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A Master in the Making: Part 7: ....Make It Double!

by Seth Bowman (I'm so tempted to write down my name as Zeth Raltier, I must be using it too much)


Zeth sat on a park bench, staring down at the empty pokéball in his hand.  He still could not believe what had happened.  [All my pokémon are gone... And I have no idea where Team Rocket is by now...] Zeth reached into his backpack and pulled out his moon stone. He had left his backpack at the center, so the Rockets did not get everything.  [Only everything that was important!  I would give a million of these rocks to get them back.]  Zeth looked up at a trainer, who was playing with his Nidoran.  [We were doing so well, why did it have to be like this?] 



    In another part of the city, Kat and Duke were enjoying themselves tremendously.  They had celebrated their most recent heist until far into the night, and now, the Boss had just requested to see them.  They walked up the steps to his mansion, feeling a little nervous but confidant that they would receive praise, not punishment.  The Boss rarely invited a team member to his mansion, but since the gym had been destroyed, he HAD been having more meetings there.  They were greeted at the door by the butler, then ushered into Giovanni's office, where the Boss waited for them.  "Good Morning, sir."  Kat began.  "I hope you were pleased with the pokémon we brought you."


    "Yes, I was.  That's why I have called you here.  Your service has always been exemplary, which is why I have decided to give you an important assignment.  Recently, I have been expanding Team Rocket to other parts of the world, and I am giving you two command of the operations in the Obsidian League area.  We have already built a base of operations there, but I still need someone to run it.  Are you two up to the task?"


    The two Rockets were shocked.  The Obsidian League covered as much area as the Indigo League.  This was no small promotion!  "Yes, we're up to it!" Duke exclaimed.  "We would be honored to command the Obsidian area's Rockets!"


    "Good, be at the airport at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  I have arranged for you to travel on one of our planes, which is transporting supplies to the new base.  One other thing."  Giovanni reached into his desk and pulled out four familiar objects.  "Here, take these pokémon.  You stole them, so you can train them.  You'll need more pokémon, anyway."  He handed the blue and white pokéballs to the duo.  "I'm counting on you.  Don't fail me!"



    Zeth walked down an alley.  He had been wandering aimlessly all day, trying to think of what he should do.   He turned into a large, desolate street lined with warehouses.  Realizing that he was probably in the worst part of town, Zeth turned to leave, when he heard one of the large doors start to creak open.  With only mild interest, he watched a flatbed truck loaded with wooden crates pull out of one of the warehouses and drive past him.  Apparently, whoever loaded the truck did a sloppy job, because one of the crates fell off and spilled open as the truck turned a corner.  The driver didn't notice the accident and kept on going, but Zeth gasped as he saw the boxes contents.  It was full of the black Team Rocket uniforms!  Zeth ran toward the warehouse's slowly-closing door and dove under it before it could shut all the way. 


    It was very dark in the building, only one small window let in light from the outside.  There was another truck and a LOT of shelves and crates.  Most of the crates were nailed shut, but he noticed an open one and pushed the lid aside.  The crate was half full of pokéballs, but before he could check to see if they contained pokémon, he thought he heard familiar voices.  He crept between the crates and proved his ears right.  It was Kat and Duke - and they were wearing HIS pokéballs!  Beside them were two burly Rockets.  He bit back a cry of rage, and listened to their conversation....



    "Okay" said Kat, handing one of the workmen a notebook, "here is the list of needed supplies the Boss gave me.  Take it to the airport, hanger 12.  Got that?"  


    The burly man nodded.  "Yeah I got it.  I've done this stuff before, you know."


    "Well I haven't, so don't get smart with me.  Hurry up and get this done, we leave in the morning."  At this Kat turned and headed out the door, Duke following on her heels.


    The workman muttered something under his breath, "I hate people like that.  They always think they know how to do our job better than we do."  His companion agreed, and they went into some kind of conversation about stuck-up team members. 


    By this time Zeth had stopped listening.  The men were starting to load the truck, and he had to move, so they wouldn't catch him when they moved the crates he was hiding behind.  One of them noticed the open crate Zeth had found and spat out a curse about certain incompetent people, followed by another curse when he couldn't find the nail gun to nail it shut.  Finally, the two workmen finished loading the truck and drove away.  Zeth waited until they were out of sight, the rolled back under the warehouse door as it closed.  [So, Team Rocket is taking an airplane ride!  Maybe I can save my pokémon after all!]


    It was a long walk to the airport, but Zeth's hope of saving his pokémon kept him going.  He found hanger 12 and checked to see if anyone was around.  He spotted the two workmen loading the last of the cargo into the plane with forklift.  [Okay, Zeth, what NOW?]  He noticed the single open crate still on the truck and had an idea.  While the workmen were busy with an unusually large crate, Zeth dove into the open one, pulling the top back on as he buried himself in the pokéballs.  He waited a few minutes, then held his breath as his crate was lifted up by the forklift they were using.  He waited for another ten minutes as the last of the cargo was loaded, then lifted the lid of his crate to look around.  He was inside the plane, but Kat and Duke weren't here yet.  [They won't be here until morning.  I'd better get some sleep.]  He sank back down into the pokéballs and pulled the lid over himself again, wincing because of his uncomfortable bed.  [It's going to be a LONG night....]



    Zeth woke to the sound of voices.  Apparently, the Rockets had arrived.  Suddenly, everything started moving.  [They must have been here longer than I thought!  Oh, well.  Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.] 


    The plane was mainly used for hauling cargo, so it had limited passenger space.  Kat and Duke took turns sitting in the copilot's seat, although neither of them knew anything about airplanes.  Zeth was stuck in the crate for about an hour, because one of the two was always using the crates as a seat.  He was finally beginning to feel confidant again, when the unthinkable happened:  His phone rang!  Zeth scrambled to turn it off, but the damage had already been done.  He heard footsteps walk toward him but was unable to hide under the shallow layer of pokéballs.  The lid started to move and Zeth knew it was time to act....


    He jumped up, bowling Duke over.  The man yelled in surprise as Zeth ripped his pokéballs off of Duke's belt.  Zeth dodged the man's flailing arms and sprinted for the cockpit.  Behind him, he could hear Duke yell out a warning to the other Rockets.  Kat turned to see what he was yelling about.


    "Duke, what are you - it's the kid!"  She didn't have time to react as Zeth pitched two of the empty pokéballs at her.  He dove on her, grabbing the blue pokéballs that hung at her belt.  The pilot shouted out something about fighting somewhere else, but Kat was too busy trying to push away the angry teen to notice.  She gave Zeth a hard shove that sent him flying into the airplane' s controls.  Something he landed on cracked loudly, and the combatants paused for a moment.  The pilot cursed and pulled Kat out of the cockpit, slamming the door behind them.  Zeth turned and saw WHY the pilot had left in such a hurry.  The flight controls had been snapped off and the fuel gauge was flashing a red light. [Oh, no!  I dumped the fuel and those controls are a total loss!]  Zeth threw open the door, and was nearly flung to the ground as suction from an open hatch pulled at him.  The Rockets stood at the hatch, grinning evilly as Duke threw something out the open hatch.  [What are they... Oh, NO!]  He watched the Rockets leap out of the doomed plane, leaving him behind without the parachute he needed to escape!


    With nothing else to do, Zeth hopped into the pilot's seat and buckled himself in.  [This is going to be a VERY hard landing!]  The plane was starting to tilt down now, plunging toward a mountain in the distance.  [This can't get any worse.]  The mountain - no! volcano! - loomed in front of him.  [It's worse!]


    Suddenly, the plane slowed down and seemed to hover in the air.  It banked toward a nearby field, slowly losing altitude.  [What? How is this possible?]  Zeth braced for an impact, but the plane landed without a jolt.....



    High in the sky, a small, pink pokémon watched as a young man appeared from the open hatch of the downed plane and looked around in amazement.  Satisfied with her good deed, Mew shot off into the distance....