A F T E R ¤ C H R O N I C L E S
T h e ¤ R P G / S
Based on the FanFic series
T H E ¤ L U G I A ¤ C H R O N I C L E S
By Anne Ruecroft & R. A. Stott
And the RPG
‘TEAM ROCKET’S HAUNTED HAYRIDE’
Compiled, edited and rewritten by R. A. Stott
Contributing Authors for this chapter -
PeanutButterMewTwo, ArkNorth, Charm and babyjigglypuff
TEAM ROCKET’S GYPSY DANCE
children’s voices carried across the night air. They were singing something
about ‘Hyaku-Go-Juuichi’. PBM absentmindedly
stroked the Pikachu on her shoulder while rushing on towards the glow beyond
the hill before her.
“I didn’t want to leave him there,” she whispered, more to herself than to the Pikachu. “He’s hurt. I shouldn’t have let them make me go.” Her stomach hurt - Not the way it would if she were ill - but because of intense worry. She had never felt this way before. After all, she had just met this MewTwo – heck, only a few hours earlier, she had not known another of her kind exsisted!
“Dere day are!” Meowth called out, pointing over the hill. The others were way ahead of her, and it took the chatty cat’s call to wake her up from her slowing glide. She watched as the paired teams vanished over the raise. She was about to follow after them, but came to a sudden halt, nearly tossing the Pikachu off when she thought better of it.
“I’ll scare the children,” she muttered to herself. MewTwo were obviously more than just a rarity, and she knew the reaction her presence tended to create when she appeared elsewhere in public. She lifted the Pikachu off her shoulder and put him down beside herself.
“Now you,” she told it, “I want you to go down and check on those kids for me, okay?”
The Pikachu nodded cheerily. It seemed to be not the overly brightest Pokémon she noted to herself. To still be so happy during a crisis seemed odd. Perhaps it was still dazed from its possession it had incurred at the whim of the Misdreavus. Even so, being nearly giddy made it look almost like it was STILL possessed.
“And you’ll report right back to me?” she added. “Understand?”
“Pi-pi! Pikachuuuuu!” it commented.
“You watch your mouth!” she said. Overly cheery it might be, but the fact that this particular Pikachu seemed to have the Poké-Vocabulary of a Poké-Sailor still shocked her.
“Pika Pika piiii chuuu!”
She stepped back. “I am NOT afraid! I just don’t want to scare the children!”
“Pii? Pika Pika Chu Chu Pi Chuuu?”
She thought for a moment. “That’s true… it is Halloween after all…”
“Pii Pii Pika Pika!” it finally huffed and crossed its arms.
“I do NOT have STAGE FRIGHT! I just don’t want to draw attention to myself! NOW SHOO!” She pointed a finger at the ornery electric-rodent. She lifted him off the ground and tossed him over the hill. There was a litany of Poké-Curses that followed its flight.
Her stomach growled. “Hey! If there’s anything good down there to snack on, bring some of that back as well!” she called down to it. There was another brief Poké-Swear sent in her direction as she watched him scurry through the underbrush into the camp.
“Geeze, when you decide to fry yourself, you really don’t go halfway,” North muttered as he continued to bathe the burns across M2’s chest and belly.
M2 grinned lopsidedly. “I do what I can. Damn! That really REALLY stings!” he winced again.
North smirked. “Take it like a man!” he admonished him.
“Oh, if you’re going to insult me now…” the MewTwo grimaced.
North shook his head. “What’s our hosts doing, droid?” he asked his less-than-mint looking android twin of himself.
“Oddly keeping th-their distance,” it said through a digitized stutter. “Perhaps they sense my power center b-b-b-b… BUILDING up – burp – pressure…”
“Are you sure it isn’t that bean burrito you ate earlier?” M2 chuckled as he held the corner of a gauze North was applying.
“Bean burrito?” the scientist yelped. “Droid, you know that isn’t a normal lunch for me!”
“R-randomizing p-p-proGRAM suggested an alternate l-l-lunch option, as you are n-noted to be known to diverge from the nnnnnnORM from time-to-time when it c-c-c-comes to your meal, Professor,” the android stated as it continued its sentinel watch. North shrugged.
“I’m giving these mechs too much IO I think,” he grumbled to himself as he shook a fresh bottle of SuperPotion, much to M2’s distaste.
“So, we’re really here, right?”
North looked down at the MewTwo he was working on. M2 had laid his head back and was staring at the sky, such as it was, seeing that the mass of Murkrows were still obscuring any signs of the stars. “Yes?” he replied to the strange question coming from the normally so-serious Pokémon.
“You’ve met her before, right?”
It was not hard for him to put one and one together here to understand what the subject of the question was about. “Like I said, I’ve seen her a few times about. There seems to be an overabundance of MewTwos on this level. Every Tom, Dick and Jade Yukanna seems to have come up with or is working on one. It’s one of the reasons I chose this level in particular – you stand out less here… not that it makes things any safer, seeing how you tend to go off like a bomb if you touch any other MewTwo. And, as you say, we are here, and I find it very interesting that you didn’t go boomy when you actually touched her.”
“Mmmm,” M2 sighed. “Those eyes… did you see her eyes?”
That comment caught North, and he examined the bottle in his hand to make sure it did not have a warning about using heavy equipment while on SuperPotion. “Steady lad. Keep your mind on what’s at hand, ea?” he poked him. “We have a bit more to worry about here than you and a cute lady.”
“Says you,” the MewTwo snorted. “Even if Droid-Boy here goes nuclear, I’ll probably still get out of this in one piece!”
“Oh thank you!” North retorted in mock-shock. He knew that M2 would not leave him to such a fate… maybe… And he was not exactly sure about his prognosis about surviving anything his droid might let loose. Not at this time at least.
Peanut sat alone on the grassy knoll. She watched Jessie and Cassidy in the distance as they counted the kids down in the gypsy camp. Part of her wanted to be down there with them. Human children didn’t bother her. After all, it had been a human child who had given her a name. She sat and remembered her face. She was named Miri, and she was Dr. Tsunami’s daughter. Peanut laughed to herself. Miri had been a silly girl. She remembered the first time seeing her as she floated in her genetic fluids within her containment vessel in Tsunami’s lab.
“Daddy, what is it?” the small distorted face asked outside the glass wall. An only slightly taller man stepped up behind her and put his left hand on her head and gave the tube a slight tap with his right.
“Well Miri, sweetling,” he told her, “this one is an enhanced juvenile Mew clone. A female in fact.”
The girl looked back at the man, which, because of the curve of the glass, made her face distort momentarily. Her nose seemed to grow then snap back into her head as she spun. This amused the growing clone.
“A what?” she asked. “It’s a what?”
“I said…” the man started.
“OH!” the little boppet cried as she spun and jumped and planted her face against the tube. “It’s a little girl! A little girl like me! Oh daddy! When will she be ready?”
‘Ready?’ the clone asked itself as it floated. ‘What am I? Toast?’
“It…” the man stammered. “She’s not exactly…”
The girl grabbed her father’s hands and started spinning around with him. The clone could see beyond them to the shadowy figures in the background as they seemed to be amused by the antics going on over at the experiments station.
“Will she be my friend?” she asked as they twirled. “Ever since we moved here there haven’t been any other kids to play with! Thank you daddy!”
She released him, and he staggered about a bit as he attempted to recompose himself, and possibly also make the world stop spinning in his head. “Now, Miri, you have to understand, she’s not a child like you are…”
The small face planted itself again. “I can show her the beach while you do your work!”
The doctor scratched his head. “Miri, this IS my work.”
The clone floated down to
get a closer look at the strange face behind the glass.
“What’s her name?” Miri asked as the creature slowly held a paw out towards her.
“Well, um,” the scientist said as he cleared his throat and adjusted his glasses, “Clone Number Four…” The mention of this ‘name’ made the body in the tube wince, which Miri duly noted.
“Actually Clone Number A-7-QC-8-4-7 in Tube Four,” someone in the blobby background announced which only made the creature curl up tighter. Even the scientist looked back in near disgust.
“Clone Four,” he sternly repeated.
“That not a name!” Miri admonished them. “She’s… what did you say she was? A Mew?”
The doctor rubbed his head. “Well, since she is an enhancement to the original, technically she will be a MewTwo.”
The clone looked down at the girl on the other side of the glass and noted to herself that she had an extremely silly grin crossing her face.
“Let’s call her Peanut Butter MewTwo!” she announced in a blurt.
The scientist looked behind himself. Two or three of the shadows seemed to shrug back at him.
“Umm, Peanut Butter?” he asked his only child. “Why Peanut Butter, sweetie?”
“Because she’s the same
color as my favorite thing that goes with peanut butter… GRAPE JELLY!”
PBM shook her head as she rested it on her paws, which were leaning atop her knees. She was being silly and sentimental. She snorted.
Of all her memories, why was that one coming up at a time like this?
“What I should be doing is trying to figure how we can defeat that… that THING,” she told herself. She looked up into the dark sky. The two eyes that had been there were gone, but so was everything else. In fact, if the light of the caravan below her were not there, it would have been pitch-black.
A vision of the other MewTwo flashed across her mind. M2… it certainly was a unique name as compared to others she had run into. She had never met one so outgoing – most others she had met were almost introverted, wanting little to do with the outside world, least alone wanting anything like friends. This one even had an ADULT HUMAN as one!
And most of all, she never had met one who made a joke… other than herself that is…
“That’s right, girl,” she told herself as she sunk her head lower between her hands and knees. “Your type tends not to be the life of the party.”
She remembered the horrific burns down M2’s belly, the result of his following her lead. The thought made her shudder. He had tried to change his energy signature by using an elemental charge, which was successful, but made him the receptor of what basically was a lightning rod. It was based on what she had done with the Pikachu – she had rerouted her own energy through the other Pokémon. The results were that instead of her own psychic energy signature being projected, what was released on the Muuma and Murkrows was that of the Pikachu’s.
if we were to take both of our powers,’ she started thinking to herself, ‘and route
it through each other… neither signature would be traced. They would cancel
each other out!’ Her eyes lit up. ‘That’s it!’ she crowed. ‘I know what to do!’
looked around. The yellow electric
rodent had returned from the camp and was at her feet. “Oh,
Pikachu! Are all the kids OK?”
it rattled off mixed in with a little dance as it explained what it had found.
“Are you sure?” she asked it. “I mean, with all that food, Meowth still returned to get us?”
“Pika – *burp* – pika pi!”
She gave the rodent a wary eye. It grinned back.
“What about the children?” she flatly asked the yellow glutton again.
It scratched an ear. “Pika pi pi chuu!”
“Great!” she said as she craned to see past the wagons without levitating. “I was worried. I really ought to have a look myself.”
“Pi – pika – chu?” her partner asked.
She winked. “I know… I didn’t want to frighten them. But I do have a way to ‘blend in’, so to say.” She knitted her brow and held her paw to her face. In a flash, the light purple MewTwo shifted her appearance.
The Pikachu stepped back and examined her. “Pika – pika – pika – pi –pi – chu – pi?” it critiqued in a question.
“Yes, I could have done this before,” she replied, “but it does have its limitations. For one, I have to concentrate to maintain this illusion. The second is if anyone touches me, it will evaporate.”
“Chu – chu – pika – pi…” the Pikachu said as it strolled around her examining the cloak.
Peanut looked over shoulder at the shawl draped over them. “Well, Little Red Riding Hood was a favorite book of a friend of mine. Why? Does it stand out too much?”
The Pikachu sat back on its lightning bolt of a tail and pondered what he saw. “Ummm – Chu – chu – pika…” it told her.
“Like a light bulb, ea?” she repeated its comment. The cape was a rather glaring red. She concentrated again, darkening it to a deep maroon. “Better?” she asked.
“Chu!” the critter replied with an ‘okay’ gesture. Together, he and a brunette girl made their way down the hillside towards the camp.
“All right all you WONDERFUL children!” Jessie yelled through gritted teeth. “All that were with Jack the Pumpkin King and I gather at the red and green wagon in TEN MINUTES!!” Her ‘save the children’ mood pretty much had left her after the third child that night had decided that they needed to pull hard on one of her ‘Sally’ yarn-like strands that her hair had been braided into.
“Aww, must we?” the short blond boy that had been such a problem on their wagon bellowed at her. “This is great! I’ve already had three burgers, a kabob, a sack of candy, and this HUGE malted! Come on Hobbes,” he told a stuffed Persian doll he was dragging, “let’s get some MORE!”
Jessie just stared at him. “It’s amazing that he hasn’t exploded,” she mumbled. Over her shoulder she saw a strange girl with a Pikachu step into the camp from between a pair of trailers.
“Who are you?” she demanded, not trusting anyone she did not know after all that she had been put through this night.
The girl looked around to see if anyone was nearby. She then passed her hand over her head to reveal Peanut’s face behind the camouflage. When she moved her hand by again, the girl’s image reappeared.
Jessie blinked, as that show of facial hide-and-seek had done nothing to make her any more settled that she was dealing with this unknown Pokémon. “Oh… it’s you…” was all she said.
“I wanted to check on the kids,” PBM told her IN HER MIND. This made the Rocket take a step back and shake her head, as she had not been expecting someone talking to her BETWEEN her ears rather than from the outside in.
“You might not want to communicate psychically, girl,” Jessie scolded her as she held her forehead from the pounding headache she had just been delivered. “The brats seem to be okay, but I think a psychic teenager might scare them just as much as the sight of some weird uncommon Pokémon, like you! Mind you, I like the cape.”
Peanut cleared her throat. “Dang… sorry…” she croaked through her mouth. She had not realized that she had reverted to speaking through her mind earlier when she had been talking to the Pikachu. “I’ll try. I forgot how fragile your human senses are.” She looked about.
Several of the children were crying. A few more were comforting them, as were James and Butch in their own unique way. On the other hand, others were eating the aforementioned burgers, plus stews, pastas and all sorts of other goodies that should have kept a greedy Meowth busy, if not that he had been suggested as being fattened up to become part of the meal earlier.
In the middle of it all raged a huge bonfire. Around it sang more of the children. Some were dancing, while others were tossing things into the blaze. Cassidy watched in confusion.
“Who cooked them all this food? Who built that huge campfire?” she asked no one in particular. Then a little boy with a scraped knee begged her attention.
PBM continued to examine the area. “She’s right,” she told Jessie. “Where are the gypsies? Have you seen any?”
The Rocket looked about with her. “You’re right,” she agreed. “When we arrived, all we found were the children.”
“Well, deys were here!” Meowth caterwauled from a nearby tent. “Remember, dey wanted ta barbeque me!”
Peanut smirked. “I see you’ve recovered from the trauma quick enough,” she remarked at the chatty cat, whose mouth could barely hold any more food. “We found the children easy enough, but what about those PokéBalls you said you had on your carts as well?”
He looked at her big eyed as he swallowed.
“Dang girl… what did you’s do to yerself?” he asked when he realized that this girl was the MewTwo.
got a lovely b-b-bunch of coconuts – there th-th-they are st-st-st-STANDING in
a row…” the droid sat humming to itself, or at least mostly to itself, as it
was doing it loud enough to make it disturbing to those with it.
you stop that, droid?” asked North testily.
it replied, and continued humming to itself - rather off key as well.
M2 gave the bot a glare from his position on the ground. “Doesn’t that thing have your memory inside it?”
North was looking more concerned with the wounds on his friend’s belly than that of his doppelganger’s poor musical skills. “Considering its condition, you think it’s going to work normally?”
“So its memory systems are that messed up?” he asked. “Or do you actually sing THAT badly?”
North crossed his legs as he sat on the ground having tired of squatting. “Droid, why are you making that awful noise?” he asked it.
It stopped and looked jerkily over at the two on the ground. “I-I-I’m putting up a sonic sh-sh-sh-shield SETTTTTT at the proper modulation-n-n-n to keep the Murkrows away. But it should only be botherrrrrring them, not y-y-y-y-YOU, sir.”
“Trust me, you’re bothering us as well,” M2 stated.
The droid cocked its head, causing its right ear to fall off and dangle by a wire. “Didst-dist-distURRRRrbing, yes,” it corrected him, “but at least y-y-y-you’re not getting the ear-splitting s-s-s-sound the Murkrows are receiving. Sh-shall I cease m-m—my masking song?”
“THAT WAS A MASKING SONG!?” M2 shouted, which only made things sway more in his vision.
North tapped his glasses up his nose. “Continue what you’re doing droid, but do it another few feet away, would you?”
“Understood,” it replied and it stood up and moved to the edge of the path.
“Thank you,” M2 said. North only smirked as he peeked under the gauze and scanned him again.
“Something’s not right,” he grumbled. “Why isn’t this working?”
“Hey now, don’t cry,” Peanut cajoled a small girl. “It’s OK. What’s your name?”
sloppy wet face rose from behind the arm and elbow that had been covering
it. “E-Emirie,” she told her.
bent down to Emirie’s level. “So, why
are you crying?” she asked in a gentle and tranquil voice.
child sniffed. “I wanna go home!”
smiled. “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get to
go home soon enough.”
It took PBM a moment to realize what this little girl had suggested. She looked at her ‘hand’ the projection she was making had created. She also remembered that if she was touched by anyone, it would fall, and her real form would be revealed.
“Er… how about we don’t? Humm? Here… we can swear on this Pikachu!”
the yellow rodent asked as he was unceremoniously foisted off the ground and
promptly squeezed between two small hands, a chin and an extremely
underdeveloped chest until his beady little eyes nearly popped out of his head.
it’s soft!” Emirie squealed, much to the Pikachu’s chagrin. And the psychic finger-to-his-nose from the MewTwo
to NOT retaliate with a Thundershock had not helped his situation. He sighed.
PBM was a hit with the kids. She had made her image just the right age that she was someone the younger children would look up to, but at the same time, a kid like themselves. Like Emirie, many of her fellow kindergarteners had been afraid. Soon the now grumpy-looking Pikachu was being passed around for them to pet.
sighed as she looked over at Peanut’s crowd. There were no problems there. Unfortunately, she wasn’t so lucky.
“Please, Please stop crying little boy! It’s okay, see? Why don’t you go have some supper with your friends?” she begged.
I WANT MY MOMMY! I WANNA GO HOME! I WANT MY POKÉMON!”
Jessie’s hair would have stood on end if it had not been braided. And ANOTHER one of these cherubs just yanked on it again!
am never doing volunteer work again.” she swore under her breath.
Charm grunted. “Brats… let these losers take care of them. They seem safe enough.” Besides, much like PBM’s worry about scaring the children, her garb and looks were not keeping them quelled much either. She quickly departed and headed back to where she felt she was really needed – protecting North, the only headquarters jerk who seemed to care what happened to her.
Four years before, in a fight staged by Giovanni and that level’s Terminal Solutions, she had been pitted in a battle between herself and the latest PokéMorph, a hybrid gene-spliced creation of the Splice-And-Dice lab, of a ‘volunteer’ human and a Pokémon. In this particular case, they had made a Scizor-human mix. It was her job to go into the Team Rocket Fury Pit and size this test subject up. She was not allowed to use her sword or bow, and was given only two daggers and basic armor.
In the stands for this ‘event’ was the rare appearance of the head of Tech Lab One, Professor Robert North. At his assistance, mid way through the battle, which she felt she was winning, but later, video replay shown to her showed that she was being slowly worn down by the poisons the morph was able to generate, North wanted to pump the field with SuperPotion.
She remembered the look that crossed over Giovanni’s face. It was foul, that grin that he gave the scientist’s suggestion.
“What!?” she had shouted. “That’s not fair! You’re giving this thing an unfair advantage!”
“Then you’ll just have to find another way to defeat it,” North callously told her as a fog of the potion was injected into the battlegrounds.
Charm remembered the rage and anger she had swell through her. Her strength, which was being beaten down by this human-Pokémon mish-mash, exploded. It was only a few minutes later that she had severed the head off the abomination.
“You weren’t supposed to KILL him!” one of the S&D scientists shouted. “He had been one of my best assistants!”
“Next time, try it with a WARRIOR then!” Charm shouted back. She looked at the seat next to the Boss to give the man who she thought was trying to ‘fix’ the battle a piece of her mind, but found his chair empty.
“Be ready for your next mission in the morning,” Giovanni told her as he stood and left the arena.
She stormed through the Silph Building, finding the entrance to the Tech Lab unguarded. She pounded the two swinging doors, nearly snapping them off their hinges as she entered.
“It’s about time you got here,” she heard. She looked down the steps from the doors and found a cluttered room with a long workbench in the middle, and her target sitting on a stool in front of it. “How are you feeling?”
Her sword tore out of it sheath as she leaped from the top step.
“HIRI-HI-GITO!” North shouted. The blade ripped out of her hands and into his open palm. She landed on the table, scattering assorted gadgets and tools as she regained her balance. She looked at her hands in shock.
“How old are you?” North asked the girl.
She shook her head and looked up at him. “TEN!!” she shouted. “What about it?!”
The professor shook his head as he examined the katana. “Nine and a half, actually,” he sighed. “So young to have to deal with the ShadowFlare…” He spun the blade about and held the grip out to her.
“What are you doing?” she demanded. “I’m here to remove your head.”
“Why?” he asked.
She blinked. “Wha… you… YOU TRIED TO HAVE ME KILLED!” she screamed.
“Did I?” was his response. “Actually, I saved your life, though I’m sure you’d say that you didn’t need any help.”
She snatched the sword and spun it about, placing the tip near the scientist’s neck.
“You had them fill the pit with SuperPotion!” she growled through gritted teeth.
“Which doesn’t work on PokéMorphs,” North added, “but does work on you, because inside you is a PokéDemon. How is the Ryuujin these days?”
Charm stepped back in shock, which was not the best thing to do while standing on a narrow table.
Now she was running through a field of Murkrows and Muumas, shooting some, stabbing others as she headed back to his location.
“I told you to go with them,” North greeted her as she dove into the pit area he and M2 were in.
“I’ll scare ‘em…” she answered with a grin. “Besides, I’ve got enough people MY AGE saying I look a little evil… But mostly, I hate kids.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t protect them,” he replied with a bit more urgency to his tone.
Charm lay back against the berm and started randomly lobbing fire arrows out into the field. “Okay smart guy, what happens to you folks over here then? I’m not about to risk one group for the other! You’re what, a droid, a scientist and an injured MewTwo? They’re four Rockets and three Pokémon, one of which is a fully charged MewTwo! They can take care of themselves!”
“That’s not the point!” North snapped at her as he shook her shoulder. “The children are the important ones here right now! They need protection more that us old farts!”
She looked at him incredulously. She had run all the way back to assist him, only to have him tell her to… go away…
“You’re working as a diversion, aren’t you?”
North peeked under M2’s bandage again. “The thought had crossed my mind, yes. Would you please get back to them?”
She snorted and rubbed her nose on her sleeve. Then she saw the droid up by the cart.
“What is that scrap pile doing?” she asked.
“Singing,” M2 weakly replied. “It’s ultimate weapon.”
She stood up and climbed the edge of the depression. She turned and looked down at the two at its base.
“Next time you need a dome of fire,” she called down to them, “you can always call me. I don’t cause shockwaves, but mine is just as impenetrable as yours.” She tapped the knocks of her bow to start them afire. She then launched a single burning arrow into the sky. She pirouetted once with the flaming bow at arm’s length. Above them, the flames from the arrow spun out into a new shield that descended over top their position. Murkrows scattered as the heat drove them away and set the dried grasses at its base ablaze.
“And I don’t go nuking myself in the process!” she added. “Yell out if you need me. I’ll hear ya!” With that she darted through the wall of fire and back towards the gypsy encampment.
“Impressive,” M2 commented.
“She always has been,” North agreed. “I just wish she’d see that sometime.”
Charm leapt over a caravan and landed at the feet of some children in Jessie’s care. They all seemed to have been crying, but now were quite quiet as they stared at the Goth-girl who had just fallen in on them. Jessie suddenly found a horde of small hands grasping at the back of her legs as they on-mass ran behind her and stared silently at Charm.
“That was a big help!” Jessie growled before being bowled over by the kids. “Can’t you at least give us a hand?”
“NO! NO! That lady is scary!” some of the children shrieked.
“The feeling is mutual kid,” Charm snarked. “Where’s PBM?”
Jessie sighed and pointed to their right. “If you mean that weird Pokémon that’s with us, she’s currently that brown haired girl with the Pikachu over there.”
Charm grunted a ‘thanks’ and headed over towards the girl in the maroon cloak.
“You certainly look different,” she told the MewTwo in human disguise. She looked down at the little girl beside her and at the Pikachu in her grasp.
“Pika…” it moaned. Charmed snickered while PBM shot it a glare.
Emirie took a step back from the scary lady, who she noticed was looking at the creature in her arms. “What… what Pikachu?” she stuttered.
“It said ‘help me,’” Charm translated as she leaned over towards her.
“Emirie, why not take the Pikachu over to the other kids for a moment, humm?” Peanut suggested. The little girl quickly agreed and scurried away.
“Kids… why does it have to be kids?” the dark lady mumbled.
“They’re scared,” Peanut stated. “They don’t know what’s going on, and they’re frightened. Don’t you remember what it was like to be a kid?”
Charm snapped her a blank, but surprisingly angry look.
“I was never a kid!” she snarled. “They’re loud, noisy, smelly, and tend to squeal at the wrong moments.” She then looked over at the slightly cringing gathering who were suffocating the Pikachu and sighed. “But, I will assume we must still protect them.”
PBM did not miss the fact that Charm has said the word ‘protect’ through hard gritted teeth. She shook her head. “I feel that’s what M2 and the Professor would want.”
Charm examined her. “What do you know about those two?” she asked with a gesture back in the direction the scientist and the other MewTwo were.
Peanut looked back over her shoulder. “I’ve met the man before once or twice,” she told her. “He’s unlike any of that bunch with Team Rocket.”
“You’re telling me,” Charm agreed. “And you do know that I’m part of ‘that bunch’ as well.”
Peanut smirked. “When was the last time you attempted to stick me in a PokéBall?”
Charm leaned on her bow. “True. Then again, why are you here? You’re certainly not Team Rocket.”
“Welll…” the ‘girl’ said with a bit of coyness, “I was created by one of their operatives… which means I still get their emails and memos.”
“Emails?” Charm questioned. “Where do you get emails from?”
Peanut pointed at her head. “MewTwos have built-in internet access.”
Charm snorted. “I’ll have to remember that next time I need the weather update. So what about that other MewTwo? What do you know about him?”
Peanut looked at her ‘hand’. “This is the first time I’ve met him…” she quietly said. She said it in a way that drew Charm’s attention. She saw that Peanut was spacing out a bit.
“Hey! Mind FRONT!” she barked at PBM like a former trainer she remembered, which made the MewTwo Human blink and wake up. “What’s with you all of a sudden?”
“I’m not sure,” Peanut replied. “I’ve… I’ve just never met someone like him before… Touched… someone like him…”
Charm gave her a wary look. “Excuse me?” she asked seeing that PBM was phasing back into her fuzzy mind state again. “It’s not like you and I haven’t run into other MewTwos before.”
Peanut shook as she tried to gather her senses. “I don’t know, there was something different. He seemed worried about me for some reason… he said I had pretty eyes… When we held paws… I felt this tingle I never felt with any of the other MewTwos.”
Charm looked as if she were about to be ill. “Gawd, have you got it bad!” she gagged. “I ought to get you two a room!”
Peanut blinked, and the ‘human’ image she projected blushed scarlet.
“Not that lover-boy is in any condition for that right now,” Charm added as a side. “I left those two back there under one of my fire-domes. They should be protected from those Red Haunters and Muuma
out there, and I doubt those damn Murkrows want singed tail feathers.”
“You LEFT them back there?” Peanut gasped. The look she received from Charm told her that it was not by choice.
“They’d rather draw the baddie’s attention to themselves verses having them go after these brats,” she explained. “We still need to get everyone out of here, though. That’s why I wanted to find you…”
“Me?” Peanut asked.
“Duh,” Charm said. “You can teleport. Do you think you can teleport this mess out of here? Maybe even North and your boyfriend?”
‘Boyfriend’ brought both hands up to her face as the scarlet face became beet red. “Wha – What!? He is NOT my BOYFRIEND!”
Charm looked at her with an expression of exasperation. “Fine… What about tel-e-por-TAION!!?”
Peanut realized that there was something more important at that moment to look into. She thought for a moment and looked up at the black sky.
“Hang on for a moment,” she told the dark Rocket agent. “I need to test something. Come with me.”
moved up the hillside away from the camp. PBM waved her arms over her face and
let out a sigh. The disguise she held melted
“That’s just disturbing, you know that, right?” Charm stated.
“Gee thanks Miss Shining Encouragement,” muttered the female MewTwo.
“So what are we doing, anyway?”
Peanut looked about to make sure they were alone. “I want to try something. I don’t want to risk teleporting a child in case there’s some kind of barrier up. So I’ll try bringing something to me instead.”
“Like what?” asked Charm skeptically.
Peanut looked to the north. “Well, let’s see if I can get something here from my cabin up in the mountains,” she suggested. She held a paw up and concentrated. It glowed blue.
was a crack and a pop. Then something
dropped at their feet in a steaming lump. It appeared to be a mass of fused silver metal.
“Umm… what is THAT?” asked Charm, moving to give the lump a poke with her boot toe. The MewTwo sighed regretfully.
“It WAS my flute,” Peanut told her. “I guess teleportation is a no-go, for now.”
“Great…” Charm mumbled. “So we’re down to a long walk with damn near a hundred squealers.”
Peanut looked down the hill at the camp. “Well, not all of them are extra young. The ones around the bonfire seem composed enough… oh, they just tossed one of the gypsy’s wagons into it…”
“Model citizens – my kind of kids!” Charm grinned. “Come on… let’s get back down there before they toss in James. It looks like the Rocket Team is being overrun.”
“Yes, um, can I suggest NOT telling the kids you’ll eat them if they don’t stop crying?” Peanut asked as she brought her disguise back up.
Charm smirked as she started down the berm. “You’re taking all the fun out of this, you know that? It’s effective, isn’t it? Besides, I never said I’d eat them… only BITE them!”
shook her head. “They might bite back,
Charm sighed and stopped behind one of the wagons. “Okay - Okay! I’ll just… threaten them with my bow and arrows.”
PBM gave her a scowl that told her NO.
Charm stomped her foot and crossed her arms. “Fine… then why don’t I just stay away from them?”
the wagon, some of the older kids now had tossed a barrel of something on the
pyre which burst into a huge mushroom cloud of flame.
“Because we can’t handle them alone!” Peanut yelped as Butch ran past with his cape burning behind himself. He dove into a nearby stream and sizzled. Charm looked around the edge of the wagon at the conflagration.
“Actually they look like they’re having my kind of fun!” she remarked at the older kids’ actions. She watched and sensed as the fire that had been launched into the sky was driving spirits back.
She leapt back into the center of the camp with her bow fully on fire. “ALRIGHT BRATS AND BRATLINGS!” she called to the stunned older kids. “You got the right idea, but let me show you HOW IT’S DONE!”
In a whirl of flames and pyrotechnics, she started to shoot burning arrows and toss hand-made ShadowFlare fireballs into the black sky, which would cause the already held back Haunters, Muuma and Murkrows to shriek and cry. Some of the ghost-types would burst in a flash of light. At one point, she managed to cause a small chain-reaction that lit the night in a streamer of screaming poltergeists.
“That isn’t helping to control the kids!” Peanut shouted to her as she saw that Charm had managed now to get ALL the children to be afraid, especially of the girl who was flinging fire from her hands!
“So? It’s protecting them, isn’t it?” Charm yelped as she continued her fiery dance.
“You’re scaring them!” Peanut countered. “They’ve never seen a human who’s able to fire off flaming arrows, let alone TOSS FIREBALLS!”
Charm stopped for a moment. She looked beside herself at a tall boy who looked to be the oldest of the bunch. “Hey you!” she shouted.
“M-m-me?” the boy quivered.
“Yea, YOU!” she shot back. “Have you ever seen old news footage of someone using a flamethrower?”
The boy, James and a bunch of the other kids near them all nodded a yes.
“MINE ARE BUILT IN!” Charm cheered for herself, and started firing and tossing again.
“This is NOT HELPING THINGS!” PBM yelled at her.
“That’s their problem,” Charm called out as she continued with her fireworks. “I’m keeping ‘em safe!”
sighed. She shook her head and headed back towards where she had left the Pikachu
and Emirie. Keeping up her illusion of
being a human was running her energy low. It wasn’t hard to do, but to make it
accurate looking, that was something else.
“You came back!” cried Emirie happily, as she waved from the cook wagon where she was eating. The Pikachu was sitting beside her, happily munching on ketchup covered PokéTreats and enjoying the show out in the center of the camp.
“Hello there Emirie,” PBM said to her as she sat on a barrel beside the wagon. “Finally getting some dinner?”
“Mmm!” she answered. “The nice man in the kitty-suit told us to have some!”
‘Nice man?’ she thought to herself. Peanut looked into the wagon and saw the other children that Emirie had been tossing the Pikachu between all eating as well. The ‘nice man’ was busy stirring a pot of chunky stew and humming to himself.
“Meowth?” she asked.
“Dat’s MISTER Meowth, if you’s please!” the chatty cat said as he handed a refill to a boy behind himself.
Peanut looked about at the settled and almost happy group in the wagon with him. “Well, you certainly seemed to have managed well here,” she told him.
The cat came over to her. “Well, I just couldn’t just sit around, ya know? Listenin’ to all that cryin’ ‘n everythin’.”
Peanut stared at him. “You? You cared about these kids that much?”
Meowth gawked at her. “Kids? Wot’ta ya mean da kids? I’m talkin’ about da Pikachu! I mean, he might be a rodent, ‘n poisonally, I got dis t’ing about dealin’ wit his type, but I ain’t gonna not help a fellow Pokémon is distress!”
If one of her MewTwo ears had been visible, it would have drooped just then. “Umm… ‘ain’t gonna not’ is a double-negative…” she murmured.
“Wot?” Meowth asked in confuzzelment. PBM just shook her head and sat back down on her barrel.
Something was gnawing at the back of her mind, and Chef Meowth was not it. Why did she have a feeling that something else wasn’t right?
In the meantime, another of the camp’s problems staggered up to her, amazed at the silent gathering of children behind her.
“How?” Jessie asked. Her ‘Sally’ costume was nearly gone by this time, and she seemed to have a lingering smell of having been a touch too close to the bonfire when the barrel of unknown fluids had been tossed in. “How do you do it?”
Peanut blinked at her. “Do what?”
“MAKE THE KIDS BEHAVE!?” howled Jessie. “They’ve crawled all over me, blown their noses on my sleeves, begged for food, thrown fits, and constantly cried ‘I wanna go home!’ Well, I WANNA GO HOME!!”
Peanut looked back into the wagon. “Don’t look at me… Meowth quelled these savage beasts.”
“Care ta have some Gypsy Stew?” Meowth offered her. “It’ll knock da stuffin’ out’a dat Rocket Stew we’s have any day!”
Jessie snatched the bowl from Meowth and took a bite. She stared at it of a moment. “What… what is in this?” she asked.
“Meat,” the cat said. “Told ya it would knock da stuffin’ out!”
Peanut flinched at the sight of it. “Any idea what type of meat?” she asked as she watched Jessie scarf the bowl down. Her timing was a bit bad for asking such a question, as the senior Rocket stopped chewing to await Meowth’s answer.
“Yea, I made sure it wasn’t Meowth,” the cat disguised as a man in a Meowth-suit grinned. “I tink dis is grain-fed Tauros.”
Jessie continued chewing.
sure it isn’t Ponyta or Rapidash?” Peanut asked. Jessie stopped chewing again.
“Naa… dat stuff’s too stringy…”
Peanut and Jessie glared at him. “How would you know that?” they both asked (though Jessie’s recant was a bit more sloppy, what with a mouth full and such).
“I’M TOLD DAT!” the cat insisted. “Der’s tribes down in da Dark Mountains a’da Himalayas dat supposedly eat ‘em!” He then leaned over to whisper to the ladies, “An’ it ain’t human! I’ve bitten enough o’dem to know wot DEY taste like! YUCK!”
Jessie swallowed then polished off her bowl. “Meowth, if this food can calm your brats down, maybe we can get the others to settle as well! Come on girlie, give me a hand!”
Jessie reached down and grabbed Peanut’s ‘hand’. There was a light ‘pop!’ sound.
Jessie looked back at what she was grasping. Instead of a little girl in a maroon cape, she had a larger light purple MewTwo blinking at her.
“M-M-MONSTERRRR!!” bellowed from behind them as the children in the chuck wagon began to scream.
“Great Jessie… Just great,” PBM stated to the howls of the camp as the others saw the strange looking Pokémon.
did you do that?” demanded Jessie.
“I didn’t! YOU did! When you grabbed my paw, you messed up my energy field!”
“Well how was I to know about your precious energy field!?” Jessie yelled at her while flaying her arms about.
Over by the bonfire Charm was trying to calm the kids now, and making a nice mess of it too.
“Aw, c’mon! She’s one of the good guys! Don’t go all screamin’! Dude! Kid, let go a’ my leg! She’s not gonna blast ya - although I might if ya don’t get off! CALM DOWN!! DAMN IT CALM DOWN!!!”
sighed and looked back at the now petrified children. They had really seemed to
like her too.
“I’m sorry Jessie… I think I’ll just be going now.”
She lifted off and flew east. Charm and Jessie winced. Now THEY had to take care of these screaming kids!
“Wow,” Emirie said.
“Pika…” The Pikachu continued to munch on his treat while keeping an eye on the mayhem going on behind himself.
“Shouldn’t you be going with her?” Emirie asked him. He looked up at her and blinked.
“Pika?” It looked at the PokéTreat in its paws then at the departing MewTwo. He sighed.
He then pulled up the bottle of ketchup and overloaded the cookie-like food, and tossed it into his now oversized mouth, stuffing it into a cheek-pouch. He tossed the plastic bottle over his shoulder, which bonked the blond haired kid with the Persian doll in the head, knocking him over. The Pikachu then leaped off the end of the wagon and bolted up the hill.
The blond-haired kid promptly threw up on Jessie.
“I don’t care what they said,” Peanut told herself. “They can watch the kids fine… with that bonfire going on, it’s M2 they’ll go after now because he’s down. And I have to be there to help.”
She looked down. Behind her she could see the Pikachu running through the tall grass to catch up with her. Just behind it, she could see the twisted chrome lump of what had been her favorite flute.
“Blast it all! Curse this no-teleport!” she grumbled to herself. She pressed on, keeping her altitude low and her shield up high. When she reached the edge of Charm’s fire dome, she use a psychic lift to raise the shield briefly to allow the Pikachu and herself in.
Under the dome was almost peaceful, save the warmth. The surrealism was that the first thing she found was the droid singing about someone named Rosalita.
thought I told you to protect the children,” North said when he saw her and her
partner. He seemed more than engrossed
working on M2’s wounds.
“I thought I was needed more here, no disrespect intended,” she said as the Pikachu returned to his post on her shoulder, collapsing from exhaustion in his attempt at catching up with her, which was not helped by his over-stuffed belly and the dodging of zombied-humans in the field. “Besides, the kids weren’t too thrilled when they found out who or what I was.”
“Jessie burst your bubble?” the scientist asked while not looking up. PBM saw him waving his strange rod over M2 again and shaking his head.
“How’d you guess?” she asked as she stepped down beside them.
know Jessie,” he stated with a momentary smirk.
“Meanwhile, we’ve got another problem,” he said.
The flames of the force wall illuminated the area strangely. PBM almost though she saw the scientist crying - or was it just sweat running off his nose? The area around M2 was strewn with potion bottles, medical supplies, spent gauze and the lab coat off the droid. Its pockets seemed almost pulled inside out.
“It’s okay Rob… It’s okay…” M2 said weakly patting his elbow. “I know what you’re reading there… It’ll be okay.”
PBM asked startled, not liking the way that had come out. A wave of panic swept through her. “What will be okay?”
North smashed the scanner on the ground. He looked at the roof of the fire wall. He wanted to yell at Mauvais, but the flames prevented it.
“What?” PBM asked quietly, surprised by the emotions of the scientist. She knew him to be capable of nearly anything when it came to must-have, need-it-now, last-moment ideas. Something must clearly be wrong for him to be reacting like this.
North dropped his head. “M2 overdid the limits of his clone DNA. When he mixed Earthly elements into his own energy, they weren’t compatible… that isn’t only a burn mark on him… that’s cellular degeneration. And I can’t do anything about it here…”
PBM sat down on her knees in shock. Her mind raced. There had to be something… something that could be done…
“The wound healer…” she said.
North looked up at her. “What about it?”
“You said that it stimulates cellular reconstruction, right?”
North wiped his face. “Yes… in non-clone subjects. But it would over-stimulate cloned cells…” Then it dawned on him what she was hinting at.
“But he changed his frequency!” he said. “It’s incompatible with his normal pattern… but what have we got to loose?” He fumbled through his pocket and pulled out the healer.
PBM found her paw once again in M2’s. His eyes were only slits, but they looked at hers and smiled.
Then, they were wide open.
“WHOA!! THAT’S COLD!!” he shouted.
North held the strange device away from the wound and gave his friend a startled look. “Cold?” he asked.
“Yes! Like ice!”
“Are you touching him with it?” PBM asked.
“No, it’s a beam device… it never contacts the skin…”
North reached into his pocket and pull out another scanning rod. “Never leave home without a spare,” he said, and ran it over the area.
“Ah,” North said. “This will be tricky… The wound healer will only work on the exact area of the burn… anywhere else over stimulates the cells. That’s what you were feeling.”
PBM watched North hold the rod and screen in his left hand, and the wound healer in his right, slowly working around the wound.
North cocked his head, not in a happy way, but a better than nothing way. “It’s working… slowly… and it’s not stopping the degeneration completely. But, you’re stabilizing… maybe to the point where you could start re-energizing yourself. At that point, your own body could stop the degeneration…”
“That’s better than turning into a blob of Jell-O,” M2 joked.
PBM looked at the hand in hers, as he squeezed it. The tingling was gone. Maybe things were going to be all right after all…
“Excuse me, but I’ve heard that misery loves company… Mind if I come in?”
North and PBM looked up at the fiery sky, and got wet steamy rain drops in their faces.
“On boy…” the droid said. “Should I consider the self destruct?”
North continued to look skywards as he waved a hand at the droid behind him. “Hold that thought!” he told it.
Jessie, James and Charm climbed to the top of the hill overlooking the encampment to get away from the now nearly out-of-control mass of children below. They glanced back to see Butch and Cassidy still stuck within the throng. Meowth scampered up with them, having managed to get away from a group of rather nasty kids who thought it would be nice to play Bell the Cat with a real school bell they had found in one of the trailers.
“I’s don’t get it… where’s da yo-yos dat were running dis side show?” he quipped. “First dey want ta serve me up as stew, then PIFF!! Vanished in’ta thin air!”
“Weren’t you just serving stew?” James asked as he brought the binoculars up to see what was going on over at where they had left the scientist and the MewTwo.
different!” the cat complained. “When I
saw dis place da foist time, der were just as many o’dem as der were brats!”
In the distance, the storm clouds continued to swirl around the fire-dome with lightning flashing and crashing all around it.
“The professor is under THAT? I can’t believe he stayed in there!” Jessie said. “I would have left that thing and saved myself…”
Charm shook her head. “How long have you known him?” she asked the lady Rocket.
Jessie pondered that. “I’ve only met him a few times,” she thought as she tapped her cheek. “Honestly, if it weren’t for all the contraptions his group provides us, I may have never met him before. And to stay behind with that thing… he’s crazy!”
fault him for his loyalty,” Charm remarked.
Then, multiple streaks of lightning struck the dome. Charm smiled, as the others watched in fear.
“Don’t worry… that can’t penetrate my shield,” she smugly said.
James gulped. “Yea? How about water?” he asked her.
“WHAT!?” Charm yelped, and grabbed the binoculars from James, yanking him down to her level as the neck-strap was still around his head.
friends are good, North,” Mauvais said from above the fire. “But they forget
that I was originally cloned from the god of water!”
North quickly rummaged through the lab coat pocket.
“R-right side pocket, th-th-third sub shunt downnnn,” the droid told him.
you,” North replied as he switched pockets and dug around. He pulled a small black box from it and
placed in on the ground between the small group. A red LED lit up.
“Hold your breaths!” he said, and cowered down, covering over M2’s face and keeping PBM low. The Pikachu got between them, and the droid rolled to his left to get under the wagon.
Charm watched as an ocean opened over the dome. As if in slow motion, a mass of water crashed and shattered the fire shield, drowning out the flames.
“We’ve got to help them!” Jessie yelled.
“Nothing could have survived that!” Butch said, having finally escaped the children and had joined them. He was using his binoculars as well, and had watched the conflagration with them.
‘Sides, WE’S GOT OUR OWN PROBLEMS!” Meowth screamed, racing behind Jessie and James.
Shadowy figures, moaning and groaning, were heading for the encampment. The smell of the dead floated through the air and berated their noses.
Charm launched a flare. It illuminated what was coming more than she wanted.
It looked like the entire towns of Pallet and Viridian had died and were walking their way. Zombies of people they knew were coming right for them. Giovanni, his Persian, Ash Ketchum, Misty, Brock, Tracey, Professor Oak, the entire Rocket Dance Band… EVERYONE!
“We can’t hurt these people!” Jessie said. “They might be possessed like we were!”
“We hurt the boss, and we won’t get PAID!” James yelped.
“I told yas dis was bad!” Meowth said.
The water ran off. Little was left of the dome, save a scorch mark along the parameter.
“You put up a good fight, North, M2… even you, Miss Pea Nut Butter,” the red eyes said as they returned to the sky. “I would have enjoyed devouring your souls. But, I must attend to those young ones I have over at the gypsy camp!”
Mauvais looked back down on the flooded grounds. As the water drained away, a blue glow could be seen where the scientist had been. Then it burst, and the water rushed into an air pocket. But it drained away before it could drown its occupants.
“Oh, ever resourceful my dear North!” Mauvais said from above. “What was that, a pocket force field?”
“Handy, isn’t it?” the bedraggled scientist said.
PBM raised her head. The soaked Pikachu flapped its ears between her and M2.
“Chuuu!” it swore.
“Oh, what the hell happened?” M2 asked. “Did anyone get the number of that truck?”
“Professor! Look at this!” PBM exclaimed.
North looked at the wound area, and found little of it left. He scrambled and found his scanner, knocked some water out of it, and waved it over M2. He grinned a wicked smile.
“Well Mauvais! We must thank you!” he said.
“What?” the eyes growled.
“What happen?” PBM asked, examining what had just a moment before, been a horrible gash.
“Water! An Earth element!” the scientist laughed. “Talk about rubbing dirt into a wound! Humm… that probably would have worked as well!”
“I feel better… ugh!” M2 said, trying to get up, only to fall back.
“You’re hardly cured, buddy,” North said. “But you’re a sight better than you were. The water combined with the stimulation the wound healer had done. You’ll be fit for duty, until I can get you to a regeneration tank…”
“RAHHHHHHHHH!!!” the eyes above them bellowed. They then vanished.
PBM felt her hand get squeezed again.
“You came back…” M2 said.
PBM smiled at the prone M2. “Couldn’t let a fellow clone down, now could I?” she said, rubbing his head.
He drew the hand he held and kissed it. He sighed, and closed his eyes.
North snorted, and held back a laugh, as he continued with his treatments. PBM picked up the wet rodent and placed it on her shoulder, tail forwards, and gave it a light spank.
The Pikachu laughed.
Suddenly, the ground quaked. M2 opened his eyes, and looked skywards again.
“That was quick,” he grumbled. “What’s he up to now?”
“He’s not alone…” North said, looking down the hill. PBM followed his gaze and gasped.
“Another friend of yours from our last meeting, my friends… If I remember, there was little you could do to this one!” Mauvais gloated.
“Doo waa diddy diddy doo waa doo!” the droid said, finally managing to get back on its legs.
An ominous red glow was rolling up the hill. What was producing it was, to say the least, massive.
“It’s a HAUNTER!” PBM gasped as she craned her neck upwards as it grew in size.
“It’s a bit more than that I’m afraid,” North mumbled. “That’s a collective!”
collective?” Peanut asked. “You mean
there’s more than one Haunter that makes up that thing?”
“This one’s bigger than the one I fought,” M2 said, managing to upright himself, though still very much in pain.
PBM looked hard at the apparition rumbling up the slope towards them and cracked her knuckles. “I might not be Charm, but I can burn things when I want…” PBM said with fury starting to rise in her.
“NO!” M2 said. “It’s impervious! In this form, it’s fireproof, and pretty much energy bolt proof. I never did destroy the one I fought, only winged it from time to time. Black Lugia absorbed it for us!”
“Then, how do you fight something like that?” PBM asked.
North looked bewildered. “You’ve got to disrupt it somehow…”
M2 nodded. “That’s right! One was destroyed… by Meowth!”
PBM looked at the red monster and thought of the chatty cat and giggled. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
M2 looked at her and smirked as he continued to get himself upright. “No, really. The Meowth on Level Prime was a spirit himself at the time. He had been killed doing something noble or something…”
“Or something…” North snidely added.
it was,” the droid replied in defense of the Meowth. “H-he saved the life of Ash K-K-KETCHUM’S
Pikachu, and-d-d-d in the p-process-s-s-s saved the life of Jes-Jes-JesSSIE
Musashi of Level 5.0.”
“Anyway, Rob provided him with ceramic armor that the ghosts couldn’t penetrate. He took a sword and flew through that Mega Haunter, then shot a blast of ice back into the hole he created.”
“And being that this beastie is extremely hot on the inside,” North said, “tossing all that ice in made for an instant boomy!”
was now only a few hundred yards away. “We
need to get inside that thing to burst it?
How are we supposed to do that?” PBM asked.
“Without getting absorbed?” North added.
“PIKAA!” the Pikachu shouted, getting everyone’s attention. It was pointing up to where the hay wagon had been parked.
“HEY, BIG, RED AND UG-UG-UGLY! YEA, YOU! YOUR MOTHER WAS A BED SHEET
AND YOUR DADDY WAS CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST!” was the next thing to
catch their attention. Before the massive red creature stood the droid. It was waving its arms about trying to get the monster’s attention.
“HEY YOU!” it shouted, even with a dangling jaw. “EAT ME!”
“WHAT!?” PBM yelled. She felt both North and M2 grab her.
“No! No! He’s got the right idea… if I think he’s doing what I think he’s doing!” North said.
“He certainly hasn’t a soul to get absorbed,” M2 added.
“I just hope he doesn’t melt too fast!” North finished.
Before PBM could ask, the Mega Haunter swooped down and swallowed the droid copy of North.
“Down the hatch!” North said while scanning what was happening inside the Mega Haunter with his rod. “That was fast. He’s at the core already. Everyone back down in the gully, quick!”
the Haunter, the droid watched his outer limbs disintegrate within the heat.
“Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is!” the droid sang to itself the old jingle for Alki-Seltzer. “Time for heartburn! 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 - Boomy!”
“5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 - Boomy!” it repeated.
There still was nothing.
It thought for a moment. “AH! Silly me! I forgot the safety release!” he said. “There we go! 2 – 1 - Boo…”
The core of the Haunter flashed like a strobe. Then more flashes, bursting and light could be seen and heard through the creature, as internally, it was rupturing its collective.
Finally, a massive explosion enveloped the beast, sending flaming debris everywhere. A mushroom of fire and smoke rose from the field.
“ROB!” Charm shouted, as the flames and smoke grew in size. A blast of heated wind struck the defenders of the children, knocking James and Meowth down.
Below them children screamed and wailed as they now could see the zombies outside the camp. They all huddled around the bonfire with Cassidy in the middle of the mass of small hands and wet noses.
“Never forget their sacrifice!” someone bellowed in a deep voice. “Tonight, we fight for the children!”
Charm and the rest looked back at the voice. It was the Gypsy Chieftain and his fellow Gypsies as they came out of the woods.
“WHOA! Weren’t you’s gonna serve me up!?” Meowth yelped, now not knowing which way to hide. He finally scrambled up and cowered behind Jessie’s legs.
The Chieftain smiled. “Do not worry, my friend. We are no longer under this demon’s spell. Now, we FIGHT!”
He produced a handful of PokéBalls, and tossed them all. Instantly, they had a herd of Gypsy Ponyta and Rapidash, fully adorn in Gypsy regalia, waiting for battle.
“Everyone, to your fire horse!” the Chieftain yelled, a war whoop rising from his followers.
He tossed PokéBalls to Charm, Jessie, James, Butch, Cassidy and Meowth, and winked. “Let’s make this a night we shall all remember!”
“I think I’ll try to forget this night as quickly as possible, thank you!” Jessie said.
Charm smiled and tossed her PokéBall. A massive Rapidash formed, with a fine trailing Gypsy riding sash covering its back. She leapt aboard, pulling her katana out, and whipping it about in the air, howling in the same war whoop the Gypsies were making!
“I like her! She’s a natural!” the Gypsy Chieftain said, and drove his Rapidash forwards.
PBM looked up. North was curled up in a ball beside M2. Part of the hill had been blasted over them. The hay wagon, even though it had just been drowned in water, had been instantly dried by the heat of the explosion, and was burning beyond them. And the Pikachu… the Pikachu was no where…
It spouted out from under North, where he had tucked it in as he had plucked it from her shoulder.
“Professor?” she asked. She reached over and rocked the scientist.
“Ow!” he said.
“Are you okay?” she asked him.
“Uuugh…” he said. “It feels like sunburn…”
“You’d better hope it isn’t radiation,” M2 told him.
PBM saw the tip of the scanning rod pop up in front of North’s face. “Uhhh… spot on, as usual… Radiation… That was some blast…”
PBM looked at the scientists with concern. “Are we in danger?”
“You two… no… even the Pikachu. You all can take radiation without a problem… humans on the other hand…” He began to cough badly.
“I told you. I’d get you human!” Mauvais chortled.
“Peachy,” North grumbled.
eyes above them were starting to get on PBM’s nerves. Somehow they stirred some
disquiet memory deep in her. Perhaps it was the memory of all those faces
peering at her while she grew within the genetics tube. Maybe it was deeper, possible further back… she brushed it away.
she told the curled up shivering man. “Listen to me… You’re going to pull
through this, okay? Don’t for a moment
believe that you’re not, right?”
“O… kay…” he muttered as he curled tighter. Then she heard the sound of something hissing. North sighed and relaxed. He rolled onto his back, and a pencil-like tube dropped to the ground beside him.
“What?” she asked as she picked it up and examined it closer.
“Adrenelox,” M2 said as she showed it to him. “He must have pulled it from the first aid kit. It combats radiation sickness.”
“Will it help him?” she asked seeing he seemed out cold.
M2 shook his head. “It fights the sickness. It’s not a cure. That will require a decontamination bath, but we can at least clear the rotation this area is still putting out. Do you know how to do that?”
She sensed around and felt the tingle of the rads emitting from the grounds near them. She nodded and held a paw up. She created an orb and sent it around them in multiple circles. It absorbed the unseen energy into itself. She then looked up and tossed it between the eyes again. It simply seemed to smirk as it vanished.
“M2, I was just wondering,” she panted after releasing all that effort for what seemed to be nothing. “You normally are able to regenerate yourself, right? I mean, I’ve always have been able to, but I assumed… anyone else in… my state would too.”
M2 looked at her oddly. “Your state?”
PBM blushed. She had not meant to say it that way. “I mean… as a MewTwo… can’t you regenerate your body?”
course,” he said, now knowing what she meant.
Mauvais laughed from above. “There’s nothing you can do, little girl!” he rumbled. “There was nothing you could do the last time, and you’ll fail again this time, taking them all with you! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!”
shut up!” she snapped. “I could care less what an insolent windbag has to say
to me, you know. I’m busy at the moment.” She turned back to M2, who was
staring at her in amazement. “Why didn’t your body start to regenerate?” she
He shook his head, more to clear his mind of what he had just seen. “As Rob said,” he said looking down on the man at their feet, “With the combination of changing my frequency and the elemental discharge, I managed to deplete myself to the point that my DNA was unraveling. You do realize that our make-up is more a man-made poly-DNA than normal, or at least from the material that they started with. But this still doesn’t explain why you could change your frequency the way you did, and I couldn’t.” He reached up and touched her forehead with the tip of a finger.
“What are you… OH!” she yelped. A flash of light and a small streak of pink streaked across her vision. “What was that?” she asked with some shock in her voice and red to her face.
“Just a power reading,” he told her as he stared at the finger he had touched her with. “Amazing…”
She took a slight step back. “What is?” she asked with a shake of her head to get the spots to vacate her vision.
“Your energy potential,” he told her quietly in her mind. “It is a good thing that we did not explode when we touched earlier.”
She blinked. “Come again?” she asked. “Why?”
“We would have probably blown up this planet,” he told her. “Your untapped energy reserves… I could not see the end of them.”
Peanut just stared at him as he bent down to examine North in the same manner as he had done to him. “What… what does that mean?” she asked.
He looked back at her and smiled. “Nothing… nothing at all,” he now spoke aloud. “Right now though, we need to do something about the radiation contamination Rob took.”
“Are you okay to function?” she asked him as she squatted down beside him.
“I’m better than I was,” he told her as he levitated the scanning rod and took readings. “Why?”
you were fried to a crisp and lying in the dirt a short time ago?” she answered
in a question. “Wait… did I say that out
yes,” M2 smirked.
“Oh…” she chirped while drumming her fingers together. “Ah, well now, what can we do for the Professor?” she quickly shifted subjects.
“Well, first of all, you might want to start calling him Rob, and not ‘North’ or “Professor’ all the time,” M2 suggested. “You’re not Team Rocket, and technically, neither are we.”
“Aren’t you Golden R?” she asked. “Isn’t that part of Team Rocket?”
He tapped her on the nose with the scanning rod. “Yes and no… The Golden R was formed from what Team Rocket started from, a government program that went wrong. Since then, the two groups work with each other, but tend to have very different agendas. Their motto is ‘To Protect the World from Devastation – for All Men and Pokémon’ – the rest of that rubbish that Jessie and James spouts constantly was added later when the core group went radical.”
“So North… I mean Rob and you aren’t the ‘Gotta Steal ‘Em All’ type?”
M2 gave her a blank look. “Ah, no,” he flatly told her. He then looked at the readings on the scanner and grunted. “I never could understand this device… but I do know what that means.” He pointed at a thin red line on a tiny bar chart the screen on the bulb-handle was showing. “He’s stabilized, but he’s not getting better.”
“He’s dying?” she asked.
M2 nodded. “Humans are extremely fragile creatures at times,” he told her. He noticed her rubbing her chin. “Do you have any ideas?” he asked her. She nodded.
“Just the one,” she sighed. “I’ve never tried this, and it might just make things worse, but… he’ll die if we don’t try something.”
“He’ll die anyway… as will you all!” spat the red eyes, which crinkled into a smile.
“Didn’t I tell you to stuff it?” she barked. The eyes blinked.
“What did you expect, respect?” M2 added.
“Give me your paws,” she told her fellow MewTwo while he was looking away. He was surprised by her soft fingers touching his and flinched. “Don’t worry, I don’t bite,” she kidded him.
“I was… err… I mean, I wasn’t expecting that, that’s all…” He turned scarlet. He then saw her face close to his, and he nearly flinched again. She placed her forehead against his with her eyes shut.
“Now, do what you would do if you were hurt and were trying to regenerate. But aim your energy at Rob.”
“Are you sure that won’t turn him into a MewTwo as well?” M2 nervously asked. He had meant it to come out more like a joke, but her being so close made his voice quiver.
light lavender pulse began to focus through the scientist. M2 shook his head as
her fur rubbed against it.
“I… I can’t focus it on him,” he told her while trying to look at the man on the ground, and not the pretty lady standing there.
She smiled, which only made M2 more nervous. “Focus your regenerative energies through me then,” she whispered to him. “I will be the conduit you require to do this.”
“Understood,” he gulped and closed his eyes to concentrate.
“I am your conduit,” she repeated. “I am your conduit… flow your energies through me…” Her stream of light lavender energy began to intertwine with a darker purple one coming from the male MewTwo. The scientist stirred. He opened his eyes and saw a strange sight.
“Am I interrupting anything?” he asked as he saw what he thought was the two of them kissing. He adjusted his glasses and saw that they only had their foreheads together.
“Pikaaa!” the Pikachu stated as it lay on its belly admiring the two psychic Pokémon.
North began to laugh, but it quickly turned to a painful “Ow! Ow! Ow!” He looked up and stared at M2. “Is he recovered enough to be doing this?” he rasped.
The larger MewTwo squinted at him and floated the scanning rod over to the scientist. “Quiet you! You’re sick!” he sent to him in a private message in his mind. “And if you don’t mind, I’m enjoying this!”
“Ahem,” North said to him loud enough to get his attention. M2 saw him pointing at Peanut with the end of the rod. When he looked over, he found her eyes wide open and her cheeks flush red. Obviously, that ‘private’ message had not been THAT private. She slowly looked up into his eyes.
He blinked and cleared his throat while looking down. “Ah… you have to be careful when doing that,” he quietly told her.
“Why?” she whispered back.
“Being psychic,” North bluntly explained as he checked his vitals with the scanner, “and being some of the most powerful ones at that, when MewTwos stare at each other’s eyes, they tend to psychically lock together and all sorts of trouble happens.”
He looked back.
This time they were kissing. That was a sight he thought he would never see.
“Like I said… Trouble…” he coughed. The Pikachu snickered.
They kept their foreheads together and smiled as they broke apart. “Do you think he’s done yet?” M2 asked her.
“No, I think he’s only half-baked,” she giggled. The scientist found himself being unceremoniously flipped onto his belly and bathed in the purple energy.
Above them, the eyes glared in anger. “Meddlers!” it spat. “It doesn’t matter what you do, because I’ll get you all sooner or later!” They vanished with a crack of thunder.
“Party pooper,” North grunted while on his stomach.
The gypsies were having a rollick through the fields and woods. As the zombified townspeople advanced, the horse-Pokémon mounted riders swooped through them with torches and poles to scatter or pop the gaseous Misdreavus that were controlling them.
“Ah, what a warrior!” the Chieftain bellowed from the back of his Rapidash. “That flaming red hair, that war-cry of the Valkyries! She is a natural!”
“Oh, my, Chiefie!” Jessie blushed. “You flatter me!”
“An’ yous make me ill,” Meowth said from his tiny mount in a moment of rest between panic spurts of speed and bucking. “Chiefie?”
James reached over and poked her on the shoulder. “I hate to burst your bubble,” he told her, “but he wasn’t talking about you!”
“Huh?” she asked. She looked over her shoulder at where the Chief had gone and saw him over by Charm. He was tying a long gypsy scarf around her forehead and giving a peck to her scarred cheek.
“Humph, Valkyrie, huh?” she snorted and spun her ride about to head the other way.
Charm gave a whooping yell while spinning her bow around her head. No one had called her Gothic in at least half an hour. “YOU’RE GOIN’ DOWN MAUVAIS!” she shrieked. She slung her weapon for a moment and reached for her belt and gathered her special black PokéBalls.
the first emerged a huge Arcanine. But where it’s muscular body normally would
have been reddish-orange, black replaced that color, with dark blue where a
regular beast would have had black or white.
From the second ball emerged a large black bird with dark flames that almost had the look of arcing neon rolling across its wings, head and tail. To others, because it was so hard to see in the black skies, it almost seemed to be in league with those above them until the dark Moltres began scattering the Murkrows it blasted through.
From the next ball came a Rapidash, similar to the one she was riding on now except with a black body and darker red flames.
A Ninetails was the next. And again, like its fellow Pokémon, the beige color normally associated with its breed was black and its light brown tail and mane was dark blue.
Then came her Charizard. He deployed with a thunderous roar and a shaking of the ground as it landed. He spread his wings wide showing his black with dark blue underbelly. But even this beast was dwarfed by her final release.
All of her previous Pokémon at least seemed similar to their normal cousins, save their colors and their augmented strengths courtesy of the ShadowFlare training their master had put them through. But this final one even scared the Charizard. A huge black and muscular dragon emerged, slamming the ground and causing everything near it to fall. Its eyes glowed red. Its wing linings were a blood red and it was so black it looked blue. Its name was DracoFlare.
“Umph… overkill,” Charm muttered to herself as the roar of her dragon bounced the landscape. She returned it to its ball with an oddly sounding slurp which ended with Draco giving a tiny little ‘peep’ as he vanished into the emitter. She sighed as she calmly set the PokéBall back on its hidden belt mount. She might need him later, but not right now. She left her five remaining Pokémon to protect the kids, who cowered behind the dark creatures. She looked back at where she had left North and the others. She kicked the Rapidash and charged off.
“We did it!” Peanut cheered. “The what’s-is-ma-hoozits here shows normal levels!”
M2 stood a bit dazed, still a bit unsure about the emotional outburst that had just swept through him. But he did manage to see that the ‘what’s-is-ma-hoozits’ she was referring to was the scanning rod that North had handed back to him after he and PBM had finally broken away from each other and stopped pumping the scientist full of their purple energy.
North seemed just as dazed as his friend, and a bit ill as well. It seemed the only one not affected by all of this had been the female MewTwo, unless being overly effervescent was her reaction to it. They stared at her as she bounced beside M2.
did it!” PBM repeated and laughed in relief. “We did it, M2! He’s going to be
fine!” Her face was bright and her eyes showed that she was no longer worried. Was this truly normal for her?
“Well, there’s an experience I don’t care to repeat any time soon,” muttered the scientist. He rummaged through the old lab coat again and dragged out a Mylar thermal blanket.
“What, getting fried or having to let me do first aid?” Peanut asked him. “Neither one is a good idea, actually.”
North smiled at the lady MewTwo as he wrapped himself in the silver covering. He noticed she was still holding M2’s paw, and he certainly did not seem to mind.
“Are you quite through?” rumbled around them like distant thunder.
“What!?” North shouted at the sky. “Isn’t being nuked until I twinkled enough for you!?”
All about, red glowing spots appeared. There was the occasional moan of “Brains-s-s-s” for added effect as well.
Pikachu scampered up PBM’s tail having nearly been snagged by a possessed
human. It would rather have gone back to
eating ketchup on PokéTreats, but as it was, it felt safer on her shoulder.
“We can’t blast them,” M2 murmured to her, “that’s what HE wants us to do… turn against each other.”
“But we certainly can subdue them,” PBM smiled as she understood his plan. “There’s going to be a lot of people floating around in bubbles tonight.”
There was a loud crunch beside them. They turned to see North pounding the ground with a baseball bat he had whipped from the deep pockets of the lab coat. Under his throttling of the dirt were two MasterBalls in tiny little pieces.
“Just be careful not to wind up in any yourselves,” he warned them as he dropped to one knee in exhaustion.
was the first to North’s group, and looked rather surprised at the scientist’s
“Wait a minute, what happened here?” she asked them as she pulled her bow and rapid fired through the haze of Muuma that were over the town folks. “The last I saw, the MewTwo was on the ground and you were okay… Are you all right? What the hell happened!?”
spun about at the sight of the dark girl on the Rapidash. “Charm! You’re supposed to be with the kids!”
she cried anxiously.
“I left my Pokémon to guard them,” she told her, which brought a glare from North.
“You didn’t deploy Draco?” he asked. “I thought I felt the ground shake a bit ago.”
She snickered. “I let him get a little air before I put him back,” she told him with wink and a pat to the PokéBall on her belt. North shook his head and wrapped the blanket tighter.
“What?” PBM asked a bit confused. “Would he have helped?”
“No,” North flatly stated. “He would have incinerated everything. Torched kids are not saved kids.” The silver of his blanket shivered.
“I could have kept him…” Charm started then thought about it for a moment. “No, you’re right… we would have had a barbeque! So what did happen? You look awful!”
“Selective nuking of the neighborhood,” North explained. “But that doesn’t matter right now… Where are the children?”
Charm swiped the air with her katana sending a streamer of flame out through a swath of Muuma and Murkrow while pointing with her bow. “Back at the gypsy camp,” she told him. “Like I said, my Pokémon are keepin’ them company!”
Peanut and North both stared at her. “Including your Charizard?” they both asked almost simultaneously.
“Of course!” she spiritedly announced. She then saw the looks she was getting from the two below her. “What?”
“Charm, honey,” Peanut stated with her arms crossed, “if I was worried that I would scare the children, what do you think having that schizo-Charizard of yours working as a guard is like for them?”
Charm sent off a half-dozen arrows over their heads. “A learning experience!” she grinned.
North pinched his eyes. “Okay, I’m about to do something I HATE doing,” he told them, but especially the dark girl. “THIS IS AN ORDER… I want you all to head back to the kids.”
Charm sat back on the back of the Rapidash. “You’re fudging with me, right?” she demanded. “I came BACK here to see if you were okay!”
He wobbled up to the fire-horse and put his hand on Charm’s knee. “I appreciate it,” he told her. “But honestly, the kids take precedence, not this old fart.” He looked beyond her and saw the others coming and he sighed.
When he looked up into the dark skies, the two red eyes of death were missing again.
In the forest beyond the gypsy camp, a blob of black ooze fell from the sky and splattered around a craggy jumble of rocks. A feral Meowth who had taken shelter under a few stones peered out and saw the unexpected slimy puddle forming on the ground. Unsure of it, it slipped further back into the rocks.
“Oh, I’m sorry, but no YOU DON’T!” Mauvais snarled as the black goo shot into the cat’s nest. A moment later, the Meowth walked out. It un-naturally stood up on its hind legs and brushed itself off of any stray dust the rocks had deposited on it.
“BURP!” Mauvais said from its mouth. The Meowth looked about and scampered off towards the camp.
He burst through the bushes and found himself looking up at the left hip of Charm’s Charizard. It looked down at him and snorted a smoke ring.
“Hey big guy! How’s it goin’?” he attempted to mimic Team Rocket’s chatty cat.
“Harrumph,” it grumbled, which caused many of the children to cringe further.
“No kiddin’,” the fake said. “Dealin’ wit humans is always trouble – and I’s do means double!” He calmly walked through the line of dark Pokémon defenders and moved towards the children.
“Hey kids,” the Meowth said to them, “what’s goin’ down? Are dees dark critters scarin’ yous?” As he asked, the Charizard flapped his massive wings and scorched a few Red Haunters that had come in too close. The children whimpered and shivered. The Meowth grinned.
“Look, I know a safer spot dan dis joint!” he told them. “Everyone follow me!” He ran around the backside of the bonfire and waved them to move. Most looked back at the line of dark Pokémon protecting them.
Mauvais pointed at a pair of Haunters that were passing high above. They abruptly turned and dove for the Charizard, nicking a wing as they shot past.
The beast shouted a thunderous yell of pain as the Haunter had caused a small and unexpected wound. It then began firing a stream of flames that barely showed any signs of control.
“Quickly! Quickly!” the Meowth called. “You’ll be safe wit me!” The children rapidly began to follow his lead into the darkness of the woods.
Emirie looked at the darkness that they were being lead into and stopped. She was more afraid than ever. The cat seemed to be leading them deeper into the blackness. She didn’t like the blackness.
“M-mister Meowth, sir?” she whispered. Mauvais frowned.
“Err… yeah, whot is it kid?” he mimicked.
Emirie sniffled. “The gypsies and that red haired lady told us to stay in the camp, sir,” she said in an almost inaudible voice
Mauvais didn’t like to be questioned. But he did his best to hide his displeasure. “Its okay kid,” he lied. “Dey sent me-owth ta find yous. Now keep up wit da others! ‘Sides, it looks like ya’d toast yer marshmallows back dere right now!”
Emirie frowned but did as was told. The non-Meowth led the children deeper and deeper into the night.
Charm’s Ninetails had been leaping about avoiding the Charizard’s rampage. It had seen the Meowth with the children and had thought little of it. But when it finally saw that the kids had vanished, it bolted across the fields through all the zombied people in search of its mistress.
“NINE! NINE! NIIIINE!!” it cried as it ran.
“You don’t rank me,” Charm snarled at the scientist.
North looked down from staring at the blank sky. “Actually, yes I do… But I’m asking you, please… get back to the kids.”
A burst of tails and fur shot between them, nearly dumping Charm off her mount.
“Nine! nine! niiiiine!” it yelped as it circled the Rapidash.
“No I ain’t!” they heard. “I’m right here,” Meowth called out from the back of his tiny bucking Ponyta as he heard the Ninetails’ comment.
“Nineeeee! Nine! Nine!” the fox-tailed Pokémon frantically barked as it spun about in a tizzy. Charm’s face drew flush as she saw the look North was giving her.
“That kind of confirms it, right?” he told her.
“Confirms what?” Jessie asked as she arrived on her mount. “What did it say?”
“She sez dat I went down to da camp and got dem kiddies an’ took dem into da woods!” Meowth translated for those who did not know PokéSpeech in a brief moment of calm from his ride.
Peanut gasped. “THE CHILDREN!” she yelled as she bolted away, nearly yanking M2’s arm out of its socket. “It has the children! I’VE GOT TO STOP IT!”
“But we need you here!” Jessie shouted, but it was too late. The lady MewTwo was off, sending waves of psychic energy in front of herself to clear a way through the zonked people.
“She’s got the right idea people!” North shouted to those who had just arrived. “Mauvais just used me as a diversion! GET BACK THERE, NOW!”
“But what about you?” Charm asked.
“SCREW ME!!” North bellowed. “MY ORDER STANDS! SAVE THE CHILDREN!” He swatted the hind quarters of her Rapidash, causing it to bolt slightly away in the direction the MewTwo had flown. “M2, keep that path open for them!”
Charm looked back at the man who was glaring at her. “DAMN YOU!” she shouted at him. “ONE OF YOU stay here to protect this fool!” She reached inside her black leather jacket and pulled out a small black box and chucked it at him, bonking James in the back of his head as he inadvertently rode his Ponyta between him and Charm’s throwing arm.
“Ow… what was that?” he asked as Charm spun her Rapidash about in a flurry of robes and angered tears. North slowly bent down and gingerly picked it up. He laughed to himself as he saw what it was.
“It’s protection,” he told them. “How did she get hold of one of my shield generators? And… she modified it?” He saw icons on either side of a center mounted toggle switch. Throwing this switch to one side seemed to be for the logo for a dome. Choosing the other direction seemed to give the user the dome again, but this time with fire. It also looked as if it had an option of launching some sort of attack rings as well. He looked up at those around him. Butch, James, Cassidy and Jessie all were looking down at him from their mounts.
“Guys, I think I gave an order, right?” he told them. “This will protect me, and I see some of the other Rapidashes nearby. Get going.”
Butch grunted. “Why should we take your orders?” he croaked. “You’re not the Boss.” Jessie and James took a few steps back with their mounts.
North scrunched the Mylar blanket around himself. “Red Rocket OS,” he stated. “Specifically Red Rocket OS 10…”
Butch blinked. “Uhh, yea, what about it?”
“Your computer runs on it, right?”
“Yea, so?” Butch barked. “Doesn’t everyone’s? What’s that…”
“Who owns it?”
“The Boss does,” Cassidy, who didn’t seem to be in the same anti-save-the-brats frame of mind as her partner was in, answered. “He’s made millions selling that OS through his Silph Department Stores.”
“Twelve point seven BILLION, actually,” North corrected her. “And who developed it for him, and is in fact part owner of said same software?”
Butch seemed unable to answer him, so James walked his Ponyta next to him and whispered to him “Professor Robert North of Tech Lab One, who got co-funding from my father and mother did.” Butch shot him a wide eyed look as James nodded. “That makes him a good friend of the Boss, and is our superior.”
“Now GIT!” North grinned.
him! Damn him all to hell!” Charm cursed
as she urged the Rapidash on faster. She
wiped her face as she caught up with PBM.
The MewTwo was making circles in front of the dark tree line behind the
“Where are you going?” Charm yelled to the female MewTwo.
PBM stopped and looked back with big wet eyes. She didn’t know where she was going. Where had the evil one taken the children? She had no idea where to look.
“I’m not sure,” replied PBM nervously.
“You’re a psychic,” Charm reminded her. “Can’t you just SENSE them?”
Peanut whirled about. “I – I can’t! When I get nervous… My senses get rattled…”
“Swell,” Charm grumbled as she launched a few flairs into the woods, which did little to let them see any further than a few yards in.
A pair of paw landed on Peanut’s shoulders and rubbed them. “Don’t worry, you probably wouldn’t be able to sense them anyway,” M2 told her as he soothed her.
“What are you doing here?” Charm barked at him. “You’re in as bad a shape as your ‘buddy’ back there!”
M2 looked at her. “You don’t seem to understand the recuperative powers of a MewTwo, do you? Especially when given an accidental jump-start by our host!”
Charm sat back on her seat. “Huh? Old red eyes did something wrong?”
M2 pumped his arms. “Fully charged and restored, thanks to that bath he gave us.” Charm nearly burst out laughing.
“He’s an idiot, isn’t he?” she asked. “He mixed elemental energies, didn’t he?”
“Which fused with the frequency alterations I did earlier, which was what was causing all the problems in the first place. Besides, I couldn’t let you two have all the fun,” remarked M2 with a wink.
Charm leaned over and nudged the blank looking PBM. “You’re right, he is a weird one for a MewTwo.”
M2 smirked at the remark. “Anyway,” he continued, “the way that the Black Lugia is manipulating the frequencies around here, sensing the children would be pretty much blocked, or worst, he’d give us phantoms to chase.”
“Great,” Peanut grunted. “Do you have any ideas on how we might find them then?”
Before he could answer, the Gypsy Ponytas and Rapidashes arrived. “I hate to be bearers of bad news…” Butch yelped, “but I think we may still have a problem! All those zombies you knocked over to get over here just simply stood up! They’re all heading this way!”
Charm was getting fed up with the persistence of these Muuma induced ‘walking dead’. She smacked her black leather gloves together and growled to the two MewTwos, “Gather these idiots in one of your protective shields. I’ve about HAD IT with this!”
A fiery red ball erupted between her fingers. The others could have sworn they saw flames flickering out of her eyes as well. M2 and Peanut quickly snapped all the Rockets, their mounts and a few of the other Gypsies into orbs.
“You can’t hurt the Boss!” Cassidy yelped as she could see Giovanni leading a small group of Splice and Dice scientists in their direction.
“Yea, I t’ink I see our paychecks in his pocket!” Meowth chirped in his own little ball with his Ponyta on top of him after having spun about and reversed positions on each other.
Charm snorted. “Not like he doesn’t deserve to be a zombie,” she growled. She then spun about and fired off multiple fireballs which spread out in a ring with her in the middle. They seemed drawn to the ghosts that were hovering over the people, causing large swarms of them to evaporate and disperse. As if on cue, their human and Pokémon captives tossed their heads back and collapsed to the ground as if caught in an expanding circle caused by a rock tossed into a pond. It continued outwards until the field was full of passed-out townspeople.
“Why didn’t you do that earlier?” James yelled as he was released from his orb. Charm did not answer, only spun to the ground with everyone else.
“Make… the… world… stop… spinning!” she whimpered for a moment as she shook her head. She then reared back up and climbed aboard her Rapidash. With an angry glare that told those with her that what they had just seen would be quite painful to them if anyone mentioned her dizzy flop on the ground to anyone else, she reached behind herself and drew out her katana.
“That idiot gave us an order… find the brats!” she snarled. She planted her heels into the sides of the Rapidash and tore into the black of the forest.
watched the fiery ring pass over his head. With the others having charged off
to save the children on his orders, he was now alone. And even with PBM and M2’s
healing of the radiation pulse, the aftereffects of the sickness persisted.
He looked at his scanning rod as he scanned himself. It read his radiation as normal, but overall, he was a physical wreck. He trudged on in his silver blanket. In their haste to follow the herd, the loose Gypsy Ponytas and Rapidashes had run along with the rest.
“You seem to have been deserted…” the voice from overhead returned to tell him.
“For a good reason,” North answered it. He looked up and saw the eyes again. But this time, they were attached to something. A familiar shaped head, and now a mouth, both followed by a long neck. But a body was not seen. The neck and head slowly stretched out of the black sky like molasses dripping in January. It stopped a few yards over the scientist’s head.
“Well…” North said, finding a rock jutting out of the ground to sit on, “you’re starting to look your old self, Mauvais. I thought you gave up the Lugia body for your new form.”
The head smiled at him - a wicked evil smile. “I haven’t… forgotten… my roots, human,” it said as it stretch a few more feet to look him face-to-face. “I find my old form useful at times.”
reached out and poked it with a finger. It wobbled.
“Rather gelatinous, aren’t you?” he said as he examined the reaction.
“Oh, I can solidify when needed,” Mauvais said smugly.
“Can you?” The scientist gave the creature a skeptical look. It saw the stick-like scanner poke out from the blanket. North shook his head and made a ‘tsk-tsk’ sound.
“Ahem…” Mauvais said, as if clearing his throat, which only made the long extended neck wobble further. “That doesn’t matter now,” he sneered. “Now that we are alone… let us talk…”
Charm flew through night, the spirit within the Gypsy Rapidash actually pushing the beast faster than her own Rapidash, which snorted its displeasure nearby. They had left the de-zombied Pallet Towners and Viridianites behind, and Charm was putting wail after lunge into her katana, as she would clear any Murkrow foolish enough to attempt an attack on her or her ride. She wasn’t used to riding a white one, but the silk saddle had made for a fun ride. But now, she seemed more focused on dealing with obstructions to her mission.
She glanced behind herself to see how her Pokémon were fairing, and saw PBM and M2 following in close pursuit. The Rockets were far behind.
“@#$!!%&#!” she cursed. “I can’t use my full ShadowFlare powers if they’re nearby!” And it only got worse a moment later, as now the Gypsies were in the thundering group following behind her lead.
Far in the back of the group, Jessie and James were having trouble with their mounts. They seemed less inclined to follow their rider’umannyone elsehat'okeBall on her beltrth and the othersr ed.s orders, and gather with the other freed Gypsy Fire-horses. Then, there was Meowth’s ride…
The tiny young Ponyta that he rode was hardly larger than himself, and it continued to like to prance and dance more than run. But when it ran, fur flew.
“WHOA! WHOA! WHOA NELLY!!” Meowth yelped as it bucked him about. “Hey, Jessie - James! Ain’t we missin’ someone?”
They looked at the group in front of them. “Nope!” they both said.
“Where’s da professor?” the cat asked between bounces that lofted him above his saddle.
“NORTH YOU DOLTS!” the cat yelled.
“He ordered us to save the children,” Jessie told him flatly.
but if dees fiery hairballs are all heres,” Meowth pointed out, “what’s he got
ta ride out’a dat mess back dere?”
“He’s got that box that crazy girl gave him!” James sprightly announced as he held up the device.
Jessie, Meowth and even the tiny Ponyta stared at him.
“How did you get that?” Jessie asked him.
“Humm? Get what?” James blankly asked. It finally dawned on him that he was HOLDING the device. He reached down in his Jack the Pumpkin King long-tailed jacket’s pocket and found a few other of North’s goodies that seemed to have found their way in there.
“I… I didn’t put these in here!” he complained as he held up a handful of gadgets, doo-dads and an envelope that said ‘LAST WILL’ across its face.
the furthest back, they could still see back to the spot where they had left
“Lo-look at that!” Jessie said, pointing at the sight that beheld her.
“He’s a goner!” James yelped.
Meowth managed to get his mount to settle enough for him to look back. He saw the long neck and head stretched down from the sky, and North sitting on a rock.
“HEY!” he yelled forwards to the others who were rapidly moving away. “WE’S GOTTA SITUATION HERES!”
“YAH! YAH!” he heard. A cloud of dust covered him.
James and Meowth watched with mouths agape as Jessie spun her Rapidash around and headed back for the scientist!
“I thought she said she would have dropped everything and saved herself earlier…” James said.
Meowth just shrugged his shoulders. “You’s learn t’ings every day, James me boy!”
not your boy,” the male Rocket told him with a bit indignantly.
“So, let me get this straight,” North said as he tried to figure out what the evil Lugia was telling him. “You’re willing to give up the children and the town folks in exchange for M2 and myself?”
“Mmmm, and the other MewTwo as well… she seems feisty!” Mauvais said, smacking his lips.
North nodded. “A fair trade, if we were in the mood for a trade… 3 for the price of how many? A thousand?”
“One thousand six hundred forty two, to be exact…” the beast’s head said.
North nodded again. “Why?”
Mauvais looked a bit incredulously at him. “Why? What do you mean why?”
would you want just M2, the female MewTwo and myself?” North asked him with a
bit more explanation to his question.
“Why revenge, of course!” the evil creature smirked. “You two are the only ones I can get…”
It stopped. It had said too much and knew it, as North shook his head.
“Correction, you CAN’T!” North said, pointing at the black creature before himself. “Otherwise, why not just eat me now?”
“Maybe I just don’t want something exploding in my gullet while I take you down!” it sneered.
“No, it’s because you CAN’T! You used the red ghosts to feed you energy last year, but you still could feed yourself… usually in the form of some Pokémon, to which you’d gain their powers for a short time!”
“I’m right, aren’t I?” the scientist grinned. “You evolved, but became even more dependent on the ghosts to feed you, haven’t you? HAVEN’T YOU!?”
“And what if I have!?” Mauvais roared. “I’ve gained powers beyond anything! I can control thoughts, movements, memories… Even now, some of those think they’re off to save the children… I doubt that many will even make it back to that Gypsy camp!”
“I don’t buy it, Mauvais,” North scowled. “I think you’ve overtaxed yourself. What was it? One thousand six hundred forty two minds to control, let alone, those of the Murkrows and selective ghosts around. And then there’s this zone that we’re in. The power consumption must be huge!”
“You forget, I’m USED to that!” the beast glared. “I used to control an army of BILLIONS! They swarmed over worlds, devouring all, leaving nothing!”
“Most of which you lost when you were destroyed on Level Prime!” North pointed out. “Just how much of that power did you really retain?”
“Care to find out?” the head asked as it drew close to North.
There was a flash of light.
North found himself in his seat back on the flight to England. But since when was being shoved back into your chair, pointing straight down the right way to fly?
The unmistakable sounds of an aircraft out of control greeted the scientist. The cabin shook, and parts of the plane’s galley were flying back to the rear of the craft, as was a stewardess.
Another flash blinded him, and North was sitting on the rock again. He looked around, and saw napkins from the plane’s galley float to the ground nearby.
“In a way, I’m actually saving your life, human!” the beast grinned.
North looked grim at the head. “Allow me some time to consider your… generous… offer…”
“Be my guest,” Mauvais told him. “But don’t take too long.”
North stood up. “I won’t.” He then ran past the surprised head.
“PROFESSOR! GRAB HOLD!” Jessie yelled, reaching down with her right arm, while clinging to the saddle with her left. North reached up and snagged her hand, swinging himself up behind her, as the Rapidash blistered the night back towards the Gypsy camp.
“Run if you like, human!” the evil head said, as it retracted back into the black void. “I will have you… I will have you all! HA HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”
And the Roll Play Rolls On…
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