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Destiny's Bond

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Clare, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    NOTE: This is a story I've been meaning to post here for a while, but I never seemed to get round to it - until now. Also, the translated Pokemon dialogue only occurs in the prologue, although there is some Pokemon/human telepathy later.

    Rated PG



    The boy watched intently as the red and white Ball vibrated on the ground in front of him. Soon, it would ping shut and he would have added another Pokemon to his growing collection. It was a pretty rare one, too - a Kirlia he had stumbled across while travelling to Vermilion City. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, he had called out his Fearow and had the bird battle the quirky Psychic Pokemon, then grabbed a Poke Ball from his backpack and hurled it at the Kirlia. Now, she was his - or she would be as soon as the Ball closed . . .

    Just then, however, there was a flash of light and the Ball flew open. From within its core, a small figure emerged. Just over two-and-a-half feet tall, the Kirlia resembled a ballet dancer with green hair and red eyes peering out from under her long fringe. She looked at the boy as if to say: "Sorry, I'm not interested", then dodged to one side.

    "Think you can get away that easy!" the boy challenged, reaching into his backpack and pulling out another Poke Ball. He pulled back his arm and sent it spinning through the air, directly towards the Kirlia. "I'll get you this time . . ."

    This time, however, the Kirlia was ready for him. Before the Ball could hit, she used Teleport to get away, vanishing in a flash of light and leaving no sign that she had ever been present. "GRR!" growled the boy as he watched his prize disappear as if into thin air. "Damn Psychic Pokemon!" He clenched his fists and stared up at the sky. "Don't think this is over, Kirlia! I'll get you if its the last thing I do - or my name's not Jack Sandford!"

    Beside Jack, his Fearow squawked in agreement. Together, they would hunt that Kirlia down and add her to his collection of Pokemon, which now totalled just over twenty. Jack was one of those trainers for whom Pokemon were simply a means to an end; he had already assembled his team of six (Fearow, Machop, Donphan, Poochyena, Zangoose and Kingler) and anything else he caught was just another entry in his Pokedex. And, when Jack Sandford wanted a Pokemon, he would not rest until he caught it.

    No Pokemon he decided to go after had ever got away from him and that Kirlia was not about to become the first. Whatever it took, even if he had to search for the rest of his life, he would find her. And, when he did, she would be his. First, though, he had to find her and she could have Teleported anywhere.

    Jack shrugged. "I'll find that thing in time," he vowed, pointing a Poke Ball at his Fearow. "Let's go, Fearow," he added. He pressed the button which activated the Ball and his Fearow disappeared in a flash of light . . .

    Meanwhile, the Kirlia Jack had been trying to capture came to earth with a bump. She quickly picked herself up and took stock of her surroundings - a brick wall covered in graffiti, combined with an open Dumpster nearby, told her she was in an alley somewhere. But where? Which city was she in? Usually a Teleporting Pokemon can control their destination, but she had been in such a hurry to get away from Jack and his Poke Balls that she hadn't paid attention to where she was transporting herself to.

    But, before she had time to wonder, a menacing hiss caught her attention. She looked up with a start. There, standing right in front of her, was a big battle-scarred Persian, his left ear ripped, his hackles raised. "Persssssssian per!" he snarled, extending his claws and preparing to use Scratch on the Kirlia. Even though he was speaking Persian language, she understood what he meant: "Get off my patch!"

    "Er . . ." she ventured timidly in Kirlia language. "C - could you tell me where . . .?"

    "What part of "get out!" don't you understand!" The Persian opened his mouth and let rip with a deafening Screech, prompting Kirlia to clap her hands over her ears. On the whole, this was not turning out to be the best of days for her - nearly captured, Teleported to an unknown city, now cornered by a powerful-looking Persian. Could things get any worse?

    Apparently, they could because the Persian suddenly disappeared from view. One moment he was there, the next he was gone, almost as if he had Teleported. Except, no Persian could use that move . . . Then, before Kirlia had time to realise what was happening, he reappeared right in front of her, his body crackling with electricity. He was, her Psychic intuition told her, about to use an Electric Attack.

    Could she stop him? Maybe her Light Screen could deflect the Attack, enabling her to follow through with a Confusion. She raised her arms and began to focus her energy . . .

    But the Persian moved a fraction of a second faster. His fur crackling with electricity, he leapt into the air and sent a powerful Thunderbolt in Kirlia's direction. She screamed as the powerful voltage jarred her body, wishing she could have been born a Ground Type; Electric Attacks could be extremely painful. Then, her body still crackling with residual electricity, she fell to the ground.

    Persian looked down at her. "Had enough yet?"
  2. Noheart

    Noheart Mysterious Figure

    Yo. Nice prologue, I couldn't find any grammar errors, so it looks good. Can't say much more, since it's only a prologue, but I'll be reading more as you post chapters. I liked how you described the Persian, by the way. I would normally think of that particular species of Pokemon as quiet and proud, but you made it look like a ruthless highway man that wouldn't hesitate to kill his enemies.

    Nice job.
  3. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter One

    Sheryl had been returning from the Pokemon Centre with her Espeon, Lilac, when it happened - a strange sense told her that there was a Psychic Pokemon in need somewhere nearby. She did not know why or how it happened, only that, ever since she could remember, she had been able to sense the presence of Psychic Pokemon. It was one of the factors in her decision to become a Psychic trainer and it was what had ultimately led her here to Saffron City.

    The "waves", as she always called them, were coming from the alley behind PokePizza, but she couldn't yet tell what Pokemon was sending them. All she knew was that it was in a bad way. Then, she heard it, the triumphant yowl of a Persian. And the voice belonged to a Persian she knew only too well, the Persian who had threatened her not long after she arrived in Saffron. One night, unfamiliar with the city, she had taken a wrong turn and found herself being confronted by a hissing fury.

    Thanks to Lilac, Sheryl had managed to fight the Persian off. But she was not eager for a repeat encounter; that Persian was powerful and he did not like intruders. Humans and Pokemon alike were fair game as far as he was concerned . . .

    Then, she sensed the "waves" again; whatever Pokemon the Persian had cornered was calling for help telepathically. She had to do something. "Let's go, Lilac!" she whispered, pulling a Poke Ball out of her pocket. Lilac, named after the light purple colour of her fur, appeared in a flash of light and waited for Sheryl's orders.

    "Follow me!" Sheryl called, running in the direction of the alley.


    As it turned out, Sheryl and Lilac got there none too soon. The Persian, his fur standing on end to make him look more menacing, was standing over a small green-and-white Pokemon which lay prone on the ground. The latter was one Sheryl had seen in pictures but never in real life; it was a Kirlia. And, from the look of it, she was in a bad way. What had happened to her? Surely she hadn't got into this state just from battling the Persian.

    "Hey!" she called to the powerful cat Pokemon.

    The Persian, who had been about to fire a Shadow Ball at the Kirlia, looked up with a start.

    "Persian, that's not fair!" Sheryl went on. "Can't you see that Kirlia's too weak to battle?!"

    The Persian's only response was to open his mouth and let rip with a deafening Screech Attack. "Lilac!" Sheryl called, struggling to shield her ears against the piercing high-pitched tone. "Do something!"

    Lilac did not need telling twice. Her dark blue eyes glowing from within, she sent powerful waves of mental energy in the Persian's direction, causing him to stagger suddenly. "All right!" Sheryl cried excitedly. "Confusion!" This move was a great favourite among trainers of Psychic Pokemon; it had the effect of "scrambling" a Pokemon's brain and causing it to lose concentration in battle. Sometimes, that loss of concentration was so great that the enemy Pokemon's Attacks backfired on it.

    The Persian at first seemed unaffected by Lilac's Attack, although it did distract his attention so that he stopped his Screech Attack. He looked up, his eyes narrowing at the sight of the Espeon. Then, he prepared to turn his wrath elsewhere, starting with a Fury Swipes Attack. He extended his sharp claws and made to slash Lilac in the face, but, before he could do so, he slipped, too Confused to aim straight, and went flying into a nearby wall.

    "Good, Lilac," said Sheryl. "Now, use Psychic!"

    In response, Lilac focused her energy, her eyes glowing as she stared at the stunned Persian. The latter rose into the air surrounded by a purple glow, hovered there for a few seconds, then came back down to earth with a bump. He did not get up, but that wasn't what concerned Sheryl right now. The Kirlia was. Stepping over the prone Persian, she ran to check on the Psychic Pokemon.


    As Sheryl picked her up, the Kirlia opened her eyes for a moment. Then, the effort of even that small task proving too much, she passed out again but not before Sheryl sensed her thinking two words. "Help . . . me . . ."

    "Help me?" thought Sheryl, puzzled. She had never actually sensed the thoughts of a Psychic Pokemon before; Sabrina had told her that human-to-Pokemon telepathy was extremely rare, even among trainers of Psychic Pokemon. Indeed, Sheryl had thought her ability only extended to sensing when a Psychic Pokemon was in danger, so what was going on here? Were she and the Kirlia somehow destined to be together?

    "Es espeon!"

    The sound of the impatient call from Lilac brought her to her senses and she realised the question of what this meant would have to wait. Right now, the Kirlia needed seeing to; she was clearly in a bad way, although Sheryl could not yet tell why. Maybe, she would find out later - if her picking up the Kirlia's thoughts hadn't been just a one-off. "Come on," she whispered, cradling the quirky-looking Pokemon in her arms. "I'll get you back to the Gym."

    It was only after she had left the alley, still cradling the Kirlia (which was about the same height and weight as a small human child) that Sheryl wondered why she had decided to head back to Saffron Gym. Normally, an injured Pokemon would be a matter for the Pokemon Centre, but, then again, Saffron Gym had been a centre for Psychic research (both human and Pokemon) for years. Sabrina was the most gifted Psychic trainer in Kanto; her Kadabra was extremely powerful and so was her Haunter.

    Sheryl, who was nearly thirteen, had not been at Saffron Gym at the time, but some of Sabrina's older students said that their Leader had not always been the friendly and sociable young woman she was now. Once, she had been a loner with no interest in anything except honing her powers; it was even said that she liked to use them to play tricks on defeated trainers, a few of whom had ended up being transformed into dolls. Then, a boy from Pallet Town challenged her and the Haunter which had tagged along with him from nearby Lavender Town made her laugh for the first time in years. Her humanity restored, Sabrina ceased to be the ruthless Gym Leader that everyone feared and Saffron Gym was consequently not the eerie place it had been once.

    But Sabrina was still an expert on Psychic Pokemon, so Sheryl felt sure she would know the best course of action to taking regarding the Kirlia. So, with Lilac running beside her and the Kirlia cradled in her arms, she left the alley and headed in the direction of the Gym.


    Presently, Saffron Gym loomed in front of her, standing tall and majestic in the summer afternoon. As usual, there were two guards standing at the main entrance, tall men in suits with badges stating their names and the fact that they were official guards of the Gym pinned to their shirts. Their job was to guard the Gym and keep troublemakers out; it was not unknown for members of Team Rocket to infiltrate Gyms and attempt to steal the Pokemon within. The second they saw Sheryl approaching, they automatically prepared to challenge her, to ask her what she was doing, but they relaxed when they saw she was wearing the uniform of Sabrina's students: a purple t-shirt and black leggings.

    "Hello, Sheryl!" one of them called. "How's your Espeon? I heard it was defeated in a battle with a pretty powerful Pidgeot."

    "Fine," Sheryl replied, nodding towards Lilac, who was currently standing at her heels. "But there's something else - this Kirlia's pretty beat up. Could one of you go fetch Sabrina?"

    But the guard shook his head. "Sabrina is currently in the arena; she'll be out as soon as the battle's over."

    "But bring the Kirlia in," his companion added. "You can wait with it in the lobby."

    Realising there was nothing else she could do, Sheryl nodded and stepped over the threshold, Lilac following behind. She entered a long corridor lined with doors to various classrooms, all dedicated to the training of Psychic Pokemon. In the room nearest the entrance, several people were honing their own psychic abilities (which would enable them to form a closer bond with their Psychic Pokemon) while, in another, a young woman was explaining the advantages of using Psychic Attacks. Sheryl caught the words "If you can control the opponent's mind . . ." before hurrying past.

    She did not stop walking until she was right outside the door to the main arena. This was currently closed, a sign bearing the words Gym Battle In Progress displayed prominently. But that didn't stop the sounds of the battle from reaching Sheryl's ears; Sabrina seemed to be using Kadabra, her opponent a Bellossom. Sheryl looked down at the Kirlia in her arms and hoped the Saffron Gym Leader wouldn't be too long - she really needed her advice.

    Meanwhile, she decided she should at least try to bring the Kirlia round. Recalling having stashed a Revive in her pocket for emergencies, she fished it out, unscrewed the lid and sprayed the contents on the Pokemon in her arms.


    The Kirlia slowly opened her eyes and found herself looking into those of a human girl. Instinctively, she tensed - memories of Jack Sandford and her desperate escape from him were still fresh in her mind - and tried to repel the girl with a quick Psychic Attack. But she still wasn't fully recovered so all she succeeded in doing was producing a faint purple glow around her body.

    "It's all right," Sheryl whispered. "I'm not going to hurt you." She nodded towards Lilac, now standing patiently by her side; the Espeon looked as serene and unruffled as she always did, her purple fur well-groomed and shining with life. "See? Lilac - that's the Espeon - doesn't mind my company."

    The Kirlia made no reply, but she knew without having to be told that Sheryl was telling the truth. One of the main advantages of being a Psychic Type was that you could sense another being's thoughts and feelings - and Sheryl's thoughts told the Kirlia she would not have to worry about this human exploiting her. Jack Sandford on the other hand . . .

    "Sheryl . . ."

    Sheryl looked up with a start - there was no-one in the corridor except herself and the two Pokemon. For the second time that day, she wondered what was going on. Why was she suddenly "hearing" voices in her head? She was as sane as she had been that morning . . . Or did insane people not realise they were insane? Was being around Psychic Pokemon all the time beginning to affect her mind the way it had once affected Sabrina's?

    "Don't worry - you're not hallucinating. Although, if you want, I could conjure up a few illusions for you."

    Sheryl gasped, recalling something she had once read about Kirlias. It was said that they had the power to create illusions by distorting the air around them, forming mirages. But you couldn't hear a mirage, could you? She looked at the Kirlia again, gazing into the creature's deep red eyes, noting how they seemed to be staring at her. That, however, didn't bother her; she was used to the mysterious ways of Psychic Pokemon. No, it was the voices in her head that were the real worry.

    "Yeah, it's me, the Kirlia," the voice said again. "And you're not going mad. This is a power you've always had, only . . ."

    Just then, the door to the arena opened and a young girl walked out. She was dressed in an outfit consisting of a green t-shirt and black capri pants, with a belt purse round the waist for holding Poke Balls. In her hand she held a small orange disk, a Marsh Badge, the reward for beating Sabrina. Like all trainers who had beaten a Gym Leader, she seemed to be wrapped up in her own triumph and did not notice Sheryl or the Kirlia.


    Sheryl waited until the girl had gone, then pushed open the door to the arena. She walked in, noting, as she did so, the signs of a recent battle. There were petals scattered over the floor, doubtless the result of a Pokemon using Petal Dance, as well as three scorch marks. But it was impossible to tell what Attack had made the latter; there were several possibilities, mainly Attacks of the Electric or Fire Type. Not that it mattered too much as the arena would be tidied up before Sabrina's next challenger arrived - what Sheryl wanted to see was the Gym Leader herself.

    "Sabrina?" she called. "You there?"

    A light went on at the far end of the room to reveal Sabrina sitting on her throne with her Kadabra beside her. "I'm here, Sheryl," she said, smiling. Since regaining her humanity, she had done her best to be friendly with her fellow trainers to atone for the years of mental isolation. Never again, she had vowed, would she let her powers take control of her. "What's up?"

    In reply, Sheryl motioned the Kirlia forward. "Mainly this," she replied, nodding towards the Kirlia. "I found this Kirlia in town today and . . . Well, anyway, I've got a strange feeling about it and I thought, since you're an expert on Psychic Pokemon . . ."

    Sabrina got up from her throne and walked over to Sheryl. Sometimes, she hovered in mid-air instead, but she mostly did that to impress her challengers. "That I might be able to explain it?" she asked, even though the look in her eyes said she already knew the answer. "Well, why don't you tell me about it?" She quickly recalled Kadabra and turned to leave the arena. Sheryl followed her.


    Sabrina listened in silence as Sheryl told the story of her encounter with the Kirlia and her apparent ability to sense the Pokemon's thoughts. Such talents were rare; trainers of Psychic Pokemon did tend to develop special bonds with their Pokemon, but cases of human to Pokemon telepathy did not occur very often. She herself had such a bond with Kadabra, a simbiosis of emotions, but this was not the case with all Psychic trainers. And, until now, she had never suspected that Sheryl could form such a bond. The girl was gifted at sensing when a Psychic Pokemon was in danger, but that was the extent of her powers. Or so it had seemed . . .

    "Sheryl," she whispered at length, resting her hand on the girl's shoulder, "there's only one possible explanation for what you've told me."

    "What is it?" Sheryl asked, confused. This was getting decidedly weird, even by the standards of Psychic Pokemon.

    "This - you and this Kirlia belong together. I cannot read its thoughts in detail, but I can sense that it doesn't want to be trained by anyone else. It's almost as if you two were . . . destined to be together."

    Sheryl's eyes fell on the Kirlia, who was standing serenely beside her. Destined to be together? She recalled a similar feeling not too long ago, but it had mainly been idle speculation. Her main reason for seeing Sabrina had been to ask her what should be done about the Kirlia - and, it seemed, she was getting her answer. "Are . . . are you s - sure?" she stammered, still barely able to believe it.

    Sabrina pulled out a Poke Ball and tossed it to Sheryl. "Throw it. If I'm right, the Kirlia should stay inside it, regardless of its health level."

    Sheryl gripped the red-and-white sphere, pressing the button which activated it. Surely, this couldn't work - she had used a Revive on the Kirlia and that should have healed her enough for her to break out of Poke Balls. "Here goes nothing . . ." she muttered, tossing the Ball in the direction of the Kirlia. It hit home, sucking the Kirlia inside in a flash of red light. Then, it landed on the floor and shook briefly before closing with a resounding ping.

    "I guess that settles it," said Sabrina, smiling. "Sheryl, congratulations - you have a new Pokemon."
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  4. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    I've read both the Prologue and the Chapter and I'm loving the idea! I'm confused by this Jack person and he seems to be a relatively powerful trainer going by the constitution of his party, and I'm expecting him to either encounter Sheryl and/or challenge Sabrina with Sheryl watching. I'm intrigued to see where this will develop yet not entirely sure Sheryl will be completely able to stand everything thrown at her!

    So I would very much enjoy reading the upcoming chapters and see where Sheryl heads! Her psycic abilities are also very intriguing! Can't wait to read more!
  5. Stryder

    Stryder Pokedex Reject

    So far so good. Keep it up.
  6. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Two

    Sheryl sat looking at her two Poke Balls, one of which contained Lilac while the other contained the Kirlia Sabrina said was destined to be hers. "Almost like it was written in some ancient prophecy . . ." she mused as she recalled the events of the last few hours. Could it really be true? Had she really sensed the Kirlia's thoughts because the two of them were meant to be together? She could hardly believe it, but Sabrina was an expert on the ways of Psychic Pokemon, so . . .

    "I think I'll call you Destiny," she whispered to the Ball which held the Kirlia. She repeated the last word in her mind; it was, according to Sabrina, her destiny to train this Kirlia and that was what had prompted her to name the Pokemon Destiny. Destiny was, after all, another word for fate and it seemed that fate had brought them together, human and Kirlia. On impulse, she pressed the button which activated the Kirlia's Poke Ball . . .

    "Come out, Destiny!" she called, watching as the graceful and vaguely humanoid form of a Kirlia took shape in front of her.

    The newly named Destiny blinked, then pirouetted across the room, her arms held above her head. Aside from Jack Sandford's attempt to capture her, she had never been in a Poke Ball before and she was still trying to make up her mind how she felt about it. On one hand, it felt pretty bizarre to be shrunk to near microscopic size and drawn into a beam of light, but the interior of the Ball wasn't exactly uncomfortable. Rather, it was just big enough for her to curl up in while she was in her shrunken state; also, there is something about Poke Balls that renders the Pokemon within semi-conscious, yet always ready to wake up and leave the Ball if necessary.

    In any case, Destiny danced across the floor as Sheryl watched her. Then, the latter thought of something. Lilac would have to meet her new team-mate; it was vital for a trainer's Pokemon to get along with each other, to learn to work as a team. The subject had been mentioned in a Pokemon Welfare class a few days earlier and, as Sheryl prepared to send her Espeon out, she recalled Sabrina's words. "Your Pokemon must work together and be raised equally," she had said. "They must form a unit, each one working with the others, and must be trained to accept their team-mates as friends . . ." Sheryl smiled to herself; there was a boy in that class whose Shuppet, Drowzee and Xatu found getting along together much easier said than done. The Shuppet had been acquired via a trade and the Drowzee and Xatu still hadn't got used to their new team-mate . . .

    But that wasn't what concerned Sheryl right now; her own Pokemon were. She watched as Lilac materialised in front of her, a beautiful Espeon with light purple fur that felt like fine velvet when touched. When she saw the Kirlia, she looked at her curiously but, much to Sheryl's relief, did not try to attack. That was good; sometimes, a Pokemon (particularly a trainer's first Pokemon) could be jealous of a new team-mate. Seviper and Zangoose were especially difficult in this respect, so much so that many Pokemon training manuals cautioned against having both on the same team. But Sheryl was pleased to see that there appeared to be no hostility between Destiny and Lilac. She bent down to stroke the Espeon's head.

    "Lilac," she said, "this is Destiny." She nodded towards the Kirlia, now hovering in mid-air with her legs crossed. "She'll be with us from now on, so I want you to try and be friends with her. Will you do that?"

    "Es," replied Lilac, bowing her head as she watched the levitating Destiny. She had never seen a Kirlia (or any member of the Ralts line) before; they were more usually found in Hoenn. But she could sense from the aura which surrounded Destiny that this was a Psychic Pokemon like herself. All Pokemon emit faint auras, which differ in appearance depending on what Type they are, but only Psychic Pokemon have the ability to actually see these halos of light.

    "Espeon?" Lilac asked as she used her Psychic powers to lower Destiny to the floor. She was asking the Kirlia if she wanted to be her friend.

    "Lia." Destiny reached out her hand and touched the red jewel on the Espeon's head. The two red horns on her own head glowed as she did so and, moments later, Lilac's jewel began to glow as well. Sheryl, seeing this, smiled with relief. The two Psychic Pokemon had just performed a ritual unique to their Type, a mind meld. Using their powers, they had forged a mental bond with each other, a bond which meant they would always look out for each other from now on.

    At length, Sheryl reached out towards them and rested her hands on both their heads. Then, although she wasn't aware of it, her eyes began to glow, just as Destiny's horns and Lilac's jewel had; she too was forging a bond with the two Pokemon. Such bonds were rare, but, when they did occur, the Pokemon was almost invariably a Psychic Type - Sheryl had read of such things in her Psychic Trainer's Manual. The Pokemon's mind would, via a form of telepathy, become linked to that of its trainer; they would be able to share each other's thoughts and emotions. Then, as Sheryl stood there a series of images entered her mind . . .

    She saw a scene, a grassy field of the sort favoured by trainers in search of new Pokemon. A young boy was searching in among the long grass, his eyes constantly watching for signs of movement. In terms of appearance, he was a typical trainer; he wore blue jeans and a green t-shirt, as well as a backpack on his back. The latter was grey and had a stylised picture of a Poke Ball on the flap, the fastener being where the button was on a real Poke Ball. There was something about him that Sheryl didn't like; he had a shifty look about him . . .

    Or was she judging by appearances? Just because this boy had thin lips, eyes that made him look furtive and a sly expression on his face did not mean that he was a bad person. But that didn't explain why she was seeing this . . . until the Kirlia appeared. When it did, Sheryl knew at once that it was Destiny; she didn't need anyone to tell her. Nor did she need to be told that this was a scene from Destiny's past; she just knew it in the same way she knew that the sky was blue.

    Then, as Sheryl watched, the boy pulled out a Poke Ball and pressed the button on the front. "You're mine, Kirlia!" she heard him say. "Fearow, go!"

    There was a flash of light and a large brown bird with an enormously long beak materialised. It flung back its head and opened its beak, letting rip with a raucous cry of "FEEAARRRROOOWW!", the sound harsh and defiant. The bird looked tough; it also looked as though it was a fighter, a Pokemon trained to the best of its abilities. Sheryl had seen many Pokemon like that, of all Types, but the trait was most commonly found among Rock and Fighting Pokemon. Yet, even though this Fearow was a Flying Type . . .

    Next moment, Sheryl's thoughts were distracted by a shout from the boy. "Fearow! Fury Attack!"

    And the Fearow flew at Destiny, its beak aimed straight at the Kirlia's head. Before Destiny could make a move, the Fearow pecked her several times in quick succession. She cried out and tried to summon a protective Light Screen to deflect the Fearow's beak, but the bird's attack was relentless, allowing her no time to defend herself or even retaliate with one of her Psychic Attacks. "Good, Fearow," said the boy. "Now, try a Fly Attack!"

    The Fearow promptly soared into the sky on its magnificent wings. Destiny promptly countered with a Thunderbolt, firing a bolt of electricity into the sky; it hit the Fearow but, though super-effective against the bird, it was not strong enough to knock it out. Seconds later, the Kirlia was knocked flying as the Fearow dived straight for her, its talons outstretched. She landed in a heap and began struggling to get up and counterattack.

    But, before Destiny could make her move, the boy pulled something out of his backpack - a Poke Ball. There was no mistaking that red and white spherical object. And nor was there any mistaking that look of triumph on the boy's face as he pressed the button on the front. "Now I've got you, Kirlia," he said, taking aim with the Poke Ball. "Poke Ball! Go!"

    The Ball struck Destiny on the head, enveloping her in a red glow and sucking her inside. It vibrated on the ground for a few seconds, before bursting open. Destiny rematerialised from within it and, before the boy could do anything, her eyes began to glow. Sheryl immediately recognised what was about to happen; she had seen it often enough. The Kirlia was going to use Teleport . . .

    At that point, the vision faded and Sheryl was left staring at her two Pokemon, temporarily speechless. Clearly, the boy had tried to capture Destiny, forcing her to use her Teleport ability to escape. But what had brought her here, to Saffron City? Had she somehow sensed the concentration of Psychic power that permeated the Gym and the surrounding area? Or was it just coincidence that she had ended up here? Either way, one thing was certain; Destiny was now Sheryl's Pokemon . . .

    "Destiny," she whispered to the Kirlia, "was . . .?"

    But she got no further before she heard the voice in her mind again. "Yes, that boy tried to catch me. I escaped because I sensed something about him, something I didn't like. He's one of those trainers . . ."

    For a moment, Sheryl wondered what Destiny meant by "those trainers". The answer came almost at once as Destiny read Sheryl's mind and sensed what she was thinking. "He cares nothing for his Pokemon, only about winning," Destiny explained with a touch of bitterness. "I was just a means to an end for him, another Pokemon to add to his list. And I sensed that he would never have anything more to do with me after I got transported. Well, he might have taken me out long enough to evolve me into a Gardevoir, but I couldn't live like that, not as a pawn in someone else's game . . ." She trailed off and floated up to the ceiling.

    Watching her, Sheryl began to wonder something else. What caused trainers to take the attitude that Pokemon were there solely to give them glory? Something about their personalities? And could such a trainer ever be persuaded to change his or her attitude? Sabrina had been changed, had learned what it was to be human, to be someone other than the ruthless trainer whom everyone feared. But, Sheryl knew, most people did not change overnight; before joining Sabrina's Gym, she had lived next door to a boy named Warren, who was a keen Pokemon trainer but could never accept defeat. If another trainer defeated him, he would furiously accuse that trainer of cheating and call them every rude name under the sun. Then, he threatened to set his Jolteon on a young woman who had defeated him - and the young woman reported him to the Pokemon League Authorities. That had been two years ago and Warren had been suspended from the League ever since.

    And, as it turned out, Sheryl would meet the boy who had tried to capture Destiny. And, when that time came, it would set in motion a series of events which would change her life.

    For the next few weeks, Sheryl's life continued as normal. Like the other trainers in Saffron Gym, she continued studying the ways of Psychic Pokemon, all the while working to hone the skills shared by both Lilac and Destiny. The two Psychic Pokemon became close friends, often working together to practise their Attacks. Psychic, Confusion, Shadow Ball, Protect and many other techniques all featured in both their repetoires. And they could often be found with Sheryl in one of Saffron Gym's practice rooms (the main arena was only used when Sabrina was facing a challenger) battling each other, working on developing their abilities.

    And that was what they were doing one afternoon, nearly two weeks after Sheryl found Destiny. They stood facing each other across the room, each waiting for a command from Sheryl . . .

    "OK, Destiny," Sheryl said to the Kirlia. "Let's practise your Shock Wave! Lilac, be ready to counter it!"

    Destiny brought her hands together as electricity began to arc out around her. Bolts of lightning shot out from her body in all directions, as Lilac stood watching, preparing to make her move. The jewel on the Espeon's forehead glowed as she watched Destiny's Shock Wave getting closer and closer . . . Suddenly, an invisible forcefield appeared in front of her - Light Screen. This technique was similar to Reflect, in that it deflected incoming Attacks. But, while Reflect worked best against physical Attacks, Light Screen was most effective against Special Attacks. And, if the lighting conditions were right, you might be able to make out the faint glow which gave the Attack its name.

    In any case, Destiny's Shock Wave, instead of striking Lilac directly, hit the Light Screen and ricocheted off at an angle. As the bolts of lightning were deflected back at the Kirlia, she quickly used Teleport to dodge out of the way and prepared to follow through with a Psychic Attack.

    But, at that moment, Sheryl stepped in to stop the battle. "OK," she said, pulling out Lilac's and Destiny's Poke Balls. "I think we can stop there. Lilac, good use of Light Screen. Destiny, you did fine too." She pressed the buttons that activated the Balls. "Take a rest, OK?"

    Instantly, both Lilac and Destiny were enveloped in the red light coming from the Balls and drawn inside.

    As Sheryl headed in the direction of her room, she happened to pass the main arena just as the door opened and a young boy stalked out, a furious frown on his face. From the way he was muttering and swearing under his breath, it was clear what must have happened; he had obviously tried to take on Sabrina - and lost. Even though Sabrina no longer used her telekinetic powers on her opponents, she was still a tough opponent and few challengers (even those who did succeed in winning the Marsh Badge) left Saffron Gym without at least one injured Pokemon.

    "That damn witch!" Sheryl heard the boy mutter. "Who does she think she is!" He mimicked Sabrina's voice. "I'm sorry, but you're not ready for the Marsh Badge yet. Come back when you've trained a bit more." He switched back to his own voice. "Huh! I thought this would be a walkover for my Poochyena."

    "Hey!" Sheryl called to him. "What's up!" There was something familiar about this boy, but she couldn't quite place where she had seen him before.

    "Your stupid Gym Leader, that's what's up!" The boy glared at her. "Two Pokemon each, we agreed - my Poochyena and Kingler against her Kadabra and Haunter. I thought Poochyena's Dark Type made it a shoo-in. But, no! Kadabra got both my Pokemon with Disable; they couldn't move a muscle. Huh!"

    Sheryl wanted to say something, to suggest that he followed Sabrina's advice and trained his Pokemon up before he tried for the Marsh Badge again. But there was something about this boy that she didn't like. He seemed like the sort who couldn't stand losing, who positively hated the idea. No, he was trouble - and Sheryl knew it. And . . .

    Her thoughts were cut off by the boy's next words. "You're one of the trainers here, aren't you?"

    Sheryl nodded, her hands automatically straying in the direction of the Poke Balls in her pocket.

    "Then I challenge you to a battle!" His tone was arrogant, tinged with an overwhelming certainty that he would beat one of Sabrina's underlings even if he couldn't defeat Sabrina herself. Sheryl hesitated; Pokemon League rules said that all challenges had to be accepted unless you had a valid reason for refusing, but she was reluctant to fight this boy. She couldn't explain it, but there was something about him . . .

    "Not wimping out, are you?" the boy asked snidely. "Well, if . . ."

    That did it for Sheryl; there were few things she hated more than being called names. "You want a battle!" she shouted, pulling out Lilac's Poke Ball. "You got a battle! Lilac, go!"

    There was a blaze of light and Sheryl's loyal Espeon burst out of the Ball.

    "We'll each use two Pokemon," said Sheryl, who wanted to get this fight over with as quickly as possible.

    "Fine!" the boy said shortly. "I choose . . . Donphan!" He threw a Poke Ball and a large, powerfully built Pokemon that looked a lot like an elephant appeared. With hide like armour, a powerful Rollout Attack and sharp tusks, a Donphan was hard to beat and Sheryl knew she would have to watch what Lilac was doing . . .

    "Donphan!" shouted the boy. "Horn Attack!"

    In response, the Donphan pawed the floor and charged at Lilac, ready to ram one of his sharp tusks into the Espeon's side. Sheryl thought fast. Seconds before the Donphan's Attack hit home, she called on Lilac to counter with a Confusion. Lilac's jewel glowed as she emitted powerful Psychic waves, which knocked the Donphan flying. The Ground Type Pokemon grunted as he landed, then staggered to his feet. The boy grinned triumphantly.

    "Ha! Don't expect Donphan to give up that easy!" he said. "Donphan! Use Rollout!"

    As Donphan got into the Rollout position, its body forming a near-perfect circle, Sheryl thought fast. Rollout was a very powerful Attack, which increased in strength the longer it went on, and she knew she had to act fast if Lilac was to stand any chance of beating it. "Lilac!" she shouted. "Tackle Attack! Try to knock it off balance!"

    Just as Donphan began to roll towards her, Lilac ran at him and rammed him in the side. Stunned by the sudden impact, Donphan stopped in his tracks and started looking around for his opponent; meanwhile, Lilac took the opportunity to power up with Calm Mind. Then, she used Swift, bombarding Donphan with glowing star emitted from her jewel and making it impossible for him to launch his Rollout. "Good!" Sheryl called, watching as Donphan struggled under the barrage of stars. "Keep it up!"

    "Not so fast!" the boy countered. "Donphan! Body Slam!"

    And Donphan tried to ram Lilac again. But Sheryl was ready for this and quickly told the Espeon to use Double Team. In an instant, Lilac was surrounded by doubles of herself, all seemingly solid even though they were quite literally thin air and could be destroyed in an instant. Still, this would hopefully distract the Donphan and cause him to waste time and energy attacking the fakes. And that was what he did - launch Attack after Attack at Lilac's clones, causing them to vanish one by one but never once getting a hit on the real Lilac. Meanwhile, she was preparing for her next move . . .

    Without warning, Lilac let loose with a powerful Psybeam, striking Donphan full on the flank and knocking him flying. He landed in a heap and did not get up despite struggling to do so for a few seconds. The boy growled under his breath, then, realising Donphan could not fight any longer, recalled the Pokemon and prepared to send out another.

    "I choose you, Fearow!" he called as he threw his second Poke Ball. There was a flash of light and a Fearow materialised, a Fearow which Sheryl had seen before.
  7. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    I loved that chapter! The interactions between Sheryl and Lilac were brilliant and the telepathy bond was also a really nice touch. My only nag would be the Pokemon knowing more than 4 moves but I'm traditional like that lol and it doesn't ruin the story so I'm not going to rant about it too much!

    I'm interested to see what she does about Jack and whether Sabrina will get involved or not ...
  8. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Three

    Sheryl sized up the Fearow. The bird looked strong, a potentially tought opponent to beat. Then, she looked down at Lilac; the Espeon was still standing, but she was tired after battling the boy's Donphan. So there was no way she could last long against a fresh opponent, especially one as powerful as this Fearow.

    "Well," she said, recalling Lilac, "if you're gonna use a new Pokemon, so am I!" She pocketed Lilac's Poke Ball, then pulled out the one which held her Kirlia. "Destiny! Go!"

    There was a flash of light and Destiny materialised, her red eyes glowing in anticipation of a battle. But the boy's reaction on seeing the Kirlia was completely unexpected - instead of calling on his Fearow to attack, he pointed to the Psychic Pokemon, then at Sheryl, with an accusing finger. "Hey!" he shouted. "That's my Kirlia! That's the Pokemon that got away from me the other week!"

    Suddenly, Sheryl realised where she had seen this boy before; he was the boy in the vision Destiny had shown her. Had he still not given up on catching the Kirlia? Didn't he understand that, once a trainer caught a Pokemon, the only way another trainer could obtain it legally was by trading one of their own Pokemon for it? She had caught Destiny fair and square. Destiny was meant to be her Pokemon - Sabrina had said so. And Destiny herself had said that she sensed something about this boy, something that made her unwilling to accept him as a trainer . . .

    "Well, we'll see about this!" the boy muttered, pulling out a Poke Ball and throwing it at Destiny. "Poke Ball, go!"

    And the Ball hit Destiny on the head. But, instead of opening up and drawing her inside, the red-and-white sphere remained closed, landing at the Kirlia's feet with a soft thud. The boy growled, his fists clenched in anger. "Think you're clever, Kirlia!" he demanded. "I'm gonna get you if it's the last thing I do . . ." He threw another Poke Ball, but the same thing happened again.

    "You don't get it, do you?" Sheryl said as he prepared to try a third Poke Ball. "This Kirlia is mine - she belongs to me! You can throw every empty Poke Ball you have, but it won't make any difference." As if to back Sheryl up, Destiny raised her arms and used Confusion to knock the boy off his feet.

    "What's going on here?"

    Sheryl turned round as Sabrina entered the room. Saffron's Gym Leader looked sternly at the boy she had recently defeated, then at Sheryl and her Kirlia, waiting for an explanation. One of the fundamental rules of Pokemon Gyms, and of the Pokemon League in general, was that Pokemon were not to be used to settle personal fights. And the extraordinary powers possessed by Psychic Pokemon made it especially important in their case; in the wrong hands, a Psychic Pokemon could be extremely dangerous, with the potential to cause great harm with the power of its mind. Sabrina had learned that lesson all too well.

    Sheryl and the boy both started talking at the same time.

    "That's my Kirlia! She stole it!"

    "No, I never! He never caught Destiny in the first place!"

    "I did so! That Kirlia . . ." The boy jabbed his finger in Destiny's direction. " . . . was in one of my Poke Balls!"

    "But she broke out - I know 'cos she used her powers to show me what happened." Sheryl looked at Destiny, remembering how she had seen her battling the boy's Fearow, the same Fearow that was now watching the humans with a bemused expression on its face.

    The boy snorted with derision. "Ha!" he scoffed. "You expect me to believe that!" He made to run at Destiny, only to be stopped in his tracks as Sabrina turned and pointed at him. In an instant, his body was surrounded by light and he was levitated into the air. He swore loudly, but Sabrina's only response was to lift him higher.

    "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't turn you into a doll like I used to do with defeated trainers," she said sternly. He did not reply. "Lesson number one," Sabrina continued. "Don't mess with psychics! We're all psychic at this Gym - if Sheryl says her Kirlia showed her a vision, I believe her." She released her spell abruptly and the boy plummeted back down, landing with a thump. Sabrina walked over to him and looked down at him, her hands planted squarely on her hips. "Now, recall your Fearow and get out!" she ordered. "I will not have people who go round accusing others of being Pokemon thieves in my Gym!"

    "But . . ." The boy started to protest, only to be silenced as Sabrina pointed threateningly at him, her hand glowing. "OK! OK!" he muttered, calling his Fearow back. "But I'll be back - you haven't seen the last of Jack Sandford!"

    "Oh, yes I have!" Sabrina marched towards Jack and hauled him to his feet. "You're Blacklisted!" With that, she marched towards the exit of the Gym, dragging the protesting Jack with her.

    "And don't come back!" Sabrina yelled, thrusting Jack Sandford out onto the streets of Saffron City.

    Jack scowled as the door to Saffron Gym closed in his face. He would never get a Marsh Badge now - and it was all because of that stupid girl who had taken his Kirlia. Blacklisting was a practice only recently introduced by the Pokemon League; it allowed Gym Leaders to refuse challenges from any trainer who had previously caused trouble in their Gyms. And Jack knew what that meant. He was barred from Saffron Gym for life, branded a trouble-maker. He was unlikely to get back in unless he wore a disguise and, even then, Sabrina was bound to see through him thanks to her psychic powers.

    Since there was nothing else he could do, he headed to a nearby snackbar and, after ordering a Coke, sat down to think things over. He did not care what Sabrina or anyone said - that Kirlia belonged to him and he was going to get it. But how? It was now in the hands of one of her students and he was not allowed back in the Gym. Could he lie in wait for her and steal the Kirlia next time she was in town? Probably not - that Espeon of hers was pretty tough, tough enough to beat his powerful Donphan. "There has to be a way!" he muttered. "I have to have that Kirlia!"

    "Excuse me?"

    Jack looked up as a young woman approached his table. She was about nineteen or twenty, slim with straight collar-length red hair framing a pretty but somewhat sharp face. She was wearing black leggings and a grey anorak, the latter zipped up to her chin. "I couldn't help overhearing," she went on, sitting down in the seat opposite Jack's. "You said you were after a Kirlia? One of the Hoenn Pokemon?"

    Jack nodded. "Yes - one which supposedly . . ." He snorted with derision. " . . . belongs to one of the students at the Gym here. But I saw it first so . . ."

    She took his hand in hers. "If you want that Kirlia so badly, I can help you get it."

    "How? I already got kicked out of the Gym for trying to take it."

    "There are . . . other ways," the young woman replied, handing Jack a piece of paper. "I have what you might call . . . special training in these matters . . ." She lowered her voice to a whisper, forcing Jack to lean close to her in order to hear what she was saying. It all sounded very hush hush - was she a spy or something? But Jack was so determined to get that Kirlia that he would do anything, no matter what it involved. Whatever it took for him to add the Psychic Pokemon to his collection, he would do it. "By the way," the young woman's word distracted him from his thoughts, "I didn't get your name."

    "Oh, Jack," he told her. "Jack Sandford."

    She got up to go. "You may call me Jade. And I suggest you read what's on that note." Without saying another word, Jade departed, leaving Jack clutching the folded piece of paper she had given him. The fact that she apparently knew to help him seemed almost too good to be true - and, had he not been so set on catching that particular Kirlia, he might have questioned her motives more closely - but she seemed sincere enough. So he unfolded the note and read the words written on it:

    Meet me in the alley next to the PokeMart. Come alone.

    Later that night, Jack, following Jade's instructions, crept down the alleyway next to Saffron City's PokeMart. The lights were still on in the Mart itself (it was open twenty-four hours a day) but there was hardly anyone about at this time of night. Right now, the only customer was a woman with an Oddish perched on her shoulder, who seemed to be doing some late-night shopping. But that wasn't what concerned Jack; the only thing on his mind was meeting Jade and finding out what she had to say. It was dark in the alley, the only light being that emitted by nearby streetlamps, and Jack was constantly on edge, listening for the sounds of nocturnal Pokemon.

    A feline screech came from nearby - most likely a Persian since the sound was too low-pitched for a Meowth. Then came the sound of squeaking and scurrying, suggesting the presence of a rodent Pokemon of some description. Elsewhere, a dustbin fell over with a loud clang, followed by the yelp of a Vulpix, then the angry voice of a male human yelling: "Go on! Get out of here!"

    Jack was so busy listening to the sounds of the night that he didn't noticed when someone joined him, until he was alerted by a sharp cough. He turned and saw her, Jade. She was still wearing the trousers and anorak she had been wearing at their earlier encounter, but she had now added a black baseball cap to her outfit. The peak was pulled down, but there was no mistaking her enigmatic voice as she spoke to him. "You took your time," she said. "What kept you?"

    "Sorry. I wanted to make sure I wasn't followed." Jack looked at her expectantly. "So, what's the plan?" he asked her, feeling a tingle of excitement at the thought of finally being able to get that Kirlia.

    Jade held up her hand. "Wait! Before I tell you, you must know something." With that, she slowly began to unzip her jacket, revealing the top she wore underneath; the latter was the same shade of black as her trousers and, on the front, a large red R was emblazoned. Jack gasped; he had been told what that R signified. "Yes," Jade said calmly, seeing the shocked expression on his face, "I am from Team Rocket - that's why we have to be so secretive." She zipped her coat back up and paused for several seconds before continuing. "Sure, people say we're crooks and thieves, but we like to think of ourselves as offering a service - Pokemon stolen to order."

    Jack digested this information in silence. It was true he had been warned to watch out for Team Rocket members, that all anyone from that organisation cared about was causing trouble and capturing Pokemon they had no right to capture. For all he knew, Jade might be after his Pokemon. But, if that was the case, she surely would have knocked him out and made off with his Poke Balls by now; she wouldn't be standing here talking to him. Even so, he decided to keep a Pokemon on standby just in case . . .

    "You can put that Poke Ball away," Jade said as Jack pulled out the Ball containing his Zangoose. "I'm not here to fight you; I'm here to help you get what's rightfully yours. Now, here's what I want you to do . . ."

    Saffron Gym had closed down for the night; the doors were locked and all the humans and Pokemon within were asleep.

    In her room, Sheryl lay in bed with Lilac curled up at her feet. The Espeon was curled into a ball, her flank moving rhythmically as she slept, her forked tail twitching occasionally. Destiny sat on the windowsill, looking out over the city and mentally going over the events of the day. She had hoped she'd seen the last of that boy, but his appearance at the Gym and his reaction on seeing her told her that he hadn't given up on catching her. Would he ever give up? True, he had been ejected from the Gym and ordered not to come back, but what was to stop him from trying again when Sheryl took her outside?

    Since it was summer and the weather was warm, Sheryl had left the window slightly ajar. Destiny smiled to herself as she felt the light breeze against her skin and thought of the events of the past few weeks. She recalled Jack's attempt to capture her, the aura of untrustworthiness that he gave off, the moment she Teleported to Saffron, her encounter with the Persian . . . Suddenly, she was distracted from her thoughts by a face at the window, the face of a young boy, a face she recognised.

    "Wave bye-bye to your so-called trainer!" he said gloatingly as he pushed the window further open and grabbed hold of the Kirlia before she could cry out or resist. "'Cos you're mine!" It was Jack Sandford, riding on his Fearow. He smiled triumphantly as he pulled a sack out of his backpack and stuffed Destiny inside, before tying it shut - at last she belonged to him. Their mission accomplished, he and Fearow flew off into the night.

    Inside the sack, Destiny tried and tried to use Teleport to get out. But it did not work and she remained resolutely trapped. This, however, was hardly surprising; a Pokemon could only Teleport if it had space to do so - and space was seriously lacking in this sack. She sighed and decided not to waste any more energy trying to get out; instead, she would use her Psychic powers to try and alert Sheryl, the girl with whom she had formed a special bond, the girl with whom she was meant to be. "Sheryl!" she thought desperately. "Help!"

    Down below, Jade watched Jack flying on his Fearow, holding onto the bird's neck with one hand and onto a sack with the other. The triumphant posture he displayed was all she needed to tell her that his mission had been successful and that pleased her. Being a Team Rocket member, she had had ulterior motives for helping this boy; it was her mission to watch out for trainers who would do whatever it took to get a Pokemon and she had found such a trainer in Jack Sandford. He wanted that Kirlia and he had done whatever it took to get her - just what Giovanni needed.

    The first thing Sheryl noticed when she woke up the next day was that something was missing.

    At first, she couldn't place it; everything looked the same as it had last night. Her posters were still on the walls, her books still in her bookcase, her ornaments still on her shelf. And Lilac was at the bottom of the bed like she always was. So what was missing? All her belongings seemed to be here and her Pokemon . . . It was when she thought of her Pokemon that Sheryl realised what was missing - Destiny. The Kirlia was nowhere to be seen. Usually, she would be dancing round the room or perched on the windowsill, but there was no sign of her. What could have happened? Where could she be?

    "Lilac," Sheryl whispered to her Espeon, "Destiny's . . . gone!"

    "Es espeon!" Lilac had sensed the Kirlia's absence from the moment she woke up and it troubled her. For, when two Psychic Pokemon form a mind meld, they become extra sensitive to each other and, right now, Lilac was picking up Destiny's panic call. It was faint, coming from somewhere outside Saffron, which probably explained why Sheryl hadn't sensed it; her ability to detect Psychic Pokemon only extended over a limited radius. Even Lilac, with her greater range, was having trouble focusing on the Kirlia's thought patterns and pinpoint where they were coming from. All she knew was that Destiny was in trouble.
  9. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Again another brilliant chapter :) Intrigued about Team Rockets motive though! And Jack Sandford just seems aroogant and just rather childish so I hope he gets his just deserves
  10. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Four

    Sheryl wasted no time in telling Sabrina what had happened. She told Saffron's Gym Leader of Destiny's disappearance, of her fears for the Kirlia, who was goodness only knew how far away by now. She had no clues as to why Destiny had vanished, just a strong suspicion that Jack Sandford was somehow mixed up in it. But suspicions would not help locate Destiny; that would require someone with the ability to read auras, to sense Psychic waves.

    "Sabrina," Sheryl ventured, "can you sense Destiny's presence anywhere?"

    Sabrina shook her head. "Sorry, Sheryl," she replied. "My speciality is telekinesis. I can sense Psychic waves, but you'd need a Channeler to help you locate your Kirlia."

    "A Channeler?"

    "There are many in Lavender Town," said Sabrina, refering to the small town to the east of Saffron. Since it lacked a Pokemon Gym, it was of limited interest to most trainers, who often passed through it on the way to cities which did have Gyms. But it did have something else, a spooky old tower populated by the Ghost Pokemon Gastly, Haunter and Gengar. It was even said that Sabrina's Haunter had originally come from there, but Sheryl had never set eyes on the Tower herself; she had only heard the stories of passing trainers, many of whom had had somewhat hair-raising encounters with the Ghosts.

    " . . . and I think Ruby would be best. She specialises in locating lost Pokemon."

    Sheryl was jolted out of her thoughts by Sabrina's words. "Sorry. What were you saying?"

    "Ruby," Sabrina replied. "One of the Channelers I was telling you about. She's the one you must seek." She looked at Sheryl gravely. "Take your Espeon and go to Lavender Town. Find the Channeler called Ruby and you will find your Kirlia."

    Jack Sandford was feeling extremely pleased with himself, pleased enough to start whistling a little tune. Finally, he had that Kirlia in the bag (in the literal sense of the term) and he wasn't about to lose her this time. She was his whether she and those losers at Saffron Gym liked it or not. And just let that girl - Sharrie or whatever her name was - come looking for him . . .

    It did not bother his conscience that he was breaking two of the most fundamental rules of the Pokemon League. For not only had he stolen another trainer's Pokemon, with the addition of the Kirlia, he now had seven Pokemon in his party. Six was the maximum number of Pokemon a trainer could carry at once - that was one of the first things new trainers were taught, along with basic battle techniques and Type match-ups. But all this mattered little to Jack; all he cared about was the fact that he finally had that Kirlia.

    In his mind, he pictured the looks on the faces of his friends when they saw he had a Kirlia, a rare Pokemon. They would be so envious! And so what if he had to bend the rules to get that Kirlia? He hadn't been able to catch her legally, so where was the harm in using slightly more . . . unorthodox methods?

    Unfortunately, he was so busy fantasising about being the envy of his friends that he failed to notice that the string he had tied round the neck of the sack to hold Destiny inside was coming undone as though of its own free will . . .

    Destiny shook her head as she, still unseen by her captor, crawled out of the sack. She had hated it in there; being grabbed and plunged into a stuffy bag was not her idea of fun, especially when it was followed by being whisked off to goodness only knew where. And she especially hated this boy - why did he want to catch her so badly? She did not trust him and she was going to escape again. She was going to Teleport back to Saffron City, back to Sheryl and Lilac.

    But, just as she was about to use Teleport, Jack glanced round and saw her. He grinned evilly. "So? Thought you'd gotten away again?" he gloated. "Looks like I'll have to teach you a lesson . . ." Before Destiny could stop him, he pulled out a Poke Ball and threw it. "Poochyena, go! Deal with this Kirlia!"

    In a flash of light, Jack's Poochyena materialised. The Dark Type Pokemon, said to possess an expectionally keen sense of smell, growled threateningly and prepared to teach the Kirlia a lesson. "Bite Attack," Jack said in a deceptively calm voice, watching as Poochyena opened his mouth to reveal pearly white fangs. Poochyena then ran forward, preparing to clamp down on Destiny and put her out of action.

    But Destiny was ready for him. She knew by instinct that Psychic Attacks were not going to work against a Dark Type, but maybe she could use some of her other Attacks, such as . . . Shock Wave. She powered up, then brought her hands together as bolts of lightning began to shoot out from her body. Jack was taken completely by surprise and, before he could do or say anything, his Poochyena was hit.

    "GRRR!" Jack snarled as Poochyena fainted and he called him back. "Right, Kirlia! Try your luck against these!" With that, he released all his other five Pokemon at once - Donphan, Fearow, Machop, Zangoose and Kingler burst out of their Poke Balls in a flash of light. Destiny could have taken any one of them alone, but she stood no chance against all five.

    Just as Jack's Pokemon began to advance on her, Kingler brandishing his claws and clapping them together with a sound reminiscent of clashing swords, she Teleported . . .

    Meanwhile, Sheryl was in Saffron City's main bus terminal, waiting for the bus to Lavender Town. In her pocket, she carried two Poke Balls, one of which held her Espeon, Lilac, while the other was Destiny's empty Ball. Feeling its round smoothness, she recalled the day she met the Kirlia in an alley and brought her back to the Gym to be cared for. She remembered the strange mind-meld Destiny and Lilac had performed, a pledge to remain ever loyal to Sheryl and to each other. And, silently, she vowed to find the Kirlia no matter what it took.

    Someone was making announcements, the words directed from loudspeakers on the walls.

    "Bus arriving from New Bark Town. New Bark bus arriving at Stand 4."

    "Will all passengers for Viridian City please report to Stand 7?"

    But she paid it no heed. She was only interested in the bus that would take her to Lavender Town; none of the others mattered. The distance between Saffron and Lavender was little over three miles, a distance Sheryl knew she could easily travel on foot. But she wanted to get there as quickly as possible and, with Destiny gone and Lilac unable to learn Teleport, this was the fastest way. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of paper with the words:

    10 Tower Lane
    Lavender Town

    written on it. This was, Sheryl had been told, Ruby's address and she wondered what the woman would be like. She had never met a Channeler before, so she wasn't entirely sure what to expect. There would be psychic powers involved - she knew that much - but, beyond that, she had no way of knowing what Ruby would do to locate Destiny . . .

    Just then, an announcement cut through her thoughts. "Will all passengers for Lavender Town please report to Stand 2?" This was what she had been waiting for, so she hurried over to where the single-decker bus was loading up with passengers. Like all the buses in the terminal, it was painted with the livery of the Kanto Bus Company, the stylised image of a Pidgeot emblazoned on its sides, but its lack of a luggage compartment marked it out as a local service vehicle, not a long-distance coach.

    Before long, Sheryl found herself handing over the money for a half-fare single ticket to Lavender Town. She took a seat near a notice reminding passengers to keep any loose Pokemon they might have under control, then waited for the bus to start moving.

    The journey to Lavender Town proved relatively uneventful. The only thing that happened was a man (who boarded just after Sheryl) getting into an argument with the driver, who said the man's Aggron was too big to travel loose on the bus. The man would have to either pay an additional fare for the Aggron or put it in its Poke Ball - he refused to choose either and ended up being told he couldn't board at all. Company policy, the driver said; large Pokemon had to be kept in their Poke Balls while travelling unless their trainers paid for them to occupy a seat. And really huge Pokemon such as Snorlax could not travel loose at all. So the man had stalked off, swearing loudly, his Aggron following behind.

    Presently, the bus stopped in a small town dominated by a spooky looking tower. This was Lavender Town and the tower was the legendary Pokemon Tower, home to a colony of Ghost Pokemon. The term "Ghost Pokemon" was, Sheryl knew, a misnomer; Ghost Pokemon were as alive as any other Pokemon and were only called "Ghosts" because they had certain ghostlike characteristics, such as the ability to float through walls . . .

    As if on cue, a Gastly suddenly floated into view as if from nowhere. It spotted Sheryl and floated over to her, its large eyes bulging. "Gastly," it said in a deep voice, hovering level with Sheryl's face, then turning and floating away a short distance. "Gastly!" it said again.

    It took a moment for Sheryl to realise it wanted her to follow it. Then, she grew suspicious; Ghost Pokemon were well known for being mischievous, fond of playing tricks on humans who let their guard down. What if this Gastly wanted to lure her into a trap, to use her for its own amusement? Sheryl's hand moved instinctively to the pocket which held Lilac's Poke Ball. "Keep back!" she warned, pulling the Ball out. "Or I'll set my Espeon on you!" Ghost Pokemon (with the exception of the Ghost/Dark Sableye and Spiritomb) were, she recalled, weak against Psychic Attacks, the Gastly line especially so since they were part Poison Type. But, at the same time, Ghost Attacks were strong against Psychic Pokemon . . .

    "There's no need to do that."

    Sheryl, still poised to release Lilac, turned at the sound of the voice. The speaker was a woman in her mid-fifties, with greying brown hair and piercing blue eyes, who wore a blue skirt and a white short-sleeved blouse. And, in her hand, she held a Poke Ball, which she now pointed at the Gastly. "Gastly, return!" she commanded, drawing the Gastly into the Ball as she spoke. She then pocketed the Ball and looked at Sheryl closely. "You must be Sheryl."

    "Y - yes, I am." Sheryl was taken aback at being addressed by name by someone she had not even met properly yet. "But how did you know?"

    "Because . . ." The woman looked at Sheryl with a mysterious smile. " . . . I foresaw your arrival."

    It took a moment for the woman's words to register. Then, Sheryl realised what she meant. "So you're Ruby?" she asked, trying to disguise her surprise at the woman's perfectly ordinary appearance. She had expected a Channeler to wear long robes or carry a crystal ball under her arm, but it had never occured to her that they might look as normal as anyone else.

    "Yes," the woman replied simply. "And I also sense that you are searching for something, a Kirlia."

    Sheryl nodded. "Sabrina said you might be able to help me," she added. Then, she told Ruby the whole story, of the day she found Destiny and brought her back to Saffron Gym, of the special bond she and the Kirlia had formed between themselves, of the boy who claimed Destiny was his Kirlia, of the moment she woke up to find Destiny gone . . .

    Ruby listened without interupting, occasionally nodding her head in understanding. Then, when Sheryl had finished speaking, she looked at the girl urgently. "Do you have something which bears the Kirlia's signiture?" she asked. "I need it to locate her aura. Anything will do - as long as it belongs to the Pokemon I'm trying to trace."

    Sheryl thought for a moment. What did she have that belonged to Destiny? Then, it dawned on her - Destiny's Poke Ball. Once a Pokemon was successfully captured, its signiture was imprinted on the Poke Ball which caught it; at the same time, the Ball transmitted a signal to the Pokemon Storage System, registering that Pokemon's capture and ensuring that no Poke Ball belonging to another trainer could catch it unless its original trainer released it first. So, Sheryl thought, it shouldn't be too difficult for Ruby to use Destiny's Poke Ball to locate her. She pulled the Ball out of her pocket and held it out.

    "Is that your Kirlia's Poke Ball?" asked Ruby.

    Sheryl nodded.

    "All right - follow me and I'll do the rest."

    Ten minutes later, Sheryl was inside Ruby's house, gazing round at her surroundings. Ruby's front room looked decidedly ordinary, not at all what she had expected from a Channeler's house. There was a brown three-piece suite, a table with a potted plant on it, a painting of a man and his Mightyena hanging over the mantelpiece . . . in short, the sort of things one would expect to find in any middle-aged woman's house. The only thing out of the ordinary was the bookshelf; while most women's bookshelves contained rows of paperback romances, Ruby's contained books with titles like "Secrets Of Ghost Pokemon" and "Enhance Your Mind Power". Sheryl recognised the latter from classes at Sabrina's Gym.

    Ruby sat down opposite her, then asked for Destiny's Poke Ball. Still wondering where all this was leading, how it could help her find Destiny, Sheryl did as she instructed, then watched as Ruby closed her eyes and clasped her hands round the Ball. "Yes!" the woman said finally. "I sense something - a Kirlia! And she is troubled. She is far from the one she trusts above all others. I see . . . I see a boy, a boy who believes the Kirlia is his!"

    "I know about that boy," Sheryl cut in. "What I want to know is, can you tell me where Destiny is now?"

    "Patience, child - let the visions come to me in their own time . . . Yes! I see a city with a Pokemon Gym dedicated to Water Pokemon!"

    "What else do you see?"

    "I . . . I sense the Kirlia within the city. She is at the Pokemon Centre, waiting for you to come to her. But I also sense Team Rocket! Hurry, child! A Kirlia is a valuable Pokemon, one which will earn whichever Rocket manages to catch it a high reward."

    Sheryl digested this news in silence, relieved to hear that Destiny had escaped from her captor but alarmed that an organisation like Team Rocket was in the same area. And where was the boy who had tried to claim Destiny in the first place? Sheryl had a feeling that he was somehow mixed up in all this and resolved to deal with him if they ever met face to face. First, though, she had a Kirlia to find. She thought about what Ruby had said, in particular the reference to a Water Pokemon Gym. She knew of two Gyms which specialised in Water Pokemon, the ones in Cerulean and Sootopolis, but Sootopolis was far away, in Hoenn. She could only hope the city in Ruby's vision was Cerulean.

    "Thanks," she said. "It's not much to go on, but it's a start. I'll head to Cerulean and check there." With that, she got up and turned to leave, but Ruby stopped her.

    "Wait - you'll need this when you find your Kirlia." Ruby handed Destiny's Poke Ball back to Sheryl, who pocketed it and turned to go, frowning to herself. Her first encounter with a Channeler had not been at all what she had expected, but at least she now had some idea of where she was going to look for Destiny - Cerulean City, the Water Pokemon capital of Kanto.

    With that thought uppermost in her mind, she exited Lavender Town to the north and set off on the road to Cerulean.
  11. harryheart

    harryheart Well-Known Member

    Another absoloutely brilliant Chapter! Well done! Can't wait for more
  12. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Five

    Cerulean City stood tall and proud in the summer afternoon, the streets bustling with people, many of whom had at least one Pokemon in tow. In the midst of the crowds, Sheryl was searching for a building with a large Poke Ball over the door - the Pokemon Centre, the place where Ruby had said she would find Destiny. She was familiar with Pokemon Centres - every large town had one and she had often used the services of the one in Saffron - but she had no idea where the Cerulean Pokemon Centre was. Maybe she should ask someone for directions . . .

    She stopped someone at random, a young man with three Poke Balls on his belt. "Pardon me," she said. "But do you know the way to the Pokemon Centre?"

    The man pointed and Sheryl nodded her thanks before hurrying off in the direction he indicated. All the while, she hoped that Destiny was still there - otherwise, she would have come all this way for nothing. Not that she was about to give up searching if that happened; the Kirlia had, in the few short weeks Sheryl had known her, become a close friend. Sheryl would never let her down.


    The Pokemon Center was easy to locate, thanks to the distinctive capital P painted on the front door and the giant Poke Ball over the entrance. And, from what Sheryl could see as she walked in through the sliding doors, it looked much the same as the one in Saffron City. Trainers, some holding Poke Balls, some with loose Pokemon, were sitting on seats in the waiting area; one boy's Growlithe was staring at the Meowth belonging to the woman opposite as the Meowth stared back, both Pokemon acting in the way canines and felines often do towards each other. A noticeboard displayed a poster advertising the Indigo League, as well as several smaller posters with hints on caring for various Types of Pokemon. There was also a "For Sale" section, where trainers could advertise the sale of unwanted items. And old copies of "Pokemon Monthly" were scattered across a nearby table.

    Sheryl went straight up to the counter, at which the local Nurse Joy stood. The latter looked absolutely identical to her counterpart in Saffron City, right down to the perky smile on her face as she said: "Hello. Can I help you?"

    "Yes," Sheryl replied. She pulled out Destiny's empty Poke Ball and held it up. "One of my Pokemon went missing and I was told it might be here. A Kirlia," she added helpfully. "A female Kirlia."

    Nurse Joy nodded. "Yes, we do have a Kirlia here," she told Sheryl. "Someone brought one in earlier - said they'd found it in an alley. And, well, you don't see that Pokemon in these parts very often . . ."

    "Do you think it is my Kirlia?" Sheryl asked, hope shining in her eyes.

    "There's only one way to find out," replied Nurse Joy. "Follow me to the holding area."

    Unseen by either Sheryl or Nurse Joy, a boy sitting in the waiting area grinned to himself from under his baseball cap.


    Moments later, Sheryl was following Nurse Joy into the holding area, the room in the Pokemon Centre where Pokemon were kept until they were ready to be collected by their trainers. Shelves filled with Poke Balls lined the walls, standing as tall as the ceiling - a moveable ladder stood ready to reach the Balls on the top shelves. But the shelves of Poke Balls were not what caught Sheryl's attention; her eyes were focused on a nearby table on which sat a Kirlia - a Kirlia Sheryl had come to know well . . .

    "D - Destiny?" she ventured, taking a step towards the Kirlia. Part of her hoped that this was indeed Destiny so she could take her back to Saffron City and put all this unpleasentness behind her - after she had settled things with Jack Sandford. But, at the same time, she feared this would turn out to be a different Kirlia altogether, not the one who had bonded with her.

    The Kirlia turned at the sound of her voice. "Sheryl?"

    The instant Sheryl sensed the Kirlia's thought, she knew her hunch had been right; this was Destiny. She could sense the Kirlia's relief, feel her happiness as her own. And she could feel the bond which connected her to Destiny more strongly than ever; it was as though the Kirlia was trying to renew their connection after their enforced separation. "Destiny?" she ventured, reaching out towards the Kirlia. "Are you OK?"

    "What do you think?" Destiny shot back. "I've been Pokenapped, tossed in a sack, Teleported who knows where . . ."

    "I guess that means you're OK," said Sheryl. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the Kirlia's Poke Ball. "Ready to go?"

    Destiny nodded. Those were the words she had been longing to hear ever since Jack Sandford took her. She hated Jack with a vengeance and had done so from the moment he tried to catch her, her Psychic powers telling her that he could not be trusted; he saw her as little more than a tool. She never wanted to see him again - ever. She belonged with Sheryl and Lilac, the ones she had bonded with, the ones she thought of as her friends.

    Sheryl looked Destiny in the eye, sensing as she did so what the Kirlia was thinking. This had been a trying day for both of them. First she had woken to find Destiny gone, then she had had to travel all the way to Cerulean City in order to find her. Now that she had found her, she just wanted to get back to Saffron City as quickly as possible and forget this whole mess had ever happened. Jack Sandford would not dare . . .

    But her thoughts were interupted by a commotion in the lobby outside. "Come out here, you dumb bimbo, and give me my Kirlia!"

    "Excuse me a moment." Nurse Joy walked out of the storage area and headed back to the lobby.

    Sheryl and Destiny, exchanged glances, each of them thinking the same thing: "Jack Sandford!"


    Wasting no time, Sheryl called Destiny into her Poke Ball and hurried out into the lobby. There was Jack, standing at the counter, his face contorted with fury as he argued with Nurse Joy.

    "I'm sorry, but the Pokemon's official trainer has already come forward," Nurse Joy was saying.

    "You calling me a liar?! I'll have you know I caught that Kirlia fair and square!" Jack laughed slightly, then tossed a Poke Ball into the air. "I mean . . . it broke out, but the fact remains - I caught it. And that means I should get to keep it."

    "You're out of order," Nurse Joy said. "If the Kirlia escaped from your Poke Ball, it doesn't count as a capture." That was one of the fundamental rules of the Pokemon League; a Pokemon had to be caught in a Poke Ball and the Ball had to close before it could be registered as an official capture. "You lost any claim you had when . . ."

    Jack was about to say something in reply, something insulting. But, before he could speak, he glanced round and saw Sheryl standing nearby, a Poke Ball in her hand. His eyes were drawn to the red-and-white orb; that Kirlia had to be inside. It felt to him as though she was taunting, baiting him with the Kirlia she had taken from him, the Kirlia that was rightfully his. "You again!" he snarled. "First you get me banned from Saffron Gym, now you turn up here!" He nodded towards the door. "You and me. Outside. Now."

    "Don't even think about it!"

    Sheryl and Jack looked round at the sound of Nurse Joy's voice to find her looking at them sternly. "You should both know better than that," she went on. "Using Pokemon to settle personal arguments is forbidden under Pokemon League rules. And, if you've nothing better to do than harrass people," she said to Jack, "I suggest you leave and let me get on with my work."


    Much to Sheryl's surprise, Jack left without a fuss. But, as he walked out the door, his parting shot was: "Don't think this is over! I'll get that Kirlia if it's the last thing I do!"

    Sheryl sat down on a nearby chair, shaking her head. She told herself it was just bad luck that Jack had shown up here; he was a Pokemon trainer, after all, and Pokemon trainers could travel anywhere they liked. Still, Ruby's warning that Team Rocket were at large in Cerulean City gave her something else to worry about - would she be able to get Destiny back to Saffron City without running into any more trouble?

    She had no way of knowing. But what she did know was that she had better leave right away if she wanted to catch the next bus to Saffron. So she pocketed her Poke Balls, got up from her seat and turned to leave, thanking Nurse Joy for helping her as she did so. As she walked out the door, her mind was focused on two things - getting home and, hopefully, never seeing Jack Sandford again. He was, to put it mildly, a first class jerk with an overinflated ego; if she never set eyes on him for the rest of her life, she would be happy.

    But, perhaps because she was so busy thinking about Jack and all the trouble he had caused her, she failed to notice the two figures lurking in an alley - until they jumped out at her and blocked her passage.

    "Halt!" snarled one of them. "You can't pass unless you give us your Pokemon!"

    Sheryl sized them up. They both wore black trousers and trenchcoats and their hair was hidden under their hats, making it hard to tell if they were male or female. They were of differing heights, the one who had spoken being a head taller than his companion, and there was something unsavoury about them, a shifty look in their eyes. A look that reminded her of a certain trainer . . . But, whoever they were, she had to get past them somehow - maybe, if she tried to bluff them into thinking she had no Pokemon with her, they would have to let her go.

    There was only one way to find out. "Sorry," she said, smiling nonchalantly. "I don't have any Pokemon, so I can't give you any."

    "Liar!" It was the shorter of the two strangers who spoke this time. "We saw you coming from the Pokemon Centre and there's no way you'd be there if you didn't have Pokemon! Now, hand 'em over!"

    "Yes!" added the first stranger. "Or face the wrath of . . . Team Rocket!"

    And, with that, both strangers whipped off their trenchcoats, revealing black tops emblazoned with large red R's.


    Sheryl had to think fast. Team Rocket were, she had been warned constantly, trouble; their leader sought to exploit Pokemon for his own ends, namely world domination. So he employed a network of agents to take Pokemon from trainers, often by force, sometimes by stealth. You always had to be on your guard in case one of the Rockets, as they were known, showed up. Well, she was not about to let these two take her Pokemon, especially after she had only recently recovered one of them. She pulled out both her Poke Balls.

    "Destiny! Lilac!" she called. Seconds later, Destiny emerged from her Poke Ball and did a pirouette, while Lilac crouched down, ready to attack.

    "So?" said the first Rocket. "You have a Kirlia, eh? Well, let's see how it handles this!" With that, he pulled out a Poke Ball and tossed it into the air, releasing the Pokemon within. A light flashed as the Pokemon emerged, a fierce-looking Raticate with chisel-like teeth, which glaring at Destiny and Lilac as if to say he meant to take them both down with one Attack.

    Before Sheryl could do anything, the second Rocket had also pulled out two Poke Balls, opening them to reveal a Shiftry and a Sableye. Sheryl knew she was in serious trouble; both Pokemon were strong against Psychic Types like Espeon and Kirlia. But she was not about to give up, not now. "Destiny and Lilac!" she called to her two Pokemon. "Remember what I taught you about how to handle several opponents at once?!"

    They nodded.

    "Good," said Sheryl. "Destiny, Light Screen! Lilac, use your Quick Attack!"

    In response, Destiny brought her hands together, summoning an almost invisible wall of light, while Lilac ran towards the opposing Pokemon, moving so fast that she became a purple blur. Wham! Lilac made contact with the Raticate, knocking him to the ground, but the Normal Type Pokemon was not defeated and was soon back on its feet, ready to counter-attack. "Raticate, show that Espeon your Hyper Beam!" ordered the Rocket who had summoned the Raticate.

    "Sableye! Shiftry!" called the second Rocket. "Take out the Kirlia! Double Shadowball!"


    Sheryl's muscles tensed. Hyper Beam was one of the most powerful Attacks known, capable of knocking a Pokemon out with one hit, and a double Shadowball was bad news for a Psychic Pokemon. Her only chance was to somehow deflect both Attacks. As the Raticate began to power up his Hyper Beam, forming a ball of golden light in his mouth, the Shiftry and Sableye joined hands, pooling their energy to create a ball of black energy, a Shadowball. Sheryl knew what it was; she had seen many Pokemon at Saffron Gym use it, but this one, formed from the energy of two Pokemon, was larger than any she had seen before.

    "Lilac! Destiny!" she shouted as the Rockets' Pokemon braced themselves to attack. "Get out of the line of fire!"

    At once, Destiny's eyes glowed and she waved her arms. Seconds later, Sheryl felt herself being lifted into the air, then zooming rapidly across Cerulean City, Destiny and Lilac at her side. Below, she saw a blur of people and buildings, but the movement was so fast she had no time to distinguish them. Besides, seeing the streets of Cerulean zooming by so fast was making her dizzy, so dizzy that she was forced to close her eyes against the constant blur. It was, therefore, hard for her to judge which direction she and her Pokemon were going or even if they were still in Cerulean City.


    Presently, however, Sheryl landed on the ground with a bump that briefly knocked the breath out of her. She waited for a moment to allow herself time to recover, then opened her eyes to take stock of her surroundings. These proved to be a park, with gravel pathways lined with trees and flowerbeds, a fountain consisting of two stone Goldeens with jets of water shooting out of their mouths and arcing into a small pool of water in the middle. In the late afternoon, there were few people about, certainly none who seemed to notice that a girl and two Psychic Pokemon had just appeared out of nowhere. Sheryl turned to look at Destiny and Lilac.

    "Where are we?"

    "Cerulean Park," replied Destiny. "I Teleported us here."

    In spite of herself, Sheryl laughed. She had never Teleported before and, though Sabrina had tried to explain the process, this was no substitute for the real thing and she wondered if it was always so dizzying. "Next time, could you warn me first," she said to Destiny, looking down at the Kirlia with a smile.

    "Sorry, but I had to move fast or that Rocket would've caught us."

    There was nothing Sheryl could think of to say in reply to this, so she just shrugged and pulled out her Poke Balls to recall her Pokemon. As Destiny and Lilac were drawn into the red-and-white Balls, she thought about the events of the day, events which had led her to Cerulean City, where she had had her first encounter with Team Rocket. But what would those Rockets do now that they knew a trainer with a rare Pokemon like a Kirlia was in town? Would she now have to worry about them as well as Jack Sandford? And where was that arrogant brat? These questions, and more, circulated through her mind as she headed towards the Park gates, constantly on the alert for trouble. If nothing else, her encounter with the Rockets had taught her one thing - never let your guard down.

    Fortunately, she did not encounter anyone who might cause her any trouble as she made her way out of the Park. Indeed, the only people she saw were a couple of rookie trainers having a battle in which one trainer's Bellsprout was pitted against the other's Igglybuff. Both children were, at a guess, around ten years old and Sheryl wondered what the future had in store for them. Would they gain the eight Badges they needed to qualify for the Indigo League and, if so, would they go on to join the ranks of the Master trainers? Or would they be among those trainers who, through lack of skill or sheer bad luck, never completed their Pokemon journeys? Alternatively, would they end up like Jack Sandford, driven by ruthless obsession?

    She did not know. But what she did know was that, with Team Rocket around, she would have to be cautious until she and her Pokemon were clear of Cerulean.


    Meanwhile, a few streets away from the park, Jack Sandford was doing some more plotting. He promised himself that this was not over yet - far from it. One way or another, that Kirlia would be his, whether Sheryl liked it or not. So far, he hadn't had much luck, but all that would change once he had the proper training in the art of Pokemon theft. And there was only one organisation that could teach him what he needed to know.

    He was going to volunteer to join Team Rocket.
  13. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Six

    Sheryl sat gazing at her Poke Balls as she thought back over the events of the last few weeks, events which had seen her acquire a new Pokemon, lose it, then regain possession of it. But something told her that this was not over yet, that Jack Sandford would be back. She didn't know where and when it would happen, only that it would happen.

    "Destiny's the one he wants," she thought to herself, examining the Kirlia's Poke Ball. "And I have to make sure he doesn't get her." She did not care what she had to do - Jack was not going to get hold of her Kirlia, not while she was in a position to do anything about it. Whatever it took, even if she had to leave Kanto altogether, she was going to keep Destiny out of Jack's greedy hands.

    But, in her heart, she knew it would not be as easy as that. Jack had already shown that he was willing to do whatever it took to get his hands on Destiny, so, no matter where she and the Kirlia went, he was sure to follow them. If only there was a way he could be persuaded to leave them alone, to acknowledge and accept the fact that Destiny was Sheryl's Pokemon . . . Sheryl sighed and placed her Poke Balls back in her pocket, promising herself that she would find a way.

    In the meantime, however, she had to find a place to stay in Cerulean, somewhere Jack was less likely to bother her. And the only place which suggested itself was the Pokemon Centre; anyone could spend the night there for free and, after the scolding Jack had received from Nurse Joy, she hoped he wouldn't dare show his face there for a while. The next morning, she, Destiny and Lilac would head back to Saffron City and the Gym from which Jack was banned for life.

    Unfortunately, things rarely work out in quite the way you had hoped.

    Sheryl returned to the Pokemon Centre without running into either Jack or the two Rockets who had accosted her earlier. But one person she did run into was a man who waylaid her on the road to the Pokemon Centre and thrust a Magikarp into her hands before she could resist. "Hey, kid!" he said, grinning stupidly. "You're holding a Pokemon goldmine! That Magikarp could make you rich - just hand over $500 and you'll . . ."

    But Sheryl cut him off before he could finish speaking. The Magikarp scam was one which had been going on for years, unscrupulous salesmen trying to sell a Pokemon which was not only of little use in battle but could also be caught easily in any body of water. Some conmen had even been known to paint Magikarp to try and pass them off as the similarly shaped but much rarer Feebas. And Sheryl was having none of it. "Sorry, no," she said, handing the wriggling Magikarp back to the man.

    "Are you sure? You'll be passing up the chance of a lifetime."

    "I said "no"! N - O!"

    "This is a golden opportunity . . ."

    Sheryl's only response to this was to pull Destiny's Poke Ball out of her pocket and release the Kirlia, who stood beside her trainer as the latter continued to try and stare down the man. "What part of "no" don't you understand?!" she demanded angrily. This man was really beginning to try her patience . . .

    And, now, he was looking at Destiny with a hungry glint in his eye, the glint of someone who knows they are on the verge of pulling off the biggest scam of their lives. "Tell you what," he said, leaning closer to Sheryl as she backed away in disgust, "you trade me your Kirlia for my Magikarp - can't say fairer than that, can we?"

    At this, Sheryl got angry; there was no way she was going to trade Destiny for any Pokemon, certainly not a Magikarp she didn't want anyway. "No deal!" she shouted. "Destiny! Psychic Attack!"

    In response, Destiny pointed to the man, who was instantly surrounded by a blue glow as the Kirlia levitated him into the air. He swore and tried to break free, only for Destiny to lift him higher. "Kirlia!" she called, making him turn a somersault in mid-air, imagining as she did so that this man was Jack Sandford, the boy who had caused so much trouble lately. Then, seeing a nearby tree, she smiled to herself as an idea occured to her. She lifted the man higher, then deposited him in the tree's topmost branches.

    "Hey!" he yelled. "Get me down from here!"

    "Only if you promise to stop bothering people!" Sheryl shot back, trying hard to suppress a smile.

    "Look, kid, I'm only trying to earn a bit of cash here. Magikarp are Pokemon, right? So I figured, why not save trainers the trouble of buying a rod and fishing for one?"

    "I'll take that as a "no", then," Sheryl said. "Come on, Destiny, let's go." She recalled the Kirlia and walked away without looking back.

    Returning to the Pokemon Centre, Sheryl walked up to the counter and asked Nurse Joy if she could stay there overnight.

    Nurse Joy nodded. "Sure," she said, handing Sheryl a key. "Your room is upstairs, second door on the left." She pointed in the direction of a staircase leading upwards. Then, she looked at Sheryl more closely. "Aren't you that girl who came to claim the Kirlia?" she asked.

    Sheryl nodded, then told Nurse Joy of her encounter with the Rockets, which had prompted her decision to stay in Cerulean overnight. "I didn't want to risk running into them again," she explained. "Or Jack Sandford." She frowned as she recalled how insistent Jack had been that Destiny was his Kirlia and headed off to the room where she would be spending the night.

    The room was basic, just a bed covered by a duvet decorated with Poke Balls, plus a locker for each trainer's things, but it looked comfortable and at least Sheryl would have it to herself. At some Pokemon Centres, trainers had to share dormitories and a few of the smaller ones didn't offer beds at all; any trainers who had to stay at one of those Centres overnight had to crash in the waiting room. Sheryl kicked off her shoes and sat down on the bed, looking down at her Poke Balls. "Destiny, Lilac," she said, "we'll go home in the morning, OK? And . . ."

    She was cut off abruptly as someone knocked on the door. Thinking it might be Jack, she held a Poke Ball in readiness, but relaxed as a girl's voice called: "Hey! Need any company?"

    Sheryl relaxed instantly. "Sure. Come in."

    The door opened and a girl with blonde pigtails entered the room. She was wearing a pink skirt and pale grey t-shirt, a backpack slung over her shoulder and six Poke Balls on a belt round her waist. "Kerrie North, Pokemon trainer," she said, extending her hand towards Sheryl. "I'm in the room next to yours."

    Sheryl and Kerrie spent the rest of the evening talking and telling each other about themselves. Kerrie, who was nearly eleven, had been on a Pokemon journey for several months; she had started with a Nidoran Female (which had since evolved into a Nidorina) and she also had a Flaaffy, a Breloom, a Ninetales, a Swablu and a Scyther. She also had several Badges, earned for defeating various Gym Leaders, which she kept in a wallet in her backpack.

    "I've got four so far," she explained, emptying them out onto the bed. Sheryl, looking at the Badges, recognised two of them as the Rainbow Badge from Celadon City and the Thunder Badge from Vermilion City, but the other two were unfamiliar to her; they must have been earned at two of Kanto's less well-known Gyms. "I came here to rest up - then I'm gonna challenge Misty in the morning," Kerrie went on, packing the Badges back into her wallet as she spoke.

    "Trying for the Cascade Badge?" asked Sheryl, recalling that that was the name of the Badge awarded to trainers who defeated the Cerulean Gym Leader.

    Kerrie closed her eyes and adopted a wistful look. "Oh, yes! It's one of the prettiest Badges of them all! It looks like a drop of water and it's a beautiful blue colour. But first," she added, snapping out of her reverie about beautiful blue Badges, "tell me about yourself."

    Sheryl began to tell the whole story, from the day she found Destiny in an alleyway in Saffron City to the clue from Ruby which had led her here. She spoke of the bond she had formed with the Kirlia and her determination to keep her safe no matter what. "If I can avoid Jack and those Rockets," she added, with a slight frown on her face. "Not to mention that Magikarp salesman . . ."

    "Magikarp salesman?"

    "Some guy who tried to sell me a Magikarp. He wouldn't take "no" for an answer, so I had Destiny - that's my Kirlia - levitate him into a tree and left him there!"

    "Yeah, I've heard of that scam. Too bad they can't seem to catch those behind it. Anyway," Kerrie said, changing the subject, "you wanna come cheer me on tomorrow?"

    Sheryl paused for a moment. "If I have time," she said finally. "I was hoping to get back to Saffron City tomorrow - Saffron Gym's the only place I can keep Destiny safe from Jack. He got kicked out of there, remember?"

    Kerrie nodded. "He sure sounds like a jerk, getting thrown out of a Pokemon Gym!" She giggled, then looked Sheryl in the eye. "Speaking of Pokemon Gyms, I'm thinking of trying for the Marsh Badge after I get my Cascade Badge. Could you give me a few tips?"

    "Sure," replied Sheryl. She paused as she tried to recall what she had been taught about Psychic Pokemon and what their strengths and weaknesses were. "Now," she went on, "Saffron Gym uses Psychic Pokemon. They can be hard to beat, but they are weak against Ghost, Dark and Bug Pokemon . . ." With that, she launched into an impromptu lecture on how best to approach battles against Psychic Type Pokemon, drawing on what she had learned in Saffron City.

    "Hey!" Kerrie said when Sheryl had finished speaking. "If you're from Saffron City, could I come with you when you go back there? I mean, we'll be going the same way and all . . ."

    Sheryl nodded. "And I'll be at Cerulean Gym tomorrow, cheering you on."

    But neither Sheryl nor Kerrie realised that someone was listening at the door. That someone was Jack Sandford, who grinned to himself when he heard Sheryl say she was going to cheer Kerrie on at Cerulean Gym. Wherever Sheryl went, she was sure to take that Kirlia he wanted so badly, so Cerulean Gym would be the perfect place to ambush her. All he had to do was sneak into the Gym and find a way to get Destiny's Poke Ball away from her trainer . . .

    The fact that he had already failed on more than one occasion to get that Kirlia didn't faze him any, not now that he had Team Rocket issue equipment. He recalled how he had seen two Rockets (the same Rockets Sheryl had encountered earlier) skulking in an alley and approached them, offering his services to their team. "I'd make a great Rocket," he had said. But they had laughed at him, telling him Team Rocket didn't recruit kids and that he should "go play with his toys".

    "Just give me a chance to prove myself," he had begged, sensing his best chance to get that Kirlia slipping away. "There's this Kirlia I'm after; it's with this girl and I've been trying to get it away from her . . ."

    "And why should Team Rocket help you?" asked one of the Rockets, whose name was Dan.

    "Because . . ." Jack paused. "Because you guys are the best at swiping Pokemon from other people!"

    Dan paused and turned to his partner, Ross. "What do you think?"

    "I think the kid's got spunk," replied Ross. "I say we give him a trial and, if he gets that Kirlia, we'll recommend him to Giovanni." He turned to Jack. "It's a deal, kid - swipe that Kirlia and you'll be on the first rung of the Team Rocket ladder." As he spoke, he thought of his sister, Jade, who had joined Team Rocket at the same time as him but was a few rungs higher on the ladder, meaning she was trusted with solo missions. Dan and Ross, by contrast, had barely enchanged their white uniforms for black.

    Recalling this meeting, Jack smiled to himself as he examined the equipment Dan and Ross had given him. There was a net, a two-way radio and, most important of all, a set of Psychic-inhibiting bands; the latter would be essential when he came to take Destiny, as they would keep her from fighting back with her Psychic powers.

    "You're mine, Kirlia!" he vowed.

    The next morning, Sheryl and Kerrie arrived at Cerulean Gym, a brightly coloured building with a carved wooden Dewgong over the entrance. A young blonde woman sat at the reception desk, filing her nails, and looked up as the two girls entered. "Can I, like, help you?" she asked in a slightly airheaded voice.

    "Yes," said Kerrie, flashing her wallet of Gym Badges. "I'm here to challenge Misty for the Cascade Badge."

    "One moment." The young woman, who was, of course, Misty's sister, Daisy, got up and walked over to the door which led to the arena. "Misty! You got a challenger!" she called, opening the door and peering inside. Sheryl, peering round her, saw that the arena in this Gym consisted of a large swimming pool, with a diving board at the far end. A young red-haired girl sat by the pool, dabbling her bare feet in the water, but got up at the sound of Daisy's voice.

    "Hey! Are you here to challenge me?" she asked, her voice full of eagerness.

    "I am," replied Kerrie, stepping forward with a Poke Ball in her hand. Beside her, Sheryl looked down at her own Poke Balls, then at the girl with the red hair. So this was Misty? Sheryl had never met her before, but she had heard that she had only recently taken over as Cerulean's Gym Leader; before that, she had travelled all over Kanto, Johto and the Orange Islands.

    In any case, Misty was soon nodding eagerly. "Sure," she replied. "We'll use two Pokemon each, no time limit. Daisy, you're the referee."

    So Kerrie and Misty took up their positions on either end of the pool, as Sheryl and Daisy stood on the sidelines. Daisy held a pair of flags in her hands, which she raised then lowered to indicate that the match could get under way. "Like, let the match begin!" she called as Kerrie and Misty readied their Poke Balls.

    Misty threw her Poke Ball first. "Staryu, go!" The Ball burst open with a flash of light and a beige starfish with a red jewel in the centre of its body materialised, diving gracefully into the water. Misty had had this Staryu for a long time; it was one of her best Pokemon and Sheryl, watching from the side, hoped the match wouldn't take too long. She wanted to get Destiny home to Saffron City as quickly as possible.

    In the meantime, Kerrie too threw a Poke Ball. "I choose . . . Swablu!" she called, as the blue bird with cloud-like wings emerged from the Ball and hovered above the crystal clear water of the pool. "Use your Peck Attack, Swablu!" she added, pointing out towards the water where Misty's Staryu was balancing on its points.

    In response, Swablu flew straight at the Staryu, her beak aimed at the jewel in the Water Pokemon's centre. But Misty knew from experience that the jewel was one of the weak spots in a Staryu or Starmie; if it was damaged in any way, the Staryu or Starmie would be defeated. And letting her Pokemon be defeated too easily was not her style. In the few seconds before Swablu hit home, she acted. "Staryu! Dive under the water!" Staryu did so, but, from her position, Swablu could easily see its shadow moving around below the surface. So she began circling over the pool, waiting for her chance.

    Kerrie was good; Sheryl could see that. And her Swablu was clearly well-trained. But Sheryl also knew from her experience of Sabrina that Gym Leaders did not give their opponents an easy match. It was their job to both defend their Gym's honour and test the skills of every challenger who entered the arena. And Misty clearly meant to give Kerrie a demonstration of her Water Pokemon skills. Then, Sheryl sensed something, some form of premonition telling her that Misty's Staryu was about to surface. Sure enough . . .

    "Staryu! Surface and use Swift Attack!" called Misty as soon as Kerrie's Swablu was directly overhead.

    "Swablu! Aerial Ace!" Kerrie countered, as Staryu shot out of the water and began shooting star-shaped beams of light in Swablu's direction. In response, Swablu took off into the air, then went zooming in, heading directly for Staryu. Then, before Misty could do anything to counter, the two Pokemon collided. Their bodies locked together, they began tumbling down, Swablu gripping Staryu with her talons, as Staryu struggled to break free. But would they land in the water or on the solid ground bordering the pool? Everyone - Sheryl, Kerrie, Daisy and Misty - held their breath, waiting for the outcome. For a moment, it looked as though they would land in the water and Sheryl was briefly tempted to send out Destiny and have her Teleport Swablu to dry land. But she checked herself; a Gym Match was meant to be between the Gym Leader and the challenger. No interference was allowed.

    But it turned out that Destiny's Teleport would have been unnecessary anyway because, when Swablu and Staryu were only inches from the water, Kerrie acted. "Swablu, pull out of that dive!" she ordered. Swablu quickly did so, but not before dropping Staryu into the water.

    For the next few rounds, the battle continued, with Kerrie and Misty launching attack and counterattack on each other. In the end, however, the match was decided when Swablu used her Take Down Attack, flying directly at Staryu and knocking it out of the water before Misty could counter. Staryu ended up lying on the side of the pool, its jewel flashing, a sign that it was losing energy.

    "Staryu is unable to battle!" called Daisy. "Round one to the challenger!"

    As Kerrie and Misty sent out their next Pokemon (Kerrie chose Flaaffy, while Misty selected Corsola) Sheryl thought about what she had just seen. Misty might have been young, but she was clearly an expert at handling Water Pokemon. Maybe, Sheryl would battle Misty herself one day, not as a Gym match but for a little fun. In the meantime, she prepared to watch the next round of Kerrie's match with Misty.

    But neither she nor any of the others realised that someone was watching furtively. That someone was, of course, Jack Sandford, who had sneaked into the Gym through the back door and was now waiting for his chance to ambush Sheryl and relieve her of her Kirlia. But, so far, no opportunities had presented themselves and he was forced to wait impatiently while Sheryl continued to watch Kerrie and Misty. Hopefully, he told himself, she would be so distracted by the battle that she wouldn't notice when he slipped his hand into her pocket and took her Poke Balls.

    Elementary pick-pocketing was one of the first skills a Team Rocket agent learned.
  14. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Seven

    "Flaaffy! Thundershock!" called Kerrie, pointing to the Corsola at the opposite end of the pool. And her Flaaffy began charging up, preparing to send a bolt of electricity through the water, which, Sheryl and Kerrie both knew, would serve as a conductor to increase the power of the Attack. For that reason, many trainers whose Pokemon used Electric Attacks liked to use them in water-based battles. And, now, Flaaffy's Thundershock struck Corsola full on, knocking her out of the pool. She was down, but not out.

    "Did you think I wasn't expecting that?" Misty countered. "I do know a bit about Water Pokemon - plus, I used to travel with a boy who had a Pikachu." Then, to her own Pokemon, she said: "Corsola! Recover!"

    Corsola's body glowed and, seconds later, she was back at full health, unfazed by Flaaffy's Attack. Sheryl continued to watch from the sidelines; she knew how powerful the Recover ability was, having seen many Psychic Pokemon use it in battle. Provided a Pokemon wasn't defeated outright, it could use Recover to heal itself and prolong the battle. A handy move to have on your side, but one that could make the Pokemon using it difficult to beat. Kerrie's best hope was to take the Corsola out as quickly as possible, to avoid giving her chance to Recover.

    "Flaaffy, take to the water!" ordered Kerrie, watching as Flaaffy dived off the floating platform on the challenger's side of the pool and into the water. "Now, use Secret Power!" she added, knowing that, when used in water, this move would cause the opposing Pokemon to be swamped with water and washed away. In addition, Corsola was part Rock and, as such, still had the Rock Type's weakness against Water Attacks.

    "Corsola! Ride that wave!" Misty countered, as the water in the pool began to swell, rising into a wave that was headed in Corsola's direction. Seconds before it hit, Corsola jumped onto its crest and balanced there like an expert surfer. Sheryl watched with fascination, admiring the Water Pokemon's grace and beauty but, at the same time, wondering what Kerrie was going to do to defeat the pink coral. Misty was clearly an expert at handling Water Pokemon.

    "Flaaffy! Protect!" Kerrie called. And seconds before her Flaaffy was hit by her own wave, an invisible forcefield appeared around her, protecting her from attack. Sheryl knew how useful the Protect ability could be - Destiny and Lilac both knew it - but she also knew that, if a Pokemon used it too often in the same battle, its success rate would go down. Kerrie would have to make a decisive hit against Misty's Corsola to ensure that she went down and stayed down, that she would not be able to use Recover a second time.

    "Corsola! Spike Cannon!"

    "Flaaffy! Use Double Team!"

    As Corsola reared up and prepared to send a barrage of spikes in Flaaffy's direction, the Electric Pokemon seemed to clone herself, creating duplicates of herself out of thin air. Within seconds, Corsola was surrounded by Flaaffy clones, seemingly hemmed in and unable to tell which one was real. "Keep fighting, Corsola!" urged Misty. "Knock them out until you find the real one!" And Corsola swam towards one of the Flaaffy, ramming into it at full speed. Zap! The Flaaffy disappeared - it was one of the fakes. Corsola tried again and hit another of the Double Team decoys.

    Before Corsola could make a third attack, Kerrie acted. "Flaaffy! Thunder Attack!" she shouted. And Flaaffy leapt into the air, her body sparking with electricity, lightning bolts shooting out in every direction. Then, with an almightly crash, she let fly with her Attack, targetting the Corsola in the pool, blasting the Water/Rock Pokemon out on a jet of water.

    "Corsola! Use Recover!" Misty called, as her Pokemon landed on the poolside.

    Corsola groaned, but her body did not glow as it had done the last time Misty called on her to use Recover. She had taken so much damage from Flaaffy's Thunder Attack that Recover was no longer effective. Daisy waited for a few moments to see if Corsola would get up on her own, without the need to use Recover, then announced her verdict. "Corsola has been defeated! Kerrie wins!"

    As Kerrie hugged her Flaaffy and lifted her off the ground, Sheryl was overwhelmed with excitement, even though she had not been battling herself. She jumped up and punched the air. "Yes!" she shouted, relieved that the battle was over and she would soon be able to head back to Saffron City. But, in her excitement, she failed to notice a hand - Jack Sandford's hand - snaking its way into the pocket which contained her Poke Balls. Nor did she, or any of the others, notice when Jack sneaked back out of the Gym, taking both Sheryl's Pokemon with him.

    Jack chuckled to himself as he ran down one of Cerulean's back streets; finally, he had taken that Kirlia he felt was rightfully his. The only trouble was he hadn't been able to tell which of Sheryl's Poke Balls was the Kirlia's just by touching them, so he had taken both, knowing one of them was bound to be the one he needed. As for the other, he would figure out what to do with it later.

    "Did you get it?"

    Jack looked round with a start at the sound of the voice. It was Ross, one of the Team Rocket agents who had agreed to recommend him to Giovanni if he succeeded in taking Destiny. Dan was standing nearby, a cigarette clenched between his teeth, his cap pulled down over his eyes.

    Jack replied by holding up both Poke Balls. "It was easy - that girl never even noticed I was there," he said, smiling as he thought of how he had lurked in Cerulean Gym, watching Sheryl, waiting until she was so distracted by what was happening in the arena that she didn't notice him taking her Pokemon.

    Ross nodded approvingly. This boy clearly had all the makings of a Rocket; he was ruthless, determined and just a bit underhanded. He definitely deserved a recommendation, especially after stealing a Kirlia, a rare Pokemon. And the other Pokemon was an added bonus. "Good work, kid. You're just what we're looking for." He clapped Jack on the shoulder like a father would a son he was exceptionally proud of. "Giovanni will be very pleased to hear about you."

    "Meanwhile," Dan added, stubbing his cigarette out against a nearby wall, "you'd better come with us to our secret hideout."

    "Secret hideout?" echoed Jack. "Where's that?"

    Dan shook his head with an air of mock disapproval. "If we told you, it wouldn't be a secret hideout any more, would it?" he said. "You'll see where it is soon enough - if you agree to come with us."

    Jack paused to consider his options. Ever since he started his Pokemon journey, people had warned him to watch out for the Rockets, said they would use any means at their disposal to steal a trainer's Pokemon. What if Dan and Ross were trying to trick him in order to take his Pokemon (plus the two he had taken from Sheryl) and pass them on to Giovanni? On the other hand, they had given him some of their capture tools . . .

    Finally, he nodded. "OK, I'll come with you."

    Meanwhile, Sheryl and Kerrie were walking down the highstreet, as yet unaware that Destiny and Lilac had been taken. They were examining the Cascade Badge Kerrie had just won, holding it up so they could admire the way it shone. "Wow!" Kerrie was saying. "This has to be my favourite Gym Badge of them all! Look at how shiny it is! Of course," she added, "I couldn't have won it without Swablu and Flaaffy."

    Sheryl nodded in agreement - one of the first things a Pokemon trainer was taught was that it was their Pokemon who fought for them, who won or lost each battle. The trainer's job was to teach and guide their Pokemon, to form a mutual bond of trust that assured the Pokemon's loyalty to its trainer. And there were some Pokemon which could only evolve if the bond between them and their trainer became strong enough. Pichu, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Golbat, Chansey, Azurill, Togepi and (if you wanted an Espeon or an Umbreon) Eevee - all these Pokemon needed to bond with their trainers in order to evolve. There were probably a few among the Pokemon found in the land of Sinnoh, but Sheryl wasn't sure.

    Just then, she was distracted from her thoughts by a voice calling from nearby. "Hey! Are you girls Pokemon trainers?" She and Kerrie turned to see a boy of around twelve years old standing with a Poke Ball in his hand, wearing a baseball cap with the peak turned to the back. "If you are, I'm up for a battle," he added, looking from one to the other.

    "I'll battle you!" Sheryl said, still not realising her Pokemon were missing. "Two on two?"

    The boy nodded. Then, he pressed the button on the Poke Ball he was holding. "OK, Glaceon," he said, "make me proud." There was a flash of light and a blue Pokemon appeared, the basic form of its body and the fact its name ended with -eon indicating that it was an Eevee evolution. To be precise, it was a Glaceon, an Ice Type Eevee evolution more commonly found in Sinnoh. This was the first time Sheryl had seen one of the Sinnoh Pokemon in the flesh.

    "Then, I'll use an Eevee evolution too!" she declared, reaching into the pocket where she usually kept her Poke Balls. To her surprise, it was empty; she couldn't feel either of her Poke Balls. She tried her other pocket in case she had transfered her Balls and forgotten about it - still nothing. "W - what the . . .?!" she gasped.

    Kerrie hurried over. "What's wrong?"

    "My Pokemon are gone - both of them!" She couldn't believe it, but there was no denying it; she had lost Destiny again and Lilac too this time. But how? Did Jack Sandford have something to do with it and, if so, where and when had he struck? She tried to retrace her steps in her mind. She and Kerrie had been together all day, so, even if one of them hadn't seen Jack, the other might have, unless . . . Of course - when they were in Cerulean Gym, Kerrie had been busy fighting Misty and Sheryl had been watching. Jack could have sneaked in unobserved and helped himself to Sheryl's Pokemon. But where were they now?

    "Change of plan!" she shouted to the boy with the Glaceon, as she and Kerrie ran off.

    Meanwhile, Destiny was concentrating all her energy on trying to loosen the metal band which had been placed round her waist; unfortunately, she wasn't having much luck and was only succeeding in giving herself a headache. Something was wrong here - very wrong. She could see Lilac at the far end of the room, an identical band fastened round the Espeon's neck like a collar. But where were they?

    When she was first let out of her Poke Ball, Destiny had thought it was Sheryl letting her out. But she soon learned otherwise; as soon as she emerged, that boy had pounced, fastening the metal band round her waist before she had chance to Teleport away. She remembered him laughing as he did so, the sneering laugh of one who has committed a crime and, as far as they can tell, got away with it. "That's so you can't escape this time, Kirlia!" Jack Sandford had said. "You're mine - forever!" And, still laughing, he let Lilac out of her Poke Ball and promptly collared her with another band. "As for your purple friend," he went on, "she'll fetch a nice price!"

    So that was it, Destiny realised as she recalled Jack's words. Jack had taken her and Lilac, but, since he didn't want the Espeon, he was going to sell her. He saw her as little more than a commodity, but, to Destiny, she was something more; she was her friend. And, unless he was stopped, the two Pokemon might never see each other again. That was why Destiny was focusing all her Psychic energy in a bid to remove the band around her waist, but it didn't seem to be doing much good . . .

    She looked up as the door opened. Jack was walking into the room, flanked by two men with large red R's on their shirts. "Don't bother," he said to her. "Those bands are guaranteed Psychic-proof - your mental powers can't break them no matter how hard you try." He walked over to the Kirlia and prodded her under the chin. "You're mine now, Kirlia - you're never going to see that girl who calls herself your trainer again!" With that, he turned to his two companions, who were, of course, Dan and Ross from Team Rocket. "What do we do with the Espeon?" he asked them.

    "Take it along for the Boss!" replied Dan, grinning evilly. On the whole, this was turning out to be a good day for the two Rockets; not only had they found a potential recruit, they had managed to get two valuable Pokemon with very little trouble. If only all days could be as successful . . . Still grinning, he clipped a lead to Lilac's "collar" and began to drag the Espeon outside. "You'd better come along," he said to Jack. "Oh, and bring that Kirlia."

    Hearing this, Jack too grinned. He must really have impressed Dan and Ross if they were going to take him to meet their Boss, the great Giovanni himself. And just let Sheryl try to find her Kirlia now. For not only did the bands around Destiny and Lilac prevent them from using any Psychic Attacks, they also blocked all telepathic waves sent by the two Pokemon.

    Sheryl was growing increasingly concerned. She had tried for several minutes to mindlink with Destiny, but had received nothing. She could sense none of the Kirlia's thoughts and had not even received any mental images which could tell her where Destiny was. "What could have happened?" she asked out loud, looking desperately at Kerrie. "It's as if something's blocking Destiny's mindlink - I can't get through to her!"

    But Kerrie could only shrug. From what Sheryl had told her, it was probably Jack Sandford who had taken Destiny and Lilac, but that failed to explain why the mindlink between the Kirlia and her trainer was broken. Was Destiny merely out of Sheryl's range? Or was there a more . . . sinister explanation? All Kerrie knew was that, unless the link was restored, they would have to find another way of tracking Destiny down. She turned to Sheryl. "Sheryl?"


    "You know when your Kirlia was taken before?" Kerrie ventured.

    "Yes, what about it?"

    "Well, didn't you ask one of the Channelers in Lavender Town to help find her?"

    Sheryl nodded, recalling her visit to Ruby's house, where the woman had traced Destiny's aura to Cerulean City. If only it could work a second time . . . But Sheryl knew that Ruby would need Destiny's Poke Ball to channel the Kirlia and, since the Poke Ball was also gone this time, there was no way Ruby could help them now. And, since she, Sheryl, could not mindlink with Destiny at the moment, they were rapidly running out of options. If only she had guarded the Kirlia better. If only she had been more vigilant, especially after she had already had a run-in with Team Rocket . . .

    Sheryl gasped. Of course - she had read once that Team Rocket had devices which could be used to block a Pokemon's special abilities, making it easier to steal them. And, from what she had seen of Jack Sandford, she wouldn't put it past the arrogant brat to get mixed up with a group like Team Rocket. She couldn't be sure, but she suspected that he had met some Rockets who had helped him to sneak into Cerulean Gym, where he had waited until she was distracted by Kerrie's battle against Misty before stealing the Poke Balls which contained Destiny and Lilac. "The Rockets!" she said out loud. The Rockets must have done something to block her Pokemon's Psychic abilities.

    "What about the Rockets?" asked Kerrie.

    Sheryl explained as quickly as she could. "The only question," she concluded, "is how do we find them? They could be miles away by now and, if the mindlink is blocked . . ."
  15. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Eight

    Destiny was on the brink of despair.

    Right now, she was sitting in the back seat of a car, sandwiched between Jack Sandford and the Rocket called Ross; Dan, who was driving, had turned the stereo up full blast and rock music was pounding in the Kirlia's ears, adding to her discomfort. She glanced at the cage which held Lilac, wishing desperately that there was some way she could free herself and the Espeon. But the bands which had been fastened around both Pokemon made it impossible for either of them to use their Psychic abilities. They were, to put it bluntly, trapped.

    She had no idea where they were or how long they had been driving, but she knew they had to be well clear of Cerulean City by now. And every second she was in this car brought her further and further away from Sheryl, the girl she looked to for protection, the girl she trusted with her life. If only there was some way she could tell Sheryl where she was . . . But there wasn't; the band which inhibited her Psychic powers saw to that. She had tried many times to break through the band's control, but had only succeeded in giving herself a headache that, had she been a Psyduck, would have enabled her to do what she had been trying to do and use her Psychic abilities to break the band. But, since she was a Kirlia and not a Psyduck, her efforts had been in vain. Now, exhausted, she could only sit there listlessly.

    But, had she looked out of the window at that moment, she would have seen a Swablu flying alongside the car. That Swablu was the one which belonged to Kerrie and she had been sent to look for Sheryl's missing Pokemon. Watching from the air, she had seen Ross, Dan and Jack leave their hideout, dragging the two captive Pokemon with them, and leave by car. Swablu had never actually met Destiny and Lilac, but she guessed from what Kerrie had told her that these were the Pokemon Sheryl had lost. So she had elected to follow the Rockets but was careful to stay out of sight; she had nearly been caught by Team Rocket herself once and did not want to repeat the experience.

    "How much further?" Ross asked.

    "What?!" Dan was unable to hear his partner above the noise of the stereo. So, even though his favourite track was currently playing, he turned it off.

    "I said: "How much further"?" repeated Ross, glancing at the caged Lilac. The Espeon was pacing restlessly, wanting desperately to escape but unable to do so. Ross gloated at her, telling himself that, once they brought this Pokemon to Giovanni, they were sure to get a nice fat bonus. An Espeon was a valuable Pokemon and this one looked like a fine specimen, her eyes shining, her fur in excellent condition. It was plain that her trainer had taken good care of her - all the better for Team Rocket.

    "We're there now," Dan replied as he drew up outside a huge building. There were no signs to indicate what the building was used for, but he and Ross already knew its purpose. For this was the Headquarters of the notorious Team Rocket, the base of operations for the most notorious gang in Kanto and Johto. This was the place where their skills and the skills of countless other Pokemon thieves had been honed.

    Dan, Ross and Jack climbed out of the car and made their way to the front door, Ross carrying the cage which held Lilac, Jack dragging Destiny by a cord attached to the band around her waist. She wished more than ever that she could Teleport away from here, but she could not; the band saw to that. All she could do was stumble miserably after the humans, wondering if she would ever see Sheryl again.

    Destiny was led down a seemingly endless corridor, towards a closed door which gave her a feeling of uneasiness as soon as she saw it. It was one of those doors that make one afraid, or at least nervous, as if what lies beyond is something which is unpleasent but cannot be avoided. She glanced over at Lilac, currently crouching in her cage, and knew, even without the ability to communicate telepathically, that the Espeon was feeling the same way.

    Dan marched up to the door and knocked on it three times.

    "Enter!" barked a voice from within.

    In response, Dan pushed open the door and the group entered the room to come face to face with a dark-haired man in a business suit, who sat at his desk as if he controlled the whole world from here - or had a strong desire to. A Persian was curled up on the floor next to the desk, apparently asleep, although it had one eye slightly open. Seeing it reminded Destiny of the Persian she had encountered when she first Teleported to Saffron City the day Jack tried to capture her. She recalled how that Persian had attacked her, zapping her with an Electric Attack, how she had tried in vain to fight back . . . That was the last thing she remembered until she woke up to find herself face-to-face with Sheryl, the girl with whom she had formed a special bond.

    Sheryl, the girl who had sworn to protect her. But where was she now? Did she . . .?

    Destiny's thoughts were interupted by a harsh human voice. "Well? What have you brought this time?" It was the man behind the desk.

    "This Kirlia," replied Dan, as Jack thrust Destiny forward, still keeping a tight hold on the cord which he was using as a lead. "And an Espeon. Both valuable Psychic Pokemon."

    "And the boy?"

    "A potential new recruit," Ross told the man behind the desk, who was, of course, none other than Giovanni himself. "He was the one who . . . acquired these Pokemon."

    Destiny's mind blanked out the rest of the conversation between the Rockets and, the next thing she knew, she and Lilac were being thrust into a windowless room lined with cages from floor to ceiling. This was the room where Team Rocket stored the Pokemon its agents had successfully stolen, until they could be used in some sinister project or sold off to the highest bidder. Right now, it was empty, but it could hold more than one hundred Pokemon; with a little squeezing, as many as two hundred could be stored in here. The Rockets and Jack dragged Destiny and Lilac to the far end of the room, where two cages stood open.

    Lilac was thrust into one of the empty cages, followed seconds later by Destiny being thrown into the cage next to her. Then, metal bars slammed across the front of both cages, imprisoning both Pokemon. Jack crouched down in front of Destiny's cage and began to taunt her. "Well, Kirlia, I'm off to train at Rocket Academy now. And Giovanni says that, if I make the grade, you'll be my Pokemon. If not, he'll sell you to the highest bidder - either way, you won't see your self-styled trainer again!" And, laughing, Jack Sandford walked away.

    Moments later, the Rockets left the room, closing the door behind them. Destiny and Lilac were trapped in Team Rocket's holding area.

    Meanwhile, Sheryl and Kerrie were heading west from Cerulean City, following a small blue bird with clouds for wings. Right now, they were passing through Mount Moon; several Clefairy were dancing around and singing in their sweet voices, but Sheryl paid them no heed. Her mind was on following Kerrie's Swablu to wherever her Pokemon had been taken. The more time passed without her sensing Destiny's thoughts, the more concerned she grew, knowing that anything could have happened to the Kirlia. Did Jack Sandford have her? Probably, but that didn't explain why the mindlink had been shut down.

    She turned to Kerrie. "Did Swablu find anything?"

    Kerrie repeated the question, substituting "Swablu" with "you". In reply, Swablu pointed to the west, then flew down to the ground and laboriously scratched a rough R in the soil. "Er . . . I taught Swablu to read a little," Kerrie explained when she saw Sheryl looking at her questioningly.

    "Yes," replied Sheryl. "But R for what? Raichu? Raticate?"

    "Relicanth? Roserade?" supplied Kerrie.

    "Rocket?" Sheryl did not know what prompted her to say it, but it did not take long for her to figure out the rest. "Team Rocket?" She knelt down next to the Swablu. "Swablu, did you see Team Rocket?"

    Swablu nodded and took off into the air, still flying west. Down below, two human girls, one dressed in pink and grey, the other dressed in the purple and black uniform of Saffron Gym, followed her, trying desperately not to let her out of their sight, knowing that the fate of two Pokemon depended on her being able to lead them to the Rockets. Running to keep up with Swablu, Sheryl asked Kerrie what they were going to do when they caught up with the thieves who had stolen Destiny and Lilac.

    Kerrie shrugged. "Battle them, I guess."

    "Er . . . in case you've forgotten, I only had Destiny and and Lilac. But . . ." Sheryl paused as an idea occured to her. " . . . I lived near here, before I joined Saffron Gym. In a place called Cerise Town - maybe my parents could help us."

    "Against Team Rocket?"

    Sheryl nodded. "Why not? When I was a baby, some Rockets tried to steal my mum's Smoochum, but she saw them off with a Confusion Attack. And that Smoochum's evolved into a Jynx now . . ." Sheryl paused, thinking of the quirky Ice/Psychic Pokemon which belonged to her mother. Her family had been training Psychic Pokemon for many generations and it had been through a distant relative that she had acquired Lilac. "And Dad's a police superintendent, so he's been involved in a few raids on Rocket Headquarters. So he might be able to help us there."

    And so Sheryl and Kerrie headed towards Cerise Town, a modest settlement located just south-east of Pewter City. It was not on most Pokemon trainers' itineraries, lacking its own Pokemon Gym; instead, like Lavender Town to the east, it was the sort of place which trainers passed through on their way to places which did have Gyms. It was one of those places which tourist brochures call "picturesque", the most prominent landmarks being the two white windmills in the north of the town. There was a Pokemon Centre and Poke Mart, but both had a slightly old-fashioned charm lacking in those establishments found in cities.

    This was the place Sheryl and Kerrie arrived at after a short journey on a Kanto Bus Company bus which they caught in the foothills of Mount Moon. The entire journey had been spent sitting across the aisle from two boys who appeared to be heading for Pewter City and spent most of the journey debating the relative merits of using Water or Grass Pokemon against the Rock Types used in Pewter Gym. From what Sheryl and Kerrie overheard, they gathered that one of the boys had a Gloom and a Carnivine, while his friend had a Marshtomp and an Octillery. In any case, when the bus stopped in Cerise Town, the two girls got off, leaving the boy with the Grass Pokemon extolling the virtues of his Carnivine's Vine Whip.

    "Where to now?" asked Kerrie as she and Sheryl made their way through the town square, passing a marble fountain with a statue of a Gyarados at its centre. Water was spurting out of the stone Gyarados's mouth and splashing into the bowl below, while, all around it, statues of various smaller Water Pokemon were also spraying jets of water.

    "This way," Sheryl replied, pointing in the direction she remembered led to her parents' home. Looking around, she found it hard to believe how quiet Cerise Town was; after spending so long in Saffron City, she had grown used to the hustle and bustle. Not that it had been easy - at first, she had thought Saffron was far too crowded for her liking - but she wanted to be a Psychic Pokemon trainer and everyone said Saffron City was the best place in Kanto for training such Pokemon. At the same time, she had also honed her own abilities, her talent for sensing the feelings of Psychic Pokemon. Several of the women in Sheryl's family had some latent Psychic abilities, but only rarely did they develop into anything more substantial; Sheryl was one of those few.

    Ten minutes later, Sheryl and Kerrie arrived outside a small house clad in white weatherboarding. A narrow path led to a blue front door, which had a potted conifer on either side, and a plume of smoke issued from the chimney as the two girls walked up to the door. Arriving, Sheryl lifted the knocker - which consisted of a brass Growlithe's head with a ring in its mouth - and rapped it against the wood three times. Then, she and Kerrie stood back and waited.

    The sound of footsteps came from inside the house, followed by the rattle of the safety chain, then the door opening. A woman, dressed in slate blue jeans and a black t-shirt, stood before the two girls, her dark hair hanging loose around her shoulders. Two small figures followed in her wake; one was Sheryl's little sister, Alison, the other the Jynx Sheryl had mentioned earlier. Sheryl was the first to speak. "Mum?"

    The woman looked at her for a moment. "Sheryl? I wasn't expecting anyone - what are you doing here?" she asked, studying her daughter closely. It was Sheryl all right; her special talent lay in seeing the auras around people and Pokemon and this girl's aura matched Sheryl's exactly. But there seemed to be an underlying sense of uncertainty, uncertainty about the fate of two Pokemon. "You've lost something," the woman went on. "Your Espeon and a Kirlia you befriended recently." Sheryl nodded to confirm this statement; she had meant to call her parents to tell them about Destiny, but had not had chance to do so before Jack Sandford intervened. "A boy believes the Kirlia is rightfully his and . . ."

    "Let's discuss it inside," Sheryl cut in, before her mother could tell Kerrie a potted history of Sheryl's adventures over the last few days. Kerrie knew most of it anyway; their current priority was trying to work out a way to get Destiny and Lilac out of Team Rocket Headquarters.

    The woman nodded and turned to go back inside, beckoning Sheryl and Kerrie to follow her. They did so and, for the first time since she left to join Saffron Gym, Sheryl entered her childhood home; she had stayed in regular contact with her family, but the distance between here and Saffron City meant she had not been able to visit until now. The house looked almost exactly the same as she remembered it, the only difference being the wallpaper in the kitchen, which had changed from a blue gingham pattern to one with poppies and the odd Butterfree or Beautifly. A small blue mouse-like Pokemon with no arms and a balloon nearly as big as its body on the end of its tail was perched on the worktop; seeing Alison, who was trailing after her mother and sister, it jumped down and bounced towards her on its tail.

    "Hi, Azurill!" Alison said, hugging the Pokemon.

    "That's my sister's Azurill," Sheryl explained for the benefit of Kerrie. "She's not old enough to be a trainer yet, so it's just a pet at the moment."

    Before long, Sheryl had filled her mother in on everything that had happened over the last few days, including the discovery that Team Rocket were mixed up in it; she explained how Kerrie's Swablu had scratched an R on the ground and she had guessed the R stood for "Rocket". "And that's what I'm worried about," she concluded. "Jack was persistant, but Destiny always managed to get away from him before. But, if Team Rocket are helping him or he's helping Team Rocket . . ."

    "I understand," replied her mother, sipping tea from a cup with a Bellossom print. "So you came here hoping I could help you get your Pokemon back?"

    Sheryl nodded. "I thought that since you and Jynx . . ." She glanced at the humanoid Pokemon with long blonde hair. " . . . beat Team Rocket before . . ."

    " . . . we could do it again," finished her mother. "But it won't be easy, even though Jynx has evolved since then."

    "Don't worry," Kerrie said. "I've got my Pokemon for back up." With that, she opened all her Poke Balls, releasing her Nidorina, Swablu, Ninetales, Flaaffy, Breloom and Scyther. "You're gonna help us, aren't you?" she asked them.

    A chorus of six Pokemon cries answered.

    "I'll take that as a "yes"," said Sheryl's mother. "And I think I'd better give your father a call," she said to Sheryl. "Let him know what's happening - the police have been after the Rockets for years." With that, she walked over to a nearby videophone and dialled in a number. A pause follow, before the screen flickered and the image of a man in the blue uniform worn by Kanto's police force appeared.

    "Hi, Jill," he said, smiling. "Why are you calling me at work?"

    "Because I had to, Don. Listen, Sheryl's here and we really need your help on something." And Jill, as Sheryl's mother was called, told her husband everything Sheryl had told her about the two stolen Pokemon and Sheryl's suspicions of Rocket involvement. "Anyway," she went on, "I need you to get some of your officers together and organise a raid on Rocket HQ. We'll meet you at the station."

    "Sure thing, Jill. I'll see you there."
  16. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Nine

    After dropping Alison and her Azurill off at a neighbour's house, Jill, Sheryl and Kerrie headed for Cerise Town's police station. Inside, they were met by Sheryl's father, Don, and a female officer who bore the stern expression of someone who meant business. Once the situation had been explained to them, the two police officers paused for several seconds before the female spoke. "Team Rocket, you say?"

    "As far as we know," replied Jill, who was sitting in a chair opposite her husband. Sheryl stood behind her and Kerrie was looking at a nearby bulletin board on which current "Wanted" posters were displayed; one such poster asked the officers to keep an eye out for a pair of Rockets called Butch and Cassidy, who were known to be operating in the Kanto region and had evaded capture on several previous occasions. Not that the police had a bad record when it came to dealing with Team Rocket - after all, several members of that organisation had recently been arrested in Blackthorn City over the border in Johto - but Giovanni had managed to buy his agents' freedom on more than one occasion.

    In any case, the female officer nodded thoughtfully. "And you think the boy who took your Pokemon is working with them?" she asked Sheryl.

    Sheryl nodded. "Officer Jenny," she added, "there's something I don't understand. Why does Jack want my Kirlia so badly?"

    "Because he is obsessed with her," Officer Jenny, for that was the name of the female officer, replied grimly. Looking at her, Sheryl found herself mentally comparing her to the Officer Jenny who worked in Saffron City, searching for subtle differences in her appearance. Unable to see any, Sheryl wondered for the umpteenth time how the Officer Jennies could tell each other apart if several of them were in the same location. In any case, this particular Officer Jenny launched into an explanation of how, when some trainers set their sights on a particular Pokemon, they could think of little else but getting hold of that Pokemon by any means necessary. "It's bad enough when someone becomes fixated on an ordinary Pokemon," Officer Jenny explained. "But, if the obsession is with one of the Legendaries, there's no telling how much damage it will do."

    "In any case," she added, "we should make a move on the Rockets' headquarters. Don and I . . ." She nodded towards Sheryl's father. " . . . will assemble a team of officers and launch a raid."

    "What do you want us to do?" asked Sheryl, gesturing toward Jill and Kerrie.

    Officer Jenny looked Sheryl full in the face. "Your job will be to infiltrate the building. Find the Kirlia and Espeon and get them out."

    Meanwhile, in the holding cell at Team Rocket headquarters, Destiny sat hunched up in her cage, her mind filled with thoughts of what her ultimate fate would be. She hated Jack Sandford more than ever and wished there was some way out of here. But the bands she was wearing kept her from using her Psychic powers to escape; it looked as though she would be imprisoned here for the foreseeable future. And then what? Either she would become Jack's tool or she would be sold off like a piece of merchandise, neither of which was a particularly welcome option. She could feel herself growing more and more frustrated at her hopelesss situation - if only Sheryl would come and find her. But then . . .

    Then, she noticed that her body was beginning to crackle with electricity, sparks issuing from the red horns on her head. At that moment, it dawned on her; though the bands prevented her from using her Psychic Attacks, there was no reason why she could not use some other form of Attack to break free. And she knew a few Electric Attacks, even though she was not an Electric Pokemon. Maybe, if she focused all her energy, she would be able to break the bands with a Thunderbolt - if they weren't shockproof.

    Realising she had nothing to lose by trying, she closed her eyes as electricity began to spark from her horns. Then, she let fly with a Thunderbolt, feeling the energy coursing through her body. Seconds later, the band round her waist fell to the floor; since it was designed to restrain Psychic Pokemon, its creator hadn't made it shockproof. A typical Team Rocket design flaw - whoever came up with those bands had forgotten to take account of the fact that Psychic Pokemon were not just confined to learning Psychic Attacks.

    The problem of the band dealt with, Destiny next turned her attention to getting out of the cage. She closed her eyes and focused her mind on the area outside her prison but within Team Rocket Headquarters, determined not to escape without freeing Lilac first. And, if they had to fight any Rockets along the way . . .

    Seconds later, Destiny's thoughts were cut short as she felt herself Teleporting. This time, however, the sensation only lasted a fraction of a second, before she opened her eyes to find herself standing on the outside of her cage. Lilac was in the neighbouring cage, still collared with a band identical to the one Destiny had just neutralised, but, unable to learn Electric Attacks like the Kirlia, she could not use the same trick to escape. Destiny would have to help her.

    Glancing around, she saw a keypad on the wall, probably the one which opened and closed the cages. If she could use her Psychic abilities to over-ride the control, she might be able to open Lilac's cage and free the Espeon. There was only one way to find out . . .

    Destiny closed her eyes and focused on the keypad, visualising its intricate mechanism and willing it to activate and open Lilac's cage. Her horns began to glow and she felt herself levitating in mid-air, her body surrounded by a purple glow. Seconds later, she heard an electronic hum and opened her eyes to see that, just as she had hoped, the cage holding Lilac was open. Landing lightly on the floor of the holding cell, she hurried over to the cage and peered in. "Kirlia!" she called, urging Lilac to "come on".

    Officer Jenny was giving Jill, Sheryl and Kerrie a briefing, outlining what they had to do in order to get into Team Rocket Headquarters undetected and get out again, hopefully with Destiny and Lilac. "OK, this is our plan. Giovanni's Headquarters has only one blind spot - a disused service tunnel leading from the Viridian Forest. Some officers found it during the last raid, but we don't think any of the Rockets know about it. You three will make your way through this tunnel and enter the main Team Rocket building."

    "And then what?" asked Sheryl. She knew that getting into the building was just the beginning; once in there, they would have to find her Pokemon and get them out, all without being caught by the Rockets. Although she wouldn't mind being caught by Jack Sandford, just so she could teach him a lesson he would never forget . . .

    "Then it's up to you," replied Officer Jenny. "Find where the Pokemon are being held and get them out."

    With that, she turned to address the rest of the assembled officers, outlining the plan for this latest raid on Team Rocket Headquarters. Codenamed Operation Trace, its objectives were as follows: to find and rescue two Psychic Pokemon believed to be held prisoner within the building and also to arrest some of the Rockets if at all possible. Team Rocket had been a constant headache for years; though a number of their lower ranked agents had been successfully put behind bars, Giovanni and his inner circle had, so far, evaded capture. Indeed, Giovanni's name was high on the Most Wanted lists held by the police forces in both Kanto and Johto.

    In any case, once Officer Jenny had finished her briefing, she saluted smartly. "Let's move out!" she said, as her arm snapped back by her side with practiced ease. Her eyes seemed to burn with a determination which clearly indicated that any Rocket who got in her way would be very sorry indeed.

    And, standing beside Jill and Kerrie, Sheryl too was burning with determination. Determination to find her stolen Pokemon . . .

    Destiny and Lilac hurried through the corridors of Team Rocket Headquarters, looking for the exit, trying to stay out of sight of any passing Rockets. The place was huge, a seemingly endless maze of corridors that twisted and turned so much that it was easy for those unfamiliar with its layout to lose their sense of direction. So Destiny was careful to keep track of where they were going, making mental note of anything that might help them find their way - a fire extinguisher, a diamond-shaped warp tile (which she and Lilac carefully avoided stepping on, knowing there was no telling where it would transport them to), a slightly open window . . .

    Suddenly, their path was blocked by two Electric Type Pokemon, a Magneton and an Electrode, both of which were crackling with electricity. These Pokemon had been trained for one purpose only - to take out any Pokemon that managed to get out of the holding cell. And they had been trained until their Attacks were powerful enough to knock out most opponents.

    Destiny knew at once that they would have to fight them. But she couldn't do it alone and Lilac still had that infernal band around her neck, preventing the Espeon from using her Psychic abilities. There was only one thing to do - she powered up a Thundershock and used it to break the collar. Now, she and Lilac could fight together.

    Moving as one, the two Pokemon powered up their Psychic Attacks. Their eyes began to glow with an unnatural light and, seconds later, a double bolt of energy shot from Destiny's horns and the red jewel on Lilac's forehead. But, just as the Attack was about to hit home, the Magneton and Electrode fought back using SonicBoom, sending a pulse of loud noise in the direction of the two Psychic Pokemon. Destiny winced and held her ears; the noise produced by SonicBoom was bad enough when one Pokemon used it, but two Pokemon using SonicBoom at once was twice as bad. Luckily, its effect didn't last long and Destiny and Lilac were soon ready to fight again.

    Destiny tried another Psychic Attack, targetting the Magneton, gathering her energy together before throwing it straight at the Electric/Steel Pokemon. It hit, but didn't appear to do much damage. Destiny frowned - of course, Steel Type Pokemon were strong against Psychic Attacks. And, since Magneton was also an Electric Type, Destiny's Electric Attacks wouldn't do much good either. How could she fight a Pokemon against which her Attacks had no clear advantage?

    Lilac, meanwhile, was targetting the Electrode, bombarding the ball-shaped Pokemon with her Swift Attack. Stars shot out of the Espeon's jewel, hitting the Electrode and knocking it back a few feet. It rolled forward again and began to charge up a Thunderbolt; as it sent a bolt of electricity in Lilac's direction, she dodged and fought back with her Tackle Attack, aiming to send the Electrode rolling down the corridor. But, before she could make contact, both the Electrode and the Magneton began to glow. And Lilac immediately knew why; once, Sheryl had used her in a battle against another trainer's Voltorb, when the Voltorb had used a move called Explosion. As the name implied, Explosion was a very powerful move, capable of knocking most Pokemon out with one hit . . .

    Lilac called out to Destiny, telling her to run for it. But, at that exact same moment, the Magneton and Electrode unleashed a double Explosion. Blinding light was swiftly followed by a loud bang, then a shockwave travelling so fast that Destiny had no time to even think about Teleporting herself and Lilac out.

    As the two Psychic Pokemon lay unconscious on the floor, Jack Sandford appeared on the scene, dressed in the uniform of a Rocket cadet. Behind him came Dan and Ross, followed by the latter's sister, Jade. The four paused when they saw the Pokemon and stood staring down at them for several seconds. Then, Jade spoke.

    "Looks like our Magneton and Electrode took care of them for us." She recalled the two Electric Types, both of which had fainted (both Explosion and Selfdestruct unleashed so much energy that any Pokemon using those moves would faint immediately afterwards) into their Poke Balls. Then, she turned to Dan and Ross. "Take them back to the holding cell - and, this time, make sure they can't get loose!"

    "And just remember this," Jack added, as Dan and Ross gathered up Destiny and Lilac. "The Kirlia's mine - or she will be as soon as I'm a fully fledged Rocket. You can do what you like with the Espeon."

    "Butt out, kid!" Jade snapped, glaring at him angrily. "No jumped-up Rocket cadet tells us what to do!" She turned to her brother and his partner. "Now, about the Espeon," she said. "Eevee evolutions are pretty valuable, especially if you can assemble the full set - there's bound to be someone out there who'll pay good money for this beast." Hers was a typical Team Rocket attitude, always thinking of the Pokemon she stole in terms of how powerful they were or how much money they were worth. The Kirlia looked as though she would be especially valuable - and never mind the fact that kid had his eye on her and had been promised her as a reward if he became a fully fledged Rocket. Team Rocket were experts at reneging on promises.

    Suddenly, the three Rockets and Jack were distracted by a shout of: "Jynx! Psychic Attack!" swiftly followed by all four of them levitating into the air. Looking down, they saw three female civilians (two girls and a woman) standing a few feet away, a Jynx standing in front of the woman. The Ice/Psychic Pokemon had her arms raised, her hands glowing with Psychic energy. "Good work, Jynx," the woman added. "Now, let them drop!" The Jynx did just that, prompting four loud oaths as the Rockets and Jack made painful contact with the floor, Dan and Ross still holding Destiny and Lilac. "Now," the woman went on, looking down at them, "I believe those Pokemon you're holding are my daughter's - and we're taking them back!" She turned back to her Jynx. "You know what to do."

    "Jjjjyyynnnnnnnxxxxxxx!" The Jynx used Psychic again, this time to levitate Destiny and Lilac out of the Rockets' clutches. The Kirlia and Espeon were surrounded by purple light as they were lifted through the air and slowly carried towards the two girls.

    Sheryl caught Destiny in her arms, as Kerrie managed to catch Lilac. Both Pokemon had been knocked out by the Explosion, their bodies covered in scorch marks, and Sheryl quickly turned to Kerrie. "Do you have any Revives?"

    Kerrie nodded and pulled two small bottles out of her bag, spraying the contents onto Sheryl's fainted Pokemon. Then, as the two girls watched Destiny and Lilac come round, a shadow fell across them, prompting them to look up. Jack Sandford was standing there, his face resembling a Pokemon that was just about to use Scary Face. "You again!" he said to Sheryl. "I should have known you'd find a way to find me!"

    "More to the point," Jade added, walking up behind Jack, "how did they get in here?"

    Hearing this, Sheryl thought back over the events that had led to Jill, Kerrie and herself being in this spot. After making their way through the old service tunnel (long disused as Officer Jenny had said) they had found their way into Team Rocket Headquarters. Wary of running into any Rockets, they had crept through the corridors, careful to stay out of sight; luckily, the only Rockets they encountered were a couple of low-level grunts whose Rattata and Shroomish were no match for Jill's Jynx and Kerrie's Ninetales. Then, moments after the two grunts had recalled their fainted Pokemon and retreated, Sheryl had sensed Destiny's presence and knew immediately that whatever had been blocking the Kirlia's Psychic abilities must somehow have been neutralised. And she was somewhere very close by . . .

    But she wasn't going to tell the Rockets or Jack Sandford this. Instead, she looked levelly at her enemies and told them to "go away and mind their own business".

    "In that case," Jack said, "it's time for a Pokemon battle!" With that, he pulled out two of his Poke Balls and pressed the buttons on the front. A double flash of light followed, fading to reveal his two strongest Pokemon, Fearow and Kingler. The brown Flying Type threw back his head and squawked out his challenge, as the large crab beside him brandished his powerful claws. At the same time, the three Rockets sent out their Pokemon. Dan sent out the Raticate he had used against Sheryl in Cerulean City, while Ross hurled the Poke Balls containing his Shiftry and Sableye. Finally, Jade sent out her two Pokemon. The first one was a Marowak, which emerged from his Poke Ball brandishing a long bone in his right forepaw. The second one was . . . something Sheryl had never seen before. A black head with a long pointed nose, two flowing purple ears and an odd spike at the crown was attached to a pink body which seemed to be limbless.

    "A Wormadam," Kerrie said, seeing the puzzled look on Sheryl's face. "I battled one once, only it was green . . ."

    "Well, we're gonna have to battle this one!" Sheryl shot back. "Send out your Pokemon!" Much as she wanted to take part in this battle, she knew she could not risk Destiny and Lilac; though the Revive had brought them round, it had not healed them completely and there was a risk that one of both of them would get knocked out again if they tried to fight. So she elected to stay out of the battle and leave the fighting to Kerrie's six Pokemon and Jill's Jynx.

    "OK," Kerrie said, pulling out all her Poke Balls at once. "Go . . . everyone!" Six flashes of light followed and, seconds later, her Breloom, Nidorina, Ninetales, Swablu, Flaaffy and Scyther materialised before her, ready for battle. And, next to Kerrie, Jill and her Jynx stood poised to join the fray.

    Jack growled under his breath. "In that case, I'll use all my Pokemon too," he muttered, sending out his Machop, Zangoose, Poochyena and Donphan. All four Pokemon were, like his Fearow and Kingler, strong and tough, just the way he liked the Pokemon he chose to keep on his team. He wanted Destiny, but only so he could add a Kirlia to his list of caught Pokemon; he had no use for a Kirlia or a Gardevoir.

    Seconds later, the battle began.

    "Swablu!" Kerrie shouted. "Use Peck on that Wormadam! Scyther, show that Zangoose your Slash!" In response, Scyther charged at Jack's Zangoose and prepared to slash the Normal Pokemon with the scythes on his front claws. Jack swiftly countered by telling Zangoose to give Scyther a Slash in return; seconds later, Scyther scythe clash against Zangoose claw like two knights crossing swords. At the same instant, Swablu's beak made contact with Jade's Wormadam, knocking her to the floor. But it seemed to do surprisingly little damage.

    Jade laughed. "Sorry, little girl. My Wormadam evolved with a Trash Cloak, which makes her Bug/Steel. Flying Type Attacks just won't work." She turned to her Wormadam. "Wormadam! Psybeam!"

    As the Wormadam prepared to fire the beam of Psychic energy, Kerrie thought fast. She had used Swablu in her previous battle against a Wormadam, but that Wormadam had, she now realised, had a Plant Cloak, making her a Bug/Grass Type and weak against Flying Pokemon. But, since Jade's Wormadam was Bug/Steel . . . "Ninetales!" Kerrie called to her beautiful fire fox, who was currently targetting Jack's Poochyena. "Flamethrower on the Wormadam! Swablu, go help Nidorina with that Raticate!"

    Jade cursed under her breath as she heard Kerrie tell Ninetales to target her Wormadam; as a combined Bug/Steel Pokemon, a Wormadam which evolved while wearing a Trash Cloak was twice as vulnerable to Fire Attacks as a Pokemon who was pure Bug or pure Steel. And a Plant Cloak Wormadam had the same weakness. "Wormadam! Protect!" she ordered, as Ninetales shot a jet of flames in Wormadam's direction. "Marowak," Jade said to her other Pokemon, once Wormadam's Protect had blocked the Flamethrower that would have finished her, "knock that Ninetales out with your Bone Club! Wormadam, get ready to use your Dream Eater!"

    Hearing this, Sheryl tensed. Dream Eater, she recalled from classes at Saffron Gym, was a move which could only be used on sleeping Pokemon; it had the effect of stealing their energy. Jade's strategy appeared to be one she had used in the past - get Marowak to knock an opponent senseless with his Bone Club, then have Wormadam use Dream Eater to drain that Pokemon's energy while it was sleeping. And Ninetales was currently occupied with battling Wormadam and couldn't see Marowak sneaking up behind her. Sheryl knew something had to be done. But what? The rest of Kerrie's Pokemon were busy with battles of their own, as was Jill's Jynx.

    Just then, she sensed her name being "said" inside her mind. "Sheryl . . ." She looked down; Destiny was standing up, her red eyes glowing. "Sheryl," Destiny thought again, "let me help . . ."
  17. Willow's Tara

    Willow's Tara The Bewitched

    Very good fanfic, keep going it had me hooked really.

    It was nice to see Sabrina and Misty not to mention that they mentioned vaguely Ash and Pikachu (Plus Haunter is still at the Gym lol). Although when Misty said I used to travel with a boy who had a Pikachu you think she would say friend. Anyways very good couldn't see much wrong with it.

    One more question. Either I missed it or it wasn't there but did you make Jynx purple or black? Just curious I would have made it her true color black.
  18. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Ten

    Sheryl looked down at Destiny, sensing as she did so the determination in the Kirlia's mind. Destiny was determined to get into this battle, to help defeat Jack and the Rockets no matter what the cost. But could Sheryl let her take the risk? Destiny was, despite Kerrie's Revive, still weak from being caught in the double Explosion. If she tried to battle, especially when several of the opposing Pokemon (Sheryl's eyes swept over Jack's Poochyena, Jade's Wormadam and Ross's Shiftry and Sableye) were strong against Psychic Types, she risked being knocked out again.

    "Sheryl, you have to let me try," Destiny insisted telepathically. "We must teach Jack a lesson so he never goes after us again . . ." With that, she stared at Jack's Machop, targetting the Fighting Pokemon because she knew he was weak against a Psychic Type like her. Her eyes began to glow and, seconds later, the Machop (who had been using Focus Energy to power up for his next attack) levitated into the air, surrounded by a purple glow. Then, Destiny threw him against the wall, knocking him out and forcing Jack to recall him.

    Seeing this, Jade growled under her breath. "Wormadam," she said to her Bug/Steel Pokemon, "get that Kirlia! Shadow Ball!" In response, Wormadam formed a glowing ball of purple-black energy, which hovered in mid-air before shooting straight at Destiny. And, since it was a Ghost Type Attack, Destiny, being a Psychic Pokemon was weak against this move. Sheryl could not risk letting it hit her, especially when her strength was already depleted.

    "Destiny! Double Team!" Sheryl called desperately, watching as Destiny seemed to clone herself, causing half-a-dozen copies of herself to appear. With a bit of luck, that should cause Jade's Wormadam to become distracted and cause her to waste time trying to knock out the copies. Hopefully, that would give Sheryl enough time to figure out a way of getting out of Team Rocket Headquarters once and for all, provided she, Jill and Kerrie could battle their way past Jack and the three Rockets first . . . She paused, suddenly sensing that something was wrong. And, then, it hit her. Where were all the other Rockets? Why had she and the others not run into any apart from the pair with the Rattata and the Shroomish?

    "I don't like this," she said to Kerrie, whose Ninetales was currently going head-to-head with Jack's Poochyena. Both Pokemon were circling each other and growling, their hackles raised in an attempt to look more intimidating. "Why haven't we seen more Rockets? This is their base and . . ."

    She was cut off by a shout from Jade. "Wormadam! Hurry up and find the real one!" While Sheryl and Kerrie had stopped to exchange words, Jade's Wormadam had continued knocking out Destiny's Double Team clones. Now, only one of these clones remaining, leaving Wormadam a fifty-fifty chance of hitting Destiny with her next Attack. And she was already powering up another Shadow Ball . . .


    The Shadow Ball hit one of the two Kirlias in the room. In an instant, the Pokemon disappeared in a flash of light; it was the Double Team copy. Then, before Sheryl, Kerrie or Jill could act, Wormadam fired another Shadow Ball, aiming it directly at Destiny, who was now standing close to where Lilac still lay on the floor. Unlike her team-mate, the Espeon had chosen not to get involved in this battle while her strength was still reduced, but that left her vulnerable to being hit by stray Attacks. So Destiny had taken advantage of her Double Team clones to make her way over to the Espeon, hoping to protect her.

    But Wormadam's Shadow Ball was heading straight for her. If it hit, it would almost certainly knock Destiny out - and Lilac would be next in line. Seeing this, Jill knew she had to do something. Or, rather, her Jynx had to do something, a tactic she had used once before . . . "Jynx!" Jill called to her only Pokemon. "Ice Beam Attack! Try to freeze that Shadow Ball!" A blue-white glow formed on the Jynx's forehead, then shot out in the form of a burst of intensely cold energy, as Jynx used her Psychic powers to direct the Ice Beam towards the Shadow Ball which Wormadam had fired. It hit, freezing the Shadow Ball into a ball of solid ice.

    "Jynx! Psychic!" ordered Jill. And Jynx used her Psychic Attack to blast the ball of ice in mid-air. The resulting shower of ice particles reminded Sheryl of dozens of lustrous diamonds, but there was no time to think of that now. For Wormadam was already powering up for yet another Shadow Ball.

    Before the Bug/Steel Pokemon could unleash her Attack, however, Kerrie's Ninetales leapt into the fray, attacking the Wormadam with a Fire Spin. Wormadam was trapped in a fiery vortex, surrounded by flames and unable to escape. Seeing this and recalling Wormadam's weakness against Fire Attacks, Jade tried to recall her Pokemon, only to find that the flames blocked the beam from Wormadam's Poke Ball. "Good, Ninetales," Kerrie said, seeing Wormadam weakening. When Wormadam was weakened enough for even Attacks which weren't super effective against Steel to knock her out, Kerrie unleashed the coup-de-grace. "Now! Finish it with Iron Tail!"

    Ninetales' nine silken tails began to glow, as they briefly became as hard as iron. Then, the fire fox lashed out, striking Wormadam with her tails and sending her flying into the wall. She did not get up and Jade swiftly recalled her, swearing under her breath. "Don't start celebrating just yet," she said to Sheryl, Jill and Kerrie. She turned to her remaining Pokemon. "Marowak! Bonemerang!"

    As Jade's Marowak prepared to throw his bone club at Ninetales, he suddenly froze and levitated into the air. Destiny had used a combined Disable and Psychic Attack to stop the Ground Pokemon in his tracks, but Sheryl could see that fighting was taking a lot out of the Kirlia. She had already caught a glancing blow from Jack's Donphan as he used Rock Slide on Kerrie's Nidorina and Scyther, exacerbating her already weakened condition. And then there was the "small matter" of the other Rockets. Why hadn't Jade, Dan or Ross called for reinforcements?

    But there was no time to worry about that right now - all she, Jill and Kerrie could do was hope the three Rockets didn't do that and that they could be defeated quickly. The police, Sheryl knew from the plans which had been discussed back in Cerise Town, had the place surrounded and, with a bit of luck, had already made several arrests of Team Rocket agents. That, however, was not Sheryl's main concern; she was far more worried about Destiny, knowing the Kirlia barely had the energy to use her powers.


    As Destiny sank to her knees, exhausted, still trying to maintain her Psychic hold on Jade's Marowak, Sheryl rushed to her side. "Destiny, you have to stop," she said. "You can't use your powers when you're this weak."

    Destiny turned to look at Sheryl. "There is a way," she said into the girl's mind. "If their trainer is also psychic, a Psychic Pokemon can channel their powers through them . . ."

    "Are you sure you want to do that?" Sheryl had learned of such Psychic channelling at Saffron Gym, but had never actually seen it done. Even Sabrina, with her special connection to her Kadabra, had never attempted it; it was said that only a handful of human psychics in the whole world had. And the thing Sheryl remembered most clearly from that class was the warning that channelling should not be attempted unless it was absolutely necessary. If you weren't prepared for the sudden surge of mental energy, you could do yourself some serious damage. That was why so few trainers had attempted to channel a Psychic Pokemon's powers.

    "There's no choice!" Destiny's thoughts were insistent. "We've got to discourage him . . ." She nodded towards Jack. ". . . from ever coming after us again. And I can't do it alone. Please, Sheryl, you have to trust me."

    Sheryl nodded and turned to Jill and Kerrie, whose Pokemon were still in the thick of fighting - all except Kerrie's Swablu, who had fainted courtesy of a Bubblebeam from Jack's Kingler. "Keep fighting," she told them. "Destiny and I are going to try something." She turned back to the Kirlia and placed her hands on the Psychic Pokemon's red horns. She closed her eyes, bracing herself as Destiny began to channel her Psychic powers into her trainer, girl and Kirlia becoming surrounded by a purple glow visible even to the non-psychics in the room. But, while they saw only a faint glow, every being with psychic powers - Jill, Jynx and Lilac - saw it in all its glory, a brilliant light around the pair, a light so brilliant that it defied description.

    Sheryl felt energy coursing through her, momentarily taking her breath away. In seconds, she felt as if she had effectively become Destiny, the knowledge of which Attacks a Kirlia could learn and how to perform them entering her mind as naturally as a human's knowledge of how to walk or talk. She was closer to Destiny than she had ever been, physically or mentally, but she was careful to maintain a small vestige of human awareness, enough to let her continue to speak in human language.

    But, in channelling her energy into her trainer, Destiny had lost her Psychic hold on Jade's Marowak. The second he was back on the ground, he drew back his arm to perform the Bonemerang he had been about to used when Destiny Disabled him. Since Kerrie's Ninetales had changed position in the moments that had passed since then, he aimed his bone at the nearest Pokemon, Lilac, and prepared to throw . . .

    "Breloom! Bullet Seed!" ordered Kerrie. And her Grass/Fighting Pokemon whose head looked like a green mushroom started bombarding Marowak with hard seeds, aiming them at the Ground Pokemon's body rather than at his head, which was protected by a thick, boney skull. Marowak tried to fight back, but Breloom's attack was relentless; indeed, Breloom "accidentally" had a few of the Bullet Seeds hit Jack and the Rockets, causing them to yell with pain. Ross's Shiftry tried to counter with a Bullet Seed Attack of his own, only to be frozen by an Ice Beam from Jill's Jynx.

    At this point, Sheryl decided to get into the action herself. She raised her hand, feeling energy coursing through her as she became a conduit for the powers Destiny had channelled through her. Then, she chose her target - Dan's Raticate. Her forehead glowed as she used Confusion to send the Raticate spinning like a top a few inches above the floor.


    As Dan recalled his Confused Raticate, Jill grew concerned. She had seen what her daughter had done with her Kirlia and knew what it meant; her grandmother (Sheryl and Alison's great-grandmother) had once done something similar with her Slowking. But the woman had been a veteran Pokemon trainer with nearly fifty years worth of experience. Sheryl was a young girl, who had only been training for a couple of years. Did she know what she was doing here? Even for those born with such abilities, psychic powers took time to fully master and channelling a Psychic Pokemon's powers was not something to be done lightly. If Sheryl kept this up . . .

    Meanwhile, Kerrie saw Jade reach into her pocket for a radio, a small communication device with a red R on the back. This was it. Now that the three Rockets only had one fighting fit Pokemon (Ross's Sableye) between them, Jade must be about to call for reinforcements. And, with most of Jack's Pokemon still fighting, the last thing Sheryl, Jill and Kerrie needed right now was more Rockets. She turned to her Flaaffy. "Don't let her summon help! Thundershock!" And Flaaffy proceeded to zap the communication device in Jade's hand, frying its circuits and rendering it useless.

    "Don't think you're going to get away that easy!" Ross retorted, as his sister swore under her breath. He turned to the purple Ghost/Dark Pokemon standing nearby. "Sableye! Mean Look! Make sure none of their Pokemon can get away!"

    "We can't let that Sableye finish its attack," Destiny thought to Sheryl, the latter still glowing from channelling the Kirlia's powers. "Remember what Mean Look does?"

    Sheryl did remember. Back in Saffron City, she had once seen a Misdreavus belonging to a trainer from the Ghost Pokemon Gym in Ecruteak City (who was passing through on the way to Lavender Town) use that move in a demonstration battle at Saffron's main convention centre. She recalled how glowing purple eyes had surrounded the Misdreavus, staring at the opposing Pokemon (a Pikachu belonging to a volunteer from the audience) with a peculiar intensity, which made Sheryl shiver just recalling it. And, when the Pikachu's trainer later tried to switch Pokemon, he found the beam from the Pikachu's Poke Ball blocked. For that was the power of Mean Look; it prevented trainers from recalling their Pokemon until either it or the Pokemon which had used Mean Look was defeated.

    But, before Sheryl had time to act, a Flamethrower knocked the Sableye back several feet, breaking her concentration before she could perform her Mean Look. Kerrie, overhearing Ross's order and remembering a time when her Swablu was on the wrong end of a Murkrow's Mean Look, had ordered her Ninetales to attack the Ghost/Dark Pokemon. The Sableye was singed, but she was still in fighting condition and about to use Night Shade.

    Sheryl did not stop to think. She just closed her eyes, feeling the Psychic energy Destiny had channelled through her surging through her body. The next thing she felt was the same levitating and zooming sensation she had felt when Destiny Teleported her to Cerulean Park. Had she just used Teleport too? Where would she be when she landed?


    Moments later, Sheryl felt herself slam against something hard, knocking the breath out of her for a few seconds. Nearby, she heard several voices (human and Pokemon) cry out at once and knew immediately that they must have landed. But where? She waited for her head to clear before opening her eyes and taking stock of her surroundings. She was on a flat roof, the roof of Team Rocket Headquarters. Beside her, she could see, Jill, Kerrie and all the Pokemon they still had out, while, directly opposite, were Jack and the three Rockets, all of whom had been caught in the Teleport. Ross's Sableye was also here, as were all Jack's Pokemon except the Machop Destiny had defeated earlier in the battle.

    "What?" Sheryl asked, confused. "How did we get up here?" It was pretty much a rhetorical question; she already had a fairly good idea of what had happened. But Destiny answered her anyway.

    "You Teleported us. Remember, you channelled my powers, so you can use any Psychic Attack a Kirlia can."

    "Yeah, I know. But . . ." Sheryl was cut off abruptly by a sudden sharp pain in her head. She winced, but told herself that it was simply the after-effects of Teleporting; zipping from one place to another in two seconds flat had to take something out of you, especially when you weren't used to it. She shook it off and considered their current position. Jill's Jynx was still in fighting condition, as were most of Kerrie's Pokemon, but they had just as many Pokemon facing them: five of the ones belonging to Jack and Ross's Sableye, the latter's multi-faceted eyes glowing with a sinister light. Suddenly, at a silent signal from Ross, she launched herself at Destiny, attacking the Kirlia with a vicious series of Fury Swipes. Sheryl knew she had to act fast; with Destiny weakened, even a fairly basic Attack such as Fury Swipes could finish her. But what could she do? As a Dark/Ghost Pokemon, Sableye could not be hit by the Psychic Attacks Sheryl had channelled from Destiny . . .

    Then, it hit her. It was risky, but it might just work - if Destiny could remain conscious for long enough. "Destiny?" she said. "Do you still have the energy to generate a Shockwave?"

    "I'll try. But it'll mean you won't be able to channel me - I don't have the energy to give you my powers as well."

    Sheryl nodded her understanding, then turned to Kerrie, asking if any of her Pokemon knew Shockwave. Kerrie replied that her Flaaffy and Nidorina both did. "Good," Sheryl said, relieved. She had hoped the Flaaffy at least would know Shockwave, just in case Destiny alone wasn't able to pull this off. "Tell them to use Shockwave on that Sableye and I'll tell Destiny to do the same." She turned back to Destiny. "You ready?"

    Destiny nodded and began to generate the arcs of electricity, willing herself to succeed, reminding herself that the Sableye was a Pokemon belonging to a member of Team Rocket. At the same instant, Sheryl suddenly felt the powers Destiny had channelled through her disappear; the shock made her dizzy and she was only dimly aware of Kerrie's Nidorina and Flaaffy generating their own Shockwaves. She barely noticed when the two Pokemon and Destiny launched their attack, nor when it struck not only the Sableye but Dan, Ross and Jade as well. But, before she blacked out, she thought for a moment that she heard the three Rockets shout:

    "We're blasting off agaaaaiiiin!"


    Sorry about using "we're blasting off again!" - couldn't resist ;)
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  19. Willow's Tara

    Willow's Tara The Bewitched

    Nice chapter, I liked it. Something I noticed though while Destiny and Lilac were kidnapped Lilac didn't really say anything, wouldn't the two able to talk even telepathically?

    I like to see more, lol you are excused for using Blasting off again:p
  20. Clare

    Clare The Dainty Delcatty

    Chapter Eleven


    Sheryl was vaguely aware of Jill's voice calling her and of the fact that she was being shaken. Her head was aching and she waited for a few moments while it cleared, then opened her eyes slowly. Their faces at first blurry, she saw Jill and Kerrie kneeling beside her. "W - what happened?" she stammered, struggling to get the words out.

    "I could ask you the same question," Jill replied. "You know channelling a Psychic Pokemon is something that's only to be done as a last resort."

    Sheryl sat up, feeling as she did so, a brief wave of dizziness. But she ignored it and forced herself to look Jill and Kerrie full in the face. "It was Destiny's idea. She was too weak to battle herself, so she transferred some of her powers into me . . ." She paused, realising for the first time that the Kirlia was absent and so was Lilac. What had happened to them? Had she lost them after all this? She thought back over the battle, the struggle against Jack and the Rockets. Had it all been in vain? "Destiny!" she cried. "Lilac! Where are they?!"

    Jill shook her head slowly. "It was that boy." Sheryl did not need to ask which boy she meant. "Right when you fainted, he grabbed Destiny, got on that Fearow of his and took off into the air. As for Lilac, I put her in one of my spare Poke Balls." She handed the red-and-white globe to her daughter, who accepted it without looking at it, relieved that at least one of her Pokemon had been recovered, but concerned that Jack had, once again, escaped with Destiny. And they could be anywhere by now, perhaps even over the border in Johto.

    But Sheryl was not about to give up hope; she had never given up on Destiny before and she was not about to start now. She turned to Kerrie, telling her to send her Scyther out to scout the area. Kerrie nodded and, wishing Swablu hadn't been knocked out in the battle against Jack and the Rockets (it would have been useful to have an extra pair of eyes) pulled out her Scyther's Poke Ball, pressing the button which activated it. As the green Bug Pokemon with blades for arms materialised, Kerrie gave him her instructions. "Scyther, fly round and look for a Fearow carrying a boy and a Kirlia. The boy will be wearing a Rocket cadet's uniform."

    "Scyther scyth," Scyther said, as, in a rush of wings, he took to the air and flew away. Kerrie watched him go, then turned back to the others.

    "Now we just have to figure out how we're gonna get down," she added. For she, Sheryl and Jill were still on the roof of Team Rocket Headquarters and, with Destiny gone, the only way of getting back down to street level seemed to be to make their way back into the building and make their way through the maze of corridors. And with most of their Pokemon weak from the recent battle, they would be in serious trouble if they ran into any Rockets.

    "We could do with a Pidgeot to fly us down," Sheryl said, speaking mostly to herself.

    "Well none of us has one, so now what?" Kerrie shot back.


    As luck would have it, it was at precisely that moment that the throbbing sound of a helicopter in flight was heard directly overhead. The craft was flying low, low enough for Sheryl, Jill and Kerrie to see that it was a police helicopter, one sent to scout the area for any stray Rockets. Now, all they had to do was attract the pilot's attention. Sheryl turned to Kerrie. "Does your Flaaffy know Flash?"

    Kerrie nodded and Sheryl briefly explained her plan; she hoped that if Flaaffy used her Flash, it would act as a beacon and the helicopter's pilot would come and get them off the roof. "Like that Ampharos in Olivine," she said, refering to the Ampharos which lived in the Lighthouse in Olivine City, where its light shone out to sea, warning ships in the area that they were approaching land. Sheryl had never seen it herself, having never been out of Kanto, but she had read about it and that was what gave her the idea to use Kerrie's Flaaffy as a beacon. After all, Flaaffy was part of the same evolutionary line as Ampharos . . .

    "OK," Kerrie said, opening her Flaaffy's Poke Ball and releasing the Electric Pokemon within. "Flaaffy! Use Flash! Try to get their attention!" She pointed towards the helicopter hovering nearby. In response, Flaaffy focused her energy, concentrating it on her tail and causing the blue orb at the tip to light up briefly. Then, it went out, only to light up again seconds later. That was how Flash worked, at least in the case of Electric Pokemon; residual electrical energy within the Pokemon's body was used to generate light. Flaaffy signalled again, the orb on her tail acting as a beacon; all Sheryl could do now was hope that whoever was piloting the helicopter would see it and come to help.

    Sure enough, seconds later, the helicopter drew level with the roof and Don leaned down from the pilot's seat; Officer Jenny was sitting beside him. "Need any help?" he asked over the whirring of the rotor, as Sheryl and the others tried to keep out of the wind whipped up by the rapidly spinning blades.

    "Yes!" Jill shouted back, relieved that he had evidently seen Flaaffy's signal. "We need to get off this roof and then we need to catch up with the boy who stole Sheryl's Kirlia!"

    "And keep an eye out for my Scyther," Kerrie added, recalling Flaaffy as she spoke. "I sent it out to scout round."


    As she and the others took off in the helicopter, Sheryl asked the question she had been longing to ask. "Dad, what happened to the Rockets?"

    Don, his hands on the controls, explained. "While you three were busy, we managed to round up quite a few of them. We didn't get Giovanni, though - he gave us the slip," he added bitterly. Yet again, the most wanted man in all of Kanto and Johto had evaded capture. "But that's beside the point right now; our main priority is getting your Kirlia back."

    "I'll try to sense her," Sheryl replied, closing her eyes and attempting to focus on Destiny's signature. Presently, right on the very edge of her limit, she sensed it, the faint sensation of a Psychic Pokemon calling for help. It was too far away for her to pick up any specific information, but she could pinpoint the direction - it was coming from somewhere to the east - and could identify Destiny's unique Psychic signature. Like a fingerprint or the sound of a voice, no two Psychic Pokemon have exactly the same signature - and Sheryl had known Destiny long enough to be able to quickly identify her signature. She pointed in the direction concerned. "That way. And hurry!"

    Don turned the helicopter in the direction indicated by his daughter, as Officer Jenny continued filling Sheryl, Jill and Kerrie in on the outcome of the raid on Team Rocket Headquarters; several Rockets were now in custody at Viridian City's police station. This included Dan, Ross and Jade, who had, after being "blasted off", landed in a Spider Web deployed by a police Ariados. But, as Don had already stated, Giovanni and several members of his inner circle had escaped, fleeing in Giovanni's private helicopter before the police could catch them. "Not to worry, though," Don added. "If I know Giovanni, he'll be back sooner or later. And Walter and Frogger did help round up quite a few Rockets." He was refering to his two strongest Pokemon, a Blastoise and a Poliwrath; before joining the police force, he had been a Water Pokemon trainer and his younger daughter, Alison, appeared to have inherited his fondness for Water Types, despite the fact that women in her family were traditionally Psychic trainers. Still, there were some Water Pokemon that were also Psychic Types or could learn Psychic Attacks . . .

    Sheryl, meanwhile, continued maintaining her tenuous mindlink with Destiny, wishing all the while that she could send a telepathic message back to the Kirlia to reassure her that she was coming for her. But she could not. Her powers only allowed her to receive Destiny's thoughts, not the other way around.


    Riding on the back of his Fearow, Jack Sandford was gloating over his triumph. At last, that Kirlia he had sought to possess for so long was finally his - and that girl who claimed it was her Kirlia was too far away to do anything about it. Looking down at the green-haired Pokemon in his arms, he recalled how he had seen her channel her powers through Sheryl, a feat he knew was beyond him since he was not a psychic. But it did not deter him from snatching her up while Jill and Kerrie were distracted by Sheryl's collapse; rather, it made him more determined than ever to separate the girl and the Kirlia.

    The trouble was, wherever he went in Kanto, Sheryl was sure to find a way to follow him. Every time he "claimed" Destiny (whom he persisted in simply calling "Kirlia", being one of those trainers who did not waste time thinking up Pokemon nicknames) she would track him down and get her Pokemon back. Maybe he should leave the country, head for one of the other regions. But which? The Orange Islands were out as, although they were self-governing with their own Pokemon League, they were still Kantoese territory. And the fact it shared a land border with Kanto ruled Johto out as well. He had to take Destiny somewhere Sheryl would never be able to track them down . . .

    As he looked down at Destiny, it occured to him - Orre. That region was a fair distance from Kanto and its somewhat shady reputation meant few trainers ventured there from other regions. Of course, he would have to fly there on Fearow, but . . . Suddenly, he was startled out of his thoughts by the sound of a helicopter gaining on him. He looked around. There was a police helicopter right behind him and, through the windscreen, he could see her, the girl who had been the bane of his life ever since his unsuccessful attempt to win the Marsh Badge. Also in the helicopter were three grown ups (two police officers and a female civilian) and another girl. He had never seen the male police officer before, but he had seen various members of the female's family on his Pokemon journey. As for the other woman and the girl, he had seen them all right; he, Dan, Ross and Jade had recently battled them at Team Rocket Headquarters. Were they on some sort of "rescue" mission, trying to get Destiny away from him? Huh! Just let them try!

    "Fearow," he said to the brown bird he was riding, "get me out of here!"


    Officer Jenny saw the Fearow put on a burst of speed, but that didn't worry her; if necessary, these police helicopters could outfly a Pidgeot. "After him!" she told Don, who promptly gave the helicopter its own burst of speed and quickly caught up with the fleeing boy and Fearow.

    Drawing level with Jack, Jenny spoke into her megaphone. "Stop right there! Land your Fearow at once! I will not repeat the order!"

    Jack's only response was to flash a rude gesture in the direction of the helicopter. There was no way he was giving up now, not after he had fought so hard to get hold of that Kirlia. And how had they managed to catch him up so quickly? He had thought, he had been convinced, that he was so far ahead of Sheryl and her meddling friends that they couldn't possibly catch him. Could what Sabrina had said about everyone in Saffron Gym having some form of psychic power be true? Was that how . . .?

    He did not know - and he was not about to wait around and find out. So he continued flying as if Jenny hadn't spoken.

    "That was your last warning!" Jenny shouted through her megaphone. "Deploying the PokeNet!" she added, reaching for a button on the control panel. On it was a stylised picture of a Poke Ball with a net shooting out of it. She pressed it and the nose of the helicopter lifted up, revealing what appeared to be the barrel of a gun. But the thing that was shot from it was not a bullet; it was a large net, large and strong enough to trap most Flying Pokemon. Such "PokeNets" as they were called were used to catch criminals who attempted to flee on the backs of Flying Pokemon. The mesh could not be easily broken and they were also flameproof, just in case they ever had to be deployed against a Charizard.

    Jack swore as he, Destiny and his Fearow were ensnared in the PokeNet. The bird tried to break loose, attacking the net with his sharp beak, but the mesh was too strong; they were trapped. There was nothing they could do except dangle helplessly in midair, waiting to be hauled aboard the helicopter. And he had been so close to getting away with that Kirlia too! He did not care what anyone else said; as far as he was concerned, that Kirlia belonged to him and no-one else.


    As they neared the ground, Don handed the controls to Jenny, then opened the helicopter's door from inside. Holding onto the wall with one hand, he pulled out a Poke Ball with the other hand and pressed the button to activate it. "Walter," he said as his Blastoise materialised before him, "haul 'em in!" He gestured towards the boy and the Pokemon who were caught in the net.

    "Blastoise!" said Walter. And, with that, the powerful turtle-like Pokemon with cannons attached to his shell leaned out of the open door and just managed to grasp the end of the PokeNet. Then, he used Strength, allowing him to haul the combined weight of a human boy, a Fearow and a Kirlia into the helicopter. As Sheryl hurried to shut the door again and Don took back the controls, Walter deposited his "catch" on the floor. Jack swore out loud as his backside made contact with the floor of the helicopter and he looked up - to find five faces, four humans and one Blastoise, looking at him sternly.

    "Give it up!" Sheryl said. "There's nowhere to run, so you might as well hand Destiny over!" She pointed to the Kirlia, whom Jack was still keeping a tight hold on.

    "Never!" Jack retorted, as he recalled his Fearow. "I don't care what anyone says. I saw this Kirlia first and that means I should get to keep it!"

    "It doesn't work like that," Jill told him. "Whether you like it or not, my daughter was the first to catch that Kirlia and that means the Kirlia is rightfully hers."

    "She wasn't the first to catch this Kirlia - I was!" Jack was clearly not ready to give up yet. "I mean, it broke out of my Poke Ball, but so what? It's my Pokemon! I found it and I caught it!"

    "That's just it!" Sheryl shot back. "You didn't catch Destiny; you threw a Poke Ball at her and she broke out. And," she added, looking Jack full in the face, "she told me she didn't want you to be her trainer anyway. She said she could sense something about you, something she didn't trust. She chose me over you - why can't you accept that?"

    Jack's only response was a fierce scowl. "And you expect me to believe that crap?! I mean, a Pokemon choosing its trainer?!" He reached for one of the Poke Balls on his belt, knowing his Pokemon were all weakened from the recent battle at Team Rocket Headquarters, but, at the same time, not caring. All he cared about was proving that he was Destiny's rightful trainer. "So I'll battle you for that Kirlia," he added, knowing that Sheryl had no Pokemon capable of battling and that he would, therefore, win by default.

    Before Sheryl could reply, Jenny cut in. "No, not in such a confined space. Besides, there's one surefire way to prove you didn't catch that Kirlia. Hand over your Pokedex," she added, her tone clearly conveying the warning that Jack had better do as she said . . . or else. She folded her arms and fixed Jack with one of her "I mean business" stares.

    Jack handed over his Pokedex without looking at the people who were looking down at him as if he was the lowest form of life imaginable. Jenny switched on the handheld computer, whose electronic voice promptly launched into an explanation of how it was "programmed to provide Pokemon information and advice to trainer Jack Sandford", before Jenny hit the "Skip Intro" button. "OK," she said, pressing a few buttons on the unit. "I'm switching to "Pokemon Caught" mode - any Pokemon you've caught will have a Poke Ball mark by their species name." She scrolled through a long list of Pokemon until she reached Numbers 252 to 386, stopping when she came to the Ralts line. There was no Poke Ball mark by either Ralts, Kirlia or Gardevoir. "There!" she said, showing Jack the screen. "What further proof do you need? The Pokedex does not lie. Jack Sandford," she added, "you are under arrest for Pokenapping. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used as evidence against you."


    They landed on the outskirts of Cerise Town and, while Don and Jenny marched Jack in the direction of the local police station, Sheryl, Jill and Kerrie headed for the town's Pokemon Centre to have their Pokemon healed. As they neared the building, which had a large red P by the front door like all Pokemon Centres, they saw a Scyther standing outside like a sentinel. A Scyther Kerrie recognised . . .

    "That's my Scyther!" she called, as the green Bug Pokemon, spotting her, flew towards her. Then, seeing the puzzled look on Sheryl's face, she added: "Wanna know how it got here? Easy - I taught all my Pokemon to head for the nearest Pokemon Centre if we ever got split up." With that, she called Scyther back into his Poke Ball and pocketed the Ball, relieved that this strategy (which had helped her and her Pokemon to regroup before) had worked once again.

    Meanwhile, Jill looked at her daughter, who stood cradling Destiny in her arms. The Kirlia was still weakened and needed to be attended to as quickly as possible, as did all their Pokemon, but at least they had managed to get her away from Jack Sandford. "Come on," Jill said to Sheryl, putting her arm round the girl. "Let's get inside and get our Pokemon healed."

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