Chapter Fourteen: The Unlikely Gathering
"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest... It's about who came, and never left your side" -Unknown
After making their way back home in the heavy rain and after a heated argument between his parents Saturn decided to make himself comfortable in his permanent home. After years studying in the military in Unova, Saturn had made a surprise trip back home to only discover his younger sister was in charge of the military Unit in Kanto but knowing that Team Plasma had joined into the Kanto Military Unit did not surprise him. In fact that was the very reason he suddenly returned home.
With a single flick his room lit up. Revealing a simply single bed placed on the far left corner of the room with a desk, bookcase filled with books and a laptop on its far left. The curtains were clean told him his mother still cleaned his sheets and curtain while he was gone. By his bed was a pin board filled with notes and references rather than photos of his friends, family or hot females with very little clothing on. He knew from an early age he was different from the boys of his age.
Dropping his belongings near the entrance of his room he went straight to the pin board and removed all of his old notes. Each one that was removed didn't seem to him bother him too much to make him look at them, except for one old photo that was pinned behind other many of his notes. It was an old photo of him, Mars and Jupiter in their early days in Team Galactic. He remembered those days so well.
Knowing the past wasn't going to change the situation he was in he simply flicked the photo onto the ground, with no concern where the photo laid. Soon another pair of fingers came across the photo.
"Are you just going to throw all your memories away just like that?"
Pretending he had not heard her words Saturn continued to remove all his old notes from the board. Knowing he had heard her she made her way into his room.
"So you don't care. Just the way you left me and mother that day."
Coming to a halt Saturn sighed. "Father needed me. I needed him."
"I expected that." The woman sighed as she slipped the photo onto her brother's desk. "That's why when we met again after so many years you didn't bother to say I was your sister."
Dawn could hear her brother returning to pin more notes onto his board. Knowing her brother's habit she didn't bother to turn to see what was on the board. She just simply glanced at Saturn's books and notes scattered everywhere on his desk.
"After not seeing you for five years I was shocked that we would meet under those kinds of circumstances. What did you want me to do?" Saturn turned to see his sister was not facing him. Saturn pressed on. "Did you want me to hug you? Scream out your name?" Annoyed. "Well sorry, I'm not kind of brother." Saturn soon returned to his work.
"I just didn't want to end up fighting you. I sent my own brother to jail." Embracing herself, "So I thought if I signed myself into the military I could get our name clean and then find a way to set you free."
"And you did." Saturn made his way off his bed and reached over to his sister and saw she still had her back facing him. He tugged on her arm to make her face his way and it worked.
The first things her sapphire eyes laid on was the pin board filled with not notes about time or space or machines. It had become a public photo album. There were photos of his travels and the new people he met and even a few photos from his times in Team Galactic but in the middle was a photo back in their home town on Twinleaf before they split up.
"So you did care."
Saturn turned around and crossed his arms, embarrassed to show that his younger sister that she was right. Dawn turned back to the photo she has slipped onto Saturn's desk after he attempted to throw it away. Without her brother watching she quickly pinned the object wherever she found fit.
"Anyway I need to tell you that I'm going to join Ash. I'm going to help him track down NTR, Team Plasma and hope to get that bill removed."
"I see. I was right once again." Saturn turned to see her sister was on her way out of his room. As they brushed shoulder the teen grabbed her sister by her wrist. "You're going to fight. Just like Ash and his friends." Pausing, "You remind me of two people I saved from a detention centre a few years back." Saturn released his grip on his sister, nearly causing her to fall off her feet. "Don't kill yourself though."
Dawn twirled in the spot and smiled at her brother in a cheeky manner. With a salute, "Yes Commander Saturn!"
Saturn smirked and tried to cover it with his hand but no matter how hard the boy tried Dawn knew he was happy that they had met again and was back on good terms. Dawn smiled afterwards before heading to her room. A warm feeling overwhelmed her. It was nice to have her brother back.
But that feeling was quickly erased three days later with a sense of grief and disbelief.
Confusion ran through May's mind as she lay silently on her bed in the silence of her apartment. Her eyes half lit she reached over for her phone only to knock it off her bed side table. Too lazy to reach down and grab it May turned around and tried to return herself back to sleep. The rain had subsided and the air had the scent that it had just finished raining. May embraced her pillow tighter hoping the softness would drift her back to sleep. But nothing worked.
She remembered seeing how concerned Ash was when their hands were slipping due to the rain and how desperate his voice became when she fell until a strange pokemon lifted her back into his arms with a strange mystic power. She couldn't run and hit Ash as they both stayed there until his parents came. As soon they were inside she ran from their sight. The echo of Ash calling her name and admitting his was a pokemon master made it more unbearable for her to accept.
News of the Pokemon Masters was a common daily topic in Republic City. Everyone hated them and despised them. Some blamed their parents while others blamed society. Nobody understood their attacks or their messages they left. If a house was robbed the Pokemon Masters were automatically a suspect. But due how clean their crime scenes were they were impossible to be tracked.
Sitting up and with her pillow still in her arms May walked over to her window and stared at the city. Her train of thought was interrupted when a same jingle was heard from her phone. Reaching over she saw it was other than her brother that had sent her a text message.
"How long do you plan to ignore him? It's been three days."
Replying quickly and simply May placed her phone back onto her side table and sat the the edge of the mattress. She buried her head deep into her pillow and remembered that incident on the roof of Team Rocket Corporations was three days ago. She had not spoken to Ash or to even his brother Silver. She couldn't handle any more information from Ash so soon. After hearing he had met her father and knowing he was also a Pokemon Master left May in such confusion that she refused to speak to anyone.
May's phone started to light up again with another familiar jingle. Reaching over May read the message.
"Their worried you know, even me. If you're still upset about not telling that our parents were still around then I'm sorry. Tell me a way to make it up to you."
Replying back May sent her brother her reply.
"Your to blame a little to what is happening to me know. It's Ash. I'm finding it hard to accept the things he told me."
With her phones still in her hands another message followed.
"About Ash...Sis, the police are after him. Drew and his team found enough evidence to arrest him. Sis, Ash has been rumoured to be missing for three days by his family. Nobody has been able to enter into their mansion since. With no word from Ash the police believe his been kidnapped."
And her phone crashed onto the ground without a single sound. May embraced her pillow as her tears flooded in and her head buried. Looking skyward she saw her curtains move, nearly making her mistaken them for Ash.
Did he go after her or did he run away unable to accept all the things he had done in his past? Did she say too much or too little? Wiping her tears she made her way to her cupboard where her clothes were. All nicely folded and were organised from PJ's to out of town attire and many more. May stretched for her usual attire or orange and green and slipped them on.
"I have to say sorry, even if I'm not the blame for his disappearance."
Putting her sneakers on May couldn't help but to stare at her phone still lying on the carpet. After putting one pair on her mind slipped to automatic mode and her mind guided her to her gallery and there in the newest folder were photos of herself and Ash, from their first day together at the park to the days leading up to that rainy night three days ago.
"I should have believed in you." May spoke while staring at the photo. "But I let the views of other people made me judge you in a harsh way." Her voice began to drop. "I'm sorry Ash. Wherever you are, please be safe until I find you."
Slipping her phone into her pocket May finished putting her other shoe on and made it to her feet quickly while looking at a box placed alone in a dark corner of her bedroom. It was an old box to others but to her it was the only box that she knew that whatever was inside belonged to her old self. Walking over and opening it she saw cases of ribbons that she guessed she got in contests.
A red shirt, black bike pants, gloves, sneakers and a red bandana was also found and a single photo was inside, a photo of herself with her younger brother Max and Ash and a tanned man together in one photo. It seemed Pikachu had just jumped into the photo causing Ash to lose his pose while the rest remained theirs. May remembered when she woke up not knowing who the other two men were or the life she had left behind.
With her fingers tracing over the many ribbons in her case she couldn't help but feel glad she had got so many, as if a sense of complement came. May could remember how long she would sit in front of his box, wondering why she had so many ribbons. Was she a collector? A fashion designer? May never knew and felt she would never remember the reason why. But deep within her she couldn't wait to hear the stories each ribbon held behind them after everything around her was solved.
Reaching deeper into the box were six pokeballs all dusty and old. Without any more delays May grabbed them and rushed out of her room in the hope that everything was going to be alright.
But the mid afternoon traffic made it nearly impossible to start her search at a fast pace. May quickly rushed to places where she hoped she could find the boy such as the park and fast food shops but no one seen the boy. This was a surprise to May due to the fact that Ash belonged to a well known business man and was seen on television many times advertising his family's business or was on business like talk shows talking about businesses.
It had been hours since May had started her search and she had only search very little of the city. Coming to a bus shelter the brunette decided to take a small break and sat down. And within a few seconds later she heard somebody walking towards her and took a seat beside her. Convinced it was no other than a bus passenger she did not bother to look at them.
"You're searching for him, aren't you?"
Confused May looked towards her right and saw it was that strange man she saw Ash talk to the other night. May scooted more to her left as the creepy man stayed where he was.
"I can hear your heart screaming for his safely. But that is to be expected from people that care about him."
"What did you do to him?" May gritted her teeth. "I saw you talk to Ash three nights ago. What did you tell him to do?"
"I asked if you could help me take down Neo Team Rocket and Team Plasma." N looked at the city building across the road. "But sadly they got to him first as if they knew he was going to expose them."
"Your father shot him in his own home; they knew Ash was bound to take you guys down eventually. It was the matter of who made the first step first." May stood up from her seat. "You're a part of them; now tell me where Ash is!"
N crossed his legs and sighed. "I have no more connections with my adoptive father. I only come with him to his meetings for the media." Standing up, "I can assure you that Ash fought to his very last second."
May rushed to the lime hair boy and grabbed him by his shirt, dragging him down to her height with one fist ready to punch him. "You better give me one damn reason not to hit you right now." May spoke in a threatening manner. "Because I'm in no f**king mood to play games with you."
N held up his hands into the air, causing May to release her grip on him. N reached deep into his pockets and showed her a number of notes and photos. Photos of Ash's room all messed up as signs of a struggle were clearly seen.
"I took these photos three nights ago when I saw Ash being taken by my father's men."
Taking the photo from the man, "You saw them? The why didn't you stop them?" May continued on her idea to punch the man but N caught her fist and prevented her attack.
"If I did my father would know I'm no longer interested in his plans therefore causing him to move causing us to lose Ash."
Taking a moment to accept N's words May spoke up. "So what do you me to do with these photos?"
"Spread them around like a pokerus virus. On the internet, the media and to the police. Once my father knows him and NTR are being hunted he will have to be more careful, making him less likely to kidnap the other people part of Ash's group."
Agreeing with N, May nodded as N parted from her as she did the same. Rushing towards the police station May looked down at the photos in her hands. What were rumours of Ash being kidnapped had become more real.
"I'll save you this time Ash."
"Where am I. How did things get this far?"
"I'm in no mood for fabricated bulls**t Drew!"
With anger notes were thrown off the meeting desk. Slamming her hands on the desk Zoey stood from her chair and softly placed her hands on the woman's shoulders only for them to be shrugged off later on. Saturn watched on as his sister shrugged away the newest information about the Pokemon Master. Being away from Kanto for so long, news about the Pokemon Master was very new to him. Due to this Saturn spoke very little and watched on.
Across from a laid an empty seat, a seat that was always filled by the name of Silver Ketchum. There was no doubt he was searching for his younger brother. With him already lost a sister during the war losing another sibling would be more traumatic then the last.
"I'm not making this up. The police records and the CCTV have and witness statements say that it was Ash Ketchum on top of that roof of Team Rocket Corporations two nights ago with Pokemon!" Drew slammed his hands onto his desk. "Stop defending him! If his guilty, then so be it!"
"Ash is missing right now and you want to talk about this? You and your skill on bad timing!"
"I've sent the police after him. They are helping the search but I'm not going to grantee he will be brought back home after this much evidence."
Dawn clutched her fists and cussed under her breathe. She knew well enough that Ash would be go to trial as soon he was found. Soon Bianca and Stephan would go into question then her name will be dragged into her crime. Her family's name would be brought back into shame.
"And if I see you had any part to hide this crime from the Kanto Police Unit I swear I will bring you down back to the shame your family belongs into!" Drew yelled.
"How dare you!" Dawn yelled as her brother and Zoey held her into her place. But they were only able to hold the teen back for a few seconds before Drew was greeted with a powerful slap. "My family may have mistakes but who doesn't? You a damn father now Drew and wouldn't you do everything you can to clean your child's name if you can? Well guess what, that is what I did with mine and I'm going to do the same for Ash!"
"Get a grip Dawn." Saturn rushed and pulled his sister from the boy. "If you continue to be more defensive it will only prove that you do have some relation with Ash and his crimes!"
Saturn's words made the teen to stop in her violent rampage and shrugged off her brother's grip on her arm. She went back to her chair only to grab her handbag before leaving the room in a quick yet violent manner.
Drew sat back on his chair with his hands covering his face. Finding trouble to believe the words he had spoken. Taking a sigh. "F**k."
"Was that really necessary Drew?" Zoey spoke up. "You know damn too well how important Dawn's family's reputation is to her."
Saturn left the two in their conversation as he reached over for the notes that Dawn had thrown off the table with her anger. Reading over them quickly he saw photos, notes and essays of possible reasons why Ash would be the Pokemon Master. The reasoning was too out of character for Saturn to believe. There was even a timeline starting since he became a pokemon trainer at the age of ten and all he had done for the Pokemon world. As the timeline continued more question marks were written above the line. Asking why would the boy save a certain town, friend or pokemon without having anything in return.
"They obviously don't know the boy too well." Saturn smirked as he placed the papers back into a neat order.
"Ash has never had a grudge against you despite what you have done to May. Now that you know that Ash didn't kill May two years ago I see no reason why you have to be harsh towards him."
"I'm just stating the facts here Zoey." Drew looked up to the red head. "I'm just doing my job."
"The job of the police is not only to find the criminals and punish them." Saturn interrupted the two. "But to help protect the innocent and find anybody missing and bring them back home safely."
Zoey crossed her arms and gave a questioning look at Drew. "His right, you know."
Pausing for a minute to take some time to think to himself he stood up to his feet. "Well I won't have a case to give to the court if we can't find Ash." Looking at the other two in the room. "I'll send my best men to find him. I promise we'll find him alive and safe. Don't blame me whatever happens next. After all, I'm just doing my job."
Zoey smiled, "Innocent until proven guilty Drew, innocent until proven guilty."
"I chased after her and then when I lost her everything hit me all at once."
As clear the calm the evening sky stayed on the ground chaos erupted. A young bluenette was rushing down the streets pushing anyone that was in her way. Her common sense was not working as she had no lead, no idea where Ash was. Was he truly kidnapped or was he away for some time to think after what N had told him? As the city traffic started to build and the streets started to clear up Dawn came to a halt and sighed.
"This if foolish, what if Ash isn't in trouble at all?"
"Nope, his in trouble alright."
Turning around were two teenagers that went by the names of Stephan and Bianca. Bianca rushed to Dawn and gave her a comforting embrace before another boy walk pass Stephan. Dawn's eyes lit with joy and ran up to embrace him. Bianca giggled as Stephan off a small smile. Dawn broke their embrace as the man rubbed her tears away.
"Since when did you join up with these two?"
"I spoke to Ash awhile ago saying I would help him to bring NTR down and in that same night we were going to investigate with his Glaceon but before we all knew it they got to him first." Paul explained.
"I believe NTR or Team Plasma were at my place another night. I could hear somebody trying to open the locks on my window until Professor Fennel woke up and caused a big sound with one of her dream machines." Bianca explained. "NTR and Team Plasma are after each and every one of us."
"Just to make sure that the bill that stands today won't get removed." Stephan added.
"But where is the proof that Ash was taken? He is the only one out of us that has more than one pokemon." Dawn asked.
"A note was left in Ash's room. Also traces of blood and a struggle were seen. It was said that more than two people were in the room. A group of men more like it." Paul explained. "The new is about to publish this in the morning."
Blood, struggle and violence. Dawn couldn't understand why his Pikachu or his Glaceon did not stop them. Perhaps they did but did not survive or Ash told them to run rather then get hurt. The idea of Ash bleeding to his death at an unknown destination sent fear through her veins. This only gave Dawn and the others more reasons to save Ash as soon as possible.
"But knowing these two groups Ash might not live up to the morning." Bianca spoke with slight fear in her voice. "W-we can't l-let Ash d-die!" Bianca panicked.
With a comforting hand from Stephan on her shoulder Bianca got herself back together. Paul looked up to the sky and saw the glow of the setting sun was coming down on them. Reaching over for Dawn's hand he held it tight, causing Dawn to blush softly. She looked up and saw the determined and confident smirk Paul would have on his face when he was about to win in a battle.
"Let's go. I have a battle with Ash on the line."
Smiling back in a determined manner back to him, Dawn held onto Paul's hand tighter and made their way with Bianca and Stephan tagging right behind them.
"They won't save me. All I left them was a trail of blood leading to a destination that does not exist. I'll simply die from blood lost. Classic."
"I don't understand you Saturn. Why are you interested to save the boy that put you in jail so many years ago?" The man's father spoke. He soon poured more alcohol into his glass. Looking over to see his son did not reply Cyrus continued to speak. "Saturn I demand an answer from you."
Both men were on the balcony that was filled with pot pants by the fence railing and a small outdoor table that was enough to seat for four. The sun was nearly hidden behind the city causing the automatic lights on the balcony to light up.
Drinking what was remaining in his glass Saturn placed his empty glass down. "I have no interest to save the boy. Saving him would simply be a bonus." Saturn poured himself another glass and moved his glass around to cause the alcohol in his glass to swirl. "My personal agenda lies with NTR and Team Plasma alone."
"So you didn't come back for your family then?"
Looking back at his father, "That as well as my personal agenda. After years stuck in a jail cell I've learnt the meaning of family once again." Saturn drank what was in his glass before putting it down again.
"Well if you're going after them I suggest you take some of my pokemon." Cyrus reached for a bag underneath the table and threw it towards his son. Inside laid a few pokeballs.
Closing the bag Saturn threw it over his shoulder and rose to his feet. "I thought you hated me using your pokemon?"
"Things have changed my son." Cyrus held the bottle of alcohol and read the blur on the back of the bottle. He took a quick glance at his son before back to the bottle. "Before you go could you tell me what this personal agenda of yours is about?"
Cyrus looked back at his son after not hearing a reply from him. He saw his son was looking at the city with his hands tightly gripped on the railing. Cyrus looked away having a fair idea of his personal agenda.
"Right...Mars." The man paused. "I knew you two had something special."
"Not right now Dad." Saturn sighed.
"Just make her proud, alright?" Cyrus dropped the bottle back on the table as he heard his son jump over the railing and to a nearby tree.
As he heard the rustle of the leaves behind him Cyrus looked back onto the footpath and watched Saturn run down the path and onto the streets. Soon a bright flash of red came to his sight and a cry of a certain pokemon filled his ears. With his glass in his hands the man stood up and reached for the bottle once more and filled his glass up once again.
"The times are changing." The man spoke as he took a drink from his glass. "An unlikely gathering is unfolding for the sake of one boy." Cyrus smiled. "He always did have a way with people."
"Knowing my friends they'll come but if they die for my sake then I rather die. They have all lost so much because of me."