Trial of the Phoenix

Chapter 4: The Rocker from Sinnoh

The dawn had finally come, and Ash and the others had already set out for Ecruteak City. They did not sleep well the previous night, mainly due to the fact that they knew Noir Mask was probably hunting them. It also didn’t help that they had to leave most of their things behind when they escaped. Fortunately Ecruteak was only a few hours away. The group knew that they would be safer once they got there.

“Well, we haven’t seen Noir Mask since last night.” Ash commented. “Maybe she gave up.”

“I don’t think someone like her would give up so easily.” Lisa disagreed. “We shouldn’t let our guard down, even for a minute.”

“Hey Lisa, call me crazy but it seemed like Noir Mask knew who you were.” Misty noted. “In fact it seemed like she really hated you for some reason. Are you sure she didn’t seem familiar to you at all?”

“I think I’d remember meeting someone like her before.” Lisa told her. “And in any case it doesn’t really matter. All we need to worry about is fighting her off.”

As the three continued on, a Pokemon suddenly leapt from the bushes into their path. It was a large black dog with a red snout. If it had any ears they weren’t visible. What the dog had in their place was a pair of white horns that curved back. Its tail ended in a point like that of a devil, and on its back were white bands that looked like ribs. There was also a white band around its neck that had a small skull on the front of it, giving the band the appearance of a dog collar.

“A Houndoom!” Misty observed.

“I wonder if it’s wild?” Ash asked. His question was soon answered when Zoroark leapt out from around a nearby tree and joined Houndoom.

“We meet again my dear Lisa.” Noir Mask said as she walked out from behind the same tree that Zoroark appeared from behind. “It was wise to leave your things behind when you escaped last night. Too bad I was able to use those items have my little Houndoom track you by your sent.”

“You’re not getting Pikachu!” Ash declared.

“Oh please, I’m no longer interested in acquiring your little electric friend.” Noir Mask told him. “Since our little encounter last night my mission has changed. I’ve now been ordered to acquire Entei.”

“Well if you want t steal Entei, you’ll have to go through me!” Lisa proclaimed.

“I was hoping you would say that Lisa.” Noir Mask said with a sort of sinister glee.

Before a battle could begin, the riff of an electric guitar suddenly filled the air. The group looked around and saw standing at the foot of a nearby hill was a young man who looked to be in his early teens with spiky blond hair. He was wearing a black t-shirt, a yellow vest, faded jeans, and a pair of sunglasses. The young man held the red electric guitar that the group had heard moments ago. Standing next to the young man was a Pokemon that resembled a lion. It was mostly blue, but had a mane of black fur and additional black fur on its front legs, rear, and tail. Its eyes were red and gold, and on the tip of its tail was what looked like a four-pointed star.

“Well what do we have here?” the young man said. “Here my pal Luxray and I were out for a stroll in this forest and we find a girl in a mask trying to hold up some innocent travelers.”

“Who are you?” Noir Mask demanded to know.

“Me? I’m the bad-ass rocker of Sinnoh, Bolt Hanson.” The stranger proudly announced. “Now why don’t you just lay off these nice people?”

“This is no business of yours, so get lost!” Noir Mask told him. “Otherwise your life will become very unpleasant.”

“That kind of talk makes me want to butt in even more.” Bolt said as he took out a Pokeball similar to the one Lisa used to capture Entei. “In fact I see this as a good chance to use the Pokemon I caught just a few day ago. Let’s rock Raikou!”

Emerging from the ball that Bolt had thrown was a yellow saber-toothed cat with black stripes. It had red eyes, and over its nose was what looked like a blue X. Adorning its forehead was a dark-grey crest, and on its back was something that looked like a purple thundercloud. Its thin tail looked like a light-blue lightning bolt. Raikou roared at the group after emerging from the ball.

“Impossible!” Noir Mask shouted. “First Entei and now Raikou?”

“My new friend here is the legendary Raikou told of in song and story.” Bolt confirmed. “But I don’t know anything about Entei.”

“She’s talking about this. Go Entei!” Lisa interrupted as she threw out her Pokeball. Entei roared as it emerged from the thrown ball.

“Okay, that’s a weird coincidence.” Bolt noted. Meanwhile in Misty’s arms, Togepi began waving its stubby little arms back and forth.

“Zoroark, Houndoom, return.” Noir Mask commanded as she called her two Pokemon back to their balls. She then pulled out her purple and white Pokeball with the M on it.

“What, are you going to try and catch us all with that Master Ball?” Bolt joked.

“This Master Ball contains my secret weapon.” Noir Mask told him “One of my most trusted Pokemon. Go… Darkrai!”

Emerging from Noir Mask’s thrown Master Ball was a shadowy creature with an hourglass-shaped body. It had not legs but rather hovered in the air. Its hair looked like a billowing white ghostly flame and covered one of its light-blue eyes. Around its neck was a somewhat spiky growth that resembled a necklace of large red beads. The rest of its body was black and tattered like cloth.

“No way… a Darkrai?” Bolt said with a hint of fear in his voice.

“You’ve seen that Pokemon before?” Ash asked.

“Only in books with ghost stories.” Bolt told him. “It’s a Legendary Pokemon from my home region of Sinnoh. They say it puts people to sleep and gives them an endless nightmare.”

“Where did she get a Pokemon like that?” Lisa asked.

“In hell.” Noir Mask answered with a psychotic grin. “And in a moment you’ll all experience my hell first hand. Darkrai, hit them with Dark Void!”

Darkrai raised its arms and between its hands formed a ball of black energy. At the same time, Togepi continued to wave its arms back and forth. The shadowy Pokemon threw the ball, which split apart into several more balls. But seconds before the balls could hit, Togepi’s arms flashed and suddenly Ash and the others vanished in a flash of white light. Darkrai’s attack hit the ground where they once stood. Noir Mask looked at the suddenly vacant spot with a shocked expression and suddenly cried out in frustration.

* * *

Meanwhile, Ash and the others reappeared in another location, and even Entei and Raikou looked around in confusion as to what happened.

“How did we get here?” Ash asked.

“I think Togepi might’ve done something.” Misty theorized as she looked at the egg Pokemon in her arms.

“Misty, you know Togepi can’t…” Ash began to say.

“Togepi probably used Metronome and got Teleport.” Lisa interrupted. “That was a lucky break for us.”

“Togepi can use Metronome?” a surprised Ash and Misty said together.

“Yeah, it’s one of the first moves they learn.” Lisa told them. “Everyone knows that.”

“Well however we got here, it’s a pleasure to meet such lovely ladies as yourselves.” Bolt interrupted in a smooth manner as he approached Misty and Lisa. “Maybe once we get out of this forest one of you would be interested in going out with me on a date.”

“I’d rather drink sewer water.” Lisa said sounding very unimpressed.

“Well how ‘bout you red?” Bolt asked as he suddenly took Misty’s hand. “You and I could have a real nice time together.”

“Well I…” Misty began to say.

“Misty isn’t interested in going out with a guy like you!” Ash cut in as he suddenly got between Misty and Bolt. “So back off!”

“Whoa, chill out dude.” Bolt said as he backed away with his hands raised in surrender. “Didn’t know she was your girlfriend.”

“S-she’s not my girlfriend!” Ash frantically denied. “Misty is the last person in the world I’d want for a girlfriend.”

Misty’s expression changed to one of rage. She punched Ash hard in the arm. Meanwhile, Lisa just shook her head.

“You’re the worst Ash Ketchum!” Misty yelled.

“What did I do?” a very confused Ash demanded to know.

“Okay, everyone just cool down.” Lisa interrupted. “Now Bolt, wasn’t it? How’d you end up with Raikou?”

“I was wondering when one of you guys was going to ask.” Bolt chuckled. “I’ve been chasing Raikou for months. Hunted him all over Johto, and I finally caught him only a couple of days ago. It was a good way to get my groove back.”

“What do you mean by that?” Ash asked.

“Back home in Sinnoh I was pretty hot stuff.” Bolt began. “I was at the top of my game, winning battles left and right. Then I took on one of Sinnoh’s Elite Four, a lady named Bertha. I was certain I could beat her, but in the end she creamed me. I didn’t help that all her Pokemon were of the Ground-type and all mine were Electric. They still are actually.

“Anyway, after I lost against Bertha my fighting spirit was crushed. I started losing every battle I fought. One rainy day I was taking shelter under a tree playing my guitar. When the rain stopped I looked up, and flying towards a rainbow was this huge red bird glowing with gold light.”

“Ho-Oh!” Ash and Lisa said together.

“Uh, yeah. I guess you guys have heard of that Pokemon.” Bolt confirmed. “Anyway, after seeing that bird and finding out more about it, I decided that maybe a fresh start was what I needed. So I headed to Johto the first chance I got. And the first Pokemon I saw when I got here was Raikou.”

“That sounds a lot like how I first encountered Entei.” Lisa observed. “I even saw Ho-Oh before coming here. Just like you, seeing Ho-Oh inspired me to come to Johto.”

“Really.” Bolt said in a suave manner as he took off his sunglasses, revealing his brown eyes. “Maybe this means that you and I were meant to be together.”

Lisa responded by punching Bolt so hard in the eye that he got knocked to the ground. The rest of the group, human and Pokemon alike were surprised.

“In your dreams you wannabe rock-star!” Lisa responded.

“I saw Ho-Oh once too.” Ash cut in.

“You serious dude?” Bolt said as he got back to his feet and replaced his sunglasses to cover what would soon be a black eye.

“Yeah, it was back when I first started my Pokemon journey.” Ash explained. “Pikachu and I had managed to fight off a flock of angry Spearow. There was a storm during that fight, and when it cleared we both saw Ho-Oh flying through the sky.”

“Maybe Bolt’s right then.” Lisa theorized. “I mean not about him and I becoming a couple. That wouldn’t happen even if hell froze over. But maybe the three of us were meant to meet each other.”

“You might be onto something there.” Bolt agreed. “And come to think of it, doesn’t Johto have three Legendary Beasts?”

“That’s right, the third is Suicune.” Misty cut in. “And Ash saw it the first time he came to Johto.”

“You saw Suicune too Misty.” Ash pointed out.

“Yeah, but I never saw Ho-Oh.” Misty reminded him. “Maybe Lisa and Bolt were meant to capture Entei and Raikou, and maybe you were meant to capture Suicune.”

“We could stand here guessing about this stuff all day, but I don’t see how we can find out anything for sure.” Bolt observed.

“Entei, Raikou, and Suicune are said to be from Ecruteak City.” Misty reminded them. “Maybe we could find out more about this there.”

“Well we were headed there anyway.” Lisa agreed. “We should probably get there before Noir Mask comes after us again. Hopefully Togepi teleported us closer to the city and not farther away.”

The rest of the group nodded in agreement. Bolt and Lisa called back Entei and Raikou, and the four continued on to Ecruteak.

* * *

Meanwhile in another part of the forest, Noir Mask had contacted Giovanni to report Bolt’s appearance. The hologram of the Rocket boss listened closely to Noir Mask’s story.

“So now a trainer with Raikou has appeared.” Giovanni observed. “Hmm… perhaps Suicune will appear next. For now only observe and report. I will be heading to Ecruteak myself. Inform me of any developments until I arrive.”

“Yes sir.” Noir Mask responded, and with that the hologram vanished. “So now I can only watch…. Okay then, I’ve waited this long to settle things with Lisa. I guess I can wait a little while longer.”