20th August 2015, 11:11 PM
Sins of the Father
Hi there! I wrote a fic meant to answer burning questions I've had, like how did Team Rocket manage to clone Mew? Why has Giovanni put up with J&J for so long? How did James, who IS rich and Jessie, who's poor, end up in an elite school like Pokemon Tech together? And stuff from back in the Madame Boss/Miyamoto days (this is clearly the anime world), also fun supernatural things and conspiracies.
I'm going to post the first few mini-chapters but because this site doesn't auto format what I pasted and I use a LOT of italics as emphasis (I promise, not in an annoying way) I'm linking to fanfiction.net because I have no desire to go back and add them all back in.
Here's the link, followed by the beginning of the finished story:
Sins of the Father
It had been quite some time since Ash had been back, although he'd long been meaning to return. Distracted by one thing or another, he would abashedly inform his mother that no, he can't make it this month, but he should have some time in the very near future. He promised. She would sigh but then cheerfully respond that she looks forward to that day and to take please care of himself and that everyone there says hi.
It was shortly before another planned visit – Ash's mom would be celebrating her 40th birthday – that Ash received a rather unusual message from a friend:
How have you been? I haven't received any mail in a while…you know how your mom gets. I hope you're writing her! Anyway, we're all excited to see you next month for Delia's birthday but I was hoping I could borrow you a little bit earlier. There's something I'd like you to see in Pewter beforehand. I guess I just need another set of eyes to make sure I'm not crazy.
And so, with some preparation and brief goodbyes and see-you-soons, Ash and Pikachu left Serena, Clemont and Bonnie behind to catch up with their own families and headed home. After a quick stop in Pewter City, of course.
Meowth found himself a little taken aback at just how moody James was being. Jessie had once again disappeared without warning and they strongly suspected she was secretly applying for another local Showcase or possibly chasing down some poor schmuck she'd decided she was going to marry. Her restlessness within Team Rocket was becoming more than apparent and when Meowth noticed the twerp booking transport to Kanto, James had murmured, bitterly, that he might have figured that would be the last stop. When Meowth pressed the issue, James simply shook his head and said they'd best find Jessie if they intend on keeping up with the twerp.
That had been almost an hour ago and they'd barely spoken a word since. Wandering through the streets of the small fishing town, still searching for their partner, Meowth stretched dramatically enough to get James' attention.
"So whaddya think the twerp is up to? Seemed like a pretty sudden decision to head to Kanto from dis place."
"I have no idea."
"Well, we might as well check in wit da local branch while we're over 'dere."
James sighed again.
"Look, I know Jess is bein' a pain but don't look so bummed! Dis is a perrrrfect opportunity for us to remind da boss about all our hard work in Kalos! Wait till he sees the new pokémon we got!" Meowth tried to show his enthusiasm but the mood was still grim. After several more moments of silence James stopped and lowered his head.
"I think…when we go back, I mean…I think I'm going to go home. To stay." He gritted his teeth as he spoke; the words seemed to force themselves out. Meowth was confused.
"Home? Whaddya talkin' about? You mean Kanto? You…you're gonna stay in Kanto?"
"I mean my home in Kanto, Meowth. I have a home, you know. I think it's time for me to go back."
It must have been the pure absurdity of the statement that lead to Meowth think so hard about what he'd just heard. Home? His home? In Kanto? "James, you can't possibly be talkin' about that freaky mansion with your parents and that lunatic fiancé of yours!" James had spent years not only avoiding the location, but indeed the very topic. It was easy to forget he had a home to go back to when he never discussed it. Now he was talking about "going home" to stay? Absurd, Meowth thought. He had misunderstood.
But James only lifted his head and gazed at the evening sky in response. He was prone to small bouts of depression and was easily distraught or emotional, however Meowth could tell the difference between his melodrama and this. With each act of defiance from Jessie and lately even with every defeat in battle, James seemed more and more disheartened. After this last incident, he seemed to have finally given up. Initially, he hadn't even bothered to take chase after Jessie stormed off nor looked for her following her disappearance. "She'll be back" he'd said, and slumped onto a rock to wait.
Now they headed to the local station to purchase tickets – three – back to Kanto. Jessie would show up…eventually.
"ASH!" He'd barely had a chance to reacquaint himself with flat ground before a pair of large arms wrapped themselves around his waist and heaved him into the air. "Great to see you!"
"Brock," Ash smiled widely "been a while, huh? How are you?" The pair clasped hands in a deep shake while Pikachu bounced around happily and they headed into town, chatting excitedly about all the things they had experienced as quickly and in as few words as they could assemble. As they continued walking, Ash noticed they weren't headed in the direction of the gym, but towards the Pewter Museum of Science. When they neared the entrance, Brock stopped.
"You're probably wondering why we're here. The museum recently began a new exhibition featuring artifacts thought lost at Cinnabar Island after the eruption. Apparently there was a lot more going on there than just a resort."
Ash searched his memories for a moment. Cinnabar…he had earned his Volcano Badge there years earlier and had been informed after leaving Kanto that a volcano had erupted and destroyed nearly the entire island. The gym had moved and a Pokecenter was replaced for travelers, but he'd never heard anything notable about it after that.
"It was all over the news here for a while. There was allegedly some kind of research centre there with all sorts of weird cloning experiments going on. Initially they thought it was all Team Rocket, but as it turns out, this stuff goes way back. Like, way, way back."
Ash was still wrapping his mind around "cloning experiments" when Brock added, "…they're saying these experiments were definitely not limited to pokemon."
"Are you saying they were cloning people?"
"Can't say for sure. They found documents dating back hundreds of years sitting next to old computer disks from shortly before the volcano erupted. A lot of the data is encrypted but there are these people coming forward saying they were witness to some of the experiments. They claim it all may be behind the inexplicable and identical beauty of the Jennys and Joys!" Brock's grin widened and Ash felt skeptical.
"Really, Brock? This is just another of your town's ridiculous PR stunts to try and reel in tourists. I mean, human cloning? Conspiracy theories? Give me a break." Pikachu chimed in with an exaggerated "piiiikaa…"
Brock laughed. "It does seem pretty out there and the exhibitor has been getting her share of criticism but I thought you'd appreciate what's inside."
"Is that right?" Ash waited.
"Yep! Admission is only p50!"
Approaching the large exhibit area required passing under a tacky volcano-shaped sign exclaiming "Secrets of Cinnabar!" Ash, who had left Pikachu outside with a tinge of guilt after being told "No pokémon outside of their pokeballs!" gazed over some of the pieces stored safely behind glass shields. There were scrolls and carvings that looked chiselled into volcanic stone while nearby, outdated computers sat among old desk chairs and personalized coffee mugs.
"All of this was inside the volcano?" Ash mused to no one in particular.
Over the loudspeaker, a recorded female voice spoke on about the months of work it took removing, studying and investigating these items that are, ultimately, still hiding the biggest secret of all: the secret to everlasting life! It was all very over-the-top considering no actual evidence of human cloning had been found, but it had certainly drawn in a decent crowd. Ash had never seen the museum so full; guests scurried excitedly from one exhibit to the next, speculating about what it could all mean.
Brock had been quietly following Ash when he'd stopped in front of one particular piece and Brock knew he had been right to bring along his second pair of eyes. Behind a glass display, and as large as a dining room table, hung an ancient-looking painted scroll with an elaborate gold-leaf boarder. In the middle stood two prominent figures, one male, one female, hands clasped. The world around them seemed to be ablaze, the brightly painted stars the only thing separating them from the fire, which licked at their heels. As Ash studied the picture, Brock tapped his shoulder and pointed to a nearby book, also under glass, opened to a full-page illustration. Although the image was different, the pair looked the same as two in the painting. Then, as though his eyes were opened for the first time, Ash looked around the room and saw several more displays, all from different points in time, and all featuring the same duo. There were even statues and old photographs of the couple, from a time that had barely invented photography, dressed in exquisite old fashions and with elaborately styled hair but always the same, sad expressions.
"Fascinating, isn't it?" A female voice behind Ash suddenly snapped him out of his trance. "We keep seeing them but we're still not sure why."
Ash spun around to see a young woman, slightly taller than Brock, with should-length brown hair, glasses and a lab coat, smiling enthusiastically. Brock blushed. "Because we keep seeing them over different time periods, we've theorized they might be clones. Possibly templates, or the opposite – the perfect specimen! And that's why they're so coveted by these devotees and later, scientists. But after a certain point they stopped appearing. We think when the data started being stored digitally, we lost a lot of the more up-to-date information. So if these two still exist, we don't know where they are anymore."
Ash looked up at Brock whose expression told him he'd heard all this before and was eagerly awaiting Ash's reaction. The starry-eyed researcher returned her attention to Ash and Brock. "Oh, I'm so sorry! My name is Professor Bodhi. My father is the head researcher here and has been responsible for most of the discoveries on Cinnabar Island, although we have been researching it since long before the eruption." She extended her hand to Ash. "Are…are you alright? You look terribly pale."
"You said these two people might still exist? Now?"
"Well, not exactly these two people, unless we truly have found the secret of eternal life! No, we have surmised that there have probably been generations of these clones and that some variation of them could have survived. The most recent appearance we have is about a century ago. If just one more generation was created, they could still be alive today, and considering there was apparently work still secretly being done there until the eruption, who knows, there me be another generation yet!"
"And the work being done there…involved Team Rocket?"
"Yes. It looks like they had used the services of this secret group in their own pursuit of cloning. They focused on pokémon, which are apparently a far less complex entity to clone. They were creating powerful clones of rare pokémon; even succeeded in cloning a legendary mew, or so we learned here." She gestured to some files stacked neatly behind glass. "It all ended in a disaster that cost the lives of pretty much Team Rocket's entire science division and it devastated the organization for a while." She snorted. "They never did pay for their crimes, though, the cover-up was quite extensive."
Ash realized he wasn't even sure what she was saying anymore and he took off his hat, running his fingers nervously through his hair before returning it. Bodhi was still prattling on about the ethics of cloning and Team Rocket when Ash turned to Brock. "Is this why you brought me here? You don't actually think…?"
"I don't know, Ash, that's why I needed you here. So I could ask you: am I crazy? Is this who I think it is?"
"I wanna say it's a coincidence but the whole Team Rocket thing…I mean…"
Bodhi, who had stopped talking and was now listening to their conversation, suddenly grasped Ash by the shoulders. "Don't tell me! You've seen them?"
Ash nodded. "Oh, I've seen them. And seen them. And seen them." He was still reeling when the frantic professor shook him again.
"You have to tell me! Where? Where are they?"
The woman's demeanor had gone from chipper to desperate so fast it made Ash uncomfortable. He politely removed her hands from his shoulders and shrugged. "I couldn't tell you. At least not now, but…if I hear anything I'll let you know." He and Brock found themselves backing quickly out of the exhibit and into the safety of the amassing crowd.
"Wait!" The woman followed, waving after them. "Please, you need to help me find them!" But the guests closed in around her and soon the two boys were out of sight. She bit her thumbnail while she regained her composure, straightened her glasses and hustled back to her office.
The mood among the team had improved gradually after Jessie's return. It always did, although the feeling of joyous reunion seemed less celebratory and more compulsory with each passing incident. James knew it was never a good idea to make Jessie feel guilty or alienated due to her predictable fight or flight response and Jessie knew it didn't take too many "atta boys" to feed James' ego back to something more manageable. Perhaps they were catching on to one another tactics, or perhaps they simply grew bored of the game, but Meowth could see the cracks. Most damning was what James had told him before they'd left, and he knew the Team would be doomed if he didn't intervene.
"Ahh, home sweet home!" Jessie stretched her arms out and took in a deep breath of air. "I say we head to Chrysanthemum Island and tan, tan, taaaan!" She spun on her heels and clapped her hands happily.
James sighed. "That's pretty far Jess. We have no idea how long the twerp-"
"Oh to hell with the twerp; let's take this opportunity to relax! We can check in with headquarters and keep an eye on that kid later. Right?"
James and Meowth exchanged glances and shrugged, defeated. Vacation it was.
And so the trio found themselves strolling through a crowded little flea market while Jessie searched for a bathing suit. They would have to make their way to Fuchsia City in order to reach the resort and decided balloon was the best mode of travel, this being the closest stop to shop. Meowth, who was perched next to James on a makeshift bench while Jessie tried on an endless stream of bikinis, had finally worked up the courage to confront his partner. As much as he'd hoped James had said something ridiculous out of impulse, the mere suggestion that he return home to his fiancé was so out-of-character that the pokémon could hardly ignore it.
"James, about whatchya said before we left…you didn't mean dat, didjya?"
James, eyes closed and on the verge of sleep, didn't respond.
"Because Jess would neva forgive you, ya know. You promised her you'd neva let 'er down – neva leave 'er! It would just prove her stupid theory dat 'everyone she gets close to leaves her,' and you know how much she'd love dat! I'd never hear da end of da 'told ya sos' and-"
"Will you keep your voice down?!" James hissed at the pokémon, who had surprised even himself by his own outburst. Jessie was still humming joyfully in the dressing room as a growing pile of rejected bathing suits accumulated on the floor out front. "I'm doing this for Jessie, don't you understand?" He pressed his fingers against his forehead for a moment as he collected his thoughts.
"Jessie deserves the opportunity to move on with her life. To become a great Coordinator, or Performer or…somebody's bride." He smiled sadly. "She wants to get married and settle down and as long as I'm around I'll hold her back. Because of my promise. Don't you see? She won't leave me behind and so she's stuck here, with me and Team Rocket, going nowhere…" he trailed off before turning back to Meowth and puffing out his chest. "Anyway, it's time I take care of my own responsibilities as well. I've had my freedom, but as the sole son and heir to my family name I can't keep running away like a child. Sooner or later one has to face up to one's obligations as a man."
"Oh please! Are you kiddin' me? Other than da obvious dispute of your 'man' comment, dose so-called 'parents' of yours only cared about you marrying dat harpy and-" he shuddered "…'continuing the family line'"
"Well, of course. I'm their only son – their only child – if I don't, who will? Mother and Father were only able to conceive one child and unfortunately for them, it was me. This way I can do right by Jessie, my parents and the fiancé who has been waiting rather a long time for her big day." James forced a smile and patted the distressed pokémon on the head. "I would never forget about you either, Meowth! When I get married I'll be entitled to my inheritance – that which doesn't belong to Jessibelle, of course. I'll make sure both you and Jessie are taken care of for the rest of your lives. I promise."
"Promise?!" Meowth slapped his hand away. "More promises. I don't want your money James, and Jessie don't either! How dare you try to bribe me into not carin' that yer willing to just throw yer life away for everyone else?"
James waved his hands frantically. "Shhh! Meowth, I didn't…!" behind him he heard a door open.
"…and another thing! How long are you gonna keep playin' da victim like dis – James da hero, James da martyr! - instead of just telling-"
"James? Meowth? Are you two arguing?" Jessie poked her head out from around the corner. "For the love of- …It's not about that stupid bobble cart back there, is it? I thought we'd resolved that already!"
"Ah! No, no, it's nothing!" James stood up quickly and scratched his head. "We were just bickering about something stupid, nothing to worry about Jess. Did you find what you were looking for?" Meowth, for his part, stayed silent.
Jessie stepped out from behind the door to reveal a flattering and tasteful bikini. Her tastes had visibly matured as the years passed and James couldn't help but blush a little. "Looks great."
"Wrap it up and let's blow this popsicle stand already." Meowth suddenly huffed, and stormed out of the tiny shop. Jessie looked over at her partner, who simply smiled innocently and gestured her towards the cashier.
The young woman slid a photograph across a desk to a spectacled older gentleman, bearded and grey. He looked it over silently as she spoke. "This is our break, dad, I know it! Those boys – they've seen our targets. They'll lead us right to them!"
He nodded and handed the picture – a security grab of the boys from earlier – back to her trembling hand. "Don't get ahead of yourself, dear. We've had close calls before."
"I know, father, it's just…we're so close. I can feel it."
Please go to the link for more! That was all the re-italicizing I'm doing, plus it seemed like a good cliffhanger >