Yeah, I know Pokémon SS is rather dull, boring, nothing happens, etc, but I'm just setting up the story. It's hard to coordinate with events that the characters remember but 99.9% (maybe even 100%) of the readerbase has never seen. Oh well, we get to see Team Rocket in this chapter so that makes up for everything. *elbows random hecklers* ----------------------------------------------- “Listen to me,” Tschel said after a short pause, putting his hand on Alex’s shoulder. “I really don’t think any worse of you just because your sister hates me. I actually don’t care how badly your sister thinks of me.” “Yeah, well,” Alex replied, “it’s mostly that I feel kinda bad because getting shouted at that badly must’ve hurt.” Tschel shrugged. “I’m used to that, I guess. People keep on thinking I’m creepy just because I look different than most people, you know, pale skin and grey hair and all. Don’t feel bad for me, really.” Marril, who was sitting on Alex’s shoulder, turned to face Tschel. “Marril-mar, Marril, Marril, mar-mar, Marril.” Tschel blinked. “Marril’s just being rude again,” Alex said. “Basically told you I get the same thing for looking different.” A slight rustle in the bushes on the side of the trail through the forest they were walking through put everyone into a cautious silence. Everyone except Marril, that is, who looked around for a second and then went back to its carefree idling. “You hear that?” Tschel asked. “Yeah,” Alex said. “And there aren’t any Pokémon in this forest either.” “That’s right!” A woman’s voice shouted from the forest around them. Tschel’s face suddenly turned from neutral to grim. Two white-clad members of Team Rocket jumped out from the trees, one with long magenta hair and the other with medium-length blue hair. “Prepare for trouble!” The woman shouted. “And make it—hey, what the?” The man was startled as Tschel ran up and sucker-punched the woman in the gut. “Hey!” She shouted, holding her stomach where Tschel had punched it. “We hadn’t even gotten to introduce ourselves yet!” “Wait a sec,” Alex said, looking thoughtful. “I remember you two, Jessie and James. I met you on the first day of my journey. Beat you with a Magikarp.” Jessie looked furious. “That did not happen!” Alex laughed slightly. “Sure it did.” Tschel smirked. “Here I was thinking most members of Team Rocket were actually decent trainers. Go, Jolteon!” The yellow electric rabbit appeared out of its pokéball, right next to Alex’s Golduck. “Jolteon,” Tschel ordered, “Pin Missile their Meowth!” “Hydro Pump them both, Golduck!” Alex shouted. Jolteon’s pins met Meowth just as the torrent of water hit Jessie and James. The three Rocket members were sent sailing into the forest, where they hit the ground with a loud thud and were silent for quite a while afterwards. Alex and Tschel recalled their Pokémon and simply went on their way. “You know those two?” Tschel asked a few minutes after the two started walking again. “Yeah,” Alex said. “Really did beat them with a Magikarp.” “Nice,” Tschel said in admiration. “Gotta confess, though, that I hate Team Rocket like the plague. Less so Magma and Aqua I guess, since Magma and Aqua are just small-time organizations running purely out of Hoenn. Rocket’s a worldwide organization that’s grown a lot more than it should.” “What’d they do to you?” Alex asked in all seriousness. “Eh?” Came Tschel’s reply. “They must’ve done something to you to make you hate them so much.” Tschel sighed. “You know I’ve never told anyone this before. The five Eevees I had, four of which have evolved, are all from the same litter. Team Rocket kidnapped their mother and performed experiments on her that she didn’t survive.” Alex winced. “Wow. That’s harsh.” “Yeah, I guess. Gotta make Giovanni pay, though.” “I’ll help you,” Alex said. “Team Rocket nearly killed me once. I figure we ought to give them heck together instead of separately.” “Marril-mar! Marril!” Marril said excitedly. “What was that about?” Tschel asked. “Oh I’d really rather not say,” Alex replied. “Marril’s just being itself again.” “Don’t you think they’ve failed too many times for us to keep them in?” A brunette man in a white Team Rocket uniform asked. The chair on the opposite side of the desk in the office didn’t turn to face the man, but a woman’s voice did come from the chair. “Obviously. If it were up to me they’d be out permanently. But I’ve told you before, Ryan, that the fate of Jessie and James resides completely in, for whatever reason, Giovanni’s hands, and I don’t have the authority to override him.” Ryan bowed respectfully before leaving the office. “Yes, madam Juliet. I merely wished to express my concern, is all.” Juliet exhaled sharply and leaned back in her chair. She’d been dreading showing her face to Ryan. As the Chief Executive in charge of the Rocket Genetics Department, pulling one too many all-nighters was unseemly, and she pulled them more often than she actually got a full night’s rest. Of course, she thought, that’s the exact reason why I look like something the Persian would drag in whenever I go all night. Turning halfway around, she tapped a few buttons on the computer on her desk. It looked like the Tribo Project was coming along nicely despite the “help” of the same inept scientists who designed Mewtwo. “At least,” she thought to herself, “there will be only one Tribo. Three Mewtwos when only one was required—what was Giovanni thinking?” She remembered the first time she’s read the profiles on the Mewtwos. One was far weaker than expected and currently resided with a colony of Pokémon it cloned itself. The other had a heavy British accent and aided in the defeat of the rather unpleasant Jynx named Xnyj. The third was far more powerful than expected, and was listed as “current location unknown.” “Tribo shall not have these defects,” Juliet had proclaimed at the opening of the genetic laboratory. “It shall be a fighting machine designed solely to fight, loyally, for Team Rocket and Team Rocket alone.” That had gotten no small amount of applause, although she had no idea why. Pretentious speeches were something she loathed, although she had to make a few as a high-ranking Executive. She’d have reflected more on the irony of her duties, but at that moment darkness claimed her. A black-haired woman, roughly in her mid-twenties and not completely unattractive, knocked on the door of Juliet’s office. Then, after getting no answer, she knocked again. She repeated this a third time before simply opening the door. Juliet was fast asleep, and by the looks of things, she was going to have a severe case of Keyboard Face when she woke up. “Sorry ma’am,” the woman said, slipping a few enveloped documents onto Juliet’s desk. “You just wanted these, and, uh…” Juliet snapped awake with a suddenness that caught the woman completely off-guard. “I wasn’t asleep,” Juliet said firmly. “I was completely awake. Remember, Melanie, saying that the local boss was asleep on the job is something your partner Ryan would say.” “Uh, yes ma’am,” Melanie said, saluting. “I’ll just leave you to, uh, ‘reading those documents’, I guess.” Just after Melanie had left, Juliet fell asleep on her desk again. “Note to self,” was her last thought before slipping into unconsciousness, “lock that blasted door.” She was in for it big time, was her first thought upon waking up. An Executive asleep on the job, she’d never be able to show her face in the cafeteria again. Granted, she made more money than the average Pokémon Master, and could easily afford office delivery, but even so, it was humiliating to be caught sleeping on the job. “You know what?” Juliet thought to herself as she went for another round of Mareep-counting, “Scratch that. I need sleep more than a good reputation.” She glanced at the clock. Three hours later than it was the last time she checked, and she still felt tired. “I have so got to get more sleep,” Juliet muttered to herself. ----------------------------------------------- Yes, he really did beat up Jessie and James a long time ago with a Magikarp. Even funnier yet is when Jessie and James get to Juliet's secretlike base. For those of you who still think Pokémon SS is dull... next chapter gets really interesting. Edit: Oh yeah, there's a reference to Hitmonchan's Diary in there. It was a great fic by a person named Stephen Huxman. The basic plot had to do with an evil male Jynx named Xnyj, and one of the characters was a rather silly Mewtwo with a thick british accent. Among other things he sued an airline company for a whole box of those peanuts.