(Author's Note): Just to clear a few things up before continuing…regarding the character of Nathanael Butler, his design, for those curious, is based on that of Ryouji Kaji from Neon Genesis Evangelion, though NONE of his personality and charm is borrowed. I feel the need to state this after noticing a lot of people referencing Evangelion in Pokemon fiction…I mean, Ikarishipping? Comashipping? I'm sure HALF of the people who support Comashipping don't know what they're discussing when they refer to Comashipping…additionally, despite Butler's sexual deviance, though rape or some other horrible imagery MAY occur in the future (I don't want to spoil what is to come), I DO NOT WRITE LEMONS! I will not write a lemon. I have a sense of respect, guys! I may describe a sex scene, but I HATE BEING EXPLICIT ABOUT IT! I mean, really? It's just so uncalled for in a romantic adventure POKEMON fan-fiction to write hard-core sex scenes…Besides, THIS IS A T-RATED FAN FIC! I WILL NOT WRITE SOMETHING THAT WRONG IN A T-RATED FAN-FIC!
Just settling the matter now. Enjoy!
"WHY IS TRAVELING FAST ALWAYS SO PAINFUL?" Ash stammered as Gyarados rocketed down the river toward Vermillion. It wasn't like this was the first time he had traveled on water. He had been on the SS Anne before, and he had ridden a Lapras all over the Orange Islands with Misty and Tracey, but in all honesty, never before had he ridden by Gyarados! Pikachu clung to dear life on Ash's arm, cutting off the circulation to the hands that desperately struggled to hold onto any sort of scale or object he could have a good grip on.
Why was it that Misty had no trouble clinging to the Gyarados's mane, as Lola stood up on the skull of the great beast itself, both proud and tall against the oncoming raging hurricane winds pushing against them?
Molly, at least, for better or worse, was in Ash's shoes. Had it not been for the Ursuring she had summoned holding her down against the great beast's surface, holding onto the massive scales with its great claws, she would have slipped off the beast into the raging currents below. It was a god thing she had that huge teddy bear to hold onto her. Even so, the poor girl was white in the face, terrified at the prospect of voyaging even a single meter further down the river, despite the fact that, every second, they traveled a dozen meters further toward their destination.
Another thing that bothered Ash was how Lola had described the water passageway as a stream or a little river. Little? Had Lola ever seen a little stream? If so, she'd realize that massive, raging rapids with sharp rocks that literally tear up its shoreline just so the river seems to be in constant expansion does NOT qualify as tame by any means. If anything, it's utter insanity! It was a huge river, huge intense rapids that threatened to swallow Gyarados up, or at least severely injure him, if he didn't constantly sway back and forth, riding around the rapids, moving so fast as to nauseate him.
Why couldn't he have kept his Pigeot? Maybe then he could've flown to Vermillion. He should've called Charizard from Johto, but no! He needed to be stupid, didn't he? He needed to be intellectually inept, didn't he? What a stupid move on his part! He was stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID! He would have hit himself in the head, but Ash didn't think letting himself slip into the intense depths of the river was truly worth the cathartic impulse of hitting himself on the head.
"So how long is this?" Ash screamed out as the air rushing past them filled his lungs with air violently and intensely.
"Not longer," Lola replied, smiling as the wind tore through her locks of hair, her strands of brown hair spiraling through the air.
Ash glanced over at Lola, how she stood so firmly on her Gyarados, before his attention was deviated. There stood Misty, her smooth skin shining against the sun above, the water reflecting and refracting the massive star's light against her skin from below. Misty could have probably been a mermaid in a past life, or perhaps a Dewgong. She adored the water, so perhaps the process of traveling across the intense rapids around them was, to her, thrilling. Ash didn't see it, but, judging by that smile on her lips, she must be enjoying herself to some extent.
Ash hadn't seen her smile like that since, well, the last time he saw her.
Eventually, after an infinite chasm of time, they reached Vermillion. The first thing Ash did upon landing was vomit into the river, along with Pikachu and Molly. Misty and Lola had no problem hopping off the Gyarados's back, a smile on their lips as they glanced over at the sick trio. "You guys are a bunch of babies," Lola giggled.
"Well, ya get used to it after awhile," Misty replied, shrugging, "That's every day with Ash."
"Thanks a lot, Misty. We don't see each other for a couple years, and you just start insulting me again?" Ash replied, with a scowl on his lips, yet a laugh in his heart. Maybe the laugh was because he was so glad to be on solid ground? In any case, for a second, Misty's face contorted into what could only be described as a hurt expression, but maybe Ash had only imagined that change of expression, as instantly after looking sad, she looked mad, despite there being a slight smile on her lips.
"Oh, but that's the thing! I could spend a decade apart and still feel the same way!"
"The feeling's mutual!"
"Pika!" Pikachu stammered, urgently stepping between the two of them, his arms outstretched, as though he were trying to separate a fight.
"Hey, guys! We don't have time for this!" Molly stammered, "The ship leaves in ten minutes!"
"TEN MINUTES!" Ash stammered.
"Yeah, it says so on the tickets," Molly replied, the tickets in her balled up fist.
"Hey, how did you get those?"
"They fell out of your pockets," Molly replied, hopping onto Ursuring's back, gesturing for the others to join her.
"They fell out and you didn't tell us?" Ash asked, hopping on, clinging to the hair of Ursuring's back as Pikachu hopped on Ash's shoulder, clinging for dear life.
"Yeah, I saw that too. I was gonna have Staryu go and grab 'em for you, but Molly caught them, so it was okay," Misty replied, taking a seat beside Ash.
Lola chuckled a little before turning back toward the river. She recalled Gyarados into the water, and, with a little grin, shouted, "Gyarados, bite Ursuring in the ***!"
One nibble later, and Ursuring was sprinting ferociously down Vermillion City.
All the while, as they sprang down the roads, Misty had her eyes on one thing. She didn't focus on the people darting out of the way of the massive bear, nor was she looking to see that they didn't run headlong into some sort of vehicle coming straight toward them. Rather, all she saw, as it was on the Gyarados ride, was on Ash's face as it screwed up in horror, holding her head low to the bear's shoulders with Pikachu. He did this sort of thing with his nose, where it scrunched up, where his eyebrows knotted together to shield his eyes from the wind.
It was cute.
Before she knew it, the trio of humans, and Pikachu (and Ursuring too) had arrived before the SS Anne. The ticket person didn't seem to really know how to respond to the arrival of a great bear bounding toward them, but only managed to lamely accept the tickets as Molly hastily shoved them into his hands. Molly returned Ursuring to his ball, her hair visibly astray, as Pikachu steadied himself on Ash's shoulders, trembling violently as the trio of humans walked up toward the ship's deck.
The fresh sea air filled the girl's lungs as she progressed alongside toward the dock, staring out at the city as the seconds passed, and as the ship slowly pulled away from the city. There was a sound of joy and euphoria amongst the couples on the deck, only for her to glance over at the others with her. Molly was in a fetal position, perhaps struggling to remain as still and stable on the rocking ship, clearly relieved to have lived passed the insane transportation she had traveled on for the past three hours and ten minutes. Pikachu was comforting her gently, patting her on the little of her back.
Ash, however, was right beside Misty, though for the wrong reasons. He was vomiting neatly over the edge of the ship, his face green as the seconds passed, his entire body rocking nauseously as the moments passed, visibly sick from all that traveling and rushing around they had undergone the whole time. Misty couldn't help but giggle a little bit as she glanced down at his rocking, nauseous form. "You're such a wimp."
"Hey, give me a break here. I don't travel by bear that often, or by Gyarados."
"Oh, c'mon, it wasn't so bad."
"Just how the heck can ya not want to puke after all that?" Ash stammered, his eyes wide.
"Eh, I just trust the water is all."
"Trust the water? That still doesn't explain the bear."
"Just doesn't bother me is all."
"I guess I'll just accept that. You're weird."
Misty giggled, her cheeks filling with blush. "Is that why you came down to Cerulean? Just to call me weird?"
"Well, actually, the main reason I came by was just to talk, see how you were because, well, I missed ya."
Misty's cheeks turned scarlet. "You missed me?"
"Well, I was kinda curious about you, too."
There was no backing down now. "Well, ya see, I keep thinking about all those years ago when we used to travel around a lot, do you remember? All that time ago? It was fun, ya know? And, well, I realized that I just wasn't having a lot of—er—that is to say—" Misty lowered her head, her mouth too dry to continue. Why couldn't she speak. So often she had too many words to say, or had to say the wrong words that weren't right, so why was it now that even the wrong words weren't coming out? Why was it that she had, after years of having a sharp tongue, gone tongue tied?
"What're ya tryin' to say, Misty?" Ash asked, curiously.
"I—er—I miss ya, you twerp!" Misty spat, "That's what!" She couldn't say the rest of her statement. That's all that came out. There wasn't anything else she could possibly say, whether she wanted to or not. Her mouth was simply sealed shut, her throat collapsing upon itself, her vocal cords pulled tight so no vibrations could emerge. She couldn't say the words deep in her heart, nor, honestly, did she want to. After all, all Ash seemed to know her as was as a friend. If she told Ash everything, how she truly and honestly felt, then maybe he'd never see her the same way again. Things would get awkward.
It was better to stay the same.
"Aw, well, Misty, I missed ya too!" Ash laughed, blushing as he scratched the back of his head, "I've really wanted to see ya for awhile now, too. That fishing lure you lent me reminded me a lot of you, ya know."
"Fishing lure? Oh! That one!" Misty remembered handing Ash that lure that was in her likeness. She smiled for a moment. "That was one of my favorite lures, too."
"Do you want it back—?"
"No!" Misty said abruptly.
"Oh, okay," Ash replied, simply, turning back to the ocean for a moment or two. A second of silence passed before the boy said, a smile on his lips, "I kinda like the lure, ya know."
"Guess ya have good taste."
For the rest of the ride over to Cinnabar Island, the long trip over to the island down far away, Misty could not say those words, those special words she had wanted to say, and yet couldn't speak. Well, she could speak words, but not the words she really wanted to say. She could tell Molly stories of the past several years between the day they first met and the day of their reunion. She could tell Ash how it felt to run a gym as she did. Yet, she couldn't say those words she wanted to say, the strong words burning in the depths of her heart, the words that seared the inside of her throat, the inside of her lungs, every second, every instant, every moment. Whenever Misty would stare at Ash's face, she'd find blood rushing to her cheeks, only to suppress her emotions with a witty comment or snarky sarcasm.
If she was overly friendly, she might just give in to her emotions.
Finally, the ship pulled up to Cinnabar, and, upon pulling up to the glorious island, the trio, and Pikachu, came to realize one crucial fact that stampeded over them in a sudden onslaught of revelation. "HOW THE HELL DO WE GET TO NEW ISLAND!" Ash screamed, frustrated and confused.
"Maybe we could swim there?" Misty suggested. At that comment, Pikachu suddenly darted up Ash's back, and hid underneath his hat, the bulging mass on the boy's head trembling and shaking under the scarlet and pewter fabric. Judging by Ash's horrified expression, it looked as though the master wished to join his dearest friend.
"We don't even know where it is. We'd get lost if we just tried swimming there," Molly pointed out, much to Ash and Pikachu's relief.
"Well, true, but how else are we gonna get there?" Misty asked, confused, "I mean, how else could we possibly get to New Island?"
"Did you say 'New Island'?"
Misty glanced over her shoulder to see a girl approaching them that towered over her, a rather large girl if she did say so herself, with a rather fake looking tan and strawberry blonde hair. She was rather large-chested, almost obscenely so, and yet she didn't seem to have any balance issues. Surely that was a lot of weight to have on the front side. Still, the very pretty looking girl was standing nearby, and she seemed to be a ticket to New Island.
Misty was listening.
"We can take you to New Island."
"Who's 'we'?" Molly asked, curiously.
"Oh, I mean me and my sister—er—my sister and me," the girl said in a rather high pitched voice, a girlish giggle behind each word.
"Uh, okay," Misty replied, her eyes narrowed. So a girl came out of nowhere to offer her a ride to an obscure island? Seemed too good to be true, and it probably was. "How much do you want for it?"
"Oh, it's free! We have to go up there anyway to pick up—er—Magikarp for the—er—Casino Prize pool," the girl replied, covering up the pauses in her sentences with seemingly random fits of powerful giggles.
"Okay! Alright! I'm in!" Ash cheered, despite Pikachu's cheeks sparkling slightly as he glared at the girl.
"Shouldn't we try and think this through a little?" Misty asked, warily.
"Nah! If there's one thing I know, Misty, it's that I am an excellent judge of character!" Ash declared, proudly, despite Pikachu hiding his face behind his hands in shame.
"I am an excellent judge of character, and I know that Nathanael Butler is a thoroughly despicable man, but he'll fulfill his promises."
Claude stood over the computer monitor, staring into the eyes of his two underlings, both dressed in black outfits, a scarlet R emblazoned on their chests as they stared out at their superior, a tense expression in each of their faces. The Rocket Admin didn't see a huge reason to worry. From the beginning, Nathanael Butler had been one of the large benefactors for their project, a huge service to which, without, since the disaster nearly eight or seven years ago following the failure of Giovanni's last long term project, Team Rocket itself might have gone under.
Butler is the reason Team Rocket is still in existence.
"Are you sure? There's something about him that just rubs me the wrong way," Cassidy replied on the other end, her head lowered, her large mane of auburn hair shimmering in the dim overhead light, his long two tails of hair spreading out in a long angle. Her masculine partner with dark hair remained silent, but his face betrayed his inner agreement with his partner's statements.
"I know for sure. He will not fail us, nor should we think he will," Claude laughed them off, waving off their concerns, "Everything is riding on our communication with Butler. Now, tell me, is everything going ahead smoothly?"
"Yes sir, everything so far in this lab is going smoothly. We have almost created a stable prototype, and we should be able to test it in the coming few hours. We're extremely excited on this end, and I'm sure you are too."
Claude's lips curled into a broad grin on his lips. "How long do you suspect it will take before the stats can be transferred to us?"
"Did you download it yet?"
"Thirty seconds. I need thirty seconds!"
"We don't have that much time, Watson! Get it done faster!"
Lt. Surge glanced anxiously over his shoulder, his Raichu perched on his broad shoulders, his tail aimed toward the threshold, sparks flying from the electrical bolt. He was ready to kill, ready to attack, as was Surge. His gym was gone, his entire life up until then had been destroyed thanks to Nathanael Butler. All that to waste, thanks to that *******. For screwing over his life, Surge was going to screw him over. Big time.
"Twenty seconds," his disciple Watson said, bending over the keyboard. The man was a broad guy, just like Surge, though he had learned how to use his electrical Magneton, the Magneton levitating in the air over the numerous computers, to hack through firewalls and other sorts of cybernetic defenses in war time. He was a master of gathering intelligence and manipulating digital data, and now had a place to use such great potential.
"Two grunts are coming," Elle mumbled, his female deciple, dressed entirely in black, her brunette hair tucked into a bun behind her head as she withdrew a single ball from her side, releasing the ideal Pokemon chosen for this job. With a muted flash of light, Rotom emerged, a spark of energy surging through the air that dove into the ceiling, a ceiling covered with pipes and electrical circuitry. There was a muted light, at which Surge became very still. He listened, heard the footsteps drawing nearer, almost frantically. The guards knew where they were. They were aware, they were on their tails. All their work until then would all be for naught!
The sudden screech of metal and the sudden silence told Surge he had nothing to fear.
"We got it," Watson laughed, unplugging the laptop and numerous back-up hard drives he had hooked up to the massive supercomputer, returning them to a metallic briefcase. He turned toward the others, and nodded. Rotom returned to Elle's side, in the form of pure, unrestrained energy. Lt. Surge pushed away, daring with Elle as Rotom flew into the circuitry again, doing just what he had done to the two guards who had ran toward them seconds earlier: throw metal pipes through their chests to silence them forever more.
In a competitive battle, that would qualify s unnecessary, even by Surge's standards.
This was not a battle.
This was war.
Judging by the numerous poles sticking through the ground, grunts impaled on their metal stalks, Rotom had a lot of work to do.
"Take their Pokeballs," Surge snapped silently as he passed, removing the Pokeballs from the grunt's hips as they passed.
"Isn't that just insult to injury?" Elle asked, obeying the order, along with Watson. "Is there any real point?"
"We're gonna just release 'em," Surge replied, "These people are willing to just let their Pokemon die after a moment's notice. Do ya really think we shouldn't help these guys out a bit? Probably abused. Probably more than willing to have a bite to eat in this place, ya know?"
There was a moment of silence as they darted through the graveyard of grunts before Watson asked, a grin on his lips, "Where do you plan on releasing them?"
As Surge neared the exit of the metallic facility, Rotom emerging from the circuitry, its energy waves faint and worn out as Elle returned it to its home, the lieutenant said, with a broad grin, "Right here."
Surge and his two comrades threw the stolen balls into the depths of the location, unleashing an armada of Rattatas, Koffings, Ekans, and Grimers upon the monstrous remains of Team Rocket's Cerulean City base. As the Pokemon infiltrated their own base, Surge took a step back with his two comrades, their Pokemon in their Poke Balls, Raichu on Surge's shoulders, he slammed the door shut on the base, leaving it to its own destructive devices.
"So what sort of data is this supposed to be on?" Watson asked once the trio were far away from the base, hiding from a nearby Officer Jenny, whose Growlithe were sniffing around the vicinity, the wanted posters asking for Surge plastered nearby.
"No clue," Surge replied, "Only that broad Sabrina knows."
"So now you know. Does it all make sense to you?"
The figure in the shadows stared back at Sabrina, its brilliant eyes stares in the depths of infinite darkness. Had Sabrina never possessed eyes just as luminous before, she may have been unnerved. However, the psychic was not so easily bothered by such things. She was, for all intents and purposes, a woman of rather firm emotion. A little thing like a monster in the darkness could barely make her heart beat out of rhythm.
"The story makes sense, but there are some things I do not see. Is it true that you come to me for some sort of aid?"
"What aid could I supply a woman such as yourself?"
Sabrina grinned. "I need your power."
"My power? And why would you need my abilities?"
"Simply because the enemy we're dealing with has the potential to be the strongest trainer in existence, if he reaches his goals. If he manages to succeed in doing what I have just told you he plans on doing, then everything in this world can and will suffer. It's not a laughing matter. This is a dead serious subject matter. Even someone in your situation may suffer."
"Someone in my situation? You are aware that there is no one else in my situation."
"If he manages to succeed, there will be. There will be."