Well, this is it. I'm only doing this because I don't want to be considered MIF(see my FF.net account later for meaning) in these forums. All I want is some reviewers, and for some people to at least recognize how important March 18 was for me. As obvious to my previous fic, they do not.
Rating: PG(for some action later) Ships: Advance(definitely), Ikari(this time I'll try fitting it in), Gym(Well, maybe, maybe not) DISCLAIMER: I don't own Pokemon.
MH01: Take Over
The story begins in Foento City, the home of the Sinnoh Pokemon League. The league in question has just concluded, but the city it is held in was still teeming with activity.
Ash Ketchum, runner-up of the Sinnoh League, is seen walking out of the Pokemon Center with two of his friends, the siblings May and Max Maple. The former was checking up on his Pokemon, who were taken there for treatment.
Twelve hours ago, Ash was in a slump, throwing his match for his Pokemon, and thinking everyone ridiculed him for it. But, as it turns out, everyone saw this as a selfless act, and Ash was instead honored(and even awarded) for it. The champion, Ash's rival Paul Veil, acted completely opposite Ash's, and the one that was completely ignored.
"Well, aren't you glad that your Pokemon don't blame you for the loss either, Ash?" May asked.
"Yeah, yeah," Ash replied, only half-listening, as he was staring blankly at the sky. Foento City was just recovering from a rainstorm, and the sun is seen shining brightly above them.
Max ran ahead of them, oblivious to the conversation. "Come on, you two, or Brock and the others will finish off all the food before we can!"
Even though Max was out of earshot by now, Ash whispered, "So, why is he still tagging along with you instead of on his own journey?"
"He's still a year younger than the requisite age," was May's answer. "So he had to stay home during the past year while I was in Johto. But, as soon as we get back he will be ready to receive his license."
The trainers continued their walk through the city streets in silence. All around them there was a bustle of activity. From shopkeepers peddling their wares, to tourists either saying farewell to new friends or taking mementos of the city to remind them of.
It took some time for them to reach the hotel where Ash and his current travelling companions Brock and Dawn were staying. There Ash can see Dawn and Tracey helping prepare the gang's meal. Meanwhile, Ash also found Misty and Brock huddled around in a corner, talking in whispers. When they saw Ash and the others return, they quickly broke out of their conversation and forced some smiles.
"Hey, what's up?" Ash asked, as he walked over to them.
"Nothing, Ash," Brock replied. Ash could tell that he was not being so truthful. "How are your Pokemon?"
Just as Brock asked this, Misty turned to May and said, "May, can I talk to you for a moment?" Misty led the other girl away from Ash and Brock, talking in whisper.
"What's up?" Ash repeated, noting the seriousness in Misty's voice. "Is something wrong?"
"We'll tell you later, Ash. Come on," Brock said, leading the latter to the picnic table, "you must be really hungry." At a distance, Ash could see May and Misty also heading for the table, both looking grim.
Ash nearly forgot everything else because of his hunger. He joined everyone else in digging into the delicuous meal prepared by Brock. Soon into their meal talk rose about their plans after leaving Foento. Ash, busy with his meal, could only pick up a few lines, even though his friends are inches away.
"Professor Oak is thinking of going on vacation, to the Orange Islands," Tracey told Brock, on Ash's left side. "He's leaving Gary in charge, while I become his guide there."
"Well, the Orange Archipelago would indeed be a good vacation spot this time of year," Brock said out loud.
On Ash's other side... "I was thinking of heading over to Johto," Dawn was saying. "How's the Contest Circuit there, May? May?"
"Huh? Oh, sorry, what were you saying, Dawn?" Ash saw May was distracted in her own thoughts, which is why she answered a little later.
The rest of the meal was uneventful. Everyone is acting normal, as far as Ash can tell, at least. After the meal the gang talked a little more, and retired to their hotel rooms at 8:00 PM. They were all looking forward to leaving Foento City the next morning.
However, roughly an hour into resting in his bunk, and Ash quickly woke up. "Oh man," he muttered, chewing his lips. "I think I need to go to the bathroom."
Ash slowly lowered himself from his bunk, careful not to wake Max, Brock or Tracey on the other upper and lower bunks. Only, neither Brock or Tracey were there. "Huh?" He turned to a corner of the room where they stashed their luggage, and neither Brock's nor Tracey's were there either. "What the-?"
Scratching his head, Ash walked out of the room, not waking Max up at first. He strode to the girls' room next door, and knocked. "Hey, girls." No answer. Ash knocked a little harder. "Girls?"
It was a groggy Dawn, still in her pink PJs, who answered. "What's up, Ash? Why wake me up from my sleep?"
"Brock and Tracey are both gone," Ash said quickly.
"Huh?" Dawn answered, rubbing her eyes. "What do you mean, they're gone?"
"That's what I said," Ash said impatiently. "Are Misty and May-"
Dawn looked back into her room, turning the lights on in the process. Only then it was apparent that the bundle on the beds of the aforementioned girls were merely pillows. "Huh?" Dawn blinked. "Where'd they go?"
Before Ash could say anything, the hotel beeper on Ash's red Poketch rang. "A message from Indigo Plateau for Ash ketchum. Please intercept the call at the hotel station."
"What do they want?" Ash asked rhetorically. "Dawn, get dressed, and wake up Max. I'll see what this is about." And Ash was off before the girl could retort.
When Ash received his call, he was astonished to find it was from Lance of the Elite 4. The latter seemed utterly relieved to find Ash. "Am I glad that I was able to contact you before they do, Ash."
"They? Who's they, Lance? And why-"
"I've no time to explain. I want you to get out of Foento City as quickly as you can, and leave your friends and Pokemon behind if you want to. Head to Hearthome City, Fantina will-"
Ash was taken aback at what Lance last said. "You're asking me to leave the city without my friends or Pokemon?" Ash exclaimed, cutting the other trainer off. "Are you insane?"
By this point, Dawn and Max have joined Ash at the phone booth, both still sleepy. Max was ecstatic at the sight of Lance on the video, but the latter cut him off. "All I'm saying is," Lance continued, "your life is in danger now, Ash, and it's best that you disappear for a while until this whole thing is over."
"You're still not saying why I should abandon my friends and Pokemon," Ash retorted, raising his voice. "Of all people, you-"
Lance held his hands up to interrupt. "Okay, I'll tell you what's happening. Someone has taken over the Pokemon League Association, and whoever it is is hunting down anyone with a badge. Trainers, gym leaders, anyone."
"Why?" Something was running in Ash's thoughts. Brock, Misty and May; the first two being gym leaders themselves, and the latter a daughter of one. They all disappeared; have they known about this, and have gone into hiding? But why was Tracey gone as well? And why is Max still here?
"-don't know why," Lance was saying, by the time Ash returned to reality. This time it was the former who was getting impatient. "They'll be after you, being one of few to have more than the standard 8 badges."
"So you're saying you can't do anything about it?" Dawn piped up. "I heard about you, aren't you a member of the Elite Four?"
Although the video is starting to show static, Lance could still be seen clearly grim and shaking his head. "I'm sorry. Neither my comrades or myself can do anything about this. The best we can do in this situation is-" The line was cut off before Lance could even finish.
"Uh, oh," Ash muttered. "That can't be good..." The light was also cut off soon afterwards, sending the room into complete darkness, alarming everyone in the room.
-No Elite Four, no plot involving the Legendaries(even though some of them get into the story later as well).
-Two characters from my first series will make appearances, one of them being the star of the ToE4 series.
-Well, one is better than none. I just wish there would be more reviewers, no offense.
-When certain Rocket agents get involved, and the aforementioned star(if you haven't figured out who it was, read the series again), there's bound to be humor aplenty.
-For the ship(s), I'm trying to build them up for now, hints come later, mystery comes first.
Disclaimer: I'm only using the name, I don't own MiB, and they have no part in this story.
MH02: Into Hiding
"I still think it doesn't feel right," May said. "Us leaving without a word, and Max; why did we leave him in the first place as well?"
"I know, May, and we're sorry, but it's for the best," Misty comforted her. "Ash is in enough danger as he is."
"We told you already May," Brock added grimly. "We are in danger now for being gym leaders, or, at least, for being related to one. As for Max, even though he is a gym leader's kid like you, May, he won't be targeted by whoever is behind this plot because he is too young to be a trainer.
"Heard it all from Roark," Brock continued, waving his wrist, where his chocolate-brown Poketch was attached. "That, and he and the other Sinnoh leaders were into hiding themselves."
"Why didn't Tracey leave with us, if he's going into hiding himself?" May asked.
"What Tracey said earlier, about him and Professor Oak going to the Orange Islands, was a lie. Professor Oak is actually going to the Sevii Islands, where he can continue to support any resistance to the new 'leader'. Since the former archipelago was larger, they think that it'll take some time to discover the ruse."
Ash cupped his hands to both Dawn and Max, and shoved them under the table of the phone booth. He then squeezed in after them, as several men in black appeared from the front door. Their dress code seemed to blend in the darkness, and the only visible part of them were their faces, although Ash couldn't make them out.
These mysterious characters approached the front desk. Luckily for our heroes the darkness actually helps them hide. Plus, the phone booth they were using was out of the way of the hotel's reception desk.
The maitre' appeared right beside the receptionist after a summons from the newcomers. He wasn't exactly pleased.
"We are sorry for the disturbance," one of the men in black said, in a deep voice. It occured to Ash that this one might be the leader. "We are-"
"So you are responsible for this blackout?" the maitre declared. "I have hundred of guests in this hotel, and they'll be complaining about-"
The leader cut him off. "We are only here to see a Mr. Ash Ketchum. He is supposed to be the runner up of the Sinnoh League, and is staying here with some friends, am I correct?" Ash and his friends exchanged puzzled looks.
"But what if he is?" the maitre retorted. He was suddenly silenced by something. Then, to everyone's, within earshot, astonishment, he then said, "I will show you to his room. Right this way, please."
Utilizing the darkness, Ash, leading both Dawn and Max by hand, snuck by the strangers just as they were passing through on their way to the elevators. The hotel doors were, luckily, ajar, so the trio made their exit with barely no sound. Only when they made it to the forest surrounding the hotel, and the city, did they breath sighs of relief.
"What was that all about?" Max said out loud, sitting on a fallen tree trunk. "Ash, do you know those guys or something?"
Ash shrugged, trying to catch his breath. "It was too dark, and I don't recognize the voice at all. These must be those people that Lance said would be after me." He looked up back at the hotel, at the windows to their rooms. At that moment, the lights there turned up. "They would have realized that we're gone. We'd better move."
"Move?" Dawn repeated. "To where?"
"Pokemon Center. We've got to get our Pokemon, and get out of here." Ash walked towards the direction of the Pokemon Center. Max and Dawn looked at each other, shrugged, and started to follow.
Luckily the trio stayed in the shades of the trees, because the city is now being searched from head to foot by more "Men in Blacks". Then, getting into the Pokemon Center was no cakewalk, either, as it was surrounded as well.
"Geez, they're everywhere," Ash muttered. "Now what do we do?"
The three stealthily snuck around the building, trying to find a way in without being spotted. However, they didn't need to, when, out of the bushes behind them appeared Pikachu and Prinplup! Trainer and Pokemon were all glad to have found each other.
"Pikachu, am I glad to see you got away from the center," Ash said in relief as he held his yellow Pokemon in his arms. "Is everyone-"
Pikachu answered by pointing to the bushes where they appeared. There, the three are astonished to find, two trays with 6 and 5 Pokeballs each! Ash took the tray containing the five, ajnd Dawn took the one containing six. There is no doubt that these are their Pokemon, but now the question is, who put them there?
Neither Pikachu nor Prinplup know either, as they were both asleep the whole time. But, right now, Ash mustn't fathom himself in this mystery; they have to get out of there first. He relayed the next part of the plan to his friends.
"Lance said that we should head back to Hearthome City. He thinks that Fantina, the gym leader there, might help us."
Indigo Plateau; another site of a Pokemon League. It is now, literally, a shadow of its former glory. The entire place seems to be covered in twilight, caused by what looked like a total eclipse high above the stadium.
From the office of the former PLA chair Goodshow, sat a mysterious figure. This one is covered from neck to toe with a black, billowing cloak. His most distiguishing feature is a grotesque mask that looks like it was made from blackened crystal, covering his entire face.
This is the "mysterious entity" that Lance was talking about; the one who took over the Association, and is now hunting gym leaders. He sat on the large swivel chair behind his desk. However, instead of facing his desk, he was staring out the window, at the phenomenon that was happening outside.
There was a knock on the door. An MiB came in, and reported some progress. "The Ketchum boy has disappeared in Foento City, along with some of his friends. They have left behind their belongings, though I doubt they'll be coming back for them."
"As expected," the masked man said quietly, not even turning his seat around to face the MiB. "What about the other- projects?"
"Pokemon gyms around the world have been quickly deserted. Someone must have tipped the Gym leaders of the search."
"What about the gym in Viridian City?" Finally Mask turned around to face his follower. "Any progress in finding the leader there?" From the tone of his voice, one can tell that this is the one report he was most interested in.
The MiB shook his head. "No, sir. The gym has long been abandoned by its original leader, and has been passed in to Agatha. We brought her in for questioning, but she doesn't know anything about the previous leader either, or rather she wouldn't tell us what she knows."
"Very well. You are dismissed. Continue searching for the Ketchum."
Just as the first MiB strode out the door, another one came in, bringing more news. "We have searched Oak laboratories. Professor Oak and his assistants have already vanished."
"What about the Pokemon?"
"I am happy to report that we have apprehended all the recorded Pokemon in the lab. They are being examined as of right now. All of Ketchum's Pokemon are-"
"No." Mask stood up. "Not all his Pokemon were in that lab." He started pacing around as he enumerated whatever his men has missed. "He has a Charizard in the Charicific Valley, a Pokemon preserve in Johto; a Squirtle as a firefighter in Vermillion City; a Haunter in the possesion of Saffron's gym leader; a Primeape in a fighting gym in Celadon City.
"He also had a Pidgeot that is somewhere near his hometown, a Lapras somewhere in the Orange archipelago, a Butterfree, also somewhere near Vermillion, and a Larvitar nearby in Mt. Silver. Find them all; we can't afford to miss one.
"As for the Pokemon in the lab; send over to me his Sceptile, Totodile, Bayleef, Bulbasaur and Cyndaquil. I am, ah, in need of their services."
"Yes, sir." It occured to the MiB that his boss was able to tell some of Ash's Pokemon without even giving him a list first, but quickly dismissed this fact.
When the second MiB left, Mask turned back at the window, back at the total eclipse. "If it all turns out right, then all this madness will be over."
You still haven't told us anything about your plans.
"Ah, so you have answered my summons. I'm flattered." Mask turned around to see a purple, human-sized creature facing him eye to eye.
Why are you after the boy?
"I will answer all your questions in due time. Now, do I have your cooperation, Mewtwo?"
This is, as Cresselia was able to point out to us, utter madness. However, in the end we all agreed to help.
-What do you think? Are the events of this chapter unexpected, or what?
Woah. Its much darker than your other ones, and has that nice mysterious vibe to it. At some point, I had thought there was gonna be a shipping scheme somwhere, so the disappearances caught me off guard. Though some parts of the story were a bit vague, this story is very interesting and quite different from the norms. But the villains seemed to be "unbeatable" in some way. For me, villains like that are sort of cliched, but I'll keep reading.
Try not to be too disappointed in us here. I'll try to review as much as I could.
Getting out of Foento City is definitely much easier said than done. After all, the city is covered on three sides by water, and the only port leading out is now heavily guarded.
This is what Ash's swift flier, Staravia, reported, back to the group after scouting the dock. "Good work, Staravia," Ash complimented his Pokemon. "Join the others in the meal, you deserve it."
Ash, Dawn and Max were camping out in some secluded, mountainous part of north Foento, on a cliff opposite the city. To Ash's line of thinking, there is a good chance that their pursuers will "find them there last".
"Well, that means that getting out of the city by boat is off our list," Ash told his companions. "Dawn, how's your Prinplup at long Surf trips? With him and my Floatsel, they are our only options."
The girl shrugged, and turned to her starter Pokemon. "Well, Prinplup, are you up for one long journey by water?" Of course, the proud Prinplup thumped his chest with his, er, fins(?), indicating he's not about to let his trainer down.
Dawn smiled at this gesture, but then grimly turned back to Ash. "Even if we get out of the city by sea, I doubt that we'll go unnoticed, Ash, they're bound to see us."
"You're right. We need-"
"Some help? We'll give you help!" a voice echoed around them. Startled, Ash and friends whirled around, trying to find the source of the voice. Behind Ash, an all-too-familiar white balloon appeared, rising up the cliff. Onboard are two humans and one Pokemon: Jessie, James and Meowth, all members of team Rocket.
"You guys!" Ash shouted.
"What are you doing here?" Max added. "If we didn't have enough trouble already!"
"You needed some help, and we're here to offer it to you. What do you say?" Jessie, the de facto leader of the trio, proposed.
"What's in it for you guys?" Dawn asked, suspicious.
"Simply put, our Boss wants cooperation from you, Twerp," Meowth said. "We don't know why, but if we succeed in bringing you to him, maybe we'll get promoted!"
"And, it so just happens that you needed help escaping the city so maybe we can work out a compromise," James finished.
"Your Boss? Is he the one who took over-"
"No, twerpette, our Boss had nothing to do with this new regime; in fact, he's in hiding himself! Now," Jessie said, extending a hand to Ash, "do we have a deal or not?"
Ash looked at the hand like it were a Seviper or something. Then, without even looking at his companions, he took it, and he and Jessie shook hands.
In an underground arena, the Pokemon Mask has requested are taken. Mask surveyed them through a screened partition; for some reason he doesn't want to come into contact with them at first.
"So these are his starter Pokemon?" Mask asked.
Cyndaquil started scratching himself with his hind legs, like a dog. Meanwhile, Sceptile felt like something clamped onto his fern tail and whirled around, only to see Totodile latched onto it with his jaw. The green lizard tried whirling around to get Totodile off his tail, resulting in a rather comical tail chase.
Mask watched this scene through the partition bemusedly, with little interest. "They will have to do," he said. Mask turned to the MiB that was accompanying him. "Continue your search for the Ketchum boy, and the Viridian gym leader. We can't continue our project without either one."
"But, sir, these Pokemon-"
"-You will leave to me. Now, haven't I given you an order?"
"Uh, yes, sir, I'll get right on it, sir!"
The MiB quickly left, not ready for anything Mask might do to him if angered. Mask turned back to the Pokemon. While he wasn't looking, Sceptile was slapped on the back of the head by Bayleef, protecting Totodile.
The scene changes three days later, in the Sevii Islands, where Professor Oak and Tracey are in hiding. No sooner than he set foot at the Net Center of One Island, did Professor Oak get started on his investigation. He found out from his young friend Cielo there that, so far, the archipelago is not affected by the take-over.
"Things are really looking bad for the mainlands," Cielo commented, "but I don't think the new League Head has anything to do with it."
"What do you mean, Cielo?" Tracey inquired.
Cielo showed the two to the computer right beside his large network machine, that occupied more than half the Center. On the screen was displayed a seismograph-like measuring device. Not even the Samuel Oak understood the readings the computer is giving out, but he could tell that there is something wrong.
"These readings indicate abnormal signatures somewhere near the Indigo Plateau. Something like this happened before, in Sinnoh's Alamos Town, but never this big.
"Maybe who took over the League is behind this disturbance; maybe he was not. Either way, this is more a threat than the take-over. Because, if the disturbance continues-"
"Then, reality will slowly tear itself apart, or something like that," Tracey muttered, remembering what Ash and co. recounted during their adventures in Alamos Town, when the group had that little reunion three days ago. Cielo nodded grimly.
With the help of some underground friends, May's party were able to make it safely from Sinnoh to Kanto. The group are en route to Hoenn, trying to make contact with May's parents(Brock and Misty have already confirmed their respective families' safety). Earlier they decided that contacting them through Poketches or Pokegears would be hazardous as it may give away their location.
It was nightfall as the group set themselves to camp in a clearing deep inside a forest at Route 6. They decided that they would head to Hoenn with the help of a contact of brock's that he said will be meeting with them there.
The moonless night reflected the mood of the group. Normally, camping would be oh-so-fun, especially for Ash and his friends. But not this time, not when they are all on the run.
In order to not give themselves away by making a fire on the ground, May instead had her Blaziken provide enough heat to warm themselves(and, to an extent, the food). Human and Pokemon sat on felled logs around the fire-type, who's meditation was enough to generate the heat.
"May, what's wrong? You haven't even touched your food yet," Brock inquired, worried.
"Sorry." May set down her plate, right next to a tempted Munchlax. The Pokemon quickly took the plate, but May didn't bother getting it back. "I'm just worried about everyone, that's all. Max, Ash, my parents, everyone," she repeated the last word, with a tone of emptiness.
"Well, starving won't help your mood one bit," Misty said, and, giving a stern look at Munchlax, handed May a second plate of food. "Eat, May."
Munchlax, meanwhile, was frightened by Misty's look, and quickly scampered to the bushes, May's first plate on his head. "Uh, oh," Brock said. "If Munchlax is seen running, we might be discovered."
"I'll go and get him," May volunteered. Before the other two can protest, she laid her second plate down on the log again, and ran after her Pokemon.
It was no trouble, as May immediately spotted her Munchlax just a few feet from the campsite. The Pokemon was sitting on the base of a tree, eating the food like crazy. May shook her head amusedly, but then her smile quickly faded when she remembered someone who also had a ravenous appetite.
Suddenly, there was a soft rustle on the bushes nearby, to Munchlax's left, which left both trainer and Pokemon paralyzed. 'Has someone found us?' May thought.
However, the bushes parted, and out from its opening stumbled something small, sparkly yellow. The little creature lifted its head from its body, and May discovered what it was: a Pichu.
The Pichu shook its head rapidly, like it was trying to clear its brain from dizzyness. Then, the little Pokemon caught a glimpse of May, who was standing right in front of him. The Pokemon looked ecstatic, and then, much to May's surprise, the Pichu jumped into her arms, looking like it was happy to see her.
"Huh? What-?" May started, as she reluctantly held the little Pokemon as it cuddled itself in her arms. She was interrupted by Brock's voice back at the campsite.
"May, what's taking you so long?" Brock appeared, and he immediately saw the Pichu in May's arms. "What the? Pichu are supposed to be rare in Kanto. Where did you get that one?"
"I- I don't know," May stammered, as Pichu continued to make itself comfortable. "It just- appeared from the bushes, and-"
Alarmed, Brock ran over to the bushes indicated. There was no evidence that there was someone hiding there. He turned back to May. "We'd better get back to Misty, she's getting edgy since you left."
Back at camp, Pichu never left May's arms, even when offered food by Brock. "How do you suppose that Pichu came here, Brock?" Misty asked. "I thought Pichu are supposed to be native only to Johto, unless hatched."
"That's what bugs me. At first I thought a hiding trainer set it on us, but then again there was no one. Maybe we should just let it go, just in case." Pichu, upon hearing this, looked up at May, its mouth quivering.
"No!" May protested, taking Brock and Misty by surprise. To answer their stares, she quickly added, "Pichu's just a baby. He doesn't look like he could harm us; please, Brock."
Brock sighed, and looked at Misty, who only shrugged defeatedly. 'I'm going to regret this,' he thought. "Alright, May." May breathed a sigh of relief and looked back at Pichu, who was now smiling with glee.
Quoted from Tsubasa Chronicle: (well, not the actual quote, but has the same sense) There is no coincidence; everything happens for a reason.
-Couldn't get in for quite some time.
-Finally, I am able to create an air of absolute mystery. About time, since I'm supposed to be educated in Criminology.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Keira Knightley's name, or Madam Meow-Meow's from Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
"May, may I have that Pichu for a while? I want to check something out."
"Brock, you still suspect that Pichu's-"
"Sorry, May, but we have to make sure. Don't worry, it will be quick, and harmless." May reluctantly handed Pichu to Brock. However, she got the uneasy feeling remembering the last words; those last words are typical in movies where someone is about to die.
The breeder softly pushed his sleeping Croagunk to the side on his way to the group's belongings. He rummaged in his backpack, and took out what looked like a small tuning fork.
"Brock, I didn't know that you-" Misty started, but Brock cut her off, while placing Pichu on a tree stump. So instead she answered May's inquisitive gaze. "It's a small device used to detect Pokeball bruises on a Pokemon.
"When a Pokemon is captured with a Pokeball, a ball bruise would appear at the part of the body where the Pokeball hit the Pokemon. It is not visible, but can be sensed by certain wave frequencies. That's what the tuning fork is used for. Now, if there are indeed any bruises, that would indicate that that Pichu belongs to someone. Otherwise, it means it is a wild one."
Brock started touching Pichu with the fork, sweeping it around its small body. Pichu, curious, followed the fork with its gaze as it continued to probe him. After touching every part of the Pokemon's body, Brock declared that Pichu indeed is a wild Pokemon.
"But that doesn't prove anything, right?" Misty stated, as Brock handed Pichu back to May. Pichu wrestled the fork out of Brock's hands, and the breeder handed it over. "I mean, look at Team Rocket's Meowth. I never saw him once come in or out of a Pokeball, so I doubt he would have ball bruises either."
"Well, now I seriously doubt that Pichu would be similar to Meowth," Brock countered. They watched as Pichu bit into one of the fork's two prongs, causing itself to vibrate uncontrollably.
By this point the other Pokemon were interested with the newcomer, and Croagunk woke up himself. They all shared sweatdrops as Pichu continues to vibrate, literally, on May's lap.
Brock looked at his Poketch, and found that it was a little after 10:00. "Okay, you guys," he called to the rest to the group. "We have to get to sleep. Tomorrow, we have a big day ahead of us."
The Pokemon expressed their dissapointment with a loud groan. May stood up, and took the fork out of Pichu's mouth. Pichu still in her arms, and strode over to her sleeping bag which already lay right next to the group's packs and Croagunk. Brock's and Misty's sleeping bags were already propped up earlier like hers.
Brock was quick to get to sleep, and loud snores could be heard from his sleeping bag three minutes in. Misty, meanwhile, took one last amused look at may and Pichu before sleeping herself, silently in contrast to Brock.
Pichu, however, has anything on its mind other than sleeping. For the first time since Brock handed back Pichu to her, Pichu jumped off May's lap. It clumsily walked towards the group's baggage, passing a curious Croagunk. Without warning, Pichu dextrously unzipped a pocket of May's fanny and started rummaging inside it.
"Hey, don't do that," May lightly scolded, but Pichu didn't listen. It dug deeper and deeper into the pocket until only its feet were visible sticking out of the mouth. When May neared Pichu, the Pokemon finally emerged, holding out something gold and pink.
Pichu extended its prize towards May, and the latter realised what it was: the Terracotta Contest ribbon, or, at least, half of it. May's mind lingered in memory for a while before being returned to reality by Pichu pulling on her hand. May picked Pichu up, and looked at the ribbon.
"Are you interested in it?" she asked Pichu, who vigourously nodded. "Alright, but don't lose it, okay? It's, it's," she blushed, which a naive Pichu tilted its head in response, "important to me."
After that, the two went to sleep. The last event for the night was Croagunk peering curiously in the still-open pocket of May's fanny. Blood rushed out of his nose when he saw the contents, and knocking himself backwards, and out.
"I can't believe this actually worked," Ash muttered.
"Shut up," Jessie hissed, "or you'll give ourselves away!"
"Yeah, be more grateful for our effort, will ya!" Meowth added. "We worked long and hard for your costumes, ya know."
"What are you talking about? You only had an hour to work the costumes," Dawn protested.
The group of six(five in the eyes of strangers) were, in fact, as inconspicious as they can be. James is dressed up as an old man with his hair white and a fake, yet matching, thick beard and mustache. Jessie, meanwhile, posed as his "daughter", with her hair surprisingly tied into a bun reminiscent of hospital nurses.
Ash and Dawn are clothed as the children of the latter, wearing traditional Japanese "sailor" uniforms. Ash's hair was slicked back and his cheekmarks covered by expert make-up. Dawn(the actual crossdresser, thankfully not James this time), on the other hand, sports one of those nerdy bottle-shaped glasses with a "swirly" design. Her hair was also in a bun, but most of it is tucked under a yellow baseball cap.
Max, meanwhile, was the least comfortable with his disguise. Who would be, with an overstuffed cloak surrounding you. Plus there's no joyride in carrying something that weighs 4.2-ish kilograms on your shoulder. The two, Max and Meowth, as one, are posing as James' "wife", the grandmother, with the latter wearing a ridiculous wig and older versions of Dawn's glasses. Pikachu, meanwhile, is hiding underneath the cloak as well, sitting on a pocket of a jumper provided to Max by the Rockets.
The group, Ash, Dawn, Jessie, James and Meowth(plus Max), are now utilizing aliases. They are Soot, Kira(as in Keira Knightley), Jessica, Jacques and Grandma Meow-meow, respectively.
Max stuck his head out of "Granny's" robes, out of breath from inside the stuffy cloak. "I still don't get why we have to wear these costumes for the rest of the trip!" he gasped. Meowth kicked him back inside before he could get spotted by anyone.
Interestingly enough, the group managed to get past the security of Foento's port with the said disguises. Because of this, they safely managed to get off Foento Peninsula and into the Sinnoh mainland. Now they are en route to-
"Wait a second," Dawn piped up as she raised her glasses a little to adjust her eyesight. "Where are we going anyway?"
"Hearthome City," James said, with his not-so-well disguised voice from behind the ridiculous mustache.
The name of the city rang inside Ash's head like fireworks. He and Dawn looked at each other. "Hearthome?" Ash repeated.
"Yeah?" Jessie said. "Why? Something going inside that head of yours, twerps?"
"Before all this started, Lance of the Elite Four called Ash," came Max's muffled answer from underneath Meowth. "He told us, I mean just Ash, that he should go to Hearthome as well. "
"Is there a connection?" Dawn inquired.
Grandpa Jaqcues and mother Jessica looked at each other, confused. They turned back to their, er, spawn. "What connection?" the latter asked.
"You said we are heading to Hearthome City," Ash pointed out. "Lance directed us there as well, and I can guess that your 'Boss' would be there, right? Are you guys working together?"
"Lance?" Jessica echoed. "You mean that redheaded government yahoo who always thinks he's a superhero or something?"
"Uh, yeah," Max said, sweatdropping at Jessica's description. "Him..."
"Well, no," Jessica remarked. "Our Boss had nothing to do with government yahoos; he doesn't trust them too much."
"Especially since he's the Boss of you guys, I'm guessing he is the leader of Team Rocket," Ash thought out loud. "So, he's got good reason not to trust the government in the first place. OW." The last "word" was caused by someone hitting him on the head with two canes, by Granny and Granpa, simultaneously.
Mewtwo Teleported in the underground arena, appearing right next to Mask. The Genetic Pokemon was perplexed at what the latter was doing, which was absolutely nothing, except watch Ash's Pokemon, who were likewise doing nothing significant.
Mask, I saw the progress of your grunts, and they are nowhere near finding the boy-
"And that's the way I had it arranged," Mask interrupted, without even turning to Mewtwo.
Mewtwo didn't question that remark, and instead continued. If you want to find the boy so badly, why not send me, or my allies? We would find him in-
"I gave you and your friends only one job, and that's all the work I require from you. I don't need you to find the boy, yet." Mask stood up, and faced Mewtwo. "Do you trust me?"
A laugh could be heard echoing through the mask. "Why? Is it because you can't read my thoughts?" No answer; Mask laughed again. "You have good reason not to trust me, of course. As for the boy, like I told you before, we need him. However, we do not need him incomplete."
Incomplete? What are you-
"For a psychic Pokemon, you are quite narrow-minded, Mewtwo. If you were being observant, Ash Ketchum has lost four out of the four Leagues he's participated in. However, not only did he lose the competition, he lost something else. Something that he has to regain in this test I gave for him."
Test? What test?
"All in due time, Mewtwo. All in due time."
-As you can see, the aliases are stupid puns on their original names. In Dawn's case, it's the exact opposite pun, sort of, I think, maybe.