Summary: Ash, Misty, and Tracey, stumble onto a strange, uncharted island. In a brief moment of separation, Misty’s life becomes endangered and only the intervention of a stranger can save her. 


Meeting Mr. Grass    


            The ocean waves rose and fell rhythmically as far as the eye could see. Beneath the surface, thousands of water pokemon were swimming to and fro, enjoying life and constantly in the search for food. A patient fisher could often be rewarded by catching one of these elusive creatures, such as Goldeen, Staryu, or-


Misty: (starry eyed) TENTACOOL!!!!


            Misty stared down into the watery depths. For a moment she thought she saw the distinct shape of a jellyfish pokemon swim by. At the moment she regretted not having her fishing gear out to try and capture it, but it was not very effective to try and fish while riding a Lapras, which, at the moment, she happened to be doing.


Tracey: Oh! Where?


            Hearing Misty’s cry, Tracey quickly pulled out his sketchpad. Being a pokémon watcher, he loved seeing pokémon in the wild and making detailed drawings of them. He had been practicing for quite a while and he had become very skilled. Misty and Tracey looked into the water, but neither one could find the Tentacool that seemed to have disappeared.


Misty: Oh darn. I want a Tentacool.


Ash: Relax, Misty. You can get some fishing in on the next island we stop at.


            Ash was standing at the front of Lapras’ shell, keeping his eyes open for any signs of land…or pokemon, always eager to capture new ones to add to his party. Truthfully he wanted to find an island to stop and eat at, but he wasn’t telling his friends that.


Misty: Speaking of which, where exactly are we stopping next, Tracey?


Tracey: (looking at a map) Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.


Ash: (a bit worried) What’s the bad news?


Tracey: There aren’t any islands with Orange League gyms around for at least a 3 days trip.


Ash: Awe man!


Tracey: In fact, I’m not sure there are even any islands near enough to stop for lunch at. We’ll probably have to keep going until nightfall.


            Ash moaned. Hearing that, both his stomach growled and his heart sank at being delayed on his route to becoming a pokemon master.


Misty: Well, what’s the good news?


Tracey: There isn’t anymore bad news.


            Ash and Misty fell over stupidly (as well as they could riding on Lapras) while Pikachu and Togepi ran around Lapras’ shell, playfully chasing each other. Misty smiled and scooped Togepi into her arms, just before the little egg pokemon was about to fall into the water.


Misty: You be careful Togepi, I don’t want you slipping into the water.


Togepi: (happily waving its “hands”) Toge! Toge! Priiiiiiii!!


            Pikachu, having his playmate removed, climbed up onto Ash’s shoulder to see what the young boy could see.


Ash: How about we just take a break there. (pointing)


            Pikachu, Misty, and Tracey looked forward to where Ash was pointing. There was a moderately sized island ahead just a little to the left of their traveling path.


Tracey: Funny, I don’t see that island on my map.


Ash: Who cares? I’m starved! Lapras head for that island!


Lapras: Wuuuhh!!!! (or whatever sound it makes)


            Lapras altered its course and headed towards the mysterious island. As they approached it, the trio began to make out the details of the island.


Tracey: Wow, it almost looks like a forest just fell out of the sky and started floating around.


Misty: Yeah, I’ve never seen so many trees squished all onto one small spot.


Ash: I wonder what kinds of pokemon live there.


            Finally, Lapras reached the shallow water close to the island and stopped. Ash was the first to hop off and turned, offering his hand in assistance.


Misty: (blushing) Why, thank you, Ash.


            Pikachu suddenly hopped off of Lapras and onto Ash’s arm. Misty had been reaching for his arm but missed as Ash turned and started walking to the shore. She fell face first into the ocean, coughing and spitting out salty water.


Misty: (angry big head) Ash you jerk! How could you do that!?


Ash: (confused) Do what?


Tracey: (sweat drop) Come on guys, cut it out. Lets just get settled on shore so we can eat.


            Ash nodded. Misty didn’t say anything. Ash returned Lapras to its pokeball and the trio walked onto the island. They took a quick look at their surroundings. The trees that they had seen appeared to be an unusual mix. There were several plants that looked more suited for tropical climates, but there was an occasional evergreen mixed in with them.


Tracey: Wow, what a weird island. I’ve never seen plants like these mix before.


Ash: What do you mean?


Tracey: Well, you see…(long boring speech about botany)


Misty: (getting annoyed) Yeah, that’s great. Let’s start eating, I wanna do some fishing and I think Togepi is getting hungry.


Togepi: (in a little crying voice) Togiiiii!!!


            The trio (plus Togepi and Pikachu) laid out their lunch and began feasting. It wasn’t quite the gourmet meal that Ash and Misty had enjoyed when they were traveling with Brock, but any food would do since they were hungry. After they finished, Tracey noticed something moving in the forest nearby.


Tracey: Hey, what’s that?


            The trio looked and saw an Oddish peek out of the bushes to see what the humans were doing. The Oddish, rather than being its normal dark blue with green leaves, was sort of teal bodied with very light blue leaves.


Tracey: Oh wow! I’ve never seen an Oddish that color before!


            Tracey pulled out his drawing equipment and quickly began sketching. The Oddish, realizing it had been spotted, ran away.


Tracey: (running after it, still drawing) No, come back! (disappears into the forest)


Misty: Tracey, what are you doing?


Ash: Don’t worry, Misty, I’m sure he’ll be fine. After all, he’s got Marril, Venonat, and Scyther with him.


Misty: Yeah…I guess. But who’s gonna wash the dishes.


            The couple looked at each other and got devilish looks on their faces. They were going to decide with the fairest method that any decision could be made by: Rock-Paper-Scizors. Ash lost.


Misty: Ha ha! I win! You get to wash the dishes, Ashy!


Ash: Waaa! I wish Brock was back. He was easy to beat, always threw rock.


            Misty giggled and handed Ash the apron, soap, and plastic gloves that they carried for washing the dishes.


Misty: Now go find some fresh water to wash these plates in (shoves an impossibly large pile of plates into his arms).


Ash: Why can’t I wash them in the ocean?


Misty: (smacks him on the head) Because I don’t want to eat off of a salty plate, got it? (evil eye).


Ash: (grumbling) Okay, okay. C’mon, Pikachu.


Pikachu: Pika!


            Ash walked off into the forest with his pal, looking for somewhere to wash the dishes. Misty, figuring there would be time for fishing later, decided to relax a bit. She took off her shoes and socks and walked around on the muddy sand that the ocean waves made. She and Togepi played a little game, chasing each other around, though Misty occasionally had to scold Togepi for getting a little too deep into the waves. Eventually, Misty tired, and walked back to the picnic site. She stretched out on a blanket and watched Togepi play with some flowers. The little egg walked over and put a small blue flower into Misty’s hair.


Misty: (giggles) Thank you, Togepi.


            Misty laid a pink flower on top of Togepi’s “head”. Togepi chirped happily and searched for more flowers to pick.


Misty: (thinking) Those two have been gone for a while. I wonder what’s taking them so long.


            The bushes nearby rustled slightly. Misty turned her head, but couldn’t see what had caused them to shake.


Misty: Ash? Is that you?


            The bushes shook a little bit again, but there was no response.


Misty: Tracey? Come on, guys, is this some kind of joke? Cause it’s not-


            Misty screamed. An Arbok suddenly sprang from the bushes, slithering quickly towards Togepi. The snake pokemon was very fond of eggs and right now Togepi looked pretty appetizing.


Misty: No!


            She grabbed one of her shoes and threw it at the Arbok just as it began its lunge at Togepi. The impact on the side of its head knocked it off course and it slid by Togepi. Not understanding the danger, Togepi waved its arms and squealed with delight. Misty ran to Togepi and scooped it into her arms, trying to protect it. The Arbok recovered and hissed at them violently. Misty tried to run back to her backpack to get one of her pokeballs, but the Arbok slithered across the sand quickly and cut her off.


Misty: Oh no! My pokemon!!


            The Arbok lunged at Misty, but she was able to hop back to avoid the strike. Misty realized she wasn’t going to be able to get back to her pokemon. Her only chance was to run. She turned and began a dead run into the forest. She thought if she could find Ash or Tracey they could use their pokemon to scare the Arbok away.


Togepi: Toge!!!!! Priiii!!!!!!


            Togepi began to realize that they weren’t playing any more and began crying. Misty tried to calm it down, but couldn’t focus enough. She looked back and saw that the Arbok was still chasing her. She tried to lose it by weaving around the trees, but the snake’s flexible body easily slid around them. Then the most horrifying thing that could have happened did. Misty tripped.


Misty: Aaahhh!!!


            A root had snagged her bare foot and Misty fell to the forest floor. Togepi had fallen from her grasp and rolled along the ground unhurt, but very frightened. Misty tried to crawl to Togepi, but she felt a coil of scales wrap around her ankle. She rolled onto her back and tried to kick the Arbok off, but it was no use.


Arbok: Chaaarbokkk!!!


            The snake hissed and lunged at Misty. She closed her eyes and raised her arms up trying in vain to prevent the attack. She could feel the pain shoot through her right arm the moment the fangs penetrated her skin. A moment later another sensation followed. Her arm felt like it was on fire from the inside. She couldn’t help but scream in terror while Togepi cried just a short distance away. The Arbok released her arm and reared up for another strike. Misty knew it…this was the end.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: Sleep powder!!


            From above came a shower of yellow dust. The cloud fell directly on the Arbok, putting it to sleep almost immediately. The snake coiled up into several rings and began snoring. Misty opened her eyes and couldn’t avoid breathing in some of the powder. Her vision began to dim as she saw two figures hop down from a tree. She could just make out the smaller figure to be a Paras, a mushroom bug pokemon. The other, who she thought might have been a human, walked over to her. Misty felt her arm get tugged on for a moment, but was too stunned by the powder in the air and the pain in her arm to move.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: Hm…not good. Paras return.


            Misty heard the sound of a pokemon being returned to its pokeball. After another a moment she felt herself get lifted into someone’s arms.


Misty: (drowsily) Ash?


Mysterious yet heroic voice: I’m afraid not, miss.


            Misty’s vision cleared just a little. The stranger’s facial features came into a bit better focus. Dark brown hair, piercing blue eyes, fairly handsome. He almost looked like…


Misty: Jayce?


            The stranger’s eyes widened in surprise. He opened his mouth to reply, but before he could say anything Misty had passed out. The stranger shook his head and began running deep into the forest.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *         


            Ash walked carefully. The pile of cleaned dishes in his hands was not balanced very well. It would take only one small slip for them to fall.


Pikachu: (running around Ash’s feet) Pika! Pika! Pika!


Ash: Pikachu! Look out!


            It was too late. Ash took a wrong step and fell forward. All of the dishes came clattering down to the ground. Fortunately, they weren’t breakable so they were fine. Ash, however, was conked on the head several times by bowls, plates, and barely missed getting stabbed by a butter knife. Pikachu rolled around on the ground with laughter. Ash growled and gathered up the plates. He walked the rest of the way to camp without any more troubles.


Ash: (setting the plates down on a rock) Okay, Misty, the plates are done. Misty?


            Ash looked around. Misty was nowhere to be seen.


Ash: Hmm, that’s odd. She was here when we left.


Pikachu: (worried) Chu…


            As Ash pondered Tracey walked back into camp, admiring the finished sketch he’d done of the Oddish.


Tracey: There, another masterpiece. Hey Ash. Where’s Misty?


Ash: I don’t know. I left to do the dishes and came back just a second ago. I don’t see any sign of her.


Pikachu: Pika! Pikachu!


Ash: What is it, Pikachu?


            Pikachu ran off a little ways onto the beach and came back carrying one of Misty’s shoes in its mouth. Ash took the shoe and looked at it. He also saw Misty’s other shoe on the blanket along with her socks.


Ash: That’s odd. Why’d she leave her shoes here?


            Tracey went over to take a closer look at the beach when he spotted something that alarmed him.


Tracey: Uh oh! Ash! Come here!


Ash: (running over) What is it?


Tracey: Look at these footprints.


            Ash looked at them. There were some small human prints, probably Misty’s and little dots that Ash figured belonged to Togepi. There were also some funny squiggles that ran over some of the tracks.


Ash: Those look like Misty’s and Togepi’s, but what are those?


Tracey: I’ve seen those kinds of trails before. An Arbok made those lines.


            Ash gasped. Though he was dense at times, Ash felt that this couldn’t be good. Tracey followed the tracks to the tree line, but once the sand gave away to harder earth the tracks disappeared.


Ash: Why didn’t she use her pokemon to fight it off?


Tracey: (looking at the tracks) It looks like she was too far away to get back to them so she had to run.


Ash: Wow, Tracey, you certainly are a good tracker.


Tracey: When you spend all day watching pokemon you have to be.


Ash: Well come on. Let’s go find Misty. She might be in trouble.


Pikachu: Kachu….


            With that, Ash, Tracey, and Pikachu headed off into the woods in search of their lost friend.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *


            A young man walked nervously around a small cottage, quickly pulling down bottles and vials of strange powders and liquids. He brought a pot of water up to boil and added a few select herbs and chemicals. He looked at the beautiful girl that was laying on the cot a few feet away. She slept peacefully, not consciously aware of the venom that was slowly creeping through her veins and threatening her life. The young man took a small sip of the brew. It was ready. All he needed was for her to wake up.


Misty: Mmm….huh?


            Misty awoke slowly. She was somewhere fairly dim so her eyes had to adjust. When her vision came into full focus she could see that she was in a cottage. There were a few small pieces of furniture, sink, refrigerator, stove, and all the other necessities of life. Misty looked over and saw someone cooking over the stove. She tried to speak, but her voice came out in a small squeak. The man at the stove looked over.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: Oh good, you’re awake.


            He tipped a small kettle over, pouring the contents into a large mug. He carried the mug over to Misty and tried to put it into her hands, but she was too weak to hold it.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: Drink this.


            He lifted the mug to Misty’s lips. The liquid it held looked sort of a brownish/green color and smelled a little bitter. Misty didn’t have the strength to refuse so she took a small sip.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: That’s good. I hope it’s not too hot.


            Misty shook her head and drank a little more. The brew did taste pretty strong, but it felt good going down. The young man let her take her time drinking until the mug was fully drained.


Mysterious yet heroic voice: There. Just rest and you should be okay.


Misty: Who are you?


Mysterious yet heroic voice: (smiling, putting the mug in the sink) My name’s Cristian. Who might you be?


Misty: My name’s Misty.


Cristian: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Misty. How are you feeling?


            Misty took a moment to see exactly how she felt. Overall, she felt tired. She felt as if she’d just woken up from a long sleep and still hadn’t realized it. Her right arm, which she saw had been wrapped in bandages, felt numb and prickly.


Misty: Tired…and my arm kinda tingles.


Cristian: I’m sorry, but the drowsiness is a side effect from the sleep powder you got hit by. And sorry about the tingling. The anti-venom I gave you does that, but I imagine that it’s better than the burning you felt after the Arbok bit you.


            Misty nodded, laying her arm back down and suddenly realized something.


Misty: Oh no! Togepi!


Cristian: Relax, you’re little friend is fine.


            Cristian pointed over to a rug where Togepi was. The egg pokemon was playing with an Oddish. When it saw its mommy, Togepi quickly ran over to Misty and jumped onto her lap.


Togepi: Toge! Toge! Priiii!!!!


Cristian: Looks like someone’s happy to see you.


Misty: I’m alright, Togepi. I’m happy to see you too.


            Togepi bounced on Misty’s lap several times and then hugged her happily. Misty looked back up at Cristian, staring at his facial features; he looked so much like the young man that she’d met in the Safari Zone about a year ago.


Cristian: (blushing) Cut it out, I’m not that handsome.


Misty: (blushing) It’s not that, it’s just that you look a lot like some one I met once.


Cristian: Who?


Misty: His name was Jayce. I met him in the Safari Zone. He said he was a-


Cristian: Pokemon wrangler?


Misty: (surprised) Yes. How’d you know?


Cristian: (smiling) He’s my little brother. Hm…now that you mention it, I think he told me about you. Yes, I remember. He told me about a run in with someone named Misty in the Safari Zone. He said you had very nice legs. Apparently he was right…


            Misty blushed. It appeared that Cristian was just as big a flirt as his brother.


Cristian: I’ve never seen anyone run so fast in my life.


            Then again, maybe not.


Misty: Oh, thanks for saving Togepi and me from that Arbok.


Cristian: No problem. So, did you come here alone? The Orange Islands are awful large to travel around by yourself.


Misty: No, I came here with my friends Ash and Tracey. (gasps) Oh no, they must be worried about me. I have to go find them.


            Misty began to stand but her legs failed underneath her. Cristian caught her and laid her back down on the cot she was resting on.


Cristian: You’re not going anywhere. You can’t be moving around until the venom’s totally out of your system, which is gonna take a day or two.


Misty: But what about Ash and Tracey.


Cristian: Here, let me have your scrunchie.


Misty: It’s a bow.


Cristian: Whatever.


            Misty would have bopped him on the head for that, but she didn’t have the strength. She tried to reach up and free her little pigtail from the bow she had secured around it, but the delicate finger work proved too much for her. Cristian, without saying a word, helped her. He couldn’t help but stare for a moment as her hair fell down. Cristian thought to himself that Jayce was right, she was beautiful.


Misty: (blushing) Cut it out, I’m not that pretty.


            Jayce blushed and tried pathetically to hide it.


Cristian: Oh…um…sorry…


Togepi: (happily waving) Togiiii!!!


Cristian: Ahem, well, I’ll have one of my pokemon search the island for your friends and take this ribbon so they can follow him.


            Misty nodded. Cristian pulled a pokeball from a belt he’d had on a coat rack. The ball opened and a Beedrill appeared hovering in the air. Misty stiffened up a bit. She hated bugs.


Cristian: Here, take this ribbon and look around the island for two people-


Misty: And a Pikachu!


Cristian: (nodding)…and a Pikachu. They should recognize this ribbon. Lead them here. Understand?


Beedrill: Bzzzzzzzz!!!


Cristian: Good.


            Cristian opened a window and the Beedrill buzzed out, disappearing into the thick forest. Cristian turned back to Misty.


Cristian: Don’t worry, my Beedrill ought to be able to find them. He’s one fast bug.


Misty: Oh, thank…(yawn)…you.


Cristian: I suggest you follow the example of your little friend there.


            Misty looked down to her arms. Togepi had fallen asleep hugging against her tightly. Misty smiled. Togepi must have been sleepy after all that excitement.


Cristian: The more you sleep, the quicker you’ll heal. I’ll see if I can whip up something to help you get your strength back quicker. Alright?


Misty: Okay.


            Misty closed her eyes and leaned back. For a moment she could see the Arbok in her imagination again and shivered. She felt a warm and stroke her cheek, soothing her.


Cristian: It’s alright. Sleep.


            Misty smiled and relaxed within seconds she could no longer feel the numbness in her arm any longer. She had fallen into a sweet dream.

            Cristian got up from Misty’s side went out to the window. He used a spyglass to check the surroundings for any sign of people. He had a good vantage point since he was at the highest point on the island. He could see all around the island, all the way to the beach line and-


Cristian: Huh? What’s that?


            It was there for a second and disappeared just as quickly. Cristian didn’t have time to really make it out, but he could have sworn he saw a small periscope sticking up out of the water. Cristian shook the idea off. He had probably just been seeing things.


Cristian: (thinking) And if there is anything dangerous out there, the Tentacool will take care of it.


            Cristian set his spy glass down and went to work making some soup to help Misty get her strength back, as well as lunch for himself and Misty’s friends, whom he figured his Beedrill would lead to his cottage soon.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *


            Below the surface of the ocean, three members of Team Rocket peddled a small submarine shaped like an overgrown Magikarp. They were Jessie the vain, James the ignorant, and Meowth the talking pokemon. They had been trailing Ash and his friends for over a year now in an endless quest to try and capture Pikachu, as well as any rare and valuable pokemon that they happened to stumble upon. They were even now hatching a plan that would probably fail.


Meowth: Peddle faster you lazy bums!


James: But my feet are tired!


Meowth: Quit whining and keep peddling. The faster you peddle, the faster we can find somewhere to park the sub, the faster we can hop out and nab Pikachu.


Jessie: Speaking of peddling, Meowth, how come your feet aren’t even touching the peddles?


Meowth: (leans back and relaxes) My legs are too short to reach the pedals.


James: You mangy cat!


Jessie: We’re not dragging your lousy weight around!


Meowth: Oh yeah? (bares his claws) What are you gonna do about it?


            Meowth never saw it coming. In a blur he had leather mittens clamped over his paws and blocks tied to his feet so he could reach the pedals.


Meowth: Aaahh!!!


Jessie: There, now there’s no excuse.


James: Start peddling!


            Meowth mumbled a bit angrily but obeyed. The trio circled the island once to find the best parking space for the sub. Jessie also took a look at the island through the periscope.


Jessie: Interesting, there’s a lot of trees around.


James: Ooohh, let me see!


Jessie: (smacks him with a fan) Relax. You can see them later.


            Jessie looked around a little more and stopped when she spotted something.


Jessie: Hm, looks like there’s a building of some sort. It’s at the tiptop of the island.


James: What kind of building? A restaurant?


Jessie: (containing her anger) No, and don’t be an ignoramus. It looks like a small house.


Meowth: Enough blabbing. We followed the twerps here, now lets park this thing and start looking for them.


Jessie & James: Right!


            Suddenly, the sub rocked awkwardly. Jessie, James, and Meowth all got sweat drops.


James: What was that?


Jessie: I don’t know.


Meowth: Shh…let me listen…


            Meowth pressed his large ear against the side of the submarine, listening carefully for any clue as to what caused the sudden loss of balance. Again, the sub rocked a little bit.


James: What is it Meowth?


Meowth: It sounds awfully familiar…


            Outside the tub, several Tentacool gathered around the submarine. They had been attracted to its shiny colors and had been following it around the island. They only caught up after Team Rocket had taken a brief break to argue. When a Tentacool that had latched itself to the side of the sub cooed happily at having found a nice place to take a rest, Meowth recognized it.


Meowth: Oh no! It’s Tentacool!!!


James & Jessie: (hugging each other) Aaahhh!!!


James: They sting!


Jessie: We have to get away!


            All three members of Team Rocket pushed hard on the pedals of the sub, but it wouldn’t budge. Several Tentacool had secured themselves to the propeller that drove the sub and it wasn’t able to move. Team Rocket screamed in panic, but this only served to upset the Tentacool, who began stinging the sub in an attempt to quiet it down. The three hugged each other tightly, trying to figure out a way out of this mess.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *


Tracey: Misty!!!


Ash: Misty, where are you!?


Pikachu: Pika!!


            Our heroes were still valiantly searching for their lost friend, but they had come up with nothing.


Tracey: She has to be around here somewhere.


Pikachu: Kachu….pi…


Ash: Ollie ollie oxen free!


            Tracey and Pikachu fell over with sweat drops.


Tracey: We’re looking for Misty, Ash, not playing hide and seek.


Ash: (blushing and holding the back of his head) Sorry, just making sure she wasn’t playing with out us.


            Tracey shook his head when a noise caught his attention. It was a low buzzing sound that was slowly getting a bit louder. Tracey looked around for a moment, but didn’t see anything. Pikachu apparently heard it too and mimicked Tracey’s looks.


Ash: What’s wrong, Tracey?


Tracey: Do you hear that?


Ash: Hear what?


            Ash stood silently. He could barely make out the sound. It was steadily growing louder and sounded familiar. It was almost identical to a noise he’d heard when he was in the Viridian Forest. It was the sound of-


Ash: Aaahhh!!! Beedrill!


Pikachu: Pikachu!!!!!


            Pikachu jumped into Ash’s arms and Ash jumped into a bush seeking cover. Tracey just stood where he was, looking around to see where the Beedrill was coming from.


Ash: Tracey! Hurry! Take cover!


Tracey: It’s all right, Ash. As long as we don’t upset it, it shouldn’t attack us.


            Tracey finally figured out where the noise was coming from and looked straight up. Sure enough, a Beedrill was flying downwards. It wasn’t dive-bombing, but rather floating slowly towards the earth, its wings buzzing to keep its fall steady. In a few seconds it was hovering in front of Tracey, looking at him blankly.


Tracey: Hello there.


Beedrill: Bzzzzzzzz.


            Ash and Pikachu peeked out of the bush and saw that Tracey seemed to be right. They stepped out of the bushes and walked carefully to Tracey’s side.


Ash: Are you sure it’s friendly?


Tracey: (petting the Beedrill’s head) Positive.


            The Beedrill seemed pleased and even nestled against Tracey’s hand. It then lift up one of its stingers, from which a small brownish/red ribbon was hanging.


Ash: (coming out of the bushes) Hey, that looks like Misty’s scrunchie.


Tracey: Ribbon.


Ash: Whatever.


Pikachu: (walking up to the Beedrill) Pikachu?


Beedrill: Buzz


Pikachu: Pika?


Beedrill: (moving up and down) Bz. Buzzz bzzz, zzzzz.


Pikachu: (turns to Ash and Tracey) Pika! Pikachu! Chu!


Ash: What is it Pikachu?


Pikachu: (pointing at the Beedrill) Pika! Pikapi!


Tracey: I think he wants us to follow the Beedrill.


Beedrill: Bzzz…


            The Beedrill turned around and began to fly into the forest.


Ash: Hey! Wait up!


            Ash, Tracey, and Pikachu followed after the Beedrill. They occasionally lost track of it, but their yells would remind it to turn back and find them again. After a short while, and a long incline up hill, they reached a clearing. In the center was a small cottage that looked well kept. The Beedrill pointed to the cottage and flew in an open window.


Tracey: Is this where Misty is?


Ash: I guess there’s only one way to find out.


            Ash walked up to the door and reached his fist up to knock, but the door opened before he got the chance.


Cristian: Hello. You must be Misty’s friends. Please come in.


            Ash and Tracey stood dumbfounded for a second. They finally shook the surprise off and stepped inside. The cottage was simple, but their attention quickly went to Misty, who was lying on a cot.


Tracey: There she is.


Ash: Misty!


Pikachu: Pika!


            Ash quickly dashed over to where Misty lay. Pikachu ran over as well, checking on Togepi, his little friend. Both of them seemed to be peacefully sleeping, though they stirred at the noise.


Cristian: Please try to keep quiet. She needs her rest.


            Ash gazed at Misty with a worried look and then turned Cristian.


Ash: Will she be all right?


Cristian: Perfectly fine. I’ve already given her anti-venom and some herbs that’ll help her immune system deal with the poison.


            Ash still looked a little concerned. Pikachu hopped onto his shoulder and patted his cheek comfortingly.


Tracey: Thanks for helping our friend.


Cristian: No trouble at all.


Tracey: Who are you?


Cristian: Please, let’s sit down over here (indicating the small dining table that was in the kitchen) so as to not disturb our sleeping friends.


            Tracey, Ash, and Cristian all sat down at the table. Pikachu decided to keep a watch over Misty and Togepi, just in case.


Cristian: My name’s Cristian. Which of you is Ash and which is Tracey?


Ash: I’m Ash, a pokemon trainer from the town of Pallet.


Tracey: I’m Tracey, a pokemon watcher.


Cristian: It’s a pleasure to meet you.


Tracey: What exactly are you doing on this island?


Cristian: (stroking his chin) Actually, I bet if I tell you my nickname, you can figure it out.


Ash/Tracey: Nickname?


Cristian: Yes. Have you ever heard of Mr. Grass?


            Ash shook his head. He didn’t recognize the name. Tracey, however, almost shot out of his chair.


Tracey: You’re Mr. Grass!?


Cristian: (nods) That’s right. But please, call me Cristian, or MG if you must use the nickname.


Ash: Who’s Mr. Grass?


Cristian: (cheesy anime wink and peace sign) He’s me.


Tracey: (excited) He’s one of the leading researches in the field of poison pokemon.


Cristian: Well, I wouldn’t say leading…maybe just semi-well known.


Tracey: (taking Cristian’s hand and shaking it wildly) It’s a pleasure to meet you.


Cristian: Uh…thanks.


Tracey: (calming down) What are you doing on this island?


Cristian: Well, as your unfortunate friend discovered, this island has an interestingly high proportion of pokemon that have poisonous tendencies. The Arbok that bit her has an unusual venom that only Arboks and Ekans of this area have. I’m here studying some of the pokemon to develop a better understanding of their poisons and how to treat them. Luckily, I happened to have anti-venom prepared for that particular kind of poison, otherwise Misty might not be in such good condition.


            The three of them looked over to Misty. Aside from the bandage on her arm, she looked perfectly fine.


Ash: (confused) If you’re an expert in poison pokemon, why are you called Mr. Grass?


Cristian: I’ve found that poisonous pokemon take several forms. Very often, you’ll find traits of poison and grass types in a single pokemon, like Ivysaur or Victreebel. They’re poison types, and also grass types too.


Tracey: I seem to recall you writing an article about bugs.


Cristian: Yes. Bug type pokemon also sometimes have poison traits. My Beedrill, for example, is like a poisonous bug. I pretty much keep with studying pokemon that are either grass, bug, poison, or a combination of them.


Tracey: Fascinating.


Misty: Huh?


            The trio looked over. Misty had sat up in her cot, holding her head. Ash quickly ran over to her, hugging her tightly.


Ash: Misty! Are you alright?


Misty: (blushing a little at the embrace) Yeah Ash….I’m fine.


            She sounded tired, so Ash was a little concerned, but he decided not to argue. She might be just strong enough to whack him with her hammer.


Cristian: Ash, be a gentlemen and help Misty to the table. It’s lunch time.


            Ash complied. He helped Misty put her arm over his shoulder and lifted her to her feet. He wasn’t really carrying, but just partially supporting her. Their cheeks were lightly touching each other and Ash felt his heart leap a bit. He quickly shook it off and eventually helped Misty into a seat.


Cristian: So, Misty, what’ll it be? Filet mignon or caviar?


Misty: What am I really having?


Cristian: (setting a bowl with contents similar to the drink she had received before) Soup.


            Misty sighed and took a spoon that Cristian had set down and began eating. Cristian passed paper plates out to the rest of the group.


Ash: What are the rest of us having?


            Just then, a small buzzer near the stove rang. Cristian went over to turn it off and opened a small oven, withdrawing a pepperoni and sausage pizza.


Cristian: (smiling) I figured I better prepare something other than instant noodles if I’m having friends over.


Tracey/Ash: Oh boy! Pizza!


Pikachu: Pika!


Togepi: Priii!!!!


            As soon as Cristian had cut the pizza Tracey, Ash, and Pikachu all grabbed slices, Pikachu taking a moment to douse his in ketchup. Togepi ran over to the pizza but Cristian quickly lifted the little egg into his arms.


Cristian: Careful, little one. That pizza is really-


Ash: HOT!!!!!!!!


            Ash ran around crazily, trying to cool off the inferno he felt in his mouth. He ended up shoving his head under the sink and gulping water, eventually cooling off. Everyone else laughed, even Misty who was slowly progressing with her soup.


Misty: I’d better feed Togepi.


Cristian: (petting Togepi) No it’s all right. You keep eating your soup. I’ll take care of this little one.


            Misty was a bit distraught, but she felt like she could trust Cristian and ate her soup, still keeping a careful eye on Togepi. After Ash, Tracey, Pikachu, and Cristian had each taken 2 slices, Togepi walked over to the empty pizza pan, whimpering a bit.


Togepi: Togi?


Cristian: Don’t worry, little friend, I’m sharing with you.


            Cristian, rather than scarf down his slices like Ash, Tracey, and Pikachu, cut his slices of pizza into small pieces. They were tiny enough for him to feed Togepi, but large enough for him to chew a little and swallow. He used a fork to feed the both of them, giving a piece to Togepi, then one to himself, repeating.


Misty: Awe, how cute.


            Cristian blushed a little, and Togepi finally burped, signaling that it had eaten enough. Cristian finished off the rest of the pizza and sighed happily. As he and Togepi finished their meal, Misty drained the last of her soup. Cristian walked to the refrigerator and got something, then walked back.


Cristian: For being a good girl and finishing all your soup, you get ice cream.


            Cristian set a large bowl of ice cream in front of Misty. One scoop was chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry. Misty’s eyes sparkled as Cristian slid a dessert spoon into her hand.


Misty: Ice cream!!!


            She began feasting quickly.


Ash: Hey! What do we get?


Cristian: Sorry, that was the last of it. I figure the patients always get ice cream at the hospital, so since Misty is recovering, she ought to have some.


            Ash pouted. He was a bit jealous, but still concerned for his friend. After Misty finished her dessert, they all sat around and talked for a while. Eventually it grew dark, and several yawns began interrupting the conversation.


Cristian: I think it best that we all retire for the evening.


Ash: Huh?


Misty: Let’s go to bed.


Ash: Oh right.


Tracey: (stretching) Yeah, it’s been a long day.


Pikachu: (big yawn) Pikaaaaaa.


Togepi: Togi (curled up into its little egg shape like when it sleeps)


Misty: Who’s gonna sleep where?


Cristian: All right. Misty gets the bed. Ash gets the cot. Tracey gets the couch. I’ll take the floor.


Misty: Oh, you really don’t-


Cristian: Yes I do. I want you all to be as comfortable as possible while in my house. Besides, I like the floor. I can never sleep on anything really soft.


Misty: Okay.


            Misty picked up Togepi and walked into the bedroom.


Misty: Goodnight.


Ash/Tracey: G’night.


Cristian: Sweet dreams.


            Once Misty was gone the three boys changed into their pajamas and bedded down for the night. Pikachu slept on the cot with Ash. Cristian turned out the lights, and soon, everyone was asleep.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *         


            In the darkness of the night, three figures were creeping. They had barely managed to escape the Tentacool on the coast. Thanks to James’ quick thinking (impossible you say?) they escaped from the jellyfish by leaking some ink into the water, a tactic sometimes used by Tentacruel to scare off other fish.


James: It’s so dark out here. I can’t see my hand in front of my face.


Meowth: Good, then you won’t see this coming. (claws James’ face)


Jessie: (whacks them both on the head with her fan) Knock it off both of you! We’re never going to find those twerps if your racket gives us away!


James: (holding his head) Jessie, why do you have to hit so hard?


Jessie: Complain any more and I’ll get the big fan.


James: (that little panicked chortle thingy he does)


Meowth: All right, all right, let’s just get going.


            The three trouble makers-


Jessie: Did he say trouble?


James: Yes. And we can make it doub-


Meowth: (jumping up and putting his paws over their mouths) Not yet! We haven’t found the twerps and their Pikachu yet.


Jessie & James: (nod) Right.


            The three…um…no good nicks, crept on through the forest, searching for their long time foes.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *


            Ash sat up and yawned, stretching his arms and back out to relieve himself of the morning kinks. He stood up and headed for the bathroom. Just before he reached the door, Misty raced by him in a blur, slamming the door behind her.


Misty: Dibs!


Ash: Oh man!


            Ash walked over to the kitchen and opened up the cupboard. He found the cereal that Cristian had pointed out to him the night before and prepared a bowl for himself, which he shared with Pikachu. Cristian soon got to his feet and, doing a similar stretching routine as Ash’s.


Cristian: Ylechm! (throat clearing noise). Good morning, Ash.


Ash: Hi, Cristian.


            Cristian headed for the bathroom door. Ash looked up from his cereal just in time to see what he was doing.


Ash: No wait!


Cristian: Huh?


            Cristian opened the bathroom door and looked in, freezing for about one second. A loud scream sent him flying back through the air, landing on Tracey. They tumbled around in a mess, both of them falling onto the floor.


Tracey: What the!?


            Misty, with a towel wrapped around herself, stepped out of the bathroom, very angry.


Cristian: I’m sorry! It was an accident!


Misty: (really big head) It better have been!


            Ash couldn’t help but snicker. The whole scene had been just hilarious. He failed to see the mallet move through the air before it hit him on the head, leaving him as a pile on the floor.


Ash: Ow….


Misty: Serves you right! (stomps back into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her)


Cristian: (blushing a little) Wow. She’s got a temper.


Tracey: I’ll say.


            Tracey and Cristian got up and helped Ash up from his painful state. They ate breakfast and, after Misty was finished, took turns taking showers. Once they were all done and dressed, Cristian took them on a tour of the island. He showed them an Ekans nest that he had recently discovered, a blooming ground where Oddishes grew, and many other interesting things. Tracey was elated. He drew sketch after sketch of the different pokémon’s habitats.


Tracey: Wow, this is all really neat.


Misty: All those Oddishes were so cute.


Ash: I had no idea there was so much to know about these pokémon. You must know everything about them, Mr. Grass.


Cristian: (laughing) I wish. There’s a lot I’m still studying. When I’m done here I’m heading north to study the pokémon in less tropical environments.


Tracey: Wow, that’s really amazing.


Cristian: Thanks. Well, let’s head back to the house. It’s almost lunch time and I’m-


            Suddenly, an explosion rocked the ground where they were standing. A large cloud of smoke blinded their vision for a few seconds. When the smoke cleared they could see two figures stood on a large platform in front of them. It was none other than…


Ash/Misty/Tracey: Team Rocket!


Jessie: Prepare for trouble!


James: And make it double!


            They do all sorts of poses with nifty light and sound special effects.


Jessie: To protect the world from devastation.


James: To unite all peoples within out nation.


Jessie: To denounce the evils of truth of love.


James: To extend our reach to the stars above.


Jessie: Jessie!


James: James!


Cristian: (wearing a Team Rocket uniform) Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light! Surrender now or prepare to fight!


Meowth: (hopping down) Meowth, that’s…huh?


            Everyone looked at Cristian confused with really big sweatdrops.


Misty: You’re part of Team Rocket.


Cristian: I used to be. I did some research for them into poison pokemon, but dropped out after I found out what kind of work they were using them for.


James: So, you’re a turncoat, eh?


Cristian: That’s an ugly word for it, but I guess you could call it that.


Jessie: We’ll teach you to turn your back on Team Rocket. Arbok, go!


James: Weezing, go!


            The duo of destruction released their pokemon.


Arbok: Charrrrboch!!!!


Weezing: Weeze! Weezing!


Cristian: Ah, my kind of people. Go!


            Cristian threw out a pokeball and his Beedrill appeared hovering in the air.


Cristian: Let’s dance, punks.


Jessie: Arbok! Wrap up that annoying bee!


            Jessie’s Arbok dove at the Beedrill, but the bug simply flew out of its way.


Cristian: That’s it Beedrill, keep evading it.


James: Weezing, slow it down with Smokescreen.


Weezing: Weezing!!!


            Weezing released black gas from the several pores in its body, covering the surrounding area in thick smoke. Ash, Tracey, and Misty all coughed, but Cristian seemed to be unaffected.


Cristian: Other pokemon trainers, feel free to jump in at any time.


Ash: Help him out, Pikachu! Hit Weezing with Thunderwave!


Pikachu: Pika…pika…chu!!!!


            Pikachu’s body glowed and he shot a wave of electricity at Weezing. The bag of poisonous gas was hit hard and fully paralyzed.


James: Weezing! Oh no!


Cristian: Great! Now Beedrill, Skull Bash that Arbok!


Beedrill: Buzzzzz!!!!


Jessie: Abrok, Glare at it before it can take aim.


Arbok: Bok! Charbok!


            Arbok tried to lock Beedrill in its terrifying gaze, but the bug was flying to high. Beedrill lowered its head and took aim. It swooped down and crashed into Arbok, sending the snake into the ground with a loud thud.


Jessie: We’ll show you!


Cristian: Beedrill! Fury Attack!


Beedrill:: Bz! Bz! Bz! Bz!


Jessie/James/Meowth: Aaaahhh!!!


            The Beedrill chased after Team Rocket as the fled. Its stingers came dreadfully close as they fled. They finally reached the edge of the island and fell off of it. They landed in the water right next to their submarine. They quickly swam to it, looking back up and seeing Cristian smiling down to them.


Cristian: Judging by the condition by your sub, I can assume you’ve met the Tentacool. Well, I have a surprise for you.


            Cristian yelled strangely. It sounded like a gurgling noise of some sort.


Jessie: Is that supposed to frighten us?


James: What, are you trying to sing us away?


Meowth: Uh…guys…something ain’t right here.


            Some bubbles appeared on the surface of the water near the sub. Suddenly, a large Tentacruel surfaced.


Jessie/James/Meowth: Ahhh!!!!


Cristian: Tentacruel, Hydropump them away!


Tentacruel: Tent…a…cruel!!!!


            The large jellyfish took a brief moment to charge up and hit Team Rocket with a powerful blast of water. It lifted Jessie, James, and Meowth along with their sub into the air. As they flew higher and higher, Team Rocket shouted their trademark exit.


Jessie/James/Meowth: It looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again!!!


            Cristian smiled as the sky twinkled with their departure.


Cristian: (turning to the gang) Everyone all right.


Ash: (cough) Yeah, we’re fine.


Tracey: You really are great with poison pokemon.


Cristian: Thanks.


Misty: Oh wow! I can’t believe you have a Tentacruel!


Cristian: Well, it’s not really mine.


Ash: It’s not?


Cristian: No. It’s just sort of a friend of mine. I figure it’s in charge of all the Tentacool in this area, so it was best to let it stay free.


Tracey: That’s pretty smart.


Cristian: I try.


            The trio headed back to the house for lunch. Afterwards, they all went to the beach. Ash released Lapras from its pokeball and hopped on its back. Tracey and Misty climbed on as well.


Cristian: Are you sure you don’t want to stick around for a few more days?


Ash: Thanks, but I have to keep on training for the Orange Islands league.


Cristian: I understand. Good luck. And Misty, here. (tosses Misty a smile bottle)


Misty: What’s this?


Cristian: Something in case you feel a little ill. The venom should be completely out of your system by now, but I don’t want to take any chances.


Misty: Thank you.


Cristian: (winks) Any time.


Tracey: Oh, here, you might like this. (hands a piece of paper to Cristian)


Cristian: Hey, that’s a good drawing. I’ll track down that Oddish and show it to her. She loves to see pretty colors.


Ash: Okay, Lapras, ready to go?


Lapras: Ooowahhh!!! (or whatever the sound it makes)


Ash: All right, then lets go!


            Lapras pushed on the water with its flippers and headed out to sea. Ash, Misty, and Tracey waved back to Cristian as he waved them a farewell.


Ash: Bye, Cristian!


Misty: Good-bye!


Tracey: See ya, Mr. Grass!


Cristian: Fare well, my friends! Good luck!


            Lapras picked up speed and the island eventually disappeared from sight.


Cristian: Well, back to work.


            He turned around and headed back through the forest to his house. He still had some work to do. He’d heard from his brother, Jayce, about new pokemon in a land called Johto and wanted to get out there as soon as possible to find out about them.


To be continued…