In a dark room in a far off region, a dark figure sat in a chair. Contemplating.
The room looked like an office but due to the darkness, it was hard to tell.
A knock on a door brought the figure out of his contemplation. Swiveling the chair to face the direction of the door, the figure says "Enter!"
The door opens and light is thrown into the room. A sterilised floor can be seen gleaming from the light, as well as the surface of tables. On these tables, test tubes stand in racks. But the figure's face remains in shadow.
The man at the door enters, and as soon as he is through the threshold, the door snaps shut.
"The report was a success," the man says. "We have received the gene samples required."
"And?" the figure in the chair asks, drawing out the word in a slow drawl.
"The legendary Pokemon Giratina and Lugia have been a complete success, and is growing as we speak. However, the gene sample for Dialga we are having trouble pairing."
"Do you have enough material or do we need our agents to get us some more?" the voice is more criticising this time.
"We couldn't contact them, and have been trying repeatedly. However, they had covered more than half of the legendary Pokemon across all regions and sent us the materials for those Pokemon before we lost contact."
"Well keep trying then."
"At what, sir? Pairing the gene samples or contacting our agent."
"Both!" the figure snaps. "Nothing can go wrong. This will be our triumph of the Pokemon world. Everyone will see that no Pokemon is immune to anything. Not even legendaries."
"Yes, sir. The plan will be a success."
"Good. Now go." The voice is back to its slow drawl.
The figure swings the chair back to its original position as the man exits the room. The door closes, and the figure, almost to himself it seems, says "These will be two legendary Pokemon that will be made entirely from other Pokemon's genes.
"They will be codenamed X and Y."
Part 1 [12/1/13]
Everyone looks up at the sound. What they see is Pikachu looking curiously at two people and a Meowth.
“Team Rocket! Here!” Brock calls.
“So this is Team Rocket?” Michael asks.
“Yes,” the man says.
“Prepare for trouble,” the woman says.
“Make it double,” the man chants.
“To protect the wor-“
“Stuff it,” Wes grunts. “We’ve heard team themes before from someone like you. And he causes more trouble than both of you.”
“You dare interrupt us during our introduction?” the man asks.
“Well,” Ash says. “It’s not like we haven’t heard it a million times before.”
“Now,” Michael says. “What were you doing hiding here?”
“I told you to stuff it!” Wes shouts. “Now answer,” he adds, lowering his voice to a growl.
“Well,” James starts. “We saw the Pikachu with some person while wondering this region. Somewhere near Route 2. They was showing it off, but even though it was a different colour, we knew that this Pikachu was the one we had hunted so long.
“We waited until the transaction had taken place, probably with the boss and a grunt, then we paid the boss a visit. We planned to give him Meowth to get the Pikachu, who would then escape quickly. The plan went off without a hitch. As soon as we had the Pikachu, we ran off. Meowth attacked the boss guy and ran to us. We then planned to give the Pikachu to Giovanni.”
“Who?” Wes asks.
“The boss of Team Rocket,” Ash supplies.
“Yes,” Jessie says. “But the Pikachu attacked us and ran off. We chased it, and after a while, ended up here. When we entered, the staff were cleaning up the lab, but when they saw us they dropped anything they were holding. However, the Pikachu attacked them all and they ran off.” “We were alone, and had the Pikachu cornered. We were throwing all of our Pokemon into battle, but it defeated every one. We then heard a vehicle and hid behind a table. The Pikachu must have heard it too, as it turned to face the door and waited.”
“And then we arrived,” Brock says. “And what do we do with you?”
“Nothing,” Professor Oak says. “The Pikachu has been returned, and battling them would prove useless anyway since they have no Pokemon.”
“That’s right!” Meowth chimes.
“Let’s go!” James calls.
The three Team Rocket members run through the door of the lab.
Part 2 [13/1/13]
Oak looks at the Pikachu. “If it has broken out of the Shadow process, why is it still a dark colour?”
“Ah,” Michael says. “It needs to be fully purified. However, for a special case like this, there is only one way to cure it.”
“Celebi,” Wes acknowledges.
"The Relic Stone," Ash says. "Do you think it will have returned to where Team Snagem caught it?"
"Somehow, I don't think they caught it at Relic Stone. I think they knew we were coming, and planted it there as a trap."
"Plausible," Michael says. "But besides, now that it isn't Shadow, it doesn't have to follow orders. That means, again, it will only appear when it senses a Pokemon in need of Purification."
"Let's go then," Brock says.
"You're leaving? Again?" Oak asks. "Couldn't it be called here?"
"Don't ask me why, but the only place it works is at the Relic Stone. Some sort of mystical power which calls to it when a Shadow Pokemon is within range."
"Ah. Well, hurry back. I'll have new assignments for you when you get back."
"Alright," Ash calls.
Ash, Brock, Misty, Wes, Rui, and Michael walk out of Oak's lab and head to the Robo Metang, where Makan is already waiting.
"Just got a message from Chobin. He says everyone is back where they should be, but Miror B. wanted to return to the Hoenn region, and he wants Ash to meet him at the mansion."
"Why?" Michael asks before Ash could get the question in.
"More than likely to show off that Robo Groudon Kaminko gave him. Every person he meets, he invites them to a battle in that stupid Robo Groudon. Seriously, all that thing is is an extra protection."
"Even so, once Pikachu has been restored, we can do some serious battling," Ash enthuses.
"Whatever you say. Where to?"
"The Relic Stone," Wes says.
"Agate Village then. Get in and let's go."
Heading into the control centre of the Robo Metang, everyone seats themselves while Makan lifts it up. It then speeds off away from the Kanto region.
Part 3 [14/1/13]
"Now then," Makan says, turning around in his seat. "Wes. Do you want to be staying here, or be dropped off elsewhere?"
"Well, since you're going to Agate Village, we may as well go there," Wes replies. "Just drop the bike off at Gateon Port."
No more conversations take place within the Robo Metang. Ash is hugging Pikachu, projecting bonds of friendship into him that were gone during the Shadow conversion.
Soon, they all arrive at Agate Village. Makan parks the Robo Metang outside Eagun's house. Rui's grandfather sees them through the window and comes out to meet them.
"Rui. Wes. Michael. How are we all?" he asks as the trio exit the Robo Metang.
"Well, a lot better after beating Team Snagem again," Wes says. "But boy are they getting tougher."
"Oh, they are a troublesome bunch."
Unnoticed by the others, Ash, Misty and Brock exit the Robo Metang as well.
"-three times you two've beaten them in total." Eagun finishes.
"Well, we had some help from Ash and his friends," Michael says.
"And these must be them," Eagun says, looking up.
Wes and Michael turn around to look at the entrance to the Robo Metang. "Yes. That's them," Wes says.
"Now what brings you here anyway?"
"The Relic Stone," Michael says.
"What about that Purification Chamber you have back at the lab?"
"Wouldn't be powerful enough."
"Why? Is something up?" Rui asks.
"Well. Something missing. Celebi just won't show up. I've been taking people to the Relic Stone with Shadows, but it isn't turning up."
"That complicates things," Wes says. "It appears Celebi was taken at the Relic Stone after all."
"There's a chance it will appear if it senses desperate need, won't it?" Ash asks.
"Hmm," Eagun says. "It is not known how Celebi communicates with those Pokemon who need purification, but it might just work."
Part 4 [15/1/13]
Pikachu was listening closely to the conversation, trying to make out what was being
said. The others he didn't know well enough to know what they were expressing,
but Ash was again putting faith into things to help him, Pikachu. His
Again, he caught words he knew well enough. "Great! Let's go!" which came from Ash. Even though he couldn't pronounce the words he was hearing, through use of
expression, he was able to fairly voice his opinions with his own verbal
communication and movement.
The group then started moving down a slope, then across a bridge and down another
slope next to a building he recognised all too well. A Pokemon Center.
Down the slope was a river with a stone bridge, and a cave. The cave was eerily lit,
and the group followed the river. The cave wasn't very long, and when they got
out at the other end, they were in a clearing on a jagged stone circle. In the middle was a pillar, also made of stone, with a faint greenish aura projecting from it.
"Celebi...called," Pikachu picked up from one of the other trainers.
"Pika?" Pikachu asks, knowing his trainer will understand.
"Don't worry, Pikachu," Ash says consolingly, "...be alright."
Ash then looks at one of the other trainers. That trainer must had said something,
as Ash then walks forward towards the pillar. The aura glows brighter. Ash then
picks Pikachu off him and sets him down, kneeling beside him.
"If you want to be better, believe in yourself, and believe in me. Be strong."
Ash then stands up again, and stands back with the group.
Pikachu is confused and starts walking forward. A bright flash of green appears before him, making him stumble. In front of him is Celebi, glowing pale green and its eyes showing an understanding of hurt.
Pikachu watches as Celebi flies high into the air and releases a glowing ball of green light. That light then heads towards Pikachu. Remembering what his trainer said, Pikachu stands firm. The green light then enters him, and he feels a warm sensation in his heart. Strands of light from the glowing ball then surround him, snaking around him too fast to really see. All the strands then enter his body again, then almost as
fast exit. This time though, purple globules are attached to the strands. First
the green strands dissipate, then the purple globules do.
Looking up at the Celebi, a certain understanding between the two is made. The Celebi is happy, and so is he. For now, there were no strands of Shadow attached to him. To make this clear, Pikachu calls on his famous electrical power to unleash a powerful yellow lightning bolt.
Part 5 [16/1/13]
"Well, that's that," Michael says. "I'm pretty sure that Pikachu is now fully yours again, and if anything, it seems to have retained its power before it was made Shadow."
"Great!" Ash cheers, moving forwards to get Pikachu. "Now we'll be an unstoppable team again."
"I'm pretty sure we would like to see this power for ourselves," Wes says. "So, shall we say me and Michael here versus you?"
"Bit unfair isn't it?" Brock says.
"If this thing has enough power like Ash claims, it should be no problem." But let's get somewhere more open before we start battling."
"Well, Gateon Port is looking a pretty good battling place. Open spaces, as long as no-one is around," Michael says.
"Well, that sounds good to me," Wes says. "You don't mind if our visit is delayed a tiny bit more, do you?" he asks of Eagun.
"No. In fact, I might come along for the ride. If you are indeed the legendary trainer, then I'd like to see a battle between this Pikachu and two other opponents," Eagun says.
"Sorted then. Back to the Robo Metang."
Ash, Misty, Brock, Wes, Rui, Michael and Eagun walk back to the Robo Metang. Makan looks around and sees Eagun. "And he is here because?"
"I want to be watching a battle between these three trainers," Eagun replies, slightly miffed.
"Ah. And where to?"
"Gateon Port," Wes says. "And during our battle, offload the bike."
The trip takes minutes and the Robo Metang lands outside the central area, where Ash, Michael and Wes walk to make a triangle in the centre, with Ash on one side and Wes and Michael on the other. Rui, Eagun, Misty and Brock form a square around the outside of the three. Wes releases Umbreon. Michael releases Flareon.
"Okay, Pikachu," Ash whispers to his lifelong friend, "this is it. Make me proud."
Pikachu runs forward into position.
"And let the battle begin," Eagun announces.
Without even a command from Ash, Pikachu rushes forward and unveils a brilliant lightning bolt right into Umbreon, causing it to stagger. The Pikachu then rushes the Flareon with a Quick Attack, knocking it over.
"Pikachu! Finish them!" Ash calls. "Use Thunder!"
Pikachu jumps in the middle of both other Pokemon, and unleashes a torrent of Thunder from both cheeks. Both Flareon and Umbreon, not fully recovered from the previous onslaught, take the attack full on, and get returned to their respective balls.
"Nice," Wes comments.
"Truly amazing," Eagun says.
"Very powerful indeed," Michael says. "In fact, I'm sure everyone would agree in saying that this Pikachu could take care of a certain something."
Part 6 [17/1/13]
The area is dark. The weather is stormy. A single human stands just behind a circular plaza, looking at the gate.
Another human enters, followed by a Pikachu, which looks up at the dark, thundery sky.
"So you came," the other human says.
"I wouldn't miss a battle, and I will always win," Ash says.
"We'll see about that. I am Chobin - the number one assistant to Doctor Kaminko. Well, I am the only assistant, so I must be the number one assistant.
"Now prepare to meet your doom!"
As he says this, the circular stone plaza opens up, revealing a hole. From this hole rises a head of a red beast. Then the chest is revealed, which is a pale white. Then the platform is fully revealed and standing on it is the Robo Groudon.
A part of its chest turns transparent, and Chobin can be seen with controls. The right arm of the Robo Groudon swings back, then forward, and released are a Gyarados and Sunflora.
The Sunflora follows its namesake of being a sunflower, but the Gyarados is a floating dragon fish with a flippered tail and aggressive face.
Pikachu runs forward, and before either of Chobin's Pokemon could attack, Pikachu draws the lightning from the sky and performs a massive Electro-ball attack, which attacks and defeats not only both the Sunflora and Gyarados, but also shuts down all controls of the Robo Groudon and leaves it smoking.
"Aha ha ha haaaa," Chobin cries. "My beautiful Robo Groudon defeated!"
Michael appears from behind the wall of the mansion and runs to Ash, telling him to run as well. The three of them get to the gate, past it and into the Robo Metang, where it takes off and speeds to Gateon Port, where it lands at the open area near the docks.
Outside, Misty, Brock, Rui and Eagun wait while Ash, Wes, Michael and Makan exit the Robo Metang.
"Well, the tickets are booked," Misty says. "We leave for Hoenn in five minutes."
"Well," Makan says, "it's been good knowing and seeing you."
"Yeah," Ash slowly speaks. "It's been good to see you lot as well. But do you think Team Snagem really will have disbanded?"
"I have no idea," Michael says. "But if they ever start causing trouble again, we'll be ready for them."
"But what about the ones in all the other regions?" Brock asks.
"They'll more than likely regroup in the best place they can, and start causing trouble there. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before they are rounded up."
"Can all passengers of the Hoenn-Orre Luxary Liner please make their way on board," an announcement booms.
"Oh. That's us!" Misty screams. "Quick! Go!"
The three run to the ship, and quickly get to the back of the deck, where they then exchange goodbyes with everyone of their new group. The horn sounds, and boat starts to move away. Ash, Misty and Brock wave to the others, who wave back. Pikachu then bounds onto Ash's head and starts waving enthusiastically.
The boat then speeds up and out of sight. Wes and Rui walk away to the boat to Agate Village, leaving Michael and Makan standing on the spot. The two then walk to the Robo Metang, and a few moments later, it takes off, flying over the forest.
The sun twinkles in the sea as it sets.
Part 1 [9/12/12]
"So... What do we do?" Michael asks.
"Hold on!" Darkstee yells, ecstatic. "Who says you are going anywhere?"
"You just lost your ultimate Pokemon and have no others left," Wes sarcastically says. "And also all of the Pokemon Professors have been rescued, as well as the fact you are seriously outnumbered."
"Oh fine. Go then. But I still have..." Darkstee looks behind him to see the leaders of Magma and Aqua have already left. "You know what. Forget it. How are we meant to continue the Shadow plot when you lot keep ruining our plans?"
"Good," Michael says. "Now then. You'll hand over all Pokemon to the Lab as soon as, and call off all your teams in this region and all the others."
"Great. I cannot be more pleased."
"Okay then. What's the plan?" Michael asks, turning to Ash and the others.
"Well, I want to go home now," Miror B. says. "I cannot stand this place. Not after that childhood."
Michael and Wes stare in alarm. "You grew up in this region?"
"Why of course. Why else would we want it as our staging ground. I had my own agendas as well you know."
"Anyway," Ash pipes up. "We were planning."
"Yes," Professor Oak says. "And we were thinking. Why don't we all go to Kanto and continue this conversation? As well as pull up plans for where Team Rocket might be."
"Krane? You?" Michael asks.
"Oh, I might as well get back to the lab. This adventure has been fun, but I've been gone too long, and I'll need to see what's been going on."
"Take the Robo Lugia back as well," Brock says.
"Although can you give us a lift out of here," Ash says. "I don't think I can stand any more wild runs from Makan."
"Of course," Krane says. "Hold on. You said Chobin piloted it here!"
"Yes," Misty says.
"But then, those glasses of his are a marvel. I must go. Miror B. If you'd like to come along."
"Well come on everyone," Michael says. "It's going to be a tight fit inside the Robo Metang."
Everyone all walks out of the Cave of Origin, talking together.
Part 2 [12/12/12]
"Ah. Michael. I see you are well," Chobin comments.
"Very well, thanks," Michael replies in a curious way.
"And this must be Wes."
Wes gives no reply. Just like Brock's description, Chobin had weird glasses that gave him a confused eye look. Black swirls rested in them.
"So we are to give you a lift up in the Robo Lugia?" Chobin asks.
"Yes," Michael replies. "We managed to get up and into here by breakneck speed, but I doubt we'd be able to do that within this volcano."
"Chobin understands. But who are all these others?"
Once all the introductions are made, and alerted him to who will be riding with him and where to go, the two Robo Pokemon are full and conencted to each other.
"Make sure to keep the engine running," Professor Krane says over the PokeWatch. He had asked Birch for one while the introductions were made, and had linked it to Ash's. "That way, when we disconnect, you'll fall in a diagonal line and not a vertical one."
"Got it," Makan calls from the pilot seat.
Everyone is watching the volcano falling from the viewscreen as they rise higher. The opening is getting thinner and thinner, and then there is just open sky. The Robo Lugia blasts forward and the Robo Metang starts to fall.
"Go!" shouts Krane through the PokeWatch.
The engines of the Robo Metang roar into new life as they strain to find a surface to ride against. Instead, the Robo Metang flies down the side of the volcano, and when the volcano starts to level out, Makan swerves wildly from side to side to kill momentum slowly."
"How about we wait until we reach Kanto to start doing that?" Elm asks faintly.
"The quicker we stave it off," Makan strains, "the easier it will be to park when we reach the lab."
Straightening out, Makan then takes it on a direct course to Kanto, following Ash's instructions. In no time at all, they reach Pallet Town, and slowly the Robo Metang slows down while cirling Professor Oak's lab. Once slow enough, the Robo Metang sets down outside the lab entrance.
Part 3 [14/12/12]
The five Pokemon Professors, Ash, Misty, Brock, May and Brendan all exit the Robo Metang first. Michael follows, then Wes and Rui.
Brendan and Professor Birch have a proper reunion hug. The other Professors get breifed on what had happened with Team Snagem before they were captured by Wes and Michael. Ash, Misty and Brock talk with May about the Shadow Pokemon.
Once all the meetings came to a close, Professor Oak called everyone to order.
"So. Thanks to Ash, and these two others, we Pokemon Professors have been rescued. To all who took part, we would like to say thank you to you. Without you all, we would still have been in the confinement of that Snagem team, doing who knows what to Pokemon everywhere."
"Yes," Michael says. "We accept the thanks. Us three really couldn't have done it without Ash, Misty, Brock, and May and Brendan.
"Now then," Professor Oak continues. "While Rowan, Birch, and Juniper need to get back to their respective labs, me and Elm have agreed to search for Ash's Pikachu."
"It was mentioned Jessie and James of Team Rocket, wasn't it?" Wes asks. "How could you tell?"
"A Meowth that can talk. Definitely them. How they heard about Pikachu, I don't know, but it is vital we get him back." Ash looks determined.
"Sure," Michael says.
"So, where first?" Makan asks from the entrance of the Robo Metang.
"May, I'm sure you'd be good going back to your own region," Misty says. "Just stay at home and don't go out."
"But what about my prize Skitty?" May cries.
"Well, I've got something right here." Misty pulls out a Pokeball and hands it to May.
With trembling hand, May throws the Pokeball and her Skitty, fully purified, appears.
"Skitty!" May exclaims. She then returns the Pokemon to its ball and turns to Michael. "Thank you! Just like normal!"
"We do pride ourselves with the Purify Chamber," Michael proudly says.
"So we'll be off," Juniper says. "Have fun during the quest."
"Oh I'm sure we will," Oak says. "Now then, let's get in the lab."
Ash, Misty, Brock, Michael, Wes, Rui, and Professors Oak and Elm walk through the doors and into the lab. It is empty, and is immediately apparent why.
A Pikachu as dark as night with red eyes sits in the middle of the floor, its eyes on the entrance.
Part 4 [17/12/12]
"Ash. If you want that Pikachu back, it's hearts closed in darkness," Michael says softly. "You will need to approach it and convince it of your goodwill. Press that goodwill onto it. Or not even the power of the Purify Chamber or Celebi will help."
"Sure," Ash agrees. "I'll try."
Slowly he walks to the Pikachu, his Pikachu, and kneels down beside it. He then looks it directly in the eyes.
The Pikachu blinks again.
"Look, Pikachu," Ash begins. "I know at the beginning we weren't exactly the best of friends. But when I put myself between you and those Spearow to save you from even more harm, and possibly even death, you saw the light in me and saved me from that terrible fate. Now I feel things have been reversed, and I've got to save you from a terrible fate."
The Pikachu blinks again. A small spark erupts from one of its cheeks.
Ash turns to the others and says "It's not working."
"It is," Wes encourages. "Keep trying, or you'll lose it."
"Think back to all the great adventures we've had together since that moment. Think back to all the wonderous places we've been. All the marvelous people we've met. All the brilliant battles we've had. Think back to all of those moments and consider..."
"Consider opening your heart for the greater good," Wes speaks up.
"It's aura's lowered a bit, but... It- It's distressed," Rui analyses. "Distressed by the sight of so many Pokemon capture equipment."
"Strip the Snag machines from your arms," Professor Oak calls. "All of you."
"Great," Brock calls. "I've only had this thing for an hour and I've got to take it off again."
"You were only testing it for us," Michael states stripping his own Snag machine from his arm. "Besides, Rui and the Professor are right. If it can't see the Pokemon capture equipment, it will respond easier."
Brock, Wes and Ash take their own Snag machines off, plus extra equipment, and hand them to Rui, Oak and Elm, who hide them out of sight in some cupboards.
"Now try again," Oak says softly. "And don't be afraid."
Part 5 [19/12/12]
Ash turns around again to face his Pikachu, and again kneels down beside it. Again he takes it in his arms.
“Pikachu, you need to come back to me. Life just isn’t the same without you. Sure I’ve got other Pokemon to use. A whole lot more. But none of them have been through the same adventures we have.
“From that first moment when you zapped me and wouldn’t get in the Pokeball, I was having second thoughts about becoming a trainer. When you laughed at me for failing to catch that Pidgey, I felt like a failure and that I would be doomed as a trainer. Since then, we have become best of friends. We’ve met other friends on our travels, the closest of which watch us now.
“We have seen wonders of the world and it’s just a shame you couldn’t have seen Orre. It’s an amazing region, but it just wasn’t the same without you. I’m sure you would have been better than all my other Pokemon at battling the challenges that we faced.
“I’d never abandon you, and I even tried to give you a chance to leave, but you wouldn’t. And I feel you have left me now, and I can’t begin to express my feelings on how I feel. Others might think it stupid and offer to get me another Pikachu, but I could never get rid of you, or abandon you to the wild. You’re my best friend. You’re like my brother.”
A sniffle makes him look behind him. Professor Oak has his head lowered and hand to his head. “That- That was beautiful,” Oak says. “And- And it seems horrible that such a great friendship should come to an end.”
“Sort of reminds me of all those years ago, or so it seems,” Brock reminisces.
“With what?” Misty asks.
“When Ash got turned to stone by Mewtwo, and he was finally resurrected because Pikachu never gave up on him.”
“That was horrible!” Misty wails. “And now the roles really have been reversed now.” She then dissolves into tears.
“Pikachu!” Ash calls. “Come back to me!”
Part 6 [21/12/12]
Conflicting thoughts, bad and good. Dark and light.
Pikachu stares, blank of wonders, stuck between attacking and loving. Held onto him is a human. Something in his mind says that this human is important in his life. But he has no life. He has purpose.
Doesn’t he? He should strike out at all those who entrap the power of all Pokemon.
But wasn’t this human, this trainer, the one that, as the human proudly claims, stood between himself and death? Shouldn’t he be thankful for that?
But he already has been, lots of times. But also, wasn’t this the person that understood that he didn’t like to be entrapped in a ball? The person that looks after him, trains him, and makes him stronger? What use was this new power he had gained, if all it brought was evil and sorrow?
This power was what set him apart from the other Pokemon. He wasn’t scared to stand up and fight humans, who were the fall of a Pokemon’s power.
But, as this trainer has already proved, and will prove again, time and time again, it is the bond of friendship that makes the best team. And win or lose, experience will be gained. What was the point of being all-powerful if it didn’t bring love, and friendship, and trust?
And with this thought, something deep down within him unlocked. His thoughts became more whole. Looking over the shoulder of the trainer who was his best friend, he sees two other friends, two trainers he doesn’t recognise, and two Professors.
And then he remembers another two people. These also with a Pokemon.
“Piiiiiiiiii!” He tries bringing himself to say his name, to alert these people around him that there was no need to worry about him, but another threat.
He couldn’t do it however, but he felt lighter in heart. He was thinking of what to do, planning actions, and in his heart he knew that it was better than just acting, for better or worse.
And if he had these powerful weapons, and he had his mind back to normal, he could concentrate the power instead of just releasing it in massive bursts of energy in a direction.
Charging the electricity he is famed for, the trainer lets go of him, and rightly so. Pikachu then turns away from him and faces a table.
A huge arc of lightning strikes from him and hits the desk, flipping it over the heads of two people who would like nothing better than to claim him for their own. Seeing them brings about a rage that isn’t connected with the hazy darkness that for so long controlled his mind.
In fact, that hazy darkness vanished completely to be replaced with determination, and proudly and fiercely, for all the world to hear, Pikachu screams its name. Pikachu, Pokemon and friend of Ash Ketchum, returns from the darkness.
Part 1 [27/11/12]
"Who's there?" Wes calls. "Anyone from Snagem, be warned. There are Pokemon here that want a fight."
"So do all of these here. Guarding the Professors of this region. And there's no need to fear. We're not Snagem. We just work for them."
From out of the darkness appear Archie and Maxie from Teams Aqua and Magma.
"Who're they?" Wes and Michael ask, but Brendan and Ash don't need to answer, as another voice does for them.
"The syndicates from this region. Team Aqua Archie, and Team Magma Maxie." This person then reveals themselves from the darkness, and Wes and Michael's mouths drop.
"Why so stunned? Told you we'd meet again."
"Darkstee. What do you want with all the Pokemon Professors!" Ash shouts.
"Ah, glad you asked," Darkstee says with a whimsical air. "Well you see, we could never access the research Cipher had produced after dear Michael had them locked up for good. We had to start from scratch. We recruited, he hired, we bribed, and soon we had enough of the research to start replicating what Cipher had done. Then we started to experiment.
"That's when we sent a task force here to this region to capture the weather trio so we could test on some legendaries what Cipher had done."
"The impossible to purify Pokemon," Michael says slowly. "But we did. So that plan was scuffered."
"Yes. But then we realised, we could use this for our own ends. We went to the relic stone with a Pokemon that was close to opening its heart. Celebi came and we captured it, then turned it Shadow. From this, we were able to make our own research into what would happen if we were to clone and replicate the Purifying power that Celebi has. That's how we made the Aura Balls."
"Except they weren't quite finished."
"Exactly. While we could produce the reverse effect, it wasn't as strong, and left the Pokemon with the Aura you can see. So we decided to carry on as planned by using Hoenn as our new tournament ground of Shadows, as well as to capure the Pokemon Professors. During a trip to Johto though, we got lucky. Entei was captured, and we found the cave of Unown.
"Unfortunately, we were stopped in part by Ash - was it?, and his two friends, and then by you two arriving in that big metal bird."
"Yes. And your grunts captured my Pikachu from me!" Ash shouts. "Where is he!"
"Enough talk. As you say, there are Pokemon here that want a fight.
Part 2 [29/11/12]
"Aggron! Rhyperior! Go!"
"Noctowl! Quilava! Get them!"
"Metagross! Vibrava! Defend us!"
"Sudowoodo and Forretress! Fight!"
Brendan, Ash, Michael and Wes send out two Pokemon each. The odds were still out of favour, but it was more even.
Bulbasaur, Tentacool, Totodile, Xatu, Torchic, Nosepass, Turtwig, Luxio, Oshawott, and Sandile all charge forward to the new challengers, and instantly, commands are being shouted out by the trainers, each helping the other. A lot of type differences mean either Pokemon side could get overloaded.
But as guessed, the Pokémon are all Shadows, meaning all will have to be defeated or snagged. The first to be defeated is Totodile. It's Shadow Aura leaves it when it faints. Bulbasaur and Turtwig team up to overwhelm Wes' Forretress, but get stopped by a Flamethrower from Ash's Quilava. Both of them faint.
The Xatu confuses Wes' Sudowoodo, and before the Sudowoodo can attack, it gets bowled over by the Sandile. A snag from Ash then catches the Sandile. Wes returns the Sudowoodo.
Both of Brendan's Pokémon then attack the Xatu from either side, but th Xatu teleports, leaving the Pokémon to crash against each other. A snag from Wes then catches the Xatu, who then releases it straight into the battle.
Oshawott fires black bubbles in the direction Ash's Quilava, with the Luxio firing bolts of wild lightning into them to charge them to explosive bombs. Ash's Noctowl defends Quilava by blowing the bubbles back to the owners.
Michael then goes for his first snag, but the Nosepass gets in the way and is captured instead of the Tentacool which was hassling his Vibrava.
Oshawott and Torchic had started attacking Michael's Metagross, and Michael, distracted by the wrong catch and stopping his Vibrava being defeated, doesn't see his Metagross go down with a double attack from the pair.
No-one notices the Luxio shaking, its eyes closed. Its eyes then open, and it releases a big blast of Shadow Aura and faints.
Part 3 [1/12/12]
Roughly half of the Pokemon on the field faint from the power of the blast. The Shadow Aura from the Luxio had formed into a cocoon around it.
No-one notices this either.
Both of Michael's Pokemon had now fainted, meaning he was out of the fight. But he could still send the Nosepass he had snagged out into battle. Ash's Quilava and Wes' Forrestress had both fainted from the blast as well.
Only the Torchic of the Shadow Pokemon was fighting. Brendan commands his own Pokemon to beat it.
Once fainted, they all cheer. Darkstee also joins in the cheering.
"What?" Wes asks. "You're beaten. So why cheer?"
"Haven't you seen?" Darkstee says, and points to the cocoon that is the Luxio. Instantly, he releases a Shadow Jolteon. Joining it from other trainers are a Shadow Vapoureon, a Shadow Flareon, and two Shadow Eevee's.
"Let's see how you like this then."
Ash goes to throw another Pokeball to send into battle, but Michael holds him back.
"Hold on," he then says. "Why do you want to protect that thing?"
"To see what happens of course."
Michael then sends the Shadow Nosepass into battle and the fight begins again. These Shadow's are even tougher than the last ones. Utilising faster speed and lightning quick attacks, only Brendan has any Pokemon left that can counter them. Wes has his last Pokemon out. Hitmontop is just as fast and more powerful than all the Shadows.
Only the Jolteon is left, the others having been beaten through brute force, the only method that works, during counter-attacks. The Jolteon is the only one that seems to have only special range attacks.
That leaves two Pokemon to confuse it while Wes sent the Nosepass to attack the cocoon. A sound like air esaping a balloon sounds however, and a blast of light escapes the cocoon, giving with it a hurricane of wind.
Part 4 [3/12/12]
The wind dies down and the light disapates. Recovering, Ash, Brendan, Wes, Michael, and Darkstee all look upon the new apparation. The Pokemon Professors have no choice. Everyone except Darkstee stare upon it in horror.
The Luxio has evolved into a Luxray, but a deformed version of a Luxray. It is darker than usual, with red gleaming eyes, and where the blue flesh usually is, nothing but a ghostly aura. It has the tail of a Shinx, and instead of the usual electric spiked tail-end, it is fully electrified in Shadow Aura.
"Ha! The Ultimate Shadow! Forget Lugia, this is a proper Shadow Pokemon." Darkstee is impressed. Wes and Michael however, are horrified.
"Just so long as we can snag it," Michael drily comments.
A Pokeball is loaded into Wes' snag machine. "Let's find out."
He throws the newly created snag ball at the Shadow Luxray, which doesn't even hit. Instead, it is absorbed inside the Shadow Aura.
"What!" Ash says, stunned.
"Well now, this is something," another voice says. Professor Juniper joins Ash, Wes and Michael. Following her are Birch, Oak, Rowan and Elm.
"How did you lot get out?" Darkstee asks.
"Me," Brendan says. "Why you'd do something like capturing the Pokemon Professors to help in your research of these Shadow Pokemon is absurd. But now we've got what we came for, we'll be off."
"But... What about the ridding of Shadow Pokemon?"
Oak then steps forward. "Ash, it is very great to see you again. And looking at this Pokemon, it will never obey anyone. It was created through natural processes, so it will only obey its own kind. Or maybe even none at all."
Elm then chips in. "This Pokemon will never be able to breed. From this, we can agree that it isn't actually a proper Pokemon and seems entirely made from the darkness of nature."
"This Pokemon evolved before it was naturally ready to do so," Rowan says. "From that, I gather it is potentially dangerous and could be unstable."
"Well, thank you for those enlightening words," Darkstee says. "Now, let's put them to the test."
Part 5 [5/12/12]
"Do you have any Pokemon on you?" Professor Juniper asks.
"Apart from the Shadows, no," Michael says. "And we don't really want to be setting Shadow on Shadow in case it strengthens that one even more.
"My, oh my," a voice from the entrance says. "It finally seems as though the great Shadow Defenders have been defeated."
"What do you want, dancing creep!" Darkstee snaps.
"Well, me and a few friends were wondering as per usual. However, that boat is cramped, I don't know how you get comfortable."
"Yours, of course. I was hunting for more Ludicolo you lot have snatched off me, when I felt the boat move. At the end of its journey, and after an explosion from somewhere near the front, I ventured out. To my relief, no-one was around. I then saw a Lotad wondering around in a submarine. How was I to know that would be the one you hired. I was stuck inside that cargo hold, where I finally convinced the Lotad I had been going after I meant it no harm. In fact, it seems quite special.
"Care for a test?"
"Against you? I don't care, so long as I can see the power of this Ultimate Shadow Pokemon."
"Groovy. Let the musi-"
"Oh, fine," Miror B. says huffily. "Lotad! Show them!"
The Lotad seemed ordinary, but as soon as the battle began, its speed was the same as the Luxray, even though the Luxray was powered by the Shadow powers. The Lotad had powers beyond a normal Lotad, as though it was evolved into a Ludicolo already.
Then a Houndoom, Mightyena and Feraligatr join the party.
"Control them!" Rui calls.
Quickly, the Luxray is subdued. Wes starts to load a Pokeball into the snag machine, but gets beaten by someone else.
"We hear you needed help," a rough voice calls.
Part 6 [7/12/12]
"Who now!" Darkstee rages.
"Brock! Misty!" Professor Oak calls.
"How did you get here?" Ash questions.
"The Robo Lugia," Misty says. "Now we have Pokémon other than ours to use for Purification, we thought we may as well check on how you were."
"And how did you find us?" Michael asks.
"May told us, and some idiot of an assistant called Chobin came round and asked if we needed help," Brock replies. "Even though he wears those weird glasses, he an adept pilot."
"So where is he?"
"Outside ogling the Robo Metang."
"And where did you get that snag machine?" Wes asks.
Brock looks down at his left arm, where sure enough, a streamlined snag machine rests. "Well, since the Purification Chamber had been fixed, the staff had nothing to do. Thinking that more snag machines would be better for everyone, thy set to making a new one, even better than the others. Less features, but a very quick recharge time."
"Okay!" Darkstee shouts. "I admit defeat!"
"Good," Wes calls.
"Now give me back my Pikachu that you stole!" Ash shouts.
"Pikachu? Ah, yes. I remember now. Can't give it to you. Don't have it."
"What do you mean?" Ash heats up.
"Well, one of my members caught it, and showed it to me when we went to the Kanto region to grab the Professor there. Unfortunately, two people saw it and asked if it was for sale."
"And what did you say?"
"What do you have to trade."
"And they gave you?"
"An even better Pokémon than that Pikachu."
"Wait. Wait. What Pokémon?" Brock asks.
Ash, Brock and Misty exchange glances with each other, then look to Professor Oak, who shrugs.
"And what did they look like?" Ash asks.
"Don't know. But that Meowth could talk. And then it attacked me and ran off."
"Definitely them," Brock says.
"And did you see how Shadow it looked?" Misty says. "Just like the Luxray."
"So, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Ash says.
"Wait. Wait. Wait. What now?" Brendan says. "We couldn't leave before but now we can?"
"Brendan, you don't understand," Ash says. "That Pikachu- My Pikachu, is just like that Shadow Luxray we just caught. An ultimate. Except it's not in possession of trained professionals of Shadow Pokémon-"
"Not like most of them are anyway," Wes interrupts.
"But in the hands of people who know of its original power, have been hunting it ever since they first saw its power, and have no understanding of what power it has now gained."
"And that is?" Brendan asks.
"Jessie and James of Team Rocket."
Part 1 [5/11/12]
"So where are we headed?" Brendan asks.
"Back to our transport on the top deck," Ash replies.
"And on the way to their base, you can tell me all about this."
"The thing about that is, we're still searching for clues as to where they are," Ash says tentatively.
"Well, let's get straight into it. Where were they last?"
"It looked as though they were headed to Lilycove City. That's most likely where the boat is moored anyway."
"Let's see if we can find any clues at that boat."
Exiting out onto the top deck, the Robo-Metang gleams in the sun. Brendan eyes it with some apprehension.
"That's our ride?"
"Trust me. The tech who made it really knows his stuff," Ash says.
"Well, if you say so."
The three walk up to it and the ramp lowers. Inside, Makan and Wes wait.
"So this is Brendan is it?"
"Yes, I am," Brendan says, "and I'm impressed by this thing."
"Wait till you see it move. Where to?" he asks of Ash.
"Lilycove City, where Snagem were headed."
"Northeast from here," May adds.
"Right then. Anyway. Introductions. I'm Makan, and this here is Wes. Upstairs in the control room are Michael and Rui. Let's get underway then."
They all head up to the control room, and Makan takes the pilot seat. Activating the controls, he calls the boat to say thanks, then gets underway. Heading northeast, they fly over the mainland for quite a while before slowly turning in the immediate direction of Lilycove City.
Setting down, it is then just a case of going to the port and trying to get on Team Snagem's boat.
Part 2 [9/11/12]
"Right then," Michael says. "Me and Ash will try to get on that boat, but we'll need a distraction. Wes, that's where you come in. May, you stay a bit behind us, and then when we locate the boat of Team Snagem, you'll turn around and launch a Pokemon at May. May. Act scared and panic. They're sure to take note of stuff like this and rush to your aid."
"But what will you do?" May asks.
"Me and Ash will carry on walking for a bit then turn round. If they've taken the bait, we'll be able to sneak in easily. If not, Wes will have to hastle the guards as well."
"Hold on! What about the rest of us?" Brendan exclaims.
"You'll be waiting here."
"I want to come along. It's my dad in danger!"
"Fine. Come on, let's go."
The plan, however, goes off without a hitch, due mostly to the fact that there wasn't a guard in sight. The majestic smoking boat is deserted, all except some repairmen on the deck.
"Are you sure there won't be guards just inside?" Brendan asks.
"It's a possibility, but they'll be surprised that someone else has entered in the first place."
"If you say so."
The lot walk up the ramp and Wes peaks around the door. He indicates that there is no-one around. The rest follow him inside. The whole area is deserted.
Setting off left, they work around the ship for stairs and areas that lead to the bridge. The walls are smudge white, looking more like a grey. The floor is a dark grey metal, and so are the stairs. There is nothing pasted onto the walls. When the group reach the bridge, they open the door and are surprised.
Tables of wood and walls full of whiteboards, most with drawings on, the room looks like the most widely invested space of the entire ship.
"Look!" May shouts. She had already walked inside.
"May! Get back here!" Brendan shouts.
"But look at what's on one of these boards. A picture of a volcano. What's it mean?"
"That you lot are a lot more nosy than you should be. Go! Tepig!"
Part 3 [14/11/12]
"Tepig?" Wes and Michael exclaim.
"A Pokemon from the Unova region. Far away from here," Ash explains. "But how-"
"We took it from Juniper," the voice says.
"Why don't you show yourself," May says.
"Well, if you really need to know." And from under a table in a corner rises Matt of Team Aqua. Wearing a blue bandana and open jacket, he smiles with a manic gleam, which also shows in hism brown eyes.
"I'll take him!" May exclaims.
"May! No!" Brendan calls out.
But May already has summoned Glaceon. The battle ends quickly however, as Tepig instantly blasts it with a Flamethrower. It is immediately apparent that the Tepig isn't a Shadow.
"Ha!" Matt exclaims. "The power of these Pokemon is immense."
The Glaceon is returned as Brendan asks, "May, why didn't you just leave it to me?"
"I wanted a chance to battle," May replies.
"Well, you lost and now it's my turn."
Brendan walks forward and sends out Shiftry, a Pokemon of brown and white with a wild appearance and leaves for hands. It's eyes were like slits, and gave it a menacing look.
Before the Tepig could even move, the Shiftry had struck it full on. The Tepig is returned and Matt looks astounded.
"Because we are stronger," Michael begins," and also because you didn't have a Shadow Pokemon. If you had, we'd have still won anyway by taking it from you."
Matt makes a scathing sound. "I was only asked to guard this ship. They never said about battling anyone. Besides which, I think you should be going anyway."
"You just lost a battle," Wes comments. "I don't think you're in a position to tell us what to do."
"Still, we probably won't find anything anyway," Ash says. "We may as well go."
Starting with Ash, Michael and May, the group walk down the stairs into the main of the ship.
Part 4 [21/11/12]
Out of the ship, there is still no-one around. The group head back to the Robo-Metang, where they all sit or stand talking about where to go next.
"Well there's always Mount Pyre," Brendan ventures. "A graveyard of Pokemon could be considered a good hiding place. As well as its location."
"Just say where it is," Makan says spinning his chair to face the windscreen. "Worth a look."
Following the road out of Lilycove City, the Robo Metang flies to the west and rises higher. To the left, a small mountain could be seen.
"That's it," May exclaims.
The Robo Metang makes a wide turn and heads to the summit, where Michael says to land. He then tells Makan to stay put while he, Ash, May and Brendan explored.
Exiting the Robo Metang, the four walk down the mountain path and enter the cave. Splitting up, they explore each floor thoughroughly before moving on to the one below.
Each floor holds no-one but mourners. No secrets, no traps. Before they move onto the next floor, they report back to each other. The last floor approaches, but even here, at the entrance, is nothing but mourners.
Not unpertubed, the four head back to the Robo Metang. Once back inside and on the bridge, the rest see their glum faces.
"No luck," Michael says, "Nothing even to suggest they've been around here."
"Very interesting," Professor Krane says. "And this place is a Pokemon graveyard?"
"Yes," Brendan says. "It's rumoured ghost Pokemon haunt the area."
"I remember something," May says. "That board in the bridge of the boat. It had a picture of a volcano on it."
"You seriously can't be suggesting-"
"Not Sootopolis City," Ash exclaims.
Part 5 [23/11/12]
"What is Sootopolis City?" Professor Krane asks before the others of Orre could.
"A city built inside a volcano," Brendan starts, "that has been dormant for hundreds of years. It is home to the Cave of Origin, where it is rumoured Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza live."
"So I guess the only way in is to fly?" Makan asks.
"It can be done with this, can't it?" Michael asks.
"Well, supposing I can keep the speed up... But it's not something I've tried before..."
"There's nothing else for it," Wes says. "We go for it."
In response, Makan lifts the Robo Metang up in the air, and slowly adds acceleration on to it.
"Just give me a direction," Makan says.
"Turn thirty-five degrees right," Ash says.
Slowly the acceleration increases even more, and the speed is getting very fast that those standing have to support themselves against anything they can.
The Robo Metang then starts slowly rising, increasing its incline. The volcano comes into sight. Then in a blur it's gone again.
Then all momentum of the Robo Metang stops, and everyone is thrown forward. The Robo Metang then tilts slowly forward, facing the opening to the volcano.
"Hold on," Makan says, voice straining.
"We wouldn't be able to anyway!" Ash yells.
Again, the Robo Metang picks up momentum, but this time through the force of gravity. Expertly, Makan controls the Robo Metang so that some of the speed disapates, and it slowly glides to a more controlable level.
Makan then activates the engines again and lands it.
"Never again," May groans.
"My head hurts," Michael complains.
"Uh, who let the Pokemon out?" Wes asks.
"Sorry, he's mine," Ash says. "Does anyone know where his ball's disappeared to?"
Part 6 [25/11/12]
"It's, uh..." May says.
"In the lift," Michael calls, and throws a Pokeball to Ash, who then uses it to return the Quilava.
"Now then," Makan says. "Sootopolis City. Are you suggesting they might have made a base in this Cave of Origin?"
"Don't know," Ash says. "Would this Team Snagem care about building a base where legendary Pokemon live?"
"What does your experience with them tell you?" Michael asks. "They're power hungry about legendaries."
"And they already have the three of this region, so they know it's safe."
"What?" Brendan exclaims. "This Snagem already have the weather trio?"
"Yes," Michael says. "But if we can find them, we will return them once Purified."
"Well, since I want to rescue dad, and you three know all about this Snagem, I suggest just us four go."
"What about me?" May cries.
"If this is their base, it will be more than just battling some goon who got too cocky. Stay here, where it is safe. You've already lost one battle against them, and that was a simple grunt."
"I think Brendan is right," Wes says. "Battle experience is everything here."
"Fine!" May storms.
"We'd hate for more of your Pokemon to be caught," Michael says.
"We'll keep her safe," Professor Krane says. "You can help us here by keeping track of the Shadow Pokemon."
"You'll be able to talk to Misty and Brock," Ash points out.
May concedes and Ash, Brendan, Wes and Michael head out of the Robo Metang and make their way up the hills to the Cave of Origin.
Entering, it looks pitch black at first, but then torches light up. In chains around the wall are Professors Oak, Elm, Birch, Rowan, and even Professor Juniper of Unova. Surrounding these are a range of Pokemon from each region. Harder to tell in darker conditions, but it looks as though a faint aura is rippling around them.
"Dad!" Brendan calls out.
"And if you wish him to remain so, I suggest you run," a voice calls out of the darkness.
Part 1 [13/8/12]
"What- What happened to Pikachu?" Ash exclaims as Michael appears from a lift pod and Wes walks inside the Robo Metang.
"Maybe it isn't yours," Michael simply states.
Another of the lift pods open up and Rui gasps. "Grandfather's Pikachu!" she exclaims.
"Your grandfather's?" Ash asks, bewildered.
"Ah," is all Wes says.
"Oh wait," Michael speaks. "Didn't Eugan say his Pokemon had been taken?"
"So Eugan has a Pikachu as well?" Ash asks. "So where's my Pikachu?"
"Don't worry," Michael says. "We'll find him."
"But in the meantime, let's get this Pikachu back to Eugan," Wes says walking over to the Storage system. Pulling the Pokeball from its nub, and activating the PC at the same time, he calls the Pikachu to the ball and slams it back onto the nub. It is instantly sent back to the Pokemon Lab HQ Storage.
Wes then activates the computer and pulls up the messaging system. "Lily, we have a Pikachu that needs to go to Eugan, Rui's grandfather."
"Okay," Lily's voice comes through the speaker. "I'll get one of the team on it."
The link dies. "Now that's sorted," Wes says, "let's get outside and start hunting for clues as to where Team Snagem have been."
"Right," Ash says.
Wes, Michael and Ash walk outside, meeting May again. Makan then walks out. "So what are we doing?" he asks.
"Us four will take it on foot," Michael says. "Ash's Pokemon Watch, wasn't it? Anyway, that can communicate with our computer, so we'll call you if we need any assistance."
"Sure, Makan says. "We'll be following close behind."
As Makan then returns to the Robo Metang, the four start walking north. As they reach Route 101, both Ash and Michael scan with their Aura Readers, but don't detect any anomalies in the Pokemon. All four are careful not to get into any wild Pokemon battles, but there doesn't seem to be any Pokemon around.
"Where are all the Pokemon?" May asks.
"Hiding," Ash replies, and then he gets a reading from his Aura Reader. "What looks like a Zigzagoon directly east."
They all look in that direction to see a Zigzagoon, appearing more darker than normal, with a slight Shadow Aura visible.
"I'll deal with it," Michael says, and sends out Vibrava.
The battle goes quickly, with Vibrava charging at the Zigzagoon and knocking it flat. Once it falls to the floor, the Shadow Aura surrounding it dies.
"Looks like we now know why they're after the Pokemon Professors of the world," Wes says. "They can't keep the Pokemon Shadow after they are seriously injured."
"Hm. Interesting," Michael says.
Part 2 [18/8/12]
"If Cipher and all their research was took, that means, Team Snagem would have only what they knew to go by for making the Shadow Pokemon," Wes says. "They must have experimented with an even greater mass production than Cipher had, but didn't get all of the small things right. But instead of keeping them until all those problems were fixed, they let them loose anyway, figuring no-one would be able to beat them."
"All very interesting," Michael says. "But let's continue."
With the defeat of the Shadow Zigzagoon, wild Pokemon were cautiously starting to make there way out again. It wouldn't be good to get caught up in a wild free-for-all. Returning his Vibrava, Michael leads the way further north.
Reaching Oldale Town, Wes and Michael split up and wonder around the town, asking questions of suspicious activity in the area. When they returned, no-one had said they had.
They were walking to the Pokemon Center to get some refreshment when a stretcher bearing a boy is carried inside. A second one follows, also bearing a boy. Curious, Ash walks inside before the others.
Wes instantly overtakes Ash and asks the question all of them were wondering.
"What happened to them?"
"They were out on Route 102," one of the men carrying a stretcher replies. "We checked their Pokemon, but they are also out cold. We have no idea what caused this, but there are no Pokemon out wondering."
"Maybe another Shadow," Michael ventures.
"You mean there are more than just that poor Zigzagoon with that horrible Aura?" May cries out.
"Yes," Ash replies. "They are the Shadow Pokemon, and they are not responsive to reason. There hearts have been artificially closed and are put into service by a Team Snagem, who are much like Aqua and Magma."
"Well," May says. "Is it worth checking out?"
"Yes," Wes says. "Where do we go from here?"
"West," Ash says, as they all exit. "And this time, can I have a go? I want to try another capture."
"Sure," Michael says.
Exiting the Pokemon Center and walking west, they soon arrive at Route 102, and start scanning with their Aura Readers.
A rustle in the bushes alerts them before the Aura Readers do.
The Lotad had fallen asleep, and so hadn't seen the men that had rescued the two boys. Now, however, it saw four people. It starts to move forward, but then a Donphan appears. Moving back into the bushes, it calls upon its dark energies and summons a shadowy whip of vine to lash out at the Donphan.
It misses, but attacks again with the Shadow Vine. The Lotad didn't see the ball that hit it and was startled. While it was turned to an energy form, it was still able to think. And all it could think about was escape.
It was not to be however. Ash cheers as the Pokeball containing the Lotad returns to the grip of the Snag Machine.
May, who had never seen this, was in awe. "Wow," she softly says.
Part 3 [2/9/12]
"Yes," Wes says. "Watching a Snag happen is quite awesome. But maybe we'll never see an end to the amount of Shadow's."
"Well we need to continue," Michael says. "Otherwise we'll be ages trying to find our way."
"Petalburg City is just up ahead," May exclaims, "although there is still some way to go."
"Lead the way," Michael says.
Heading south-west, then heading directly west for a bit, the four then walk north-west then follow the trees north, where they come to a clearing. In the clearing are two Poochyena.
"Let me handle this," Wes says, releasing Hitmontop, which then charges the Poochyena down. The Poochyena are weak, however, and one hit knocks each of them down.
The Shadow Aura leaves each of them.
"All we have to do is follow the north-side trees into Petalburg City," Ash says.
And so they walk west, following the trees. When they reach Petalburg, May senses that something is amiss. When she mentions this to the others, Ash scans with his Aura Reader.
"There's somethi-" Ash starts, but doesn't get to continue as someone runs from the north screaming.
"In the gym! In the gym! Something attack my Pokemon and is attacking the leader!"
"Dad!" May starts running in the direction of the gym.
"What happened!" Michael shouts at the screaming man.
Coming to his senses, the man looks at the group of three. "Me and the leader were starting our battle when a single Maril came wandering in. It attacked my Pokemon first, then went for me. I ran for it, and so I can only think it is now attacking Norman."
"Let's go," Ash commands. The three of them then run to the gym. When they push their way inside, what they see is devastation.
May, with a Glaceon out, surrounded by three Maril with visible Shadow Aura. Norman, standing behind the Maril, his Vigoroth lay on the floor, out cold.
Part 4 [2/9/12]
"May! Be careful! Don't underestimate them!" Ash shouts.
All three Maril then attack as one, in different directions. May's Glaceon avoids all three attacks, and then uses Ice Beam on one of the Maril.
"She needs help," Wes says.
"Right," Ash says. "Noctowl! Go!"
The Noctowl appears from its ball, and at a command from Ash, charges another Maril down. May's Glaceon then uses Secret Power, glowing pink as it charges the Maril it had first attacked. Before it could fully hit the Maril, however, it was blasted backward. Not having felt a force of that magnitude before, it collapses.
"No!" May cries, returning the Glaceon and going for another ball.
"May, no," Michael says, and releases Metagross.
That Metagross then charges the other two Maril down. Working with Ash's Noctowl, all three Maril are then defeated shortly thereafter.
As both Pokemon are returned to their respective balls, the Shadow Aura from all three Maril detaches from them.
"What- What was that?" Norman asks.
"They are Shadow Pokemon," Wes starts.
"But what does that mean?"
Explaining all they knew, as well as introductions, took some time. By the time they were finished, Norman was already planning strategy.
"So Birch has been taken by this Team Snagem. Does Brendan know?"
"We haven't seen him," May says. "When you asked me to go to the Professor, I went to Brendan's house first, to ask if the Professor is away. The house was empty."
"Hmm. They could have gone elsewhere. I know Brendan likes his competitions at Battle Towers. Maybe that's where they are."
"Is this really important?" Wes asks. "Not to be rude, but we need to get more information and stop this threat."
"If the Professor is captured, he should know. Birch is his dad you know. And as well as that, he knows quite a lot about all the goings on in Hoenn."
"Fine. Where do we go?"
"Can you link me with a powerful computer?"
Ash lifts the Poke Watch to his mouth. "Makan. We need that computer."
Part 5 [9/9/12]
The Robo Metang lands in a clearing outside Petalburg's Gym, and Ash and co enter. Makan and Rui are already waiting by the computer. As the rest crowd around the computer, Krane appears in one of the lifts.
"Okay," Ash says. "Pull up a map of the entire region."
"Right," Makan acknowledges, and brings up the map.
"Okay, so we have the Trainer Hill, just north of Mauville City. Or there's the Battle Frontier south of the main region on an island."
"Let's go to the Trainer Hill first," Wes says. "Direct us."
Everyone then piles into the lift pods and heads up to the bridge. Ash then directs where Mauville is, and where the Trainer Hill is located from there. When they land, Wes, Michael and Ash walk into the building and ask whether Brendan has been seen. The receptionist says no, and they leave.
Ash then directs the Robo Metang to the Battle Frontier, but says they can't land. Instead, he gets on the link to them and asks around different places on the island.
Again, no-one had seen him.
"So where could he be?" Makan asks. "Are you sure you haven't missed out a battle area he might be at?"
"Yes?" Wes asks.
"Competitions in the running... Southern area..." Ash is working from his Pokewatch and suddenly comes up with something. "Head west."
"Sure," Makan says, pulling the Robo Metang into a westward position. It then accelerates off.
Some time into the journey, Ash says "Put a slight southern trajectory to the course."
"Right. The main island is to the right of us, and there seems to be another smaller island to the left of that." Makan is to the point with this description, and Ash sees the island too.
"That will be Dewford Town. Land to the east of it, and I'll get out. Wait for me."
"You're going in alone?" Michael asks.
"We need to keep this low key as possible. One person asking about any competitions is going to attract less attention than a whole group of people. They might get the sense that it's getting too popular."
"Fair point. Just hurry it up."
The Robo Metang lands, and Ash heads to a pod and goes down. The others see him enter the town, a few minutes later, Ash arrives back.
"Well," Wes says. "What did you find?"
"Fly to the east and keep low. The Abandoned Ship has now become a training place of the powerful."
Part 6 [27/9/12]
After flying east, they instantly see the Abandoned Ship, and the makeovers it has had. Once a wreck, it had now received a fresh lick of paint and had a pier extension built off its entry hole.
Ash contacted the authority of this new training ground, who had saw them in the sky and suggested landing on the boat itself. Once they had done this, the other told them that someone would come out to meet them.
Ash said he would go alone with May. The two of them walk out while the rest talk.
"Ah, hello," the man who had come out to meet them greeted. "What brings you here in such an unconventional mode of transport?"
"Brendan, and Professor Birch," Ash replies.
"Oh, well Brendan's here, but what of Professor Birch."
"Taken from his lab by a crime syndicate."
"Oh. Well... Brendan's in a tournament at the minute, but since we haven't got any links with the rest of the region yet, we haven't seen any news since we set up.
The man then leads Ash and May inside to the bridge area, which had been converted to a communications dock.
"Only short range to check in with boats coming to dock," the man guiding them says.
He takes them downstairs where an overlook showed an arena. Down in that arena, Brendan's Swampert had just dealt a massive attack to another trainer's Golem. That Golem then collapsed and the trainer returned it to its ball.
A horn then bellowed somewhere nearby, indicating the end of the match. Brendan and the other trainer moved forwards and shook hands, then each headed for a different side of the arena - Brendan returning his Swampert.
"Come on then," the man beside them says.
Heading down the passage and down some stairs, Ash and May are lead down into a large room with a lot of seats and trainers. Seeking out Brendan wasn't hard. He had sat down near the door he had just left.
When he saw them, he stood up. Wearing a red and black jacket, yellow and black gloves and trousers, and a bandana over his head, Brendan was slightly taller than any of them.
"What are you two doing here?" Brendan asks.
"Your dad has been kidnapped from his lab," May says bluntly.
"Dad..." Brendan says this slowly, as if not quite believing it. "How?"
"It will take too long to explain all the details," Ash begins, "but we've been tracking a crime syndicate from the far off region of Orre. They came to this region with hopes of testing trainers using Shadow Pokemon which they have created. But they needed help and have been capturing the worlds Pokemon Professors."
"No!" Brendan turns to the man who had led Ash and May here. "Sorry but I've got to go. There's no way they will get away with it."
Part 1 [3/7/12]
At Lilycove City, a large and sprawling place, the leaders of Team Magma and Team Aqua are in conference at the old hideout off the east side of the mainland.
"I thought Groudon and Kyogre were meant to be our protectors," Maxie says. "No one in Hoenn has seen them in ages."
"Maybe they've just gone into hibernation again," Archie suggests. "Although not even Rayquaza has been spotted."
A commotion then happens outside. The sound of a Pokeball recall laser sounds, but more electrified. The hideout is little more than a cave surrounded in water, but still each team had saw fit to post a guard each at the door.
Before, these two teams had been at each others' throats, trying to resurrect one of the Weather trio each. Magma wanted Groudon to get more land. Aqua wanted Kyogre to make more sea. After a huge battle between the two, in which Rayquaza had to get involved, the two settled their differences and started to help.
"You want to know what happened to those three?" a voice asks from the entrance.
"Who are you?" Maxie asks.
A Pokeball is released and a Skarmory is released. "Fraiser is the name, and Pokemon that we choose now serve us. You can either hand over your Pokemon or join our cause. If you reject both offers, this Pokemon here will attack."
"Pokemon only attack if put in situations or when defending their natural territory in the wild," Courtney says, blue hair flowing as she twists to face Fraiser. She had dispensed with her hood. "They don't attack other trainers."
"Want to test that?" Fraiser says menacingly.
When Courtney instead gets up, a small light which is part of a metal patch wore over the right eye of Fraiser lights up, and the Skarmory attacks.
Both Maxie and Archie stare shocked. Archie goes as far as speech.
"What- What is that power?"
"It is called the power of the Shadow Pokemon. This region has been selected to pay host to a new type of competition. There will be no more Pokemon Gyms. No more Pokemon Leagues. All there will be is Shadow Pokemon roaming freely in the wild, ready to challenge trainers who stumble across them."
"I'd still like to test their power against another Pokemon. Perhaps one of a type Skarmory is weaker to."
One of the Magma team release a Camerupt. As it releases a jet of fire, the Skarmory also releases a jet of fire which looks darker and more purple than the orange of Camerupt's. The two meet, but Camerupt's fire jet is easily overwhelmed, and is struck full on by Skarmory's attack.
It faints. The Magma who owns the Camerupt returns it and instantly sends out a Zubat. The fight lasts shorter, with the Zubat receiving a full on attack with Skarmory's beak.
"It's- It's not possible!" the Magma grunt moans.
Archie and Maxie look at each.
"Fine," Maxie says. "We'll join. Just tell us what we have to do."
Part 2 [13/7/12]
"Where are we?" Rui asks.
The others start looking around, groaning at stiff joints. They can only look around, however, as they are bound to walls at their ankles and wrists with shackles.
"Well, from the occasional horn, I'd say we were on some kind of boat," a voice says which startles the others.
"Professor!" Michael calls. "What are you doing here?"
At the other side of the room, Professor Krane is also shackled to a wall.
"This is where they brought me after trashing the lab. They've been making me do battles to test their Shadow Pokemon."
"And what have you learned of their plans?" Wes asks.
"Not a lot, other than the fact they seem to be independent thinkers."
"Yes, we know," Ash says. "They are to be released into the wilds of Hoenn as some type of challenge to the trainers."
"And how did you find that out?"
"We've been on quite a journey," Makan explains, "and it appears that Team Snagem want to reveal their plans to us. After one of them was defeated, they would reveal a bit about the Shadow Pokemon. The information they told us would be useful for your memos Professor."
"If we survive this."
"A Minun," Ash wonders.
A shockwave then spreads through the grey interior of the cell, and the door squeaks open. The Minun then sends a Thunderbolt into each of the locks holding the people in place. It then wonders over to Michael and looks at him with happiness.
"Michael, I think that is your sister's Minun. It obviously recognises you," Professor Krane says, stretching as he is let down.
"Mimi, return," Michael says, calling the Pokemon to a ball.
As Krane walks toward the others he says, "Use the Snag Machine. Don't worry, the Pokemon won't be affected. There are no parts of that particular Snag Machine that can turn a Pokemon into Shadow form.”
“I hope Jovi isn’t worried, and I hope she won’t mind a little interference from the Snag,” Michael says as he loads it up.
The ball flies true and grabs the Minun. “Mimi!” it screams, as it is captured. The ball then returns to the Snag Machine and Michael puts it in his pocket.
“Now then,” Makan says. “Let’s get out of here.”
The others agree and they sneak away from the cell, up some stairs and onto the ship proper. Walking around with no purpose except to find an escape route, the group eventually find a way outside. Following the walls of the boat’s above deck area, the group reach the front of it.
On the deck is the Robo Metang, surrounded by Team Snagem grunts, and one leader in a black coat.
“Darkstee,” Wes grunts.
The Pokeball in Michael’s pocket then shakes. The Minun releases itself and skips over toward the Snagem contingent.
“What the-” one of the grunts call. “Oh, it’s the Minun. What’s it doing out?”
“Who knows,” Darkstee calls. “Just get it back below dec-”
A huge Thunderwave then strikes the boats rear, tipping it to the left. As the Snagem grunts fall and trip, Makan makes a run for the Robo-Metang. After a few seconds it powers up and turns to where the rest of the group are. The rear hatch stays open.
“Hurry!” Makan calls over the loudspeaker.
Looking back to the front of the deck, Wes sees that the Snagem grunts are recovering, and tells everyone to hurry. As Professor Krane is jumping onto the Robo Metang, the Minun sends a Thunderbolt into the deck and skips back to the ramp, jumping in just as it closes.
The Robo Metang then blasts away.
Part 3 [18/7/12]
At Route 102, a boy walks at a slow pace with his Zigzagoon at his side. The light and dark brown coloured racoon Pokemon matches pace with its trainer.
“Don’t worry Ziggy,” the trainer says. “Soon you’ll be able to beat any trainer that challenges you.”
“Zigza-Goon,” the Pokemon replies.
The trainer has a yellow T-shirt and blue shorts, with a blue cap worn so the flat part is behind him. Another trainer walks up to the boy. This one has black shorts and a blue shirt.
“Your Zigzagoon looks cool,” the second says.
“I know. What Pokemon do you have?” the first asks.
“Wurmple. I have two. Want a battle so I can make them stronger? Yours will too.”
“Sure. What’s your name?”
“Calvin. Nice to meet you.”
“Wurmple! Go!” Rick shouts, letting a Pokeball fly. A red backed worm appears.
“Ziggy, do me proud,” Calvin says. The Zigzagoon steps forward.
Before any move can be used however, a Lotad comes from the bushes. Cautiously at first.
“Wow! What’s that Pokemon?” Rick asks.
“No idea. But I’ve got a Pokedex from Professor Birch. Let’s see what it says.”
Calvin pulls out his Pokedex, a red block-like machine and scans the Pokemon.
“Lotad,” the machine speaks, “the water weed Pokemon. Lotad inhabit peaceful wetlands, like lakes and ponds. On rare occasions, this Pokemon travels on land in search for clean water. Biometrics indicate that this particular Lotad is stronger than its species should be.”
As soon as this is said, both trainers gasp in awe.
“Why don’t we work together to bring it down?” Calvin asks.
“Sure. And if it is stronger, then our Pokemon will become more powerful!”
The two Pokemon of the trainers then turn to face the Lotad. The Lotad then attacks with a powerful charge. The Wurmple gets hit, and as the Lotad recovers from attacking it, the Zigzagoon attacks with a Tackle.
The Wurmple returns to its ball, but the Lotad is hardly affected by the Tackle. As another Wurmple is released, a blast of dark energy erupts from the Lotad, causing both the second Wurmple and the Zigzagoon to faint. Both return to their balls.
But the Lotad isn’t finished.
Jumping into the sky, it then attacks Calvin, who collapses on the ground. Charging up a dark bolt of lightning, it then shocks Rick into unconsciousness.
The Lotad then retreats back into the bushes.
Part 4 [28/7/12]
At the main port of Lilycove City, Fraiser waits with Archie and Maxie for the Shadow Stalker cruiser. Darkstee had said that some problems had arisen.
In the distance, the massive boat could be seen, along with what looked like smoke coming from two different places. As it crawled closer, Fraiser could see that it was traveling at a lower speed than it could do.
As the boat pulls into the port, Fraiser could see that a lot of damage had been done to it. As it slows down and stops, Fraiser sees Darkstee and the others waiting for the door to open. As soon as it does, Darkstee storms down the ramp and stops in front of Fraiser. The others follow at a more sedate pace.
"What happened to th-" Fraiser starts, but is automatically interrupted by Darkstee.
"Did you contact the groups I told you to?"
"Yes. The leaders are right here behind me."
"Good. Are they willing to join?"
"Yes. With little persuasion."
"As to what happened to this ship, one of the Pokemon captured from the lab helped our prisoners claim their transport back and escape."
"What direction was they heading?" Archie asks. "We might know where they're going."
"Roughly the same direction we were going but with a slight southern trajectory," Darkstee replies.
"They could have been going to Professor Birch's lab," Maxie suggests.
"True. But they could just be wasting their time trying to shake a pursuit."
"Where is this place? What town?"
"Litttleroot," Archie says.
Darkstee then disappears.
"So they have a foothold in this region?" Professor Krane asks. "What about the others?"
"We're not sure," Makan says. "They never mentioned anything about other regions."
"Interesting. Well, we need to call the base. Let them know we are alright."
"That's what Michael and Wes are doing," Ash says.
"Yes. I'd love to know how you came to meet him."
"In Agate Village," Rui supplies. "We were going to visit my grandparents when we met Michael and Ash."
"Ah. That would be when I sent them to Agate to investigate the Relic Stone. And then when you joined them, obviously wanting to get a piece of the action."
"Well we had no choice really. Team Snagem chased us through Agate and back to Gateon Port. Well, partly back to Gateon. Makan and the Robo Metang got the chasing Fearow off our tail."
"And now I've got to stay with you until we get home."
"Yes," Makan says.
"Quick! Come quick!" Wes calls from one of the lifts.
Krane, Ash and Rui head down the lifts with Wes to see a news feed from Hoenn about to play out.
Part 5 [2/8/12]
"And here we are in Littleroot Town, the home of Professor Birch and his team of scientists. We are now going inside to see the everyday life of these scientists, and talk to Professor Birch."
Sounds of scuffling, followed by a scream. The news reporter quietly moves toward the doors, then moves back quickly as a scientist gets blown through them.
"What happened?" the reporter asks.
"Someone with an Abra just teleported inside the lab. I didn't think that was possible!" the scientist replies, his voice rising at the end.
"And then?" the cameraman asks.
"It attacked me with some weird move that glowed purple."
"Sounds interesting," the reporter says. "Let's get reporting."
They head inside, and see disaster. All the machines have been ripped apart. The scientists lie sprawled on the floor. Unconscious or dead. Professor Birch is recognised only by his absence.
No Pokeballs or Pokemon are in sight. A scientist then stirs.
The reporter quickly helps him to his feet. "Can you tell us what happened?" she asks.
"It was horrible," the scientist replies. "Some trainer appeared with an Abra. Teleported inside the building. Didn't think it was possible. Greg then challenged him when he revealed his intentions and got blown out the door. He then grabbed the Professor and that Abra of his used some funny move. Glowed purple and black it did. It trashed the lab and felled us all. Then he disappeared with the Professor."
"Hm. Sounds interesting," the reporter says. She then turns to the camera. "We'll listen out for other rumours and newscasts from around the Hoenn region and piece together the information for more information on this mystery trainer."
The newscast then ends.
"Wow. How many more Professors are they going to abduct from their labs?" Wes asks.
"What do you mean?" Ash asks.
"It was-" Michael clears his throat. "It was confirmed by Brock and Misty, who had got connection back to the Kanto region, that Professor Oak had indeed been abducted. Same goes for Professor Elm."
"Oh," Ash quietly says.
Part 6 [10/8/12]
The Robo Metang lands outside the Pokemon Lab of Littleroot Town, to find that the place was exactly like it was on the news. Wes, Michael and Ash get out and walk to the entrance of the lab. The bodies were still there on the floor.
And one other person is wondering around. Wearing a red coat and a red hat with a black Pokeball symbol, she continuously calls out "Professor!"
At the sound of footsteps, she starts and twists to face the noise. "Oh. Ash. It's you."
"You know this person?" Wes asks.
"She used to travel with me," Ash says. "Wes, Michael. Meet May."
"So... Who and where are you two from? And how come you lot are here?"
"There from a far off desert region called Orre," Ash speaks before the other two could start talking. "We've been tracking a plot in their region from a criminal syndicate known as Team Snagem. They specialise in Shadow Pokemon, and Hoenn has been chosen as a testing ground for their new Shadow's. They have also been capturing Pokemon Professor's from all regions for some unknown reason."
"Oh. Well if you'll let me, can I join? At least until you find Professor Birch."
Ash looks to the other two.
"Well we could always do a ground exploration, just to see how strong these Shadow's are," Wes says slowly.
"Sorted then. I'll go tell Makan." Michael then runs outside.
"Let's go, then," Ash commands. Then Ash, Wes and May walk outside.
"Is that an upgraded Pokemon Watch?" May asks excitedly.
"Huh?" Ash exclaims. He then looks down at his wrist. "Oh yeah!" He then fiddles with the controls a bit.
"Misty here," a voice comes from the speaker. The audio is slightly crackling, but serviceable. "Ash, what happened?"
"We're at Hoenn after being captured and taken to a boat. We were rescued by Jovi's Minun, and we also have Krane with us. Professor Birch has also been captured, and May has joined our team," Ash speaks quickly.
"Heh. Nice. Oh, and Ash, we've loaded the Skitty into the Purify Chamber, and make sure to get Pikachu back."
"Oh! I forgot. Well, see you later then."
Ash closes the link as he runs to the Robo Metang. The ramp is still lowered, and Ash runs to the Storage PC. Activating it and calling up the Pokemon Lab HQ Storage, Ash selects the Pikachu and withdraws it.
As soon as it appears, the ball activates and Pikachu is released.
"Pikachu," it says.
"Pikachu!" Ash calls, opening his arms.
The Pikachu then looks at Ash with the expression of a frown, its head tilted to one side as it looks upon him.
"Pikaaa! it then cries out in distress.
"What?" Ash wonders aloud.
Part 1 [25/2/12]
Ash, Michael, Wes, Rui and Makan walk back to the Robo Metang. When inside, Makan tells the others to wait as he heads to a lift pod. A while later, the Robo Metang takes off and Makan arrives in the view of the lift pod again.
“Automatic pilot,” he says. “Now then. This handy feature here was installed so you wouldn’t have to go to a Pokemon Centre all the time, especially when travelling.”
He presses a button and a panel flips open. A Healing Machine and PC Storage System are present.
“How did you manage to get those in here?” Wes asks.
“Interstellar wave transceiver and the bulk space at the front,” Makan says. “You don’t expect me waste space do you?”
“Of course not,” Wes says as he moves forward to put his Pokeballs on the Healing Machine.
Once the balls are resting in the indents of the Healing Machine, Wes presses a button on the side and the machine gives off a faint aura. A five beep chorus then sounds to say the Pokemon are healed. Michael does the same with his Pokemon, followed by Ash.
Wes then accesses the PC.
“Same functions as a normal PC,” he comments.
“Of course,” Makan gruffly says. “So we can transfer the Shadow Pokemon back as soon as possible without having to work our way back to base.”
“So if we get lost...” Wes ventures.
“Automatic mapping in the PC, as well as voice messaging,” Makan informs. “All the needs we need. Except food, but there’s plenty of that in the storage upstairs.”
“Which is where we should go now,” Michael says.
And so they all head up in the lift pods, and seat themselves. Makan at the controls, with Michael at co-pilot station. Ash, Wes and Rui all seat in the passenger seating.
Up ahead, the first two of the five cities waits.
“So, either Sarsen or Jacinth,” Makan reports. “Which one?”
“I say Jacinth,” Michael says. “We may as well explore the smallest first.”
The Robo Metang then turns to the right. Smoke can be seen from a building in the distance.
As it gets closer, the forestry can be seen.
At the entrance, three members of Team Snagem wait.
Part 2 [27/2/12]
“Stop,” Wes says. “There is no point trying to fight.”
“Is this cowards talk all of a sudden?” Makan heats up.
“Trust me,” Wes says. “Just make sure the ramp is lowered when I get to it.”
The Robo Metang stops and Wes walks to a lift pod. Makan presses a button to lower the ramp, then presses another. A screen lowers down from the roof and the others look at it.
Wes is seen talking with the members of Team Snagem. Then they all walk off to one side.
Wes returns a minute later in the lift pod.
“They were just checking for unsavoury characters,” Wes comments.
“What did you say we were?” Michael asks, slightly surprised by this.
“I said we were a convoy of spare parts, and that we might challenge the tournaments here.”
“And they fell for it?” Makan exclaims.
“Well, wouldn’t you when faced with something large and threatening?”
“Yes. Well, let’s move on. Before they change their mind,” Makan says.
Into the city they move. Even with it being daylight, the place is shrouded in darkness. What little light there is comes from the windows of buildings. A big circular building in the middle of the city looks like it could be a colosseum, and so that is where they head.
The buildings in the city are all flat and square, but the colosseum is disjointed and uneven. The double doors of it are dark red. All except Makan exit the Robo Metang and walk through these double doors.
The contrast between outside and inside is immediately apparent. Whereas outside is dark, inside is bright. Red carpet lines the floors, and only one desk is seen in front of another set of double doors. These ones are grey, and so is the desk. One man is sat at that desk.
“Registration?” is all he asks.
“Yes,” Wes says. “What competitions run here anyway?”
“Shadow battles,” is all the man says.
“Enter me and Michael here.”
“Fine. One Pokemon each and you’ll work as a team. Sign.”
He thrusts a piece of paper at them. Michael adds his name and his Flareon. Wes puts his name and Espeon. The man then takes the paper back.
“Competitors through the doors and right. Spectators up the stairs and right,” the man says.
Everyone does as he says. Michael and Wes split off once they walk through the doors. Ash and Rui walk up the stairs, then turn right.
The colosseum floor is desert. There is little light, just like outside.
Two Snagem Syndicates walk through the door on the other side. Each holds a Pokeball in their hand.
“Win against us and we will reveal information regarding this county, and where to proceed next,” one of them says.
“Lose, and your Pokemon are snagged and are never returned,” the other says.
“Now prepare for the battle at hand,” the first comments.
The second releases a Voltorb. The first then releases a Cyndaquil.
The Aura Reader of Michael activates. Rui gasps.
“Oh, and no snagging our Pokemon either,” the second implies.
Flareon and Espeon are released from Michael and Wes respectively.
While the Flareon attacks the Voltorb, Espeon uses Confusion on the Cyndaquil. Both attacks hardly slow the Shadow Pokemon down. Wes then calls for Espeon to swap targets, and the Voltorb is slowly held back. The Cyndaquil attacks Espeon however, and the dual link is broken. The Voltorb then shocks both Flareon and Espeon, but a well timed Flamethrower from Flareon kncks the Voltorb back, and it is called back.
The Cyndaquil is then called back moments later when a Psychic strikes it full on.
“Fine,” the first admits. “You two are powerful.”
“We’ll let you in on this information then,” the second says.
“The next place to go is Zircon City. There a foe both of you have faced before waits.”
“This county is our new home. The home of the Shadow Pokemon. Here we farm Pokemon and turn them into Shadow form by a process which you have stopped.”
“The Celebi was the one. We turned that Shadow, we could reverse the process it used to Purify a Pokemon so it turned Shadow instead.”
“That is all.”
Michael and Wes exit. Waiting outside the door are Ash and Rui.
“Nice battling,” Ash comments. “But what did they say?”
“We’ll tell you in a bit,” Michael says. “But what was that about a foe both of us have faced before?”
All four of them walk out, and the Snagem grunt congratulates them then gives each a badge, telling them that when they reach the next city, that will be needed for access. The four then walk back out to the Robo Metang.
Inside the lobby, Wes exclaims “Unless he meant… Miror B. is now working for Team Snagem!”
Part 3 [29/2/12]
"What's up?" Makan asks as the group returns to the Robo Metang.
"Miror B. is working with Team Snagem," Michael says quietly. "He's waiting in Zircon City."
"You was actually told where he is? Why not skip Zircon City until later?"
"We have to do the cities in a route they tell us," Wes speaks. "Each tournement we do will earn us more information about this place. They also tell us where to proceed next."
"You mean this whole thing is a challenge?" Makan exclaims.
"Yes. And if we lose, they snag our Pokemon that is in the field. We can only use one per challenge."
"Well, tell me more on the way."
And so the Robo Metang zooms off towards Zircon City, speeding through the forestry, which is dark. As they travel, Michael and Wes fill Makan in with all the information the two received.
The Colosseum of Zircon City is not missed by an instant.
Placed directly at the entrance to the city, there is no way around. The city, in fact, is built directly inside the colosseum. The outside walls covered the same colour as the trees, and the inside walls covered the same colour as the darkening sky that can be seen, the entrance to the colosseum is guarded by only one member of Team Snagem.
Wes and Michael meet him and return a minute later.
"He told us to go straight forward and a battle arena can be seen," Michael says.
"There Miror B. will be waiting," Wes recites as the Robo Metang sets off again.
The battle arena is just an open rectangular plain. Miror B. can clearly be seen, wearing a jacket of blood red in the Team Snagem spirit.
Michael and Wes exit, while the others just wait inside. Makan presses a button and instantly everyone inside can hear what is being said out.
"So both of you finally arrive," Miror B. says. "I've been waiting for this moment when I can face you together."
"Is it the same as normal?" Wes asks. "Or are these special rules still in place here too?"
"Some still are in place, and I will reveal more information if you can beat me. Now let the music play!"
Music starts blaring from some speakers set in the walls, sounding like a darker version of his previous theme. Slow resounding beats, which then start to pick up a bit. It is then Miror B. sends out two Ludicolo, which also start dancing.
Wes sends out his Noctowl while Michael sends out Hariyama. The battle starts proper with rain clouds instantly forming and the two Pokemon of Wes and Michael getting the upper hand. However, the Noctowl is weakened quickly, even though it is still a Shadow, and falls down.
"Ah. Now, I'm not fussed about that rule," Miror B. states. "So I'll let it slip."
Wes sends out the recall laser. It almost reaches the Noctowl, but the Pokemon is swooped up by an Aura Ball.
"What?" Wes exclaims.
"Then you're worthless," a voice shouts. "We gave you a Snag Machine for a reason. If you don't want to snag their Pokemon, maybe I should do it yours."
And so another Aura Ball swoops down and snags a Ludicolo. The cross between a duck and pineapple, coloured green with light brown fur and what looks like a crown on its head, Ludicolo like to dance no matter what. A Shadow Ludicolo however, has no emotion and will not do this.
"Now that's not fair. I believe in a fair chance," Miror B. states.
The music then stops.
"Why we ever hired you is impossible to understand," the Team Snagem member says. "You and your dancing manics. But now let me prove to you that dancing doesn't solve everything. Ludicolo! Go!"
The Ludicolo is released and instantly charges Miror B. and the other Ludicolo down.
Part 4 [2/3/12]
"Stop!" Wes shouts. "I don't care! Don't hurt him!"
Still the Shadow Ludicolo charges Miror B. down.
Then a Quilava rushes the Shadow Ludicolo down. It strikes it full on with a Flame Charge. Then a Great Ball come arcing down and hits the Shadow Ludicolo, capturing it, then swings back around. All eyes follow it, and see Ash with his Snag Machine grip held out, ready to accept the ball.
Halfway back to the grip, however, the Shadow Ludicolo escapes from the ball and instantly charges down Ash instead.
"Quilava! Defend your master!" Michael shouts.
The Quilava hangs back on its haunches, then rockets in a zig-zag to the Shadow Ludicolo. Just as the Ludicolo is about to strike, the Quilava boots it up into the air, then strikes it with a Flamethrower.
Ash, recovering from his near injury, loads the Snag Machine up again and tries again.
This time, it returns fully to the Snag Machine's grip.
Michael and Wes cheer. Michael's Hariyama stamps its feet in celebration, catching on to its masters mood.
"Excuse me just one moment," Miror B. calls out. "Just how does this help me?"
"Because they Snag Pokemon from us and Purify them," the Snagem member says. "Allow me an introduction. I am DarkStee. Snagem Admin DarkStee. My real name lies in the shadows. Just like me. You'll be seeing a lot more of me. I am the overlord of the reformed Team Snagem."
"Well, DarkStee," Michael starts.
"Trust me," DarkStee says. And then he runs off.
The three heroes and a wanderer are left standing in an arena with only a Robo Pokemon for company.
"Trust us when we say we will return your Ludicolo to you," Michael says. "Now then, the information you hold about this place."
"Yes. That's good," Miror B. states. "Now, I don't regret giving you this information after what happened. Head south to the next city. I'm sure you've got a map for this place. Now then, they have a machine somewhere. A large machine in a port city which takes the Pokemon shipped there and just turns them Shadow through mass production. The Aura Balls are created through the same process. Now then. Promise to return my Ludicolo, and wipe Team Snagem out."
"Oh, don't worry. We plan to," Wes says.
The three, Wes, Ash and Michael, return to the Robo Metang. Once inside, Makan is alreay waiting.
"Well done on that Snag Ash," he comments. "But, um. Michael. What is your Hariyama still doing out?"
"Oops. I forgot."
As Michael heads back out to get Hariyama back, Makan loads up the computer to send the Ludicolo back to the lab. A message appears before this could happen however, saying that the Purify Chamber had been repaired, and Celebi was already inside.
Makan then sends the Ludicolo through, saying whose it is, and to keep him in sight.
Michael then returns. "Miror B. said he'll be waiting at Gateon Port ready for his Pokemon."
"We'll send a message back to the lab when we get back then," Makan says. "Ash, that Pikachu might be best off returning to the lab too."
"Yes. Sure," Ash says. The Pokeball containing Pikachu is sent to the lab as well.
Then the Robo Metang heads south to the next location.
Part 5 [4/3/12]
The Robo Metang is stopped by a thick wall of rock. Either left or right, it stretches as far as the eye can see.
"And Miror B. said to go south of Zircon," Ash comments.
"Yes. But think about it," Michael says. "Three cities almost in direct contact with each other. They need a barrier of some kind."
"Good logic," Makan says, and turns the Robo Metang west, following the wall. "But if that is the reason, what could be waiting for us?"
"Hopefully not another trainer," Wes says.
A faint glow is seen through the viewscreen. As they get nearer to it, what looks to be flames can be seen. The flames spread a good distance across the forest. As a gap in the flames is created, two Rapidash can be seen.
They are the ones making the flames.
"Shame we have no water Pokemon," Ash comments.
"As a matter of fact," Rui calls, exiting from the lift pod. "I just brought a Feraligatr from the PC for Wes."
"Ace," Wes calls. "Slow us down Makan and let's stop the fire."
The Robo Metang lands, and the ramp lowers. Wes and Rui head down to the ground, and Makan activates the speakers.
"They're Shadow," Rui calls.
"Well that just made it harder," Wes says. "Still. We need to try. Feraligatr! Go!"
A blue crocodile Pokemon that stands on two feet, it has feral claws on both hands and feet. It sends a powerful jet of water at the fire, which the Rapidash recoil from.
"Michael! Get out there!" Makan calls.
"On it." Michael runs to the lift pod.
A few moments later, two Great balls fly through the air, each one snagging a Rapidash. One ball returns to Wes' Snag Machine, while the other to Michael's.
The Feraligatr then puts the rest of the fire out.
A man in an orange armoursuit walks to them from out of the trees.
"Just what do you think you are doing?" he calls out.
"Why were you burning the forest down?" Wes asks.
"A new base. DarkStee's orders," the man calls.
"And you are burning forestry down for it?"
"Well I was. Where's the Rapidash? Unless you..."
"You aren't getting them back."
"Fine. Maybe I'll snag your Feraligatr!"
The Snag Machine of the man activates, but before the ball can clear the grip, the Feraligatr is returned to its ball. Michael, Wes and Rui then start running for the Robo Metang. A Houndoom is released from the armoured trainer, which starts chasing the group down.
"Full speed ahead!" Michael calls as they reach the ramp of the Robo Metang.
Makan, hearing this, lifts the Robo Metang up in the air, and as Rui gets inside, the ramp closes. The Robo Metang then uses Bullet Punch, and the Houndoom faints.
It then speeds into the distance, making a turn around the end of the wall and follows it again to Rutile City.
Part 6 [6/3/12]
"Well, that was fun," Michael states.
A beeping then sounds from the main control panel. Wes looks inquisitively at it.
"What's that mean?" he asks.
"A message is coming through," Makan says. "We can take it from here. I'll land and then we can go down."
Michael walks to a lift pod as the Robo Metang slows down. Ash and Wes have already made it to the lift pods by the time the Robo Metang lands. Michael has already gone down.
When the rest get down, the message has just been activated.
"The Celebi is halfway to Purifying," Lily's voice says. "We were wondering when you would get back to us with the Professor. Do you have him yet?"
"Activate the microphone!" Makan calls. When that is done by Michael, he speaks again. "No Lily, we don't have the Professor yet. We're being led on a mystery here. We have to travel to the cities in a certain order, completing matches and gaining info about the new Shadow Pokemon."
"Alert us when you are free then," Lily says, and the link dies from her end.
"Well that was short and sweet. Now back to the control deck."
Quickly, they reach Rutile City. The place is filled with harsh light. The buildings are all curved and made of glass. A towering colosseum lies near the end of the road the Robo Metang follows.
The colosseum is also full of harsh light.
"How do they see?" Ash asks.
"We do not need to see," a voice reverberates throughout the colosseum. "We are as psychic as our Pokemon. We are the Snagem Mages."
"Come out and challenge us, if you dare," a second voice adds.
Michael and Wes exit as the Robo Metang lands.
"Notice these last two colosseums we've been to have been able to fit the Robo Metang," Makan says. "Why do you think that is?"
"Maybe once the first challenge has been passed, they know the only people getting in will be those who have won the previous matches," Rui logically supplies.
"Well that's one reason," Makan says.
They then turn attention to the battle.
Two Gardevoir are out in the field. Human like Pokemon coloured white and green, they float along the ground.
Michael has Vibrava on the field, a stick insect like pokemon with green colourings, while Wes has Sudowoodo on the field, a tree Pokemon.
All the Pokemon are quick, the Vibrava through its agility, the Gardevoir through their psychic powers, and the Sudowoodo from instinct. The Gardevoir aren't Shadow though, Rui was able to tell Ash and Makan that much.
The battle is quickly won when Michael's Vibrava uses a Quick Attack on one of the Gardevoir, and the other attacks the Vibrava. While doing this, it forgets about the Sudowoodo, which slams into the Gardevoir at the last moment.
All Pokemon are then returned to their respective balls.
"You win," one of the mages says. "I am Mini, and this is Plus."
"The Shadow Pokemon are proper shadows. That is their type. That is why they are hard to stop at times. When this happens, they are in Hyper Mode."
"In Hyper Mode, the Pokemon becomes absolutely wild. The only way to pull it out of this state is to call it with a special beam from the new Snag Machine models."
"Now then, head to Sarsen City and uncover the true plot of the Shadow's."
"And remember, you have had it easy these last two battles. The next trainers you face use Shadow Pokemon to great effect."
"Now go and face your next challenge."
And so Michael and Wes pull back to the Robo Metang, which then takes off to make the small hop to Sarsen City.
Part 7 [11/3/12]
"So what exactly is this Hyper Mode state," Ash asks. "Those two didn't really inspire much confidence when they explained it."
"Essentially Hyper Mode was what it originally was called, back when I was hunting the Shadow's," Wes says. "Since the Shadow's weren't as populous, when one went beserk we called it Hyper Mode. That was simply because they could better use their power while in that state."
"Then, when they were being mass produced, a change happened that meant they would overload," Michael adds. "It was then that Hyper Mode became Reverse Mode. Since all the research and development of the Shadow's Team Snagem has been doing since, however, Hyper Mode sounds the better name for it."
"Sarsen City coming up," Makan reports.
Sarsen City looks more like a city than the others did. A whole bunch of buildings are set out in a grid system, with roads connecting them. Well, marked areas in the sand. Across all the roads the Robo Metang travels, but no sign of a colosseum is seen.
Ash, however, spots something the others don't.
"Stop!" he shouts.
The Robo Metang stops outside a building with the lettering of 'Sarsen Gym' in red pasted on a blue sign above the door.
"I don't get it," Wes says. The others are all looking at it with confused expressions as well.
"A gym is what the main regions use to test trainers," Ash explains. "Once eight of a region have been beaten, the trainer can then proceed to the Pokemon League, the ultimate test of trainers. They must have travelled to at least one of the main regions to have worked that out."
"Well, let's get battling then," Michael says.
All of the group except Makan exit the Robo Metang and enter the gym. Inside it is dark.
Lights then suddenly pop into existance, red glow bathing the gym floor.
"So. You've got this far," a voice echoes from the darkness.
"Yes," Wes says. "Why not show yourself?"
A Houndoom and Mightyena walk out of the gloom.
"Send what Pokemon you will into battle," the voice says. "But be prepared to lose."
Wes sends out his Feraligatr, while Michael sends his Metagross into battle.
The Feraligatr strikes fast, but the Houndoom dodges every attack made upon it. It then goes to make an attack itself, but instead unleashes a powerful aura. Its face shows pain.
Meanwhile, the Mightyena and Metagross are locked in a showdown. The Metagross fires beams of light at the Mightyena, but it dodges all of them. It then strikes at the Metagross with a powerful charge. The Metagross is forced back, and the Mightyena shakes itself.
The Houndoom is still suffering, and so the Feraligatr makes a powerful strike, running up to it. Just as the punch is about to land however, a powerful blast blows it back. It hits the ground hard, and a ball grabs it from the floor.
Before the Houndoom could change targets to the now struggling Metagross, Wes sends out Umbreon. The Umbreon charges upon the Houndoom and bites it. The Houndoon starts wailing.
The Mightyena gets pushed back, and the Metagross uses Bullet Punch to weaken it further.
Both Snag Machines activate at the same time. Two Pokeballs fly through the air at the same time. Both Snag their targets at the same time and both return to their respective Snag Machine at the same time.
"Why!" the voice yells. A man then walks out of the darkness, dressed in the same clothes as a Snagem Syndicate.
"Because the Shadow Scheme is wrong!" Wes calls. "Now reveal the information you hold."
"Fine. More Shadow moves were created, and can be taught to a Shadow Pokemon by making it eat a Shadow Berry. That Pokemon can then use it whenever it wants. The Shadow Pokemon are completely independant, but take orders from a trainer willing to progress it down a more darker route. That is why, when enough have been made, all Shadow Pokemon will be released into the wilds of Hoenn, so that the trainers there have more of a challenge.
"You have beat me good. You can take this Pokemon back." He tosses Wes the Pokeball containing Feraligatr. "Now then. Make your preparations. I will have to lead you to Carnelian City. There, the final challenge awaits."
Part 8 [13/3/12]
"So, everyone OK?" Makan asks as everyone enters the Robo Metang.
"Yes," Wes answers for all of them.
"That's good to know. But, why is this Snagem Syndicate here?"
"He has to lead the way to Carnelian City. Treat it like an escort."
"So what do we have in terms of resources?"
"Three more Shadow Pokemon to Purify," Michael reports. "And we're in need of a status report from base."
"Let's talk then." Makan then walks to the machine and activates it.
"Yes?" Lily's voice exclaims.
"Shadow status report," Makan asks.
"Well. The Celebi is Purified and we have released it. Miror B.'s Ludicolo has also been Purified and we are sending it to him as we speak. Meanwhile, the Pikachu is well on its way, as well as the two Rapidash."
"Great!" Makan shouts.
"We are resting here, and I think you should do the same."
"We'll consider that."
The Robo Metang is then set to lock onto the Snagem Syndicate's bike as he travels. All the passengers on the Robo Metang are asleep.
Six hours later, they wake to find they are already at Carnelian City. A banging on the door reveals the Snagem Syndicate, impatient.
"Oi! Let me in! I've been waiting an hour, and we've been here for two!"
Makan gets up and activates the door release.
"Finally!" The Snagem Syndicate shouts.
"We was having a sleep," Wes says disgruntled.
"And we've got planning to do," Michael says.
"First, I should just say I am Zall," the Snagem Syndicate says. "And you will have to face three challengers, and then Darkstee."
Part 9 [15/3/12]
"Let's call all the Pokemon they have Shadow," Wes says. "If we need to take on all four of the trainers with our Pokemon without any health restores, that means we need six Pokemon each to stand a chance. And we cannot risk our main Pokemon. Sorry. Umbreon. Espeon." Wes places the two Pokeballs containing the respective Pokemon in the holders, which are then transported to the system. "Now that just leaves me with Sudowoodo. If I take Magcargo with me, as well as Hitmontop and Forretress, that means I have a wide range of Pokemon. I'll also take Skarmory and Tropius with me, so I have speed and power." The respective Pokemon, one by one, appear in the Pokeball holders. Wes picks them up and moves away.
Michael then takes to the Storage PC. "Flareon and Zangoose from my team can go," he murmurs. "Wait... Wasn't all of our Pokemon stolen?"
"Correct," Makan informs.
"Well they missed two," Michael says. "Both fire types. Growlithe and Magmar. That's all I can have."
"That will have to do," Wes says.
"Right then, time to send the latest Shadow Pokemon over and get another report from Lily," Makan says as Michael takes the two Pokemon. "A lot can happen in... well, I think it's been six hours anyway."
Makan then activates the computer system and accesses calls. Lily's voice then sounds.
"I was about to contact you myself," she says.
"News?" Makan asks.
"The best. The Pikachu and Rapidash have been Purified."
"Good. We have three more for you."
"Send them through and we'll get to work. As Misty and Brock's Pokemon now understand the Purification Process from the Purify Chamber, they work more efficient."
"Great news. Well, we think the professor might be near, so we'll soon get him."
"Good hunting," Lily says and breaks the connection.
The group then heads out into Carnelian City, which is the most plain of the cities so far visited. Except for one building. A tower of four levels, it looks like a direct copy of the Pokemon League building from Hoenn.
"Have you been-" Ash begins.
"The main Snagem admins have," Snagem Zall says. "Hoenn is our main source of income for Pokemon. This machine will not be able to enter the Orre League Stadium. However, a cam can send images back to you."
"That's fair enough," Makan says. Then he turns to Wes and Michael. "You two, make sure you win this tournement, and Snag as many of the Shadow's as you can."
"We will," Michael says.
The two then leave with Snagem Zall. Inside the building, a stadium is set out. An ice stadium. A woman then walks from behind one of the glaciers set in the floor.
Without warning, she sends out an Electabuzz and an Espeon.
The Kimono girls' Espeon from back in Johto, Ash realises.
Part 10 [17/3/12]
"Wes. Michael. Snag that Espeon!" Ash calls.
"It's no good," Makan says. "We have no outward mic to them."
"I'm sure they'll do the best they can to snag it," Rui says. "What's so important about that Espeon anyway?"
"Back in Johto, there is a dance group who use Pokemon in their performances. One member of Team Snagem snagged one of those Pokemon, which was that Espeon."
"Well we gave them instructions to snag all the Pokemon they could..." Rui says.
"Let's hope they do then," Makan says.
On the arena, Wes has the Tropius out, and Michael has the Growlithe out.
"Fine. Let the challenge commence," the woman says. "And by the way, I am Elice."
The Espeon and Electabuzz attack as one, and only on one target at a time. At the moment they go for the Tropius, leaving an opening for the Growlithe to attack. It attacks the Espeon first, using a Flamethrower. The Espeon, in the middle of using Confusion, fails to register this and gets the flames full on. Wes releases a Snag Ball and Elice tries to recall the Espeon. The recall laser hits the Snag Ball and pulls it into the Espeon's Pokeball.
"What?" Elice exclaims.
Michael takes the opportunity to snag the Espeon, and succeeds. But in doing so, the Growlithe gets attacked by the electricity from the Electabuzz's Thunder attack. Staggering, the Growlithe is unable to attack for a few seconds. The Tropius moves in to protect it. As the Electabuzz gears up for another attack, the Tropius slams it, and Wes captures the Electabuzz.
"Why!" Elice exclaims. "Why!"
"Because you should not have come back at all. Well, the Shadow Pokemon shouldn't have anyway," Wes says.
"Not that it matters. There is an extra special Pokemon waiting here." Elice pulls out another Pokeball. "Very powerful."
The Pokeball is thrown and Raikou is released.
Growlithe recovers enough to send flames at it. The Tropius slams into it, again and again. The Raikou then releases a Shadow Blast, knocking back both Tropius and, to some extent, Growlithe. The Growlithe then runs up to the Raikou, covering its body in ferocious flames. Head down, it strikes the Raikou, expending all the flames into it, and its own remianing energy.
As Elice snags the Growlithe, Wes snags the Raikou.
"There is no more to do here," Elice says. "Move on. The next round will be tough."
The two, Wes and Michael walk through a door behind Elice and up the stairs to the next level.
Part 11 [19/3/12]
A water stadium is seen as Wes and Michael walk in through the doors. A man in a steel blue armour suit, with red stripes running down it walks forward, and steps onto a bridge connecting the two landmasses together from the pool of water.
Ash, Rui and Makan can see this from the Robo Metang.
"I am Glacier," the man says. "Your second challenger."
He then sends out a Delcatty and Sealeo.
Michael sends out Magmar, while Wes sends out Magcargo.
The Delcatty instantly charges along the bridge while Sealeo dives into the water. Magmar and Magcargo are limited to using the bridge, as, being fire types, the water would mean the battle woulod end a lot quicker than either of the protaganists would like.
Magmar meets the Delcatty and blows it off its feet with a well timed Tackle. Michael strikes a Snag Ball from his belt and throws it at the Delcatty. The Delcatty is caught easy enough, and there is no struggle as it returns.
"What?" Glacier exclaims. "That was meant to be a good Pokemon!"
The Sealeo jumps out of the water and knocks the Magmar into it.
"Never mind," Glacier then says, as he snags the Magmar from the water.
As Sealeo lands, it is blasted by a Flamethrower from Magcargo. It recoils at the heat and tries to run away. Vibrava is out on the field, however, and quickly swipes the Sealeo off the bridge and into the air. Rocks then pelt the Sealeo, and a Great Ball snags the Sealeo from the air.
It escapes, but the Magcargo gives it no chance to recover, blasting it with another Flamethrower. Vibrava then slams into it, and a Pokeball flies out to snag the Sealeo. Again, another failed attempt.
Michael swaps settings with his Aura Reader, and signals to Wes that the Sealeo is in Hyper Mode.
As Michael prepares the Snag Machine for another attempt, Wes points the Snag Machine at the Sealeo. While the trainers are distracted though, the Sealeo spurts water at Magcargo in a great beam.
Glacier then snags the Magcargo, at the saame time Wes actives the Hyper call laser, and Michael unleashes another Great Ball.
This time, the Sealeo is caught.
"You might think you have won, but you haven't," Glacier calls, and releases Suicune into the arena.
"Go! Hitmontop!" Wes says as he releases the stated Pokemon.
The speed of the two Pokemon manages to confuse the Suicune, and Vibrava uses Confusion to increase that influence. The Hitmontop uses Spin Kick to injure the Suicune, and Vibrava tackles it. As both Vibrava and Hitmontop get in close for another attack, however, they are pulled away from the Suicune from the force of a Shadow Blast.
Neither is seriously hurt, but they are momentarily blacked out. As the Suicune goes in for the final attack, Wes risks it and loads the Snag Machine with an Ultra ball. It is thrown, and homes in on the Suicune. The Vibrava dodges out of the way of the ball and the Suicune is snagged. It returns to the Snag Machines grip, and Glacier is fuming.
"How?" he exclaims. "How? Fine, go through." He moves off the bridge, and Wes and Michael return their Pokemon and walk along it, through the doors, and up to the next level.
The room is set out like a cave, and standing on a podium with his back to them, is a man with orange spiky hair wearing an orange, red and yellow overcoat.
"Fraiser," Wes growls.
Part 12 [ 21/3/12]
"Yes," Fraiser says. "Me."
"I thought you was guarding the entrance to this county?" Michael asks. "I'm I'm guessing the two we just faced were also part of the guard."
"Yes," Fraiser answers. "We was called in by DarkStee when Zall contacted him to say new challengers were coming to the league. I didn't realise you could clear it so quickly."
"We can," Wes says. "We're experts at that sort of thing."
"Anyway, I'm sure you'll beat me, so..."
Fraiser sends out a Houndoom and Arcanine. Michael responds with Hariyama and Wes with Skarmory, a steel bird Pokemon. The Skarmory instantly flies into the air, while the Houndoom and Arcanine both fire off flames. The Hariyama just shrugs the flames off, and the Skarmory evades them. The Hariyama then punches the Houndoom once it charges up to it.
The Houndoom goes flying and the Skarmory makes its move on it, striking it from the sky. The Hariyama then punches the Arcanine, and the Skarmory strikes that Pokemon too.
The two Snag Machines activate and one Shadow is snagged each.
"I don't suppose my Entei would last long either," Fraiser says. "But still..."
The Entei is then released, and instantly charges the Hariyama down. Heavier than the Hariyama, the Entei smashes it down. A snag ball then captures it, and the Entei breathes fire onto the Skarmory.
The Skarmory is then snagged, but so is the Entei. By luck.
"How in the cities of Unova did you do that?" Fraiser exclaims.
"Pure concentration of the mind," Wes says. "The single most important thing anyone can hope for. Nothing can match it. Almost like a Master Ball when you think about it."
"Fine. Head upstairs. DarkStee is waiting," Fraiser says.
The two head upstairs to find the Robo Metang waiting.
"DarkStee is in the next room," the guard by the door says. "Rest your Pokemon here, and talk tatics, but no swapping any Pokemon."
"Fine," Wes says, and the two talk to the Robo Metang.
"Wes! Michael!" Makan calls. "We was told to come here. Have you finished?"
"No. All we can do is drop the Shadow Pokemon collected off and heal our Pokemon," Wes says.
"You heal your Pokemon and we'll send the Shadow's back to base."
The two heal the Pokemon and head back out. Makan starts loading the Shadow's into the export link as they reach the exit.
"Ready?" the guard asks. "Head to that door." He points it out, and the two protagonists head in that direction.
The room inside is dark, lit up only by the glow of a Cyndaquil.
"You made it," DarkStee's voice sounds, scornful. "I suppose I should battle you, but where's the fun in that?"
"What?" Wes comments.
"Cyndaquil! Shadow Blast!" DarkStee yells.
A massive force of energy blasts the two protagonists into the wall. The door closes with the force of the impact, and a screams sounds through the wall.
Continue to Chapter 5, click here.
PART 1 [6/2/12]
“Brock. Misty. You’ll have to stay here,” Michael says. “The bike is a two-seater only until Makan can get the Robo Metang finished.”
“Just how many Robo Pokemon are being built anyway?” Brock asks.
“Well this is the last one I think,” Michael replies. “Anyway, let’s go Ash.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m fine,” Ash says. “I’m back where I belong. Saving people and Pokemon.”
“Good luck,” Brock says.
And with that Ash runs up to the hoverbike, jumps onto the back of it and it sets off. Driving through forestry, the two arrive at Gateon Port. Parking the bike and locking the controls, Michael then calls Ash to follow.
“You can only get to Agate Village by boat,” Michael says. “There is a special boat service to reach it.”
The two head onto a pier and fill up two seats in a boat. A few minutes later it sets off at a slow pace and glides over the water. Sometime later, Agate Village comes into view. Set on a hillside, a few buildings can be seen.
"Well here we are," the announcement system says. "Agate Village. Enjoy your stay and please feel free to look at the Relic Stone, a famous monument of Agate."
Michael and Ash leave the boat and walk off the pier. Up a hill, the two then turn right and across a bridge.
Halfway over it however, they stop.
A dozen Team Snagem operatives fill the opening of a cave which the bridge overlooks. To the right of the entrance, a slope can be seen with two Snagem operatives blocking the way.
Panting then alerts the two watching.
An old man wearing a purple cloak and glasses, he runs up to Michael and says, "Oh it's good to know you are here. When I found out that they were around I decided to take care of them myself, but they beat me in battle and snagged my Pokemon."
"Don't worry," Michael tells him. "We're here to stop them."
"You can't. They are too strong," the man says. "Just go back Michael. You won't even get past the guard."
"OK. OK. We're going. Oh, and if we ever do manage to beat them, we'll get your Pokemon back, Eugan. You can count on it."
"Yes. Yes." He then runs off.
"Eugan's not a great trainer, but even so, I do think he has a point," Michael says. "Let's go."
The two walk back to the end of the bridge and to the slope of the hill. Then they stop.
Running up the hill is a male who has similar clothes to Ash, but blue. He also has a Snag Machine on his left arm, but no Aura Reader. He stops at the top as well and opens his mouth.
"I know you!" both Michael and the other say.
"But who's this? He wears what I do, and an Aura Reader," the man says.
"Ash," Michael says, "meet Wes. He's the one from the first Shadow Incident. Wes, this is Ash. His region has Team Snagem crawling all over it too, so before we headed back there, we thought we'd uncover what was happening in Orre first."
"Hmm," Wes says. "So naturally you give him a Snag Machine and Aura reader."
"That was Professor Krane," Michael says. "But I don't doubt his judgment."
"Enough small talk," Wes says. "I've been wanting to meet up with you, and that reason is-"
"A battle," Michael confirms.
"Is this really necessary?" Ash pipes up.
"Yes," both Wes and Michael say.
"Fine," Ash says. "Er, let the battle begin."
The two combatants turn their backs on each other and take twenty paces. Ash backs against the nearest wall.
"Go! Umbreon and Espeon!" Wes says, releasing two Pokeballs.
Umbreon, a black cat-like Pokemon has yellow rings around its ears and tail and on each of its legs and the middle of its forehead. Espeon, a whitish-silver cat-like Pokemon, has a red spot on its forehead and a two-split tail. Both are released, and so Michael releases Flareon and Hariyama.
The Umbreon and Espeon work together as a team, but even so, they are no match for Flareon's speed and Hariyama's power.
Umbreon charges down Flareon, and Hariyama blocks the path. Umbreon gets knocked down and is called back to its ball. Espeon uses moves quickly and swiftly, stopping the Flareon for a while, but with its next attack it focuses on Flareon. But it doesn't see the Hariyama behind it.
Wes does though, and a quick call makes Espeon change targets, but that just plays to Michael's advantage. Espeon is knocked out mid attack by a Flame Charge from Flareon.
"Espeon, return!" Wes calls, bringing the Espeon back to its ball.
He then turns to Michael again as he returns his Pokemon to their balls.
"Wow. You sure have enough experience with battling," Wes says. "I suppose we are equals now."
"Yes, we are. And Ash has seen a great battle, haven't you?" Michael asks.
"Yes. It was great," Ash comments, walking forwards again.
"Anyway, as a present for beating me, I gift you with these two Pokemon," Wes says, pulling out two Pokeballs and handing them over. "Now, talk later!"
"Where are you going?" Michael calls as Wes starts running.
"Where else but to the Pokemon Centre to pull two more Pokemon from the PC Storage Boxes."
PART 2 [8/2/12]
"Wow. He sure seems to know what he's doing," Ash says.
"Yes," Michael comments. "He does."
A female then runs up the hill, with light brown hair in two pig-tails and light blue eyes. A light blue coat with white fluff ends covers a cropped purple t-shirt. White shorts fall to just above the knees, and pink boots with black inside webbing that rise to just below.
"Has he just gone off again?" she asks.
"You must be Rui," Michael comments. "Yes, me and him battled and then he ran off to fight Team Snagem. I thought you were always with him?"
"I was but I've never really liked boats, and always struggle to get out of that one in particular. Hold on. Did you say Team Snagem?"
"Yes. They're back in operation. I'm just heading to where Wes has most likely gone. Well. Me and Ash here are."
"Thanks for remembering me," Ash drily comments.
"We'd better hurry up though," Michael says. "If he's already there, he won't stand a chance. Come on!"
The three run back along the bridge, past the Pokemon Centre and down the slope at the side.
"Hey! Stop there!" one of the Snagem grunts calls. He then walks closer. "I remember you," he comments upon seeing Rui. "Where's your boyfriend?"
"I'm up here," a voice shouts. "And she's not my girlfriend. Umbreon! Espeon! Go!"
Again, the two cat Pokemon work together as a team. Again, Michael sends out Flareon, a fire feline fox, but this time uses the Metagross, a four-legged blue spherical machine which keeps its body low to the ground, that Wes gave him. Ash, undecided on what to do, picks out a Pokeball at random and investigates it.
"Fine," one of the Snagem grunts admits. "You've got us outnumbered."
"So..." Wes questions.
"You can go through," the Snagem grunt says. "Everyone out of the way. Let them pass."
The Snagem grunts move out of the way and lets Michael, Ash, Rui and the Pokemon through. Wes jumps from the bridge, using a Noctowl to glide down to the cave entrance. "I still don't trust you," he says as he walks past them.
Inside the cave, it is slightly dark. The waterfalls can still be seen, and the other entrance of the cave isn't far ahead. The path is lined by two rivers. Moss is growing on the rock, which is everywhere, even the path.
Outside the cave, a stone pillar is set into the middle of more rock. This rock is clean and white, and is in the shape of a circle. Surrounding the rock is trees, and-
"A Shadow enclosure!" Rui exclaims.
The Aura Readers of Ash and Michael activate and they look around.
"The whole place is covered with Shadow Aura," Michael comments. "But I don't see Celebi anywhere."
The fairy-like Pokemon then flies around the pillar. The green of its skin appears normal.
"Look at its eyes," Wes comments.
The eyes of the Celebi are red. Blood red.
"Meaning it's a Shadow Pokemon in our cause," a voice says, making everyone jump. "Yes. I knew that you two would want a look. Celebi is now in our power. Watch."
The Celebi then swoops down and captures Noctowl from Wes. Using its powers, it then turns it Shadow. Celebi then returns it to Wes.
"Oh, I knew this day would come. Wes has to come out of retirement from stopping the Shadow Pokemon doctrine. And Michael. Caught up in this mess again. And... Ash."
Everyone's faces are stunned.
"Oh yes. The lonely boy from far off Pallet Town. The boy who woke up late and was stranded with a Pikachu. The boy, who, at first, didn't know the slightest thing about Pokemon and who's first Pokemon capture was a Caterpie. The boy who then travelled to the regions of Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh after failing to beat the Kanto Pokemon League."
"How do you know so much about me!" Ash fires up.
"Well, that would be telling. But I'll say this. Remember the first who tried to stand against you."
"He told me all about you. Not knowingly of course. If he had really known who I was, he most likely wouldn't have said a word. But yes. It is I. Doctor Namba!"
PART 3 [10/2/12]
"Team Rocket!" Ash shouts.
"Formerly Team Rocket," Doctor Namba says. "Until about a year ago when Team Snagem approached me. They gave me my big break. The electric type Pokemon I have here are both Shadows. Capture them if you can! Go! Electabuzz and Manectric!"
Manectric is a blue wolf Pokemon with a peach-yellow mane. Electabuzz is a yellow human-like Pokemon with black patterns. Its head looks more like an ogres. The Aura Readers activate, meaning both are Shadow. Not that Ash and Michael needed the Aura Readers. The Shadow Aura can be plainly seen.
"Which two trainers will face me then?"
"Ash, hold back," Wes says. "We'll take him."
"OK," Ash says. "But I'll be ready for a fight if it needs one."
"Flareon! Metagross! Get them!" Michael calls out. The two Pokemon rush into battle.
"I said two trainers," Doctor Namba says. "Surely-"
"Umbreon! Espeon! Take them out!" Wes calls.
"Now. That's not fair," Namba says. "I thought the good guys always played by the rules."
"Well, times change," Wes retorts. "And the Shadow Pokemon have risen two times before. That means we doubly want to end it once and for all."
"Fine. Have it your way. Electabuzz. Manectric. Double team Shadow Bolt," Namba calmly says.
The two Pokemon fire a continuous bolt towards each other, which joins in the middle. Then they turn their heads towards the four Pokemon Michael and Wes have summoned, and the bolt, doubly bigger in diameter, charges to the four.
The bolt hits each of them and continues to. Ash, sensing the danger, gets onto a link with Professor Krane. "I don't care what you use, but we need evacuation now."
"OK," Krane says. "Hold on for as long as you can."
The link dies.
"Hold on as long as we can," Ash repeats. "Great."
The Flareon, Umbreon, and Espeon get roasted by the electric. The Metagross, while it could shrug off the electric, was faring almost as bad.
"Metagross!" Michael calls. "Hang in there and use Flash Cannon."
The Metagross uses its two front legs to create a charged silver beam, which it then unleashes on the Manectric. The link is broken between the Manectric and Electabuzz, and the three remaining Pokemon are freed from the electric currents.
Metagross is still the only one of the four that can still move though.
"Metagross! Bullet Punch!" Michael shouts out, realising that the current will start up again all too soon.
The Metagross' legs glow. It then rushes to the Electabuzz and Manectric, while spinning, and attacks each of them in turn. Both Manectric and Electabuzz crash to the floor.
"Pokemon. Return," Namba says dejectedly. "Fine. You are powerful. There is no other way of saying it."
As the Electabuzz and Manectric return to their respective balls, two Snagem grunts appear from the cave. One whispers something to Doctor Namba, who then smiles evilly.
"You have proved yourself against me, but what against the power of a Shadow Legendary?"
"Do you mean to say you've got another legendary Shadow apart from Entei?" Ash shouts.
"Pfft," one of the Snagem grunts says. "Do you mean to say you've forgot about it already?"
Forgot- What?" Michael blunders.
"Celebi," is all Wes says. And then shouts - "Umbreon! Espeon! Return now!"
The ball activates and the recall laser targets the respective Pokemon. However, they don't return when the laser hits them.
"What?" Wes wonders.
Michael looks around to see Celebi staring at all four Pokemon.
"Flareon. Metagross. Return," he calls hopelessly.
Again, the recall lasers hit the Pokemon, but they don't return. Michael looks back at the Celebi.
Which has disappeared.
Two thumps sound, then two more.
When Michael follows the sound back to the Pokemon, all four have been knocked out. Their balls activate automatically and recall them.
"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Haa," Namba laughs. "Not even the legendary Shadow Hunters are able to defend themselves against the power of Shadow Celebi."
A crunch then echoes.
Everyone looks up.
PART 4 [12/2/12]
In the sky, a larger than life Metang grapples with the Shadow Celebi, crunching it between two arms.
"Oh great," Doctor Namba says. "Why didn't we make sure the Celebi was caught as well, so we return it to a ball."
"Because the move is Bind," a voice echoes through the forest. "And you can't escape from Bind."
"Absol! Go!" a Snagem grunt shouts.
The Absol charges the Metang down. It just rebounds straight off, however.
"There is no point," another voice shouts. A ramp lowers on the Metang, and Brock is standing on it. "It's a perfect Robo Pokemon."
"Shadow Pokemon versus Robo Pokemon. This isn't fair!" Namba says.
"Well it looks like Celebi has had the Shadow Aura squeezed out of it," Brock says. "Makan, release it."
The Celebi is released and instantly drops. A shadow aura starts to surround it again.
"Ha!" Namba shouts. "I don't think so."
"Ash!" Brocks shouts, and throws something towards him.
Purple in colour with a large red 'M' on one half of the upper semi-sphere, Ash catches the Master Ball in the Snag Machine, and focuses on the Celebi. He throws the ball which homes in on the Celebi.
But then bounces straight off.
"What?" Ash, Brock, Wes and Michael shout.
"Quick!" the voice of Makan echoes. "Run! We'll keep them here!"
The ramp of the Robo Metang closes and then it rushes in on Doctor Namba and the two Snagem grunts. Ash, Wes, Michael and Rui take the opportunity and run out through the cave. The other Snagem grunts are waiting outside still, and instantly release Pokemon out.
But too late, as the four have already ran up the ramp.
"Get them!" a shout echoes up to the village.
"Get to the boat," Wes says.
The four run to the boat, and quickly hop on.
"Just go!" Wes shouts at the captain.
"Bu-" the captain stammers.
"Stop that boat!" a Snagem grunt shouts, appearing at the end of the port. Two Mightyena walk up behind him, growling. The Shadow Aura surrounding them gives off a menace they wouldn't normally achieve.
The captain of the boat gets the message quick enough, and it starts to speed off.
"Where are you?" a voice emanates from Ash's wrist.
"On the boat back to Gateon Port," Ash replies, turning around. "If we make it."
Two Fearows speed towards the boat.
"We're getting there. We can see them," Brock's voice says.
Light spears home in on the Fearows, who then fall down into the water. The boat and the Robo Metang then speed towards Gateon Port.
"What was that about?" the captain asks when they reach the destination.
"Team Snagem," is all Wes and Michael say.
The captain doesn't say another word. Ash, Wes, Michael and Rui exit the boat, and head to the just landed Robo Metang. Inside, a green flickering ball can be seen, the size of a Pikachu's body.
"What's in there?" Ash murmurs.
"That," Makan says, appearing from a lift, "is all that is keeping Celebi from returning to its Shadow state."
PART 5 [14/2/12]
"So... We get it back to Professor Krane?" Wes asks.
"Yes. The Purify Chamber should cure it," Makan says, walking from the lift pod. "Anyway, come on up. Just walk into one of the lift pods scattered around the outside of the lobby."
Each person walks to a lift pod. There are eight in total, two on each quarter of the Robo Metang. It is the same colour on the inside as it is outside. A steel blue.
The pods rise up, and on the next level, Brock and Misty are waiting for everyone. Makan returns to the pilots’ seat and the Robo Metang takes off again for the Pokemon HQ Lab.
"Don't worry about the bike," Makan says. "I already loaded it on here."
"That's good," Michael says.
"What about mine?" Wes asks in a testing voice.
"If I'd have known you were coming, I'd have loaded your bike too," Makan says. "Don't worry, once I get these back to the Lab, I'll take you and Rui back."
"We just need to get it. We'll be straight back once it's safe," Wes comments.
"OK. Well we're almost here. I can see the building."
"Just how fast does this thing go?" Ash asks.
"Trust me, you don't want to know," Brock implies.
"We're only going at half speed," Makan says.
The Robo Metang then lands. Ash, Brock, Misty, Michael and Makan head down the lifts, roll the case holding the Celebi out, then bring the bike from the storage. Makan then rolls the encased Celebi to the lab.
Inside however, no-one is seen.
Michael walks to the Purify Chamber. That is destroyed. A single note lies on the table. Michael picks it up, and shows it to the others.
"The Professor is with us, and we trashed the lab," reads Ash. "Well, they certainly did a good job of that. But what about everyone else?"
"They were most likely taken as well," Makan comments.
"How could they do this?" Brock asks.
"Because," a voice from behind them snidely says, "we asked you to destroy the Purify Chamber. You fail to comply and stop us from destroying it ourselves. It was obvious what the next move was."
"But kidnapping the Professor?" Michael heats up. "And everyone else?"
"We've got no idea where everyone else is, trust me. We just wanted the Professor, so the Purify Chamber can't be rebuilt."
"Fine. Have him, until we can get to you," Michael retorts.
"Don't be so snappy, kid."
The Snagem grunt then leaves, dropping something as he goes. Ash runs to pick the paper up, then returns.
"It's five more cities. Zircon, Sarsen, Rutile, Jacinth and Carnelian. Five bases. But, they're north of MT Battle. Whatever that is."
"That's the mountain you can see when out in the wilds," Michael explains. "But five more cities, and each one a base? What are they planning?"
"Who knows," Makan says. "But come on, let's hunt them down."
Makan turns to leave, but Michael walks up some stairs. Ash calls out, but Michael doesn't reply. A chink echoes to the others, and then voices sound.
"Everyone was hidden in the secret soundproofed workshop," Michael shouts. He then starts talking to the people rescued. As they come within range, Lily says - "Of course we can fix it. We'll have this place cleaned up again in no time."
"It's so good to hear that," Michael then replies. "And don't worry, we'll get Krane back."
"I'm sure you will. Good hunting, but one thing. If we do get the Purify Chamber back, we have no Pokemon to work it. They stole all of them."
"Don't worry miss," Brock says, "me and Misty here will play bodyguard, and our Pokemon can purify the first lot to come back."
"Bu-" Ash starts to protest.
"Brock's right," Misty says. "What good are me and Brock going to be? You're the one with the Snag Machine and the proper experience. And anyway, Brock's right about something else as well. We need to purify Pokemon fast."
"It's settled then. Let's go," Makan says gruffly.
Makan, Michael and Ash walk back outside. Misty, Brock and Lily start making preparations to clean the lab back up.
PART 6 [16/2/12]
"Oh. So you're finally back," Wes comments. "But what are..."
"The lab was trashed, the Professor has been kidnapped, and we've got new leads to follow," Makan says. "Have you ever been to the north of MT Battle?"
"No. I haven't. Why. What's there?"
"Five bases of Team Snagem. Well, five cities anyway," Michael reports.
"Hmm. No-one's ever said anything about five cities to the north of MT Battle," Wes says thoughtfully.
"That's why we're going to check it out," Makan says.
In the bridge of the Robo-Metang, conversation then comes to a close. Heading back to Gateon Port, Wes' bike is loaded up and then Makan starts the drive around MT Battle, through the rocky hills, and out into the north plains proper.
Halfway around the north side, a red Pokemon stands guard. Black patterns and white claws, it stands tall. Shadow Aura can also be seen emanating from it.
"What is that?" Michael comments.
"Groudon," Ash says. "Makan! Land! You'll never get around it."
"OK! OK!" Makan does as he is commanded.
Everyone then exits down the lifts and through the extended ramp.
A Snagem grunt then walks to them. He wears an orange, red and yellow overcoat. His hair is spiky and orange coloured.
"Well," he says. "It's lucky Groudon is here after all. Allow me an introduction. I am Snagem Syndicate Fraiser. I only battle one trainer at a time. So, who shall it be?"
"We just want to pass," Michael says.
"You just want to find the secrets beyond this point," Fraiser says. "Entei! Pikachu! Go!"
"Pikachu..." Ash wonders aloud.
"Fine. I'll accept a challenge," Michael says.
Zangoose and Hariyama are then released.
"Oh," Makan says.
The Hariyama, no matter how hard it tries, cannot beat Entei. The Zangoose fails against Pikachu. Both return to their balls. Michael then picks out the only ball he has remaining.
Vibrava is released. Using quick speed and agility, it evades Entei's attacks.
"Pikachu! Shadow Storm!" Fraiser commands.
The Pikachu then whips up sand and turns it black. The whole area is then covered in a raging storm. No-one can see anything. The storm ends after a few seconds.
Vibrava returns to its ball.
"Who's next?" Fraiser calls.
Ash steps forward. Donphan, an elephant-like Pokemon, and Quilava are released.
The two Pokemon charge at the Pikachu, and while Quilava gets attacked, the Donphan charges through the electric and rams Pikachu. Entei, sensing the danger, uses Flame Charge and attacks the Donphan. The Donphan faints.
A Snag Ball then hits the Pikachu, and it is caught. The ball returns to the Snag Machine, and Ash calls the Donphan back. He then releases the Pikachu.
"And so its allegiance changes," Fraiser sighs. "Too bad. Houndoom! Go!"
The Houndoom is released.
"Uh," Ash says. He has no idea how to control a Shadow Pokemon.
"Just say use Shadow Rush. All Shadow Pokemon have that move," Michael comments.
"OK. Pikachu! Use Shadow Rush!" Ash commands.
The Pikachu does exactly that to the Houndoom. The Entei apparently scares it.
"Quilava! Go head to head with the Entei!"
The Quilava attacks the Entei with brute force, whipping up a sandstorm.
"OK! OK! Entei! Houndoom! Return!" Fraiser calls. The Pokemon return and Fraiser continues. "You have got to have strength to be able to beat me. There is no doubt that you'll be seeing me again. Now go, but be warned. We have the three legendaries. Not just Groudon, but Kyogre and Rayquaza too. Each of the other two also has a Snagem Syndicate as a trainer. Just don't expect them to do the decent thing as I did."
"So you just let us pass?" Wes asks.
"Yes. You have earned my respect," Fraiser says.
"Just answer this then," Wes challenges. "What lies ahead in the five hotspots? How come no-one has ever heard of them before?"
"I cannot answer," Fraiser says. "That answer must come as you journey deeper into Shadow County.”
Continue to Chapter 4, click here
PART 1 [26/1/12]
While Ash mourns Pikachu, Brock brings the Poke Watch up to a viewable level, and activates the link to Professor Oak.
"Professor, we have a bit of a situation here and need a fast bug-out."
"What happened?" Professor Oak asks.
"Well to put it short, a member of Team Snagem, that's this group of Shadow Pokemon users, stole Ash's Pikachu off him. He's mourning about it, and it looks like the rest of us are about to be canned as well. All of our guard is down," Brock replies.
"Someone will be over right away. Until then, hold out as best as you can."
Misty, hearing this, walks up to Ash, while Brock sends out a Steelix in challenge to Team Snagem.
"Ash," Misty says, "Help will be here. But we need to hold out until it arrives, so unless you want all your other Pokemon to be captured, I suggest you help Brock out."
"Right," Ash says quietly.
"Any help would be welcome you know," Brock calls out.
"Yeah," Ash says, still quietly. Then he lifts his head. "Yes. OK then. Noctowl! Go!"
"That's more like it!" Misty shouts.
As more members of Team Snagem realise what is happening, more Pokemon join the battlefield. Soon as the last of Brock's Pokemon is defeated, Jasmine jumps in.
A sound of an engine can be heard quietly at first, but then louder.
All look up as the engine sounds right above them.
A Kyogre hovers in the sky, its white underbelly glinting in the sunlight.
"Glinting?" a Snagem member wonders.
A ladder then appears from one of the Kyogre's sides, and a man standing in a doorway that opened shouts - "Hurry up! Climb the ladder!"
"Go!" Jasmine shouts. "I'll hold them off!"
"Ash! Come on!" Brock calls, who had already started to climb the ladder.
"OK. OK. I'm coming. Quilava! Come back!" Ash calls.
The Quilava retreats into its ball, and before the Snagem member can hold him back, Jasmine throws another Pokeball and another Magnemite appears.
Ash runs to the ladder, which Brock has already climbed and Misty is halfway through doing, and starts climbing himself. So no other people can grab hold of the ladder, the Robo Kyogre rises higher above the ground. The ladder wobbles in the downdraft as it rises, and Ash struggles to keep hold.
He then holds tight as the ladder stills itself, and then continues climbing, but it is still a bit wobbly.
Near the top, Ash grabs hold of a rung and slips. With no feet on the ladder, he can only use his hands.
"Oh no!" Misty says. "Staryu, go to the rescue!"
Staryu appears from its ball and flies down to where Ash's feet are dangling and holds the ladder so Ash can get his feet onto a rung again.
Ash then climbs the rest of the way up the ladder quickly, which then retracts in to a side panel of the Robo Kyogre. Staryu returns to its ball, and the man calls to the pilot to get underway.
PART 2 [28/1/12]
"Now then. It's time for introductions I think," the man asks when all are settled.
"I'm Misty, and this is Ash and Brock," Misty says, indicating her two friends as she says their names.
"Call me Makan," the man tells them.
"OK," Brock says. Before he could say any more however, a voice erupts from his wrist.
"Is everyone OK? What's happened?"
"Professor Oak," Brock reports. "It's OK Professor. We got away in time."
"That's good to know," Oak sighs. "Now then. Makan, is it? Tell the pilot to slow down otherwise connection will be lost."
"OK," Makan says. "Pilot! Slow down!"
"Good. Now then, you are heading to a distant place called Orre, as you know. Professor Krane will tell you all about the Shadow Pokemon and the latest developments. But enough of that. It will be dangerous and I want to know you are all OK."
"Um, Professor," Misty says timidly. "There's something you should know."
"One of the members of Team Snagem caught Ash's Pikachu, as you know. He's still downhearted from that," Brock says, and looks over at the corner where Ash sits. "He might not be on form."
"Well I'm sure you'll do your best to make him see reason," Oak implies.
From the cockpit of the Robo Kyogre, a slight crackling sounds.
"Sir," the pilot says. "Professor Krane is trying to contact us."
"Try to find a meeting point between the two signals and land there," Makan says.
"It might prove difficult," the pilot reports.
"Oak, is it?" Makan asks.
"Yes," Oak confirms.
"If we can get you on the interstellar wave when we reach Krane's lab we'll contact you then. But we'll have to disconnect from you to get Krane's signal," Makan reports.
"OK. I'll look forward to hearing from you again."
A beep sound from the Poke Watch, saying that the signal has been lost.
The Robo Kyogre speeds over the water at high speed. A glitter from the sun can be seen reflecting from a desert in the far distance.
A crackle of static then erupts from the cockpit speakers.
"Makan. Do you have those which Oak mentioned?" a voice sounds through the speakers.
Makan runs to the cockpit. Misty and Brock follow.
"Yes, I do. And the situation is far worse then we feared," Makan reports.
"OK. Get them here fast so we can prepare-"
A crackle then indicates the connection is lost.
"Sir, we can confirm that Krane didn't do that himself," the pilot says.
"Prepare then," Makan says. "I suggest you strap in. It's going to get roasting."
"What is?" Misty asks.
Misty then falls over at the sudden acceleration change. The Robo Kyogre boosts to double speed.
Brock is barely holding on to a strap on the roof, and Ash skids across the floor and into the other corner furthest from the cockpit.
Makan is holding onto each end of the door frame.
An explosion then resounds through the Robo Kyogre.
PART 3 [29/1/12]
"Sir! There are Electrodes out there. And many of them," the pilot reports.
"Who else is out there?" Makan asks.
"Bird type Pokemon, which are flying around carrying Team Snagem."
"That's not good. Can you get us any faster?"
"I'll try, sir," the pilot says doubtfully.
Makan exits the cockpit as best as he can.
He then calls back "And whatever you do, don't head onto or into the water."
"What happened?" Misty asks.
"Team Snagem are onto us. They know this thing has travelled great distance."
Another explosion hits the Robo Kyogre, and it starts to tilt to the right.
"Sir! They're attacking the wings!" the pilot says.
"Keep us airborne as good as you can!" Makan shouts.
"I'm aiming for a boat that we can jump on to," the pilot says calmly.
"Just so long as we don't crash into it," Makan says quietly.
"OK! You lot! We're going down, so get ready to jump," Makan says in a commanding voice, "And we'll have to be quick since this thing is going at a thunderous speed."
Misty makes her way over to the door and nods her head to say she is ready. Brock lets go of his handle and quickly puts his hands out to stem the impact. Digging one foot next to the wall, he makes his way over to the corner where Ash still sits.
He puts his hand on Ash's shoulder and they look at each other. Slowly, Ash gets up with a determined look on his face. The two then make their way over to the door, with difficulty.
Makan then shouts to the pilot - "Open the door and lower the ladder!"
The door opens and a creaking can be heard as the ladder heads down.
"I'll go first," Makan says.
He turns around and grips the holds on the side of the door. Then he starts climbing down.
"Ash. You second?" Misty asks.
"Fine," Ash then descends down the ladder too.
Brock and Misty follow.
"OK," Makan's voice says. "Release the ladder."
"How?" Misty asks, but then the ladder drops.
With a clang, they all hit a wooden deck.
After a few seconds of recovery, the four pull themselves up and see the Robo Kyogre crash into the water, with Team Snagem flying back to the desert region.
"Goodbye, Robo Kyogre. You were a good project and friend," Makan quietly says.
PART 4 [30/1/12]
People crowd round Ash and co, to find out what happened. Annoyed, they quickly head inside to the main cabin.
Inside, the captain waits.
"What was that?" the captain asks.
"Team Snagem have been operating on the main land of another region. They followed us here and set an ambush," Makan replies.
"Team Snagem eh? Well just so long as they don't have another Shadow Lugia that takes the first boat it sees away," the captain says.
"What's your destination captain?" Makan asks.
"Gateon Port. Why?"
"Contact Professor Krane and tell him we'll need someone to pick us up. On second thoughts, I'll do it myself."
As Makan heads to the comm port, Ash, Brock and Misty stand in the entryway. The ship continues on its way, with Makan's voice occasionally rising.
Upon reaching Gateon Port, the captain uses the intercom to say that it is time to leave as the destination has been reached. The captain then holds the four in the main cabin back until everyone else has left.
When they leave, Professor Krane himself is waiting. A fairly tall man with a lime green shirt under his lab coat, and light grey trousers, he approaches the four at a fairly slow pace.
"What happened then?" he asks.
"We'll tell you on the way back," Makan asks. "As a side point, how are we getting back?"
"Well," is all that Krane says.
A white craft similar to that of the Robo Kyogre drops down to an empty part of the port. The wings fold back and a hatch opens.
"The Robo Lugia!" Makan exclaims.
All five people walk to the Robo Lugia and enter. Once all seated, the craft takes off. Makan explains the situation to Professor Krane while the other three stay quiet.
The Robo Lugia lands again fairly quickly.
As Ash, Brock and Misty follow Krane, the lab they see is fairly big. The circular main building is at least three stories high. Krane leads the three inside and to a room with only one other person inside.
A male with red spiky hair and yellow overcoat, he also has what looks to be a Snag Machine on his arm, but a smaller version.
"If you'd just like to stand in the centre of this circle pad," Krane asks Ash.
Ash follows him to the point rather uncertainly.
"Right then," Krane says, turning to the red haired male, "Activate the training simulation."
The world around Ash resolves into a desert with harsh sunlight.
Ash looks different in the training simulator.
He has a red jacket on instead of blue, and he also wears a Snag Machine on his left arm. A machine attached to the right side of his face remains unmoving.
An Arbok then appears, a great purple snake Pokemon, and the machine on the right side activates.
"Whoa! What's this?" he says.
"That is an Aura Reader," Professor Krane's voice echoes around the area. "It shows you if a Pokemon has been turned to a Shadow version of itself."
"Cool. And I'm guessing this machine on my left arm is a Snag Machine."
"Correct. Now then, send out a Pokemon."
"OK! Quilava! Go!"
Quilava - a stoat that has an upper body colour of dark blue and a lower body colour of peach. Flames make up its tail and horn, making it good with fire moves.
"Now then," Krane's voice sounds again. "Attack the Arbok and then use the Snag Machine to capture it. When you do want to capture it, just focus upon the Arbok and the machine will activate automatically."
"OK. Quilava! Use Flamethrower."
The Quilava throws back its head, brings it down. It then rushes at the Arbok and lets a torrent of fire fly from its mouth.
The Arbok gets hit full on.
"Right. Focus on the Arbok and the machine should activate automatically," Ash thinks.
He closes all thought except focusing on the Arbok.
The Snag Machine then lights up and a ball rolls out into the grip. Ash then throws the ball, which homes in on the Arbok.
Arbok is enclosed within the ball, which then returns to the Snag Machines grip.
"Simulation success," a voice sounds. The battleground then disappears, and resolves back into the lab.
"That was amazing!" Ash exclaims.
PART 5 [31/1/12]
"Yes. The Battle Simulator is an amazing piece of technology," Krane says. "But, for a third time, the Shadow Pokemon reign. And not just in this region, but most likely in all regions."
"Professor Oak wanted to speak with you," Ash says.
"Yes, well. I should really tell you the history of the Shadow Pokemon," Krane admits. "Michael, patch us through to Professor Oak."
A crackle of the speakers indicates a signal coming through, then a voice issues through them. "I was wondering when you'd contact me."
"Oak, how do you do?" Krane asks.
"Oh, I'm fine, but I'm not sure Kanto will be," Oak says. "Ash. Misty. Brock. The rumours are Team Snagem has captured Jasmine and is headed this way. They might also be reaching out to the other regions too."
"We'll be there soon," Ash says.
"But not too soon. Remember. That which is rumour isn't always right," Krane says. "Anyway. The history of the Shadow Pokemon.
"We aren't exactly sure when, but Cipher Co. went corrupt. Wanted to make money. They hired on Team Snagem to help them claim some powerful Pokemon. Those powerful Pokemon being the Shadow Pokemon.
"A plan was brought into action to rule Orre's Colosseums by using unbeatable Pokemon and taking other trainers Pokemon, with Team Snagem fronting the Pokemon side of things. A trainer who had joined Team Snagem though, had been through enough there, and bombed the place. Took the last Snag Machine they had too. Along the way he met a girl who had the power to see the aura's of Shadow Pokemon. This would explain why Snagem grunts had put her in a sack and cuffed her.
"The former member of Team Snagem, whose name was Wes, rescued the girl Rui after beating the Snagem grunts and undertook a mission to uncover the plot and free the Shadow Pokemon. After learning of a building called Realgam Tower, a Colosseum which Cipher were personally fronting, he headed straight there and battled the Elite of Cipher. Nascour and Evice.
"Along the way through the journey he had to rescue the three legendary dogs, as well as purify them, and also countless other Shadow Pokemon. After Nascour and Evice were beaten and all Shadow Pokemon snagged back, Cipher let Team Snagem go."
"And that was just the first incident," the other by the Battle Simulator says.
"Oh yes. Just the first. Anyway, meet Michael everyone, since you'll be seeing a lot of him while you are here. He'll be accompanying you on your journey so you don't get lost. He was the second person to do battle with Cipher when they resurfaced five years after."
"That sounds like an interesting story," Oak's voice sounds through the speaker. "But what happened to this Wes and Rui?"
"No-one knows," Michael says. "Although he has been sighted sometimes near Agate Village."
"Hmm. So what happened when this Cipher resurfaced?" Oak asks.
"Well it all started-" Krane begins. A raised voice outside can be heard. "A bit like this," he says as everyone turns to the window.
"Quick!" Michael says, and runs out.
Ash, Brock, Misty and Krane follow.
Out on the plaza of the lab, a man with rough clothes confronts a fairly short girl with blue hair.
"Destroy the Purify Chamber. I give you this one last chance," the man says. "If not, this Pokeball contains a very aggressive Voltorb which will blow the whole lab up from the inside."
"Snagem grunt!" Michael shouts, and runs up to the girl. "Jovi! Get back!"
"Ash. Help him," Krane whispers.
Ash walks up to Michael's side, and Michael does nothing but stare at the Snagem grunt.
"Well, if that's how it's going to be," the Snagem grunt says. "Voltorb! Go! Magnemite! Go!"
The two Pokemon appear quickly and instantly start charging towards the Lab.
"Flareon, get after them!" Michael commands, and a Flareon appears from its ball and creates a fire ring around the Voltorb.
Voltorb are most commonly referred to being like living Pokeballs, as they are the exact shape and colour. Magnemite are ion-like Pokemon which are the colour of pure steel. A bolt is affixed to each side.
"Quilava, get the Magnemite!" Ash calls, and Quilava charges at the Magnemite. When it gets close enough, the Quilava uses Flamethrower and slows the Magnemite right down, which then drops to the ground and is called back to its ball.
Quilava then helps Flareon out with the Voltorb, which proves difficult to restrain. Eventually, it slows down enough that the Snagem grunt calls it back too.
"I'll be back soon enough," he says. And runs off.
PART 6 [1/2/12]
"What was that all about?" Ash asks, as he calls his Quilava back.
"It seems they are taking a more direct approach in stopping us," Professor Krane comments. "Well. Oak will want to hear about this, and I should tell you the rest of the Shadow Incident story as well."
As the group head back into the lab, Michael talks to Jovi to find out more info about that Snagem grunt.
"What was that about?" Professor Oak calls as the others file into the Battle Simulator room again.
"Well that was how the second part started," Krane says, "A Snagem grunt, or in that case a Cipher Peon, captured me while I was working at the lab on the Purify Chamber. When I was captured, I was asked all about my research. But I refused to tell them. They used the Shadow Pokemon to torture me into talking. I was losing hope."
Michael walks back in with the girl called Jovi.
"Then Michael here came to the rescue. But after running out of the place, well we were ambushed before we could reach the entrance. Thanks to a quick snag from Michael, Cipher Admin Lovrina had her Delcatty taken and all the rest of her Pokemon defeated.
"When we arrived back, the Purify Chamber had been completed."
"That's interesting that you were captured," Oak says, but is that just the beginning?"
"Yes. It is just the beginning," Michael confirms. "Upon heading to Pyrite Town, a woman with a cameraman following her passed. I didn't take much notice however, since I had other stuff to do."
"You see, one of the Ciphers dropped a Data Rom which was very heavily encrypted and we needed the computer experts to decode it," Krane cuts it. "He then met a disgraced member of Cipher Co, while taking a tour of the Poke Spots. Miror B. was around in the days of Wes, and was building up an army of his favourite Pokemon. Ludicolo."
"Dreadful things," Michael says. "Anyway, returning to Pyrite I found that Cipher had wiped clean all the data at ONBS in Pyrite Town, and I stopped them from torturing the staff there. Then heading to Phenac City, I find it closed off and routed to Realgam Tower, which was thankfully not own by Cipher any more. After a short visit, I head back to Phenac to find the mayor not there. Eventually all the townsfolk are unveiled to be Cipher, and after a little digging, I find out where the proper townsfolk are after beating Snattle and finding that the girl in Pyrite Town had information about Cipher's plans.
"After Phenac, came the final mystery. The bosses of Cipher and the code-named XD001."
"The S.S. Libra, a cruise ship holding many Pokemon, was abandoned in the middle of the desert, and Team Snagem are poking around," Krane continues. "They actually stole Michael's Snag Machine so they could perhaps get some credibility back. Eventually Michael tracked out their base, and battled the boss of Snagem, Gonzap. After beating him, Gonzap handed the Snag Machine back to Michael."
"Gonzap then said something worrying at the time. As soon as Cipher were defeated, he would step in. But after eight years after the crisis, we never heard anything.
"Back to the story, Team Snagem helped me as I tried to gain access to Cipher's Lair to see if I can dig up info on where the boss of Cipher waited. I had to go back to Gateon Port though, to ask Makan for a transport as massive currents surrounded the place I had to go.
"That's when he unveiled the completed Robo Kyogre. So off we went to Citadark Isle, although first I went to collect the Master Ball Professor Krane told me about."
"So you head to Citadark Isle and find the boss of Cipher?" Oak asks.
"Yes, and XD001. Which turned out to be a Shadow Lugia."
"He caught it, brought it here, and we solved the problem of how to Purify it," Krane says. "We then released it back into the wild, and Cipher was no longer heard from. It was only about a year ago that any hint that the Shadow Pokemon had returned. Obviously like us, Team Snagem decided they'd do some serious research."
"It's ready," a voice calls.
"Oak we'll talk later," Krane says.
"Fine, and thanks for the info. It was greatly appre-" Oak's voice cuts off.
"Don't worry about that. I'm sure it's just weather conditions," Krane says, but sounds a bit doubtful. "Anyway Ash, is it? The reason you are here. Just like Michael, you will have your own Snag Machine and Aura Reader. If you'd like to follow Lily here, and she will suit you up.
Ash follows Lily through the door, looking uncertain.
"Is this region rough?" Misty asks.
"Harsh, yes," Michael answers. "Orre can be a dangerous place."
"I can handle it," Brock says.
"Are you so sure?" Michael says with a dark hint. "While I was on my adventures, Orre was a dangerous place, even when I wasn't battling Cipher, other trainers weren't very forgiving. Some even battled with Shadow Pokemon themselves."
"He's ready," a voice calls.
"Ah good," Krane says.
Ash then walks in, wearing a red jacket almost the same as his older blue one. On his left arm the Snag Machine rests, and around his waist a belt with a pouch. The Snag Machine is covered with the same material of the jacket, and has a shoulder patch with a gold rim running to the area of his heart.
"How do I look?" Ash asks.
"Great!" Krane exclaims. "Now the mystery begins. After a bit of research, I think that the Relic Stone and the power of Celebi is being used to create this Aura Ball and the Shadow Gas. Go to Agate Village and check it out."
Continue to Chapter 3, click here.