervous. “We tried to convince the kid to come with us at the stadium’s Pokémon Center, but he uh… he refused our advances.”
“This is very troubling, Agent,” the boss scolded. “I trusted that you and your friend would be able to accomplish this task! How hard is it for two half-naked women to seduce a teenage boy for fuck’s sake?!”
“My apologies, sir! We practically threw ourselves at the kid and showed him the limousine, but he wouldn’t bite."
“So where is Ketchum now?”
“Well, he left the Pokémon Center. He said he was returning home to Pallet Town. But I’m sure he hasn’t left town yet, Boss… I could catch up to him and seize him by force. I doubt he’d be able to resist me again with a gun pointed at his head!”
“Absolutely not, Agent Kay!” the boss bellowed. “We can’t risk a disturbance before the attack on the stadium. You will return to Agent Cortez's fleet… they are still stationed just outside of the city in preparation for the attack. I will get someone more capable to capture the boy.”
“Very well,” the woman replied in a defeated and timid tone before the intercom clicked off.
“So what‘s the plan now, ‘Oh Fearless Leader?’” Sai asked in somewhat of a sarcastic tone of voice.
But the boss didn’t look too concerned or distraught. He looked deep in thought as he scratched his chin. He simply remained silent for a few moments before speaking.
“Kay may have failed me, but I think I have another idea for capturing that kid,” the man said happily. A crooked smile stretched across the boss’ face as he turned the television back on and sat back in his chair.
“Care to share?” Sai replied.
“Oh, don't worry yourself, Sai,” the man in the black suit said as he poured himself another glass of scotch and took out another cigar from his pocket. “Everything will be taken care of.”
“I hate to seem impatient, your majesty,” Sai said condescendingly. “But, you seem to be exhausting all your resources and manpower on this stadium attack, and now capturing this Ketchum kid… What about finding the crystals?”
The boss gritted his teeth with anger at the constant disrespect Sai seemed to show him, but swallowed his pride because Sai was the only person alive who knew where the crystals were supposedly located. The boss still desperately wanted to locate the other two gems, but wanted to make sure that the original plan of ransacking Sapphire Stadium went smoothly first.
“I cannot afford to spare many of my men to assist in the search for the crystals until the attack is over,” the boss said, thinking out loud. “But perhaps I can scrounge up a few former agents that used to serve under the previous regime to assist you. You and they can work on searching for the first crystal while the attack commences…after that, I will be able to allocate more soldiers to your aid.”
“These ‘former agents’ you speak of,” Sai responded skeptically. “What’s their story? Are they reliable? I assume if they were worth anything, they’d still be part of your operation.”
The boss paused for a moment, pondering how to answer the question.
“Well, under the old regime, I can assure you that they were as determined and relentless as any agents I have ever been around.”
“Well, would they be open to rejoining the organization after all these years?”
“I’m sure for the right price, they would be more than willing,” the boss remarked.
“Good. How do I reach them? I want to set off to find the first orb as soon as possible,” Sai said with a wide, sinister grin.
Ash, his mother and his friends had remained in Sapphire City for the night, and caught a morning flight to Viridian City.
Delia had invited the entire group over to the house in Pallet for the weekend as a thank you to the others for coming all the way out to support Ash in the tournament. She promised to cook them all their favorite dishes, do their laundry and whatever else she could do to repay them for their loyalty to her son. They all had enjoyed reuniting with each other and weren’t ready to say their goodbyes yet, so everyone agreed to travel with Ash and Delia to Pallet Town.
May and Max were excited to visit the quaint countryside town and to see Professor Oak again. Brock lived nearby anyway, and certainly didn’t mind hanging out with his friends for a few more days before he returned to Pewter City. Misty wasn’t in any hurry to leave Ash either, and while the tournament was still going on, she was sure that very few trainers would show up to challenge the Cerulean City Gym. Johanna had originally planned on her and Dawn heading home to Twinleaf Town, but after a lot of pleading from her daughter, finally agreed to accompany the others as well.
From Viridian City, the group took two taxi cabs to Pallet Town. Delia, Max, Brock, Ash and Pikachu rode in one, with May, Misty, Dawn and Johanna in the other. Ash felt more at ease as he stared out of the moving vehicle’s window, surveying all the familiar sights. The trees, the small brooks and creeks, even the large patches of grass… Ash knew them all like the back of his hand. The anguish from him being eliminated from the tournament still weighed heavily on his mind, but at least he was home now and surrounded by his friends.
As they drove down Route One’s dirt pathway from Viridian to Pallet, Ash, with Pikachu snoozing in his lap, thought back to his younger days when even this area close to his home had been entirely new and extremely exciting to him as he explored it. The world seemed like such a gigantic and mysterious place back when he was ten. The thrill of encountering strange and new pokémon and people, as well as traveling around strange and new places was what had made the early years of his career as a trainer so fun, so memorable… so special.
As the road led the cars closer to his hometown, Ash realized how much he missed those simpler days of his youth. Back then, especially early on after leaving home for the first time as a naïve ten-year-old, life hadn’t been about competing at global pokémon tournaments or being interviewed by big-shot reporters. It wasn’t about battling under the bright lights in front of millions of people or about T.V. cameras, autograph seekers, and limousines.
Back then, being a pokémon trainer had been strictly about exploration, curiosity and friendship. Ash remembered having so much fun traveling around with Pikachu and the rest of his friends, camping out in the wilderness underneath the stars at night, enjoying Brock’s hearty cooking, and feeling the incomparable spark of excitement whenever he encountered a new pokémon or won a new gym badge.
Finally, Ash saw the comforting sight of Professor Oak’s laboratory sitting on top of the grassy hill which overlooked the entire town. The big wooden windmill that sat in front of the lab was churning steadily in the breeze. He felt a warm feeling of happiness when he saw the beauty of his hometown from the car’s window. The sky above tiny Pallet Town looked a lot bluer to Ash than it had in Sapphire City, the grass much greener, and the majestic mountains in the distance looked much more beautiful than the big gray skyscrapers and smoggy haze that dominated the big city’s skyline.
But Ash’s thoughts were discontinued when the cars finally stopped outside of his house. He looked out the window to see practically the entire town all standing in his front yard. Everyone was smiling and waving at the cars. Two huge banners were hanging up behind the large crowd.
One read, “WELCOME HOME ASH!”
The other said, “PALLET IS PROUD OF YOU!”
Ash looked over at his mother who had a knowing grin on her face, as did Max and Brock.
“You planned this, Mom?”
“Of course, honey. The entire town is so proud of you, dear. Everyone thought a welcome home party was in order!”
“Pi-Kachu!” Pikachu had awoken as soon as the car stopped and looked excited to be home as well.
Ash smiled. He had been looking forward to just sitting at home and relaxing, but he figured that the idea of a party didn’t sound half-bad. Besides, he thought to himself, where there’s a party… there’s bound to be a bunch of food!
Ash eagerly exited the taxi to the sound of a resounding applause. The crowd wasn’t nearly as big and their applause weren’t nearly as loud as what he had experienced in Sapphire Stadium, but somehow, this ovation felt a hundred times better.
“Step right up! Step right up! Have your money ready, ladies and gentlemen!” a bright-eyed and enthusiastic young man shouted over the modest group of people crowded around the tent he was standing in front of. “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!”
He was wearing a black top hat over his bright blue hair and a circus ring-leader’s uniform.
“Welcome, welcome, Goldenrod City Fair patrons! Step right up! Step right up, and witness the amazing, the stupendous, the astounding ‘Talking Meowth!’” The young man’s female assistant, a slender young woman with long, rose-red hair hollered. “Just ten dollars for a look at the only talking meowth in the world!”
The young woman, who was wearing a long, glamorous evening gown imbued with thousands of shimmering rhinestones. She looked like a traditional magician’s assistant with how she was dressed. She was posing in front of the tent, which presumably contained the “Amazing Talking Meowth.”
Many of the few dozen or so people crowded around the entrance of the tent just scoffed at the notion of a talking meowth. Most of the group shook their heads as they walked away in either disbelief or disgust.
“Wait! Don’t you want to see it?!”
“Hold on! Where are you all going!?” the anger in the woman’s voice increased with every person that left the scene.
“There’s no such thing as a talking Meowth!”
“I wouldn’t pay ten dollars to see it even it there was one!”
“Come on, let’s go ride the rides!”
“I want a corndog, Mommy!”
Once all the people had dispersed, the young man exhaled sadly, slumping his shoulders.
“Guess it’s back to the old drawing board, Jess,” he said to the young woman gloomily.
“Those stupid people! How dare they doubt us! I hate the fair!” she screamed disgustedly. “Meowth! Come out here! Everyone’s gone!”
“How are we evah gonna manage to make any dough if all our schemes keep tankin’ like dis?” the “Amazing Talking Meowth” said as he emerged from the tent with a defeated look on his whiskered face.
“James, I’m hungry!” Jesse’s shrill voice complained. “Did we make any money? We’ve been at this rotten city fair for three days now!”
“Let’s see,” James said as he whipped out a sheet of paper that he had apparently written their finances down on. “Well with the money we spent on this tent… these outfits… and the fair’s booth rent… that leaves us with…about negative $121.”
“You mean we lost money wit dis stupid idea of yours!?” the feline pokemon hissed in anger.
“Well, we’ve been out of real work for years now, Meowth! Feel free to come up with a better plan any day now!” James retorted.
The three of them all sadly plunked down on the ground. They watched sadly as the many men, women, and children around them enjoyed the Goldenrod City Fair while they remained down on their luck, broke and hungry.
Suddenly, the trio spotted a vehicle of some kind approaching from the distance.
“Hey, look at that!” Jessie pointed.
“I wonder who that is? Don‘t they know that they‘re driving right through the midway?”
“I don know, but dere comin’ dis way!”
A black SUV with tinted windows approached and pulled right up to the tent where Jessie, James and Meowth were seated in front of. An emotionless man in a charcoal gray suit with matching tie and dark sunglasses emerged from the vehicle without saying a word.
“Hey, you can’t park that thing here!” Jessie said angrily. “We’re trying to work here! Who do you think you are!?”
But the mysterious man remained silent. He reached into the breast pocket of his suit and pulled out a single sheet of paper and handed it to James, who was standing closest to the man. Looking puzzled, James took the piece of paper.
“It looks like a letter of some kind,” James said.
“Gee, tanks Captain Obvious!” Meowth ridiculed.
Ignoring Meowth, James began to scan the letter silently, inaudibly mouthing the words as he read. His eyes grew wider and wider as he continued on.
“Well!?” Jessie finally wailed impatiently. “What does it say, James!?”
James looked up with a crafty look on his face. He read the letter out loud, clearing his throat before he began.
To the former Team Rocket agents, Jessie and James,
You don’t know me, but my name is Sai. I am working on a very important mission, the details of which I cannot divulge at the present time, in case you decline my offer. I am in dire need of assistance on this mission, and I have heard through the grapevine that you might be willing to offer your services for a price.
Like I have already stated, I am not at liberty to reveal the specifics regarding this mission at this point, nor can I reveal who connected me to you. I will not discuss in detail exactly what you would be paid should you agree to assist me. We will iron out the particulars at a later time.
I can say, however, that this mission has the potential to reap unimaginable rewards and anyone who plays a part in helping to accomplish it will be handsomely rewarded. I must stress that this mission is top secret, and should you reveal this letter to anyone else, the repercussions would be severe.
If you are interested in meeting with me about the mission, please board the vehicle I have sent.
“Well, what do you think, Jess?” James asked after he had given her and Meowth a moment to ponder. “Seems kind of suspicious, isn’t it?”
Jessie paused, then looked around behind her at the pathetic situation they were currently in from a monetary standpoint and said, “I don’t suppose we have much of a choice, do we?”
Meowth and James agreed.
“All right, then. Let’s go!”
And with that, the trio climbed into the SUV, and the vehicle sped off back in the direction it had come.
There it is. Please leave some comments!
I knew it! I knew that Jessie and James MUST join the cast!
Thank you for the chapter. Character interructions are so good to read.
This was pretty awesome, dude.
I'm glad Ash didn't take the bait: pretty girls almost always pose a threat... Great read. Can't wait for the next chapter!
Stand up; because life waits for no one.
Stand tall; and be proud of who you are.
Stand strong; and know that nothing can bring you down.
And stand together; for although we are many, we are one.
And as one, we will not be broken.