đHgeocities.com/cats_meow712/chapter8.htmlgeocities.com/cats_meow712/chapter8.htmldelayedxDŚÔJ˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙Č ˘‰DOKtext/htmlPťýA‰D˙˙˙˙b‰.HWed, 14 Apr 2004 03:45:09 GMTç Mozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *DŚÔJ‰D chapter8
The One
Chapter 8
  As Ash and Brock were deciphering the map, a trio of familiar figures entered the main hallway of the Mt. Silver Landing branch of Team Rocket HQ.  They had just emerged from Pokemon Research and Development lab where they had reported their observations of the city and dropped off the “captured” pokemon for testing before being taken to storage.  Whatever had happened, the small group was not in a very happy mood.
  Jessie: “I can’t believe we’re not going to be compensated for our work! We captured the best pokemon for Team Rocket in the history of the organization, and this is the thanks we get.”
  James: “Well, I don’t know if I’d exactly call it ‘capturing’. It was more like shop lifting to me.”
  Meowth: [clawing both of them in the face] “Will youse guys cut that out right now! We don’t have time for dis. We have to go to the storage room and make sure that our operation has been carried out according to plan.”
  Jessie: [still fuming] “Oh, I guess you’re right! We have to make sure those low ranking imbeciles don’t mess this one up.”
  James: “You mean like we do every time we meet the twirps?”
  Meowth: “Ya know, what’s really sad is he’s asking that seriously.”
  Jessie: “Can it you two! Now let’s go and get this over with.  The storage room should be right at the end of the hall here, right before we get to the cells.”

  Ash and Brock had just made it into the small trap door in the ceiling of Brock’s cell as the door to the cell flew open.  In front of Misty stood two young rockets, both boys about 16-years-old.  They took one look at Misty and turned to each other with a knowing grin on their face.  Misty observed this too and knew just how she would handle the situation.  She was willing to do anything to save Ash and Brock, even if that meant leading these two on a bit.
  TR 1: “Well, well, well. What do we have here?”
  TR 2: “Looks like a little Lady Rocket to me. [bending down a bit to look at her tag, squinting from minimal light] Hey, looks like we found that new trainee.”
  TR 1: “What’s your name, little lady?”
  Misty: ~That’s interesting. They can read the fine print to see I’m a trainee, but they can’t clearly read my name. Dimwits…~ “It’s Ava.  Ava Cado.”
  TR1: “Well Ava Cado, it’s nice to meet you.  Have you taken the grand tour yet?”
  Misty: “Well as a matter of fact, I haven’t. [faking a sultry look in her eyes] Why? Would you care to, show me around.”
  TR 1: [grinning back at his friend] “They sure do know how to pick ‘um these days. [turning back to Misty] It would be my pleasure.”
  TR 2: [a little ticked that his friend was taking the girl, finally noticing the empty cell] “Hey, wait a second.  Wasn’t there a prisoner in here?”
  TR1: [starring into Misty’s aqua eyes] “Ahh…So exquisite…”
  Misty: [smiling back at him] ~What a big word for such a moron~
  TR 2: [extremely irritated] “Hey, girl! Where is the prisoner?!”
  TR 1: [looking around for a second] “Hey yeah. Now that you say something, I did see on the list that two kids were taken in here. [to Misty] You had to have seen them.  Say, why are you in here anyway?”
  Misty’s heart began to pound.  What was she supposed to say?  She had been in there for some time, and everyone in the building knew that there were two prisoners stationed here.  What was she supposed to tell them? She curled her sweaty palms into tight fists of determination.  All she knew was that somehow, she had to say something to get their minds off Ash and Brock.  She had to create a plan, and knowing the amount of intelligence these two had, she was sure that they would buy whatever she had to dish out.
  Misty: [with her sweetest smile and soft giggles] “Oh, those two weaklings? They were taken out of here, taken to another station I guess.  Must have happened right before I came in here.  I was assigned to clean the cells, I guess to clean up after the dirt and stuff those two low-lifes must have left behind. [to TR 1] Now, how about that little tour, sweety?”
  Misty learned that day that she had the power to melt a guy’s heart with the softness of her voice and the delicate choice of her words. ~Hmm, I’ll have to remember to use that with Ash, hehe…~
  TR 1: [ forgetting about the prisoner situation] “Of course! [lending his arm to her] Shall we?”
  TR 1 and Misty walked down the corridor to the door leading out of the cell area and back into the main hall, trailed by a skeptical TR 2.
  TR 2: [to himself, following Misty and TR 1 out the door] “There’s just something about this situation that isn’t right.  Something about her.  We’ll soon find out.”

  TR 2 found out about Misty all two soon.  As Misty and TR 1 sauntered out the cell block door into the main hallway, they bumped into a notorious group, the original Team Rocket. 
  Jessie: [still furious from earlier] “Why don’t you little brats look where you’re going?! I have a right mind to…[looking up into the face of the lower rockets, gasping] Oh my gosh…”
  For a moment, time seemed to stop.  Jessie, James, and Meowth could only stare into the face of the young red headed girl whom they knew from many years of battles and losses.  One of the twirps, the “twirpette”, the main twirp’s little girlfriend.  The realization slowly sunk in.  The trio knew that that hair and face could only belong to the girl they knew and resented, while Misty could only pale at the fact that within seconds, here cover would be blown…

  Ash and Brock had started down the dark air shafts.  It was extremely difficult to read a map in semi darkness, but they strained their eyes anytime they came upon a crack in the insulation where a small stream of light would shine through.  For such a small hideout, the airshafts were extremely complex.
  Ash: “Brock, can you see anything on that map?”
  Brock: “Well according to my calculations, we should be right…”
  Just then, they heard voices yelling, a cacophony of shrill clamoring that came from the room below. 
  Brock: “What the…”
  Ash: [looking urgently at Brock] “Brock, what was that? Where are we?”
  Brock: “I don’t know, but supposedly we’re right above the main hall.”
  Ash: “Well if that was the main hall, what do you suppose…”
  Ash didn’t have time to finish his sentence.  A shrill scream resounded through the hallway and filled the airshafts with an echoing dissonance.  Loud thuds were heard next, quieting the screamer while initiating another stream of soft moans and crying from below.
  A chill ran down Ash’s spine.  Something was up, something that involved him, and he was filled with trepidation for what was to come.  He reluctantly lowered his head from his crawling position and placed his ear against the bottom of the shaft.
  “…Get her out of here!...Take her to the boss…He will make her talk…”
  Ash: [to himself, with fear in his eyes and voice] “Oh no…”
  “…We’ll make her tell us where the other two twirps are…no matter what we have to do…”
  Ash: [raising his head up suddenly] “Misty!”
  Brock: [in a loud whisper] “Ash, keep it down! They’ll hear you.”
  Ash: [turning too him with anger in his eyes, speaking in the same volume] “They’re talking about Misty! They’re going to do something to her.”
  Brock: “How do you know this? I couldn’t hear a thing.”
  Ash: “I put my ear down to the bottom of the shaft and I heard just enough. [worry replacing the anger in his eyes for a moment] Oh Brock, we have to save her! This is all my fault. I never should have left her back there.”
  Brock: “Ash, calm down.  Now, we need to pull ourselves together and finish the job we started or…”
  Ash: [yelling in a whisper, angrily] “How can I continue our ‘job’ when I know Misty is being taken away to be tortured because they can’t find us?  They’re taking her to the boss! Do you know what that means?”
  Brock thought for a moment.  It was true, this looked very perilous for Misty.  But she had offered to stay behind so they would have the chance to save their pokemon, and the others that were stolen.  For a moment, he was fighting between his personal urge to save his friend and his moral promise to save the pokemon for everyone else.  But his decision was already made for him.  All he had to do was look up into Ash’s eyes.
  He looked up, into Ash’s large brown eyes and seeing for the first time how much Ash was hurting inside from the thought of Misty’s suffering.  He saw his eyes lined with tears, something that the seemingly tough guy hardly ever showed to anyone, even his closest friends.  There was also something different in those eyes of his.  Something was happening, a change was taking place, and in there Brock saw an emotion that he had never seen in Ash before.  What he noticed going on lately, between Ash and Misty, was real.  He didn’t know what it was, but he saw it there.  It was there as plain as the daylight as Ash was silently pleading with him.  And then Brock understood, and he knew what he would have to do.
  Brock: [smiling warily] “I know what we have to do.”
  Ash: [shakily, on the verge of tears] “What Brock?”
  Brock: “I’m going to find the storage room and free our pokemon.”
  Ash’s heart sank.  He looked down to hide his anguish from Brock. “Brock, I can’t leave Misty like that. She needs help.”
  Brock: “And that’s why you’re going to go to the Boss’s office and save Misty.”
  Ash looked up in shock. He could barely speak. When he finally did, he only said two words. “Thanks Brock.”
  Brock smiled again. “Don’t thank me.  You’re the one who made the decision.”
  Ash: “Wa?”
  Brock: “Nevermind. Now, come here and look at this map and see where you need to go.  We don’t have much time.”
  Ash took a look at the map and nodded his head. “Alright, I’m heading out. [leaving, but pausing and turning back to Brock] Be careful Brock.  I don’t want something to happen to you too.”
  Brock: “Don’t you worry about me.  I’ll be fine.  Go and find Misty. [smirking] Your princess awaits.”
  Ash laughed lightly. “Alright Brock the Rock, you can count on me.”

  As Ash and Brock were going on their separate paths, a very powerful man was sitting in his special chair, stroking the fine hair on his Persian while lurking under the protective cover of the shadows.  His office wasn’t a traditional office.  It resembled more of a small pokemon gym, a ring in the center with his personal office space above the ground on a good size balcony on his side of the gym-like room.  The man knew that something was coming, and he knew it wasn’t going to be an ordinary day at Team Rocket.
  He was in the middle of his thought when the door to his ‘office’ flew open and a girl with battered, copper red hair was hurled inside. 
  Jessie: “Now you two, baby Rockets. Put her inside of the cell inside the boss’s office.  That should hold her for a while.”
  Jessie then stormed out of the room, followed by a very scared James and Meowth, wondering if her PMS would ever end.  The two younger rockets were terrified.  They never imagined they would meet the boss, much less during their first month of work.  They handled their fear by taking it out on Misty.
  TR 1: “Come here, you little tramp.  We’ll teach you to lie to us.”
  He slapped Misty across the face, causing her to cry out in pain.  Her cheek was already badly bruised and her body ached all over from being thrown up against the wall several times as she tried to escape. 
  TR 2: [to his comrade] “Give her to me now. [looking at Misty] I like your spirit.  You coulda been such a good Rocket too, being so conniving.  But you used that against us, and now you’ll pay. I hope you rot in this cell!”
  He dragged Misty over to her cell, between the center ring and left wall of the room.  He shoved her inside and locked the door.
  TR 2: [to his friend] “Good thing they moved that extra cell in the cell block to the boss’s office.  They must have known something was up.”
  TR 1: “Who cares? The little brat is taken care of, and now we can get out of here.”
  The two cowardly young men ran from the room in fear.  The boss hadn’t spoken one word through the entire ordeal, but for some reason, his mere presence was enough to evoke uneasiness with even the highest ranking Team Rocket officers.  Now, he was alone in his office.  Alone with Misty. From the depths of the shadows hiding the boss from the rest of the room, a small beam of light slipped its way through, just enough to reveal the curve of his mouth.  But it wasn’t a smug grin of the prospect of an easy battle. It was a troubled frown, for he knew that this girl had a connection to something.  Or someone.  He didn’t know what, but he could feel something stirring in the midst of this place. It almost felt as if, as if he were close to something he was deeply connected to, like something out of the past that comes back to haunt people just as they are getting their lives in order.  But sometimes, those demons from the past can actually be the very thing one needs most, something that could change the tides forever…
Chapter 9
Back to Your Heart