The Path of the Aura: Intertwining Crossroads

Chapter IV (4): Daily Life in Team Rocket (Part I (1))

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 30/Roof Floor): Registration Room

Date: October 14th, 2010 (10/14/10)

Time: 9:36 PM (Night)

"You come to me on this day and ask me a request. Why do you decide to choose three Pokémon, and now of all times?" Giovanni said, reclined back on his office chair.

Mewtwo, whom was sitting on the office chair closest to Giovanni, was silent, with its pale-green eyes half-open.

"Let's just say that I've had a thought recollection."

Giovanni switched his hi-tech desk on. The screen displayed images of dozens of Pokémon that were captured recently. Next to each image is the Poké Ball that each individual Pokémon was captured in, as well as their current move set and type attribute. "Choose your three Pokémon wisely." He said simply.

Mewtwo looked down at the Pokémon on the table's screen and observed each one carefully. It noticed that the selection was stretched across multiple options, and that each Pokémon had potential, as long as it was being raised by the right person—or Pokémon in this case.

"I see that you're taking your time before choosing," Giovanni said after a minute had gone by. "You're clearly considering your options."

Mewtwo was focused on its options and didn't show any physical regard as to what Giovanni said. Mewtwo was slowly drawing itself to one option, and in the end, it chose three Pokémon that met its criteria.

"I'll take these three Pokémon as my own." Mewtwo pointed at the three Pokémon of its preferences.

"Would you like to give them nicknames?" Giovanni said, before standing up from his seat and then stepping towards the teleportation machine/computer on the right side of his room, preparing to retrieve the three Pokémon that Mewtwo had chosen.

"No. I'd rather not," Mewtwo stated simply, following Giovanni's movements.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 29): Room 29-6

Date: October 14th, 2010 (10/14/10)

Time: 10:04 PM (Night)

"So you chose these three Pokémon, right?" Lucario noticed the three Pokémon that Mewtwo chose, whom were lined up next to each other. "May I ask for your reasons?"

"All I desired was a team with type attribute variety. If I chose Pokémon with similar type attributes as yours, then we all would be lacking in options." Mewtwo said.

The three Pokémon that Mewtwo chose—a Duskull, a Larvitar, and a Shinx—, are somewhat uncomfortable with their current environment and these strange Pokémon that they've never seen before. They were stagnant with timidity, silent and naïve before the discussing Lucario and Mewtwo.

(National Pokédex entry #355: Duskull, the Requiem Pokémon. It is a Ghost-Type Pokémon that measures in at about 2' 07" and weighs in at approximately 33.1 lbs. It loves the crying of children. It startles bad kids by passing through walls and making them cry. Unfortunately, it is too timorous to do so and there is absolutely no human children whatsoever in Team Rocket.)

(National Pokédex entry #246: Larvitar, the Rough Skin Pokémon. It is a Rock-Type and Ground-Type Pokémon that measures 2' 00" and weighs in at a surprising 158.7 lbs. A Pokémon that eats soil. Once it has eaten a large mountain, it goes to sleep so it can grow. It probably has a limited diet if it resorts to eating dirt off of the ground.)

(National Pokédex entry #403: Shinx, the Flash Pokémon. It is an Electric-Type Pokémon that measures in at 1' 08" and weighs about 20.9 lbs. The extension and contraction of its muscles generates electricity. It glows when in trouble. That would be perfect attribute to have for navigating out of a dark labyrinth if it ever got lost inside of one.)

"I can sense great discomfort in them," Lucario said, utilizing his aura abilities discreetly and in minimalistic quantities. "How old are these three Pokémon?"

"Three months. They were born here and know nothing of the environment beyond Team Rocket Main Headquarters." Mewtwo said concisely. "They lack battle experience and will most likely be killed, unless I give them what they require for survival."

Aqua, Terra, and Wanderer decided not to be present anymore after sensing the dispositions of Mewtwo's party Pokémon. They retreated back into the confines of their respective Poké Balls—which were placed on Room 29-6's display table—to enjoy their short slumber. Only Lucario, Mewtwo, and Mewtwo's party Pokémon of three were currently present in Room 29-6.

"What will you do to help them survive?"

"Training," Mewtwo answered instantly. "I'll begin tomorrow morning, after all four of us have had proper sustenance. Will you be joining us?"

"Regrettably, no," Lucario moaned mildly. "Giovanni wants me to go with him tomorrow to his Viridian Gym and test my power in battle."

"That's a shame…" Mewtwo said before using PSYCHIC on its party Pokémon's respective Poké Balls. Three Poké Balls: a Dusk Ball (Duskull), a Premier Ball (Larvitar), and a Nest Ball (Shinx), each fired their red beams towards their respective Pokémon and assimilated them. Mewtwo set the three Poké Balls aside on the display table of Room 29-6 and then proceeded to its respective bed.

Lucario was left alone to notice the three Poké Balls besides the ones from his party of Pokémon. He couldn't help but notice at the differences in designs between the six of them, between Mewtwo's set of Poké Balls, as well as his own—Aqua's Net Ball, Terra's Quick Ball, and Wanderer's Great Ball.

However, once he yawned out of fatigue, he decided to look away.

"(I should be getting some sleep as well,)" Lucario thought, before heading to his respective bed.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 15): Training Room

Date: October 15th, 2010 (10/15/10)

Time: 11:44 AM (16 Before Noon)

Within Floor 15 lies a room as large as a football field. It is utilized by Team Rocket Grunts to train Pokémon that show significant progress and reason enough for the criminal organization to allow them to live.

In this case, it is utilized to prevent three Pokémon from dying. Mewtwo, through its intended training, will attempt to save three innocent lives from dying.

That is of course, if Mewtwo doesn't crush them first.

The three Pokémon—Duskull, Larvitar, and Shinx—trained since they first began at 0700 sharp (7:00 AM), and they were already showing signs of improvement after fighting against Mewtwo. However, against Mewtwo, who wasn't wearing its manufactured armor, proved to be hundreds of leagues beyond their potential. The three Pokémon utilized teamwork, albeit to a basic degree, and Mewtwo consistently evaded and defended against each and every one of their attacks with ease.

Fatigue was setting in to each of the three Pokémon. Mewtwo, conserving energy with each move, wasn't even breathing heavily. This began to infuriate each of the three Pokémon, Shinx especially.

"Would it kill you to hold still?" Mewtwo's Shinx roared in frustration.

Both Duskull and Larvitar decided to regain their energy, feeling fatigued beyond their potential. They observed Mewtwo and Shinx, deciding to see where this was going.

"It would kill me to remain stagnant if I found myself submerged in quicksand." Mewtwo answered Shinx's rhetorical question with a literal answer.

"You know that that's not what I meant!" Shinx was frustrated, and somehow capable of speaking while simultaneously hyperventilating.

"The next time you speak then, try speaking with absolute logic in your words."

Shinx grew increasingly angered at Mewtwo's commonsensical nature. This led to it charging towards Mewtwo at full speed. As it was doing so, the electricity that it was generating while running increased exponentially. The electricity increased to the point where it entirely consumed the Flash Pokémon, giving Shinx the emulative appearance of an earthbound comet, with a yellow electrical path behind its wake.

Through its rage, Shinx has learned VOLT TAKCLE, and was now utilizing it on Mewtwo.

Both Duskull and Larvitar watched on attentively, impressed at the display of Shinx's power.

"…" Mewtwo thought very little of this new attack and simply stared into what was behind the charged cloak that Shinx resided behind.

With a roar, Shinx jumped and struck Mewtwo's torso with VOLT TACKLE. The attack had enough force to have Shinx jump back about six feet after the initial impact, with VOLT TACKLE's energy quickly dissipating. Once the energy completely dissipated from Shinx, it saw the result of its attack.

Mewtwo didn't even flinch after sustaining damage from one of the most powerful Electric-Type attacks. The only signs that would have people—or Pokémon in this case—believe that Mewtwo had sustained damage would be the electric static residue emanating from Mewtwo's whole body. However, that electricity quickly dissipated across the environment, and Shinx's VOLT TACKLE only left a reddened mark on Mewtwo's pale-skinned torso, failing to even draw blood—or even a bruise.

The antithesis of Shinx's expectations was quickly made certain to it.

"(Unbelievable!)" Shinx thought with alarm. "(Not even a scratch? I hit with more force than I could—)"

All of a sudden, the recoil damage of Shinx's VOLT TACKLE attack began to influence it. In an instant, Shinx's eyes rolled up into its skull and closed, its legs collapsed under sudden fatigue, and it plopped onto the floor, mild amounts of blood seeping out from its mouth and nose. That same blood was seeping onto Shinx's lower jaw, staining it blood red.

Duskull and Larvitar, recovering moderately from their fatigue, hurried over to Shinx and examined it after it had fainted. They paid no attention to Mewtwo whatsoever, not even when it walked over to Shinx and kneeled down to its level. Both Pokémon observed in silence as Mewtwo placed its right paw on Shinx's forehead, reviving it with its proficient psychic power.

Once Mewtwo removed its paw from Shinx's forehead, the Flash Pokémon didn't bother to get back up immediately. With its pride broken as if it were glass, Shinx looked up with a poignant, tear-ridden and blood-stained countenance.

"H-How…" Shinx spoke feebly. "How did you sustain the attack without injury?"

"I can state my reasons if you desire," Mewtwo spoke formally. "Is it of your interest to listen to those reasons?"

"Just cut the coherent crap and tell me," Shinx spoke exasperatedly.

"The power that we both possess resides in completely different classes. And if I decided to juxtapose our powers to specific points on Earth, my power exceeds the height of Sinnoh's Mt. Coronet, while your power sinks deeper than the depths of Hoenn's Deep Sea Trench. The VOLT TACKLE technique that you acquired inflicted more damage onto my torso than you think. However, because of our immense differences in power, you sustained a substantial amount of recoil damage, and I simply did not succumb to the attack."

"…" Shinx was at a loss of words.

"Do you still have the energy to stand up on your four feet?" Mewtwo spoke with concern, neglecting the concerned tone.

"…Yeah…" Shinx attempted to get back up, and it feebly got back up on its front paws, and then its rear paws. It stepped around its space for a bit to make sure that it was alright.

Mewtwo eyes a nearby clock inside of the Training Room. The hands of the clock signal 11:55 AM.

"You all look exhausted. It would benefit you all if we choose to proceed over to the cafeteria on Floor 1. It's almost time for lunch and I can sense hunger inside of you all."

A few seconds after Mewtwo sensed their hunger, the stomachs of each of the three Pokémon rumbled, begging for sustenance.

Mewtwo telekinetically retrieved the three Poké Balls that belonged to its party Pokémon and commanded them all to return to their respective Poké Balls in an instant. Mewtwo hovered over to the closest staircase, with the three Poké Balls orbiting around him as if they were satellites to the planets of the solar system.

"(There is considerable progress in their training. They have all learned new offensive techniques. Shinx in particular showed sufficient growth, having learned VOLT TACKLE, a technique that is normally out of its species' reach.)"

Mewtwo hovered down from between the gaps of the descending staircase, and couldn't help but be impressed at its party's progress. Its outer emotions didn't reflect this however. Only within its mind did it ponder at their growing strength.

"(Their chances of survival appear to be quite favorable.)"

Location: Viridian City (Viridian Gym)

Date: October 16th, 2010 (10/16/10)

Time: 3:13 PM

Lucario has been fighting inside of the Viridian Gym ever since he arrived in the morning after a day's worth of travel. Each fight proved to be unpredictable and in need of adaptation. However, in the end of each battle, Lucario always emerged victorious. His skills alone proved to be overkill as he fought his opponents. The power boost that Lucario's equipped battle armor provided him was seldom necessary.

One of his battles of the day proved to be the easiest battle of his entire life.

Lucario battled against a Pokémon Trainer's Sneasel. The Pokémon Trainer ordered the Sneasel to utilize DOUBLE TEAM and surround Lucario with a band of its duplicates. Next, the Pokémon Trainer had the Sneasel utilize QUICK ATTACK, so that its clones disorient Lucario with their high speed.

Lucario simply stood his ground in the center of the revolving Sneasel and its duplicates. And underneath his visor, Lucario eyes were half-open, unimpressed and uninterested with the tactics of the Pokémon Trainer.

Once the Pokémon Trainer ordered the Sneasel to use SLASH on Lucario, the DOUBLE TEAM duplicates quickly dissipated into the air and the real Sneasel, from behind, jumped towards Lucario's head, claws erect, razor sharp, and waiting to make contact with Lucario's flesh.

Lucario simply tilted his head to the left, having the Sneasel pass over his right shoulder, and then he caught the Sneasel by the ankle with his right paw, never allowing it to land on the ground.

Before the Sneasel could claw at his face, Lucario quickly punched it in the face with a left jab MACH PUNCH and the Sneasel instantly went limp within his grasp. He then threw the unconscious Sneasel towards the Pokémon Trainer, whom simply looked surprised at how easily it was knocked out.

Another battle that Lucario had today decided to set himself up against a major type disadvantage. A Pokémon Trainer of a higher caliber commanded an Infernape, a Fighting-Type and Fire-Type Pokémon. This Pokémon Trainer, along with the Infernape, appeared to favor close combat, and had his Infernape use CLOSE COMBAT on Lucario.

The battle quickly had the Aura Pokémon resort to his Aura Vision ability, which allowed Lucario to evade each and every one of Infernape's punches, kicks, jabs, and hand swipes. They were all avoided through simple motions: ducking, side-stepping, blocking, and repulsing away with his arms.

Eventually, The Pokémon Trainer called his Infernape to backtrack about thirty feet, after CLOSE COMBAT proved to be a martial faux pas.

"Infernape, use FLAMETHROWER!" The Trainer ordered.

Upon hearing the command, The Trainer's Infernape began to puff up its chest, inhaling deeply and expanding its lungs. Once at full breath, the Trainer's Infernape lunged forward and quickly expelled all of the air in the form of a powerful jet of fire from its mouth, perfectly aimed towards Lucario.

"CALM MIND," Giovanni ordered Lucario to utilize.

Lucario head Giovanni's command and simply focused his mind significantly, clearing out all unneeded thoughts that don't relate to this battle. In doing so, his Special Attack and Special Defense increased.

Lucario, after using CALM MIND, stood his ground against the FLAMETHROWER attack. The attack struck him, enveloped him, concealed him, consumed him from vision, but didn't harm him. Once the FLAMETHROWER dissipated, no signs of damage were apparent on Lucario's body, and Lucario casually put out any bits of fire that clung onto his fur by simply brushing it off.

Both the Infernape and the Pokémon Trainer were stunned at Lucario's unusual resistance to fire.

"BULK UP," Giovanni ordered once more.

Lucario's blood flow and heart rate increased, and swollen veins began to protrude from his skin. Those veins were visible along Lucario's face, where his fur was somewhat thinner. His muscle mass increased slightly, and his aura also spiked in power, leading to an aura field surrounding him, extending out twelve inches from his body. His Attack and Defense increased simultaneously.

"Attack with FLARE BLITZ!" The Pokémon Trainer ordered without hesitation.

The Pokémon Trainer's Infernape quickly increased the potency of the fire erupting from its head and utilized it to cloak its entire body with fire. Once surrounded by fire, it charged head-first towards Lucario.

"DIG," Giovanni ordered Lucario's next attack.

Lucario, as casual as can be, simply crossed his arms and watched Infernape charge towards him. His aura didn't increase in potency due to alarm, and his nerves didn't irritate from stress. Once Infernape closed in, Lucario simply raised his right canine-like foot into the air, and then stomped the ground with moderate force.

Due to the effects of BULK UP increasing his Attack power, he was somehow able to shatter the earth beneath him, creating a gaping hole in the ground directly below his feet. He sunk into the earth, evading FLARE BLITZ, and further stunning his opponents.

The Infernape skidded to a stop after the FLARE BLITZ attack dissipated, serving to be as pointless as its preceding CLOSE COMBAT and FLAMETHROWER attacks did. All it could do was look at the earthbound hole that Lucario left behind, noticing the aura light that glowed within the darkness.

This quickly disappeared as Lucario dug within the earth, and instantly, Infernape was left scanning the battlefield in failure.

Lucario could faintly sense Infernape aura from below the vast layers of earth, thanks to his Aura Vision ability. He dug his way below the earth until he was directly below Infernape, and when the moment was right, Lucario jumped up and shattered the earth above him, having BULK UP provide him with the necessary power to do so.

Before any reaction could take place, Lucario quickly delivered an uppercut onto Infernape's face, knocking it off of its feet and sending it backward. Blood from Infernape's chin was present on Lucario's paw, but he paid no mind to it.

The Infernape, after landing on the ground on its back, recovered quickly from Lucario's uppercut. It quickly coiled its lower body inward and sprung forth forward, getting back up on its feet.

"Infernape, use MACH PUNCH!" its Pokémon Trainer ordered.

The arms of Infernape, from the tips of its fingers to its elbows, suddenly emanated white light and it charged towards Lucario once more.

"PSYCHO CUT!" Giovanni shouted.

Lucario formed his battle stance and awaited Infernape's approach. Once Infernape was about to strike Lucario with MACH PUNCH, he swatted one of Infernape's fists away with his left paw and caught its second fist with his right paw.

With Infernape in his grip, Lucario tugged on its arm and pulled it close. With his left knee, Lucario kneed Infernape's torso stalwartly, forcefully expelling the air out of its lungs. And with his free left paw, Lucario's entire aura—from the aura field that he generated earlier—migrated towards it and suddenly radiated an opaque purple color once unified.

Lucario swiped at Infernape's bruised torso and the aura that traveled across the path of Lucario's left paw formed a blade of psychic energy that left a bloody gash across the targeted area. The technique was super effective against a Fighting-Type Pokémon, since it was a Psychic-Type technique.

The Trainer's Infernape fell to the floor and onto its back, unable to fight any further. Lucario, knowing that the Trainer would call it back into its Poké Ball, observed the damage it endured from his assault.

The Infernape had a bloody chin and a significant gash that stretched across its torso. Both of those physical injuries would recover without difficulty. However, its emotional injuries might take longer to recover, especially since Lucario sustained no apparent damage and easily countered and withstood its attacks through unexpected methods.

The Pokémon Trainer quickly returned the Infernape into its Poké Ball, and then ran off towards the Pokémon Center, concerned for the health of the loser of this battle.

Lucario stood motionless and deep in thought. He recalled the FLARE BLITZ attack that the Infernape utilized and juxtaposed it to the FLARE BLITZ attack that Absol utilized long ago. He concluded that, based upon visual appearance, Absol's FLARE BLITZ attack was stronger, despite it not matching up with its Dark-Type attribute.

"(If that Absol was still alive, it wouldn't stand a chance against me,)" Lucario thought.

Once Lucario finished recalling past events, he awaited his next opponent.

Location: Fuchsia City (Safari Zone)

Date: October 23rd, 2010 (10/23/10)

Time: 2:44 PM

Mewtwo, on another day of work, ventured to Fuchsia City's famous Safari Zone, along with two dozen Team Rocket Grunts. They disembarked from the cargo helicopter that allowed them to reach the Safari Zone.

Across the vast plains that appeared eerily similar to an African savannah, a herd of a few dozen Tauros ran in tandem across the wide open field. Already, Team Rocket was beginning to assemble closer to them, prepped to capture them all.

Mewtwo and the Grunts stood atop of a cliff and eyed the oncoming Tauros herd. In an instant, Mewtwo used PSYCHIC and had each and every Tauros hover nearby them, discombobulated, helpless and vulnerable. They were captured with ease by every Grunt behind Mewtwo, as Mewtwo telekinetically subdued them.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 2): Library

Date: October 26th, 2010 (10/26/10)

Time: 5:17 PM

Lucario decides to spend a day off of Team Rocket work by learning about the world through books from the library of Team Rocket Main Headquarters. One of the books that he's reading involves the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town. It's titled "The End Point of Pokémon".

The book explains Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower, and what resides within it, as well as what it's utilized for. The Pokémon Tower, as the book explains it, exists as a gravesite for deceased Pokémon. Pokémon of all type attributes, habitats, owners, or experience, are all treated with the same respect once they die. They are all given two paths in their final destination, cremation or coffin burial. As the book explains to Lucario, the largest Pokémon receive the cremation, so as to minimize the use of space.

On a side note, "The End Point of Pokémon" also explains a rumor of Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower. Allegedly, a Pokémon has been visiting the tower on a regular basis, eyeing new gravesites for recently deceased Pokémon. It is unknown what it does or why it decides to visit the Pokémon Tower. The only thing that is known about this Pokémon is that it's prone to disappear instantly once it is spotted. Vague eyewitness reports state that this Pokémon is a quadruped, and conceals its face with a black bandana.

As Lucario buried his mind deeper within the book, his constitution grew more depressed. He closed the book and placed it back in its original location, reluctant in reading further.

He began to ponder over what he read and how it connects to him. "(What happens to the Pokémon that die from Team Rocket's actions?)" Lucario thought, but quickly realized that they don't receive the respect that they deserve once they die. "(They probably help fill a crater somewhere…)"

With that done, he leaves the library and goes to the cafeteria on Floor 1 for dinner. As he climbs down the stairs, he can't help not think about his fallen loved ones. He can't help but mentally recall his days back home, with Sceptile, Tiny, and Wanderer, how they lived together in their old tree house. He also can't shrug off Team Rocket's malicious actions, and what they did to Sceptile and Tiny.

"I miss them so much…" Lucario mourned over the hole in his heart, once inhabited by the Pokémon now lost.

10.1: Two Months Later

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 29): Room 29-6

Date: December 14th, 2010 (12/14/10)

Time: 9:41 PM (Night)

Two months have passed—along with four more days since Lucario and Wanderer joined Team Rocket—since Duskull, Larvitar, and Shinx have joined Mewtwo's party. Since then, they have clearly emerged from their shells and have made themselves comfortable with their surroundings.

Their personalities have also been made clear.

Duskull is apparently sagacious and quick to point out details in its surroundings. It is deeply respectful and noble to anyone, even its enemies, and appears to lack anger. It attacks through hit-and-run tactics—or in its case, hit-and-vanish tactics—and favors stealth when fighting an opponent. It can be relied on for stealth, status infliction, and gathering intelligence, as well as endurance in battle. Its main weakness is its speed, which is overcome through evasive Ghost-Type techniques. Finally, it is also capable of telepathy since it has no mouth, just like Lucario, Mewtwo, and Wanderer.

Larvitar is a rather aggressive Pokémon, both in and out of battle. It's a vulgar and supremacist Pokémon that's difficult to work with, because it can quickly contaminate anyone's disposition—except for Mewtwo's, whom never seems to lose its serenity. It's a powerful Pokémon in combat and welcomes opposing odds, such as many-on-one combat. However, deep within its heart, it is a kindhearted Pokémon, if its harsh exterior is disregarded. The quickest way to do so is for an ally or friend to overwhelm its stalwart power with greater power, which might be difficult because Larvitar possesses incredible power and has a surprising resilience to anything else, making it quite difficult to defeat.

Shinx is a Pokémon that can be properly juxtaposed to a lion. It is heavily prideful, courageous, and persistent. It'll fight any opponent that it encounters, as long as it's confident in its ability to defeat its opponent. It enjoys one-on-one combat and prefers the lone hero approach. It favors consistently relentless offense and stunning simultaneous paralysis when fighting opponents. It deeply hates opponents that it can't defeat—such as Mewtwo—and its pride can take multiple beatings before shattering. Once its pride shatters, its battle potential collapses.

Two months have proven favorable to the three Pokémon. Mewtwo's party Pokémon, through rigorous training, has successfully evolved into three new Pokémon: Dusclops, Luxio, and Pupitar.

(National Pokédex entry #356: Dusclops, the Beckon Pokémon. It is a Ghost-Type Pokémon that measures in at 5' 03" and weighs approximately 67.5 lbs. It seeks drifting will-o'-the-wisps and sucks them into its empty body. What happens inside is a mystery. It's likely that they simply fill in its inner body, but what do I know.)

(National Pokédex entry #404: Luxio, the Spark Pokémon. It is an Electric-Type Pokémon that measures in at 2' 11" and weighs 67.2 lbs. on average. Strong electricity courses through the tips of its sharp claws. A light scratch causes fainting in foes. Of course, it's likely that this only works on weaker foes.)

(National Pokédex entry #247: Pupitar, the Hard Shell Pokémon. It is a Rock-Type and Ground Type Pokémon that measures 3' 11" and is 335.1 lbs in weight. Its body is as hard as bedrock. By venting pressurized gas, it can launch itself like a rocket. It sucks to be the victim(s) in its path of rampage.)

Every Pokémon—Aqua (Lapras), Dusclops, Luxio, Mewtwo, Pupitar, Terra (Garchomp), Wanderer (Lucario), and Xeno (Lucario)—was inside of Room 29-6, together to welcome Dusclops, Luxio and Pupitar into Team Liberator.

"Do you swear to never tell of our organization to any human, no matter how dire the situation becomes or how severe your life is jeopardized in a critical situation?" Aqua began the oath.

"I do," Dusclops, Luxio, and Pupitar responded in unison.

"Do you promise to rescue as many Pokémon as possible, once the time comes to make our escape?" Terra continued the oath.

"I do."

"And do you swear to make as many Rocket Grunts feel our power as possible, once we make our escape?" Wanderer ended the oath.

"I do," Dusclops, Luxio, and Pupitar responded in unison for the final time.

"Then Dusclops, Luxio, and Pupitar…" Lucario said once the oath ended. He smiled and opened his arms briefly. "…Welcome to Team Liberator."

The three new Team Liberator recruits bowed down in respect, all except Pupitar, whom did a rude pelvic (?) lunge. The action was disregarded, as the Pokémon surrounding it were used to this behavior.

Mewtwo stepped in, holding each of their respective Poké Balls and said "Time to rest. Tomorrow we wake up at 0700 and resume training."

Dusclops, Luxio, and Pupitar nodded before Mewtwo returned them back into their respective Poké Balls. Mewtwo faced Lucario and its party Pokémon, whom were returned back into their respective Poké Balls as well. All six Poké Balls were telekinetically placed back on the display table.

"Your Pokémon have improved significantly," Lucario complemented Mewtwo. "You've clearly dedicated more of your time to them than I have to my Pokémon."

"Your Pokémon are already stalwart and experienced. Training them currently is redundant, albeit recommended," Mewtwo stated with its soulless facial expression. "All three of my party Pokémon is safe from death. Now, they must have their power further sharpened."

"That's good to hear, especially since I've not neglected my training with my party Pokémon," Lucario smirked briefly.

"Will you and your Pokémon be able to join in our training session tomorrow?"

"This time, yes we will."

"Alright then," Mewtwo concluded before proceeding to his bed.

"Hold on Mewtwo, I wanted to ask you a question," Lucario stopped it from proceeding. "Do you think that Team Liberator oath sounded formal?"

"…" Mewtwo spend seconds thinking over the oath that Lucario and his party Pokémon spoke to its party Pokémon. "With all the honesty that I possess, I can infer you that I lack interest in such a petty pledge. What matters considerably more is what plan you need to ponder in order to successfully escape."

"I see," Lucario said plainly.

"After all, actions far exceed the power of words."

"Don't you mean, 'Actions speak louder than words'?" Lucario wondered.

Mewtwo simply shook its head. "Actions don't speak. That is illogical."

Lucario smirked at this response. "Oh, silly me… I forgot that you take the English language literally."

With their conversation done, they proceeded to their respective beds.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 29): Room 29-6

Date: December 15th, 2010 (12/15/10)

Time: 6:31 PM (Evening)

Mewtwo, after the rigorous training session, decided to eat in its room. It resided solitarily in Room 29-6, while every other Pokémon continued to train under Lucario's supervision.

Mewtwo always nibbled minuscule amounts of food, and seems to suffice with an average of 1250 calories daily. For dinner, it only desired a bowl of soup, with fragments of broccoli and Lum Berries. It was heated to human body temperature using psychic proficiency, and consumed delicately with a spoon.

The soup bowl was eventually left as empty as the moment before it contained soup.

Mewtwo placed the bowl and utilized utensils into the dishwasher with PSYCHIC. Before standing up from its respective chair, it eyed the kitchen utensils placed adjacent of it across the table. On a napkin, three eating utensils—a fork, a knife, and a spoon—were neatly and properly tucked within it, like children sleeping in their bed. Mewtwo extended an arm over to obtain them and ogled them sagaciously when they were in its globular hands.

"(A fork, a knife, and a spoon…)" The Genetic Pokémon pondered briefly.

Mewtwo placed the kitchen utensils aside and in their proper place before excusing itself from the table. It proceeded over to its room and retrieved one of the borrowed library books from the table beside its bed. Mewtwo relaxed on its plush and lovely bed before opening the book, flipping through the pages—non-telekinetically—to resume its previous point.

The book Mewtwo was reading is a popular science fiction novel, titled "Ender's Game", and written by Orson Scott Card. "Ender's Game" is a personal favorite of Mewtwo, whom has read the book frequently a few days ago.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 29): Room 29-6

Date: December 22th, 2010 (12/22/10)

Time: 7:12 PM (Evening)

One week has passed by with moderate activity. Lucario and Mewtwo both had days off of work from Team Rocket. During this day off, they decided to have another training session with everyone participating in it.

Aqua and Mewtwo left early from the training session, both with different reasons. Aqua left due to fatigue and Mewtwo left due to boredom. They decided to return to their room, where Aqua decided to pass the time by playing chess with Mewtwo, whom was reading "Ender's Game" for the umpteenth time simultaneously.

Both players moved the pieces using PSYCHIC, albeit their telekinetic abilities were clearly discrete. Simply put, Mewtwo's telekinetic abilities were free of pause and streamlined, while Aqua's telekinetic abilities seemed amateurish and jittery.

They played dozens of times, with each round lasting only a few minutes at the most. Aqua was ubiquitously focused on the game, while Mewtwo never looked at the board during matches, eyeing its work of science fiction instead.

Each and every chess match was unanimously victorious by Mewtwo, whom always left Aqua with the white king piece remaining introverted, while Mewtwo would declare checkmate with up to twelve of its black pieces remaining.

"Checkmate, for the thirtieth time subsequently," Mewtwo said while flipping through a fresh new page in its book, never letting its scrolling pale green eyes digress from the words.

Aqua, losing for the thirtieth time subsequently, was a poor sport. It coiled its right flipper inward to its left side before swatting away the entire chess set, board and 32 black/white pieces off of the table with a mighty swing, before slamming its forehead onto the table, having it stick there as if manufactured with Velcro.

Aqua remained in this position as long as it continued to feel great disappointment. It came close to using the FAKE TEARS technique out of accumulative sadness, despite the fact that it didn't know how to use it.

Out of mild pity, Mewtwo said "Don't hate the player, Aqua. Hate the game." Afterwards, it used PSYCHIC to collect the chess board and its 32 chess pieces.

Once Aqua lifted its head up from the table, Mewtwo returned the chessboard and chess pieces back onto their original places, as if they never played to begin with. All of this was done without Mewtwo averting its eyes from the book.

Aqua was annoyed enough by Mewtwo's apparent lack of interest and finally had the nerve to say "What are you reading, Mewtwo?" in curiosity.

Mewtwo, upon hearing the question, closed its book and looked at Aqua. "The title of this science-fiction novel is 'Ender's Game'. It's a story explaining the life of a human child who goes by the name of Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin. Ender's intellectual talent is recognized by humanity, and they use his talent to defeat a hostile alien race—known as 'Formics' to humanity, but are deliberately downplayed as 'Buggers'—by first training the child through computerized battle simulations." Mewtwo returned to reading its novel. "There are multiple books in the series. Once I read the entire book a few more times, I'll read the sequel to this book. They interest me deeply."

"Alright then," Aqua said, once informed.

Before it could ask another question, Mewtwo spoke once more.

"Humanity… All they know is to assimilate their surroundings and utilize it for their benefit. They will even resort to using one of their own as tools, as long as they are satisfied with their actions, regardless of the consequences," Mewtwo spoke to itself with an irritated telepathic voice.

All of a sudden, the chess pieces began to vibrate spontaneously. The pieces rattled in place, due to Mewtwo's stalwart telekinetic abilities. Aqua noticed this and grew mildly uncomfortable, since it suspected this was occurring due to Mewtwo's emotions reflected through its tone of voice.

"I hate them for that," Mewtwo said before eventually settling down.

The chess pieces stopped vibrating after a few seconds once Mewtwo calmed down. Aqua relaxed after a minute of this phenomenon, and once at ease, it thought of the other six Pokémon and what they were doing presently.

"(I wonder how training is going with Lucario…)" Aqua pondered.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 15): Training Room

Date: December 22nd, 2010 (12/22/10)

Time: 7:16 PM (Evening)

Each of the six Pokémon is sparring one-on-one with each other within the Training Room in Floor 15. Lucario is sparring with Pupitar, Terra is sparring with Luxio, and Wanderer is sparring with Dusclops.

Against Terra, Luxio constantly trained its Electric-Type attacks on it, improving its power as the training continues. Since Terra is a Ground-Type Pokémon, Electric-Type techniques don't harm it, allowing Luxio to unleash its full power without restraint of attacking a fellow comrade.

Against Dusclops, Wanderer improved on its ability to use Fighting-Type attacks on Ghost-Type Pokémon—whom are normally unaffected by Fighting-Type and Normal-Type attacks. Wanderer learned recently that if you use FORESIGHT—or Aura Vision as Lucario and Wanderer have named it—on a Ghost-Type Pokémon, both Fighting-Type and Normal-Type attacks will influence Ghost-Type Pokémon. Wanderer used consecutive Fighting-Type attacks against Dusclops—such as AURA SPHERE, CLOSE COMBAT, MACH PUNCH, FORCE PALM, et cetera—throughout their training.

Against Lucario, Pupitar constantly tried to ram him with its steel hard carapace. Lucario evaded each attack with aplomb. He eventually moved from evasion to offense and utilized LEAF BLADE on Pupitar, a Grass-Type attack that would prove problematic for the Hard Shell Pokémon in terms of type attribute. Since Lucario was much more skilled in combat, he slashed at Pupitar frequently with LEAF BLADE, creating thin scratches on Pupitar's durable carapace, and evaded each and every one of Pupitar's attacks.

Pupitar's carapace, despite the numerous scratches it has sustained, was designed to be resilient to virtually anything, and would show no signs of Lucario's LEAF BLADE attacks after a few days, once the topmost layer has molted away due to Pupitar's intrinsic Shed Skin ability.

"Hold still, dammit!" Pupitar constantly tried to use TAKE DOWN on Lucario, whom evaded each attack with ease.

Lucario, with the aerial proficiency of an acrobat, constantly jumped, flipped, somersaulted, and side-stepped against each of Pupitar's attempted tackles. Each evasion proved successful, despite the fact that Lucario wasn't using his Aura Vision ability to anticipate Pupitar's movements—especially since they were rather straightforward.

Half of the evasions left Lucario able to directly attack Pupitar with LEAF BLADE. In one case, Lucario was able to plant one LEAF BLADE onto the ground, balance on it in the form of a handstand, and deliver a downward aerial sweep at Pupitar with the other LEAF BLADE.

Pupitar grew consistently frustrated and knew that this training battle was gradually growing into Lucario's favor. "That's it, to hell with this shit!" It spat out expletively before hovering high into the air and falling back onto the floor. The end result was Pupitar burying itself into the floor, resulting in an EARTHQUAKE that simultaneously stunned and forced Lucario to remain stationary, for concern of falling over if he so much as took a step.

Quickly, Pupitar returned to the surface, eyed Lucario vindictively, and suddenly began to generate a spherical typhoon of power revolving all around itself. This sudden power revolved similarly to a barrel when it rolls down a hill, and the power is most concentrated directly in front of the Hard Shell Pokémon. Using the Pokémon technique GIGA IMPACT, Pupitar homed in towards Lucario with blinding speed and rampaging power.

Still stunned from EARTHQUAKE, Lucario had difficulty reacting to Pupitar's GIGA IMPACT attack. When Lucario finally regained his basic normality and noticed Pupitar stampeding towards him, it was already too late.

Pupitar impacted Lucario with GIGA IMPACT, directly onto his stomach, and launched Lucario approximately 200 feet away. He would've flown farther backwards, were it not for the reinforced wall catching him. He left a self-made crater onto the wall before falling onto the ground, chest-spike down. The initial impact onto his stomach caused blood to run out of his mouth, which formed a small puddle in front of Lucario's face.

Pupitar, despite not being able to move briefly after using GIGA IMPACT, was taunting victoriously at Lucario. "Ha hah! Look whose down for the count! Look at yourself! You're bleeding out of your mouth! I'll bet that hurt like hell, huh!"

Lucario, despite the overall force that he sustained from Pupitar's GIGA IMPACT attack, quickly showed signs of durability. He got back on all two of his padded feet, and wiped off the blood from his mouth. He spat out the blood-saliva mixture nearby the bloodstain already on the floor, and felt the pain in his stomach slowly disappearing, albeit lingering there in the form of a dull ache.

Not caring about Pupitar's involuntary taunting, he said "You're right, it did hurt," once he eyed the Hard Shell Pokémon. "However, I don't exist today because of feeble battle skills. I exist because of hard work and determination, the drive to move forward and grow stronger with each and every passing day."

"Spoken like a true try-hard," Pupitar said smugly.

10.2: Four Months Later

Location: Viridian City (Viridian Gym)

Date: February 14th, 2011 (02/14/11)

Time: 4:22 PM

Lucario returned to Viridian Gym under Giovanni's orders, in order to further test his growing power and progress. As expected, he faced off against numerous opponents, each of varying strengths and abilities, Lucario only used a fraction of his power to defeat each opponent.

His last opponent of the day utilized a Sceptile—of all possible Pokémon. Lucario, despite recalling the Sceptile he knew back at his forest home, showed no mercy.

The Trainer's Sceptile's final attack was SEED BOMB, where it literally utilized the seed-like nodules on its back as explosive grenades. Plucking them off of its back, it jumped high into the air and threw them towards Lucario, where they detonated upon impact with either Lucario or the ground surrounding him. The end result created a combustive explosion that engulfed Lucario, as well as the air around him, in a fireball.

The Pokémon Trainer, along with his Sceptile once it landed, prepared to cheer at a victory when Lucario didn't expose himself from the fire after a few seconds.

That is, until Giovanni gave him a command.

"POISON JAB," Giovanni said and snapped his fingers simultaneously.

Lucario's eyes suddenly glimmered gold and became visible from within the fire, a strong sign that he was still able to attack—as well as utilize his Aura Vision ability. Before the trainer and Sceptile could react, Lucario burst out of the fire and approached Sceptile, with his left paw emanating a nauseating purple aura, and the remainder of his body leaving a brief trail for the fire to follow before dissipating.

Lucario punched Sceptile with POISON JAB, square in the center of its sternum. The Pokémon Trainer's Sceptile quickly felt the side effects of POISON JAB—poison—and, along with the critically super-effective attack, toppled onto the floor, hemorrhaging considerably from its mouth and twitching from the fast-acting effects of poison.

Defeated, the trainer's Sceptile was withdrawn back into its Poké Ball, and rushed to the local Pokémon Center for recovery.

Lucario was left on the battlefield once again, only this time, he recalled the Sceptile he knew before being captured by Team Rocket. This past memory connected to Tiny, and their simultaneous demise, where their tree house was burned to the ground and then they were targeted by explosive gaseous Pokémon.

"(Of all of the Pokémon on this planet,)" Lucario thought motionlessly. "(I fight against the one that perished prior to my capture.)"

Lucario looked down onto the ground and then let a few tears escape from him and descend onto the floor below.

"(If only they were still alive…)" he sobbed silently, muting himself so that Giovanni suspected nothing of this behavior.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters: Floor B5 (Crematorium)

Date: February 18th, 2011 (02/18/11)

Time: 2:31 PM

Both Lucario and Mewtwo, under orders from Giovanni, proceeded over to the lowest floor of Team Rocket Main Headquarters. Both of them were unsure as to what Giovanni needed them for, or what resides on the lowest floor of Team Rocket Main Headquarters. The only hint that they received from Giovanni was a vague telephone call:

"I need you both at Floor B5, ASAP. I have a task for you two to perform."

Lucario and Mewtwo, upon exiting the basement stairway, stopped upon reaching a metal-reinforced door, similar to those seen on submarines.

"What do you think Giovanni wants from us this time?" Lucario asked Mewtwo before he gripped the door handle.

The Genetic Pokémon, with crossed arms and a serious visage, hypothesized. "Based on the designs of this enigmatic room, as well as the personality of our boss, something malicious…"

With grim thoughts, Lucario swallowed once before opening the metallic door. The door creaked open loudly, cracking off coagulated faint red rust from the inner door hinges, and both the Aura Pokémon and the Genetic Pokémon entered the room. Instantly, they both realized Giovanni's presence within the room, and before he noticed their entrance, both Pokémon observed the room.

To begin with, all six sides of the room—the four walls, ceiling, and floor—were metallic and rusted red in specific places. The room had a nauseating scent of smoldering remains, likely emanating from the burn marks on the walls. If closely observed, signs of sanguine stains were present on the walls as well, which blended in to the rust that the stains were located in. Lighting was difficult to pinpoint, albeit present due to the dim red atmosphere that the room had. Finally, there were signs of vents all along the room, due to the tightly-closed metallic panels that they resided behind.

It took Lucario and Mewtwo seconds to realize that this room was a crematorium. They were both unsure of what Giovanni had in mind for them, and reading his mind failed to foretell them of Giovanni's intentions, because Giovanni wasn't thinking about that presently.

"Welcome to the lowest floor in my HQ: the Crematorium," Giovanni's voice echoed all across the metallic room. "I called you both over here to ask a favor."

Before the Pokémon's eyes, Giovanni pulled out from his suit pockets Poké Balls, up to a dozen of them, and held them above his head, where they opened and released each Pokémon within them, in a blue-colored energy instead of the nostalgic red-colored energy.

Both Pokémon noticed this, and only Mewtwo thought otherwise to the blue energy, seeing it for the first time. Lucario, recalling Giovanni's Poké Ball explanation from a few months ago, knew what the blue energy related to, and questioned Giovanni's reasoning.

"(What are you up to?)" Lucario thought in a digressed manner.

The Poké Balls returned to Giovanni's pockets once they were empty. The Pokémon rematerialized, and their identities were known to Lucario and Mewtwo. To their surprise, the identified Pokémon were some of the most common Pokémon species possible.

"We have a small shortage of Poké Balls and I need you both to dispose of these Pokémon through any possible methods," Giovanni smiled before stepping aside.

"You want us both to kill them?" Lucario spoke with concealed astonishment.

"…" Mewtwo eyed the Pokémon, having difficulty sensing the potential of these Pokémon, primarily because there was little to nothing to sense about them.

Giovanni nodded, never discarding the antagonistic smile he had on his face.

The realization of Giovanni's unyielding composure caused Lucario to become uneasy and anxious. The thought of killing an opponent was nothing unfamiliar to him—if you recall his fight with Absol, sixteen assorted Fire-Type Pokémon, and Giovanni's Machamp. The fact that he had to kill without a sufficient and logical reason, it began to strangle Lucario's heart by his arteries.

Mewtwo, on the other hand, seemed to remain as calm as ever. An faint smile seemed to surface on its lips, a sign that it didn't hate Giovanni's order.

"Make it quick, there's more Pokémon to dispose of," Giovanni told them.

Both Pokémon, with different moral ethics, followed Giovanni's orders and killed the released Pokémon with heartless brutality. Lucario would mutilate their bodies with the use of bladed Pokémon techniques, such as METAL CLAW, LEAF BLADE, and SWORDS DANCE. Mewtwo would use less physical effort and just pop their heads open with PSYCHIC.

Both methods were unsanitary and quickly filled the surrounding air with the scent of blood. Both Pokémon would get the slain Pokémon's blood on them, but Lucario had more on him, since he decided to fight at close-range. Mewtwo would simply wipe off the blood with ease, due to a lack of fur. Lucario would have greater difficulty removing the scattered blood from his body, due to his fur.

Once all of the murder ended, Giovanni said "Alright then, here's the next batch" before releasing another dozen Pokémon, similar to the Pokémon that were already killed.

"(Oh crap…)" Lucario thought to himself. "(I won't sleep well tonight…)"

"(Just keep them coming. I'll pop their heads open and paint the room with their blood,)" Mewtwo thought with little facial expression, but much personality.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters: Floor 20 (Firing Range Room)

Date: February 18th, 2011 (02/18/11)

Time: 6:52 PM

Lucario, once finished with Giovanni's odious task, quickly went back to his room to take a shower to wash off the excess blood that clung onto his fur, leaving behind a bloody trail in the process.

With the shower, he hoped that not only the blood would trickle away, but the rooted bitter compunction as well. Unfortunately, that didn't happen as he hoped. Instead, he decided to attempt to forget his actions by firing guns and rifles inside Floor 20's Firing Range Room.

Lucario spend countless times inside this room in the past few months during some of his free time. His interest in guns transcended over to proficiency in this weaponry. The targets that he would fire at would immediately have their centers pierced. The fact that Lucario visualized the targets as people he despises—Team Rocket Grunts—helped him concentrate on his aim.

However, it proved to be a distraction today.

"Hey! Watch it!" A Grunt said as he was in the middle of changing the targets. "You almost blew my head off, you damn dirty Pokémon!"

Lucario, snapping out of his concentration, realized that he almost shot a live Grunt. The solitary bullet that he fired just skimmed the top of the black beret that the Grunt was wearing.

If Lucario wasn't in Team Rocket, he could have gotten away with killing a human being—if you recall the Grunts he killed back at his forest home. However, because he was officially in Team Rocket and therefore a Grunt himself, he can't get away with murder as easily as before, when he was considered "wild" and didn't live underneath human laws.

"Uh…" Lucario was still readjusting himself to reality. "…My bad…?" He said before putting the gun down.

"…" The Grunt just returned to changing the targets with a fresh set of new targets. "(*Sigh*) (They don't pay me enough to work with these Pokémon.)"

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters: Floor 29 (Room 29-6)

Date: February 19th, 2011 (02/19/11)

Time: 12:01 AM (Midnight)

Within Room 29-6, chaos erupted in the form of furniture with nonexistent wings. The Pokémon within the room either ran to safety within the bedroom, or attempted to prevent future damage to the furniture. The cause of all of this came from Lucario…

…After he drowned his sorrow with a few bottles of alcohol.

"Yo ya no puedo trabajar con estos condiciones!" Lucario spoke not with drowned grammar, but in a completely different language. [I can't work under these conditions!] He threw the television set at the wall, where it shattered on contact, sparking once before dying in a heap of glass and electrical circuitry.

All of the Pokémon finally found themselves within Mewtwo's room, simply waiting it out until Lucario either passes out from the effects of the alcohol or finally calms down.

Once they heard the windows shatter, they knew that this was no longer a matter from which they should wait until it passes. They stepped out of their safety room cautiously at first, and noticed that Lucario threw a chair towards another window.

Lucario stepped dangerously close to the shattered window. The strong chilling wind gusts didn't appear to bother him as he looked down to the ground floor. The furniture he threw outside couldn't be seen under the blanket of darkness that is the night. He appeared to be losing his balance and was wobbling all over the place.

It was only a matter of time until he fell out of the shattered window.

"What is it doing?" Terra said, confused of Lucario's behavior.

"I can tell you what it's not doing," Dusclops replied. "Lucario isn't attempting suicide. Despite being under the influence of alcohol—and inadvertently speaking Spanish, of all things—, it wouldn't think of suicide. Lucario has enough responsibility as it is, and more than enough in life to live for."

"What if Lucario falls over accidentally?" Wanderer questioned.

"I won't allow it," Mewtwo responded, never letting its eyes trail off of the drunken Pokémon. "I'll simply apprehend Lucario with my telekinetic abilities."

Lucario, after a physical vendetta with his own balance, finally approached the window. As he was about to fall over—as everybody expected—, Mewtwo quickly subdued him with its psychic abilities. And with the gentleness of a feather, the Genetic Pokémon carried Lucario over to the kitchen table, and sat him down on one of the remaining chairs.

The Genetic Pokémon dissipated its psychic control on Lucario and then approached him. "Suffocating you sorrow with alcoholic beverages won't remove the fact that you work under Team Rocket and follow their rules," It said sagaciously.

"…" Lucario, feeling mentally distant with his surroundings due to the alcoholic effects on his brain, simply nodded, almost hitting his head on the kitchen table in the process. "Yo tuve que matar Pokémon hoy, sin razón o propósito…" Lucario bubbled. [I had to kill Pokémon today, without reason or purpose…] "Tomé alcohol para calmar my dolor emocional…" [I drank alcohol to help me calm my emotional pain…]

"There would be nothing to drown if you had emotions so shallow that they're impossible to submerge and suffocate," Mewtwo said.

"…" Lucario tilted his head and looked at Mewtwo with uncooperative eyes, confused and just barely attentive.

"It's not something that you, or anyone, would understand in detail. So to put it simply, my emotions hold little to no control over my moral ethics. I don't feel emotions compared to other people or Pokémon. The scientists who created me seemed to consider that specific detail. I was created simply as a Pokémon weapon of war, with unquenchable bloodlust, and no desire to feel over my actions." Mewtwo looked down as it said what was on its mind.

"…" Everyone was silent upon hearing Mewtwo's powerful soliloquy.

Mewtwo looked back up and at everyone, "While we're all awake, we might as well clean up Lucario's mess now rather than never."

Everyone agreed with Mewtwo's choice of action,

Except for Lucario, who quickly vomited on the kitchen table and then plopped his head on the stomach puddle he just made, passed out from the predictable side effects of the alcohol he just consumed.

"Such an atrocity…" Mewtwo muttered, wrinkling its forehead to the best of its ability, with what little flexibility it had with its facial muscles.

10.3: Six Months Later

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters: Floor 29 (Room 29-6)

Date: April 14th, 2011 (04/14/11)

Time: 3:48 PM

Through hard work, recoverable injury, and rigorous training, Mewtwo's party of Pokémon have almost fully evolved. As of this moment, Mewtwo's Pokémon party currently consists of Dusclops, Luxray, and Tyranitar.

Mewtwo's Dusclops has yet to evolve, for reasons unknown.

(National Pokédex entry #405: Luxray, the Gleam Eyes Pokémon. It is an Electric-Type Pokémon that measures 4' 07" in height and 92.6 lbs. in weight. It can see clearly through walls to track down its prey and seek its lost young. The X-Ray in "Luxray" should strongly hint at this ability.)

(National Pokédex entry #248: Tyranitar, the Armor Pokémon. It is a Dark-Type and Rock-Type Pokémon that measures 6' 07" in height and a heavy 445.3 lbs. in weight. If it rampages, it knocks down mountains and buries rivers. Maps must be redrawn afterward. I'll bet it's frustrating to be a mapmaker with this Pokémon existing.)

All eight Pokémon within Room 29-6 ponder endlessly as to why Dusclops hasn't evolved yet.

"If anyone has the answers as to why I haven't evolved yet, Mewtwo has them," Dusclops speculated.

Mewtwo, with crossed arms and a tilted countenance, briefly closed its eyes and shook its head. "As oceanic as my wisdom is, I don't possess the answers to your current impasse," It said solemnly.

"Has that 'oceanic wisdom' of yours suffered an unexpected drought?" Tyranitar teased the Genetic Pokémon with a voice that resonated with the walls.

Mewtwo fully understands, as well as anyone else within the Room, that Tyranitar's attitude is entirely rooted to its species' nature, and that the Armor Pokémon can't help itself in stereotyping its species. They all simply learn to tolerate it, and Tyranitar knows that fact proficiently.

"No," Mewtwo continued, undaunted by one of its three fellow teammates. "The fact that I don't know why Dusclops hasn't evolved is simply one of many topics that I have yet to assimilate into my memory."

"I'll bet someone has to take a piss in that 'oceanic wisdom' of yours so that you can learn that topic.)" Tyranitar mocked rather loudly, as if by instinct.

"Well then," Luxray inserted itself into the conversation. "Do you think it's trained less compared to Tyranitar and me?"

"Highly doubtful," Wanderer spoke to the Gleam Eyes Pokémon. "I can speak truthfully when I say that you three…" The light-furred Aura Pokémon pointed its fingers briefly at Mewtwo's party Pokémon, "…have literally trained your asses off under Mewtwo's leadership."

"So what do we do about my predicament?" Dusclops wondered.

Aqua's light bulb of ideas emanated within its mind. "Perhaps we should ask someone for help?" It requested sincerely.

"Who should we ask then?" Terra spoke quickly after.

"(*Sigh*) I know who to ask," Lucario's words stabbed at his mind like Beedrills to intruders when he spoke.

Those same metaphorical Beedrills stung his steel-hard body when he decided to leave his room and ask the one person who knows how to make a Dusclops evolve. However, like Poison-Type attacks inflicted to Steel-Type Pokémon, he was immune to this and simply had to muzzle his hate, having successfully done so now for the last six months and four days.

The Pokémon seeing him leave had a good idea who Lucario was referring to.

"Well Mewtwo, now we know whose piss is going into your 'oceanic wisdom'." Tyranitar vilified once more.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 30/Roof Floor): Registration Room

Date: April 14th, 2011 (04/14/11)

Time: 4:00 PM

"So, what exactly do you need my help with at this moment?" Giovanni said, sitting down on his office chair.

"I need to know what makes a Dusclops evolve," Lucario asked, reluctant for his help but requiring it nevertheless.

"…" Giovanni comprehended the question and then stood up from his seat and proceeded over to his closet, the same one where he retrieved Lucario's Expert Belt from. From that closet, he found an odd sable cloth and then presented it to Lucario.

Lucario didn't know what to make of the cloth Giovanni was holding. "What the hell is that?" he said rather bluntly, unsure of the cloth that Giovanni held in his hands.

"This is a Reaper Cloth," Giovanni said. "It's a hold item that makes a Dusclops evolve into a Dusknoir."

Giovanni gave him the Reaper Cloth, and Lucario examined it thoroughly, rubbing his fingers across the item. He wasn't sure how exactly a simple piece of dark fabric was capable of helping a Pokémon with its evolution.

Against his wishes, he inquired "How does it work?" and awaited Giovanni's explanation.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters: Floor 29 (Room 29-6)

Date: April 14th, 2011 (04/14/11)

Time: 4:08 PM

"It's not exactly rocket science, Dusclops. You simply have to assimilate the Reaper Cloth and make it a part of you. As to what occurs next is natural and beneficial for you," Lucario explained.

Dusclops, whom already had the Reaper Cloth in hand, did as Lucario explained it to do. It attempted to absorb the Reaper Cloth and make it a part of itself.

Much to its surprise, the effort to do so was minimal. The instant Dusclops merely thought of assimilating the Reaper Cloth, it suddenly seeped within Dusclops as if it was already a part of it.

What occurred next, as Lucario said earlier, was natural and beneficial.

All of a sudden, Dusclops was consumed in a bright white light and its entire body became this light, while everyone else in Room 29-6 is shielding their eyes from this light. For the Pokémon who could tolerate the bright light, they noticed Dusclops was changing form. It lost its legs and gained an ethereal tail. Its arms grew out and it gained a bizarre antenna on its head.

Once the light faded, Dusclops was no longer present before the Pokémon. Dusknoir was present before the Pokémon.

(National Pokédex entry #477: Dusknoir, the Gripper Pokémon. It is a Ghost-Type Pokémon that measures in at 7' 03" in height and 235.0 lbs. in weight. It is said to take lost spirits into its pliant body and guide them home. This Pokémon effectively has the most connection to the infamous Grim Reaper than any other Pokémon.)

"…" Dusknoir examined its new body, its new hands and tail in particular, and the fact that it was now capable of effortless wraithlike levitation.

"Dusclops—I mean, Dusknoir—, how do you feel right now?" Lucario asked the Gripper Pokémon a question.

With its solitary red eye, it glared at Lucario before speaking with an unchanged telepathic voice. "To put it simply, I feel reborn."

Mewtwo looked at the clock within Room 29-6 and then had this to say: "Since we all are now at our peak form, are we all in favor of an afternoon training session?"

The decision was unanimous, with all eight Pokémon in favor of a training session, and everyone headed over to Floor 15.

Location: Team Rocket Main Headquarters (Floor 15): Training Room

Date: April 14th, 2011 (04/14/11)

Time: 4:33 PM

Back inside of the Training Room within Floor 15 of Team Rocket Main Headquarters, all eight Pokémon resumed further training, albeit with different match-ups, three in total. All three of these match-ups had a similarity: strong against vs. weak against.

Terra and Aqua were facing off against each other, one-on-one. Terra wanted to emulate what Lucario did with Fire-Type attacks, and develop a resistance to Ice-Type attacks—which both Dragon-Type Pokémon and Ground-Type Pokémon are extremely susceptible against. Terra had Aqua constantly direct its Ice-Type attacks towards it—such as ICE SHARD, ICE BEAM, and BLIZZARD—, to borderline hypothermia.

A three-on-one battle ensued with Lucario, Luxray, and Wanderer vs. Tyranitar. Both sides had their reasons by which they all agreed with before fighting: Tyranitar adored fights with multiple Pokémon, and its opponents wanted to practice how to use MAGNET RISE, a Pokémon technique that renders all Ground-Type Pokémon techniques pointless—favorable to Electric-Type and Steel-Type Pokémon. Tyranitar was ordered by Mewtwo to use the Ground-Type attacks in its repertoire against them, such as EARTHQUAKE. However, never one to completely follow orders, the Armor Pokémon also used other moves in its repertoire, such as STONE EDGE and GIGA IMPACT—a favorite of Tyranitar.

The final matchup was between the Pokémon that remained: Dusknoir vs. Mewtwo. What they were doing was sparring against each other, where Mewtwo effortlessly evaded Dusknoir's Dark-Type and Ghost-Type attacks, such as DARK PULSE, SHADOW BALL, and even the unavoidable SHADOW PUNCH.

Mewtwo had an infamous habit of making everyone look pitiful compared to it. Dusknoir was wise, but Mewtwo was far wiser. If Dusknoir was going to smack Mewtwo with an attack, Mewtwo can't see it coming, and against Mewtwo, Dusknoir found it impossible to inflict damage or even aim at the Genetic Pokémon. Mewtwo would always evade each and every one of its attacks, by either a large gap in distance or by the skin on its teeth.

To the average person—or Pokémon—, the weak spot of most opponents would be their backsides, where their eyes aren't located. If an average person—or Pokémon—used this similar strategy against Mewtwo, they'd never use it again because Mewtwo's adept psychic abilities give it a full hemispheric field of vision. To the advanced person—or Pokémon—however, they'd have to attack faster than Mewtwo could react.

That wasn't impossible, if the Pokémon was proficient with speed.

However, since Dusknoir was a slow Pokémon, it had to use an attack technique against Mewtwo that fulfilled two requirements: Mewtwo doesn't know about the attack and it's not able to see it coming until the attack is made.

After firing another evaded SHADOW BALL, Dusknoir was feeling exhausted of verve, while Mewtwo appeared as fresh as the moment before entering Floor 15.

"I've heard from Lucario that you have been practicing a new technique," Mewtwo said, with a face of stone, "A technique that only the legendary Pokémon Giratina can use."

"That's correct, (As usual…)" Dusknoir responded, with a shortness of breath.

"Attempt the technique on me. That's an order. I want to experience its power first-hand." Mewtwo bent its knees slightly and formed a battle stance, a stance that meant Mewtwo would expect something, but did not mean that Mewtwo had anticipated the attack's effects. Its eyes were trained on Dusknoir, and its tail was slowly waving left and right.

"As you wish…" Dusknoir said with fatigue.

Instantly, like a light switched from on to off, Dusknoir vanished. Mewtwo, sensing no trace of Dusknoir, didn't react in astonishment, and simply maintained its stance.

So when Dusknoir reappeared behind Mewtwo, it launched a punch towards the Genetic Pokémon. Mewtwo, immediately sensing Dusknoir's presence, caught the punch with its right hand, without so much as looking back or moving anything else.

Before Dusknoir became surprised at Mewtwo's speed—or surprising physical strength, Mewtwo began talking, once again without looking back.

"A technique where the user instantly disappears, and then returns to attack the opponent… The technique is indispensable and is capable of bypassing rampart techniques, such as PROTECT and DETECT."

Mewtwo paused while speaking, and then resumed.

"It's impressive that you've learned SHADOW FORCE, Dusknoir."

Dusknoir, disregarding Mewtwo's incredible fighting capabilities, imagined what Mewtwo's countenance was currently, since it was unable to see it. It couldn't help but imagine that Mewtwo was smiling, an action that it rarely—if ever—does.

10.4: Double Battle! Aura and Genetic vs. Blade and Embrace

Location: Viridian City (Viridian Gym)

Date: April 21th, 2011 (04/21/11)

Time: 9:43 PM

This assignment in Viridian Gym is considerably different from before. Giovanni, deciding to break free from a traditional pothole, decided to have both Lucario and Mewtwo fight alongside each other—with their battle armor on—in a double battle. This event was only available for today, and stalwart Pokémon Trainers from all over Kanto took advantage of this exceptional moment.

Both Lucario and Mewtwo, despite facing off against some of the most arduous combinations of Pokémon, never lost a battle, or even faced any difficulty. They both supported each other with their tremendous power, never disagreeing with whatever tactic each one of them decided on.

They both favored one strategy in particular though: Lucario favored close combat, while Mewtwo favored long-range combat.

For their final battle of the night, both Lucario and Mewtwo are to fight against one Pokémon from two Pokémon Trainers, both of which appeared to be above average when compared to previous challengers. Each Pokémon Trainer released one Pokémon, a Gallade and a Gardevoir. Both opponents were Psychic-Type Pokémon, albeit Gallade is also a Fighting-Type Pokémon. They appeared confident in their abilities after seeing both Lucario and Mewtwo.

Lucario and Mewtwo quickly noticed that their Psychic-Type opponents were considerably more powerful than their previous Pokémon opponents. They instantly used their extrasensory abilities upon speculating their potential: Lucario with Aura Vision and Mewtwo with his hemispheric-vision extrasensory perception.

"(Which opponent do you choose to fight against?)" Lucario communicated to Mewtwo through thought.

"(I could care less. Take your pick.)" Mewtwo communicated through the same method.

"(Watch closely then,)"

After those words, the hand-spike of Lucario's left arm quickly morphed into a metal glove, silver and rounded, similar in shape to a bullet. Using BULLET PUNCH, a first-strike Steel-Type attack, Lucario charged towards Gardevoir, fist first.

Gallade, being equally as fast as Lucario, stepped in front of Gardevoir. Before Lucario's BULLET PUNCH struck Gardevoir, Gallade smiled and spread its arms out, creating a cube of clear psychic energy, known as REFLECT. The power of REFLECT, once Lucario's BULLET PUNCH struck Gallade in its chest outcropping, instantly divided the punch's power by half, leaving bearable damage to the unexpected target.

"(Interesting…)" Lucario pondered, retracting his arm and having his left arm return to normal.

"(An offensive Pokémon with defensive techniques... How surprising…)" Mewtwo thought impressed, when Gallade's REFLECT dissipated from sight, but not from effect, since REFLECT last for a fair amount of time.

"(Can you fight this Gallade?)"

"(I can fight it effortlessly. Can you fight against that Gardevoir?)"

"(That's who I intended to punch in the first place.)"

"(Wise choice…)"

Both Gallade and Gardevoir separated from each other and stepped in different corners of the battlefield. Lucario and Mewtwo stepped close together, with each other's backs beside one another, staring at their opponents. Lucario ogled Gardevoir with martial intent and Mewtwo locked its eyes onto Gallade, attempting to sense its next move. The Blade Pokémon began charging up psychic energy on its sharp arms, charging up energy for its second attack. The Embrace Pokémon clasped its hands and closed its eyes, focusing its mind and emanating a mild aura, through the effects of CALM MIND.

"(I sense their next attacks,)" Mewtwo thought to Lucario.

"(I know. I sense PSYCHO CUT from Gallade, and THUNDERBOLT from Gardevoir.)"

"(Do you wish to allow them to attack us?)"

"(We might as well give them a chance before we defeat them.)"

Gallade, with its arms fully charged, unleashed PSYCHO CUT—as both Lucario and Mewtwo anticipated—in the form of stationary consecutive arm swings, having sharp blades of psychic energy fly towards Mewtwo like reckless buzz-saws. Gardevoir, with its Special Attack and Special Defense stats increased, quickly fired lightning out of its hands—THUNDERBOLT—and aimed it towards Lucario.

"(What about damaging us? Do you want them to inflict damage on us?)" Mewtwo thought.

"(…Hell no! I only wanted them to attack us.)"

"(I thought so…)" Mewtwo clasped its bulbous hands together, thinking to Lucario "(Stay close to me then)" before generating a hemispheric bulwark of solidified air—PROTECT.

Both PSYCHO CUT and THUNDERBOLT struck Lucario and Mewtwo, albeit because of PROTECT, the attacks bounced off and scattered across the battlefield. The reflected attacks almost struck innocent bystanders in the building: Giovanni and the two Pokémon Trainers.

Both Gallade and Gardevoir already planned on their next attacks. Once the rampart technique disappeared, Gallade's arms emanated a dark energy and Gardevoir's eyes flashed once, a sign of an impending attack.

"(Now it's our turn to attack,)" Lucario thought to Mewtwo.

"(I'll enjoy this significantly.)"

Lucario immediately utilized EXTREMESPEED and rushed over to Gardevoir's backside at speeds rivaling that of sound. Mewtwo used TELEPORT and materialized behind Gallade in an instant. Both armored Pokémon attacked their respective opponents: Lucario full-body tackled Gardevoir with EXTREMESPEED, and Mewtwo, with its forehead emanating stalwart psychic energy, used ZEN HEADBUTT on Gallade. Both attacks struck hard against the opponent's backs, especially because of their battle armor. However, because of the lingering effects of REFLECT, the cube of psychic energy appeared immediately and reduced the physical damage by half.

Both opponents, sent flying due to the other half of the inflicted power, regained their balance and retaliated. Gallade somersaulted and planted its feet on an incoming wall, jumped horizontally to reach Mewtwo, and began to slash away at the Genetic Pokémon with NIGHT SLASH. Gardevoir instantly used PSYCHIC on itself and halted its flight pattern. While hovering in mid-air, Gardevoir used PSYCHIC on Lucario and immediately had him hover in mid-air along with the Embrace Pokémon, immobile and vulnerable.

Mewtwo evaded each and every one of Gallade's NIGHT SLASH attacks. Both Gallade's offensive speed and Mewtwo's evasive speed were equivalent with each other, and they were both high in proficiency. To the people watching this, it would appear that Gallade was striking with NIGHT SLASH three times at once at Mewtwo, and Mewtwo was still evading each of the attacks three times at once. The optical lag of the human eye proved disorienting to the viewers of the battle, so they had to focus on Gardevoir and Lucario.

Gardevoir treated Lucario like a rag doll with its powerful psychic abilities. Up on the roof, down on the floor, and across each wall was where Lucario left life-size craters of himself with each impact. The impacts did damage both Lucario and his battle armor, but Lucario was already tolerant of pain—and the nausea of flying—and simply let Gardevoir have its way with him, knowing that both the Blade Pokémon and the Embrace Pokémon won't win this battle, but decided to give them a parting chance.

Gardevoir did manage to draw blood from Lucario's mouth however, which was left behind as residue on the second set of craters, but the blood was only minute and hardly important enough for the need of concern.

"(We're of different fighting styles, Lucario,)" Mewtwo thought while easily avoiding Gallade's NIGHT SLASH attacks. "(I avoid damage and you prefer it.)"

"(No pain…) Oof! (No gain!) Blegh!" Lucario's breath was forcefully expelled from him with each slam across the walls, roof, and floor. "(I'm simply stalling for FUTURE SIGHT to arrive!) Heh heh—HAAH!"

"(So we are…)" Mewtwo thought.

A few seconds went by in time before signs of Gardevoir's FUTURE SIGHT attack began to appear. The first sign: Lucario stopped bouncing across the battlefield as if it were a pinball and was held in place, a few meters in front of Gardevoir. The second sign: A portal appeared directly in front of Lucario and behind Gardevoir, about 150 feet in approximated distance. The third sign: from that portal, a massive spherical clump of energy in eight different colors was viewable.

"(Now's the time to strike, Mewtwo,)" Lucario thought, with a plan in mind.

"(You lead, and I'll follow,)" Mewtwo thought concisely, choosing to see what Lucario has in mind.

Lucario, despite being under submission from Gardevoir's PSYCHIC, was by no means completely helpless. Lucario's counterattack simply involved overwhelming Gardevoir's PSYCHIC with his own PSYCHIC, since only the body and not the mind is subdued by PSYCHIC. The end result involved an astounded Gardevoir, suddenly placed within the firing end of the portal, and Lucario levitating both himself and Gardevoir with his stalwart telekinetic abilities.

"(So that's your plan,)" Mewtwo thought before deciding to act differently from its current actions.

Disregarding the burning sensation that its hands would succumb to, Mewtwo grabbed both of Gallade's NIGHT SLASH-imbued arms and held on to them tightly, preventing the Blade Pokémon from swinging at the Genetic Pokémon any further. To properly subdue the squirming Gallade, Mewtwo impacted its head with Gallade's forehead with ZEN HEADBUTT, rattling the Blade Pokémon's skull and stunning it instantly, despite the REFLECT barrier cutting Mewtwo's attack strength in half.

With Gallade now in submission, Mewtwo utilized its PSYCHIC to place Gallade in the same position as its Embrace Pokémon partner, within the firing path of the FUTURE SIGHT attack.

Gardevoir's FUTURE SIGHT attack emerged from the portal, moments before the portal itself disappeared, and traveled forward as if it were a cannonball. Gallade, recovering quickly enough from a mild concussion to see the attack coming at them, heard the trainer's orders to use CLOSE COMBAT on the incoming FUTURE SIGHT attack. The flurry of punches and kicks against the orb of volatile psychic energy only succeeded in reducing a quarter of its overall power, before it violently exploded, blinding all life within the battlefield in a cloud of dust.

Two sharp shrieks of pain were audible, and then two slams onto the floor.

Once the dust cleared, the status quo of the after-effects became clear to everyone within the Viridian Gym.

Lucario and Mewtwo were on the floor adjacent to each other, unsurprisingly unscathed from the explosion because of their battle armor and distance from the explosion. Gallade and Gardevoir, however, were face down on the floor, ubiquitously burned and bloody from the FUTURE SIGHT attack. They appeared unconscious and cadaverous before the trainers' eyes.

"(They were strong enough to defeat themselves with their own attack,)" Lucario directed his thoughts to Mewtwo, mentally unanimous on the belief that Gallade and Gardevoir were finished.

"(No,)" Mewtwo responded. "(They only cracked themselves to the point where one blow each will shatter them both. I can sense their energy. They are almost drained of their stamina.)"

As Mewtwo suspected, Gallade and Gardevoir were still able to fight, despite their disappearing power. They got back up on their feet after trying and falling a few times, cleaned themselves up of the blood they were secreting across their bodies, and formed a battle stance. They almost lost their balance a couple of times while on their stance, signs that they both would not last much longer in this battle.

"(May I deal the shattering final blows?)" Lucario thought.

"(Of course you may. However, allow me to leave them completely susceptible first.)"

Mewtwo quickly used TELEPORT and disappeared from its original location alongside Lucario before it rematerialized directly between the feeble Gallade and tottering Gardevoir. It extended its arms and solidified its hands into the shape of a blade before both swollen hands emanated white light.

Using BRICK BREAK—a Fighting-Type Pokémon technique designed to shatter lingering bulwarks—, it swung both hands, fully extended, and contacted both Pokémon across their torsos. REFLECT reappeared once more, albeit with no lasting beneficial aid. Their final defense shattered like glass before disappearing into nothingness.

"(My turn,)" Lucario thought.

Lucario held both arms out and above his body, opening his paws and having their palms pointed towards the ceiling. Directly above each of Lucario's palms, light blue "femur bones" formed, each radiating a bright blue aura—due to being created from Lucario's natural aura. Lucario's choice of attack technique for finishing this battle was called BONEMERANG, an attack in the same family as BONE RUSH.

Both "femur bones", once fully formed, landed on Lucario's paws. Twirling them both briefly and expertly around his paws, Lucario gripped both aura bones and hurled them towards Gallade and Gardevoir. Mewtwo used TELEPORT to disappear from the firing line, moments before Lucario's BONEMERANG attack instantly made contact with both Pokémon, directly in the center of their foreheads, quickly toppling them over into unconsciousness. The bones returned to Lucario's paws, where he simply assimilated their energy back into his body.

With both Gallade and Gardevoir unconscious and unable to continue the battle, Lucario and Mewtwo were victorious. Their victory didn't matter much to them, especially because they outmatched their opponents in virtually all possible ways.

"(They're growing in power with each passing day…)" Giovanni thought to himself, astonished at Lucario and Mewtwo's growing power.

Lucario and Mewtwo, now adjacent once more, sat down on the floor and meditated on their recent victory.

"(…Excellent…)" Giovanni smiled malevolently.

"The only teacher who's worth anything to you is your enemy." –Orson Scott Card ("Xenocide")

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