Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > Loyalty

Chapter 07: Clues

by Mikari 0 reviews

Chapter 07: Clues

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Romance - Characters: Ash,Misty - Published: 2012-04-29 - Updated: 2012-04-29 - 2178 words - Complete


Chapter 07: Clues

Only the sound of constant typing was heard in the room of many screens. The images were holographic, floating in mid air above the projectors as if glass rectangles were levitating, showing pictures moving in them, except these weren't pictures. They were codes, codes that made Ash's head spin if he looked at them for a second too long, and two seconds felt like long enough. The many technologically oriented Rockets in the room remained focused in their respective tasks, the nature of which remained imperceptible to Ash. Finally, he spotted a blue haired girl in front of one of the floating images, typing into a keyboard that looked like it had a few extra keys in comparison to a regular one. "Pixel," instantly, Ash felt glares on him as the eerie quietude, aside from the sound of typing, was broken.

They were so used to the sound of the keys being rapidly pressed that those present in the large room could easily ignore it. They had gotten used to the constant clicks of nails on keys too, and this girl was one of those who made such sounds with blue painted long nails. As soon as it sunk in who the so called intruder was, the Rockets returned to their tasks not daring to glare further. "Be right there," with a rapid succession of key strokes, Pixel saved what she was doing, logged off and walked out of the room.

Out in the hallway, Ash shook his head to clear it. "I'll never get used to those codes; honestly I don't know how you can understand them."

Dark eyes showed amusement as she grinned, "it takes practice."

Going to the business at hand, Ash inquired, "do you know where Comet is? Laiki said he was with you."

"He's out on a mission," Pixel replied as a matter of fact, not hinting at the fact that she had information that Ash might want to know... yet. She couldn't tell him, she was under orders not to. Even so, it was only a matter of time before Ash realized it.

"Oh," the timing was inconvenient yet at the same time too convenient. Ash always asked Comet to cover for him, twisting the situation around not to actually get him into trouble. The young man, whose red-orange hair ironically reminded Ash of Misty's color had been a Rocket all his life. His father was one of the first few members of Team Rocket to join under Giovanni's leadership. "Do you think you could do me a favor then? Could you cover for me?"

"Right," Pixel chuckled, "I should tell your father if he asks that we're off training our pokemon... can do, except that might be painful."

"How so?" Ash inquired unsure.

"Because I'll have to hurt you as proof, you know I do have a liking for collateral damage during a fight and I tend to break the rules and aim for the trainer. It wouldn't be believable if you're uninjured," Pixel grinned happily, like a child in a candy shop.

Ash opened his mouth to comment and closed it again. He really didn't want to deal with a sadistic computer geek right now. "Right, then just say I'm hanging out with Gary." Ash retrieved his cell phone from his pocket. "As for the location tracking issue, I suppose I could drop this off and-"

Ash was interrupted when Pixel snatched away the phone. "I can hack up a fake signal. Happy mystery hunting." With a bright smile, that made Ash wonder just how much she knew, Pixel returned to the high tech room where she was before. He considered inquiring further, but let it go.

xoxox xox xoxox

As he left the Viridian Gym, Ash spotted Jessie and James heading out and ran over to them. "I heard you two took a detour to the dungeon," he asked with concern. Dealing with Jessie and James was part of his training in his younger days and later they became his true friends. He looked at Jessie's belly, "are you okay? Are they okay?"

"We're fine," Jessie spoke with a regal calm tone to her voice. This was, despite the recent happenings, ironically one of her good days. Her massive mood swings knew no boundaries and rarely followed any semblance of logic, sending her in a random chaotic turmoil of emotion for no apparent reason in some days. In other days, like today, she was cool, calm and collected with a sea of patience and tranquility that nothing short of the apocalypse could disturb. "And how are you, twerp?" She smiled.

"Relieved to see you in good spirits," Ash admitted, chuckling slightly at the silly nickname that Jessie still used even after he grew taller than her. Last time he caught Jessie in a bad mood he ended up with a black eye, James already had two of those on that day. His father had laughed and commented on his poor reflexes having been unable to dodge. Ash had pouted profusely, but was relieve that Giovanni wasn't angry about the occurrence, but rather amused, offering to give Ash what he called a much needed boxing lesson, which the Indigo champion politely declined.

"We just recently talked to Delia," James revealed. "She sent this," James handed Ash a sealed envelope. "I'm glad we ran into you, this mission as pretty easy." If only all missions were as easy as delivering an envelope. "But I still have the feeling that we're forgetting something..."

Ash fingered the envelope with anticipation and began to tare it open full of curiosity. "Where's Meowth?" It was odd not seeing the talking Pokemon with the pair. It would be just as odd for them not to see Pikachu on Ash's shoulders as he always was. The small yellow electric pokemon leaned to look at the letter his trainer pulled out of the envelope.

"Meowth!" James suddenly exclaimed with a look of realization. "I knew I was forgetting something, I forgot to let him out of the pokeball where we had to keep him during the... detour." Taking the pokeball from his belt, James activated it with Meowth emerging from its red beam. Before anything could be said, another red beam came from a different pokeball James was carrying and the shape of a Victreebel formed. The pokemon, promptly attempted to swallow James whole, leaving him to kick around upside down, half his body trapped inside the creature.

Ash had to look up from the process of reading the letter. "Some things never change. See you later!" Waving goodbye, Ash headed to his orange sports car with Jessie smiling as she saw him off and rubbing her belly, she was expecting twins. Ash could barely hear James bidding his farewells from inside his confinement while Meowth tried to get over his disorientation as he was not used to being put inside a pokeball. His mouth was running away with him, it looked like he certainly missed having someone to talk to. Ash paused and decided against using his car, instead taking to the skies on Charizard. His mother's letter wasn't only a letter, it included a map.

xoxox xox xoxox

Some time later, Charizard landed on Cinnabar Island and Ash dismounted, thanking the pokemon and returning him to his pokeball. He looked ahead to the busy tourist filled streets. A few people recognized him and came over to ask for an autograph. Landing in the middle of the busy area was a bad idea. He didn't want to disappoint anyone or cause unnecessary suspicion, so he played along as he searched the area with his eyes. To his surprise, he found misty very easily. She was sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe with a milkshake she had barely touched on the table in front of her. She was alone, having probably come up with some excuse to make her sisters leave her.

Ash understood, she wasn't hiding because she wanted to be found, she was willing to face him. She was probably motivated by the prospect of her sisters' safety more so than anything else and perhaps a little by their past too... or a lot. He slowly made his way through the crowd, shaking hands and signing his name, or rather the name that he was famous with. Eventually he reached Misty's table and sat down, with people coming and going from his side.

For several moments they didn't speak, not with their voices and not even with their expressions. They kept up an act of being inconspicuous and pretending they were just another pair of ordinary friends, except one was a champion and the other a gym leader, yet as such, their association would not be anything unusual to those who knew nothing of the hidden truths. Ash ordered something to eat and spent most of the time when he wasn't consuming his food, tending to the requests of curious tourists.

Finally, the pair left as if they had planned this meeting all along. Misty led the way with Ash walking in silence next to her. They reached a crowded hotel and headed for the elevator. As soon as they were inside and moving up, their expressions turned serious. Yet they waited before speaking any words. The elevator doors opened after what felt like an eternity and they stepped out to a long hallway adorned with a painting of Magmar with a volcanic background. The fiery colors were all over as they made their way to a door which Misty unlocked with a keycard.

They entered the room and the door was closed behind them. Their silence was replaced with the unbearable need to say something. "All this secrecy, all these years..." Misty accused.

"Listen Misty," Ash wasn't even sure what he could say. Her glare was piercing and fierce and his face was set in seriousness, as if carved from stone. "I don't know what happened exactly and I'm not going to pretend that everything is all good and nice, but..." His argument fell apart because he didn't know what his argument was.

"But what?" Misty snapped. "Why are you even here?"

"Why are you here?" Ash snapped back, throwing the question back at her face. "You knew I would come, didn't you? You wanted me to find you so you stayed there in plain sight. What if it backfired? What if I wasn't the one to find you?" He reproached. "Don't give me that look of distrust!" Pikachu jumped off his shoulders as the tension in his body increased. "I never told you for your own good, to keep you safe from this. This is my destiny and that I have always known. As for the past... you can't say your side is completely without blame, not that I'm justifying mine."

Misty's hands balled into fists and for a moment it looked like she would punch Ash, but she didn't. "I know; dad was careless about choosing his battles, apparently. As for mom, she was understandably upset and vengeful. She was enraged, as am I, but she shouldn't have tried to kill Delia... and you. Regardless, Team Rocket is still my enemy. If you are Team Rocket then..." she paused as if this was harder to say than she expected, "so are you."

"I am Team rocket," Ash accepted without a hint of doubt or denial. "But I'm not your enemy. I'll do this for you; I'll help you find your mother. She could still be alive."

Misty gasped, her face becoming hopeful, then distrusting, "but Delia said..." she fell silent.

"She wasn't sure," Ash explained. "She assumed the worse so as to not get your hopes up, but there's still a possibility. Can you set your bitterness aside and work with me to investigate this?" His serious expression changed into a hopeful one.

Then Misty saw it, she saw a clear hint of the boy she once knew. He was still there; he was still very much alive in the young man standing before her. She slowly nodded her head, pushing her voice to function, "yes." Making a small pause, she added a valid question, "where do we even start?"

Ash produced a folded piece of paper from his pocket, revealing it to be a map, "here," he pointed to an X that was on the map. The location was near the Sevii Islands. "Mom gave me this as a clue. She hates taking sides. It really bothers her when dad and I have a disagreement. I think she's just evening the score by giving me this information, making the argument a little more balanced. I don't know what we'll find there, but it's a start."

To be Continued

As you might have noticed, this is more centered on the human characters than in pokemon battles, there will still be poke-action though.

Next chapter: Ash and Misty reluctantly join forces to investigate what could have befallen her mother. What will they find, out in the middle of nowhere?
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