Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon or its characters and place names, but in the spirit of fanfiction I own this story and the characters I created around it.
The Next Move
Chief had just mentally recalled the time he spent in his home dimension to the time he returned to us. I was shaken up by the intensity of Chief's longing for Kitten; he had fought against powerful forces, forced his way through dimensions and sacrificed his own body, yet he still hadn't given up his search for her.
Guilt crept up from a pit in my stomach. I sacrificed a good relationship with Yuki so I could tempt Chief away from his true love.
Chief mentally scolded Mew, "Kitten would have been so disappointed to learn what a slob you are."
I regained my senses to realize that Mew was still transformed into the form of John Doe and was stealing food from Yuki's plate.
"I think I see a resemblance," I teased.
"Oh please. I hope that the little ones don't meet him. He would be such a horrible influence."
Mew cocked his John Doe head sideways at that thought.
Yuki asked, "Since your world is in danger, what's our next move?"
"Palkia claims that this is the world that Kitten came from. There should be in my pack a piece of evidence that could help track her," explained Chief. "If possible, I'd like to know if Darkrai took any powerful Pokémon from your world and back to mine to upset the balance of power. Also those devices that you have for holding Pokémon: could I make one in my world?"
I handed Chief his bag, but he indicated that his fingers don't work as well as he wanted.
I opened the bag and found the secured, inner pocket. Inside was the metal object found by a baby Kangaskhan in another world. I took out the object with a clean napkin, so not to destroy any evidence, and placed it on the table.
"What is it?" asked Yuki.
"I don't know," thought Chief. "Most of what you call metal is eaten by various Pokémon of my world. The metal that no one eats is used as currency."
"It looks tarnished and … burnt," noted Yuki.
I recalled, "Mrs. Kangaskhan said there was a lightning strike; maybe that caused the scorch marks."
"Are there means to determine when and where it came from?" asked Chief.
"I'll contact a former student who works for the police," I offered.
"Should we also look for a way to get your original body back?" offered Yuki.
"I hope that when I return to my home dimension that I'll transform back. Mew?"
"Great," replied Yuki.
"As much as I've denied that we're related, if we are then I should have inherited some of his Transform skill. When I have some free time I'll try to recall the moment I transformed into a human and calculate the process to reverse it."
"You're going to teach yourself Transform?" asked Yuki skeptically.
"I don't have a choice. Besides it'll keep me busy, since there isn't much I can do in your world, and in this form. Perhaps you two should get some rest."
"Your world is being taken over," argued Yuki.
"It's still dark outside, what can you do at this time of day," replied Chief calmly.
"Get some rest Yuki," I added. "I'll contact my former student and then Prof. Oak."
As Yuki left for bed she added, "Contact the Weather Institute, maybe they'll notice if an ice Pokémon is missing."
Chief got up and staggered toward the couch. I reached out to help him, but he gently waved me away. His steps slowly grew more confident as he paced about. I psychically moved the coffee table away when Chief looked tipsy. "This is not an efficient way to move about," he noted.
"Locking all your muscles in place then adding extra effort to ones involved in movement."
"Humans spend some time learning to walk, and sometimes have a lot more padding in the seat area." I projected the images of toddlers and their diapers.
"I hope I get past both of those issues soon."
"Since I don't have any clean diapers, I hope you do too."
"… Is there something that you'd like to discuss now that Yuki has gone to bed?"
I was caught off guard by Chief's question. "What?"
"One of the consequences of this shape is that my mind is more in tune with humans."
"I can hear your every thought. Those thoughts that you hide in your secret doll house, I can hear them. The guilt you feel towards Yuki and myself, I can feel that too. I don't want to pry into your secrets, but at this moment my psychic skills are much like my walking skills."
"Grandmother Lilith would say, 'One the psychic's greatest weaknesses is self deception'. I've deceived myself in so many ways."
"Sabrina, I love you, Kitten and Yuki. I would happily take all of you to be my mates."
"All of us?"
"Don't human males establish territory, gather choice females, father and defend the next generation?"
"Not with multiple females."
"Really, I thought that you people celebrated that? Isn't that what pride parades are about?"
My mind stalled as it tried to untangle Chief's confusion.
He reacted first, "Oh, same word different meaning. Humans are funny."
"Humans? How do Pokémon communicate by just saying their name over and over?"
"Context," he quipped. "At least we have a head start; what vocabulary do humans start with?"
"About the same as you have right now: babbling."
"But at this moment I need to learn a different skill."
"Walking?" I asked as Chief staggered away from the couch.
"Potty training," he replied as his steps became more urgent.
"I have to potty train a grown man?"
"No, you have to think about all the details of using a… toilet while I read your mind."
"We're not built the same," I argued.
"Then I'll extrapolate."
"Last time I heard extrapolate was in a Statistics class. I never thought it would be used for this."
"Less University thoughts and more bodily functions," ordered Chief.
I gave him some bodily functions from university life: binge drinking, hangovers and…
"I doubt that I'm going to vomit your mother's cooking," countered Chief. "Why would someone spend all that effort to go to such a place and do that? Rebellion, rites of passage, stupidity, peer pressure: all of which are alien concepts to a Pokémon."
"Humans do not have an exclusive claim to stupidity," I argued.
"I agree. But to know that something is stupid and do it anyway for entertainment is rather human. Oh that's better. What's next? That's this button."
"Are you okay?" I asked as I heard the toilet's bidet feature being used.
Defensively Chief replied, "At least this isn't as bad as having a diaper changed."
"I thought you were going to extrapolate."
"I was desperate and I didn't want to do it in the garden and wipe my butt on the moss. Like I suspect Mew has done."
"I hoped I was done housetraining Pokémon with Eevee," I sighed.
From outside came a ghostly roar, "Gengar!"
"I better get out there and explain."
"I'll deal with it," I replied. "Dry off, flush, close the lid, pull up your pants, wash your hands and dry them on the towels."
As I walked around the corner I ran into myself, which was really Mew transformed into me. Gengar phased through the wall and complained about a human scooting his butt on the moss garden and the damage it did.
Mew tried to indicate that I did it.
"Since it's been a long day, and I need some cheering up, I want you to remember every detail of the human wiping his butt on the moss." It felt good to let loose and laugh. After I caught my breath I turned on my duplicate and hissed, "Since you have a low opinion of humans, you will not take the form of a human in my home. Go back to being a Teddiursa. If you need to relieve yourself, you will do it as a civilized Pokémon and use the litter box. Do I make myself clear?"
Chief showed up with his hands dripping wet. "I want to go back home too. But don't take your frustration out on the only humans who are willing to help us."
It was disconcerting to watch myself deflated with guilt and loss. Mew transformed into his true self, went to the living room and hide under the sofa.
I quickly recounted the events to Gengar, who became a little less angry with Mew.
I mentally recalled all the things that Chief was supposed to do in the bathroom. He noticed that his hands were wet and went back to fix that.
"Did you leave the seat up?"
"I should marry you now," I joked.
"With wet hands?"
"If you're going to make jokes then I've got a great image of you scooting down the aisle."
"I thought that you humans would have a more advanced way of marking your territory. My kind uses these things called 'signs' to establish territory. Some of us even have psychically encoded portals to pocket dimensions. If we have the time, I'll try to explain it to you."
"I thought I'd start with signs," quipped Chief.
"Careful or I'll put you in a pocket dimension," I retaliated with images of how a Poke Ball works.
Chief clomped his way out of the bathroom and back to the living room.
"Are you going to get any rest?" I asked.
"I've been in a bed for days. Darkrai has had that time to build his strength and tighten his grip on my world. I need to regain my strength."
As I watched Chief fight his own body, I asked, "What do you think happened to Kitten?"
"I think that she realized who she was and that she went home."
"But why would she just leave you?"
"When she had her intense headaches, it was like she was someone else. Now I believe that she was someone else."
"Does…does it hurt to think that she left you?"
"Piplup's vision made me believe that she was happy in her other life and that she has a purpose here. That thought gives me comfort. If I can find her, and convince her to help then I have a better chance of freeing my world. If not, perhaps I can recruit my 'brother' or some of your technology to defeat Darkrai."
"Mewtwo in your world?"
"My brother may be aloof and introspective but I know that deep down, he enjoys a fight. At some level he enjoys fighting his own nature."
"You know this because you feel the same way?" I concluded.
Chief pointed out, "So do you." Chief took a deep breath and combed my memories. "All those gym battles where you sent out your Pokémon, but you longed to take their place."
"Not very princess-like," I admitted.
"I'm sorry but I don't have any other sources on the concept of princess. But you're strong, determined and intelligent so I'm sure that you'll find a place for yourself in this world."
I sent an urgent text message to my former student in the police force, another to both Professor Oaks and a third to the Weather Institute.
My former student was the first to reply, "How can I help?"
"I have a piece of metal related to a very, very important missing Pokémon case. I need the fastest and most accurate analysis I can get."
"If you want fast, come to police headquarters right now, before I go off duty."
"We need to go now," I stated as I packed the metal object in a clean bento box.
"Don't use the warptile," ordered Chief. "If there is any evidence of dimension travel that they can detect, the warptile may interfere."
I grabbed my coat and thought, "I'll send you ahead with the warptile then follow by flying."
I left the box in the kitchen while I sent Chief on ahead. Once he was safely in police headquarters, I grabbed the box and psychically flew after him.
When I arrived, I found Chief being fussed over by one of the officers.
"I'm sorry, but he can't speak," I stated.
"Miss Sabrina, he's with you?" asked the officer.
"Sabrina sensei!" That was Adam my former student. "Excuse me ma'am, but Sabrina sensei is here to see me," huffed Adam with a bit of a squeak in his voice.
"Psychic assistance?" asked the officer skeptically.
"Anything I can do to help," I replied as I hurried Adam and Chief along. Once out of the main lobby, I asked Adam, "Are you going to get into trouble for this?"
"No," he replied but I could see his thoughts of, "Using police equipment for personal reasons."
I was going to say something to reassure Adam, but Chief cut in, "Don't say anything yet. Let him have this moment of bravery."
A short time later we were in the forensics lab. "Why is there no one else here?" I asked.
"Scheduling is done by seniority," confessed Adam. "Since I'm the third shift, either I finish the work of the evening shift or prepare the work for the morning shift."
"Come out Baltoy. You remember Sabrina sensei."
"Bal," greeted the Pokémon as it bowed.
"Oh and who's is this?"
"He just now noticed me," noted Chief.
"He's a special John Doe case. That object may be the only clue in finding his identity," I lied. "But because it involves the Saffron Throne, it has to be kept very quiet."
"Yes Sabrina sensei, I won't discuss this with anyone."
Baltoy levitated onto the work table. Adam removed the metal object from the box and napkins.
"What are they doing?" asked Chief.
"Psychometry," I replied.
"All these machines and he's going to use a psychic ability?"
Adam held the object in his gloved hands while Baltoy levitated over it.
"I suspect that the police force doesn't share our views of the validity of psychic ability. Adam probably finds a clue psychically and then uses the machines to perform an acceptable test."
"So you don't know what's going on either?" concluded Chief.
Baltoy began to spin. Adam closed his eyes and probed the object with his mind.
Through Adam, I could feel the fabric of time and space become loose. There was an important message there to be read, but it was still obscured. If that weave was just opened a little more we could read…
"Open your eyes!"
I did as Chief ordered and saw that the metal object was glowing!
I psychically encased the object in a defensive sphere that pushed Adam away. Chief had scrambled onto the table and threw himself against Baltoy. The metal object discharged itself onto the exam table with a loud thunderclap.
"I'm okay, just bruised from the fall."
"Adam! Are you okay?"
"Uh-huh. That's never happened before."
"Dimension crossing mysteries should not be unraveled with time/dimension based psychic powers," observed Chief.
"Adam, I think that this evidence needs to be examined with conventional methods."
"Uh-huh," agreed the former student.
"Yes sensei! I'll get right to it."
"We should go," thought Chief.
"Remember to thank him."
"I was going to do that."
"Thank him as a princess, not as a teacher."
"Officer Adam, we'll leave this in your hands. Again: we thank you for your effort and discretion," I stated and gave a short but regal bow.
"I am honored to serve, Sabrina-sama. I'll send you any information I find as soon as I can."
As Chief and I let ourselves out, he thought, "That didn't go the way I hoped."
"No, your student's reaction. Obviously he viewed you as his teacher and wanted to impress you, but I sensed some other emotional attachment. I hoped that if you thanked him in a non-teacher fashion that he'd overcome that fear of authority."
"A princess out ranks a teacher in terms of authority."
"Oh. At least he's not overly distracted by romantic thoughts of you."
"What?! Since when did you become so observant of human nature?"
"I'm not," replied Chief. "I'm just seeing the world through your mind."
"You think that I view every male as a potential mate?"
"At the most primal level, we always look at others as potential mates or rivals. I'm surprised that your mind processes so much of that type of information and yet you don't realize it."
I stood dumbstruck. Chief walked further and stumbled to a stop. "What's wrong," he mentally asked.
"Well, for one thing you walk like a girl."
"It did seem rather uncomfortable in the genital area to walk like that," noted Chief.
"Second, I just had a coma patient get out of bed and tell me that as a psychic I'm not living up to my full potential."
"I didn't say that."
"Okay, you thought that."
"No, I pointed out that there are parts of your mind that you keep locked away from yourself."
"…Yes. That part of me did bad things and hurt people. I call it the beast."
"Oh yes, I remember." Chief gave me a warm smile and held out his hand to me. "Sabrina, once my world is safe, I'll try to come back and help you train your beast; if you'll let me."
My mind was ablaze with emotions.
"I can't make the claim to be a more experienced or better trained psychic that you. But I am on rather good terms with my own beast."
I smiled and took his hand.
"First, can you teach me how to walk like a man?"
"I can hum a few bars."
We spent the next half an hour in the lobby watching people until my bracelet buzzed with an incoming text. "Where are you?"
I called Yuki back, "We're human watching." I then relayed Chief's message, "Did Mew behave himself?"
"I think he's sulking. Gastly and Ralts may have peeked in on him. But nothing exploded so all's well."
I recalled the results of Adam's examination of the object.
"Don't the weather agencies track lightning strikes?"
I did a quick internet search and replied, "Yes."
"Well maybe the discharge is part of the dimension travel," offered Yuki.
"There are over eight million lighting strikes a day on the planet. Add to that lightning attacks by Pokémon and I don't think that we'd ever find an electric discharge for a dimension crossing."
"It's all I could come up with," offered Yuki.
"I'll pass that on to Prof. Oak," I replied, "And he can pass it on to whoever is monitoring dimension breaches."
"Like your father…"
"Yuki, I love you."
"Please don't ever mention that I forgot what my father does for work."
"Can you say, 'Blackmail'?" teased Yuki before she hung up.
I placed a call to father, "Will you be in your office this morning?"
"Since Chief is with me and we need to track the movements of powerful Pokémon across the dimensions, I was thinking that the model trains would be an ideal working medium."
"Practicing our sarcasm I see. Give me about an hour."
"Love you daddy."
We hailed a cab to father's office. During the trip I searched the internet for facts and trivia about snow. "Here's a problem: since snow is white it reflects the heat of the sun and can make an area cooler, and thus increases snow coverage."
"How far could it grow?" asked Chief.
"On this world we had what are called 'ice ages'. In the worst case, the whole world was covered by ice."
"Since the world is not covered by ice now, something caused a reversal of fortune."
"The energy output of the sun increased, the ability of the atmosphere to hold in heat increased, volcanoes erupted products that increase heat absorption."
"The volcano option could be viable." Chief made a quick map of his world in his sketchbook. "Here in the northwest we have the major volcanoes on one island. In the southwest we have Blizzard Island which is always covered in snow. In the center we have mountains that maintain snow on the top all year. When I left I noted that the snow cover has spread from Blizzard Island and to east. These islands which were as warm as Reef Island are now covered in snow. Unlike the vision you have of… glacial movement, the snow is more like a local attack that is directed.
"The volcanoes are protected from glacial movement by the sea and yet any fire Pokémon that live in that region need to be transported across the water to battle the ice on the mainland. Teleportation is unsafe if Darkrai can corrupt them." Chief made a little sketch of a Charizard next to the volcanic island, and then he put one on the other edge of the map. "Palkia's domain is also home to some Charizards. If Charizards move this way, then they can meet up with Magmars from Steam Cave. Charizards from the Great Volcano can cross into the desert and meet with Groudon.
"Darkrai must know that he's caught between major forces. What is his hidden resource? What did he bring to my world that will give him the advantage?"
I reminded Chief, "We're trying to find out."
While Chief pondered his map, I made a call to Prof. Oak's lab, but got Ash Ketchum, "Hello?"
"Hello Ash, I need a Professor Oak."
"Hello Sabrina. Just a minute, I'll go find one."
Ash left the view of the videophone camera. A small parade of Pokémon followed him. Unfortunately the last Pokémon, a thoughtful Muk, decided that the phone conversation was over and hung up.
The cab reached father's office before Gary Oak managed to call back. "Hello Miss Sabrina, I got your text."
"Hello professor. I think that we can add 'electrical discharge' to our short list of clues."
"Like in those sci-fi movies?"
My mind quickly flashed through the flimsy plot of "The Penetrator". Chief couldn't control his blush as well as I did. "I just witnessed an electrical discharge from material that crossed the dimensions."
"Bring it to the lab. We must run tests on it!"
"I'll bring it when I get the chance. Will the electrical discharge help in your search?"
"Only if we can get a reading of the frequency characteristics of the discharge."
"Oh. It's being analyzed now for other information."
"Good morning, Miss Sabrina," greeted the elder Professor Oak.
"Don't let them destroy that item," urged Gary.
"What's going on?" asked Sam.
The pair of them began to collaborate and forgot that I was on the phone.
"Gentlemen, analysis of the item is not for the advancing of someone's career. I have a missing Pokémon to find and a world to save."
"Agreed. I'll do what I can here. Gary will take some equipment and go to Saffron City as quickly as possible. Where can he meet you?"
"I'll meet him at police headquarters," I replied.
"Police?" asked my father as the elevator door opened.
I mentally replayed the events for father as we walked from the elevator to his office.
Father concluded, "Prof. Oak is correct. We really need to know the frequency of the electrical discharge." Father went to the storeroom at the back of the office and gathered equipment. "I'm going to need a van to carry all of this."
"I can teleport it," I offered.
"It's too delicate for that."
"Then I'll call Ivan and have him bring the van. Don't ask Chief to carry anything, he's still unsteady on his feet."
After father loaded a cart with equipment I asked, "Wouldn't it be easier to bring the object here?"
"And have a discharge ruin all of my equipment?" he asked in horror.
"You're right, it's better to burn down a police station than your office," I concluded.
"Exactly. Careful that's heavy."
"No it isn't," I argued as I carried a box to the elevator.
"Don't use your psychic energy to lift it. Use the handcart."
"I'm not lifting it with my telekinesis. The box is a little awkward, but I can carry it. I'm not some delicate flower that just waves for pictures and cuts ribbons. I work out."
"What can I do?" asked Chief.
"Since you have the law enforcement/security experience, you can watch over the pile of equipment in the lobby," I offered.
"I accept this mission and will perform to the best of my ability," thought Chief with a salute.
"Come on dad, there's room in the elevator for your cart."
"But there's a weight limit," he replied. You go first. Just lay the box on the floor in the lobby."
I propped the box on my hip and flashed dad a salute.
"That button, please."
Chief pushed the button and thought, "Your father is very concerned."
"I know. The warptile network is his great achievement. He wanted to make his psychic gift a boon for everyone in the city. But the technical issues of teleportation are much easier to overcome than the logistics."
"We have a similar problem. If a Pokémon knows teleport, then they can get to and from missions faster, but the skill doesn't help them during a mission. So we started with an Abra and all he did was teleport us. But if he was sick then we were back to walking. I suppose if Darkrai can interfere with teleportation, then it was fortunate that we didn't invest heavily in it."
We left the elevator and I carefully put the crate on the floor near the door. Chief stayed behind as I went upstairs for more. After two more trips down the elevator, Ivan was waiting outside with the van. We had to remove the rear seats from the van to make room for all of the equipment.
Once the van was loaded I mentioned, "I'll go on ahead to the station and let Adam know that you're coming."
"I had to shut down the warptile that we left at the police station so it wouldn't interfere with the experiments." Father took out his phone and added, "The complaints have already started."
The next half an hour was interesting. My father and Prof. Oak descended upon the unsuspecting police headquarters. With their scientific authority bolstered by their curiosity, they dominated everyone around them. Adam got caught up in the wave, since he could initiate the experiment and the lab was his home turf.
Chief and I just waited in the shadows for the explosions to start.
"You never did realize why your father was so concerned with that crate," observed Chief as we waited.
"It was delicate equipment and he didn't want me to psychically damage it," I replied.
"No. The crate weighs twice what you do and your father is disturbed by what you consider a 'workout'."
"He was mindful to direct you to carry it and to only place it on the floor, where as all other objects were placed on tables. Even now the device appears to be central in his efforts, but he leaves it in the box and on the floor."
"I…I just spar with a Lucario. Honest. Twice?"
"That's based upon his assumption of your weight."
"We're about to begin," announced my father. "I need everyone to leave the room."
"Move it," bellowed Adam to the curious crowd. "This is a complicated experiment involving psychic Pokémon. So go far away."
"You too Sabrina," added my father.
"Sorry dad. This experiment is dangerous and I'm here to keep you safe."
"You want to arm wrestle for it?" I asked as I cocked my head towards his crate.
"Fine. But if you get hurt, how am I going to explain it to your mother?"
Adam took his position as before, but wore long insulated gloves. The little metal object was surrounded by an assembly of scientific and safety equipment. Gary and my father monitored everything from their computers.
"What is it that they hope to find?" asked Chief.
"I'm not sure," I thought back.
Despite the concentration and tension from the scientific minds, I was soon bored.
"It is taking much longer than last time," noted Chief.
Adam and his Baltoy were straining under their combined effort.
"I'm getting something!" declared Gary.
"Broad spectrum recording sampled," announced my father. "Keep it up Adam. Just a little longer."
If the lights weren't dimmed, I wouldn't have been able to notice the tiny blue flashes from the object.
"That's it," declared Adam as he gave up in exhaustion. Baltoy levitated to a corner and rested.
"That's it?" I asked. "It looks like you put a spoon in the microwave."
I was punished for my outburst with three scientific scowls.
"Science isn't about explosions," declared my father.
"Okay, does anyone have a lead for us to follow?"
"This data make take hours to analyze," observed Gary.
"I did make a preliminary analysis of the metal and found it to be over 99% copper," declared Adam.
Although that remark got my father and Gary thinking, all I could do was shrug.
"I think that I'll go the gym and hit something. Chief?"
"It's something to do," thought Chief.
"Do you want to fly?"
"Want to? Yes. Can I? I'm not sure. I may be able to add to your abilities if you do the flying."
"It's something to do," I replied.
For the flight to the gym, Chief thought of nothing except what I thought but with a short delay. That also meant that there was a delay in power if I made turns or other adjustments to our flight. When I figured that we made it halfway to the gym, I landed in a little park.
I was about the release Chief from my embrace, but he slumped in my arms.
"Are you alright?" I thought.
"My hair itches and my nipples are burning," he thought.
"Is that a joke?" I asked as I helped him to a park bench.
"It was meant to be an accurate description of how I felt," he thought.
I slipped my hands into his jacket. "They are hot." I moved my lips close to his and asked, "Is there anything else that feels… hot?"
"Sabrina, is this really the proper place?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that your 'beast' is taking over."
"Didn't you promise to help me with that?"
I was stunned by Chief's mental projection. "Wha…?"
"SIT!" he commanded.
I staggered backward as my knees became weak.
I fell back onto the cold, damp sand of the playground.
"I can't believe that you are the same Sabrina!"
"QUIET! All of that training that you have done, but given the slightest excuse you do whatever you really want and blame it on a 'beast'. This is your world and you have responsibilities here. Don't you dare cry. I've lost my friends, my body, my abilities and my world. Right now I need your strength of will to keep away the despair. I need your resources to find allies. I need your discipline to strengthen my resolve."
I turned away in shame.
Chief grabbed me.
He hissed in my ear as he mentally called out, "Beast, are you in there? Your mate has been injured and trapped; what are you going to do about it? Darkrai is coming to take him away. Are you going to sit back and watch?"
"No one is taking you away from me."
"Is that the promise of the spoiled princess?"
"That is the promise of princess that would lead an army to defend what is hers."
"That's better," thought Chief.
"Shut up Mewtwo," I declared as I ripped open a teleport path to the gym. I grabbed Chief's wrist and dragged him after me. "I need to hit something, and you need the exercise."
I dragged him into Kiyo's gym, but Lucario stopped us inside the door.
Master Kiyo soon joined us, "I haven't seen that look in your eyes for a long time."
"I need to hit something," I growled.
"To become stronger so I can defend what is mine."
Kiyo and Lucario led the way to the main dojo.
I was about to enter the dojo, but Kiyo coughed for attention.
I kicked off my shoes, and gave a short bow. I entered the dojo and stood ready to battle. Kiyo released all of his fighting Pokémon.
"Lucario," warned Kiyo, "be careful."
Lucario gave a quick nod and launched himself at me with Extreme Speed.
I psychically held his next step to the floor. There was a loud slap as Lucario stopped his fall with his other foot.
I waited as Lucario formed an Aura Sphere. I spitefully popped it before he could launch it.
Since I diverted my psychic energy away from Lucario's foot, he kicked off and aimed a sidekick to my left leg. He moved so slowly that I wondered what move he would use as a follow up. I took a step back and watched.
Lucario took the momentum of his kick and used it to twist in midair so he could kick me with his other foot.
Again I stepped back from the obvious attack.
Lucario used and incomplete Aura Sphere to launch himself towards me. I sidestepped his 'attack' and got frustrated with Lucario. I wanted to strike out so he'd fight seriously, but I waited a little longer.
Lucario floated to the wall of the dojo and kicked off. He spread out the energy of his Metal Claws before him.
This time I was so frustrated with everything that I couldn't take Lucario's mocking. I moved in behind him and pushed him towards the wall. I was hoping that my encouragement would speed up Lucario and he'd fight seriously.
Instead, he went through the wall in a shower of splinters.
I confronted Kiyo, "Hasn't this joke played out long enough?"
Kiyo stared at the hole in the wall.
"Don't touch him!" It was Chief's thoughts, but they felt so distant. "Come here!"
"As much as I love you Chief, that tone of thought is getting on my nerves."
"Hurry." He sounded pained and desperate.
I walked over and asked, "What's wrong?"
He staggered back from an unseen force.
I rushed to help him. "Is it Darkrai?"
He was yanked out of my grasp.
"You're doing this. Calm…calm all of your thoughts."
Now Chief was mocking me as he did a slow motion fall to the ground.
This must have been a lesson that they all conspired to teach me, but I didn't understand it. I looked back at the dojo and something caught my eye: the floor was splintered. The damaged portions of the floor…were along the same path that I used in my fight with Lucario.
Something else was wrong. Actually everything was wrong. No… my perception of everything was wrong.
"Chief?!" He was right, I was somewhere else; like a teleport that hasn't finished. I willed myself to be by Chief's side and in synch with his thoughts.
"You're back," he thought and passed out.
"Kiyo, I need help with Chief."
He couldn't hear me as he rushed through the hole in the wall.
I took off my tattered jacket and made a pillow for Chief's head.
Strangely the world sped up around me. At first Kiyo came back to check on Chief and myself, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. Then everything moved around so fast that I was lost in a blur. Finally I recognized the ceiling of my bedroom.
I turned my head and saw Chief. His face seemed different.
He smiled and said again, "Welcome back."
"You spoke," I noted.
"Of course," he replied. "It helps you focus on the right speed."
"No one is really sure. We were hoping you could tell us."
Chief listed, "Dr. Marcus, your parents, your grandmother, Yuki, Uncle Bob, my brother, Kiyo, myself."
"Saffron University Department of Geology, Prof. Oak, your bodyguard Ivan, Lucario, your Pokémon and the former student Adam that works for the police."
"Did they leave get well cards?" I joked.
"Some did. Others left flowers and some just wanted to shout."
"That would be Dr. Marcus."
"Once the doctor realized that you were not injured, just exhausted, he was relieved. I was the one that wanted to shout the most. What do you remember?"
"I remember the dojo. I thought Lucario was mocking me, because he was moving so slow and his attacks were so obvious. I dodged them at first, because he tricked me before with a similar move. But he wouldn't stop, so I sped him toward the wall."
"Your speed and psychic power were boosted," recalled Chief. "I feared that you could seriously injure the human Kiyo in your state."
"Did you get hurt? I remember you passing out."
"Actually that was rather interesting, my body reacted to your attack by reasserting itself. My fingers are a little thicker and I lost the pronounced cheekbones of an Alakazam."
"So I just need to beat the human out of you and you'll return to normal?"
"No thank you. Would you like to eat something as I give you a progress report?"
"You've been out for almost two days," replied Chief as he helped me up. "As you can see, I've become more surefooted. Your father's joint experiment with the metal artifact was inconclusive. Fortunately, Officer Adam has made progress on the material's origin. The Weather Institute and Prof. Oak believe that the ice-dragon Kyurem is missing from this world. Mewtwo has gone to investigate."
On my bedroom wall was a homemade poster. Yuki and my parents wrote their best wishes, but the rest didn't make sense. "Those are the footprint runes that Pokémon of my world use for writing. I gave the little ones a basic lesson and they wrote 'Get well soon.' Spoink made those hearts with his tail and all the Pokémon signed it with their prints," explained Chief.
By the time I managed to walk to the kitchen, all the Pokémon of the house had come out to greet me. Soon I had so much assistance at the table that I couldn't eat everything that was presented. Gardevoir ordered the little ones to be good. I joined their chorus of, "Yes, mom."
"I just contacted my brother and told him that you were up. He believes that the report of Kyurem is true."
"I never realized that your telepathy could reach around the world."
"It doesn't. I use this device of Gengar's. I think that it is called a 'phone'."
The little ones, who were so attentive, suddenly abandoned me for my mother who was coming up the stairs. "How's our patient?" she called out.
"Much better, thank you," I replied. "I'm sorry that I worried you."
"Worrying about you is what I do. This time I had some help."
"I was responsible for initiating that event," confessed Chief.
"Now that I think back on it, all that speed and power was rather intoxicating."
"Analysis of the event recorded at the police station shows that the artifact reacted to Baltoy's time energy by sparking. The material and its configuration apparently are to blame. Adam's analysis of the artifact shows it to be made of something called 'wire'. Since several crimes have involved this material, there are several paths for further investigation. After a private meeting with Commissioner Hanzo and representatives of your family, additional assistance has been given."
"Wow," was all I could manage while eating. After I swallowed, I added, "Crimes?"
"Haven't you read the news reports about metal thieves?" asked my mother.
I shook my head.
Mother explained, "All the construction sites around the city have had to add security because thieves target the metal wire and pipes that are used. Once stolen the material gets smashed up so it looks like salvage and the thieves sell it."
"I hope the police don't believe that the artifact is involved with the metal thieves," I remarked.
"If they do, then they'll just put more men on the job," remarked mother.
"How is Lucario?" I wondered.
"He had a few bruises. Alakazam is helping him with his emotional issues," reported Chief.
"Pride and shock: Alakazam insists that Lucario deal with it; Lucario insists that there isn't a problem."
"And she'll accuse me of chasing away another boyfriend," I concluded with a sigh.
"Actually I believe that she's using this opportunity to comfort Lucario," remarked Chief.
"So what is there for me to do?"
"Rest," insisted my mother.
"Rest isn't my strong point."
"Then, could you read for me?" asked Chief. "Adam left a list of names associated with metal and wire. Could you read it over?"
Chief offered me a thick file of papers. I opened it and looked over the first case of wire theft from my new gym: insurance covered it and the thieves were not found. The material was found at a scrap dealer on the west side of town and identified by minute scratches on the wire caused when it was formed.
"Ah, the glamorous life of a private detective," I quipped as I turned to the next case.
"I've made similar complaints about my job," remarked Chief. "I'll be next door sparring."
"Next door?" remarked mother.
"I've converted one building into a Pokémon Onsen," I explained.
"So why is going out into the garden?"
"Do you remember how to fly?" I mentally demanded.
"Yes," he replied.
"He's fine," I replied to mother. "Do you want to read some boring police reports?"
"No," she replied. "You go get comfortable and read. I'll clean up and take care of your Pokémon."
And so I was forced to read police reports, filled with lots of facts, few figures and several felons.
"And not one report of a 6'7" tall Pokémon buying or selling the stuff!" I complained after my fifth cup of tea and second trip to the toilet.
"What's that dear?" asked my mother as she was dusting.
"Mother, I have people to do that."
"Well not often enough from the looks of things. Anyway, you were saying?"
"I think that I was given this job to keep me out of the way," I grumped. "It's not likely that a Mewtwo is going to appear in one of these reports as a seller of stolen wire."
"Well maybe he bought some instead," countered my mother as she rearranged the mantle place while thinking where images of future grandchildren should be placed.
I buried my thoughts in the police reports. Mother had a point: the buyers of stolen goods tend to get caught up in the legal system, including small time distributers of wire such as for the gardening market.
I made a phone call to Adam. "Yes Sabrina-sama?"
"Adam, I need you to follow up on Saffron Garden Supply. They purchased wire in small lots that was later shown to be stolen property. Could you find out if they resold some of that wire to Cracked Pots Nursery?"
"Certainly, but why?"
"I've got a weird feeling."
"Thank you Officer Adam." I closed the call and headed for the warptile. "I finished my chores so I'm going next door to play. Bye mom."
As I opened the door, three little Pokémon raced through my legs and waited on the warptile. "Ralts, Gastly and Eevee, did you ask your parents' permission to go?"
They just replied with their biggest and cutest stares.
I mentally projected, "Gardevoir and Espeon, shall I take the little ones with me next door?"
Their positive mental replies indicated that they wanted some alone time.
"Okay little ones, you can go. But you must be on your best behavior. Understood?"
I activated the warptile to the reception level of Annex Five. I still couldn't find a good name for the place.
"Miss Sabrina, welcome," greeted the Nurse Joy hired to run the place. "Hello Gastly, Ralts and Eevee. All of your friends are here." The little ones raced off to play. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Actually a friend of mine is in here training."
Nurse Joy looked over her monitors and said, "Is he this human sparring with a Mienshao?"
"That's the one."
"Practice field on floor three."
I flew up the spiraling floor to the third level. "What are you doing?" I thought.
"Training," replied Chief. "Any leads?"
"Maybe," I thought. "Are you just working out?"
"I am trying to learn Drain Punch from Mienshao. If there is a protracted battle with Darkrai, then I figured Drain Punch could both heal me and be used to draw Darkrai out of another Pokémon if he possessed them."
"So next time I get possessed, you'll just hit me instead of crushing me. Great."
"So the psychic princess can't resist a fighting move?"
"Did you just use a double entendre?"
Chief scanned my mind and replied, "It only has a second meaning if you give it one."
My Pokétch buzzed with an incoming call.
"Excuse me boys, I have police work to do." With that I teleported back to my apartment. "Adam, tell me some good news."
"Well Cracked Pots did purchase wire."
"Let me call you back in a few minutes." I hung up on Adam. "Gengar!"
He replied that he was occupied.
"Does Mewtwo use the same wire as you do?"
"I need to borrow your wire."
He mentally pictured the wire in his toolbox. There was an audible clank as the toolbox was placed outside his room.
I called back Adam. "I have something. Could you come to my place to collect it?"
Adam coughed, "Your place?"
"Is there a warptile near you?"
"The clerk says there is one just outside the store."
"Good, go to it and let it scan your cell phone."
I raced through the apartment to collect Gengar's toolbox and wait by the front door. My Pokétch indicated where Adam was, so I teleported him to my front door warptile. Adam spun around and I offered him the toolbox. "Are you going to destroy much to find your evidence? I want the toolbox back."
Adam looked dumbstruck as he held his cell phone in one hand and sacks from a strangely familiar convenience store in the other. His mind was a torrent of ideas about me and not on collecting evidence.
"I'll just look at it through a comparison microscope and cut off bits of wire."
"That's acceptable," I replied and pushed the toolbox against his chest. Once he held it, I activated the warptile return, closed the door and warped myself to Annex Five to look for the little ones.
I started my search at reception and worked my way up the building. It was during the time of day when most trainers were still in school or at work, so Annex Five was busy with Pokémon.
Chief projected to me, "They're with me."
"How could you hear my thoughts over all of these Pokémon?" I asked as I floated up to where I found him before.
"Because your human thoughts stand out from the Pokémon thoughts."
"Fair enough. Have the little ones behaved?"
"All four of them," he replied.
"Yes the fourth one teleported over on his own and transforms himself into the other three. He does it to access your account for food and games."
I checked my account through my Pokétch. Mew hadn't run up a big bill, but I placed a spending cap to be safe.
I found Chief still practicing with Mienshao. "How did you do it?" I asked.
"Essentially, the little ones are hosts and act on your behalf, the owner. They patrol the building looking for maintenance issues, lost toys or Pokémon in trouble."
"So they take after their Uncle Chief?"
"Should they take after Aunt Sabrina?"
I flinched at that title.
Chief swept in, pulled me to the floor and pinned me.
"Don't let your guard down."
"Let me go, please."
"So you can feel sorry for yourself?"
"Why would I do that?"
"You still don't know your own heart, do you?"
Chief held me down with his psychic energy as he pushed himself away. "Try to find me," he thought as he dropped out of sight.
"Are you really going to play hide-and-seek now?"
"This is training," he mentally replied. "This is your true nature."
I sensed his thoughts from the direction of the lobby, so I teleported there. The only human forms I found were Nurse Joy and a startled trainer collecting her Metagross.
Chief's thoughts teased me, "Look at me, I can transform into a Metagross."
"No, you're reflecting your thoughts off his metallic skin. It's the basis of my mental shielding technology."
"Clear thinking under pressure: good marks there. How about a little challenge? Can you find me before Yuki returns home? I'll make it easy on you, I won't move from this spot."
"What happens if I win?" I replied as I flew upstairs towards his thoughts.
"That's up to you."
I felt his location shift.
"You said that you wouldn't move."
"I said that I wouldn't move from this spot. If the spot moves on its own, can I really be blamed?"
Chief's thoughts were coming from the direction of the elevator. I rushed to it and pushed the button. A moment later the doors opened and an elderly Venusaur blinked at me. No one else was in the elevator.
"Excuse me; was there anyone in the elevator with you?"
The Venusaur replied that there was a sweet little Gastly that pushed the buttons for her, but she just floated away. Next she asked me if I've tried the spa treatments, because they did a world of good on her aching bones. She especially enjoyed the Pokémon yoga class held in the hothouse on the roof.
I punched the button for the next floor and made my escape.
"That was a little rude," thought Chief. "She's a very pleasant Pokémon with many victories and some good advice."
"You've recruited the little ones in your game," I accused.
"It's good training for them too."
"Are you training me?"
"Train, tease, tempt: there are so many words in your vocabulary that I could choose from."
I set my Pokétch to scan for Eevee, Gastly and Ralts. There were more in the building than my own, but there was a Gastly in the same direction as Chief's thoughts. I flew up the atrium to intercept Gastly, when Chief's thoughts came from several floors down. "Where are you going?"
"How did you do that?"
"Don't be 'saur."
"I don't believe it, you can use Transform?"
"No I can't. Stop chasing ghosts and work it out."
"You said that you wouldn't move from that spot."
"You said that if I win, I could do what I want, but I'd have to win before Yuki came home."
I teleported home.
"Just when I'm about to win?" I replied. I walked into the bedroom, but no one was there.
"What would I be doing in your bedroom?" asked Chief. "I don't have time to sleep."
I rushed to his thoughts as they came from the kitchen, but he wasn't there. His thoughts were coming from the flatware drawer. I opened it and noticed that one spoon was twisted. I took the spoon in hand and projected my thoughts in, "Nice trick." The thought resonated in several locations in Annex 5.
"So how are you going to find me?" asked Chief through the spoon.
I could have sent a powerful mental pulse through the spoon.
"But if Gastly is still carrying a spoon, you'll hurt her," thought Chief.
I stared at the spoon and tried to understand the meaning of the twists and folds of the metal, but it was totally alien to me. I tried to read the all the thoughts around me, but I couldn't find Chief's.
"Chief, please tell me where you are."
"I'm out in the garden," he calmly replied.
I went out and found him wearing his strange grey robe over his workout clothes.
Chief waved a spoon as he said, "Congratulations."
"Why did you do this?"
Chief listed, "You enjoy a challenge. I needed the practice. There is a lot of internal conflict in your mind that needs to be resolved."
"Option number three," I sighed.
"You did something that surprised me."
I walked over, leaned against him and asked, "What?"
"You asked for help."
"I thought that I was giving up."
"There was a time that I wouldn't worry about hurting others. My brother would just rip the building to pieces to find his target. But you're different."
"There was a time that I would have acted like either of you," I confessed.
"Yet your first action was to play the game."
"I am a gym leader."
"Since you won the challenge, what would you like to do?"
"Your brother may be Kitten," I stated flatly.
"Impossible," thought Chief, "There is very little in his personality that I'd consider feminine."
"But Ambertwo's thoughts and personality are stored in his mind. Maybe he went to your world and her personality took over. Maybe Kitten's headaches were really episodes of Mewtwo trying to reestablish his personality."
"I think it more likely that another Mewtwo of your world traveled to mine."
"If resourceful humans could artificially create one Mewtwo, then other humans with similar resources could create another. Mews have been sighted all over your planet. From the little that I've learned about cloning, only one hair is needed to start the process. My brother roamed about for ten years before you met him."
My Pokétch buzzed with an incoming text from Adam.
"I gave Adam Gengar's toolbox which contained various kinds of wire that he and Mewtwo use in their bonsai work. Adam just said, 'It's a match!' Which means that the wire used to make Kitten's artifact and the wire that Mewtwo uses came from the same source."
Chief's only response was, "Hmm," and then he said nothing. I held him as he thought, but he didn't move. When Yuki returned from work, I went in and told her what happened.
"So he's been out there thinking this whole time?" she asked.
Yuki looked like she was trying to formulate a difficult question.
I shrugged my shoulders in defeat and confessed, "I don't know what to do next."
"What did Officer Adam say?"
"He texted and said, 'It's a match'."
"Give me his number; I'm getting to the bottom of this," ordered Yuki.
As Yuki busied herself, the little ones teleported home and were searching for Chief. I intercepted them at the top of the stairs. "Chief just got some bad news and is sad."
Gastly offered to cheer him up, the others agreed.
"Not yet, he's thinking about what to do next."
The three huddled and then raced back down to their rooms, probably to make another get well card.
Gengar and Gardevoir's 'alone time' ended with the little ones activities, so Gengar floated up and asked for his toolbox.
Yuki was still on the phone, so I relayed the message, "If Adam is finished with the toolbox, could he return it? Gengar would like to get back to gardening."
Yuki waved me off as she nodded in agreement. Ralts teleported to the garden. I went outside to check on Chief, but he was busy looking at the get well cards made by the little ones. They insisted that he follow them inside. So Chief did. "I'll be downstairs," he commented as he walked past.
"I'll be at police headquarters," announced Yuki as she dashed for the warptile.
So I was suddenly alone. I poured myself a cup of tea and settled on the couch to review business emails while I waited for the storm to return. Adult cosplay costume sales were up in anticipation of Reef Island's Come as a Pokémon Contest, apparently regional swinger's clubs and strip clubs have bought into the trend. In related news, there is still a lawsuit pending on using gym leader images on blowup dolls.
"Sabrina, you were wrong!" declared Yuki as she returned.
"Wrong about what?" I thought back.
Yuki burst into the living room wielding a pair of wire cutters. "These were used to cut the wire that Kitten had."
"So why would Mewtwo use Gengar's wire cutters?"
"To cut wire?" I replied.
"Don't you know anything about men? They don't share clothes, they don't share shoes and they don't share tools."
"Sure they do." I replied.
Gengar carefully floated up through the floor in answer to Yuki's demand. When he saw his wire cutters and tool box, he held out his hands for their return.
"Does Mewtwo ever use your tools?" asked Yuki.
Gengar took back his tools and mentally projected images of Mewtwo with his own set of tools.
"Okay, so Kitten's item was cut using Gengar's wire cutters. Mewtwo didn't have any tools in the beginning. I remember being annoyed that Gengar let Mewtwo use his tools, and hat, and I was practically forbidden from touching them."
"There is one more piece of evidence that I'd like you to explain," announced Chief. He showed me the get well cards the little ones made. "They made this note. Notice the whiteness of the paper and the straight edges. These sheets of paper are rougher and the writing style doesn't match. More importantly, these sheets of paper contain personal reports from my world and are written in Kitten's handwriting."
"Where did they find it?" asked Yuki.
"In a box, in the storeroom. Sabrina, when did you see these before?"
"I don't remember."
"You've must have remembered that you were Sabrina and teleported with them," concluded Yuki.
"When?" I argued. "Kitten must have been in Chief's world for weeks, maybe months. I'm never more than a day away from an internet signal."
"Maybe time flows differently in the two worlds," argued Yuki.
"Palkia couldn't predict what sort of temporal displacement there would be," added Chief.
"You had that accident in Sinnoh when you battled with Lucian's Pokémon," recalled Yuki. "You disappeared for almost a day and your father had to bring that equipment to teleport you back."
"But the recall signal from Saffron Tower was much stronger and teleported me to the warptile downstairs," I added. "…I landed on the warptile. I didn't have my Pokétch, so I had to break into the apartment to turn off the recall program." I searched my journal. "I was naked and thought that no time passed from the battle with Jynx to appearing on the warptile. There were some flyers, junk mail and catalogs at the front door, so I gathered them in a box."
"So what was the purpose of the metal artifact?" asked Chief.
"That was a ring… Gengar made me a simple ring of copper wire to give to Yuki. I had it in my pocket when the explosion happened. I'm Kitten?" I said the words to convince myself. "But I can't remember it."
"You came back with a case of Pokérus," recalled Yuki.
"But why can't I remember?"
"Maybe for the same reason that I couldn't remember who I was: your head is the wrong shape," concluded Chief.
"I…I am Kitten?!"