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Pokespe Legacy

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Crystal smiled as she sifted through the data that appeared on her computer monitor, "Good work guys!" she said. "This is really good data! How long were you able to observe this Heatran for?

"About three minutes," replied Pearl with a smirk through the monitor. "It eventually noticed us and moved into the caves and we lost it, though."

"Indeed," said Platinum. "We have completed almost 98% of the pokedex. We were wondering where we should go to observe a Porygon Z – it's very hard to find to our understanding."

"Don't worry about the Porygon Z" said Crystal, "Just focus on Shaymin and Manaphy for now. I know someone with a Porygon Z, but he's not easy to get ahold of." Crystal smiled as she scanned through the files of data on the Pokémon the trio had scanned. "The Sinnoh Pokedex is coming along very well! You have no idea of how proud I am of you!"

"You're the amazing one, Senior Crystal!" said Diamond. "You're the one who singlehandedly covered all of Kanto and Johto!"

Crystal smiled awkwardly, "I had lots of help you guys. I didn't do it alone!"

"Yeah, but you did most of it, right?" asked Pearl, interested.

"Err…not exactly….." she muttered.

"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Topaz.

"Well, I just didn't do it all myself," she corrected herself hastily. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without a lot of help from a lot of a lot of people."

"That's all right!" grinned Pearl, "Don't sell yourself short, Miss Crystal!"

Crystal smiled, "Well, I'll get started on the data upload. See you later!"

"Bye Miss Crystal!" the four chorused before the connection ended.

Crystal took off her headset and smiled. The Sinnoh Pokedex was almost complete along with the Kalos and Unova Pokedexes. The Alola dexholders had gotten a later start than everyone else due to a series of bad storms that had prevented the shipment of their pokedexes, and the Hoenn group…well, the less said about the Magma and Aqua fiasco, better. She leaned back in her chair at her workstation. It was remarkably neat compared to the messy workstations next to her, a testament to her meticulous organizational habits. Her musings were broken with a knock from the door behind her. Turning around, she saw Professor Oak, with a grave look on his face.

"Crystal, I'm afraid I have bad news…..please, come with me."

Crystal stood up from her chair. "What's going on professor?" she asked, as they walked down the short hall to the break room. She paused in the doorway, "Professor?"

Sitting around one of the tables were Brock, Misty, Erika, and Blaine, with varying expressions ranging from grave to worried. Professor Oak pulled out a chair and sat down. "Please, sit down. What we are going to talk about here will not leave this room. Is that ok?" Crystal sat down, nodding.

"The Pokedex Project has been shut down. Again," said Professor Oak.

"What? Again?" asked Crystal in shock. "Why?"

"We're sending kids into danger. You know, what they said last time," said Oak.

"We aren't sending them into danger!" protested Crystal. "They chose to fight the evil teams on their own! We chose to fight evil teams on our own! We specifically told them not to go! Didn't you send them copies of the many messages we sent telling them NOT to go!?

"Yes, I did. The Chairman was adamant. 'Your program, as well intentioned as it is, has a history of sending children into danger!'" the professor groused as he impersonated the voice of the Chairman.

"Ever since the Magma and Aqua debacle, people have been asking a lot of questions. I still don't know what Ruby was thinking when he joined Team Magma and what Sapphire was thinking when she joined Team Aqua! If they weren't so instrumental in bringing them down, Birch and I'd be in a whole lot more hot water! Then, there's the recent revelation that Whitley was formerly part of Team Plasma. That isn't helping either. I don't blame the poor girl, but I know that the league council hasn't seen it so favorably. I'm just thankful that your generation of dexholders hasn't come under much scrutiny - I've been spending more time placating regulatory officials than I have on my research!"

"But that's not all," said Erika, taking over for the frustrated professor. "I'm sure you've heard of the rumors about Team Rocket."

"The rumors that Team Rocket has returned and is controlling the Pokémon League? I have," said Crystal. "You think that there's merit to that?"

"We do indeed," said Erika. There was an uncomfortable silence.

Crystal asked tentatively, "What makes you think that?"

Brock pulled out a folder and opened it for Crystal to see, "We've had a 450% increase in rare and strong Pokémon reported missing that has held consistent for the last two months in Pewter City."

"We've had a 370% increase for the same time," said Misty, pulling out a folder of her own. "The other Gym Leaders have been reporting similar rates as well."

"This is clearly not a coincidence. Combined with several reported sightings of Team Rocket in numerous locations around Kanto, there is no doubt in my mind that Team Rocket has returned," concluded Blaine. "The only question is what we're going to do about it."

"So, what are you thinking?" asked Crystal cautiously. "Are you going to be investigating?"

"We cannot," said Blaine with a hint of defeat in his voice. "All of us Gym Leaders are too public. We're very likely being watched. Furthermore, it would be catastrophic if confirmation that Team Rocket returned went public. Panic would reign supreme!"

"We also can't abandon our Gyms and cities to go on wild goose chases," said Misty. "We need concrete evidence before we act."

"You need evidence…. You're going to recall the dexholders – the original ones?" asked Crystal hopefully.

"That's…well, we are, to some extent," said Professor Oak. "Of course, the existence an original Pokedex Project, made up of a roster of currently well-known figures from Kanto and Johto is technically just urban legend. You know, because of the League. I'm sure Team Rocket hasn't forgotten how you took them down the last three times, though. It’s not a total recall at the moment. Since we have some dexholders that are square in the spotlight and some dexholders that are relatively unknown, we have a unique position. Some of you are integral parts of the League and can act as best they can there. However, you and some of the others are out of the public spotlight and can operate behind the scenes. The only question is, are you are willing to do this?"

"I'm in," said Crystal quickly.

All present looked at her strangely.

"What?"

"Well, I guess we weren't expecting you to agree so quickly. You've adjusted well to your position here at my lab and we weren't sure if you were willing to get back into the field again," said Professor Oak with a smile.

"Have you talked to any of the others?" asked Crystal.

Professor Oak leaned back in his chair. "I've already talked to Red and Green. They are both solidly in the public eye being the Champion and the strongest gym leader of Kanto respectively, and they are almost certainly being watched. We've talked it over, and they're investigating as best they can behind the scenes. However, we won't be able to expect any help from them at the moment."

Crystal nodded.

"Blue, and by extension Silver, are both in Kalos. As I'm sure you've heard, Blue is doing filming for that new Pokebot Wars movie. She said that filming will finish tomorrow, and she can be back the day after that. They will join us then. Fortunately, Violet is in Johto, and Indigo and Lyra are supposed to come home tomorrow from their trip to Orre. I have already contacted them, and they will join us tomorrow."

"Did the tweaks to the purification machine work?" asked Misty curiously.

Professor Oak sighed, "It didn't. It fried some of the circuitry. Apparently, Indigo wasn't updated on all the other changes they made, and something didn't mesh well. Thankfully, they didn't get far enough in the trial runs to try it on one of the Shadow Pokémon."

"That's a relief," said Crystal.

"Yes, it is," Said Professor Oak. "I'm just glad he's able to make it back so quickly. Lyra seemed pretty keen on getting here too."

Crystal nodded. Having one of the "sibling" duos with her would be invaluable.

Erika asked, "What is Violet doing in Johto?"

"She's out by the Whirl Islands helping a group of Pokémon Rangers with a pod of Lapras. Apparently, they've had a several run ins with poachers," replied Professor Oak.

Everybody winced in sympathy.

"Has she….." started Misty, but Blaine cut her off, "Misty. This is Violet we're talking about. I may as well order the hearing aids for the poachers already."

Everyone chuckled. Brock asked, "Professor, what about Yellow and Orange? Can't we call on them?"

The professor sighed and said "Yellow and Orange are missing. They are actually the reason I'm trying to get the old dexholders back together again."

"What!?" gasped Crystal. "Wait – isn't Orange usually missing?"

"She hasn't checked in with anyone for the last three weeks," said Professor Oak.

"W-where was she last?" asked Crystal. It was a well-known fact that the independent dexholder would sometimes just drop off the face of the earth as she wandered wherever the wind took her, but she almost never outright disappeared for more than a few weeks in succession.

"North of Pewter, in the mountains. She went off to investigate the Team Rocket rumors – she said that someone had told her there was a base in the area. You remember my conversation with her a few weeks ago?"

Crystal nodded. The professor had been on the phone for nearly an hour – a rare occurrence for the aging man.

"I asked Yellow to go with her because I thought they'd be safer together, and I haven't heard from the two since. I hope….I just hope I haven't ….." the Professor trailed off.

Crystal sat up straight, "I'll go, Professor."

"No!" said Oak sharply, "I'm not sending you in alone. Not after what just happened. I wasn't going to say anything about it until the others got here so you wouldn't just go off on your own. You're going to wait for the others to get here," He stopped himself abruptly.

"I'm sorry – I don't want to be pushy or rude. I just don't want to be sending more of you into danger. You're all like my grandchildren to me." He took a deep breath. "I'm just worried for them and for you."

"It's all right. Is there anything I can do while we wait for the others to arrive?

There was a pause, and Professor Oak looked a bit uncomfortable. Crystal knew exactly what he was going to say.

"No, I'm not going to get Gold."

"He is a dexholder…"

"No. Not after what happened. I'm sorry, I don't think I should be the one who goes to get him. I'll work with him, but I'm not going to talk to him," said Crystal firmly.

"Well, it was worth a shot," said the professor sadly. He ran his hand through his hair and took a long sip of his coffee. "I can't think of anything. Just make sure you're ready for tomorrow."

"I can do that," said Crystal.

"Thank you, Crystal," said Professor Oak, gratefully.

Blaine rose to his feet.

"Unfortunately, we need to get moving. We can only leave our gyms for so long and we're officially here to inspect the lab itself on behalf of the league, and we haven't seen head or tail of the lab yet. I apologize Sam, but we do have to do our jobs," he said towards Professor Oak.

"It's no problem, Blaine. Like you said, you're just doing your job, and I have nothing to hide," said the professor.

"We'll keep an eye out and let you know if we find anything out!" said Misty as she rose to her feet along with the other Gym Leaders.

Crystal waved as they filed out.

Professor Oak rose to take the gym leaders into the lab, but paused for a moment.

"Crystal…thank you. I realize that its asking a lot to be meddling with Team Rocket again, but…."

Crystal smiled wryly.

"We're dexholders, Professor. Getting into trouble is what we do best."

 


 

Dexholder Manual:

In the event that the pokedex project is taken over by another leader, I have resolved to write explanations for decisions made in the program and profiles for all existing dexholders to help smooth such a transition. These will be updated as frequently as possible.

Professor Samuel Oak, PhD

 

Dexholder Profile: Crystal

Title: The Capturer

Crystal is a strong trainer and invaluable lab assistant who will doubtlessly become an esteemed Pokémon Professor in her own right. She is a grounded, serious and direct person with a tremendous talent for capturing Pokémon. After having broken her arms on Mt. Mortar as a child, she learned how to kick pokeballs with greater accuracy than throwing them by hand. She has also worked many years at Earl's Home for Children, an orphanage in her hometown Violet City, and has become an inspiration to all of the children. She has performed the role of Lab Assistant to an admirable extent and has worked with me in the revived Pokedex Project. She is the only member of the Senior Dexholder generation to have met all members of the Junior Dexholder generation. Crystal's greatest shortcoming is that she is known to be very conservative and follows the rules closely, even to her detriment. This does limit her flexibility, but also means that she'll keep her allies on the straight and narrow. Additionally, she has had a severe falling out with Gold, and it is wise to have the two interact as little as possible for the foreseeable future. She works in best in conjunction with Silver, Lyra, Yellow and Red.

Team:

Meganium (Mega)

Smeargle (Smeargee)

Fortress (Fortee)

Venusaur (Venee)

Noctowl (Noctee)

Sudowoodo (Sudee)

Chapter Text

Crystal pushed open the door of the lab to the smell of coffee. Not the usual, cheap coffee that Professor Oak loved so much and she had gotten accustomed to, but a different brew that was much more palatable. She took a strong whiff as she turned the corner into the break room, to see a young woman with violet eyes and long blonde hair, tied up in a ponytail. She wore a purple jacket and jeans and held a steaming cup of coffee in her hands. Next to her sat a familiar face, complete with a trademark white hat, red shirt and overalls, shoveling a bowl of cereal into her mouth. Crystal smiled as she walked in.

"Hello, hello!"

Lyra just waved, her mouth full of breakfast. Violet put her mug down and said, "Crystal! Good to see you! It's been far too long!"

"It has!" replied Crystal cordially. "Where's Indigo?"

"He's in the lab," said Lyra through a mouthful of cereal. "He's tweaking something with his snag machine."

A brown haired young man with indigo eyes rounded the corner, wearing a dark blue jacket and khaki cargo pants. He was wearing a snag machine on his right arm, an eye piece his ear, and a cheery grin on his face.

"Crystal!"

"Indigo! How have you been?"

"Eh, my tweaks to the purification machine didn't work, so it uh…sorta fried all of the circuits…"

Crystal rolled her eyes. "Big shocker there."

"Hey, how was I supposed to know that the impedance was too high!? They changed the other resistors on me!"

Violet cleared her throat. "We are here to investigate the disappearance of Yellow and Orange, correct?"

Crystal nodded, "That's correct. We are going to go to the area they were investigating and start there. I'll send you the coordinates on your Pokenavs. How soon are you all ready to move?"

Lyra grinned, "Indigo and I are ready! Well actually, we just never unpacked our travel stuff from our trip to Orre…."

"Same here," said Violet. "I think we are all ready to go when you are."

Crystal pulled out a pokeball, "Then let's get going. Head for Mt. Moon, I'll get you those coordinates on the way."

The four walked outside the lab. Crystal looked back to the lab to see Professor Oak looking out the window at them, his brow furrowed, and his face painted with worry. Crystal sent out her Noctowl and waved with a reassuring smile. The professor just stepped out of her view.

"Crystal, are you all right?" asked Violet, as she stood next to her Togekiss.

"I'm fine," said Crystal with a forced smile, praying that Professor Oak wouldn't worry himself to death while they were gone. "Don't worry about me."

"C'mon, guys, we don't have all day!" shouted Lyra from above, as she floated closer down to the ground on her Magnezone. "Indigo's gonna leave us behind if you take too long!"

"It's not our fault he works his Staraptor to death!" shouted Violet back. "Are you sure that it's not still a Shadow Pokémon?"

Lyra rolled her eyes and muttered something inaudible, before floating back upwards to where Indigo was circling in the sky above him.

Violet turned to Crystal, "You ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," She turned back to her Pokémon. "Noctee! Let's fly!" Crystal clambered onto its back and took off into the sky.

A few hours later, the four touched down on one of the slopes of Mt. Moon. The four dexholders disembarked off of their Pokémon and recalled them. Lyra surveyed the desolate area with a critical eye. "What was Orange looking for here, again?"

"A Team Rocket base," said Crystal

Indigo nodded. "Well, unless it's underground, I think they left this particular sector alone. I agree with Lyra – there's nothing here."

Violet rolled her eyes, and simply said, "Let me handle this."

Crystal nodded, knowing what her fellow dexholder was about to do.

Violet stepped forward and began to glow brightly. Suddenly, her human figure began to change into something else. The light suddenly vanished, leaving a Lapras where Violet once stood. Violet, in Lapras form, cleared her throat, and began to sing. Crystal smiled. To hear Violet sing was always a treat. She had told her once before that the Lapras pod she'd lived with had taught her how to sing like this, and Crystal was certain that she did her teachers credit. As Violet continued to sing, some of the wild Pokémon curiously peeked their heads out. Crystal, Lyra and Indigo sat down, to appear less threatening. Some of the wild Pokémon, more assured that the humans and this strange Lapras were not hostile, inched closer and closer, lured in by the beautiful song. In a few minutes, there was a small semicircle of common wild Pokémon drawn in, enthralled by the melody. Once several wild Pokémon had arrived, she stopped and lowered her head down and began to speak to the wild Pokémon. After some time talking with them, she began to glow again, and turned back into a human.

"What did you find out?" asked Crystal curiously.

"There is a Rocket Base to the east of here – I'd estimate a mile or two," replied Violet as she pulled some Pokémon treats out of her bag and poured them out for the wild Pokémon she'd talked to.

"Then we need to be careful. We don't know if they're watching us even now. I'll run a scan," said Indigo, as he activated his shadow scanner over his eye and fiddled with the settings.

Violet rolled her eyes as she stood up. "You trust your machines too much and your Pokémon too little."

Indigo said nothing but glared into his eye piece and continued to fiddle with the controls of his shadow scanner. After taking a moment to look around, he said, "I read nothing. I think we're safe for now. Let's take it more cautiously from here."

The four moved off in an eastern direction, moving quietly with pokeballs at the ready.

After some slow moving through the rocky landscape and thick brush, the four had made their way to a ridge overlooking a valley. As they climbed over the ridge, Crystal's breath hitched for a second. Before them, in what once must have been a wild and scenic valley, stood a massive square concrete structure, surrounded by a tall concrete wall. Its dull, grey, rectangular sides stood out against the natural vegetation and rocky contours like a sore thumb, encompassing the majority of the valley floor. Indigo activated his eye piece again and fiddled with the controls again.

"Yeah, that's an R on the door," he whispered. "We've found our Rocket base and it's a whopper!"


 

Dexholder Profile: Violet

Title: The Transformer

Violet is one of the greatest Pokémon advocates on her era and has the experience to back her up. She was adopted as a small child by a Kanghaskhan whose baby had recently grown up after getting lost in Viridian Forest. After two years, she was found and rescued. Five years after this, she and her family were sailing home from a vacation in Alola, when their ship was struck by a storm and Violet was washed overboard. She was assumed dead but was rescued by a pod of Lapras. These Lapras took her to a stone in a cave that transformed her into a Lapras as well. She lived with this pod as a Lapras for four years, before the transformation wore off. She stayed with the pod, but was spotted by researchers a few months after, and taken home. Her experiences living with and as a Pokémon have given her a perspective that nobody else can match (as far as we know), and she crusades for the safety and well treatment of Pokémon everywhere. She retains the ability to transform into a Lapras, and is a formidable opponent by herself, though her team is nothing to scoff at. Violet's greatest weakness is her emotional outbursts, which are usually triggered by an injustice or perceived injustice. This is something of a wildcard as sometimes it produces great results, as they are usually well intentioned, but sometimes hinders good efforts greatly. She also appears to have taken issue with Indigo and his involvement in the Shadow Pokémon project, and it's best to have the two separated if possible. She works best in conjunction with Yellow, Red, and Orange.

Note: Violet is very defensive of her Lapras Pod and has repeatedly refused to divulge the location of the stone that transformed her into a Pokémon. This is a very sensitive topic for her, and it is better off not asking her about it.

Note: Violet's Lapras is her Lapras little sister from her pod who did not want to leave her. The two are very close.

Team:

Kingler (Geoff)

Lapras (Magenta)

Kanghaskhan (Marie)

Venusaur (Mia)

Togekiss (Steven)

Blissey (Joyce)

 

Dexholder Profile: Lyra

Title: The Tutor

Lyra is the definition of 'home grown specialist'. Her specialty is her job – being a move tutor. Her edge is that she has the ability to teach Pokémon egg moves as well as TM moves without the use of TMs, among the usual repertoire of move tutors. As a child, she was abducted by Cipher and put in their Admin program. There, she met Indigo, and the two formed a sibling bond. After witnessing the shadow process in action, Indigo and Lyra fled Cipher. They joined a team of trainers dedicated to bringing down Cipher. Lyra, at this point somehow managed to teach herself how to teach Pokémon various moves – Indigo himself isn't even sure how she did it. As she was too young to battle, this skill let her assist the other members of the group. After the fall of Cipher, they fled the region for fear of retaliation from scattered Cipher cells. Information on this time is limited, but it is known that Indigo and Lyra met and began working with Blue and Silver during this time period. She has experience in working with technology and people alike, having been influenced by Blue and Indigo. She's a strong person but her greatest weakness is her lack of personal strength of will. This is most clearly shown in her aversion to vegetables, which, according to Indigo, has been a character trait since she was a small child. Conversely, she has had unparalleled success when putting her mind to something that she's interested in, such as her ability to teach Pokémon new moves. She works best with Blue, Indigo, Silver, and Crystal.

Team:

Azumarill (Amazon)

Magnezone (Magna)

Dewgong (Bering)

Jumpluff (Sigma)

Miltank (Tanky)

Yanmega (Yan)

 

Dexholder Profile: Indigo

Title: The Snagger

Indigo is a tech specialist, skilled with circuits, mechanical devices and computer programming. Personal modifications he made to his pokedex consisted of 95% of the upgrades made to sequential models in his generation. The only other dexholder with a similarly high percentage of successful and useful upgrade suggestions is Emerald. As a child, he was abducted by Cipher and put in their Admin program. There, he met Lyra, and the two formed a sibling bond. After witnessing the shadow process in action, Indigo and Lyra fled Cipher. They joined a team of trainers dedicated to bringing down Cipher. Indigo built himself a snag machine, the tool of choice to separate Shadow Pokémon from their trainers and battled alongside his fellow "snaggers" to bring down Cipher. The majority of his Pokémon are former Shadow Pokémon he snagged himself from Cipher in battle. After the fall of Cipher, they fled the region for fear of retaliation from scattered Cipher cells. Information on this time is limited, but it is known that Indigo and Lyra met and began working with Blue and Silver. He has had a significant influence on both Lyra and Silver, and it is a common knowledge that Blue and Indigo have rubbed off on each other significantly. As a side note, as he has spent a long time in Orre, Indigo prefers double battles, and his affiliation with the Pokémon HQ and the Shadow Pokémon Purification Project has gained him the Leauge sanctioned license to work with Shadow Pokémon. Indigo has also been known to utilize technological advantages and what some would call "dirty tactics" while fighting against criminals and evil teams. This is best displayed by his tactic of having his Porygon Z to take control of local devices, and turn them to his favor. His track record in battle is very impressive, and he's considered one of the four most powerful trainers among the dexholders, along with Red, Green and Blue. Indigo's greatest weakness has also been known to rely too heavily on his gadgets in many aspects of his life and his battling style. This has fueled an aversion to electric types for fear of frying his devices. He works best with Blue, Silver, and Lyra.

Team:

Arcanine (Jaws)

Empoleon (Wings)

Breloom (Delta)

Porygon Z (Dux)

Staraptor (Striker)

Nidoking (Nido)

Ledian (Boxer) (in box)

Furret (Wiggles) (In Box)

Venomoth (Dusty) (In Box)

Rapidash (Wildfire) (In Box)

Sawsbuck (Spruce) (In Box)

Chapter Text

Indigo turned to face the others, "How are we going to do this?"

"If Orange and Yellow are in there, we've got to make sure that they don't get hurt. If we could get someone in and have them break Orange and Yellow out while the rest of us create a distraction, it probably wouldn't be too hard," said Lyra quietly.

"You sound just like Rui," muttered Indigo as Lyra chuckled quietly.

"Isn't that something Wes would say?" Indigo rolled his eyes and Crystal shook her head.

Indigo spoke up, "All right. If you guys can make a distraction, I will sneak in in the chaos. Sound good?"

Lyra grinned, "You got it! Should we start things off with a bang?"

Violet paled, "Wait, you don't mean…."

"No explosives for this one. We don't know where they're being held so we don't want to blow stuff up yet," said Indigo.

Violet grit her teeth, "That's it? You didn't even think about destroying Pokémon habitat?

"No….." chorused Indigo and Lyra at the same time, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"There's not going to be wild Pokémon living that close to a Team Rocket base," said Indigo dismissively. "I thought you of all people would know that."

"You don't know that," said Violet hotly. "I've seen Pokémon live…"

"Enough!" hissed Crystal. "What's going on between you two? We're not going to blow anything up with explosives, we're agreeing on that, right? Let's get back to the mission!"

Indigo and Violet paused. "Right. I'll take the hill on the right," said Violet, pointing to a small hill on the north side of the valley. "That will divert some of their attention my direction. That should give Indigo enough time to get wherever he wants to be, right?"

"That will work," said Indigo. "I'm going to get up to that camera they tried to hide over there and get Dux into their system so the security cameras won't see me and then sneak up to the gate. I'll slip in while the Rockets are fighting you and get into the control room and figure out where they are from there. Crystal, Lyra, you stick together and attack from here when Violet and I are ready. If this doesn't work, Plan B is to feign a retreat and turn on them when they become disorganized. Are your radios online?"

"Check."

"Yes."

"Radio on."

"Then let's go."

As Violet and Indigo stalked off in their respective directions, Crystal settled down behind a tree and clenched Mega's pokeball. She glanced over at Lyra, who had two pokeballs in her hands, a preference that probably came from Indigo's influence.

"Hey, Lyra, what was that between Indigo and Violet?" asked Crystal

"I don't know. Violet came out one time to help us with the Shadow Pokemon. Don't know what happened because I was playing outside with some of the Pokémon, but Violet left and went home half way through the trip in a rage, and Indigo seemed pretty ticked off as well. Indigo and Professor Krane won't say anything about what happened," replied Lyra. "Wish I knew."

"Huh…" said Crystal.

The two sunk back into silence. A few minutes later, their radios crackled to life.

"I'm in position," said Indigo in a low voice. "I don't think anyone's seen me. Waiting on Violet."

Another few minutes passed, and Violet's voice crackled over the radio, "Ok, I'm here. Crystal, Lyra, on your ready."

Crystal looked over at Lyra. She nodded back.

"Mega! Let's go!" she shouted as she released her Meganium. "Use Solarbeam!"

They waited a moment as Mega absorbed light, and the next instant, it fired a greenish beam of pure light energy, blasting a hole in the gate.

"GO!" shouted Crystal into the radio.

"Magna! Amazon! Let's get them!" shouted Lyra beside her, releasing her Magnazone and Azumarill.

The two rushed down the side of the mountain. There was some movement on the walls of the base, as they sprinted down towards the base. They passed through the gate, and found themselves in an inner courtyard, surrounded by surprised and panicked Rockets. A door opened, and a handful of suprised and confused Rocket Grunts rushed out to oppose them alongside their compatriots in the courtyard. The grunts sent out a small company of Raticates and Golbats. Suddenly, a Hyper Beam flashed out from the side and crashed into the left wall of the base with immense force.

Crystal glanced over to see Violet come charging down a hill with her Kanghaskhan in tow and returned her attention of the Rocket grunts in front of her.

"Mega, use Petal Blizzard!"

"Magna! Thunderbolt those Golbat! Amazon! Use Blizzard!"

The flower on Mega's neck glowed and a storm of petals shot out towards the surprised grunts as the Magnazone next to her locked on to a Golbat and fired a crippling torrent of electricity and the Azumarill unleashed an icy blast. Through the veil of petals, ice and electricity, Crystal vaguely made out Indigo slinking through one of the doors.

A fight ensued, as the grunts and their Pokémon got closer.

"Mega, use Body Slam!"

"Raticate, Hyper Fang that one!"

"Golbat, destroy them with Air Cutter!"

"Amazon, Ice Punch that Golbat!"

"Sandslash, use Rollout!"

"Magna, watch out!"

By this time, the Rockets had recovered from the shock a proper squad of Rockets had replaced the disorganized guards Crystal had just defeated. Lyra stepped forward, as a fresh squad of Raticates and Golbats were sent out to face them with a cheery grin.

"Now, now, you wouldn't hurt a helpless girl like me, would you?"

"She's not helpless!" screamed one of the defeated grunts. "She got my Golbat with that crazy Azumarill!"

"Stand back!" said a commanding voice, as a Rocket with a bandanna around his neck stepped forward.

"Commander! Sir!" shouted the grunts.

"I will handle this one. Finish the other," he said calmly, releasing a vicious looking Primape and Sandslash.

"Yes sir!"

Crystal took a step back. "Mega, return!"

The grunts looked at her strangely, as she reached for another pokeball. As she put Mega's pokeball back on her belt, she tapped it twice. She felt Mega butt his head against the wall of the ball once, signifying that he'd gotten the message. Having Mega use Synthesis while in his pokeball would mean that he would be fresh for later on in the fight, if necessary. Drawing another pokeball, she shouted, "Venee! Let's get them!"

A large Venusaur came out in front of her and let out a terrifying cry. The Rocket Grunts stepped back, the fear evident in their eyes. One of the braver ones regained his courage and shouted, "We outnumber her! We can do this! We are Rockets! What would the boss think of us if we lost to two little girls?"

The others seemed to rally, and Crystal smirked. If there was anything she'd learned, it was that overconfidence was the downfall of many a strong trainer, let alone a small, disorganized pack of mere Rocket Grunts. These guys had no idea what they were getting themselves into.

"Venee! Let's show these Rockets how it's done! Use Sludge Bomb!"


 

Dexholder Manual: Starter Pokémon

The idea of Starter Pokémon was initially suggested by my colleague Professor Rowan, who suggested the idea that a good candidate for the Pokedex Program may only have one or two Pokémon or that a good candidate may not have a Pokémon. Giving a starter Pokémon to Pokedex holders would ensure that a trainer had at least one Pokémon that would grow into a strong battler, while also having synergy with the other starter Pokémon given out to the group in general, allowing for better teamwork between dexholders.

The chosen starter Pokémon include the following: Bulbasaur, Chimchar and Piplup. Bulbasaur was chosen for its easygoing nature and ability to learn status powder moves to help catch wild Pokémon. This starter Pokémon would be ideal for a trainer of a similar personality who would favor a more defensive style of battle. To match more aggressive and assertive personalities, Chimchar was chosen for its versatility and energy. Additionally, it's focus on improving and training itself upon evolution would encourage a trainer of such personality to focus their energy and passion as well. Finally, for trainers who prefer a more balanced approach, Piplup was chosen for its versatility, persistent albeit proud nature, and the steel type it gains upon evolution.

While it was considered to have starter Pokémon unique for each region, as each region had excellent candidates, the idea was eventually abandoned. It was decided to have a universal set of starter Pokémon to avoid having any apparent favoritism.

It has become something of a trend that one Pokédex holder of a generation does not have a starter Pokémon. This was started when initial group of six Pokédex holders, each one having a starter Pokémon, was boosted by the arrival of Yellow whose unusual abilities and full team meant that she didn't need a starter Pokémon. Her unusual abilities and kind nature contributed immensely to the Pokedex project.

From this point on, as it was deemed unnecessary to have 6 Pokédex holders, groups of 3 Pokedex holders were employed, one starter pokemon for each. However, regional professors were instructed that if other candidates were to be found, they should also be given a Pokédex, though they would not be given a starter Pokémon. Such a candidate should have at least 4 pokemon on their team among the other requirements to be a Pokedex Holder. Surprisingly, other candidates have been found and given Pokedexes for every region except for the Alola Region. The Kalos team is also an exception as they have two trainers without starter Pokémon. This practice has allowed for several worthy candidates to be admitted to the project.

Chapter Text

Lyra stared down the Rocket Commander as chaos erupted to their side.

"You're pretty bold to straight up attack a Rocket Base. I don't know how you found us, but whether you stumbled across our base or you're working for someone, I'm not letting you leave," said the Rocket Commander coldly.

"Oh, we're not working for anyone," said Lyra cheerily, "We're just your average everyday do gooders, cleaning up you Rockets for the betterment of society! Just part of the job!"

"Your insolence is sickening," growled the commander, "I will silence your errant tongue and you will learn not to meddle in Team Rocket's affairs!"

"Oh no! I'm too beautiful to die!" said Lyra, feigning horror.

The Rocket Commander snarled, "Enough! Primape! Sandslash! Attack!"

Lyra smirked back at him, "Magna! Amazon! Let's do Plan C!"

The two Pokémon nodded. Magna charged forward and crashed headlong into the Primape with a Double Edge, sending it flying back into its trainer. The Sandslash paused it's charge at Amazon to turn and Slash at Magna. The attack barely even scratched the Magnezone, who turned around and stared down at the Sandslash with a menacing glare before blasting it with a Flash Cannon. Meanwhile, Lyra stuffed a berry into Amazon's mouth, who swallowed it and chirruped cheerily.

"You ready Amazon? Magna! Time to switch!"

The Magnezone let out a contemptuous snort in the direction of the recovering Rocket Commander and his Pokémon as they scrambled back to their feet before floating back towards Lyra as Amazon stepped forward, its chest puffed out and a fighting look on its face.

"What are you waiting for? Primape! Cross Chop that thing!" bellowed the Rocket Commander at his Pokémon.

The Primape charged forward with a cry as Lyra called out, "Amazon! Meet him with Aqua Jet!"

The Azumarill merely smirked and launched itself off in a cloak of water, barreling into Primape, and knocking it out. The Rocket Commander looked surprised, and hastily reached for his belt.

"Sandslash! Use Earthquake!" he bellowed as he recalled his fainted Primape.

"Hydro Pump! Quick!" countered Lyra.

The Sandslash leapt into the air to perform an Earthquake but was intercepted by a massive blast of water that sent it crashing into the wall of the base. The Commander's jaw dropped as he reached for his last pokeball.

"Machoke! Annihilate this worm!" A powerful and well trained Machoke landed in front of the Rocket as he recalled his fainted Sandslash.

"Amazon, you know what to do!" called out Lyra. Her Azumarill dug its feet in, before charging at the Machoke with a pink aura.

"Machoke! Use Dynamic Punch!" The Machoke charged forward and threw a reckless punch. Amazon ducked underneath it with ease and barreled into the Machoke with the pink aura of Play Rough, knocking it out instantly. The Rocket Commander looked totally shocked.

"H….how?"

"Two words!" Lyra chirruped with the same mockingly cheerful smile. "Belly Drum!"

The Commander took a few steps back, turned around and rushed back inside, shouting commands, as Lyra just laughed.

She was cut short as a flying Raticate whizzed past her face.

"Raticate! No!"

"Eh! Sorry Lyra!" called out Crystal.

Lyra shook her head and chuckled and looked over at Amazon and Magna. "Let's go help her, shall we?"

The two Pokémon nodded affirmatively and they went off to join the fray.

 

"Marie! Use Earthquake!"

Violet clambered on to her Kanghaskhan's back as it jumped in the air and unleashed a massive, earth shaking shockwave, blasting a few unlucky grunts and their Pokémon who weren't fast enough to escape the radius.

"Aqua Tail! To the left!"

The Kanghaskhan turned suddenly and smacked its water cloaked tail into an unfortunate Magneton, sending it flying back into its trainer.

Violet winced. That had looked like it hurt. But, this was a battle after all, and against Team Rocket no less. It still didn't change the fact that she had to hurt another Pokémon. It wasn't their fault that they had most likely been stolen by Team Rocket. She swallowed hard. She could tell that these Pokémon didn't really trust their trainers. The hesitation when they moved, and the less than battle ready look in their eye told her all she needed to know. These Pokémon probably hadn't been treated all that well by their trainers. Not that she'd expect anything better from Rocket Grunts. She knew Marie was already pulling her punches so as not to harm the Pokémon too badly, but still… this...this was what she had dedicated her life to stopping. Her eyes narrowed with resolution as she looked at the wary grunts surrounding her. She snapped back into reality, as she realized her Kanghaskhan was looking quite fatigued.

"Marie! Good work!" she shouted. "Go Geoff!"

Her Kingler landed in front of her as Marie was pulled back into her pokeball. The Pokémon brandished his claws proudly at the opposing Pokémon in front of him.

The Rocket grunts and their Pokémon hesitated, and Violet capitalized on the opportunity, and chucked another pokeball.

"Magenta!" A Lapras came out of the pokeball with a cry.

"Use Surf, both of you! Counter sandwich maneuver!"

The two Pokémon quickly moved back to back and Violet clambered on Magenta's shell as the two faced both ways in the courtyard, and summoned a massive tidal wave each, sweeping away the Rockets, leaving them sprawled out all over the place confused, battered and soaking wet, some bowling over a wave of reinforcements coming from the right.

"Good work you two!" she said and returned them to their pokeballs. She looked over to the other side of the building, where Crystal and Lyra were and saw that a major tussle was still going on. Her heart sank somewhat, realizing that she hadn't quite drawn off as many Rockets as she would have liked. She quickly surveyed the Rocket grunts, unconscious or too hurt to move much, and quickly pulled out her Xtranciever as she pulled out a different pokeball and more Rockets came pouring out to face her.

"Hello? Brock? This is Violet. We have located a Rocket Base and require immediate backup. I'll send you the coordinates right away….."

 

The base was in total chaos as Indigo hastily snuck through the base. He'd already dodged a few groups of Rockets running around, more concerned with the blaring emergency sirens and the crazy trainers outside who had literally waltzed up to their base and started attacking. He rounded a corner and his eyes lit up as he found what he was looking for. The imposing door of the communications area of the base stood before him. He looked down at the security card scanner for a second before trying the handle. No such luck. He pulled out an old gift card out of his wallet and ran it through the scanner. The display lit up green and the door unlocked. Indigo chuckled as he strode through the door. Team Rocket really needed to up its security budget. He knew that there were far better door security options on the black market that wouldn't open for a card with faked Rocket credentials from 5 years ago. Not that a better system would have stopped Dux, but this was just outright embarrassing.

He glanced up at a security camera looking down at him.

"Dux, you still with me?"

The head of a Porygon Z appeared in the lens of the camera and emitted a cry in the affirmative.

"INTRUDER!"

Indigo jumped and looked down the hallway at a scientist who immediately ducked into one of the doorways. Suddenly, everything locked down, and all the doors slid shut. Indigo rolled his eyes.

"Dux, can you get the door to the security room?" he said up to the camera.

After a few seconds, one of the doors slid open. Indigo rushed into the room, releasing his Arcanine as he did.

"Jaws! Watch my back!" he said as he woke up one of the computers.

Jaws yipped and turned around to face the door.

They heard a terrified squeak from the corner, where Indigo saw a terrified grunt cowering. He reached for his pokeballs.

"Delta, use Spore! Put him to sleep!"

A Breloom appeared in a flash of light and breathed out a cloud of green particles at the grunt. Shortly after the particles touched him, the grunt fell over, sound asleep.

Indigo walked up to the computer and refreshed the page. He muttered under his breath as he saw it was a login page.

"Dux, I need a password!" After a moment, the password began filling itself in and he slapped the login button. Indigo waited in agitated anticipation as the computer loaded at a frustratingly slow rate.

"Why does Team Rocket ALWAYS skimp on their computer budget!? This thing's from the stone age!" he muttered to himself, before growling in frustration when he saw the Silph '94 operating system logo appear. Why Team Rocket using a 25-year-old fossil to run their security was beyond him.

Suddenly, Jaws perked up and sniffed the air. Delta's head snapped around before hopping over to take a position next to Jaws.

"What is it, Jaws?"

The Arcanine suddenly lowered itself into a battle-ready stance and growled. Delta also took a fighting stance.

"Jaws, use Roar! Dux, what's going on?"

The Arcanine poked its head out the door and let out a terrifying roar, echoing down the hall ways. There was a shout of surprise and sounds of confusion down the hallway and Indigo heard a soft thump through the thin, hastily made walls. Apparently, one of the scientists had fainted.

A few seconds later, the door slammed shut in front of Jaw's nose. The command window appeared on the screen and text began to appear.

"Hostiles successfully quarantined in the hallway. Awaiting further instructions."

"Good work guys!" said Indigo as he sat down and swiftly flipped through the views of the various security cameras and muttered something under his breath. He flipped through them again, and then once more. He quickly switched on his radio.

"They're not here! Yellow and Orange aren't here!"

 

Crystal paused in surprise mid battle.

"What do you mean they're not here!?" Turning her attention back to the battle, she said "Venee, use Leaf Storm!"

"There are no prison cells at all on this location! Pull out, now!"

"No!" said Lyra behind her, "We aren't leaving you behind! Get out of there!"

"I can't! I'm downloading the stuff for later! Don't worry about me, I'll be fine!"

"How many Rockets do you have outside the door?" asked Lyra with knowing frustration.

"Dux, how many of them are there?"

Lyra sighed in frustration, "You didn't even bother to look? And what are you even trying to get!?"

"I'm pulling admin credentials!" he paused for a moment. "Dux says there are 14…..oh wait, make that 19. Apparently, they can't get through the door. Don't worry, Dux is giving them a hard time!"

There was faint sound of crackling electricity in the background and a very muffled yelp of surprise from what sounded like a group of unlucky Rockets.

Violet's voice crackled over the radio, "Not to worry! Brock is on his way. ETA of 5 minutes! We need to hang on till then!"

"Violet! Where are you?" asked Crystal. "Hitmonee, use Mach Punch, quick!"

"Distracting! On the side!" There was a massive crash heard in the background, "Just doing what Indigo would do, wanton property damage!" Crystal glanced up and saw a cloud of dust from one of the walls on the left-hand side.

Indigo growled back, "Hey, I don't….. Oh no, that's a Machoke! Dux, knock it out, stat!"

A heavy thud came from his voice channel. "Aw shoot, the door! Delta! Use Spore through the hole!"

"Indigo! Get out of there!" Shouted Lyra into her radio as more crashing sounds were heard.

"2 percent left! Not going to give up now! Dux, get into my snag machine! We'll have to bail fast!"

Suddenly, Indigo's radio picked up Indigo shouting in surprise, a crash and shouting in the background before abruptly crackling off.

"INDIGO!" shouted Lyra. "INDIGO, RESPOND!"

Chapter Text

The battle raged on. Crystal grit her teeth. They'd knocked out her Hitmonchan, Smeargle and Fortress already. Mega, already out, had taken a lot of hits and wasn't looking so good, and she had to keep Noctee in good shape to fly out if they needed to make a hasty retreat.

"We need to fall back!" shouted Crystal, eyeing the incoming grunts. "They're too many of them!"

"Not without Indigo!" shouted Lyra back, recalling her fainted Azumarill, and sending out a Dewgong in its place. "Bering! Use Horn Drill!"

"He made his choice!" shouted Violet over the radio. "I'm not getting captured because he made another hair brained decision!"

Crystal growled and shouted, "Mega, return! Venee! You're back in!"

Turning to Lyra, she said, "Fall back to the gate! We can bottleneck them there and use their numbers against them!"

Lyra took a worried look at the buildings in front of them and nodded.

Crystal yelled, "Use Petal Blizzard!"

The two swiftly turned heel as the Rockets dodged the wide sweeping attack, and bolted back to the ruined gate, as their Pokémon followed behind them. They turned around at the gate to face the incoming grunts.

"Bering! Use Sheer Cold!" screamed Lyra. The Dewgong took a deep breath and fired a pure white beam of frigid ice. As it traveled, it froze the ground covering it with a layer of ice. The Rockets halted for a second, not expecting the ice.

Crystal narrowed her eyes. She couldn't just leave Lyra to fight off the hoard of grunts by herself, and she wasn't going to abandon Violet either. Indigo….. her thoughts strayed for just a split second – no, he was fine. Indigo was always fine. She'd heard him tell the tale of how he'd fought alongside Wes, Rui and Michael in the final battle from dawn to dusk that had taken down Cipher several years ago on many occasions. Indigo had concluded the battle by chasing down the last cipher admin with only one Pokémon left and a broken leg as Citidark Isle erupted. The chase had ended in one final battle on the Orre coastline as the sun sank behind the ocean. Professor Krane and Director Lily had even confirmed the story, though they did mention that the Cipher Admin had escaped. One Rocket base wasn't enough to do him in, right? Another insidious thought crept into her mind. Was this how Orange and Yellow were captured? Had they walked in like this? Did they fight battle they couldn't win? Orange was pretty tough to be sure, but Yellow never had liked fighting all that much.

Suddenly there was a massive rush of wings, and the Rockets in front of Crystal froze in terror. She looked behind her to see Brock riding his Aerodactyl with a large group of police and rangers behind him. One of them pulled out a megaphone.

"TEAM ROCKET! YOU ARE SURROUNDED! SURRENDER IMMEDIATELY! RETURN YOUR POKEMON TO THEIR POKEBALLS AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR! DO NOT RESIST AND YOU WILL NOT BE HARMED!"

The Rockets hesitated, when Brock's Aerodactyl fired a Hyper Beam into a small tool shed, totally obliterating it.

"THAT WAS A WARNING SHOT! SURRENDER NOW!"

One by one, the Rockets recalled their Pokémon and put their hands in the air. Crystal and Lyra recalled their exhausted Pokémon as well and stood back as the police and rangers landed in front of them. Brock landed next to them.

"Well, that was fast," he said with a grin. "Nice work!"

"Be careful!" said Crystal, "There's more inside and Indigo's also in there! We lost contact with him just now."

"How'd he get in? What was he after? Did he find Yellow and Orange?" asked Brock.

"Indigo went in to find Orange and Yellow while we caused a distraction. He said they weren't here and that he was trying to pull data from their computers, but the grunts outside managed to get through the door. That's the last we've heard," said Lyra.

Brock nodded, "All right. We'll storm the building once we've captured all the grunts out here. Do you want to accompany us? How are your Pokémon?"

"We're fine. I'll take point," said Lyra determinedly.

"Are you sure? You look pretty beat up," said Brock concernedly.

Crystal shook her head, "We're fine. We just needed a…"

She was cut off by the sound of a wall being smashed from inside the base. The police officers, rangers and their Pokémon immediately turned to face the noise. Violet came running up to them and asked, "What was that!?"

There was a second crash, this time closer to them. Crystal eyed the base warily and said, "I have no idea…"

Lyra suddenly stood up, a maniacal grin on her face, "EVERYONE GET BACK! QUICK!" Everyone backed up quickly as a third crash was heard, this time, even closer.

"What is that?" asked Crystal.

"It's a trap!" said Lyra. She raised her voice, she shouted, "OK, GET READY EVERYONE!"

A split second after she finished speaking, the nearest wall of the base exploded outward, and Indigo and his Nidoking came barreling through the hole at a breakneck sprint. Behind him were heard angry shouts and a stray Razor Wind flew wide to the side behind him. He took a surprised look around him and slowed down as a large crowd of Rockets came to the hole in the wall. The Rockets, seeing the large number of law enforcement officers outside, froze for a split second, before hastily turning and scurrying back into the base.

"After them!" bellowed one of the police chiefs present, as he took off in hot pursuit. The officers rushed after her into the building. Indigo collapsed onto his hands and knees, gasping for air, his Nidoking doing the same next to him.

"Well, so much for that plan," said Violet as she walked up to Indigo with Lyra and Crystal.

"Hey… I got some data….and admin credentials…" panted Indigo.

"Are you ok!?" asked Crystal.

"I'm fine…..they got through the door…..and I had to … bust my way out."

"With as much property damage as possible?" asked Violet. Lyra gave her a dirty look.

"Hey….If I wanted property damage, I would have given Nido use an Earth Gem and Earthquake ….this building's as low budget as they come….it would have brought the whole thing down…take them out with their stupid Silph '94 Computers…seriously, who'd they rob to get that thing, the antique store or the museum?"

All present burst out laughing.

"I bet they even built the walls with extra asbestos as an insurance policy," wheezed Indigo.  "This base predates the stone ages, I tell you!"

"Well, just to be safe, let's have a medic look at you," Brock said.

"Nah, I'm fine. Just a bit winded," said Indigo rolling onto his back. "I just need to catch my breath. We'll be out of your hair in a second."

"Ok then. If you need anything, I'll be directing the rest of the operation till the Police Inspector arrives. I'm sure someone will know where to find me."

Crystal smile and said, "Thanks, but I think we'll be on our way soon."

"Then I'll see you later. Thanks again for the call!"

Lyra walked up to Indigo and poked him with her foot, "Is it alive?"

"No, it's not," replied Indigo.

The two chuckled, and Lyra pulled Indigo to his feet.

"Ooh, I'm going to feel that tomorrow."


 

Dexholder Group Size

It was initially thought that the task of capturing and studying so many Pokémon would require a large group of trainers, and initially, six pokedexes were made to start off the first group. However, due to the quick progress made by the team and the arrival of Yellow, it quickly became apparent that the seven Dexholders were on track complete the Kanto Pokedex in a quarter of the time estimated for 10 dexholders. When the time came to start the Johto project, a team of four dexholders was attempted, with extra pokedexes available if necessary. The Johto team performed admirably and again outpaced expectations. As such, for the second phase of the Pokedex Project, the preferable team size became three to five trainers, which has worked very well for the program.

Chapter Text

"Thank goodness you're home safe!" exclaimed Professor Oak as he crushed Crystal in a hug.

"We….weren't able to find them," said Crystal.

"You were still have a lead though?"

Indigo nodded, "Yeah. Pulled admin credentials to their network. If they have Orange and Yellow, I should have everything I need to find them. Gonna take me a bit though, the Rocket network's always been pretty big."

"Do you want to use one of the lab computers?"

"No, I don't want them tracing my signal back here. I'm going to the library – they won't be able to tell whose signal is who, and there will be no point in attacking it as literally anyone could have been there."

"I see. Good luck! Can I get you some coffee before you go?"

"Yes please!"

"I'll go get you some right now!"

Professor Oak swiftly walked off into the lab. Indigo turned to the others.

"I'm going to access the Rocket network and see where Yellow and Orange are being held. I'll also see if there's anything else of interest. Shouldn't take me too long."

Crystal nodded.

"Don't take too long!" said Lyra.

"I won't" replied Indigo.

Professor Oak bustled out with a steaming cup of coffee in his hand.

"Here you are!" he said.

"Thanks," said Indigo as he took the coffee and turned on his heel, "Thanks! I'll see you all later!"

The others looked around at each other.

"So….what are we going to do while we wait?" asked Lyra.

Indigo slid into a seat, booted up his laptop and cracked his knuckles. He took a gulp of his coffee and began to pull up windows on his computer. He came to a login screen and typed in some credentials. He chuckled as he got into the system. Team Rocket's security was made of swiss cheese, if you knew what to do. He quickly began skimming through files. By the looks of it, Team Rocket had been busy. As he sifted through the file names, one caught his eye, and he clicked on the file. His eyes narrowed as he clicked on other files. Team Rocket had been busy…too busy. This was turning into a real threat. He pulled out a flash drive. This was going to take longer than he thought.

"I'm going out for a walk….I'm getting cabin fever already," muttered Lyra.

"It's only been two hours Lyra," said Violet, "Don't you normally wait for Indigo to do stuff like this?"

"Yeah, but there's usually something to do! If we're at the Pokémon HQ Lab, there's usually something to help with. Well, most places we're at, there's something I can do to pass the time."

She pulled herself to her feet and said, "I'll be back in a little bit. Lemme know if you hear anything from Indigo."

With that, she sauntered out the door.

Violet swirled her drink in her cup, "Aaand then, there were two."

Crystal hesitantly spoke up, "Violet, if you don't mind me asking…what's your problem with Indigo?"

Violet sighed, "That's…a long story."

"Listen, I don't want to pry, but you two have been arguing….a lot. I don't know what happened but we can't have you guys arguing all the time. I want to know if I can help fix it."

Violet was silent for a moment, and then said, "You know how Indigo was involved in the shadow crisis? In Orre?"

"Yeah, Indigo and his old group destroyed the Cipher organization. He doesn't talk a lot about it, though. Well other than how he fought Cipher from sunrise to sunset."

The two chuckled. Indigo was notorious for citing it as his -est everything. Greatest battle, most dangerous feat, longest fight, finest hour, and so on and so forth. Technically, the battle had started around 9:00, almost an hour and a half after the sun rose that day, but no one wanted to bother splitting hairs over it.

"You also know that he's very involved in the restoration of Shadow Pokémon to their original state," said Violet.

"Yeah. He just came back from Orre yesterday, didn't he?" said Crystal.

"Yes. That's correct," said Violet. She leaned in and spoke in a slightly hushed tone, "Do you know how the process they use to restore Shadow Pokémon?"

"He's never really talked about it much," said Crystal, leaning forward as well.

"They force them to battle."

"What!?" gasped Crystal.

"Oh, sure, they're "researching" on some machine that will supposedly allow them to just flip a switch and just suddenly fix the problem."

"But why would they use those Pokémon to battle? Wouldn't that be counterproductive?"

"According to him, it helps them connect with a trainer somehow," Violet said with big air quotes. "They asked me once to talk to the Pokémon. It was probably easier than getting Yellow out of her forest, probably. And, I don't get seasick as easily. So, they ship me out to their HQ Lab thing, and ask me to tell them what the Pokémon were saying."

"What did they say?" asked Crystal, intrigued.

Violet paused and said very quietly, "I'm not going to repeat what the Shadow Pokémon said exactly, but they were screaming like they were going to kill each other. They wanted to kill each other. Whoever did this to them drove them insane."

Crystal paled, "That's…"

"A felony? Yes, actually, multiple felonies. And that's before we address the numerous other violations, and moral and ethical issues. But that's beside the point, surprisingly enough. My problem with Indigo is that he battles with these Pokémon when he's in Orre, frequently."

Crystal gasped, "He does?"

"You should see the arena when he's finished. It's totally devastated. But they battle the Pokémon. They pit vicious, basically feral Pokémon against each other and expect that somehow, it will fix them!"

Crystal remained silent.

"And do you know what's worse? He brings them into battle with him outside of the lab! He's brought Shadow Pokémon with him to every single major battle we've been in since Cirese Isle during the Elite Four Crisis!"

Crystal's mind was reeling. Why would he bring Shadow Pokémon of all things to very dangerous situations? Shadow Pokémon were widely known to be unpredictable and tremendously violet and aggressive in battle. It made no sense that the cheerful but usually cautious Indigo would attempt anything of the sort.

"Have you said anything to Professor Oak?"

"I told that to Professor Oak, but he told me that it was all right – his colleague Professor Krane was overseeing the research and that he trusted his judgement."

"And you don't?"

"I talk to Pokémon, Crystal. I know Pokémon. There is no way that any of this would work. Indigo spends too much time looking at one of his screens to know Pokémon that well."

There was a brief silence.

"I'm sorry, I realize I just went on a bit of a rant just now. But you see why I don't like Indigo? He's doing something that obviously won't help, and somehow convinced a well-respected PROFESSOR that what he's doing will help, and then, he recklessly drags these exploited Pokémon into battles!"

Crystal paused, "That's…..a lot to take in. But thank you for explaining yourself."

"Just don't mention any of that to anyone else. You're right – we don't need to cause more team conflict right. It's just hard for me not to see him on the same level as the Rockets we're fighting."

Crystal nodded, "You have my silence." But something didn't feel quite right, though. Indigo had returned to the lab to help Professor Oak on many occasions and she had worked with him on many of these occasions. Sure, Indigo enjoyed a good fight, but he was nothing like Team Rocket or Cipher, right?

Crystal sighed. "I don't know, nothing is making sense anymore," she said. "This is all just…..so weird! The Pokedex Project has been shut down for basically the same reasons as last time, which don't even seem like valid reasons. Yellow and Orange are kidnapped, and it’s us going after them without Red, Green, or even Blue! What's even happening right now? The only thing that make sense is that Indigo is hacking for information!"

"They don't want the league looking bad," said Violet. "Think about it, a bunch of teenagers took down several of the greatest threats to Kanto, including the Elite Four without help from the Gym Leaders or the Regional Police."

"Yeah, but you know…..what if it has something to do with Team Rocket being part of the Pokémon League?" said Crystal.

Violet paused, "I didn't think of that."

There was an uncomfortable silence. It would make sense that Team Rocket would want a group of very strong trainers disbanded. But the disbanding had been almost identical to how it had happened all those years ago. What if….Team Rocket had infiltrated the Pokémon League all this time? Now that was a scary thought.

 

Lyra sauntered down the path, sipping on a smoothie. The Pecha and Oran Boba smoothie from the local smoothie shop was to die for, in her own humble opinion. She checked her watch. It had been nearly three hours since Indigo had left. Dragging her feet somewhat, she turned down the path to Professor Oak's lab. Suddenly, she heard heavy footfalls behind her, and she turned around swiftly.

"Lyra! Lyra! I found them!"

Lyra grinned, "Come on, Indigo! Let's go tell the others!"

 

"Ok, so here's what I found," said Indigo as the others gathered around the breakroom table.

"Yellow and Orange are being held by Team Rocket. Their Pokémon are being experimented on right now. With Shadow Pokémon style experiments. And guess who's back to lead them?"

Lyra's jaw dropped, "They broke him out of prison?"

Indigo nodded. "Dunno how he's able to walk after last time, but Ein is back. Just Ein, I haven't seen anything about any of the other old Cipher Admins. I will handle him if we encounter him," he said emphatically, looking around the table.

"Are you sure?" asked Crystal.

"I will take him," said Indigo sternly. "He's going to be packing Shadow Pokémon, and probably as many as he can fit on his belt and pockets. He did that last time I fought him, and the odds were stacked in his favor. It was a close fight, but we edged him out in the end. I don't want you guys getting involved if we encounter him - it's going to be a really brutal endurance battle. I'm the one with the snag machine, and I'm used to his tricks, so I'll take him down."

Crystal nodded. Indigo clearly felt strongly about taking Ein down, and she was not going to interfere. Indigo continued.

"This also means we need to watch out for Shadow Pokémon in general. From what I can tell, they've only completed one test batch of them, but be very careful if you see one and take it out as quickly as you can. Back on point, some of the old admins have returned. Lt. Surge and Sabrina don't seem to be part of it, surprisingly, but Sird is back, along Archer, Proton, Petrel, and Ariana. As far as raiding the base goes, we will need to split up. Team Rocket is holding Yellow and Orange in different places than their Pokémon."

Lyra nodded, "Teams of two? Better than last time."

"By the way," asked Crystal. "Where is this base located?"

"Goldenrod City," replied Indigo. "Unfortunately, I don't have a very good idea where exactly in Goldenrod City. I got a bead on their signal, so I was able to hack their system, but their signal is very well concealed due to all of the signal noise from that airport nearby, so I couldn’t get an exact location. Which sucks, because knowing Team Rocket's IT department, it's probably unintentional too. They're somewhere within 2 miles of the airport, but I can't pin an exact location. So, we will need someone who knows Goldenrod City to help us."

Crystal sighed. Of course, Team Rocket had a base in Goldenrod City. And no one knew Goldenrod city like….

"I think we need to call in Gold on this one," said Lyra with hesitation.

Crystal sighed, "We could try calling Whitney…" she suggested.

"I agree with Lyra on this one. Whitney…..probably doesn't know the underbelly of Goldenrod City as well as Gold does," said Violet.

"So how do we get him to help?" asked Indigo.

"I was thinking we could lure in Gold by going to the casino and betting for his help….." said Lyra.

"I know Gold's gambling luck is horrible, but I'd prefer to not have it up to chance if possible," Indigo said, "I was thinking maybe we offer to pay off some of his debts if he helps us."

"What, bribery?" asked Violet with disdain.

"No, paying for guide services," said Indigo. "After the incident last year, and knowing his spending habits, we all know he's gotta be broke."

"Which incident?" asked Lyra. "The one that got him banned from Goldenrod Radio Station, the one that got him kicked out from that Nightclub or the one with….. uh….you know?"

"Me," supplied Crystal flatly.

"Well…..all of them, really. I dunno, I still think he's a good guy at heart. Deep down."

Everybody gave Indigo a look.

"Ok, really deep down. But we know that. If he didn't, he wouldn't have fought alongside us against Team Rocket, and during the pokedex project, he was a reliable, if rowdy teammate. Put yourself in his shoes. Your dream job suddenly makes you really rich and an instant celebrity. All of that gets to your head. You do some stupid stuff and it all gets ripped out from right underneath you. A year passes while you wallow in your failure. All of a sudden, your old buddies need a favor and are willing to cough up some money. Why wouldn't you take it?"

"Because he's too scared by the possibility of seeing me." Said Crystal.

"You don't have to go….." said Lyra.

"But will he believe it?" asked Crystal. "He might think your trying to trick him into some sort of run in with me."

"Since when do I trick people like that?" retorted Indigo.

"Well, I wouldn't put it past you," muttered Violet under her breath.

"Well, you do hang around Blue a lot more than the rest of us," said Crystal.

Indigo sighed, "So then, what do we do?"

There was a silence. An idea came to Crystal. She realized what she needed to do.

"What if I were to go ask him to help us?" she asked.

Violet nearly spat out her coffee, "Wait, what?"

"I'll go ask him. He's part of my generation of Dexholders, and I'm closer to him than Lyra is. He may listen to me."

"Do we want to gamble on that? I'd rather send in Silver and try to bash some sense into him. You already said that you and Gold weren't on the best terms," said Indigo dubiously.

"I…..I think he'll listen to me, okay? Just a hunch," said Crystal.

Lyra shook her head, "Do we really want to risk it?"

Crystal looked up at them, "I'm willing to try. This way, there won't be any question about tricking him. I'll be there up front, and I'll convince him."

Indigo looked her in the eye, "You really think this will work? Are you even willing to talk to him after what happened?"

She met his gaze, "For Yellow and Orange, I will. There are lives on the line and I won't let my personal feelings get in the way. And I also think I would have the best chance. I was the closest to him out of everyone here."

Violet looked around, "So, is this our plan?"

Lyra said, "Do you have any better ideas?"

"Nope. When do we leave?" asked Violet.

"Tomorrow, first thing, since it's getting late," replied Indigo, "Rest up, stock up your supplies and do whatever you need to do. Tomorrow, we rope Gold into this mess and bust Yellow and Orange out of jail."

Chapter Text

Crystal took a deep breath and looked around. The apartment building looked no less shady and run down then when she'd walked in. It had taken Indigo some time to find Gold's address, as he was using an alias, probably due to the paparazzi. Lyra nodded at her. After seeing the sordid state of the building, the others had seen fit to send Lyra in with her, as she was the least likely of the rest of the group to generate a bad reaction from Gold. Which left Indigo and Violet waiting outside, probably glowering at each other and nursing their cups of coffee. She looked back to the door. The paint was peeling and the knocker had definitely seen better days. With butterflies in her stomach, she reached out and knocked on the door. This had to work.

A tired, groan was heard from inside the room. She knocked again.

"I'll have the rent tomorrow….ooh…." slurred a clearly hungover voice.

Crystal straightened her back. She knew that voice. She knocked again. "Gold! It's me! Open up!" she said loudly.

"Eh? Crystal? Is that you? Uh…..hold on a second…" said Gold from inside. Some rummaging and clanging could be heard. Crystal gave Lyra a look.

"What?" Lyra said in a low voice. "At least his apartment will be marginally less horrific when we walk in!"

The door opened, and a bedraggled Gold groggily showed his face. His clothes were old and looked like they hadn't been washed for several days at the least. The next moment, a thick smell of alcohol hit them. If nothing else, his old, cockeyed grin was still plastered on his face.

Crystal coughed, and Lyra gagged slightly.

"Hi Super Serious Gal! Hey Lyra! Come on in! What, uh…. brings you here?"

The two followed Gold into his apartment. It was outright filthy. Unwashed clothes, empty beer bottles, and garbage littered every surface.

"We need your help, Gold."

"My help? For what? Bad PR? Didn't the President of the Pokémon Association already shut you down again?"

Crystal sighed, "Has Professor Oak said anything to you?"

"Yeah, he called. Wanted some help for something about something with Team Rocket," Gold said flippantly.

"And you turned him down!?"

"What? He has all of you! Just throw Red at 'em or something. Heck, throw Yellow at them! They're Team Rocket! They don't stand a chance against any of us!"

"They kidnapped Yellow and Orange!" said Lyra.

Gold rolled his eyes, "Yeah right. Orange probably just fell of the face of the earth again and took Yellow with her this time. You know, to do some naturey stuff or whatever tree hugging things nature people do. Probably gets to you when you live in the woods all your life."

Crystal glared at him and said, "Indigo has proof that they are being held here, in Goldenrod City. It must have been on the news with that Team Rocket Base we found and busted into."

"That was you? Oh yes, the great Dexholder heroes who can't say that they saved the world THREE stinking times! They said that you were some hikers in the area that happened to stumble upon the base. Since the Dexholder program is "preposterous rumors" or something," snorted Gold.

Crystal sighed. She knew this act.

"Lyra, can you give us a few minutes?"

"Uh…ok? Sure? I'll just wait outside?" said Lyra and backed out of the room.

"Gold, cut the bad attitude. This is all about your current situation and you know it," said Crystal, once Lyra had left. "Ever since those incidents, you have wallowed in your own misery, and it's time to stop it. I know you are better than this! What happened to that kid from New Bark Town who used to stop and play with the kids at Earl's? They loved you! What happened to the hero who nearly sacrificed himself during the Mask of Ice incident?"

"He worked his way up to the good life and then had it all taken away by a bunch of idiots on TV who won't give a guy a break!" growled Gold.

Crystal sighed on the inside. She had known what she was getting into when she chose to hit this nerve. It still didn't change the fact that Gold was as irritating as ever.

"You know that's not true. You deserved all of the bad publicity."

"No, I didn't! Those guys are just out for fake stories and parade them around like facts! I deserved better that how they treated me! They still follow me around sometimes, you know that!? A guy can't even hit the store for a bottle or two of something!"

"Gold! You hit it big as a pop singer and then the fame went straight to that stupid, walnut sized brain of yours! You started drinking too much and became an alcoholic. You went drunk into Goldenrod Radio Tower for an interview with your childhood crush, DJ Mary, made a ruckus and got kicked out! You went to Golden Lights night club, got drunk, got in a fight with the bouncers and got kicked out! You…you…"

There was an awkward pause as Crystal composed herself.

"I am sorry about that one, Crystal."

"No, you aren't!" replied Crystal irritably, "You keep saying you are, but when have you ever been sorry about anything!?"

"No really, I am! Please, you gotta believe me!"

Crystal sighed.

"Back to the point. You let the fame get to you. You made bad decisions. You're the definition of a washed out celebrity that the tabloids only keep up on so that they can parade your miserable existence for all the world to see. But we can give you a chance to turn that all around. We all know you're a hero – all of us dexholders. We haven't forgotten how you fought during the Mask of Ice incident or the Sevvi Island incident."

"Which brings me back to my point," snorted Gold. "What good does that do me?"

"We need you again."

Gold rolled his eyes, "Yeah sure. What does a guy like me have that all of you high and mighty heroes need?"

"Intimate knowledge of Goldenrod City."

Gold paused, "What about Goldenrod City in particular?"

"Indigo was able to pull some security footage from a Team Rocket Base in Goldenrod City. He found video evidence that Orange and Yellow are being held there. He was also able to pull security footage from outside some of the exits as well. We were hoping you might be able to use the footage to help us locate where it is and break in."

"And what do I get out of it?"

"Figures you'd ask that," said Crystal.

Gold smirked, "So, what will it be?"

"Well, the four of us have pooled some money together as a little reward for you. Not anything massive, rock star, but a little bit. That money will help you go to rehab and get your life back together."

"Well, that sounds like a lot of fun," said Gold sarcastically.

"It's what you need. Do you want it or not?" asked Crystal.

There was another few moments of silence.

"Just think about it. When's the last time you haven't been too ashamed to call your mom?" asked Crystal.

"HEY! Don't drag her into this!" hissed Gold.

"I've talked to her. She's worried about you, Gold. She took four separate trips to Goldenrod City looking for you, you know? It took Indigo nearly half an hour to find your apartment. Indigo, of all people!"

"Oh, guilt tripping me, eh? How low are you going to go?" asked Gold.

Crystal sighed. She knew that this was going to go nowhere if she didn't cut to the point.

"Gold…just please, listen to me. Help us out and we help you out. Simple as that. Do we have a yes or no?"

"Wow, you really must need me."

Crystal game him a pleading look.

"Please, if not for me, for Orange and Yellow…you remember how Yellow would always heal your Pokémon, and…"

Gold cut her off, "No need to keep trying to guilt me Super Serious Gal, I'll help you out."

Crystal smiled for the first time since entering the apartment.

"That would be wonderful."

 

"Aaaand here we are!" said Gold.

Indigo yawned and said, "Then we have a target area. Glad you were able to pick out the area so quickly."

"No problem!" said Gold, with his old, cockeyed smile.

"Now, we need to figure out how we're going to get in there," said Indigo. "Remember, they've got two bouncers outside without Rocket uniforms,"

"So….what are we looking at?" asked Lyra. "The building doesn't exactly scream 'upstanding business here'."

"Reminds me of that Game Corner we busted in Celadon City. You know, the one where Red got his Eevee from?" said Violet.

Indigo nodded, "I'm with you on that one. You would almost think that Team Rocket has a policy of trashing any area they put a base in."

Gold snorted, "It' a dump all right. It's a miracle that no one's filed a complaint about the place. You should see the piles of garbage they've got in the back."

Crystal rolled her eyes, "And how would you know that, Gold?"

"None of your business, Super Serious Gal! Does a guy have to tell you everything he does? No wonder you've never had a boyfriend!"

"Enough!" said Lyra, before Crystal could respond. "Back on point. How do we want to get in there?"

There was a short silence.

"I mean…..we could just walk up and knock on the door…." said Lyra. "We'd get an answer pretty quickly."

"Yeah, but then what if we don't get to Yellow and Orange before they can sound the alarm? They'll recognize us for sure after that stunt we pulled at Mt. Moon," said Violet.

There was another pause.

"Could we sneak in some way? Maybe through the roof?" asked Crystal. "There are some taller buildings near by…"

Indigo shook his head, "They have cameras on the roof. I saw when I got into their system. They'd see us the second we landed."

Gold chuckled, "What about a little act to get in?"

"What do you mean?" asked Violet.

"I pretend to be drunk and walk up. While they're distracted, Indigo gets his Porygon into the system and the rest of you take out everyone else. They won't recognize me since I wasn't there for yesterday's little adventure. See? It's all working out!" said Gold with a smirk.

"…..It could work…" said Lyra slowly, after some consideration.

"Don't encourage him….."said Crystal.

"And it gives me an opportunity to get Dux into their system early, which would be a serious advantage. This could work," agreed Indigo.

Violet shrugged, "I can deal with the guards no problem. Want me to sing, or do we want to strike a bit faster?"

Crystal sighed, "I'll put them to sleep, don't worry about it. But Gold?"

"Yes, Super Serious Gal?" asked Gold.

"You may not consume ANY alcohol to make your act any more realistic."

"I knew you were going to say that," grumbled Gold.

Indigo hit a button and his eye piece activated. After a moment of scanning, he said, "I should be able to get Dux into the system at that security camera at the gate provided Gold distracts those two guards in front. If Violet and Crystal will wait behind me and take out the guards quickly, we should all be able to get in with no notice. What do we think?"

Crystal nodded with a sigh, "Alright. Let's do it."

Gold grinned, "Let's do this!"

 

A few minutes later, Gold sauntered up towards the gate, shuffling and stumbling as though he was drunk, muttering about something.

"Hey! What are you doing?" demanded one of the guards.

"YOU! You stole my girlfriend!" slurred Gold in a drunken manner, pointing at one of them.

"What are you talking about?" snapped the guard.

"He's drunk, let's just throw him out," grumbled the other guard.

Gold staggered towards them as the two walked up to him and grabbed him by the arms and started dragging him towards the gate. Gold screamed and flailed as they dragged him outside the gate, when suddenly, a green puff of spores engulfed the three of them.

"Good job, Venee," said Crystal quietly as the three fell asleep.

From inside, Indigo quietly called, "Dux is in. We're ready to go."

Crystal walked up to Gold and slapped him smartly in the face, waking him up.

"Ouch! Hey! You don't have to be that realistic!" muttered Gold.

Crystal turned to Lyra as she passed by, "I always wanted to do that!"

The five of them walked up to the door, which Dux unlocked for them immediately. Indigo grabbed a pokeball and walked up to the door. He looked behind him.

"Ready?"

Everybody nodded.

"Let's go" said Indigo, as he kicked down the door and released his Arcanine.

A few surprised Rocket grunts jumped as Indigo barged through the door.

"Jaws! Use Extremespeed!"

The massive dog launched itself into a lightning fast blitz and bowled over the grunts, knocking them out.

The others rushed in behind him.

Indigo strode in and checked the monitor of the computer behind the sham desk. Crystal looked around. For such a dingy exterior, the interior put up the farce of being nice.

"Ok," he said. "We're still undetected. From here, we will need to split up. I'll take Gold to the research wing to rescue the Pokémon. Lyra, you go with Crystal and Violet to get Yellow and Orange. I'll also send Dux with you, I'll get him to link up with your pokedex."

"Hey! Why am I going with you?" asked Gold.

"Uh….you've lived with a lot of Pokémon all your life, right? You'll have a better chance of calming them if they're agitated, right?" said Indigo quickly.

Gold sighed irritably. "Whatever. Let's go."

Lyra nodded. "Thanks Indigo. Which way do we head?"

"You head right." Said Indigo. "I'll go left. Be careful out there."

"Will do."

Chapter Text

Indigo and Gold, flanked by Delta and Ataro waited outside a metallic door. Indigo scanned the room ahead with his eye piece. Gold internally regretted coming for at least the tenth time. The place was a lab, with white painted walls, over sterilized everything, and the whole place smelled funny with a scent that he just couldn’t place. He looked over to Indigo, who was still scanning the room in front of them. Gold asked, “Why do you even do that? What does that thing even show?”

“Electronic, heat, and shadow signatures. For our purposes here, the heat signatures of Rocket Grunts and scientists,” replied Indigo. “I see three to the left of the door and one to the right.”

Indigo deactivated his eye piece and looked over to Gold.

“I’ll take the three on the left and you take the one to the right. Sound good?”

Gold rolled his eyes, “Whatever. Let’s just get them already.”

Indigo glared at the door, but only said, “Ok. We go in 3. 3, 2, 1, GO!”

Indigo stood up and kicked the door open, as Delta rushed past him.

“Delta! Use Mach Punch!”

 “Ataro! Use Fake Out!”

The Ambipom leapt forward and smacked an unfortunate scientist smartly in the face with the hands on its tail, knocking him out cold. Delta turned around and nodded in approval, turning around from the other three unconscious scientists.

“Hey! What just happened?” came a voice from one of the computers.

Indigo dashed up to the computer. “Uh, just knocked over the webcam into my coffee……can you see me?” he asked as he held his thumb in front of the webcam.

“No, I can’t. You must have fried it. Since when do you drink coffee? I thought it made you gassy?”

“Uh…..thought I’d try it again. See how I do?” said Indigo quickly.

“Brian! You know that coffee is bad for you! Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten the All Nighter Incident!”

“I know,” sighed Indigo, “I just thought it was worth trying again.”

“Don’t go too far, man! You don’t want the boss getting mad about progress going behind schedule again! You remember how hard we had to work to get back on schedule!”

“Yeah…..listen, I think I broke something on the webcam. I think I need to turn it off for a second…..I’ll call you right back.”

“All right. See you then.”

Indigo cut the connection and turned to Gold, “All right, we’re good.”

Gold gave in impressed look, “Not bad.”

Indigo grinned, “Being around Blue helps.”

The two walked up to the next door, which was locked. Indigo quickly pulled out a set of lock picks and got to work. After a few minutes he adjusted his grip and sighed.

“Where’s Blue when you need her?” he mumbled. “She’s the better lockpick….”

“Missing your girlfriend? Why does Blue even like you by the way? She’s such a people person and you’re a total nerd! And then you broke up for like, no reason!” groused Gold. “Why do you of all people have such good luck? Aren’t smart people like you supposed to have a hard time getting girlfriends? You guys have no game!”

“We…..listen, don’t get into my personal business because you’re irritated that Crystal hasn’t forgiven you. We separated for intelligent reasons and left on good terms, unlike you and Crystal,” shot back Indigo.

“Well, excuuuuuse me!” grumbled Gold as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. There was a brief pause as Indigo scanned the room ahead of them.

“No one there.”

As they walked to the middle of the room, suddenly, the alarm went off, blaring loudly. Indigo sighed, “I bet it was Violet who got them caught.”

“Yeah, probably talked the ear off a grunt for looking at his Pokémon funny,” said Gold.

“I would not be surprised. Well, I guess we’d better hurry. Next room should be the Pokémon storage. We grab as many as we can, but make sure we pick up Orange’s and Yellow’s teams first,” said Indigo.

The two strode through the doors into a different room. The walls were lined with shelves holding pokeballs. The two quickly began to work, stuffing the pokeballs into their backpacks in silence as the alarm continued to blare. Gold broke the silence, “Why did you insist on bringing me with you? You knew that all the Pokémon would be in their balls – there’s no rampaging Pokémon for me to calm down.”

Indigo looked sideways at him, “You haven’t figured out?” he asked.

“No, I haven’t!” snapped Gold.

“You’re looking for a chance to impress Crystal, aren’t you,” said Indigo.

Gold only spluttered in response.

“Listen, I totally get you. I was once there with Blue. It went pretty badly and neither Silver or Lyra will let me hear the end of it. But Crystal stuck here neck out to get you to help and she made it clear that she didn’t want to work with you after that. So, I separated the two of you. Put Violet on the other team so that she doesn’t argue with me and send Lyra to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”

“Oh, such a hero,” said Gold.

“Dude, lemme tell you straight and honest here. You have a LOT of ground to make up if you want a chance with Crystal again. So, don’t mess up this one. All right?”

Gold grumbled, “It’s not fair. I tried as hard as I could and look what happened!”

Indigo looked sideways at him.

“Ok. Off the record, you didn’t deserve all the crap you got. Most of it, but not all of it. Some of those paparazzi guys are psychopaths. Like that Cyan Johnson guy. Knew him in second grade. He was just as much of an oversensitive drama king back then as he is now. Well, maybe not as much back then, but I still didn’t like him. Highschool was probably not very kind to him.”

“You don’t say…..” muttered Gold.

Indigo quickly clarified, “But you still deserved most of that bad publicity. You were a total moron for a while.”

Gold asked, “So, then why’d you agree to bring me back if I’m so awful?”

“A hero never stands by while danger is about. You’ve never done that before, and I knew you wouldn’t just stand by when Team Rocket was about again. I haven’t forgotten about what you did during the Mask of Ice incident, at least. And I’ve had worse teammates. Much worse teammates. Like the guy from college who showed up to one meeting for the semester, never showed up to class and didn’t respond to our calls, and still tried to get his name on the final project.  You’re not totally awful.”

Gold cracked a slight smile, “Thanks.”

“Just mostly awful. At least, as of right now.”

“Well, that’s a real self-esteem booster.”

“I aim to please.”

 

A few minutes ago……

Crystal looked anxiously over at Lyra, who was looking at her Pokedex.

“Ok,” she said, “Dux says that there’s 15 people in the next room – it’s a break room. How do we want to deal with this?”

“Do we have to go through it?” asked Violet, “Is there a better way?”

“No, it’s actually the fastest way. The cafeteria has a view of the prison cells as it’s on the same floor. All we’ll have to do is break the windows and we’ll be through to the prison block.”

“Team Rocket is run by the vilest excuses of people that I have ever……” began Violet.

“Shh! You can beat the snot out of them when we get in there, just stay quiet for now!” hissed Crystal.

“Right, sorry.” Said Violet.

“Back on point, how do we want to do this?” asked Lyra. There was a pause.

“What if we were to put a blast of Sleep Powder in the air and I were to have Noctee use Whirlwind to push it into the room?” asked Crystal, “The break room is circular, so the wind currents would get good circulation.”

“Works for me.” Said Lyra, “I don’t have any Sleep Powder users on my team, so I’ll get the door. Lemme know when you want it knocked down. Oh, and Dux? Stay in the system and don’t get put to sleep, ok?” The pokedex let out a Porygon Z like cry in the affirmative.

Crystal released Noctee and Venee. She nodded, “You two heard the plan. On Lyra’s mark, ok?” Both nodded.

Lyra walked up to the door, “All right. In 3, 2, 1, GO!” she said as she threw the door wide open.

Venee unleashed a large green blast of powder into the air as Noctee began to flap his wings. A huge gust began to form, and the green powder surged into the room ahead. The Rockets in the room jumped to their feet but began to fall asleep before they could do anything. As the powder settled, Lyra strolled into the room.

“Not bad!” she said as she walked up to the window, looking into the prison cells. She surveyed the area.

“Over there!” she said, pointing to the right. Yellow sat against a wall, slumped against it, her head bowed. A young woman with shoulder length orange hair was pacing back and forth in her cell, agitated. Orange had always hated being confined and being locked up was probably chafing her free spirit and cramping her wandering style. Lyra released her Azumarill.

“Amazon! Dynamic Punch that window!”

The Azumarill chirruped cheerfully and took a step back before slamming its fist into the window with all of its weight. The window shattered into a thousand pieces. Orange’s entire body snapped towards the source of the sound and Yellow turned her head. Suddenly, an alarm went off.

Violet sighed, “Seriously? You didn’t see that coming?”

“Hey! Now’s not the time!” said Lyra irritably. “Judging by their other security measures, I thought that it would be safe. Let’s just free them quickly and get out of here! We need to move fast now!”

She stepped through the hole that Amazon had made, helping the water mouse over the edge.

Yellow smiled. “I knew you were coming. I knew you’d come!” she said as they came closer.

“Finally! I’m outta here! What took you guys so long!?” exclaimed Orange.

“Professor Oak decided to sit on the info that you were gone for three weeks. Since you tend to disappear on your own enough of the time?” said Lyra snippily, “Also, a thank you would be nice!”

“Well, sorry! I thought you would come looking sooner, like you usually do! And thank you!”

“Amazon, Dynamic Punch the locks!” The Pokémon quickly complied, smashing the locks into smithereens.

Crystal opened the door to Yellow’s cell and quickly picked her up.

“Are you hurt?” she asked.

“Bruised a bit, but nothing too bad,” she said quietly. “I just need to get outside. Need some sunshine.” Crystal nodded. Being cut off from nature had never helped Yellow.

Violet swung open the door to Orange’s cell. Orange stepped out quickly. 

“Did you come alone?” she asked, “Do you have my team?”

“Gold and Indigo are rescuing them right now.”

“Right. Which way is out?”

Lyra looked up at the security camera.

“Dux! Which way is out?”

Orange sighed and pointed towards the back wall of her cell. “North is that way. Which direction did you come in from?”

There was a pause.

“How did you know that?” asked Crystal, curiously.

“Magnetized a hair pin and put it in a cup of waters” said Orange dismissively. She paused. “Wait, you didn’t check which direction you entered the building from?”

“Uh….no?” asked Lyra, “Wait, I’ll have Dux ask Indigo – he saw the blue prints, he probably knows which way the building faces……maybe? Dux?”

Orange rolled her eyes, “You didn’t check!?”

“Orange, they don’t’ spend as much time travelling as you. They probably don’t think about that kind of thing. Just like you don’t know where all the outlets are when you walk into a room,” said Yellow.

Orange just sniffed, “I don’t need technological crutches to help me.”

Lyra looked up from her pokedex, “Indigo says that he’s on his way. He’s got Orange’s Pokémon, Yellow’s Pokémon, and a bunch of others that Team Rocket was doing experiments on.”

“That’s good,” said Orange with relief. “Have him meet us here!”

“Uh….not sure where he is,” said Lyra. “Dux, can you use the wifi to find Indigo’s pokedex without leaving?”

After a few seconds, a map of the building showed up on Lyra’s pokedex, showing her location and Indigo’s location.

“He’s just a few hallways that way!” said Lyra excitedly, pointing to the far end of the jail cell hallway, where a door stood. “Let’s go catch up with him!”

The door of the break room suddenly opened, and a squad of Rocket Grunts rushed in.

“Aww crap! We gotta get out of here! Move it! Go, go, GO!” Said Lyra.

 


 

Dexholder Profile: Yellow

Title: The Healer

Yellow is a unique trainer. A sweet and caring young lady, she was born in Viridian City and has been born with Viridian Powers. Her known abilities include, she is able to communicate with Pokemon, being able to heal wounds, temporarily raise the levels of her Pokemon, and use limited telekinesis. She lives with her Uncle and spends the vast quantity of her time in Viridian Forest and is skilled at sketching and fishing. She also has a very strong knowledge of Kanto plant life and is the reason that only Kanto has a comprehensive list of plants. Yellow, due to her unusually strong connection to Pokemon, strongly dislikes battling. Despite this, she will not hesitate to fight to stop villains and to protect Pokemon. Her greatest weakness is her tendancy to overextend the usages of her powers. While it is always for a good reason, overusing her powers leaves her exhausted. Additionally, it is very strongly recommended to make sure that Yellow has access to the outdoors, as long periods away from nature drains both her powers and her energy. She works best with Crystal, Violet, Orange, and Red.

Team:

  • Raticate (Ratty)
  • Pikachu (Chuchu)
  • Dodrio (Dody)
  • Butterfree (Kitty)
  • Omastar (Omny)
  • Golem (Gravvy)

 

Dexholder Profile: Orange

Title: The Photographer

Orange is a very useful person to have around, as long as you can find her. She’s an avid traveler who wanders wherever the wind takes her. As such, she’s the resident expert on camping locations, gear, etc. She is also a skilled photographer, and the overwhelming majority of the photographs used in the Pokedex Project were taken by her. She takes her camera with her almost wherever she goes. She has photographed events and pokemon said only to exist in myth. She’s most infamously known for falling off the face of the earth on various adventures for a few weeks only to turn up again as if nothing had happened. Despite this, she’s almost never disappears for more than a few weeks, so if she is gone longer than that, the possibility arises that she’s in trouble. On a side note, if something needs to be done on very short notice and someone needs to be sent in person, Orange is by far the best candidate to send if she’s available. She is quite personable, a very capable trainer, and quite self-sufficient, and lives out of her backpack, even when at home. Orange’s greatest weakness is by far her insatiable wanderlust. She is very unwilling to stay in one place for longer than a few months, and as such, chafes when forced to stay around in one place for too long. This means that she has little patience for tasks that require a long term commitment, and does not possess any skills that must be honed with time and patience, save for her finely honed outdoorsman skills. She works best with Yellow, Violet, and Green.

Team:

  • Sandslash (Epsilon)
  • Infernape (Sigma)
  • Staraptor (Theta)
  • Scoliopede (Omicron)
  • Pidgeot (Gamma)
  • Stoutland (Lambda)

Chapter Text

Indigo stopped as Gold bumped into him. “Dude, why’d you stop?”

“Dux just messaged me. Lyra is coming behind us. They have Orange and Yellow.”

“Finally! We can get out of this stinking place. I hate their air freshener – it’s that cheap Fresh Gust crap they sell at the pokemart.”

“Oh yeah, I thought I saw a coupon for that in the mail a while ago. Guess they bought it in bulk,” said Indigo, thoughtfully.  They heard shouting from the hallway in behind them. Both of their heads snapped to attention.

“Delta! Take a break! Don’t need you too tired for a fight!” said Indigo as he recalled his Breloom.

“You too, buddy!” said Gold, recalling his Ambipom and twirling his pool cue, “Explotaro! Time to rock and roll!”

“Wings! Time to rumble!” said Indigo, releasing his Empoleon.

The door behind them suddenly opened, and Orange rushed in, followed by a more sluggish Yellow. Though the door, Gold could hear Crystal shout “Hitmonee! Use Focus Punch!”

This was followed by a tremendous crash and a shout of “Magenta! Use Hydro Pump!”

Shortly thereafter, Crystal, Violet and Lyra barreled through the door, followed by their Pokémon. Indigo walked up to the door.

“Wings! Freeze the door shut!” The Empoleon fired a whitish beam that froze the door over with ice.

“Well, well, well, you don’t look too bad!” said Gold with a grin.

“I’m fine considering the circumstances, Yellow’s been out of touch with her forest for too long,” said Orange curtly, “Where’s my team?”

Indigo stood up from where he’d been rummaging in his backpack. He held up a belt with her team on it.

“Thanks,” she said as she strapped it on.

Indigo handed Yellow a belt with her team’s pokeballs on it. She held it up to her face, looking at her team.

“Hi guys!” she said with a tired smile, “I’ve missed you all! We’ll catch up once we get out of here, ok?”

Her Pokémon let out joyous cries in response.

“Omicron!” Orange let out her Scoliopede. It immediately put its head on her shoulder, and she hugged it in response. “I missed you too.”

She let go. “It’s time for a reckoning, whaddya say? Nobody locks us up and gets away with it!”

The Scoliopede let out a fearsome roar in response and assumed a battle stance.

“They’re gonna pay all right,” Orange said with a dangerous grin. “Now let’s go get them!”

“Uh, Orange, not to burst your bubble or anything, but we need to get out of here…..” said Lyra.

Orange sighed, “Right. Sorry.” Omicron looked visibly deflated. Orange put her hand on Omicron’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, we’ll get them later.”

“Let’s just get you guys out of here,” said Crystal.

Suddenly, the ice began to crack on the door behind them.

Indigo looked down at his Pokedex.

“Dux! How do we get out?”

Gold stepped up to the door, Explotaro in tow. “Let’s show you ladies how it’s done!”

As the ice shattered, several Rocket grunts stood with their Pokémon out. In front of them was a Machoke that they had used to breach the door. Indigo looked up from his Pokedex and pointed to the door on the far side of the room. “That way! Three doors straight and one left, and we’ll be back at the entrance. Move it!”

“Explotaro, use Fire Blast!” shouted Gold. The Typhlosion let out a tremendous blast of flame, knocking out the Machoke who had burst its way in and sent it sprawling, bowling over a few grunts.

Crystal looked over at Yellow. She was leaning heavily against a wall. “You don’t look so good.” Crystal said.

“I don’t feel so good,” said Yellow. “I feel……really weak.”

Crystal winced, “Yeah, they haven’t been feeding you well, right? Here, I’ll help you out.” She put her arm around Yellow and began helping her towards the door.

Indigo stepped past the girls with Wings beside him, “Gold! We gotta go!”

“Come on! Someone’s gotta defend the rear!” shouted Gold back at him. “Use Fire Blast again!”

“You’re heating up the door! I can’t freeze it over again if you do that!” said Indigo in frustration.

“Don’t worry! We can take them!” said Gold. “Make sure the others get out all right!”

“Gold! You’re going to get captured for NOTHING!” shouted Indigo back at him.

“Don’t worry about me!” shouted Gold, releasing his Infernape. “Politaro! Use Hydro Pump!”

Indigo looked behind him to make sure that the girls were far enough away before saying, “Crystal isn’t going to be impressed if she has to rescue your sorry behind!” Gold hesitated for a second.

“Raticate, use Hyper Beam!” shouted one of the grunts.

Gold looked back to the fight to see Explotaro take a Hyper Beam to the face amid a few other Razor Winds and Sludge Bombs. The Typhlosion collapsed.

“Explotaro! No!” he shouted, running up to his fainted Pokémon.

“Wings! Use Flash Cannon!” shouted Indigo, as Wings fired a bright silver beam at the enemy.
“Wings! Hold them off for a second! Use Iron Defense!”

Indigo knelt down by Gold.

“Get out of here. I’ll cover you.”

“No…..no! They got Explotaro!”

“Calm down! Catch up with the others, I’ll cover you!”

“You’ll get left behind!” said Gold in a panic.

Indigo sighed. “We’ll do door to door cover. Just like Red taught you. Right? Calm down.”

Gold shook his head. “That won’t work! They got Explotaro!”

“You still have your Politoed,” said Indigo bluntly. “They knocked out your most powerful Pokémon. Big whoop. We don’t need firepower here. We just need your Politoed to hold them off for long enough for me to get through the door you’re covering. Can you do that, Politaro?” asked Indigo. The Politoed nodded confidently.

“See? He can do it. Now go! Door to door cover strategy!”

Gold nodded numbly and scrambled to his feet, recalling his fainted Typhlosion.

Wings staggered back and Indigo got to his feet. “You doing ok?”

Wings breathed heavily but nodded.

“Dux! Get out here!” said Indigo. The Porygon Z sprang from his Pokedex and let out a battle cry.

“All right you two!” said Indigo, “Use Storm Surge!”

Wings took a deep breath and created a large wave of water and shot it through the door. As he did, Dux fired a bolt of electricity at it, electrifying the wave. It crashed into the surprised Rockets, electrifying them as the wave knocked them and their Pokémon on their backs.

Indigo quickly recalled the two into their pokeballs and dashed for the far door, where Gold was waiting.

“Politaro! Use Ice Beam on the floor!” shouted Gold as more Rockets began to pour through the door. The Rockets tried to stop but their forward momentum carried them over the ice, and they slipped and wiped out. Gold slammed the door shut and braced for impact.

“Back me up buddy!” he said. Politaro croaked in agreement and also braced himself against the door. The Grunts slammed into the door with a heavy impact, but Gold and Politaro managed to keep the door shut.

“I’m ready!” shouted Indigo from the doorway at the other side of the room.

Gold looked at Politaro.

“On my back, buddy!” he said.

The Politoed clambered onto Gold’s back and sat on top of his backpack. Gold turned around and sprinted off to the door. He made it to the next door just in time as the door behind him opened, and dashed into the next room. He slowed himself down, panting as Indigo slammed the door shut. He was more out of shape than he thought. The two stepped back and looked at their Pokémon.

“Wings! Use Ice Beam!”

“Politaro! Use Ice Beam!”

The two Pokémon quickly froze the door over in a very thick layer of ice. Indigo looked at Gold.

“That should hold them for longer. Time to move.”

 

Lyra shoved the door in front of her open and barged on through, with Crystal, Orange, Violet and Yellow in tow. She jumped in surprise but couldn’t stop as she body slammed into an equally surprised Rocket Grunt. He grabbed onto her arm as they fell to the ground.

“Let me go!” she shouted, and kicked him in the side, forcing him to lose his grip.

“Omicron! Use Sludge Bomb!” shouted Orange. The Scoliopede roared and blasted the attack at the Rockets in front of where Lyra had fallen, taking them and their Pokémon out.

She scrambled to her feet and kicked the fallen grunt in the face as he tried to get up, knocking him out.

“Yeah!” said Orange, “Lyra, showing us how it’s done!”

Violet charged in.

“Marie, use Return!” she shouted, as she attacked another group of grunts. Lyra, helping Yellow along, followed behind.

“One more door, and we’re back in the lobby. They might be ready for us, so be careful, ok?” she said.

Lyra nodded, and quickly crept up to the door and looked out the window. Sure enough, there were nearly two dozen Rocket Grunts awaiting them. A sudden racket behind her made her jump.

“You deserved that, you filthy criminals!” bellowed Violet at a cowering Rocket Grunt, “How can you treat Pokémon like that!? How would you feel if your Raticate bit your hand as many times as you kick it!? Oh wait, you wouldn’t even HAVE YOUR ARM LEFT!”

“How do YOU know that?” squeaked the grunt in surprise and terror.

“Oh, you’re HOPELESS!” growled Violet, “How can you not see your Raticate cower every time you say anything? Or how it jumps every time you raise your arm?”

“Yes, we all know he’s blind and a horribly guy!” said Lyra, “Now can we get out of here? Orange and I will need some help clearing the next room. They’re waiting for us out there!”

Violet composed herself and glared back at the grunt. “I hope your Raticate gets a good home after the police take her from you!” she hissed and turned to the door.

Orange pocketed her Scoliopede’s pokeball and nodded at her Infernape.

“Sigma, you ready?” she asked. The Infernape nodded.

Lyra released her Miltank.

“Tanky, are you feeling ok?” she asked. The Miltank nodded and took a fighting stance.

Violet’s gaze hardened and she sent out her Kingler.

“Geoff! Use Crabhammer on the door!”

The door went flying off its hinges, startling the grunts. Violet barged in with Geoff and rushed towards the door to the outside and the five grunts standing in front of it.

“Double Edge!” she shouted.

The grunts dove aside as Geoff crashed through the front door.

“Come on!” Violet shouted. “Follow me!”

Orange quickly dashed past the grunts with her Infernape, making outside to safety. Lyra looked behind her. Yellow was moving too slow for her and Crystal to make it past the grunts by pulling a fast one. They’d have to fight their way out. A geyser of flame erupted from the doorway from Orange’s Infernape.

“Come on! We’ll cover you!” she shouted.

Crystal shook her head and ducked out of the door way with Yellow. They were pinned.

“We won’t be fast enough!” shouted Lyra. A grunt ran at the door with his Nidorino.

“Tanky! Use Thunder Wave!” she shouted. The Miltank let out a weak shock of electricity at the Nidorino, paralyzing it. Its trainer stopped in surprise.

“Now! Use Ice Punch!”

She turned around as Tanky launched the Nidorino and its trainer away with an ice-covered fist, and asked Crystal, “Any ideas for getting out?”

Yellow looked very weak, leaning against Crystal.

“Leave me behind…..” she said.

“No!” said Crystal, “We aren’t leaving anybody behind. Right Lyra?”

“Right. But how are we going to get out?”

Crystal’s eyes narrowed.

“I can try to use the Sleep Powder Whirlwind trick again. Just take Yellow?” she said.

“No, that might put Violet and Orange to sleep,” replied Lyra, “Magna can carry me and Yellow, but Orange and Violet are going to be too much too carry.”

“Hey! What’s the hold up?” said a voice behind her.

“Indigo! We need help getting past with the grunts in the entrance!” said Lyra.

He looked back. “Gold, you stick with Crystal, Yellow, and Lyra. I’ll handle this,” he said.

Crystal looked at Gold, who uncharacteristically followed orders and stood next to Lyra and Yellow. That was a new development. She took a step forward, as Indigo peeked around the corner and quickly ducked back behind cover to avoid a Sludge Bomb aimed at him.

He pulled out a pokeball and returned Wings. “Good work, dude.” He said, pulling out another pokeball.

“Nido! Let’s do this!” The Nidoking cracked its knuckles in response. Indigo looked at him.

“There’s a lot of them. Use Sludge Wave to clear the right towards the door and then get out of the doorway. Don’t need you taking too many hits. After that, we go out and rampage as usual. On my mark.”

The Nidoking nodded and Indigo turned around to Crystal and Lyra. “Mind your footing. Sludge Wave can leave slippery residue.”

“Of course,” said Crystal.

Indigo turned back to Nido. “All right. You ready?”

Nido nodded.  “Then let’s go. On 3, 2, 1, Go!”

The Nidoking stuck its head out and unleashed a giant purple wave of gunk towards the door, sweeping away a few grunts and their Pokémon in the way. However, as it did, it was hit with a storm of attacks. Nido stumbled backwards out of the doorway.

“Nido! Are you all right?” The Nidoking fell to a knee and shook its head.

“Of course, they were waiting for you……not your fault. Should have seen that coming. Come back,” said Indigo, returning his Pokémon. He turned to the others.  

“The rest of my Pokémon are tired. How are yours doing?”

“Not great,” said Lyra.

“I think Mega could still fight,” said Crystal.

“The number of poison and flying type attacks would wear her down very quickly, I don’t think that would work,” said Indigo.

“Yeah….” said Crystal.

“Crystal. Get them out,” Indigo said, his voice suddenly uncharacteristically hard, “I have a trump card to play.”

“But!?” she said.

“No buts,” said Indigo, his voice nearly a dangerous growl at this point. “There’s only one way I’d fight that many opponents alone.”

He reached into his shirt and pulled out a pokeball. Crystal looked down in surprise at the six pokeballs at his belt. Her mind suddenly went back to her conversation with Violet.

Lyra gasped. “You’re not actually going to use it?” she said.

“I will.”

Crystal was shocked. She wasn’t actually right, was she? Indigo sent out an Aggron. It barely fit in the hallway, and seemed…..different.  Wait…..no…….it couldn’t be….. The Aggron let out a nearly feral sounding roar. Indigo cracked his neck, as Lyra grabbed Crystal’s elbow and pulled her back. Indigo spoke in the same, growling, toneless voice. “Aggron! Use Shadow Rush! Destroy that wall!” The Aggron roared with fury and smashed headlong through the wall into the entrance area. The Rockets jumped with surprise. A hail of attacks sailed at it. “Shadow Wall!” bellowed Indigo. The Aggron protected itself with a shadowy wall, made of purple energy, mixed with swirling lighter shades of purple.

Crystal gasped. So, this was a Shadow Pokémon. Lyra tugged on her elbow, and she and Yellow slowly shuffled forward.  “Come on! While he’s distracting!” Crystal looked over at Gold, who was standing stock still, shocked by what he was seeing.

“SHADOW BREAK!” bellowed Indigo, as the Aggron obliterated the front desk with a glowing purple punch, splinters flying in all directions. The grunts dove aside, some fleeing out other doors and the others scrambling to any hiding spots they could find.

“Gold! Come on!” called Crystal. Gold seemed to come to his senses and the two followed Lyra and Yellow through the door.

“Shadow BEAM!” yelled Indigo.

Orange looked on in awe as the Aggron effortlessly demolished another wall with a shadowy laser attack from its mouth. Violet’s eyes were wide with terror.

“Indigo! We’re out!” shouted Lyra, “Everybody else! To Professor Oak’s Lab! GO!”

Crystal released her Noctowl as Lyra shook Violet back into reality.

“Come on! Let’s go!” shouted Lyra. Crystal made her way into the air, followed by Orange and Violet.  Yellow and Lyra soon followed.

Indigo dashed outside, two pokeballs in hand. He activated one of them.

“Striker! We gotta go! Now!”

The Staraptor crouched for a second as Indigo clambered onto its back, before taking off. A few angry Rocket Grunts rushed out, but weren’t fast enough to catch Indigo before he took off.

Crystal shouted, “To Professor Oak’s Lab! Before they catch us!” she shouted. “GO, GO, GO!” And with that, she and Noctee swooped off in the direction of Kanto.

Chapter Text

The flight back had been silent. Nobody had said anything. When they landed in Pallet Town, Yellow sank down on the grass, and rolled over on her back, soaking up the sun. She let out a sigh of relief.

Orange immediately turned on Indigo and demanded, “What was that!?”

“A Shadow Aggron. You see why it was so important that the Shadow Project be stopped?” he said bluntly.

“That’s a Shadow Pokémon? Why did you bring it? How did you even control that? Aren’t they dangerous?” she asked.

“As an insurance policy. We are having….difficulties in purifying some of the more powerful Shadow Pokémon. As I have it at my disposal, and have brought Shadow Pokémon into battle in the past, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch for me to use one in battle in a pinch. It got all of us out, and it helps speed up the purification process.”

“BECAUSE IT’S A THREAT TO EVERYONE HERE! YOU OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THAT!” screamed Violet, stomping up to Indigo, “YOU WOULD BRING AN EXPLOITED POKEMON INTO BATTLE AND USE IT FOR YOUR OWN ENDS!? DO YOU EVEN CARE!?”

“Of course, I care. Orange, Yellow, can I see your Pokémon?”

“Uh….why?” asked Orange suspiciously.

“I saw the equipment that they were using to perform experiments on your Pokémon. It’s the same kind that they used in Orre to make Shadow Pokémon. I need to check and make sure your Pokémon are all right. You get priority over the other Pokémon because we need you to battle.”

“DON’T IGNORE ME!” bellowed Violet.

“Hey! What’s going on out here?” asked Professor Oak, rushing out of the lab.

“Indigo pulled a Shadow Pokémon on Team Rocket in Goldenrod City,” said Lyra, “Violet doesn’t like the fact that it got us out of a bad situation.”

“Why are you defending him!?” retorted Violet.

“Because he did the smart thing! I’ve commanded Shadow Pokémon before too! That’s what you use them for in battle! For when you’re outnumbered more than 15 to 1. Haven’t you ever read a basic Cipher battle manual?” said Lyra.

“Of course not! I was never part of a CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION LIKE SOME PEOPLE!” seethed Violet.

“Right, you probably can’t even read,” sniffed Lyra.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM!? A CAVE WOMAN?”

“Well, you were raised by a pod of Lapras,” said Indigo.

“LAPRAS ARE VERY INTELLIGENT POKEMON, AND…….” she was cut off as Professor Oak put his hand on her shoulder.

“Violet, please. Can we take this inside?”

“Right…..sorry.”

They all shuffled inside. Crystal helped Yellow up and walked her inside and helped her flop down on one of the couches in the break room. Indigo and Violet were immediately at each other’s throats as she laid the exhausted Yellow down on a couch.

“I bring Shadow Pokémon as an EMERGENCY MEASURE for moments like that! I’m the strongest trainer here without Red, Green and Blue, so it’s my job to make sure everyone gets out safely! I have to compensate extra for you because YOU spend all your time screaming at people instead of training for battle!” growled Indigo.

“I don’t live to HARM OTHER POKEMON! Oh, and what about Lyra, can’t she do anything, or is she too weak? Haven’t you taught her anything? Or is she just as reliant on Shadow Pokémon as you are?” hissed Violet.

Crystal cleared her throat. “SHUT UP YOU TWO!” she bellowed.

The two paused and looked over at her.

“First of all, calm down! Secondly, shouldn’t we be taking care of Orange and Yellow? They just spent three weeks in a Team Rocket prison, and we may need them to help us fight Team Rocket again!? And third of all, Indigo, why don’t you go look over Orange’s and Yellow’s Pokémon if they might have been turned into Shadow Pokémon?”

Indigo nodded, “As long as she’s not here,” he said, pointing at Violet.

Professor Oak stood up. “As far as I can tell, Yellow is just worn down by being in a prison cell. Violet, can you take Yellow outside for a while? I’m sure it will do her a lot of good…..”

Violet sighed, “Sure.”

She walked over to Yellow and helped her to her feet. As they slowly walked out, Yellow held out her belt of pokeballs.

“Indigo, make sure my friends are ok,” she said.

He took the belt. “I’ll do my best.” He looked over to Orange, who handed him her belt of pokeballs.

Professor Oak forced a smile. “Orange, I had your parents send me a change of clothes for you as well as your camera. I’m assuming you don’t want to be in a prison outfit?”

Orange smiled back. “That would be nice. Glad I left my good camera at home for that trip and brought a crummy one instead.”

“Then follow me. Lyra, can I get you to pull out Yellow’s clothes for her? I think her uncle left them at the front desk in a brown bag. Also, Gold, I left some microwave meals in the freezer, can you warm up two for Yellow and Orange? I imagine Team Rocket hasn’t given them a square meal at all.”

“Gotcha,” said Gold, who promptly turned on his heel and sauntered out the door, twirling his pool cue in between his fingers. 

“Oh, and Crystal, if Indigo needs any of the lab equipment, can you show him where it is?”

“Of course, professor.”

Indigo and Crystal walked into the lab area. Indigo sat down, cup of coffee in his hand, and began scanning the Pokémon with his eye piece. After some time, he stood up and yawned. “I can’t detect any shadow auras, so it looks like they’re all right. They also don’t seem to be behaving in the way a Shadow Pokémon would.”

“What does that look like?” asked Crystal curiously.

“Generally when in a pokeball, Shadow Pokémon do not exhibit the same quirks that normal Pokémon do. For instance, Jaws will roll over on his back after a while. Or Delta will start puffing spores into the air if he gets bored. Shadow Pokémon don’t do that.” He pulled out his Shadow Aggron’s pokeball. Crystal looked down at it. It was standing totally still, its tail occasionally twitching. Indigo held up Sigma’s pokeball. The Infernape was doing one handed handstand pushups, probably training for the next battle. “See what I mean?” he asked.

Crystal nodded. “Violet mentioned that you brought Shadow Pokémon into battle. I guess I wasn’t expecting you to pull one on such a ……trivial mission?”

Indigo sighed. “So, you’ve talked to her? Honestly, the reason I’ve never had to use a Shadow Pokémon before with you guys is because we usually have either Red, Green or Blue. With me plus one of them, we could have pushed through that crowd of grunts. By myself, though? No chance without a Shadow Pokémon. I guess we could have busted one of the outer walls, but we would have risked the upper floors falling on us, since Yellow wasn’t going anywhere fast. Team Rocket isn’t known for picking structurally sound buildings for bases.”

“Isn’t it a risk though?” asked Crystal, “How do you even control a Pokémon that violent and impulsive?”

“Simple. You match and surpass their aggression. Which is why my tone of voice changed when I sent Aggron out. It’s not something you can just do on the drop of a hat. Shadow Pokémon don’t listen to wishy washy sounding trainers. They don’t listen to scared trainers. They don’t listen to friendly trainers. Your run of the mill trainer who is out to bond with their Pokémon and make friends won’t cut it. You have to sound bigger, badder, and scarier than they think they are. Which is quite aggressive, as the shadow process involves suppressing much of the emotional part of the Pokémon’s brain, allowing for mostly just anger and aggression. It takes a very particular kind of trainer to command a shadow Pokémon. Not even all of Cipher’s grunts had Shadow Pokémon for the simple fact that they couldn’t control them. That being said, the kind of trainer can control a Shadow Pokémon is the kind that the Pokémon League and all of the regional Police Forces likes to sweep under the rug and forget about.”

“What kind of trainer is that?” asked Crystal, curiously.

“A renegade. An almost rouge trainer with a lot of confidence in their abilities, and a willingness to cause some mayhem if it gets the job done. Criminal backgrounds tend to help.”

“But why not a very stern and strict type?” asked Crystal.

“You have to appease a Shadow Pokémon’s urge to be aggressive at some point. A stern and strict trainer would not allow a Shadow Pokémon to do that and would likely be mauled by their own Pokémon after some time out of frustration. A trainer who isn’t afraid to cause some damage will allow a Pokémon to rampage if it’s necessary, and that will help appease their aggression.”

“But you don’t let them run wild,” said Crystal.

“I do not,” said Indigo, “While I do allow for my Shadow Pokémon to be aggressive, I am looking for opportunities to appease their aggression without actually harming anyone. I’m always looking to minimize the damage. Let me tell you, it’s a very thin line to walk. The Rocket building we attacked for example. As long as you were behind me and Aggron, you would be out of the damage zone – Shadow Pokémon focus on what they can see and little else. If you get out of sight of Shadow Pokémon, you can get them to forget about you very quickly. Anyway, I thought that the shock of an opposing Shadow Pokémon would be enough of a scare for the grunts to make sure we all got out. And there were enough things to destroy in the room for Aggron to destroy, like the front desk and the wall behind it.”

“What if the building began to collapse?” asked Crystal.

Indigo smirked and rolled up his sleeve, revealing a black and purple crystal. “Z Shadow moves pack a ….. significant punch.”

“How significant are we talking?”

“They can match the Ultimate Moves that Kimberly taught us on Two Island.”

There was a pause.

“So, you bring them as an emergency measure?” asked Crystal.

Indigo snorted. “That’s the only reason I would. Even for people who are used to commanding Shadow Pokémon, it’s a risk. If you don’t sound intimidating enough, get hurt, or even appear weak, your Shadow Pokémon may not listen to you and could end up on a rampage and maul you in the process. I’m one of the few trainers sanctioned by the Pokémon League to work with Shadow Pokémon at all.”

“You know Violet hates that, right?” probed Crystal.

“I don’t think she does.”

“She told me that she saw you on the same level as the Rockets we’re fighting because you use Shadow Pokémon,” said Crystal.

“I don’t think so,” Said Indigo. “When she came to the Pokémon HQ to talk with the Shadow Pokémon, she didn’t’ seem to phased at all. If anything, she was sympathetic and worried for the Pokémon.”

“What?” asked Crystal, surprised, “It sounded like it went very different.”

“She was totally fine with everything until we got to the battle pit. Where we battle with the Shadow Pokémon.”

“Why do you battle with Shadow Pokémon? What purpose does it fill?” asked Crystal.

Indigo sighed. “Yeah, the single most controversial part. I have met with nearly every politician elected in the last several years to demonstrate and explain why this is necessary. I’ll give you the speech. In order to revert a Pokémon to its natural state, which we call the purification process, a Pokémon has to have had cause to feel some emotions that would otherwise would be suppressed. This helps shake the hold that the shadow process has on the Pokémon. Without this to work with, the other therapies that are used have nothing to work with. They merely amplify those feelings until the Pokémon is able to break free. That being said, those feelings have to be fairly strong to break through the Shadow Process’s suppression. That’s the current philosophy and our current method. Unless we can get that stupid purification machine working.”

“But how does battling cause the Shadow Pokémon to feel emotion? The rush of battle?”

“Yes, but that is one of the emotions that is not suppressed by the shadow process. As Shadow Pokémon are made to battle, it’s difficult to connect with them any other way. Battling with a Shadow Pokémon helps build a bond with the trainer. It’s the feeling of trust and belonging that we are trying to create. You have to be very careful, as you have to be cold and ruthless for them to listen to you, but a well-timed compliment every now and again, or asking after their health on occasion can be exactly what was needed.”

Crystal sat down. She could hardly believe this. “Why then, is the purification machine needed? Why can’t you purify all Shadow Pokémon with the method you’re using?”

Indigo sighed, “Ein, the mastermind of the Shadow Pokémon project, did something to the process during the second half of the Shadow Crisis that makes it nearly impossible to purify the Shadow Pokémon through the process that we have been using. We have the blueprints and process manuals, and I even knew the guy pretty well, but we still can’t figure out what about the process causes the emotional blocking to have such a hold on the Pokémon. After some testing, we found that showing nostalgic images to Shadow Pokémon can help generate an exceptionally strong feeling of nostalgia, especially if we can track down photos of a Pokémon’s parents or siblings. Add in a virtual trainer, similar to the Battle Simulator system, to have them battle a virtual instead of real opponent, followed by some Scent Therapy, and other stimuli, in theory, we could purify a Shadow Pokémon without having to put anyone at risk at all. The whole process could be controlled and automated while also having the punch to break the new shadow process.”

Crystal nodded. “How long have you been using the old system for?”

“Since the Shadow Crisis,” replied Indigo.

“I take you’re very familiar with it?”

“That’s correct. I have been a part of this program since its beginnings.”

“So, what did Violet not like about the battles?”

“Well, first of all, they are very dangerous, as Shadow Pokémon are involved. Second of all, they are usually Shadow Pokémon vs Shadow Pokémon, so they tend to get …… unusually violent, quickly. You also have to praise a Pokémon after it’s nearly killed another Pokémon, so that was probably also a turn off.”

“Wait, you’re in the ring with them? You don’t command them from outside the pit?”

“Yeah, we tried that.  Being outside the arena doesn’t build that sense of camaraderie and belonging and makes the whole exercise pointless.”

“How many years have you been doing this for?” asked Crystal, shocked.

“Uh….how many years has it been?” said Indigo. “Uh…..wow, has it been 9 years already?”

“9 years? That must take a toll on you…..” gasped Crystal.

“I guess it does. Well, taking care of former Shadow Pokémon does too. They wake up in the middle of the night frequently from nightmares, though this passes with time. That’s the worst of it, anyways. The rest of it, like their aversion to battling and fear of large machines isn’t too bad. And it all passes with time too, but you just have to get them over the initial hump.”

“But back on point, she was disturbed by that?”

“Yeah. It looked like it got to her. But the other thing, and the thing that really set her off was when I took her to Ice Cube’s memorial.”

“Ice Cube?”

“Well, Iceberg was actually her name, but we only found that out after months of calling her Ice Cube, and the name stuck. She was my Lapras.”

There was an awkward pause.

“I’m so sorry,” said Crystal. “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened?”

“I don’t mind. We were chasing down Ein after Citidark Isle erupted. She wanted to go…..I didn’t, but she was insistent. We caught up to Ein near the outskirts of Gateon Port. In the ensuing fight, she…..took a hit for me so I could snag the last Shadow Pokémon,” sighed Indigo sadly.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories….” apologized Crystal.

“It’s all right. I got a good sucker punch on Ein while he was crowing about his victory. Anyway, we were both ready to kill, but he ended up getting the upper hand during the fight, since I was only 14 at the time. Wes caught up in time to save me, but……it was too late for her. Ein even got away too, but I hunted him down later. He is…..well, was in jail. I thought Violet would want to see the memorial, since she’s so close to Lapras and all. I even hummed her the song that Ice Cube used to sing all the time, but she seemed irked by it.”

“Do you think she knew Ice Cube? When she was a Lapras?” asked Crystal

“I don’t know. I’ve thought about it, but there’s no point. If I try to talk to her about it, she just stomps off.”

“How many times have you tried?”

“Uh, tried mentioning something about it……3 times in person, and called her 5 times. Nada. She probably wouldn’t listen anyway. She’s way too emotional sometimes. I’m going to bring reasonable arguments and somehow only frustrate her further,” Indigo yawned, “I’m only so good with that kind of thing. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s anything I can do at this point.”

Crystal looked surprised, “I thought you weren’t good with people? You seem to have this all figured out.”

“I’m not as bad with people as I look. Not my strong point, but I can figure out things with enough time. Being around Blue for so long helps a lot.”

Crystal paused. This made sense. A lot of sense. Indigo sighed. “Anyway, I think she’s just set on me being the villain now. Probably thinks I could or should have done something. You know how she is.”

Crystal smiled, “I’ve been putting up with her for the last two days. I know all about it. You should have heard her chew out some the Rocket Grunts in Goldenrod City. I think that she’s got a lot of pent up frustration.”

Indigo chuckled. “Record it for me next time. I could use a good laugh.”


Thank you to everyone who is reading this story!

 

Chapter Text

Violet took a deep breath, and walked into the break room, where Orange sat, wolfing down a plate of food as Professor Oak pulled a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Orange was wearing more traditional attire, a grey windbreaker and blue jeans, with her precious camera sitting in its rightful position around her neck. Professor Oak poured himself two cups.

"Professor Oak, Gold told me you wanted to see me?"

"Violet! Can I speak to you outside in the hallway?"

"Of course, Professor Oak."

The two walked outside. Professor Oak handed her a cup of coffee and said, "Violet, I know the last few days have been very trying for you. I wanted to make sure that you were doing all right."

Violet took a sip of her coffee. "It's…. been a trial. Team Rocket members just treat their Pokémon so badly, I just don't understand! Even for a crime syndicate, treating your Pokémon well has benefits!"

"Are you all right with Indigo? I know you weren't a fan of Shadow Pokémon in general, but still…."

Violet sighed, "I apologize. I let my feelings get the better of me. But…It's different when you actually understand what they're saying."

Professor Oak nodded. "I can understand that. How's Yellow?"

"She seems to be doing much better. It's only been an hour, and she already looks and sounds normal! It's like being in contact with grass alone helps her heal and recover! I wish I had that ability when it comes to frigid water and icy conditions!"

Professor Oak laughed. "Glad to hear it. Just wanted to make sure you were all right after all that's happened so far. You dexholders know how to get yourselves in trouble all right!"

Violet smiled wryly. "Yeah, we tend to do that, don't we?"

 

Gold sauntered through the door, followed by Yellow and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Champion has arrived! Oh, and some random dude with Green, and a very lovely lady!"

Lyra, Violet, Crystal, Orange and Professor Oak looked up. Silver glared at Gold.

Red chuckled, "Ah, don't be fancy for me, Gold! How's it going, everyone? Glad to see Orange and Yellow after you guys fell off the face of the earth!"

"I learned from the best!" said Orange with a smirk.

Everybody laughed. Yellow piped up, "So, how are the Elite Four? Did Karen ever change her hair cut?"

"Nope!" said Red, "She still hasn't found one to fit her taste. Everything is either too conservative or overly edgy."

"How many years has that been her New Year's resolution?" asked Orange.

"Three years. Koga thinks she'll never find one." Everybody chuckled.

Blue looked over at Professor Oak. "Where are Indigo and Lyra?"

"They're doing a Pokémon transfer in the computer room with the Pokémon HQ. Apparently, Indigo's preparing for a fight with one of the Rocket Admins in particular. Has he ever mentioned an Ein to you?"

A shadow passed over Blue's face, and Silver's head snapped up from glaring at Gold. "Ein is back? Then we have trouble."

"Why's that?" asked Crystal.

Blue said, "He's the guy who started the Shadow Pokémon project. Last time Indigo fought him, it was an 8 to 28 battle."

"Wait, who brought 28 Pokémon? And isn't a team of more than 6 Pokémon against the rules of the League?" asked Crystal.

"No, it's a strong suggestion, but not a rule. It's only a rule for League sanctioned Pokémon battles, like Gym Battles," said Blue. "It's only recommended as it's regarded as the highest ratio of Pokémon to trainer in which the trainer can properly care for their Pokémon while travelling. That's why some trainers carry a team of six and have a few other Pokémon at home."

"Figures, she knows that kind of thing," muttered Green.

Silver spoke over him, "It was Ein who brought 28 Pokémon. He tends to bring large teams because of his delusions of grandeur of commanding a Shadow Pokémon army. He's only an above average battler, but it's his oversized team and Shadow Pokémon that make him extremely dangerous."

"Wait a second, how do you know all of this? Something you'd care to share?" asked Gold.

"Nope!" said Blue with a wink.

"So, do we have a plan? At all?" asked Green.

"Not yet. We still don't know Team Rocket's full plans. We just know about the two bases we busted through and that they're planning on reviving the Shadow Pokémon project," said Crystal.

"So how do we plan to bring down Team Rocket then?" asked Silver.

Everybody looked around at each other.

"Well, Indigo hacked Team Rocket's network, so I assumed he'd be locating our targets," said Crystal.

Red sighed, "Down to Blue and Indigo again? What is this, the Sevvi Island incident all over again? Should I call Blaine and tell him we need Mewtwo?"

"Let me go get him, since it's down to the two of us," said Blue, as she walked out of the room. She walked down to the computer room, stopped outside the door, and listened.

"AHA! YES!" shouted Indigo excitedly. He calmed himself down a little, took a swig of coffee, and said, "Thanks Professor Krane! That's really awesome! I also appreciate you taking the time to send me the rest of my Pokémon!" said Indigo.

"No problem! We wouldn't just send one of our snaggers into battle unprepared! You're one of us, remember?"

"Yeah. I get the feeling that things are going to start happening soon, so keep your eyes on the news, all right?"

"Will do! Well, I need to get back to my work. Oh, and tell Blue and Silver that we send our regards."

"Huh? Uh sure…." said Indigo as the connection cut. Blue snuck up behind him, grabbed his shoulders and shook him a little bit. Indigo jumped in his chair as Lyra chuckled. He looked over his shoulder and a warm grin appeared on his face. "Hey Blue! It's been too long!"

He stood up and the two gave each other a hug. "It's been too long, Indigo. How big has your team gotten?"

"Everybody is here. All 14 of them, plus some…..extras. Ein won't stand a chance!" Indigo replied with a grin.

Blue smiled. "And then we'll take all of his Shadow Pokémon files and sell them on the dark web!"

"And then we'll be RICH!" they both said together with glee. They paused and then began laughing at each other. Green poked his head in the door, flanked by Silver.

"What are you two going on about? C'mon, we need your plan, Indigo!"

"Good to see you too, Green," said Indigo, "Gimme a sec. How's the gym been?" he asked as he began to shut down the computer.

"Fine. Just got through the summer busy season. Only gave out four badges this year," Green said with a hint of pride in his voice.

"That's with your Gym Team, not your real team, right?" asked Indigo.

"Yeah. Though my gym trainers have been helping thin out the weaker trainers. Remember how it used to just be me?" said Green

"Yeah – I heard no end of complaints about overconfident children with Ratatta and Pidgey 'wasting my time'" mimicked Blue, "But didn't you bring those trainers in years ago?"

"Yeah, and they've yet to disappoint. Best decision I've made since I became a Gym Leader. It also helps add to the prestige of the gym, since its known as a place where strong trainers battle."

"Well, sounds like you've been doing well!" said Indigo, as he stood up, stowing a flash drove in his pocket.

"Yeah. Anyway, back on point, let's get back to the others – apparently you're the only one with a plan?"

Indigo chuckled awkwardly "Yeah…..about that…"

"Even YOU don't have a plan?" asked Green with alarm in his voice.

"Well, not your idea of a plan. But considering the information we've gotten….you know what, let me just brief everybody."

Green sighed, "You guys are so unprepared."

 

After some time to gather everyone, get snacks, and finish side conversations, Indigo stood at the table and looked around. "All right, so here's the plan. Team Rocket has two more major base locations. One is located in Saffron City and one is located in the Whirl Islands. This forms a pattern. One base in a heavily populated area and one in a remote location. The remote counterpart to the Saffron City base is the Mt. Moon base we hit first and the big city base counterpart to the Whirl Island base is the Goldenrod base we took down earlier today. They also have smaller cells in several other locations around the continent. As we have gathered our full strength, I think we should strike one of the two remaining large bases. This will let us take out one of the bases before they have time to react. However, by the time we do that, the other base would have had time to build their defenses. At that point, we hit some of the smaller cells and try to provoke an attack. This would require the undefended base to weaken itself in order to attack us. So, we either defeat their force and weaken them or let them hunker down and siege them out with the rest of the League covering our backs. Hopefully, we will be able to find more information to identify the mole in the Pokémon League while we do this. How's that for a plan, Green?"

Green sighed. "That's your plan? To hit enemy locations until they strike back at us?"

Indigo glared at him, "Do you have a better plan?"

Green said, "No, that part's fine, but your plan has oversights. What if they strike back at us before we are able to strike them? The lab is no place to hold a defense with all of the expensive lab equipment and the small space inside the lab! And what about Yellow and Orange?"

"All the more reason to hold the lab. It makes it look like we aren't prepared, when we actually are. Nobody would be stupid enough to hold such an indefensible position unless they were very confident in themselves. That will make the Rockets suspicious and buy us time," retorted Indigo.

"Nobody told me that….." piped up Crystal.

"Yeah, that's the point," said Indigo, "But you're prepared all the same. Two days of continuous battles, and we have Yellow and Orange to look after for the moment. We're all on edge. We're all noticing things that we wouldn't be otherwise. They won't be able to sneak up on us. I've put them in a position in which they either need to call our bluff or leave us alone. And even if they call our bluff, they can't win. Trust me, Blue and I have done this plenty of times in the past," replied Indigo.

Green glared at him, "That's not going to work. We're worn down after two consecutive strikes and you want to wear us down even further with a third. Even with Red, Blue, Silver and myself still fresh, you and the others won't be as strong in fight. You're just making bad excuses for a bad plan."

"Indigo? How many hours of sleep have you gotten for the last few nights?" asked Blue suddenly.

"4 hours per night for the last three nights. Don't worry, I've been using my blue light visor and listening to my 200+ beats per minute music playlist to keep me going. I'm fine. You know how I do this."

Blue sighed, "Indigo, what's rule #1?"

Indigo rolled his eyes, "I got the equivalent amount of sleep, Blue."

"What's rule #1?" whispered Crystal to Silver.

"Get 8 hours of sleep before doing any planning," whispered Silver back.

Crystal sighed, "So we've been led by a sleep deprived leader all this time?"

"I'm not sleep deprived! I've been keeping myself awake just fine with coffee, blue light, and the 200+ BPM playlist. You know I can do this, Blue. Remember the second Mask of Ice mission in Saffron City?"

"Indigo! That was a fluke! Remember what happened after that mission?"

"I know what happened. We just need to take out that third Rocket Base, fast! I can crash later and it won't matter because you all will be hunting down the scared remnants of Team Rocket. It's not optimal and something of a calculated risk, sure, but I've done the research. My blue light visor and music counteract sleepiness. Add the coffee to that and I'll be fine! I tested this method on two hours of sleep a night for a week. It works! I've even expanded my team size to account for any errors in battle!"

Green sighed, "You're an idiot. Your strategy relies heavily on mind games and predicting what the enemy will do. While not a bad idea when you know who you're fighting, it won't work so well when we don't even know who the mastermind behind Team Rocket is. You're planning to go up against Giovanni, but what if it's Archer calling the shots? He's far too aggressive to bother with checking for traps! If you'd gotten enough sleep, you would have recognized that," said Green, "I propose we take a more defensive position at a secret base in a more remote area, case our opponent is not Giovanni."

"I like that plan better," said Crystal.

"Me too," agreed Orange.

Indigo sighed irritably, "Whatever."

"Should we stick to a hideout closer to civilization, though?" asked Lyra, "We could mobilize faster."

"No, we can't!" said Gold, "What happens if they are able to find us and bring something that we aren't prepared for? We'll be sitting ducks!"

Everybody paused for a second to look at Gold. "What? I'm trying to turn over a new page in life!"

Orange cleared her throat, "For once, I agree with Gold. I would also feel better on my home turf. Violet, Yellow and I will have an advantage, especially if we are in the middle of nowhere. It will be harder to coordinate large groups further out from civilization for those city slickers."

Silver said, "Indigo, Blue, Lyra and I will fare better closer to civilization. We can turn the back alleys and shady parts of town they like against them."

"If I may," said Crystal, "I like the idea of relocating as well. I think Team Rocket is likely to counterattack soon, and we should make any attacks as difficult as possible for them."

Blue replied, "Would it be better to split up? We could have two teams, one at a closer secret base and one at a more remote secret base. It will make us a harder target to hit."

"I disagree," said Red, "We should all stick together. Team Rocket has the advantage of overwhelming numbers and the more of us we have in one place, the harder we are to take down. United we stand, right?"

"Will you guys just come up with something? Anything works as long as Team Rocket falls," said Violet impatiently.

"I think our decision has been made for us…." said Yellow with a hint of alarm in her voice as she looked out the window.

"Why's that?" asked Crystal, surprised.

"They've found us. We're surrounded."

 


 

Dexholder Profile: Red

Title: The Battler

Red is the unofficial leader of the dexholders and the Champion of the Kanto Region. As his title suggests, he is one of the four best battlers among the dexholders and is unanimously considered the strongest battler of all of them. He is originally from Pallet Town and is well known to all of the children of Pallet Town. Additionally, Red has always been known to have a knack for battling and can intuitively come up with strategies on the fly. He's also a warm, friendly person, who is very difficult to dislike. Finally, Red has a very strong sense of justice and will not hesitate to jump in to rescue someone or defend a hurt human or Pokemon. Red's greatest weakness is considered to be his lack of forethought. He generally does not stop to think or plan, especially when time is of the essence. This is offset by his ability to think on the fly, but Red has been known to walk into traps or rush in without a plan relatively frequently compared to his peers. when He works best with Green, Gold, Violet, Crystal and Yellow.

Team:

Poliwrath (Poli)

Venusaur (Saur)

Pikachu (Pika)

Snorlax (Lax)

Eevee (Vui)

Aerodactyl (Aero)

 

Dexholder Profile: Green

Title: The Trainer

Green is the unofficial second in command to Red's unofficial leadership position. He is known for his strict training ability. His Pokémon are so well trained that they are able to battle without his instructions. This was beaten into him as a child as he trained underneath Chuck. Green is considered one of the four strongest trainers among the dexholders. He's considered a close second to Red, but stronger than both Indigo and Blue. One sore point that should not be brought up around him is the subject of Green's parents. Green lost his parents at a very young age to a car accident and was raised mostly by his grandfather and his older sister. Green's greatest weakness is his overconfidence in his abilities. While a very strong trainer who has every reason to be confident in his abilities, Green has always been known to have a little too much confidence in his abilities. Additionally, Green is not known for being the best people person. While not unfriendly, he tends to come across as cold and uncaring, though that could not be further from the actual truth. Green works best with Red, Orange, and Silver.

Team:

Scizor

Infernape

Pidgeot

Rhyperior

Kabutops

Machamp

 

Dexholder Profile: Blue

Title: The Evolver

Blue is a highly tuned mixture of intelligence and people skills. She's easily the best people person among all of the dexholders and has a finely honed sense and feel for people. She is also the resident expert on Pokemon evolution, having studied the subject intensively under the Mask of Ice. As a child, she was kidnapped by the Mask of Ice. While there, she was partnered with Silver, and the two formed a sibling bond. After some time, Blue and Silver hatched a successful plan to escape the clutches of the Mask of Ice. After their escape, they became con artists to support themselves and find a way to bring down the Mask of Ice. Information on this time is limited, but it is known that Blue and Silver met and began working with Indigo and Lyra during this time. After the Mask of Ice incident, Blue was able to reconnect with her parents. Blue has had a significant influence on both Lyra and Silver, and it is a commonly known fact that Blue and Indigo have rubbed off on each other significantly, and the four share many skills. Blue's greatest weakness is her lack of trust in people. After years of living on her own with Silver, she has very minimal faith in people she does not know. While she is good at interacting with people, gaining her trust is a very different matter, and can take months to earn. As such, it is highly unwise to try to double cross her. She works best with Indigo, Lyra and Silver.

Team:

Jigglypuff

Clefable (Clefy)

Blastoise (Blasty)

Ditto (Ditty)

Empoleon (Poly)

Nidoqueen (Nidory)

 

Dexholder Profile: Silver

Title: The Itemizer

Silver is best described as a renegade trainer with a keen eye, a strict honor code, and a heart of gold. He is also the resident expert on Pokemon items, having studied the subject intensively under the Mask of Ice. As a child, he was kidnapped by the Mask of Ice. While there, he was partnered with Blue, and the two formed a sibling bond. After some time, Blue and Silver hatched a successful plan to escape the clutches of the Mask of Ice. After their escape, they became con artists to support themselves and find a way to bring down the Mask of Ice. Information on this time is limited, but it is known that Silver and Blue met and began working with Indigo and Lyra during this time. After the Mask of Ice incident, Silver began searching for his family. During the Sevvi Island Incident, it was revealed that Silver's father is Giovanni. This is a very sensitive topic for Silver. It should NOT be mentioned lightly and should not be brought up often with Silver. Silver has been greatly influenced by both Blue and Indigo and has picked up many skills from both. In the absence of Indigo and Lyra, he is the most technologically adept dexholder. Silver's greatest weakness is his paranoia. After years of living on his own with Blue, he has learned that things don't just work out and he is constantly trying to make sure that things do. To this end, he will constantly check and double check everything to the frustration of everybody around him. It is advisable to let him check at least a few times, and only try to convince him to stop worrying after that. He works best with Blue, Indigo, Lyra and Green.

Team:

Marowak

Empoleon

Feraligatr

Ursaring

Skarmory

Tauros


Am I the only one who feels that Silver's canon specialty being trading is a little lame? I figured changing this to an item usage specialist also lets his specialty be similar to Blue's, while also giving him something of his own. And as always, thanks for reading!

Chapter Text

“What!?” exclaimed Indigo, as he rushed to the window. Outside of the lab were dozens of Rocket grunts, their Pokémon at the ready. “Oh, it’s on now……..”

Red shouted, “Everyone! Pull out your Pokémon! Keep your flyer on hand – we’ll need to move fast if we’re going to escape!”

“Silver, which base should we head to?” asked Blue.

Silver thought for a moment as everybody grabbed their pokeballs, and then said, “Head for the old electric plant on the east coast! If you don’t know where that is, follow me!”

Red looked around and said, “Ok, we’ll need to cover a place to take off.  We’ll get outside and make a semicircle in the door. First priority to fly is Orange, Yellow, and Professor Oak. Second group to fly is going to be Gold, Silver, Crystal and Lyra. After that, I want Blue and Violet in the sky. Green, Indigo and I will bring up the rear. You guys will need to provide some fire from the sky for us in the last group, all right?”

Crystal nodded, “We can do that.”

“Then we’ll follow Silver to the secret base. We execute our plan on my mark. Everybody on board?” asked Red. Everybody chorused an assent.

“Then let’s go. Blue, you want to do the talking?”

Blue grinned deviously. “With pleasure!”

As they walked through the hallway, Gold closed his eyes and took several deep breaths. Silver looked over at him. “What’s up with you?”

“Nothing,” growled Gold.

“Yeah right,” muttered Silver.

The dexholders funneled out of the main door to the lab and made a defensive semicircle around the door and Professor Oak in the back. Crystal looked up as a familiar figure stepped out in front of the troops, sporting a sharp suit with a distinctive R emblazoned on the pocket.

“Chairman Blois?”

“Ah, yes, Oak’s little ‘dexholder’ team. Along with the Champion, a gym leader, an actress, a Shadow Trainer, and a wandering photographer, a Viridian trainer, a conservationist, a washed-out celebrity, a security expert, a lab rat, and a move tutor. What an odd little illegal group.”

“So, you’re Team Rocket’s inside man in the League!” said Blue.

“Indeed I am, if you could even call me an inside man. As Leader of Team Rocket, I would say that the League was under my control all along. Which means that I rule Kanto and Johto. And as I have shut down your Pokedex project, twice I might add, you are all guilty of forming an illegal organization.”

“No more illegal than yours, I’m afraid. And who do you think the rest of the league is going to listen to?” asked Blue with a smirk.

“Ah yes, miss actress. Who would they listen to, a performer, or a master politician with real experience?” asked Chairman Blois.

“Oh, the actress for sure. Especially since you and your little Rocket friends won’t stand a chance against the might of the Dexholders,” said Blue cheerily, “We’ll have you all nicely mopped up by sundown! I’ll be sure to make sure you get a nice cushy jail cell! Don’t worry, since your special and all, you’ll get extra condiments to go with your slop there! Trust me, it meets all the technical requirements to be considered food!”

“Well, it’s a shame that you’ll find your strength……lacking against my men. It’s a shame. You all could have lived if you stayed disbanded like you were supposed to. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to cut your careers short,” said Chairman Blois. “It will be a shame, truly. I was looking forward to your appearances in the Pokebot Wars movies.”

“Oh, no! I’m too beautiful to die!” gasped Blue dramatically.

“I’m afraid you are not my dear,” said the Chairman. “Gentlemen, if you please. Destroy these rebels. Our new regime cannot be hindered by villains such as these. Farewell, dexholders,” he said as he turned on his heel. The Rocket Grunts let out a battle cry and began to charge at the dexholders.

 “NOW!” Red shouted as he released his Poliwrath. The rest of the Dexholders released their Pokémon. Professor Oak, Yellow and Orange shot up into the sky on their Pokémon, as the other dexholders prepared to fight.

“Poli! Use Hydro Pump!”

Red looked to his side, to see Gold standing behind Explotaro, his legs shaking.

“B..Buddy! Use Fire Blast!” shouted Gold. Something was wrong. Gold never had a shortage of overconfidence and bravado. He’d have to investigate later, but for now, the safest thing was to get him in the air. He looked to his other side.

“MEGA STORM SURGE!” bellowed Blue, Silver, Indigo and Lyra, as Blasty and Feraligatr fired simultaneous Surf attacks to create a colossal wave and Magna and Dux electrified the wave from behind them.

From somewhere behind him, Red heard Crystal scream “Mega! Use Petal Blizzard!” It snapped him back to attention as he looked over at Green, next to him. Green looked back and nodded.

“Scizor!” shouted Green.

“Poli!” shouted Red.

“Use Flash Mob!” they shouted together.
 Both Scizor and Poli quickly used Substitute, creating clones of themselves. Then, all four used Double Team, surrounding the dexholders with illusions of themselves. The Rockets jumped, surprised by the number of illusions they were suddenly faced with.

Red turned back, and quietly said, “Groups 2 and 3, get in the air, now!”

Red recalled Poli quickly and sent out Aero. There was no time to waste. Green followed suit, sending out Charizard. He clenched Charizard’s pokeball in his hand tightly. He was nervous. After years of working with the stoic trainer, Red could tell. It was no wonder, it was a risky maneuver that they were trying to pull off, but it was their best and fastest way to get out of this mess. The Rocket grunts were now destroying the illusions quickly. Indigo, next to his Staraptor and Empoleon braced for another round of battle. Red glanced up and smiled. The others were swooping back down. A rain of attacks began striking the ground next to the incoming Rocket Grunts.

“Noctee! Use Hurricane!”

“Sarah! Use Hyper Beam!”

“Magna! Use Flash Cannon!”

“Skarmory! Use Swift!”

“Mantaro! Use Bubblebeam!”

“Kitty! Use Silver Wind!”

Theta! Use Air Slash!

“Jiggly! Use Thunderbolt!”

The panicking Rocket Grunts dove for cover, trying to avoid the aerial barrage, but some of the grunts that were further away managed to fire back. The aerial barrage suddenly ceased for evasive maneuvers. Red grit his teeth. He figured this might happen. At least it was just Green, Indigo and him on the ground. The three of them fighting back to back would difficult to bring down, but it was still a rather precarious situation. Anything could happen in battle. Red reached for a different Pokeball and something in his pocket.

“Aero! Return! Vui! Let’s get them!”

The Eevee let out a cheery cry as he landed in front of Red. Time for Team Rocket to get a taste of their own medicine.

Red pulled his hand out of his pocket, Vermilion evolution stones in hand. He held out the Fire Stone, and Vui transformed into a Flareon.

“Heat Wave!” Red shouted. Vui unleashed a searing hot wave of heat that slowed down the Rockets in front of them as they tried to get to their feet or clamber out from behind cover. That ought to slow their advance a little. 

A sudden howl came from their side, a long howl that started low in pitch, suddenly jumped to a high pitch and then returned low. Red glanced over to see Jaws, nose pointed to the sky as he finished the howl from behind Indigo. Indigo yelled,

“Wings! Striker! Use Nor’easter Fury!”

Striker whipped up a Whirlwind as Wings fired a Blizzard straight into the gale. The two attacks combined into a vicious icy cyclone that threw around pokemon and Rocket Grunts alike as Indigo recalled Jaws. Red’s eyes narrowed as he returned to the grunts in front of him and pulled out his Leaf Stone. Vui transformed into a Leafeon. That howl was definitely a signal, probably to Blue or Lyra. Hopefully whatever it was would work. They just needed to hang on until the others were able to make their plan work. He glared back at the Rocket grunts coming to challenge him.

“Vui! Use Leaf Blade!”

 

Lyra hissed as the wind whipped past her. Was Indigo crazy? First, Team Rocket had forced them out of attacking range in the sky, and now this? She could see the grunts on the ground. She would have ignored the signal, but if they tried to get back into attacking range now, they’d be shot out of the sky. How little sleep had he actually got?

“What was that howl?” asked Orange.

“It’s a signal!” yelled Lyra.

“What for?”

“To split up!” shouted Blue.

“NO! They’ll get left behind and captured!” yelled Gold. “That’s suicide! We can’t beat Team Rocket without those three!”

Silver turned around and said, “No, it’s not.”

“What do you mean?” asked Violet.

“Blue! Lyra! Remember that time we fought the Masked Man in Olivine City?”

“Yeah?” shouted Lyra. It suddenly clicked in her head. “Oh! That makes sense!”

“What makes sense!?” yelled Orange, confused.

“We do the same thing! Lyra, you know where the Power Plant Secret Base is! Take everybody else and go! Blue and I will do what you and Indigo did last time!”

“You think it will work?” Lyra yelled back.

“We’ll make it work!” shouted Blue. “Go!”

Lyra simply gave them a thumbs up and took off eastward.

“What is it with you guys and ‘that one time in some city’ plans?” yelled Violet.

 “Don’t worry, it will work! Trust us!” yelled Blue, “Just get out of here safe! We’ll get Red, Green and Indigo off the ground!”

Violet shook her head and followed Lyra with the others eastward.

Blue looked over at Silver.

“You ready?”

“Yeah. Let’s do this.”

The two flew downwards and landed behind the grunts. Some of the grunts rushed up and arrived as they landed.

“Jiggly! Use Hyper Voice!”

Jiggly puffed itself up and let out a booming cry which manifested itself in a visible shock wave, which bowled over the few grunts. Blue and Silver both pulled out different pokeballs as they dashed down the path to the lab. A stray grunt who happened to be looking backwards let out a shout of alarm as the two dexholders prepared to battle. Dozens of grunts turned on their heels to face them.

“Blasty!

“Feraligatr!”

The two raised their arms in unison as blue crystals on each of their arms began to glow.

“HYDRO VORTEX!” they shouted in unison.

 

Green’s eyes widened. So, this was what Indigo meant when he’d shouted, “Get Ready!”. They’d all heard that Hyper Voice. Hopefully this was part of whatever plan Indigo and Blue had going on.

“CHARIZARD! PROTECT!” he yelled.

Charizard protected itself. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Red recall his Eevee and send out his Snorlax to block the hit as Indigo and his Staraptor took cover behind his Empoleon.

A massive blast of water rushed past them. Thankfully, it wasn’t directly targeted at them, but they were still within the splash zone. As the attack died down, a few disoriented and confused Rocket Grunts rolled over next to them, soaking wet and thoroughly disorientated from the powerful Z Water attacks.

“GO! NOW!” bellowed Red, “AERO! GET US OUT OF HERE!”

“CHARIZARD!” roared Green as he clambered onto its back.

“STRIKER! TIME TO BAIL!” yelled Indigo, recalling Wings.

Red, Green and Indigo soared up into the air. Blue and Silver caught up with them as they gained altitude. Blue shouted, “Go east! Before they catch up!”

 


Thank you to everyone who has continued to read this story! I appreciate all of your support!

Chapter Text

Silver touched down and jumped off his Skarmory’s back as the other Dexholders followed his lead. It had taken a little maneuvering to shake a few pursuing Rocket Grunts on their Pidgeot, but they had easily managed it and had finally reached their destination. It was on a remote beach a few miles north of the old abandoned power plant. As they swooped down, they could see the others dotted around on the shoreline.

Lyra was talking to Orange and Violet. As they got nearer, they heard her say, “We nearly caught up with the Masked Man once in Olivine. Silver was hurt and a Johto Police Investigator had gotten himself in the mix and then got knocked out. Blue stayed behind to fight the Masked Man, while Silver, Indigo and I escaped with the investigator. We had Silver get the investigator to safety while Indigo and I circled around and attacked the Masked Man from behind. It gave Blue enough time to escape.”

“You need to make a file or something about that. So the rest of us have an idea of what crazy plan you’re doing,” said Orange flatly, arms crossed.

“We’ll do that later. Right now, everybody is safe, and that’s what matters,” said Professor Oak firmly.

Crystal sighed from where she had slumped down on a piece of driftwood. She was getting too used to lab life for this crap. Gold perked up from the barrel he’d been sitting on as the others landed.

“All right, everyone! Follow me!” said Silver as he walked inland.

Silver followed a barely noticeable trail towards a high knoll near the shorline. It cast a long shadow in front of it as the sun began to set behind it. The long, wild grass swayed gently in the breeze, casting streaks of dull grass in the shadows and brilliant, glowing grass in the setting sunlight. Silver walked up to the cliff face and pushed a large bunch of vines aside to reveal a relatively clean and spacious interior of a cave.

“Oh, this is what I’m talking about!” said Gold excitedly, “Here I was thinking we’d be roughing it under the stars!”

“It’s well hidden – that’s what’s important,” said Green, “How well is this base stocked?”

Silver replied, “This one’s got our largest supply caches. It’s meant to help the four of us hide out for at least 4 months undetected. For 13 people, we should have enough for at least a few weeks.”

“That’s good. We’ll probably need to strike fast, so hopefully we won’t be here that long,” said Red. “Do we have any contact to the outside world form here?”

“I installed a router right before we left for Kalos,” smirked Silver. “Internet’s slow and a bit spotty, but it’s there. We can check the news, if a bit slowly. Its signal is also obscured by all the interference from the nearby power plant, so we should be pretty undetectable here.”

“My man! You make me proud!” said Indigo.

“I learned from the best,” smirked Silver.

“Yes. Yes, you did!” grinned Indigo back at him.

Red cleared his throat and said “Well, everybody, let’s all get settled in. We could all probably use a good night’s sleep.”

A chorus of assents was heard, as the dexholders began to drop their various belongings around the cave. Indigo collapsed into a corner. He couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer without enough coffee. The blue light visor couldn’t cut it on his own, and the music was a no go in battle. Being able to hear was far more important. Idly, as he fell asleep, he wondered if an adrenaline or caffeine administration system could be mounted onto his snag machine. He’d have to look into that.

 

Indigo woke with a start and checked his Xtranciever. He’d been asleep for nearly an hour. He stretched and shuffled outside of the cave. It was sat down on an old metal barrel outside the cave, while the others busied themselves on the inside. He’d set up his sleeping bag later. He gazed over the ocean as the sun slowly sank towards the horizon behind him. This time of day was always beautiful. He mused to himself idly that he should get out a bit more than he did. He missed being on the road like this. It brought back memories. Good ones, back from when the Pokedex project had only recently been started, and he was just a teenager. Back from when it was just Blue, Silver, Lyra and him preparing for another midnight mission. Back when it was just Wes, Rui, Michael, Lyra, and…..well, it was better not to go back that far. It wasn’t time to rip Ein a new one yet. He sighed in contentment. It had been far, far too long since he’d gotten to enjoy a moment like this. The sea breeze gently blew the wild grass at his feet.

From behind him, he heard a noise and turned to see Gold stalk out of the cave and walk off into the brush. Indigo just shrugged. The guy could probably use some time for reflection after all that had happened that day. Somebody cleared their throat from behind him. He turned around. “Oh. It’s you.”

“Yes, it’s me,” said Violet. She sat down next to him. “Out to enjoy the sunset, I guess.”

After a while, Indigo said, “This whole thing. It’s been about Iceberg, hasn’t it?”

Violet froze. After a long silence, she said, “Yes.”

After a pause, Indigo said, “I’m sorry. She went out like a hero, you know?”

“No, you’re not,” she snapped. “You called her out into battle when you shouldn’t have.”

Indigo sighed, “Ok, for the record, she was the one who wanted to chase down Ein and second of all, she was my only strong Pokémon fit to battle at the time.”

“What do you mean ‘strong Pokémon?”

“Well, Jaws was still fit to battle, but he was still a Growlithe at the time and also wasn’t very strong either. We used him mostly for tracking, retriving snag pokeballs on the battlefield, as an early warning system.”

“What about your other team members?”

“Well, my three Shadow Pokémon took a beating up against Greevil, and Boxer had done most of the fighting on the way in. He was pretty tired by the time we fought Greevil and was knocked out about midway through the fight. All Iceberg had done was help finish off Greevil.”

“Boxer?”

“My Ledian.” Indigo held up one of his extra pokeballs. From inside, a Ledian waved one of its arms cheerily. Violet smiled and waved back at it.

“He wouldn’t miss another fight against Ein for the world. Iceberg was his friend, you know.” Indigo pocketed the Pokeball and said, “I fought Ein in a 1 vs 12 battle that day.” Violet froze but stayed silent and stared down into the grass.

“She was magnificent,” said Indigo with a faraway look in his eyes. “He just kept sending out Shadow Pokémon and we just kept snagging them. Ice Cube fought like a champion. You could see the rage in her eyes. Ein would send out another Shadow Pokémon, and she’d just shut his entire strategy down. I wasn’t even giving commands for half of what she was doing, she was just destroying him on her own. He was getting pretty frustrated by the end of the battle and….that’s when he targeted me.”

“WHAT?”

“Yeah, he had his Shadow Tyrannitar attack me with a Shadow Z move.”

“But that’s!”

“Dirty? Unfair? Cheap? It’s just the nature of battles against criminals, Violet.”

“And…..she blocked? For….for you?”

“Yeah. She did.”

“But….how? Why? Why would she protect you!?”

“But…why?”

“Well, I can’t understand what Pokémon say, but she always took a liking to me……and I never figured out why. At the time, I was just glad to have a strong, non-Shadow Pokémon on my team. She always seemed to care for us. Sang us to sleep, made sure we ate well, even caught us fish sometimes. Always sang the same song, too. And she always would bounce her head like this, while she sang.” Indigo bobbed his head to mimic the way Iceberg did.

“No…..why!?”

“What do you mean?”

“She……Iceberg was part of my pod.”

“Yeah, I figured that.”

“I knew her…..you just confirmed it. My Lapras mom was the pod’s leader. Iceberg was my Lapras aunt….my Lapras mom’s little sister. She…..was the strongest fighter of the entire pod. Sh-she was my inspiration. I….looked up to her so much. We’d fought…..dozens of poachers, and she always charged them, even when the rest of us were fleeing. She…..never took any kind of injustice lying down. But…..she always wanted a calf of her own. And she never found a mate. Then one day……poachers surrounded us. Really good ones. She…..stayed behind to fight them…….and…….and……” Violet broke down sobbing.

“You never saw her again,” finished Indigo grimly, “Let me tell you, she got her revenge all right. Between me and her, we absolutely destroyed Cipher. Grunts, Commanders, Admins, we tore straight through them. Especially after Boxer joined the team. They were just as scared of Ice Cube and I as they were scared Wes.”

“No…..no…..”

“Then what is it?”

“I…..I…..”

Indigo remained silent. At least, that’s probably what Blue would tell him to do in this situation. He really, really hoped that’s what Blue would tell him to do, because she was usually right for this kind of thing.

Violet nodded. She began sniffling again, as a few more tears rolled down her face. Indigo remained silent. Eventually, Violet spoke up.

“You…..you’re her calf….and Lyra too……just like I’m Artica’s calf…….she adopted you….didn’t she?”

“Adopted?” said Indigo, puzzled. “I don’t know about that. But, that would explain why she was so insistent on Lyra eating her vegetables.”

“Huh? Doesn’t Lyra not eat vegetables? Like, at all?”

“Not when Ice Cube was around. She’d take her plate in her mouth, follow her to her room, and stick it in her face until she ate it! And she made these growling noises too!”

Violet made a tearful smile, “That sounds just like her. She really cared for you two, didn’t she?”

“So, let me get this straight. You’re saying Ice Cube adopted me and Lyra just as her sister adopted you?” asked Indigo.

“Y-yes.”

“That….makes us what? Lapras cousins?” asked Indigo.

There was an awkward silence.

 “I think so?” said Violet.

“Well, that’s pretty awkward.”

“Yeah.”

There was another awkward silence.

“Listen, Violet, I probably shouldn’t have had you come to the Pokémon HQ. I’m sorry.”

“No…..I’m sorry. I…..assumed you had been overly aggressive, just like you were with the Shadow Pokémon ……you clearly do care…..you looked like the poachers I fight so often on the outside……..but your heart is totally different……I just couldn’t see it….. and didn’t want to believe it……the battle pit for the Shadow Pokémon ……there was just……such pain there…….but it’s the same process that helped Iceberg, right? The one she pioneered?”

“It is,” confirmed Indigo.

 Violet continued, “Iceberg…….she’s been my inspiration for….everything. To stand up against injustices. To fight like a champion against evil wherever it stands!”

Indigo smiled, “That’s how she fought, all right. And Cipher most definitely felt it.”

“Did you ever catch the person who……you know……”

“Ein got away that day. But the day I caught up to him……well, it was good that Blue was there. I hacked the medical report later for kicks. The injury list alone was nearly a page long in size 12 font.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. He was in the hospital for 6 months before he was fit to stand trial.”

“And he’s the one that’s back, right? That you’re preparing to fight?”

“He is. I was planning on squaring off with him, but if you want to take him on, he’s yours.”

Violet paused and took a deep breath, then a second one. “No. He killed your Lapras mother, not mine. He is yours.”

Indigo nodded, “Then I will face him with everything I’ve got.”

“Stand up for justice like she did. Stand up for all those Pokémon that monster hurt. Make her proud!”

“I will.”

 

Crystal walked through the brush, stretching her legs on an old, faded path paralleling the shoreline. It had probably last seen use while the powerplant was still running, which had been nearly 10 years ago. She rounded a bend in the road and saw a few old abandoned houses. Next to them were a few berry trees with some ripe fruit. Predictably, Lyra was sitting under one of them, stuffing her face with some of the wild Berries. Crystal waved as she walked up.

“Need to get away from it all?” asked Lyra.

“Yeah. Too used to working with a handful of people in lab. It’s been a long time since we’ve had so many of us in close proximity.”

“Heh, you got that right.” Lyra handed Crystal a Pecha Berry. She accepted it and sat down next to her. She took a bite. A little underripe and a little small, but it was still fairly sweet. The two munched on their berries in contentment. After a few minutes, Lyra asked, “So, how’s lab life been?”

“Oh, you know, the usual. Analyze endless quantities of data, talk to the juniors, analyze more endless quantities of data. Wear a lab coat. Drink coffee that only Professor Oak likes and nobody else does.”

Lyra laughed, “Violet brought her own coffee with her when she came to the lab yesterday. She wasn’t drinking that stuff!”

The two laughed at that.

“How is Move Tutor life?” asked Crystal.

“It’s pretty nice! You get to travel a lot when you have rich patrons. They pay for you to go to them, you get nice accommodations, stuff like that. More day to day, you go to Pokémon Centers and stuff, and get talking to people. You eventually end up talking to trainers who want their Pokémon to learn a new move to get an advantage, and boom! You make a sale!” said Lyra.

“Sounds like you’re a perfect fit!”

“Yeah, it is pretty nice for me,” said Lyra.

There was a pause as they munched on their berries.

“What do you think of the new Moon of Love movie?” asked Lyra.

“The fantasy romance one where the girl is turned into a Jigglypuff and goes to the Clefable kingdom on the moon? I liked it!” said Crystal.

“Didn’t you think it was weird how her brother shows up at the end?”

“And he’s not turned into a Pokémon either? I dunno. I can see why they did it, but yeah, it is strange. Her and the Clefairy prince are really cute together, though!”

“And when he turns out to be a human too at the end!”

“Yeah, that was a necessary plot twist. I saw it coming, but they couldn’t have done the ending that they did if they didn’t do it.”

Lyra sighed, and said, “You know, I know it’s kinda off topic, but it’s really nice to talk to someone outside of the usual. Like Blue is always a riddle, even for me, and most trainers I talk to are customers. It isn’t often that I just get to talk,” said Lyra.

“I know what you mean,” said Crystal. “None of the other lab aides are much for conversation.”

“I bet. How much older than you are they?”

“The youngest is…..15 years older than me.”

“That young?” asked Lyra.

“I know, right?” Crystal sighed, “We should do this more often. Once we’re done cleaning up Team Rocket?”

“I’m in!” said Lyra.

 

Gold sat on a log and sighed. He held his head in his hands. Why couldn’t he do anything right? Ok, so maybe he drank too much and had some dumb stuff. And now Crystal wouldn’t forgive him. Indigo was right, as much as he hated to admit it. This was likely to be his one chance to make things right, and he just couldn’t! Why couldn’t he! He had tried as hard as he could! What was going wrong? He was pretty sure that his indecision was starting to show. It’s not like…..no, he could do this. He would do this! But why hadn’t anything he’d tried worked? What more was there to try? He’d tried to do the heroic thing, and it had failed. He’d tried being a rock star! He’d……what more could he try? No! He’d make it work! Like he always did! He’d…….ugh…….. why did he like Crystal so much in the first place? Memories of the two going to catch Pokémon during the dexholder project and moments of her listening to him play songs from his first album before it published came flooding back to him unbidden. She was always the steady hand that reined him in from going too far. He was the fire that inspired her to carry on. But why? They should have been a perfect fit! Why couldn’t he just…..you know…….

A voice behind him said, “You know, Gold? You shouldn’t look so down.”

Gold jumped and sputtered, “Eh? Why’s that?” He looked over his shoulder and saw Yellow standing behind him. “I don’t look down, anyway. What are you talking about? Do you need something?”

Yellow gave him a knowing look, “I don’t need anything. I’m not blind, Gold. But really, for all the bad press and stuff, you really aren’t as bad as they say you are.”

Gold paused, surprised. “Really? You think so?”

“Of course, I do, Gold! You came to save Orange and me! You even helped Crystal walk me out of the building! I was about to pass out, but you made sure I made it! They can say whatever they want, I know you have a real heart of gold! Those stupid TV people forgot all about everything you did! How you singlehandedly brought the Pokémon Abuse Recovery Center to national prominence! You were the only celebrity who championed their cause, and if it weren’t for you, they’d still be just that one dingy little location in Violet City that was understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded! If it weren’t for you, the Endangered Pokémon Preservation bill might not have passed! Surely at least Violet hasn’t forgotten that one, and I most certainly haven’t! And none of us, none of us, have forgotten about how you fought the Mask of Ice in a one on one battle despite how badly out of your league you were! You stalled him to let the rest of us catch up and even delivered the finishing blow! You’re not a terrible person Gold! You’re an inspiration! People listen to you! And sure, you weren’t a good inspiration for a while, but you’re turning it all around, right? So, keep it up! Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, ok?”

For the first time in what felt like forever, Gold cracked a genuine smile. “Thanks Yellow. I…..really needed to hear that.”

“That’s good!” said a third voice.

Yellow and Gold both jumped.

“Ah! Don’t worry! It’s me!” said Red. “I noticed you looked a little down earlier, so I thought I’d come check up on you. Looks like Yellow has it all under control?”

“Yup!” said Yellow with a smile.

“That’s good. I was out to see if you wanted to train a little bit? Knock off a little dust so you can rock their socks off tomorrow?”

“Dang, how many years have you been champion? Your jokes and references still haven’t improved. It’s a good thing you’ve got a writer for your speeches!” said Gold.

“Is it that obvious?” asked Red

“Only to us, since we know you well,” said Yellow.

“Whew, that’s good.”

“But I’ll take you up on that,” said Gold. “I do need to knock off some rust. Want to join us, Yellow?”

“Oh, I’ll be all right. But I’ll watch you two battle!”

“Then I, Gold, shall show you the true power of the Johto Dexholders!”

Red sighed, “Oh boy, there he goes again. All right, hotshot! Bring it on!”

 


Thank you to everyone who has continued to read this story! I appreciate all of your support!

 

Chapter Text

Orange laid out a sleeping bag and put an orange strip of duct tape on the middle to mark it as hers. She flopped onto the sleeping bag and rolled over. She looked to her right, where Green was rolling out a sleeping bag of his own, amid the patchwork of sleeping bags arranged in the cave.

“Need a hand?” she asked.

“I’m good, but thanks,” said Green. “I’m not that out of practice.”

“That’s good.”

There was a moment of silence.

“When’s the last time you’ve been out in the wild like this?” asked Orange.

“Around 3 years,” said Green without hesitation. “Running the gym keeps me busy.”

“You should get out more. It’s good for your Pokémon. Good for you too,” said Orange.

Green sighed, “I have my gym to take care of.”

“You work too much,” said Orange bluntly. “Why do all of that work if you never get to see the world?”

“You work too little,” said Green bluntly. “What do you have to show for all of the times you fall off the face of the earth and wander…..wherever you go?”

Orange reached into her bag and pulled out a repurposed hard powertool case, decorated with stickers from various locales. Green’s eyes widened as she opened the case to reveal several jars. In one jar was almost a quart of stardust – far more than he’d ever seen in once place before. It glowed with an unearthly luminescence like a nightlight in the darkening cave. Other jars contained large amounts of pearls, gold nuggets, star pieces, evolutionary stones and other things that Orange had picked up on her journeys. She smirked, “Sure, it’s not a position or prestige, but wandering as much as I do doesn’t come without benefits!”

Green asked, “How long does it take to find all of that?”

“A lifetime,” replied Orange. “Adventure after adventure. I’ve been collecting this stuff since the first time I ran away from home to go on adventures! And I’ve never stopped since. Actually, I’ve found more than this here, but I had to sell some of my stash. You overspend your budget on unexpected expenses or opportunities too good to pass up sometimes. I’ve had to reach into the treasure chest on a few more occasions than I care to admit. Like the time I lost all my stuff escaping a flash flood.”

Green chuckled, “Exciting life, eh? Is that the lure?”

“Views you wouldn’t believe exist.  Going to places and going things you only hear about in books or on TV. Seeing stuff that they only have legends about! And getting to see what’s beyond the horizon!”

That was Orange in a nutshell all right. It had been a long, long time since Green had felt the call of adventure, but he was feeling it now. He hadn’t had a proper adventure since his dexholder days, when they had roamed the mountains and forests of Kanto and Johto in search of new Pokémon.

Green looked conflicted. Orange continued, “Come on! You know you want to! Don’t you have any vacation days built up? You work holidays and weekends most of the time, you’ve gotta have a stockpile of them! And you have your gym team that can fight on its own and your hologram techno gizmo thingy can run the gym, right? Oh, I’ll show you all these pictures I’ve taken! Speaking of which, I need to give some of these to Professor Oak for some presentation he was working on.”

Green sighed, “All right, if we make it through this, I’ll come with you one of these times. That make you happy?”

Orange grinned. “Yeah! It’ll be nice to have someone to help me gather firewood too! Yellow isn’t so good for that!”

Green smirked back, “Oh, and the ulterior motive comes out. What am I? Your workhorse?”

“But you probably couldn’t tell the difference between clover and poison ivy,” continued Orange. “Ugh! We’re gonna have to pack more food! No snacking off stuff right out of the ground! I can pick out some of the plants, but it’s not really safe without an expert like Yellow.”

“Yellow knows all that plant stuff? Figures, I guess, since she knows all about those healing plants she’s always got. Home grown botanist isn’t too bad to take with you, eh?”

“Oh, you bet! She’s probably picking us all salad right about now. Mmm, I could go for some dandelions right about now. I wonder if there are any outside? I know what those look like. Wanna come pick some?”

Green thought about it for a second and said, “Sure, why not?”

 

 

Crystal wandered down the path back towards the cave. She noticed a familiar shock of red hair off the side of the path, grabbing something off the ground.

“Silver? You need help?”

He stood up and turned around, “No, I’m fine. Was looking for some tinder and firewood so we could start a fire tonight. Found this old bird nest on the ground. Wanted to make sure it wasn’t still in use.”

Crystal nodded, “Do you need a hand?”

“More firewood is always good. Want to help?”

“I wouldn’t mind,” said Crystal.

After a few minutes of silence picking up wood, Crystal asked, “So how is being Blue’s security guard?”

Silver smiled, “Not bad, actually. You see some crazy people out there though. There was this one guy who insisted on getting an autograph and kept trying to get into the shoot. Had to literally tackle him, handcuff him, and drag him off with some of the other guys.”

“Really?” asked Crystal with a laugh.

“Actually, he was one of the tame ones.”

“I feel a story coming……..”

“So, we notice that some of the props went missing one day, right?”

“Yeah?”

“So, us security guys go to investigate. We catch this dude stealing the props. We find his SellMyStuff account  - he’s selling the props from the movie. He actually was making good money off it! He was in negotiations to sell a pair of socks he stole for 1 million Pokedollars!”

“Really? What a guy……”

“You know how I found him out?”

“How?”

“He uses all of the same techniques Blue does for sneaking in, except he probably looked it up somewhere on the internet and didn’t bother practicing much before trying it out. If you know what to look for, it’s quite obvious. Oh, and there was this other guy who thought he was Indigo. Tried to hack our system with a stolen Porygon and leak screenshots. To most people, it’s totally invisible, but to the right person, like me, he stood out like a sore thumb. People think you can just hack things with a Porygon and get away with it. If you don’t train your Porygon to do it right, there are a lot of tell-tale signs!”

Crystal laughed, “Only you would know those kinds of things!”

“Yeah, and that’s what makes me worth the big bucks!” said Silver. They both laughed at that.

“In all seriousness, some of these guys are totally nuts. Beyond just the usual screaming fans,” said Silver. “Bit more interesting then lab life?”

“Yeah, tell me about it. Wake up, go in, do lab stuff, do more lab stuff, go home, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat!”

Silver grinned, “And of course, drink Professor Oak’s favorite brand of coffee!”

Crystal sighed, “I have tried, SO HARD, to find Professor Oak a new brand of coffee, but he just doesn’t like anything!”

“Have you tried any of the Alolan types?”

“Some of them. He doesn’t like any of them! And they’re imports, so they’re pretty expensive! Which is why we’re still stuck with the cheapo gas station brand!”

Silver grinned, “Good luck!”

Crystal sighed, “Thanks, I’ll need it.”

 

 

The sun was almost behind the horizon as Silver struck a match, starting a camp fire as the night chill began to close in. Crystal had gone inside to check her pack for something. Lyra rubbed her hands and handed him kindling as he slowly fed the fire. As it began to grow in size, Indigo and Blue arrived, carrying larger sticks and branches to burn on the fire.

The two unceremoniously dumped the sticks into a pile before sitting down next to the fire.

“Ahhh……how long has it been?” asked Blue.

“Since we did this?” asked Lyra.

“Yeah.”

“I think it was during the Sevvi Island Incident. So…..” started Lyra

“4 years ago? Man, what happened to us?” said Blue.

“We got old,” said Indigo. Everybody snickered to that. “I became a researcher, Blue became an actress, Silver became a bodyguard, and Lyra’s still leeching off me!”

“Oh please. I make tons of money off my Move Tutor business!” retorted Lyra.

“Yeah. I still don’t know how you managed to teach yourself how to teach Pokémon egg and TM moves,” said Blue.

“They don’t call me The Tutor nothing, Miss Evolver!”

“That’s Lady Evolver to you!”

They all laughed at that.

“At least it’s better than my title. Professor Oak isn’t very creative with names or descriptions,” said Silver. “I need a different title than ‘Itemizer’ for knowing the best ways to use items.”

“Well, I mean it’s not like any of ours are super creative. I’m the Snagger, big shock there, just like Orange is the Photographer and Violet is the Transformer,” said Indigo. “Seriously, when do you see Orange without her camera?”

“When she’s wearing an orange prison jumpsuit,” replied Lyra sarcastically. “I almost didn’t recognize her when we broke her and Yellow out of Team Rocket jail.”

“No kidding. She looked like a different person! You should have seen her!” said Indigo.

Silver grinned and stared into the fire as Blue quipped back. It really had been too long. His stomach growled. It apparently also had been too long since he’d eaten. He got to his feet. “I’m gonna get some food on the fire. Anyone want to help me?”

“Lyra does!” said Blue and Indigo simultaneously.

“All right, all right, love birds,” said Lyra, as she got to her feet. “You’d better still be here when we get back.”

“All right, all right,” said Indigo as the two walked back into the cave, brushing past Orange and Green as they headed for the seashore.

“Ooh! Do I sense a new couple?” asked Blue mischievously after they’d passed them.

“Green and Orange? Well, stranger things have happened, I guess……” said Indigo.

“So, how have you been?” asked Blue.

“Oh, been working on the purification machine. We’ve been making good progress, but it isn’t quite ready to run yet. How about you?”

“Oh, you know, the joys of filming.”

There was a pause.

“Are we better off this way?” asked Blue.

“Honestly, I don’t know. You were the one who didn’t want to try the long-distance relationship thing. I mean, it’s not going badly, and at least you have Silver with you.”

Blue paused. “It doesn’t feel right. When filming romantic scenes.”

“Didn’t your agent say that would fade with time?” said Indigo.

“Yeah.”

“What’s his name again? Steve?”

Her name’s Angela.”

“Right, Angela.”

There was a pause. Blue said, “Listen…..during the Sevii Island incident……you meant what you said then, right? Do you still think that?”

“That we’re probably the only ones for each other at this point, after all we’ve been through together? Ugh…..” Indigo sighed, and ran his hand through his hair, “…..I don’t know anymore. It made since at the time. We’d been partners in crime for a long time at that point, and we’d done so much together. We hunted down Ein and the rest of Cipher, almost had the Masked Man before everybody else got involved and found all four of our parents. I couldn’t picture myself with anyone else. We’d been through so much together, and our lives were so unique that it didn’t seem like there would be anyone else who’d be able to understand either of us like the way we did. You were such a great fake girlfriend when we were on missions, and then you turn out to be an even better real girlfriend! I couldn’t believe my luck!”

“Yeah. I felt the same at the time. Silver and I met you two almost three years after we escaped the Masked Man, and you and Lyra were the only two people other than Silver that I felt I could trust until I got involved in the Dexholder Program.”

Indigo nodded. He and Lyra had run into Blue and Silver shortly after they disappeared after the Shadow Crisis. They had been after the same info broker, and after a small altercation, they had gotten the info that they both needed. After they realized how well they worked with each other, a partnership had been proposed and agreed upon. Indigo had found out later that they had escaped from the Masked Man a few years prior and had recently gotten their con artist careers started. Their partnership had been the single most successful venture any of them had been a part of.

“And look where it got us,” he said.

There was a pause.

“We had something. It was real,” said Blue.

“But we ended up having to go our separate ways,” said Indigo. “I was in Orre, and you were all over the place with your acting stuff. Since we separated, your acting career has really shot off.”

“And you’ve been doing good work with the Shadow Pokémon Purification Project,” said Blue. “It’s benefitted us both.”

“Yeah…..”

“Listen, don’t tell anyone else, but,” said Blue as she leaned in to whisper into Indigo’s ear.

“They kill my character in the upcoming film. I’m a free agent again.”

Indigo masked his surprise and nodded. He whispered into her ear, “The most recent changes I proposed to the Purification Machine have cleared all of the preliminary tests. They actually ran the tests earlier this afternoon, and Professor Krane sounded pretty optimistic before the tests were run.”

“Didn’t your changes fry the circuits?” whispered Blue back.

“Yeah, but they changed them out, and with the right resistors, the machine works. Haven’t heard the results yet, but if it does work, the Shadow Pokémon Purification project won’t require my on-site expertise anymore. I’ll be able to work on it remotely. I won’t even need to fly into Orre to install upgrades all the time.”

Blue nodded and the two sunk back into their sitting positions. She could feel the excitement pulsing under the calm mask that she was projecting. She knew Indigo had to be feeling the same way. It was too much like the way it had all started all those years ago.  Waves of memories from years of adventures came flooding back to her.

 “You’re pretty good. What’s your name? I’m Indigo, and this is Lyra,” said the unfamiliar boy as the little girl with the ridiculously large hat next to him stood up a little straighter. “Perhaps a partnership could be…..mutually beneficial?”

“INDIGO! WATCH OUT!” screamed Blue, “I’ll take him! I’m the one with beef against the Mask of Ice! I’m the one who got us into this mess! I’ll get all of us out!”

“We just passed the 50% mark of the Pokedex, so I thought I’d get some desserts to celebrate!” said Professor Oak. Indigo and Blue looked at each other and smiled.

Indigo sighed, “I have no idea why they’d shut us down, Blue. None of these reasons they gave made any sense. I guess it’s just some petty political maneuvering. If it’s Cipher or the Mask of Ice, though, they’ve got a reckoning coming for them. I guarantee that.”

Indigo handed her two pokeballs. “Blue, you’re going to take on the Mask of Ice again, right? Here. Take Wildfire and Boxer with you. Take him down. Make sure that Lyra and Silver make it. I’ll cover your exit and I’ll be right behind you once I’m done beating these Mask of Ice Rockets. GO!”

“THEY KIDNAPPED MY PARENTS FROM RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!” screamed Blue, tears rolling down her face. “We are going to tear their entire organization down to shreds and we are going to save my parents!” Indigo only hugged her tighter.

“I love you,” whispered Blue into Indigo’s ear. “I love you too,” he whispered back.

“Mom! Dad! I want you to meet my boyfriend Indigo!” said Blue, excitedly. Indigo waved awkwardly from behind her.

Indigo handed her a necklace Blue gasped. “For me? It’s beautiful! Wait, you didn’t steal this, did you? Remember what I said about going on the straight and narrow?”  

“If you don’t want to do a long-distance relationship, there’s only one alternative,” said Indigo.

 “I’ll miss you,” whispered Blue. “I’ll miss you too,” whispered Indigo back.

Blue snapped out of her thoughts. Indigo was staring into the fire. There was a long pause. Blue eventually broke the silence.

“So…..do you want to……try it again?” she asked.

Indigo didn’t respond immediately. After some thought, he said, “I….don’t know. Let …..let me think about it.”

“Ok. That’s fair. It was bad enough breaking up the first time.”

The two sunk into silence.

“Hey! Are you jabber jaws done yet? I’m getting hungry here and everybody’s gonna want to eat soon!” yelled Lyra from the cave.

“Ah yes, waiter! More wine, please!” yelled Blue back, “And ask the chef when the spaghetti will be done!” She turned to Indigo, “Take some time, and we’ll both think about it, ok? Let’s not get ourselves into a bad situation because we’re being dumb lovey dovey teenagers again.”

“All right,” said Indigo with a nod, “Sounds good.”

“Oh, and Indigo? Get a good night’s sleep. I……don’t want to lose you because you’re too tired and you make a bad decision……”

“……All right.”

 

In Sinnoh…….

Platinum gasped. This was…..no! What had happened!? She wondered if Professor Oak and Senior Crystal were all right. She stood up from her computer. Kanto and Johto had no dexholders to protect it! There were many dexholders. Sure, they were scattered over several regions, but none of their groups had stood idly by while evil teams had threatened their regions. If they could combine forces... the only question was how fast they could mobilize. She pulled out her Xtranciever, and began dialing numbers…


Thank you to everyone who has continued to read this story! I appreciate all of your support!

Chapter Text

Crystal woke up with a start. The light was just beginning to peek through the cave. But she’d heard something. She saw the vines swinging and looked around her. Gold was missing. She clambered to her feet, growling under her breath and thankful that they’d all just slept in their clothes. He wasn’t going to bail on them, was he? She made it outside to see Gold sitting outside on the gravel beach looking out over the water, just out of the reach of the tide. The sun was rising directly in front of them. It was breathtaking. Gold turned around as he heard the vines get moved. Crystal walked up next to where he was sitting and stood there.

“I thought you didn’t want me around,” said Gold.

“I thought I did,” said Crystal. “But contrary to my expectations, you haven’t done half badly. You’re in better shape than I thought you’d be. I suppose I misjudged you as trainer.”

There was a long silence.

“Crystal, I know you probably won’t believe me, but I’m really, really sorry for what happened at Pinkerton’s Club,” said Gold.

Crystal glared down at him. She sighed and said, “Gold, you proposed to me with a beer bottle cap in front of the paparazzi while drunk. And we weren’t even dating. Do you know how long we had paparazzi following me around? People at the grocery store pointing at me? I’m now just that girl who DJ Gold proposed to with a beer bottle cap while drunk at a nightclub! Anybody who knows me knows that I don’t touch alcohol, and you have people crying shame on me for promoting heavy drinking!”

Gold hung his head in shame, as Crystal continued, “I had to disappear with Orange for nearly two months before it was safe to go back to work! I only went that night because you’re my friend, Gold! Or were my friend! But you went and ruined my life. Because you were an idiot.”

“And I’m sorry!” pleaded Gold.

“Good. You should be.”

There was a pause.

“You didn’t go just because you were my friend that night,” said Gold.

Crystal stood stock still and did not say a word.

“I could see it in your eyes,” said Gold, “It was more for then just friends, wasn’t it?”

There was another long pause. Crystal eventually said, “If it brings you any satisfaction, then yes, it was more than just friends that brought me there that night. I had deluded myself into thinking that you were boyfriend material, and I was trying to spend more time with you to confirm that before going out with you. In retrospect, I was probably just drawn in by the glitz and glamour of the rock star life. Clearly, I was wrong about you.”

“I see,” said Gold, thinking it best to not say anymore.

“Ok, so I may be too emotionally involved,” admitted Crystal. “You definitely need to clean up your act, but you’ll find someone, eventually. Just not me. If that makes you feel any better.”

“Thanks Crystal. That means something, coming from you.”

The two remained on the seashore for a while in absolute silence.

 

Red sat in a corner of the cave, Silver’s laptop sitting on the floor in front of the generator and waited for the internet webpage to slowly load. Silver was right – the internet was pretty terrible all the way out here. Honestly, he was impressed Silver had gotten a connection at all. Probably Indigo’s influence on him – the tech specialist had also taught him many of the finer points of double battles, just as he had for Lyra.

“So, you’re up too?” said a quiet voice behind him. Red turned.

“Hey Professor! Up early too?”

“Yes. Where’s Gold and Crystal?”

“Out at the beach, talking civilly, I think?”

“Really now?” said Professor Oak, surprised. “They’re not yelling at each other?”

“Surprisingly, no. Did you look outside last night? See if it was a blue moon?”

“No kidding. I’d better call Birch and ask him if Mt. Chimney has frozen over.”

The two laughed quietly, so as not to not awaken the other sleeping dexholders.

“Hey, Professor Oak, I was thinking. Would it be possible to call in some of the other dexholders? You know, the ones Crystal has been mentoring?”

“It would take them more time then we’ve got to act, I think. It would take a very powerful and expensive plane or ship to get here within a day.”

“Hmm……. Then it really is down to us. It would be nice to meet some of the juniors some time!”

“Yes, it would be good. The new generation is strong, but they don’t quite have the same ability as your generation. They lack your variety.”

“Hmm. That is true, from what I’ve heard. Look at us. The league is freaking out that Ruby and Sapphire and Whitley have ties to criminal teams, yet we have Blue, Indigo, Silver and Lyra! By our standards, Ruby and Sapphire basically don’t count! Being a part of an evil organization for a week doesn’t make someone a supervillain! Oh, and Whitley being part of Team Plasma to help badly treated Pokémon doesn’t really count either! C’mon, when’s the last time N’s faction of Team Plasma….I dunno, robbed a bank? That’s Ghestis’s faction of Team Plasma! N’s faction is harmless!”

Professor Oak laughed, “I wish you could convince them of that.”

“I know! I bet they couldn’t even pick a lock or disable a security camera without destroying the whole thing! Blue and Indigo would be thoroughly disappointed!”

“They would be indeed.”

Red sighed, “It’s been a long time since the program was initially started. It’s actually kinda amazing what we ended up accomplishing!”

“Yes, you all completed the Kanto and Johto Pokedexes in half the estimated time!” said Professor Oak.

“Yeah, but we took down Team Rocket, fought the Elite Four, brought down the Mask of Ice, hunted down the remains of Cipher, and fought Team Rocket again in the Sevvi Islands. We’ve accomplished a lot!”

“Yes, you have. I wish some of the younger generation had your experience!”

“I know! When we get the program back and running again, we should go and train the newer generation! Teach them some of our skills!”

Professor Oak smiled, “That could be arranged. Oh, I think your page loaded,” as he pointed to the computer monitor.

Red spun around and his eyes widened, “Oh no…….”

“What’s that?” asked Professor Oak. He leaned in to look and his jaw dropped.

On the news site, prominently displayed as breaking news was the headline: “Kanto-Johto Conference League Chairman Revealed as New Team Rocket Head, holding Gym Leaders and Elite Four Hostage at Indigo Plateau, Demands Team Rocket Rule of Kanto-Johto Region.

“Wake up the others, I’ll load the video, and make some calls,” said Red.

 

 “If he doesn’t go back to his little Rocket Base and let everybody go, I’m going to freeze him in an ice block and ferry him to the lowest depths of the Seafoam Islands!” growled Violet. Crystal was shocked. The situation had escalated quickly.

“So, how are we going to do this?” asked Silver, “Can we pull up a blueprint of the area?”

“Got it on my flash drive,” said Indigo, “I have blueprints of all of Kanto’s major buildings from the old days, and I don’t think Indigo Plateau has changed.”

“Figures, he has that kind of thing,” muttered Green.

Professor Oak said, “You’re right, the floor plan of Indigo Plateau hasn’t changed in several decades. But I don’t think that will be necessary.”

“Yeah, I know the building like the back of my hand by now,” said Red.

“So, who do they have?” asked Yellow.

“They have all of the gym leaders, even the old Team Rocket ones. The only ones who seem to have escaped were Falkner and Janine, for obvious reasons. They’re also holding nearly 100 league employees.”

“Figures, the flying type specialist and the ninja got away,” said Violet.

Red continued, “It also appears that they got the drop on Karen and Will. Nothing was said about Bruno and Koga, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they got out. Koga’s a master ninja and Bruno’s a lot more slippery than most people give him credit for. He’s picked up a thing or two from Koga,” said Red.

Green asked, “Have we been able to contact any of them?”

“Yes. Falkner is leading a resistance force of trainers in Goldenrod, and Janine is running a similar resistance in Celadon City. Sort of a safe zone, in the absence of the majority of the Gym Leaders. They’ve also sent out an SOS to the other regions. They are mobilizing to assist as we speak. The major problem is that the deadline is tonight. If Falkner, Janine and all of us don’t surrender by then, they will kill all of the Gym Leaders, Karen and Will. Which then brings us to our wildcards. Nothing’s been heard from Koga or Bruno yet, but assuming they haven’t been captured, they’re up to something. They’ve never been ones to sit on their hands,” replied Red.

“How is Falkner’s and Janine’s positions?”

“Janine’s surrounded by a very large Team Rocket force led by one of the Rocket admins. Falkner’s also surrounded and he’s also dealing with another admin.”

“So, we need to help Falkner and Janine, and also need to break into Indigo Plateau, right?” said Orange. “Who’s going where?”

“I’m taking Green, Blue and Indigo with me to Indigo Plateau,” said Red, “Based on all the intelligence I’ve been able to gather, it sounds like most of their admins are there, and we’ll want all of the heaviest hitters to bring them down.”

“I can go to Celadon, but I’ll need someone to go with me,” said Orange.

“I’ll go,” said Violet. “It’s my hometown after all.”

“I’ll go with you,” said Professor Oak. “Falkner has his police force experience and some of his contacts. I think Janine would still be nervous without Koga there.”

“What about Goldenrod? Gold? You up for it?” asked Green.

“No, I think he should come with us,” said Blue. “We need someone recognizable to lead all of the hostages out of the building. After Red, Green, and me, who’s most recognizable? Gold.”

There was a pause. “That’s a good point,” said Professor Oak.

“We’ll have him free the hostages while the rest of us take out the admins,” said Blue.

Red nodded, “That’s a good idea.”

“I’ll go to Goldenrod,” said Lyra. “I’m familiar enough with it. Silver, you coming with me?”

“Sure,” said Silver.

“And we’ll have everybody else help Gold get the civilians out. So Yellow and……uh…..oh…… Silver, do you want to go with Gold instead?” said Red.

“No, I’ll go with Gold, don’t worry about me,” said Crystal, “It’s not the time to bring up petty differences now. We can’t afford that now. And Silver and Lyra work much better together, right?”

Professor Oak asked, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” said Crystal.

“Ok, then don’t complain about if afterwards if it goes south, ok?” said Green.

“I won’t,” said Crystal. “I promise.” She caught a glimpse of Gold out of the corner of her eye, with his jaw slack in shock.

“Then we have a game plan. When do we want to move?” asked Orange.

“It’s about 8:30 right now, so be ready by 10:00? That sound like enough time to prepare?” asked Red.

Green nodded, “Yeah. Let’s do it.”

 

Orange finished rolling up her sleeping bag and glanced over at Violet.

“You ready for this?”, she asked.

“Hopefully?” said Violet.

“You happy to not be taking on the big guns?”

Violet sighed, “I don’t know. I want to destroy them. They’ve done so much damage, and they’re putting innocent people and Pokémon in danger. But I know there are other things to do. There are other people to save and other Pokémon to protect. And Red, Blue, Indigo and Green have a much better shot of winning against the admins then me. So, I’m not unhappy? I don’t know.”

“Heh, same here. Hopefully the two of us are enough to turn the tide in Celadon.”

“Yeah. Here’s hoping.”

 

Silver checked his pokeballs, making sure that his team was looking healthy for the fourth time. You could never be too sure for operations like this. He opened his backpack and checked through his items again, a nervous habit he’d picked up throughout the years. He couldn’t believe how many times he had saved his own skin just by making sure that everything he could possibly need was brought with him. 

“You about ready to go?” asked Lyra.

“Yeah. How about you?”

“I’m good. Little nervous though.”

“No Dux and Indigo? Fair enough, I’m a little worried not having Blue,” said Silver

“Oh, come on, you’re stronger than me.”

“Yeah, but I’m still trying to catch up to Blue in terms of power.”

“I guess that makes two of us.”

“You’ll never catch Indigo. He’s a monster.”

“Hey! I’ll catch up! Eventually! He plays way too many video games in his free time! I just need to capitalize on it!”

“You play just as many yourself.”

“Ugh, I hate when you’re right.” 

“But you are Indigo’s little sister, which alone puts you in the top 1 percent of trainers. Probably more like the top 0.1% of trainers.”

“Oh, and being Blue’s little brother doesn’t put you in the top 0.1% of trainers too?”

“It does……but it still doesn’t make me feel any better about this.”

“I can agree to that.”

 

Yellow smiled nervously as Crystal and Gold checked their backpacks in absolute silence. Crystal had said that she was ok with Gold, but honestly, Yellow wasn’t sure if she believed her. But it needed to work, it had to work. There was no room for error now.

Crystal stood up. “I’m ready. How are you, Yellow?”

“All ready to go!” she said with a reassuring smile. “Gold, you ready to go?”

“Yeah. I’m good.”

“All right! Let’s see how the others are doing!”

 

Green glanced down at his watch. He was ready. Red was ready. Indigo was ready. Which left only……

Blue rounded the corner in the back of the cave that served as a sort of changing room. She was wearing a jacket over her usual attire.

“All ready!” she said.

 “Good,” said Green, “Yellow just said that her group is ready.”

“Then we’re all ready to go,” said Red. He began to walk out, and the others followed him. Everybody else was waiting outside. Red looked around and nodded determinedly.

“Looks like everybody is ready! Let’s move out!”

Chapter Text

In Celadon City……

Orange, Violet and Professor Oak swooped over Celadon City.

“Just got a reply from the city council!” shouted Professor Oak over the rush of the wind, “We need to head for Celadon Department Store! They’ve set up a base of operations and are holding a perimeter around some of the old canals!”

Orange and Violet gave him thumbs up. Suddenly, a sludge bomb whizzed past his head. Professor Oak looked down to see a squad of Rocket Grunts attempting to chase them.

“Maintain speed! They won’t be able to catch us on the ground!” he shouted. “Faster, Pidgeot!”

The Pidgeot let out a cry and increased its speed. He felt relief wash over him as they touched down on the roof of Celadon Department Store, where a half dozen trainers battled fiercely with a few squads of Rocket Grunts.

“Mia! Let’s get them!

“Omicron! Let’s do this!”

“Kanga! Let’s go!”

The grunts jumped out of the way of the incoming trainers, but were quickly overwhelmed from both sides, and were knocked out quickly.

“Dang, where have you guys been all this time? You from Cerulean or Pewter?” said one of the trainers.

 “Wait!” said another one. “That’s Professor Oak! He must be here to help!”

“Yes, indeed I am. These are my assistants, Violet and Orange. We will assist you all as best we can.” said the Professor. “Can you take me to your command center?”

“Yes sir!” said the first trainer. “Follow me!”

“Since when have you been a trainer?” asked Violet.

“I used to be the Champion before I became a Professor, you know!” said Professor Oak, “Looks like I still have it! I guess I’ll have to show up you young whippersnappers!”

The trainer took them to the first floor, where dozens of trainers and civilians swarmed around.

“Where’s Janine?” asked the trainer.

“The Rocket Admin challenged her to a battle! She’s out fighting him right now!”

“Where?” asked Violet.

“Eastern canal bridge!”

“I’ll take over here. Orange, Violet, go and reinforce Janine. She’ll probably need your assistance,” said Professor Oak.

“On it!” said Violet. She turned to Orange and said, “Follow me!”

Professor Oak turned to a council member and said, “Do you have any phones with long distance capability?”

“Yes, over here,” said the man. Professor Oak strode over the phone, and quickly dialed a number. After a few rings, he said, “Rowan? Thank goodness………..Yes, I’m all right. Listen, the situation has gone critical. Execute Protocol SMJ, just in case………wait, what?”

After listening for a moment, Professor Oak smiled. “You bet I’m proud!”

 

Violet and Orange stopped suddenly as a dismayed gasp ran through the crowd of trainers just ahead of them. They pushed and shoved their way through the crowd and made their way to the front. In front of them stood a victorious Rocket Admin over a defeated Janine.

“Let it be known,” shouted the admin, “That all who face Team Rocket will fall!”

“Let it be known,” shouted Violet, “That Team Rocket has security made of swiss cheese and runs their entire network off of outdated computers from the 90s!”

There was an awkward silence, as Violet and Orange stepped forward, in front of Janine. A few brave trainers dared to let out hushed giggles.

“Ah, the dexholders. I was wondering when you’d show up,” said the admin.

“Proton! Long time, no see! Jail life not jiving with you?” asked Orange snarkily.

“No. It was not,” said Proton.

“Yeah, figures. Lotta bad vibes there. Puts a damper on your mojo,” replied Orange sarcastically.

Proton took a step forward, his Weezing floating with him.

“Well, as much as I’d like to chat, I’m under orders to destroy the rebel resistance here. If you’re joining them, then I must destroy you as well.”

“Rebels?” laughed Violet. “You haven’t even conquered anything yet!”

“Heh, the name doesn’t matter honestly. What does is that you don’t survive to cause us problems later!” said Proton. “Weezing, use Sludge Bomb!”

“Mia! Stop it with Razor Leaf!” shouted Violet. Her Venusaur fired off a series of precision shots with its leaves that destroyed the purple sludge projectiles.

“Hmm, not bad. But you’ll have to do better than that,” said Proton, “Use Flamethrower, Weezing!”

Violet blanched – since when did Weezing learn Flamethrower? Orange brushed past her and released Sigma yelling, “Sigma! Use Overheat!”

The Infernape landed and generated a larger blast of flame that not only dissipated the flamethrower of the Weezing, but also blasted it back.

“Now! Use Close Combat!”

“Weezing!” Shouted Proton, “Use Thunderbolt!”

Orange’s eyes widened. “Oh no!”

Sigma took the attack to his face and collapsed.

“Sigma, get back! Go Lambda!” she shouted, and sent out her Stoutland, who growled and took a fighting stance.

“Sludge Bomb again!” shouted Proton.

“Roar!” bellowed Violet. The vicious and intimidating sounding roar caused the Weezing to flinch and choke as it prepared to spit out another Sludge Bomb.

“Now! Double Edge!

“Weezing! Use Protect!”

Violet growled, and whispered to Mia, “Start charging Solarbeam, ok?”

Mia rustled the petals of the flower on her back quietly to signify that she’d gotten the message.

“Lambda! Use Thunder Wave!”

“Weezing! Use Toxic!”

The two pokemon dashed at each other and traded status conditions.

“Mia! Now!” yelled Violet. Mia fired up the pent up energy in a greenish beam, scoring a direct hit on the Weezing.

“Lambda! Go for Double Edge again!” shouted Orange.

“Weezing! Use Explosion!”

Orange’s eyes widened in shock. “No!”

Mia stepped suddenly in front of Violet. “Mia! What are you doing!?” shouted Violet, as the Weezing unleashed a massive explosion, and all went white…….

 

In Goldenrod City…….

Silver and Lyra touched down in the suburbs of Goldenrod City near the city center.

“Ursaring!” said Silver.

“Yan!” said Lyra, releasing her Yanmega.

“We fight through Team Rocket to wherever Falkner’s forces are, right?” said Lyra.

“Yeah. No time to waste, let’s move.”

They moved along the road for some distance, encountering no rocket grunts. It was an eerie feeling. There were no people, no cars, no Pokémon. All they could hear was explosions and the sound of combat, distant in front of them. As they came around a bend in the road, they quickly came upon a series of tents swarming with Rocket Grunts in the middle of a park. The two hid themselves in the brush and slowly crept closer to get a better view.

“Mobile command center. We should take it out,” whispered Silver.

“Yeah. We going sneaky or are we going to rush them?” whispered Lyra.

“Rush them. Any other ideas?” asked Silver.

Lyra pulled out another pokeball and quietly released Amazon. “Nah, let’s just take them down.”

“All right then. On my count. 3, 2, 1, GO!”

The two sprang from the brush with their Pokémon.

Lyra stopped just before the tents. “Yan! Use Bug Buzz! Amazon! Use Hydro Pump!”

Silver veered sharply right and yelled, “Ursaring! Use Facade!” as he slugged a surprised Rocket grunt in the face as he dashed past, knocking him out. He glanced right, and saw another grunt, who had just managed to release his Raticate. “Use Brick Break!” he shouted, his head snapped left, to see several fleeing scientists and another grunt charging him with a Sandslash.

“Ursaring, use Ice Punch!”

Silver quickly looked back, trying to find Lyra. A large wave of water appeared out of one of the tents. He released Feraligatr. “Go help Lyra with those tents!” he said. Feraligatr stomped off, as Silver turned his attention to the Rocket grunts in front of him.

“Are you sure you want to do this? I’ve beat all of your friends. What makes you think you’ll do better?”

The Rocket grunts took a terrified step back, their hands shaking.

“Please! Don’t hurt us! I only joined to pay for my grandmother’s cancer treatment!” said one, who looked to be in his forties or fifties.

“Sure. And let me guess, that guy next to you is supporting a wife and 10 kids, and one of you other guys is taking care of his 22 younger siblings.  Listen, buddy, I’ve heard it all. Here’s the deal. You can run, and you can get away, maybe even straighten out your life. Or, you can fight me, lose, and get arrested by the police. Your choice.”

The Rocket Grunts let out a terrified squeak, before turning on their heels and running for their lives.

Silver smirked. When put like that, the answer was obvious!

Lyra rushed up to him.

“I guess that’s the last of them,” she said. “Just fried their communications array. Should we move on? Any reason to stick around?”

“I don’t think so. Let’s move.”

 

The two followed the road and swiftly came into the industrial sector of the city. There was still no one. It was still silent, save for the distant sounds of battle. After several minutes of walking, and taking a minute to switch out their tired Pokémon, they were coming towards the edge of the industrial district and into the city center. Suddenly Lyra elbowed Silver and the two dashed into the shadow of the entrance of a large warehouse building.  Up a head was a small group of Rockets who looked like they were headed towards the battle.

“Let’s ambush them – we’ll have the element of surprise,” whispered Lyra.

“Sure, why not?” whispered Silver.

The two slowly followed the group of grunts, sneaking ever closer. As they got close, Lyra whispered, “On my mark. 3, 2, 1, mark!”

The two leapt from the shadows. The Rocket Grunts were surprised but didn’t have time to react.

“Marowak! Use Bonemarang!” shouted Silver.

“Bering! Use Water Pulse!” shouted Lyra.

“GAH! Ughhhhh……” gasped one of the downed Rocket Grunt before he passed out. Bering poked the grunt with her nose. The grunt didn’t react. The Dewgong turned around and smiled while doing a happy pose.

“All right, all right, you did a good job, ok?” said Lyra she patted her Dewgong’s head. Bering licked her hand.

Lyra stood up and pulled up the map on her Pokenav.

“If we follow this street for another mile, we’ll hit the Radio Tower. It’s in the middle of downtown Goldenrod City, and I can’t imagine they wouldn’t defend that area.”

Lyra’s Pokenav began to ring. She accepted the call. “Hello? Dad! Where are you? Are you ok?”

Silver glared around them. It was good to learn that Professor Elm was not in Rocket custody, but they still needed to remain vigilant.

“You see us? The perimeter is half a mile ahead? We’ll meet you there!”  Lyra hung up.

There was a thump behind them “H….help….” said a voice behind them. The two whipped around to see a defeated looking Janine stumble towards them, next to her weary looking Crobat.

“Janine! What happened?” asked Lyra, as she caught her.

“Celadon was overrun…..” she coughed, “I….barely escaped…..”

“What about Orange and Violet?” asked Silver.

“They didn’t……make it……they told me……to tell you……that they were sorry……” Janine dropped into another coughing fit.

Lyra’s eyes narrowed and she shoved Janine to the ground. Janine hit the ground with a thud and tumbled backwards.

“OUCH! That’s pretty rude you know!” said ‘Janine’ as she clambered to her feet and pulled a mask off ‘her’ face.

“Neither Orange or Violet would apologize like that,” said Silver flatly. “You need to do better research before you disguise yourself as someone, Petrel.”

“Heh, you’re observant, I’ll give you that. You took out our communications station, right? Can’t have you doing that. The boss won’t like it if we take too long because our communications are down,” said Petrel.

“You’ve been following us for some time, haven’t you?” asked Silver bluntly.

“Yeah. Since 32nd street. Egg heads were pretty ticked that you fried their gadgets. Been complaining nonstop for the last half hour! Anyway, listen, I have to kill you. Can’t have trainers like you rampaging around, causing us Rockets trouble.  No hard feelings?” A large crowd of Rocket Grunts appeared from the surrounding buildings. They took positions on top of buildings and on the ground in a large circle around them, Pokémon at the ready. Lyra and Silver stood back to back. It was a trap.

“Not so fast, you creep!” said Lyra defiantly, “If you think you can beat us, you’re very badly mistaken!”

“Seriously. I have you outnumbered 20 to 1. We were able to overrun your friends a few months ago with only 15 to 1 odds. What makes you think you’ll win?”

Silver smirked dangerously. “Funny you should ask.”

Marowak grinned dangerously as well. He knew what was coming. Silver tossed Marowak an Earth Gem. Lyra was already on Magna’s back, and she helped him up. Petrel blanched.

“This is probably bad, isn’t it?”

“MAROWAK! USE EARTHQUAKE!”

The resulting shockwave from the boosted attack cracked the street, causing loosely bolted shingles and gutters to fall and glass to shatter, tossing grunts backwards from the force. Petrel landed back on the ground, rubbing his arm. He’d need to tell his Crobat not to yank him up in the air so suddenly to avoid things like that.

“Goodness, you’re awfully aggressive,” he said, releasing a Raticate and a Weezing, “Guess I really can’t let you go!”

A few of the enemy rocket grunts had started to climb to their feet.

“Get the grunts while they’re down. I’ll deal with this clown,” said Silver as he landed near Ursaring.

Lyra looked over at Magna and Bering. “Let’s do this!” she said as she bolted towards the grunts.

Silver glared at Petrel dangerously.

“You’re awfully confident you can beat me. Tough words coming from a guy who’s surrounded. The only question is, can you back it up?” asked Petrel.

“Funny you should ask!” smirked Silver, as he recalled Marowak.

“Ursaring! Let’s show this clown how we fight!”

Ursaring roared in defiance.

“Ah, I guess I should have seen that one coming,” muttered Petrel.

Chapter Text

At Indigo Plateau…..

Crystal touched down in front of the Indigo Plateau with her fellow dexholders. There was nobody there. No Rockets, no Pokémon, no trainers. It looked like the whole place had been abandoned.

As they approached the building, they noticed that the entire front of the building was covered with metal barricades that had been bolted to the wood that made up the frame. It was evident that Team Rocket had dug themselves in and were ready for a fight. Crystal gulped. This was going to be a determined, vicious fight.

Indigo scanned the area with his eye piece as they walked up the abandoned staircase up to the entrance.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” he said.

“What?” asked Green.

“I think they went through and destroyed every piece of electronic equipment out here. Looks like they might have done the same for the building itself too. Are they really that desperate to keep Dux out?”

“I dunno, would you want to keep a hacker who’s also one of the strongest trainers in the world out too?” asked Gold.

Indigo sighed and held up his snag machine to his face. “Sorry Dux, no hacking today.”

The snag machine made a disappointed cry in response.

“Is there anyone even here?” asked Crystal.

Indigo toggled his eye piece.

After a moment, he said, “There are. I’m seeing a large mass of heat signatures up ahead, but they’re at the edge of my scanning range, so I can’t really say much other than it’s probably the hostages and guards. I’d say they’re probably in the floor of the arena, so we should head there first. Can’t tell much else from this far out.”

“So, you can’t tell where anyone is specifically?” asked Red.

“All I can say for sure is that there’s no one right behind the doors and that there are a lot of people in the middle of the building, slightly below the ground,” said Indigo.

Blue walked up to one of the barricades and inspected it. She then knocked on it a few times.

“Pokémon resistant. Just like the rest of the building,” she said after some inspection. “They’re trying to keep us out or make us take a different entrance.”

“Which means we should bust in here,” said Indigo.

“I agree. It will hopefully catch them off guard if they want us entering through another entrance. That will give us an advantage,” agreed Green.

“Those barricades are really tough, though. We’ll need to use overwhelming power to bust through,” said Blue.

“Should one of us use the Ultimate Move that Kimberly taught us?” asked Crystal.

Indigo pulled out one of his extra pokeballs. “Don’t waste your strength. You’ll need it for when we’re all in there. Stand back everybody, I’ve got this.” Blue quickly scampered out of the blast zone as everyone else backed up. She knew what was about to happen.

He released a vicious looking Pidgeot. He rolled down one of his sleeves, revealing several mega stones. One of them began to glow, along with the Pidgeot.

“Of course, he’s got a backup Shadow MEGA of all things!” said Gold with a roll of his eyes.

“You ain’t seen nuthin yet!” said Indigo, as his voice turned raspy and aggressive with a smirk as he rolled up his other sleeve, revealing a shadowy crystal.

“Wait, that’s not….” said Crystal, but she was cut off as the crystal began to glow and the Pidgeot let out a cry.

Indigo shouted, “Pidgeot! USE SHADOW ANNIHILATION!”

The Pidgeot absorbed shadowy energy from the Z Crystal and formed a giant ball of energy as in front of its beak before firing the pent-up energy as a beam. The barricades resisted the attack, but the power of the massive beam eventually bore through it, blasting a hole straight through the front door.

Indigo laughed maniacally and bellowed “RING RING! ANYBODY HOME?” Pidgeot screeched in defiance with him.

“Now THAT is what I want to see!” grinned Indigo to his Pidgeot. The Pidgeot cawed in victory yet again.

Red looked over at him. “I am NOT paying for that!”

Indigo recalled the Shadow Pidgeot, and said, “I’m sure somebody has a slush fund somewhere!” his voice back to normal.

“That’s the spirit!” said Blue cheerily.

Green sighed as he made his way towards the smoking hole in the front lobby, “Let’s just get in there. We need to move fast now that they know we’re here.”

“Right behind you!” said Crystal, as she grabbed a pokeball and made her way towards the door.

“Wait for us!” said a voice behind them.

Red turned around. He grinned when he saw who it was.

“Koga! Bruno! You made it out!”

“Hey Red! You left at a very good time yesterday!” said Bruno.

“Yes. We had to make a very hasty exit,” said Koga. “Glad to see you’re ok.”

“Well, it’s good to see you too!” said Red. “How did you get out? Where did you hide?”

“The art of ninjutsu allows for its practitioners to become……unseen,” said Koga cryptically.

Green rolled his eyes, and muttered, “Typical ninja.”

Koga only smirked in response.

“I just busted my way out through the side of the building,” said Bruno. “We’ve been laying low in the mountains nearby. Its amazing how slow those Rockets are when it comes to moving through natural terrain!”

“You’d be just as slow if you didn’t train there every day!” said Red.

“Ah, fair enough,” said Bruno with a laugh.

“We can catch up later, we need to get in there before they do anything to the hostages,” said Green. “Let’s move.”

“Agreed. It wouldn’t do for the Elite Four to stand by talking while Team Rocket is still at large,” said Koga.

The group moved into the lobby.  There was nobody there. Red’s eyes narrowed.

“Koga, Bruno, come with me and Green. We’ll head right. Blue, Indigo, take everybody else and go left. We’ll enter the central arena from both sides. Be careful, they’ve probably had enough time to set up a trap or ambush.”

“On it,” said Indigo as his group began heading left.

Red quickly began running off to the right. He went up to one of the arena entrances, and peeked around the corner. In the floor of the arena were a very large number of hostages, including all of the captured Gym Leaders, surrounded by Rocket Grunts. He surveyed the area, carefully. He saw a familiar shock of red hair. Red’s blood boiled. Misty was down there. He continued to survey the area, silently fuming. He needed to keep his cool. An explosion rocked the other side of the arena. The Rocket Grunts and hostages looked up from within the arena. Indigo evidently had encountered some resistance. Red grit his teeth, grabbed a pokeball, and was about to charge in, when a hand caught his shoulder. It was Green.

“Wait a second! We can’t just charge in! They’ll hurt the hostages!” he whispered.

“They’ll hurt the hostages if we don’t go in and save them!”

“Calm down,” said Koga. “You have us. If you want, you two charge in. We’ll back you up after you spring any traps.”

“Thanks,” said Green flatly.

“Do you see any from here?” asked Red impatiently.

“You can’t be serious, Red!” said Green.

“I am! C’mon, I’m the Champion! I can do this!”

“Just because you’re the Champion doesn’t mean you’re invincible! Calm down! We’ll save your girlfriend, all right?”

Another explosion was heard. This time, debris went flying over the empty seats from a hole in the wall. Across the arena, Red saw Indigo barrel past the hole in the wall with his Mega Pidgeot and Jaws. Yellow, Gold, and Crystal dashed through the hole and into the arena as Blue and Blasty faced another opponent just out of sight.

“Koga! Bruno! Make sure everybody gets out all right! We’ll handle the Rockets!” growled Red.

With that, he charged in, slipping out of Green’s grasp and unleashing Pika.

“Pika! Let’s go!”

 

A few minutes before Red charged into the arena…..

Indigo came to a complete stop as he rounded the corner of the arena. His eyes locked with two figures at the end of the hallway. He grit his teeth. This was it. This was the battle he was here to fight.

“Well, well. It certainly took you long enough to get here, little brother.”

“Ein.”

“Hey, what are we stopping…….” Gold trailed off.

“You didn’t tell me you got married, Ein!” said Indigo, smirking. “Who’s the lucky lady?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have time for such trivialities,” said Ein. “This is my colleague. She tells me you’ve fought her before?”

Blue gave a winning smile and took Indigo’s arm. “Oh, Sird, it’s been too long! How have you been? You don’t have to hide your relationship with Ein! You two make such a cute couple!” Indigo smirked. Seemed like Blue wanted to do the lovey couple act. He wasn’t complaining.

“Oh, rebuilding Team Rocket has been quite delightful my dear,” said Sird. “Just as delightful as plotting your demise.”

“Hmm, what a happy little romantic couple. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you’re together forever in the afterlife!” sneered Ein.

“I don’t think he understands what ‘romantic’ means….” whispered Crystal to Yellow.

Indigo turned to Blue and said dramatically, “Fret not, dearest! We shall prevail through the power of love!”

“Our hearts shall beat in unison! We must believe!” said Blue dramatically back to him.

“Ok, now you’re just rubbing it in…..”grumbled Gold under his breath.

“You sicken me,” said Ein condescendingly.

“You don’t believe in true love!?” gasped Blue dramatically.

“Love does not exist. You cannot quantify it. It is a chemical reaction in the brain that causes people to make unintelligent decisions. Tell me, what unit do you use to quantify love? What formula can be used to define what it is?”

“Oh, love uses units of hearts, and it’s integral to the Valentinian Equation,” responded Indigo promptly.

“I taught you better than that, little brother.”

Indigo chuckled, “Yeah, keep telling yourself that! I’ve learned from more people than just you.”

Ein’s eyes narrowed. “I taught you everything! Everything that you do, every technique you use, you learned from me!”

 “Really now? Then how’d I beat you last time?” chuckled Indigo back.

Ein just growled, and threw out two pokeballs, a Rhydon and a Tauros. “Use Shadow Blitz!”

The two Pokémon immediately began charging, surrounding themselves in a shadowy aura.

 Indigo chucked out his Mega Pidgeot and Jaws, and growled, “Pidgeot! Use Shadow Blast!” The Pidgeot unleashed a shadowy wave that exploded when it hit the two Pokémon.

As the dust settled, Indigo smirked, “For such a great and powerful trainer, I think you’ve gotten worse since our last battle!”

Ein growled and yelled, “Shadow Blitz! Again!”

Indigo looked over to Pidgeot again and yelled, “Shadow Blast again!”

The two attacks collided in another explosion. As the dust cleared, Indigo could see that a hole had been blasted through the side of the arena. He also noted Ein running away. He grit his teeth, and gave chase.

“C’mon! There are the hostages!” shouted Yellow, pointing through the newly made hole in the side of the arena. She jumped through the hole and rushed into the arena. Gold and Crystal let out their Pokémon and followed suit.

Blue narrowed her eyes, quickly turned on her heel and dodged an attack from Sird’s Persian from behind.

“Not bad,” said Sird, as she took a step forward out of the shadows. “Not bad at all!”

Blue released Blasty and readied herself for battle. “You’re not bad yourself! Blasty! Use Hydro Pump!”

 

Platinum sat in the wheelhouse of her personal yacht, watching the waves go by as she manned the captain’s chair. This mission – her mission, would require speed that only a ship as fast as hers could match. She was glad her father had taught her how to sail her own open yacht. Her Xtranceiver rang. She looked down at it. It was from Professor Rowan. As she opened the message, her eyes widened as she skimmed through. She looked over at Diamond, Pearl and Topaz, who were checking their phones as well.

“I don’t believe this,” she whispered.

“No way!” exclaimed Pearl. Diamond’s jaw was slack in shock, and Topaz appeared to be intently reading the text of the message with wide eyes.

“HOLY COW!” shouted a loud voice from somewhere in the galley, “DO YOU GUYS SEE THIS!”

“THIS…..IS……SO……COOL!” shouted another. 

“SHUT UP YOU TWO!” shouted a third.

Platinum looked back out of the window, as a foggy coastline began to appear in the distance. The plan had changed. And they needed to hurry.

Chapter Text

In Celadon City…..

Violet rolled off her back and got her feet beneath her, her ears still ringing. Mia lay, fainted, in front of her. Trainers from both sides lay flat on their backs on both sides from the power of the attack. Orange was sprawled out next to her next to her fainted Stoutland.

“Orange! Orange!”

“Hahahaha!” said Proton, stepping out from behind his Crobat who was protecting him, “She actually made me use one of my most powerful attacks! Not too bad at all! I guess you dexholders really are worth the hype!” He recalled his fainted Weezing, and said, “So, what’s the verdict? Am I going to have to finish her off after I’m done beating you?”

Violet pushed herself up to her hands and knees, “You……..” she growled.

“Oh, is she alive? That’s a shame. I was hoping Weezing could get himself a Dexholder kill!”

Violet reached for her belt, and grabbed another pokeball, but something was wrong. She checked the ball and saw that the activation switch was broken. A cold twinge of panic ran through her as she checked the other balls on her belt. All of the activation switches were broken, probably broken when she’d fallen backwards on them from the explosion. She couldn’t call out any Pokémon. What was she going to do?

“Oh, what’s that? No more Pokémon to use?” taunted Proton. He then paused a second, an idea having come to him.

“You know, if you beg for your life, I’ll let you live. You can life the rest of your days in a jail cell! I’ll make sure to come by every week to see you! Depends on how hard you beg.”

Violet remained down on her hands and knees. There was only one thing to do at this point.

“What? You’re actually going to beg? I honestly didn’t expect that! Hah! The great and mighty Dexholders coming to beg to me for their lives! Wahahahahaha….huh?”

He stopped as he saw Violet beginning to glow.

“Wha…..what’s going on!? What’s that?” shouted Proton as the glowing became bright.

As the glowing faded, he found himself face to face with an irate Lapras. Violet let out a tremendous cry of raw fury and leveled her gaze at her opponent.

Oh, so you’re the one who can transform into a Lapras! Ooh! I wonder if I can catch you in a pokeball?”

He chucked a pokeball, which Violet shot out of the air with a precision Water Gun shot. She gave him a disdainful and disapproving look.

“Oh, silly me, I need to weaken you first! Of course! Crobat! Use Air Slash!”

Violet ducked under the attack, glared at Proton, and fired another Hydro Pump at his Crobat, who dodged effortlessly.

“Crobat! Use Sludge Bomb!”

Violet fired another barrage of precision Water Gun shots taking out the Sludge Bombs.

She suddenly fired an Ice Beam. Crobat barely dodged it.

“Crobat! Use Double Team!”

She knew Proton was just trying to tire her out. But not today. Oh, not today. She would fight like a thousand Lapras. She would fight till she had no more energy and then keep fighting anyway. Not until this monster lay defeated before her.

She unleashed a powerful Blizzard, catching the Crobat with the wider attack, and sending it spiraling off course. She smirked and fired a precision Ice Beam to finish it before it even hit the ground. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Proton chuck a pokeball at her. She smacked the Pokeball away with her head and fired a Water Gun at Proton. The admin jumped back.

“Feisty, eh? Don’t worry, I’ll break you, just like I do to everyone else! Muk!”

An animated pile of sludge appeared before him. “Use Thunder Punch!”

Violet raised herself on her back flippers and slammed her full weight on the ground, sending out a powerful shockwave, OHKOing the Muk and knocking over Proton. Boy, was she glad she’d taken the time to learn Earthquake. 

“All right then…….” said Proton, clambering to his feet.

Violet suddenly fired a Hydro Pump at Proton. The admin dove to the side just in time.

“Grr……. I’ll show you who’s the better of the two of us. Quilfish! Primeape”

Violet watched him, warily.

“Quilfish! Use Toxic!”

Violet took a deep breath and unleashed an unusually cold ice attack. Freeze Dry came in pretty handy for water types like that. The Quilfish took the hit badly and rolled backwards. However, before she could do anything else, Proton shouted “Primeape! Cross Chop on the neck!”

Violet only had time to duck as the Primape whizzed over her head.

“Quilfish! Use Poison Jab!”

She felt a jolt of pain in her side, and an insidious burning in the area. Great, she was poisoned.

She faced the Quilfish, and began to form a Freeze Dry, when Proton shouted, “Cross Chop again!” Violet took a tremendous hit to the back. She collapsed, seeing stars. Her mind went fuzzy, all she could feel was the pain, screaming throughout her body. She picked her head up, glaring as Proton threw another pokeball. She managed to spit out another blast of water to knock away the pokeball.

“Hmm. Quite the fighting spirit! I’ll give you that. But you can’t win, dexholder.”

“Not alone maybe,” croaked a voice next to her. “But we don’t give up.”

“Oh, you’re not dead. That’s a shame,” said Proton.

Orange, shaky but alive staggered to her feet. She pulled out another pokeball, “Omicron! Let’s finish this scumbag! Time for our revenge!”

Omicron leapt out and let out an intimidating roar. The time for vengeance had finally arrived and he was not going to waste it. Violet got her fins underneath her and grinned. The tide had turned.

“Primape! Go for that Scoliopede! Fire Punch!”

“Aqua Tail!” bellowed Orange.

The two attacks collided, and the Primape went flying. It managed to land on its feet and charged straight back into battle.

Violet turned to the Quilfish blasted it in the face with another Freeze Dry. Proton, distracted by Orange, jumped as he noticed that his Quilfish was knocked out. He returned it.

“Veectribel! Time to end this!”

Violet shifted herself on the ground. She was ready now.

“Veectribel! Use Sleep Powder!”

Violet took a deep breath and fired a Blizzard at the incoming spore cloud. The attack blew away the spores and damaged the Veectribel. It was time to finish this. She grimaced as she felt the poison burn again but focused through the pain and fired an Ice Beam, freezing the Veectribel in a solid block of ice.

“No! Veectribel! Primape! Get back here!” shouted Proton.

“MEGAHORN!” bellowed Violet as Omicron happily complied.

“Protect!” yelled Proton, now beginning to panic.

Omicron smashed into Veectribel with its horns, knocking it out.

“Primape! Use Cross Chop!” screamed Proton.

“Omicron! Use Protect!” yelled Orange.

As Primape crashed into Omicron and leapt back, Violet took a deep breath and fired a Hydro Pump at the Primape, catching it off guard and knocking it out.

“No! NO! This can’t be happening!” shouted Proton as his unconscious Primape crashed into a nearby building.

“Not so weak as you thought, eh?” said Orange, leaning on Omicron to keep herself steady. Violet shuffled her way over to position herself next to Orange. She let out another imposing roar and glared down at the now intimidated Proton. The Rocket Grunts behind Proton began to look a lot less confident, while the trainers behind them began to cheer. Violet grinned menacingly at the Rocket grunts.

“Rockets! Overwhelm them!” Proton shouted. The grunts didn’t move. “What are you waiting for? Attack those rebels!”

“Because they don’t want to fight us!” said a new voice. Violet looked up to see six young trainers she didn’t recognize descend from the sky on the backs of Pokémon she wasn’t familiar with, and land next to them.

“Who are you?” asked Proton in surprise.  

“I’m Black!” bellowed the speaker as he landed. “And we’re the Unova and Alola Dexholders! AND WE’RE GONNA BEAT THE CRAP OUTTA YOU!”

His companions landed next to him and sent out various Pokémon.

“Tula!”

“Amanda!”

“Dewott!”

“Foongy!”

“Dollar!”

“Toxapex!”

The six of them formed a line shoulder to shoulder with Orange and Violet, ready to battle.

The trainers behind them let out another tremendous cheer. Proton paled, and stepped backwards, recalling his Pokémon.

“Retreat!” he shouted, as he turned on his heel. He began to flee, when a throwing star embedded itself into his leg, causing him to trip and fall. Violet turned to see Janine on her feet.

“Capture him!” she shouted. The assembled Team Rocket grunts began to flee. A few Bodybuilders and Triathletes rushed in and tackled Proton to the ground. Proton squirmed frantically but could not break free. A police officer followed behind them, handcuffs at the ready.

Some of the trainers began to give chase after the fleeing Rocket Grunts, but Janine shouted, “Let them go! We need to hold the perimeter!”

“Aww man, that sucks!” said Black as he stopped his pursuit.

“Calm down. It’s the tactically advantageous solution,” said one of his companions.

“You’re such a buzz kill Blake. Come on! White! Whitley! Sun! Moon! Don’t you think we should chase them down?”

“No,” chorused the four.

“You guys stink.”

Orange turned to Violet, who was looking much worse for wear.

“You doing ok?” she asked.

Violet began to glow again and transformed back into her human form. She rolled over onto her back. “Ugh……I’ll live. Probably. Somebody want to pass me an antidote?”

“HOLY CRAP! That was cool! You can transform into a Pokémon? I’ve never seen that before!” said Black.

White smacked him in the back of the head.

“Hey! What was that for?”

“Didn’t you read the files they sent us?”

“Uh yeah….Oh! You must be our seniors!”

White sighed and apologized with a small bow. “I am so sorry for this idiot.”

“Are you all right? We can call for medical assistance if you need it,” said Blake.

“Yeah, that sounds good,” said Orange. “I took an explosion to the face and Violet took a bunch of hits against Proton. You’re also dexholders, right? You guys work with Janine and help them drive out the Rockets. Sound good?”

Moon grinned, “You can count on us!”

“Medic! I need two stretchers here!” shouted Janine.

Orange leaned against Omicron’s side as the medics ran towards her. She looked over to Violet, who sat against Omicron’s side. Omicron looked down at both of them and resigned himself to his fate as an object to be leaned upon.

“I think we did pretty good,” said Orange.

Violet grinned back. “Yeah, I think we did!”

 

At Indigo Plateau…..

Red charged into the arena as Pika zipped around, knocking Rocket Grunts unconscious with electricity. A trio of grunts rushed up to face him.

“Pika! Use Thunderbolt!”

Three toast grunts and their pokemon collapsed.

Suddenly a blast of electricity struck him in the back. Red seized up and collapsed onto the ground. Pika perked up and dashed in front of him, firing off a Thunderbolt of his own towards an opponent in the farther back seats of the arena. Pika growled, cheeks sparking defensively. Looking up, Red found himself looking up at Archer, standing next to his Electrode and Muk in the higher seats of the arena. They had set a trap, and he’d walked straight into it. He grit his teeth, and pulled himself to his feet.  

“Hello, champion. Ready to be destroyed?”

Red glared back at him and sent out Poli. “Poli! Pika! Let’s get him!”

 

Yellow caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye as she moved down into the arena with Crystal and Gold.

“SCATTER!” she screamed, as she jumped over a row of seats.

A Solarbeam destroyed the seats in the row behind her. She looked up to see Ariana walking down towards her, fanning herself casually. Her Vileplume glared menacingly down at her.

“Ratty!” shouted Yellow, releasing her Raticate.

“Use Hyper Beam!”

“Use Energy Ball!” called out Ariana. The two attacks collided and cancelled each other out. Yellow gulped. If Ratty’s Hyper Beam was only enough to cancel out an Energy Ball attack, she was seriously outgunned. No. She could win this, she just needed Dody out on the field. Dody could do this, right? She just needed a second to concentrate and raise her Pokémon’s levels. She just…….

“ROCK BLAST!” shouted a commanding voice behind her.

“Vileplume! Use Protect!” shouted Ariana as she hastily ducked behind her Pokémon. Yellow looked back. It was Green.

“Yellow! Help the hostages out of here! Rhyperior and I will handle her,” said Green with a calm, focused demeanor. His gaze met Ariana’s and did not falter.

“Got it!” said a relived Yellow as she scrambled over the seats to assist Crystal and Gold down in the arena.

“Hello, little Oak,” she said with a condescending look. “Don’t think you have a chance of winning here.”

“Save your breath. You’re out of your depth and you know it.”

“Oh, am I?”

“Yes, you are. Rhyperior! Let’s finish this quickly!”

Chapter Text

Silver glared at Petrel, as Ursaring stepped forward to battle.

“All right, Crobat, let’s get this over with,” said Petrel.

“Ursaring! Use Ice Punch!” Silver shouted.

“Crobat! Use Haze!” smirked Petrel.

Silver released his Skarmory. “Skarmory, use Whirlwind!”

As the smoke cleared, Silver found himself surrounded by purple spikes. He knew Toxic Spikes when he saw them.

Petrel laughed from where he stood next to his Crobat and Weezing. “Looks like I got you surrounded!”

“Really?” said Silver.

“What?”

Silver looked at Skarmory. It looked back at him, amused at the trainer they were facing. “You know what to do.” Skarmory suddenly unleashed a blast of wind that blew the spikes away.  “Defog. Industrial grade hazard removal. Surely, you saw this coming,” said Silver flatly.

“HEY! WATCH IT!” came an indignant yell from Lyra, amid the screams of flying and fleeing grunts.

Silver blanched. Petrel just laughed, “Nice one, champ!”

“Ursaring! Use Slash!”

“Weezing! Use Explosion!”

Silver’s eyes widened, and he dove to the side as the explosion engulfed him. He rolled over to see Ursaring fainted, and Skarmory getting to its feet, squawking indignantly. He growled. Not an unexpected tactic, but an annoying one. That being said, that trick would have caught any trainer without a similar background to his own.

“Skarmory! Ursaring! Return!” he said. He reached for another pokeball. “Empoleon! Feraligatr!”

“Oh, two water types? Like Misty’s ‘All Out Water Offensive’? Lot of good that did her yesterday!” Petrel pulled out another pokeball. “Let’s get him, Raticate!”

“Oh, shut up already!”

“But why? It’s more fun if I taunt you while we battle!”

“Use Hydro Pump! Both of you!”

“Raticate! Crobat! Use Double Team!”

The two mighty streams of water punched straight through two of the illusions.

“A direct miss!” cackled Petrel.

“Surf! Both ways! Destroy all of the illusions!”

The two Pokémon complied, firing off large waves of water and destroying most of the double team illusions.

“HEY! I SAID WATCH IT!” yelled Lyra.

Petrel just laughed, “Dude! You are the worst teammate I’ve ever seen! And I work with Proton! That guy hasn’t brushed his teeth or showered in years! It’s like he’s allergic to bathrooms! He smells like a dumpster fire!”

Silver growled. This guy was getting to him. And Blue had taught him better than this. He took a few deep breaths and looked up, his silver eyes flashing dangerously.

“Oh, trying deep breathing? All of a sudden a yoga guru? Gonna beat me over the head with some enlightenment?” sneered Petrel.

“Yeah. I just came across some wisdom.”

“Oh, and pray tell what that is?”

“Never let your opponent sneak up behind you!”

Proton whipped around and saw nothing. “Eh, what are you on about?”

“Empoleon! Use Ice Beam! Feraligatr! Use Brick Break!”

Proton turned around to see his Crobat and Raticate fainted at his feet.

“Oh, I see. Pulled a fast one on me, eh? Very funny,” he said. He pulled out another pokeball, and shouted, “Octillery!” He turned to his other Pokémon as Octillery appeared out of its pokeball. “Weezing, let’s show this kid what’s up.”

 

Lyra panted. She’d managed to defeat most of the grunts before they’d been able to get up from Silver’s Super Earthquake, and quite a few had chosen to flee, but there were several of them left. And then, she’d had to dodge the backfire of Silver’s attacks. Stupid Rocket Admin. This was going just great.

“Yan! Use Air Slash!”

A Raticate went careening into its trainer, taking him out too. But she and her team were getting tired. She needed to end this fast. Taking out grunts one at a time wasn’t going to cut it now. She grabbed a pokeball.

“Amazon! Get back!” she said. “Go Tanky!”

A Miltank sprang from its pokeball. “It’s the Milkank again!” shouted one of the grunts. “Careful of the Rollout!”

Lyra grinned, “You’ll have to do better than that! Yan! Tanky! Use the Pinball Madness combo!” Tanky curled itself up into a ball and began zipping around with Rollout. The grunts dove aside with their Pokémon to avoid the infamous flying ball of doom. Suddenly, Yan zipped up and blasted a group of the grunts with a Bug Buzz.

Lyra pulled out another two pokeballs. “Magna! Dandy! Pinball Madness! You know what to do!”

Dandy fired a Solarbeam at one grunt. One KO for the Jumpluff. Magna fired a Flash Cannon at another grunt’s feet, causing him to trip and faceplant. One KO for the Magnezone. Yan zipped in front of another two grunts and blasted them with another Bug Buzz. Yan was definitely ahead in this competition.

“RUN AWAY! WE CAN’T WIN!” screamed one of the grunts. The others heeded his wise words, fleeing as fast as their legs could carry them.

“Good work guys!” said Lyra, as her Pokémon crowded around her. She looked back. Silver was still fighting Petrel. “Fight’s not over yet. How are you feeling?”

Yan landed on the ground and lowered his head. Magna also floated a little lower than it usually did. Tanky shook its head.

“All right. Dandy, you up to help Silver?”

Dandy puffed himself up. Lyra was glad that Dandy had been using Synthesis while in his Pokeball. It really came in handy at moments like this.

“All right. Let’s go help Silver finish off that guy!”

 

Silver glared back at Petrel. The last few minutes of battle had been a total stalemate with Petrel’s Weezing and Octillery successfully defending against his Feraligatr and Empoleon, but unable to significantly harm them in return. It was time to change things up.

“Empoleon! Return!”

Petrel looked at him strangely. “You’re taking out your steel type? Gutsy move, sure, but is that really a good idea?”

“Of course it is!” said Lyra’s voice from behind Silver. “Ready to finish this off?”

“Yeah. This guy’s getting on my nerves.”

Lyra shouted, “Dandy! Use Solarbeam!”

“Octillery! Counter with Flamethrower!”

“Feraligatr! Use hose down that Flamethrower!” shouted Silver.

Petrel smirked. “Weezing! Sludge Bomb the girl!”

Lyra dove to the side but let out a cry of pain as she landed. Silver glanced to his side and saw that she had taken a deep gash in her leg from a jagged metal edge on a piece of debris. She tried to pull herself to her feet.

“Octillery! Use Octozooka!”

Silver’s eyes widened. He dashed at Lyra and shoved her aside. The Octozooka shot hit him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him, and then suddenly he felt a tremendous thwack to the back of his head and he blacked out.

 

Lyra pulled herself to her feet. Her leg ached badly. She looked down to see her leg wound, a deep cut, bleeding fairly freely. It looked like Silver was going to have to fight this battle. Wait – where was he? She noticed Silver, lying unconscious near her.

“SILVER!”

“Hahahaha! What a noble move! To save the lady at the cost of himself. You couldn’t tell it by looking at him, but he’s a real gentleman!”

Lyra glared back at Petrel, the gash on her leg burning like fire. She limped towards Feraligatr and Dandy. Looked like it was down to her then. Of course. This was going just great.

“Feraligatr!” she snapped, breathing harshly. “Will you fight with me?”

Feraligatr looked down at her. She was the boss’s friend and could be trusted. It nodded its head.

“Good. Dandy! Use Aromatherapy!” she turned to Feraligatr with a smile, “Don’t worry. I noticed you were poisoned.” Feraligatr roared gratefully.

“Aww, aren’t you just the nicest trainer ever…..”grumbled Petrel

“Now, Dandy! Use Stun Spore!” shouted Lyra suddenly.

“Weezing! Octillery! Dodge!” shouted Petrel

The two Pokémon and Petrel leapt in opposite directions to avoid the spore cloud.

“Feraligatr! Use Aqua Tail on the Weezing! Dandy! Use Tailwind!”

Feraligatr rushed forward at the surprised Weezing as Dandy whipped up a strong breeze that propelled Feraligatr to run faster.

“Weezing! Use Protect!” shouted Petrel, as Feraligater whipped its water covered tail around and smacked the Weezing soundly, though the Weezing managed to block the hit.

“Feraligatr! Again!” shouted Lyra.

“Weezing! Use Thunderbolt!” shouted Petrel. Feraligatr took the hit straight to its face but managed to pull itself to its feet.

“Dandy! Use Mimic!” shouted Lyra. Dandy concentrated intently for a second and fired a lightning bolt of its own back at the Weezing, knocking it out.

“Yeah!” shouted Lyra, as she attempted to stop the bleeding on her leg. It was bleeding fairly quickly, and it hurt a lot. This had to end, now.

“Feraligatr! Use Hydro Pump!”

“Octillery! Use Solarbeam!” shouted Petrel, now beginning to panic.

“Dandy! Use Thunderbolt again!”

The two attacks overwhelmed the Octillery and sent it flying back into Petrel. He scrambled to his feet, recalling his Pokémon. “No! NO!” he shouted. He began to run away.

Lyra balanced herself against Feraligatr. Her leg hurt a lot. She had to get her wound looked at or wrapped up at the least. She looked down the road to where the perimeter was supposed to be. She wondered if her father was watching her. How far could she walk on her leg? Could she get there without being noticed?

“GYAH!” shouted Petrel.

Lyra looked up. There were five people she didn’t recognize in front of her. They surrounded Petrel. Those were….Kalos Pokémon, right?

“Marisso!”

“Croaky!”

“Crawdaunt!”

“Floette!”

“Kitty!”

“Wh…who are you?” squeaked Petrel.

“The Kalos Dexholders,” said one of them, a young man wearing a blue jacket. “We are here to support our seniors and Falkner. That makes you our opponent.”

Someone landed behind her.

“Lyra, are you all right? Where’s Silver?”

“Dad! Falkner!” Lyra bear hugged her father.

“Lyra! What happened? How long have you been bleeding? Falkner! We need to get her to safety! Now!”

Lyra smiled, “Glad to see you’re ok, dad! I’ll be ok, but I need my leg patched up.”

 She quickly recalled Dandy and Feraligatr. She saw the Kalos dexholders tie up Petrel. That was good - the Rockets would have a much harder time without their admin.

“Come on!” said Falkner, as he hoisted the unconscious Silver on the back of his Skarmory. “Let’s get these two back to the med bay, stat! I’ll brief you all when we get there!”

“Right away! We’ll be right behind you,” said another one of the Kalos Dexholders, a girl with short blonde hair.

Lyra hissed as her father tried to help her walk back towards the perimeter. “Ugh, that hurts!” she hissed as she tried to walk.

“C’mon! We need to move! Before another group of Rockets catches us out here!” said the leader of the Kalos Dexholders.

“Hold your horses, X! Here, get on Fletchy’s back! We’ll carry you!” said a girl with short blonde hair.

“Thanks,” said Lyra with a genuine smile. “I’m Lyra. Welcome to the team!”

“I’m Y! Glad to be here!”

 

At Indigo Plateau….

Indigo raced down the hallway. He looked left, then right. He saw a swinging door. That was the one that led to the locker rooms. He raced down to the door and swung it open. His eyes widened, and he dove to the side. A massive blast of Shadow energy blazed through where he’d been standing a second ago.

“Well, well, little brother. Finally, we are in a place where my creations can show you their true power!”

“That’s what you said last time, and the time before that!” shouted Indigo back., “Didn’t work either time!” He got to his feet and released the Shadow Mega Pidgeot and the Shadow Aggron. He pulled his sleeve down, as another crystal began to glow, and the Shadow Aggron Mega Evolved. Indigo strode through the door to stare down Ein, who was flanked by a Mega Shadow Tyrannitar and a Mega Shadow Pinsir.

“A battle between Shadow Mega Pokémon! This will be glorious! I’ll show Blois the glory of Shadow Pokémon and get all the funding I need to perfect Phase 2 of the Shadow Project!” cackled Ein manically.

“Yeah, half the stadium’s gonna be gone by the time we’re done,” muttered Indigo. “I should tell Blue we need to find a few more slush funds lying around.”

Raising his voice, he growled, “Pidgeot! Aggron! Prepare for battle!”

Chapter Text

Gold dashed towards a Rocket grunt who was charging at him.

“Golbat! Use Leech Life!”

“Ataro! Use Ice Punch!”

“Golbat! No!”

Gold looked around. It looked like most of the Rocket Grunts had been taken out. “Everybody listen up!” he shouted to the hostages. “This is DJ Gold speaking! We’re getting you all out of here! Please proceed to the exits as quickly as possible! Please excuse the battles, we assure you, they are absolutely necessary!”

The hostages quickly got to their feet. As they did, Koga shouted “This way! Follow Bruno!” 

He stood at one end of the arena, next to a large hole that Bruno had dug. Koga’s Weezing and  Muk stood next to him, ready to defend the fleeing hostages and the entrance. A rumbling was felt as Bruno continued to tunnel a path to safety.

A stray thunderbolt struck the ground near the stairway. Gold looked up into the seating area, where Red was fighting Archer. The two seemed locked in fairly even combat. An explosion was heard behind him. His head snapped to see Green and Ariana trading powerful hits. A sudden shout was heard in front of him. He snapped back to attention, and his heart sank as dozens of Rocket Grunts poured out of one of the lower levels on the other side of the arena. In front of them strode Chairman Blois. He looked back to see Crystal and Yellow helping the hostages get out. There was only one thing to do. He pulled out another pokeball.

“Let’s do this, buddy!”

 

Crystal helped another person to their feet.

“TEAM ROCKET! HEAR ME!” shouted an all too familiar voice. Three lone figures – a lone trainer and his two Pokémon stood between a sea of black uniforms and the hostages.

“I AM GOLD OF NEW BARK TOWN! AND NONE SHALL PASS!”

Chairman Blois scoffed, “Seriously, boy? You’re going to stop all of us?”

“THAT’S RIGHT! PREPARE TO FACE THE POWER OF THE DEXHOLDERS!”

“You’re a drunk! An alcoholic! A disgrace! You’re not even a hero anymore! You’re probably horribly out of shape, you stupid pop star!” yelled the Chairman. “You may have been strong, but you are no match for Team Rocket!”

“Maybe. But that won’t stop me now! They said that in grade school! ‘Oh, you’re a troublemaker!’ ‘You’ll never amount to anything!’ They said that when I went to be part of the dexholder project! ‘You’ll be kicked out!’ they said! ‘You’ll never make it!’ they said! I haven’t even seen my mom in months! But has that ever stopped me? NO! It hasn’t! It won’t! You can’t beat the power of a determined man! So, come and get some!”

Crystal gasped. This was….Gold…..from the old days. Well…..that had been faster than she’d expected. And it could just be a spark in the pan, and nothing else, but she’d take it right about now. And…..as much as she hated to admit it, she sort of missed the old lug. Sort of. She jogged up to where Gold stood.

“He’s not alone!” she said defiantly.

“No! He’s not! We’re going to win!” said Yellow from the other side of Gold.

“See? You can’t beat us! We’re unstoppable!” shouted Gold proudly.

“Attack those pests!” growled the Chairman.

Gold grinned, partly from excitement, partly from the adrenaline coursing through his veins. This was it. Now or never. There was no going back now. Those civilians were getting out, even if he didn’t. And for some reason, he wasn’t scared at all. Just like the old days. Well, maybe he actually was turning over a new leaf. Or maybe he was going back to an old one? Eh, no time for philosophy and crap.

“Explotaro! Use Blast Burn!”

 

“Persian! Use Slash!” shouted Sird.

“Blasty! Use Rapid Spin!”

As the Persian leapt towards Blasty, it pulled its legs into its shell and began spinning, sending the Persian flying.

“NOW! Water Pulse!”

The Persian tried to get to its feet but was hit and sent flying into another corner. It got up but was wobbly on its feet. Sird sighed, “You’re a tricky one, aren’t you.”

Blue gasped, “Oh no! You figured me out! Whatever shall I do?”

“You’re also an irritating pest.”

“I do my best!”

Sird recalled her Persian. “All right, let’s change it up,” she said, “Luxray!”

“Oh, trying a type advantage?” said Blue, “Aren’t you clever! Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

“That would ruin the surprise!”

“Hmph. Luxray! Use Wild Charge!”

“Blasty! Use Gryo Ball!”

Blasty pulled itself into its shell, which turned metallic, and began spinning towards Luxray which was barreling towards it in an electrically cloaked charge. The two Pokémon collided and knocked each other back. Blue winced. Double knock out. She returned Blasty.

“Clefy! You’re up!”

“Toxicroak!” said Sird.

Great, a poison type. She really should have sent in Nidory. Blue reached into her bag.

“Toxcroak! Use Poison Jab!”

“Clefy! Use Minimize!”

Clefy immediately shrank itself to a sixteenth of its size.

Toxicroak continued to barrel forward towards Blue when suddenly, her “hand” morphed into an umbrella, blocking the hit. Suddenly, a fist shot out of her umbrella hand, and punched Toxicroak in the face.

Sird growled as Blue pulled her hand out of her bag and chucked a smoke bomb at the floor. The immediate surroundings were totally obscured in thick, irritating smoke. “Good work, Ditty!” whispered Blue, as she tapped her foot against the floor three times, before reaching for another pokeball.

“Nidory! Use Body Slam!” shouted Blue as she sent out her Nidoqueen.

The Toxicroak’s eyes widened as the large Pokémon barreled towards it straight out of the pokeball, through the smoke.

“Toxicroak! Dodge now!” said Sird.

 Toxicroak narrowly dodged Nidory’s charge with a last minute dive out of the way. It picked itself up quickly. The two Pokémon paced around each other in a circle at the edge of the smoke cloud.  Blue activated her Silph Scope so she could see through the smoke cloud, and stepped backwards, further into the smoke. She could tell that this was going to be a long battle.

 

Sird scanned the surroundings for her opponent as the smoke began to clear. She heard a new smoke bomb hit the ground, followed shortly by fresh plumes of smoke. While she, Toxicroak and that Nidoqueen were out of the smoke, that girl was still obscured by the smoke.  

“Toxicroak! Use Ice Punch!”

“Nidory! Use Disable!” shouted Blue from the smoke cloud.

The Toxicroak froze in place.

“Now! Use Mega Punch!” 

Nidory unleashed an extremely powerful punch to the face of the Toxicroak, knocking it out.

“Hmm, not bad,” said Sird. “I didn’t know Nidoqueen could learn Disable. How interesting.”

“It’s amazing what Pokémon can learn! The world of Pokémon is full of wonders!” said Blue, still from the smoke cloud, mimicking Professor Oak.

Sird pulled out another Pokeball. The smoke was beginning to clear and she could see a silhouette. That girl must think that she was still invisible. Sird smirked. She could end this right here.

“Persian! Use Slash!” she shouted and hurled the Pokeball towards the smoke cloud. Persian leapt forward, but the sillhoette literally collapsed, as if it were made of mud before Persian landed an attack.

Suddenly, Persian went flying back at her.

Sird narrowed her eyes, as Blue and her Ditto walked out of the smoke. The Ditto transformed into an umbrella, and Blue picked it up. She gave Sird a winning smile.

“You attacked me! Goodness, how rude!”

“Hmph. You had your Ditto transform into yourself. A parlor trick, nothing more. You’re all tricks, no substance, girl. I expected more out of one of the fabled Dexholders.”

“All tricks, you say? Nidory! Use Body Slam!” shouted Blue.

“Toxapex!” shouted Sird, releasing her new Pokémon directly in front of her.

Nidory rammed into Toxapex with immense force as Toxapex stood its ground.

“Well, you’ve got good reflexes,” remarked Blue casually. “Looks like you’ve been travelling! Alola is a great place to go, especially after your evil team gets destroyed by four teenagers!”

She was trying to change the subject, Sird could tell. She wasn’t going to let her do that.

“Like I said, all tricks, no substance,” sneered Sird sarcastically. “You’re not going to talk your way out of this, little girl. And also, a sucker punch, really? I’ve never seen that one before in my entire life. Did you make that up yourself? It’s so original!”

 “Why, yes I did! Thank you!” said Blue tauntingly.

“Well, you’ve got a deep bag of tricks and tomfoolery. I’ll give you that. But it still won’t save you. If our little endeavor is to succeed, we can’t have you just running around.”

“Your little endeavor, eh? Weren’t you a Team Galactic agent?” asked Blue.

“Team Galactic was set on a course for failure by Cyrus. I was a fool to have trusted him. But now, I have found a leader worth fighting for.”

“Chairman Blois? Didn’t he have any qualms about recruiting someone who previously betrayed Team Rocket?”

“He was looking for talent. For trainers capable of matching members of the Elite Four. Which is a perfect fit with regards to me.”

“Oh, is really now?” said Blue.

“Yes, it is. Toxapex! Use Scald!”

“Nidory! Use Thunderbolt!”

The two attacks struck their targets. Nidory stumbled back, panting. Toxapex shook itself and prepared itself for combat.

“Again!” shouted Sird.

“Nidory! Protect!” shouted Blue. As the attack died down, Blue returned Nidory and hurled another smoke bomb at Sird. It went off at her feet.

Sird hissed. She recalled Toxapex and released another Pokémon.

“Mothim! Use Defog!”

The smoke cleared to reveal an empty hallway. Sird glared around her but spotted no trace of Blue. Where had that brat gone to? She strode down the hallway but came to the end of it much more quickly than she had thought. Now that she thought about it, there should have been an entrance to the rooms behind the arena, and the wall was awfully pink and round…….

“Jigglypuff! Use Hyper Voice!” shouted Blue from behind the ‘wall’.

Sird’s eyes widened and she immediately dove behind one of the supporting columns as Jigglypuff began to deflate itself and unleashed a massive sonic scream, catching Mothim off guard and knocking it out. As Jigglypuff deflated, Blue stepped out from behind it and sent out her Nidoqueen again. Sird rubbed her ringing ears, recalling Mothim and sent out Toxapex again to challenge her.

 “Toxapex! Use Scald!”

“Nidory! Protect!”

Sird scowled. “Trying to stall for time now? Is your precious little champion coming to save you?”

Blue chuckled and said, “You lose, you know that, right?”

“Oh? Enlighten me,” said Sird. “My Toxapex is far from finished. Ever since your Blastoise has been knocked out, you’ve been just stalling for time with trick after trick. And sure, your tricks have been rather effective. But you can’t beat me. You’ve been avoiding a head on battle because I’ve knocked out your strongest Pokémon, haven’t you?”

“Oh dear. You’ve caught on,” said Blue disappointedly, looking down. Suddenly, her head snapped up.

“Still doesn’t change the fact I win!” said Blue. “Clefable! Use Thunder Punch!”

Clefable suddenly returned to its normal size right in front of Sird.

“Toxapex! Use Poison Jab!” shouted Sird. Toxapex turned itself and lunged its tentacle straight through Clefable’s stomach.

Sird smirked. Blue smirked back at her. Clefable disappeared in a puff of smoke. Sird’s eyes widened, “A substitute!?”

“Will the real Clefy please stand up?” shouted Blue.

The real Clefy returned to normal size to the right the Toxapex and landed a sudden Thunder Punch to the back.

“No!” gasped Sird as Toxapex collapsed in front of her.

“Clefy! Use Thunder Wave!”

“NO!” screamed Sird, but it was too late. Clefy turned before she could react and zapped her with a weak bolt of electricity, paralyzing her. She fell limp to the ground.

“Gotcha!” winked Blue.

“You’re a horrible person. You know that? Cheat! Coward!” hissed Sird.

“Yeah, yeah, that’s what they all say. Tell me something I haven’t heard.”

 

Chapter Text

Red glanced behind him. Most of the civilians were out of the room. Which was good, because Gold, Crystal and Yellow were barely holding back the horde of Rocket Grunts in front of them. His attention snapped back to Archer, in front of him. Archer smirked. Red glared intently at his opponent. Archer was definitely a tricky one. 

“Electrode! Use Thunder! Muk! Use Gunk Shot!”

 “Pika! Use Thunderbolt! Poli! Use Focus Punch!”

The two electric attacks met and cancelled each other out in a brilliant flash, as Poli punched the ball of sludge so hard that it exploded. Red was beginning to worry. Archer had been above him for most of the battle, giving him an advantage, and he was intent on keeping it that way. Against most trainers, this would have been no problem for Red. The problem was that Archer was significantly stronger than most trainers. The arena rumbled beneath them for what must have been the tenth or eleventh time.

“Hah! Your friends must be quite tough to take on Ein for this long!” said Archer.

“Oh, and why’s that?”

“Ein has a total of 64 Shadow Pokémon. I don’t know about this whole “Shadow Pokémon” thing, but he’s still got a team of 64 Pokémon. I’m impressed they’ve lasted half this long!”

Red grinned, “Then you don’t know Indigo at all. He’s a tough one all right. And he’s a snagger. He’s used to battles like this!”

“What? Only one of your friends is battling Ein? By himself? He must have gone mad!”

“Heh, you shouldn’t underestimate us dexholders!”

Red was not feeling so confident on the inside, though. He knew Indigo was still outnumbered by about a 4 to 1 ratio, even with his expanded team size. Still, if there was anyone to win such an uphill battle alone, it would be the guy who had taken the mad scientist down before.

“Oh, so why isn’t he the champion instead of you? He’s fighting a trainer with 64 Pokémon, you can’t even beat me!” asked Archer.

“Because I’m even better!” smirked Red.

“But if you’re so much better, wouldn’t you have beaten me by now?”

“Shut up!” growled Red. “Pika! Use Volt Tackle! Poli! Use Brick Break!”

“Electrode! Use Protect! Muk! Use Poison Jab!”

Pika bounced off Electrode uselessly while Poli and Muk traded hits.

Red clenched his teeth. That height advantage was not helping at all. He had to get Archer to a lower area. An idea came to him.

“Pika! Poli! Return! Go Saur! Go Lax!”

This would be a better matchup. While he’d initially hoped to quickly defeat Archer with an overwhelming rush, these two were better for dislodging stationary opponents.

“Saur! Use Sleep Powder!”

Petrel paled and bolted right with his Pokémon in tow.

“Lax! Use Hyper Beam!” shouted Red. He said in a quieter voice, “Aim above them.”

Archer ducked as the dangerous beam of energy destroyed part of the structure above him. He kept running, as Red followed him. This was going better. 

“Saur! Use Solarbeam!”

An explosion erupted straight in front of Archer. Instinctively, he ducked down the stairs. He cursed under his breath. Archer knew Red was getting him out of position. Lax’s Hyper Beam struck the stairs behind Archer, forcing him to descend farther. 

“Electrode! Use Thunderbolt!”

“Saur! Use Protect!” shouted Red. Saur lumbered his way in front of Lax and blocked the incoming lightning bolt.

For the first time in the battle, Red felt like he was not fighting at a disadvantage. Now that the height difference was gone, he could finally finish this fight. Recalling Lax, Red pulled out another pokeball and shouted “Aero!”

His Aerodactyl appeared and let out a mighty battle cry. Archer grit his teeth.

“Electrode! Use Thunderbolt!”

“Saur! One Shot Razor Leaf!” countered Red. Electrode managed to fire off the Thunderbolt, but Saur knocked its aim off with a single, well timed leaf.

“Aero! Use Flamethrower!”

“Muk! Use Protect!” shouted Archer.

Red grinned. Now he had Archer on his back foot.

“Saur! Use Solarbeam! Aero! Use Double Edge!”

Saur nailed the Muk in the face with the signature greenish solar powered beam as Aero divebombed the Electrode, knocking it out. Muk shook itself and readied itself for combat again.

“Gyeah!” shouted Archer, diving out of Aero’s path. He scrambled to his feet and shouted,

“Muk! Gunk Shot that thing out of the sky!”

The Muk fired the shot, nicking Aero in the wing. Aero went spiraling off into the seats.

“Saur! Use Body Slam!” shouted Red.

“Acid Armor!” shouted Archer. Muk collapsed into a pile of liquid underneath Saur’s large body.

“Muk! Use Poison Jab!” Muk reformed itself to Saur’s side, and scored a direct hit on Saur’s side, but to little avail.

“Saur! Dodge! Aero! Use Hyper Beam!” Aero swooped up behind Muk and landed a direct hit.  At point blank, it was a swift KO.

Archer fell to the ground, screaming, “My plan!”

“Saur! Use Sleep Powder!” said Red as he ran up, Saur at his side. The signature green powder was blasted into Archer’s face, knocking him out cold. Red dashed up to him.

“Saur! Tie him up!”

Saur wrapped him up with a vine.

“Good work guys! Let’s go help the others in the arena!”

 

Green glared at Ariana. She had been awfully defensive for their entire battle. She was stalling him, and Green knew it, probably because she knew that she was outclassed. It was obvious for a trainer of his experience. But why was she stalling for time? Green didn’t know yet. But whatever it was, he wasn’t going to let her succeed.

“Rhyperior! Use Megahorn!”

“Vileplume! Use Energy Ball!”

The two attacks hit and cancelled out. Green grit his teeth. This was going nowhere. But, it was giving him a good idea of what his enemy’s strategy was.

“Rhyperior! Use Rock Blast again!” shouted Green.

“Protect!” shouted Ariana.

“Rhyperior! Return!” said Green calmly.

“Oh, tired of wasting your strength?” asked Ariana.

“Scizor. Let’s finish this,” said Green.

“Hmm. A four times resistance?” her grin turned dangerous.

Green’s eyes narrowed.

“Vileplume! Use Natural Gift!”

“Scizor! Double Team!”

The Vileplume let out a massive geyser of flame from its mouth. Green felt the heat as he and Scizor sidestepped the inferno. This was a Blue style tactic. All of this was like fighting an inferior Blue. Uses a strong defense, and has many surprises lying in wait. The trick is to surprise the opponent in return – most trainers who like to surprise their opponents don’t do well being surprised themselves. Which meant the best way to defeat this was…..

“Scizor! Use Bullet Punch!”

“Vileplume! Protect!”

“Scizor! Use Feint!”

….to bait an expected response and prepare a counter in advance. The Vileplume’s guard dropped to the Feint, and it took a quick hit. Not a very hard hit, but enough to set up a……

“Scizor! Use X Scissor!”

One downed Vileplume. Easy.

“You can’t stall anymore, Ariana,” said Green flatly.

“Oh, I can’t?”

“What else do you plan on doing? You can’t stall me any further. I have you figured out.”

“You don’t know that. Are you sure about that?” asked Ariana tauntingly.

Green shrugged. “I defeated your Vileplume within 30 seconds of sending out Scizor. I think I’ve gotten the gist of your strategy.”

Ariana sighed began fanning herself again and sent out her Magcargo. “If you’re so insistent, then yes. I am stalling you. Your friends in the arena won’t be able to fight all of our grunts forever. It will be so much easier to wait for them to fall and then make you fight a battle in two directions. But you had all of that figured out, didn’t you, Little Oak?”

Green rolled his eyes. He’d figured that it was something along those lines already. At least she didn’t have anything else up her sleeves. Hopefully.

“Gold is the most stubborn piece of work you’ve ever met. Crystal and Yellow are no pushovers either. If you think that you can survive me for that long, you’re wrong.” said Green flatly.

Ariana merely smirked. “We’ll see about that. Magcargo! Use Flamethrower!”

“Kabutops, go!” shouted Green. “Scizor, return!”

The attack hardly seemed to affect Kabutops, who gave the enemy Magcargo an unimpressed look and awaited instructions. Green knew he had to keep up the pressure. Eventually, she’d make a mistake he could exploit if he kept her on her back foot for long enough.

“Kabutops! Use Aqua Jet!”

“Magcargo! Use Rock Blast!”

Green had to dodge a few of the rocks, but Kabutops zipped past them with little issue and slammed into Magcargo with a water covered tackle. This was the moment. As Magcargo reeled back from the attack, Green shouted “Kabutops! Use Waterfall!”

“Magcargo! Use Solarbeam!” shouted Ariana.

The Magcargo swallowed something in its mouth and promptly fired a Solarbeam into Kabutop’s face. Green ducked aside, as Kabutops came flying back at him. Green clenched his teeth as he recalled his Kabutops. A Power Herb held item to allow for Magcargo to fire off a quick Solar Beam once to catch water, ground and rock types unaware. There went all of his momentum. Admittedly, he should have seen that one coming.

“Of course, I have no chance of winning,” said Ariana, fanning herself.

Green saw the conceited look on her face, and a new plan dawned on him. She had made that mistake for him. He pulled out another pokeball.

 “Go Charizard!”

Ariana just smirked. “Magcargo! Use Rock Blast!”

Green smirked back at her. Checkmate.

“Charizard! Use Earthquake!”

Ariana paled, and tried to move, but was caught with her Magcargo in the shockwave, knocking her over and knocking her Magcargo out.

“Pidgeot! Use Swagger!” shouted Green as he pulled out another pokeball.

“What are you…..ugh……ooh…..no ……” Ariana began to sway erratically. Green dashed up to her while she was confused and restrained her with a pair of handcuffs. Being a Gym Leader who worked with law enforcement frequently had its benefits. 

 

In the arena, Crystal scowled, frustrated. There were just too many grunts! She, Gold, and Yellow were doing their best, but they had already been pushed back to the far side. She didn’t know how much longer they could hold. Suddenly, a green laser struck the ground near the right side. The grunts dove for cover as Red came charging down the stairs. On the left, a gale of wind and burst of flame signaled the arrival of Green. A lightning bolt flashed out from one of the entrances as Blue and Clefy rejoined the fight. The Rockets recoiled and attempted to reform their ranks. The tide was beginning to turn. Suddenly, from behind the three trainers came a shout. “NOW! CHARGE!”

Crystal glanced behind her shoulder and her eyes went wide open in surprise. Through the hole that Bruno had dug came charging….No! This was too dangerous!

“Diamond! Ruby! Sapphire! Pearl! What are you all doing here?” asked Crystal.

“We are here to help you!” said Platinum from behind her as Wally and Topaz dashed past them into battle.

“Yeah!” said Emerald, as the others charged headlong against the sea of Rocket Grunts. “We won’t let you fight this all alone! Sceptile! Use Leaf Storm!”

“It’s too dangerous for you! You’ll get hurt!” shouted Crystal back.

“Too late now!” said Yellow. “Let’s finish them off quickly before someone does get hurt!”

Crystal grimaced and prepared to charge back into the fight, when she saw the Chairman trying to slink out the back out of the corner of her eye. She grabbed a different pokeball, recalling Mega. She wasn’t just going to let him get away. She released Noctee and said, “Get me over the crowd!”

One of the Rocket Grunts happened to look up. He shouted, “Hey! Don’t let her get behind us!”

A few grunts ordered their Pokémon to fire at her. Crystal and Noctee barely dodged a barrage of sludge, wind and electric attacks. She landed on the other side, and began to run after the Chairman, who had noticed her by now. Several grunts turned from the back of the crowd and attempted to chase after her. Suddenly, Gold came barging in from the side.

“NONE OF THAT! Explotaro! Use Overheat!” shouted Gold.

Explotaro unleashed a tremendous blast of flame from its flaming collar, stopping the Rocket Grunts in their tracks.

“GET HIM, SUPER SERIOUS GAL!” he bellowed. “I’ll hold them off!”

For the first time since the Pinkerton Club incident, Crystal gave Gold a genuine smile.

“Thanks!” she said, as she dashed off in pursuit.

 As she went down the hallway, she could hear Gold bellow, “WHAT PART OF ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS’ DID YOU NOT GET!? CLEAN OUT YOUR EARWAX AND HEAR ME AGAIN! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

 

In the back of the arena……

“Camerupt! Use Shadow Flame!” bellowed Indigo. “Abomasnow! Use Shadow Freeze!”

“Sharpedo! Use Shadow Break! Lopunny! Use Shadow Half!” yelled Ein.

The attacks collided and cancelled each other out. Indigo grit his teeth. The entire back of the arena had been almost entirely destroyed from their battle so far. He was down to his last two Mega Shadow Pokémon, and Ein had caught on and sent out a pair of Mega Shadows to oppose him. Indigo saw Ein scowl in frustration and pull down his sleeves to reveal a set of Z crystals. This was not good. Indigo yanked down his sleeve in response.

“SHARPEDO! LOPUNNY!” shouted Ein.

“CAMERUPT! ABOMASNOW!” shouted Indigo.

“USE SHADOW ANNIHILATION!” they shouted in unison as their Z Crystals flashed with energy.

All four Pokémon absorbed a massive amount of shadowy energy, before firing it at each other in massive beams. Indigo dove for cover behind a file cabinet as a massive explosion engulfed the entire area………

Chapter Text

Indigo poked his head out from behind the filing cabinet as the smoke cleared. Ein glared straight back at him as he appeared out of the smoke. The two trainers recalled their fainted Pokémon. It had been a quadruple knockout. No surprise there, considering that four Z moves had been used in the last exchange. Indigo mentally had been counting how many of Ein’s Shadow Pokémon he’d downed or snagged. He had just hit number 51. How many had Ein brought this time? Things weren’t looking good. Ein had just knocked out the last of his six Shadow Pokémon. Shadow Pokémon resisted Shadow Attacks, and he had been milking that resistance for all it was worth for the entire fight with the most defensive Pokémon that the lab had. Without that resistance, he was going to need to end things quickly. To make things worse, Wings, Delta and Nido had also been knocked out earlier in the fight. Ein wasn’t making this easy. He needed to get a better read on his situation.

“You’ve been working pretty hard, making all these Shadow Pokémon, haven’t you?” Indigo said. “If this had been the last time we battled, you would have almost lost twice over!”

“Foolish little brother……you do not realize how well prepared I am. I have an army of 64 Shadow Pokémon! You can’t possibly hope to beat me!”

“Oh, I can’t possibly hope to beat you now?” asked Indigo. He internally breathed a sigh of relief.  At least there was an end to the number of Shadow Pokémon that Ein had brought with him. “I’ve just beaten over three quarters of your team. And you only just knocked out my last two Shadow Pokémon! I still have a fresh team, ready to fight! You really think you can win?”

“Shadow Pokémon have always been superior to normal Pokémon. Surely you know this! I have just sealed my victory!”

“Oh, like the time Ice Cube iced your entire team.”

“That Lapras was a freak of nature!”

“Iceberg adopted me. You should be more respectful.”

“Oh, you really are delusional! A Pokémon, adopting a human? What is this, a child’s cartoon?”

“I’m the delusional one? You’re the one trying to take over the world with Shadow Pokémon!”

“Hmph. I was never able to teach you respect, little brother. I will correct my error today.”

“Ein. Surrender. You can’t beat me. We both know this.”

“Really now? I’ll admit, I did not prepare sufficiently for you the last two times we battled. But I believe that no trainer can overcome my current team. I have painstakingly hand selected the strongest, toughest, and most powerful Pokémon that Team Rocket has acquired and fashioned them into my greatest creations! You stand no chance!”

Indigo sighed, “You were once my brother, Ein. For that, I’m not going to kill you. No promises on anything else.”

Indigo sighed and pulled out two more Pokeballs.

“Boxer! Wiggles!”

A Ledian and Furret appeared in front of him.

Ein only smirked and released a Shadow Pelliper and Gavantula.

“Pelliper! Use Shadow Sky! Gavantula! Use Shadow Bolt!” shouted Ein.

Indigo growled, “Boxer! Use Mega Flash Mob! Wiggles! Paralyze that Pelliper!”

Boxer created three Substitutes of himelf and then all four promptly used Double Team, creating a veritable wall of illusion Boxers. The real Boxer landed next to Indigo and used Roost. Indigo looked fondly down on the Ledian.

“We’ll get him. We’ll avenge Ice Cube.” Boxer grinned and nodded, as Wiggles disappeared into the giant crowd of substitutes and clones.

A wild bolt of dark energy shot its way through the clones, missing them by a mile, followed by several more shadow attacks. Suddenly, Indigo heard the Pelliper squawk. He activated his eye piece, and instantly caught onto the Shadow Aura of the Pelliper. He grabbed a pokeball with his snag machine and chucked it.

“Jaws! Your turn!”

Jaws, from behind Indigo, blitzed out from behind him, and dashed through the crowd. Boxer got back to its feet as Wiggles appeared out of the crowd again.

“Good work! Let’s Toxic that Gavantula!”

Jaws rushed through the crowd, pokeball in his mouth. He dropped it in a large pile of snag balls around the corner of the door frame and returned to Indigo. Indigo activated his shadow scanner and looked through the crowd of substitutes. It looked like Ein had pulled out a Shadow Unfezant. That could only mean……

“Wiggles! Get back here!” shouted a panicked Indigo.

“Shadow Pulse!” shouted Ein from the other side of the wall of Ledians. Boxer quickly put himself in front of Indigo and used Protect. A massive, shadowy pulse suddenly blasted through the clones and illusions, vaporizing all of them. Wiggles hit the wall behind Indigo with a solid thud and fell to the ground unconscious. Indigo growled. He recalled Wiggles and pulled out a new pokeball.

“Spruce! Time to rumble!” he said, releasing a Sawsbuck.

“Shadow Bolt!” shouted Ein.

“DODGE!” yelled Indigo, as he and his Pokémon scattered.

“Now! Spruce! Use Double Edge!”

The Sawsbuck hurled itself towards the Gavantula. It took a direct hit and crashed into the wall behind Ein.

“Now! Jump Kick the Unfezant!” yelled Indigo.

The Unfezant went careening into another wall. Ein jumped back and pulled something out of his pocket.

Indigo’s eyes widened.

“Boxer! Use Mach Punch!”

Boxer flew forward as Ein pulled a swirling red and orange orb out of his coat pocket and chucked it at Spruce. Boxer punched the orb, shattering it. It let out a firey explosion, blasting both Boxer and Spruce back. Boxer collapsed, having been closer to the explosion.

“Boxer! Are you all right?” shouted Indigo. Boxer looked up and waved this left three arms sideways back and forth. Indigo nodded. That was the signal for needing a breather. Indigo nodded and swiftly recalled him. “Dusty! Go!”

As Spruce got itself to its feet, Ein chucked a purple orb at him. Spruce tried to swat it with its antlers, but missed, and got hit. Indigo growled as his Venomoth landed next to him. That Flame Orb that Ein had just thrown had been unstable. Boxer’s Mach Punch should have been strong enough to smack the projectile aside, but not to break it. Ein had probably brought unstable orbs, just like he had last time. The Toxic Orb that Ein had just thrown rolled near Indigo’s feet, as Spruce stumbled backwards.

“Dusty! Use Tailwind!” shouted Indigo as Ein released a Shadow Walrein and a Shadow Hitmonlee. Numbers 55 and 56 out of 64. He was almost there.

“Hitmonlee! Use Shadow Kick!” shouted Ein. “Walrein! Use Shadow Freeze!”

“Dusty! Protect!” shouted Indigo just before the shadow move hit. He picked up the Toxic Orb, and chucked it straight at Ein’s Hitmonlee, which was running towards him. It kicked the Toxic Orb, which exploded in a sludgy toxic mess. Hitmonlee stumbled back. Indigo quickly chucked another Snag Ball. Ein jumped forward and swatted it out of the air.    

“Spruce! Use Façade!” he bellowed. Ein blanched, and quickly reached for another Pokeball.

“Probopass!”

The Probopass appeared and grabbed Spruce by the horns. The two struggled in a battle of strength.

“Energy Ball!” shouted Indigo. The shot hit the Probopass square in its large nose, and it floated back, crashing into Hitmonlee and knocking it out as Ein dove out of the way. 

“Now, Spruce! Jump Kick!”

“Probopass! Use Shadow Beam!”

Spruce charged at the Probopass, but took the Shadow Beam to the face, and collapsed.

Indigo returned Spruce to its pokeball and glared at Ein. “That was a very risky play. Sawsbuck is a lot faster than Probopass. Spruce almost landed the Jump Kick. For being part of your prized army, you couldn’t care less about the well-being of your Pokémon!”

“You know as well as anybody that Shadow Pokémon are tools! Your belief that Pokémon are your precious little ‘friends’ is misguided and foolish!”

“That’s why you’ll never beat me, Ein,” said Indigo, releasing his Rapidash. “Most of the attacks I’ve landed could have been avoided or countered. You don’t care enough about your Pokémon to bother. That’s why you’re such a weak trainer. You’re so intent on destroying your enemies that you won’t think for a second about how many hits your own Pokémon take! And then you compensate for it by turning your Pokémon into Shadow Pokémon, to double down on the power and IGNORE THE FACT that your defenses are still made of wet tissue paper! For a mad genius, you’re really, really stupid! You’ve always been stupid! Like back in the old days! You were never as strong as Dakim, never as good with people as Venus, never as suave as Miror B! You always leaned too heavily on your intelligence and forgot about everything else!”

“Which is why I put so much time into developing my prodigious intelligence. It was the natural course of events. I saw where my strengths lay and made the most of them.”

“To the point of insanity!” shouted Indigo. “I knew you back in the day! You taught me all sorts of stuff! I looked up to you more than anyone else! YOU WERE FAMILY, EIN! Just like Lovrina and Miror B and Eldes, and everybody else! And then Greevil got to you! He got to you all! Maybe the others didn’t notice it, but I did! Lyra did! We tried to pull you out of that! We tried to pull all of you out of that path! But you didn’t listen! And look at you! Look at what you’ve become!”

“Silence!” snapped Ein. “Probopass! Use Shadow Beam again!”

“Wildfire! Use Flamethrower! Dusty! Use Signal Beam! Beat it down!”

The two attacks slammed into the shadowy beam, cancelling out.

“Wildfire! Use Drill Run! Dusty! Use Solarbeam 2!”

“Probopass! Shadow Beam again!”

The Probopass tried to fire another Shadow Beam, but the Rapidash was too fast, and it was summarily knocked out. Ein sidestepped quickly to avoid his flying Probopass. His eyes widened, as Dusty used a Solarbeam on his Walrein, severely damaging it. Indigo smirked – code words were very handy for this kind of thing, and chucked another snag ball, taking the Walrein out of the fight. 57 and 58 down. Six more. Almost there.

“Enough of this!” hissed Ein, as Jaws picked up the pokeball, and zipped around the corner. Suddenly, a thought came to Ein, and he smirked manically. Indigo’s eyes widened as Ein released the entirety of his remaining team, six Pokémon in all. Dusty and Wildfire backed up slightly. Indigo clenched his fists. He was now staring down a Shadow Goliscopod, Zebstrika, Ursaring, Exploud, Slaking and Tentacruel. Ein began laughing manically.

“I should have thought of this LONG AGO! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You can’t possibly beat six Shadow Pokémon at once!”

A Snag Ball sailed over Wildfire’s head and captured the Slaking. Ein’s countenance darkened.

“SHADOW BEAM! ALL OF YOU!” he howled.

“PROTECT!” shouted Indigo.

The beams ripped straight through the Protect moves, sending the Pokémon flying into Indigo. He was knocked backwards and hit the ground with a sickening crack. Indigo let out a scream of pain. Jaws quickly dashed from around the corner, where he’d left the pokeballs, and stood in front of Indigo. Indigo tried to get his wits about him. His left foot was in immense pain from underneath Wildfire. He’d have to keep his weight off of it.  Not that it mattered, he was just hurting all over as he tried to pull himself to his feet. Jaws growled as Ein walked in front of his Pokémon. As the mad scientist came closer, Jaws let out a tremendous roar. The fury was evident in the Arcanine’s eyes. Ein stood still and smirked at him.

“What a good little puppy. If only you were a Shadow Pokémon! You could reach your full potential. Poor little puppy.”

Jaws growled and gathered flames around him, ready to use Flare Blitz.

“Zebstrika! Use Shadow Hold!”

The Zebstrika fired a shadowy string out of its mouth that wrapped itself around Jaws, holding it in place, struggling to move. Indigo steadied himself on his feet. He limped towards Ein, head held low. As he staggered forward, Indigo chuckled, coughing, and muttered something inaudible.

“Oh, what was that?” asked Ein. He stepped forward and grabbed Indigo by the collar and forced his face up so that he was looking at Ein. He had a dangerous grin on his face.

“I win.”

Indigo grabbed Ein’s arm with his Snag Machine. Ein looked surprised, when suddenly his face went white. He tried to let go of Indigo, but it was too late.

“DUX! USE THUNDERBOLT NOW!” shouted Indigo.

A massive surge of electricity came out of the Snag Machine, electrifying the mad doctor. Ein dropped like a sack, convulsing. Indigo held up the arm with his Snag Machine and yelled, “DUX! USE TRI ATTACK!”

Dux poked his head out of the palm of the Snag Machine and fired a Tri Attack at the Zebstrika. Surprised, the Shadow Pokémon had no time to react, and took a direct hit. Jaws quickly wiggled free of its restraints. Indigo grinned and yelled, “JAWS! USE FIRE BLAST!”

Jaws roared with fury and let out a tremendous stream of fire, catching the Exploud before it could do anything.

“Boxer! USE FOCUS PUNCH!” yelled Indigo as he released the Ledian from his Pokeball. Boxer slammed a powerful fist into Goliscopod as Indigo chucked a snag ball at the Tentacruel.

“NOW!” bellowed Indigo. “OVERHEAT! SILVER WIND!”

The three attacks hit with tremendous force.  As the smoke cleared, Indigo stood, bruised and bleeding, over 4 fainted shadow Pokémon, two snag balls, and a frazzled looking Ein. His opponent had just begun to climb to his feet. Indigo limped forward and punched Ein with his Snag Machine, square in the jaw. Ein hit the ground again, and Indigo limped over to him, Jaws and Boxer following him and glaring menacingly. He pointed his Snag Machine at Ein, and Dux poked his head out of the palm.

 “So……this is it?” asked Ein, “You’re going……to kill me? Very good……little brother……I didn’t think……you had it in you.”

“Use Thunder Wave.”

Ein winced as a weak jolt of electricity hit him. He was paralyzed.

“You deserve…..much worse…….You committed dozens of atrocities…..you drove Pokémon insane…..with your stupid Shadow Pokémon Project……you killed my Lapras mother…….but I’m not the same……little boy…….anymore……” wheezed Indigo, leaning on Jaws. “The same little boy who used to follow you around……… and copy everything you did……..he grew up……..I’m my own person now…..and I WIN.”

Indigo stood there a moment, glaring down at Ein, before he carefully lowered himself to the floor next to him.

“Just…..going to sit there….Indigo?” asked Ein.

“You were my brother……Ein……I’m not just going…….to leave you. The police……and the others……..they’ll be here……in a minute,” Indigo winced as he adjusted himself on the ground. He’d need someone to look at his foot. Something was definitely broken.

 “But……I’ll sit here with you.…while you wait……..just for a little……..big brother.”

Chapter Text

Crystal dashed down a back hallway, in hot pursuit of Chairman Blois. The middle-aged man had gotten a head start on her, but she was gaining quickly. He barely managed to dash through the back exit. Crystal wasn’t having it. She grabbed a Pokeball and released Hitmonee.

“Hitmonee! Focus Punch through that door!”

The door went flying off its hinges to reveal the Chairman trying to escape with a Pidgeot. He had just lifted off the ground. It was now or never.

“Hitmonee! Use Sky Uppercut!”

The Pidgeot took the punch to the gut and dropped the Chairman.

“Thunder Punch! Finish it!”

Chairman Blois pulled himself to his feet as his Pidgeot collapsed onto the ground. He didn’t even spare it a sideways glance but pulled out another pokeball and sent out a Tauros. Hitmonee took a fighting stance in front of Crystal.

“You. You have ruined my plans! I was going to unite the continent! I was going to unite the world! It would have been perfect!”

“What, a world ruled by Team Rocket? That would be terrible!”

“No! Not like that! You clearly don’t understand how governments work!”

“Oh, what am I missing?”

“Democratic governments do an excellent job of allowing their citizenry to have a say in the government, but they lack the ability to respond quickly! Add in enough corruption, and you can’t even pass a bill for even the most necessary things! Compare this to a kingdom, where the king’s law is word! You can accomplish things like no other!”

“Having a good kingdom is reliant on having a good king. Who’s to say you’ll even be competent?”

“Excuse me? I’ve been more than competent! Between the Champion, Elite Four, Gym Leaders, Regional Representatives, watchdog groups, and the rest of you idiots, there are so many conflicting interests that nothing, NOTHING can get done! By using Team Rocket to clear away these obstacles, I can finally create a government that’s efficient and effective!”

“And there are no flaws with this plan?” asked Crystal flatly.

“Absolutely not! Once I vanquish Team Rocket, I shall usher the continent into a golden era of peace and prosperity for all!”

“You don’t intend to use Team Rocket forever?”

“Of course not! Criminals in power are major problems! I plan to defeat them all, and put them in prison, where they rightfully deserve to be!”

“By yourself?” asked Crystal in surprise.

“Yes!”

“That’s likely. Five admins, one with shadow Pokémon, and an entire army of loyal grunts? They’re more likely to overthrow you!”

“Nonsense! All part of the plan! I will rally the populace and together we will overthrow Team Rocket with me in command! Team Rocket will stand no chance against me and an entire team of Shadow Pokémon! Then, I alone shall rule the continent and usher in a golden age of peace and prosperity! The world will thank me for this!”

“Uh, isn’t that the point of checks and balances in a government! Now that I think of it, the reason this stuff exists is because of power hungry egomaniacs like you! Also, that plan of yours would never work and is horribly convoluted. One second, you’re the conqueror, next you’re leading the resistance against the group you just used to conquer? And you have no idea how to control Shadow Pokémon either. Did you get that plan from a badly written movie? I’m pretty sure that sounded better in your head.”

“SILENCE! My plans will not be thwarted!”

“Well, you’re not entirely stupid. You were smart enough to try and shut down the dexholder project. You shut us down after the Mask of Ice incident, shortly after you got elected to Chairman. You also tried shutting the program down again right before you made your move to take over the continent. Keep a strong group of trainers separated so they could be ambushed while they were scattered, right?”

“Heh, you’re not as stupid as you look,” said Chairman Blois. “Yes, you’re correct.”

“And you have Ein make the Shadow Pokémon to help you defeat Team Rocket?”

“Well well, you have me figured out. Clever girl!”

“So, you’re not entirely stupid. Just mostly stupid, and really overconfident and arrogant.”

“SILENCE! Do not question my genius!”

“I bet your IQ isn’t above an 80,” said Crystal flatly.

“NONSENSE!”

Crystal sighed. This was getting nowhere. Chairman Blois was skilled when it came to political maneuvering, and she could sort of see where he was coming from in his motives, but the execution of his plan was being clouded by his ego. There was no way this overweight pencil pusher was going to beat all of the Team Rocket Admins on his own, even if by some miracle, he learned how to control an army of Shadow Pokémon. Honestly, she wouldn’t be surprised if Archer and the rest were planning to overthrew Blois once they had secured the region.

“I’m taking you in. We’re going to elect a sane Chairman and stick you in an institution.”

“On what authority? I’m the Chairman! I rule this land!”

“You’re just an elected representative – you don’t have any rule over the land. I bet your popularity just hit negative digits – you could never win another election in your life, even if you bribed the entire voting population!”

“I rule this land! And I will eliminate you!”

The chairman’s Tauros pawed the ground, its tails whipping in anticipation. Hitmonee took a more defensive stance.

“Tauros! Use Giga Impact!”

“Hitmonee! Use Close Combat!”

The two attacks collided, and both Pokémon leapt back, Tauros looking worse for wear out of the two. 

“Hitmonee! Use Mach Punch!”

“Tauros! Use Giga Impact!”

Hitmonee dodged the rushing Tauros and punched it in the side, slowing it down. 

“Now! Sky Uppercut!”

Hitmonee sent the Tauros flying with a well-placed punch. The Director growled and sent out another Pokémon before Hitmonee could react.

“Nidoking! Use Giga Impact!”

“Hitmonee! Use Counter!”

Hitmonee took a vicious blow to the face and landed an even more powerful punch back to his enemy. He staggered back and fell to a knee. The opposing Nidoking reeled back. It was a resisted hit, but the sheer power of the attack had clearly done some damage.

“Hitmonee! Return! Go Fortee!”

“Oh, a Fortress? Lot of good that will do you! Nidoking! Use Flamethrower!”

“Fortee! Use Rapid Spin!”

Fortee began to spin quickly. Crystal grit her teeth. She’d seen Blue use this strategy with Blasty often to reduce the damage of super effective moves. As the Flamethrower ended, she shouted, “Fortee! Use Spikes!”

Fortee managed to shoot out a large quantity of spikes over the surrounding area. The Chairman shouted, “Flamethrower! Again!”

“Fortee! Protect!”

“Flamethrower!”

“Rapid Spin!”

Blue’s tactic was fantastic in conjunction with tactic she’d picked up off Green. Being able to have a Pokémon survive several hits that would normally defeat it was a good way to rattle an opponent.

“GIGA IMPACT!”

“Protect!”

“You think stalling will save you?” yelled the Chairman.

“Fortee! Use Stealth Rocks!”

The Fortress fired a barrage of sharp rocks that covered the ground next to the spikes.

“BREAKNECK BLITZ!” howled the Chairman, digging a Z-Crystal necklace out from under his shirt.

“Fortee! Protect!” shouted Crystal. Nidoking stood still and did nothing. What was the Chairman doing? A sudden tinge of panic ran through her as she noticed the Tauros charging in from the side. The powerful attack managed to break Fortee’s defense, but not knock it out.

“Fortee! Use Signal Beam!” shouted Crystal.

Fortee fired a greenish beam that instantly knocked out the weakened Tauros.

“Nidoking! Use Flamethrower!” shouted Chairman Blois. Crystal had no time to react but jumped back as the fire attack roasted poor Fortee, knocking it out.

“HAH! Says who I can’t beat five Team Rocket Admins? Even one of the fabled dexholders can’t stand up to my power!” crowed Chairman Blois, as he recalled Tauros and Pidgeot.

Crystal quietly withdrew Fortee and pulled out another Pokeball. If this guy’s idea of battling was spamming the most powerful move his Pokémon knew, he was horribly out of his league. Even Yellow wasn’t this bad. All politics, no battling prowess. Crystal wouldn’t be surprised if all of his Pokémon turned out to be stolen – there was no way he’d gotten the Pokémon he’d used in the battle to their current power levels by himself in any sort of legitimate fashion. 

“Smeargee! Let’s do this!”

Smeargle’s ability to copy moves made members of the species vary wildly in what moves they could use. And Crystal had Smeargee learn some……complimentary moves. Lyra had been full of recommendations when she’d asked her about it.

“Smeargee! Use Spore!”

“Dodge, Nidoking!” shouted the Chairman. The Nidoking attempted to step to the side, but stepped on the spikes, causing it to stop in pain.

“Spore! Again!” shouted Crystal.

This time, the attack hit. The Chairman began to look around. He suddenly realized how precarious his situation was. He was backed into a corner, surrounded with Spikes and Stealth Rocks with his flying Pokémon knocked out. He grit his teeth. “YOU THINK YOU’VE WON JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE TRAPPED ME!?” he shouted as he reached for another Pokeball.

Crystal smirked and dropped a Pokeball onto the ground. Suddenly, she kicked it, nailing the Chairman in the side of his face.

“HOW DARE YOU!” bellowed the Chairman as he fumed, his face turning red with pompous fury. He fumbled the Pokeball as he pulled it out, much to Crystal’s amusement.

“STOP LAUGING!” he bellowed. “Heracross! Time to fight!” The Chairman pulled down his sleeve to reveal a Mega Stone, and Heracross began to glow.

Crystal raised an eyebrow.

Chairman Blois pulled a necklace out from under his shirt as his Mega Heracross screeched in defiance, “USE CLOSE COMBAT!

“Smeargee! Use Spiky Sheild!”

The Chairman’s eyes widened, and he screamed, “Heracross! STOP! STOP NOW!”

But it was too late. Heracross slammed straight into the defensive move and hurt itself badly on the spikes.

“Smeargee! Let’s finish this! Use Freeze Dry!”

Smeargee ran up to the Mega Heracross and blasted it with a cold beam of ice. It staggered back.

“Now finish him! Rock Wrecker!”

The Smeargle created a massive rock in between its hands, and punched it, causing it to slam into the Heracross, knocking it out. Crystal and Smeargee walked forward, menacingly. Chairman Blois growled, and pulled out his last pokeball.

“GO! PANGORO!”

Crystal noted the change of the Chairman’s voice. The Pangoro landed in front of the Chairman. It stood stock still but let out a vicious growl. Crystal gulped. This was a Shadow Pokemon, wasn’t it?”

“PANGORO! USE SHADOW BREAK!”

Crystal gasped. This was it. This was the real deal. What had Indigo say about fighting Shadow Pokemon again?”

“Smeargee! Use Spiky Sheild!”

Pangoro crashed into Smeargee, who managed to block the attack. Pangoro roared in pain as it backed off. Smeargee wasn’t going to last long up against this foe.

“Venee!” shouted Crystal.

Venee took a fighting stance as Crystal recalled Smeargee.

“Pangoro! Use Shadow Break!”

“Venee! Use Vine Whip! Wrap it up!”

Trapping this thing should help slow it down. Venee wrapped two vines around Pangoro as it charged. The Shadow Pokemon thrashed violently as Venee struggled to keep it contained.

Crystal grit her teeth.

“Venee! Use Solarbeam!”

“Pangoro! Use Shadow Beam!”

As Venee tried to absorb sunlight, Pangoro fired the Shadow Beam, landing a square hit to Venee’s head. Venee staggered back, the vines loosening.

“USE SHADOW BREAK!” howled the chairman.

 “Venee! Use Power Whip!” screamed Crystal, as the Pangoro rushed in, cloaked in a shadowy aura. It was too late. Crystal dove aside, as Pangoro slammed into Venee, knocking it out. Crystal reached for another Pokeball.

“AGAIN!” shouted the Chairman. The Pangoro turned and rushed at Crystal.

“MEGA! PROTECT!” she screamed, panic surging through her veins.

Mega took a defensive stance and blocked the shadowy tackle with a vigorous headbutt, knocking Pangoro back.

“Mega! Use Petal Blizzard!” shouted Crystal.

“Pangoro! Use Shadow Break!” yelled the chairman.

This time, Pangoro was too slow, and Mega blasted it with a barrage of petals.

“Follow it with Energy Ball!” shouted Crystal. She needed to keep up the pressure.

The chairman growled as Pangoro shook itself and readied for another exchange of blows.

“Pangoro! Use Shadow Beam!” roared the chairman.

“Mega! Protect!”

Mega took the hit and steadied itself on its feet.

“Mega! Use Roar!”

“GYAH!” shouted the Chairman, surprised by the intimidating howl. However, as he stepped back, he stepped heavily on one of the spikes. The Chairman screamed in pain, the spike sticking straight through his shoe.

“Pan…Pangoro! Use Shadow Break!” shouted the Chairman.

Pangoro didn’t move.

“Pangoro! Listen to me! Use Shadow Break!”

Pangoro roared and fired a Shadow Beam at Meganium.

“PANGORO! LISTEN TO ME! USE SHADOW BREAK!” howled the chairman.

Pangoro stopped, mid attack. It turned around and growled at the Chairman. It began stomping towards the Chairman, as he looked backwards, trying to pick a path through the scattered hazards around him. Crystal gulped. Pangoro was getting out of control. And as much as she didn’t like the Chairman, she didn’t want to see him killed by a Shadow Pokémon.  

“Go Smeargee! Use Spider Web!”

Smeargee fired a sticky spray of webbing, which wrapped itself around Pangoro. Pangoro looked down as it felt its arms and legs get wrapped up. It turned around to see Crystal and her Pokémon. It roared furiously, and after a violet struggle, managed to break the web.

“Smeargee! Use Spiky Sheild!” she screamed, as Pangoro flung itself at Smeargee again with another powerful Shadow Break. Smeargee staggered under the weight of the attack as Pangoro recoiled in pain. It roared ferociously again.

“PANGORO! STOP! LISTEN TO ME!” screamed the Chairman to no avail.

“Mega! Use Energy Ball!” yelled Crystal. Mega managed to catch Pangoro as it charged at them again in the face. Pangoro roared in frustration and fired a powerful Shadow Beam, nailing Mega. Mega struggled to pull itself back into a battle stance, as Crystal yelled,

“Smeargee! Use Spider Web again!”

Pangoro growled as it was wrapped up in the web again. Hopefully after taking all of those hits, Pangoro had begun to tire. As Crystal began to inch towards Pangoro with Mega and Smeargee, she noted Pangoro struggling furiously against the web. Crystal continued to approach Pangoro cautiously as it continued to struggle.

“Smeargee! Use Spore! Mega! Use Stun Spore!”

Both powders hit Pangoro, putting it to sleep and paralyzing it. There was no need to take any chances. She’d need to get Indigo to tell her what to do with Pangoro later, but this should suffice for now.

“Smeargee! Use Spider Web again! Wrap him up good!”

Hopefully Pangoro would be barely able to move should it wake up.

Crystal turned and began to approach the Chairman, who was frozen in shock. He began sweating profusely as he desperately reached for another Pokeball. He pulled out two. “GO! ATTACK! Wait….NO!” he screamed as his fainted Tauros and Pidgeot reappeared out of their balls.  

Crystal kept walking closer, a menacing grin on her face. He began to stammer, “Listen, we can work something out, right? No need to be hasty! I’ll make you my protégé! You can rule after me! You’ll be rich! I’ll spare your friends! I’ll let you take out the Rocket Admins yourself!  It will all work out! I promise!”

“Smeargee. Use Spore, please?”

The Smeargle let out a cheerful cry, and puffed out another set of spores

“NO! PLEASE! Let me go! You….you won’t…….regret…….” said the Chairman as he fell asleep.

Crystal caught him and laid him down so that he wouldn’t fall onto the spikes.

She looked over and Smeargee and smiled, “Use Spider Web, please?”

Smeargee happily complied and wrapped up the Chairman in a tight bind.

Crystal grinned, “Capture complete!”

Chapter Text

2 days after the battle at Indigo Plateau…….

              “So, let me go over this again. I’m not going to issue a correction statement because I got something wrong,” said Red. “Gold, Yellow, Crystal and Blue are fine. Lyra sustained minor injuries but is otherwise fine. Indigo and Violet sustained moderate injuries and have been released from the hospital. Silver and Orange are still hospitalized with more serious, but not life threatening, injuries.”

“That’s correct,” said Professor Oak.

“And we are allowed to talk about everything regarding the original Pokedex Project?” asked Green.

“That’s correct. All of Blois’s political allies that wanted to keep the program a secret have withdrawn their support from him, and we are cleared to make the original program public, with the Gym Leader’s and Elite Four’s blessings,” said Professor Oak with a smile. “No more secrets.”

“And the Kanto Police Force also released their profiles on all us to help calm down the public,” said Crystal flatly.

“Yes, I’m afraid they did. Blaine was quite apologetic about it.”

Crystal sighed, “Then let’s get this press conference over with.”

Professor Oak smiled, “Sounds like you are all as ready as you’ll ever be. Let’s go.”

 

In Professor Oak’s Lab in Pallet Town, Yellow walked into the break room with a few large grocery bags, filled with snacks.

“Snacks are here, everyone!”

Black and Sapphire scrambled to their feet and dashed up to her, swiping a bag of pretzels each.

Yellow dumped the rest at the table, where Indigo, Blue, Lyra, Platinum and White all sat.

“Sit down, it’s about to start!” said Lyra, pointing to the TV. Most of the juniors were seated on the floor in a semicircle around it, conversing with each other. Nothing said on the TV could be heard over the chatter.

“SHADDUP! ITS ABOUT TO START!” yelled Lyra. The chatter quickly died down.

Red, Green, Crystal and Professor Oak walked outside the main door of Green’s Gym in Viridian City. In the entrance was a table, four chairs and a microphone for each spot on a small platform. In front of the platform sat a large number of reporters and news people with cameras. Blaine, Misty, Erika and Brock stood on both sides of the table.

The four of them sat down. Professor Oak cleared his throat and tapped his microphone.

“Hello, everyone! We are here to help clear up our role in the events at Indigo Plateau. As I’m sure you know, this is Red, the Kanto Champion, Green, the Gym Leader of Viridian City, and on the far right is my assistant, Crystal. Today, we are here to talk about the Pokedex Project. For many years, the existence of this project was vehemently denied by League Officials……..”

Gold stretched and yawned, “Aaand now the boring stuff we already know. C’mon, let’s get back to poker!” 

Black, Sapphire, Emerald, and Sun cheered.

Yellow sighed and looked over at the other occupants of the table with a despairing look, “He’s going to be such a bad influence…….”

“Don’t worry,” said Indigo. “Crystal told me she was gonna drag him to an etiquette school after he’s done with rehab. Blue even offered to loan her Silver to make sure he doesn’t escape.”

“Speaking of which, how’s Silver doing?” asked Yellow.

“He had a concussion, and they wanted to observe him one more day before releasing him. He’s otherwise doing just fine,” said Blue.

“And Orange?”

Violet came up from behind Yellow, cup of coffee in hand. “They’re still monitoring her from her concussion as well. They also wanted to make sure that her wounds didn’t get infected. She had pretty bad road rash from getting knocked back by that Explosion.”

Yellow nodded, “Then all of us are all right!”

“Yeah! Another happy ending!” said Indigo. “Well, my foot disagrees. But that’s another story.”

“Yeah, you guys just wait, Indigo’s going to make a mechanical cast for his foot that serves drinks and makes hot dogs!” joked Lyra.

Everybody chuckled at that.

“Hey! They’re going to start answering questions!” said Blue. “Let’s listen!”

“SHADDUP AGAIN! WE WANNA HERE THEM ANSWER QUESTIONS! THIS IS THE GOOD PART!” bellowed Lyra.

The chatter swiftly died down, as Professor Oak listened to a reporter’s question on the TV.

“….and after seeing the police reports of Blue, Indigo, Silver and Lyra, how can we know that the Pokedex Holders group won’t become a criminal group? They’ve committed far greater crimes than any of the other Pokedex Holder members!”

Red smiled and said, “All four of them were kidnapped into the evil organizations that they were a part of. They left of their own choice and helped the rest of us bring down the organizations that they were previously part of. I think they’ve proven their merit. Indigo and Lyra have worked closely with law enforcement and respected researchers in the Shadow Pokémon Purification project. Blue and Silver also helped to bring down several con artist rings with their inside knowledge and were instrumental in ending the Masked Man crisis from a few years ago. They deserve to be trusted just as much as any of us.”

“Also,” broke in Professor Oak. “On a side note, this is why I did not consider Ruby, Sapphire or Whitley to be problems. I know what real ex-criminals look like, and none of them fit the bill! N’s faction of Team Plasma is harmless in comparison and being part of a criminal team for a week barely counts in this group!”

This drew a laugh from the crowd.

Blue smiled, “Well, that went well.”

Indigo nodded, “Yeah. We all knew that one was coming.”

“You were once con artists?” asked White, looking at Blue.

“Yes. Indigo and Lyra were our partners in crime. They handled tech while we handled infiltration. We swindled so much money!” she said, with a faraway look in her eyes. “And then we spent it all. I’ll tell you stories later!”

“Oh! Someone just asked about the success of the project!” said Yellow. “Let’s listen!”

“The Pokedex Project is nearing completion. We have a total of 15 Pokémon across all seven regions that we have yet to gather data on. After data is collected, we will analyze our data and then we will publish our findings,” said Crystal.

“How long do you estimate this will take to publish?” asked the reporter.

“That’s difficult to pin down, as we need to analyze and concisely report very large quantities of data and information,” replied Crystal. “We estimate that it should be published late next year.”

Professor Oak said, “Ok, we have time for one more question, everyone!” The crowd erupted into a cacophony of questions. Professor Oak pointed to someone in the crowd. The reporter stood up and said,

“In light of recent events, will Champion Red and Gym Leader Green be stepping down from their positions in light of the many questions about conflicting interests?”

Green leaned forward to his microphone and said, “Yes, I will be stepping down from my position as Gym Leader of Viridian City. I will serve until my next Gym Leader Test, which will be upcoming in two months.”

Violet nodded, “Skip out on the test? That’s smart. Those tests are awful!”

Yellow said, “Gotta make sure that the Gym Leaders are physically able to keep serving somehow! I have no idea how Blaine still does it!”

“Me neither!” said Lyra.

Back on the TV, Red said, “I will also be stepping down from the position of Champion. The new Champion has yet to be determined, but the League will announce it once one is found. Which actually is a very nice transition into today’s final topic!”

Erika stepped forward, picked up a microphone and said, “We will close this with an announcement. In light of these recent events, the League has decided to officialize the Pokedex Holders as a special operations unit of the League to work in tandem with local and regional authorities to help respond to crises and disasters throughout all regions. They are set to commence their duties in three months.”

The crowd broke into a massive cheer.

“NO WAY!” exploded Black. “WE GET TO BE A SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT! THAT’S AWESOME!”

“Wait! Nobody told us about this!” said Sapphire.

“Yeah,” said Indigo to everyone. “They told all of us seniors about it, and all of us are in. You all get the option to join us. Just a warning, if you join us we’re going to be training you all, and it’s not going to be easy. Anybody want out? Raise your hand.”

Not a single hand was raised. Indigo grinned, “Then I’ll see you all on the training field!”

The room exploded into various conversations, the TV forgotten in the background.

“I look forward to working with you all,” said Platinum with a polite bow.

“Oh! It’s our pleasure!” said Yellow, smiling.

“No, it’s our pleasure! We never dreamed of working with such strong trainers as yourselves!” said White.

Blue cracked her knuckles, “We’ll see if you’re singing the same tune during training camp….hehehehe”

“Don’t scare them out of it!” said Lyra. “I don’t want to be at the bottom of the totem pole again! I need people beneath me!”

Everybody broke out laughing in response to that.

As the conversation began to heat up again, Indigo stood up and shuffled over to the counter where the snacks were. He leaned against the counter. His broken foot still hurt a lot, but at least it was bandaged up properly now and in a cast. He grabbed himself a cup and began to fill it. Blue walked up to him.

“So……have you decided?”

Indigo paused and said, “Have you?”

“Yes.”

“Then I have as well.”

“So, what did you decide?” asked Blue.

“Well, I talked to Professor Krane. The modifications worked!”

“That’s great!” said Blue. “But you dodged the question. What did you decide?”

“Oh, ladies first, I insist,” said Indigo.

“Oh, what a gentleman. But we’re old friends, we don’t need to have such formalities. And you’re hurt. I wouldn’t go before a wounded man,” replied Blue.

“Please. Don’t let me get in the way of such a talented lady as yourself.”

“Oh, but I insist!” said Blue.

Indigo looked her in the eye and said, “You want to try again, don’t you?”

“I never said that,” said Blue with a mischievous look. “Isn’t that something that someone in love would say?”

“Oh, is it? Or maybe you’re the one in love and you’re trying to trick me into falling in love with you?”

“Hmm…..that is something I would do, isn’t it?”

 Blue smiled and pulled Indigo into a hug. He hugged her back, tightly.

“I love you,” she whispered.

“I love you too,” he whispered back.

 

3 months later……..

Gold stood in front of a two-story building on the outskirts of Azalea town. Behind him stood Silver, Crystal, and Gold’s mom.

“Heh…..I guess this really is it. Really going to get my life back together. Gonna miss you guys,” said Gold.

“Yeah. Don’t fail us,” said Silver. “If you get back to drinking after this, I’m gonna kick your butt and get my money back!”

Gold laughed, “All right, fair enough. But I haven’t touched alcohol since you guys picked me up in Goldenrod.”

“Yeah, but it’s still better if you complete the program,” said Silver.

“Yeah, I know. Take care of each other, ok?” said Gold.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be busy training the juniors. Red and the others are off beginning the training program,” said Crystal.

“Say, Super Serious Gal…….will I have a chance if I complete this successfully?”

“I make no promises,” said Crystal bluntly.

“Well, she didn’t say no, so that’s all I need to hear!” said Gold cheerily.

“You’re impossible,” sighed Crystal.

Gold’s mother walked up to him and gave him a hug.

“I’m so proud of you, honey.”

“Thanks mom,” said Gold sincerely. He turned to the others, “Well, the future awaits! I’ll see you in four months!”

They all waved as Gold slung his backpack and pool cue over his shoulders and sauntered down the path, whistling a tune.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that Gold never became a pop star,” said Crystal.

“Yeah. Here’s hoping he stays that way,” said Silver.

“Agreed,” said Crystal.

 

Indigo and Lyra stood awkwardly on a rocky beach in the Whirl Islands, where Violet ran around, hugging various members of a Lapras pod. Magenta was next to her, greeting other members of the pod.

“Which one do you think is Arctica?” asked Indigo.

“If I had to guess, probably the biggest one,” whispered Lyra back to him.

Violet spun around on her heel, “Come here guys! Mom! This is Indigo and this is Lyra! They’re Glacier’s calves!

The two waved awkwardly. Artica pulled herself onto the beach and wrapped her fins around the two in a Lapras bear hug. The two hugged her back as best they could. She said something excitedly.

“She’s glad to meet you two!” translated Violet. “She wants to hear everything from you!”

Indigo smiled, “That’s……a bit of a long story.”

He sat down on a rock.

“So, I guess I’ll start when I met Glacier. So, we got the drop on some Cipher Peons fighting over a crazy strong Shadow Pokémon………”

 

One month later…..

“OK, everyone!” said Red. “That’s it! You’ve completed general training!”

A tired cheer came from the mass of teenagers in front of him.

Green stepped up, “We will now split you all into appropriate groups and do specific training for all of you.”

The juniors groaned in unison.

“Don’t worry guys! This will be tailored towards developing your specific strengths, rather than trying to work on your weaknesses,” said Red.

The juniors sighed with relief.

“Wally, Diamond, White, Whitley, X, Tierno and Moon, you will come with Yellow, Violet and I.” said Red. “We’re going to the Whirl Islands! We will teach you how to improve your battling and how to connect better with your Pokémon!”

White smiled, “I’ve heard they’re beautiful!”

“Yes. Yes, they are!” said Violet.

“Sapphire, Pearl, Black, Shauna, and Sun,” said Green. “You will train under Orange and myself to hone your mind, body and fighting spirit alongside your Pokémon. We are going to Rock Tunnel.”

“I bet strong Pokémon live there!” said Black excitedly.

“Shut up before he makes us run more laps!” growled Sapphire.

Blue stepped forward, “Ruby, Emerald, Platinum, Blake, Y, and Trevor! You’re coming with us on a grand adventure!” She pointed back at Indigo, Silver and Lyra.

“Heh, it’s going to be pretty grand, all right!” said Indigo forebodingly.

Silver smirked with him, “You got that right!”

Y gulped.

 

As the juniors convened themselves into groups, the senior dexholders met in the middle.

“All right,” said Red. “Yellow, Violet, and Crystal, you have the supplies, correct?”

“Yup!” said Yellow. “Violet and I will ferry it out. Jasmine was nice enough to hold them for us, so we’ll just ferry it from Olivine.”

Violet grinned, “Being able to transform into a Lapras really helps cut down on sea ferrying costs!”

Crystal nodded. “No kidding! You have no idea how much it would have taken to charter a boat! I did the research too!”

Orange looked over to Green, “You saw the location I picked on the map, right?”

“Yeah. Hike there is a little shorter than I was hoping for, but the nearby stream, flat area, and number of boulders in the area are ideal for a training camp,” said Green.

“Oh, a seven-hour hike to the campsite through some of the most brutal terrain in Kanto isn’t enough?” joked Orange.

“Absolutely not!” said Green with a smirk. “They need to build spirit! Seven hours is not nearly long enough!”

Blue looked over to Indigo and said, “You have all of the accommodations ready for the Under?”

“Yeah, and I booked them all at the Colosseum too. They’ll get to see how real trainers battle!” said Indigo. “I’ve also picked a spot near the Ship Graveyard too. It will be good to teach the juniors with the devices on the old ships there as they won’t be in pristine condition, just like in a real scenario. You checked out the old Mask of Ice hideout you were talking about?”

“Yeah. The place I was thinking of is abandoned but in surprisingly good condition after years of little use, so we’ll go there. I also made the arrangements for us to go to Dark Saffron and go to the black market there.”

“And we’ll be at each place for one week?” asked Silver.

“That’s correct,” said Indigo.

“Gonna need you all on your toes to make sure that the juniors don’t get hurt,” said Blue. “I’m serious on this one. Mostly at the black market. Remember Angry Andy?”

“You don’t have to remind me!” shuddered Lyra, “I’ll never forget that guy!”

“They kicked him out, right?” asked Silver.

“Yeah, and he ratted out the old location when he got arrested,” said Indigo. “New location’s nicer, though. Blessing in disguise, I guess.”

From a nearby hilltop, Professor Oak stood, watching the scene unfold. He wiped a tear from his eye. Even in the most optimistic projections from when he’d started the program had been thoroughly surpassed. Sure, he had envisioned a research internship opportunity when he’d started, but this group of trainers had completed the pokedex, fought multiple evil teams, and even found a way to restore the fractured older generation and unify the scattered new generation. They found a way to stay together as a group even as the Pokedex Project drew to a close. And he was proud of them. So proud.