by Marisa Mockery

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The author would appreciate it if the reader used the voices from Season 8 and previous instead of the PUSA voices when "listening" to the dialogue in this story. It may just be me, but Ash Ketchum has had a scratchy boyish voice for ten years and when a boy's voice changes it generally does not start to sound like a girl. (Sorry, Sarah, we know you're trying, but…you're no Veronica.) The same should be applied to what other characters have also had drastic voice changes in the PUSA dub.

Also note the author started writing this piece as of Episode 71-72, The Wave-Guiding Riolu, (or in English, Pokémon Ranger! The Wave Guiding Riolu! and episode 536) and as such all eventsafter episode 73 or episode 537 are null and void in this story, as they have never happened or will not happen. Please remember this for continuality.

Lastly, the entire Chaos Trilogy is dedicated to Naki Outsuno, because without her as wonderful sounding board and beta it simply would not exist in its current form. Naki, you are black-hole awesome. (And no, I'm not sharing her.)

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It was a dark and stormy night.

This is a traditional, or at least clichéd, introduction to a murder-mystery tale. However, this particular story is possibly lacking in murder; though it certainly contains mystery. But not the kind Sherlock Holmes liked, and not the kind this introduction is infamous for.

Nevertheless, the night was dark (the natural state of night unless you live in a city like New York or LA) and stormy (and while this was not the natural state of night, it was turning into a whopper). Thankfully Ash and his friends had found a Pokémon Center just before the downpour started and were already getting ready for bed.

"Long day, eh, Pikachu?" said Ash as the Pokémon curled up on his pillow. Pikachu snored in response, and Ash laughed. "I agree, buddy. Time for bed."

"Ash, aren't you gonna take a shower first?" asked Dawn, wrinkling her nose.

"I can do it tomorrow morning, can't I?"

"Three days, Ash. I can smell you from here. If you think I'm sharing a room with you…"

Ash groaned and looked longingly at his bed. "But…sleep…"

"But smell. Shower and wash your hair this time!"

With a theatrical moan Ash was dragged from the room, still whining. For a moment Pikachu considered following just for the entertainment, but then it remembered that would require moving. With a contented sigh it pulled its tail over its nose and fell into a deep sleep.

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"Target A sighted and locked on heat vision, over."

"Roger that. Target seems isolated in left section of building. Moving out?"

"Check. Just remember, Targets A and B are both Class A. They've got history. Avoid B at all costs. Over."

"Nymph, do you have to always be like this? I've read the targets' files. Over."

"Shut up and let's get the target already, Kingsley. Over and out."

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"Siiiiiiiiingin' in the shower, Ayyyy'm siiiiiingin' in the shower, what a glooooorious feeeeelliiiing and I'm haaaaaaaaaaappy agaaaaain," sang Ash at the top of his lungs. Ash was a bit like a Pokémon in that he hated getting in showers and baths, but once inside he quite enjoyed himself. As a result, whole Pokémon Centers ran out of hot water before the boy realized it was time to get out.

He'd just gotten down to the ninth bottle of lemonade on the wall when the two black-clad men burst in and yanked the shower curtain down around him.

"Quick, tie it!"

"Hey, leggo of me! HELP!"

"Stop struggling so much, dammit!"

One of Ash's randomly kicking legs managed to hit a man in the groin and the man fell moaning. Ash managed to shake his head free of the curtain and realized that his other attacker was not a man at all but a rather flat-chested woman—and worse, he was now accidentally flashing her.

Despite the situation, he found himself blushing furiously. "Um, sorry, I mean, um—"

Then she hit him on the head and he passed out into almost grateful oblivion.

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Now, all this noise did not pass unnoticed.

The situation for the rest of the Pokémon Center was thus:

Brock was in the lobby attempting to avoid Poison Jabs and hit on the unfortunate Nurse Joy currently on duty. He was failing miserably at both.

Dawn was taking a shower in the girls' bathroom. To keep things proper, the boys' and girls' showers were on opposite ends of the building.

Pikachu was sleeping in Ash's bed. The bedroom was next to the girls' shower (poor, happy, delusional Brock) but, as previously stated, at least one hundred feet from the boys' shower.

However, everyone could hear Ash's horribly off-key singing, and frankly they were just grateful that it stopped. Except that Brock and Dawn (though not Pikachu, who was actually used to sleeping through these operatic storms) knew the situation was strange, because normally Ash didn't stop singing until his shower was over, and his showers lasted until the hot water ran out, which usually took an hour to an hour and a half. So when Dawn (having just finished her own shower) poked her head out to see what was going on and maybe yell at Brock to go check on Ash, and then saw the black-clad man and woman carrying a shower-curtain bound figure down the hallway that was suspiciously Ash-shaped, she was just a little bit startled.

Did I lose you in that run-on sentence?

Let's try again.

Ash is tied up in a shower curtain. Dawn is wearing a towel and a shocked expression. And the two kidnappers are getting away.

My goodness, that's easier.

"Stop right there!" Dawn yelled, pointing at the kidnappers. This does not work when clad in only a small blue towel.

Well, it half-worked. "Why?" leered the man, slowing down.

"Hurry it up, Kingsley," grunted the woman. "We've seen enough naked adolescents to last a lifetime."

"Maybe you have. You have the luxury of liking men. All I have is—"

"Can we go now?"

Suddenly Pikachu appeared in the doorway of the bedroom, clearly annoyed. "Pikapi PIKACHU!"

"Aw crap. Because of you Target B's here. Kingsley, you just had to be a pedo, didn't you?"

Fortunately for Kingsley and the woman, Team Rocket chose that exact moment to explode the wall behind Pikachu and grab the little rat.

"Listen, is that a voice I hear?" one of the white-clad humans began. Does it matter which?

"It's speaking to me, loud and clear!" the other finished. No, it doesn't.

"Good lord, who are they?" asked a rather bewildered Kingsley.

"No clue, but they're wearing really old Rocket uniforms for some reason," said the woman. "Look, let's just get out of here before that towel girl's attention gets focused back on us, right? We're supposed to be elite."

And with that, the Capture Squad from Team Rocket's Elite Core left, their shower-curtained charge carried between them.

Poor Ash. He doesn't even have his hat.

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Marisa's note: the update schedule will be one chapter a week, Fridays or Saturdays, between five to six PM. I will not update any faster or slower. This story is already written and while there will be no delays for this reason, it also means I'm sticking to this schedule. Because of the day variance, though, putting this on Story Alert might be a really good idea! And reviewing? AWESOME.