Ash: 15 Misty : 16 Brock: 20 Duplica: 15
Jamie: 16 Gary: 16 Jesse and James: 21
Richie: 17 Ashura: 15 Todd: 16 Sabrina: 17
A/N: Ah, yes, the dreaded Author's Note. Fortunately, I'm gonna try to keep this little note fairly brief, so maybe now you can take that gun away from your head. Just take your finger off the trigger and *BLAM*....oh, poopie. -_-
First, I'd like to express my foremost apologies to Maki. Maki is not a guy; she is in fact a girl. Sorry for making the mistake there, Maki. Now, excuse me while I go jump off this building. >_<
Finally, I'd like to formally apologize to all reading this fic over my bad punctuality. There, I said it. HAPPY!!?? o_O
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Pokemon, Creatures, or Gamefreak yadda yadda yadda...Zzzzzzzzzzz...
* * * *
"What kind of trouble?"
Sabrina's feet touched to the ground. She regarded Alakazam with an obvious look. "Listen, I don't have time to explain it to you. Just read my mind while I begin the preparations."
Sabrina threw her hands up impatiently. "Again, read my mind! I don't have time to stand around making idle talk!!" She darted off into the hall.
Alakazam couldn't contain his shock as he probed her thoughts. Ash? In trouble? In need of help? Why, that boy is wilier than a Meowth and ten times as resourceful. What could be so important that he would be in need of my Mistress's help?
The Pokemon sighed when he could find nothing in her mind. He found no concrete details of what was the matter. She was blocking him. Then again, this sort of thing was expected with Sabrina. Even if she DID consent to a mind-reading, there would always be some sort of dark corner in her mind to which he had no light to see through.
The question is, why now? Why in a situation that seemed to call for everyone's knowledge on the subject matter?
"Yo, Kazam?" His thoughts were interrupted by Haunter's sudden question.
"How many times have I told you not to call me that?" Alakazam retorted, still wanting to be alone with his thoughts.
"Um...about thirty thousand and ---"
"Would you shut up, already!? I'm trying to think here."
"Couldja at least tell me what you're thinking? You know I can't read minds like you and Sabrina can."
Alakazam sighed again. "I'm wondering why Mistress is still hiding things from me. She just told me to read her mind. Ash and his friends are in some type of danger that require her immediate attention, yet she's holding back what it actually is."
Haunter cocked an eyebrow. "Why would she wanna do that?"
Alakazam gave him an even look. "That, Haunter, I do not know."
Sabrina burst back into the room carrying what appeared to be some type of large blade. The two Pokemon blanched when they realized what that blade was.
It was Sabrina's Psi Saber, an ancient samurai sword carved from a mysterious alloy found in a meteor that had crashed into an island not far from Kanto. The metal that made up the blade had strange properties that allowed it to act as a powerful ground for Psi to be channeled through. With the blade, Sabrina was allowed to perform stronger types of Psionic techniques. It would serve as a medium that protected Sabrina from those techniques, for without one the force would rip her apart.
Sabrina rarely ever used the sword. When practicing her martial arts swordplay, she would always use one of the lesser swords lying about in her vast armory of weaponry, never laying a finger on the ancient blade. She only used the sword for dire emergencies.
This was a dire emergency.
* * * *
"SHIT!" Jamie yelled as he barely missed a speedy swipe toward his head. He could feel the wind of the strike cool his face as his head jerked out of the way in the nick of time.
"Kill...rip...tear..." Richie murmured as he went in for another blow. He had totally lost control. His body was there, but his mind was not. His true primitive Lekarian instincts and inclinations were showing through in one flash of violence.
Again, Jamie ducked his head under another flying fist as Richie continued with his assault. Again and again, Richie struck out with fists that could shatter steel, or Jamie's bones. Jamie couldn't believe his sudden drastic change in speed and power.
Hmph, he mused with grim realization. Guess this is how those Rockets felt before Ash and I tore them apart.
Ash and the others stood as a silent audience to yet another fight. He still couldn't move a muscle. Misty and the rest were frozen stiff as well, although it wasn't from any immobilizing Psi energy.
The same thought raced through Duplica's head over and over. He saved my life...he saved my life...he saved my life. Still, what's with this sudden change of heart? Why, just a moment ago he was ready to beat me to the ground! Oh, God, those two are gonna kill each other. And what about Ashura?? What's he going to do when this is over???
Stupid question. She knew exactly what he would do when the battle between the two teens ended. To him, this was just a little entertainment before he went about his "business".
She choked back her tears again. And there was nothing she could do to save Ash.
Or was there?
With great effort, she focused her Psi into Ash. Energy of some type locked
Ash's muscles into place; very similar to the energy that the Runaway's Abra used to stop her in her tracks. If she could just counteract that energy...
But wait. If for some strange reason it DOES work, then I'll be completely helpless. The energy that'll I'll expend will leave me totally drained! What use to Ash would I be if I can barely breathe??? How would I protect him?? After all, that mate of his can't even lift a mere ten times her own bodyweight! Ugh, humans are so weak.
A blinding flash of blue light illuminated the clearing as Richie flew back into the trees, once again knocking down several of them. When the glare cleared, everyone could see Jamie with both his palms pointed to where Richie once was. He was panting, tired. A thin film of sweat coated his body as he staggered to stay on his feet. He wouldn't last much longer against a Lekarian in the Rage.
Duplica gawked at the sight. THE FOOL! He used up too much energy on that one Psi blast! What was he thinking, using up all his Psi against a Rage Lekarian!? Look! That damn Richie is getting back up again. Run, you idiot, RUN!!
Ash watched on hopelessly as Richie lumbered toward the now exhausted Jamie. He saw more flashes of light as beams of Psi shot at the massive Richie, only to bounce off like tennis balls on a wall, ricocheting onto tree branches and blasting them into burning splinters. He knew that Jamie didn't stand a chance against the monster that Richie had become.
Ash angrily clenched his fist as he watched the horrible scene continue. Wait, clench his fist? He could move!! He experimented with the movement, flexing and contracting his fingers and rolling his wrist.
He tried the other hand. Movement!!! He savored the feeling of being able to control his muscles again as he happily wiggled his fingers like there was no tomorrow. His tendons tightened and loosened with glee as he waved his hands around.
Then it dawned on him. Well, THIS does me a whole load of crap!! Sure I can move my fingers, SO WHAT!? This doesn't help me at all!! Waitaminute ---he could feel his arm tingling--- my ARM!!! Alright, I can wiggle my arm!
Suddenly Misty and Duplica noticed Ash's sudden movement in his limbs.
"Ash??" They both whispered.
With great effort, Ash gave a stiff nod. His mouth slowly curved itself into a smile. Misty and Duplica beamed. Pikachu gave a weak 'Pika'.
Misty gave him a small kiss on the cheek. “You can move!?” she whispered.
Ash nodded again, this time with a looser movement.
They all cringed when they heard a loud scream of agony as Richie's massive fist collided with Jamie's chest. Hearing it was much worse for Ash and Duplica, as their Lekarian hearing could make out the sounds of the boy's ribs cracking.
Jamie's eyes bulged outward with shock and pain as he felt the bones of his ribs break and splinter inside his body. His mouth was then filled with a warm, coppery-tasting liquid as he slumped to the ground.
“JAMIE, NO!” Misty wailed.
As the boy ceased to move, the dark figure witnessing the now-ended fight gave a small laugh.
* * * *
Sabrina’s knuckles became white as she clutched the handle of the sword with grim determination. She could feel the power of the blade coursing through her, filling her body with warm vibrations. A low humming sound escaped from the blade as it began to glow a bright blue.
Her garb was composed of a pitch black gi and custom made shoes designed for combat. Her long green hair was wrapped in a pony-tail behind her head. The sheath of the sword rested just below her hip, held together by a shiny black belt.
Both Pokemon knew what it was. It was battle armor.
“Mistress...” Alakazam breathed. “The sword...what’s going on?”
The young psychic’s dark, pine-green eyes flared. “Ash is in mortal danger and I’ll be damned if I sit back and let anything happen to him.” Her voice sharpened into its usual curtness.
“Why have you blocked your mind?”
“Because,” she said coolly, “if you knew the circumstances of the situation you’d only try and stop me.” She expertly swung her sword in a three hundred and sixty degree motion. “And I DON’T think you want to do that.”
Alakazam was taken aback by her words. “Why are you threatening me?”
“Because it’s my only means of keeping you out of my way.”
“Mistress, THIS IS FOOLHARDY!” he exploded. “You sensed the power of the energy, did you not? What are you going to do, teleport to the scene and save the day???”
“That’s exactly what I plan to do, Alakazam.” She replied through clenched teeth. “And don’t you EVER raise your voice to me again.”
“Or what??? You’ll cut me with that sword!? What will you do when you get there?? Do you even have a plan of some sort? Oh please, Mistress, tell me you have a plan.” Alakazam clutched his spoons.
Sabrina strode by him and Alakazam, positioning the sword in front of her face and closing her eyes. “I do not.” She said with her back turned.
“Mistress...” the Pokemon pleaded in a softer tone, “is it worth it? Are you willing to risk your life for this...this...BOY?
Sabrina did not turn to face him when she spoke. “Is it worth it?” she echoed. “Is it WORTH it??” The humming became louder as her body became shrouded in blue energy.
“Boys, you have no idea how insignificant my saving Ash’s life is compared to what he did for me. He didn’t just save me from anybody, he rescued me from MYSELF. The evil little girl inside me had governed my thoughts and actions for so long, and then Ash comes and makes her disappear forever by bringing me one simple joy. The joy of LAUGHTER.”
The humming grew to an unbelievable decibel level as she switched over to telepathy.
“Even if I save his life, I’ll still owe him one hundred times over. But if he dies, how can I ever repay him for giving me my life back? And if I die---” both Pokemon tensed at the foul word “---at least I’ll die knowing that I did what I could to save him.”
“Then let us come with you!” Alakazam begged. “Why do you insist on going alone?” His telepathy was strung-out and desperate.
“This is something that is for me and me alone, boys. I can accept no outside help.” Her body began to sparkle away beginning with her feet. “I know you might not understand now, but in time, you will.”
Just as the last of her head faded away she bid them one last word. “Goodbye.”
The blaring humming abruptly ceased as the air stopped rippling. The two Pokemon were alone.
“Goodbye, Mistress.” Alakazam whispered.
“See ya later, Sabrina.” Haunter sobbed quietly, floating out of the room. “I hope.”
* * * *
Gary clutched his stomach as he clenched his teeth in agony. Grinding his teeth together was the only thing keeping him from screaming. He lay on the ground, wrought in a world of suffering.
White hot, fiery pain exploded through his body and seared his nerves. It was like nothing he had ever felt before. All the hits he had taken; every injury he had endured in that past could never add up to the mind-numbing torture he was experiencing right at that very moment.
Turning his head he could see that Umbreon had faded away into unconsciousness. Or was he dead?? Who knew? All Gary knew that he would gladly trade this burning agond for unconsciousness, death even.
Aside from that, Gary knew one other thing. The one thing that he hoped he’d never know or experience.
He had failed his mission.
“So...sorry...everybody...I’ve...f...f...” he rasped, gasping to draw a breath,”...failed.”
The darkness took him.
* * * *
“GOD-FUCKING DAMMIT!!!!” Sabrina screamed into the night sky when she realized where she had appeared. It was the middle of the road, with the forest thick around it. But no Ash, no Misty, no Brock, no other girl, no boy, and no evil force that she had set out to save them from. Only this road.
This stupid, stupid road.
Sabrina never cursed. Tonight, however, she made a new addition to her vocabulary.
How could I have messed up the position!!? I’m supposed to be PERFECTLY ACCURATE, DAMMIT!
She had made an error in the teleportation techniques. Instead of appearing in the spot she had willed for, she found herself over a mile away from it. She cursed herself once more for making that stupid mistake. That stupid mistake could cost Ash’s life.
With great effort, she calmed herself down and tried to lock on to Ash’s Psi signature.
Where was it?? The signal was lost in the vibrating, writhing quagmire of dark energy!! She was using most of her power to just keep it away from her! Giving a heavy sigh, she instantly regretted going alone.
With renewed rage she thrust her sword into the pavement. The blade went through the asphalt as if it were gossamer. She angrily tossed a Psi bolt at a fallen tree.
Her anger switched to shock as she took in her surroundings. The pavement was broken like glass, cracks webbing out in all directions. Freshly fallen trees littered the area for several meters around her. A totaled car lay on its side, shattered glass dotting the ground.
She projected her Psi from out of her body and searched the scene mentally. A mental presence? She pressed further. Human, barely conscious, male, about a year younger than me...
She heard a moan from one of the trees. No, from UNDER one of the trees that had been violently cut down by a powerful Psionic force. Sabrina rushed to the fallen tree, where, underneath it laid a boy; the same mental presence that she detected seconds before.
He had messy brown hair and hazel eyes. His face was covered in black soot and he reeked of dried blood. His body was clad in a dirty gray uniform-like garment with a patch that read “Silph Co.” on the left side of the chest. He was barely breathing.
Surging her ears with a light stream of Psi she was able to amplify her hearing. With her heightened sense, she could make out his heartbeat.
Slow and staccato.
Her heart was then filled with pity for this boy. A part of her told him to remove the tree on top of him and try to help him. But another part of her reminded her why she was here in the first place. To save Ash.
She was then filled with inner conflict. I can’t just leave this poor boy here to die! But then, if I help him, that will slow me down. I’m already wasting time standing here already!! Wait...
She looked at the logo across his exposed chest area once more. Silph. SILPH!! Where a Silph agent was, his partner would be close by! Maybe he knows where his partner is!
She scanned his mind. No blocking, good...lets see...hmm...on a mission of some sort...to apprehend the Ultimate, whatever THAT is...to intercept the forces of Team Rocket in this area. Yes, TEAM ROCKET!! She quickly remembered the girl with blue hair. The logo on her shirt read T and R!! She was with Ash...and where she was, the boy’s partner was bound to be...YES!!!!
But now for him. She stared down at the boy.
I’ll have to make this quick.
She closed her eyes and focused her Psi into the massive trunk of the tree. It shimmered a light blue , and then began to hum. It rocked. The boy under it moaned louder; she had to hurry. It vibrated. The blue light shone brighter and brighter until she could feel the rays shine through her eyelids. With loud rushing sounds, the large tree vanished from sight. She heard it slam to the ground twenty feet away from them.
She kneeled down by the boy. Once again filling her ears with Psi she listened to his breathing. The rhythm in which he breathed was similar to his heartbeat. Now was her chance. Taking a deep breath, she placed her hands on his chest and released a high voltage charge into his torso.
As the boy came to he coughed and gasped for air. Unfortunately, he decorated Sabrina’s face with a small spurt of blood. Gasping and heaving, his muscles tensed and without warning he shot up into the air.
Sabrina cried out in surprise as she was thrown back by the force of his rapid ascension. The silence was then replaced with the low humming of a Psionic aura being charged for fight or flight. Instinctively, she drew her sword in front of her body and prepared for an attack.
The boy had his hands stretched out in front of himself as a large, glowing ball began to form in his palms. They were aimed downwards, toward Sabrina. “Who are you!?” he cried.
Sabrina charged her own aura. “I mean you no harm!” she replied up to him.
“Filthy lies!!” he spat. “You’re one of THEM, aren’t you!? DIE!!!!” He released the glowing ball of energy from his palms, making it fly toward Sabrina.
Sabrina tensed her muscles as she swung the blade in a clean arc toward the ball as it flew at her. Thundering cracks and sizzling sounds erupted from the blade as it made contact with the energy projectile. The burning ball was then thrown back into the sky as she hit it like a baseball.
“Stop it!” she protested. “What do you think you’re doing, I saved YOUR LIFE!”
“SHUT UP!” he roared as he raised his hands together. “JUST DIE!”
He’s mad, she mentally decided. She could see it in his eyes; they had that unmistakable maniacal glint. It was the dark energy; it was having some kind of poisonous effect on his mind.
She frantically searched his mind a bit more, looking for some type of opening that she could reach. No, it was impossible. The boy had reached the point of no return; he was beyond reason. Madness infected his mind like a foul plague, seeping through the depths of his consciousness. There was only one thing left to do.
Raising the sword into the air, she prepared for her own attack. Drawing energy from inside her and placing it into the blade, the edge began to hiss and sizzle. The humming of her aura became louder as the Psi in the blade became more potent. It had reached its peak; she was ready.
With a loud cry, she swung the blade in a circular motion, releasing the energies built up in the alloy of the sword. Blue lighting shot forth from the blade and ripped its way through the boy’s body. His person writhed and spasmed violently as a hundred-thousand volts of electricity jolted through him. He dropped back to the ground like a stone, landing with a loud thud.
Recollecting her energy, she wiped sweat off her brow and sheathed her sword. Using the sleeve of her gi she also removed the blood that he coughed on her. She was then filled with regret as she laid eyes on the boy’s smoking corpse. Poor boy, she thought. He never had a chance.
But NOW where did that leave her!? She was supposed to get information from him, and it turns out that the same energy keeping her from finding Ash had driven the boy insane. Now all she had was a blackened body slumped over there, a tree, a stupid Psi trail, a totaled car...
Her head jerked in its direction. Filling her eyes with Psi she could make out the misty blue electric trail. She scanned its properties. They belonged to the girl with the Team Rocket uniform! And where she was, ASH WAS!! Placing all the Psi that she could into her speed without lowering the power of her shield and exposing herself to the toxic energy, she sped off.
* * * *
“Stop.” A calm voice ordered. “Richie, that’ll be enough.”
As if on cue, the once raging, maniacal Richie froze in place. The evil expression plastered on his face melted away into a mild, placid one. As if a light flickered away, the burning glow in his eyes fizzled out, revealing his own blood red ones.
He looked refreshed.
“Ahhhhhhhh...” he breathed as he gave a long, mighty stretch. “I feel gooooooood. Yo, Ashura? What did I miss?”
“Take a look in front of you, Richie.” He replied as he briefly flared his aura outward.
“Ha...wha...? Oh yeeeeeaaah...” he said in recognition of the battered boy at his feet. “THIS dude.”
Richie looked back to Ashura once more. “Should I finish him off?” he asked in the same manner a child would ask a teacher if he got the math problem right.
“Not right now.” Ashura responded while twirling his Ragana. The silver rod gleamed in the moonlight. “Have you already forgotten about ‘entertainment’ over there?” He pointed toward the two girls.
“DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!” Ash roared as he leaped forward. The two Lekarians looked mildly surprised that he could move again. “Did you already forget about me?”
“Um...Ashura? Ashy-boy over there’s movin’ around.”
“So he is.” Ashura said simply, fingering the rod in his hands. “I guess the stasis field I placed around him wasn’t strong enough. Hmm...go figure.” He seemed bored, not even making eye contact with the group as he spoke. This only infuriated Ash nearly to the breaking point.
“How DARE you do this!!?” Everybody was surprised as well as shocked when Ash’s body began to hiss and glow, static electricity sparkling around him.
Then he just vanished. It was as if he was never standing there.
All heads frantically searched the area. Nothing.
“RICHIE!” Ashura barked. “Where did he go!”
“I don’t know, man! One second he was there, and alluva sudden, POOF! He’s not! This is creepin’ me out, ma----”
Richie was interrupted by a fist smashing into the back of his head. His eyes bulged out as he crashed to the ground like so many trees before him that night, landing roughly next to Jamie. When his barrier of a body became horizontal, the figure that took him down was revealed.
Duplica gasped. “I can’t believe it...”
Misty was still in shock, but she managed to speak. “Can’t believe what?” she whispered.
“Ash just performed one of MY moves, Chrono Warp!”
“Chrono Warp!” she whispered fiercly. “It’s a technique in which the user slows down time around him for a few seconds. In that few seconds the person can perform an array of attacks, while the other person remains helpless to stop it!”
Misty blanched. “I...never knew Ash could...do that.”
“That’s not the point, though! It took me YEARS just master the actual Chrono Warping! That few seconds to US was like MINUTES to Ash! He stayed that way for longer than I could EVER stay!”
“But why did it take him MINUTES to do what he just did?”
“How should I know!? I’m not a mind reader.”
“WELL I AM!!” A voice shouted. Everyone turned to see a sword swinging girl skid to a halt in front of them.
Ashura smiled as he stopped floating and touched down to the ground. “Well, he observed, clutching his Ragana in his palm, “it seems like the party has just gotten bigger.”
* * * *
A/N: Ugh, don’t even start with me. I’ll point out ALL my mistakes before you can use them against me, HAH! I know it was shorter this time around (only 10 pages >_<), it seemed really rushed, and it took me A FREAKING MONTH to update. No worries, however. I’m working on chapter 12 as we speak, so you can click out of that porno site now. Yes, I KNOW what YOU’RE looking at. *waves his finger*