The enemy of my enemy
Where has everybody gone?
I've got this feelin,
Going to end up here on my own.
Where's my support now?
Where's the ranks of the strong?
In this faceless crowd, where can I belong?
Everybody's gone insane to catch a plane
To have their Heavens closer,
They want the Kingdom but they don't want the King,
They want his throne.
And there's no time,
There's no time at all!
Where has everybody gone, The Pretenders
In a room cloaked in darkness, two persons were standing before a man whose face was partially invisible. Sitting on a steel throne-like chair, the man was tall and broad, his brown eyes glinting in the dark while his pet Persian was lying at his side. He was dressed in a sharp beige suit and a screen was behind him, the only source of light in the area. The two persons before him were a man and a woman clad in the white uniform used by the Rocket members still loyal to Giovanni. The man had neck-long purple hairs and emerald-green eyes while his partner was a tall woman with long magenta hairs and navy blue eyes. Pale pink lipstick was on her lips and her face was serious. Down at their feet were a Meowth and a Growlithe.
"You called us, boss." The man simply said.
The man in a suit nodded.
"Jessie, James, Meowth, I have a mission for you."
"What shall we do, boss?"
Giovanni turned on his seat and pressed a key on a black remote. The screen shifted from all-white to showing the picture of several islands.
"Our agents posted in the Orange Archipelago have reported the presence of Rocket Rebels in the place. I want you two to stop them. At all costs."
James grinned dangerously.
"Now this sounds interesting ..."
"Rocket Rebels aren't to be underestimated. They are strong. But you three are our best members, as proved by the perfect reports I got from your previous missions. If you succeed in stopping the rebels' progression in the Orange Islands or, even better, completely chase them from there, there are no doubts a promotion will ensue. A major one. Jessie Muramasa, James Mackenzie, Meowth, I am counting on you."
"What means do we have to complete this mission?"
"Full permission to use all the equipment you will deem necessary." His eyes narrowed. "I want those rebels out of the Orange Islands. Did I make myself clear?"
"Consider them gone already, boss."
Giovanni's smile became more genuine. Jessie was one, if not the best of Team Rocket's fighters. Her Pokémon all had a deadly reputation and no one was foolish enough to mess with her. Her partner, James, was a master of disguise with nearly unrivaled knowledge about Pokémon. And as if it wasn't enough, his partners were incredibly loyal to him. If you messed with the guy, not only Jessie but also his three Pokémon would jump at your throat and rip it apart. Taking a Pokéball, he handed it to Jessie.
"Here. This creature will help you move around the Orange Islands under certain conditions. Take good care of it."
Jessie checked the sphere's content. It held a Seadra that was looking at her with fierce eyes. Giovanni nodded.
"Watch out. She has … a certain temper. But I trust you have what it takes to match it, Jessie."
The woman nodded. As the three left the room, Giovanni scratched Persian's head.
"Silver told me Simon is headed for Johto to meet with his friends, Ethan and Kris. With Jessie and James at the Islands, I can focus my strengths on this region while watching over my son. Those rebels have their headquarters here, that much I know. But where? And of course, the Nathea Foundation will not help. They only care when a region is in serious troubles and those rebels aren't a direct threat to Kanto or Johto. They are petty criminals, contrary to Team Dim Sun, Dark Moon or Dead Star." Manipulating the remote, he had the screen showing pictures of men in black with a red R on their chest. "They are petty criminals, but they are in my way. And no one remains in my way for so long."
As they walked through the corridors of the fortress that was Team Rocket's base, Jessie looked at her new partner.
"A Seadra, huh? The boss wants us to use her to move around, but Seadra are too small to be used that way."
"However, Kingdra can." James remarked.
Jessie turned to him.
"Seadra's final form. In order for this to happen, you have to trade her while it holds a Dragon Scale."
"It means I have to find someone whose Pokémon evolves a similar way. Easier said than done."
"At worst, we have the hot-air balloon."
"Right. We can also use it. Well, let's gather our things."
Later on, the trio was boarding a Meowth-shaped balloon propelled by two engines. Riding to the Orange Islands took them half of the day, after which they landed on Mandarin Island. The Rocket base was located on a hill overlooking the huge city below. On the outside, it looked like a simple yet well-furnished wooden house, but behind the counter was a hidden switch leading to the real underground base. Said base had a training ground, a storage room and a monitor room with a high-tech computer and communication devices. The first thing the trio did was to store potions and antidotes, as well as some tools in case. Jessie also grabbed a Dragon Scale and gave it to Seadra. Once the preparations were over and James had a map of the place, the two human went for a change.
Later on, a young couple was leaving their little bungalow with their pet Meowth and Growlithe. Jessie was now wearing a white V-cut shirt that brought out her pretty assets and a short magenta skirt. Her feet were trapped in white court-shoes that were open at the end and she was holding a pink parasol. James was wearing an orange Hawaiian shirt with sunflowers and green shorts with sandals and a white sun-hat. A camera was around his neck and he had a pair of shades. Dressed like this, the couple could easily be misunderstood for tourists and the man was quite proud of it.
"What do we do now?" Meowth asked.
"We'll look around the town in search for traces of the rebels. Also, if we could find someone willing to do a double-trade to make Seadra evolve ..."
So they walked around looking as if they were enjoying the town. As they were coming out of an ice-cream parlor, Jessie saw a kid looking at a Pokéball. She came to him.
"Hey, is there anything wrong?"
The boy looked at her. He had brown hairs and a white T-shirt with two green stripes, blue shorts and brown sandals.
"Yeah. I can't seem to find someone willing to trade a Pokémon with me so my Kadabra can evolve. To think Einstein and I trained for months and months … We both want him to become an Alakazam, but no one is willing to do the trade!"
The woman grinned and took Seadra.
"I have a Pokémon that also evolves by trade. If you want, we can go to a Center and ..."
"Really? You would really do this ?"
Jessie nodded. The boy cheered.
"Do you hear this, Einstein? You're finally going to become an Alakazam!"
Jessie turned to her partner who nodded. While they left for the nearest Center, the man decided to enjoy the shades of a nearby park. He was resting on a bench when Pidgey shrieks woke him up.
"What's happening here?"
Growlie at his side, he followed the noises until he found himself in a small clearing. A Paras was here, surrounded by five angry Pidgey who seemed dead-set on taking it for dinner. The man growled. The poor Mushroom Pokémon looked in serious pain and he doubted it would hold much longer. Growlie jumped before him.
"Growlie, Roar now!"
The Puppy Pokémon violently barked at the flock, causing the Pidgey to quickly leave the place before Flamethrower was used. James rushed to Paras's side.
"Hey, you okay?"
Frowning, the man took a poké-ball.
"Victreebel, use Sweet Scent and Sleep Powder."
The Grass Pokémon gladly obliged. James grinned. He had set this combo to put his victims into blissful sleep, most of times in order to rob them or quickly get rid of guards. However, it could also be used as an anesthetic like those you found in hospitals. Spreading some Potion over the creature, he quickly ran to the Pokémon Center, only to see Jessie and the kid get out.
"Thank you for helping me evolve Einstein. I can feel how happy he is!"
"It was nothing. I needed Seadra to evolve too, anyway. Oh, James? What is wrong?"
Her partner showed her the wounded Paras.
"It was assaulted by a flock of Pidgey. I have to bring it to the Pokémon Center before it is too late."
Jessie nodded and let the man rush inside. Nurse Joy immediately guessed it was an emergency when she saw him and called her Chancey.
"Chancey, hurry up! We have a badly wounded Pokémon here!"
Paras was driven in a surgical unit where it was treated with the best care. The nurse smiled.
"You brought it just in time. A few minutes more and it was too late."
"I like Grass Pokémon. When I saw this Paras harassed by the Pidgey flock ..."
Deciding to wait until the Pokémon was safe, the couple kept searching the town for the rest of the day, in vain. As night was falling, they returned to the Center.
"It seems like there are really no rebels around." Jessie frowned.
"Maybe you're right. Well, Paras should be fine. I'll see how it's doing."
Jessie couldn't hold her smile. Though he belonged to a criminal organization and his actions were more than a little morally ambiguous most of times, James has a heart of pure gold toward those he cared for. Nurse Joy grinned as she saw him coming.
"Hello! The Paras you brought us has just finished healing. It is perfectly fine now and seems to want to see you."
The little Pokémon appeared a moment later. Growlie sniffed it before lightly yapping and turning to James who knelt before it.
"Nice to see you're better."
Paras waved a claw, and nodded.
James held the little claw in his hand.
"Ready to return to the outside, now?"
"Ras! Parasras paras!"
Meowth raised an ear.
"I don't think she does. She just said she wants to go with you."
James raised a brow.
The man smiled.
"Then welcome in."
Holding a Pokéball, he let his new friend get caught. The sphere didn't even shake. Jessie smiled.
"One more Pokémon for you. Well, let's get some dinner. I'm feeling hungry."
"You're not the only one ..."
The next morning, a familiar foursome reached the docks of the island's city. Ash recalled Lapras.
"Thanks for the ride. Now, let's explore the place ..."
They didn't go far. Two Trainers suddenly appeared, followed by four Magnemite, a Voltorb and a Grimer.
"No, Voltorb, don't go any closer!"
"Magnemite, leave me alone!"
The six Pokémon looked very aggressive. Pikachu raised an ear.
"Pika?" (What's going on?)
He tried to near the place … and froze. Ash immediately sensed something was off. He went to him and nearly jumped back when his friend turned with a feral expression on his face. To his greatest surprise, Axew suddenly did the same face and jumped at his side, closely followed by Togepi. Misty frowned.
"What's going on? Why are you looking at us like that?"
Pikachu's answer was to try and Thunderbolt the group. Ash was caught off guards.
"Hey, what's wrong with you guys? Come back!"
The three Pokémon didn't listen and went to join the six creatures. Ash growled.
"No ways! Pikachu, Axew, come back!"
Pikachu turned and unleashed a Thunderbolt. The boy blocked it with a small Aura Shield. The Magnemite immediately came as reinforcement. Silver went to get a Pokéball but was stopped in time by Espera.
'Don't! Those Pokémon are mind-controlled! I can feel the link connecting them. If you make any of us go out, the same will happen!'
He jumped away as the Magnemite went to attack him. Growling, he retaliated with an Aura Sphere. Since he couldn't use his Pokémon, it meant he only had Aura to get himself out of the trouble he had gotten into. The sphere hit a Magnemite that quickly retreated to its friends. The Voltorb glowed brightly, then exploded. When the dust faded, all Pokémon were gone. Tracey froze.
Ash clenched his fists.
"Pikachu! Axew ..."
Silver placed a hand on his shoulder and growled.
"Mind-controlled, huh? The culprits better have a good hideout ..."
"They took Togepi and Axew away. We have to get them back!"
A siren echoed and an Officer Jenny appeared.
"What happened here?"
"We got attacked by Pokémon." Tracey explained. "Both of my friends' Pokémon turned against them. And two of them are babies ..."
"Again? It's been some days already. Pokémon have started to turn against their Trainers before quickly vanishing. Only Ghost Pokémon are immune to it, so I think it's due to a psychic attack, most likely telepathy."
Espera emerged from her Pokéball.
"Indeed you're right."
The group turned to her.
"A talking Pokémon."
"All of my master's Pokémon can talk." Espera softly explained. "When I was in my Pokéball, I felt the link connecting them to the creature. And I can feel it too."
"And yet, you're not affected?"
"I am powerful. If I wanted to, I could crush this bastard's mind with a single thought, and I'm not kidding about it. This Pokémon …" Closing her eyes, she focused a little. "I recognize the brain pattern of a Drowzee, but the area of effect of its powers is too wide for me to accurately track it."
"I have a Pokémon to help me in this affair, a ..."
A round purple ball surrounded by light purple flames appeared in front of everyone. Espera jumped and hissed.
"Hey, watch it!"
The Ghost Pokémon laughed and levitated around the group. Jenny sighed.
"He agreed to help us. That's why I put up with his jokes. C'mon, let's get to the Center."
When they entered the place, they saw a purple-haired man being treated from burn wounds.
"Hey, what's going on?"
"My Growlie and our Meowth suddenly turned against us." The man said. "I don't understand. Growlie has always been very loyal to me."
Ash raised a brow. Growlie? Now that he looked at him, the tourist seemed strangely familiar. Then he saw the woman at his side and her curly magenta hairs.
"Jessie and James!"
"Ash! Silver! Misty!"
Misty came to them.
"What are you doing there?"
Jessie held a Pokéball and lowered her voice.
"The boss ordered us to go to the Orange Islands and look for Rebel activity. We found nothing so far, but Meowth and Growlie's turnaround sounds highly suspicious ..."
Silver looked at Officer Jenny.
"Could you leave us alone, Milady? We heed to have a very private conversation with these persons."
The woman nodded and left the area with Nurse Joy. Silver turned to the couple.
"Tell us everything."
"Giovanni ordered us to go to the Orange Archipelago and eliminate all traces of rebel activity here. At the same time, he is working to diminish their influence in Johto."
"That's where Simon and Ritchie were heading!" Ash remarked.
"Exactly. We think Simon will try to fight back the rebels ..."
"Then we have to ..."
"But their presence had also been noticed here so, since we are the best, the boss gave us the task of removing them from the area." James lowered his head. "He also tasked us with making sure nothing bad happened to you."
Ash crossed his arms and frowned.
"I'm strong enough to take care of myself! Besides, with Misty and Silver there, I've got nothing to fear."
Tracey raised a brow.
"I heard about Giovanni. He is the leader of Team Rocket. In what is Ash interesting to him?"
"Ash is his illegitimate son." Misty explained. "It's kinda complicated but Giovanni cares a lot toward him. And the rebels we're talking about are a group of Rocket members who seceded from the main gang."
"So Ash is the son of a mafia boss?"
"That's where it gets complicated. Listen, we'll tell you everything once it's over." The redhead turned to the adult couple. "Pikachu, Togepi and Axew turned against us just like Meowth and Growlie did. According to Espera, they are being mind-controlled by a Drowzee but she can't manage to track it down. Officer Jenny has a Ghastly she hopes will help us find the culprits."
"Mind-controlled? Sounds like rebel methods for us. We'll go with you. It's our mission to stop them."
Silver turned to Ash.
"I suggest you go and get Mightyena to help us. Dark Pokémon are totally immune to psychic powers."
The boy quickly went to a video phone and asked Professor Oak to send him the female hyena. Oak gladly obliged. The girl's Pokéball finally emerged from the transport system. Tracey turned to the couple.
"Now, we need a way to find them."
Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy returned.
"How did it go?"
"We're going to help you." Jessie frowned.
"Perfect. Do you know how to reach them? Ghastly couldn't locate them clearly."
"I do." Misty grinned.
Taking a Pokéball, she summoned Psyduck.
"I bet you the culprits behind Drowzee will try and control him. All we have to do is to follow him."
Mightyena got out of her Pokéball and frowned.
"Pikachu, Togepi and Axew have been mind-controlled by a Drowzee, just like several other Pokémon. We're going to look for them."
The hyena froze.
'What? Axew? Mind-controlled? Where are these sons of a Jynx!?'
Jenny gulped lightly at the pearl-white fangs revealed by the creature. She was suddenly distracted by the sight of a glaring Psyduck leaving the Center in a hurry. Tracey grinned.
"It worked! Let's go!"
The group hurried after the dumb Pokémon to a tall building with a satellite dish at the top. Silver frowned.
"That's logical. If you put a Psychic Pokémon in an amplifying machine and use an antenna to spread out its powers, it will become way more efficient. And satellite dishes are indeed the best."
"We don't have time for this! Let's blast this door open and get our Pokémon back!"
Before any order was given, Mightyena growled and jumped in front of the group. A Shadow Ball the size of Ghastly later, the entrance was wide open. The group rushed inside, Ash blasted another door with an Aura Sphere and they finally reached the main room. Two very familiar faces welcomed them.
"Well, it seems we've got some visit." The green-haired man grinned.
"Let us greet them as intruders deserve ..." The blonde woman agreed.
Jessie and James froze when they saw the couple in black.
"Cassidy and … Bleach, right?"
"It's Butch, you moron!"
"I recognize them! They had opened a fake breeding center to capture the Trainers' Pokémon!"
"And actually, they are high-ranking Rocket Rebels." James added. "Just happens our mission is to stop them ..."
Jenny turned to him.
"Team Rocket has been recently divided in two factions. The Rockets in white are still loyal to Giovanni while the Rockets in black are called Rocket Rebels and are opposing his authority. They are actually at war."
"But they're still criminals, right?"
"Both are, but Giovanni is less evil than the four Rebel Admins."
"Got it." She turned to Jessie and James. "Because you're helping us on this case, I'm letting you go. But if I meet you again after..."
"Our mission is to stop the rebels in the Islands." Jessie retorted. "We have no plans for any other criminal activities."
"You don't get criminals siding with the police forces very often …"
"We have a common enemy, that's all."
"Indeed. Alright, once this whole mess is over, I'm calling the other forces that they lend you a hand in fighting those rebels. But in exchange, you better not cross the law once. Got it?"
"Loud and clear, milady." James nodded. He turned to the duo. "Let's end this."
Ash pointed at the Psychic Pokémon
"Mightyena, stop that Drowzee!"
The Dark Pokémon looked at the scene. There were a dozen Fire, Water and Electric Pokémon among which were a Vaporeon, Flareon and Jolteon, Psyduck, two Starmie, several Magnemite, a Ponyta and two Vulpix and, finally, a Poliwrath. Then the hyena saw Pikachu, Togepi and Axew. All three were angrily glaring at her and more than ready to attack. She growled.
'So that's true. These sons of a Jynx have taken control of Axew. Well, they're gonna regret messing with my baby!'
She gave a quick look at the machine. In order to deal the most damages, she'd have to aim at the junction between the headgear and the cables holding it. A Dark Pulse should make it … Cassidy's eyes widened.
"They have a Dark Pokémon! Drowzee, have our captives attack it!"
"Drowzee-zee, drowzee-zee, drowzee."
The Psychic Pokémon started dancing strangely. The Pokémon gathered their power and unleashed a Thunderbolt-Water Gun-Flamethrower combo. Ash froze. Mightyena wasn't strong enough to take the blow head on. Gathering energy, he created an Aura Sphere and sent it to the beam, diverting it. Jenny looked at Ghastly.
"Ghastly, keep Mightyena safe with Protect!"
Ghastly immediately flew before the Bite Pokémon, shielding her from Poliwrath's Focus Blast and Meowth's Slash. The hyena galloped as fast as she could, dodging the Pokémon that threw themselves at her while Ghastly summoned Protect whenever an attack was sent. Then Axew stepped in her path. The baby Dragon was glaring at her and trying to intimidate her by swinging his tiny paws. But the young Pokémon had no attacks yet and was thus completely harmless. Mightyena looked at him. The creature was her baby. She had acted as his mother since he had hatched on New Island. There were no ways she could hurt him. So instead, she came to him and pushed him with the tip of her paw. The baby Dragon fumbled back. Next thing he knew, Ghastly was using Hypnosis on him. Mightyena angrily turned to the machine and called her biggest, most powerful Dark Pulse. She was about to fire it … when Pikachu jumped before her with Mjöllnir. Ghastly immediately summoned Protect. The thunder blade cut straight through it.
"What? That Pokémon is strong enough to overcome Protect?"
"Alright, I get it. Pikachu, over there!"
In order to appear more threatening than he was, the boy cloaked himself in Aura, causing a blue halo to envelop his body. Pikachu turned and raised his ears. Seeing the boy looking at him with angry eyes, he gathered his powers and unleashed a violent Thunderbolt. Ash raised his hand and blocked it with Aura Shield. Pikachu frowned. The opponent was powerful. Ignoring Ghastly and Mightyena, he rushed with Volt Tackle and caught the boy in the stomach.
Nightsong looked at her Trainer. Ash had distracted Pikachu, giving her the opportunity to attack. She called a strong Dark Pulse, smiled as her Ghost partner protected her from a combo attack with Protect and fired. The beam hit exactly where she wanted, causing the machine to burst quite spectacularly. Jessie and James cheered.
And as if it wasn't enough, the Dark Pokémon launched a good Shadow Ball to Drowzee's face as a lesson. The Psychic Pokémon crumbled under Butch and Cassidy's disbelieving face. At the same time, the red glow in the brainwashed Pokémon disappeared, causing them to calm down. Pikachu called back the Electro Ball he was about to send to his Trainer while Growlie and Meowth immediately jumped at Jessie and James.
"Growlie, my old friend!"
"Meowth, you're back!"
"Yep, and it feels good!"
Jenny looked at the other Pokémon.
"Go back to your Trainers, quickly! We'll keep these two off your back!"
Silver, Misty and Tracey guided the group of monsters to the outside of the building while the Rocket Trio, Officer Jenny and Ash were staying behind. The two Rebels growled.
"Don't you dare think we'll let you go that easily! Raticate, go!"
"Primeape, go! Drowzee, get up and fight!"
Ash was about to issue an order when Jessie and James stepped before them.
"We'll take it from there. Step back, Officer, Ash. It is our mission to stop the Rebels."
"Fine by me."
James took his Pokéballs.
"Weezing, Victreebel, Paras, go!"
"Arbok, Lickitung, Kingdra, go!"
The six Pokémon plus Growlie and Meowth stood up and ready to fight. The two rebels instantly understood they were in troubles.
"Kingdra, Dragon Pulse! Lickitung, Power Whip! Arbok, Hyper Beam!"
"Paras, Spore! Weezing, Sludge Wave! Victreebel, Leaf Storm! Growlie, Flamethrower!"
There was a big boom and a big cloud of smoke. When it faded, Raticate and Primeape were out like a light. Drowzee tried to launch Psychic but Meowth jumped and delivered a violent Night Slash to the poor Pokémon's face.
"That's for brainwashing me, you punk!"
Cassidy looked at her partner.
"I think it would be wise to get out …"
"Yeah. That'd be wise … Run!"
"Sorry, but we're not done with you yet. Victreebel, catch them."
The Grass Pokémon nodded and sent two vines that wrapped around the duo's feet. Jessie rubbed her hands.
"Let's go to the hideout."
Arbok licked his reptilian lips. Butch and Cassidy were understandably scared. Later on, as the group was resting at the Center, they saw the trio come back with a quite satisfied Poison Pokémon. Silver frowned.
Jessie sat and patted Arbok.
"As we thought, the Rebels have started spreading their influence over the Archipelago. Cassidy gave us a list of islands where they have started to work. We will go there and counter them."
Jenny raised a brow.
"I didn't think those guys in black would be willing to talk."
"Well …" Meowth grinned. "Rogue's poison is very practical to untie tongues. And I don't talk about Weezing's poisonous gas. Try breathing in that."
Misty's eyes widened.
Ash didn't let her finish. Instead, he glared at the trio and covered Axew's head. Silver shrugged.
"Don't take it hard, Little Ashling. I myself sometimes use this method on evildoers to get information."
The boy still looked down. His mentor patted his shoulder.
"You may be tough, but there are still things you can hardly take, huh?"
"I know Rebels are bad guys. Before I fought Giovanni at Viridian, they tried to blow the Gym. But using torture …"
"Especially with an Arbok. I heard their poison is very painful."
James went to the boy and caressed his back.
"Don't worry. I don't like it either, believe me. But Butch and Cassidy are high-ranking Rocket Rebels and there were no other ways to make them talk."
The boy gulped and closed his eyes.
"We leave tomorrow. The further I am from this place, the better I'll feel."
"As you wish. Well, you know what to grow next."
"Yeah, a stomach."
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