~ C h a p t e r 1 ~
*A Bittersweet Beginning*
Coming home from a tiring job of neighbors errands, I walked into my room and set my back pack down on my bed. I looked through my bag and pulled out my pokeball, which had Ralts encripted on the front. Letting my best friend, in the world, out I smiled at the cute creature. "Hey Ralts, How are you?" I asked in a slightly cheery mood. Ralts giggled and hugged me. Hugging it back, and smiled. I jumped at the sound of a slam and a breaking glass. I shook lightly and listened as I heard my mother and father downstairs yelling. The sound of smashing and breaking objects echoed down the long hall. Hugging Ralts closer I felt a tear fall down my face. "Not again, Not tonight, please..." I whispered to myself as I heard a loud shrilling scream and then a small thud. I put Ralts down and ran to my door throwing it ajar, and running out madly with blank thoughts. I stopped at the doorway at what I saw, my mother lying motionless on the floor with a blood stained chest and my father standing above her shaking, a knife with blood on it's tip, gripped firmly in his right hand. My eyes filled with tears and my finger tips reached my mouth, hands shaking. I looked up at my father who slowly turned around, and as soon as he looked at me his eyes saddened.
“Ashanti, I..." he began. He started to walk towards I but I stepped back, he felt like a stranger now… he was a murder. He stopped. "I'm sorry..." he whispered but I turned away and ran down the hallway and ran into my room where Ralts stood, confused. I grabbed my bag packing the money I had saved for my pokemon journey. Then lifting ralts in my arms, I ran to my ajar window and jumped out. Only being one story I landed safely on the yard below and I began running, through the small town and into the forest ahead. I continued running till I reached the next city.
Stopping in the dead quiet of the city, the bright neon lights sparkled in the cool night air, making it impossible to see the stars. I held Ralts close. "I guess this means we're on our own." I said saddened not wanting to remember what I had just witnessed only an hour ago. Setting Ralts down I began to dig through my bag,"I have hardly any supplies. We can spend the night at the Pokemon Center and then visit the PokeMart in the morning. Then after that we can start our journey." I stated smiling at Ralts who replied with a cool mystic giggle. Putting the bag back on my back, I lifted Ralts and walked to the Pokemon Center. Inside hardly anyone was there. There was one trainer in the corner gazing down at his PokeGear and then a group of three each having some hot chocolate. They seemed familiar, but then it hit me.
The one with tanned skin and spiky blackish brown hair was the former Pewter City Gym Leader and the girl sitting next to him was Misty, the youngest sister of the Cerulean Sisters. The third person who had a Pikachu by his side took some time to remember but after a minute of thinking, it came to me. He was in the Johto Pokemon League, Ash Ketchum!
I smiled at how my studying paid off and was awoken by my thoughts by the pink haired nurse, Nurse Joy. "Can I do anything for you Miss?" She asked smiling. "Um yes, could you heal my pokemon?" I asked showing her, my two pokeballs and Ralts. "Of course, this way miss…"
She led me to the desk, a Chansey came out pushing a small stretcher. I grinned and placed Ralts and my other pokemon on the stretcher. Chansey pushed the stretcher to the back room as Nurse Joy followed. I decided to sit at one of the tables. Ash came over a moment later with Pikachu on his left shoulder.
“Hi,” he said “I’m Ash from Pallet Town and this is Pikachu.”
“Pika! Pikachu!”greeted Pikachu.
Brock and Misty then walked over to Ash and me.
“Hey Ash, who’s t his?” asked Misty.
“Umm well… I didn’t ask her name.” Ash replied anxiously.
“It’s always polite to ask names of people.” Brock told Ash. “Its good manners…”
“So what’s your name?” asked Misty “I’m Misty.”
“Hi Misty, my name’s Ashanti.” I said. “You’re the youngest of the Cerelean Sister aren’t you?”
“Uh-huh, people don’t usually notice.”
Once Brock was finished lecturing Ash, Ash walked back over to me, this time Pikachu followed him instead of being on the top of his shoulder.
“Ashanti, what to battle sometime?” he asked me.
“Sure, as soon as Nurse Joy heals up my Pokemon.” I told him, “I would love to see Misty and Brock’s Pokemon as well as yours though.”
“Sure, no problem.” Ash said.
Misty and Brock nodded.
Once Nurse Joy handed me back my three Pokemon Ash, Misty and Brock led me outside the Pokemon Center to battle, Pikachu running next to Ash.
“Is a one on one battle okay?” asked Ash.
I nodded, “Sure.”
“I’ll be the referee.” said Brock.
“The battle between Ash and Ashanti will commence… now!” said Brock.
“Go Ralts!” I said throwing Ralts’s Pokeball, it opened and Ralts out on the battle field, giggling her mystic giggle.
“Pikachu I choose you!” said Ash, Pikachu jumped off Ash’s shoulder and ran onto the battle field.
I was very nervous, this wasn’t my first battle, but it was my first battle against a highly skilled trainer like Ash.
Ralts looked at me for a command. “You can go first Ashanti,” Ash said.
“Use…Psychic,” I said confidently despite myself.
Suddenly Pikachu was sent backwards by a powerful psychic force, Ralts had its arms up, a grin upon its face, to Ralts this was just plain fun.
Ash stared at Ralts for a split second, Brock also looked at Ralts curiously. “Ashanti your Ralts should have evolved into a Kirlia by now if it knows a powerful move like Psychic.” Brock said.
“A Kirlia?” I asked as Pikachu strained to get up.
“Look over here,” said Misty pointing to something clutched in Ralt’s left hand. “It’s a… type of stone.”
She tried to pull it out of Ralts’s hand, but Ralts wouldn’t let go. I decided to facilitate her.
“Ralts, can I see your shiny stone?” I asked pointing to the stone, I had never realized Ralts ever held it all this time.
Ralts hesitated, but her trust with me won her over and she dropped the green stone into my right palm. I showed it to Brock.
He inspected it closely, “This is an Everstone.” Brock muttered.
“An Everstone?” asked Ash who had Pikachu in his arms. Ralts ran over to me and hugged me, whining for her rock back.
“Not yet Ralts.” I told her sternly but kindly.
“Everstones… prevent a Pokemon… in this case your Ralts Ashanti… from evolving.” Brock said to Ash and me. “Ashanti,” Brock said turning to me, “ Do you want your Ralts into Kirlia?”
I looked at Ralts, who was clinging to my left leg. “Do you want to evolve Ralts?” I asked her.
Ash pulled out his Pokedex, “Let’s see what this has to say about a Kirlia.” he said pushing some buttons.
“Kirlia, the emotion Pokemon; it is highly perceptive of its Trainer's feelings. It dances when it is feeling happy.” said the Pokedex. The picture on the screen showed a Pokemon that would be perfect in ballet. I showed it to Ralts, “Would you like to evolve into a Kirlia?” I asked her again.
Ralts looked at the picture on the Pokedex’s screen, then with the rock still gripped in my hand. Finally, she nodded.
“This is a big decision for you Ralts, you’re sure?” asked Misty who had been watching the whole scene mutely.
Ralts nodded blissfully to Misty.
“I’ll keep this Everstone then,” Brock said, “In case you change your mind last minute.”
“So Ash… we didn’t finish our battle yet and maybe…”
“Sure I’d be happy to help Ralts to evolve,” he said.
After Ash finally coaxed Pikachu onto the battlefield, Brock started the battle.
“I’ll go first this time,” Ash said, “Pikachu, Quick Attack!”
“Use Psychic to send Pikachu upwards Ralts,” I said.
Pikachu was running quickly towards Ralts — hence the name “Quick Attack” — when Ralts’s Psychic move sent Pikachu running upwards and falling onto the battleground. Ralts looked at Pikachu painfully trying to get up; Ralts hung its head shamefully. “Pi pika pikachu.” Pikachu said to Ralts. Ralts understood Pikachu was not hurt that badly and looked up at me for an instruction.
“Use Double Team Pikachu,” Ash said without hesitation.
Suddenly there were two delusions of Pikachu, then five, then ten, then twenty. Ralts looked around in confusion.
“They’re copies,” I whispered in shock. “Use…” I thought hard, “Magical Leaf!”
Ralts obeyed and all of a sudden what looked like a dozen leaves were hurled towards one of the Pikachu copies… but was it the right one?
“What was a good move,” I heard Brock say.
“Why?” asked Misty.
“Because Magical Leaf never misses,”
The leaves hit the Pikachu but instead of it disappearing, the Pikachu fell towards the ground, while the copies vanished. Pikachu got up, it was hurt badly now but was unwilling to give up.
“Your Pikachu has a lot of perseverance Ash,” I complimented.
“Thanks.” he said looking at Pikachu sadly.
“Use Thunderbolt; Pikachu,” Ash commanded weakly.
Pikachu began to unleash his Thunderbolt.
Use Teleport, quickly!” I said.
Ralts vanished instantly just as the thunderbolt it the ground, Ralts appeared next to me wrapping her arms around my legs again.
Then Ralts looked towards Pikachu and waved at him, giggling mystically.
Ash looked over at Pikachu too, who had a bewildered expression. “This has to do it, ready buddy…Volt Tackle!”
In the blink of an eye, Pikachu was surrounded by electricity and charging straight towards Ralts. “Intersect it with Confusion,” I said as fast as I could.
Ralts responded swiftly and Pikachu was hit with a blast of Psychic power, the electricity around Pikachu disappeared and Pikachu was spinning around, he was now confused, he tripped over his own feet and fainted.
Ralts giggled as Pikachu walked around awkwardly trying to find her. Then she looked up at me, smiling. She then started to glow white. I gasped. “Ralts? Are you okay?” I asked panicking
Brock, Misty and Ash came over to me. “She’s evolving!” Misty said excitedly.
Eventually cute little Ralts was gone; a graceful Kirlia twirled in her place. “Ralts — I mean Kirlia, you were great on the battlefield.” I said hugging her. Kirlia let out a cry of joy and hugged me back happily.
Then I remembered something. “I almost forgot about going to the PokeMart in the morning,” I said laughing.
“Ashanti,” said Ash, “Would it be okay if we joined you on you journey.”
“Sure, I’d be glad to have a unique bunch like you three along with me, and so would Kirlia,” — I turned to Kirlia — “Right Kirlia?”
Kirlia danced as it nodded.
“We’ll all be up first thing in the morning,” the trio told me. Kirlia and I grinned happily.
We all slept in the Pokemon Center that night. I was woken up by a light thud. I released my newly evolved Kirlia from her Pokeball and we crept towards the continuous sounds that I heard. We reached a room with the door left ajar.
We walked silently inside and saw two people; one was a male with medium-sized, shaggy blue hair, the other was a female with long pink hair ending in a curve. There was also a Pokemon with them… a Meowth. They were stealing Pokeballs left and right, stuffing them into a bag nearby.
Kirlia let out a high-pitched cry to warn the others that these three were stealing Pokeballs. All three of them covered their ears with their hands. “What is that?” asked the blue-haired man.
“It’s a Pokemon, James.” The pink-haired woman said.
“Let’s split before those twerps show up,” said the Meowth.
Talking Meowth, that’s new. I thought. I saw a light flicker on behind me out of the corner of my eye and I turned to where Kirlia was. “Use Psychic to retrieve that bag,” I told her in to loud of a voice.
“Look what we got here,” James said looking at me. “Jessie, it’s a different twerp,” he said to the pink-haired woman although he was looking at me.
They each reached for a Pokeball from the bag, but the bag was not there; instead, it was hovering in the air next to me, controlled by Kirlia’s Psychic. “Thank you,” I said to Kirlia, grabbing the bag.
“Ashanti! There you are.” said Nurse Joy, thrusting the door open, once she spotted the three burglers she gasped. “Team Rocket!”
“Listen is that a voice a hear?” asked Jessie
“It’s speaking to me loud and clear.” James said
Ash and the others came and groaned as Team Rocket continued.
“On the wind…” Jessie said.
“Past the stars…” James continued.
“In your ear!” the talking Meowth added.
“Bringing chaos at a breakneck pace….”
“Dashing all hope putting fear in its place.”
“A rose by any other name is just as sweet.”
“When everything’s worst…”
“This is boring!” I complained
“How dare you!” Jessie shouted at me, “We were almost finished!”
I glared at her angrily, “It’s boring! You don’t need a motto, bad guys don’t get mottos!”
“What do you know,” James said.
“Blah, blah, blah,” I said, taunting him.
Everyone laughed quietly from behind me I did not. I was terrified.
“This twerp ain’t no threat,” Meowth said to his teammates.
“I challenge you two to a double battle!” I said before I knew what had just come out of my mouth.
Ash, Misty, Brock and Nurse Joy, were muttering things I could not hear, Kirlia who was standing next to me looked at Team Rocket with a vacant expression. “We should take this to the battlefield,” Nurse Joy said, and she looked more sleepy then joyful.
I can’t believe what I had just done. I had challenged Team Rocket to a double battle… in the middle of the night.
Jessie and James sent out their Pokemon first. James sent out a Carnivine, which started chomping onto his head before James pulled it off. Jessie sent out… the talking Meowth, who complained greatly.
“I…” I tried to say, “I changed my mind,” but thought better of it.
I tightened my grip around my Vulpix’s pokeball, “Kirlia, how ‘bout you help me and Vulpix with this double battle?” I asked the graceful Pokemon.
Kirlia nodded, I released Vulpix. Ash came closer for a better view, Brock, Misty and Nurse Joy looked at Team Rocket then back at me.
My chances of winning were very slim at this point.
“Let’s get this over with!” Jessie grunted in aggravation.
“Fine,” I said, “Kirlia use Magical Leaf on both Pokemon, Vulpix; use Flamethrower on Carnivine.”
A large array of leaves appeared from Kirlia’s hands and slammed into Carnivine and Meowth, While Vulpix opened her mouth and a burst of flames torched Carnivine.
“Show that Kirlia a Vine Whip!” yelled James.
“And I’ll use Scratch!” Meowth commanded himself.
Carnivine extended two vines at Kirlia, while Meowth retraced his claws; Kirlia looked at them both, looking up at me with her big brown eyes. “Teleport then use Psychic from behind,” I told her quickly. “Then use Confuse Ray on Meowth!”
Kirlia vanished just in time, meanwhile; Vulpix used Confuse Ray on Meowth and Kirlia used Psychic on Carnivine.
Carnivine fell onto the ground and did not get up, he had fainted; Meowth tripped over a twig in his confusion and fainted as well.
I went over to hug Kirlia and Vulpix, “Good job, thanks guys; return,” I said holding up two pokeballs; each pokemon disappeared into the pokeball with a flash of red light.
Ash, Misty and Brock greeted me warmly, while Nurse Joy clapped for me, and then disappeared inside the Pokemon Center.
Team Rocket fumed, “Thunderbolt them Pikachu!” Ash said. Pikachu released a large bolt of lightning onto Team Rocket.
“We’re blasting off again!” they cried as they skyrocketed into the sky.
“So where are you headed anyway?” Ash asked as Pikachu plopped onto the ground.
“Oh, I almost forgot to go to the PokeMart!” I said and ran over to the blue building next door to the Pokemon Center.
“Wait!” Brock, Misty, and Ash said in unison, but I didn’t turn around. Mostly because I knew, they would follow anyway.
Inside the PokeMart I bought some potions and other healing items. Ash came in after me first.
“You didn’t have to run off like that,” he said forcing a calm tone.
“It’s okay,” Misty said kindly, Brock nodded in agreement.
“So what are you doing in this region?” Brock asked.
I got a little uncomfortable at this question. “Well… my mom was… murdered.” I answered sadly.
“I’m sorry,” all three said sorrowfully.
“Who… who murdered her… if you don’t mind answering,” said Ash uneasily.
“My… d-dad did.”
A tear rolled down my face after I answered.
“I-I’m sorry I didn’t want to m-make y-you cry.”
“It’s okay,” I said trying to brighten, “That’s all in the past, after all I have Ralts and Vulpix to keep me company.”
Unexpectedly, a man walked up to us; he had a straw hat on top his head, and was holding a flopping Feebas in one hand; a wet pokeball was in the other; he was also dressed in a fisher’s uniform.
“You,” he said pointing his long slender finger at me, “Ya want a Feebas; it’s no use to me, ugly thing it is.”
I looked at the poor Feebas flopping helplessly in the man’s arms. “S-sure,” I said stammering.
He tossed the Feebas and pokeball at me, I caught the Feebas while Ash caught the pokeball.
Brock was shaking his head muttering, “He doesn’t know what a Feebas can evolve into.”
“What?” Ash and I asked. Misty seemed to know the same thing as Brock.
“He’s right; a Feebas can evolve into a beautiful Milotic.”
Ash quickly pulled out his Pokedex and held it over my new flopping Feebas.
“Feebas, the Fish Pokemon, It is famous for its shabby appearance. While populous, they tend to cluster in set locations. It eats anything, so it can even live in polluted streams and lakes. No one pays any attention to it, yet its evolution is very majestic,” said the Pokedex’s robotic, female voice.
“Cool, how do we evolve it?” asked Ash.
“Feebas’s evolution commences when it eats a lot of Poffins that enhance beauty,” answered the Pokedex.
“That’s a unique way to evolve,” I said.
“I can get Dawn to send us some beauty poffins for Feebas,” said Ash.
“Thanks, where does Dawn live?” I asked.
“In Sinnoh, I’ll phone her at the Pokemon Center.”
We exited the PokeMart.
“Dawn’ll send some poffins as soon as possible,” Ash said as he returned from the Pokemon Center.
“Thanks Ash,” I said gratefully.
“So Ashanti, we’re going to the next city, Pollah City,” Brock said.
“I’m going to challenge the gym there,” Ash said importantly. “It’ll be my first gym battle in the Zutac Region, I hear it’s very different then the other regions you know: Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh.”
I nodded, I was still thinking of my mom and dad, and how anxious my dad must be. “I’d love to challenge the gym leader there.” I said, “If Dawn sends the poffins before then.”
Brock looked at the sky, we’d better sleep in the Pokemon Center again, it’s getting to dark to travel farther.
That night I slept with Kirlia underneath my covers with me. I fell asleep almost instantly.
A man dressed in black with red trimming stood in the Pokemon Center he stroked his black Glameow’s dark fur and shouted orders to Nurse Joy. “All the Pokemon, release all the Pokemon!” he cried. His eyes were both blood red, not a natural eye color.
Nurse Joy scrambled to follow his orders. “Finally!” he said as all the Pokemon were released. He raised an odd scepter and in the blink of an eye all the Pokemon had fainted and rising from their bodies were dark furred, scaled, or winged versions of them.
“Now,” he said to the dark Pokemon; grinning enigmatically, “Dispose of this Nurse Joy.”
I awoke with a start; Kirlia was still asleep. I saw my hand wrapped around Kirlia’s, had Kirlia sent me that nightmare?
The next morning I told the others about my nightmare, only Brock seemed to have believed me. He tried to convince Misty and Ash. Ash quickly believed me after a little convincing, Misty however was unwilling to believe that Kirlia had told me this, let alone it had happened in real life.
“… and also even though Kirlia can sense the emotion of its trainer, doesn’t mean it can sense emotion of a Nurse Joy all the way in Pollah City!” she continued.
Before we left the Pokemon Center, Nurse Joy was running towards Ash, holding a package with a letter attached.
“It’s from Dawn,” she told Ash, tossing the letter to Brock, while Ash began ripping off the wrapping around the package.
Brock read the letter out loud:
Dear Ash and company,
Hello, I haven’t spoken to you for a while, so your new friend… Ashanti is it? She must be very eager to evolve her Feebas into a Milotic, I’m sure Misty knows how many poffins to feed the Feebas as well as I do. Be sure not to give it more or less, give it exactly twenty poffins.
“Dawn has neat handwriting,” I said.
Brock laughed and folding the letter, put it into his jeans pocket.
While Brock had read the letter, Ash finished tearing the package’s wrapping and already opened the box. Inside were exactly twenty poffins, all the same bright pink color.
“Let’s feed Feebas some poffins,” Ash said.
“Okay,” I replied pulling out Feebas’s pokeball, “Come on out Feebas!”
“Shouldn’t Feebas be in water?” Misty reminded us.
“Oh right,” Ash and I said together, our faces turning scarlet.
We found a large forest, Brock spotted a large lake within the mysterious forest.
Ash noticed a sign close by: “FOREST OF CHANGING EMOTION, HOME TO GARDEVOIR” he read.
Once we entered the forest I saw a group of Gardevoir almost immediately. “Maybe you should release Kirlia Ashanti,” Ash told me.
I took out Kirlia’s pokeball and threw it, out came Kirlia twirling her greeting to the Gardevoir. I realized we were being watched. A dark silhouette was looking at Kirlia, I could see that its eyes were colored a blood shade of red… like in my dream.
“Someone’s watching us,” I hissed.
“Where?” Ash asked loudly.
The figure lept out from the shadows and seized Kirlia, Kirlia tried to teloport but somehow, it couldn’t.
“At last, I have your Kirlia!”
Then the figure, turned to me; it was the same person I saw in my dream at the Pokemon Center. “You, your coming with me aswell.”
“Ashanti!” Ash, Brock, and Misty called out at me.
The last thing I saw was the man’s horrible eyes and Kirlia turning dark black, the Gardevoir had vanished. “Kirlia… no.”
Everything went black.
I woke up still in the forest with Kirlia in a cage. I was chained to a metal box. The man that had captured us was standing over me.
“I expected this Kirlia to have evolved… no matter, I shall evolve it myself.” he said.
“Who are you?” I asked bravely.
“Names are but what you are called, if you must know however, I am called most frequently ‘Bloody Eye’ or ‘The Red-Eyed Man,” he replied quietly.
I looked around annd noticed a large black machine, engraved onto it were the words “Evolution Machine”
I gasped. The Red-Eyed Man was going to evolve Kirlia with a machine.“Pokemon should be evolved naturally, not by machine,” I protested.
The Red-Eyed Man just scoffed.
“Pokemon are useless creatures the way trainers use them, that’s why I plan make every Pokemon stronger and under my control,” he said, opening Kirlia’s cage. Kirlia looked at me with controled hatred. I knew The Red-Eyed Man had turned her evil by her apperence, she was now a dark shade of black, and had scarlet eyes, slightly brighter than The Red-Eyed Man.
“Kirlia!” I yelled, “it’s me, Ashanti!”
“Don’t waste your breath,” he said, he was putting Kirlia into themachine now and pressing a large green button.
I looked at the machine helplessly. Then I heard a Pokemon overhead “Staraptor!” cried the Pokemon. Seconds later, Ash, Misty and Brock were running over to me.
“Good job Staraptor, return.” Ash said, recalling Staraptor to its pokeball.
“Ash, Misty, Brock!” I cried happily.
The Red-Eyed Man turned around and glared at them. “You’re too late, the evolution as been completed,” he said.
Suddenly he was lifted in the air, sespended like a balloon. A group of Gardevoir appeared, holding up their hands, a bright pink light glowing around them.
The machine’s door had opened and out came not Kirlia… but Gardevoir, newly evolved, but the machine had burned Gardevoir in the process and her body lay there forgotten, what had came out was her spirit.
Ash held his Pokedex out towards Gardevoir.
“Gardevoir, the Embrace Pokemon; It will try to guard its trusted Trainer with its life. It has the ability to see the future.”the Pokedex recited.
So that’s how she told me that, she saw the future, but that means… I stopped thinking about this to look at Gardevoir’sghost.
Gardevoir’s ghost looked at the Red-Eyed Man and sent a powerful Psychic attack at him she had returned to her orignal color, he had lost control over Gardevoir. He disappeared, and so did the large group of Gardevoir; but I could hear him say “Don’t think you won’t meet me again!”
“He’s right,” Brock said, “but for now we should evolve your Feebas.”
I nodded, I had almost forgotten. “But… what about Gardevoir?” I asked looking at the transparent figure before us.
“I’m afraid, she will stay this way, and as she isn’t solid, you can’t return her to her pokeball,” Brock replied.
I tear slid down my face. “Gardevoir… I— I’m sorry.”
Once we reached the large lake, and released Feebas into the water and we all fed it poffins from Dawn’s package (Ash had stuffed the package under a tree when they went over to save me… even though Gardevoir had actually saved me) Feebas had glowed white after it had been fed all twenty poffins, and a beautiful Milotic replaced it.
Ash, of course; whipped out his pokedex
“Milotic, The Tender Pokemon; When people bicker, it is said to arise from the depths of lakes to becalm violent hearts.”
“Wow Ashanti, no one would guess this evolved from that Feebas,” Ash said.
Once we exited The Forest of Changing Emotion, Brock looked at the large city. “We’ve here, this is Pollah City!” he said.
“Great, gym badge here I come!” Ash yelled running towards the gym.
“Wait for me!” I shounted, running after him.
Brock and Misty followed close behind.