Diamond 108: Give Me Motivation
Diamond 108: Give Me Motivation
At Cerulean City, an unknown presence surprised Ash and Misty. They were in front of the Cerulean gym one minute and the next they were gone. Their surroundings changed in a swirl of colors that left Misty, the most aware of the group, somewhat dizzy. "What was that, where are we?"
The atmosphere was completely dark and disconcerting "Pika?" Pikachu was once again awake and alert.
The sudden release of energy had partially woken Ash, who yawned and tried to focus his vision in the dark surroundings. He held up his cell phone using its light to see the dim image of the legendary pokemon before them. "You were calling me," Mewtwo spoke. "We are now in a cave near Cerulean City, I teleported you here. We may talk freely in this place."
Surprised to have found Mewtwo so quickly, Ash and Misty didn't even know where to start. Misty was the only one of the Waterflowers aware of the Mewtwo situation. "Yes, I was calling you," Ash stated the obvious as he fought to organize his thoughts. As it often happened, he ended up blurting out the dilemma without sugar coating it, "you're in danger, Team Rocket is hunting you down!"
When Mewtwo noticed Ash's energy as if calling out to him, he assumed the boy from long ago, now a young man, might be in need of assistance, he didn't expect to be the one in peril. "Team Rocket should have forgotten me."
Ash bit his lip and tried to explain, "Giovanni remembers you, he recovered his memories after having a sort of out of body experience. It's hard to explain, I was there too and I remember everything from New Island." Upon mentioning the Rocket leader's name, many thoughts invaded Ash, reflected on his debating expression.
"I see..." Mewtwo contemplated for a moment before finally reaching a conclusion, "I will have to face him."
"You don't have to!" Ash insisted, not really giving his words much thought. He didn't want his father and Mewtwo to fight. From Ash's point of view, it was a lose-lose situation.
"Is there a way that a confrontation can be avoided?" Misty rephrased the request, though she didn't expect a positive answer.
"No," Mewtwo's tone left no room for doubt. "If I do not face him, he will not stop searching for me. Innocents may suffer the consequences if I hide. I have been thinking about where my place is. A friend told me that if I was unsure of where I wanted to be, I should go on a journey. That same friend taught me how to open the door so that my journey knows no limits. Perhaps if I show the Rocket leader he can never reach me..." Mewtwo closed his eyes in contemplation for a moment before changing the subject to address his curiosity. "When you called me, I thought you needed my help. Earlier I sensed the cries of pokemon in space, up there, where there are few, their cries ring out clearly. I thought you knew what afflicted them and wanted assistance in a sort of plan to help them. I cannot free them from their armor, yet that is not what pains them."
Ash and Misty were both confused by Mewtwo's words. "I'm not sure what you're talking about. Pokemon in space need help?"
"They reside in human-made satellites baring the symbol of Team Rocket," Mewtwo revealed with bitterness. "They were crying out in pain, yet Team Rocket was not the root of their complaints. It was something else, they were somehow ill. I tried to free them, but they resisted and even tried to attack me albeit I was disguised as their own kind, PorygonZ. They are of Team Rocket and with Team Rocket, yet their troubles are something deeper. They would have no recollection of our meeting as I erased their memories before they could alert anyone of my presence. I don't understand their situation."
"I'm not sure what that's about either," Ash admitted, but if a pokemon was in pain he couldn't just ignore it. "I'll find out what's wrong with them and help them!" A pause followed as all those present contemplated their options. Ash considered asking his mother to find information, but realized that he simply couldn't ask her to do that. Perhaps he should inquire about the situation directly from his father, though he might, and most likely would, refuse to reveal anything.
"There may be a way," Mewtwo finally voiced. "I will use my psychic powers to amplify your aura. You should be able to see beyond what can be seen and gain a clue. However, this will be a straining process and you are already exhausted."
"It's okay, I'll do it," Ash immediately insisted, "there's no time to waste!"
"I guess I should be ready to carry you back. Don't strain yourself too much," Misty advised.
"I'll be alright, I'm more worried about those pokemon," Ash was determined to understand and help.
"Very well, close your eyes and focus on the enigma that you wish to solve," Mewtwo placed his right paw on Ash's forehead, emitting a soft glow. The glow surrounded Ash as several minutes passed in silence.
"I almost see it..." Ash whispered, he was seeing a vision, an image of something blurry. "A city... a building..." Ash focused on the building that stood out in his vision. "This place... it's..." he didn't know how, but the identity of the building was slowly surfacing in his mind. "Silph..." With that final word, Ash fainted.
Misty caught him before he fell down, "Ash?" He didn't respond in any way save for his breathing.
"He will need rest," Mewtwo also seemed to have been left tired by what had happened.
"Right, you should stay out of sight, Ash and I will investigate Silph tomorrow." Misty didn't know what to expect, but Silph had been the clue Ash and Mewtwo found.
"Very well, I will delay my plans to face the Rocket leader for as long as innocents are not involved. Hopefully, we will solve this mystery before then," Mewtwo agreed. "Allow me to teleport you home, focus on where you wish to be." Misty thought of her room at the Cerulean gym and in a flash, Mewtwo had teleported them there. "Rest well," the legendary pokemon disappeared again, teleporting away.
Misty placed Ash on her bed, listening to his sleepy mutterings of "Silph... Porygon..." as he tried to regain full consciousness against his exhaustion. Pikachu yawned and gave into sleep.
"We'll investigate soon, for now you need to rest," Misty spoke gently, kissing Ash and caressing his hair after removing his precious hat and placing it on her nightstand. His lips slightly moved as if to say something more, but no sounds came as he fell into a deep slumber. Misty lay down next to her fiance, listening to his even breaths, "I love you too."
xoxox xox xoxox
On the afternoon of the next day, Giovanni observed the blinking light on the map displayed on the screen. It was a map of Saffron City and that light was Ash. The Rocket leader had placed a tracking device on Ash's hat before returning it and had confirmed that he was indeed still wearing it. Ash had gone to visit Silph Co. reaching only the visitor permitted areas. However, he had also flown around the premises as if getting a better view of the building. Giovanni suspected that Ash didn't know of Team Rocket's control over Silph Co., but his sudden interest in the location was intriguing.
Furthermore, Silph Co. was the origin of Porygon, which made Giovanni wonder if Ash had found out anything about the situation the executives were investigating. If Ash wanted to go in, Giovanni could arrange it. Let him go take a look around and reveal what he knew.
xoxox xox xoxox
At Silph Co., the current president approached Ash. "Excuse me young man, aren't you Ash Ketchum, the Indigo League champion?"
For a moment, Ash was worried someone might be getting suspicious of him and Misty hanging around Silph Co. so much the entire afternoon. Yet his worries were soon pushed to the back of his mind as he was recognized. He smiled and cheerfully replied, "that's right," unintentionally sounding like Jessie and James' Meowth without realizing it.
"I'd like to talk to you, if you don't mind," the president offered, motioning towards the elevator so they could speak in private.
Misty found the situation suspicious, but went along with Ash as the Silph president led them away from the shopping area of the building.
They arrived at a small conference room with simple furniture, including a table and chairs, were they sat. "I'm sure you must be wondering why I called you here," the president spoke. "This may seem sudden, but when I saw you the idea came to me. The truth is that I want to hire you," he told Ash.
"Hire me?" Ash was taken by surprise, his career consisted of pokemon training and going from one competition to another. It was in a sense a life like that of a professional athlete.
"As a pokemon trainer I mean," the president began to clarify. "Or maybe it would be more accurate to say as a guard. The truth is that I have reasons to believe that Team Rocket intends to invade this building tonight. I don't know what they're planning to do, but I cannot allow it. Please protect Silph Co., you will be rewarded for your services."
Ash was left in thought. He wanted to know more about what was going on, he wanted to interpret his blurry vision which seemed to reveal so little, yet it was the key to setting things in motion. There was no running away. "I'll do it."
xoxox xox xoxox
That night at the Silph Co. building... The Charizard flapped his wings and gained altitude. "Give us some cover Pyro," Pixel instructed. Pyro let out a stream of smoke and kept himself steady in the dark night sky. On his back he carried not only his trainer, but also Peachy, a laptop computer and a small satellite dish. The dish communicated with the Rocket satellite in the atmosphere amplifying the signal from the computer. Prism was contained in the laptop.
Pixel remembered when Giovanni assigned them this mission at the Viridian Headquarters. "You will be breaking into the Silph Co. building. Since both Pixel and Comet knew that Team Rocket secretly controlled Silph, the mission appeared unusual to them. "That is only an act," Giovanni elaborated, "but it will be real at the same time. The guards will try to stop you and you'll have to fight your way through if you get caught. Don't take it as a simulation or you will fail and I won't tolerate failure. As for your true mission..."
Pixel adjusted the earpiece she wore as her blue ponytail blew in the wind. "Motion sensors deactivated; first level electronic locks open. You might run into some locks you'll have to pick the old way. Don't touch the fences, they are constantly electrified and they have no mechanism to deactivate them wirelessly."
"No problem; I'm going in," several feet below outside the tall fences, Comet stayed in the back of the Silph Co. building where the lights didn't reach him. "Go Rykros," he released the strong bug pokemon from his pokeball and hopped on his back. "Let's go over the fence quickly." The Scyther flew over the fence, being able to carry his trainer easily after exercising with weights regularly. Comet hopped off on the other side and recalled his pokemon, "so far, so good."
"I'm in the camera system," Pixel's triumphant voice came from Comet's earpiece. She could see him, though anyone else accessing the system saw nothing but a still empty image. "From your position, move twenty feet to the right; that will lead you to the least guarded hallway via a back door, if you can pick the lock."
"Watch me," Comet grinned as he dashed towards the aforementioned back door, dodging the circles of rotating lights. He stayed close to the wall as he moved in, "looks like a double lock, there's the lock on the doorknob and an electronic one."
"I'm not detecting it," Pixel replied, "it must be a highly isolated electronic lock. Plug me in," she grinned, even if her wireless didn't reach that lock at first, she would get to it anyway.
Comet took a small card from his utility belt. It was a plain black card with nothing but a red R to identify it. It looked like a regular card without a use beyond decoration, but it was in fact a wireless transmitter. He inserted the card into the keycard space and got to work on the door knob's lock with a few other tools.
Pixel watched as her computer screen changed when the lock became accessible. The card Comet inserted into it could unlock just about anything given the proper use. "Let's do this, Prism," the PorygonZ on the screen looked eager, once again working with her trainer to unlock something else.
Comet heard the small number pad next to the keycard slot beep as numbers appeared on its tiny screen. "All done," he heard the click that indicated the door's physical lock was no longer an obstacle.
The final beep for the last digit was heard and the electronic lock was undone, "same here," Pixel voiced.
Comet proceeded inside, his footsteps speedy but inaudible. "You said the least guarded hallway," he whispered quietly.
"Yup," Pixel confirmed, "there is no unguarded route, but you don't sound disappointed. Whatever it is your thinking, you'll get your chance now, because there's a guard going your way. I bet you can't avoid him."
Comet grinned, "I'm up for a fight, but I'll take that bet." He jumped and stretched out in the hallway. His hands and feet could barely reach the opposing walls left and right. He pushed on the walls, staying close to the ceiling and slipped away right above the guard.
Pixel followed Comet's signal on the screen. "The elevator is coming up, occupied," she opened the door.
Comet hurried towards it and hopped down to the floor. He looked into the elevator shaft as the elevator box went up. He stepped onto it rather than jump, so that he could get on as quietly as possible.
"Your floor's coming up," Pixel watched the images on the building's security cameras, "it's too heavily guarded, a confrontation is inevitable."
The elevator shaft door opened. Though the elevator was destined for the last floor, Comet's target was in the second to last floor. He jumped out catching the first guard by surprise, his fist harshly colliding with the other man's face. The guard was knocked out on impact. The room in the middle of the floor was surrounded by a hallway that went all around it, constantly packed with guards.
"We have an intruder! Send backup!" Another guard desperately called. Only one intruder had been spotted so far, but the red R on his chest warned that even one could be plenty of trouble. Plus for all they knew, others may be waiting to attack. A swift kick relived the guard of his gun a split second after it was taken from its holster, before he could even aim.
"Ten of them; take them out. Back up won't be coming," as an extra gift, aside from blocking the enemy's radio contact, Pixel sent out a loud screeching noise to the guards' earpieces.
Comet noticed right away what it was when he saw his next opponents cringe suddenly losing their focus. "Hey Pix, don't forget I won our bet back there," Comet skillfully fought, taking out one opponent after another.
"It was just dumb luck," Pixel scoffed, though she knew it was a lie. After a pause she added, "maybe I'll give you a reward later."
xoxox xox xoxox
Ash waited in the darkness of a room at the Silph Co. building. Misty wanted to be there as well, but the president had insisted that he couldn't have too many outsiders in such confidential areas and that only the champion would suffice as security. Ash convinced her to wait for him at the Saffron City Pokemon Center; she was probably pacing around impatiently.
The door was suddenly thrown open, followed by a flash of red light emerging from a pokeball. "Thunderbolt!" Pikachu attacked the figure that began to materialize, but the trainer rushed forward and was caught in the electricity instead, being thrown back. The red beam took shape and rushed towards Ash with the glimmer of sharp blades. The trainer that had been pushed back by Pikachu's shock dropped a pokeball, which caused another red beam to light the dark room. The second pokemon to emerge went on the attack immediately.
Finally, Comet stood up and turned on the lights. Rykros was holding his blades near the attacker's neck, who turned out to be Ash. Meteor, who had been released from his pokeball after Pikachu's attack, was trying to fight the electric pokemon. Pikachu didn't seem too eager to fight back, baby pokemon were his weakness. "It's okay Meteor, Rykros, return." Comet recalled Rykros into his pokeball and Meteor ran back to him, jumping into his arms. He decided to leave the young pokemon outside of his pokeball for a while, since the mission was at a calm point.
Pikachu returned to Ash's side and hopped on his shoulders. "So it was true, Team Rocket really was planning to break into Silph Co."
"How did you know?" Comet played along, pretending to be surprised to have run into Ash.
"The president asked me to protect Silph," Ash replied, still unsure about how Silph connected with the whole situation. That clue that he had gain through combining his aura with Mewtwo's power was vague at best. The vision had been cut short due to his exhaustion; maybe he could find Mewtwo and try again to gain a better understanding. "It's surprising to find you here, but I guess I should remember you're a Rocket. If it were someone else, would you have...?" Ash made a motion with his fingers over his neck, his eyes speaking of disappointment louder than words could.
The signal only caused Comet to laugh, "I'm a spy, not a hitman. There's no need to make a mess, knocking out the opposition is just as effective to get them out of the way, I'll be done and gone by the time they wake up anyway. Do I look like an assassin?"
Ash's imagination acted on its own. He saw Comet, his red hair brushed back neatly, making the predatory look in his blue eyes stand out as he silently made his way through the darkness. There were no red beams from pokeballs, only a loud noise and three fast small flashes as the trio of bullets left the three long barrels of the silver gun, with spikes at the end and a red R charm hanging from its handle. The expression didn't quite fit the look of deceiving innocence that Comet always seemed to have. "Not really." After a short pause where some of the tension in the air was lifted, Ash asked, "why are you here? What do you want with Silph?"
"I'm here probably for the same reason as you, the real reason," Comet hinted at something that was unknown even to him. "I know your reason for being at Silph Co. isn't just because you were asked to protect it."
Ash remembered his conversation with Mewtwo, the PorygonZ that were in trouble were not truly suffering because of Team Rocket. "I'm not sure about why I'm here. All I know is that Silph Co. is the key to solving the mystery of what's hurting the PorygonZ that were in satellites."
"Then you're looking for a way to help them?" Comet inquired, though he already knew the answer.
"Yes, is that why you're here too? Those PorygonZ are Team Rocket's pokemon. The satellites... I don't fully understand, but this sounds important. Team Rocket must have plans for them that won't work unless what's weakening them is solved," Ash theorized. "I don't know what those plans may be and the consequences they may have, but those pokemon, their pain must have been... different."
It looked like Ash knew more than he should, but didn't know the answers Team Rocket was looking for. "Would it help if you saw one of the PorygonZ?" Comet inquired.
"Maybe, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have a look," Ash wasn't sure what to expect, the clues were too vague, but that was all the more reason to keep looking.
Only Comet heard Pixel through his earpiece, "I can arrange that right now." Pixel agreed to let Ash take a look at Prism in hopes that he may reveal what he knew if he really was holding anything back.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, at the Saffron City Pokemon Center, Misty was feeling impatient. The entire situation seemed all too suspicious and she feared it was all somehow a trap. She thought about casually passing by Silph Co., no one said she couldn't walk down the street. She could take a look around and see if there was anything suspicious in the area yet. As she set out to do so, she saw three figures in trench coats leaving the Pokemon Center. She discreetly followed them, pretending to coincidentally walk their way down the street. She noticed that the smallest of the three had a tail, "Meowth?" That caused her to guess who the others were, "Jessie? James?"
"Misty? Why are you here?" Jessie inquired automatically, before realizing she probably should have just minded her own business and pretended not to notice her.
"Are prince twerp and the royal Pikachu here too?" James curiously asked, glancing back in the direction of the Pokemon Center, but no one else seemed to be coming.
"Ash is... busy, so I'm by myself right now. Why are you dressed like that?" Misty inquired curiously and suspiciously.
"No reason, it was just a bit chilly tonight so we decided to wear coats." Jessie made up an excuse, "it's getting late so we really should be going. Maybe you should go back to the Pokemon Center and get some rest."
"Sleep is important, it's as important as bottle caps!" James added with an insistent nod that only made everything more suspicious.
"That's right!" Meowth voiced eagerly, hopefully Misty would go away and not end up somehow involved in their special mission for tonight. It was their biggest mission since the traitor clean up that marked their return to Team Rocket and they wanted it to go perfectly.
Misty had no intentions of letting the trio leave without an explanation, "what are you three plotting?" She thought that maybe the Silph president was right about the building being attacked by Team Rocket. "Are you here to invade Silph Co.?"
Jessie and James exchanged confused looks and James finally replied, "I can honestly tell you we're not." It seemed that Misty was unaware that Silph was controlled by Team Rocket. They had their struggles in the past, but resistance was history.
"Must you be so suspicious?" Jessie made a sad face, "you hurt our feelings."
James panicked, unsure if Jessie was acting or having a mood swing. He tried to calm down and console her, either for real or to add to her act, he wasn't sure.
"Alright, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt." Misty decided to play along, seeing that she wasn't going to get any direct information. "Do you mind if I hang out with you three?"
A moment of silence passed, "forget it, we're just going in circles like this." Jessie discarded her trench coat revealing her Team Rocket uniform, it was the black version. "Prepare for trouble!"
James automatically followed her lead taking off his coat to reveal his matching uniform. "Make it double!"
"To protect the world from devastation!"
"To unite all people within our nation!"
"To denounce the evils of truth and love!"
"To extend our reach to the stars above!"
"Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light!"
"Surrender now or prepare to fight!"
"Meowth, that's right!" The talking pokemon finished the motto unable to resist as the trio stood without disguises.
A moment full of uncertainty passed as Jessie reached for something on her belt, but it wasn't a pokeball, "Team Rocket's blasting off again!" She announced as she dropped a smoke bomb and ran away, followed by James and Meowth.
Misty coughed in the smoke; she couldn't see where the Rocket trio went, "come back here!" She wanted to know what in the world was going on and if it was related to Ash's situation, or maybe even the search for Mewtwo. Though Misty tried to chase them, Jessie, James and Meowth got away.
xoxox xox xoxox
Outside of the Silph Co. building, Ash, Comet and Pixel stayed out of sight in a dark corner. Prism, who was showing signs of exhaustion despite having rested before the mission, came out of the computer. "What can you tell us about her?" Pixel asked.
Ash looked at the PorygonZ, he didn't perceive anything out of the ordinary just by looking at her, but she did seem to be weak. "Try to show me what's wrong, I'll listen." Ash gently placed his right hand on the PorygonZ's head and focused his aura. A few moments passed in silence until he suddenly let go with a heavy breath, face pale. He took a moment to calm down before speaking again. "Something keeps telling her she's already dead, but she's fighting to live. Something is stopping her from being alive, but even with all that, she's here."
"PorygonZ are made of data," Pixel reminded, "they're not supposed to die in that sense, but..." She paused looking for a possible explanation that would make sense of Ash's words. "This is a good clue, I'll make sure to look into it right away, I'm going back."
"Sounds like you're on to something," Comet saw that Pixel had a look in her eyes, as if she was close to figuring out a puzzle thanks to Ash's clue.
"Maybe, I just need to run a simulation on something." Pixel replied, hoping that this really did constitute a step forward.
Sensing Prism's energy seemed to clarify Ash's memories about his vision of Silph Co. It was as if he had obtained something that was thrown to the back of his mind by exhaustion and he didn't even realize he had seen it. It was now surfacing. "Silph Co., they were there, mother, father and other people too, one looked like you," he referred to Comet. Ash closed his eyes tightly wanting to draw more of the hidden image he had obtained from combining his abilities with Mewtwo's power, but nothing more came. "That's all, I couldn't see anything else."
"Couldn't see?" Comet asked, "what do you mean by that? Some kind of vision?"
"Something like that," Ash tried not to talk about it too much, least he accidentally hint about Mewtwo.
Just as they went closer to solving the mystery, Prism's condition once again took a turn for the worse. She glowed and made electronic sounds of complaint. Her data seemed to be torn apart in the air appearing as something seen through a kaleidoscope. "Prism, hold on!" Pixel watched in worry, as the data shifted. Then suddenly, Prism seemed to become solid again. "This mission was too much of a strain after all. You'll have to rest until you're healed."
xoxox xox xoxox
Jessie, James and Meowth came to a stop in front of the Saffron cityhall. Misty was no longer following them, so they could continue with their plans, though after getting rid of their disguises, the element of surprise would no longer be in their favor. None the less, they were feeling motivated to have a successful mission. "The executives entrusted us with this mission for a reason." Jessie dramatically declared.
"Because they didn't have anyone else to send?" James asked, earning a glare from Jessie.
"No!" She growled.
"Because they drew our names out of a hat?" Meowth guessed.
"No!" Jessie reprimanded again. "It's because we're the best!" She was so happy to have been entrusted with an important mission that she felt completely invincible.
There was indeed a good reason as to why Jessie and James' team was sent on this mission, but they were as of yet unaware of it. It was something that they would soon discover. They remembered the instructions they received from Ariana. "Madame Boss, a mysterious lady of the mafia, is believed to have acquired a prominent position at cityhall. Your mission is to infiltrate cityhall and interrogate her in regards to the possible remnants of Neo Rocket."
"Let's not forget, aunty works here," Jessie reminded, "I don't want to cause her trouble, so we need to be in and out quickly before she hears about this and comes over. If anything, we're doing her a favor by uncovering this Madame Boss that has snuck into her staff." Without another minute to waste, Jessie rushed inside cityhall, followed by James and Meowth.
Despite being in their Team Rocket uniforms, no one tried to stop them as they made their way to the mayor's office. Though the executives' orders had been vague, they had their own theories and thought the mysterious Madame Boss could be acting as the mayor's secretary, not realizing that Madame and the mayor were the same person.
Upon finally arriving at the office covered in shades of crimson, they found a shadowy figure hidden in the darkness of the room behind the desk, unrecognizable without light. They could only tell the person was a woman because of her voice, "I've been expecting you."
"You let us come this far, you didn't even try to stop us." Jessie stated, reaching the office had been too easy. 'Who knows what kind of trouble she's setting up for aunty right now,' she thought.
"You would have come this far either way. There is no need to give you a test which I know you will pass. Let us move on to the real trial," the mysterious woman spoke in a commanding yet calm voice. She released two pokemon from pokeballs and before the red beams had even finished completely taking shape, she commanded, "smog," and the room was filled with dark gasses so thick that it was hard to breathe and impossible to see, even in the light that could be generated by an attack and the light emitted by certain pokemon. "Let the battle begin."
"Did you see what pokemon she called out?" James whispered to Jessie and Meowth.
"I can't even see my own whiskers." Meowth whispered back.
"Never mind, whatever she called out, we'll beat them." Jessie called out one of her own pokemon "go Swoobat!"
"Alright, we're going all the way to the top," once again James began to dream about advancing in Team Rocket. "Let's win this, Cacturne!"
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. The flash forward scene from Diamond 47 was continued here. Many thinks to Nafatali, whose story inspired me to give aura a place in this tale.