It was a misty May morning. In fact, dawn just broke. Oddly enough, though Brock and Dawn were still sleeping, Ash was up bright and early for some unknown reason. He had this weird feeling at the pit of his stomach and decided to walk it out by the lake nearby the campsite they resided. Of course, Ash's movements had also triggered Pikachu to wake up and follow. "Pikachu, no." Ash insisted. "You need to get some more sleep." Typically, Pikachu ignored his orders and went along with him anyway. As they headed out to the lake, they couldn't disregard the wonderful scenery around him. There were many different types of trees around them such as oaks, elms, birches, and even some ivy trees. After a worthwhile trip down the forest, they finally reached their destination.
"The lake was known as Lake Volcanico.", Ash recalled as he and his loyal Pikachu sat down and the dewy grass. They ignored the wet feeling of the grass and continued to reminisce. Ash remembered when Brock said that. He, Brock and Dawn were just walking when they found the lake. Apparently, this lake was a rare sight. Because it was named after the several geysers and volcanoes that resided within the area, this was a place where fire and water Pokémon had learned to adapt and co-operate with each other. Ash then remembered sprinting a mad dash towards the lake in hopes of finding some water and fire type Pokémon. Unfortunately, he did and the Pokémon were so frightened by Ash that they shot him with Flamethrowers and Water Guns. Ash reminisced the pain he received afterwards. Apparently, a mixture of fire and water turns into steam and while steam may be great for your pores, it still isn't good in a large quantity. Ash managed to get himself burned in so many places, after a week, he had finally recovered and that's what happened. Now, he was just staring at the calm lake with his pal Pikachu like nothing bad ever happened to him. Of course, he got that all wrong.
What he didn't know was that Jessie, James, and Meowth were just hiding behind the bush sleeping. In their dreams, they constantly had nightmares of all of their failures. They recalled all of the times where they always lost and ended up "blasting off again." They also knew that deep within their cruel hearts, Cassidy and B... whatever his name was whether it was Biff or Bob or something, always were the more successful ones. They continues to sleep shuddering while Ash was right within their grasp the entire time and they couldn't do a thing.
Ash laid back on the grass and put Pikachu on his stomach. "Pikachu..." Ash started. Pikachu just sat up and stared at him curiously. "You know that I would do anything for you to keep you safe and happy." Of course, Pikachu already knew that through the many encounters they had together. Pikachu then nodded politely, took a big high-pitched yawn, and curled up into a ball on Ash's lap. Ash was satisfied with Pikachu but some unknown force was still bothering him and he didn't know what it was.
Dawn and Brock finally woke up at around seven, about two hours after Ash and Pikachu left the campsite. At first, the two wondered where Ash and Pikachu went off to, but then figured he just went for a walk and would come back soon for breakfast, or so they thought.
Brock started whipping up some Pokémon food and some pancakes for everyone and that's when some surrounding wild Pokémon gathered around to enjoy the aroma of Brock's cooking. At first, Brock felt as people were ganging up on him, which in a way was true, but then when an unsuspecting Wooper landed on his shoulder, he screamed in terror, only to find out that two eggs cracked onto his favourite apron and Pokémon were surrounding his cooking. That's when Brock just let it go and shared some of his food with the wild Pokémon.
After a while, breakfast started and Brock and Dawn haven't seen Ash coming yet. "We'll just wait a little longer", Brock stated calmly. "He just probably took in some fresh air at the lake and lost track of time.
"You know what, you're right Brock." Dawn replied. "There's no need to worry. If Ash is in any trouble, he can take care of it." After a pause and the thought that Ash is probably walking home right now, they continued their breakfast with only a minor hint of doubt.
At the lake, the Pokémon there had also woken up and started going about with their usual playful selves. Ash and Pikachu, not long ago, had fallen asleep on the soft grass with the crashing water and relaxing breeze. Truth is, it would be quite impossible to NOT fall asleep. As Ash and Pikachu just laid there out in the open, Jessie, James and Meowth finally woke up. As they stood up, they noticed Ash with his Pikachu ready for the taking.
"Finally, we get our big break." James replied, but then was strictly shushed by his two teammates. "James, we don't want to wake them up." Jessie whispered. "Now put on some rubber gloves and take Pikachu." "Right!" Meowth and James cheered quietly. As soon as the three got on their rubber gloves, they successfully retrieved Pikachu, put it into an electric-proof cage, put a yellow pillow beside Ash as a decoy Pikachu so he doesn't notice immediately, and took off into the sky without any other warning. In other words, they had finally retrieved Pikachu.
Brock and Dawn finished breakfast along with the other Pokémon and Ash still hasn't come back yet. "I bet he's still at the lake and fell asleep." Brock replied. "I'll go look for him while you say here and continue packing up. "Ok." Dawn answered. "But hurry back Brock. Ash's food is getting cold."
Brock nodded and immediately made a mad dash towards the lake, just as Ash did a week ago. Once he arrived at the lake, he found Ash snoring like a Snorlax on the grass. Brock then woke him by splashing some water onto his face and Ash woke up with a fright.
"What did you do that for?" Ash shouted angrily. "We have to go now." Brock answered. "You drifted off to sleep."
As the two started to walk back towards the campsite, Ash couldn't help but notice something missing and immediately dubbed Pikachu as the missing part. "Pikachu buddy." Ash started. "Come on and hop onto my shoulder."
Oddly enough, the usual "Pika-pi" and the weight on Ash's shoulder never came. Ash froze and looked behind him, only to find the lake and grass. Everything was there but Pikachu.
Brock noticed the strange thing too and both he and Ash sprinted back towards the lake. All they found there was the usual, then Ash spotted a yellow pillow near where he fell asleep with Pikachu. When he picked it up, he noticed the big red "R" stitched onto the pillow.
"It was...Team Rocket." Ash's legs started to tremble and his whole body collapsed. "Team Rocket finally succeeded on stealing my Pikachu..." Brock stared at Ash in pity and ran back to the campsite. He then brought Dawn and all the Pokémon along as they all ran back after hearing what's happened.
Once everyone gathered around, Ash was still in the same position he was when Brock left him. The only thing surprising about everything was that Ash hadn't started to cry yet. Brock then answered with, "We'll report everything to Officer Jenny and she'll handle it." Dawn replied with, "Yeah Ash, no need to worry. We'll get Pikachu back somehow, but we need to get moving right away." As Brock and Dawn tried to walk away as calm as possible, they knew that Ash had just suffered harshly. Ash then got up off the grass and walked with Dawn and Brock, his cap brought down so you couldn't see his eyes. As Dawn and Brock, still trying to seem okay with it, talked as if nothing happened, Ash was still walking with them, only thinking of how to get revenge on Team Rocket. "This time..." he thought. "This time, they have gone too far."
Ash, after thinking this stopped and started to tremble. Dawn and Brock immediately noticed and stopped in their tracks as well and went back to Ash. They noticed that something has changed in him. He wasn't the same playful and Pokémon-friendly guy he was yesterday. After what happened, anger had begun to build up inside of him. He was breathing heavier now and as Dawn and Brock begun to put their hand on his shoulder, he swatted them away and told them in an unusual menacing voice to keep walking. As they continued, they decided to stop talking. Brock and Dawn could feel a vibe emitting from Ash, and it wasn't good. He was all tense and walked with his fists and teeth clenched.
At about four o' clock in the afternoon, Brock, Dawn, and Ash finally reached the Pokémon Center. Oddly enough, things were so tense that Brock didn't even flirt around Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny who was resting nearby. Immediately after their arrival though, Ash locked himself up in his own room and just stared at the window with the unending urge to smash it.
Meanwhile, at Rocket Headquarters, Pikachu was finally awake and noticed his present state. Ash wasn't near him anymore and he was in an electric-proof rubber steel cage, able to resist electric shocks, bites, and iron tails. Jessie, James and Meowth immediately requested to see the boss, Giovanni, immediately. As they were called up and entered the office with dignity, they gave Giovanni the Pokémon they had been hunting for through about three or four years.
"Boss..." Jessie started. "We give to you the most prized power-packed Pokémon we have ever seen..." Giovanni stared at the Pikachu for a second and then began to laugh. "So you mean you've been wasting all your time and effort just to catch one measly Pikachu?" "No.."Jessie answered all tense. "This isn't any ordinary Pikachu. This Pikachu belongs to that trainer that messed up everyone's, including your, plans. Giovanni stared and remembered all the times when Ash came along and ruined everything from stopping Team Aqua and Team Magma and even stopping Hunter J. "This is a prized Pikachu... The only thing is, it won't do anything we tell it to." Giovanni responded. "They only person in the world this Pikachu will respond to is that trainer, Ash Ketchum." That's when a plan hatched into Giovanni's mind.
"Come here, you three nitwits." Giovanni called out. "I have a very special mission for you and this time, I'll tell you exactly how to do it..."
Back at the Pokémon Center, Brock and Dawn had called Professor Oak and Ash's mom and told them what happened. "They did WHAT?!?" Professor Oak exclaimed. "It's no wonder Ash won't come out of his room." "You know what," Ash's mom started. "We'll come over there as soon as we can. Wait for us there kids." "Ok." Brock and Dawn replied and they went over to Ash's room to try and bring him out once again.
Before calling Professor Oak, Brock and Dawn informed Officer Jenny who her and her crew started their search for Pikachu. Ash still had continued to stare at the window thinking that he has to save Pikachu no matter what.
As Brock and Dawn began to bang on Ash's door and yell at him to come out, Ash shouted back, "GO AWAY!". He needed some time alone and this was the closest he could get. He opened the window and felt the cool breeze from the lake blow all the way into his room. He started to calm down a little and started to tense up once more when a terrible letter fell from the sky. It was from Team Rocket.
The simply said, "Meet us on midnight tonight by the lake if you want to save Pikachu. Bring no one." It was then signed by the head of Team Rocket himself, Giovanni. Ash knew he had to do this because there was no other way. He closed the window and stepped out of his room, cap still making his eyes invisible, only to find out that Brock, Dawn, and all of the other Pokémon including Mamoswine, ready to charge his door down but then stopped at the sight of Ash. Ash put all of his Pokémon back into their Poke balls and walked out, still tense and still avoiding to cry.
As he walked out, Dawn ran after him while shouting, "Ash wait! Your mom and Professor Oak are coming to help out." This new information stopped Ash right in his tracks but what Dawn didn't know was that this only made Ash much more eager to get out of the vicinity right away. He called out his Staravia, clutched onto its leg, and then flew off, still not talking. Dawn just stared at Ash, first noticing what a cool pose that was, which was quite girlish at him, but then she noticed that he was getting away once more.
It was eight o' clock by the time Ash arrived back at the lake. He hadn't eaten anything all day, so he brought out his Staravia once more to look for some berries. Once Staravia came back, he stuffed himself full, not noticing how hungry he was until now. He just stared at the lake, waiting to accept Team Rocket's offer. "I'll do anything to keep you safe and happy." Ash whispered to himself. He then laid onto the grass once more just as he did with Pikachu, only this time, Pikachu wasn't with him.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Dawn and Brock just sat in the front lobby. They couldn't get into Ash's room without a pass key and Nurse Joy couldn't give them the spare because of this privacy rule they have there. At around 11:30, Professor Oak and Ash's mom finally arrive.
Ash's mom responded first. "Where is my poor son?" Dawn answered her with the solemn news. "He flew off with his Staravia." Professor Oak answered next. "Did you check his room for any clues?" This time, it was Brock who responded. "We couldn't because we need a pass key and Nurse Joy can't give us the spare. Professor Oak gasped and then walked over to Nurse Joy to negotiate, bringing Ash's mom with him. After a minute, they had received the spare and barged into Ash's room.
The room was quite regular, just like an homey cabin room due to the fact that the Pokémon Center was pretty much in the form of a lodge. The only thing unusual was the letter with a big red "R" stamped onto it. As everyone read it, they were in shock and knew they had to get to the lake immediately. "No wonder Ash left without another word." Dawn replied. "He thought that this was the only way. We have to go save him, but we might be too late because it's 11:40 already."
As they went out of the Pokémon Center to start sprinting, they found Professor Birch and Scott, the two of the most craziest drivers out there, waiting for them. "We heard the news about Ash." Scott replied. "We need to help him so hop on in!" Professor Birch shouted. Professor Oak and Ash's mom hopped in with Professor Birch and Brock and Dawn went in with Scott. "Where are we headed?" Scott asked. "We have to get to Lake Volcanico. STEP ON IT!!" Brock shouted. "Then hold on tight." Professor Birch shouted and then they were off.
They got to where they were headed in only twenty minutes, but by then, it was too late. A big balloon with a string hanging down for Ash had already come. Ash jumped onto the rope and they were off. Unfortunately, because they were on the other side of the lake, they couldn't save him. They saw as the big balloon the shape of a regular balloon instead of the one like Meowth's head took off with Ash hanging off of the rope with a determined look on his eye. Everyone down below shouted at Ash, but he was too high. Oddly enough, he still noticed and was in shock to find them there. He called out his Buizel to shoot them all with Water Gun. As the spectators below got soaked, they still continued to shout at Ash that what he was doing was wrong and that there's another way, but Ash still didn't listen. Dawn's Piplup then shot out a massive Hydro Pump at the balloon, but this balloon was refined and it didn't pop.
Eventually, they got away along with Ash. Everyone just stared at the night sky, wishing that it didn't happen. As everyone drove back to the Pokémon Center, they decided that they should all stay in their for the night. Ash's mom obviously decided to sleep in Ash's room and thought as she stared out the window, how angry he must have been and all the feelings his son had just a few moments ago. She was heart-broken that Team Rocket would steal his most prized possession and even worse because they stole her prized possession. After Ash's dad died, it took forever for her son to get over it because Ash loved his dad. It was happening all over again, except Ash's anger has blinded his thoughts and just thought that this was the only way.
Ash's mom collapsed onto the floor, sobbing hysterically for her son to come back to her warm and loving arms. Professor Oak came in and stroked her head, understanding all of her mixed feelings. The professor was sad too but not because Ash was gone, but because one reckless move may lead to another and Ash could throw his entire life away if he doesn't make the right choices. The professor continued to stroke Ash's mom as she sobbed and he stared at the night Sinnoh sky, praying that Ash makes the right choices.
Ash, on the other hand, had finally arrived at the Team Rocket Headquarters and went into Giovanni's office. The two Team Rocket grunts who escorted him were none other than Jessie and James themselves. As he walked in, he had the incredible urge to punch Giovanni in the face for what he has done, but also Jessie and James for kidnapping his Pikachu. Ash ran towards Giovanni in a fury so unlike him that Giovanni, Jessie, and James were actually surprised. Fortunately for them, Jessie and James gripped onto Ash to avoid him from going any further. Giovanni stood up and stared at Ash as he just was being held onto like a prisoner who had just been recently been beat. Ash was kneeling on the ground while Jessie and James just held him there. His cap was still covering his eyes.
"So Ash." Giovanni started. "Isn't tonight such a beautiful night?" "Give me back my Pikachu, you monster." Ash growled. Giovanni continued with, "Well, aren't we feisty tonight? All I asked is if the night was beautiful?" Ash remained silent and because of this, Giovanni told two other Team Rocket grunts to go and get something. When they got back, they came with a weird circular device and a cage with none other than Pikachu. When Ash saw Pikachu, he was relieved that he was still alive, but then his anger struck him again. "GIVE ME BACK PIKACHU, GIOVANNI!!!" Ash roared.
Pikachu, who at first was happy to see his beloved trainer, was now concerned after that statement. Even though it was happy that Ash was going to try and rescue it, Pikachu wasn't so sure that Ash was himself. Pikachu too was concerned such as Professor Oak that Ash may make the wrong move that can be devastating.
Giovanni, after Ash shouted at him, wiped the spit off his face and walked calmly as if nothing happened. This really ticked Ash of and he stood up and tried to wriggle free from the clutches of Jessie and James. Finally, he succeeded and when he got up and headed towards Giovanni to punch him in the face, he was actually shocked by a an electric shocker. As he squirmed down after the pain, Jessie and James grabbed a hold of him and Ash ended up in the same position he was a few seconds ago.
"You know Ash," Giovanni stated casually. "I always knew you as a playful kid who loved all Pokémon and friends and was the good guy and yada-yada. Right now, I see you as some mixed-up little pathetic boy who can't do anything good for himself. In other words, I see you as some other angry coward on the street." Ash was first dumbstruck as to what Giovanni just told him. He stared at the floor all tense. Pikachu was also concerned. He remembered the time when Ash was possessed by the King of Pokelantis. When Brandon called him a coward there, Ash got so angry that it actually shocked the King of Pokelantis right out of his body for a few seconds.
As Ash just kneeled there staring at the floor, he noticed Pikachu in the cage staring at him concerned. He wished he had telepathy, but in his mind, he wanted to tell Pikachu that everything was alright and he had to remember what he said to him this morning. Oddly enough, as if the telepathy actually worked, Pikachu, nodded and calmed down a little. Ash then started to laugh hysterically as if Giovanni just told him a hilarious joke. Ash cried out, "I may be a coward, but I stood you up tons of times!" Giovanni was angered at this statement and the grunts shocked him again.
Ash then got right back to staring at the ground then whispered, "What do you want Giovanni?"
Giovanni couldn't hear what he was saying so he said. "Ash, did you say something? Speak up please." Ash then repeated himself, "What do you want Giovanni?" Giovanni was pleased. He felt that the boy in front of him had finally given up. "Ash, we have a proposition to make." Ash finally decided to look up, but avoided eye contact with the head of Team Rocket. "We would like you to join Team Rocket."
Ash was shocked by what he just heard. He just knelt there, eyes wide open, not willing to believe what he had just heard. "Are you crazy?" Ash replied. "Why would you want me to join you?"
"Oh, that's simple." Giovanni replied. "You're a strong trainer and you have beat all of our enemies and allies several times. You know what they say, when you can't beat them, make them join you." Ash at first thought, "That's not how it goes." but he knew that would lead them to just more trouble.
Ash then replied, "But you have to promise to leave Pikachu and all my friends, family, and Pokémon alone." Pikachu was shocked. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Ash was giving up so easily. Ash then noticed his Pikachu's unease and replied, "It would be best for everyone, Pikachu. You will be safe and happy and only I have to suffer instead of all of my friends and family." Ash even smiled kindly when he said that, about the first time he smiled in a while, but it was for a bad reason.
Giovanni thought about it and then decided that it was a deal. Jessie and James were dumbstruck about the offer their beloved Boss had just given to the enemy twerp. They let go of Ash in awe as Ash asked Giovanni, "Where do I sign?" Pikachu started shouting at Ash which probably meant. "NO ASH, DON'T DO IT!!!". As Giovanni pulled out the newly made contract with all of Ash's wishes on it as a result of the deal, all of his friends and family had finally tracked him down to the Headquarters, broke in, and were charging up to Giovanni's office. The secretary shouted on Giovanni's PA, "Sir, there are intruders and they may be that kid's friends." Giovanni remained calm and told her to deal with it.
As Giovanni gave Ash the contract, the group had one more level to climb up. Once the group was in front of the office, they were too late. Everyone was gone except Pikachu and all of Ash's beloved Pokémon. Pikachu was holding a hastily written letter from Ash. It read: Pls. take care of all of my Pokémon, especially Pikachu. I hope we never have to meet. Everything will be okay now. -Ash Ketchum. Everyone cried and wished that they came here sooner to have saved Ash. They released Pikachu out of its cage and all of Ash's Poke balls were right beside it. Professor Oak noticed something strange on Pikachu's tail and decided to examine it later. As everyone was getting out, Ash's mom started to cry again. That's when the letter Ash wrote flipped onto the floor showing the other side. There was more writing there. "PS: Mom, please don't cry. I love you all and I know that this is the right thing to do so that only I have to suffer and not everyone else. Goodbye." Beside the word goodbye, there was a heart and a little picture Ash drew when he was four. It was a picture of him and Ash's mom standing in front of a crudely drawn house. Oddly enough, the picture was ripped in half. "So he kept it all this time." Ash's mother whispered. She pulled out of her pocket the other half of the picture. This picture had a Pokémon drawn on it. It was a Lugia. When he was four, Ash always called his dad the Lugia Man because he was as brave and strong as a Lugia. Ash's mom taped the two pieces together with some tape on Giovanni's desk and wished Ash good luck.
Out of nowhere, the overwhelming smell of jet fuel and the noise of rockets was heard outside. Everyone escaped via jet packs. Ash was also with them wearing a jet pack of his own. His face was hardened with the feelings of sorrow and anger. As he passed by the office window with all of his friends, his former friends staring at him and yelling at him to come back, Ash looked back at Giovanni who held a trigger of some sort which triggered the device on Pikachu's tail to react violently. Ash, at first just stayed in one spot, but as everyone else left, Ash looked down solemnly and followed them with no other option. As he flew off leaving his past life behind and his new life in, he knew that his destiny to become a Pokémon Master may have been cut short.
That was the last encounter anyone on the outside had with Ash. They all thought that something terrible happened like they were going to kill him, make him their personal slave or something. Ash's mom, though crushed by what happened, knew she, along with everyone else, had to move on. A year had passed since the incident. Everyone learned to cope and got over it, but every once in a while, they mourned Ash with his mom on the night he took off. They all tried to continue life the way it should be.
Ash, on the other hand, suffered a lot. Team Rocket put him through intense training. It was work to stay alive every single day and you only got one meal and five hours of sleep each day. The rest of the time was all about how to use a gun, how to escape the police, how to steal a jewel, and more things a thief needs to know. They were trying to mould Ash into something he wasn't. Ash, by heart, wanted to just run away, but they were training on an isolated island with Giovanni right beside him holding the trigger that could hurt or even kill Pikachu. This was the only reason Ash always tried his hardest within all of the training exercises. He knew that if he did anything less than 110%, Giovanni would pull the trigger which would immediately hurt Pikachu or even kill him.
Eventually, after a year of cruel training, Giovanni dubbed Ash ready to take on the world. He wanted to go easy on Ash, because he only was a young 14 year old, and had him team up with Jessie and James. He also gave Ash his first Pokémon on Team Rocket, a Drapion. At first, Ash was hoping it could be something cute like a Squirtle, but you can't have everything.
After Jessie and James heard the news that they were being put together with Ash, they were still dumbstruck. Though they were still doing horribly, they thought that this was a punishment, when in fact, it was a gift from the boss. They accepted it and moved on.
Jessie and James came to pick up their new recruit. It's been a year since the last attempt they had to take Pikachu. When they saw their "twerp", he truly had change. They didn't even recognise him until Giovanni came with the young boy and told them that this was Ash.
Ash's appearance had changed dramatically. He was stronger and though his hair was still as messy as usual, he was wearing a special black Team Rocket uniform and he was standing much more confidently, as if the training gave him power. His voice was still the same, but it doesn't mean he hadn't gone through puberty yet...
It wasn't only his appearance that changed though. The training must have changed his attitude too. He was more confident and less cocky. He was also sly and could lie without anyone knowing. He was also very quiet and secretive about everything.
Ash jumped into their balloon with ease and Giovanni told Jessie and James to give Ash some field work. Giovanni then showed Ash the trigger and told him, "Service with a smile." After that, they took off. Jessie and James tried talking to Ash like, "So, how was the training?" or, "How much are you getting paid?". Ash just sat casually on the balloon's edge and didn't answer their questions. After about thirty minutes of flying, Ash finally said something. "Do we have to say that stupid motto you guys always say?" Jessie and James were appalled. Saying the motto is what brought pride to their name, or so they thought. Here was the latest recruit, the twerp, who was making fun of what their traditions are.
"Listen here, twerp." Jessie started. "We're not happy about this like you are, but you have to say the motto with us no matter what." "Ah, just as I thought." Ash replied. Finally, they reached their destination. It was a bank in Viridian City. Apparently, they were going to rob it.
"So, teammate..." James started. "How are we going to do this. You must have learned something useful out of that intense one month training like we had." "For your information," Ash responded. "I had one year's training and yes, we'll do it the old fashioned way. Follow my lead." Ash then jumped out of the balloon basket. "When you see the signal, set up the bombs by the safes and use a trick fuse too." Jessie and James were sill in awe how Ash could rob a bank mercilessly. They actually began to miss the old twerp. When they thought about it, it was their fault that Ash was like this in the first place. They learned that they had just managed to ruin a kid's life completely. Though that usually would be a good thing, they actually pity Ash and what they helped turn him into.
Ash ran into a bank with his Drapion who then covered enough Smokescreen to cover the bank. That's when he gave the cue and Jessie and James set the bombs by the safe. Fortunately, they didn't say the motto, but it was okay because they were already threatening enough.
Officer Jenny and her crew came onto the scene and told them to put their hands up. That's when she saw the boy. The Smokescreen was fading but not enough for her to completely identify the boy, but her suspicions worried her. "It can't be..." she thought.
Ash then noticed that Officer Jenny may have recognised him, so he told his Drapion to cast more Smokescreen. He then lit the fuses and told everyone in a menacing voice, "Give me all your money and I'll turn off these fuses." pointing at the fuses leading to the bombs. The bankers had no choice but to do what he said. They gave the fourteen year old boy the money and the boy unlit the fuses. Jessie, James, and the boy then ran off, past the news crews where the camera only caught a silhouette of the boy. As the trio made their escape, leaving Officer Jenny dumbstruck and the rest of the officers in awe, Jessie remembered that Ash had left one fuse lit, the trick fuse. Suddenly, one of the bankers noticed the final fuse. "Oh no, the fu-" Suddenly, there was an explosion. Fortunately, the explosion wasn't powerful enough to kill someone, but it left the citizens of Viridian City terrified of Team Rocket, which was the goal of the field work. The trick fuse was a long fuse which will still set off all the bombs, only because this fuse was connected to the base of all the bombs. In other words, the other bombs all had two fuses so that when Ash unlit one fuse from each, there was still a second one burning as a backup.
As they flew off in their balloon, Jessie and James were panting due to how tiring that all was. Ash was still sitting their casually, not touched by the experience at all. In front of him where the loads of money they had received. When they opened it, they saw about 100,000 dollars worth of bills. It wasn't much, but it was still a success. Jessie and James were still in awe with Ash. Their boss had managed to turn their enemy good guy into the world's best bad guy.
As they went back to the Headquarters, Giovanni was waiting there, happy to see them. At first, Jessie and James couldn't believe it, but then they figured that it was Ash he was looking forward to seeing. Unfortunately, they were right. Giovanni instantly ran towards Ash as if he were his son. "I saw what you did on the news Ash." Giovanni started "It was brilliant. You really are the perfect Team Rocket member. I'm promoting you to be an executive. You now lead your own Team Rocket army at use to you at any time. "Thank you sir." Ash said. Though this was a great honour according to Jessie and James, Ash still wasn't happy.
Giovanni noticed the sadness in the boy's face and figured it out. "You still miss them, do you boy. Your friends, family, and your Pokémon, especially that Pikachu of yours." Ash nodded solemnly. Giovanni had an idea. "I know a way for you to see them again. I'll give you a new assignment." At first, Ash was dumbstruck. How is giving Ash more work supposed to help him? He waited for his boss to give him his assignment. "You know Professor Oak?" Ash obviously said yes. "Well, he has this research garden filled with Pokémon. I want you to go and steal them. While you're at it, you can say hi to all of your old friends." Ash was shocked by the task laid in front of him. He was being asked to steal from his idol, his friend. Unfortunately, he has no choice because he holds Pikachu's life in his hands and he could crush it any time he likes. "Yes sir." Ash said.
Giovanni continued. To make it all easier, I'll give you your old clothes so your friends don't know you are working for us. I'll give you as much time as you need. You will also go with Jessie and James and they'll hide to make sure you do the job right.
As Ash put on his old clothes, he was amazed that they still fit him. He guessed that Giovanni had a tailor remake his clothes to fit him now because even through the lack of sleep, he still grew like any other boy. Once he had them on, all of the memories of his adventures came back flowing into his head like a stream. He still remembered Lake Volcanico and how he relaxed with Pikachu on that day. Then everything turned around when Team Rocket kidnapped Pikachu. That's also when he got angry at all his friends and family when all they were doing was trying to offer some help and comfort. Ash actually collapsed onto the floor and started to weep silently to avoid Giovanni from finding out, but it was pointless and Giovanni still heard, but let it go because that's one part of Ash you can never change. You can change the boy's appearance and skills, but you can never change the very heart and memories of the boy.
Ash finally came out all ready. When Jessie and James saw Ash, they were actually glad that he was back to normal, or rather in his normal clothes. Ash can never be normal once again after what they have done. As they took off, Ash prepared himself because this mission was personal and Giovanni has truly gone too far. Jessie and James knew that too, and oddly enough, they decided to have a little hate for Giovanni and started to pity Ash. They knew that they were the ones that screwed up this poor kid's life and even though that was their job and they used to think it was the right thing to do, they never thought about what would happen to Ash in the aftermath. Finally, they arrived about a mile from pallet Town. Fortunately, no one noticed the balloon landing. Today was a year from when Ash took off away from his old life. It made his heart flip knowing that all of his friends and family would be there to celebrate or mourn the loss of him.
As he rode his new Drapion who had actually started to grow fond of its new trainer, he knew that one day he would have to tell them the truth. Suddenly, there it was. On the horizon stood Ash's house and in the backyard, his mom and friends made a shrine dedicating him. "That was so kind", he thought. He thought about how much his friends missed him and then shook it off knowing he still had a mission. Ash and Drapion decided to wait a bit because not all of his friends were there yet and he wanted everyone to be there when he arrived.
Eventually everyone he knew arrived from May and Max, Dawn, Brock, Misty, and even all of the Nurse Joys and Officer Jenny's. "This really was a big day", he thought. As all of his rivals and even Scott passed by to celebrate the one year anniversary, Ash started to realize that he missed his friends more than he had expected. Then, there they were, all of the people he had touched during his travels. Everyone he knew gathered to celebrate him. Ash thought about it and knew that it was time he showed up after a year.
The event started and everyone started to talk. Ash's mom was on the porch, touched by how many people cared about her one son. The Officer Jenny from Viridian City was the main talker in the party as she talked about how the robbers of the bank reminded her of someone but she couldn't pin it out. Suddenly, there was someone who rang the doorbell. All of Ash's friends, Professor Oak, and Ash's mom went to the door.
As they opened it, Ash saw the faces of everyone. They were all happy to celebrate this special day. "May, Dawn, and Misty grew up to be nice women", Ash thought. Max was finally ten too and got his first Pokémon, a Treeko. Everyone looked confused with Ash as if they had no idea who he was. Ash spoke first. "Nice Treeko Max!" Max replied, "I got it because my best friend, Ash had a Treeko too and Treeko's are so cool." After that reply, that's when it struck everyone. In front of them wasn't a newcomer but a long lost friend. Suddenly, Pikachu came running to the door and jumped onto the person's shoulder happily! "So Ash, what took you so long?" Brock replied.
Ash got a hero's welcome from the crowd. It was as if they thought he had died or something. The Officer Jenny from Viridian City was the only one standing there in shock. "No way, it couldn't have, there's no way he could..." "What are you muttering about?" Officer Jenny looked up only to see Ash right in front of her. "He really has grown." Officer Jenny thought. "There's no way it could have been him."
The party continued happily with everyone wanting to talk to Ash as if he were a celebrity, which in a way he was. Ash was finally happy in over a year. He thought that this was the best. Only then did he start to cry. Everyone continued on except Ash's closest friends and family. "What's wrong Ash?" Brock asked. "I'm so sorry about everything." Ash said. His friends and family just stared at him in shock by what he said. It was his mom who finally broke their silence. "You did nothing wrong, Ash." she started. "We obviously forgive you." "But how?" Ash stated. He started to cry again. "How could you forgive me for just leaving you here?" "Well," Misty said. "You came back." Dawn then said, "We also understand how you felt at the time and we would have been like that too, in a way." Ash then started, "But there's something you should know..." Everyone stared at him, wondering what he's going to say. Unfortunately, Ash couldn't bring himself to say it and instead said, "Let's PARTY!" Everyone yelled happily, Ash's mom gave her son a kiss on his forehead, and Professor Oak nodded.
In the middle of the big celebration, Ash told everyone he had to leave for a while but he would come back. Everyone accepted and Ash headed for Professor Oak's lab. That's when he said hi to all the Pokémon who were also happy to see him. Bulbasaur especially missed his owner. The only this was, Bulbasaur had already evolved into a Venasaur. "Bulbasaur?" Ash said in surprise. "Vena-Venasaur!" (I missed you so much Ash!)
Ash was so sad about the outcome of all this. These Pokémon were all of his friends and he had to take them for Team Rocket. It just wasn't right. Unfortunately, he had to do it for Pikachu. He took off his normal clothes to reveal his Team Rocket uniform. It was pitch black but unlike Jessie and James and other workers, his uniform didn't have that bright red "R" in front of it. Instead, the "R" was just a badge and everything else was like a mixture of a ninja suit and the Team Rocket uniform.
When Ash revealed this in front of his Venasaur, Venasaur head butted its owner, only to regret it. Venasaur was quite confused but then Ash said, "Venasaur, will you still be my Pokémon and I'll explain to you everything." Venasaur, trusting Ash, had to go along with him. "Venasaur, thank you so much." Ash then called in Jessie and James who brought in this huge sucker machine which sucked up all of the Pokémon in Professor Oak's research garden.
Once the cruel deed was done, Ash went down into the cabin of the giant machine and left Jessie and James on the top of the machine. Everyone saw Jessie and James escaping and all of Ash's friends recognised them immediately. They all decided they needed to stop them. They all called out their Pokémon and began to battle Jessie and James' Pokémon to save every other Pokémon they had captured. Jessie and James were fighting a losing battle and desperately needed Ash. Unfortunately, Ash just couldn't call out any of his Pokémon in case they recognised him, but sadly, it was his duty, especially as soon as Jessie and James started to say the motto. That's when Ash put his original clothes once more, right over his uniform.
"Prepare for trouble!"
"Make it triple!" (at "triple" everyone became confused.)
"To infect the world with the wrath of our evil."
"To steal all Pokémon from Abomasnow to Weavil."
This was it. This was the moment when Ash knew he would have to reveal himself with his own special introduction and he would have to explain everything."
"And now presenting..."
"The newest recruit to Team Rocket..."
Everyone held their breath. They all knew that this new recruit was the best Team Rocket member they have ever seen, especially according to Officer Jenny.
Out of nowhere, some Smokescreen poured out, covering the rise of the new recruit. Everyone continued to hold their breath, oddly anxious to find out who the new recruit is. Out of nowhere, a recognisable voice started to speak.
"Our Pokémon here are ready to lash..."
The Smokescreen started to fade, beginning to reveal the newest recruit of Team Rocket...
"The master is here..."
Everyone could only see the legs, but that didn't give enough proof for them.
"And my name is..."
The Smokescreen continued to fade, but it still covered the recruit's face.
Finally the Smokescreen faded revealing Ash in his normal clothes.
The crowd gasped. This couldn't be happening. Ash had been the good guy all his life and now he was working for Team Rocket. They all wondered how it could be. Brock, May, Max, Misty, and Dawn were all shocked to see Ash standing on the top of the machine with Team Rocket. Ash's mom was the most shocked and instantly shouted, "Ash, stop fooling around and get down there this instant." She actually was hoping that this was all a bad joke, but when she saw Ash pull off his normal clothes to reveal the Team Rocket Uniform below, she knew this was all real. Ash looked down at the crowd solemnly and told his Drapion to cast a Smokescreen for their getaway. Unfortunately, even though Ash had been their friend for a long time, all his friends wouldn't let it fall to this. They all fought back with powerful moves, but being the trainer he is, Ash's Drapion was just too powerful for all of their Pokémon. "Drapion, use Dark Pulse!" Ash cried out. Drapion did a massive Dark Pulse which pretty much knocked out every single Pokémon his group of friends had in play. "Drapion, return!" Ash shouted. Drapion went back into its Poke ball after casting one final Smokescreen.
Ash and the rest of Team Rocket flew off, leaving everyone on the ground dumbstruck. How could such a great friend turn out to be a menacing little thief? Ash's mom was the one who wept the most. She ran back into her house and went into Ash's room. She decided to leave everything exactly as he left it before everything happened in case Ash ever came back. Ash's mom just laid on her son's bed weeping and thinking, "What a loving mother I am, letting my kid become a top criminal and ending up on the Jenny's Most Wanted. She pulled out the letter Ash had left everyone on the day he took off. She read it over and immediately noticed something. In the letter, it says that his choice will help keep everyone there safe. She wondered how choosing to be a part of Team Rocket would help everyone. Then she figured it out. Ash was blackmailed. They used Pikachu as a reason to why Ash should join Team Rocket.
She ran to Professor Oak and all of Ash's closest friends to tell them what she found out. Everyone agreed it made sense. Of course, it wasn't enough to convince them that Ash is still a good guy anymore. All of Ash's friends, Professor Oak, and Ash's mom decided that they needed to find out the truth. They set off on a journey together to stop Ash and find out the truth someday.
Ash, Jessie, and James finally made it back successfully to the Team Rocket Headquarters. Giovanni ran to Ash giving him a congratulations and letting him see the next part of the operation. Ash saw as all of his Pokémon friends were put into cages. His old Pokémon such as his Sceptile or Swellow and even his newly evolved Staraptor were being put into cages. Unfortunately, he still couldn't do anything about it. One Pokémon after another were passing through the Team Rocket lab where they were actually mutating the Pokémon so they became stronger. A Rhydon grew three horns and poor Tauros' tails merged into one mega powerful tail. "My Pokémon are getting hurt." Ash thought and he ran up to the luxury suite the boss had given him. He just couldn't bear to see them get hurt like that.
Over the following few weeks after the incident, Ash had continued to do some criminal missions. He never got caught because he was too sly. Between time and time again, he would write in a notebook the boss had given him via funds to write down everything that happened and what he was thinking. It was the only place Giovanni didn't manipulate him. He wrote down what happened and wished that one day he could tell his friends what happened exactly.
On one of Ash's crimes, he had an encounter with his gang of friends. "This will make it more interesting." Ash whispered to himself. He battled with his old friends and couldn't help but notice that they were stronger. He still beat them though and took off, winning praise from the boss once again. From then on, each time Ash committed a crime, he always had to face his friends. They were getting stronger each time, but Ash's Drapion and Venasaur were getting stronger as well.
One day, Giovanni came to Ash's room and gave him an experiment Pokémon that had been a success. It was his old Donphan. When Ash found out about it and saw his new Donphan, his expression changed after he saw how menacing it was compared to the cute but powerful Donphan he used to have. At first he thought that he shouldn't use it, but then again, a Pokémon is a Pokémon and Donphan still recognised and liked Ash, but not in the cuddly playful way it used to be.
In his next criminal job and run-in with his friends, he called out his new Donphan. "Donphan, I choose you." Ash shouted. Once everyone saw it's menacing tusks and powerful body armour, they all knew this isn't an ordinary Donphan. Suddenly, Misty noticed how sad Ash was about the Donphan. As Ash got down to battle, everyone called out their Pokémon. "Donphan, flatten them all with Roll-out!" Ash called out. Donphan struck with a powerful Roll-out which knocked out and surprised everyone, even Ash. Ash then even became more disappointed with his Donphan. Misty noticed it again and wondered why Ash was so disappointed with the Donphan when it's so powerful. She then thought if Donphan was too weak and that's why Ash didn't like it. She thought about it before they all went to sleep that night. She knew that Ash would like all Pokémon and didn't care how weak or strong but if they knew how to fight. Misty then had a terrible thought. Maybe he isn't Ash anymore...
From that day on, Ash always chose Drapion or Venasaur even though they were nothing compared to his powerhouse Donphan. Nobody noticed this but Misty who was always thinking about it during the battle. One night at the camp of Ash's friends, the topic aroused and Professor Oak thought that Team Rocket could have mutated the Pokémon. That's when Misty realized it all. Ash wasn't disappointed in Donphan because it was too weak or too strong. He wasn't disappointed because his Donphan didn't like him either. (Truth was, Donphan still loved Ash no matter what. He was disappointed because Team Rocket tampered with his friend. As Misty told everyone about what she had figured out, everyone agreed that it just had to be true and that Ash is still Ash on the inside and still would do anything for the Pokémon.
One day, during a battle, Ash began to act weird. He was really dizzy as he battled and called the wrong moves. In the middle of one of Drapion's Dark Pulses, Ash fainted. At first, no one knew what to do, but then they ran towards Ash and brought back his Drapion and went off.
They brought Ash to their campsite and let him rest. No one knew what just happened, but they forgot about Jessie and James who went to Team Rocket Headquarters and told Giovanni that Ash fainted and his old friends kidnapped him. This is when Giovanni began to laugh menacingly. "My plan is working..."
Giovanni went to the lab and told the doctor there what happened. The doctor was pleased. "The drug I gave him last night while he was sleeping is working. In a week's time, Ash will have forgotten everything about his friends and only remember that his true purpose is for Team Rocket. He will have no compassion and emotions except anger and causality and his anger will be directed to his friends..." "Perfect..." Giovanni replied. "I will soon have the ultimate weapon in my arsenal, Ash Ketchum..."
Back at the campsite, Ash woke up in a tent. As he went out, he was within familiar faces and he still remained in his Team Rocket uniform. "What happened?" Ash asked. "You collapsed in the middle of our battle." Max replied. "What battle?" Ash responded. "Don't you remember? The one that took place this afternoon..." Ash still didn't remember a battle taking place. He knew something happened but he just couldn't remember. Already the drug was working as he forgot what had just happened.
"AHHHH!" Ash yelled, all of the sudden surprised. "What am I doing with you guys?" "We took you here as soon as you collapsed." Brock said. "I then gave you some of my special remedy soup and now you're here." "I can't be here!" Ash shouted. He then grabbed for a Poke ball, but someone had taken all of his Pokémon. As if automatically, Max pointed out, "There over by the tree." Ash ran over to grab them, but then everyone pulled him down and made him sit on a chair. May's Beautifly then used String Shot to tie Ash up. Ash was trapped.
Professor Oak then stood up and started to pace in front of Ash. "I won't tell you anything." Ash growled. "I see" Professor Oak replied. "LET ME GO!" Ash roared at him. Professor Oak was taken aback at what just happened as were the others. Ash had never acted like that before.
Professor Oak then made a hypothesis. "Ash, you were blackmailed, weren't you?" Ash immediately stopped wriggling and began to listen. Professor Oak then continued with the guess the gang had made while Ash was gone. "You were blackmailed by Giovanni so you would join Team Rocket. They threatened to kill your Pikachu, so you knew you had to join to save it." Ash sat silently while everyone looked at him. Ash looked down, his hair covering his eyes. "How did you know?"
Everyone continued to look at him silently as Ash began to cry. "Ash, please tell us what happened." Ash continued to cry as he explained.
Everyone listened in closely, especially Ash's mom who paid attention the most and understood every word he said. "You see" Ash began, "This all started when Team Rocket stole my Pikachu. I would do anything to get it back. When I was alone in my room, a letter from Team Rocket fell into my room, telling me it was the only way to save Pikachu and of course I went for that opportunity. At the office was where Giovanni wanted to recruit me due to what a powerful Trainer I was. I made him a deal that I would work for him as long as you guys and my Pokémon were kept safe and unharmed. We made a deal and Pikachu and my remaining Pokémon were left in your hands. Unfortunately, while I wasn't looking, one of the grunts slipped a device onto Pikachu's tail which will kill Pikachu when Giovanni wants or it will kill the person and Pikachu when they attempt to remove it. I didn't want Pikachu to die, so I had to do everything Giovanni wanted me to do. I've been training on an island and working for Team Rocket ever since."
Everyone looked at Ash solemnly. They finally knew why he had to do all these terrible things. It was all to save his Pikachu.
Suddenly, Pikachu came into the scene and jumped onto Ash's shoulder. The device on his tail was still there. Ash wanted to test if it was working, so he tried to touch it, but suddenly some sparks flew from it and Pikachu felt a little pinch.
Out of nowhere, Ash started to feel pain. Everywhere. He felt as if he were being shocked by his Pikachu, even though Pikachu wasn't doing anything. Ash started to feel a massive headache and he started to feel dizzy just like before. Everyone panicked and Beautifly let go of the String Shot. Ash stood up, but then held onto his head as the pain was getting worse. Everyone wanted to do something to help, but they could do nothing. Pikachu wanted to help so bad that it smacked Ash with its Iron Tail. It managed to cut Ash and some blood got onto Professor Oak's coat.
Suddenly, the pain stopped. Everyone stared at the boy as his pained face turned into a sly smile. His eyes still not visible, everyone watched in horror as the boy walked past them all, still with that scary smile on his face, picked up his Poke balls, and walked out of the campsite. What was weird was that he didn't call out any Pokémon to get to his destination faster. Everyone decided to chase after him, and they did. He just kept walking as if there was nothing in his way. Suddenly, everyone grabbed hold of him. That's when the weird smile faded away and Ash was back to his normal self.
"What happened?" he asked. Everyone just stared at him as if he just said he didn't know what Pokémon were. "What just happened was you had this weird smile on your face and kept walking as if you were in some kind of trance or other world." Max replied. The next thing Ash said shocked them all. "Who are you?"
Everyone was shocked but Ash was telling the truth. He couldn't remember who the little kid with glasses in front of him was. He seemed so familiar, but he still couldn't get it. "I'M MAX, ASH!!!" Max shouted. "HOW COULD YOU FORGET ME?!" "Calm down Max." May butted in. "Don't yell at Ash." Ash then asked May, "Um, could you tell me who Ash is?" Everyone was confused. Professor Oak jumped in and wondered how Ash could have forgotten who he was. Was it because of that headache? Did we push him too far? There were still so many things running through the Professor's mind that he just said to everyone, "Okay, that's enough for tonight, time to go to sleep!"
Everyone went to sleep all concerned about Ash. They knew something bad had happened and they also knew that this wasn't the worse of it.
In the middle of the night, a strange balloon landed by the campsite. They retrieved Ash and brought him to the Headquarters where he was face to face with Giovanni.
"Hi Ash." Giovanni started. "Do you remember me?" "Yeah, of course." Ash smiled kindly and said, "Nice to see you Snorlax!" Giovanni got ticked off about this statement and then instantly remembered the drug he had administered to Ash the night before. "I see that it's working." Giovanni stated. Ash at first wondered what he was talking about but then he began to have another headache.
The Team Rocket Cap on Ash's head popped off as he held his head in pain. Again, just like at the campsite, Ash had that same sly smile as he stopped and picked up his hat. Giovanni was confused because this wasn't in the list of side effects for the medicine. "Ash, are you all right?" Giovanni asked him in concern. Ash didn't respond. "Ash, don't make me press the trigger..." That's when Ash caught Giovanni by surprise. Ash kicked the trigger out of his hand and picked it up. He then responded with, "Now you can't threaten me anymore..." Ash then walked away without another word.
Giovanni ran after Ash, but the kid jumped out of the window, somehow survived the 50 ft fall, and escaped. The head of Team Rocket then ran to the lab and told the doctor what just happened. The doctor was concerned. "This is a major problem. Ash's mind is too complicated for the medicine and know it's recreating Ash's thoughts and actions. If we don't administer the antidote within three days, this will become permanent and the poor kid may begin to wreak havoc everywhere.
The group of Ash's friends came to the Headquarters thinking that he escaped here after they found out he escaped during the night. Suddenly, Giovanni and a group of Team Rocket workers sprinted out. Giovanni ran into Professor Oak and that's when everyone surrounded him. That's when they took Giovanni into their custody and made him explain everything.
After Giovanni told his friends what happened and how he needs to administer the antidote immediately, Ash's mom was in shock as t how they could just use and manipulate her poor son like that. It was just so cruel and mean. They knew that they needed to help Giovanni with this and save Ash. They looked through the news of any sign of Ash and they still couldn't find him. They also searched as hard as they could. Two days have passed and they still had nothing.
On the third day, Brock had spotted Ash's Drapion back at Lake Volcanico looking for berries. When he told everyone, they followed him only to find Ash with his Pokémon at peace. It was his mother who spotted him first and she started to run towards him. Ash heard her and got up. Ash lost his peaceful look and got severely angry at her. "Drapion, use X-Scissor!" Ash shouted. Drapion dropped its berries and did as its master commanded it to. Ash's mother took a direct hit from X-Scissor and fell back. Everyone ran to Ash's mother as Ash ran away from the crowd, not knowing what he just did.
As Professor Oak stayed behind to help Ash's mom, the rest of Ash's friends ran after Ash. Fortunately, they caught up to Ash but only because they found him hiding through some shrubs and an open area. Ash was there with his Venasaur, Drapion, and Donphan. Even Pikachu was there with the weird machine on his tail. Ash was just sitting there relaxed talking with his Pokémon. The gang decided to just hide behind the shrubs for now."Pikachu, I'm so glad you're with me." Ash started. "I still remember that you were my best friend. Now you can live peacefully without hoping I don't screw up thus ending your life. I have the trigger right here and I'm never going to let it go." Ash then moved onto his Venasaur. "Venasaur, you've grown so much over a year. I can't believe you've already evolved to your final evolution. You were always my ambassador." Donphan was next. "Donphan, I'm so sorry about all of my mistakes. Now because you were stronger, Team Rocket must have hurt you so badly. I'm sorry for everything." Donphan just rubbed its trunk as if nothing happened to it and Ash was glad that Donphan's playful personality isn't lost after all. Last was Drapion. "Drapion..." Ash started. "I can't thank you enough. When I chose you on my first day of training, I knew you were going to be the one who would help me endure all of the pain. Now look at us. We have truly come a long way together and I'm glad. You remind me of my Pikachu. You were stubborn at first but then we grew in for each other. Thanks Drapion!" Ash just looked at the four Pokémon in front of him. He loved all of them, no matter how they have changed throughout this life-changing experience.
Suddenly, Max accidently shifted and caused a twig to snap. This immediately came to Ash's attention and he became angry again. The Pokémon clearly didn't like it when he was like this. They started to tug on Ash's clothes because they didn't want him to make them attack their friends. When Ash looked at his Pokémon and how they were reacting, his angry face turned into the same weird smile from before. He suddenly shouted out, "Brock, Misty, May, Max, Dawn, come on out!" "I guess our cover is blown", Brock sighed. "Yeah Max, thanks a lot!" May said. "It was by accident!", Max complained, and then all five of them stepped into the enclosed open space with Ash and his Pokémon. One thing they just noticed was that Ash wasn't wearing his Team Rocket uniform anymore. Instead, he was wearing some new Pokémon Trainer clothes the five have never seen before. He was wearing cargo jeans like back at Hoenn but they were black and instead of any other top the five have seen, he was wearing a white collar hoodie with a purple and gray vest over it. He was also wearing gloves like he always wears except this time, they're black. His cap resembled half of a white and black Poke ball and it was worn just like he always wears it aver all of his messy hair.
"I see you're enjoying my new wardrobe." Ash replied, still not making any eye contact. The only thing the group of five could say was "Yeah". "I got it while I was at the party. I ran into my room and I grabbed something out of there. My mom had bought me new clothes in case I ever came back. I guess she was mistaken." This time, Ash did look up. He looked the same except there was something different about his eyes...
"You guys..." Brock whispered. "You have to remember that this isn't exactly Ash but an drug accident. His personality has changed but apparently his memory is back when he's acting all casual. He's only somewhat normal when he's alone and when he's angry, he forgets everything and attacks just to be alone once more."
"I see Brock's the smart one today." Ash said. "Great deduction Brock! One day, you may actually become the world's best Breeder." Ash began to clap but everyone still stared at him, frightened. "So what, I'm not allowed to have a little fun first?" "Ash, you're starting to scare me..." Dawn replied. "Am I now?" Ash replied. "Drapion, use Earthquake." Drapion suddenly started a massive earthquake and shook the ground. This created a crack in the ground and steam started to pour out.
"Where are we?" May exclaimed. "Apparently we are over a massive heat chamber." Max replied." That's where the heat from volcanoes are stored and later released if the pressure becomes too much." "Great book smarts Max. You always were smarter than your sister when it came to books." Ash said calmly. "Why you little..." May started up. "Come any closer..." Ash replied. "And I'll have Drapion here use Fissure creating a crack to cause a volcanic eruption right where we're standing." "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS ASH!!!" Brock shouted. "THAT'S GOING TO KILL ALL OF US!!!" "I know." Ash said.
"You can't be thinking of committing suicide, Ash!" Dawn shouted. "I love you..." Ash stared at Dawn as if she were crazy. "You love me?" Ash asked all confused. Dawn panicked and then came back with, "Um..I love you too much to get hurt! Yeah, that works!" "Well," Ash started. "If anyone else has any last words, please speak up now!"
Brock immediately stepped forward with the antidote and injection and tossed it forward to Ash's arm. It hit its target and the medicine was injected into Ash. "What do you think you're...you're..." Ash started to mumble and then he collapsed. As the five friends ran to get Ash, his loyal Pokémon guarded him.
"No, you guys, you don't understand. We came here to save Ash, not throw him in jail." Brock said. "Please let us help Ash, Venasaur ." Misty begged. "Please Drapion, you have to listen to us." Max pleaded. "C'mon Donphan, I know you would do anything for Ash and this is for him." May asked kindly. "Pikachu..." Dawn started. " Let us help Ash and we promise we won't hurt him. You know you can trust us. We're your friends!" The four Pokémon debated on what they should do and finally decided to let the five people help.
Venasaur used its soft leaves to cover Drapion's back. Donphan used its strong trunk to gently lift Ash up onto Drapion's back. Pikachu jumped right beside Ash to comfort him to safety. Drapion carried Ash and cut through the shrubs to get through with its X-Scissor. Finally, they caught up with Ash's mom who was feeling much better and Professor Oak who first spotted the kids over the horizon. Ash's mom ran towards her poor barely conscious son lying peacefully on his Drapion's back. She started to weep on Ash's face because of all that he's been through. Ash felt this and lifted up a hand to his mom's cheek. Already that action took a lot out of him and his arm collapsed immediately. "Mom..." Ash said weakly. "Ash honey, save your strength to recover." As she said this, Ash had almost slipped back into his unconscious state. With the last bits of energy Ash had, he said two final words before slipping back into his deep recovery slumber. "I'm....sorry..." After that, he closed his eyes and retired.
In his hands fell out the trigger to activate Pikachu's death device. On it was a message written by Ash himself. "Pikachu, I promise I will do anything to keep you safe and happy." The entire group of family and friends took the trigger and put it onto the water of Lake Volcanico. The trigger started to float away and as it did, part of it short-circuited and released Pikachu from the device. The ink that made up Ash's promise was written with berry stains and as the dead trigger floated to the middle of the lake, the message washed off. The trigger continued to float serenely until it finally reached the center of the lake where it began to sink. It sank all the way to the bottom and that was that.
The group watched as the trigger made it to its last resting place and then headed out to help Ash recover.
Ash made a fantastic recovery, only because he became so fit after all the Team Rocket training. All of his Pokémon were pleased that their owner was okay after all that has happened. Ash quit Team Rocket after that because they had nothing to hold against him anymore. Giovanni was so displeased with the result that he fired the doctor and ran away to start anew. The police couldn't catch up with him and he got away.
Jessie and James continued to do what they do best, causing some sort of trouble and failing. They were glad that Ash was back to his old twerpish self and even sent him an "I'm Sorry" Teddiursa doll while Ash was still recovering. Ash's mom had so much fun during that adventure even though she knew that her son was in danger that she didn't mind Ash leaving so soon to start another Pokémon journey. Professor Oak took a look at Donphan to see how Team Rocket exactly made it stronger. He was up researching for a while because of that. All of Ash's friends were glad he was back to normal, especially Pikachu. Pikachu knew that what Ash did was a noble thing and it couldn't thank it enough. It enjoyed every single moment with Ash for the rest of its life knowing that without Ash, Pikachu could be mince meat by now. Ash on the other hand had the time of his life after that. After he explain what happened to Officer Jenny who was actually scared to see him at first, Officer Jenny was relieved it wasn't because Ash wanted to be an evil-doer. News got out as to exactly why Ash joined Team Rocket and the Pokémon Association revoked his licence ban and allowed Ash to participate in all normal Trainer activities once more.
Ash, on the other hand, never got over his experience. He remembered everything clearly it was as if it were still happening right now. Though he kept his new clothes, his attitude had reverted back to its original playful self. He couldn't thank Brock enough for what he's done, having the guts to throw the antidote when Ash was threatening to blow them all up with a volcanic explosion. Of course, every time Ash mentioned this, Brock always responded with, "Ah, it was a lucky shot!" Ash still kept the journal with all of the notes he took while at Team Rocket. At one point, his friends got a hold of it and read about all of Ash's adventures. Throughout the entire book, they could all feel how Ash felt through each day and apparently, there were also some pages written in berry ink, describing the days Ash ran away due to a drug Team Rocket gave him. At the end was one final page. This page was dated the day Ash was well enough to get out of bed and start doing stuff. As his friends read this, they were touched by Ash's emotions.
It read: "Thank God I had my friends and loyal Pokémon with me. It's true what they say, Pokémon will do anything for their trainers, especially if the trainer treats the Pokémon equally. Should I had done what I had about a year ago? I always wonder now what would have happened if things happened different on that day. What if I didn't wake up early or I chose another spot on the lake? What if I didn't bring Pikachu along with me? What if I accepted my friends help that day? I always think that there could have been a different result if I changed one simple thing. I wonder what the results for me would be. I wonder if they would be better or worse, easier or harder? At first I figured that what happened was the hardest possible solution, but the truth is, I still stand by all of the choices I made that day. Even though I had to become a top criminal, endure intense training, become intoxicated by poison, and hurt my mom, I still believe that what I did was right. Like I said, I would do anything to keep Pikachu safe and happy. Man, sometimes, I take things a little too far... I don't know, but I just hope that my family and friends will always be there for me and I promise I will do anything for you guys too. You know, it's weird. On the day Brock saved my, I still recall Dawn telling me she loves me...
At that part, Dawn started to blush, but then they kept reading.
... I wonder if she was serious. I f she was, I'm okay with that. The only thing is, if she means girlfriend and boyfriend...
Suddenly, Ash came barging into the room looking all steamed. "GIVE ME BACK MY NOTEBOOK!!!" Ash screamed. "THOSE HAVE MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS IN THEM!!!" Brock, Max, Dawn, Misty, and May then found themselves dropping the book and running away. Ash then picked up the book and blushed as he found out that Dawn was reading his personal thoughts. He decided to read the end.
...man, is she a mixed-up moron. I'm older than her by two years. There's no way I would accept! At least I won't have to tell her that straight in her face. I already like someone else...
That's where Ash stopped reading because it's obvious only he and he alone knows who he likes. He's glad that the world will still give him a second chance and now he can continue his journey to become the greatest Pokémon master!!!