So... it has been a while! I apologise for the super long delay: my Christmas specials ended up consuming most of my time along with dealing with personal stuff, and then when I finally began writing this chapter, it turned out to be the longest yet! But it is time to get back to Kanto and finish the last four steps of Alaska's plot, as well as surviving everything else along the way! This chapter will serve up the main bout of drama for this arc as the rest will largely be a lot of discussions and focus on the Pokemon side of things rather than the extra plots. Hope you enjoy the new chapter and it serves up enough drama to make up from the delay!

Chapter Fifty Three: Take a Gamble

"They don't want you there."

"I have never been one to care about what people think."

"Evelyn is on the war path, she is convinced you've stolen something or damaged something before you left. She is still searching, and if she doesn't find anything conclusive, you can bet she will try and frame you regardless."

"Oh no, a crabby old women with too much time on her wrinkled claws in-between her parties! What a horrid life she must lead, I almost pity her."

"Alaska, these are people you cannot mess –"

"French toast?"

"Here!" Sandy said excitedly, and she quickly grabbed the plate from the waiter's hands. Daisy fell silent, not wishing to continue her argument with a stranger looming over them, and Alaska shot her a triumphant, cocky smile.

"Burger and fries?"

"That's a-me," Alaska said, and flashed a pearly grin at the handsome waiter as he laid down her plate. Daisy sort of grunted at him as her salad and mushroom soup was placed down, and the waiter looked perturbed as he backed away.

"Careful Daisy, he might spit in your next iced tea if you keep that steely look up," Alaska said with a cheeky grin and she stuffed several fries into her mouth at once, and earned her another frosty look from Daisy.

"Please Alaska, this place is far too fancy for waiters to spit in your drinks," Sandy scoffed. "I mean, look at this syrup, it looks someone poured gold on my plate! Waiters only spit in your drinks in restaurants where there aren't personal hand washers listening to you pee in the bathroom." Alaska laughed, flecks of food flying from her mouth, and nearby diners stared in shock at this uncivilised behaviour. The 'ABC' restaurant was a popular new eatery in the middle of Celadon City, encompassing a tri-theme to suit its name through triangular furniture, artwork, a three colour scheme of black, white and red and even three sided doors that seemed a little over the top.

"Control yourself Alaska!" Daisy hissed, going red with embarrassment. "I feel like a mother taking her two naughty children out for lunch! I only agreed to shout you a meal as it's your last day here and I thought you'd behave."

"Hit the nail on the head there Daisy!" Alaska replied, swallowing her chips and taking a huge bite from her burger. The food was rich and tasted divine, and Alaska thought it would be best to simply enjoy your meal than cause more worry for Daisy, but there were still some points she had to straighten out. "It is my last day in this godforsaken, over glittered, over priced city, and I intend to make it enjoyable in my own personal way!"

"So you're going to find some other local treasure to destroy?" Daisy said icily, and Sandy gasped overdramatically. Alaska merely smiled and paused for a moment to chew, thinking over her words.

"I just want to give Jericho and his dear, darling, lovely grandmother my parting wishes," she explained after a few moments. "And then, if I get the chance, I am going to make sure they get a piece of my mind over how I have been treated." Daisy groaned and clutched her head in annoyance.

"For the last time Alaska, they thought they would be protecting you from Gideon!"

"If they wanted to protect me, why did they kick me out of their mansion then, or get rid of all the Eevee's that Sandy enjoyed playing with?" Alaska felt bad bringing this point up, and Sandy lowered her cutlery sadly, staring down at her meal as if her meal had just turned into an Eevee.

"You are lucky they didn't throw you in the river!" Daisy hissed. "You destroyed the Celadon Gym and knocked Jericho out –"

"- with a piece of brownie, mind you."

"That is beside the point! Kicking you out was the least of all of the things they could do, and it is a miracle they have not done anything else! Evelyn is on the bloody war path!" Daisy glared angrily at Alaska for a second before taking Sandy's right hand and putting on a more sympathetic face. "I am sure they did not send the Eevee away as a way of hurting you. I happen to know for a fact that they have an important plan for them in all of this, so I hope you know they are doing some good for us all." Sandy smiled at this and brushed her tears away, but she did not read between the lines as Alaska did. There was something very odd about that statement, and Daisy cast Alaska a look as if signalling for her to pick up on it. Alaska went back to her meal and dwelled the words over, as it was not the first time this had happened. Daisy had been oddly cryptic and strange ever since Alaska had won against Alexis four days ago: she kept falling quiet or leaving the room whenever Sandy made reference to Gideon or the robots, and other times she would simply look at Alaska with a mixture of worry and fear.

No, stop thinking about stuff like that, Alaska told herself as she stuffed her burger into her face, sending sauce down her front. We are focussing on gym battles from now on. That's why we are going to Fuchsia City, to keep battling, to win more badges – after all of that is done, than it is Gideon's turn.

"Sandy, I have already taken your advice and let you tell me where to go next for my gym battle," Alaska explained after a few minutes of silence, "but I can handle Jericho and Evelyn. I promise I won't damage anything, I just want to give them some words before moving on, alright?" Daisy looked annoyed and conflicted, but she sighed and nodded, knowing it was the best she would get. "Excellent, let's enjoy this meal and the wonderful atmosphere of ABC, which is still a stupid name by the way. I mean, how uncreative do you have to be to just name something with letters anyway? There are a million options of actual words you could have used, and they settled for letters!"

"Maybe it means something?" Sandy suggested.

"I am sure they'll make it mean something…," Alaska muttered darkly. A waiter suddenly reappeared, which struck them as odd as it was very obvious none of them had finished their meals yet, but then they saw he was holding a fine red velvet bag that went well with his uniform.

"Um… excuse me madams, but is one of you an Alaska Avocado?" He asked, perplexed.

"Acevedo," Alaska said darkly as she raised her hand, and the waiter looked even more nervous as he dropped the bag on the table.

"Someone at the bar left this for you," he explained fearfully. "I did not see his face as it was hidden by a large hat, and he did not leave a name, but he also asked for me to say he wished you were well," the waiter added, but turned to Daisy as he said this. Daisy was stunned, and she glanced around as if hoping to catch a glimpse of this man, but there was no sign of anyone. Alaska quickly opened the bag up, intrigued and cautious to see what was inside.

"They're evolutionary stones!" Sandy gasped, picking up a handful. Alaska had heard of them but had never actually seen one up close: they looked like rare gems that had been pulled out of the earth, glittering in the light from the chandelier above. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, black... they were all beautiful to look at, and Alaska grabbed a handful herself, feeling the power and energy radiating inside.

"There is about three of each!" She said in shock, and she joined Daisy in looking around for her benefactor. There were so many possibilities of who this could be, or it could be someone new entirely. Yet no one familiar appeared to be in the restaurant, and nearly everyone was staring back at them so they got a look at all the other patrons, the majority business people or elderly women, one table seating two black haired, scowling men that looked out of place, but no one waving 'hello' and demanding gratitude.

"This is bizarre…," Alaska mumbled as she dropped the stones back in the bag, and Daisy settled back in her seat but remained confused.

"Well, it is rather obvious what this means Alaska," Sandy said cheerfully as she back to her toast, and Alaska raised a curious eyebrow. "Some one really wants you to complete the rest of your steps!"

"Yes, but whom?"

While Alaska hated every moment she had spent in Celadon, she could not deny that there was some beauty to this metropolitan city amongst all the glass and steel buildings and plastic people.

The trio walked their lunch off on their way to the casino alongside the river that cut through the heart of the city. The water looked good enough to swim in, and indeed some small children were jumping off the edge of the banks into the reflective waters below. Daisy explained about how there were a lot of natural chemicals put in to prevent Grimer and Muk from spoiling the view, but the Pokemon were still allowed to leave in the sewers which they had to make smell worse in order to please the Poison types.

So it's not just the Athlews that have poison under the surface, Alaska thought cattily, but did not want to spoil the pleasantness of their walk by speaking it. It was a relaxing walk, with a light breeze and a warm sun a nice change from the rare storm, and Alaska was glad to be doing something that did not involve training for battles or recovering from injuries. She had had enough stress over the last few weeks from Sandy's gunshot wound to her gym loss, and Alaska was looking forward to things getting back to normal.

They all released their Pokemon in order for them to enjoy the day as well. Paige went flying around with Bellsprout clinging fearfully onto her for dear life, while Butterfree flew Pichu around, though a lot softer. Frances and Nadia played some sort of tag game with each other, though the newly evolved Nidorina was not holding her strength back. Daisy let her Dewgong into the river, and it shot up and down the clear channel like a sparkling white torpedo, occasionally leaping out and firing glittering ice for the amusement of the Pokemon and the small children. Alaska and Daisy put their argument behind and bonded over their Pokemon, and everyone felt good as they approached the casino, with even the mysterious evolutionary stones disappearing to the back of their minds. Occasionally, Alaska felt like someone was watching her, and she would glance about, looking for the guilty culprit, but with no one else appeared to be about, she put it down to the wind and her old suspicions creeping under her skin.

The Celadon Casino had only recently been purchased by the Athlew family, and it had been renovated following the years it had spent as a front for the villainous Team Rocket under the name Game Corner. The three storey building was on the river side and had an accompanying fifteen storey hotel to the side, both buildings appearing to be painted a mix of gold and white, like marble rising out from the earth and making it stand out against the steel and glass. There was a giant fountain out front that lit up with LED lights at night, and was constantly on a twenty minute show of dazzling water works. It was very easy to spot, and there was no doubting why it was the most popular hotel and casino in all of Kanto and Johto.

"Why are we meeting the Athlews here?" Sandy asked as they approached the casino, where a crowd was gathering near the fountain. "I am not really in the mood for a session on the slot machines."

"Don't worry, we won't be going inside," Alaska replied with a sly smile as their Pokemon began to gather back around. "I doubt we'd be allowed in anyway after I'm through with them," she added.

"There is a new restaurant and several extensions being opened up today, and as the Athlew family owns the casino, they are all going to attend the ceremony," Daisy explained as her Dewgong leapt back onto the pavement and sprayed them all with water. A number of limousines and fancy cars had already pulled up outside the hotel, and there was a small group of photographers up the staircase capturing every semi famous face that showed up. Alaska, Sandy, Daisy and their Pokemon approached the crowd that had gathered to one side of the fountain, trying to catch a glimpse of glitz and glamour through the dancing water at the spectacle.

"How are we supposed to get over there?" Sandy asked, and she pointed towards the burly looking security guards that lingered around the front entrance and the driveway leading to the front doors. "Security seems pretty tight. Is telling them off again really worth going to so much effort?"

"Of course," Alaska said with a smile, but it was not the only reason why she was doing this. Everyone around her except for Sandy had begun acting strangely since her gym win. There had been Daisy's obviousness, but a few other small things as well. They had tried getting back into Game Freak to see Morimoto, but they had been bared at the entrance for no reason, and the previous day, Alaska had spotted Jericho when they went shopping at the department store, and when he looked across and saw her, his eyes had widened in fear: not fear as in 'oh shit, there's the crazy brownie-throwing pyromaniac', it was something much more frightful than that. Alaska knew that after her victory none of them had left the gym until well into the night, and she had a feeling all these rejections and dodgy looks had something to do with their little meeting. And there was nothing like a bit of confrontation to bring that out.

"What exactly is your plan though?" Daisy asked, squeezing alongside Alaska and Sandy, their Pokemon gathering around. Alaska focussed on the cars pulling up, trying to find the one she had ridden in. The water display kept blocking the view, but Alaska spotted a shock of orange emerging from one limousine, and a smile crept onto her face.

"Ever since I decided which path I was going to go down, I decided to plan my actions out a bit more in advance," Alaska said with a wink at Daisy, and she whistled for Paige to soar down. "You know what to do!"

"Pidge," she said with a smile, and she let Bellsprout get off before turning around. Paige soared up into the sky, wings stretched wide, riding on the breeze flowing through the city. The crowd looked up towards her, impressed and amazed, though Alaska was pleased to note none of the security guards were interested in a random Pokemon. Then, without any warning, Paige dropped down like a falling stone, tucking her wings up against her body and falling down towards the dancing fountain. The crowd followed her descending, some of them muttered worriedly to one another, and Paige struck the water with a simple splash, blending in with the end of the current display rotation.

"What is she going to do now?" Sandy asked.

"I think we've been through enough adventures by now for you to take a wild guess," Alaska said with a wink and a smile. Sandy and Daisy exchanged concerned looks, and the crowd around them began to mumble in confusion.

"What are you doing Alaska?" Daisy asked nervously. Alaska ignored her and pulled Paige's PokeBall out, opening it up so she could talk into it. "Alaska, stop this, you can't do this, you promised! If it is information you want, I can arrange a meeting before we leave, don't do anything ras –"

"Twister," Alaska whispered into the PokeBall, and she began to move forwards. Nadia and Frances quickly followed as she pushed over the orange barrier that had been put up to separate the crowds from the casino. A security guard turned around, stunned by their act of defiance, and he made to move over.

But then Paige attacked.

A giant watery tornado erupted from the middle of the fountain, rising up like some great, purple glowing beast. The guard turned in shock, and even Alaska was impressed by the sheer power of the attack as Paige's Twister sucked up all the water. It appeared as though a hurricane had touched down in the middle of the fountain, and all the security guards and officials were scrambling to deal with the issue, completely ignoring Alaska as she advanced through the casino.

"Lovely place, isn't it?" She remarked to Frances and Nadia as they moved through the stampeding crowds. The casino really looked like a marble sculpture from up close, and everything about the place was so immaculate that it was hard to imagine it had once housed a criminal organisation. "Look at those hedges Frances, aren't they lovely?"

"Para Para."

"Oh yes, fair point, fair point," Alaska replied, and she continued to walk with complete in utter confidence, holding her head high and acting as though the blue shirt and jeans she had on today passed for high couture. She glanced back and saw Sandy, Daisy and the Pokemon were following as well, trying not to get wet from the upset fountain and the Twister that was nearly as high as the casino itself, the water shooting off at the top like an oversized sprinkler.

"Ooooh looky there, I can see Evelyn wearing a lovely gown," Alaska muttered to Nadia, and pointed across at her grey haired enemy as the Athlew matriarch stared at the water tornado in shock. "Make sure they don't get inside, alright?"

"Nido Nid!" Nadia said with an aggressive smile, and she quickly lumbered forwards. By the time Sandy and Daisy had caught up, the Nidorina had jumped onto a bush on the sides of the stairs and leapt through the columns, advancing towards the sliding glass doors like a small purple security guard. The Twister was beginning to die down as Alaska had only told Paige to do it for a few moments, and she knew that the time to strike had come: Evelyn and Jericho appeared bored and were turning away, leaving it to their employees to deal with the threat, advancing up the carpeted stairs.

"What the hell!" Jericho cried when he saw Nadia blocking his path and he stopped stunned, but Evelyn was sharper and she looked around in shock.

"That's the one from Alexis' gym! It's –," she paused, looking for the culprit, and saw Alaska emerging from the chaos. "HER!" Evelyn did not want to try dealing with a Nidorina and instead clip-clopped down the stairs in her purple high heels, making for their limo, the driver not moving as he watched the fading water tornado.

"Evelyn, stop, I just want to talk!" Alaska shouted.

"Bah! Talk? I doubt it, considering this fountain debacle has your name all over it!" Evelyn squawked, and pointed as the Twister finally stopped and the water crashed back down, sending waves spilling over the edge and soaking the crowd and the guards. The matriarch tried to open her door, but Alaska lunged forwards and slammed it shut, moving herself slyly between the grandmother and the limo. Evelyn looked both surprised and disgusted, and Alaska knew she would not have much more time before the guards attention came back in this direction. She noticed Jericho was sending two Pokemon out: his trusted Flareon and, more frightening, an aggressive looking Dragonite that flexed its muscle as it advanced towards her. Sandy led Frances, Butterfree and Bellsprout forwards as a kind of defence, winking back at Alaska as Nadia raced down to join them. Alaska felt more encouraged by the support, and knew she could make this quick before they were either kicked out or arrested.

"If you want to say something, hurry up and get it over with you horrible little girl!" Evelyn hissed, and Alaska noticed she had an uncomfortable look in her eyes, glancing back towards Daisy as if asking what to do.

"That is what I am here to talk about!" Alaska snapped, pointing at the two of them. "You people are trying so hard not to tell me something that you are making it obvious you have something to hide. I have seen all your looks Daisy and read the signs, I know something is up! You had some long, big ol' meeting before I left your house the other day, and I want to know what went on there!"

"None of your damn business!" Evelyn said with a touch of acid. "I do not have to divulge my meetings to such a petty little girl such as you! I offered you a chance for salvation and you threw it back in my face, so I have nothing more to say!"

"That's a pity, because I have so many choice words to say to you!" Alaska snapped, and she took a deep breathe before beginning her rant, a number of choice insults that she had been brewing over for days coming to her lips.

"Alaska, you may want to hurry up," Sandy called out nervously. "There are some security guards coming towards us, and I don't think we can hold off a Dragonite!" Alaska glanced briefly at the suited guards rushing for them, going for the Pokeballs and other weapons of choice, and she knew there was only a moment left for her to say her words, to vent her feelings of frustration at being kicked out of the mansion so soon after her win, to the strange looks and riddles from Daisy, the nervous tension that Evelyn was harbouring. Alaska had to clear these thoughts before she left so she would have a clear mind and a peaceful journey on her way to Fuchsia.

Then the ground fell out from beneath her.

A deep bang echoed somewhere in the distance. The entire casino grounds fell silent as the driveway shook violently, causing them all to stumble. The Pokemon suddenly became distressed, with Pichu breaking out into tears and the rest stared down in confusion. Alaska was frightened, as she had a feeling the bang had came from beneath them as well, and she stepped towards Daisy, planning to ask if she knew what it was, but she walked forwards into nothing: the tarmac beneath them disappeared, cracking and falling within seconds, all happening too fast for any of them to process it. But as Alaska tilted forwards and fell towards darkness, she realized everyone else was falling as well, and many of them were screaming. The limos were coming down with them, and Alaska pushed away, pulling Evelyn tight out of instinct, trying to avoid the long black machines that could crush them easily, all the time wondering what they were falling towards.

It was a brief fall though, but not painless: after about five seconds of fast, fearful falling, Alaska smacked into the ground on her side, her left shoulder screaming out as the pain jolted throughout her body, and her head cracked painfully against a piece of road. There were louder thuds from nearby, one crunching down only a metre from Alaska's foot, and a thick layer of dust rose into the air.

"What the hell is going on?" Jericho shrieked from a far.

"Is everyone alright?" Sandy called.

"The road collapsed!" A security guard pointed out stupidly. "How has this happened?" Alaska rolled her eyes and got up, blood trickling down the side of her face, her left arm hanging almost uselessly from her side, but she was use to being in pain and having bizarre things happen to her, so she soldiered through and knew she had to find out where they were and what had happened. There was no unnatural light, only sunlight pouring in and illuminating the strip of fallen road, but everything around them was hidden by shadow.

"This… this is the old Team Rocket base!" Evelyn said below her, and Alaska turned and helped the elderly women stand up. "These are the secret floors they built beneath the casino, but these were destroyed in a fire years ago!"

"Everything seems to have been destroyed by something years ago," Alaska mumbled, and she stared around trying to make out charred walls or burnt, fallen beams, but everything was hidden by darkness, only the cracked floor visible and it was now covered with a broken jigsaw puzzle of a road. "Why did you leave a bunch of burnt out floors alone and not tidy them up?"

"It is on the agenda!" Evelyn snapped, brushing dust off her dress. "It took us forever to get this casino as the authorities were clinging on it, and when my husband finally gave them enough funds we had to go for a complete makeover in order to attract more customers in. We were originally going to fill this all in with concrete, but the local council wants to build a sewage tunnel through here, so we are in the process of getting that done and turning the upper floors into extra service tunnels. In fact, the council sent some more men down here yesterday to analyse it all." Alaska froze, a chill going down her spine. She glanced quickly back up at where they had fallen from, seeing members of the crowd and more guards staring curiously down into the hole. Alaska looked at the edges and was startled to see how straight the edges were around the hole, but it all made sense now.

"Evelyn, did these men ever come back up? Were there any of your staff watching what they were doing?" Evelyn was taken aback, bur her lined face quickly sunk, and she began to look around in horror.

"Everyone, we must find the nearest exit, quickly! This was not an accident!" She cried. There was a rush forwards as the drivers, security guards and guests who had been trapped in their cars rushed blindly forwards. Alaska quickly moved over to Sandy, helping her get up, and double checked all their Pokemon were fine. The burnt floor creaked dangerously beneath their feet, but it was the least of the worries at the moment.

"We need to go as well! Are you all fine to r –" she began, but Alaska paused as she heard a series of simultaneous clicking noises. She quickly turned and found everyone else had stopped moving as well, several people raising their hands above their heads. A group of people emerged out of the darkness, moving slowly and stealthily into the light, but it was obvious that none of them were invited to the opening.

A row of muscular figures advanced out of the shadows, their bodies encased in skin tight black body suits. All of their skin was covered, their faces encased in large helmets, hands gloved, thick leather boots on their feet. They looked like something out of a futuristic thriller, but Alaska was more focussed on what was in their hands: machine guns, as black and as big as the men were, held carefully in their arms and pointed towards the fallen crowd. Screams erupted from above as the spectators fled, but Alaska, Sandy and everyone else fell silent. The men stopped moving and simply pointed their weapons, fear spreading throughout the trapped crowd as they waited to see what would happen next

"Oh dear … I finally get to meet the great Alaska Acevedo, only to find that she has finally fallen silent. No witty comebacks, no explosive attempts to free yourself? It seems I have been greatly misinformed about your antics." Alaska turned around, looking for the deep voice that echoed all around in the empty shell of a floor, but the only figures she could see were the gunmen, waiting patiently for their orders. The voice laughed, and Alaska stared at Sandy and Daisy, wondering if any of them knew it, but they all seemed as oblivious and as frightened.

"I actually feel sorry for you going out like this," the voice continued, "trapped underground with people you hate, people that are lying to you, with no chance to pull any of your classic tricks. I would have liked to have seen one in person, watch you attempt to save yourself and everyone around you and then watch you fall as the onslaught of bullets destroy you. It truly is a shame, but it has to be done."

"Why, why do you need to kill me?" Alaska called out, thinking on her feet, trying to stall them. "Why don't you just kidnap me? I am sure if you want me dead, you'd have a lot more fun torturing me first!"

"True true, I would, but I really can't take the risk. You have become too much of a bother, Miss Acevedo, and we really need to eliminate you before you can do any more damage to my cause. But, if it makes you feel any better, seeing your dead body will really make my year. Now, kill all of them," he said, and without warning the gunmen suddenly raised their weapons. One of the guests screamed, and that was when the death began.

Alaska dived to the ground, pulling Sandy down with her, as a storm of bullets erupted overhead. There were more screams, some of them quickly cut off, and the sound of glass shattering as the limousines took most of the brunt. Dust and ash rose like a cloud again, and Alaska looked up to see the men were aiming at the ground, trying to find and hit her. However, Butterfree's eyes were glowing a beautiful pink, as she rearranged large chunks of road with her Psybeam, making a barrier that hid them from the gunmen's sight.

"FLARE!" Jericho's Flareon cried and Alaska turned briefly to see a burst of flames erupting in the distance, engulfing one gunman but the others simply turned and aimed for them. Fortunately, Jericho and Evelyn the Flareon were protected by the fallen road, while Dragonite had flown over to protect her namesake. Daisy moved towards them, pushing Frances, Nadia and Bellsprout forwards as she did so.

"Are you alright?" Alaska cried, and all of them nodded, though they were covered in dust and all, even Nadia, looked frightened. Alaska knew she could not put them through anymore of this and she and Sandy brought theirs back, leaving only Butterfree to protect them.

"Is Paige still outside?" Daisy asked, and Alaska nodded. She feared for her first Pokemon and oldest friend, and glanced to the sky, wondering if Paige knew they were in trouble, if she was planning to save them or had gone to get help. Until that arrived, they were all trapped, and people were falling like dominoes; guests and guards alike were sprawled across the ground, some obviously dead, bullet holes through their heads that no one could have survived. Others were just injured or unconscious and were being left alone by the gunmen now as they turned their attention towards finding Alaska.

Everyone is dying for me, but I cannot hand my life over to this person… not without a fight, Alaska thought. Then my Pokemon, Sandy, Daisy, everyone will face the consequences as well… the only way to ensure they survive is to stop them…

"Should I send Onix out?" Sandy whispered.

"No, the floor is fire damaged, it is a miracle we are still up here but his weight would destroy it," Alaska replied quickly, her mind moving fast to distract herself from fear. "But destroying the floor could work if done properly…" She reached into her bag and began rummaging through. "Here, take this, it will probably deflect a few bullets," Alaska said as she tossed the brownie tin out, and Sandy managed an uneasy smile. The gunfire continued as Alaska searched for the gun that Bill had given her all the way back in Cerulean. She never bothered with it, as it only served to cause distractions or slow opponents down, and there was never any time for that. However, Alaska had a feeling it would come in handy now, and she smiled as she pulled it out, a plan quickly forming in her head…

"PIDGEY!" A voice cried from above, and Alaska looked up to see Paige high in the sky above them, well out of the range of danger. Alaska was relieved, but realised there was little she could do for Paige or vice versa. She was tempted to tell her to go find help through the PokeBall but she noticed the Pidgeotto was flying in circles, pointing downwards with her glowing left wing, as if she was trying to get a message across. Alaska looked back up at the hole where they had fallen and saw how much of the driveway had collapsed, and than it clicked.

"That's it!" Alaska gasped. The idea formed within seconds: it was mad, it could kill them, but so did basically everything else Alaska ever did, so this was worth a shot. "Hey Dragonite!" She yelled, and Jericho's Dragon looked around, seeming both curious and angry at the same time. "Use your strongest attack and aim it at the flare!" Alaska shouted, and she pointed her gun upwards and pulled the trigger. The Dragonite did not have much time to comprehend it all, but instead looked up with blue flames dancing in his eyes, watching the glowing stick as it soared up towards the surface.

"Get ready to run!" Alaska yelled to Sandy, and poised herself…

"DRAGOOOOON!" Dragonite roared, and he unleashed giant blue cannonball of fire from his mouth. It soared up as the flare exploded against the road, and the gunfire stopped as the shooters stared upwards in surprise. The Outrage struck the surface and exploded, blasting them with heat and searing the colour blue into their eyes, tearing more of the road apart and sending stones flying, but the powerful attack achieved exactly what Paige and Alaska had wanted.

"The fountain!" Evelyn cried, and as the blue flames disappeared, everyone watched as a steady flow of water began to pour over the edge, landing on the destroyed limousines and seeping through cracks in the floor.

"AGAIN!" Alaska yelled, and Dragonite obeyed. The next Outrage was a much wetter explosion, more of the fountain being torn apart, and suddenly the entire thing was emptying upon them. "RUN!" Alaska yelled, and she sprinted forwards through the sudden waterfall. The gunfire started up again as she moved, and Alaska dived to the ground, feeling like an action hero as she rolled through the rubble, and fortunately was not hit. She leapt up and stood against a wall still black from smoke and fire and looked up as Sandy, Daisy and Butterfree followed, the force of the water pushing it over the limos and directly onto the floor, some of it seeping through but most beginning to batter the gunmen.

"IGNORE THE WATER, STAND YOUR GROUND!" The mysterious deep voice yelled, but the gunfire was becoming less frequent, and Alaska guessed that the rapid water was enough to put them off. She smiled to herself, and pointed her gun towards the row of limousines, glad to be able to put her first plan into action.

"This is risky, they could still survive this and just be angrier!" Jericho said when he appeared, his Flareon shaking her fur dry alongside.

"The ground is unstable due to the fire," Alaska replied as she eyed the limousine furtherest away, adjusting the device for the shot. "Having a road falling on it must be straining the beams and the floorboards, and the water should help make it all collapse, taking our gunmen friends with us, but if not…" Alaska fired the gun with ecstatic glee: a flare soared towards the limo, and Alaska quickly turned and fired towards the one at the opposite end. The gunfire had basically ceased now, and a cracking sound came from nearby as the water pounded against the unstable floor.

"Alaska, these people are here to kill you, you can't just stay here and wait for that to happen!" Daisy cried. They all jumped as the first limousine exploded, the flare having quickly set it alight and gotten into the fuel. Alaska turned and watched the flames sink through the floor, followed by the next nearest limo and two of the gunmen who had been fleeing the waters, the ground unable to hold itself up anymore.

"I am not leaving, I need to find out who the fuck this person is and protect the rest of you," Alaska replied as there was a second explosion, and she geared up to fire another one through the water.

"He only wants you Alaska! Whoever it is, they are here for you, and these people will be easier to control once you're out of the picture!" Daisy cried. "You and Sandy need to leave, now, and leave him to us!"

"How are we supposed to flee though?" Sandy asked. "Where is the nearest exit?"

"Nitelite will take you," Jericho said, and his Dragonite looked confused for a second but then gave an obedient nod. "He will take you far away from here where you can't be found!"

"But what about the rest of you?" Alaska asked, turning to them, her finger lessening off the trigger. "I can't just take a powerful Pokemon away from you, not when you may need him to fight back against these people!"

"Your plan is already working Alaska, and we can clean up those that are left behind, but you have to go now!" Daisy yelled hysterically. Alaska wanted to protest, knowing that she could not abandon them like this to fight a battle for her. Suddenly, someone kicked her in the shin, and Alaska cried out and turned to find a stubborn faced Evelyn glaring angrily at her.

"You are too special Alaska," she snapped, her voice breaking slightly. "We can survive without you here, but not without you at all! If you die now it will all be worthless!" She pushed Alaska towards the real Nitelite, where Sandy was already standing having brought Butterfree back. "Go Alaska, go so you can fight another day, and good luck you rude little tart!" Alaska was shocked and overwhelmed, a million questions now rushing through her mind, but shots were suddenly being fired again, and the torrent of water was starting to fade as the fountain emptied. She smiled at Daisy and the Athlews, stunned by the sudden interest in her, and turned and fired one last flare through the water. There was no arguing with them anymore, and it appeared that the attack was nearly over, and Alaska could see they had the determination to win this.

"I knew you'd come around to me someday Evelyn," Alaska said, and as Jericho slapped Nitelite on the back and ordered him to Fly, Evelyn Athlew smiled at Alaska for the first time since the breakfast a fortnight ago.

"DRAAAAG!" The Dragonite yelled, and he shot up through the water, soaking them both, as Daisy threw several PokeBalls onto the ground. Alaska's throat slid down into her stomach as they rose, her injured arm being crushed by Dragonite's tight grip, and Sandy screamed in fright, but it was a relief to get above the surface and find Paige, who was hovering in shock above them.

"Get here you wonderful bloody bird!" Alaska said, and snatched her Pidgeotto and pulled her towards her chest as Dragonite steadied himself and shot towards the west. Wind tugged at their clothes and faces, the soaking making their bodies freeze, but Alaska hung tightly onto Paige and reached out and grabbed Sandy's left hand, holding it firmly like a vice.

I need to find out what they meant, Alaska thought as they rocketed across Celadon City, the skyscrapers, river and cafes all disappearing in a general grey blur. I will find out who just tried to kill me and why, and then I will get them back. They should have known I am a focussed person now, and that I'm the completely wrong person to mess with...