Summary: Plotbunny fic. What if Professor Oak hadn't given Ash pikachu because he thought he was too irresponsible? What dire lengths would he have gone to, to become a pokemon trainer and chase his dream?

Disclaimer: Nintendo, Game FREAK, Shogakukan comics, etc. own pokémon. I do not. I do own new pokemon, attacks, and forms that pop up in this fic though.

Notes: indicates telepathy, ** indicates thoughts, italics indicates pokemon speech.

Ages: Ash is 11, Charlotte is 12, and the other trainers are 11…

Prologue: The rising darkness

            "I'm sorry, Ash." Professor Oak said. "But I'm all out of starter pokemon."

            Ash morosely put down Squirtle's empty poke ball. "But professor, don't you have any more pokemon?"

            "I'm afraid not." Oak said. "You can always wait until next year, Ash."

            Ash didn't wait to hear the rest. His dream shattered, he dashed into the woods, never mind that he was still in his pajamas.

            Ash didn't know how far he ran before he collapsed.

            "You seem to be in some trouble, young man. Maybe I can help you." A voice said. Startled, Ash looked up.

            There stood a man in a dark red designer suit.

            "What do you mean?" Ash asked.

            "I can give you a starter pokemon and a special pokédex."

            "Really?" Ash asked.

            The man nodded. "Follow me."

            Soon, they came to a building in the woods. The man used a Card Key to open the door, before he walked in. Ash gasped. They were in a room with the walls lined with rows and rows of poke balls.

            Waiting in the room was a girl with black hair.

            "Charlotte, meet your new partner. This is Charlotte. She is also a novice trainer."

            Ash shook hands with her.

            "I am Giovanni."

            "Thank you, sir!" Ash said, staring at the pokemon.

            "Just join my organization, and you can have your own."

            Ash considered only for a few fleeting seconds. "Then I agree."

            "Very well."

            "Did you know that Professor Oak actually had more than one starter?" Giovanni asked a few minutes later. Ash was still looking at the pokemon through their poke balls in excitement.

            Ash gasped. "What? But then why didn't he give it to me? He lied to me!"

            "And to think you trusted him." Giovanni continued softly.

            Hatred welled up in Ash's heart. "Not anymore." He said coldly. Giovanni smiled to himself and turned Ash's attention to something else.

            "Now, you two may each choose one pokemon. If you do well, then I will give you more."

            "Cool!" Ash said. His eyes scanned the walls.

            "I want this one." Charlotte said.

            "Interesting. A Charmander. Quite common, though."

            Ash looked around. Finally, he saw what he wanted. "I know! Can I have this?"

            Giovanni nodded. "It's a neo pokemon named Chikorita. A grass-type."

            Giovanni then gave Ash and Charlotte their special pokédexes.

            "Now for your uniforms…"

            They were given black uniforms with red 'R's on them. White gloves, boots, and black caps completed their outfits.

            "You are now officially members of Team Rocket. We are an organization dedicated to catching rare and special pokemon."

            Ash smiled. * This is so cool! * Any part of him that might have complained had been squashed when Oak's deceit had been revealed. * Professor Oak, whatever happens now is your fault. *

            Charlotte grinned.

            "Now, before I send you out, you have nine months of training to complete."

            Ash and Charlotte nodded obediently.

            Giovanni couldn't contain his excitement. * These two seem to have potential. They will be valuable assets to the team. *

            "Charmander, use Smokescreen!"
            Charmander nodded and filled the room with smoke.

            "Now." The instructor said. "You have sixteen minutes to navigate through this maze. You can use your pokemon to help. Ready, set, go!"

            The two dashed off.

            Ash commanded Chikorita to use its vine whips to etch markings in the walls, while Charlotte's charmander cut through the walls in their way.

            *Pant, Pant*

            "This is good exercise." Charlotte commented.

            Ash nodded. "You've got that right. Wait! I think I see the exit!"

            "Great!" Charlotte said.

            "Chikorita, Vine Whip throw now!" Chikorita nodded and threw them both towards the light, before it flung itself after them.

            They landed outside the maze.

            "Fourteen minutes fifty-three seconds." The instructor said. "Not bad."

            He pressed a button and the maze shifted.

            "Now try again…"

            That night, two exhausted recruits lay slumped in their bunk beds.

            "So this is what he meant by training…" Charlotte moaned, feeling her bruises.

            Ash nodded. "I'm all sore…" He winced, as every part of his body was black and blue.

            "Don't worry. I heard from someone that we only have physical training every other day."

            "That's a relief. Otherwise, I'd be dead."

            "Me too."

            *Flash Scene*

            "Chikorita, use Razor Leaf now!"

            "Charmander, use Flamethrower!"

            The two combined attacks disintegrated the thick, wooden wall.

            "Now we go in." Ash said. He and Charlotte put on their breathing masks and ran in. A few seconds later, they exited with a bag of fake poke balls.

            "Not bad." The instructor said.

            *Flash Scene*

            "Charmander, use Smokescreen!"

            "Now, Chikorita, tackle that Pikachu! Good! Now use Sweet Scent on the trainer!"

            The trainer, who was really another Team Rocket agent, gagged.

            "Charmander, Slash!"

            Charmander nodded and slashed off the man's poke belt. Then, he ran off with it, back to the two rockets.

            "We'd love to stay, but we have other appointments!" Ash said, as they hopped into the Meowth balloon and vanished.

            A few minutes later, the trainer caught up with them.

            "So, how did we do?"

            "Perfect scores, again." The Rocket evaluator said.

            'Great!"

Excerpt from Giovanni's personal diary:

            Ash and Charlotte are incredible new trainers. It has only been four months, but they have already passed the basic and intermediate classes. I suppose that I can send them to the advanced or special emergency training classes now. They might need them, even though I wouldn't expect it. Since they're doing so well, I've decided to give them each two more pokemon.

            They will be Growlithe and Ponyta for Charlotte, and Eevee and Poliwhirl for Ash.

Giovanni

P.S. Of course, since they are my niece and nephew, I wouldn't expect any less.

(Pointless note: I used the pick 4 Random Integer function on the TI-83 calculator and got these on the first try. Cool!)

*Flash Scene*

            "Growlithe, Roar!"

            "Now use Hypnosis, Poliwhirl!"

            The two attacks crashed into the Slowpoke their opponent was using. All four slowpokes fell asleep.

            "Now!" Ash said, "Chikorita, tie him up with Vine Whip!"

            Chikorita nodded and tied him up, while Charlotte threw Rocket balls at the four slowpokes, capturing them.

            "See ya!" Ash called, as they hopped into their jeep and drove off.

            "They have potential." Jessie, one of the supervising 'teachers' said.

            James nodded. "Yes. I always wonder… they kind of look like Giovanni. Do you think they're his children?"

            "Nah. Probably relatives, though."

*Flash Scene*

            "Take that!"

            Charlotte jumped out of the way as Ash swung at her with his staff. "Block." She said, holding up her two daggers and preventing the swing.

            "Try this then!"

            "Ow!"
            "Oops…" Ash said, looking at the girl he had cracked over the head lying on the floor. He bent over to check, when suddenly found one of her daggers at his throat.

            "Heh. I played dead."
            "Smart." Ash said. They broke apart, picked up their respective weapons, and began anew.

            *Crack*

            Ash looked at the fainted girl and grinned, flashing a 'V' for victory. "Yes!"

            Since she didn't get up, Ash knew she wasn't faking and had his pokemon carry her to the infirmary.

*Flash Scene*

            "Congratulations." Giovanni said, presenting them with their diplomas. It had been a year and a half of hard work, but now, they were two of his top trained Rockets and ready to take on the world. All their training missions had been carried out, and he had acquired many rare pokemon because of it.

            "Thank you, Giovanni, sir." They both chorused.

            Their uniforms had been changed. Instead of red 'R's on their chests, the 'R's were now gold. It was a statement. They were in the top ten percent of Team Rocket agents.

            Ash's eevee had evolved into an Umbreon, and he had also acquired a Sneasal and a Mysdreavus. Charlotte, on the other hand, had evolved all her pokemon, and she had received a Bellossem.

            "Now you are ready to start serious work."

            They both nodded and headed towards the hanger, where the Meowth balloon was waiting.

End Prologue!

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