I was floating… drifting in a world above our own. Brilliant colours shot by me like falling stars. Creatures of all kinds joined me here, Pokémon of every sort from the lowliest of grub right up to the mighty Zapdos… they were all here, drifting with me in this strange place.
Then a Pokémon I had never seen before… alive. Mew. The pink little feline floated only centimetres from my head, twisting and spiralling. Its large, blue eyes watched me… examined me. And I soon became aware of the fact that I was a stranger in their midst.
A giant bubble began to form between me and Mew, expanding and growing at such a speed that I couldn't avoid it as it completely engulfed me. It was taking me up and up, high into the sky, the earth soon becoming nothing more than a mere dot.
Mew was with me, watching me from outside my bubble. It spoke to me in a voiceless whisper. You are not meant to be here…
I tried to stop it. I tried screaming out but not a sound escaped. And with a single tap of its paw there was a: Pop!
I jolted awake, suddenly aware of the sunrise that came streaming in through the window, bathing me in sunlight… but how did I get here?… and where was here at that?
I was naked, of that I was sure…
I lay on my side, staring at the empty spot on the other side of the bed and just then my mind caught up.
I sat up, pulling the sheets to my chest, spying the figure that stood alone on the balcony, wearing only his trousers. He held a coffee in one hand as he watched the sunrise. The brilliant mop on his head caught ablaze in the light - its messy, nest-like appearance left nothing to the imagination as to what we'd gotten up to the night before.
Noticing my movement, he turned and watched me slip from the bed, bringing the sheet with me. Lance smiled at me as I joined him on the balcony and offered me coffee to which I declined. My stare fell upon his figure, tracing the lines of his magnificent torso that now seemed to read like an open book to the eyes of its beholder - scars and all.
"Did you sleep?" he asked me, sipping his coffee.
"Like a Snorlax," I admitted, following his gaze over a mountain range that stretched out before the city. "Of all the ocean front rooms you could have chosen and you chose the mountains?"
Lance nodded, giving me a lazy smile. "The mountains are where I'm from and what I'm fond of. So I guess… it's like I'm waking up to home."
I turned my focus back on the hotel suite which was more or less one room… one very large room with an adjoining bathroom that I suspected would be just as oversized. On the floor there was a trail of our clothes that led up to the bed, but it was the corner of a note strategically placed under the front door that caught my attention.
Lance beat me to it, coming up from behind and plucking it from the floor. It was a sealed envelope bearing the hotel insignia and my name… my real name.
He would have figured the staff had the wrong door but my careless reaction stated otherwise. I went to grab it from his hands but he quickly pulled it from my reach, almost causing me to collide with him.
I pulled back, eyeing him off carefully. "Yes, my real name is Aisha. If you were paying any attention when I challenged you at the League you would have realised that."
The Dragon Master blinked, "Back then I was more focused on the fact that you were attempting to steal my Dragonite."
I quickly ripped the letter from his hands and tore it open, hungry to read its contents. Though I already knew who it was from, the message it contained was not something I was expecting. My father was here… and he was waiting for me down stairs.
My blood ran cold. If he was here… then he had to know what I'd been up to.
I dressed quickly, casting a warning glance at Lance to get away from this place as quickly as possible, before making my way down stairs.
The lounge was empty at such an hour… with the exception of agents bearing the familiar red R on their chests that stood strategically located at all entrances. A man and his Persian sat alone in the lounge - in the very chair I occupied only the night before. Ring laden fingers tapped lightly on the Persian's head as he watched an empty fireplace; awaiting my approach.
I stopped barely within arms length of his seat, just enough to notice the look on his face as one more of contemplation than the seething anger he was better known for.
"I trust you're doing well now?" his question lacked meaning.
"Yes," I answered.
"Excellent." He stood, fixing his jacket and casting me a light smile that hardly reached his eyes. "The helicopter is waiting."
"How did you know to find me here?" I watched the man called my father from my seat. He had a laptop on his knee which he tapped at insistently. Neither of us took note of the scenery below us that flashed past at an alarming speed as we crossed the borders into Kanto.
"An informant mentioned you spent some time in the PGM rehab centre after taking on what has been officially filed as an unknown substance. I followed the paper trail to the hotel."
He didn't mention Lance, which either meant he had special plans for the soon to be doomed Dragon Master or he didn't know as much as he thought he did.
For Lance's sake… and mine, I hoped it was the latter.
"You're heading to the lab for testing."
"What?" I reeled. "They told me I was flushed of the substance."
"That is yet to be confirmed."
I scoffed, "I'm fine."
"If you know what's good for you, Aisha, you'll do what you're told." His growl was dangerous; one that told me it was wise not to push the matter.
I squinted, "You think what Archie gave me was some sort of performance enhancer, don't you."
Giovanni said nothing which only confirmed my suspicions.
"I'm not going to be another one of your lab experiments."
"You'll be whatever I see fit. And for the moment, you're benched."
Author's Note: I just wanted to thank everyone for your awesome comments! They really encourage me to keep this fic going… and I gotta admit, I'm having a blast writing it!
Well this concludes Volume 2… I know it sort of ends on a strange note, but fear not, Volume 3 (which is called 'The World is Changing') is already up!
Looking forward to seeing you there :)