AUTHORS NOTE: Since I have finished Dark Fire (and kinda lost the storyline somewhere on the alternate ending version I started with, so that is on hold) I wanted to try writing another epic story. "Splinters" will be in two or three parts, not decided yet.

Contains dexholders from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh.

Longer summary:

While the dexholders gather in Yellow's house for a party, dark forces move around the nation. Team Rocket has been brought back under Giovanni's capable hand, while the Pokemon Association is enforcing new restrictive laws to deal with this new threat. Laws that not everyone agrees with.

As the situation develops, who will take which side? Can the Association keep in one piece, and will old friendships break under the strain of clashing views and duties?

"Listen Green, I am not against the Association having some surveillance, like cameras in public places," Red was saying as Gold and Crystal entered Yellow's house. "But they are going way too far with this new law."

"It is perfectly natural to-"

"Green!" Blue interrupted. "They want to force us to register all our Pokemon and our current team! They want us to tell them about every single battle we are in so they can judge if we qualify as 'combat trained', so they can keep an extra eye on us!"

"Well maybe that is a good idea. After all, Team Rocket would not exist if there had been more control. In a way, they are the reason this law came into being."

"Except the fact that, you know, Association members are excepted from the law and all gym leaders are automatically counted as Association members. If they want to keep things like Team Rocket from happening, why do they not let themselves be put under surveillance?"

Yellow, who was just on the way back into the room after getting some drinks from the kitchen, cringed when she heard that the argument was still going on. Blue and Green had been at each others throats about the new law ever since it was announced, and with herself and Red somewhere between their rather extreme views, things did not look as if they were going to get better anytime soon.

"Yo guys!" Gold said, waving frantically as he entered the room. Crystal smiled and rolled her eyes at his loudness.

"The others are not here yet?" Crystal asked as they had settled down.

"Ruby and Sapphire will arrive later tonight, Wally probably a bit after that," Emerald said. He had already been in Kanto when the dexholder meet-up had been decided, training with Green at the gym.

"The guys from Sinnoh will be here tomorrow," Yellow told her. "Their train got delayed, I think. Still a couple of days until the actual meet-up though."

"It's great to see everyone. You have done a good job with this, Yellow," Red said, smiling at her. Yellow blushed furiously, while Blue choked a laugh at her friends oh-so-obvious reaction and Reds obliviousness.

"It's nothing, really!" Yellow said, hurrying out into the kitchen. Blue followed her out, intending to tease the younger girl a bit about what had just transpired.

"Crystal," Green said as soon as Blue had left the room. "You agree that the new surveillance laws are needed, right? You are a sensible woman."

"I agree we need some more controls," Crystal said carefully, giving Gold a glance. "But I think this law might be taking it a little bit too far. Registering gym badges and Pokemon captured is one thing, but every battle we fight? I mean it's not like all battles are serious, so there wouldn't be a good indicator anyways."

"I disagree with it completely," Gold said. "One of the few times I actually agree with Silver, I believe."

"Yes, indeed," Silver said from his place over in the corner. Gold frowned, stretching his neck to look over at his rival.

"What are you doing over there?"

"Writing a few letters," Silver said, shrugging. "Got to keep in contact, you know."

"You could keep contact with us by being social now," Gold said in a teasing voice. Silver didn't move, so he just shrugged and leaned his head against Crystal's shoulder. Blue and Yellow entered the room again, carrying bowls of snacks, Yellow still with a faint blush on her cheeks.

"Hey, you two finally together?" Blue asked, tapping Gold on the head. Crystal laughed, leaning her head back to look up at the older girl.

"I had to trick him into asking me on a date, you know."

"Really? Do tell!"

As the girls chatted about romance and dating, Red turned back to Green.

"You really believe this law is for the best of the nation, only?"

"I believe it is needed," Green replied.

"Is it really?"

Green looked thoughtful for a few seconds, then beckoned Red to follow and walked towards the door. Blue looked up for a second, then re-joined the conversation with Yellow and Crystal. Red followed Green out into the front lawn, taking a deep breath of fresh air as he did.

"I am going to tell you something," Green said. "You can not tell anyone else. Not even Blue or Yellow, you got it? It is still a state secret, kept carefully bottled up by the Association."

"What is it, something bad happened?"

"You could say that. One of the reasons this law came just now is an increased criminal activity. This is what the Association has told the media."

"I have heard that, yes."

"What they haven't said is that almost all of this activity comes from one source... Team Rocket has returned."

Red frowned, biting his lower lip. "But why have they kept that a secret?"

"They hope that this new law will give them enough tools to bring Team Rocket down, let them track emails and Pokemon use to find out who might be involved. For example, if they find traces of an Onix being used to rob a bank, they will cross reference that with a register. It will show everyone who has, or recently has had, an Onix in their team. Perhaps even who could be skilled enough to use it in such a way."

"You really think that will work? Would a Team Rocket member really register his team?" Red asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Anyone who uses a Pokemon that is not registered will have to pay a fee," Green replied, shrugging. "Anyone using a Pokemon that is not registered will also be put on the surveillance lists and disallowed from participating in gym battles and other competitions including Pokemon."

Red sighed deeply, putting a hand on his friends shoulder and shaking his head. "That is dangerously close to a police state," he said, letting his hand fall. "Come on, let's get back inside."

"Yeah, sure. Don't tell Blue about this, alright?"

"You know she will find out eventually."

"I guess. Not today though."

"No," Red agreed. "Not today."