Trial of the Phoenix

Chapter 8: The Chosen Hero

At the foot of the Tin Tower, Morty and Eusine were still trying to hold off the Team Rocket grunts, all of who seemed to have several Pokemon with them. Despite their power, Gengar and Alakazam were starting to wear down. Meanwhile, Lisa and Entei had their hands full with Noir Mask and her Zweilos. Zweilos hit Entei with blasts of green flames from both heads. Entei was hit by the attack and seemed to have a little trouble moving.

“Oh dear, that’s what happens sometimes when my darling Zweilos uses Dragon Breath!” Noir Mask laughed madly. “Sometimes the opponent becomes paralyzed. Now Zweilos, hit Entei with Dragon Rush!”

Zweilos’s body became covered in blue light as it charged at Entei.

“Fight back with Stomp!” Lisa commanded.

Seconds before Zweilos rammed into Entei, the beast of fire recovered somewhat and raised its right front leg. It brought that leg back down on Zweilos with such force that the dragon was crushed into the ground.

“It won’t be that easy to beat me Noir!” Lisa declared. “I don’t know what your problem with me is, but I’m taking you down!”

Meanwhile, Bolt and Misty were having their own problems with Giovanni’s Pokemon. Giovanni’s Nidoking had just rammed Raikou with its horn and thrown the beast of thunder into the air.

“Good, now use Thrash Nidoking!” Giovanni commanded. “Pound Raikou into the ground!”

Just as Raikou was getting back to its feet, Nidoking slammed its tail into it. The creature then began stomping on Raikou’s back.

“Aw man, how did this happen?” Bolt asked in frustration.

“Suicune, go help Raikou out with Ice Fang!” Misty commanded.

As Suicune charged at Nidoking, its fangs began glowing with a blue light and it started breathing out an icy mist. But before Suicune could get to Nidoking, Persian jumped in its way.

“Not so fast my dear.” Giovanni said to Misty. “You still have my Persian to deal with, and he should not be taken lightly. Use Hypnosis Persian!”

Persian’s eyes began glowing with a pink light. Suicune suddenly started moving as if it was starting to fall asleep.

“I haven’t had this much fun in a long time!” Giovanni laughed. “Use Night Slash!”

The claws on Persian’s right paw started glowing with a purple light. The cat lunged at Suicune and slashed it across the left side with its glowing claws. Suicune seemed to have even more trouble standing after that attack.

“Suicune, no!” Misty cried out.

“Soon Ho-Oh and the Legendary Beasts will be mine, and Team Rocket will reign supreme once more!” Giovanni laughed.

* * *

Back atop the Tin Tower, Ash watched desperately as he tried to figure out a way to help Misty and the others. He knew Pikachu wasn’t in any condition to battle, but there was a slim chance that the Pokemon he had only just captured could still help.

“Go Ho-Oh!” Ash called as he threw out the Pokeball.

Ho-Oh emerged from the thrown ball, but right away Ash could see just how injured it had gotten during the battle with Pikachu. Ash began to doubt that Ho-Oh could still help, but he had to try anyway.

“I know you’re hurt Ho-Oh, but you gotta help me save my friends!” Ash begged. “Right now they’re in real trouble and I don’t have any other way to save them. So please!”

Ho-Oh looked at Ash for a moment and then scratched under its left wing with its beak. As soon as it did, an old brown pouch fell out from under the wing.

“What’s this?” Ash asked as he picked up the pouch

Ho-Oh cried out, startling Ash and causing him to drop the pouch. As it fell, the contents poured out and suddenly the three were enveloped in a large cloud of ash and soot. Both Ho-Oh and Pikachu momentarily lit up with rose-colored flames as the cloud faded. Suddenly Ash saw that Ho-Oh’s injuries had completely healed.

“Pika!” Pikachu cried enthusiastically as it suddenly jumped to the ground out of Ash’s arms.

“You’re all better now?” Ash asked with a look of amazement.

“Pika.” Pikachu said again as its cheeks began to spark.

“Alright then, let’s go help our friends!” Ash said enthusiastically.

Ash and Pikachu climbed onto Ho-Oh’s back. Within moments the great phoenix spread its wings and began flying towards the foot of the Tin Tower. All those who were battle suddenly stopped and looked up. Both Morty and Eusine were in awe of the site. Meanwhile Giovanni chuckled sinisterly.

“Well, I must say I’m impressed young man!” Giovanni called up to Ash. “It seems you were able to capture the great Ho-Oh. You’ve just saved my men and I a lot of trouble. Now hand Ho-Oh over to me!”

“No way!” Ash declared. “Why do you want Ho-Oh anyway?”

“Why that’s obvious!” Giovanni said with amusement. “To become the strongest force imaginable. With Ho-Oh and the Legendary Beasts at our disposal Team Rocket will become the strongest power in the world! No one will be able to stand against us!”

“And what about all the Pokemon you’ll end up hurting?” Ash asked. “Don’t you care about that?”

“As long as those Pokemon do what we tell them I don’t care one bit how they feel!” Giovanni laughed. “All that matters is how well they serve us!”

“You monster!” Ash shouted.

At that moment Ho-Oh suddenly flew down at Giovanni at incredible speed. It shrieked and its eyes lit up with a blue light. Suddenly, a bright blue light that had expanded from Ho-Oh enveloped Ash, Pikachu, and Giovanni.

* * *

Ash and Pikachu suddenly found themselves floating in the air. They looked down, and Ash saw someone who looked like himself ten years in the future. His black hair had become long and was tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing a black t-shirt with a blue vest and faded jeans. Pikachu was perched on this older Ash’s shoulder, and sitting behind him was Ho-Oh. Standing at his side was a Pokemon that looked like a blue bipedal jackal. Ash had never seen such a Pokemon before.

Also standing at the side of this older Ash was an older Misty with Suicune, along with Lisa and Bolt with their respective Legendary Beasts. Ash’s old friend Brock was there as well at the side of this future Ash. Hovering a few feet above this group was a six-foot creature with a humanoid build that resembled a cat. It had agreyish-white body with a purple belly and tail. Right away Ash and Pikachu recognized the Pokemon as Mewtwo.

There were several other people and Pokemon there standing with this older Ash as well. Ash recognized a few of them. A few of them were gym leaders such as Morty and Sabrina from Saffron City. But there were a lot of people in this group that Ash did not recognize, and even more Pokemon. Among the most notable Pokemon in the group was a large black dragon with muscular arms and a tail that resembled a turbine. Riding on this dragon’s shoulder was a young man with long green hair tied back in a ponytail a black and white ball cap.

The sky above was overcast with storm clouds, and Ash suddenly realized that this group was standing on a large hill overlooking a beach. Ash and Pikachu looked down at the beach and saw hundreds of people in Team Rocket uniforms. Then Ash noticed a long pointed rock sticking out a few feet from the beach into the ocean, and there was someone standing on top. It was a young man with long red hair wearing mostly black. A sinister smile was on the young man’s face.

The redhead snapped his fingers, and bursting from the ocean behind him came a massive creature that was mostly black and looked like a cross between a bird and a dragon. The feathers on the ends of its wings resembled hands, and its eyes glowed red like a demon’s. Ash thought that this Pokemon looked a bit like the legendary bird, Lugia. But he had seen a few Lugia before, and they looked nothing like the creature that seemed to be under the command of the redhead. Whatever the black creature was though, it roared causing Ho-Oh to spread its wings and shriek in response. After that there was another flash of blue light.

* * *

Ash and Pikachu found themselves once again riding Ho-Oh’s back. Both of them were understandably confused by what they had just seen. Giovanni meanwhile looked up with an expression of terror. It seemed that he had also seen what Ash and Pikachu saw.

“No… it can’t be!” Giovanni said as all the color drained from his face. “I-I never wanted… but that means… if this vision is true…. We’re retreating at once!”

“Sir?” one of the grunts asked in confusion.

“You heard me, this mission is canceled!” Giovanni ordered. “Now move out!”

Many of the grunts looked at each other in confusion. Noir Mask meanwhile gritted her teeth and called back Zweilos.

“You heard him, now move!” Noir Mask ordered the grunts. The grunts then began calling back their Pokemon. Meanwhile Noir Mask looked back at Lisa. “I guess we’ll have to settle this another time dear Lisa.”

With that, Noir Mask began walking away with the grunts. Giovanni called back Nidoking and he and Persian began walking away as well. But he stopped for a moment and looked back up at Ash and Ho-Oh. Ash thought that Giovanni’s eyes looked as if they were begging for help. After a moment Giovanni and Persian rejoined the their small army. Meanwhile Ho-Oh landed, allowing Ash and Pikachu to dismount.

“What happened Ash?” Misty asked.

“I don’t know.” Ash said as he rubbed the back of his head in confusion. “When Pikachu and I were hit by that light from Ho-Oh, it was like we were transported somewhere else. And I know this’ll sound crazy, but in that place I saw someone who looked like me but… older.”

“Ho-Oh must’ve shown you a vision of the future.” Morty theorized.

“It probably showed Giovanni too, since he got caught in that light when Ash did.” Bolt added. “Looks like he saw something in there that scared the crap outta him.”

“What did you see exactly?” Misty asked Ash.

“I’m still trying to figure that out.” Ash told her. “Right now just thinking about it is giving me a headache.”

“The vision will become clearer in time.” Morty assured Ash. “How long I cannot say, but for now it is probably best not to dwell on it.”

“Well whatever happened, it’s been a long day.” Lisa cut in. “We should get to the Pokemon Center for some rest.”

The others all agreed and called back their Pokemon. After that they headed for the Ecruteak City Pokemon Center.

* * *

The next day, Ash, Misty, Lisa, and Bolt had gathered out in front of the Pokemon Center. The time had come for the group to go their separate ways.

“So where are you going Lisa?” Misty asked.

“I think I’ll stay here in Johto for awhile.” Lisa told her. “I like this region, and maybe traveling around it will help me get over… the person I lost.”

With that Lisa sent out Rapidash.

“I hope we meet again one day.” Lisa said as she mounted her steed, and with that she road off.

“Well, I think I’ll be hitting the road too.” Bolt told Ash and Misty. “You guys are from Kanto, right? I think I’ll check that place out.”

“Say hi to Professor Oak when you get there.” Ash suggested.

“Will do. Catch you guys later.” Bolt said with a wave as he strolled off.

“So what are you planning to do Ash?” Misty asked.

“Well, I was thinking of going back to Pallet Town for awhile and then head for the Hoenn Region.” Ash told her. “What were you thinking of doing?”

“I’m not really sure.” Misty said with a somewhat angry look as she turned her back to Ash.

“I’d… really like you to come with me.” Ash suddenly said, causing Misty to turn back around. “The fact is Misty… I can’t really picture traveling without you. In fact I really… like you. So… will you… go with me?”

Misty couldn’t believe what she had heard Ash say. She was of course hoping that Ash would use a stringer word than “like”, but she decided to take what she could get.

“Well when you put it that way, why not?” Misty smiled. “Sounds like fun. So I guess we should start walking for Pallet Town, huh?”

“Why walk when we can fly?” Ash pointed out. “Go Ho-Oh!”

Ho-Oh emerged from the thrown ball. The site of the great bird caused many of the passersby to stop and stare in awe. One old man who saw Ho-Oh’s appearance almost had a heart attack. Ash, Misty, and Pikachu mounted Ho-Oh’s back.

“Okay Ho-Oh, take us to Pallet Town!” Ash commanded.

Ho-Oh cried out and took off, creating a huge gust of wind as it did so. The great phoenix then began flying to Ash’s hometown, where he and Misty would soon begin another adventure.