Diamond 111: Give me Valor
Diamond 111: Give me Valor
The trainers and pokemon faced off against their dangerous opponent in Pallet Town. The Iron Masked Marauder was floating several feet above the ground, protected by the brainwashed Mewtwo's psychic power. To get to him they would have to knock out Mewtwo and to free Mewtwo they would need to stop the Marauder. As things stood, a battle against the legendary was inevitable. Ash, Misty, Gary, Jessie, James, Comet and Pixel were ready with their pokemon, while Laiki and Samuel tried to save as many of the previously injured pokemon as possible.
Their able fighters consisted of Ash's Pikachu, Unfezant, Crawdaunt, Infernape, Snorlax, Bulbasaur, Meganium, Charizard and Charla, his other pokemon that were at the Oak lab had already been knocked out while resisting the attack alongside Gary's pokemon. The young researcher only had Blastoise and Umbreon left to battle with. Misty's Starmie, Gyarados, Seaking, Azumarill, Seadra and Psyduck were also out of their pokeballs alongside the pokemon of Jessie and James respectively Flareon, Arbok, Seviper, Swoobat, Growlithe, Carnivine, Cacturne, Weepinbell. Joining them were Rocket agents Comet and Pixel with Shenron, the Gyarados, Rykros the Scyther, Meteor the Absol, Pyro the Charizard and Peachy the Pikachu.
"Psy?" Psyduck ran as fast as his short legs and stubby webbed feet would carry him and stood in front of Misty as if protecting her. His face was consumed by a look of concentration as if he would attack. "Duck?" Then his expression turned blank, realizing that he simply didn't remember how to use his power.
"You're just going to get hurt out there," Misty recalled the yellow water pokemon into his pokeball before he gave her some of his contagious headache. "I appreciate the sentiment, but you better sit this one out."
"Time to end this," the Marauder laughed evilly as he glared through his iron mask. "Mewtwo, kill them slowly with your psychic powers, make them feel pain for daring to challenge me. Follow your master's order!"
"I'm sorry Mewtwo..." Ash whispered as the legendary was surrounded by a bright glow and began to lift his paw. To retaliate was their only option. "Everyone, use hyper beams on Mewtwo, all together and if you don't have that move, use something similar and powerful!"
Instructed by their trainers to listen to Ash, the pokemon showed a bright display of power. The beams of energy mixed with some elemental attacks were shot straight at Mewtwo, colliding with the beam of psychic power the pokemon had conjured. The two lights struggled in mid air with sparks, flames and raw energy falling from the collision point and burning the ground below. The light was far too bright to look at, as everything was surrounded in a mix of colors that equated to an impossibly endless white, then became an impressive prismatic luminescence of power. The pressure could be felt in the atmosphere and the air was so thick they could hardly breathe. They all heard a strange ringing in their ears as if the waves of energy threatened to shatter their very minds.
When at last the energy collision proved to be too much, the chain reaction sent drops of energy raining like stars all over Pallet Town. The nearby buildings were pierced by the beautiful but deadly prismatic drops like thousands of bullets. The terrain and streets also took heavy damage. Screams of agony echoed from the few citizens that had decided to lock themselves in their homes, rather than fleeing to the near by city of Viridian, the structures provided virtually no protection. All the trainers present were knocked back, thrown all over the ground, save of course for the malevolent controller of Mewtwo. The injured pokemon took a sharp turn for the worse, making it clear that if the fight continued in the location, they wouldn't make it.
Ash struggled to get up from the ground. His clothes were slightly ripped and he felt small cuts and bruises all over his body. Even if nothing had physically touched him, he ached as if he had received a beating and his mouth tasted his own blood. Mewtwo's raw power had clearly grown over the years. He looked at his companions, who were in the same state he was in.
Professor Oak had taken the hit especially bad in his old age. Gary was at his side, as fast as he could, trying to help him. Gary recalled his pokemon into their pokeballs. Blastoise and Umbreon were already injured from before, which exposed them more to the recent attack. The pokemon were hurt and simply putting them in pokeballs wasn't going to do them any good if their injuries were not given immediate medical attention, but there was simply nothing more to be done at the present minute. "Ash, I'm all out of pokemon and I need to get grandpa to safety."
"No... don't worry... about me... we have to save..." Samuel attempted to speak with much difficulty, but Gary shook his head sternly to silence him so he wouldn't waste his energy.
"That power..." Jessie found herself staring up at the dark skies in shock, it was night time then. The extreme brightness from the attack made the night seem all the darker, more so without the lights that could usually be seen in the early night from the houses and the lamps that lined the streets all night long. The town was left in a blackout with only the stars and moon to illuminate the disaster zone it had become. As her senses recovered from the pain and shock, she noticed the weight of another body on hers. "James!" He had taken the majority of the hit himself.
James pushed himself up, his arms on either side of Jessie. "Are you alright? Both of you?"
Jessie new he was referring to the baby. Though she was still well enough to put up a fight, it wouldn't be long before her condition became obvious and more care would have to be given to her health. "Yeah, we're fine." Slowly, they both got on their feet and were joined by their Meowth companion who was still somewhat dizzy and dazed.
"We can't do this," Misty gave Ash a desperate look as he held Pikachu in his arms. The electric pokemon had pushed himself to release a massive amount of electricity to counter Mewtwo's amazing psychic beam and the action was not without repercussions.
"The odds are looking pretty bad, but we're Rockets, of course we can!" Pixel insisted, despite not enduring any better than the others. She was simply the kind of person that got excited by the prospect of adventure, since she had wished for it for so long. In a more logical tone she added, "besides, we just need to hold on until the reinforcements get here."
"Reinforcements..." Ash glanced at the Iron Masked Marauder, who seemed to be enjoying himself examining the destruction from the previous attack all over Pallet Town. He didn't have a single scratch on him, having been fully protected by Mewtwo's psychic barrier. "Will those reinforcements be enough?"
"Yes," Comet replied without a hint of doubt. As an elite Rocket agent, he had a pretty good idea of what Team Rocket could do. "There are enough resources and power to win, Mewtwo is only one, he'll be exhausted eventually, but..."
Comet didn't need to finish for Ash to understand. Even if he believed that Team Rocket could win, he knew that the casualties would be many if both powers were released to collide. The Iron Masked Marauder on the other hand, seemed sure of his victory, placing all his ambitions on Mewtwo's power. "That won't do," Ash concluded. "We can't let any other victims fall to Mewtwo." The Marauder appeared to have found someone. Some people from a near by ruined house survived the town's destruction and were hiding among the remains of the structure. He was clearly intended on attacking them. "Marauder, over here! Your fight is with us, leave those people alone!"
As if to support his trainer, Pikachu took a deep breath and hopped out of his arms into the ground so Ash wouldn't get caught in the shock. The small but powerful yellow pokemon let out a bolt of electricity aimed at the Iron Masked Marauder. The electricity didn't cause any damage at all, but it successfully caught his attention. "Are you in that much of a hurry to die?" The Marauder guided Mewtwo to make him float back towards the opposition. "I was hoping I could kill you once Giovanni got here. I'm curious about what he would do. Then again, it doesn't matter what he does, I'll still win. Giovanni is nothing but an overly glorified fool!"
"Shut up!" Ash growled in anger, releasing an orb of blue and white light from the palm of his right hand. It was a manifestation of his aura that he had very rarely used in the past. This time it came almost automatically. Though the aura still had no significant effect in terms of perceivable damage, the Marauder's mouth twisted with discomfort upon impact, the rest of his expression hidden by his iron mask. "Gary, Laiki, get Professor Oak and the injured pokemon out of here. Take as many survivors as you can find and go to Viridian City. The rest of you, let's put up a fight, the reinforcements will be here soon, we can do this!"
"Forget having Giovanni witness your death," the Marauder growled angrily, "I'll kill you now!"
"You heard the prince," Laiki shouted to her Hitmonchan and Mawile, "let's get moving, but before I go..." she pulled out a pistol and shot all its bullets aimed at the Marauder. The bullets bounced off the psychic barrier harmlessly.
"That's why I don't carry a firearm, it's not very effective," Comet voiced.
"Well this sucks," Laiki pouted. "I couldn't even be humored with a single hit. That's it, I'm out of here, c'mon Mr. Off-limits, let's get those survivors to Viridian City."
"I'm not even going to ask," Gary decided, as he hurried to complete the important task at hand. Questioning the odd Rocket would simply be too time consuming and headache inducing at present.
The remaining pokemon, who were able to fight, tried to cover those who were attempting to get the survivors to safety. Belle, who had been hiding at the Oak residence the entire time, emerged from the ruins carrying a few pokeballs in her leaf arms. It was a wonder she didn't get caught by them herself as she balanced the balls and hurried towards her caretaker. "Bel!"
Gary's little green Bulbasaur, who the researcher deemed not quite ready for a battle of this magnitude, emerged from the ruins as well. He carried some more pokeballs in his vine whips. "Saur!"
"Pokeballs, just what we need," Gary would have recalled all the pokemon earlier if not for the fact that some of the pokeballs had been destroyed by Mewtwo at the Marauder's order. Thankfully, that was after the pokemon had been released from them. It seemed he was enjoying seeing the battered knocked out combatants unable to be taken into the refuge of their pokeballs. With the few that Belle and the green Bulbasaur had brought, at least the heavier pokemon that couldn't be carried, could be encapsulated to be transported away.
While the partial retreat was taking place, the able fighters continued trying to ensure an escape route for their injured comrades. Charizard, Charla and Pyro flew towards Mewtwo and the Marauder next to him. Forming a circle around them they shot massive breaths of fire simultaneously. Rather than reaching the target, the fire was contained and burned around the invisible spherical force field surrounding them.
"Water, attack with water!" Ash suddenly shouted. "Don't stop the fire and keep attacking with water too!" It sounded like a contradiction, but no one questioned him. Infernape, Flare and Growlie joined the fire by shooting fire blasts from the ground directly below the target. Crawdaunt, Starmie, Gyarados, Seaking, Azumarill, Seadra and Shenron shot beams of water at the fireball above, within which were the Marauder and Mewtwo. The villain was no doubt laughing at their attempt of an attack and preparing to retaliate.
The result of the water colliding with the massive ball of fire was a lot of smoke, which filled the air and made it difficult to breathe, especially for those closest to the fireball. Mewtwo's psychic power could probably ward off a smokescreen attack, but something that was a side effect rather than an attack might have so little left over energy in it that it might just pass through the barrier. While the smoke itself didn't exactly pack a punch, the Marauder nonetheless needed to breathe. No doubt Mewtwo could survive without a decent supply of oxygen for much longer than him. Maybe there was a way to attack the Marauder without having to knock out Mewtwo first after all.
Suddenly the ball of fire condensed into smaller flames in the air, culminating the change in becoming simply pillars of fire originating from each pokemon and colliding in the center, where they met amidst the smoke. The three Charizard emerged from the smoke by heading downward towards the ground where it was not as thick. The pokemon ceased the attacks of fire and water upon realizing that something was missing. The Iron Masked Marauder was no longer floating where he was before. Instead he had landed on the ground several yards way, still protected by the glow of the psychic barrier around him. He was coughing loudly and even angrier than before.
"Enough!" The Marauder yelled. "Attack! Get them all!" A multitude of small but powerful growing blue-violet orbs emerged from Mewtwo's paws one after another in rapid succession, following the pokemon as if locked on them.
One of the orbs hit Ash's Meganium as she tried to fight it off with razor leaf, then vine whip as it came closer; the attacks were useless against it. The grass pokemon fell, pained and injured, with cuts and bruises all over her. A similar fate befell Misty's Starmie, who lost consciousness with a cracked jewel. Ash's Unfezant and Jessie's Swoobat tried to fly away from the energy orbs but were not fast enough despite their commendable speed.
"Call them back, all of them!" Technically it was cheating, but Ash didn't care, he would protect the pokemon in their pokeballs until the attack passed and send them out again if that prolonged their resistance enough for the reinforcements to arrive. Fortunately, he didn't have to wait much longer.
A large quantity of vehicles, including army-like trucks and tanks were heading towards Pallet Town. The sound of helicopter blades could be heard along with the echoes of fast flying jets. The troops all wore Team Rocket uniforms easily recognizable in their black clothing with red Rs on their chests. The war vehicles were mostly identified with red Rs, though a few carried the symbol of Viridian, a green leaf.
Two Rocket agents approached the group and were quickly recognized, "it's Cassidy and Botch!" Ash was relieved that the Rocket army had finally arrived; now they could win, but what about the innocents that might still be left in Pallet Town? "We need to evacuate this whole town!"
"It's already being done," Cassidy informed with an alert yet serious face.
"And my name is Butch," the green haired man added, albeit he knew no one was paying attention to him anyway.
"Our orders are to get you and your allies out of here before the missiles hit," Cassidy urged. "We need to retreat now, leave the rest to the heavy artillery!"
"Right, everyone let's go!" Ash gave Cassidy and Butch a serious look, "make sure all the Pallet Town survivors are out of here before you blow up everything." Under the cover of the Rocket war machines, Ash and his friends retreated to the safety of one of the large, very fast, double bladed army helicopters, which hastily took off after the group piled in.
Ash was greeted by a hug from his mother, who expressed her relief in his safety. His father was busy commanding the troops, but he paused to look at Ash to make sure he was not injured, an action that didn't go unnoticed by the young man. The Indigo champion looked around the helicopter. Gary, Professor Oak and Laiki had retreated first, so they must already be on their way to Viridian City, probably intercepted by the Team Rocket reinforcements. Misty, Jessie, James, Comet and Pixel along with their respective pokemon, were riding on the helicopter with Ash, Delia and Giovanni.
It was after a moment that it all sunk in for Ash. Pallet Town was in ruins and it was all about to get worse. By the time this was over, there might not be much left beyond a crater on the ground. The mere thought of it pained him. Mewtwo, who intended to give up his life to prevent this and was stopped from doing so, would be tortured by his guilt if he knew. "Pallet Town is gone..." Ash whispered sadly.
Misty leaned on her fiance, burying her head on his shoulder and whispering. "It's okay, we'll rebuild it, it'll all be over and things will get better." She couldn't stop the tears that fell from her eyes.
The Rocket leader, his family and the agents traveling with them retreated slightly to give the aerial attacks more room. "Run the program from the satellite, do it before they get away!" Giovanni ordered. A light similar to a star was seen in the sky, and the atmosphere became heavy, though still possible to adapt to, with a distant ringing. "These energy waves should prevent teleportation." Only a trusted few knew of the true power of Team Rocket. The Iron Masked Marauder didn't know all its secrets, plus he overestimated his own plans.
xoxox xox xoxox
The helicopter landed next to an extremely large tank-like structure, towering in the path between Pallet Town and Viridian City like a mobile fortress. The helicopter landed on its roof and the passengers went inside. The atmosphere was far better inside, and the ringing was so gentle it could be easily ignored. Giovanni headed to the main command room, followed by Delia. Ash was informed that Gary was there and went to talk to him.
"How's everyone?" Ash asked as he entered the infirmary area. He and Misty released their pokemon from their pokeballs and Laiki automatically began to tend to them, as if it were an involuntary reflex, while the group talked.
"Grandpa is resting in the human infirmary next door, he'll be okay. As for the pokemon, they're mostly stable but... some were injured badly and came close to dying. Others didn't make it." Gary was looking frustrated as he paced around the infirmary. "Miss Heartless Nurse isn't making it better." He glared in Laiki's direction.
"Excuse me Mr. Hot and Pissy," Gary took the meaning of hot as hot tempered and the flirting flew over his head, not that he had time to worry about a flirty Rocket at a time like this. "I've been a big help, even if I do say so myself. I've saved countless pokemon with my medical expertise!"
"That's not what I mean," Gary argued. "Saying 'you can't save them all, get over it,' isn't exactly the world's best consolation or encouragement. It makes it sound as if you don't care if the medical help is successful or not. That won't make the pokemon feel safe with you. You're an excellent doctor, I can't deny that, but you need to have some sensibility. These pokemon and I have lost precious friends!"
"Sensibility won't heal, and they don't need to trust me if they're sedated, grow some guts," Laiki retorted. "The fact still stands I saved more pokemon than an average nurse Joy could have," she emphasized then added with a wink. "Has anyone ever told you you're sexy when you're being a drama king?"
Gary finally caught on to the flirting when it became plainly obvious. Laiki was more forward than all his past cheerleaders put together, which made a red tint invade his cheeks. The young researcher threw his arms in the air in exasperation, "Ash, I can't deal with this woman!"
"I'm still surprised they let you come here," Ash finally spoke. "Laiki is... a bit unusual, but I don't think she's all that bad. Jessie, James, Comet, Pixel and Laiki are Rockets you can trust."
"Thanks for the kind words, princey," Laiki grinned and Misty cleared her throat. The blond nurse raised her hands in a sign of surrender. "Cool it, red, I know what's off limits is off limits. Believe it or not, I only flirt with single men. Speaking of men, I'm so lonely! Maybe I shouldn't have dumped Rex's sorry behind after all, but he was so clingy. He was suffocating, calling me so many times just to see if I was still alive. I'm a Rocket for crying out loud, I won't fall in battle so easily and I don't even get to go into the front lines that often anyway. The mansion's cook texted me that he cried like a baby when I hung up the phone after dumping him; talk about being spineless! I thought I needed a refreshing change in my life so I dumped all my boyfriends and decided to start anew... I wish I got to work with my significant other, then I could be taking a break to make out in a random utility closet like Comet and Pixel must be doing right now!"
"Actually, we're not," at the door to the infirmary there stood Pixel with Comet next to her. "We just came to see how you were doing." It was obvious that there was more to it than that.
Laiki raised a suspicious eyebrow and Comet confessed the rest. "We're also here to see how your guests are doing, especially a specific one."
"Well isn't that nice, Mr. Drama King has his very own rescue team and everything," Laiki huffed. "As if I have time to slip him something with all the medical work I've been doing. Besides, Delia said she doesn't want me to misbehave with this one."
"It's better if you don't make a mess, then whine at us about it. Anyway, we're still busy, so I guess we'll all have to catch up later," Comet announced.
"Yeah, see ya," Pixel left along with Comet and after their departure the infirmary was left in silence.
"It's all too sad if we stop to think about it," Misty approached the bed where Gary's Blastoise was resting, taking a long look at the patchwork done with his shell. The surface was smooth, save for the natural lines that were recreated after the shell's deep cracks were repaired. Other than the discoloration that would be painted over later, there was no deformity present. Misty knew that pokemon wasn't the worse off, though the cracks on his shell had been deeper than the cracks on her Starmie's jewel. Her eyes moved to the other pokemon in the infirmary and she wondered about the ones behind the close white curtains that separated the area into smaller sections. The whiteness of the room was stained in drops and even puddles of red in several places, which was something she had been avoiding with her eyes, as was Ash.
Ash frowned; Gary had mentioned that not all the pokemon made it. Though Ash had heard the words, he didn't want to process them. Even Belle, who was probably the weakest pokemon at the Oak research lab, had made it back alive and she slept soundly next to the young green Bulbasaur. Ash didn't know that only the Bulbasaur was sleeping naturally, while the loud mouth wailing Bellsprout had been silenced by Laiki with a dose of anesthesia. The Indigo champion didn't want to think of the consequences beyond injuries that would heal in time, but he had to. "Who didn't make it?"
Laiki wasn't pure evil, but morality and empathy were not her strong points. She had few people that she sincerely cared about and possibly as a sort of odd balance, she cared about them very strongly; so strongly that she would fall to pieces of anything happened to them. However, pokemon were not among the very short list. Comet and Pixel both had their own different carefree ways to think, which often served to dismiss the negative consequences of Team Rocket. With Pixel it was coming from the life of a regular civilian and welcoming adventure with open arms. For Comet it was being raised to be a loyal and effective Rocket, without worrying about things beyond that. The three could be defined more so as mischievous and often inconsiderate to those outside their group, rather than malicious.
The difference was that Pixel and Comet did include pokemon in their little group of loyal friends. Laiki on the other hand saw them as replaceable pets; perhaps it was necessary to adopt such a view for her to be an effective nurse in Team Rocket. Though she could come up with a few less than polite dismissive remarks, she didn't say anything. She could talk that way to Comet and Pixel without causing offense because they all knew and respected each other's views. They understood that though Laiki wasn't attached to pokemon, she would care for their pokemon with her very life, for the sake of the trainers, some of the few people in her short list of priorities. As for Ash, she didn't know him that well and she didn't want to anger the boss' son. Without a word, Laiki picked up a clipboard from the small desk in the corner and handed it to Ash.
Ash's eyes scanned the list in horror. "All of them are... How could so many have passed away?!"
"Huh?" Laiki looked confused. The list wasn't that bad, though there were several deaths, most of the pokemon actually survived. "Not all of them, just the ones with D next to them. That's D for dead."
"Oh..." Ash breathed, "I thought all the ones with RIP next to them were dead. RIP for rest in peace."
Laiki let out a small giggle before she could stop it. She cleared her throat and put on a serious face. "RIP stands for repairs in progress, as in, you'll have to give them some time to recover before they can battle again."
Ash's eyes then landed on the first pokemon on the list marked with a D, Tarkoal, his Tarkoal. He paused as if he needed to gather his thoughts, which were just shattered by the news. Before he could examine the list further; the entire mobile fortress began to shake as an alarm sounded off. "What's happening?"
"There's been a security breach, a big one; I'm locking up this place!" Laiki announced as she hurried to go on with the procedures as planned.
"I'm not staying here," Ash ran towards the door. "Take care of the pokemon!" He dashed away following the sound of explosions from further up the corridors.
"I'm going too, make sure the pokemon recover," Misty followed Ash.
"The pokemon all better be alright when we get back," Gary ran out of the infirmary as well.
"What are you going to do unarmed? You should stay here!" Laiki pouted, feeling ignored. The only pokemon among the three was Pikachu, who had hopped on Ash's shoulder as he ran out of the infirmary. "So stubborn and rash, oh well, I'll have to do my part and hold the fort." She locked the door activating the security system. Another metal door slid down in front of the first one, providing additional defenses.
xoxox xox xoxox
Ash, Misty and Gary made it to the command room of the moving fortress, where Delia and Giovanni were. Jessie, James, Comet and Pixel were already there as well. "What's happening?" Ash urgently asked.
"The satellite is not responding, they weren't ready..." Delia's face was filled with sadness and worry. Giovanni had his hands full giving orders over the communication links, trying to stay in control of the situation. The atmosphere had gone back to normal and the ringing in the air ceased. It had been so soft before, that most could easily ignore it and subconsciously forget about it until their attention was called to it.
"Giovanni, we can't contain him!" Archer burst through the door to the main control room, followed by the other executives who had regrouped there. A metal panel closed the entrance behind them providing extra security. The large glass window that served as a cockpit to the mobile fortress was covered by metal as well, the outside world seen only through the cameras.
"The electric charges running through the walls of this building will oppose some resistance to Mewtwo's power, but it's not absolute. His teleportation can be reduced in range within this fortress, but without the satellite support it can't be stopped," Ariana elaborated.
"In other words they can eventually make it in here!" Petrel emphasized, though most had already gotten the message.
"If that traitor wants to find me so badly, I'll just go to him!" Giovanni was tired of all of this, angered by the chain of events.
"That's suicide!" Proton argued.
"He's looking for me and I'm not going to hide like a coward," Giovanni argued back, a look of pure fury on his face. He was trapped in a corner and he hated it.
"There has to be another way!" Delia insisted. She simply couldn't accept loosing Giovanni, giving up Team Rocket to the Iron Masked Marauder or leaving the world in such peril.
"We could amplify the PorygonZ power and perhaps at the same time complete their living evolution if we use a direct connection," Archer suggested, trying to think of any other option. "The device is still installed in this fortress as part of its originally intended functions. Given Ash's abilities..."
"No," Giovanni declared firmly, giving Archer a warning look not to elaborate, but it was already too late.
"What device? What can I do? I'll do it!" Ash immediately offered to help, even if he didn't know what he was agreeing to.
"The device has been fine-tuned in cased we were able to find another pilot later. Besides, Ash's abilities are different, ever since you informed us; we've been doing research on the side." Ariana tried to convince Giovanni to agree.
"Furthermore, because the total targets will be less, the process will be considerably easier, despite the power of the targets," Archer added.
"What's this about? Tell me!" Ash demanded.
Giovanni looked like he had a headache. He gave Misty and Gary quick glances before deciding that it didn't matter if they heard. "We developed a device that was supposed to form a psychic connection between a trainer and pokemon, which would mean high precision commands with an impeccable response time. To put it simply, it was supposed to be far better than verbally giving orders. The first pilot was Sabrina, but she was overwhelmed when we tried to divide her psychic connection to reach several pokemon at once. She went into a coma for several weeks." Giovanni paused, observing the expressions of all those present.
"That was her so called vacation away from the gym," Petrel added in, cutting the short pause.
"Ultimately, Sabrina had a full recovery, but a lot of research was to be done before she could further participate in the project. Other matters took precedence and this fortress was redesigned, though some of its old features remained," Giovanni finished the explanation. The fortress kept shaking the entire time, as a fierce battle took place outside of the command room.
"So this was supposed to be Sabrina's battle vessel for her to command an army of pokemon," Ash interpreted. "She really was a Rocket after all, I guess a lot of the gym leaders secretly are," he realized. A look of determination invaded his face, "I'll do it. Maybe I'll not only be able to stop the danger of teleportation, but I might reach Mewtwo after I finish helping the PorygonZ. If he can be awakened then this battle will be over."
"What if you get hurt?" Delia spoke up. "Ash, I..." she paused and took a deep breath, examining her son's face. "I know, I can't really stop you, you're going to do this no matter how many times I say it's too risky."
Ash smiled reassuringly, "thanks for understanding."
"Well, it sounds like it's been settled," Proton entered the commands in the control panel to open the secret passage between the command room and the connection chamber. A tunnel large enough for three people to fit through opened up in the center of the metal covered silver room. "Here's your shortcut, jump right in, the anti-gravity devices will make sure you have a soft landing."
"I wish you had time to change into the uniform I made for you," Petrel sighed. The occasion to see the boss' son wearing one of his creations would just have to wait.
"Pikachu, stay here with everyone, give them a hand in any way you can," Ash requested.
"Pika!" Pikachu jumped off his trainer's shoulders and joined the others.
Ash approached the tunnel and before jumping in he looked at his father, "let's have a rematch when all of this is over." Then he jumped and disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel.
"Misty..." Delia began to speak, though the red haired young woman was already on her way.
"It goes without saying," Misty tried to stay hopeful and show it in her expression. "I'll take care of Ash, let's bake another cake after this is over." She jumped in as well.
xoxox xox xoxox
Ash and Misty felt the fall slow down with anti-gravitational devices until they landed gently on their feet. They were at a dimly lit chamber with a chair in the center upon a circular platform with seven stairs. The entire room was the silver color of metal, with the dim light bouncing off its walls ominously. There was a thick helmet suspended over the chair, attached to the high ceiling. Many columns curved circularly towards the center of the ceiling where the pipes and wires holding the helmet began.
Ash sat on the chair and gently tugged down the helmet. The machine identified a new pilot and the helmet adjusted itself over Ash's head, covering half of it, over his eyes, though it was large enough not to make direct contact with his head. Instead, small thin cables extended from the helmets interior making contact with Ash's head. It felt like being electrocuted by Pikachu, but it had more of a sedating side effect to it. Ash closed his eyes involuntarily and allowed the machine to connect to his mind.
Misty stood next to Ash, her hand on his. He seemed to twitch for a moment, then relax. The wires going from the helmet to the ceiling lit up and the columns that met in the center of the ceiling were filled with light. The walls' metallic surface changed to a light absorbing black, taking away the extreme luminescence of the scene and making it much easier to look at directly. It was then that Misty could perceive innumerable thin threads forming a web in the space above them. As light pulsated through them sparkling at random places, it almost looked as if it were raining stars, it was breath-taking.
Ash wasn't sure if he was dreaming or awake for the first few seconds, but he soon remembered his purpose as his mind began to clear. He felt like he was floating endlessly, but at the same time he felt nothing. A faint electronic sound hinted that he was being directed and he allowed the previously inputted commands from the control room to carry away his consciousness. Though his eyes were still closed, he saw an endless blackness with many points of light, it looked like outer space. Up ahead there were two PorygonZ, one of them blue and the other the usual pink. Ash could feel a connection with them as if he was right in front of them. It wasn't that they were weak or unable to learn to live, but rather they were indeed evolving and being met with such a chaotic world, it frightened them.
"It's okay, you're safe, don't worry. We're going to make things better. We're going to win the battle and restore what has been damaged. Please trust me and trust yourselves!" The PorygonZ floated, drawn to Ash, joined by several others of their kind with their usual coloring, in the near endless virtual space. Some of them were the PorygonZ of the Team Rocket bases that had been returned to their servers out of necessity of their processing power to more effectively run the security systems and others were in satellites. "We can do this, let's all work together and win!" Ash released his aura in soft waves; it was carried through the cyber space connection reaching each pokemon in it. It was working, but it was draining Ash's energy significantly.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Happy Thanksgiving! The final chapter is next!