Chapter 3

Okay, before I start anything I want to address a few things and questions my reviewers have been asking me. First, thank you all who reviewed last chapter. I was scared at first that the darker themes I was introducing into the story were going to put readers off, but you guys loved it. Now then, onto the questions.

Question 1) Tyson: A few people asked about him in their reviews. No, he is not in any way connected to the other two Tysons Ash fought in the anime. I came up with the name as a play-off of my own as I didn't want to make what people would accuse to be a self insert character. Now, the questions all wanted to know the same thing, is Tyson going to make frequent appearances in the fic? The answer is definitely not. Tyson is only going to make two more appearances, and both of them are almost at the end of the fic. I find that OC's absolutely have to be used in moderation; else they will go Mary Sue very fast, and no one likes a Mary Sue. Of course, there are authors who have posted fics that are exceptions to this rule, but that's beside the point. Ash will run into Tyson again much later in the story.

Question 2) Legendaries: We all know the luck of Ash Ketchum when it comes to legendaries, and a couple of people are asking if he's going to capture any. The answer is yes. He will capture four in this story, which ones will not be said. Now before any of you go on a huge rant saying four is way too much, let it be known that Ash will not be keeping them. He catches these legendaries for reasons other than battle, and once those reasons are resolved he will release them back into the wild.

Question 3) Ash's team: A bunch of people were asking questions about this. Yes, Ash is in possesion of most of his pokemon, Charizard included. Ash will constantly be rotating his pokemon team, making sure he keeps all his reserve pokemon in top form should he ever require them, so you'll be seeing alot of old faces regularly. Also, Ash will be catching alot more pokemon than he did in canon. he'll have a good amount of his canon pokemon team from Unova, but he will have a lot more pokemon that I believe he should have captured. Also, a lot more evolutions will occur, both from new and old team members.

Now that those pressing questions have been answered, enjoy the chapter, and forgive me for taking so damn long. I only just got a new computer recently.

"Wait!" The call stopped Ash in his tracks. Turning around, he saw a young man, about eighteen years old, hurrying towards him. Once the man was close enough he launched into conversation.

"Your pokemon, just now it was saying…" He said, before Ash interrupted.

""Whoa buddy, slow down there for a second, your talking way to fast. Now what's this about Mienfoo? You actually understood her when she spoke like that?" At this, the man's face fell somewhat.

"So you can't hear them either, how sad". At this, Ash smirked.

"I never said that. I'm just surprised you can understand them in their native way of speech. The only way I can understand Mienfoo like that is if she uses aura to telepath what she wants to say to me." The man blinked in shock.

"Well that is interesting. My name's N."

"N? Just N?" N nodded, causing Ash to quirk an eyebrow. "All right, so why did you hail me down for?"

"Well, I was impressed by that counter argument you gave Ghetsis. He made some powerful points, but you were able to do the same. I've never heard of someone so dedicated to their pokemon, and it makes be believe there just might be hope yet."

"What do you mean by that."

"I've been around a bit, and I've heard the pokemon of trainers. They say and act like they're content, but in their eyes I could see the suffering. Pokemon are being hurt by humans." Soon Ash and N were deep in heated argument. N impressed Ash, the man constantly brought up scientific formulae in his argument that he had made himself. This spoke wonders of his education. Ash followed perfectly, and countered with his own arguments of past experiences with his pokemon. Mienfoo could only look back and forth between her master and the strange man, unable to follow the argument much less contribute. As they argued, Ash could see that N was all for pokemon liberation, but he was doing so because he believed that humans only hurt pokemon in the end. Ash however, was on the other end of the spectrum, saying that by being together pokemon and humans could neutralize each other's faults and help each other become stronger. The two also agreed with each other on certain things, like if trainers put their pokemon first, there would be far less strife. However, their heated argument was brought to a close when Ash noticed something. Checking the time, it read four forty five pm.

"Whoa, where does the time go? Sorry N I have to get going, it was pretty interesting talking to you."

"Wait a moment." Replied N, halting Ash, "I wish to hear the voice of your pokemon in a battle. When they battle, pokemon let their true feelings of their trainers be known, so I'd like to hear what your Mienfoo has to say about you."

"Well if it's a battle you want, it's a battle you'll have. Mienfoo, you're up." Mienfoo immediately leaped off her master's shoulder and took a ready stance.

"Assist me my friend." Called N as he threw a pokeball, and in a burst of light a Zorua appeared. Ash idly wondered if it was the same Zorua he had met in Sinnoh, but disregarded it when he saw the Zorua didn't make a single gesture of remembrance.

"Zorua, use Dark pulse." N commanded, and with a yip, Zorua fired a double helix beam of black energy.

" Mienfoo, dodge and use Scratch."

"Foo!" Was the reply, and Mienfoo shot towards the Zorua at impressive speeds, skillfully weaving around the attacks fired at her. Reaching her target, she lashed out with her sharp claws, scoring two powerful strikes on the Zorua.

"Zor!" The pokemon cried in pain, and tried to retaliate with its own scratch attack, but Mienfoo had already back flipped out of the illusion fox pokemon's range and returned to Ash.

"More!" N cried out. "Let me hear the voice of your pokemon. Zorua, use Shadow ball!" Zorua immediately fired a ball of ghostly energy at Mienfoo. The artial arts pokemon tried to dodge, but was too slow and was struck hard by the attack, kicking up a dust cloud.

"Mienfoo, Aura sphere." Ash called, and with a call of acknowledgement, an aquamarine ball of aura rocketed out of the dust and smashed into Zorua face first, sending it tumbling and skidding straight into its trainer's feet. The illusion fox pokemon proved to be tougher than expected, as it got back up and stood ready for its master's next order.

"Zorua, Flamethrower." Called N, but both trainer and pokemon were unprepared for what came next.

"Mienfoo, use Me first." A white ball of light struck Zorua, and then returned and struck Mienfoo, who then spat out a powerful stream of fire and struck Zorua, who was not prepared for the speed of the attack. When the flames were no more, Zorua was singed and unconscious. N returned Zorua, and stayed silently solemn, then finally spoke.

"Never did I expect a pokemon to say such things." Ash raised an eyebrow at this. "As long as they are confined to pokeballs, pokemon can never become perfect beings." N continued, "I need to change the way things are for pokemon, because they are my friends." With that, N walked away, his posture suggesting him to be in deep thought. Mienfoo returned to her master's shoulder, watching the green haired trainer leave.

"What did you say?" Ash asked her, and she shrugged.

"I only said that I was happy as your pokemon and wished to stay by your side."Mienfoo responded.

"That's all? Then why did N act like his entire world was flipped upside down?" Mienfoo could only shrug. Sighing to himself, Ash decided to see what the town of Accumula had to offer. Ash and Mienfoo were browsing the various shops they came across, when they came to a building that looked very interesting. It looked something like a pokemon gym, but Ash was pretty sure that the first gym was in the next town over.

"Hmm, I wonder what this place is? Should we check it out Mienfoo?" Ash asked her. Getting a nod in response, Ash walked through the automatic doors and into the building. Once inside they were greeted to the sight of a large arena dominating the center of the room, a pokemon battle currently being fought on it.

"Welcome." Said a voice behind Ash, cuasing him to jump slightly. Turning quickly, Ash came face to face with a broad, well built man. he had short dark grey hair and a large mustache, he wore a black martial arts uniform with a dark red collar, along with a matching color sash and wristguards.

"Who are you? And what is this place?" Ash asked.

"Don George is the name, and I run the place, Accumula city's battle club." Ash raised an eyebrow at this.

"My name's Ash Ketchum, and this place is the battle club?" He asked, getting a nod from Don George.

"Yes. A battle club is a facility that provides battling and training services to trainers. The place is a way for local trainers to invite each other for battle." Don George then led Ash to a set of computer terminals. "These terminals will tell you who is in the area, you can then link your Xtranceiver to call them for a battle." Ash scrolled through the list of available trainers in the area, though none really caught his eye. he noticed Trip was in the area, but knew the rookie wouldn't be a challenge. Turning his attention back to the battle, he saw the two battling pokemon were in the final stretch of their battle. Taking out his pokedex, he scanned the first pokemon, which looked like an evolution for Oshawott. His assumption was proven right when the pokedex spoke.

'Dewott, the Discipline Pokemon, and the evolved form of Oshawott. With strict training it develops its dual scalchop technique. No two Dewott use the exact same scalchop technique.' Ash then scanned the other pokemon, the pokedex responding with a beep. 'Servine, the Grass Snake Pokemon, and the evolved form of Snivy. It uses swift sliding movements to confuse its foes. They avoid attacks by sinking into the shadows of thick foliage, and retaliate with powerful whipping attacks.' The battle was then brought to a close when the Dewott used its scalchops to land a powerful blow on the Servine, knocking it out. The defeated pokemon's trainer then ran up to it, asking it if it was all right, to which the Servine responded to with a weak affirmative. The trainer picked up his pokemon and ran out of the battle club, heading for the pokemon center.

"You know, I've never seen a Mienfoo with those colors before. I've heard about uniquely colored pokemon and how they're stronger than normal." Remarked Don George, glancing at Ash's Mienfoo.

"Is that true?" Asked the Dewott's trainer, who Ash could tell was itching for a fight withn a strong opponent.

"Not really," Replied Ash, "the coloration of a pokemon doesn't make it stronger than the rest of its species naturally. A pokemon only gets stronger through hard work and training." Don George nodded in agreement of Ash's statement.

"Is your Mienfoo strong?" Asked the trainer.

"She has a bit of experience and knows a few good moves, but honestly i don't think she's experienced enough to take on your Dewott. However, I have a pokemon that would be perfect for your Dewott. He needs more battle experience, and he's naturally resilient." The trainer grinned at this.

"Alright then, let's battle."

"Sure thing. However, I require a few minutes to get him transferred over onto my team." The trainer nodded, and Don George directed him to the transfer machine. Ash activated his Xtranceiver and called Professor Oak, who picked up after three rings.

"Ah, hello there Ash. What can I do for you?" Asked the professor.

"Hello Professor Oak, I need to swap Sceptile with Gible if you don't mind." Professor Oak nodded and went to fetch the requested pokemon. After a few minutes he returned, a pokeball in hand.

"All right Ash I have gible right here. You know what to do." With a nod, Ash placed Sceptile's ball in the machine, and in seconds it was swapped with Gible's ball.

"Thanks professor. Tell my mom I said hi."

"Will do Ash, take care." And with that the connection was cut. Ash then went and took his place on the field.

"All right trainers, let the battle begin." Said Don George, acting as referee for the fight.

"Dewott, let's do this!" Yelled Ash's opponent, and the trainer's Dewott leaped onto the field.

"Gible, take the field!" Ash commanded, throwing Gible's ball. With a burst of light, the land shark pokemon was revealed.

"Dewott, use Water gun" Dewott immediately fired a pressurized stream of water from its mouth.

"Gible, dodge and use Dragon pulse!" Gible quickly ducked under the Water gun, and fired a sea green ball of draconic energy, scoring a direct hit to the Dewott's stomach.

"Dewott, get in close with Razor shell!" Snatching the twin scalchops holstered on its legs, Dewott charged energy into them, forming twin crescent blades, and dashed towards Gible at impressive speeds.

"Gible, Dodge the attack with Dig!" Gible responded a moment too slow however, and was struck dead on with the Razor shell attack, sending him flying back towards his trainer. Being part ground, Gible took more damage than a normal dragon type would have, but the land shark pokemon wasn't down yet. Recovering in mid flight, Gible used dig the instant he hit the ground, rapidly burrowing beneath the field.

"All right, Gible, use Dragon pulse once more!" Dewott was once again struck by the sphere of draconic energy, the attack striking it directly from below. While the discipline pokemon recovered from the blow, Gible leaped out of the hole and slammed into his opponent, sending the water type flying.

"Dewott, use Water gun!" Dewott immediately righted itself in midair and fired the attack as soon as he landed on the ground. Gible who was not expecting such a quick recovery, took the full brunt of the water attack in the face. When the deluge ended, Gible was still standing, but was gasping in exhaustion.

"Ok Gible, time to end this. Use Draco meteor!"

"What!" Shouted not only Ash's opponent, but a spectator of the fight as well. Sparing a glance to the new arrival, Ash saw it was the girl he had met yesterday, Iris if he remembered correctly. Her mouth was agape in shock, clearly not expecting his Gible to know the most powerful dragon move of all. Gible was surrounded in a reddish orange glow, and an orange ball of pure power formed in it's mouth. With a cry, it fired the large ball of energy straight up into the air, and upon reaching the pinnacle of its ascension, it exploded into a barrage of smaller orbs that fell towards the wide eyed Dewott.

"Dewott, Dodge!" Commanded the opposing trainer, and although Dewott made a valiant effort in avoiding the attack, he was quickly struck by the barrage of meteors. When the smoke and dust cleared, Dewott was flat on the ground, out cold.

"Dewott is unable to battle, victory of this match goes to Ash Ketchum and his Gible." Said Don George. Ash's opponent ran up to his fallen pokemon.

"Dewott, are you ok?" The discipline pokemon managed to groan out an affirmative. After returning his defeated pokemon, the trainer thanked Ash for the battle and ran off to the pokemon center.

"That was amazing!" Squealed Iris as she ran up to Ash. "Your Gible was awesome, I couldn't believe it could use Draco meteor! Please, teach me!"

"Calm down kid, I'm right in front of you so there's no need to shout." Responded Ash, smirking when he got a riled up hey for the kid comment. When she had calmed down, Ash continued. "Now then, I believe I left you with a question the last time we met. Do you have the answer?" Iris bit her lip, and after a few moments of thought, spoke.

"I think I do. We do nothing. We can train a pokemon, we can guide it in battle, but in the end all we're doing is standing back as our pokemon are doing all the work." A spell of silence crept by, and Iris was afraid she had answered wrong.

"That Iris, is the correct answer." Replied Ash, surprising Iris. "Now then, I believe I told you I would give you some training advice. Don George, you said this place offered training facilities?"

"Indeed it does. Follow me you two." Don George led them to a door, and after punching in a code on the keypad, opened the door and beckoned them inside. Upon entering the room Ash was impressed by what he saw. The room was filled with all sorts of training equipment ranging from treadmills, to punching bags.

"Perfect. Ok Iris, how many pokemon do you have?" Iris looked hesitant.

"Well, I have Axew, obviously, and then there's my Excadrill." Ash raised an eyebrow in confusion at the change in her tone.

"You say it like it's a bad thing." Replied Ash, causing Iris to let out a sigh.

"Here, I'll show you what I mean." With that, Iris let out her Excadrill. When it appeared, Ash saw the position it was in.

"Excadrill is always like this, and no matter what I do, he'll never listen, he'll just stay like this." Said Iris, gesturing to Excadrill's dormant state.

"How did you meet him." Asked Ash. He had an idea of why Excadrill was like this, but needed Iris to confirm it.

"To be honest, Excadrill is actually my first pokemon. I met him when I was playing with the pokemon in the forest surrounding my hometown. He was stealing food from a family of Patrats, so I challenged him. Every time I tried to swing into him though, he always knocked me away with Metal claw. Finally, after quite a few tries, I outsmarted him and he got tangled up in a bunch of vines. Problem was though, the vines couldn't support his weight, and he was dangling over a cliff. Just as the vines snapped and he started to fall, I managed to grab him, saving his life. Ever since then, we were always together. He and I would always get into battles against other villagers, and we would always win them. It was during the final round of a battle tournament when he evolved and was able to bring down our opponent's Druddigon. It was after that fight that we met Unova's dragon master Drayden. I challenged him to a battle, thinking Excadrill would win, but I was wrong. Excadrill was defeated like he was nothing, and ever since then, he's been like this." Ash inwardly cursed, his theory was wrong. This was not like Charizard at all, and he had no idea how to fix it.

"Well Iris, I'm at a loss. I'm unsure how to solve this problem. For now though, let's focus on Axew. What moves does he know?"

"Well, he can do Scratch easily enough, it's Dragon rage that gives him trouble though."

"Why, what happens?"

"I can't show you here. The results are a bit err... explosive."

"That would be problematic. I'll take you around to the back." Said Don George and beckoned the two over to a door on the other side of the room which lead outside. Iris nodded and was about to recall Excadrill, when Ash stopped her.

"Hold on, let's leave him in here for now. After we assess Axew's problem with Dragon rage we'll come back." Reluctantly, Iris nodded, and followed Don George out to the back field.

"Mienfoo, can you stay and talk to Excadrill please. I want to know why he won't listen to Iris." Ash asked his Mienfoo, who nodded.

"I'll see what I can do master." And with that she hopped off her trainer's shoulder, and walked over to Excadrill. Ash then headed out to the back after Iris and Don George.

"Hey, where's your Mienfoo?" Asked Iris.

"She's talking to Excadrill. Now then, let's see Axew's Dragon rage."

"Okay, here goes nothing." Iris then brought Axew out of her hair and set him on the ground. "Okay Axew, use Dragon rage." Axew nodded, and started building up the energy. Just as it was nearing completion, Axew seemed to hiccup and snap his mouth shut, causing an explosion. When the dust cleared, Axew was sheepishly rubbing the back of his head, mildly embarrassed by his failure to perform the move.

"Okay Iris, I think I know the problem." Said Ash, getting Iris' attention. "Axew is making the attack unstable, which causes him to lose control of the attack and causes it to explode. The only thing he can do to solve this problem is to keep practicing the move until he gets it down."

"I agree with Ash, at this point, your Axew can only get better through practice." Affirmed Don George. Iris nodded, happy to know the solution to her Axew's problem.

"Okay then, let's get back to Excadrill." Said Iris, and she went back inside, Ash and Don George following close behind. Once they returned, Mienfoo returned to her perch on her master's shoulder.

"Did you find anything out?" Ash asked her, getting a nod in response.

"I asked him why and he said this, 'How can I, after she deliberately got herself in deeper than she could handle, giving me my most humiliating defeat ever.' Judging from what he said, and the emotions he gave off, the Excadrill greatly mistrusts the girl's judgement in battle, and is ashamed of how easily he was defeated by his opponent."

"Thank you Mienfoo. I'll let Iris know." Ash then turned his gaze over to Iris, who was trying, and failing, to get Excadrill to open up. "Hey Iris, I think I know why Excadrill wont listen to you." At this, Iris gave Ash her undivided attention. "The problem is you Iris. When you challenged Drayden, you knew how experienced he was, yet you fought him anyway. Due to your misjudgement, Excadrill was laughably defeated. You shamed him greatly with that defeat, now he completely mistrusts your judgement lest you screw up again and humiliate him further." Iris was shocked at this. She had never truly realized how badly she had hurt Excadrill with that defeat. Looking back upon that day, Iris realized Excadrill must have known that Drayden's Haxorus was too superior an opponent to defeat, yet she threw him into that fight anyway.

"How can I get Excadrill's trust back?" She shakily asked. Ash let out a sigh.

"Honestly Iris, I don't know. This whole thing started years ago, and not once has this issue been resolved. There's quite obviously a rift between you two, and it's been there so long that healing it might be impossible at this point. The least you can do is sincerely apologize to your Excadrill. Let him know you never meant to hurt him and that you won't do it again. It might not fix everything, but it will help." Ash then started to leave, much to Iris' confusion.

"Hey, where are you going?" She asked.

"I told you I'd give you training advice, and that's what I've done. It's up to you now to take my advice and get stronger. I'm not going to hold your hand Iris. I'll point the path out for you, but I won't take you with me down mine." With that, Ash left the training room and went back to the battle room. A battle was currently taking place, piquing Ash's interest. The fight was between a Tepig, and a pokemon he didn't recognize. Pulling out his pokedex, he pointed the machine towards the unfamiliar pokemon.

'Deerling, the Season Pokemon. Deerling's fur changes in both color and scent due to the shifting weather the yearly seasons bring.' Putting away his pokedex, Ash watched the battle. It was obvious the Deerling was more experienced than the fire type, and sure enough, with a powerful Jump kick attack, the grass type easily beat the fire type. The deerling's trainer smirked and praised his Deerling for a job well done, while the Tepig's trainer berated the fire pig pokemon. The guy's words struck a chord in Ash, as they sounded way too familiar.

'This guy sounds a lot like Paul. No that isn't right, Paul would just say a single scathing remark. This guy is just verbally lashing his Tepig. I swear, this guy reminds me of someone, but who?' As Ash pondered, he saw the trainer return his Tepig, and walk out of the battle club. Ash followed the trainer from a safe distance and watched as the jerk released his injured Tepig. He then continued his verbal abuse on it and after a few minutes, began to walk away. The Tepig tried to follow, but the trainer grabbed it, and proceeded to tie the poor pokemon to a post. The Tepig desparately tried to free itself, but it was futile, and the trainer was soon gone. Seeing what happened, Ash went to go untie the pokemon. Upon reaching the Tepig, the pokemon began to cower in fear, but was soon calmed when Ash began to lightly stroke the Tepig's head.

"Hey, it's all right, I'm not going to hurt you." Ash soothed, slowly getting the Tepig to relax. Soon Ash started to untie the fire pig pokemon from it's binds. As soon as it was free though, Tepig rocketed off after it's old trainer before Ash could stop it.

"Darn it. If that Tepig goes after that jerk, there's no telling what'll happen. I've got to stop it." With that, Ash ran after Tepig, hoping to get to Tepig before more serious harm would befall the pokemon. After fifteen minutes of running, Ash cursed. Tepig was with his old trainer, and was being held by the scruff of his neck. Hiding behind a tree, Ash listened in on what was happening.

"I thought I told you to get lost. It seems no matter what I do you don't get the message, so I'll explain it really simple so your thick head can understand. I don't want you. You're weak, you're useless, and you eat more than you're worth. I don't want to see you ever again." Tepig was in silent shock, tears dripping from its eyes. "Now, to make sure you don't start following me again." The trainer started cutting through the woods, Ash trailing behind him, and soon came to a fast moving river. "Perfect." said the trainer, and held the now terrified Tepig over the rushing water. "Now take a swim and never come back!" The trainer hollered, throwing the Tepig in his hand. Screaming in terror, the Tepig hit the water with a splash, before resurfacing, thrashing and flailing like mad to stay afloat. The water's current then swept him up, sending the pokemon away. Ash wasted no time, and started running after Tepig the moment he passed by. Once he had a clear view of Tepig, Ash took off his pack and leaped into the water, Mienfoo right behind him. Just then, Tepig was pulled under, and wasn't resurfacing. Ash immediately dove under the surface, and saw what happened. Tepig was being attacked by a school of fierce fish pokemon. The water pokemon were ramming Tepig with Take down, and it was obvious the fire type had taken in water and was drowning. Moving quickly, Ash broke through the school and grabbed Tepig. However, just like the Mienfoo pack yesterday, The school recovered from the surprise and attacked. Back on land, it wasn't very difficult to avoid the Mienfoo lat time, but in the water was another story. Ash tried to swim away, but the fish pokemon, Basculin if he was hearing it right, would always be faster. Suddenly, a group of the Basculin were beaten back by a barrage of aquamarine Aura spheres. Turning his head, Ash saw Mienfoo charging more Aura spheres to fire. Ash then had enough time to call out Oshawott. Once the otter was released his first instinct was to explore and play in the water, but when he took stock of the situation he immediately became serious. Charging up Razor shell, Oshawott and Mienfoo went on the offensive. Now that the Basculin school was occupied, Ash was able to get to shore. Once he was back on solid ground, he recalled Oshawott, and in the school's confusion of having one of their opponents vanish, Mienfoo was able to get to shore. As soon as Ash saw that Mienfoo was safe and back on his shoulder, he immediately started treating treating Tepig, thanking Brock for teaching him during his Sinnoh journey. After that incident with Pachirisu, Brock had taught both Ash and Dawn in first aid for pokemon, and had also taught Ash some specialized treatments for specific types. Once Ash had expelled all the water from the fire type's lungs and made sure the pokemon was stable, he immediately scooped the small pokemon up and rushed back to Accumula. Once he was back in the town, he made a beeline straight for the pokemon center, and was soon inside in minutes. After explaining the situation to Nurse Joy and placing Tepig into her care, Ash sunk down into one of the waiting room chairs and began to wait for news on Tepig's health. Ten minutes of waiting left Ash feeling very bored, so he began to think back on his journey throughout the regions. He began to think back to the beginning and let it play out like a movie. He sighed in nostalgia as he saw the memories roll down past his mind's eye, meeting Pikachu, protecting the then stubborn mouse from an angry flock of Spearow, his victories and losses against the gym leaders, meeting Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.

'That's who the damn jerk reminded me of. Throwing that Tepig into a river, this guy is the Unova Damian.' After mentally noting to make sure to punch that guy earlier in the face next time they crossed paths, Ash went back to his walk down memory lane. He remembered his adventures in the Orange Islands, meeting Lapras, triumphing over the unique gyms in the league, helping Lugia bring down Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos, and finally overcoming all obstacles and winning the league. His memories took him through Johto, remembering all the times he had there, both good and bad. Fighting a psychically created Entei, saving Celebi, his adventure in Altomare.

'Come to think of it, how are they all doing back in Altomare? I've told a lot of people and pokemon I would visit again, but to be honest, it always slipped my mind. Maybe I'll go back to Altomare to visit them when I'm done the Unova league.' Making sure to keep that in his head, Ash's memories once again started sweeping him away. He saw Johto pass by and Hoenn take its place. Meeting May and Max, and all the fun adventures the group had. Meeting Jirachi, stopping team Aqua and Magma, and witnessing the battle between Deoxys and Raquaza in the tech advanced LaRousse City.

"Trainer Ash ketchum to the counter, please." Nurse Joy's voice snapped Ash back to the present. With a sigh, he got up and walked up to the counter, the nurse flashing him a kind smile.

"Here you are Ash, Tepig is fine." Ash thanked the nurse, and took Tepig from her. Bringing the fire type outside the pokemon center, Ash set the fire pig pokemon gently down on the ground. The Tepig had a depressed, defeated look on its face, something Ash felt he needed to correct.

"Hey, there's no need for that face." Ash said, attempting to cheer the Tepig up. "Just because that guy threw you away doesn't mean you're worthless. I bet you can be the strongest ever, you just need someone who can train you right. So don't go feeling glum, if anything it's that jerk who's the worthless one. All those guys care about is external power. What they don't know is that the truly powerful pokemon are the ones like you, the ones that need training. Because in the end, those who train to attain their power become more powerful than any of those other pokemon who only fluant their natural strength." Tepig had listened to Ash's little speech, and his mood rose a bit after hearing it. He could tell this trainer was strong as well as kind, and it had always been his dream to be the biggest strongest Emboar of Unova. Unfortunately, such a dream had always been stomped on by his previous trainer and other pokemon, all of whom called him weak. But this trainer,n Tepig couldn't explain it, but he felt and knew this trainer could not only help him attain his dream, but he could do it faster and better than any other.

"Tepig." said the fire pig pokemon as he leaped into Ash's chest, the trainer instictively grabbing hold.

"Whoa, Tepig what's gotten into you?" Questioned Ash.

"Isn't it obvious master, the Tepig wishes to join our group." Mienfoo replied.

"Is that what you want Tepig, to come with me?" Asked Ash, turning his attention back to Tepig. The Pokemon nodded, and replied with his name. Ash smiled and pulled out a pokeball. "Ok then, welcome to the family." With that Ash tapped Tepig with the pokeball, which sucked the fire type into it. It immediately dinged in success of the capture, meaning Tepig had not struggled. Clipping Tepig's ball beside Oshawott's, Ash decided to see if he could find some good pokemon in the woods. After a couple of hours, the sun was setting, and Ash was heading back to the pokemon center, when he heared the sound of fighting flying types. Following the sound, Ash came upon a rare sight. A large flying type, only a little smaller than Pidgeot, sat on a branch watching two smaller flying types fight in a large nest in the crown of the tree. Ash brought out his pokedex and scanned the smaller birds first. With a hum, the pokedex's top screen slid up from the back, and activated.

'Rufflet, the Eaglet pokemon. It challenges and stands up against even the toughest opponents. Its reckless behaviour is what helps it grow stronger.' Ash then pointed his pokedex at the bigger flying type. With a beep, the machine scanned the pokemon, and brought up the information.

'Braviary, the Valiant pokemon, and the evolved form of Rufflet. The more scars this pokemon bears, the more respected it is by its peers. They fight ferociously in defense of their friends, and have the strength to lift a car.' Putting away his pokedex, Ash watched to see what the two rufflet were doing. Soon, one of the rufflet was hit hard and pushed right out of the nest. The victorious rufflet cheeped in victory, and the watching braviary brought out a carcass, which he brought to the nest and began feeding the victorious rufflet, completely ignoring the one on the was about to go over there and give the Braviary a piece of his mind, but Mienfoo stopped him.

"Ash, leave it be." she said.

Why? That Braviary is just ignoring that stranded rufflet, and you want me to leave it be?"

"It is the way of their kind Ash. The father cannot feed them both, so the two must fight to see who survives. "

"well I'm not going to sit here and let something die." With that, Ash made his way over to the tree. The Braviary saw him, and got ready to defend his chick, though Ash ignored him. He went up to the struggling rufflet, and after a cursory first aid check up, found that nothing was wrong with it. Bringing out some berries, he gave them to the Rufflet, who eagerly ate them. When it finished, the rufflet gave a happy trill and nuzzled up to Ash. Ash then tapped the pokemon with a pokeball, which sucked the flying type into its confines. The ball shook for a little bit, then pinged in success.

"There," Said Ash, "if the father won't take care of it, then I will. I'm not going to let a pokemon die if I can help it." With that, Ash headed back to the pokemon center, intent on getting some good rest. After finally checking into the pokemon center, Ash changed into his sleepwear, and flopped on the bed. Today was full of surprises. Verbally battling Ghetsis, conversing with N, helping Iris with her Excadrill, saving Tepig from drowning, and catching two new teammates. Ash was feeling great about his start in Unova, but then a stray thought struck him before he fell asleep, what happened to Team Rocket?

…...

The last rays of sunlight dipped below the horizon, leaving Unova in dusky twilight. The tranquility of the wooded area of route 1 was suddenly disturbed by a helicopter landing in a clearing. The last few bits of light were barely enough to make out the proud red R on the side of the black helicopter. Three figures leaped out of the aerial vehicle, and the chopper took off once again, leaving thev three figures in the darkness.

"Do you two remember the objectives?" Asked the leftmost figure, who was a woman with long red hair.

"Yes, search for anything that can assist the goal of Team Rocket, and determine the threat level of Team Plasma." Said the rightmost figure, who was a man with lavender blue hair.

"Then let's get to it." Responded the center figure who was in actualioty a talking pokemon, a Meowth to be specific. Suddenly, the wind picked up, obscuring the trio from view with flailing branches and leaves. When the wind and trees calmed, the trio had completely vanished.

…...

A/N: And that's a wrap people. Man it feels good to be writing again. Once again I profusely apologize for taking so damn long with getting this chapter out. I was busy helping eclispe2025 write his latest chapter of Empathic Adventures. Anyways, thoughts on the chapter? Like it/love it/hate it? R&R please.