A/N: I'm so sorry this took so long. Stuff happened. Stuff like being attacked by a pitbull, causing a car accident, getting sick, doing my online math course (gahh... math), and hanging out with my younger siblings.

War! that mad game the world so loves to play.

~Jonathan Swift

A white lab coat was thrown onto a hook as its owner stormed around her borrowed bedroom. She shucked off a name tag that read 'Pink', which landed beside one that said 'Annie', and grabbed the one that said 'Orange' as she stalked around the room. Irritation showed in her tri-colored, madly swirling eyes as she grabbed a hairbrush from her bedside.

"Trust Thomas not to tell me my friends are on a mission with untrained newbies for backup until after they set out." The girl huffed as she grabbed several small purses. "I'll probably only need my party for this..." She pursed her lips together when someone knocked on the door.

"If you do it I'll be very annoyed with you." Thomas called through the door at his friend.

The girl, Orange, rolled her eyes at that. "Do you really think you can stop me in your wheelchair?" She asked him as she finished up collecting her things. "We both know I can book it past you and down the hallway before you can get the chair turned around. Besides, I'm done here."

Although she couldn't see it, Orange knew that her friend was frowning on the other side of the door. "You came here at my request for two reasons. You can't leave until those are done." She could practically hear the pout in the boys voice.

"I've already chatted with your breeders and done all the lab work needed for the experiment. I'm done here, so I can leave to help them." Orange smirked as she talked to Thomas.

The blond boy opened the door to speak to his friend face to face, but Orange used that moment to make her prior mentioned escape. She raced past the blond in the wheelchair with a grin and ignored Thomas's annoyed shouts as she booked it down the hallway to the elevator.

She knew she'd get yelled at later, but what was the point of having friends worried over your safety if you didn't give them a reason to panic every once and awhile?

xXxXxXxXx

Ruby and Sapphire were hiding out beneath a boulder having followed the tracks of the Team Rocket vehicle to where they were preparing the firestones for shipment. The two Hoenn trainers were sitting and studying their opponents movements to decided the best course of action. At least that is what Ruby had told Sapphire they were doing.

"Remind me why we can't just overpower them and snitch the shipment." Saph said as she leaned around the boulder for a better look at the shipment containers. Ruby could see just how eager she was to get going, The brunette was squirming in her spot and fingering her Pokéballs. Her excitement practically radiated off of her.

For a second Ruby wanted to snap at her that this was a very important mission so they couldn't just wing it like usual, but he stopped himself. Sapphire didn't have the kind of training Ruby did when it comes to planning battle strategies. She probably wasn't thinking of how important this mission could be to a war effort that was apparently almost a year old. Now, Ruby knew that a year isn't very long for a war, but he also knew that Kanto hadn't been prepared for a war. Besides, this was a guerrilla war, and as such had lasted a ridiculously long time.

"I have a feeling the war is going to pick up its pace soon." Ruby warned the girl at his side. She would have ignored what he was saying if it wasn't for the worry in his voice. The hint of uncertainty and fear made Sapphire turn to look at Ruby as he spoke, and was the reason why she actually paid attention to him and not the grunts. That would later turn out to be a near fatal mistake.

Just after Sapphire took her eyes off the grunts a brunette woman in a black dress with the Team Rocket 'R' on the front of it walked out from behind one of the boxes of stones. Neither Hoenn trainer noticed her as she swiftly headed towards the jeep the grunts had used and disappeared inside of it.

"Why would you say that?" Sapphire asked her mission partner.

Ruby hummed low in his throat before leaning against the boulder. His red eyes caught Sapphire's blue ones and held her in thrall. "Because of several reasons. First of which is that Yellow has more powerful trainers at her disposal now, so she can step up her own offence. Second is that having the Kanto Pokédex holders here will raise the rebellions moral. Then you have fact that Yellow is sending more people out on missions, so clearly the war effort is moving forwards. Plus you have the fact that Lance and Steven are both here so she has two different people who have been champions at one point in their lives. I mean Lance is still champion,

and, trust me on this, lots of really good trainers have been spending the past several years trying to take that from him."

"Okay, okay!" Sapphire rolled her eyes. "So she got new, powerful people to help her out. This is war. Doesn't she need an army?"

The the very much put upon sigh that Ruby released left Sapphire feeling like she had just asked a stupid question. "Guerrilla warfare is when a smaller group of people, which can include both soldiers and civilians, use methods like sabotage, ambush, and raids to dominate and defeat a less mobile traditional army." Ruby explained with a distinctly teacher like tone. "They rely on the element of surprise and the fact that a guerrilla army is far more mobile than a traditional army to win a war. They, the guerrilla army that is, also take advantage of things like the terrain and the aid of the local population, and use hit and run tactics."

"So that means Yellow is fighting using smarts rather than brute force, right?" Sapphire pondered while digesting the information Ruby had just spilled out. "And how did you memorise all that?"

Ruby shrugged in response. He wasn't really up for explaining how his father had made him memorise war tactics so he could follow his father's footsteps as a gym leader. "That's not important. What matters right now is how we're going to fight all those grunts. There are several of them and only two of us."

"But you already have a plan don't you." Sapphire asked as she readied a Pokéball.

Ruby himself pulled out the Pokéball Nana, his Mightyena, was in. "We'll take them out as swiftly as possible in a surprise attack. Try not to take on more than two at once and be prepared for them to attack you physically. Maya warned me that the Team Rocket members have a habit of attacking other trainers. I'll try to take out as many as possible as soon as possible, but be careful anyway."

Sapphire nodded affirmative, but a look of worry appeared on her face. "Will we have to kill people?" There was a tremble in her voice when she asked.

Ruby sighed again but didn't get mad. She'd never really seen a war, and had never killed anyone. Neither had he for that matter, but he was better prepared mentally anyways. "An enemy you don't kill is an enemy that can get up and stab you in the back later." He warned her. Hopefully she would take his words to heart and do whatever she needed to take an enemy out of the fight, but Ruby made a special note in his mind to keep an eye on her during the fight anyways. He had a feeling she might leave an enemy in a position where they could hurt her because she didn't want to take them out.

For all her wildness Sapphire was still a young girl with no blood on her hands. Killing, even an enemy, was probably against her morals.

xXxXxXxXx

"We have a problem." Maya announced randomly. She looked down at the tire tracks they had been just about to follow to Ruby and Sapphire before sighing.

Dan watched for sigh before shrugging. "And that is?" he asked lazily. His Charizard waddled up beside him and growled. Ignis hated walking, but a flying Charizard in the air above them might give their position away to enemies.

"We forgot the grunt at the blast site." Maya's tone made it very obvious that she was less than impressed with the setback. She sighed. "We can't just leave him because he might have good information, but going back means we'll be late to meeting up with Saph and Ruby."

Dan returned Ignis and swiftly pulled out Calamitas's Pokéball. The Arcanine happily ran over to Maya. She rolled her eyes but let him sniff her burnt hand and arm.

"We'll ride Calamitas back and pick up the grunt. Then you and the grunt can ride him back while I run beside him." While he was speaking Dan was also busy helping his wife onto the Arcanine's back, so she really didn't have time to argue. He jumped on behind her and encouraged the Arcanine to race back to the blast site.

"Hopefully Ruby and Sapphire don't run into anything but a couple of grunts." Maya worried. From his seat behind her Dan could feel the tension in her. He pulled her closer while being careful of her injury, and rubbed her shoulders.

Maya relaxed into her husbands arms and felt him smile behind her. "Unless they run into a Team Rocket Admiral they should be fine." he pointed out in a reassuring voice. "And how likely is it that one decided to supervise the firestone removal? No one has seen an Admiral on a mission in two months. They're all probably off doing something in another region."

"What if they left one behind, or they came back and there is an Admiral with the stones?" Maya asked before starting to worry her bottom lip between her teeth.

Dan slid his finger between her teeth and her lip to stop her from biting it. "They'll be fine." he reassured her. "I mean, really, what are the chances that the first Admiral to take a mission just so happens to decide guarding firestones is worth their time? The kids will be fine. Let's just go grab the grunt and then we can check on them, yeah?"

Maya nodded, but she kept silent for the rest of the ride.

xXxXxXxXx

Humming low in her throat, a brunette in a black dress looked over the tablet in her hands as she sat in a jeep. Her cold brown eyes were narrowed in anger as she read the information written on the electronic screen. Her fingers clenched over the screen for a second before slowly relaxing, and a frigid smile slid across her face.

"Well, well, well." She cooed out in a high babyish voice. "Looks like the boss is rewarding me with a firestone for agreeing to watch over this FUBAR mission."

Carefully she slid one of the glowing stones sitting in the seat beside her into her pocket. Pulling out a sharpie she swiftly marked the case she'd removed the stone from before sliding out a Pokéball number nine drawn on it. "Looks like you get to evolve now honey." The woman practically purred to the ball in her hand. "It's our reward for fixing this stupid mission those idiot grunts fucked up on, so use it well."There was an almost insane grin on her face as the brunette opened the Pokéball and pulled out the firestone.

Somewhere else on the island a young woman with many names and multicolored eyes shivered. She had a feeling her job was now going to be much harder.

xXxXxXxXx

"So we're agreed then?" Ruby asked quietly. "Attack on three?"

Sapphire nodded gently. "Yeah, attack on three." She fingered her Pokéballs and shifted into a crouch.

"On my count then." Ruby said before taking a deep breath. "One... two..."

xXxXxXxXx

Orange stood atop a large hill with a frown on her face. Dust was coating the hem of her white dress but the girl ignored it as she pondered her choices. She could go west to the rising plume of smoke that was probably from an explosion or she could head east and track down the place Team Rocket was planning on shipping the firestones from.

The wind chose that moment to blow her black and orange hair into her face. With an irritated huff the girl shoved it back into place before turning east. The safety of the firestones was, in the end, more important to the war effort than Dan and Maya. Orange had no doubt that it was her friends husband who had caused the explosion, so logically that meant that whatever was happening over there was probably over. The firestones were still in Rocket ownership and were far more important than checking on her friends.

With a faint nod of her head Orange made her decision and started heading east. She'd deal with Team Rocket then track down her friends and the two kids she'd heard they had been saddled with. It's not like they'd get mad at her for helping with the mission anyway. The more the merrier, as the saying goes.

Besides, she was still having bad feelings about all of this. Something big was going to happen, and she wanted to know what.