Author's Note: This is the sequel to my earlier Pokémon story "The Secret of Valencia Island." For those of you who haven't read it, it's about how Brock saved Vulpix from a nefarious plan that focused on controlling Pokémon by means of transmitters. Brock saved the day that time, but now a new plan has stemmed from the same source… This sequel takes place early on in the Johto saga, at a point where Ash still has Charizard. And there are a few references to the first season, as well as the Mystery Dungeon game. Disclaimer: these characters are not mine, except for Amanda.
"Vulpix, you're awfully quiet today," said Pikachu to his friend Vulpix.
"Oh, it's nothing," she assured him, able to understand his native tongue.
"OK, then!" chirruped Togepi. "Catch me if you can, Vulpix!"
Togepi ran off playfully, but soon found herself in the arms of her trainer, Misty.
"You shouldn't run off like that!" Misty chided Togepi. The egg-shaped creature smiled guiltily.
"I think Togepi has the right idea," said Ash. "The faster we get a move on--"
"The faster you can get another badge," Brock finished for him, with an amused shake of the head.
"Exactly!" Ash agreed.
"So I take it you don't want to stop in the next town for lunch?" Misty asked.
"No gym, no reason," said Ash. "Wait, did you say 'lunch'?"
"Yeah, she said 'lunch'!" teased Pikachu. "As in 'food'!"
"So, how far is this next town?" Ash asked.
"About an hour, give or take," Brock replied, after consulting the guidebook.
"So we have another reason to get a move on!" said Ash.
Vulpix sighed to herself. She was glad that things were normal again; Brock had saved her from a twisted plan he had accidentally discovered while on Valencia Island. Both of them had come to an agreement never to breathe a word to anyone, but sometimes, the others would take note how deep in thought she or Brock would get at certain times. Vulpix and Brock were thinking about the same thing: what had happened to the Pokémon on the island? Were they safe? Or had they fallen victim to another evil plan?
"Vulpix?" Brock asked, softly.
"I'll be fine," she said.
"Hey!" called Misty. "You're falling behind!"
"We're coming!" Brock answered, he and Vulpix running after Ash, Misty and Pikachu.
Not too far from this scene, watching it, were Jessie, James, and Meowth.
"What do you see?" asked the cat, able to speak in English.
"The twerps are headed to the next town--" began Jessie, but she was cut off by a loud yawn from James. She glared at him.
"What?" he asked.
"Do you have to yawn like that…?" she asked.
"Well, pardon me!" he said, with a roll of his eyes. "Can I help it if you get easily annoyed?"
"Are you calling me irritable!?" asked Jessie, raising her voice.
"Wooooooobuffet!" chimed a voice. "I think…"
"I didn't ask you!" she quipped to Wobbuffet.
"Never mind," ordered Meowth. "If we use the balloon, we can make it to the next town before those twerps and capture Pikachu!"
"Jessie…?" began James.
"Meowth is right," said Jessie, ignoring him. "If we just--"
"Jessie!" he screamed now.
"What!?" she snarled.
With a whimper, James pointed to the sky. Circling the area were two large moth-like creatures, each nearly seven feet tall. They vaguely resembled Venomoths, but were too large and too monstrous-looking.
"What… what are those…?" James asked, in a whisper.
"I've never seen anything like those…" breathed Jessie. "We've got to capture them!"
"I'm not going anywhere near them!" vowed James.
As the argument between Jessie and James progressed, Ash, Misty, and Brock noticed the creatures as they swooped down, blocking the pathway to the town.
Misty screamed involuntarily, her phobia of insects taking over her.
"Venomoths!" exclaimed Ash. "But what's wrong with them…?"
Before anyone could answer him, one of the mutant Venomoths spoke.
"We have come for the Vulpix," it hissed.
Vulpix gasped and retreated to Brock's arms.
"They want Vulpix!?" asked Misty.
"They're not getting her!" Brock vowed. "Not without a fight!"
"Right!" said Ash. "Go, Pikachu!"
"Thundershock!" yelled Pikachu, the bolts striking their mark.
The Venomoths weren't the least bit weakened by the attack.
"Hey, you guys, look…" gasped Misty. "Look at their necks! They have weird transmitters on them!"
"It must be Team Rocket!" accused Ash. "They must've done something to the Venomoths and sent them to attack us!"
"Then why would they be after Vulpix instead of me?" asked Pikachu.
All eyes turned to Brock and Vulpix.
"She's after me again…" Vulpix realized. "You… you all are in danger because if me; it's all my fault…"
"No," said Brock, trying to stay calm, for he knew who had sent the Venomoths after them. "You are blameless, Vulpix. It's all her fault."
Ash and Misty exchanged glances with each other and looked again from Brock and Vulpix to the Venomoths.
"What's going on?" asked Ash. "Who's after Vulpix?"
"Brock, are you in some kind of trouble?" asked Misty.
Their concern was genuine; Brock could see that. But could he bring himself to tell them about the horrible secret he had uncovered on Valencia Island? Could he tell them about how Ivy betrayed him and tried to steal Vulpix for her cruel experiment? Ivy must have created a new experiment, one she had used to turn these Venomoths into monsters, and now she wanted to use Vulpix again. Brock was afraid to ask why.
Ash took action again. Summoning Charizard to battle the mutants, he instructed Brock and Misty to leave while they still could.
"No, Ash," said Misty. "I'll help, too."
And she summoned Staryu.
"Take Vulpix and go!" said Pikachu. "We'll be alright!"
But Brock couldn't abandon his friends; Ash and Misty were like a brother and sister to him. Summoning Zubat to use its supersonic, he succeeded in confusing the Venomoths long enough for all of them to escape.
The group didn't stop their getaway until they were just outside town.
"OK, what is going on here?" asked Ash.
Brock told them the whole story about Ivy's plan, and how he had befriended a girl named Amanda, who had helped him and Vulpix escape.
"If it hadn't been for Amanda, I never would've gotten off that island," he said. "She lives in the next town; I'm sure she'd help…"
"They're back!" screamed Misty, pointing to the Venomoths. "And they have backup!"
She was right; now there were five mutants circling the air above them.
"Why aren't they attacking?" asked Ash.
"Stun Spore; they're using Stun Spore!" yelled Pikachu.
There was no time to run; there was nowhere they could've gone to escape them. And they couldn't even move to summon a Pokémon.
One of the Venomoths tried prying the frozen Vulpix from Brock's arms. When it became clear that his grip on Vulpix was too strong, the creature grabbed him, Vulpix and all, and flew off with the other four following it.
It was a full fifteen minutes before the effects of the Stun Spore began to wear off.
"I don't believe this!" yelled Ash in fury as he got his voice back. "Those monster Venomoths got away with both of them!"
"Poor Brock and Vulpix…" said Misty, tears in her eyes. "Ash, isn't there anything we can do!?"
"We have to find out where they took him…" he replied, summoning Heracross. "Heracross, can you follow the dust trail of the Venomoths that just left here?"
"I will try my hardest," he vowed.
"When you find out where they took Brock and Vulpix, let us know; we'll be in the next town trying to find that girl Amanda."
With that, the beetle flew off.
"Do you think Heracross can follow them?" asked Misty.
"I hope so," Ash replied. "I'm counting on the fact that it didn't take too long for their reinforcements to arrive to assume that they couldn't have taken Brock and Vulpix far."
"What if Heracross can't find them?" Misty asked, her voice a worried whisper.
"…Then we'll keep on trying," he replied. "But we've gotta find that Amanda girl first. We'll be needing all the help we can get."