Here are the first few chapters of my new fic. The action really gets going in chapter three. Hope to hear your response. Chapter One Andy stood at the top of the hill and looked up towards the sun. Today was his birthday, his twelfth birthday. He'd always been promised that on his twelfth birthday he would receive his first Pokémon, and now he had. He had no idea what it was, his father had wanted to surprise him, but he was fairly sure it would be a psychic type, his father was after all, one of the trainers at Sabrina's gym in their home of Saffron. Today was the day Andy would start his journey to beat all eight gyms and venture to the pokémon league. And yet here he was, standing on top of a hill just outside town, afraid to even release the pokémon he had wanted for so long, afraid to have to leave, afraid to have to be alone. Not that he would be alone, he would have his pokémon, if he ever got around to letting it out of its pokéball that is. You see, Andy was worried that his pokémon wouldn't like him, or even worse, that he wouldn't like it. He didn't want to not like the present he had been waiting for since before he could remember. He was dreading it being a psychic type, all the pokémon he had ever known were psychic types, his father's, Sabrina's, and they all had one thing in common, the scared him. They always seemed so cold and unemotional, he had never really warmed to any of his father's pokémon, not Kadabra, not Hypno, none of them. He didn't want to be afraid of his pokémon. "Only one thing for it." he muttered to himself. He turned, the noonday sun catching on his short blonde hair, his blue eyes reflecting the anxiety he felt. He looked at the small red and white ball in his hands; it was stupid to be afraid of something so small. His face took on a new determination as he gripped the ball tightly. He pressed the button gently and felt the ball grow to fill his hand, it felt as if it belonged there. Boosted by this feeling he threw the ball in front of him. "Pokéball, go!" The ball landed on the ground and opened in a burst of white light. He held his breath as the light took shape before him, gazing into it as the swirling mass of energy formed… he didn't know. He thought it was an Eevee, but something was wrong, the colour wasn't right, Eevees were brown, and this was a silvery grey. The pokémon gazed happily up into his eyes, "Eevee!" it cried. So it was an Eevee after all, so why was it a different colour? He stared ponderously at the pokémon for a while. "Eevee, Eevee." It seemed concerned at his lack of movement, and wandered over and began to sniff his feet. This snapped Andy out of his confusion; he crouched down next to his new companion and stroked it gently behind the ear. "Hi Eevee! I guess I'm your new trainer. I'm Andy." The pokémon uttered a happy squeak and jumped into his lap and onto his shoulder. He saw the way the sunlight reflected of off Eevee's silver fur and was reminded of the night sky. "I'll call you Luna." He said. The pokémon nuzzled affectionately against him as the two new companions made their way back to his house. He noticed Luna gazing at the sights of the city as they walked. So not a psychic pokémon, he thought to himself, good. He knew that his excitable new companion was just the sort of pokémon he needed for his starter. He wondered at his father's choice however, did he know of his son's dislike of psychic types? But then he remembered, Espeon, Eevee had a psychic type evolution, his father must have been banking on Luna evolving into Espeon, well he wasn't going to let that happen. "Well Luna, we're here. Don't get too comfortable though. Tomorrow, we're going to start new journey." Luna gazed quizzically at him for a moment before leaping from his shoulders and rushing about the garden smelling flowers, Andy watched for a moment before laughing and running off to play with his new partner, no, his new friend. He ran into the kitchen chasing the little fox pokémon. He saw his Mother watching him and ran up to give her a hug and a kiss. "Thanks mum." "You finally got up the courage to do it then? Thought you'd be up on that hill all day. You're welcome anyway darling, about time you started your own journey, stop us all holding you back eh?" She watched him playing with the pokémon and smiled, she had never been more proud of her son. The Eevee jumped onto her shoulder and licked her face playfully. "Well aren't you an excitable little madam? And a very special one too, you've noticed I assume?" She looked at her son as she said this last bit. "You mean the silver thing?" Alarm bells started ringing in his head "Oh yeah! Alternate coloration." He had read an article about it not two weeks ago, he now realised just how rare his little pokémon was. "She must have cost a fortune" "Nonsense. With your father's connections there wasn't that much difficulty. Have you given her a name?" "Yeah sorry, I don't suppose you've been formally introduced. Mum this is Luna, Luna this is my Mum, she's the best. "Eevee, Eevee!" Luna yapped happily before nuzzling against his mother. "It's lovely to meet you Luna. Anyway, I think it's time you got the rest of your present. Go and see your father at the gym, he has another gift for you. Bye Luna, I'll be seeing you later on." She turned and began busying herself over by the oven. Andy watched her for a moment before running out of the house, Luna bounding behind him, an enormous grin on both of their faces. **** Andy was panting loudly as he and Luna burst through the doors of the Saffron City gym, they had raced the whole way there, and the little pokémon had beaten him by nose. Luna became quiet as she looked around the gym in awe. "This is it Luna, Saffron city gym. This is where my dad works, come on!" He started to walk down the corridor when he heard a distressed whimper behind him. He turned to see Luna lying on the floor, exhausted. "I suppose it has been an exciting day for you. Here, take a rest." He unhooked Luna's pokéball from his belt and called her back inside. "Keep your strength up, we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow." He stepped onto the teleport pad at the end of the corridor and followed the familiar system of warps to his Dad's room, the one just before Sabrina's. His dad was the second most powerful trainer at this gym, and challengers had to pass him before they could challenge Sabrina for the Marshbadge. He looked around the cold, white room. Empty. "Strange." he said to nobody in particular. Then he noticed a small white box on the floor in front of him, it had a tag on it and when he read it, he saw it was addressed to him. "Even stranger!" he exclaimed, his father was always very up front, this wasn't like him. He opened the box and inside he saw five pokéballs and a weird looking watch inside, there was a note, it read 'Happy Birthday, Love Dad'. He knew what the pokéballs were for, but the watch intrigued him. He put it on and saw the screen flicker into life. It showed details of Luna and her condition. A voice suddenly came from what seemed like nowhere. "When you are ready, step through the warp, a challenge awaits." he recognise the voice instantly as Sabrina's and realised that the challenge would be a pokémon battle. He felt his heart jump into his mouth and his pulse race. He was not ready. The confidence he had had moments before was suddenly drained. He now realised what the watch was for, he looked at Luna's details on the screen, Level 5, normal type, immune to ghost attacks, weak to fighting. He tapped through menus and learnt the attacks she knew, she had a bold nature, the ability run away, and her current happiness level was 74. He absorbed all the data he could find that he would need for his upcoming battle. When he felt prepared mentally, he drew her pokéball from his belt and released Luna in front of him. "Listen carefully" he said to the little pokémon looking up at him. "When we go into the next room, we're going to have our first battle, I just wanted to know that you're ready. Are you?" "Vee, Ee-vee" She nodded excitedly and jumped into a battle pose, growling playfully. "That's my girl, but seriously, are you ready for this? It's going to be a serious match." He was now kneeling and stroking her behind the ear. She yapped happily and turned to face the teleport pad. She looked at him and he nodded, together they walked into the warp field. A blinding light surrounded them for a moment and then they appeared in Sabrina's battle arena. The gym leader stood before him, smiling. "I always knew I'd see you here one day. And now here you are." She looked down to the nervous pokémon at his feet and crouched down to pet her. "And aren't you a lovely little lady." Luna yipped happily and lost her nerves, she as ready now. Seeing Sabrina like this, Andy reflected on the changes the gym leader had gone through, she always used to be cold and unforgiving, but now her heart had warmed, her deep eyes showed happiness and fulfilment found through others, not by closing herself in as she had always done before. "I take it that you are ready for this challenge." Andy nodded slowly. "Don't worry, you won't be facing me, I don't think you're quite there yet. "No, you will be facing your father." He felt his heart beating faster and he began to sweat. "Dad! But he's a... he... he-" "He has just caught a new pokémon at a level similar to that of your Eevee-" "Luna." Andy said automatically, he wanted people to know what she was called. "Sorry. He has just caught a new pokémon at a level similar to that of Luna, and he thought it would be good training for you both. I will be refereeing the match." This made him even more nervous, his first battle was to be overseen by a gym leader, and someone he really respected. "Oh... Okay." He looked at Luna for support, she seemed eager to begin, this gave him confidence, and he was ready now, with her support. "Then let us begin, Andy, take your position, your father will be with us shortly." He walked slowly to the challengers side of the colloseum, as he had watched countless trainers before him do, and he turned to face his opponent's side, just in time to catch his father teleporting in. "Happy Birthday Andy." His father said. "You ready?" "As I'll ever be" His hands were shaking and his heart was racing but he wanted this. "That's my boy. Lets go." His father held up a pokéball and threw it forcefully before himself. "GO, Natu!" The ball exploded in white and purple light as the tiny green and red bird took shape. This was it, his mouth was dry as he pointed forward and cried "GO Luna!" She leapt into the ring and stood facing her first opponent. The world seemed to stand still as he heard Sabrina counting down "3...2...1...begin" Chapter Two The Sun had barely risen when he left Saffron the next morning, a lot had happened, and he was glad of the quiet of the surrounding countryside to relax. Luna was still in her pokéball; he hadn't wanted to wake her. As he walked along the winding paths, his mind drifted back to yesterday's battle. *** "3...2...1...begin" "Luna, tackle attack!" She leapt forwards, charging towards the small bird, but the Natu had dodged and responded with a peck attack, knocking her backwards. "Natu, use featherdance to lower her attack." His father had given him no respite, no chance to recover, he was not taking it easy because he was a new trainer. Andy wasn't sure if this pleased him or not. He countered the attack loss with a tail whip, following with another tackle, this time landing a direct hit. "Good work!" his father said. Natu crashed into the floor and slid a small way, causing a small cloud of dust to form. "I'm just warming up," he replied "Tackle again!" Luna rushed towards Natu, but the little bird hopped over her and landed the other side. "Turn round and try again, this time be ready in case he dodges!" Luna quickly stopped and turned before tackling again, this time watching carefully for any movements then opponent might make. "Natu, fly up to evade and prepare a drill peck" This was it, his father was getting ready to finish him off. Luna attempted to tackle but Natu flew up and soared out of range. Andy knew he had to prepare himself, if Natu's drill peck hit, Luna would certainly faint. "Luna, use wish!" A small light escaped from his Eevee, and then disappeared into the air. Natu's beak was now glowing a brilliant white and the tip had extended, becoming sharper, more dangerous. He flew to the very pinnacle of the stadium roof and circled, waiting ominously above. "Now Natu, drill peck" The little bird changed course to spiral straight downwards with deadly velocity. There was nowhere for Luna to escape, she rushed from side to side but knew she would be unable to avoid the powerful aerial assault. Natu gained momentum as he fell, and swooped down, Andy knew he had to act quickly. Luna looked to Andy for instruction, but he was struggling to think, the pressure was getting to him. He saw it happening in slow motion, Natu was diving straight towards Luna, and there was nothing he could to stop her getting hit. But then it hit him; she didn't need to avoid the hit, only to survive it. He knew what to do. "Luna, use endure, now!" His voice rang out across the silent stadium. He saw a flash of recognition in her eyes as she turned to face Natu. She dug in her claws, gritted her teeth and her body began to glow slightly. The little bird's attack collided powerfully with Luna, and the force drove her backwards, but she was left standing, just. "Hah, you're finishing move didn't exactly work out as planned, did it dad?" He was so relieved he had managed to save Luna from a certain defeat. "What do you hope to do now Andy?" Your pokémon can barely stand, you've lost. One more attack is all it will take to finish you. "No Dad, you're wrong, you've lost. You're pokémon put all its energy into that attack, and although Luna has little left, she's about to get a little boost. Her wish is going to come true." With that, the star from before reformed in the air above Luna, and floated down towards her, landing and covering her shaking body with tiny sparks, reviving her energy. The exhausted Natu had landed a short distance away, watching Luna, panting. It was in no fit state to battle any more. "Now Luna, tackle attack." Luna, now recharged and ready, burst forwards, she saw her opponent ahead of her, felt him steady himself. She saw as he attempted to hop out of her way but she was ready. She jumped into the air and landed, crashing on top of Natu, delivering the final blow to the tiny bird. She turned to look at her foe, and there was a moment when she thought he had survived, but after a moment, his little legs gave way and he collapsed to the floor. Sabrina's voice cut through the silence that followed "Natu is unable to battle, the winners are Andy and Luna" Andy dropped to his knees and Luna padded slowly back over to him, exhausted, he scratched her gently behind the ear. She nuzzled at his hand before collapsing happily on the floor. "Well done, take a rest." He drew her pokéball and returned her to him. "You deserve it" He held the pokéball close, thanking her for the victory. "Natu return" The fainted pokémon was sucked back into its pokéball. His father walked towards him. "Congratulations son, you won. I knew you could do it" Andy stepped towards his Dad as the man offered his hand, Andy ignored it and stepped in to give his father a hug. The elder man didn't know it, but he had just given him the best present of them all. "Thanks dad." *** After that, he had returned home with his father, stopping in at the Pokémon Centre to heal their pokémon, and the Pokémart to pick up supplies Andy would need fore the journey ahead. He had packed his things and said his goodbyes that evening, not wanting to drag it out the following day. Sabrina had given him a TM case and few basic TMs such as Bullet Seed and Roar, as well as two more valuable TMs she had close ties to, Calm Mind and Psychic. He knew now that he was ready, now that Sabrina had seen him battle and win, now that she had given him these gifts for his journey, he knew that what he was doing was right. His father had explained that the device on his wrist was called a pokétch. It provided detailed information about his pokémon, served as a clock, calculator and a step counter, it was an irreplaceable traveller's tool. He would be able to get further upgrades for the device on his travels That night he had trained with Luna until his dinner was ready, after that, he packed his bags and the two had turned in for the night. *** Now here he was, the Sun was rising and cast its golden rays before him. He followed the winding track southwards to his first destination Vermilion City, and from there, the pokémon trainers school in Viridian, where he would receive his trainer's license, allowing him to challenge gyms and enter the pokémon league. A flock of pidgey flew overhead and into the distance. He turned and took one last look at his hometown, the rising sun dazzling his bright blue eyes, and he turned and walked away down the road, towards whatever adventures may await. A blue and white bird-like pokémon was watching him with great interest. A triangular red marking on its chest glowed gently, and it folded in its arms before flying northwards at great speed. *** "Pokéball go!" Andy drew back his arm and cast forth the red and white orb; it arced through the air and towards the little red and brown bird. It flapped its wings and struggled to hop out of the way of the approaching sphere, but it was too slow, and the ball impacted against its side. It opened and in a flash of red and white light the tiny sparrow was sucked inside, the ball closing around it. It dropped to the floor and shook gently, once… twice… three times before coming to rest and emitting a loud beep. Andy stared at the pokéball, unable to believe what had just happened. He had done it, he had made his first capture. Now he was really on his way to becoming a pokémon master. Luna was at his side, she was panting quickly and cautiously at the ball, which lay a short distance away. After a time, she began to edge closer to the device, laying static now in the sunlight. Slowly she made her way across to it and sniffed it gently. Seemingly contented, she bounded happily over to Andy and nudged excitedly him towards the small red and white orb. He looked down at her and smiled. She let out a small yap and ran around him in circles. "We did it." Andy said, hardly believing it. Luna leapt around happily and continued to nudge Andy towards the ball. He strolled over slowly and crouched down, absentmindedly stroking Luna behind the ear as he reached out to touch the ball. He felt a sort of energy between the device and himself, an attraction of sorts. He slowly closed his fingers around it and felt the energy pass through him like a wave, he clutched the ball tightly, it felt like it belonged there in his hand. Andy stood slowly, a new determination glittered in his eyes and a resolute expression formed upon his face. He looked at the ball, then at Luna. She nodded excitedly and he drew back his arm, ready. "Go, Spearow" The ball was cast high into the blue sky and the pokémon was unleashed a glittering display, it formed from the vibrant white energy held within the ball's constraints. A small curved beak protruded from its dark brown face with sharp beady eyes. Vibrant red plumage adorned its short wings, and a trail of dark black feathers led down its back to its coffee-coloured tail. Its sharp pink talons were outstretched and it cawed loudly into the open air. The little sparrow pokémon swept down and landed gently a short distance away from Andy, eyeing him warily. Andy took a step towards it and it hopped backwards. He took a step back and it remained where it was. The bird cocked its head and looked quizzically at him. Andy crouched down and reached out towards the little sparrow, "It's okay, come on." The pokémon began slowly edged towards him. "That's it." Luna was unable to contain herself any longer. She ran towards the pokémon excitedly and it flapped up and into the trees. Luna carried on running, unable to stop, and ran straight into the bottom of the tree. She was knocked back a small distance and sat there, dazed. She looked at Andy, confused, and he burst out laughing. He couched down and Luna ran and jumped into his arms, "You mentalist." He said. The Spearow was watching all of this; he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. But when he saw the friendship between the two, he swooped down out of the tree and landed next to Andy. "Spearow" it squawked, and hopped onto Andy's arm. He flapped his wings happily and looked up at his new trainer. Andy looked into the beady eyes of his new companion, sharp and quick, shooting powerfully through the air. "Arrow," he said, "I'll call you Arrow." He stood and launched the sparrow into the sky; Arrow circled overhead twice and swooped back down to perch on his shoulder. He squawked happily. Andy looked down at Luna and she let out a joyful yap. Andy cast his gaze upward to take in the noonday sun; he looked across the cloudless horizon and set his eyes on Vermilion City, glittering in the endless light. With new hope for the future, they set off down the road. Chapter Three Three Years Later Midnight. Andy leapt from Arrow's back and returned the Fearow to him. He landed on the top of the skyscraper and looked out across the city. Celadon looked so peaceful at night. He spoke into the headset he was wearing. "This is Delta 5. I'm at the location" He waited from the response from the command centre. "Delta 5 this is Delta 3, we're giving you the green light. Proceed with caution." The girl's voice was crackly due to interference from a nearby radio mast, but Andy knew what he had to do. He removed his backpack, fully revealing the lack jump suit he was wearing. He took a rope from his bag and attached on end to a cooling vent on he roof, the other to the harness he wore. He put on night vision goggles and replaced his backpack. He checked his communications and spoke through. "Delta 3, I'm going in." "Okay. Be careful, Andy." Strictly speaking it was against protocol to use names on a mission, but he and Delta 3 were close friends. "I will, don't worry." He brought up a blueprint of the building on his pokétch and checked his entrance. Third window, 163rd floor. He took a deep breath and jumped off the side of the building. He whizzed down a small distance before using his harness for a more controlled descent. He counted the floors as he descended. 170, 169, 168. He went slowly so as not to lose the count. 165, 164, 163. He stopped and stood on the ledge outside the window. He checked for an opening in the mirrored glass but he was denied easy passage. It didn't matter, he had come prepared. He reached to his belt and drew a pokéball. "Go, Duckz." A blue figure formed before him as his Golduck was released. The platypus pokémon wore an earpiece to receive commands, modified to function underwater. The pokémon knew what was required of it, but waited for Andy's command. "Use psybeam to cut through the glass." Quick as a flash, Duckz charged up his psychic powers and in a burst of red light, cut a circle in the glass large enough for Andy to pass through. Andy scanned the room with his goggles and saw an array of shifting lasers, as well as pressure pads underneath the window and the far door. "Return Duckz." The pokémon was taken back into its ball as he prepared for what lay ahead. He had a five-minute window before security returned to this part of the building, he had to act fast. Drawing another ball from his belt, he released his Ledian, Dotty. She was wearing goggles similar to his, enabling her to see the laser field inside. Andy handed dotty a small microchip. "You know what to do." He said. Dotty nodded and flew through the hole in the window; she flew through the laser field, ducking and weaving quickly to dodge the multitude of red beams criss-crossing the room. Her small size and speed made her ideal for this job. She reached the end without difficulty and flew over to the alarm control box. Pressing the microchip into the circuitry, she set the next part of Andy's plan in action. When the circuit connected, another pokémon sprang into action. Byte, his Porygon 2. The virtual pokémon went through the programming and disabled the alarm system in a flash. The lasers disappeared and Andy stepped through the window into the room. He returned Dotty and removed the chip from the control box. Taking a moment to survey his surrounding, he saw the dark room, cast a vibrant green by his goggles. The door next to the window led into the corridor. But he was more interested in the door across the room, the one that had been guarded by the lasers. He heard a voice below him and knew he hadn't much time. He crossed to the far door and placed the chip on the electronic lock. Byte made short work of it and it was open in seconds. Steel bulkheads withdrew and the door swung open. It looked like an ordinary door, but it was strong enough to withstand a bomb. He passed through the door and entered the vault. There he saw the item he had come for. Inside a forcefield, in the centre of a room, was a table with a pokéball on it. There were several disks and other items on the table as well, but he did not know what they were. He looked for the control box for the forcefield, but he couldn't find it. It must have been in an independent room for the field itself. "Oh well, I'll have to do this the old fashioned way." He replaced the chip on his belt and drew another pokéball. "Go Socket." He said as he released his Electabuzz. Sparks crackled over his pokémon's body as energy passed between it and the forcefield. "Can you draw the energy away from it to let me through?" Andy asked. Socket simply nodded as she powered up her electrical abilities. Two arcs of white energy streamed to her horns and sure enough, a gap opened in the forcefield for Andy to walk through. He slowly walked to the table, cautious of any traps, even though the scans had revealed nothing. He removed his bag and placed all of the items on the table inside, he didn't know what they were, but he was sure they would be useful. Last of all, he picked up the pokéball on the desk. Time seemed to stand still for him as he held the ball. Finally, after two years of searching, he had it. He clenched it tight and felt the warmth against his skin. He smiled. A grunt from Socket jolted him back to reality, the pokémon's powers were failing and the energy flowing to its horns was getting weaker as the gap began to close. Andy attached the ball to his belt and ran towards the gap, rolling through it moments before it closed. Socket was panting heavily and she collapsed on the floor, exhausted. "I'm sorry, Socket" He said as he returned her. "Take a rest." He took off his bag once again and removed two fairly large devices, connected by wires. He attached one to the wall inside the vault, the other just outside. He replaced his bag and tapped in the activation code, starting the countdown. "Time to blow this joint." He said to himself. He was just climbing through the window when he heard the security guard outside, he froze. Nobody was supposed to get hurt, that was one of the rules. He had think quickly; it was too late to defuse the bomb. There was only one thing to do. He climbed quickly back inside, picked up a plant and threw it through the window. The resulting noise attracted the guard's attention and sure enough he unlocked the door and came through. Andy was waiting behind the door and knocked the man unconscious with a blow to the head. He then supported the man's weight with his shoulder as he checked the countdown. 45 seconds. "Go Arrow" he released the Fearow and loaded the man onto it. Andy nodded and Arrow took off out of the window. Andy watched as his faithful pokémon took the man to safety across the road. He checked the time, 20 seconds. Arrow launched himself skywards again and began to race back towards Andy. "Not enough time." Andy said as he threw himself out of the window. His heart rushed into his mouth as he fell. He hated this part of the job; the all or nothing bit. He saw the concrete below rushing up to meet him as fire burst out of the window above, destroying any trace he had been there. He shut his eyes as he free fell, not wanting to see the ground. He felt the heat above him, propelling him down faster as he was showered with glass shards. He heard the roaring blast echo around the city. "Andy, Andy" He heard the voice screaming in his ear, but he couldn't say anything. He was helpless. The moment seemed to last for an eternity, he was falling into nothingness. This was the end, after all this time; it would finish now, just as he finally had it. He felt the wind rushing in his face, cold, alone, he was terrified. He heard the beat of strong wings as he landed on Arrow's back. They didn't slow down; the pokémon dived faster and faster towards the ground. Andy opened his eyes to see the ground rush by as they swooped up and into the night sky. He saw the guard lying unconscious across the road, alive. He saw the flames dying down as the blast subsided. He saw his rope burn away, eliminating the last evidence of his presence. "Thank you." He whispered to Arrow as he passed from consciousness. Chapter Four Andy had been legally dead two-and-a-half years. Even his family didn't know he was alive. After the incident, it wasn't so difficult to convince people. He watched his family from time to time, they had moved on. When it happened he was taken into witness protection as soon as he was fit to leave the hospital. He was put under Police surveillance 24/7. With his help, the culprits were brought to justice. But Andy was a changed person. Gone was the happy go lucky child. He was broken. He no longer dreamt of the grandeur of the pokémon league, instead preferring to remain alone with his pokémon. However, he had lost none of his skill as a trainer, he just lacked the will to fight. Besides, he was forbidden from leaving his safe house because there were forces out to get him. Then, two years ago, the Delta Agency approached Andy with a proposition. He still remembered that meeting. *** He was sat in the safe house, just outside of Fuschia City, staring out of the window at summer sunshine. He never went outside anymore, he was too afraid. Arrow was sat on his bed, still a Spearow. The pokémon was concerned for his trainer. Andy wasn't eating right, he wasn't sleeping right. He had lost everything. He caught Arrow watching him. "What?" He said in his usual brusque tone. The bird just continued to watch him. "Go away. I'm fine." He picked up the sparrow's ball and tried to return it, but it refused to go back inside. Andy stood and walked over to the pokémon. "Get in the ball. Now." He held the ball out forcefully, but Arrow just pecked his hand before flapping his wings and flying out of the open window. "Fine, leave. Just like everyone else has." His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden knock at his door. "Ben. You have a visitor." Ben Carter was his identity now; he hated the name and tried to escape it. Normally he refused to answer to it, but he wasn't in the mood for confrontation now. "Tell them to go away." It was probably someone from Social Services seeing how he was settling. He didn't want someone telling him how to feel. "Something tells me these guys won't go away." The voice at the door was a policeman charged with his protection. Normally he was a pretty decent guy, so Andy knew this must be serious. He walked over and unlocked the door. "Fine, but call me Andy, it's my name" "No, Andy is dead. Your name is Ben Carter." The policeman was uncharacteristically uptight; Andy realised that he was nervous. This had to be important. "You're expected downstairs." Andy made his way down the stairs and into the living room. A man and a woman in dark suits sat on the sofa. As Andy entered the room, the woman stood and greeted him. "You must be Ben." She extended her hand and Andy shook it. "Yes, I suppose." He wasn't going to get an attitude with these people. They looked like they meant business. Both of them had a Î´ symbol embroidered in silver on their breast. "I know it takes time to adjust to a new name, but you get used to it." Looking into her eyes, Andy realised that she did know. She had gone through the same experience as hi some time before. "Please, sit down, Ben." He sat on the armchair opposite, the comfort of his surrounding contrasted "with the fear and concern he felt. "What's all this about?" He looked into the eyes of the man, who spoke now for the first time. "We know that you're looking for something, and we can help you find it." The bluntness of the man staggered him; he hadn't expected anything so forthcoming. "What?" Andy was feeling himself get hotter; his heart began to beat faster. "Why would you help me?" "We are part of The Delta Agency, we are based in Goldenrod City. Our organisation was set up to combat Team Cipher." Andy felt himself freeze at their mention. "I take it you know of them." "Yes, they killed Andy." He stared into the man's eyes; they were a deep relentless brown "Indeed. Well, we are in need of somebody in your, special situation, to aid our investigations." It was the woman who spoke now. Andy knew what she meant. "You need somebody with nothing to lose, easily disposable and who doesn't legally exist so you can deny any knowledge of them." Now it was their turn to be taken aback by his bluntness. "I can see the benefits for you, but not for me." "Like I said, we know the location of what you seek." The man was unflinching, he was professional and controlled at all times. "I'm afraid I'm going to need proof of that." He was sweating now. Could they really have found what he was looking for? Could they really want him so bad? "We thought you'd say that. So we brought proof" The man opened up a briefcase at his feet and took out some photographs. He handed them to Andy. Andy took one look at them and stood up. "I'll help you." He said as he turned and walked away. "You realise that you will have to relocate to Johto?" "Yes. I'm just going to pack my bags." He went up the stairs and into his room, where he prepared to leave what was his life behind forever. *** That was how he'd become a part of the agency. And now, after two years of searching, he had what he was looking for. Andy awoke to the sounds of the magnet train; he felt his body moving as the carriage shuddered along. He opened his eyes and was blinded by sunlight streaming through the window. He was in Delta's private carriage, they used the magnet train to pass between Johto and Kanto unnoticed. They needed their location to remain secret from Cipher at all times. He looked around the room and saw the familiar face of Delta 3 sitting at his bedside. "Becky?" He murmured gently. "Andy, you're awake" She leant forward and put her hand on his arm, the other twiddled her long brown hair nervously. "How do you feel?" "I'm fine." She looked at him sceptically. "Really, I am. What are you doing here?" His had been on a solo mission, she should have been at the base in Goldenrod. "Well I heard voices and glass breaking, then when we lost contact with you after the blast I knew something was wrong. I went to the commander and I convinced him that you needed us." She smiled as she spoke, she was stroking his arm gently now. "But still, why are you here? He should have just sent a retrieval team." He sat up. He hadn't been lying, he really did feel fine. "You really think I was going to stay behind?" She seemed hurt, she let go of his arm and stood up. "I didn't know what had happened to you, I insisted on coming. I thought you'd want to see a friendly face" With that, she exited the room leaving an uncomfortable silence behind her. The only sound was the train. Andy sighed, he was glad to see her, but he wasn't sure why. He'd told himself he was never going to let anybody in again, he would only get hurt. He was still wearing his jump suit, though now it was torn from the previous night's antics. He stood and looked in the mirror across the cabin, he had several small cuts on his face, and one large one running down his left cheek. They had all been stitched and tended to whilst he was unconscious. His pack was on the side with his goggles. His pokéballs were still on his belt however. He drew the ball he had retrieved last night. His gloved hand leaving a small dirty mark on it. He enlarged the ball to its full size and breathed deeply, this was it. A knock at the door interrupted him, her replaced the ball on his belt and sighed. He would have to wait. He walked over to the door and pressed the open button. The door slid open with a small hum. He ducked as the fist swung towards his face. Dropping to his hands, he swung his leg around and kicked the man behind the knees, he fell, knocking his head on the door as he went. Andy looked at the man's uniform. "Cipher." He said to himself as he pulled the emergency alarm. He took his goggles from the bedside and put them on, changing the settings to scan for shadow pokémon. This man had none. He was getting a large reading from further down the train, he checked his equipment, picked up his pack and ran towards the source. He saw several Delta Agents lying unconscious in the train as he went, the train had stopped and the alarm was sounding, but it seemed as if there was nobody left to alert. "Becky." He said to himself out of fear. He opened the door to the next section of the train and a Sandslash instantly leapt upon him, it pinned him to the floor as its trainer walked into the room. "Delta 5, I am honoured." The speaker was no older than he was, the boy had long black hair and pale skin, and he wore a black and white Cipher uniform. This was one of Cipher's top Admins. "It's been a long time Andy, sorry, I mean Ben Carter." He saw a few grunts stood behind him, they laughed at Andy's plight. "If I never saw you again it would be too soon, Peter." He looked into the other boy's eyes and he saw no mercy there. "Charming. Well it's really on your behalf that I'm here, you took something of ours, Andy. We would very much like it back." Peter knelt down and reached towards Andy's belt. He took the ball he had retrieved from it. "I would take all of your pokémon and make them our servants, but we have no need for pokémon that weak." He stood and turned to leave the room. "Kill him." He said to the Sandslash. Suddenly a white blur sped over the top of Andy and knocked the Sandslash from him, it fell into Peter and he was knocked back, dropping the ball that was in his hand. Becky dropped from the ventilation shaft and landed next to Andy as he stood up. "You took your time." "Sorry, I got held up." She looked at her Zangoose, which was holding Peter's Sandslash against the wall. "Don, drop him." The Zangoose let the Sandslash go and it slid onto the floor. Peter stood and returned the Sandslash. He turned to the grunts. "Don't just stand there. Attack!" The three grunts each released a pokémon. A Mankey, a Scyther and a Loudred were soon approaching them menacingly. "I could use a hand, Andy." Becky commanded her Zangoose to attack but it was outnumbered. Andy reached to his belt, he instinctively went for Socket's ball, but he remembered that she still hadn't recovered from last night. That ruled out Arrow too, besides, the train wasn't the best Environment for the bird to fight in. He made his choice. "Go, Duckz. Freeze them with ice beam!" The Golduck burst forth and immobilised the three attackers. "Becky, the ceiling!" He said, hoping she would understand his plan. Becky nodded "Don, use flamethrower on the ceiling!" The Zangoose leapt back and released the powerful fire from his mouth. The flames impacted against the roof and it began to expand. "Now Duckz, Ice Beam!" A burst of ice rushed forth from his beak and covered the ceiling. The fire and ice expanded and contracted the ceiling until the metal could no longer take it and it began to buckle inwards. Suddenly the train began to move again, and the sudden movement knocked the four them down. Don lost control of his flamethrower and melted some of the ice around the Scyther, it began to hack away at the rest of the its prison, freeing itself. As Andy stood he saw the ball, which had been dropped by Peter, begin to roll away from them down the carriage. He ran for the ball just as the Scyther moved forwards. He ran into the mantis and it threw him back. He landed underneath the patch of ceiling, which was beginning to buckle even more. Andy rolled and dodged the blade that was heading for his face. "Duckz, Hydro Pump!" The burst of water knocked back the Scyther into the frozen Mankey. Two of the grunts wrestled Andy to the floor as he ran for the ball. However, a Psybeam from Duckz blasted them off of him. Andy looked back down the carriage, where Don was now engaged in a fierce battle with the Scyther. The train turned a corner and the ceiling was unable to hold out any longer, it collapsed, trapping the Mankey and Loudred beneath. The grunts instantly began shifting the rubble, trying to release the imprisoned pokémon. Andy turned and saw Peter standing there with a pokémon he had never seen before. It was a black and blue dog like creature, and electricity crackled over its body. "Luxray, Thunderwave" It released the lightning down the carriage and Andy was knocked backwards. Peter walked over stooped to collect the ball from the floor. "I'm sure you won't mind my taking this." He sneered as he walked towards the collapsed ceiling. "We're leaving" he said to the grunts as the pulled the two unconscious pokémon from the rubble. Andy staggered to his feet as the grunts began to pull themselves through the hole. The Scyther had knocked Don out and Becky was tending to the pokémon. Andy watched as the mantis flew out of the hole. "After them." Andy yelled to Duckz, and the blue duck leapt out of the hole, Andy following quickly behind it. As he emerged from the carriage, he heard the noise of the Cipher helicopter hovering above. He saw the grunts dangling from the ladder, Peter stood at the very top" "Till we meet again, Delta 5." The boy gave a mock salute, and Andy saw the pokéball in his hand. He was filled with anger at his cockiness. "Duckz, psybeam that ball from him. NOW!" He barked the command at his pokémon and it seemed taken aback. Nevertheless, it shot out the powerful beam of light and the ball was knocked from Peter's grasp. "Go, Dotty. Catch that ball!" the Ledian burst forth and streamed towards the falling orb, catching it before it landed beneath the train. As Dotty flew back to his side and Andy held the ball once more. Peter yelled out from above "You haven't won, Andy. I will get that ball" With that, the helicopter flew away into the distance. *** Peter opened up his communications with his superior. "This is Peter," he spoke into the microphone "Everything went according to plan." "Good" came the reply. "Proceed to phase two" Peter smiled and evil grim and looked at the magnet train as it sped away. He began to laugh to himself.