Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon

Summary: Ash and Cynthia stowaway on Hunter J's ride to stop her and Team Galactic from using the power inside the Tree of Beginning. Rated for violence.


Tree of Beginning, Road of Eternity

Chapter 1: Boarding the Road Home

A forest. Trees endlessly showing up. For a raven-haired teen, it seemed like he was lost...but his expression said otherwise. With a yellow mouse on his shoulder, all that appeared was this young man and his lightning bolt-tailed mouse were on a leisurely stroll. Nothing seemed to be bothering him too much from his black vest over his white t-shirt, red baseball cap and jeans. "Talk about a perfect day to take a training day off, huh Pikachu?" he gleefully expressed.

("Nothing wrong with it,") the mouse agreed. They continued to walk aimlessly through the forest when they saw something to stoke interest. There was a blond woman in black who was feeding some black creatures wrapped in leaves. She wore black, even in her hair with what seemed to be maracas. This was an interesting sight. ("No way!") Someone familiar?

"Cynthia?" The blond vixen with quite a rack on her turned to the young man and Pikachu, stunned that someone was seeing her.

"Ash, this is a surprise," she huffed. Ash approached her with awe.

"Tell me about it. What's been happening with you?" Cynthia was pretty casual about someone seeing her, still feeding chow to the creatures.

"Thought I'd come and see how the Burmy were doing around here. The Burmy get easily frightened and hide in the trees when humans or predators get within a mile of their location...or at least that's when I've been hearing. These Burmy are pretty playful and don't seem deterred in any fashion." Interesting understanding. One Burmy leaped onto Ash's shoulder, acting outrageously friendly. Ash petted the head of it which it enjoyed.

"They certainly are." That's when Cynthia thought something was missing about Ash. Was it Pikachu? Any of Ash's Pokémon?

"Ash, what happened to your posse, Brock and Dawn?" Ash had a posse? Ash knew who she was talking about.

"They're back at Dawn's house. I thought they'd be fine without me for a while. Dawn's mother was excited to see us but had to help out the festival committee." That made Cynthia remember what the event was and what was coming up.

"Johanna's on the Twinleaf Town's annual festival council, right?" Ash snickered and nodded. "I also heard about how you were easily trampled by Paul of all people, isn't that right?" That caused Ash to frown, dip his head and be ashamed at the information laid out.

"Nothing escapes you, does it?" Nope. Cynthia pondered at how Ash was at the losing end of a bad beating.

"I've watched your battles and noticed that while you use unconventional measures in your battles, you lack proper defenses." Proper defenses? In Cynthia's opinion, Ash was all attack and no withdrawing plans in battle.

"Proper defenses?" Both of them began to walk further into the forest, forgetting about who was back in the town and Ash forgetting about the Burmy still parked on his shoulder. "I don't think I understand what you mean." Cynthia appeared to have studied Ash's battles to know where she was coming from.

"You use outside box techniques to fight. I reviewed your battles against Gary, Flannery, Katie and a few other trainers. You don't use enough of a defensive stand to protect your Pokémon." She seemed to know what she meant. "You can use defensive tactics as attacks like Reflect and Light Screen to name a couple. I know you have the potential to use abilities to all extents if you use all that is offered." Ash frowned, thinking that it wouldn't be enough. Pikachu listened, hanging onto Cynthia's words as if they were important to him and Ash.

"It sounds like a lot to absorb coming from a Pokémon master like yourself." A Pokémon master? Cynthia?

"I'm sure that you can do it. No need to fret about being inferior. You'll get your spotlight soon enough." Ash broke a smile, renewed confidence brewing inside of him.

"Thanks, Cynthia." Cynthia smiled. That's when the sounds of engines broke the conversation. Propellers and heavy sounds of big engines sounded like trouble. "You hear that?" Pikachu, Burmy and Cynthia listened well, feeling a conflict on the horizon.

"Airships are on the approach." Not good news. Ash had to know who was coming in and for what purpose.

"Let's go see." The trio bolted for about a mile to where there were two big airships in a large opening. From one airship, a large spiky blue-haired man stood in front of one airship. He wore a gray vest over a black/white uniform and having a yellow "G" imprint. The other airship's doorway began to open and a staircase lowered. From that airship was a silver-haired woman in dark heavy gear. This seemed to be a business meeting.

"Pokémon Hunter J, it's a pleasure meeting you," the man greeted. Hunter J? What did the J stand for.

"I heard that you wanted to conduct a deal about a certain Mew, Cyrus?" she questioned. Mew? This was a problem that the two felt uneasy.

"It's a compilation of plans but allow me to simplify the basics. Are you familiar with something called the Tree of Beginning?" Ash's ears perked with intent. He seemed familiar with the Tree of Beginning. J?

"Are you meaning the legendary tree in the outskirts of the Kanto Region?" Cyrus grinned, satisfied of the well-educated hunter.

"The Tree of Beginning has the legendary Mew inside, a Pokémon that could net you millions and allow you to retire with the riches of the world." It was about money. Although J would appear eager to seek out this Mew, there had to be a catch.

"I see what's in it for me. However, you sound like you've been eying this trip yourself. Care to explain?" Cyrus scoffed, almost to the point that he may have been had.

"I heard that you're sharp as a tack. I can see why. You see, we've conducted a device that could rip open the dimensions and grant us access to Dialga and Palkia. All we need is to reach the peak of the Tree for us to use the device. I thought that we could go as a pair to kill two birds with one stone." J began to oppose the idea. Maybe it was the rumor he was expressing.

"It sounds like I should take Dialga and Palkia into my control. Why do you want them so badly?" Cyrus seemed ready for that explanation.

"I've seen your work. That freeze pistol that you carry won't be enough to stop these legendary Pokémon. We've got the works necessary." Ash and Cynthia heard enough.

"Just give me one moment," he growled. He was itching for battle. That's when Cynthia saw the backdoor of Cyrus' airship was open. It was an open opportunity.

"We'll board Team Galactic's ship," she instructed. "Follow me."

"Okay." The four scurried into the open bay door where Cynthia leaped inside an empty large crate near the door all the way inside and Ash jumping in afterward. Pikachu and Burmy leaped into a well-placed smaller crate. Their boarding wasn't unwatched. Three figures popped out from the shrubs, watching Ash and Cynthia stowaway.

"Looks like the twerp and the master want to stop Team Galactic and Hunter J from taking over the Tree of Beginning," a redhead summarized in a white uniform. Her hair was like a wave ready to break. The uniform was a midriff with a red "R" on it to add to the matching skirt and black arm-length gloves and shin-high black boots.

"Perhaps we should board and see if we can help out," a blue-haired man suggested. His white uniform had more of a look that it's one piece from head to toe unlike the redhead which was in three.

"Probably one of those few times that we aid the twerp when legendary Pokémon are involved," a white cat meowed on the situation. It had a gold coin embedded on his forehead and had a curled tail. "Let's move out." The three sneaked inside J's airship to hide. After shaking hands, Cyrus and J boarded their airships and lifted off, Kanto Region on their path. In the loaded crate, Ash and Cynthia noticed that they've lifted off.

"Looks like we're on our way to my home region," he realized. Cynthia would agree. She's known Ash for sometime since stepping onto the previous soil.

"Right, you're from Pallet Town, home of Samuel Oak," she figured.

"That's right." There was a moment of nothing before...SMOOCH! Whoa... They say that love's in the air. They didn't mean literally. Was that a moment of heart or something to pass the time heading to the Tree of Beginning?