Title: Castles in the Sand
Author: Shadow/Phantomness
Pairings: Championshipping (Lance x Red/Ash)
Fandom: Pokémon

Rating: R
Disclaimer: Pokemon belongs to Satoshi Tajiri, Nintendo and Shogakukan Comics. This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction belongs to me under international copyright laws and taking it is plagiarism. Thank you. *Phantomness bows*

Notes: () for telepathy, ** for thoughts, italics if a pokemon talks

Warnings: AU, shonen-ai, torture and death in later chapters

Prologue/Chapter 1

No one knew quite why or how it had happened. Team Rocket couldn't even be blamed as the culprit, or any of the other petty mobs that popped up in the Kanto Region every so often. It started with the wild pokemon, the normal-types. They were behaving erratically, being more aggressive than usual. Even the usually tamer Rattata and Pidgey were actively targeting any humans that went into the tall grass, trainers or not.

Perhaps there was a food shortage, the League scientists suggested. Maybe it was a hormonal cycle that all pokemon went through? The information on pokemon was still far from complete, despite Oak's work on the pokédex.

However, it did not stop with just the normal-types. The fighting-types were next.

Foolish, the Governing Council scoffed. Fighting types were born aggressive! Expecting them to be peaceful was stupid. There was a reason why most of the trainers who dealt with fighting types were decent fighters in their own right.

No one noticed the bug pokemon. They were overlooked in practice, and no strong trainer – or mediocre trainer wishing to be strong – bothered with them. Perhaps Scyther or Pinsir made it to the big leagues once in a while, but that was about it.

It was only when trained pokemon began to turn on their trainers that the warning bell sounded. Something not quite right was happening.

By then, it was too late.

~Five years later~

"Sir! You've returned!" The fresh-faced young recruit snapped a salute as Paul stalked into the base. Brown eyes studied him scornfully for a moment, before nodding.

"How did the patrol go?"

"Same as usual," Paul had no time to make small talk. "Has there been any activity in any of the other sectors?"

"Yes." Another voice cut in. Flannery stood there, a slightly irritated expression on her face. "Lance reported that there was unusual pokemon activity in the northeastern region."

Paul rubbed his eyes, stifling a groan. "Again? I swear that man likes making things up. As long as the wild pokemon there aren't actively trying to attack us, I say we should live and let live."

"Actually, you might want to reconsider that statement, sir." Flannery said coldly. "This is something different."

"Fine, I'll go take a look."

Lance was busy typing away at his workstation when Paul arrived. He nodded, tilting the monitor so that the purple-haired teen could take a look.

Paul stared at the mass of pokemon. "And what should I be seeing?"

"Well, sir, they seem to be building something." Lance said. "You'll notice that the Rattata and Pidgey have been collecting rocks and twigs – more so than the usual amount required for their yearly breeding cycle." He clicked the image, changing it to another angle. "Also, there have been numbers of ground pokemon accumulating in the area. That is unusual, as the ground-types normally remain in the mountainous regions."

"Wait… that looks almost like…"

"The foundation for a building," Paul scowled. "Well. Maybe this is something."

Flannery looked aghast. "But who could be controlling the wild pokemon? Even tame pokemon haven't been used since…"

Erika leaned over from her workstation. "It can't be the badges either. It was unequivocally proven that they didn't work as control devices any more."

Flannery nodded in complete assent. It had been a harsh blow for the Gym Leaders to realize that the badges had somehow lost their power. Flannery still had severe burn scars from when her fire-types had turned against her. The plague had stayed contained for several months in Kanto and Johto, but then it had spread to Houen, and not stopped there.

It was doubtful that pokemon training still happened in any region now. Not even Shinou escaped unscathed. Indeed, Shinou had suffered the most severe blow of all. The general population had died, no doubt exterminated by the power of the many legendary pokemon in that area.

Even now, it gave her the shivers just thinking about it!

Paul watched as Lance brought up several other photographs from different angles. Whatever the pokemon were planning now, it was big.

How he wished he had that power for himself…

Angrily, he rubbed the long scar across his nose, where his Weavile had gouged him after the incident. It was proof of his skill that he'd made it out of Shinou alive.

Damned useless pokemon!

They should have kept fighting for him! When he found out who had turned all the pokemon, he would kill them!


"Call a meeting, Flannery." Paul snapped. "We'll gather the other leaders. This can't end well."

"Yes, sir!"

She snapped another crisp salute and left the room.

"Lance, print out all those pictures and see if you have any blueprints on buildings. We need to nip this in the bud."

Golden eyes widened slightly. "How?"

"I'll figure that out. Just get me the data right now."

The redhead gave a curt nod and turned back to his machine, hiding the anger smoldering in his eyes.

* Just you wait, Paul. Someday, you'll get what comes to you. The Mother's anger cannot be denied, not even in your fortress of steel and glass wire. *

The others in the room continued to work, unaware of the traitor in their midst.

End Chapter

Completed 5/2/08

I should not be working on a new series during finals prep. *Sigh* However, this plotbunny has been bugging me for almost a month…

The only consensual pairing I have is Championshipping, kk? Rape and one-sided love is most certainly NOT consensual!

Paul is an arrogant dick and I hate him. ^^

Why did Flannery turn out to be eerily like Hawkeye from FMA? No idea! I like Hawkeye though! I think she's a kick ass female character!