In a room that they had sequestered from Nurse Joy and locked before stuffing the cracks to deter eavesdroppers, Ash, N, Cilian, Iris, Lenora, and Hawes sat at the edge of their seats waiting for Prof. Juniper and Oak to set up a double relayed call that would make the conversation much more difficult to trace. Paranoia, yes, but there is a saying about it and being right. The Professors of Unova and Kanto were also listening just off screen to give any input that they felt would be relevant.

Then the screen showed the face of a brown haired man in his early forties, if his still brown hair was any indication. "Ash," Prof. Oak's voice came through, "This is Prof. Krane." Ash realized a breath and was surprised that he was not the only one. The man's face on the screen stayed calm the entire time however. Though the man's glasses had slipped at bit down his nose at the shock of just how many people he was talking to, he smiled when they all visibly relaxed.

"Ash, not to be rude but, why are so many people here?" Prof. Juniper inquired. "While I know that Iris has been traveling with you and I can understand Cilian's and Lenora's involvement, I don't believe I've met the green-haired young man with a ponytail."

"My name is N, ma'am," said trainer replied.

"I think I'd best field that question Prof.," Lenora said calmly. "It has to do with a concern we have. Ash just challenged me for the Basics Badge-everyone here was present for that, during the course of our battle I had Lillipup use Roar, inadvertently sending out Ash's charge instead of his second. It was the first I had been informed of Ash having a Shadow Pokemon or the reasons behind it. So I have to ask, is the League informed about this?"

"I must also admit that I was ignorant of Ash's Sixth until the battle," Cilian stated. "While our Gym is the most recent, I am hurt if we as Gym Leaders are not allowed to be trusted with such information."

"Yes," though everyone could hear the frown on her face as she dissected why the Gym Leaders were still uninformed. "I can see why you are all concerned," she continued slowly as if just before the threshold of the answer. "The best reason I can come up with at this point is that it is being put under a heading of low priority to prevent anyone who is spying on our information network from flagging it. As such it should either have already come or be there by next week, but check with the others to make sure that they know." The two Leaders nodded.

"Um, Professor," Iris began as if unsure how to word it. "Is Ash going to be allowed to carry more than Six at a time? I mean right now doing this kind of puts him at a disadvantage to everyone else- so wouldn't it be fair to let him use more?" Ash looked over at her in shock, he had never once thought about asking that.

"Unfortunately no," Prof. Oak sighed. "Many trainers have at least one Pokemon on their teams that for one reason or another cannot enter into a League sanctioned battle safely. If we were to make an exception for him, it would raise questions- also since most battles are not six-on-six competitions, it allows trainers to either have those Pokemon with them or to make a challenge with less and not be at a disadvantage." Both Ash and Iris wilted at the verdict. "A nice try though, you are looking to solve the problem, keep it up," he concluded.

"Would it be possible to share an account?" N asked suddenly. "Two or more people each having six at a time but able to swap or borrow their teams because the Pokemon are registered to the group?"

"It can be done," Oak, said slowly, letting them know that there would be a catch. "However only between trainers who have the same Badges and who are traveling together, also no single member can carry more than six Pokemon at any given time for battle purposes. The badge restriction is to prevent one trainer from riding another's coattails into a competition that they would just not be ready for, or an odd situation where each of the trainers has seven badges but the only Gym for each of them is one that a different group member has already conquered. A trainer cannot receive the same badge twice. It would also apply to ribbons for coordinators. As such, most trainers don't form these groups if they've gained one or two badges on their own already," the former Kanto Champion finished with a sigh.

"Ash," N asked calmly, "what badges do you have in this League?"

"The Trio and Basics Badges," Ash answered hesitantly. Surely N wasn't proposing…

"Then when I win the Basics Badge would you mind forming a group with me?" He was.

"And just what makes you think I will lose?" Lenora asked, eyes flashing dangerously.

"I will be incredibly persistent. If I do not get it this time, I shall try again… and again until I do. I am not one to give up easily and my friends will find a way to defeat you before too much time has passed. They are far more inventive than many would ever give them credit for." Linora smirked, acknowledging the point and they turned back to the screen.

"Well, that was certainly informative," Prof. Krane spoke for the first time. "It's a pleasure to meet you all, even if only over the vid-phone. Ash, if I may make a request? I would like to meet XD002- sorry I was reading Cypher's records for a long time and I was captured before Prof. Oak sent anything; what is his name again?"

"Silver, sir, Silver Oxide."

"I would like to meet Silver then, if it's alight with you."

"Sure!" He pulled the Premier Ball, tossed it into the air and Silver appeared in full view of the screen and the others. "Silver, this is Prof. Krane," he introduced the young legendary to the face on the screen. "He's going to help get your mother back to normal." The Legendary looked hopefully at the man for validation.

He nodded. "I was just going over some of the information that Prof. Oak had sent over from the tests that he had had you take while you were with him. It will take some doing, but we'll crack it. Unfortunately we don't know where she is at the moment- but we do have some leads." He motioned for someone to step into the camera's line of sight.

"If I may, I would like to introduce you all to my rescuer, protégé, and the best trainer we have at the lab, Michael." The boy was about ten with calm eyes and a grin on his face, he had a pair of goggles around his neck, and if it had been higher resolution, they would be able to see some of the sand in his hair. "He recently broke me out of a Cypher lab and we were able to obtain among other things an encoded CD-ROM. Hopefully this should provide us some clues as to where they are."

Michael looked right at Silver and made a binding promise, just as Ash and Richie had done five years ago to his mother, "I'm going to get her back, alright? I give you my word."

"Yeah, everything will be just fine! Big Brother will handle it!" The words were accompanied by a small girl, maybe six to eight, jumping between Prof. Krane and the screen.

After getting over the initial shock Michael introduced the girl. "This is my sister, Jossie. She's… excitable."

"We noticed," Lenora said sweetly.


…Meanwhile:

Staraptor flew lazily around the edges of Pallet Town. Ash was gone and the other two, his Noctowl and Swellow, had not been interested in what could be considered "patrolling their territory." They knew the area well and by now the novelty had long since worn off. Not so for the Sinnoh Pokemon, he found the newness of the small town and the land and sea Routes that connected it to the rest of Kanto to still be breath taking.

Being fully evolved and trained also meant he really didn't have to worry about being the poor bastard who got snacked on or about grabbing one. Though perhaps he might peruse the local delicacy that was a Ratata… Thoughts of food were quickly chased from his mind when he saw five Spearow against a lone and downed Pigeotto. A quick Areal Ace changed that, scattering the bullies.

/Thanks f'r that,/ the Pigeotto told him.

/No problem, I'd hope that someone would do the same for me in that situation,/ Staraptor replied. /So what'd you do to ruffle their chest feathers so bad?/

/Nothin'. It's been that way for years. Yer new, ain't cha? Probably Trained, ne'er seen the like a' ya round here 'fore- not that I got anythin wrong with Trained Pokemon. Plenty o' nice un's are Trained. Heck, Boss is Trained. 'Course, he ain't seen his trainer in years, job ain't done and no 'un to pass it to. Say, you goin anywhere? I could introduce ya' if ya' like./

/Sure, why not?/ Starapor replied. It would be interesting to see meet a Trained Pokemon that had lived in the Wild- by the sound of it longer than he had been trained. /By chance, would you happen to know the name of your Boss's Trainer?/

/'Course, Ash Ketchum. Ya' know 'im?/

/Yeah, I do,/ Staraptor answered much more subdued than he had before. /Yeah, I do./


Plot points dealt with, even if it really doesn't feel that way. Once again, I have nothing against the "experienced trainers/ those with special needs can carry more than Six at a time." I just tryed to do something different and remember, in the games Six was the Max, not even Arceus can change that.

Also Pigeot has never had a gender designation. I do not feel that the fics where Pigeot is female are incorrect, I just don't want to do it again.

P.S. Brains

P.P.S. Credit cannot be assigned if one does not know who to assign it to.