The next sound Ash heard was not what he had expected. It was the sound of beeping and voices gently speaking. One was female and two were obviously male. Ash groaned and opened his eyes only to be blinded by the brightness of the room. He again groaned and rubbed his eyes. His throat was parched and his body was pulsing in a steady stream of pain. He slowly opened his eyes and found that he was in a room and if he had to guess, a hospital.
"Ash your awake!" Moments later Ash found himself wrapped in the arms of a woman and by the scent of her perfume it was his mother.
"Mom?" His voice was scratchy and dry, "Here Ash, drink this." A massive amount of relief flooded through Ash's body as cold water was slowly put into his mouth and down his parched throat. Raising his hand to the back of the glass, Ash quickly downed the entire thing before gesturing for more. After drinking two more glasses of ice water, Ash forced himself to sit up in his bed and finally took in his surroundings.
His mom was sitting on the edge of the bed next to a small table with a pitcher of water on it. On his right was either a nurse or doctor checking his vitals from the machine he was hooked up to.
Ash turned and looked at his mom who had a few tears of happiness trickling down, "What happened?"
Delia sighed as she took Ash's hand and gently ran over the back of it with her fingers, "Sweetheart you were on the S.S. Anne when Team Rocket attacked it. They sank the ship and you were caught on the inside. Thankfully your pokemon saved you but you were unconscious for a while."
Ash's eyes widened, "What about the little girl?"
Delia smiled, "Abby is safe and sound. Her parents brought her to see you a week ago and to personally thank you for saving their daughter."
Ash nodded and smiled to himself, "How long have I been out?"
Delia thought for a moment, "Two weeks." Dread suddenly hit Ash as he realized that he was behind schedule, "Great."
His mother caught his sudden change in attitude and shook his head, "Ash Ketchum you have been unconscious for two weeks and you are concerned about your journey? What am I going to do with you?"
The teen weakly smiled as he leaned his head back into his pillow. "Was anyone hurt in the sinking?"
Delia was about to answer when a deep voice spoke up from the door, "I can answer that young man."
Ash turned and felt his eyes widen at the sight of a man standing at six and half feet with red hair and a powerful build. He had a long black and red cape on and upon his belt were six pokeballs. The suit he was wearing was form fitting and Ash could tell that he was very fit.
The teenage trainer knew who he was looking at but the man spoke up, "Mr. Ketchum I am Lance Wataru, the Champion of Kanto and Johto. The Elite Four and I were made aware of the events surrounding the S.S. Anne hours after it happened. I am happy to report that no one was killed, although many were injured. The Captain accounted how you led the charge against Team Rocket…a very commendable thing. I wanted to come by and make sure you were all right."
Ash nodded slowly, "Did you capture any of the Rockets?"
Lance wearily shook his head, "Sadly they got away…but that doesn't mean that we have stopped looking. The Pokemon League has known of their return for several months but we were not expecting them to try and pull something of this magnitude so soon. We are worried that they have gone through other regions for recruiting…I should say that we know they did. But their reach appears to be much larger than first anticipated."
Before Ash could respond another angry voice spoke up, "That is complete bullshit Lance and you damn well know it."
Everyone turned to see Ash's father, Silver, standing there with an angered look upon his face. Despite being the Champion of two regions, Lance knew Silver's power and had respect for him, "Silver I understand you are angry but I had no idea that he would be on the S.S. Anne when the Rockets attacked."
The man's eyes narrowed to a sliver, "You knew they were going to attack." The venom in Silver's voice made the temperature in the room figuratively drop by at least ten degrees.
Lance gulped, "Our intelligence indicated that they might be doing something with the battle cruise but like I said we didn't know what exactly was going to happen."
Ash's father looked at Lance and his hand reached for a pokeball upon his belt, "You and that damned league knew this and put hundreds of trainers at risk because you didn't have concrete evidence? What the hell is wrong with you?" Silver's pokeball opened up and a massive dragon of blue with large red wings appeared behind him. Thankfully the hospital room was large enough to support the beast. Lance was a master of dragon type pokemon and he himself had a Salamence but this beast was in a level of its own.
"You better get out of my sight before Salamence decided to gorge himself on human flesh." The dragon behind him growled deep within his throat and sent a plume of smoke into the air.
Lance paled slightly and turned to Ash, "Mr. Ketchum I am sorry this happened and I wanted to come personally and apologize." Lance was about to say something else but Silver's gaze caused him to turn and walk out.
Delia walked over and wrapped her arms around her husband, "Dear you need to calm down. Ash is safe and sound so let's enjoy this moment."
Silver nodded and gestured for his pokemon to guard the door to which the dragon nodded and curled up next to it. The two parents turned back to their son and kept a silent vigil as Ash slowly fell asleep.
Another day went by and Ash was cleared to leave the hospital. Delia and Silver were against the idea of Ash continuing his journey but the boy was adamant to get back on track. Silver sighed but knew his son was just like him…hell, Silver hunted legendary pokemon to battle a losing fight, letting his son continue his pokemon journey was less dangerous than that. Delia however was less inclined. She had to be dragged from Ash's grip by Silver when she was determined to bring Ash home.
She rounded on Silver as he finally pulled her off him, "Fine, seeing as I am the only one who has any sense here then this will be the deal, if Ash goes on his journey and gets hurt one more time, I will personally castrate you Silver Ketchum, and I won't use anesthetic!"
Silver and Ash winced at the cold tone of Delia's normally warm voice and the father looked at Ash, "Please don't get hurt boy…I need my man parts." Ash gaped at his father and nodded.
Several hours later found Ash enjoying a glace of iced tea as he waited for his pokemon to get rested up. He took a deep drink and stood up as Nurse Joy came back to the counter with seven pokeballs. "Here you go Ash, they are all ready to go and they are all ready to see you. They missed you like no tomorrow."
The Pallet Town trainer looked at the pokeballs, "Nurse Joy I only had six with me."
The woman shook her head, "You have seven now and this note was left with it." Ash thanked her and took the note and read it after securing the pokeballs to his belt.
I cannot apologize enough for not getting to the S.S. Anne on time. I wanted to give this to you personally but I felt that your father and mother would have rejected it. I have watched your career since your first gym battle and I along with the Elite Four are very impressed. Not many trainers are so compassionate about pokemon and able to join this with their training. This pokeball contains a pokemon that I received recently but seeing as I have little time right now I figured that he would be better suited for you. This pokemon is the dragon type known as Dieno. He is from the Unova Region and will be a great asset to anyone who knows how to train pokemon. A side note for your information is that he is also the first stage of a Pseudo-Legendary. I again apologize for what you had to endure but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for leading the charge against these people. Be safe young Ketchum. We shall be watching.
Ash looked with wide eyes at the pokeball before smiling widely, "Welcome to the team Dieno…you are going to be a great member of the team." The trainer clipped the ball to his belt and then walked out of the center.
A couple hours later found Ash on his way to his next badge which was in Celadon City. The gym leader was named Erika and she was a specialist in grass types. Ash was confident that he would be able to defeat her but after his loss to Lt. Surge, he wasn't going to assume. The loss had been an eye opener for the young trainer. It had been the first time he had lost since his journey's start and it made him realize that he could very likely happen again if he wasn't prepared.
Charmeleon, who was currently walking next to Ash looked at his trainer and gently touched his claws to Ash's leg, "Meleon?"
Ash smiled and gently ran his hand over the fire type's head, earning a purr like sound. "I'm just thinking about our future bud. You and the other two have been a great help but I want to be the best. Losing to Surge made me realize that we are nowhere near at the level we should be."
Charmeleon's eyes shifted around as he thought, "We continue to add members to the team which is fine but that takes away from everyone's training while you guys are at the lab."
The fire type nodded, "So…what do you think about you guys continuing by yourselves while I'm getting badges?" At his friend's questioning look, Ash continued, "I will continue to rotate the team for field experience and move training but while you guys are at Professor Oak's lab you will continue training like we do here only I won't be there to instruct you. I will give each of you a routine to work with so that you guys can train and grow stronger."
At the prospect of growing more powerful, Charmeleon's eyes flared with an inner fire, "Charmeleon!" He raised his claw to his forehead in his customary salute before letting a flamethrower go.
Ash smiled, "Great, then let's get started.
Hours went by before Ash's team was comfortable with the new plan. It wasn't that they didn't want to train but it was a lot to take in while they were by themselves. Ash's starters were in charge and one of them would always be at the lab during their training session. This was also something that bothered Ash greatly. The four of them had been together for the past several years so not having two of them with would be difficult. The teen trainer told himself that this was only temporary seeing as Elite level trainers were given the right to carry all their members with them.
Currently, he stood with his three starters, Scyther and Nidoking while looking at a pokeball in his hand. The ball contained the ever rebellious Kadabra and Ash was going to settle this issue today before the training program started. "Be ready you guys.
His friends all tensed up with looks of determination in their eyes. Ash threw the ball and waited a split second as the psychic type appeared in a burst of light. Kadabra looked around and then saw Ash. He turned his head away and yawned louder than was necessary and moved to go find the nearest tree to sleep by. Ash saw this and felt his resolve begin to fade away. A quick snap of the fingers and Scyther launched forwards and fired a powerful bug buzz.
The evolved form of Abra turned and growled before slashing his spoon down to counter attack with psycho cut. Scyther easily moved out of the way thanks to all his training and flew behind Kadabra to cut him off.
Nidoking was next and he rushed forwards with a might roar that caught the psychic type by surprise. He tried to counter with confusion but Nidoking simple powered his way through the attack and brought his glowing fist square into his target's body. Spittle flew from Kadabra's mouth as the wind was knocked out of him, forcing him to the ground and trying to breath.
Another snap called Nidoking and Scyther off only for Kadabra to look up and see Ash standing before him with a hard glare. What shocked the psychic type was that he could sense psychic powers radiating from his trainer easily more powerful than his own.
Ash's eyes flared blue as he spoke to the pokemon that had been causing him so much trouble, "You listen and you listen good. I have put up with your lazy attitude for too long. You refuse to obey, you won't do anything productive, and you have tried on more than one occasion to harm one of my family members." Kadabra looked surprised at the usage of the word family to which Ash caught on, "I consider everyone of my pokemon family, you would know this if you weren't so damn stubborn. I don't believe in releasing pokemon but I do have two other options."
The pokemon looked at Ash with a sense of foreboding. "I can find someone to trade you too for a more obedient pokemon, but knowing your attitude that wouldn't change a thing so it is very likely that you would just end up in an endless cycle of trading. The other option is that I simply return you and leave you on Professor Oak's ranch only to be let out for meals. I have offered you time and time again to become stronger but you are too damn proud. Arceus knows I have tried everything accept abuse you into submission. The choice is yours." Ash turned and walked back to his camp with his five loyal pokemon all glaring at their difficult team member.
Kadabra stood silently as took a breath but winced from the lingering pain that Nidoking's mega punch had inflicted. His whole life he had been more powerful than his fellow pokemon and that had only continued when he evolved from Abra. No one in the area that he was living could openly defeat him and this meant that he was the one in charge. Trainers came to try and capture him but a simple teleport was the quickest way to avoid being captured. That all changed when Ash came and battled him with Scyther. Kadabra had been completely outmatched by his trainer and quickly captured. His pride had been the biggest injury during the conflict and as much as he hated to admit it, he was angry at himself for losing. He watched from afar as Ash and his team members continued to train and become stronger something that Kadabra longed for but his pride kept him from accepting this change of pace.
The psychic type sighed as he processed Ash's options. Going to the lab would be fine but only being let out for meals meant he wouldn't be able to roam around. The trading option was not an option seeing as he would simple spend eternity being switched around. The final option was for him to swallow his pride and become a member of the team. All of Ash's pokemon had grown by leaps and bounds since he was captured and many of them evolved. Kadabra thought about that little factor and glanced down at his silver spoon. If he joined Ash then he stood the chance of becoming an Alakazam with more mental power then he could possibly imagine. All of it sounded good but it came down to one final thing…swallowing his pride. Kadabra clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut as he struggled with his decision.
Ash sighed several hours later as he sat by the fire looking at his pokedex. He currently had his new Deino's information pulled up and was casually looked at his move set. The little dragon was more than ready to train and knew Dragon Rage, Headbutt, Crunch, Dragon Breath, and much to Ash's surprise a virtual buffet of egg moves. The dragon type could learn all three elemental fang moves as well as Earth Power. When Ash saw this he remembered that Deino was most likely bred to become a killer in battle. He was obviously the product of the intense breeding program from Blackthorn City in the dragon sanctuary.
The Kanto trainer was pleased that the little dragon was naturally strong and would easily fit into Ash's training. Ivysaur looked up from his spot next to Ash and gently nudged his head against his trainer's leg, "Ivy?"
Ash smiled and patted his friend on the side of the ear. "Just thinking buddy." The grass type nodded and put his head back onto his paws and enjoyed the warmth of the fire. There was a gentle silence that quickly swallowed up the area and Ash found himself smiling at the beauty of the fading light as the first stars began to appear. It was moments like this that made him happier than ever to have become a pokemon trainer and enjoy the world. His moment of peace was broken by the sound of bushed being parted. Turning to see what it was, Ash found himself face to face with Kadabra who was physically pushing the bushes out of his way. "I half expected you to simply teleport here. I'm pleased to see you are actually capable of doing something physical."
The comment made the psychic type wince but he knew it to be true. "Have you thought about what I said?"
Kadabra nodded slowly before sitting down beside Ash, "Why do you care?"
Ash looked at the pokemon, "Because…you're my pokemon and this means you are a part of this family. I don't want to break this family apart and I know that deep down there is a pokemon that can become one of the most powerful psychics in the world."
Kadabra's eyes softened at the very thought. His whole life he had taken anything he saw fit. This had been an inherited trait from his father, a powerful Hitmonchan. His mother had tried to encourage him to seek wisdom over power but he embraced his aggressive nature and chose to carve his own path. Now he wasn't sure. Since his capture he had been defeated time and time again by opponents he normally would have beaten in the wild. Arceus, he had even been overpowered by a poison type. If he was totally honest with himself, Kadabra knew that he had neglected his mental powers for his physical side.
Perhaps it was time to change all of that. "Will you help me?"
Ash heard the mental question and looked at the psychic type, "That's all you had to ask." Kadabra couldn't explain it, but something in the way that his trainer spoke made him feel content for the first time since had first left home.
Another week went by and Ash arrived at the entrance of Rock Tunnel. This secret passage through the mountains would lead him to Lavender Town and then to Celadon City. Truthfully he could have simply taken the road North of Vermillion but he would miss out on the many trainers that he had been able to fight. His team was continuing a steady growth in power and the young trainer felt that he was on track to meeting his goal of having everyone evolved by Fuchsia City. While the past week had been good progress wise, there was still one minor setback. Three days previously, Ash and his pokemon had been training when they had encountered a massive migration of Butterfree. As it turned out, it was the mating season of the bug types and Ash's Butterfree felt that natural urge to start a family. So, being the trainer he was, Ash let his beloved friend follow his heart and watched with loving pride as his Butterfree quickly established himself as the dominant pokemon in the area. He ended up selecting a beautiful pink Butterfree as his mate and the two flew off into the sunset to begin their life together.
Was Ash and his team saddened by this? Of course, but that didn't mean they weren't happy for their friend either. Butterfree was strong and would be able to live his life out in happiness.
Ash smiled down at Ivysaur who was walking next to him and looked at the sky, "Who knows, maybe one day we will see our old friend." Ivysaur nodded and swallowed a lump in his throat, trying to hold back emotion.
"What do you think buddy, can we make it through Rock Tunnel by week's end?" Ivysaur nodded in determination, "Ivy."
Ash smiled and made sure his backpack was secured to his shoulders before running off to the pokemon center to stock up on supplies before they began their long journey.
And long it was…in fact, instead of a weeklong trip it turned into a two week journey of dead ends and constant attacks by endless swarms of Zubat, Golbat, Geodude, and even the occasional Onix. His team was battle weary and exhausted when they finally arrived at the end of the passageway. The young trainer groaned as he slowly walked to the pokemon center with his eyes squinting tightly from the blinding light. Days spent on the dark interior of the cave had made simple daylight a chore to be in but this would quickly pass. When he finally walked through the doors of the Lavender Town Pokemon Center the Nurse Joy in charge gasped at his appearance and rushed to help him. When she heard about his journey through the cave she shook her head, "I keep telling the Pokemon League to change the route. That cave is too dangerous for beginning trainers." The redheaded nurse continued grumbling to herself as she took Ash's pokemon and had him taken to a room where he could shower and sleep while arranging for him to be sent a big meal.
After getting cleaned up, Ash plopped down onto the bed and felt his body instantly start to drift off to sleep which he smiled to as he embraced the luxury of a soft bed.
When he woke the following morning, Ash found that there was a tray with a large breakfast of eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, juice, fruit, sausages, and pancakes. He chuckled and started to eat, not wanting to anger the Nurse who had obviously wanted to make sure he was alright. Before he started eating, Ash brought his pokemon out to stretch themselves after their healing treatment.
His three starters yawned before jumping onto the bed with him and snuggling up to him while he started to eat. Wartortle eyed Ash's food with saliva dripping out the sides of his mouth and making groping gestures with his claws.
Luxio rolled his eyes and started purring as he pulled back the blinds and laid down in the sunlight of the new day. Deino watched the other members of the team before settling on sitting down near the bed and yawned.
Ash noticed that the little dragon was rather tired as of late and this was usually a sign that he was storing energy for his evolution. Deino, like other pseudo legendary pokemon, went through a massive power increase upon evolving. Leading up to it they would sleep for close to eighteen hours a day and eat massive amounts of food to prepare themselves.
For the Deino line however it was much more staining on the body. When they evolved into Zweilous and eventually Hydreigon they grew additional heads. For Zweilous it was literally creating an entirely different being and adding it onto Deino's body. The addition of the second head and mind was very difficult and would put the small dragon out of commission for days. This was a very delicate area when raising them as well. While they recovered, their mind set is very fragile and the two personalities of the dragon often conflict before becoming one. This can lead to trainers getting injured or even killed if they do not approach the evolution correctly. It is even more dangerous when the final evolution comes around. Hydreigon have three heads and while the center head controls the other two, the days after evolution are very dangerous as it gains control over the other two.
Ash was confident that he would handle it correctly and had already talked with his dad and Professor Oak about keeping the dragon in isolation for a week after his evolution. The final member of his current team was Kadabra who looked at everyone with a sense of confusion. The psychic type was trying to figure out where he should go which he decided on going near the wall and getting into a meditative state.
The trainer looked at his team as he slowly chewed on a piece of fruit before smiling lightly and continuing on his breakfast.
Chapter 10 is up after a long wait. Not much to say right now my dear readers so as always, send in ideas and reviews.
Ivysaur: Tackle, Protect, Leech Seed, Sludge Bomb, Magical Leaf, Razor Leaf, Energy Ball
Charmeleon: Scratch, Shadow Claw, Flamethrower, Brick Break, Dragon Rage, Metal Claw, Protect, Flare Blitz
Wartortle: Tackle, Brick Break, Ice Beam, Water Gun, Aqua Jet, Protect, Water Pulse, Surf
Luxio: Tackle, Growl, Charge, Spark, Night Slash, Shock Wave, Protect, Iron Tail
Spearow: Peck, Leer, Aerial Ace, Agility, Fury Attack, Protect, Mirror Move
Gyarados: Dragon Rage, Tackle, Hyper Beam, Water Pulse, Bite, Flamethrower
Pidgeotto: Quick Attack, Twister, Gust, Tackle, Sand Attack, Steel Wing
Scyther: Quick Attack, Pursuit, Wing Attack, Bug Buzz, Slash
Kadabra: Psycho Cut, Confusion, Psybeam, Teleport, Disable
Nidoking: Horn Attack, Hyper Beam, Take Down, Earthquake, Mega Punch, Mega Kick
Eevee: Tackle, growl, tail whip, charm, quick attack, shadow ball, dig
Cranidos: Headbutt, Leer, Focus Energy, Pursuit, Take Down
Deino: Dragon Rage, Headbutt, Dragon Breath, Crunch, (Fire/Ice/Thunder Fang, Head Smash) Dormant Egg moves