Diamond 33: Give me Mystery
I know that Diamonds 33, 34 and 35 will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I hope you'll give them a chance to take a break from the past saga of the story before we head into the next one. Diamond 33 is a tie-in chapter in the beginning and its second part is a bonus chapter not to be taken seriously, it's just a side story for fun. 34 is all bonus and 35 finishes the side story and finalizes the tie-in part, hinting at something that will be elaborated on several chapters later.
The things mentioned before the flashback that were left unresolved will be addressed starting on Diamond 36: the tournament at Viridian City, Ash's proposal plan, Delia's promise to talk to Ash about his father and other situations. Giovanni will play an important role too. The new saga will start out calm, but will have action, suspense, drama and romance a few chapters later. The first few chapters will serve to set the stage, get a feel for the characters and to reveal what has been going on in the lives of certain characters, including Jessie, James, and others.
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 33: Give me Mystery
It was October thirty-one and Saffron City was filled with lights, Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins and various Halloween decorations. Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar predominated as the pokemon featured in the decorations. The sun had set less than an hour ago and the streets were already flooded with people in costumes. Parents took their small children out to collect candy and older kids went together in groups.
Delia wasn't sure how she got herself into that situation, but Gary's mother could be very insistent when she wanted to be. Gary's parents had been invited to a Halloween costume party at a friend's house in Saffron City. They insisted that Delia went as well and took Ash along so that he and Gary may go trick-o-treating together. That was how Delia ended up volunteering to take the boys out to collect candy so that Mr. and Mrs. Oak could stay at the party.
She took in the sweet scent of the cheerful night, made sure her tail was where it should be, adjusted her ears and confirmed that the red jewel on her forehead was still there. Then she took the hands of the two five year old boys to lead them across the street and towards the near by park. Delia had heard there was some kind of city sponsored Halloween event there. "It looks like most of the trick-o-treating is going on at the other side of the park."
"I'll get the most candy!" Gary confidently declared. He was dressed as a Squirtle, matching his parents' costumes. His mother was a Warturtle and his father a Blastoise.
"No, I'll get the most candy!" Ash, who was dressed as a Charmander, immediately responded to the challenge. Ash and Gary had been rivals for as long as they could remember.
The two boys pouted at each other as invisible sparks of determination flew. They looked forward, towards the other side of the park where the lights were the brightest, laughter echoed and music was heard. They tried to shove each other aside, shoulder with shoulder as they glared. Then they started marching more hastily with each step, until they started running.
"Wait up you two!" Delia ran after the boys, she should have known they would run off the second she let them go. She dashed after them, her long curly tail wagging as she ran. Unlike the boys' full costumes, Delia's costume was a relatively simple accessory costume with a cream colored knee length fuzzy dress complete with a tail sewn in place. She had paw shaped boots, a bell collar, a pair of Persian ears, a red ruby on her forehead and feline makeup with a painted nose and whiskers. Her brown hair had grown longer, flowing down her back and framing her face, covering her human ears.
Before they reached the other side of the park, Ash and Gary spotted an older lady sitting by herself in a lonely bench next to a lamppost. She had a closed book on her lap, using it as a solid surface to write a letter with red ink on a floral stationary. The woman didn't appear to be carrying candy, but the boys had nothing to lose by asking her for some. Maybe they could get ahead in the race if it turned out she had some candy hidden somewhere. "Trick or treat!" Ash and Gary called out in unison, holding out their smiley faced pokeball shaped baskets towards the lady on the bench.
As Delia caught up to the boys, she took a quick glance at the letter in red ink. She saw the words 'Miyamoto' and 'Mew' within the context of the letter, but despite her curiosity, she made herself look away. It was rude to read someone's private letter and she didn't want to set a bad example.
The older woman reached into her purse and took out a couple of chocolate bars. She gave one to each of the boys, who smiled and chorused, "thank you!" The night was only starting and they had already obtained one of the better treats on their first attempt.
"Here's one for you young lady," the woman handed Delia a chocolate bar, grinning widely, "I know someone who would really like your costume." The scene brought memories to the woman's mind, though she had not been in costume herself when she put her three year old brat boy in a Charmander costume. It was done mostly for her own amusement many years ago.
Delia froze as she accepted the chocolate. Giovanni had once told her he was born in Saffron City, Madame Boss previously conducted her business in the eastern side of Kanto with a base in Saffron City. Delia didn't think of that when she agreed to attend the party but all the pieces were falling into place. The older lady in front of her happened to look a lot like Madame Boss, Delia finally noticed. She never expected to run into her. Having seen Madame only once before for a few minutes, Delia didn't recognize her immediately. "Thank you," Delia managed to say, pushing out the words to sound as natural as possible, "have a happy Halloween!" Then she rushed away with the two boys who were eager to get to the Halloween party on the other side of the park.
Relatively far from Madame Boss, Delia stood in line with Ash and Gary so the boys could receive their share of candy from the Saffron City mayor. She finally dared to look back across the park and saw the faint silhouette of the enigmatic Madame Boss. It looked like Madame had gone back to her writing.
Delia evened her breaths and willed the rhythm of her heart to settle down. Even if Madame knew who Delia was, she was not going to call Giovanni and he would not go to Saffron looking for her come even if Madame called him. A small part of Delia couldn't help it but to wonder if he would like the costume, but she told that part to be quiet and kicked it to the back of her mind.
"Mom, how come you're squishing the chocolate that lady gave you?" Ash brought his mother's attention back to reality with his curious and concerned question. It was a terrible waste of perfectly good chocolate.
"Oops, I was distracted," she examined the chocolate she had squeezed in her hand, at least the wrapping didn't break, "it's still good, here, you can have it," she added the chocolate to Ash's smiling pokeball basket, which clearly made the little boy very happy. Ash gave Gary a victorious look and Gary pouted, but remained determined to win in the end. There was no way Ash would beat him, even with his mother's help. A Squirtle should be able to beat a Charmander in a pokemon battle, so the same should apply to Halloween.
The encounter with Madame Boss on that Halloween night in Saffron City, reminded Delia of the air of mystery the older woman carried. Then the thought of mystery along with the mystifying atmosphere of Halloween and all the legends that the holiday carried, reminded her of a vivid dream she had years ago. Delia wondered if it was more of an out of body experience than an illusion. Even if apparently no more than a few minutes truly passed during the experience, it felt like hours went by. She had disregarded it as her imagination becoming over active due to too much wine and Giovanni didn't remember the events it at all.
It happened soon after the first time Delia met Madame Boss at Team Rocket's victory party after things settled down at the Viridian Gym. Back then, Delia and Giovanni were still happily together. Madame had sent her son an unusual gift; it was a glass orb with an odd glowing color changing light within it. It was mounted on a polished but aged metal base and the inscription on the base read 'anima: verus mysterium' which was an ancient language for 'soul: true mystery.'
It was a very old relic that could open the door for the image of a person's soul to visit a world of mystery, but the door would not open for anyone and the image may vary in time. The second Delia read the inscription there had been a bright light and when the glow faded, everything had changed.
xoxox xox xoxox
The surrounding area was full of grass, flowers, plants and trees. It didn't have enough trees to call it a forest, but a forest could be seen in the distance, along with mountains, lakes, rivers and very diverse sceneries. There was a little hut near by with a path full of puddles leading to it. It appeared to had rained recently, though it had already stopped and the sun was shining. The hut was made of wood, branches and twigs tied together with vines, giving it a simple rustic yet cute look. It was akin to a picture in a children's story book.
Delia and Giovanni were very confused, a mere few seconds ago they were in their room at the Viridian Gym. "What is that?" Giovanni pointed at the pokemon in surprise. She was pink with big light blue eyes. He had never seen a creature like that before; he wanted to catch that pokemon.
"Charmander?" Delia curiously looked at the Charmander standing before her, "Giovanni?"
His jaw dropped and his eyes went wide in surprise, for once, he couldn't hide it. "Delia? You're a, a... what are you?"
"You're a Charmander!" Delia exclaimed, then added, "I mean for real this time!" She examined her pink paws and touched her little triangular ears. "I'm not sure what I am," she looked at her reflection in a puddle of water on the path. The image reminded her of one of Professor Oak's sketches from his theories about Mew. "I'm a Mew!"
"The legendary?!" Giovanni didn't know what in the world was going on, but it couldn't be so bad if the legendary Mew was involved. He had never seen a pokemon like that before.
"Daddy, mommy, what's going on?" The little voice belonged to Meowth, who appeared to be puzzled as well. Both of the humans turned pokemon looked at the little Meowth. Despite their changed appearances, he recognized them, probably by scent or instinct. "How come you turned into pokemon? Did you get tired of being humans? I think it's really cool," the small Meowth smiled, he was not alarmed by the situation as the other two were.
"We're pokemon and we're in an unknown place," it all began to sink in for Delia, this had to be related to that light from the glass orb. "Anima: verus mysterium, must be some kind of magic words to turn us into pokemon and teleport us away!"
"I knew you had a big imagination, but that's going too far. Clearly this is some kind of prank from my annoying mother," though he could not explain how she would accomplish such an elaborate trick. "That's not the point," Giovanni paused, his expression was in deep thought, then finally he asked the question that puzzled him so much, "why are you legendary and I'm just a Charmander?"
"Um..." Delia shrugged, she didn't have a real answer so she took a guess, "maybe it's because I call you Charmander all the time?" She thought about the magic words and what they meant. She wasn't too fluent in translating, but she had learned the basics from Professor Oak and those were pretty common words. "Soul: true mystery, maybe Charmander is the pokemon of your soul. I think it fits all things considered. You're stubborn and have a fiery temper, but you can be cunning and strong."
"And you're a legend?" Giovanni didn't remember ever calling Delia Mew. Maybe she was just a rare kind of person; he knew she was unique.
"Maybe?" Delia gave up on overanalyzing things, perhaps pokemon were carefree by nature and it was getting to her.
"I can't take care of things around Team Rocket like this. I can't believe I'm a Charmander, not even a Charmeleon, but a Charmander. I should have been a Charizard or another Mew or something," Giovanni pouted, though his worries seemed to mysteriously fade little by little. "This place is doing something to us, or being in this form is affecting us," he noticed.
"I thought so too, I guess we're adapting to the nature of pokemon. You shouldn't complain about being a Charmander, you look really cute like this. Besides, you don't like pink and if you were a Mew, you would probably be pink," Delia pointed out as she embraced her carefree nature. Professor Oak only had some black and white sketches of what Mew possibly looked like based on ancient stone carvings. He might be surprised if he found out the legendary was pink.
"Alright you have a point, but we still need to do something," Giovanni had no clue of where to start. Everything was strange, but he knew they had to do something fast or they might start thinking too much like pokemon.
"I know what we could do!" Meowth suddenly exclaimed cheerfully and got their hopes up for a fleeting moment, "let's play!"
Giovanni couldn't believe that for a second he actually expected Meowth to miraculously come up with a solution to their odd dilemma. "I really don't think playing will turn us back into humans." He looked at Delia, the legendary Mew, and got an idea. "Delia you're a Mew, use your legendary power to change me back!"
"I'll try," Delia was puzzled as to how her legendary power, if she had any, could possibly be used. "Turn human!" She pointed at Giovanni, picturing his human image in her head. She willed him to change back with her mind, but nothing happened. "I think my move-set is empty."
"I can use the fury swipes!" Little Meowth chirped contently.
"That's very good sweetie," Delia petted Meowth on the head encouragingly, while Giovanni wondered if they would ever be human again.
"Maybe if you train you'll unlock whatever legendary power you have," Giovanni theorized, then the question surfaced of what he could do. He looked away at the empty space down the path, took a deep breath and blew, but nothing except air came out of his mouth. "I can't breathe fire?" He tried again to no avail then looked over his shoulder at the flame burning in his tail. If he hit something with it, that should work as an attack. But he wasn't used to having a tail so he wasn't sure how to make it work. He reached for his tail moving a little to grab it until he was spinning in oddly amusing motions that culminated when he grabbed his tail. He paused from his task of examining the flame curiously as the terrible realization hit him, "did I just chase my tail?"
Delia was rolling with laughter, though Meowth found the action to be normal and soon started spinning in circles chasing his cute curly tail. "Yes you did!" Delia's tail was longer and did not require a lot of chasing to be caught, "it's a little too easy for me."
"Never mind, let's not stay here chasing our tails. Maybe there's someone in that hut over there," Giovanni started walking towards the hut with Delia following after him. Meowth spun in a couple more circles and caught his tail, before following his parents towards the little hut.
They curiously knocked on the door and a Pikachu with light yellow fur and pink cheeks opened it. "Hello, I've never seen you around here before, are you new around here?"
A pokemon, they should have expected that; maybe there were no humans in that place. "Yes, new," to say the least, Giovanni felt very odd talking to a Pokemon, though perhaps she had been a human too, "are you a human?"
Pikachu tilted her head in puzzlement at the odd and obvious question. "I'm a Pikachu; there are no humans around here."
"We're humans!" Giovanni wasn't sure if anyone would believe him.
"Or we were," Delia corrected.
"Really?" The Pikachu paused, then decided she would believe them. "I once heard a story about a boy who turned into a Squirtle. He's not here anymore; he went back to his world before I moved to this area. Maybe someone in town knows more about it; I'll show you around." The Pikachu looked back inside the hut and called out, "Charmeleon, Eevee, wake up, there are pokemon here who say they used to be human like in the story we heard!" She exited the little hut, then looked back once more with small sparks flying from her pink cheeks as she yelled, "hurry up, this is no time for a nap!" She had a temper, but she soon smiled again and casually adjusted the pink bandanna with yellow stars she had around her neck.
A sleepy looking Charmeleon and Eevee exited the hut and lined up in front of it next to Pikachu. "All present and accounted for ma'am," the Charmeleon announced, though he sounded more teasing than serious as he saluted.
Giovanni had to stop himself from glaring, why did he have to run into a higher evolved pokemon of his same species? The Charmeleon looked strong and it bothered him, especially because he couldn't even breathe fire. Albeit it seemed the Pikachu was the leader of their little group, so perhaps she was the strongest.
The six of them made their way into the neighboring pokemon town among further introductions, curious questions and conversation. It was revealed that only the Charmander and Mew, who were called Giovanni and Delia, had once been human, while Meowth had always been a Meowth. The two younger pokemon of their group, Meowth and Eevee became instant friends.
It was not common to have a name unless there were more than one of the same kind living in the same neighborhood. But for the most part, descriptions characteristics and context were usually enough to identify who one was speaking of. Although from a human's perspective it would be much easier to have a name; humans liked naming things. Even if Pikachu, Charmeleon and Eevee had no names of their own, they had named their group Team Chiray, which meant 'ray of energy'.
The little town, located a short walk away from the hut, was buzzing with activity. Pokemon walked around the central plaza, going from one stall to another, exchanging berries and other things. Visiting such a place where pokemon had formed their own civilization without the interference of humans would be a researcher's dream. It was a nice little town that made the two humans turned pokemon relax a little more and begin to feel less hasty to return to their own world.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. In the games, regardless of what starter pokemon you choose, the rival picks the one with the type advantage. That's why Ash was a Charmander and Gary a Squirtle, plus Gary has a Blastoise in the anime. The scene where little Ash and Gary start glaring then running is a reference to the start of Pikachu and Raichu's race in Pikachu's Vacation. Miyamoto is Jessie's mother.
I realize that some pokemon are supposed to be genderless, but I'm bending the rules and saying all the pokemon in this story have a gender, so this Mew is a girl. The part about pokemon being carefree is based on the episode where Ash is transformed into a Pikachu. Diamond 34 will be all Mystery Dungeon and 35 will have a little Mystery Dungeon but will be mostly holiday themed, similar to the start of this one. Diamond 36, will mark the official start of the next saga of the story.