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Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon, etc., etc., etc. I do own the story and Max Oak and Danielle.
Copy them at your own risk. (Not one you want to take when confronting a dragon. Trust me.)
I also own Ginny Waterflower. Do not use her without my consent.

A forewarning: the last few parts of this chapter are VERY VERY unsuitable for anyone below the
age of 14. You've been warned.
- Andrew Dice (AKA SpacedOutDragon)

The Journeys of Lance Ketchum
Book One: The Pokemon Trainer
By Andrew Dice


"Lance! Wake up, man!"
Lance Ketchum opened his eyes. For a moment, he had to squint into the bright morning
light that filled the Pokemon Center. He had fallen asleep on the couch to one side of the large
room, and now there was someone standing over him. Probably a nurse or somebody, wanting to chase
him away. But how did this person know his name?...
Then his eyes focused.
"Max!" he exclaimed.
Max Oak was standing over him, looking straight into his face. He was smiling, as if a
bit amused to find his best friend in this place.
"It's me, buddy," he replied.
"How'd I get ahead of you?" Lance asked, sitting up. "And... where'd you get that?"
Lance was speaking of a trench-coat that Max was wearing. It's outside was completely
white, still unstained. the inside was a more off-white. The collar was large, and the inner
lining was yellow, and it obviously contained a bit of stuffing. The coat went down to his ankles.
Underneath, he wore his usual dark purple, long-sleeved overshirt, black jeans, and basic sneakers.
"Actually, my dad gave it to me a month or so ago. I just didn't wear it before now,"
Max said.
"I'll tell you, I'm glad to see you," Lance confessed.
"Er, why? What's up?"
Lance paused for a moment. "A lot," he said at last.

One hour later, Lance and Max were sitting at the table in a small diner. Max had now
heard everything from when he and Lance had last parted. Pewter City. Underneath Mt. Moon. The
battle in the Cerulean Gym. Needless to say, he was in shock. "You killed a couple of guys?" he
whispered, so the people at the next table wouldn't hear.
"Yeah..." Lance said with normal volume, as if he didn't care if people heard him.
Max considered him. He hadn't said it out loud because he was proud of it or anything,
but because... well, Max couldn't tell. To be completely honest, Lance was sort of freaking him
out. Having to save his own life by killing others had clearly taken a toll on him. Finally, he
said: "Jeez... are you going to tell anyone? Besides me, I mean."
"Are you kidding?" Lance shot back. "Think of what everyone would do... think of what
CHRISTINE would do... she'd think I'm a murderer... and I am." He had said "and I am" with
resignation, as if he thought it was true.
"You're not!" Max almost yelled back. Then, in a more quiet tone, "Think about what would
have happened if you hadn't. YOU would be the corpse! What would Christine think THEN, huh?"
"Better a murderer than murdered?" Lance said. "I don't know... this is just so incredibly
"Then forget about it for a while," Max suggested. "Look, if you mull on it for too long,
you'll go crazy. Now come on! I want to see your Pokemon in action. Just... just make sure that
Gyarados of yours doesn't eat my Pokemon, okay?!"
Lance laughed. "I told you! He only ate those ones that were about to kill me! He'll just
fake-bite," he said. In an light-hearted attempt to freak out his friend, he added offhand, "At
least, he won't bite all the way through."
Max slapped a hand to his forehead. "Oy..."

After paying the bill, the two friends went outside to battle their Pokemon. Max had been
busy - he had also gained a third Pokemon. He wouldn't say what it was, however. Finally, they
found a good, open spot in a local park to have their battle. Standing about 40 feet away from
each other, they both threw out their first Pokemon.
"Attack, Volvagia!" yelled Lance.
"Do some good, Growlithe!" said Max.
Volvagia was out, as was a small, dog-like Pokemon with a tiger-like pattern on it's fur.
Most of it was a firey red, but it had a small mane - sort of like a lion, which was white. It
looked fierce. A Growlithe.
Volvagia looked at the Pokemon, seemed not overly impressed, then at the Pokemon's trainer.
He recognised Max immediately, then gave an inquiring glance to Lance. "Yes, Volvagia, we are
fighting with Max again. Don't worry, it's cool," he assured his Poke.
Satisfied, Volvagia turned to his opponent. He immediately charged, attempting to bring
his claws to bear against the Growlithe.
However, the Growlithe also charged in a Take Down attack. Volvagia managed to deliver a
light slash, but took the full force of the Growlithe's charge in the chest. He was knocked back
5 feet and off his feet. The Growlite didn't come off too great, either: the Take Down had winded
it as well.
Despite this, Max was grinning. "Hey, maybe I actually have a chance of winning this time!"
he exclaimed.
"Not likely!" Lance retorted, grinning. "Volvagia, you've got to be mad by now. Rage
Volvagia was, in fact, very angry. He focused his rage, letting it give him additional
strength. For a human, this would be a dangerous thing to do. But remember, Volvagia would never
think of killing the Growlithe - no matter how angry he was. He ran up to the Growlithe and gave
it a powerful roundhouse kick, followed by a simple right hook. The Growlithe went sprawling, out
"Geez, so much for optimism," Max mumbled. Then, taking another ball, he called out,
"Bighorn! Show them how sharp your horns are!"
A Pokemon came out which looked like Max's Nidoran, but was fiercer. It was at least twice
as large, and was an even more violent shade of purple. The horns on it were also substantially
larger. A Nidorino.
"Alright, Bighorn! Give it a Horn..." Max seemed to pause for a moment. "...Attaque!"
Lance, as well as Volvagia, was puzzled. Max had intentionally said the name wrong, he was
sure of that (it was supposed to be "Horn Attack".) But what this meant, Lance didn't know...
Bighorn charged at Volvagia, lining up his horn for a strike. Volvagia, anticipating this,
prepared to use his clawed hand to smack away the Nidorino. As Bighorn drew near, Volvagia lashed
his claw out in anticipation...
The claw never found it's mark.
Bighorn had suddenly shifted all his weight to his front legs, and swung his hind legs
forward, using the momentum of the charge... a Double Kick attack. The two-legged kick dodged
under the outstreched claw, and hit Volvagia.
He went flying back half a dozen feet, then rolled for another three. It felt like his
chest was collapsed. It wasn't, really, but he was that worn out. He tried to get up, but he
couldn't. With horror, he realised the inevitable.
He had lost for the first time.

Lance was amazed. This was the first time Volvagia had actually been physically bested.
He had been recalled a few times, but that was where he was in a mismatch. Here, he had had a
chance to win, and he hadn't. He must be devastated. Lance took out Volvagia's Pokeball and
prepared to recall him. "Volvagia, re..."
Lance stopped mid-sentance. Volvagia was struggling to his feet, amazingly. What's more,
he had a murderous look in his eyes.
Lance suddenly felt very badly for Bighorn.

Volvagia could feel the fire burning in him. I WILL NOT LOSE!, he said to himself. He
slowly and painfully pushed himself up, and when he was standing, he slowly turned toward Bighorn.
"Impressive," Bighorn commented, sounding more than a bit worried. "I thought that
maneuver would finish you off."
All Volvagia did was stand there. He had taken a fighting pose with his claws, but now
he was standing completely still. For tense seconds, the two Pokemon stared each other down. Then,
Max broke the silence by saying: "Time to finish this! Bighorn, Poison Sting! That should be
From Bighorn's horn there came just a droplet of liquid - Nido-poison. That was a sign
that the horn was, in fact, filled with poison. With a battle cry of "NIDORIIIINOOOOO!!!!",
Bighorn charged at Volvagia. Volvagia stayed completely still.
When it seemed as if Volvagia would get a horn-load of poison, with Bighorn an inch from
him, there was a sudden flash of claws and fire. It almost happened so fast, Lance hadn't seen it.
However, it was obvious that Volvagia had managed to focus his anger so much, that he had let loose
a combination Ember and Slash attack.
Bighorn, of course, was utterly defeated by such an attack. He went flying straight to Max's
feet. He was out cold before he touched the ground.
"BIGHORN!!!!" Max cried out, bending down to see if his Pokemon was still alive. Bighorn,
of course, was alive, but Volvagia had been brutal. Bighorn had quite a few cuts, and many burns.
It was a painful sight.
Max looked up to see Volvagia. He had also fainted from pure exhaustion. He had stood
still for a few seconds after the attack, then collapsed from an utter lack of energy. With a
"Great job, Volvagia" Lance recalled him. However, he also pulled out his Pokedex and, opening it,
asked "What was the move that Volvagia just used?"
"Attack used by subject Pokemon cannot be identified at this time," the Pokedex droned.
"Interesting..." Lance said as he put his Dex away.
Max recalled for Bighorn, but when he stood up again, the look on his face was *much*
more serious that usual. "Lance, let's finish this quickly," he said bluntly. "I want to get
Bighorn over to a Pokecenter fast." Without further ceremony he threw out one last Pokeball with
the call of "ERTLE! GO GET 'EM!"
"Ertle?" Lance asked as Max's Squirtle came out.
"Well, it's a turtle Pokemon. Turtle? Ertle? Get it?"
Lance shook his head.
"Arg, never mind. Anyway, what's yours? That Dratini again? Or... no, please, no..."
With a smile, Lance threw a Pokeball. "GO, LEVIATHAN!"
"GYYYYARAAAADOOOOOOSSSSS!" yelled Leviathan as he emerged from his Pokeball.
Ertle looked like he was about to die of fear. His trainer looked the same way. He had
never seen a Gyarados before (obviously.) What this 20-foot monstrocity could do, he didn't want
to think about. His mind racing for SOME attack that would be effective, Max ordered Ertle to use
his Withdraw move. "Try and last longer than it can!" he cried out.
"Leviathan, b..." Lance started to say, but once again Leviathan seemed to read his mind.
He lunged at Ertle, and in one swoop of his great head had the whole Squirtle in his mouth.
He hadn't bitten. Ertle was just in his now-closed mouth.
Still, it looked like Max's jaw was going to fall off, his mouth was so incredibly open.
He couldn't bring himself to speak, especially before this monstocity.
After a few breathless seconds had passed, from inside Leviathan's mouth came a sound of
"SQUIRRRRRRRRTLEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!" and something started moving inside of his mouth. This was
a novel situation for Leviathan, and the perplexed look on his face showed it. After a few moments
of this, Leviathan spit the Squirtle out. Ertle hit the ground out of his shell and looking like
he had seen the dead rise from the grave. With one last look of part terror, part awe, at 
Leviathan, he passed out from fear.
"Ertle!" Max cried out in horror. He ran over to his Pokemon to see if it was OK. Aside
from being temporarily unconsious from fear, he was unhurt. Max recalled him, then got up and
faced Lance. On his face was a look of both wonder and friendly chagrin. "I should have known
better than to think I could beat you," Max said, his voice conveying no bitterness that he had
lost again. "However, can we get over to the Pokemon Center... fast?"

Some time later, when Max's Pokemon had sufficently recovered after that epic fight (as
well as Volvagia, who had for the most part regained his normal composure) the two friends had
wandered into one of the shopping districts, their wandering caused by the continuation of their
earlier conversation of catching up on what each had done. Max had done well, it seemed. He had
obtained his as-yet-unnamed Growlite from a down-on-his-luck trainer, and was glad to have a fire
type to match Lance's. He had also obtained a fragment of Moon Stone in Mt. Moon (Moon Stone is
a type of mineral that is somehow capable of making certain Pokemon evolve to their highest states)
but was not yet ready to use it on Bighorn, to turn him into a powerful Nidoking. However, he
was unsure as to what he should obtain next.
"A psychic type may be nice," Max commented. "But which one?... an Abra would be a pain in
the rear to catch, but when it evolves into an Alakazam, it would be sweet! Or maybe... hey,
CHECK THAT OUT!" Max was pointing towards an antique shop. In the main display window were two
katanas - authentic looking ones, at that. Max immeditately raced over, with Lance trailing behind.
When Max entered the store (or, more accurately, raced into and practically skidded to a halt), he
power-walked over to the counter and asked "Hey, can I see those swords in the window?"
The old man behind the counter smiled and said, "Ah, young one, you wish to see my katanas
from Nippon, eh?" He slowly walked out from behind the counter, and began walking toward the
display window. He had to weave his way through the assorted memoribilia that littered the little
shop - display cases of watches, books, and other knicknacks that looked to be in particularly
bad shape; collected memoribilia of times gone by; and some generally useless assorted thingamajigs.
By now, Lance had also come into the tiny shop, still wondering what Max was doing. The
store owner stopped short at the sight of him. It wasn't Lance himself, but the sword he was
wearing at his waist. "May I see that, son?" the aged man asked.
"This?" Lance said, unstrapping it from his waist (he was using a belt he had brought
with him to keep the sword attached to his waist.) "Uh, sure, I guess..." He handed the sheathed
blade to the old man.
The aged one started to carefully examine the sheath. It was leather, with metal underneath,
but the leather looked very new. He seemed puzzled by it. "This sort of workmanship was beyond 
even the best swordsmiths of the Great Age of Conflict... Dear One Above!" he cried out as he 
pulled the blade from the sheath. Lance hadn't pulled it since... that... day, and now he was amazed at
how beautiful it was. The blade itself seemed to be made of or at least shine like silver. But
the tracings, in full sunlight, shone out in gold like the sun itself. Lance had never seen so
beautiful an object.
"Wow..." was all Max had to say (he had practically forgotten why he had come in.)
"Dear boy..." the shop owner began, "Where in the name of the One Above did you find this?"
"Below Mt. Moon..." Lance said slowly, almost whispering.
"What?!" the old shop keeper said. "You just found it lying around?! What a discovery!"
"Um... why?" asked Lance.
"Dear boy, this sort of blade is beyond the capacity of any human to make! I know of
nothing that could make so fine a blade..." the man trailed off toward the end, suddenly becoming
transfixed on the main symbol of the tracings on either side of the blade. It was a star, drawn
so that it seemed to have eight points. From each point, spirals like light seemed to come out, to
make up the rest of the tracings. After staring intentedly at these for a few moments, the old
man turned and started for the back of the shop. Confused, Lance and Max followed. They found him
looking into a large, unidentifiable book that seemed to be about heraldry. Did the old man know
something? In one hand he was still holding the blade by the handle, and with the other he was
madly flipping through pages.
"Um, sir?..." Lance began. "Is something wrong?..."
"Possibly," the aged store owner said, paying little regard to either of them.
"Well, can you hurry up to attend to my order?" Max asked, a little impetuously.
"Your order?" Lance asked his friend.
"Yeah. Those two Nipponese swords in the display window," he responded with gusto.
"Swords?... Good lord, Max, you're not serious!..."
Max grinned. "Heh, if you can carry some sort of legendary sword or whatever this guy
might think it is, then I can carry a bit of armament too, can't I? It's a fashion statement,
Lance, chill."
"Ok... but PLEASE promise me you'll never use them in real life."
"Unless I someone tries to dice me, sure!"
"Yikes, Lance, calm down. I am serious. If I ever get into a situation like what you got
into, I'll use them, but only then."
Lance sighed. Max was right. However, Lance was a little put to by the fact that he didn't
seem to comprehend the practical aspects of sword use...
"AH! Here it is!" the old man cried out suddenly, waving his free hand in the air. "It is
just as I thought! Very interesting..." his voice was conveying unspeakable awe.
"What is it?" Lance queried.
"My dear boy, this symbol... it seems impossible..."
"What?" Max asked, a bit more forcefully than Lance had.
"This symbol... this symbol, according to mythology, is the Shining Star of the Dragonites!"
"WHAT?!" Lance and Max exclaimed in unison.
"It is true. Legends say that once, long, long ago, a race of creatures - Pokemon,
perhaps - created a civilization when mankind was still scampering in the trees, not even human.
These legends - they come from scattered ruins of unidentifiable origin - speak of wonders beyond
our comprehension. Much of what is written we still can't understand. But, on one great pillar,
this symbol is dominant."
Lance, of course, had heard all this before. He had studied Dragons with a passion, but
even some of the rumors and legends about the Dragonites seemed far off. However, now Lance had
started to believe the distant tales...
"Wait a minute. How do we know the sword isn't a fake?" Max asked, seeming to disbelieve.
"Are you kidding?" the old man responded, seeming to be in shock at Max's disbelief.
"No human could do this sort of tracing. This is a Dragonite sword, trust me."
Amazing, Lance thought. He had now twice helped to prove the old legends about the dragons.
"So, what do I do with it? Should I keep it?" he asked.
The old man pondered for a moment. "You should probably keep it for now," he said at last.
"I would love to have it, but I wouldn't know what to do with it. You might want to take it to
Prof. Oak, of the town of Pallet..."
"We're from Pallet!" Max exclaimed. "Hey, when we go back after we're done with our
Poke-training, we can give this to my dad! He'll know what to do with it."
It sounded good to Lance, and he nodded. "OK... now, sir, I think you might want to help
Max with what he wants, before he goes nuts..."
Max chuckled.

A little while later, they emerged from the shop, both looking satisfied. Lance had gotten
some unlooked-for advice, and Max... well, Lance wasn't the only one armed now. "This is just
TOO cool," Max commented... again. At his side were two identically sized Nipponese swords, one
on either side. They were in their sheathes, which were curved in the same way that the swords
were. The weapons themselves were classic Nippon katanas - slightly curved, sharp on one edge,
blunt and thick on the other (making them very hard to break.) The handles were the traditional
long-grips, allowing the weapons to be manipulated with both hands - though it was obvious that
Max intended to use both in tandem if he ever got in trouble.The sheathes, despite their age, were
brightly colored with red, white, and black banding. They were fine looking weapons, overall.
"Aw yeah, now this is a fashion statement," Max said.
"Just be careful how you use them," Lance said again.
"Hey, don't worry, Lance. Say... have you been to Cerulean Gym yet?"
Lance chuckled. "You better believe it. You might want to take off those swords before
going in there, though. Between my sauntering in armed and Leviathan nearly eating the Gym
Leader's Starmie, I think one more shock this week would probably give her a heart attack- keeping
in mind that she CAN'T be too much older than we are."
"Well then, she better have the defibulators ready," Max retorted. "I won't go in armed -
pardon me for saying it, Lance, but that was a DUMB move on your part - but she'll lose as badly
as she did to you!"
"Hey, Max, what are you going to use, anyway?"
"Well, Bighorn and Ertle, of course."
"Yeah, but I did mention that her Pokes can get airborne?"
Max stopped. "Water and Flying? What Pokemon is that?"
Lance stopped in turn and faced Max. "No, they just... fly."
Max looked *very* confused. "What? Then... how?..."
Lance shrugged. "I have no clue what propells them. They just fly. Quickly, too. Drag
probably would have recieved several hard hits, had he not stunned and dodged in time."
Max was starting to look worried. "Great. The guy at the Pewter Gym was a cinch, but
somebody with flying Pokes that have no clear means of propultion? Aw man..."
"Knowing you, you'll think of something."
"I hope so. I really, really hope so."

The battle didn't go nearly as badly as Max had feared it would, or at least he said so.
Lance had stayed outside the Gym with Max's katanas, to avoid frightening Ginny to death. Max had
been in there for 15 minutes when he came out, looking satisfied. "The Starmie gave me some trouble,"
he explained, "but Ertle beat it in the end by aiming at the points. It went careening out of
control and slamed into a wall!"
"Well done!" Lance said. "So, another trip to the Pokemon Center, and then what?"
"It's getting kinda late. What say we turn in for the night? Just don't crash on the
Pokemon Center couch, OK?" Max responded, grinning a little sarcastically.
"Sounds good to me."

Sometime later, at the center, Max had already fallen asleep on one of the couches in the
large reception area, despite what he had said earlier. Lance was still up, and amused at his
friend's... situation. The receptionist at the front desk was looking at Max disapprovingly. However,
Lance could not sleep. He was still troubled over what had happened at Mt. Moon. Having Max around
had helped, but he still felt like his sanity still wasn't fully in place. He decided to wander
a bit outside.
He had barely exited the center when he thought he heard something. He turned, and sure
enough, several fairly large men were sneaking their way along the street. Lance was about to
disregard them when he thought he recognised what they were wearing. In the dim light of the full
moon, he could just about make out a large red R on their shirts, beneath the hevty overoats...
Oh, please. No. It was them. Rocket Industries thugs. They were looking for him.
He immediately hid behind a nearby tree. He watched the four of them walk on by the Pokemon
Center, not taking any notice of it at all.
Lance found that strange. If they were looking for him, they would logically check a
Pokemon Center. So why?... Unless, of course, they weren't after him. A thought came to him.
Giovanni had something going with the other gym leaders... might those thugs be making a "call"
on the Cerulean leader?
He pulled out his Pokedex, and whispered, "Pokedex, are you capable of showing city maps?"
"Affirmative," the 'dex answered at normal volume, which was quite loud against the
silence of everything else.
Panicing slightly, Lance immediately turned the volume on the Pokedex down. "Can you show
me where a specific Gym Leader lives?"
"OK then, where does Ginny..." her last name, what was her last name again, he had seen it
on a placard on the wall of the Gym when he left... "Waterflower! Where does Ginny Waterflower live?"
Silently (for once), the Pokedex brought up a map on it's small screen. Ginny's house was
denoted by a small red blip. Lance's worst suspicions were confirmed. If he read this right, they
were heading straight for the Waterflowers' house. Grimly, he realised what needed to be done.
He dashed off for the Waterflower's house.
Little did he know that he was being followed.

Max had been snoozing, but he was always a light sleeper. When he heard Lance's heavy tread
walk away, he had awoken. Curious as to why his friend was leaving without a word, he got up and followed.
When Max stepped outside, he saw Lance seemingly hiding behind a tree. He wanted to say something,
but he noticed that Lance seemed to want to stay hidden. Not wanting to blow his friend's "cover",
Max stayed in the arch of the doorway, watching. After a few minutes, Lance took off. Max had no
idea what was going on, but he did know that Lance probably needed him. Besides, this looked
interesting. He dashed off, hot after Lance.

His legs had never propelled him so fast in his life. But then, he had never wanted to
get somewhere so badly in the entire span of his life. Lance was sprinting as fast as he could to
the Waterflowers' house, hoping that it wasn't too late to save them.
After what seemed like forever but was in fact a few minutes, he was in view of the house.
He could hear the screams within. The thugs from Rocket Industries were obviously there to both
have a good time and to kill people on orders from their boss. Lance's brain felt like it was
being torn in two. Should he go in and help them? It would mean... it would mean he would have to
kill again. But, if he didn't...
Finally, he said to himself to temper his resolve, "I'm going in there."
Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Max said, clutching the hilt of one of his newly-bought katanas, "I'm with you, Lance."
"Yeah, I followed you. Damn, man, I never realised how fast you could run."
Lance looked back toward the house for a moment. "Max," he said at last.
"You do realise that if you come with me, you will have to kill someone." Lance's voice
was slow and solemn.
"Kill someone to save someone who deserves to live more than the first person. I'm still
with you."
"But how do you know you're killing the right person?"
"It may sound a bit Draconian, but welcome to the world, Lance Ketchum. Now, let's get in
there or all we'll be saving are corpses."
With that, the two dashed toward the entrance to the house.

This was the worst moment of Ginny Waterflower's life.
The family - herself, her husband, and their three young daughters, all the of them under
five, were getting ready for bed when suddenly three thugs had broken the door down and rushed
into the house. They were armed with Pokemon, and her husband had seemingly been killed when a
snake-like Ekans had wrapped around his neck. He now lay on the floor, unconsious.
She and the children were backed against the wall of the family room, the furniture being
tossed around like a tornado had passed through. The three goons, who had large red Rs on the
front of their shirts, were advancing toward them with both lust and murder in their eyes. "You
going to take her?" asked one of the thugs.
"Yeah, she's mine," the nearest one to Ginny responded, sounding a bit more like an ape
than a human.
"Stay away from me, pervert!" Ginny screamed.
"Shut your mouth, bitch, and take this like a woman!" the head thug yelled back at her,
grabbing her with a powerful arm and pulling up her short nightgown. Between her thighs was just
as sexy as the rest of her. Grinning maniacly, he started to undo the fly on his pants.
"Mommy!" one of Ginny's children called out - flaxen-haired Daisy. Another thug just
backhanded her into the wall. With a cry of agony she slid to the floor, whimpering in pain.
"BASTARDS!! LEAVE MY CHILDREN ALONE!!" Ginny screeched. With that, she punched her rapist
quite hard. However, it wasn't enough to get him off - in fact, he now seemed even more determined.
Almost right after he recovered from the punch, he began to violate her.
Ginny was screaming in rage and pain. He was intentionally being rough, trying to hurt her
as much as he could. She wanted to do something, but she couldn't. She was powerless, and hated it.
She, her children, everyone was going to die at the hands of these disgusting men.
And then, a commanding and familiar voice cried, "Stop!"
All three of the thugs turned their heads. Ginny, too, lifted her head to see who it was.
The boy from yesterday! It was that armed trainer who had clobbered her yesterday.
Wonderful, she thought, now he's going to try to kill me too.
But he seemed to not be paying any attention to her at all, rather focusing on the thugs.
At the moment, he was looking right at the thug on top of her. "Disgusting," the trainer spat.
"How on earth can you rape a mother like that? Not to mention trying to murder children! I hate
killing people, but I somehow doubt I'll feel much remorse for sending your souls to hell."
"Same here," someone in the shadows behind the trainer said. He stepped into the dim light
of the room, revealing his dark brown hair, handsome face, and pure-white trenchcoat. "You guys
have violated just about every rule of being human. Killing you will be like killing a rabid
The other trainer was looking at the trenchcoat guy with mild amazement. "I wouldn't go
that far, Max."
"You wouldn't, but I would!" Max retorted.
"Hey, I recognise you!" the thug on top of her said. "You're that punk that was at Pewter
City! If I kill you, the boss'll give me a huge reward!" Much to Ginny's relief, he removed himself
from her.
"Really," the trainer responded, narrowing his eyes menacingly. "If you want to try and
claim that reward, go ahead. But I will give you a chance to leave. Go now, and you will live.
Stay, and I swear you will not survive." His voice was hard, almost icy. It creeped Ginny out.
The thug that had just raped her was laughing, a laugh that sounded like the snorting
of a pig. "You think you can stop us, us men of Team Rocket? Let's kill him, boys!" All three
thugs reached for the Rocket Storeboxes at their waists.
"Team Rocket? What the..." Max mumbled to himself, as he drew one of his own balls,
Bighorn's. Lance drew Volvagia. (He thought that Leviathan was a little too inconspicuous to use
"Team Rocket" activated their Storeboxes, one releasing a six-foot long purple and yellow
banded snake, an Ekans. Another let out a small, white, monkey-like Pokemon with a pig-like snout - a
Mankey. The last let out a blue, bat-like creature with no eyes - a Zubat. In quick responce,
Lance also let out Drag. Volvagia squared off against the Ekans, Bighorn against the Mankey, and
Drag against the Zubat. Without a word, the fight was on.

The lead thug - "Rocket", shall we say - was satisfied that the trainers would be busy
for a while, and turned his attention back toward the redheaded Gym Leader. His orders were to
kill all the inhabitants. He didn't know why - the boss had told him to do so, and no one
questions the boss on anything - unless they have an overwhelming desire to die. Actually, the
boss was creepy, reflected the thug. He can be polite, civil, like a businessman - but underneath,
he's a megalomaniac. But what seperates him from a whole host of other slavering conquerers
thoughout history - whether warlike or undercover, like the boss was - was his utter lack of any
restraint. Victory by any means necesarry - that's what he believed in. Murder was just one effective
way to pull it off.
He had been thinking for a few seconds, and then snapped out of it. Better to focus on the
mission, he thought. He turned to his brutish comrades, who were watching the fight between the
Pokemon begin, and said gruffly, "What're you waitin for? Finish off those kids!" The other two
turned and began advancing toward the cowering children.
Suddenly, what sounded like a battle cry was sounded right behind them. They turned, and saw
the whitecoated trainer holding - twin swords?!?! Good lord, these punks were armed! The other
one, with the black hair, was drawing out his own sword - a pretty long one, with tracings on it
that seemed to glow white in the moonlight that was coming in through the windows. The whitecoat
charged at the lead Rocket, dashing past Ekans and the Charmeleon - who was kicking butt, it seemed.
This "Max" was charging right at him with both swords pointed right at him - he was clearly bent
on skewering the lead Rocket thug. However, when Max's blades were but inches away, the thug
dodged the swords and delivered a mighty blow to Max's stomach - so powerful Max went flying
backwards, though still gripping his swords. Max landed about a two feet away.
The thug reminded himself that he should have come armed. One gunshot would have finished
this punk off. The boss would have liked that sort of efficency - but all he had was his Pokemon,
and Ekans was a little busy right now. I'll have to break his neck, he thought.

Max was recovering from the blow, but the thug was getting ready to finish him off.
Fortuneately for Max, the Cerulean Gym Leader was standing now, and when the Rocket was getting
ready to dive for Max's neck, she gave him a swift kick in the rear. He went sprawling uncontrollably
toward Max. All the opening Max needed. He lifted his right-hand sword and drove it right into the
Rocket's chest, impaling his heart. Blood came pumping out of the would, and the thug stopped
right at the hilt of the sword, having been skewered. He let out a long, low grunt of pain, and
then perished with a shocked look plastered on his face.
Max seemingly was in another reality for a moment. Then, the gravity of what had happened hit
like a ton of Graveler. "Oh MAN..." he groaned. Lance had been right about what it felt like to
kill someone. The thug slid to the floor.

Lance, meanwhile, was going for the two thugs who were getting ready to kill the children.
He wordlessly rushed toward them, and as he did something strange happened. He suddenly felt like
killing the two would be easy - emotionally and physically, even though they were pretty beefy.
They turned just in time to see him bearing down on them. They both were ready to punch him out,
and the fists flew - 
And never hit.
Lance couldn't explain it. He had dodged the puches with way more agility than he would have
given himself credit for. Then, also with more speed than he thought he could muster, he slew
them. It was like his sword was a flying bird-of-prey with razors for claws. He cut them both
diagonally, vertically, and horizontally. There was an explosion of crimson, and then the two
toughs fell to the floor. Lance had been so fast, he hadn't gotten any blood on him at all.
Only the tracings were now more red than glowing white.

The Pokemon had been fighting while all this was going on. Volvagia had roundly trounced the
Ekans. When the Ekans rushed him, he grabbed it by the neck and tail to stop it, adding a fireball
for effect. Then, still holding only the tail he started to swing the creature overhead like a
lasso. After a few seconds of this, he slammed the Ekans down like a blacksmith smiting an anvil
with his hammer. Letting go of the tail, he made ready to evicerate the snake - it was working
for the Rockets, so it must be evil and therefore killable, Volvagia thoguht - when it cried out
"Mercy! Mercy! Do not kill me!"
"Give me one good reason I should not kill you right here, you traitor to all Pokemon,"
Volvagia snapped.
"Please! I only do as my master tells me to! I am no renegade!"
Volvagia was unsure. It sounded like it was telling the truth, but how could he know for
sure... "Look me in they eyes and say that."
The Ekans looked him right in the eye and said, it's voice wavering, "I am no traitor to
my kind." After staring for a few moments, Volvagia knew it was true. It could have tried to
paralyse him with it's Glare. However, it hadn't and the eyes showed no lie.
"OK then. I'll let you live." Perhaps I shouldn't have been so fast to assume evil intent,
Volvagia reflected.

Things had gone similarly for Drag. He had paralysed the Zubat almost from the start, and
when the thing hit the ground it begged to be left alive. Drag hated killing, as we have seen;
and he simply could not strangle this helpless bat. Thus, he let the creature live. It was
incapacitated as it was.
For Bighorn and the Mankey, though, it was somewhat different. They had been fighting for
about a minute with no obvious gain on either side. Then, Bighorn used his "Horn Attaque" and tricked
the Mankey out. Bighorn then pinned the creature, and filled his horn with poison.
"Go on then, finish me," the Mankey spat.
"Well, are you a renegade murderer Pokemon?"
"No. But I will not surrender! My master has been too kind!" The Mankey then let loose a
Fury Swipes attack - trying to scratch out Bighorn's eyes. Bighorn had no choice. He rammed his
horn into the Mankey's skull, and injected the poison. It vibrated for a few seconds, then was still.
"Proud fool."

And it was over. Three Rockets and one Mankey lay dead, and the room was bloodied. Ginny
felt like she was in a waking dream. The trainer in the white coat - one sleeve was now more red
than white - stood up and surveyed the carnage. "Man..." was all he managed to say, and slowly.
He noticed his Nidorino standing over the dead Mankey and said, "Good... work, Bighorn...
return..." He lifted out Bighorn's ball and recalled him. Then, turning, he saw Lance.
He seemed to be shaking. Almost like he was... crying? But there were no tears. Finally,
Lance whispered: "Again... I did it again..." He had killed again. Somewhat brutally, it seemed.
Then, Ginny spoke up. "Whoever you are...thank you. You saved all of us. Thank you."
Lance looked at her. In her eyes, he could see the answer.
Had it been vigilante justice? Absolutely. Had it been horribly bloody? Incredibly. Would
it leave scars on everyone involved? Undoubtedly. But... looking into those eyes... he knew he
had done the right thing.
"He's alive."
They both turned. It was Max, bending over Mr. Waterflower. "He's unconsious and barely
breathing, but he still seems to be alive."
Ginny sighed with infinite relief. It was over. The nightmare was over.
Ginny turned on her heels. It was Daisy, who was still holding her head, cowering with
the other kids. "My babies!" she cried, running over to them. She group-hugged them, then started
cradling Daisy's head in her arms. "Oh, my sweet little child, what did they do to you..."
Lance, once again, felt a hand on his shoulder. Again, Max. "We should go, Lance."
"Well, we are heavily armed with bodies all around us. Don't worry, I'm sure she'll cover
for us. Besides, we should leave anyway - give them some time to get their minds sorted out. This
has been one hell of a day... Now I understand why you don't like killing people."
"Yes... let's go." Lance flung the blood off his sword, once again restoring the glow of
the tracings. The Star of the Dragonites shone brightly as the sword was sheathed. Then, Lance
and Max walked off into the night, leaving a thankful Waterflower family behind.

Author's Notes: Gah. This is the longest chapter I've ever done, indeed the most typing I've ever
done for one work. Anyway, I'm convinced that the area featured in the show/game/etc. Is NOT part
of a small island, like some think. It takes a YEAR to cover it? Bah, it's the southeastern part
of a much larger continent. Plus, I'm convinced that this is not earth. However, it's got parts
of it similar to what is found on earth, thus "Nippon" was born as the analog of Japan. (Of
course, I'm assuming that the show/game/etc. doesn't take place IN "Nippon.") Anyway, hope this
was worth the wait.

Andrew Dice