First off I want to start by apologizing for the lack of updates in the last 2 months. It has been a very busy summer and pretty much all of my limited free time was used on hanging out with friends and family. I have just enrolled into college, so from now on updates will properly not be as frequent as it was before my 'summer break', but I can assure you that I have no intention of abandoning this story. I have really been looking forward to writing this chapter because as most of you know, Mewtwo won the pull of readers choice, but this chapter will feature a special Pokémon of my own choice that I think Ash should have. So without further a due, let's get on with the story. Enjoy!
Chapter 4: The Last Breath
The forest of Route 22 was quiet ,way too quiet. The trees were unmoving and the wind was calm and barely noticeable. An uncomfortable silence hung in the air and Ash was on high alert, listening for a sound. It didn't matter what sound, any sound that could help lead him to the abducted Pokémon that was taken from the Pokémon Center. He had been searching the forest for a good 20 minutes now and he still hadn't come across any members of Team Rocket.
"This is hopeless! We will never find them." Ash stopped walking and went to sit on a boulder. He let out a deep sign and looked to a tiny mouse Pokémon who was standing beside him on the ground.
"I just don't get it. We have been looking everywhere and there is still no sign of them anywhere. It's like they have just vanished without a trace." Ash said in defeat and Pichu crawled up Ash's leg and settled himself on his lap.
"Pi" The electric mouse said and rested its paws against him, trying to offer his friend some support.
'We're not getting anywhere like this. Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way, maybe I should try something different.' Ask looked down to the belt strapped around his midsection and withdrew a Poké Ball. He enlarged it in his hand and threw it in the air, releasing a small bird Pokémon. Pidgey mesmerized before the two in the air and looked toward her trainer for a command.
"Pidgey, we are looking for people who have stolen some Pokémon from the Pokémon Center. They should be somewhere in this forest, but we have been unable to find them anywhere. I needyou tofly up and look for them from the sky."
Pidgey chipped affirmatively and flew up and disappeared from view. Ash picked up Pichu from his lap and placed him on his spot on his shoulder. "Let's hope she stand a better chance of finding them."
"Pi!" The yellow mouse Pokémon said with a nod.
Ash looked towards the sky for what must have been the tenth time. He let out a sign as there was still no sign of the small avian. Ash was starting to get worried, it had been half an hour since he sent Pidgey out to find Team Rocket and she still hadn't returned. 'Where is she? She should have been back by now. Is she lost? ...no, flying type Pokémon have a great sense of location. On the other hand, this is a pretty big forest'
A rustling noise sounded from a nearby bush and Ash was instantly on alert. His hand quickly reached out for his belt and closed around Charmander's Poké Ball, ready for a fight should need be.
With slow and determined footsteps, Ash edged closer to the bush where the noise had come from. With one hand Ash grabbed the branch of the bush and pulled it aside to see what was hidden behind. But to Ash's great confusion, the spot was vacant of any life form.
'What is going on? I could have sworn that the sound came from here' Ash thought in bewilderment and relaxed his stance.
Ash's face lit up with a smile as Pidgey came into view. It flew over and came to a halt in front of Ash and all thoughts about the mysterious noise was forgotten and instantly replaced with anticipation.
"Hey Pidgey, did you find them?"
"Pid" The tiny bird Pokémon gave a small cry in affirmative while flapping its wings.
"Show me." Ash picked up Pichu and placed him on his shoulder and took off in a full sprint after the tiny avian.
Pidgey led Ash and Pichu to the outside of a small clearing by the river. Ash could hear faint voices talking and knew that Team Rocket were close.
Pidgey landed on his free shoulder and gave a low Pid. "Great job Pidgey, you did well." Ash whispered. Ash patted the tiny bird Pokémon softly on the head and stroked its feathers, much to the small avian's appreciation.
Ash crouched down and slowly started making his way closer to the clearing, making sure to stay well hidden behind the bushes. As he got near the clearing, he could hear to people talking.
"I can't believe how easy that was!"
"Yeah, I would have thought they would at least have put up more resistance."
"Like that would have changed anything, nobody stands a chance against Team Rocket"
Laughter filled the air and Ash decided to take a peak from his hiding spot. Two men were standing in the middle of the clearing looking very pleased with themselves. They were both wearing black uniforms. They had grey boots and gloves. And a big red 'R' was on their chest area. The only thing that set the two apart was that one of the grunts were a tall and thin, where the other was shorter and had a more average built. Their faces were slightly concealed by a small black mask above the noses, which covered the upper part of their faces, leaving only two small holes for their eyes to look through. Their hair was hidden from view by a small grey hat.
Ash also noticed the small brown bag on the ground, next to the two Team Rocket members. 'That must be where they keep the stolen Pokémon. But how do I get it to it?' Ash knew that he would properly have to fight the two of them to get it, but they were two against one. Ash had trained his Pokémon a little on his way to Viridian City and had taught them some new moves, but he still wasn't sure if his Pokémon were strong enough to defeat Team Rocket. Ash was broken out of his line of thought when he heard the two grunts speaking again.
"Look at all these Pokémon, and all of them are ours to do with as we please."The tall thin one of them said greedily.
"Don't you forget that they are going to the Boss!"
"I know, I know. He will surely reward us handsomely for might even get a promotion." The taller one said with a dreamy expression on his face.
"Yes, a promotion is nothing less then what we deserve."
"The only thing the two of you deserve, is a prison cell."Ash said loudly and boldly stepped out from his hiding spot, making his presence know to the two thieves.
The two Team Rocket members looked shocked at the interruption and turned to the source of the voice. When they saw Ash, they promptly started to laugh.
"It's just a kid!" The smaller of the two said, still laughing.
The other one took a menacing step forward towards Ash. "Maybe you should head home to your mamma, little boy. Before you get hurt."
Ash ignored him and gave the grunt a hard stare, determined not to let them see how nervous he really was on the inside. "You have something that don't belong to you, give me the Pokémon you've stolen and I'll let you go."
"And what makes you have any chance at beating us. We are Team Rocket, the most powerful criminal organization in the world. You can't stop us" He said arrogantly with a smirk.
"I can, and I will." Ash said bravely and withdrew a Poké Ball from his belt and enlarged it.
"So be it. Prepare to face the wrath of Team Rocket." The grunt threw a Poké Ball and released a Raticate.
"Raticate!" The rodent bared its fangs menacingly.
"Go Charmander!" Ash shouted and released his starter Pokémon.
"Char, Charmander!" The small lizard stared down his opponent, ready to fight.
"Raticate, use Quick Attack!" The grunt yelled and Raticate charged Charmander with quick speeds and hit the small lizard Pokémon before it could dodge. Charmander was pushed back a few steps but no major damage was done and it quickly regained its bearings.
"Charmander, use Growl followed up by an Ember!" Ash shouted. Charmander leaned forward and released a deafening Growl making the Raticate lower its attack. The moment of hesitation from Raticate was enough and the mouse Pokémon was hit directly in the face with the flame attack, making Raticate give a cry of pain.
"Lucky hit boy, but it will take more than that to defeat us." The grunt raised his right hand, pointing at Charmander and commanded. "Raticate, use Hyper Fang!"
Raticate angrily rushed at Charmander with its teeth shining and ready to strike. The mouse Pokémon bit down hard on its opponent's tail. The fire type Pokémon yelled out in agony and tried in a blind panic to shake the rodent off its tail.
"Charmander, use Scratch!" Ash shouted and after a well-placed Scratch attack, Raticate was pushed off the lizard Pokémon.
'This doesn't look good. Raticate is stronger and clearly has more experience battling.' Ash thought as the battle went on. Charmander continued trying to land an attack on its opponent, but the mouse Pokémon was simply too fast and dodged all the lizard's attacks easily. An overpowered Tackle attack sent Charmander flying back, landing heavily on the ground a few meters away.
"Charmander!" Ash yelled worriedly as the fire-type Pokémon struggled to get back up. "Are you okay?"
"Char!" Charmander said nodding with labored breathes. Despite its body was covered in brushes and he looked close to fainting from the damages, Charmander was willing to fight to the end if his trainer commanded him to.
'I need a plan. Charmander won't last much longer if this continues.' Ash looked at the bag of the stolen Pokémon laying on the ground besides the smaller member of Team Rocket who was watching the fight. 'I need to get that bag! But how?'
Ash looked at his Charmander and then to his Pidgey who was on top of his right shoulder. A plan started to form in Ash's mind, it was a little risky, but a plan nonetheless.
"Raticate, finish this with Hyper Fang!"
Ash saw the Raticate speed towards Charmander with its teeth blazing and ready to strike. "Charmander, use Smokescreen!" Ash commanded hisstarter Pokémon and seconds later, the whole space where Team Rocket and their Pokémon had been was now covered in a thick cloud of smoke.
Ash seized the moment and quickly returned Charmander into his Poké Ball. He then turned his head to Pidgey and pointed to the smoke.
"Pidgey, get the bag!"
Pidgey hurriedly left Ash's shoulder and disappeared into the cloud of smoke. It's keen eyes spotted the bag of Poké Balls instantly in the haze. The bird Pokémon quickly glided down and grabbed the bag from the ground with its claws in one swift movement.
Ash saw Pidgey emerge from the smoke cloud and dropped the bag into his awaiting hands. "Let's go!" Ash yelled and wasted no time in running into the forest.
Ash ran at full speed through the forest, tying to get as much distance between himself and the Team Rocket members as possible. Pichu clung tightly to his shoulder while Pidgey was flying above him. He could hear the two thieves behind him getting closer and closer, and he knew it would only be a matter of time before they caught up with him.
'I need to come up with a plan, and fast. There is no telling what they will do if they catch me. But I'm sure it won't be pleasant.' Ash kept running, dodging the various branches that got in the way and jumped over a few fallen trees that blocked the path.
Ash came to a suddenly halt when the pathway just seemed to end.
"You've got to be kidding me!" Ash yelled in frustration. Yet again a chase through a forest had led him to a cliff with no means of escaping. There was of cause always the action of going back the way he came, but that was no option since he could hear the two Team Rocket members getting nearer.
'This is happening way too often for my liking.' Ash thought with a frown on his face.
"Pidgey, return!" Ash said and recalled Pidgey back into its Poké Ball. He opened the bag in his hand to see around 20-30 Poké Balls. 'Maybe one of these can help me fight off Team Rocket.' Ash wondered.
'There must be at least one Pokémon in here that could help me fight them off. But then again, what are the chances that they would even listen to me?' Ash thought but quickly dismissed the idea. Even if the Pokémon would obey him, there was not nearly enough space on the cliff for a Pokémon battle. Ash was broken from his thought when he was startled by a voice.
"Well, well, well. Looks like you ran out of luck kid." One of the grunts said with a sinister laugh.
"You gave it a good try, but it's over now. Give us back the Pokémon now or face the consequences."
The Team Rocket members had arrived and were standing a few paces away, blocking the way into the forest. Ash knew that his options for a escape were limited and backed up slightly, a look of fear on his young face.
'Oh no. What do I do? I'm trapped.'
Ash took a few steps backwards towards the edge of the cliff and looked down. The hillside was very steep and several meters down below was a big river that stretched all across the landscape. High waves could be seen moving on the surface of the water, clashing violently against the rocky bottom of the cliff.
"So are you going to give us the Pokémon, or do we have to come and take them from you?" The taller Team Rocket member said and started walk closer to Ash.
"I will never give them to the likes of you!" Ash made his decision and gave him a defiant stare and then he jumped of the cliff.
Ash fell through the sky at an incredibly speed towards the river down below. He held Pichu close into his chest with his right arm and the bag of Poké Balls in the other. He could hear the Team Rocket member's screams of anger from the top of the cliff. At least he could take joy in the fact that they wouldn't succeed their mission. Ash just hoped that he would survive this.
Ash hit the water hard and painfully, causing a big splash in the process. He felt his whole body being consumed by water as he started descending towards the depths of the ocean. The water was cold and dark and chilled Ash to the bone. He tried to swim upward towards the surface but the heavy weight of his clothes and the bag of Poké Balls, was making it near impossible. He kept paddling his legs and arms, trying to gain momentum but it was going way to slow and he was quickly starting to run out of oxygen. His muscles screamed in protest with every movement but he couldn't give up, not now. He could barely see the surface which was highlighted by the moonlight in the dark water.
After a few minutes Ash started to panic, he knew he wouldn't reach the surface in time. He had no strength left and could barely move his arms or his legs anymore and exhaustion started to claim him.
'Looks like this is it. I haven't even been a Pokémon trainer for a week and now it is over. Is this really how it's supposed to end? Me drowning at the bottom of some lake.'
Ash's vision started to darken as his lungs got filled with water and he started struggling to breathe but it was futile to fight it. His body went limp and he slowly started to sink toward the bottom of the lake.
'Well, I gave it my best shot, nobody can expect better from me. I saved those Pokémon from Team Rocket, that's all that matters. I just wished that my Pokémon didn't have to share the same fate.'
And with that last thought Ash lost consciousness and helplessly continued his descend towards the bottom of the ocean and towards his death.
"Cough! Cough!" Ash was laying on his stomach coughing up water. His body was aching all over and his vision was blurry. He rolled over onto his back, closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breathes, trying to get his breathing under control. After a few minutes Ash's breathing returned to normal, but a splitting headache remained and made it hard for him to think straight.
'What happened? Where am I?' Ash thought as he painfully lifted himself up so that he was resting on elbows and cracked one of his eyes open to try and see where he was. He was lying on a sandy shore leading up to the grassy fields of the forest and the river in front of him. It was still night and the moon stood high in the sky, illuminating the ground below with a bright light.
Ash looked to his right and spotted his belt with his Poké Balls laying in the sand next to him a couple of feet's away. He crawled over and attached them back onto his wrist and let of a sign of relief. 'Thank god I didn't lose these. But I seem to forgetting something...where is..'
"Pichuu!" A yellow blur crashed into Ash's stomach and gave him a fierce hug. Ash groaned painfully as his body was still sore from the ordeal, but he didn't care, he was glad to see that his friend was okay and hugged him close into his chest.
"Pi?" The tiny electric mouse stared at Ash with a concerned look.
"I'm alright" Ash said weakly and patted the Pokémon on the head. "How about you, are you okay?"
"Pi, Pichuu" The small Pokémon answered while nodding its head. Ash inspected Pichu to be sure and was happy to see that he was uninjured. His fur was wet which was to be expected, but he was luckily unharmed.
Pichu jumped off of Ash and positioned himself on the sand next to his friend. Ash slowly rose from his position on the sand and stood shakily on his legs. 'How is this possible? I should have died down there. There was no way I could have survived. But then how?'
Ash tried to remember what happen, but couldn't for the life of him figure out what happened. He remembered standing on top of the cliff with Team Rocket before jumping off of it and into the lake. He remembered trying to swim to the surface but was unable to do so and blacked out. It just didn't make any sense. Ash was broken from his train of thoughts when a splashing noise sounded from the lake.
A Pokémon could be seen in the water. It was a medium-sized fish with large vacant eyes. Its pectoral and tail fins were white and has a stiff, three-peaked fin on both its back and stomach that are both yellow. It also had long tan barbels which exited from its heavy scaled body.
'A Magikarp!' Ash thought in surprise. But this one looked different, unlike the traditional Magikarps this one's scales were a brilliant golden color which seemed to sparkle in the moon light.
"Wow. A Shiny Magikarp" Ash said to himself as he stared at the fish Pokémon in awe.
The Magikarp swarm closer to the shore and dropped something in the sand which it had been carrying in its mouth. Ash approached the Pokémon slowly to see what it was and noticed to his shook that it was the bag of Poké Balls that Team Rocket had stolen from the Pokémon Center. He picked up the bag and inspected the contents and was happy to note that all the Pokémon was there. Ash put two and two together, it must have been the Magikarp who saved him from drowning. First it must have dropped him and Pichu off on the shore and afterwards went back down to the bottom of the lake to retrieve the bag of Poké Balls.
He carefully placed the bag in the sand and went over and kneeled before the shiny fish Pokémon.
"It was you wasn't it? You were the one who saved me?" Ash asked softly.
"Karp! Karp!" Magikarp splashed happily with its fins in the water. Ash took that as a yes.
"Thank you so much, I owe you my life." Ash said and stroked its scales with his hand, making the Magikarp lean into the touch.
"Karp! Karp! Magikarp!" The shiny Pokémon was jumping up and down in the water, clearly trying to tell Ash something.
"What is it Magikarp?" Ash asked, trying to figure out what the fish Pokémon want.
Ash felt something tugging his pants and looked to his right where Pichu was standing.
"Pi, Pichu" The electric mouse said and tapped one of its small paws on a empty Poké Ball strapped to Ash's belt. It didn't take a genius to figure out what the Magikarp wanted and Ash's face lit up with a smile.
"You want to come with me?"
"Karp! Karp! Magikarp!" The Magikarp nodded its head and swam closer to ash and Pichu.
"Alright, if you are sure that is what you want, I would love to have you on our team." Ash said as he withdrew a Poké Ball from his belt.
"Pi!" Pichu said and nodded in agreement.
Ash held the Poké Ball in front of the fish Pokémon and Magikarp lightly tapped the ball with its head before it was sucked inside the red Poké Ball.
"Welcome to the team Magikarp" Ash said to the ball, which was now containing the new addition to his team.
"Come on Pichu we should get back to Viridian City, it's nearly dawn."
Ash slowly rose from the sand and was instantly reminded of the beating he took from his near death experience.
'Note to self... never jump out from a cliff, it won't end well.'
His whole body was shaking and he was freezing from still wearing the wet clothes. He let out a loud sneeze and wished that he had taken his backpack with him so that he could change to some dry clothes, but it was still in his room back at the Pokémon Center.
Ash decided to direct his mind to more happy thoughts and pulled out his Pokédex to check the stats on his new Pokémon.
'The Fish Pokémon'
Water Type Pokémon
Famous for being very unreliable. It can be found swimming in seas, lakes, rivers and shallow puddles. It is virtually worthless in terms of power and speed, since it's a Pokémon that is only capable of flopping and splashing. Magikarp is therefore considered the most weak and pathetic Pokémon in the world. However, it is actually a very hardy Pokémon that can survive in any body of water no matter how polluted it is. In a distant past, it was somewhat stronger than the horrible weak descendants that exist today.
This Magikarp's height is 2'11 (0,89m) and weights 22Ibs (10,0kg).
Ability: Swift Swim.
Attacks: Splash & Tackle.
'A nice addition to the team. Shiny Pokémon are very rare and hard to find. Off cause in this stage Magikarp isn't the strongest of Pokémon, but with the right kind of training I'm sure it will become strong' Ash thought as he and Pichu traveled through the forest.
Ash still couldn't believe that he managed to outsmart Team Rocket and get back the Pokémon that they had stolen, but somehow he had beaten the odds and ended up on top, and emerged victorious in the end. So even dough his body was in tremendous pain right now, and he almost lost his life today, it made it all worth it because nothing was more important than keeping Pokémon safe from the likes of Team Rocket.