I'll go with the obvious. I don't own pokemon. This story is made for my own amusement. One other thing, I'm awkward with pokemon so I switch around with 'it' 'he' and 'she.'
Summary: Giovanni is sick and tired of Ash messing up his plans. Capturing him and using him as a weapon, Giovanni will take control of the world with Ash by his side more or less human. First stop is Mew Mountain, where the fable Pokemon Paradise resides.
Steam rose from the hot mug of coffee that was slowly being stirred by an expensive, ornamental spoon. Perfectly manicured hands tapped against the oak wood desk in thought, eyes slowly looking over the various pictures and statues of rare pokemon in his office.
Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, was a collector of sorts. He used only the rarest and strongest, of course, while his servants were lucky enough to get what they had. His subordinates did get their own powerful pokemon, of course, but that was through the means of training their weak pokemon into fighters, his fighters.
Giovanni was currently at a loss, something that did not bode well. Giovanni was a man of power, and when power and control was not within his grasp, there was sure to be trouble, and that led to rash decisions. Being the leader of a high level crime organization, Giovanni could not afford to be careless or make mistakes. That was what his servants did, and Giovanni prided himself on being far above the filth that gave Team Rocket a bad name.
At the moment, however, Giovanni wasn't making a good impression on his servants. After continual losses against the police and a mere child, many were starting to second guess his motives.
Giovanni clenched his fists, slamming them down on his desk, blowing several papers away from the force. He could understand the police might be involved with putting a stop to his plans, which didn't happen all that often, but the fact that a boy, a child, stopped almost every single plan was unacceptable. He had watched the boy on taped security videos once the mission had been administered as a failure when they had been sent to him.
Giovanni had found himself impressed, which was a rarity all in its own. He had never been impressed with anyone, which therefore led to the emotion of desire. A child, who trained everyday pokemon to unimaginable strengths had been able to stop his servants with excellent battling skills and strength. This talent could not be wasted.
He remembered the first time he had met the boy. It was only half a year ago when word had gotten to him that his team of scientists had been stopped from experimenting in the Sinnoh region thanks to, once again, the same child. His patience had been stripped away at last and he ordered an immediate kidnapping. He himself traveled to the far away region.
He had waited impatiently as his servants dragged the boy to him and took his unconscious friends and pokemon into the lower level cells in one of the few Team Rocket fortresses in Sinnoh. Giovanni had expected anger and arguments, so it came to no surprise when he was given 'no' as an answer when he asked the boy to become a member.
They had talked – well, he mostly talked – about how long it would take before the boy accepted to become a member of Team Rocket. Giovanni had studied the boy for months, preparing for this day when he would force the boys' unnatural power into the clutches of Team Rocket.
No mere human should be able to have so much power over a pokemon, to be able to make unevolved weaklings fight with such strength and will power. His battling skills were far too natural to be normal. There were always those few, such as those in the League, who were born with pokemon skills, but none such as the boy.
So it came to no surprise that the boy cared deeply for the pokemon. It didn't take a genius to know that the boy would take any amount of torture from him, so long as his friends and pokemon remained safe. As Giovanni was hardly a fair man and played the boys' weaknesses against him, he had brought him into a battling room and had been given back his pokemon.
Giovanni watched from above as he snapped his fingers and watched as chains and manacles attached themselves to the boys' wrists. A cold glare was all Giovanni received before he watched the boy scream in pain just as his beloved Pikachu was hit from behind from a Scyther.
Giovanni remembered how his eyes had narrowed in satisfaction as the battle commenced, the boy receiving the same amount of pain as his pokemon each time it was hit by its opponent. Technology has come a long way, especially by scientists that stepped across the line. It went from stress sensors, heat sensors and almost any type of sensor to make the experiment a success. The boy just happened to be one of the first few to try it out.
As loath as he was to admit it, he had gotten the idea from the foolish girl, Jessie, partner of James and Meowth. Apparently she had battled the boy for the Earth badge when he had been away, an event he barely remembered. She had used the same idea, only the sensors didn't react to the same amount of pain or even the right type of pain at all. Electricity was released into the trainer's body each time his or her pokemon was hit.
It was an idea worthy looking into for punishment against any disobedient servants, and the boy was doing a marvelous job.
He screamed, naturally, but didn't dare loose focus of the match or his commands. He battled for hours, continuing to impress Giovanni before his body fell to the ground. His near death pokemon surrounded him, just as tired as he was. The mouse was the one that Giovanni would always remember. A simple Pikachu, no more than that, was the strongest the boy had. For the first time, Giovanni understood why Jessie and James had spent years trying to capture it.
Giovanni closed his eyes as memories assaulted his mind, making him angrier and angrier. The boy had been so close to becoming his. Just a few threats towards him friends and forcing his pokemon to battle non-stop almost made him agree.
Alas, plans never go according to plan, especially when this certain boy was involved. The boy had escaped. It was as simple as that. Giovanni had been forced to leave and make reconnections with Team Magma and Aqua. As important as the boy was, he could not afford to allow his team become involved in their silly little war. Teams Aqua and Magma may fight against each other, but they were not against working together to help if Giovanni needed them. After all, he had been the one to help the two groups come to life.
He was a man who took risks and whatever opportunity presented itself. Apparently the boy did as well. With Giovanni gone, so was his stern glare that made the air tense and alert. The guards got lazy, and that was how the boy escaped. Later, as Giovanni watched the security videos, he still wondered how the boy did it.
His friends were unconscious, thanks to psychic pokemon keeping them out of the way, and his pokemon were at the point of going into shock from all the stress and damage. And yet he still did it. He and his pokemon, very simple pokemon, carried them out and escaped, still battling his servants.
Giovanni reopened his eyes, his black eyes cold and dark as he glared at the screens in front of him, showing the face of the fifteen year old boy who had been giving him so much trouble. Desire and possessiveness wound itself around Giovanni's mind like the heat of pure adrenaline.
He had to have this kid in his organization not as an actual member, but as a weapon. The only problem was finding the blasted kid. He had disappeared, perhaps in hiding or traveling throughout the Sinnoh region in silence. It didn't matter, someday, more likely soon; he would capture the child and turn him into the perfect Team Rocket solder.
Giovanni glanced away from the smiling face on his screen, intent on meeting with his scientists and best trackers, but not before whispering the name of the boy who had eluded him for so long.
Every type of technology created and imagined resided in Giovanni's main base. With so much to be done and experimented, how could he not have advance technology that hadn't even been released to the public, let alone the police, work in his favor? It was always best to strike your enemy when they least expect it in the most surprising way possible. And attacking your enemy with weapons they had never before seen was an almost perfect way of getting rid f one's enemy.
Giovanni waited patiently, body stiff and formal, as the see-through elevator took him to the lowest part of his base. This was where his scientists worked in peace, away from the law and where sound could reach them. The room was completely inescapable. The only way out was through the elevator that only worked with a scanner that matched with the DNA that was allowed in and out. If you weren't put on the list of acceptors, then you had to find a way to destroy the glass of the elevator that could withstand hundreds of hyper beams and then fly out.
There was also the security, of course, which meant that prisoners didn't have a chance of escape.
"Doctor Lison," Giovanni intoned as he reached his lead scientist in the darkest and dirtiest part of the underground.
A twitchy man with gray hair jumped at the sound of Giovanni's voice, unused to human contact except with experiments. Despite the gray hair, the man looked to be only forty-seven. "Gio… Giovanni," he rasped, watery blue eyes darting to the taller mans face. "It has been a while since you have come down here." The man paused to give a chuckle. "Need a new experiment done?"
Giovanni raised a finely waxed eyebrow at the disgusting man, clearly disgusted by how greasy and smelly the man was. Didn't the man know about personal hygiene?
"As a matter of fact, I do," Giovanni said smoothly, voice almost turning into a purr.
"I have a certain interest in someone special who has, unfortunately, no desire to join Team Rocket."
"Why not threaten this person?" Lison asked, wondering Giovanni would get to the point and tell him what he needed scientifically.
"Threats do not work," Giovanni said patiently. "The boy always finds a way around them and has been a thorn in Team Rocket's side for some time now."
Doctor Lison blinked at the word 'boy.' "How important is this… boy?" Lison said carefully, tongue running over yellow teeth.
"Important enough that I myself am getting involved," Giovanni snapped. "I am sure you heard of him. I believe he gave your cousin, Dr. Number, a little trouble with his base in the Johto region while he was doing experiments on the anger of a pokemon and when he finally succeeded in capturing the legendary Lugia." By Giovanni's cold eyes, Lison knew the man was still angry at the loss of such a prize.
Lison's eyes scrunched up from the old memory. "That was years ago," he mumbled. "But there have been rumors of what the kid –Ash was his name? – has done to our organization." An insane glint lit of the doctors eyes. "What do you want done to him?"
"The first thing I need is the boy himself," Giovanni practically snarled. "Team Rocket, as much as I loath to admit, is no longer what it used to be. The organization is failing more and more operations, operations that cannot fail if Team Rocket is to rule." Giovanni narrowed his eyes. "I need the boy as a weapon."
Doctor Lison nodded, expecting as much. "You want to go the Mewtwo way, do you?"
Giovanni's smiled cruelly as he saw Lison flinch at his glare. "That subject is not to be brought up," he said, raising his chin.
Mewtwo might have been able to erase his and Team Rockets memory of him for a while, but nothing can last forever. Giovanni's psychics had alerted him of his missing memory after an annual check up. His memory, as well as several select members, had been restored.
The scientists used Mewtwo's experiments and changed them, doing what they pleased and making sure to help Team Rocket in any way possible.
"The boy will be used to gain us access into gokuraku," Giovanni said coldly.
Lison's eyes widened. "The Land of Paradise?" he whispered. "The fabled pokemon paradise?"
"It is not a fable," Giovanni replied smoothly. "It is real."
Lison stared deep into Giovanni's eyes. "How?" he demanded.
"My sources have located it," Giovanni said carelessly. He gestured for the man to follow him to one of the main screens. Opening his jacket, Giovanni pulled out a data stick and put it into the computer. Images popped up, showing Lison landscapes for a while before finally revealing a large mountain, the fabled Mew Mountain. It had been called that because years and years ago people claimed to have seen Mew fly towards that very mountain.
Humans were unable to make it by both technology and pokemon. Technology no longer operated when going over the top of the mountain. It can come close, but it cannot land or go over the mountain. Pokemon, trainers say, go crazy and abandon them in a quest for freedom, forever leaving them behind.
Lison watched the images in awe, a gasp escaping his lips as a picture actually showed the top of the mountain. It looked hollow, almost as if the earth had been dug out of it. The clouds had always covered the top, never once allowing distant viewers to see the top. What Lison saw was a thick layer of fog around the hole on the top before going into the fog. The last picture was nothing Lison had ever seen.
The land seemed to go on forever, having every single type of landscape available. It mostly consisted of a forest with rivers snaking through it. An ocean could be seen in the distance, connected with the sea that surrounded the large mountain. Snow and grass areas, even deserts, could be seen if you squinted your eyes closely.
That wasn't what hit Lison the most. It was the pokemon. There were thousands of them, most rare and almost impossible to find pokemon. Despite the number, it still seemed there was enough room for million's of new pokemon to join them. Lison barely had time to blink before the picture looked hazy before finally going black.
"I sent my own personal Dragonite there," Giovanni said. "It was fast enough to get these pictures before destroying the camera around its neck. I may have lost that dragon, but I now have information far more valuable than any single pokemon."
Doctor Lison fidgeted. "Sir, if I may, but how do you plan to reach the mountain? Pokemon will try to escape from us, even attack, and technology cannot get near the mountain."
Giovanni smirked. "That is where the boy comes in."
Lison sighed in exasperation. "Sir, with all do respect, I do not think you have planned this out fully." Lison ignored the dangerous look in his boss' eyes. "Humans cannot survive climbing the mountain. The mountain does not have a secure ridging, nor can they receive help from pokemon. Do you even know the distance that is needed to travel to get to Mew Mountain?"
Giovanni smirked. "Exactly one month if we take my personal flying base."
Lison closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, thinking of the gigantic base. It was literally a flying base that dwarfed Hunter J's base of the Sinnoh region. "Sir…" he began, only to get cut off from Giovanni.
"Be silent," the man snapped. "Do you not think I have thought this over, researched every angle and every benefit? Team Rockets benefits in this would gain them thousands of rare and powerful pokemon that could easily take over the regions and, finally, be in control."
Lison had to bite his tongue to point out that only Giovanni would be the one in control.
"As for me personally," Giovanni sneered," I would have a certain thorn taken care of and turned into a weapon to help us succeed."
"Again, sir," Lison said patiently, "I do not understand what you want me to do."
Giovanni smiled coldly. "There is a special crystal in the Johto region," he says, knowing Lison will listen to whatever he says even if he changed the subject, "that resides in a very special lake. It was powered by Zapdos itself and is a healer to all electric type pokemon that swim in the lake. There are very rare crystals like that all around the world, one very special one that resides in Mew Mountain." Giovanni smirked. "Its power is to destroy technology power and make a pokemon's mind go insane with the urge of freedom and hormonal overdrive."
"And how do you know this?" Lison asked.
Giovanni stared at the man coldly. "You are not my only scientist and this is not my only base," he said dismissively. "My information is not for the minds of all my servants."
Doctor Lison bowed in his head in acceptance before raising his eyes with a pleading look. "Sir, I ask again, what do you need me to do?"
Giovanni's smile became absolutely cruel. "How far have you come with your mix DNA testing?"
Lison's eyes widened before his smile turned just as cold as Giovanni's. "We have come a long way indeed, sir, a very long way."
Giovanni nodded in satisfaction. "Good. Now, I believe you will prepare this project immediately as I get you your test subject."
Lison tilted his head. "How quickly will my subject be here?"
Giovanni eyed the doctor for a minute. "He disappeared off the map for a while," he admitted. "But that shall be remedied. I will have Atreus find the boy."
Lison nodded, thinking about the somewhat brutal man. He was Team Rockets best tracker who was well known for pushing his pokemon to the limit, even if it meant beating them. The man was always away and never answered Team Rocket unless it was Giovanni himself. "His two year mission was a success?" Lison asked.
"As it is he who is bringing you the DNA of the best pokemon bred into the world, I would say that yes, it is."
Lison's face took on an eager expression. "DNA even from…?"
"From only the best," Giovanni said sharply. "And that includes every single league and champion, as well as something a little… special. He says it is exactly what I need, and for his sake it better be," Giovanni growled. He glared at Lison. "Be prepared," he said coolly, before leaving swiftly, ignoring Lison's gaze on his back.
"Atreus," Giovanni murmured, eyeing the thirty-five year old man up and down. The man had black hair that reached the middle of his neck. Cold, gray eyes stared at Giovanni with respect and a slight glint that meant he was ready for a fight. The man was incredibly buff and wore dark gray pants that had several pockets that bulged slightly with a black shirt and black jacket that, likewise, had several mysterious pockets. A few deep scars that Giovanni knew of was on Atreus's left arm, but with the jacket on, he could not see them.
"Sir," Atreus intoned, eyes boring into Giovanni's. "I take it you are ready to tell me the plan for why I have been gone for two years, collecting DNA samples of some of the finest pokemon?"
"Aside from experimental results that I wish to see?" Giovanni said with a chuckle. "There is a good reason, Atreus. Sit down." It wasn't an offer, and Atreus knew it.
"I am after Gokuraku."
Atreus didn't look surprised, though he did raise an eyebrow. "I remember we spoke on the subject," he said slowly. "It was right before my mission to get the DNA samples and… well, among the requirements."
"Indeed." Giovanni looked at the man, his expression dark. "I will not waste our time discussing the dangers of going to the mountain and what it can and can't do. We are both aware of it, which is why I need you to get me someone. He shall be our tool into getting into the mountain. You have read my notes and seen the pictures?"
Atreus nodded, an excited look appearing in his eyes. "Who must I bring to you? One of the League members?"
Giovanni chuckled. "No, no. I'm afraid your task may a bit too easy for your tastes. He is a trainer, simple enough, no?"
Atreus frowned. "Who is this simple trainer?"
Giovanni chuckled once more. "It may seem he's an easy target, but he's more elusive than you think." Giovanni turned on the screen. Atreus stared a the boys face, a small smirk gracing his face. "You know him?" Giovanni asked, watching Atreus carefully.
Atreus was the one that chuckled this time. "I have heard many rumors and have seen some of what he does in person. He causes Team Rocket much trouble, doesn't he?" He smiled at Giovanni's annoyed expression. "He has also given Hunter J, a natural professional in her field in the Sinnoh region, much to complain about. What do you have planned, sir?" Atreus looked at Giovanni curiously. "Do you believe he has the will to make it up the strength to climb up the mountain without his pokemon? Even if the kid does have the strength, what makes you think he'll help? I believe he hates Team Rocket."
Giovanni had poured himself a cup of brandy during the little speech. Taking a sip, Giovanni looked at Atreus seriously. "That's where the pokemon DNA comes in."
"You will turn him into a pokemon?"
Giovanni gave a bark of laughter. "No, but certainly enough to turn him into a type of hybrid or monster. I believe the scientists are calling this new breed pokemorphs or something ridiculously similar." Giovanni smirked. "Your special training shall play a small part in his cooperation."
A nasty smile made its way to Atreus's face. "Of course, sir," he said softly, eager to have a new challenge. It had been a long time since he had found fierce pokemon to tame. It might not be completely the same, but it will be all the more satisfying. "When do I begin?"
"Immediately," Giovanni ordered. "He is traveling with two friends. I need you to do what you do best when it comes to company. As for his pokemon…" Giovanni paused. "I cannot allow them to stay with Team Rocket. The boy would try to find a way to find them and continually fight against us to get free. His pokemon need to be safe so that he only thinks about his own safety so that we use that against him for his training. Send them to his hometown professor."
"Understood." Atreus stood up swiftly, fingers already caressing a pokeball as he read the brief notes on the boy and his friends.
As the boy was off the map, that meant he had some searching to do. A glance at Giovanni's face told him he could not take his time or even toy with the fifteen year old boy. It must be done quickly, and Atreus knew the consequences to failure.
"Turtwig, use Razor Leaf!" Ash Ketchum's excited voice yelled, eyes dancing wildly with excitement. His face was lit up with a large grin as he battled in the middle of a large meadow with his two friends, Brock and Dawn, backing him up.
"Turt!" the grass type yelled with enthusiasm, releasing a barricade of sharp leaves from its head. The leaves shot off the two tiny leaves attached to his head and flew with an incredible speed toward its opponent.
"Fur fur!" the opposing pokemon, a Furret, snarled.
"Dodge it!" its trainer, a young boy who looked only thirteen, yelled. "Good job," the boy congratulated as the speedy pokemon easily dodged the leaves by using it lithe body to turn at odd angles to avoid the carnage of leaves.
"Wow, that's one fast pokemon," Ash said sincerely. His large grin became a feral grin. "But we can still beat it. Turtwig, Tackle!"
The grass type ran at Furret, eyes blazing almost as fiercely as its trainer. "Wiig!"
"Use Quick Attack!" the boy quickly ordered. "Beat it with your speed."
Ash's eyes narrowed. "Defense Curl," he ordered smoothly.
With a grin, Turtwig quickly sucked itself into its small shell, while still managing to fly through the air. The Furret managed to hit it dead on, but with the hard shell protecting Turtwig, there was no damage. As Furret bounced lightly off, Turtwig exposed itself, still extremely close to the pokemon.
"There!" Ash shouted. "Bite it now!"
"Turtwig," Turtwig growled, clamping down on Furrets neck as tight as it could.
Furret screamed in pain as it ran around in circles trying to buck the pokemon off. Its trainer was shouting at it to knock Turtwig off without much effect.
"Keep holding on," Ash urged, slightly muscled arms tense as he focused on the battle.
Turtwig did manage to hold on for a while, but one particularly hard fling sent it flying in the air. Furret's trainer roared in approval, ignoring how weak and battered his pokemon now appeared.
"Razor Leaf," Ash said calmly, watching Turtwig right itself up in the air and unleash a barrage of sharp leaves.
"Swift!" the boy commanded.
The barrage of leaves and stars collided with an explosion, sending the two pokemon flying. Turtwig managed to land perfectly, not in the least bit damaged outwardly, while Furret landed roughly with a few bounces. It weakly tried to get to its feet.
"Finish it with Tackle!" Ash shouted, already seeing victory.
"Turtwig!" the grass type yelled gleefully. Head lowered as it charged, and knocking its opponent head on, Turtwig landed gracefully, body tense as it watched for any movement from the Furret.
There was none.
"The winner is Ash!" Brock exclaimed, pointing a finger Ash's way.
"Yea!" Ash cheered, running at Turtwig, arms spread.
"Turwig!" The small pokemon ran at Ash and jumped into his arms, earning a round of laughter from the teen as Ash swung him around cheerfully.
"You were amazing, Turtwig," Ash congragulated as he hugged his pokemon with a childish glee.
"Wig," Turtwig mumbled with a pleased blush on its face.
Ash turned to the boy and shook his hand. "You were good," he said with a grin.
"Your Furret has amazing skills. Have you had it long?"
"You're a great battler as well," the boy said, shaking Ash's hand. His face was a bit depressed from the loss, but he still held a strong smile, pleased with the fun battle. "I haven't had Furret that long, and I can already tell we have a lot more work ahead of us."
"Well, its speed is already good, why don't you focus more on its defense before working on its power? If you use its speed and defense as a combo, you could always tire out an opposing pokemon before making the final low."
The boys face brightened. "That sounds perfect. Thanks!"
Ash laughed. "No problem. I guess I'll be seeing you."
The boy nodded and waved. "See you."
Ash watched his opponent walking away, only now just realizing he never even asked his name. Oh well. He was just another one of those wandering trainer's that he met with every now and then. The same thing happened to all trainers. With that in mind, Ash turned to his other pokemon who were cheering for them.
"Pika!" Pikachu chirped, running up Ash's shoulder with a open mouthed smile.
Ash laughed along with the others, petting his pokemon on the head. "All of you guys are getting so much stronger. I'm so proud of you guys."
The group of pokemon tackled Ash and began an intense tickling contest. Dawn laughed as her own pokemon surrounded her and got the same idea. Pretty soon it became an all out war as Ash and Dawn teamed up against the pokemon. Brock, all too used to this behavior, rolled his nice as he got to work on dinner, a good natured smile gracing his lips. "Alright you lot!" Brock shouted over the noise, trying to get everyone's attention. Naturally no such thing happened. "Well, I guess if no one's hear to help make dinner we could feed ourselves with ration bars," Brock said loudly, giving a shrug and scratching his head, seemingly searching for the disgusting bars.
Brock laughed softly, knowing Ash couldn't survive without a good meal. He glanced away from his bags, not all that surprised to see Ash giving his best puppy eyed look, his pokemon following suite.
Brock laughed at their expressions. "I guess I'll finally be receiving some help with dinner after all."
Ash rolled his eyes. "You know we always help you prepare dinner. Right,
Dawn nodded eagerly. "Of course!"
Brock shook his head, smile still there. "Same chores as every night. Off you go."
Ash wiggled his eyebrows at Brock, earning a larger smile from the older man. Laughing, Ash ran off with Pikachu in tow, ready to get fire wood.
"That battle was awesome," Ash saidto Pikachu as they entered a wooded area, thinking back on the battle as he and Pikachu picked up fallen branches.
"Pi," Pikachu agreed, walking on two feet as he carried his own pile of wood.
Ash picked up another piece, adding to his growing size. He was no longer the scrawny little boy that everybody remembered. After five years of pokemon training, Ash had finally started growing. He was still a scrawny teenager, much to his annoyance, but his muscles were slowly getting bigger, as well as his height. His hair stayed the same style throughout the years, despite the fact he got a haircut whenever it was needed.
"Es…" A low came from the bush in front of Ash, startling both him and Pikachu.
Pikachu dropped its pile of wood and hopped in front of Ash protectively.
"Come out," Ash demanded, dropping his own pile of wood but still holding a
particularly fat one.
"Espe…" This time it was a whimper as a pinkish purple pokemon limped out of the bushes. Its long ears twitched while its purple eyes watched Ash and Pikachu cautiously. "Espeon," it mewled, standing on three feet but still looking ready to bolt.
"Poor guy is hurt," Ash said to Pikachu. Standing next to his faithful pokemon, Ash leaned down carefully and very slowly so as to not startle the Espeon away. "Hey there little guy," Ash said calmly, smiling as he held out his hand for the psychic type to sniff his hand. "Looks like you're a little busted up there."
"Chu," Pikachu admonished.
Ash chuckled nervously. "Well, it is Pikachu," he said in his defense. Ash turned back to the Espeon. "I'm not trying to hurt you, I want to help you. Will you let me?"
Espeon finished sniffing Ash's hand but still backed up a few cautious steps.
Ash sighed, wondering what to do before his face brightened. Searching his bag, Ash brought out a potion. "Espeon, come here," Ash said gently. "This is a potion and it will help."
"Kachu pi," Pikachu said soothingly.
"Esp pe pen espeon?" Espeon asked Pikachu, tilting its head.
Ash watched, completely fascinated as the two conversed before Espeon walked up to Ash, still warily, and rubbed against his kneeled legs. Ash laughed softly, hoping the sound didn't frighten the poor pokemon away. Spraying the hurt leg, Ash watched the wound close up into nothing.
With a joyful cry, Espeon leaped at Ash, licking his face repeatedly. Ash laughed as he pushed the pokemon away. "That tickles," he said in between giggles, patting the pokemon on the head.
"Pe Espeo –" The Espeon broke off as its eyes widened before falling in a dead faint.
Ash raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Must have been in one bad battle to be so exhausted," he told Pikachu.
"Chu," Pikachu agreed, sniffing the fallen pokemon.
"Well, might as well bring the poor guy back with us. I'm sure Brock wouldn't mind one more mouth to feed." Picking up the psychic fox, Ash wrapped it around his neck and shoulders, making it look stuffed. Picking up his pile of wood, Ash nodded at Pikachu. "I think its time we got back. I'm sure the others are wondering where we are."
"Pika," Pikachu said cheerfully, gathering up his own sticks and following Ash back to camp.
"Ash!" Dawn cried as soon as he was within seeing range. "What is that on your neck?"
Ash dropped the wood, barely noticing Chimchar grabbing the wood to start a fire before he put the fainted pokemon on his sleeping bag. "It's an Espeon," Ash told her. "It was hurt but I managed to heal it, but I guess it was pretty worn out. I wonder where its trainer is..."
Dawn kneeled by Espeon. "Maybe it's a wild one. Espeon are rare, but that doesn't mean there aren't wild ones still around."
"Is that an eagerness is your voice I hear?" Brock teased, spooning out some soup for her in a bowl.
Dawn blushed before shaking her head wildly. "I don't want to catch it… Well, I guess I would, but I was just stating a fact!"
Brock smiled at her, showing that he was just teasing.
"Well, if it does have a trainer we'll search for him or her once Espeon wakes up," Ash said, petting Espeon's fur. "But since Espeon isn't up, how about a little dinner?" Ash looked up at Brock hopefully.
Brock rolled his eyes before smirking. "Or maybe you could start looking for that trainer. Looks like Epseon here woke up."
"What? Already?" Ash stopped petting the now blinking Espeon.
"Espeon?" it questioned looking around. It appeared startled by the amount of pokemon walking up curiously.
"Chim!" Chimchar squealed excitedly.
"Pe," Espeon quivered before launching itself at Ash, shivering with anxious eyes.
The pokemon calmed down, looking confused.
"It's ok, everybody," Ash told them, stroking Espeon softly. "Espeon is just a little nervous." Ash brought Espeon up to his face. "Espeon," he told it softly, "everybody here are friends. They aren't going to hurt you, understand?" Slowly, Espeon looked at the group before nodding.
Ash grinned, obviously pleased. "Good! Now, I bet your hungry, right?"
Eyes closed in happiness, Espeon gave a high "Peon!"
Dinner was, as usual, fantastic and incredibly filling. Espeon had needed a lot of coaxing on Ash's part to get to know the others and was slowly sniffing around camp, obviously curious, and yet still cautious about everything.
"This was delicious," Dawn said as she finished her last serving.
Ash patted his stomach, mischievous smile in place as he said his own thanks. Eyeing the darkening sky, Ash stood up and stretched, an obvious sign that camp needed to be cleaned up. As the others started cleaning and putting stuff away, preparing for bed, Ash knelt before Espeon.
"Hey, Espeon," Ash said. "I need to know if you have a trainer. If so, do you have any idea where he or she is?"
Espeon shook its head, giving a firm, "Eso."
Ash felt his eyebrows rise. "You don't have a trainer? Huh." Ash shrugged. "Well, you're welcome to stay the night with us before heading off. I'm sure you're a little tired still. Was it a big fight?"
Espeon's eyes narrowed and Ash was curious about what had happened to it that gave it such a dark look in its eye. Finally Espeon nodded happily. "Es."
Ash patted Espeon lightly before scratching it behind the ears, chuckling as he heard it start to purr. "Good night, Espeon."
"Esp," Espeon said calmly, eyes closing just as Ash got into his sleeping bag.
Ash watched the Espeon fall asleep, a small smile on his face as he surveyed the others before falling asleep, unaware of the steel gray eyes watching his every move.
Badges! Badges! Badges!
Ash laughed in triumph as he jumped into the eight foot tall pile of badges and actually started swimming in the pile.
"They're all mine!" Ash shouted happily, eyes lighting up as thousands of people appeared around him and started cheering his name. "Thank you,
thank you!" Ash shouted at the crowd as he waved at them.
"Finally, after so long," Ash muttered, picking up a single badge and holding it up to the light, his grin as wide as ever.
His grin faltered, however, as the badge gave a twitch before breaking apart. Startled, Ash dropped the badge, watching it morph into a mouth and jump at his arm, biting hard enough to leave marks.
"Yeow!" Ash howled, waking up with a start, eyes wide as they flashed around, wondering what one earth woke him up from such a nice dream. Well, nice before the badge attack.
"Espeon," Espeon growled, mouth on Ash's arm before releasing it, making sure to lick at the mark it left.
"Espeon?" Ash questioned quietly, not wanting to wake the others. "What's wrong?"
"Pe espe!" it whispered urgently, moving toward the forest, eyes wide and pleading. "Espeon," it urged quietly, hoping to avoid waking the others.
Worried, Ash crawled out of his sleeping bag, taking care not to wake the others. He followed Espeon into the forest, wondering what on earth was wrong. Shivering as his bare feet ran along the wet grass, Ash tried to follow Espeon into the forest, loosing sight of the purple fox within minutes because of the dark.
"Espeon?" Ash called out, ducking under a branch as he tried to find the missing pokemon.
"Epeon?" came the innocent call, stopping Ash in his tracks.
Ash sighed in relief as he saw Espeon up ahead. "There you are. I was worried that…" Ash broke off, coming to a pause as he stopped a few feet away.
Something was wrong. Espeon's face was no longer curious and scared. It had a look of pure confidence and a dangerous slyness that almost made Ash take a step back. This dark look Espeon had sent Ash's mind reeling. What was going on?
"Espeon?" Ash questioned. "What's wrong? Why did you bring me out here?"
"To bring you to me."
Ash jumped, nearly falling flat on his face before spinning on his feet and turning around to see tall man standing directly behind him. How did he get behind me without making any noise? Ash wondered, backing up away.
The man leaned against the tree next to him lazily, a smirk gracing his lips. "Ash Ketchum," he said smoothly, causing Ash to tense. "Don't look so surprised, boy. I've heard plenty about you. In fact, loads of people know of Ash Ketchum now a days, what with your growing status as an exceptional pokemon trainer and heroic deeds against Team Rocket." Gray eyes narrowed dangerously at the end.
Ash tensed, body shifting into a position where he could either fight or flee. "What do you want with me?" he demanded, confused to see a satisfied smile on the man's face.
Atreus smirked; pleased to see the boy knew what to do in a situation such as this. His awkward fighting style couldn't defeat him or his pokemon, but Atreus assumed it was because of no training, though he guessed that if any other ordinary trainer charge at him the boy would obviously win.
"I am here for you," Atreus said. "But allow me to introduce myself first." Atreus gave a mocking bow. "I am Atreus, the best tracker in Team Rocket."
Ash felt his breath get caught in his throat, eyes becoming hard as he remembered the torture that man had put him through. "You can tell your boss he can go to hell," Ash hissed.
Atreus tsked. "My, what language for such a small person."
Atreus chuckled. This boy was far too easy to get riled up. He gave a nod at Espeon.
Ash, seeing the nod, turned toward Espeon. "Espeon?" he questioned, body growing cold with dread as the cold look grew darker.
Espeon's gem flashed before Ash felt himself be picked up and thrown.
Gritting his teeth, Ash tried to twist his body in some way to prepare himself for the blow. His body couldn't move and, with a yelp of pain, Ash was slammed against a tree eight feet away. Weakly, Ash got to his feet, a low growl in his throat and eyes sad with betrayal.
"You were working with him all this time?" Ash whispered.
"Of course he has," Atreus said, arms folded behind his back. "It was the perfect way to get you into the forest without alerting your friends. You cannot get seriously injured while the others are… expendable."
Ash's eyes widened. "What did you do to them?" he snarled.
Atreus smiled calmly just as an explosion behind Ash made him jump. His head swiveled toward the source, breath hitched once more as he realized it came from camp.
"Armaldo, grab the boy!"
Ash gasped as the giant prehistoric bug appeared, snarling and raising its massive claw. Rolling away quickly, Ash didn't even give Atreus a backwards glance as he ran towards camp, worried about what happened to his friends.
"Dawn! Brock! Pikachu!" Ash screamed ignoring the twigs and small pebbles digging into his feet as he ran wildly toward camp.
As soon as he burst into the meadow Ash gasped. His friends were completely knocked out. Dawn's pokemon, still being at a low level, were down and out as several large and powerful pokemon attacked camp. Ash's pokemon were all up and fighting, as well as Croagunk.
"Pikachu!" Ash shouted, running over to his pokemon.
"Pika pi!" Pikachu shouted back. As soon as Pikachu's attention was diverted, a Scizor managed to slug him right in the face. "Chuuu!"
"Pikachu! Quick, Thunderbolt!"
Snarling, Pikachu unleashed a furious lightning bolt on the poor bug type. Sniffing with disdain at the fallen pokemon, Pikachu hopped in front of Ash, prepared for more orders. Ash was busy, however, directing the remaining pokemon against the enemy.
"Chimchar, use Flame Wheel in a circle to protect Turtwig! He can't go up against Jynx! Staravia, more speed on those wing attacks! Buizel, Water Gun that Rydon!"
Ash gritted his teeth as the fight wore on, eyes searching the flaming battle field for any sign of Atreus. "Pikachu, get ready for a Thunder attack," he said seriously. "I need you to use as much energy as possible and get as many of them as you can."
Pikachu nodded, sparks already forming as an angry glare made its way to the mouse's normally cheerful face. "Pika pika. Pikachu!" Pikachu shouted, electricity flying everywhere as the clouds above turned dark.
As the area lit up, Ash had to close his eyes from the bright glare for a brief second before finding out the outcome. Three pokemon, a Sneasel, Arcanine and Swalot, were down. Unfortunately, Staravia and Buizel were hit. All Ash had was Pikachu, Turtwig and Chimchar. Well, Croagunk was still fighting but looked ready to faint, and Gligar was lying on the ground out of breath.
Clapping interrupted Ash's train of thought, forcing him to turn to the source. "Atreus," Ash growled.
"My, my," Atreus drawled. "The rumors were true about this little Pikachu." Gray eyes watched Ash closely. "What a powerful pokemon. So unheard of in an unevolved pokemon."
"Pika," Pikachu said darkly, eyes narrowing even more as Espeon snarled back. "Chuka," Pikachu said softly, giving Ash the feeling Pikachu had just called Espeon traitor.
"Espeon, Psychic," Atreus ordered harshly. "Let us finish this up."
Pikachu tensed up for the attack, ready to be thrown away or have a blast of energy hit him. To his complete surprise, Ash was picked up and thrown backwards, hitting Rydon in the back with a grunt. Rydon reached down to pick Ash up, realizing that this was his target.
"Turtwig!" Turtwig roared, aiming as many Razor Leaf's as possible towards the stone monster. The sharp leaves struck the rock monster with a ferocity that even surprised Ash, but it got the job done and Rydon moved away from Ash with a groan.
"Thanks, Turtwig," Ash said, picking himself up and wiping at the dirt covering his face.
Turtwig nodded once before finishing off Rydon.
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on Espeon!" Ash cried out over the distance. A squeal of pain from his right made Ash turn his head, eyes widening.
"Chimchar, use dig on Magmar! Whatever you do, don't use any fire attacks!"
"Char." Chimchar quickly burrowed underground after giving a nod of understanding.
Ash turned back to Pikachu, grinning as he saw the smoking Espeon. "Look's like you're loosing, Atreus," Ash boasted.
Atreus continued to have his arms folded behind his back, looking all for the world bored out of his mind. "Don't rush a head, little weapon."
Ash frowned. "What the heck does that mean—ack!" Ash clutched as his throat, finger's feeling something poking into it and pulled out a needle, grimacing as he noticed it was a tranquillizer.
Atreus smirk, unfolding his hands behind his back and showing a remote before pointing behind Ash. Almost collapsing, Ash turned around and saw several machine guns planted in the gun around the camp. They didn't shoot bullets, but instead tranquillizers. Ash's pokemon were all hit, and soon doing nothing more than being able to wobble.
Being as tired as they were, they hit the ground in seconds. Ash groaned as his vision blurred, stumbling on his feet. He grit his teeth as he tried to dodge the incoming fist from Magmar.
"Mag, mag mar," Magmar chuckled as the boy fell to his feet and began kicking Ash towards its master.
"Jerk," Harry snarled, world spinning before his very eyes. To his side he could see Pikachu, out cold just as well. "Pikachu." Ash tried crawling toward the fallen mouse, but a boot to his head stopped any movement.
"Still able to move even after such a high dosage?" Atreus asked, sounding impressed.
"Go to hell," Ash hissed, only to yelp as the boot applied more pressure.
"I heard a rumor your Pikachu doesn't like pokeballs," Atreus said calmly, tapping his boot on Ash's head. "I do wonder how your reaction will be."
"Do… n't," Ash groaned, almost gone.
"My, what a fighter." Atreus chuckled. "Say goodbye to your friend, little weapon, this will be the last time you ever see him."
"Don't call me that…" Ash gave a shudder, fighting desperately to stay awake. In one last attempt, he shot his leg out; nailing Atreus behind the knee and making the boot loosen. Snarling, Ash swung a fist at Atreus's leg, for that was all he could aim for before darkness finally overtook him. The last thing he saw was Pikachu's body turning red and disappearing in a beam of light into the pokeball in Atreus's hand.
Atreus stared in wonder at the fallen teen. He hadn't been expecting an attack from the drugged teen. He wasn't hurt, obviously, but that surprise attack in his weak spot certainly made him falter. A smirk came to his face. Training this boy for whatever Giovanni wanted would be fun.
Recalling all his pokemon, bar Espeon, Atreus released five more psychic types. He looked at each one. "Hypno, Mr. Mime, Xatu, Slowking, Gardevoir, Espeon, take care of everyone's mind as was planned."
They all nodded obediently and got to work. Atreus stared at the pokeball in his hand. He had stolen it from camp when the boy had been too busy to notice. Releasing the fainted Pikachu, so that it too could be looked at by the psychic types, Atreus pressed another button on the remote control he held in his hands.
There was a roar of an engine and, what looked like a tank without the long gun, came speeding out of the forest and automatically stopped in front of Atreus. The back opened, allowing Atreus to enter the vehicle. As he was preparing what was needed, Atreus pressed the bright blue button on the side of his vehicle, right next to a three and a half foot tall and wide cage. Mechanical arms shot out of the vehicle and picked up Ash, curling him up in the cage before closing the lid.
Atreus glanced at Ash before smirking. "Sleep well, little weapon."
Ash whimpered as he felt rough hands grab his arms and haul him to his feet. Trying to stand, Ash could only groan as his vision blurred, his headache grew worse and his feet gave out on him. There was a dark laugh from his side and Ash glanced to see who it was.
Eyes clearing, Ash saw the sneer of a Rocket grunt. Eyes widening, Ash panicked and thrashed, catching the two grunts off guard.
"Get this kid to calm down!" the grunt to his left yelled.
"I'm trying!" the other one snapped.
Growling wildly, Ash launched his head at the grunts head to the left. An audible snap alerted Ash he had broken a nose. The howl made him guess that it was painful. Taking advantage of the one on the right, due to his shock, Ash nailed him in the cheek with a fist. Running away as quickly as possible, which was far too slow thanks to his groggy body and blurry vision, Ash wasn't surprised he fell to the ground. He was, however, surprised by the boot stepping on his head.
"I told those fools you were a fighter," a voice growled.
Ash looked up. "Atreus," he growled, head spinning. "Where am I?"
Atreus smirked and hauled Ash to his feet by the back of his neck and more or less dragged him into a room. Computers and screens covered the large area, as well as other scientific things and tools. A metal table with straps was brought in Ash's line of vision and he fought against the hand, whimpering as the hand pinched his neck even more.
Grunting as he was slammed down on the cold metal table, Ash weakly tried to fight the incoming of hands. Scientists surrounded him, removing his shirt and securing the straps on his wrists and ankles. They then proceeded to stick needles and monitoring items into him.
"Where am I?" Ash demanded groggily, unable to see anything clearly.
A deep chuckle, made Ash twitch. "Do give the boy the antidote. It won't do the boy, nor this experiment, any good if he's too drugged."
Ash winced as a needle was injected into his neck. Almost immediately his vision cleared, though he wished it hadn't. "Giovanni," Ash snarled, trying to leap at the man but was held down by the straps.
"Ash," Giovanni greeted, moving to his side. "You have, once again, been given the great honor of joining Team Rocket."
Ash struggled against the restraints, glaring wildly. "I already told you I would never join Team Rocket." He stretched his stomach up in the air, flailing madly. "I would never join such a pathetic, disgusting man like y—"
A loud slap echoed throughout the room as Ash breathed in deeply, Giovanni's hand print already making his cheek red. Ash clenched his fists and, with narrowed eyes, spat at Giovanni.
There was an awkward silence for the scientists as they moved away from their angry boss. Giovanni, after wiping the spit from his face, smiled darkly and, moving his fingers innocently over a yellow button on the table, Giovanni said, "You don't know what you've just done."
"Bast—Ahhhh!" Ash screamed, body twitching horribly as the table electrocuted him.
"Sir!" Doctor Lison shouted. "We can't begin the procedure if his heart rate is too high! The boy could die before we even get a chance to get half way done because of stress!"
"Be silent, Lison," Giovanni ordered, releasing the button. "The boy is fine. That mouse of his has trained his body quite proficiently for a human against electricity."
The scientists blinked as Ash, regaining his some of breath quickly, fought against the restraints. Ash panted horribly, body beginning to shine with sweat as his eyes glanced about everywhere, trying to look for an escape.
Atreus watched the whole the thing, eyes sparkling with amusement and a bloodthirsty glow. Smirking, Atreus removed himself from the wall he was leaning against and stalked towards Ash. Grabbing a fist full of hair, Atreus slammed Ash's head against the table, receiving a yelp from the boy.
"Be quiet, little weapon," Atreus told him. "Everything is about to begin."
"Why do you keep calling me that?" Ash asked warily, headache now more painful than ever.
The grip on his hair tightened. "Because that is what you will be."
"You will be the first successful human weapon Team Rocket will conceive," Giovanni told him.
Ash glared and tried to look away but the hand jerked his head back at Giovanni as he was forced to listen to the story. By the time Giovanni and Doctor Lison told him what they were going to do to him; Ash stared at them in belief.
"You guys are nuts," Ash finally said, hair finally released from the death grip. "There's no way you would ever be sick enough to do this." Ash gazed at Giovanni's cold smile and gasped. "Oh crud! You are! Help! Help!" Ash screamed as he thrashed against the restraints once more.
"No one here who can hear you will help," Giovanni said coldly, gaze boring into Ash's. "But we aren't that cruel; you'll be the one to help us decide what you'll become."
Ash looked at everybody in disbelief, jumping as the large screen in front of them turned on. The metal bed lifted slightly so that Ash could see. The screen showed Ash standing absolutely still but being rotated slowly. His heart rate, temperature and everything else that had to do with his body was listed on the screen.
The man, Doctor Lison, Ash learned, typed a few things into his computer. "As you are now aware of what is expected of you on Mew Mountain and new purpose in life as Team Rocket's weapon, we must decide which and what DNA is best specified for you. Sir?"
Giovanni nodded. "I know you have several prepared and thought out. Begin."
"My first thought was something bold, strong, something to match with the personality described to me. Tyranitar was the first choice..."
Ash looked in disbelief as the image of him grew a spiky tail, claws and spiked back and head.
"Too slow," Giovanni said immediately. "We have barely a month, which is hardly enough time to get the boy trained up on heavy body."
Lison nodded, trying not to look disappointed. He clicked a few buttons and Ash watched his body grow a black, pointed tail and silver horns. Ash also noticed he had silver anklets and bracelets. As the body rotated, he could see on the bare back three silver… things.
"Houndoom, the next choice. Its speed is magnificent, as well as attack and defense, which can be easily taught to the boy. We are aware that you are looking forloyalty from the boy, and a Houndoom's personality might override his own natural hate."
Giovanni smirked down at Ash. "While Ash might make a wonderful dog," –he patted Ash on the head for good measure – "that body looks hardly fit to land from high distances or climb Mew Mountain. Put it on the maybe list."
"Sick, twisted bastards," Ash forced out at last, trying to pull his arms free. "You'll never get away with this. Fu—mh!" A scientist stuffed a gag inside Ash's mouth to keep him quiet.
Giovanni paid no mind and only gestured for the doctor continue. This went like this for an hour, and Ash didn't know why they hadn't just chosen before hand when a sample of his blood had been taken. His blood was mixed with Pidgeot DNA, which showed up on the screen, and apparently had a bad reaction. Ash gulped, now realizing why they had waited.
"Try the Dragonite DNA," Giovanni demanded, patience coming to an end another two hours later.
Ash winced as blood was once again drawn from him. Looking up at the screen, Ash prayed nothing worked with him. He watched the picture of him with wings; a horn and antennae fade away, signifying it was a failure. He sighed in relief, breath still muffled by the gag.
"Don't look so relieved," Giovanni snapped, face becoming dangerous as he stared down at Ash.
"Lison," he barked. "Are there no more?"
"Sir, there are fifty more, but most were quite like the others, the ones you immediately disagreed to. Perhaps an Aipom, though? He would be able to climb the mountain easily."
"And after?" Giovanni snapped, anger evident on his face. "How would his body be fit to face the challenges that await us?"
"Sir?" Atreus broke in. "Perhaps you should use the special DNA I received from Orre."
Giovanni's cruel grin almost became satanic, causing Ash to shift uncomfortably and swallow.
"Lison, get code SL."
Ash tried to shift his head to see what was going on but the doctors were to far away. A hand stroking his head made him jerk. He glared up at Giovanni but immediately tried to shrink back from the look in his face. Giovanni was clearly thinking about the future, of what he would do once he was in control and how Ash would help. Ash made a muffled noise, trying to jerk the hand out of his hair.
"Best get used to this, weapon," Giovanni sneered. "You had your chance to be great, maybe even a future apprentice, but you wasted that chance. Now you will soon be nothing more than a tool for Team Rocket, a personal pet."
Ash huffed, biting deep into the gag.
"It works!" Doctor Lison cried out, eliciting sighs of relief from the scientists. Atreus merely looked like he wanted everything to get started as quickly as possible.
"Start immediately," Giovanni ordered. "My patience is at its limit."
The gag was removed from Ash's mouth and Harry tried to snap at the hand, only just missing because of the slap to his face by Giovanni. "What is it?" Ash demanded, fear lacing his bold words. "What do you have? What are you going to do to me!"
"Injections starting now," Lison intoned, and Ash winced as the thick needle injected right above his heart.
Ash began to pant as an extreme heat took over.
"Turn him over," a voice demanded. Ash felt the table move so his back now facing everybody and he was looking at the ground. Parts of the table shifted, revealing openings to his skin for the scientists.
"This will hurt very, very much, Ash," Giovanni said. "As for your question, I believe you have met Lugia before."
"But this isn't any ordinary Lugia," Giovanni continued. "This is from the Shadow Lugia from Orre region, otherwise known as Operation SL. Remember, Ash, this will hurt as the next injection will go into your bone." Ash could practically feel the smirk. "Prepare yourself."
And that was all Ash heard before screams erupted from him and blackness at last took over.