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The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 30: Stand Up, Be Strong

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey In this chapter, named after a song, Chane gathers her courage to fight against all odds.
Chapter 30: Stand Up, Be Strong

Things had been very quiet since we got to the hotel that night. Chane went straight to her room and hasn’t come out since. We decided it would be best to just leave her alone. While I made sure to get all my Pokémon healed right away after the battle, Axel still decided he needed a nap and was knocked out on the floor. As Raiden and Zack hadn’t come home yet, that left just me and Eve to do as we pleased.

To pass the time, she and I decided to play a game of War so I got out my deck of cards. Sadly, I was losing with only three cards remaining in my hand. The top card I threw down was a three to her six. She took them. The next one I got was a five, but strangely enough, she threw down another six. I hope my last card gets me something! Ace or King, that’s all I need. Two!? Damn. I lost. Made worse by the fact that she got another six!

“How can this be!?” I cried jumping from the chair I was sitting in.

“Aw what’s wrong? It’s not the first time you’ve lost to me.” teased Eve innocently.

“No, not that. I don’t care that you beat me. You won with 666! It’s rare enough for three of the same number to be dealt in a row like that, but those three being possessed by you of all people is just creepy.” I said uneasily.

“It’s not my fault. You’re the one who shuffled the cards.” she passed off.

“Initially! The cards changed hands so many times after that, that it shouldn’t matter anymore!” I argued. Why we were arguing over a random occurrence was beyond me.

Suddenly, the door to the apartment opened with Zack, Lloyd, and Raiden coming in. All three looked like they had been through hell with Raiden looking as if he had taken the brunt of it.

“So how was prison Kaguya? Did someone make you their bitch?” Eve asked obnoxiously.

“No, but I did almost get to third base in my holding cell.” he responded proudly.

“With a prostitute.” Raiden added exasperatedly.

“Anyway,” Zack continued “we got interrupted by the guard because Raiden posted bail too soon.”

“After filling out a lot of tedious paperwork to free you and get your confiscated Pokémon back. Your bail was not cheap either. 200,000 credits for sexually assaulting a police officer. What the hell were you thinking?”

“I was helping. Would you have rather me get arrested for a silly misdemeanor or the police walk in on Brian versus Creed. I was a simple distraction.” defended Zack.

“Regardless, I am cancelling tomorrow’s mission. I will pass the intervention into Team Rocket’s drug cartel to a different squad of officers that work under me.” stated Raiden absolutely.

“What? Why?” I demanded. I know we had all had a rough day, but tomorrow was a new day meaning we should all be ready for the mission.

“I will tell you why. I am mentally strained, as I am sure you are, you were shot, Zack was arrested, and from what Eve told me over the phone Chane is not doing too well either. As of this moment, the team is in shambles and I doubt we can pull ourselves together in 24 hours for work. It is better for us all to rest.” he explained matter-of-factly.

“But Master Raiden, I’m fine. Look.” I said pulling off my shirt and showing Raiden my back. On my back over my right shoulder was a huge purple, yellow, and overall nasty looking bruise from the rubber bullet. “Nothing too bad right?” I sat back down to pull up my left pants leg. There were bandages wrapped around my calf where I had gotten shot for real. “It’s just a minor scratch. The bullet only grazed me so there’s nothing to worry about.” I assured.

“My decision is final. I am calling the back up squad now.” Raiden said completely disregarding my argument. I grumbled, slouching back in the chair. How annoying. I was really looking forward to the mission too after today. I was going to imagine all of the Rockets present as that sneering bounty hunter to vent my frustration on. Hopefully some sleep will clear my head.

“Come on Axel. We’re going to our room for bed.” I said tapping the monkey with my foot. He grunted irritably but followed me anyway. No sooner had we gotten into the room did he sprawl out on the floor and go back to sleep. I got undressed and did the same in my bed.
------------

The day was pretty boring leaving me with nothing better to do than read my Dragon book. It wasn’t until close to sunset when we were originally going to head out did Chane’s door finally open. She walked out dressed in her Team Neos uniform. At first I was confused, but then I remembered she hadn’t been at the debriefing last night.

“I-I’m ready.” said Chane nervously. She looked around noticing that none of us were dressed or even making an effort to prepare. “W-what’s going on?”

“Master Raiden called off the mission. Another squad of officers is going in instead of us.” I said irritably.

“Oh…” she sighed lowering her head. She looked disappointed about not getting to go, but it also seemed like there was something else to it. At that moment, Raiden and Eve walked in with our dinner; four large bags full of Chinese carry-out boxes.

Mmm… That smells good.” Axel said sniffing at the air. I agree. That does smell tasty.

“Chane? Why are you dressed in your uniform?” Raiden inquired when he saw her.

“I didn’t know we weren’t going tonight.” she responded distantly.

“Well either way, I am glad you are out of your room. Eve and I bought us and our Pokémon dinner.” said Raiden placing the bags on the table. No sooner had he started pulling out the boxes did his cell phone ring.

“Third Seat Raiden Arka speaking.” he answered. Must be work. I started sniffing at the boxes for my shrimp lo mien. “What?” shouted Raiden sounding startled. “Damn! Alright, back up is on the way.” he assured closing the phone. Looks like we’re going in after all.

“Team Rocket was expecting Neos to intervene so they set up an ambush. Get dressed!” instructed Raiden professionally. Yes! “Not you Brian.” he added when I got up.

“Why not?” I asked defensively with my head turned to the side.

“Your wounds have yet to fully heal. You need to rest.” Raiden told me bluntly.

“Have you forgotten? I’m a Dragon. These scratches are nothing. My book even says that Dragon-types can endure minor injuries.” I said proudly.

“It does not matter, you are grounded.” he said unwaveringly. I was floored! Did he? Did he really just tell me I was grounded? Made worse by the fact that Eve was practically dying of laughter.

Not even your parents grounded you!” Axel teased.

“That’s just not right. Tough break man.” said Zack empathetically shaking his head.

“Then I guess I’m just going to have to sneak out.” I taunted throwing my arms out. Raiden gave me an unamused look before grabbing a Pokéball and sending out a blue canine Pokémon with spiky yellow fur on its ankles, head, and hips.

“Thunder Wave.” commanded Raiden calmly. The Manectric growled while a weak electrical current appeared around its body. It then barked sending the shock waves at me. The current moved through the air faster than I could react, hitting me right in the chest before surrounding my entire body. I felt like I should be screaming as a painful tingling sensation went throughout my body causing my muscles to stiffen and go numb.

“Damn… you…” I said weakly since I couldn’t move my jaw very well.

Hang on! I’ll grab some Cheri Berries!” offered Axel running for my room.

“Thunder Wave.” Raiden commanded again obviously knowing what the Infernape was up to. Just as Axel had reached the doorway to the room, he too was struck by the electric attack. The monkey grunted uncomfortably as his fate became the same as mine. “Chane, I want you to guard Brian. Axel too. At any moment their paralysis could wear off enough for them to cure it. They are both very cunning individuals that will most likely say or do anything to get to the battlefield. Do not let either of them out of your sight for a second.” he requested.

“O-of course.” Chane reluctantly agreed. “Brian, Axel. I’m sorry.” she apologized. Without further delay, the others rushed out in a desperate attempt to salvage the mission. Now was my chance.

“Chane. I need to go to the bathroom, could you heal my paralysis?” I inquired hoping to appeal to her good nature.

“I can’t. Raiden told me not to let you out of my sight.” she replied nervously.

“But I really have to go! Could you carry me there instead? You’ll have to take off my pants and get me all situated, but I’m sure you can handle it.” I persisted. As expected, Chane started blushing and stuttering.

“I-I’ll g-get you a P-paralyze Heal r-right aw-w-way!” she stammered running to her room.

You’re terrible.” Axel laughed fully aware that I was just using her. Although in my defense, having my muscles spasm like this meant I really did have to take a piss. Chane came running back with a yellow bottle full of a muscle relaxant that she sprayed me with. I soon felt the feeling return to my body; flexing my fingers to prove it.

“Thanks!” I said gratefully running to my room. After doing what I told her I would do, I changed into my uniform to do what I wanted to do. I also grabbed a Cheri Berry for Axel. It would be rude of me not to help my buddy.

“What are you doing?” inquired Chane warily when she saw me come out of my room. I smiled at her as I put the Cheri Berry in Axel’s mouth.

“The answer is quite simple really. We’re leaving.” I said casually once my Pokémon regained the ability to move.

“You… you tricked me? You used me?” she muttered hurtfully.

“No, I really did go to the bathroom. I just didn’t tell you the whole truth that I planned on going on the mission.” I justified. Chane responded by pulling out a Pokéball and pointing it at me.

“Raiden told me to keep you here s-so that’s what I’ll do!” said Chane trying to sound tough but I could still detect the uncertainty. I could tell that she didn’t believe she could actually stop me.

“Chane, Master Raiden told you to guard me and Axel and keep an eye on us. He told me to stay here, and while I respect Master Raiden, I don’t take well to authority.” I said walking toward Chane.

“S-stay back!” she commanded nervously. I stopped mid-step giving a sigh. She had the right idea, but was showing too much fear and uncertainty. An enemy could easily take advantage of that so I better take this opportunity to help her with it.

“Tell you what Chane. I have a few questions I’d like you to answer. Depending on how you answer will depend on whether or not I stay put like a good boy or go off like the rebel I am.” I suggested. Chane slowly lowered the Pokéball in acceptance to my proposal. I’ll have to make this quick if I plan on getting to the Cinnabar port in time.

“Which is more important to you? Following Master Raiden’s orders or helping your friends?” I questioned holding out my hands for each option.

“My friends of course.” Chane responded warily trying to get a feel for what I was getting at.

“Friends who are putting their lives on the line this very moment. Friends who are out numbered and may be in trouble!” I pointed out.

“You’re wrong! I believe in Raiden, Zack, and Eve! You should have faith in them too!” she chided with a bit more fire. Progress.

“I do believe in them Chane. But I also believe that no matter how strong an opponent is, there is a way to beat them. We got an S.O.S tonight saying that Team Rocket ambushed a squad of officers showing that they have an organized plan!”

“But we’re organized too!” cried Chane.

“Yes. WE! As in the five of us!” I showed holding out my hand with my fingers wide spread. I put down my pinkie and thumb leaving three fingers. “Right now they are two members short. That means the three of them have a limited time to come up with new strategies to compensate for our absence, thereby weakening them! All the Rockets have to do is have a decent enough strategy and three more members of Team Neos are out of the picture.” Chane lowered her head looking away.


“You’re right… But… But I’m scared. What if we fail again? I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” I walked up to her and gave her a hug. She looked like she needed one really bad.

“If this is about Togetic, then don’t think about it.” I said gently “We win some, we lose some, but we can’t give up. If we do nothing now, then Team Rocket wins anyway. If that happens, then more people and Pokémon get hurt, including Zack, Eve, and Master Raiden. If you don’t want people getting hurt, then you have to be the one who protects them.”

“But I can’t.” she sobbed. Looks like she needs more motivation. I released her from my hug and pushed her to the floor. “Ow! What was that for?” asked Chane starting to tear up.

“Stand up! Be Strong! And believe in yourself!” I ordered harshly. “And if that’s too hard, then believe in the me that believes in you! I won’t sit back and let you beat yourself up or talk down to yourself! I’d rather kick your ass before that happens! Now show me your strength!” At first Chane looked up at me nervously while I gave my rousing speech, then she smiled at me.

“Is it ok if I ask for help?” she inquired holding up her hand.

“Of course.” I said pulling her back to her feet. “Now we’ve wasted enough time here! Yoink!” I reached behind Chane’s legs picking her up in my arms. She started blushing turning her head side to side.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked nervously.

“Well I’m not staying here a moment longer, but I’m not leaving without you.” I said matter-of-factly. “Your choice, am I carrying you all the way or will you walk with me willingly?” I proposed.

“I-I’ll walk! J-just p-put me down please!” she requested timidly. I put her down then ran for the window. At this point flying was faster so I jumped out after throwing Aerodactyl’s Pokéball first. The prehistoric beast finished materializing just in time for me to grab his talon and climb onto his back. Axel jumped out right after I did to join us.

When we retire from Team Neos, you should be a motivational speaker.” the monkey suggested based on how I handled Chane. She came out flying next to us on Jace’s back.

“So what’s the plan?” inquired Chane sound much more confident. I didn’t know if that confidence was for me or her, but it mattered not. At least she was sure of something.

“Depending on how the others have done, I say we either wreak havoc or ambush Team Rocket and then wreak havoc. Regardless, we have to destroy their vessel and the cargo within. Whatever nasty stuff those crooks brought in from the Sevii Islands, we cannot allow it to be distributed in Kanto.” I devised on the spot.

Genius.” said Axel sarcastically.

When the docks on the eastern shore of the island came into sight, we were greeted by the aerial view of a circle of black behind some crates. In the center of the circle were three whitish grey dots and a blue dot on one end and two back dots on the other. Upon closer inspection, the circle became about a dozen Rockets and the dots were three members of Team Neos and a Golduck on their knees with their arms tied behind their backs while the other two must have been the Rockets in charge. It was plainly obvious that the captured ones were the rest of my squad.

“They… they’ve been captured!” Chane panicked in a whisper knowing we’d be spotted if she were any louder.

“Looks like it.” I said scanning the area. There were no signs of the team we were supposed to be assisting. Had Team Rocket already disposed of them?

“How does it feel to be betrayed by your own people?” interrogated one of the Rocket’s in the circle with a somewhat high pitched voice. His version of Team Rocket’s uniform had a high collar forming a V-neck lined with yellow, long white gloves that went to the middle of his upper arms, white boots with a red stripe near the top, and a loose white belt hanging off of his waist. Poofy green hair was sticking out from under the traditional beret Team Rocket wore. If it wasn’t for the red ‘R’ on his chest, I would have thought this guy was going to walk the runway at a gay bar.

“What do you mean betrayed?” Raiden questioned defensively voicing the very question that was on my mind.

“Isn’t it obvious Neophyte? You got sold out!” mocked the female Rocket that was standing with the male.

“In exchange for their freedom, the three we captured earlier agreed to send a false distress signal so that Team Rocket could capture a higher ranking member of Team Neos. Now which one of you is Third Seat Raiden Arka?” demanded the male who must be the leader of this group.

“That would be me. But it is rude to ask someone’s identity before giving your own.” answered Raiden.

“I am Executive Lance Proton, the cruelest and scariest member of Team Rocket!” Proton responded pompously. Another Executive!

“Chane.” I whispered over to her. “I’m going to cause a distraction. You have my back right?” I asked her.

“Of course I do.” she replied.

“Alright then.” I said taking Riolu’s and Beldum’s Pokéballs from my belt. “Axel, take these two and Aerodactyl to the Rocket’s ship and destroy it while I have them occupied. The ship is out of view from the ones below us, so you’ll only have to worry about any guards that were left on the ship.”

Won’t you need us?” the monkey questioned with concern.

“I’ll be fine. I still have Piloswine and Snorlax, plus Chane has my back. As far as I’m concerned we’re killing two Pidgeys with one stone. Now get moving!” I instructed getting up.

Be careful.” advised Axel. I nodded and jumped off Aerodactyl’s back. “Let’s go Aero!” the Infernape commanded once I was off the prehistoric Pokémon’s back. I landed center circle between Proton and my team in a crouching position. I winced as pain shot up my left leg. I guess I’m not as fully healed as I’d like to believe. I better do something to keep people from noticing. I quickly jumped to my feet.

“Thank you! Fuck you! The anti-hero has arrived!” I declared thrusting my right pointer finger to the sky while positioning my left hand on my waist to take a dramatic pose. Was this the best I could come up with? It’s awesome! I’ll have to remember this one!

“What the hell?” said the Rocket Executive in disbelief.

“You have got to be kidding me.” Eve stated unamused.

“Oh hey Brian! Nice of you to drop in.” said Zack cheerfully.

“You should be paralyzed.” Raiden pointed-out nonchalantly.

“Another Neos! Get him!” Proton shouted having finally regained his composure. Two grunts jumped into the circle tackling me to the ground. While I could have easily avoided them or taken them out already, I wanted to give them a false sense of security first. I also needed to buy time for Axel and my other Pokémon to destroy their vessel.

“You’re so hot Lance!” cried the female all fan-girlishly when he gave the order. Creepy fan girls.

“How are you not paralyzed? And where are Chane and Axel?” questioned Raiden unable to drop the subject.

“Leave Brian alone!” I heard Chane call as the two Rockets were picked off of me in Jace’s talons. The Pidgeot flew at a high speed throwing the grunts into the Rockets holding the rest of the squad hostage. I took the time for Jace and Chane to circle around to limp over to my friend and break their restraints.

“Chane is there being awesome, and Axel is on a special assignment with my other Pokémon.” I explained while untying them.

“You were limping.” Raiden observed in an I-told-you-so manner when I freed him.

“You should be glad I’m defiant. Who knows what could have happened to you guys if we didn’t show up.” I indicated in a take-that tone moving down the line to Eve.

“He has a point.” Zack defended when he was untied as well. Raiden simply sighed and shook his head. Jace landed center stage allowing Chane to dismount.

“How dare you interfere with Team Rocket! Do you have any idea who I am? I am Executive Lance Proton, the cruelest and scariest member of Team Rocket!” Proton yelled at her.

“C-cruelest and s-scariest?” Chane repeated nervously. Proton must have picked up on her timidness, for he smiled evilly.

“That’s right, and you, my dear, are my new prey.” he intimidated walking closer to her.

“Stand up, be strong! You can take this guy Chane! Just believe in yourself and your Pokémon!” I encouraged from the sideline after freeing Lloyd as well.

“Y-you’re right! I’ll fight!” she declared staring Proton in the face.

“You are not worthy to even breathe the same air as my Lance and you dare challenge him?” the fan girl questioned. “My love, let me teach this bitch a lesson in manners.” she requested from the Executive.

“I am not your love.” he corrected sternly giving the fan girl a dirty look. “But whatever, she’s all yours. The rest of us will stay back and watch. That goes for the rest of you Neophytes as well!” Proton told us forcefully. Is that the new slang term for us?

“I will show you the wrath of Team Rocket!” declared the fan girl getting out a Pokéball. “How was that Lance?” she asked with a big amorous smile.

“Just shut up and get to the battle already dammit!” reprimanded Proton aggressively. The fan girl flinched back, then gave Chane a hateful look.

“You made Lance scold me! You will pay! Get her Ekans!” she shouted angrily throwing the ball. Emerging from the capsule was a long purple snake with a yellow belly, a yellow ring around its neck, and a yellow rattle on its tail. The serpent flickered a forked tongue to get a feel for the battle while surveying the area with yellow vertical pupiled eyes.

“Jace, could you please you Air Cutter?” Chane requested. She definitely has a unique way of battling. Jace opened his wings to their full wingspan, then with one massive flap downward, sent spinning blades of wind at the Snake Pokémon. The serpent hissed in annoyance while shaking its rattle to emphasize its irritation.

“Slow that bird down with Glare Ekans!” commanded FG (Fan Girl). The serpent’s eyes grew more menacing. Once the eyes started glowing, Jace completely froze solid in the same manner that Axel and I were afflicted with earlier.

“Oh no! Jace!” cried Chane.

“There’s nothing you can do now! The fastest way to victory is to immobilize your enemy and then take them out with your strongest attacks! Ekans! Gunk Shot!” Ekans rose up with its head pointed straight into the air like a spear. A huge lump formed in its body then gradually moved up into its throat. The Snake Pokémon jerked its head forward, coughing up a huge wad of brown sludge.

“Quick Attack!” Chane called. The eagle moved at incredible speed despite his handicap. Not only did he avoid Gunk Shot, but he also struck Ekans before it could regroup from its own attack.

“So that’s how it’s going to be. I will not let you embarrass me in front of Lance! Ekans! Hinder Pidgeot’s movements even more with Wrap!” FG ordered. I was quickly reminded of the fact that Ekans are a foot and a half longer than Pidgeots when the serpent constricted its long body around Jace creating a total of two coils while still having enough slack to move its dangerous head.

“Jace! You have to break free! Try… Try Aerial Ace!” our youngest member called sounding panicked. Unfortunately, her pleas went unanswered as Jace was too paralyzed to do anything.

“Sucks to be you! Now Ekans, Poison Jab!” FG commanded gleefully. After the Snake Pokémon’s rattle took on a purple glow, it impaled its tail into Jace’s abdomen. The Bird Pokémon cried out in pain, muffling out what I think was the frightened squeak of his Trainer.

“Hang in there! Um… p-please try to use Wing Attack Jace.” requested Chane anxiously. The proud eagle struggled against paralysis and Wrap to break his wings free, but just couldn’t find the strength. “You can do it Jace!” she encouraged. The Pidgeot got renewed determination in his eyes allowing him to fully spread his wings and send the Snake Pokémon flying through the air. Ekans landed hard on the ground knocked out.

“Impossible!” yelled FG in denial.

“You did it!” cheered Chane giving Jace a hug.

“Don’t think you’ve won yet! I still have three more Pokémon you need to beat! Let’s go Ekans!” It was strange seeing an unconscious snake get replaced by a fresh one. It was almost like it got revived.

“Rest now Jace. Your battle is over.” Chane said gently as the majestic eagle dissolved into a red light to be returned to his ball. “It’s your turn Izzy!” With the toss of a Pokéball, the Breloom was instantly summoned to the battlefield. I’m not exactly sure why she would use a Grass/Fighting-type against a Poison-type, but I’m sure Chane has her reasons.

“Use Glare on that thing Ekans!” FG commanded. Just like the previous Ekans, this one’s eyes started glowing striking Izzy with Paralysis. For a grunt, this girl has a pretty effective strategy.

“Hang on Izzy! I know you can win!” Chane comforted. “Please try to Tackle!” The Mushroom Pokémon attempted to step forward, but her movements were sluggish and stiff only allowing her a few steps until FG took the opening.

“Wrap it up Ekans!” she ordered mercilessly. The Snake Pokémon slithered at Izzy, eying up its victim for the best way to strike. When in range, the serpent rose up to the Breloom’s height of about four feet then coiled itself around her body. Since Izzy was both smaller and slimmer than Jace, Ekans was able to make a total of five coils around her body.

Too bad for Ekans, Izzy’s natural defense mechanism of Effect Spore kicked in. A fine yellow powder sprinkled down from her mushroom head onto the Snake Pokémon sharing the paralyzed status with it as well. I guess today has just been a day for paralysis.

“Could you do a Headbutt now?” requested Chane. The Mushroom Pokémon tilted her head back, then slammed it into Ekans’s face which was mere inches from hers. The rattle on the serpent’s tail started shaking vigorously out of anger as it glared viciously at Izzy.

“Do it Ekans! Point blank Gunk Shot!” demanded FG evilly. Ekans made a gagging sound as a lump of unpleasant things moved up its throat. In one nauseating hack, Izzy was shot in the face with a lot of Super-effective crap. Literally.

“Be strong! U-use Counter!” Chane told Izzy sounding as if she was about to cry. After freeing her arm, Izzy grabbed Ekans by its shaking tail, forcefully ripped the serpent off her body, spun it around like a rope, the smashed Ekans to the ground like a whip. Do I even need to say Ekans is out cold?

“I’m sorry Izzy. I’m so sorry.” she whimpered calling back the Breloom.

“It’s a Pokémon battle Chane. Your Pokémon will get hurt, maybe even faint. Plus, you have to remember that you’re fighting Team Rocket. They fight dirty.” Eve reminded remorselessly.

“I know, but…”

“The important thing is that they’re ok. Nothing a visit to the Pokémon Center and rest won’t fix.” I said supportively.

“What a weak little girl! Cries every time her Pokémon get hurt!” ridiculed FG.

“If she’s so weak, then why are you losing?” Proton reprimanded crossing his arms. FG looked as if she had just been punched in the stomach. Then she became even more violent looking then before.

“I hate you!” she yelled at Chane. “Gloom! Come out and use Poison Powder on that stupid bitch!” FG ordered summoning a short blue creature with thin arms and legs, a red four budded flower on its head with four red leaves hanging down, and an almost constant supply of drool dripping from its mouth. Perhaps though, I should be saying ‘she’ due to the large size of the white dots on the Gloom’s flower.

As soon as the Weed Pokémon appeared, a horrible stench filled the air causing all of us to choke. On top of that, it was shaking its head at Chane releasing a stream of purple spores! I heard the bursting sound of a Pokéball opening a second before a crescent moon materialized in a white light in front of Chane to take the attack.

“Luna… You saved me. But now you’re poisoned!” cried Chane.

“Just end the battle quickly and it’ll be fine. You’re doing great so far.” I encouraged.

“When are you going to evolve that hideous thing? Every one of us was pleased the day Executive Sham evolved hers because we no longer had to deal with that insufferable odor!” Proton lashed out at the same time we were talking.

“I’m sorry Lance! I haven’t found a Leaf Stone or a Sun Stone yet!” FG justified in a whining voice.

“You can win Luna. All you have to do is use Psychic!” Chane told the lunar creature supportively. A loud cosmic howl came from Luna as its body and eyes were enveloped in a pale pink aura. The same glow appeared around Gloom causing her to shriek and fall to the ground writhing in pain. “Stop the attack Luna! That’s too much!” pleaded the young Trainer. In an instant the Psychic assault was ended.

“Well aren’t you generous! Too bad I’m not so nice! Get that energy back with Giga Drain Gloom!” FG ordered gleefully. Three green tendrils of energy shot from the Weed Pokémon’s flower that wrapped around Luna’s body to drain its energy while restoring Gloom’s.

“I won’t let you do that! Heal Block Luna!” called Chane. The Lunatone’s body started glowing pink again, this time cancelling the effects of the Giga Drain. Most of the effects anyway. Luna still suffered serious damage from the attack and poison, but Gloom remained in rough condition as well.

“Foolish girl! Taste Petal Dance!” commanded the Rocket Grunt. Red petals shot out of Gloom’s flower as the Grass-type spun in circles while throwing out her arms and legs in some kind of strange tribal ritual.

“Protect yourself Luna!” the kindest member of our team told her Pokémon. A hazy pink barrier surrounded the Meteorite Pokémon deflecting each of the red petals. Luna was also getting noticeably weaker from the poison. “Be strong!” Chane encouraged.

Lunatone have the appearance of being emotionless, but I’m sure the strain Luna must be going through from poison and keeping up the Protect must be exhausting. Luckily, it was able to maintain the Protect long enough for Gloom to get confused, obvious to how she tripped over her own feet during Petal Dance. The Weed Pokémon fell flat on her face but continued to shoot out petals doing further damage.

“Get up Gloom! You can’t lose yet!” FG demanded. Too bad for the Rocket, Gloom had already fainted herself with her own attack.

“Rest now Luna. You earned it.” Chane told Luna as she recalled it. FG seemed just about to freak out.

“Dammit! I only have one Pokémon left! Don’t fail me Oddish!” she shouted sending out a smaller, armless version of Gloom that wasn’t drooling and had green leaves on its head rather than a red flower.

“She said this is her last Pokémon. Do your best Celia!” encouraged Chane releasing the butterfly from her Pokéball. The smaller red dot at the top of her wings was the subtle indication that Celia was female if the name didn’t already give it away.

“Start us with Silver Wind please!” she called. Once Celia’s wings began glowing a bright silver color, she rapidly flapped them sending dozens of silver blades flying through the air at Oddish. The Weed Pokémon shrieked as the blades sliced it up. For half a second, Celia’s entire body glowed silver showing it got the boost from the attack.

“I won’t be beaten this time! Somehow your Pokémon have survived Paralysis and Poison, but they can’t fight back if they’re asleep! Use Sleep Powder Oddish!” commanded FG as if she had already won. Oddish shook its head creating a cloud of blue dust.

“Celia! You have to get rid of it somehow! Try Whirlwind!” Chane suggested. The Butterfly Pokémon flapped her wings madly whipping up a powerful maelstrom in seconds. The debilitating particles were gathered up by the gale, and in a strange twist that could hardly be planned, the Sleep Powder rained back down on its creator putting Oddish to sleep.

“No way! Wake up Oddish! Wake up you damn Pokémon!” FG screamed.

“It’s over now. I won’t attack a Pokémon that can’t defend itself.” Chane said adamantly. “Please call it back now.”

“I will not! Oddish isn’t fainted yet so I still have a chance if it wakes up! Wake up dammit!” Still there was no reply from Oddish.

“Alright enough of this! Use Flamethrower on both of them Weezing!” Proton commanded suddenly. I hadn’t even noticed him call out his Poison Gas Pokémon until it was blowing out a long stream of fire on both Oddish and Celia.

“Oh no! Celia!” cried Chane calling back her Beautifly before she could receive any more damage. Oddish wasn’t as lucky, but at least it was only fainted. I would hate to see Chane go through another break down.

“What are you doing Lance? I had her!” shouted FG in dismay. Proton gave her a fearsome look like he had had enough of her. Rather than responding with words, he out right slapped her with the back of his hand knocking her to the ground. The entire crowd of Rockets gasped in horror at their leader’s ruthless display of force.

“What am I doing? Is that any way to address your superior!? If you must know, you were taking too long! This girl has single handedly defeated all of your Pokémon without even one of hers fainting!” Proton paused to take a breath “Then again, this is my fault. I should have known better than to let a useless bimbo like you handle such a simple matter.” he said calmly. The Rocket Executive looked down at his now crying grunt with a wrathful gaze in his eyes. “Now get out of my sight.” With that order, FG got up and ran away with her face in her hands echoing loud sobs. Once she was gone, Proton turned to Chane with the face of a predator.

“Now it’s your turn Dear.” he said with a frightening smile. Chane was visibly trembling.

“You’ve got this! The executives are surprisingly weak and we’re right here if you need us!” I reminded supportively.

“Hold your tongue boy! You know nothing of Team Rocket’s true power, let alone mine!” he shouted. Then he got a sinister smirk. “Perhaps I shall demonstrate my power by destroying this girl. Send out a Pokémon so that we may do battle!” he ordered Chane.

“L-Lucy! Help us!” she called throwing a Luxury Ball. From it came a light pink egg shaped Pokémon with stubby limbs, stringy hair on her head, an egg pouch on her stomach, and the kindest expression a Pokémon can have. The very sight of the Chansey gave Proton a lustful grin.

“I know what I’ll be taking home tonight! A Chansey should give me major points with the Boss!” Proton deluded himself happily. “Weezing! Use Sludge, but don’t damage the goods!” The Poison-type hacked up a disgusting blackish purple glob of filth.

“Light Screen! Hurry!” called our youngest. Lucy threw out her short arms instantly creating a transparent pink shield that warped around her body like armor. The Sludge splattered on Lucy but with less intensity thanks to Light Screen.

“That won’t protect you forever! Double Hit Weezing!” Proton ordered.

“Defense Curl Lucy!” Chane requested. The Egg Pokémon curled her body into a tight ball just as Weezing beat on her with both of its large heads.

“Defend against this then! Poison Gas!” shouted the Executive getting angry. A noxious purple smog spewed out of Weezing’s pores. Lucy started coughing as the poisoning took effect on her.

“Heal yourself with Refresh Lucy!” Chane told her. Lucy out stretched her arms as her body took on an angelic white glow and her expression became peaceful. Proton screamed in irritation.

“Well no matter, Weezing still has taken no damage so all I have to do is gradually wear that Chansey down before it belongs to Team Rocket! Now Weezing! Use Sludge Bomb!” ordered Proton confidently. The Poison Gas Pokémon once again blasted the putrid ooze from its body, but this time it was thicker and in a greater quantity.

“Try a Safeguard now!” suggested Chane. Lucy moved her arms in a circle creating a white halo that would protect her from any future poisoning. Since Light Screen was still in effect, Sludge Bomb was met with the same results as Proton’s other attempts.

“*Grrr* Weezing! Flamethrower!” The Poison-type unleashed another long tongue of fire that whipped Lucy, but she seemed unaffected by the attack.

“I would feel better if you used Substitute.” said Chane assuringly. The Chansey complied by instantly creating an exact replica of herself. The Executive growled again, but then started to laugh.

“I think I finally figured you out. You’re too scared of me to fight back! Either that or your Chansey has no attacking moves, and her only use to Team Rocket is that it is such a rare collectable.” he said haughtily.

“You’re wrong! Lucy isn’t some collectable! She’s my friend! She has thoughts and feelings just like you! I-I won’t let you take her away!” Chane shouted defiantly.

“But you are scared. You’re shaking.” Proton acknowledged superiorly.

“Y-yes. B-but I still won’t let you beat me! I-I need to win! Please use Return Lucy!” At last! Chane’s fire is awakened! Lucy’s fist took on a bright white glow as she lobbed a powerful punch to Weezing.

Arriving from above just in time to watch was Axel, landing right next to me. A few nearby Grunts jumped back in alarm, but Proton and Chane remained focused on their battle. He gave me Aerodactyl’s Pokéball so that I could return the flier without him interrupting the match.

“What took you so long? Come to think of it, why didn’t I hear an explosion?” I asked.

Well the ship’s destroyed.” replied the monkey ambiguously as if there was something he wasn’t telling me. I decided to let it go for now since I didn’t want to miss any of the battle.

“I won’t be taken so easily! Demolish that Substitute with Assurance Weezing!” commanded Proton. The Poison Gas Pokémon did a full body assault on Lucy’s replica completely tearing apart.

“I think you should heal yourself with Soft-Boiled now Lucy!” Chane suggested. Lucy pulled the egg from her pouch and took a bite out of it. Within seconds the Chansey looked fully revitalized.

The abrupt sounds of cracking glass could be heard putting a temporary hold on the combat. Lucy’s Light Screen faded back into view covered in dozens of fractures then completely shattered.

“Well look at that. Use Sludge Bomb before they get another one back up!” Proton ordered triumphantly. Once again, Weezing blasted a massive glob of shit from its mouth. This time however, the Egg Pokémon looked like she was feeling the effects of the powerful attack.

“You can do it Lucy! At-t-tempt Th-Thunder Bolt!” stuttered Chane.

“Relax! You’ve got this!” I called while the Chansey’s body began sparking with electricity. Lucy yelled releasing numerous high voltage lightning bursts at Weezing creating a loud crackling sound and the scent that lasts in the air after a thunderstorm. The Poison Gas Pokémon cried uncomfortably but seemed otherwise fine.

“Got this? Ha! This girl is on her last leg and falling fast. Witness the wrath of Team Rocket! Giga Impact Weezing!” commanded the Rocket Executive victoriously. Weezing made an intimidating cry as it charged forward at full speed causing its body to glow red with power.

“Endure Lucy!” cried Chane desperately. The Egg Pokémon braced herself for the attack just as Weezing collided with her. Chane’s lucky stars must be shining tonight as Lucy was still standing, though barely, and Weezing would be immobile for a few seconds while it recharged its power.

“I… I think I just won!” Chane cheered excitedly. If I could see her face under that hood, I’m sure she’d be smiling for the first time this battle.

“You haven’t won anything yet!” rejected Proton unconvinced.

“Watch. Lucy! Please use Endeavor!” Chane asked politely. I started laughing at the beauty of it all. Lucy beat the crap out of Weezing until it was in the same barely conscious condition she was in. Even so, the Poison Gas Pokémon had all but shaken off its fatigue from Giga Impact meaning Lucy was in big trouble unless Chane had some sort of plan.

“It’s over now! Finish Chansey off with Sludge Bomb!” Proton commanded.

“Hurry! Endure again!” she called. That was her plan!? Lucy put up her best guard, and with enough concentration, miraculously survived the attack! “Now quickly! Use Egg Bomb!” While Chane did have the sense of urgency to her voice, I could detect a slight hint of the inner strength she was lacking earlier. About damn time!

Lucy pulled the egg back out of her pouch and threw it at Weezing. What had the appearance of a soft edible egg, turned out to be a high octane explosive that went off upon contact with Weezing. The Poison Gas Pokémon gave one final cry as it collapsed to the concrete docks unconscious.

“You did it Lucy! You won!” congratulated Chane proudly as she gave the Chansey a hug. Their moment was interrupted by the furious growl of Proton after he called back his Pokémon.

“I told you, didn’t I? You haven’t won anything yet! Destroy her, Golbat!” roared the Executive summoning the giant Bat Pokémon. “Use Poison Fang on that irritating girl so we can claim her Chansey!”

“No!” Chane refused defiantly as she returned Lucy to the safety of her Luxury Ball, only to realize that she now no longer had protection from the Golbat. “Help!” she pleaded looking right at me. Wish granted!

“Blitz!” I commanded quickly not even bothering to finish the attack name. Axel blazed into battle like a comet colliding with the Bat Pokémon full force just as it was looming over Chane’s head. She had dropped to the ground with her hands over her head for protection.

“Thanks Axel.” she said gratefully giving him a hug after standing back up. “Take it from here Kermit!” she called sending the Water-type out of a Net Ball.

“I told you not to interfere!” Proton yelled at me. I stuck out my tongue and stuck up my middle finger while Axel skipped back to me. “You too will suffer the wrath of Team Rocket! Golbat finish that Azumarill quickly so that we can dispose of the rest! Air Slash!” The Bat Pokémon shrieked while karate chopping the air with its wings. Blades of wind sliced through the air cutting at their target.

“Hang in there Kermit! Once we win, we can all go home. Let’s go with Bubble Beam!” encouraged Chane. Finally, victory after victory, she realizes she can win. Kermit opened his mouth rapidly firing numerous bubbles like a machine gun. Golbat shrieked as each bubble popped around and in its giant mouth.

“If you hadn’t already guessed, I am very fond of this next move. I guarantee it will hurt! Blast it with Sludge Bomb Golbat!” Proton ordered. Nasty looking blackish purple sludge bubbled up in Golbat’s mouth until it almost overflowed from its bottom jaw. At that point, the Poison-type splashed all of it out with its long tongue bathing poor Kermit in the filth causing him to cry out in agony.

“I’m sorry Kermit, I should have thought of this sooner!” apologized Chane. “Heal yourself with Aqua Ring!” The Aqua Rabbit Pokémon sprayed a stream of water around his head forming a watery halo. Droplets of the life giving liquid gradually dripped down to restore Kermit’s health.

“You are grinding on my last nerves! Golbat! Drain the life out of Azumarill with Giga Drain! Make sure you suck every drop it has to give!” the Rocket Executive commanded.

“Oh no! Defense Curl Kermit!” Chane called worriedly. Kermit curled himself into a dense ball, but it didn’t matter to Golbat who took a huge bite out of him anyway to drain him. “N-now Rollout!” Oh she is good! With a bit of shaking back and forth, Kermit was able to build up the momentum to completely run over the Bat Pokémon.

“Stop that thing with Aerial Ace!” commanded Proton. Golbat flew into the spinning Water-type doing more damage to him, but got flattened again as Kermit’s momentum and speed increased. “Get away from them! Fly Golbat!” ordered the Executive. With a shriek of agreement, Golbat took to the sky out of Kermit’s range. The Aqua Rabbit Pokémon ceased his attack in preparation to defend against Golbat’s next. The giant bat dive-bombed with a vengeful look in its eyes.

“Try to jump back and use Hydro Pump!” suggested Chane hopefully. Kermit did as told, narrowly avoiding the Bat Pokémon. As soon as he was on his feet, Kermit blasted a powerful torrent of water from his mouth. The blast smacked into Golbat carrying it through the air until colliding with a pile of crates. If that wasn’t enough, the impact knocked the crates over falling right on top of Golbat.

“No!” Proton shouted seeing his Pokémon fainted under a pile of broken wood. He recalled Golbat, then punched the nearest grunt out of frustration. He turned back to Chane with a murderous look on his face. “You have only made the wrath of Team Rocket grow!” he yelled pointing to her.

“I… I’ve beaten you. Please leave now, I… don’t want to fight any more!” Chane insisted shakily. Proton only grinned evilly with a light chuckle.

“You have defeated me, but are willing to let me go because you don’t want to fight any more?” he laughed. “Ha! I may be out of usable Pokémon, but I can still fight you little girl!” threatened Proton reaching for something concealed in his back pocket.

“Don’t move!” I warned fiercely holding a duct tape covered Pokéball in my outstretched arm. Axel may already be on the field where all I have to do is say the word, but it’s more threatening when you’re pointing something at your target. Eve, Zack, and Raiden did the same with their Pokéballs.

“We’re respecting our friend’s wishes by letting you all go, but don’t the wrong idea about us. We’re not as gentle as she is.” Eve warned.

“Unlike you Rockets, we look out for our own. We will show no mercy if a comrade is in danger.” Zack added.

“If you do anything to hurt her, we will show you the full force of Team Neos. Now do as she requested and leave.” finished Raiden. Proton looked at each of us one by one with a malevolent glare. He made the right choice by throwing his arms in the air, even if he had a conceited grin while doing so.

“Fine. The battle’s over, victory is yours, woo hoo.” he mocked. “Come on Rockets, they’re giving us a get away free card so I suggest we live it up. We’ll go back to the ship and distribute our cargo at a different time and place.

“Your ship’s toast!” I laughed. The Executive turned to me with a look of confusion and fury. “My partner Axel here and my other Pokémon completely annihilated it!”

Actually, no we didn’t. The boat was destroyed when we got there, it wasn’t us.” explained the Infernape sounding concerned.

“Ahhhhh FUCK!!” screamed Proton. “You haven’t seen the last of me! I will have my revenge! My wrathful revenge!” He punched another Grunt (who might have been the same one he punched last time) and walked off.

“What do you mean it wasn’t you?” I whispered to Axel so the others wouldn’t hear.

Just as I said, the boat was already destroyed. The wreckage was strange too. Riolu said he sensed a horrifying aura nearby. You think it might have been Missingno like Chane said?” he wondered.

“Doubt it. It may have been our betrayers getting back at Team Rocket. Either way, we’ll keep this under our hoods for now.” I said. I walked up to Chane who was standing where she had been all battle.

“I did it. I did exactly as you told me and I won!” she said proudly throwing back her hood.

“Yeah you did! And let me tell you, you were awesome!” I congratulated.

“R-really? N-no I wasn’t that good.” she said modestly while blushing a little. Zack popped in and threw his arm over her shoulder.

“Are you kidding? Brian’s right! You were kicking ass and taking names and kicking more ass!” he cheered.

“Yes, all hail Chane for making the rest of us look bad!” Eve said sarcastically sounding irritated.

“I-I’m sorry.” Chane apologized unnecessarily.

“Don’t be! Eve’s just mad because she got ambushed and man-handled!” teased Zack.

“No, I believe what Eve meant to say was that you have shown just how formidable an opponent you really are Chane. You defeated an Executive of Team Rocket and a Grunt without the loss of a single Pokémon. The same Executive who successfully captured three members of Team Neos, one of them a Third Seat. That takes talent and finesse. Well done Chane.” Raiden praised.

“S-stop… I just…”

“You just stood up, were strong, and believed yourself!” I interrupted. “In doing so you beat a Rocket Executive and his lover! That is worthy of praise! Now admit you’re awesome! Admit it!”

“Ok, ok. I’m awesome.” she agreed modestly.

“Good. Now forever hence believe yourself!” I instructed.

“I will.” agreed Chane smiling.
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